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Book of Shadows

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Book of Shadows
Artifact Information
Usage

Informing the owner(s) on demons and other magical beings, aiding them with spells and potions and other useful information about the craft

Creator(s)

Melinda Warren

Owner(s)

The Warren Line of Witches

Powers
.
"The Book will grow as you grow. Sometimes you'll add to it and sometimes it teaches you."
Melinda Warren to the Charmed Ones.[src]

The Book of Shadows, often just referred to as The Book, is the magical tome of the Warren Line of Witches. It is the most powerful and coveted of the Books of Shadows in the whole world and is over 300 years old. The Book has been passed down every generation ever since it was created by Melinda Warren in the 17th century.[1]

Besides all the information about the craft, the Book contains many entries on several beings from the magical community, including demons, warlocks, and other demonic beings. It also contains many spells and potion recipes, most of which were written by Penny Halliwell.[2]

History

BOSanimation1

The Charmed Ones' book was started by Melinda Warren, who began the Warren/Halliwell line of witches, with the year "1693" written on its cover page. This actually creates a small discrepancy within the series as Melinda is known to have died in 1692; however it is possible that she created the book, and her daughter Prudence started adding to it later. Although it was fairly small then, each succeeding generation of Warren witches had added onto it, including information that they came across and felt necessary to be journaled. One of the earliest entries that was around when Melinda was alive included a curse, and possibly the entry which details the coming of the Charmed Ones, through carvings, (mentioned in Something Wicca This Way Goes...?), though this could've been done by a future descendant. After Melinda was burned at the stake, the Book passed to her daughter Prudence, and was passed down throughout the generations.

Penny Halliwell often noted that she created most of the potion recipes in it (as Evil Witch Vanquishing Potion), and the only other entries we know for a fact that she wrote was the entry on the Necromancer, The Ice Cream Man and Gammill, The Collector. She wrote possible the Belthazor Vanquishing Spell, Upper Level Demon Vanquishing Potion and the spells To Increase Patience, To Unbind a Bond and To Bind.

Patty Halliwell added text on Barbas, the Demon of Fear, and also, the page on how to properly raise and nurture magical children. ("Happily Ever After," "From Fear to Eternity," "Reckless Abandon")

The Charmed Ones themselves have added information, spells and potions, as well, for future generations. Piper added notes on the Charm of Confidence after she had used it on a waiter at Quake and it backfired (due to doubling the ingredients). The first spell they added themselves was "The Woogyman Spell", or how to banish the Shadow of the Nexus. Phoebe added a page on Cole Turner, Belthazor's human half including personal information like his favorite food and hobbies; "anything that could help future witches" after he'd broken her heart. This was reminiscent of the alterations Penny made to the Necromancer page, adding such things as "likes Clarke Gable movies" to aid in her getting over the end of their romantic relationship. Phoebe also wrote an entry on the warlock Anton. ("Is There a Woogy in the House?," "Pardon My Past," "Look Who's Barking," "Necromancing the Stone")

A few spells in the Book of Shadows are used for personal gain. No explanation has been given to why such spells would be in the Book but it's likely that these spells were put in to teach future witches about the personal gain consequences; or as to they served a magical purpose to deal with evils of the time.

PheebsBOSopen

At the end of the series, Piper, Phoebe and Paige added their own entries regarding what they've been through in their years as the Charmed Ones in order to pass down the knowledge to future generations. ("Forever Charmed")

Leo added the entry titled, "Tips for Future Whitelighters," logging information about whitelighters and how to properly use their powers, for his sons, Chris and Wyatt, just in case he wasn't around to teach them, himself.

Brad Kern has stated that when a Warren/Halliwell witch dies, their magic is ingrained within the Book. He says that when the sisters die, they, like their ancestors, will essentially become a part of the Book, so to speak.

He goes on to say that he believes the Book to be a living entity within itself.

At the end of the series when we are given a glimpse into the future, Wyatt and Chris Halliwell can be seen making a potion with the Book laying aloft the table top; it can be assumed that the sisters retire from their demon hunting and their progeny continue the Charmed Ones' destiny.

Stealing the Book of Shadows

Shapeshifterook4

Many evil beings have attempted to steal the Book of Shadows.

The Shapeshifters

A trio of shapeshifters posing as the Charmed Ones' neighbors tried to get the book by posing as a postman. Although they could touch the book (representative of how the Charmed Ones weren't quite strong enough for its protection to be at full power yet), they couldn't get it out the front door.[3]

Abraxas

2x01-abraxas-tks-bos-03

This demon managed to capture it by bringing it to the Astral Plane. This was possible as, technically, the book was still in the house (or rather the area where the house would be on the Astral Plane) but just on another plane. Due to his telekinetic powers, he could easily flick through the pages and move the book without it hurting or repelling him. By reading the spells in the book backwards, he almost rebound the Charmed Ones' powers, but they were able to retrieve it just in time.[4]

Book of Shadows - Belthazor 3

Cole Turner

The human half of Belthazor tried to get the book, however, by then it was strong enough that no evil could touch it. As a result, it jumped off its stand and avoided him everytime he took a step forward.[5] He later mentioned that he got shocked the last time he tried to touch it.[6]

Dantalian

DantalianHypnosis

A dark priestess named Dantalian worked with a warlock named Zile to capture Prue and unite them in a dark wedding ceremony which turned Prue into a warlock. By this time, the sisters' magic was so intertwined that the evil bond turned Piper and Phoebe into warlocks, and the influence contaminated the Book as well. Since the Book was now evil, Dantalian was able to steal it and take its power into her own hands -- thus becoming the first evil being to physically get the Book out of the manor. By vanquishing the warlock, the evil bond broke and the sisters and the book returned to normal. [7]

Bacarra

Book fooled

In the alternate timeline of, the warlock Bacarra time traveled back a few months with knowledge from the future to help his past-self. He told him of potion to blanket himself in goodness long enough to get through the Book's defenses, which contained among other ingredients Piper's blood. This allowed him to steal the book, which even he noted contained information on and vanquishing potions for nearly every demon he'd ever heard of. Fortunately, Piper traveled back to stop him the entire series of events from happening, and Bacarra never got the book. [8]

The Stillman Sisters

Stillmanpower

Three evil low level witches, the Stillman Sisters, cast an identity theft spell to make the world see them as the Charmed Ones. The book saw the Stillmans as the Charmed Ones as well; it wouldn't even let the real sisters touch it. The Stillmans then broke into the Manor and used a spell in the Book to steal the sisters' powers. However, the real sisters were able to convince their whitelighter, Chris Halliwell, that they were the real Charmed Ones. He tricked the Stillmans into fighting with each other and severing their bond as sisters, which undid identity theft spell. The real sisters then took back their powers, bound the Stillmans' and turned them over to the authorities. [9]

Zankou

ZankouBookofShadows

The demon Zankou was able to steal the Book by killing friends of the sisters and resurrecting innocents that they've lost, to make them feel weak and vulnerable. Whilst all three of them being mentally weakened, the Book's defenses were weakened as well and Zankou used the opportunity to take it. Though he managed to take it into his hands, he needed the sisters' powers to access its magic. Since the sisters lost their confidence, the Book defended itself against them instead. Eventually they managed to get it back with a Power of Three spell. [10]

Appearance

The Book of Shadows is very large, about the size of a dictionary or encyclopedia volume. It is bound in green leather, the front cover has a symbol composed of an interlocking triquetra and circle on it, symbolizing the Power of Three and the Warren/Halliwell Family of Witches. Despite being three hundred years old, the book is actually in very good condition, although the pages have yellowed somewhat with age.

The book is written by hand in ink. Entries have their titles in elaborate multicolored calligraphy. The book is written by the whole Warren/Halliwell line, throughout the generations, and possibly by also very close friends. The book contains many illustrations, chiefly of demons and other magical creatures. Most of the book is in English, but some of it is in Italian and Latin.

