– She also ‘traveled through many worlds’ while he seemed to be using the Mad Hatter all the time. During her travels she surely encountered many things and tricks she learned.
Where on the timeline do we think Cora’s world travels occurred? Obviously she didn’t have the ability to do it when she met Jefferson, and imprisoned him to force him into making a hat. Is there any way he could have made a working hat, which she then used? I’m guessing no, because he didn’t possess that sort of magic. Maybe that’s why she needed the White Rabbit instead? But did the Rabbit come before or after Jefferson? If before, then Cora had lost his services somehow, and needed to replace him. I’d guess after though. Cora was frustrated with Jefferson’s non-results with the hat making, and then she found the White Rabbit, who could take her to other worlds, so she employed him, set Jefferson free, and he skipped off to set up his crackpot tea party, (I do hope we get to see that tea party some day, and if it does happen in the Onceiverse, it has to have happened after the events we’ve seen where Cora locked him up and he lost his mind).
– The shear fact that Rumple is convinced that he is more powerful than Cora gives her a great advantage – people tend to underestimate the enemies they consider weaker.
That scene in the shop in In The Name Of The Brother is what proves to me that she’s more powerful than him, because what she said made him think he was still her superior. “I only know what you taught me…Master.” Pfffft, pull the other one, love. 😛 And the fact that she went there at all, to arrange a truce, implying that she’s no match for him, so wants his mercy. Puh-lease. And then she threw in the smooch for good measure, implying that she still has a crush on him, so he still has an emotional hold over her. What-eveeeerrrr. 🙄 If Rumple was on his game, he wouldn’t fall for it, but he’s lost, desperate and pre-occupied right now, so it was the perfect time for her to go to him with that little act.
…she is ruthless and without scruples…
Yes, “ruthless” is the perfect word to describe her!