List of magical beings in Charmed
This article lists magical beings in the U.S. television series Charmed (1998-2006), broadcast on the now-defunct TV network The WB. In its eight-year run, the writing staff led by show runner, head writer, and executive producer Brad Kern adapted fantasy, horror, and folklore into a fictional universe that was recognizable as being like contemporary society, but with a hidden group of magical users altering between good and evil practitioners. The forces of good are called "witches" in the Charmed universe, and there are a number of allied good character types and three main evil types of character races. The magical beings are described, below, using in-universe tone.
Avatars are an ancient group of magical beings who can bend the very fabric of time. The Avatars tortured Leo Wyatt, with floating heads, to get him to join their collective. Once Leo joins them, the Charmed Ones trust the Avatars strengthening the collective and helping the Avatars to create Utopia. The Charmed ones then realized Utopia was not what they imagined it would be.
The Cleaners are secretive beings operating under the authority of a joint council of upper-level demons and elders (The Tribunal) who are sworn to, and are charged with, keeping magic secret from humankind. They initially appeared in the season six episode "Forget Me...Not" cleaning up a magic-gone-wild situation when, after seeing one on television, Baby Wyatt conjured a flying fire breathing dragon which disrupted downtown San Francisco and created a press firestorm. They removed him from existence then erased everyone's memories of him. This was part of their "after task action items" to prevent future exposures that would also require cleaning up: in short, they took the stance that the Charmed Ones, and especially Piper, could not prevent Baby Wyatt from conjuring another fire-breathing dragon, or perhaps something worse. Removing Wyatt from Earth would prevent future exposure of magic.
The Charmed Ones, whose memories eventually returned, used their magic to expose themselves to the world, which caused the cleaners to appear to remove them as well. However, as the Charmed Ones pointed out, they could not do this as it would upset the balance of good and evil. To keep them from causing further exposure, they returned Wyatt and erased the damage caused. Later, when keeping magic secret caused the cleaners to create a scenario where Daryl was on death row, The Charmed Ones had a trial on his behalf with The Tribunal; Gideon was their lawyer and Barbas was the opposing council.
In appearance they have a glowing white aura emphasizing a white linen suit, conveying existence on the side of good. As such they go in after a magical-exposure episode and have the powers to alter circumstances, including rolling back time to change events, changing history and creating an alternate history. They can also erase or change memories.
Darklighters are the demonic counterparts to Whitelighters, guardian angels in the series. Darklighters are primarily only a threat to whitelighters and witches. They have the task of furthering the spread of evil back to Hades, in part, by luring likely future whitelighters into selfish and evil behavior through seduction. One subgroup of darklighters specializes in furthering the spread of evil by impregnating women and then abandoning them as single parents with their evil far-less-than-innocent babies who will blossom into evil children. This is the counterpart to the Demon Children—the half-human offspring like Belthazor who come about from an upper-level demon's intercourse with a human female, or a demoness bearing a human's child.
Demons are close to the concept of western cultural depictions of demons in Judaism and Christianity, but serve a very different niche in the milieu, since there is no all-powerful deity operating in the Charmed universe — though a great deal of respect is given various world religions, from Zen Buddhism to Roman Catholic orthodoxy.
Most demons resemble humans in their physical features, however many higher-level demons, such as Belthazor, have a demonic form that is more apparent. Every demon in Charmed has the ability to shimmer (teleport), with most of them being able to throw fire and/or energy balls. Demons are also able to possess more powers through a power broker, similar to a Warlock's ability to steal a power from another, or swapping powers with other demons. Cole was able to absorb vanquished demons' powers while stuck in the demonic wasteland, which helped him to return to the living world, after Phoebe refused to help him.
Elders mainly keep track of witches, watching from the Heavens. They communicate with those on Earth through their helpers and messengers, the Whitelighters. The Elders decide who may become a Whitelighter, and give and take their powers. A Whitelighter's ability to heal is channeled directly from the Elders.
It appears that most of the Elders were Whitelighters themselves at one time. Though some were probably witches because Kevin, a teenage witch, was promoted to be an Elder. Leo Wyatt is promoted to the rank of Elder after saving the Charmed Ones and the remaining Elders from the wrath of the Titans.
Though Whitelighters are not allowed to kill, the Elders have powerful fighting abilities. For the most part, the Elders' powers are only shown on screen when Leo is promoted to the rank of Elder. Leo is seen using a lightning-like power to kill Gideon.
When witches need advice on demons which they know nothing about, they can ask the Elders by sending their Whitelighter. The Elders are not all-knowing, however; in some cases, they know no more than the sisters do. In one episode, Leo had to find out who the Four Horsemen were and what they were up to, because the Elders could not help. The Elders generally do not allow witches or any other magical being besides themselves and Whitelighters to enter the Heavens. Even the Charmed Ones do not have this privilege, as Piper and Leo have to ask for an audience when they seek permission to have a relationship. However, Piper has been there twice, once when the Elders allowed them to have a relationship (however, she does not remember what it was like) and after she becomes a goddess, but Leo specifically tells Piper she is not allowed there when she comes to see him. The Elders do, however, allow Leo to watch over his son Wyatt and to take him to be with the Elders when he might be in danger. Originally Wyatt was not allowed, but when Wyatt was in danger and needed to be hid, Leo went against their orders and took him there anyway. After this he was allowed to go there when in possible danger.
As the show progresses, Paige begins using her Whitelighter side, and is able to converse with the Elders as she pleases. Though she does not go to the Heavens like the other Elders or Whitelighters do, they meet at the Golden Gate Bridge. Chris, however, has been to the Heavens.
Very few Elders ever come to Earth. Leo and Gideon are rare examples who spend most of their time outside the Heavens. A few come to Earth to speak directly about important issues, like Gideon's intentions to kill Wyatt and the possible threat of the Avatars. The Elder Sandra comes to speak to Piper about Leo during the last season. Overall, as a group, the Elders prefer to take a background role and remain largely unseen in the day-to-day affairs of the magical world.
Thousands of years before the present, the Titans (listed below) once ruled the world, but were abusive of their powers. Seeking to entomb them, the Elders of that time created the Greek gods by infusing mortals with a mystical power beyond their own. Ironically, the self-declared Gods of Mount Olympus would later force the world to worship them too for many years.
Ghosts are given uneven treatment in the writing of the series, generally presented and believed to be harmless neutral beings who return to the world of the living for their own various reasons. In the reality of the series, there are some ghosts who become vengeful and violent.
There are spirits of a malevolent nature seeking vengeance:
- • "Saving Private Leo" features two brothers, Rick Lang (Costas Mandylor) and Nathan Lang (Louis Mandylor), killed in World War II who have a grudge against Leo. Leo enlisted with them in the Marines and the brothers hold him responsible for their deaths. They come back as ruthless ghosts, planning to kill Leo by making him feel guilt for his actions in several deaths; theirs, a school teacher that is one of his charges, and later Piper. The guilt then makes him powerless. While dead Piper is able to read a spell that vanquishes ghost (which can only be read by another ghost) and Leo regains his confidence in time to save her.
- • Love's a Witch features Rachelle Lefevre as the vengeful ghost Olivia Callaway who almost kills Paige during a feud between two witch families. It turns out she is stirring up the feud and can use some magical abilities from her ethereal state.
The Hollow first appears in the season four episode "Charmed and Dangerous" as a plot element and is used again in the last two episodes of season eight. In its first appearance, the Source of All Evil has become obsessed with prophecies made by the Oracle in season three and began to actively seek an end to the Charmed Ones. The Hollow is depicted as an extremely powerful vapor essence with limitless power-absorbing potential. It has the potential to end all things as it seeks mindlessly to go on absorbing energies of any kind and may consequently take reality into a completely empty void if unleashed for too long. It also has the ability to possess the corporeal form of any living being.
In the Charmed series, the Hollow possessed the following list of characters during the three episodes it appeared in:
- The Source (Charmed),
- two of his demonic grunts,
- Cole Turner
- Piper Halliwell,
- Phoebe Halliwell,
- Paige Matthews,
- Billie Jenkins
- Christy Jenkins
Approximately 1000 BC, the Elders saw the Titans as a risk to the world and themselves. So they unleashed the powers of the Greek gods onto mortals, who were then able to use that power to imprison the Titans for millennia. Future Chris Halliwell travelled back to 2003 to warn the Charmed Ones of the impending danger of the Titans.
When the Titans were released, their ultimate goal was to seek revenge against the Elders and rule over the world. Their first step then was to turn two Whitelighters to stone, and steal their ability to orb, as it is the only way to get "up there." After they did manage to orb up, they killed numerous Elders, with the survivors seeking refuge on Earth. To fight them, Leo Wyatt went up to request the Greek gods assistance. They later returned to find him, sensing someone was left up there. Eventually, they were defeated while on Earth, and the remaining Elders were able to return.
Piper Halliwell was granted the powers of the Earth, a kind of "mother nature." She could cause earthquakes, especially when angered. To destroy the Titans, Piper opened a chasm in the earth, in the conservatory, that swallowed the Titans.
