One day, Diaval informs Maleficent that Stefan, now king, is hosting a christening for his newborn daughter, Aurora. In retaliation for Stefan's prior betrayal, Maleficent arrives uninvited and curses the baby with a sleeping curse to take effect on her 16th birthday after pricking her finger on a spinning wheel spindle. However, in an act of mercy towards the innocent child, she gives the curse an antidote in true love's kiss. Stefan, growing ever paranoid of Maleficent and her vengeance, has all the spinning wheels in the kingdom burned and locked away. He also sends Aurora off to live with three pixies hidden deep in the woods until the day after her 16th birthday.
Despite her initial hate for Aurora, Maleficent begins to take care of her from afar when the neglectful pixies fail to do so. When Aurora turns 15, she finally comes in contact with Maleficent, believing her to be her fairy godmother as she recalled being watched over by her all her life. Maleficent allows Aurora to spend more and more time in the faerie kingdom. Realizing she has grown fond of the princess, Maleficent attempts to remove the sleeping curse but her own curse stops her as she had declared "The curse will last until the end of time. No power on earth can change it [not even Maleficent herself]". A little while later Aurora meets Prince Philip and the two of them are instantly attracted to each other. He tells her he is on his way to King Stefan's castle but promises to return to see her, mirroring Maleficent & Stefan's interaction as children. On the day of her 16th birthday, Aurora decides she wants to live with Maleficent in her kingdom, which Maleficent allows in the hope that doing so will prevent the curse. However, the pixies let slip the truth about Aurora's parentage and Maleficent's role in her curse. Heartbroken by the truth, Aurora runs from Maleficent back to her home kingdom and parents.
Stefan locks Aurora away for safe keeping until the sun sets on her birthday. However, the curse takes hold and she pricks her finger on an old spinning wheel in the dungeons, previously broken but reconstructed by the curse. Maleficent, having failed to protect her from the curse, sneaks into the castle with an unconscious Phillip, hoping his brief meeting with Aurora in the woods will be enough to break her curse. Phillip's kiss fails however and Maleficent apologizes to the sleeping princess, swearing no harm will come to her while she sleeps and kisses her forehead. Aurora awakens as Maleficent's "true love" for Aurora is that of a mother to her daughter. Aurora, upon awakening, smiles and calls Maleficent "godmother", showing she has forgiven Maleficent, and reaffirms her wish to live with her in the faerie kingdom. As they attempt to flee the castle, Maleficent is captured by an iron net that falls from the ceiling. The guards and Stefan, all decked in iron armor and using iron weapons, strike and begin to kill Maleficent. Using her last power, Maleficent transforms Diaval into a dragon (whereas in the 1959 animated film, Maleficent herself transforms into the dragon) and while they initially hold the upper ground, soon begin to lose again. The guards encircle Maleficent & Stefan with iron shields and Stefan nearly kills Maleficent, taunting her at her lack of wings. At that moment, Aurora frees her stolen wings from their prison and with her wings restored, Maleficent overpowers Stefan and he falls to his death. Sometime later Aurora is named queen of both the human and faerie by Maleficent, forever unifying the two kingdoms, while Phillip looks on.