The book's organization is haphazard at best. The sisters remarked on several occasions that they searched "the entire book" when looking for specific information. This suggests that the book's previous owners simply filled in the pages sequentially rather than arranging the contents topically. (Given that the Book of Shadows is a collaborative work with contributions by generations of Warren and Halliwell witches, topical organization was likely a practical impossibility).

Notable Entries

  • Dominus Trinus: the first entry in the Book of Shadows. This spell, unknowingly cast by Phoebe when she first found the book, unbound the sisters' powers and began the charmed-legacy.[11]
  • Barbas, the Demon of Fear: written by Patty Halliwell to guide her daughters through the day on which Barbas would return to Earth (a Friday the 13th in February of 1999). She also magically added extra lines to the entry whilst Prue was reading it, encouraging her to trust in her love for other people.[12]
  • The entry on Nell: notable for being written entirely in Latin, the entry talks about a witch named Nell who trapped the warlock Malcolm inside a painting in the 1920s.[13]
  • To Banish a Suxen: an entry written by The Elders long ago in case the Warren-Halliwell line would lose control over the Nexus.[14]

Since it was inherited by the Charmed Ones the book has grown three times its original size.[15] This means that the sisters themselves have added a great amount of spells, potions and notes to the book. They also occasionally wrote down their experiences after vanquishing a demon. Billie mentions this when she studied the Book of Shadows.[16] Some notable entries include;

Powers and Abilities

TriquetraSplit

The Book is directly tied to the Charmed Ones bond as sisters. If they split, so do their powers.

The Book of Shadows, is also notable because evil cannot touch it, thanks to the shielding and sensing powers it is blessed with. Nor can it be taken out of the Halliwell Manor, except by the sisters, good magical or non-magical being. This is particularly important, as many evil beings covet the book, and the Charmed Ones would be much weaker without its knowledge. Although it is protected by good magic, evil has found a way around this and captured the book several times.

The Book is tied very closely to the Charmed Ones' powers. For example, when Rex Buckland blackmailed them into giving up their powers, the Book turned blank after they cast the Relinquishment Spell. However, when Leo healed and restored the Book, their powers were restored as well. ("Wicca Envy") Though, when the Angel of Destiny offered to take away their powers in the Season 4 finale, Witch Way Now?, he said the Book would not be harmed, and would pass down to a future descendant.

It can be presumed that its magic varies indifferently when it is passed on from one generation to the next, depending on its new master's magical state.

ColeBook

Cole tries to get the book but it repels away from him.

Also, if one of the Charmed Ones turns evil through a dark wedding to a warlock, the other two will become evil as well, and the evil will flow through the Book (although in later episodes, when one sister has turned evil, the other two did not succumb to it). Dantalian, a high-level demon priestess, realized this, and tricked Prue into marrying a warlock, Zile, turning her evil. As expected, this turned Piper, Phoebe and the Book evil as well, enabling her to briefly get the Book. In addition, the Book's original pages also transformed to those for evildoings. The plan backfired when evil Piper and Phoebe vanquished Zile, breaking the evil bond and restoring the Book to normal. ("Bride and Gloom")

In season four, in the episode Hell Hath No Fury, Paige tried to copy the book, but because of its protection power every page came out blank.

The Book has a different protection mechanism against evil, when someone tried to take it in several episodes; jumping off the stand in Once Upon a Time and The Seven Year Witch, repelling the being away from the Book in Death Becomes Them, a spherical shield around the Book in Death Becomes Them, burning the user's hands in Imaginary Fiends, and so on.

In Thank You For Not Morphing, an evil shapeshifter is able to touch the book and take it as far as the front door before it repels itself from his grasp. In future episodes, it is established that it is impossible for evil to even touch the Book. In this episode, however, the Charmed Ones' magic was not strong enough for its full protection to be activated.

For a demon or half-demon to be able to touch it without triggering its defensive properties, the being must have pure good intentions in his heart. According to one of the videos below, the magic the book possesses came from the deceased family ancestors who then become part of the book, which is presumably how it became so powerful throughout the centuries.

Behind The Scenes

There are 4 books in total;

  • The Hero Book is the main book which contains all the pages. This book was taken by Brad Kern at the end of the show in 2006. Holly Marie Combs wanted the book as well but Brad won, claiming he had written most of it.
  • The Foam Book was used mainly as a "stunt book" to throw around so as to not damage the Hero book, such as whenever a demon would try to take it, it would fly away or when Paige threw the book out of the house from the Attic. This book has a large chunk of foam inside which is most noticeable when the book impacts with the floor or ground and neither the cover nor pages move. The cover is slightly different as well and the pages are all flat. In only one scene, filmed in the later series, is the Hero book shown being thrown.
  • The Background Book was used in scenes where the Book of Shadows is present but isn't used. It would mostly just sit on its stand or lie on a table. The Hero book was kept in a safe when not filming to prevent it from being stolen. It weighs less and holds copies from the real pages and looks much the same as the Hero book. This book was also used in scenes where the sister's magic or powers disappeared leaving the book empty, such in "The Day the Magic Died". The book then would have flat pages without any drawing or text. The flat pages seen in this book were the remaining flat pages from the first season.
  • The Back-Up Book was used during the third season and had about 80 pages. The Hero book had been damaged and had to be fixed, and its Triquetra had started to come off, requiring it to be re-glued. This book was an exact copy of the Hero book and had all original pages until the Hero book was fixed again. This book was sold on eBay in August 2003.

Trivia

"Without the Book of Shadows, there wouldn't have been a Charmed."
— John Krechmer, a producer, discusses the Book in the Book of Shadows Documentary
BookInnocentsLost

The Book of Shadows in Innocents Lost.

  • The script of Something Wicca This Way Comes has Phoebe saying "The Book of Shadows" before opening the cover. This means that Connie's original idea was to have "The Book of Shadows" written or engraved on the cover itself as there is also no mentioning of a title page.
  • According to Rose McGowan (Paige Matthews in the series), the Book of Shadows is worth 4 million dollars.[21]
  • A picture of the Book of Shadows and the title page, can be seen on Disc 1, of every Charmed DVD.
  • Props master, Roger Montesano, said in an article of Charmed Magazine that Connie wanted the Book to be bigger but he worried that the actresses would have a hard time carrying the Book around.
  • There was an original pitch that a spirit would be contained in the Book that would assist the sisters causing spells and information about demons to appear.
  • In the Book of Shadows Documentary, it was stated the Book is a crucial part of the show, hence why on the series premiere the trunk it was contained in lit up as well as the entire storm sequence, and also why the chandelier
    Bookccv

    Phoebe with The Book Of Shadows in the comics.

    in the foyer rattled when Phoebe invoked their powers.
  • The directors of the series state that the Halliwell Manor was the "womb" for the girls and the Book of Shadows was the heart and soul of their powers.
  • At one point the book weighed at 9 pounds, 6 ounces and was the most valuable prop on set.
  • Almost all of the book is hand drawn, calligraphy and images. Alyssa Milano liked the drawings so much that she had the artist paint murals on her walls at home.
  • Each page is hand-drawn by artists, and a lot of the pictures in the book are actually based on the crew. For example, an artist might base a new demon's facial structure and features on one of the camera men.
  • The Book of Shadows was kept locked in a safe place when the crew was not filming.
  • In the Book of Shadows Documentary Rose stated that when kids from the Make-A-Wish foundation or other charities came to visit the Charmed set, she would always make the prop managers take the Book of Shadows out of lock and key and allow the kids to thumb through the Book and look at it.
  • A photocopy of the Charmed Book of Shadows (beginning of Season 3, about eighty pages) was sold on e-bay in August 2003. It was supposedly used on the set as a stand-in for the real BOS. The final bid was $202,500.
  • The back-up versions of the following pages were sold in 2009; the Vinceres pages, the Charm of Multiplicity page, the Dark Priestesses page, Time Loops, Deflection, the Banshee pages and the Ice Cream Man & The Nothing pages. In season 2/season 3, back-ups from the book's pages were made. Other back ups have been sold as well.
DerekBaronBoSText

The pdf of Derek Baron.