The Titans were made up of:
Cronus: was a Titan in Charmed, he appeared in Season 5 and worked with a fellow Titan named Demitrius to get revenge on the elders. He could control fire.
In Greek mythology, Cronus succeeded his father Uranus as ruler of the universe. He fathered six of the twelve gods and goddesses in Greek mythology, including Zeus. He swallowed his children when they were born, with the exception of Zeus, so as to prevent them from overpowering him. Through a careful plan, Zeus was prevented from being swallowed by his cruel father, and was cared for and grew up to lead his other brothers and sisters to overthrow their father
Demitrius: was a titan who controlled electricity and created thunderstorms. He was Meta's lover.
Meta: was an ancient Titan, she worked with fellow Titans, Demitrius and Cronus, to get revenge on the Elders. She had the ability to turn people into stone by looking into their eyes and lighting fires when she is angry. She was Demitrius's lover. Cronus killed her in "Oh My Goddess!", Part 1, for exposing them to The Charmed Ones.
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Warlocks are an evil race of magical beings that are ex-human witch analogs dedicated to evil, just as Charmed Universe witches are dedicated to good. Unlike in other occult milieus, the term "Warlock" here is not gender-specific and so refers to witches who have gone down the path of evil, rescinding their humanity after committing an irrevocable act of evil–where one of their selfish main goals is to expand their own powers by killing witches and stealing their powers.
An evil witch differs from a warlock in that they have not killed another witch to steal their powers, but rather use magic for personal gain and are willing to kill innocents instead of protecting them. Evil witches only become warlocks when they have killed good witches to steal their powers. When warlocks have children, the children will automatically be warlocks unless one of the child's parents is mortal, as evidenced by the character Brendan Rowe from the episode "When Bad Warlocks Turn Good" wherein Brendan Rowe is a half-warlock who is resolved to remain good and becomes a priest due to the fact that his mother was human.
It has also been stated in the episode "They're Everywhere" that warlocks do not bleed, but this has been contradicted by warlocks bleeding in other episodes. It is also established, later in the third season, that the power to blink from place to place instantly is an exclusive warlock power, which in some plotlines to come will also allow differentiation between evil witches and warlocks. The power to blink is analogous to demons' abilities to shimmer, or for whitelighters/darklighters to orb between planes and dimensions.
Witches in the Charmed universe are nearly always good characters aiding the battle for goodness and arrayed as the field forces on the pointy end, opposing evil and evil beings. Witches frequently come into their active powers fairly young if they are powerful hereditary witches. Since such powers are coveted by evil power-stealing beings (several types of Demons or Warlocks harvest such children if they are unprotected), it is not uncommon that a protective relative, coven leader, or whitelighter arranges for their powers to be bound until they are old enough to both use them responsibly and also be able survive the likely inevitable attacks.
Whitelighters are "guardian angels". They watch over unknown charges and intervene when necessary to help them along their path and keep them safe; they can also be called by their charges. They can constantly hear the lives of their charges in their heads, and if one of them calls their Whitelighter's name, they can usually show up at a moment's notice.
Angel of Destiny
The Angels of Destiny are the protectors and overseers of the Grand Design, ensuring that no one alters it unnaturally. They are portrayed as ethereal, graceful magical beings of the highest rank. They are above the Elders in the hierarchy of good. In season 8 episode "Vaya Con Leos", the Angel of Destiny may have suggested that there is a God above them who is the creator of all destinies, however this was not discussed further after Phoebe interrupted the angels' conversation.
Angels of Destiny possess tremendous amounts of power, being able to halt the orbit of Earth, halt time globally, alter reality and foresee the future. Their only known limitation is that they cannot help or control those who are outside of the time/space continuum, for they are beyond destiny's reach. Any other power(s) used on an Angel of Destiny, as seen in season 4, has no effect, as they are beyond that. The Angel of Destiny exists outside of space and time, with many angels covering many different destinies.
- Known or seen powers
- Reality warping
- Temporal Stasis
- Time travel
- "Secrets and Guys". Charmed. 1999-02-17. The WB Television Network.
- "Oh My Goddess (Part 1)". Charmed. 2003-05-11. The WB Television Network.
- "Witches in Tights". Charmed. 2002-10-13. The WB Television Network.
- "It's a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World (Part 2)". Charmed. 2004-05-16. The WB Television Network.
- "Apocalypse Not". Charmed. 2000-05-11. The WB Television Network.
- "Be Careful What You Witch For". Charmed. 2000-05-18. The WB Television Network.
- "Blinded by the Whitelighter". Charmed. 2001-01-25. The WB Television Network.
- "Siren's Song". Charmed. 2002-10-06. The WB Television Network.