Tyler Layton as Melinda
|First appearance||"The Witch Is Back"|
|Last appearance||"All Halliwell's Eve"|
|Created by||Constance M. Burge|
|Portrayed by||Tyler Layton (adult)|
|Spouse(s)||William Jackson (husband)
Matthew Tate (ex-lover)
|Parents||Charlotte Warren (mother)
Lawrence Cutler (father)
|Grandchildren||Cassandra Warren Wentworth|
|Other Relatives||Prue Halliwell (descendant)
Piper Halliwell (descendant)
Phoebe Halliwell (descendant)
Paige Matthews (descendant)
Melinda Warren is a fictional character from the television series Charmed. While the character is frequently mentioned throughout the series, she only physically appears twice. Melinda is portrayed as an adult by actress Tyler Layton in season one. She later appears as a newborn child in season three.
The character is notable for being the first witch in the Warren family line and for prophesying the arrival of her descendants, the Charmed Ones, who possess access to the "Power of Three" as well as splitting between them versions of Melinda's three magical powers of Telekinesis, Premonitions, and Molecular Immobilization. Like other recurring characters from the series, Melinda is featured in a number of expanded universe media, such as the Charmed novels and the comic book adaptation.
Melinda Warren is first mentioned in the series premiere of season one (1998-1999), "Something Wicca This Way Comes", as an ancestor of the Halliwell sisters Prue, Piper, and Phoebe. She is mentioned by Phoebe as having been a witch who practiced three magical powers (Telekinesis, Premonitions, and Molecular Immobilization), but was burned at the stake in the late 1600s. Before her death, Melinda foretold the coming of her descendants; three sister witches and protectors of the innocent known as the Charmed Ones:
|“||You may kill me, but you cannot kill my kind. I vow that each generation of Warren witches will grow stronger, culminating in the arrival of three sisters. These three sisters will be the most powerful witches the world has ever known. They will destroy all kinds of evil and shall be called the Charmed Ones.||”|
It was claimed that each Charmed One would inherit one of Melinda's three magical powers. Later in the first season, in a ploy concocted by Buckland's employees and undercover warlocks Rex Buckland and Hannah Webster, Prue accidentally releases a centuries imprisoned warlock named Matthew Tate from a cursed locket. The Halliwell sisters soon learn that Matthew, a warlock with the power of mimicry (the ability to copy any power used on him), was imprisoned 300 years ago by Melinda for betraying her identity as a witch to the townspeople of Salem, which led to her execution. Knowing that Prue couldn't have opened the locket unless she was a descendant of Melinda, Matthew tries to take revenge by killing Prue, but she defends herself with her powers—unwittingly enabling Matthew to copy her power of telekinesis. Matthew retreats and later forms a new modus operandi; copying the powers of the Charmed Ones and then killing them, effectively destroying the Warren/Halliwell line and enacting the ultimate revenge against Melinda. The sisters then decide to summon Melinda's spirit in order to be taught the curse that originally imprisoned Matthew.
Melinda's spirit is summoned in corporeal form and, as she aides the Halliwell sisters with dealing with Matthew, she also teaches them histories about herself and their family. Melinda reveals that Matthew had been a former lover of hers, who she shared her powers with before discovering he was a warlock. After being revealed as witch to the townspeople by Matthew, Melinda is sentenced to death. However, she refrains from using her powers in order to keep her young daughter, named Prudence, from also being persecuted. Melinda tells her three descendants that she stripped Matthew of the powers he copied from her and then imprisoned him within a locket he had given her before her death. Before the sisters and Melinda can finish the potion with which they can curse Matthew back inside of the locket, Matthew himself arrives at Quake, a restaurant managed by Piper, and copies Phoebe’s power of premonition. Matthew now only needs Piper's power to "freeze" before he is powerful enough to kill the sisters and then Melinda as well. Fortunately, the collective workings of the sisters and Melinda are enough to foil Matthew. Prue delivers the last ingredient to the potion, the feather of a spotted owl, and Melinda uses the completed potion and its adjoining spell to once again trap Matthew within the locket. After the battle, Melinda returns to the afterlife and takes the locket with her—presumably trapping Matthew for all eternity. Before the Halliwells release her spirit, Melinda receives a glimpse of a distant future with her power of premonition. She sees many more generations of "her daughters" through Phoebe.
Melinda is featured briefly for a second time in season three (2000-2001) of the series. In the episode, "All Halliwell's Eve", an evil witch in Colony of Virginia, Ruth Cobb, kidnaps a young woman named Charlotte who is due to give birth to a powerful magical child. Ruth intends to steal the baby and raise the child as evil. The Triad, seeing a chance to keep the Charmed Ones from being born (or possibly turn them evil), sends Cole Turner (Belthazor) to help Ruth. The members of Charlotte's coven try to free her, but are repelled several times by talismans Ruth and Cole have enchanted. The Elders, aware of Ruth's plans, send the Charmed Ones through a time portal to help rescue Charlotte. Unfortunately, the Charmed Ones lose access to their active powers in the past because they haven't been born yet, so they don't have their active powers. However, by tapping into the magic available in the 17th century, they are able to get past the talismans, rescue Charlotte and deliver the baby. It is only towards the end of the episode that the sisters find out Charlotte's baby is Melinda—and that by helping rescue Charlotte, they'd saved their own futures.
Melinda makes an appearance in the series of novels based on the television series. The novels follow no strict continuity with the series or each other, and are often considered to be non-canon. However, the television series producers have final approval of everything in the novels, which could indicate the literature fitting into the established canon of the series and the so-called "Charmed universe". Melinda is featured in the novel The Warren Witches, a collection of short stores written by various authors, which was released on May 31, 2005.
In 2011, Melinda makes a two issue appearance (Issues 11 and 12) in the officially licensed continuation of Charmed, in the form of a comic book, which is often billed as Charmed: Season 9. Melinda's ancestor, the first witch, now called Neena, attempts to unite the Heavens and the Underworld in a ploy to destroy The Elders and reunite with her hidden mate. Melinda and other deceased Warren witches subsequently leave the after life and she leads the group of ghost-witches against Neena's demonic army to aide the Charmed Ones. During this time, Melinda also meets Paige, the fourth Charmed One, for the first time.
Powers and abilities
In Charmed it is revealed that magical witches can develop and master a variety of magical skills and powers which include; scrying, spell casting, and brewing potent potions. As a magical witch Melinda can utilize scrying, a divination art form that allows one to locate a missing object or person. Melinda can also cast spells, often written in iambic pentameter or as a rhyming couplet, to influence others or the world around her. She can also brew potions, most often used to vanquish foes or to achieve other magical feats similar to the effects of a spell. As a witch Melinda has also developed a number of magical powers which include Telekinesis, Premonitions, and Molecular Immobilization.
Melinda is said to have mastered three powers; one of which includes the power to move things with her mind. The full potential of Melinda's telekinetic prowess was never fully explored in the series nor seen in use onscreen. This is the most prominent power that has passed down to Melinda's various descendants; which include Brianna Warren, Penny Halliwell, Prue Halliwell, Wyatt Halliwell, and Chris Halliwell. A version of this power goes to Paige Halliwell who has telekinetic orbing due to her whitelighter half.
Another of Melinda's three mastered powers includes the power to see the future. The is the only power Melinda has used during her physical appearance on the series; although the vision Melinda has is not seen onscreen by the viewer. The power does not come into prominent use in the Warren line again until the birth of Phoebe Halliwell.
The last of Melinda's three mastered powers is the magical ability to "freeze" her surrounding environment. The power is said to not affect good witches. The full potential of Melinda's freezing power was also never fully explored in the series nor seen in use onscreen. This power has developed in multiple witches descendant from Melinda's family line; which include Beatrice, a witch who managed to use this power to stop the havoc wreaked by a demon but only after he chopped off one of her legs; P. Baxter, Patty Halliwell, and Piper Halliwell.
- "Charmed: Something Wicca This Way Comes". TV.com. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
- "Charmed: The Witch Is Back". TV.com. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
- "Charmed: All Halliwell's Eve". TV.com. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
- Haag, Andrea V., "Interview with Diana G. Gallagher", CharmedOnes.com (fansite), February 2002
- The name of the Charmed expanded universe, "Charmed universe", is used by both fans and in published material, such as Charmed Magazine and its official website
- "Charmed: That Old Black Magic". TV.com. Retrieved 10 February 2012.