  • There are several pages completely in Latin, though the pages on Nell shows signs of being the most recent, possibly being written by one of the three cousins from the 1920s; it seems odd that entries meant to advise would be in a language the reader would not likely know.
  • The Book's place in the attic is exactly above the Nexus.
  • To this day a lot of mystery surrounds it, several alternate pages exist for pages seen on television as well as feature pages that never made it to air due to necessary editing of episodes. Many texts like the ones from Zankou, and the Raptor demon still remain unknown.
  • Shortly after the show ended, Derek Baron, the artist of the season 8 pages, had a pdf file on his site which could be downloaded. The pdf contained all texts and fonts which he used on his pages. You can find a JPEG version of the pdf in the image here.
  • It is rumored that the foam book was sold on eBay for around $1,000, the resting one for around $4,000 and the backup book for $202,500. This has not been confirmed.
  • Holly Marie Combs stated in an interview that when Rose McGowan began working on the show, she once wrote her lines in the Book of Shadows and doodled on the pages as she was unaware of how valuable the prop was to the show, crew and actors/actresses. This creates a real life parallel to the episode Hell Hath No Fury in which Phoebe remarks that Paige stole the Book of Shadows without care because "it was just a book to her."
  • Upon the show's completion, a complete series set of Charmed on DVD was released. The set was packaged to look like the Book of Shadows which included selected pages from the series between seasons and a scan from the real Book's triquetra (only the R1 version).
  • The page "To Relinquish Our Powers" was removed by Prue in "Wicca Envy", in "Hell Hath No Fury", Piper marked the page "The Kevmay" with a large black X in marker because she vanquished him. In "How to Make a Quilt Out of Americans", Gail removes the "To Separate a Witch From Her Powers" page from the book.
  • The Book of Shadows' pages were created by:
  • The Book of Shadows is 320 years old as of 2013.
  • Some fans theorize that the Book can magically add pages to itself.
  • The Hero book's Triquetra, up until season 3 was rather thick and stitched but was later replaced whilst the back-up book was in use. You can see the seams all around and inside the symbol. The new Triquetra was less thick than the previous one and had no seams anymore because it was embossed on the leather.
  • The Book of Shadows in Season 1 was stitched/traditionally bound but was later changed so that it would be easier for the artists and the prop department to handle.

Gallery

Small triquetra This gallery shows four pictures, randomly selected, related to the subject of this article.
A more complete gallery can be found here. Any future additions should be added there as well.

See Also

References

  1. According to the date on the front page. However, it is said that Melinda died in 1692.
  2. Mentioned by Penny herself in the season 5 episode "Happily Ever After".
  3. As witnessed in the season 1 episode "Thank You For Not Morphing".
  4. As witnessed in the season 2 episode "Witch Trial".
  5. As witnessed in the season 3 episode "Once Upon a Time".
  6. As witnessed in the season 3 episode "Death Takes a Halliwell".
  7. As witnessed in the season 3 episode "Bride and Gloom".
  8. As witnessed in the season 5 episode "A Witch in Time".
  9. As witnessed in the season 6 episode "The Power of Three Blondes".
  10. As witnessed in the season 8 episode "Death Becomes Them".
  11. Season 1, "Something Wicca This Way Comes"
  12. Season 1, "From Fear to Eternity"
  13. Season 2, "The Painted World"
  14. Season 7, "Something Wicca This Way Goes...?"
  15. Phoebe states this in the season 9 issue "Unnatural Resources".
  16. Season 8, "Run, Piper, Run"
  17. Season 1, "Is There a Woogy in the House?"
  18. Season 3, "Look Who's Barking"
  19. Season 7, "The Seven Year Witch"
  20. Season 8, "Forever Charmed"
  21. Facebook post: "Rose McGowan’s Q&A at ‪#‎Supanova‬ 2014!"

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