Does this look like a woman who’s afraid? While she’s belittling him and telling him she and their son would be better off if he had died, there isn’t a trace of fear showing. Not a bit. I saw a post that explained her turnaround in attitude–from before he went to war, to when he came home–by saying that when he came home from the war she was afraid. Um–no (at first I couldn’t believe it was a serious post, but it was). She mentions hearing the rumors in the village that he’d injured himself to get sent home, saying the talk travels quickly from the front. It’s plain she’s worried about her reputation, her standing, their family’s status in the village. Logically, while their social standing could have an effect on the whole family’s economic well-being, being a single-parent family with a woman as head of the household could be more detrimental, as a woman’s choices to earn a living were limited. Either way, a loving wife should also be thinking about her husband.
She yells at him asking if he did it to himself. She’s not worried about his injury, just how he got it. She’s nearly spitting the words at him, with all the force she can muster, curling her lip with every bit of distaste she seems to think she should feel. She digs right into the old wounds of his past, deliberately, to hurt him. There’s no other reason to compare him to his father, except she knows that’s the barb that will settle deepest.
This woman sickens me. I thought no one would ever top her, until Zelena came along. At least Rumpelstiltskin knew the depth of Zelena’s madness and depravity, or at least suspected it. Coming home to his ‘loving’ wife, who said she’d rather he’d died than be there for their child, had to have hurt him more than any injury he did to himself. The pain from it will probably last longer than the pain from his poorly healed ankle. You can see it on his face, the joy of seeing his son, warring with his crushed spirit, and discovering that the support he expected to find was replaced by his first shaming in the village. This makes me so angry and so sad for him.
A man who would go to such lengths, injuring himself, with a likelihood of permanency, and with a high risk of having to have the lower leg amputated (believe me, I have personal experience here, and that’s with modern medicine and two surgeries), all because he wanted so badly to be a father and to be there for his son … well, I give that character my utmost respect. That man is no coward.