- "Before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday, she shall prick her finger on a spindle of a spinning wheel and die!"
The Spinning Wheel is an enchanted object which, when touched the spindle, will send its victim (in this case Aurora) into Eternal Sleep, originally death which was cast by Maleficent. The victim of the Eternal Sleep can only be revived by True Love's Kiss. It is used by Maleficent in an attempt to kill Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty.
The spinning wheel plays a major role in the film, because it determines Aurora's destiny. Since Maleficent wasn't invited to the baby's christening, she casts an evil spell upon Aurora that, before the sun sets on her sixteenth birthday, she would prick her finger on a spindle of a spinning wheel and die. This caused lots of grief and sorrow on the kingdom. So King Stefan orders that all spinning wheels should be burned. Sixteen years later, Maleficent hypnotizes Aurora and she transforms herself into the Spinning Wheel. Aurora touches the spindle and sleeps. Maleficent then captures Prince Phillip so he can't break the spell, but the Three Good Fairies manage to rescue him. Moments later he battles Maleficent and kisses Aurora which revives her.
A Spinning Wheel is an item belonging to Rumplestiltskin, who has had the ability to spin since he was a child and was abandoned by his father. Years later, Rumplestiltskin's son Baelfire was a child during the Ogre Wars. The wheel appeared in his small home where they lived together and again, later, in the main room of his grand estate house where he held Belle captive. He also teaches a young Cora to spin straw into gold to marry Prince Henry. He tells her to think of a moment where she was humiliated and use that to motivate her. When asked what moment he chooses, Rumplestiltskin tells of his humiliation of a King's Duke where he made him kiss his boot. Cora chooses the moment when a young Queen Eva trips her whilst delivering straw to the noble court and being forced to apologize. Cora names the technique "blood-lust" to which Rumplestiltskin approves. Rumplestiltskin is periodically depicted sitting at his wheel and spinning, lost in thought, claiming it helps him to forget.
His wheel is also featured in Storybrooke. One night, Belle finds Mr. Gold spinning his wheel and making potions. David's voluntary submission to a sleeping curse to reach Mary Margaret in the Netherworld is enacted by him pricking his finger on the spinning wheel's spindle, which Gold refers to as "the old-fashioned way".
Cora is also seen by Mary Margaret and Regina with the Spinning Wheel in a spirit form within an enclosed room after Mary Margaret, David, Emma Swan, Captain Hook, and her daughter Regina Mills attempt to make communication with her.
- In the original fairy tale, instead of turning herself into a spinning wheel, the Dark Fairy disguises herself as a kindly old lady who offers to teach the princess how to spin thread, which is the way she trick her into cutting herself on the spinning wheel. The concept of fooling the heroine through disguise, however, was seen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
- In Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep, the spinning wheel is not mentioned in the game. An unversed boss, the Wheel Master, is possibly modeled from the wheel. But whether the wheel became an unversed or not is questionable.
- In the movie, when Maleficent shows Flora, Fauna and Merryweather Aurora lying on the ground, after she pricked her finger, it looks like that her neck was broken.
- The spinning wheel is never mentioned or seen ever again, since it was Maleficent, who was the spinning wheel all along.