Nearly every back story in Once Upon A Time has a link to either Regina, Rumple or Snow. However based on some information we were given in Season 1 (specifics later), I'm guessing Rumple has quite a big role in the tale of Sleeping Beauty coming up in Season 2 of the show. So in this installment of Once Upon A Theory I explore just how everyone's favourite deal-maker ties into the classic story of Aurora and Maleficent.
My only real evidence that the two have a connection is the knowledge Maleficent appears to have of the curse and Rumples knowledge of Maleficent. In 'The Thing You Love Most' Maleficent seems to know a lot about the curse and how it works, warning Regina against it. How does she know so much? My guess is she learnt it from the curses creator (Rumple). Then in 'A Land Without Magic' Rumple clearly knows a lot about Maleficent and her dragon form. Admittedly, both are tenuous links, but I'm going to venture a guess that the two have a shared past.
So how are they linked and why does Maleficent know so much about the curse? I'm betting we'll see Maleficent visit Rumple seeking help for her problems with Aurora. In response Rumple will offer the curse in the hopes that someone else will enact it, saving him from paying the price and also because there is nothing he loves apart from Bae and Belle, neither of whom he can reach. However Maleficent will refuse when she realises what the curse would do. Instead she'll take an item very precious to Rumple. His spinning wheel, which we've seen in 'Skin Deep' and 'The Return'. This will be the wheel she uses to curse Aurora.
I don't know if we'll see much more of a link between Rumple and Maleficent, but I'm hoping the show explores her history with Regina. I'd love to see how Regina treats a "friend".