King Stefan is the main antagonist of the 2014 film Maleficent. In contrast to the gentle and wise king in the original film, Stefan is instead portrayed as a corrupt and power-hungry ruler. He is played by Shalto Copley in the film.
Role in the filmEdit
Stefan was a young orphaned peasant boy who had stolen a gem in the Moors, but was cornered by Tree Warriors. It was then Stefan met Maleficent, a young fairy girl. After returning the stolen gem, Stefan admitted to being an orphan to Maleficent, who was also an orphan. During his encounter with Stefan, he learned that iron burned fairies, including Maleficent. Over the course of several years, the two bonded and fell in love, and on Maleficent's 16th birthday, Stefan bestowed up Maleficent true loves kiss. However, as the two became adults, Stefan ceased visiting the Moors.
Some time later, King Henry, the ruler of the human kingdom, announced that whoever killed Maleficent would be named his successor to the throne and marry his daughter, Leila. Stefan, seeking to be king, arrived at the Moors and reunited with Maleficent. During their reunion, Stefan drugged her, but was unwilling to kill her. Instead, he used iron to cut off Maleficent's wings, taking them to Henry as proof that he had killed Maleficent. Stefan is then crowned king and marries Leila while a bitter Maleficent crowns herself Queen of the Moors.
Some time later, Leila gave birth to an infant girl, Aurora. As Stefan held a christening to honor Aurora's birth, Maleficent arrived uninvited, much to Stefan's horror. Still angered at Stefan for his betrayal, Maleficent cast an irrevocable curse on Aurora to prick her finger in the spindle of a spinning wheel and fall into a sleep-like death before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday. Stefan begs for mercy, and Maleficent offers a solution; true love's kiss can break the curse. Afterwards, Stefan ordered every spinning wheel in the kingdom destroyed and charged the Pixies, Knotgrass, Thistlewit and Flittle with raising Aurora in the woods.
Sixteen years pass and Stefan grows obsessed with killing Maleficent, to the point that he doesn't show up at his wife's deathbed as she dies from an illness. Eventually, Aurora returns to him, and though he is happy that his daughter has returned, Stefan orders her locked away for her own safety while he prepares for Maleficent's arrival. Despite Stefan's efforts, Aurora pricks her finger on a magically-formed spinning wheel, and she loses consciousness. Maleficent, ashamed at her actions, kisses Aurora, which causes her to awaken. As Maleficent, Aurora, and Maleficent's companion Diaval attempt to flee, Stefan's men drop an iron net on Maleficent.
Maleficent transforms Diaval into a dragon and he removes the net, freeing Maleficent. Aurora flees as Stefan's men subdue Maleficent and Diaval before Stefan arrives to personally kill Maleficent. Stefan tortures and mocks Maleficent before drawing his sword and preparing to kill her. However, Aurora frees Maleficent's wings, which reattach themselves to her. Maleficent flies out a window, but Stefan grabs onto her as she flees. The two land on a tower and fight, but Maleficent easily subdues Stefan. However, she reneges to kill him, declaring their feud over. Overcome by rage, Stefan tackles Maleficent off the tower, but falls to his death. Maleficent mourns Stefan's demise, but is able to find peace afterwards.
In contrast to the character from the 1959 film, this incarnation of Stefan is portrayed as ambitious and wrathful. Initially, he did love Maleficent, and though he betrayed her, he hesitated to kill her, instead cutting off her wings. When Maleficent confronted him at Aurora's christening, he showed remorse for his actions, as well as concern for Aurora's wellbeing. However, his paranoia for Aurora eventually spawned into an intense hatred of Maleficent, even greater than her fury against him. During their final confrontation, Stefan brutally attacked Maleficent and mocked her and nearly killed her. Even after Maleficent declared their feud over, Stefan would not relent. This proved to be his undoing, as he plummeted off the tower to his death as he attempted to attack Maleficent.
- King Stefan shares some similarities with Hans, as both betrayed their the protagonist in order to become king.