Happy Friday TV viewers! When you think of witches, what comes to mind? Society has embraced the idea of the witch as an old hag with a wart, hooked nose, and pointy hat flying off on her broomstick, cackling across the night sky. But to be honest, witches have so much more depth and character than this common stereotype. Sure it may be fun to embrace the costume for Halloween, but what’s so great about witches is that they are a source of female empowerment.
They may possess magical abilities and can whip up a spell in the blink of an eye…or the wiggle of a nose, but what makes these women so intriguing is their humanity. Some of my favorite witches on television desperately attempt to balance a “normal human life” with their calling and magical duties. They want something more out of life and sometimes feel stifled by their magical responsibilities, feeling that it gets in the way of having true and meaningful relationships.
While they sometimes reveal their secrets to mortals, it is clear that being a witch is very complicated and not all it’s cracked up to be. However, they sure do have some very cool magical powers that could come in handy now and again. Please note some spoilers are ahead.
My top 5 TV witches are:
Bonnie Bennett from The Vampire Diaries.
When you combine being a witch with being a teenage girl, things get beyond complicated. Bonnie and her best friend, Elena, live in Mystic Falls where it seems like supernatural beings are creeping up behind every corner. While the show focuses primarily on vampires, Bonnie’s witchcraft is a key component and an influential force. When Bonnie discovers her powers as a witch and realizes that she comes from a very powerful line of witches in history, she has to confide her secret to her best friend.
One of my favorite scenes occurs when Bonnie and Elena are sitting on the bed and Bonnie closes her eyes and makes the pillow feathers float all around them. Her powers are beautiful and mysterious, but as the series goes on, she becomes more and more powerful. While she sometimes drains on magic and needs strength from those around her, Bonnie is the essence of good magic and is a great asset to Elena and the Salvatore vampires.
Zelena aka The Wicked Witch of the West from Once Upon a Time.
There is clearly a lot of unlocked magic in the quiet town of Storybrooke, ranging from evil queens to saviors. However, when something wicked comes their way, Zelena proves to be the witch you don’t want to mess with. She embraces the green skin and looks absolutely fabulous. We later learn that Zelena is Regina’s half-sister, which explains their connection and Zelena’s constant quest for revenge against her. While Zelena does transform into a powerful ally later on, her snappy one-liners and her refusal to let others get in her way make her stand out in a crowd of fairy-tale villains and heroes, absolutely stealing the show.
Fans everywhere root for Zelena and desperately want her to get her own version of a happy ending. In the most recent season, Regina goes off to find Zelena in San Francisco, when a new memory curse has been cast on our favorite characters. In Zelena’s new life, she is actually a cycling instructor and even tells her class to “fly like monkeys,” keeping her humor and character alive.
Willow Rosenberg from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
While the show focuses primarily on Buffy and her strength and powers as a vampire slayer, Willow gives up on a being a quiet nerd in the background and tries out witchcraft to help her best friend fight evil. In the beginning, her powers seem harmless and involve floating pencils, which does come in handy when she actually uses it to stake a vampire. As the series goes on, Willow becomes more and more powerful and has an unquenchable need to consume magic.
This dangerous consequence leads to her tapping into dark magic. Willow even gives up using her witchcraft, recognizing that the addiction is hurting those around her. When her love, Tara dies in her arms, there is no stopping her, however. The dark magic pours into her, making her one of the most powerful and dangerous villains Buffy and the Scoobies have ever faced. Luckily, Xander is able to bring her back to goodness, refusing to lose his best friend to evil.
Samantha Stephens from Bewitched.
This list would not be complete without including one of the most famous television witches who paved the way for the rest to come. I grew up watching re-runs of the show in black and white and was mesmerized by Samantha’s powers. With the wiggle of her nose, she used her magic to even the score, proving to be very powerful. Samantha had trouble balancing her life as a loving housewife with being a powerful witch, introducing the very concept of a witch looking for something more meaningful in life beyond magic. While she loved her husband dearly, she didn’t want to just be labeled as a housewife, still holding on to her identity as a witch. Samantha was absolutely a source of female empowerment, refusing to merely comply in a man’s world.
Some honorable mentions before revealing my number one pick for TV witches are:
- Sabrina Spellman from “Sabrina the Teenage Witch”
- Davina Claire from “The Originals”
- Melisandre from “Game of Thrones”
- Endora from “Bewitched”
- Rowena from “Supernatural”
- The Coven from “American Horror Story”
- The Beauchamp family from “Witches of East End”
The Halliwell sisters from Charmed.
So my number one pick has to go to the Halliwell sisters. Prue, Piper, Phoebe, and Paige all possess amazing magical abilities and have a sisterly bond that cannot be broken by any evil that comes their way. Charmed is one of my favorite series of all time and each sister possesses their own strength, but as the “power of 3,” they are unstoppable. My favorite power belonged to Piper who could literally freeze time by putting her hands up. What makes the Halliwell sisters so great is that they didn’t always know they had powers. When their grandmother dies and they move back into their child-hood home, they release the power behind the “Book of Shadows,” reconstituting the power of 3. At
this point in their lives, they are already dealing with finding love, finding a career, and dealing with the daily pros and cons of being a sister. They are known as the most powerful witches of all time and many demons and evil beings try to defeat them. When Prue is tragically killed off at the end of season 3, Paige Matthews steps in as their long-lost half-sister and has just as much power as the rest of them. The sisterly bond continues and they deal with some really tough decisions. On more than one occasion, the sisters have the opportunity to relinquish their powers and lead normal lives, but the Halliwell sisters embrace their destiny and understand that protecting the innocent isn’t just a job…it’s who they are.
I hope you enjoyed the list and please feel free to post your thoughts and comments below on some of your favorite TV witches. Happy viewing!
Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl