Speeds up molecules to the point that they combust
Concentration / Hand Gesture, Anger
Molecular Combustion is the ability to make molecules speed up to the point that objects or beings explode. The power is channeled through hand gestures, and is one of the strongest offensive powers possessed by the Charmed Ones.
With a simple hand gesture, users can blow up both living and artificial beings. However, some beings can reconstitute themselves after having their molecules separated. Despite its destructive effect, some beings are completely immune to the power; for example, the power doesn't always work on upper-level demons, as evidenced on multiple occasions; many upper-level beings can only be knocked back a few feet or have certain body parts destroyed. Some beings can regenerate said body part. Also, the Cleaners and Barbas (after stealing Cole's powers from the Demonic Wasteland) have crushed Piper's blasts.
Users can also blow up inanimate objects such as doors, stones and cars, though this may sometimes cause a lasting fire as a by-product. However, skilled users can exploit this and start fires purposefully. It appears that blowing up an inanimate object or another power may on occasion create ripples in the air that will thrust things away. This is a side-effect of the explosion, not something that can be consciously controlled. It should also be noted that some objects are too big to combust, as seen when Piper tried to blow up the doors leading to Glynnis' fortress, but her power didn't even scorch them.
Certain users can deviate powers like Energy Balls and Fireballs back at demons, by blasting them in mid-air, and sending them back in the direction they came from, or defusing them. This is a learned skill, however, called "Deviation", and not a power on it's own.
Piper created a potion in mid-2001 to replicate this power after the Source stole her active powers. Despite making a full pot, only one vile was ever shown to be used. Phoebe used the vile to vanquish the Darklighter The Source had sent to steal Paige powers and kill Leo. Despite this, it's logical to assume that this potion was created and used more than once, since Piper can easily vanquish lower-level demons using her power.
Tuatha's Wand was a formidable magical weapon, able to speed up molecules to the point that they combust. Those in possession of it could activate it by simply lifting up the wand with both hands and pointing it at his or her target.
The only two beings who were capable of using this wand before it was destroyed, was its namesake Tuatha and the chosen one, Kyle Gwydion. While Tuatha was in possession of it, she used it to kill innocent people. However, Kyle won the wand from her and used it to wish her gone, which blew her up into a million pieces. This final act destroyed the wand.
Piper developed this power nearly three years after her powers were reawakened. She activates it by pointing her hands in the direction of the thing she wants to blow up.
When Piper first developed this power, it alternated unpredictably with her freezing power, especially after the death of her sister, Prue. The reason being her emotions were off balance, causing her powers to be highly unstable. After she recovered from Prue's death, and as time went by, she relied less on her anger to activate it. As she became more comfortable with her power, she found that can selectively target individual body parts on a demon. She also learned to control the strength of her ability varying between destroying a single target to creating tiny explosions.
Early on, this power was formidable enough to destroy exceptionally powerful upper-level demons. The first demon destroyed by this power, Tarkin, was only slightly less powerful than Cole's demon half, Belthazor.
By 2003, the power had grown to the point that Piper could destroy demons previously thought to be unvanquishable. The powerful ancient Egyptian demon Jeric was so powerful that it was thought he could only be mummified, not vanquished. However, Piper destroyed him in one hit.
In 2004, the evil witch Mabel Stillman stole Piper's powers, including her blasting power. Mabel eventually learned how to use it, even though she was a low-level witch trying to use an upper-level witch's powers. She was even able to channel it with one hand--something that Piper only mastered after several months. However, Mabel's aim was terrible; in contrast, by this time Piper almost never missed.
When Piper gets emotional she loses control of the power, as seen when her and Leo were having marital difficulties, as the power is heavily tied to her emotions. When Leo walked away from her during an argument, she unintentionally destroyed the door he had just walked through. Though, the more emotional Piper gets, the stronger her power grows but also the more uncontrollable it is, when she blew up the door unintentionally she used one finger that shows the magnitude of power is greatly enhanced when she is overwhelmed with a lot of emotions.By 2006, Piper's powers had grown so powerful she was able to blow up a member of the Triad, Baliel, with three hits to his chest. However, Baliel's power had been significantly reduced when he accidentally vanquished one of his compatriots, thus weakening the collective. At one point, she was able to blast Savard off his feet despite being small and the effects of her and her sisters powers being greatly reduced. She also showcased an even greater mastery over her power, being able to hit the edge of an energy ball or fireball and send it back in the direction it came from or guide it to another target.
In 2009, While inside the Nexus of the All, Piper became able to use her powers to their full potential, allowing her to blow up eight soulless automatons at once. It is hinted that Piper's powers will advance to this stage naturally at some point in the future.
List of beings who use(d) Molecular Combustion
- Original power
- Through spell, channeling, etc.
Power developed from Molecular Combustion
This is the more controlled form of Molecular Combustion, which creates a less destructive effect. It is the ability to make molecules reverberate at a speed which causes them to become disordered, which causes an object to rapidly heat up. As a result of this heat, the power can cause objects to melt or burn.
Both Piper Halliwell and her niece Tamora Mitchell received this ability in 2008. With this advanced stage of her molecular speeding ability, Piper can melt objects, start fires, and boil liquids. Tamora exhibited this as her primary power and has currently only displayed the ignition aspect, although it is thought that she will be able to access Molecular Combustion once she is older and stronger. With it, Tamora was able to encircle herself in a circular scorch mark at Magic School and set her and her sister's room on fire with her power.
Notes and Trivia
- This power is usually referred to as Blowing up. It has also been called Blasting and Explosion.
- Piper does not have to be directly in front of an object to blow it up, she just has to see it. However, her hands must move in the target's direction. Leo pushed Piper away from blowing up Kyra and her hands missed the target, blowing up a picture instead.
- However, as she became stronger, Piper has shown in some cases that she doesn't have to directly see an object to blow it up, she just have know exactly were the object is. Piper blew up a vase without directly looking at it, until it had already exploded. Piper also blew up an incoming fireball without directly looking at it, because her eyes were looking downward at the spell.
- Piper has been shown to be able to cause great destruction with her powers. The largest objects she blew up were most likely a warehouse door and a car in "Hell Hath No Fury".
- It is also worth noting that both of these times when she used her powers in their most powerful seen form, she was emotionally unstable because of Prue's death and was holding in her pain and grief about losing her sister.
- In later seasons, Piper's power created more fire than in the earlier seasons. This was likely due to her growth in power.
- This is one of the strongest powers of the Charmed Ones, because they don't always have to say a spell in order to vanquish a demon or warlock.
- This is the last power used in the series to vanquish a demon: Piper blows up both Future Dumain and Past Dumain with this power, vanquishing both in one hit each and taking out Past Dumain as he tried to shimmer away.
- Although Piper needs to use her hands to use this power, her heightened emotional state during the Blue Moon allowed her to use this power without any hand gestures.
- During the run of the show Piper used this power 243 times.
- It has been used to vanquish more demons than any other individual power in the series.
- During Repo Manor the strength of Piper's ability was shown when even small and with their powers weakened she was able to blast a demon in the face hard enough to knock him off his feet.
- As this power was not Piper's 'prophesised' power, it gave her an advantage in more ways than one; one novel, Something Wiccan This Way Comes, saw Piper and various other witches being abducted by three sisters who sought to take the others' powers for themselves, but Piper was able to defeat them as they attempted to cast the final spell to take their victims' powers because they didn't know "what else [she] could do with [her] hands".
- There are some instances where Piper would use her power on a being and they would not only resist being blown up, but there would also be no explosion in sight and the being would only be knocked back or stumble. Examples of this include with a Demonic Power Broker in The Fifth Halliwheel, Cole Turner/Belthazor in the alternate reality in Centennial Charmed, an Avatar in Charmageddon, and a Demonic Sorcerer in Carpe Demon. In the case of the power broker, her powers were weakened by being in the Underworld as stated by Cole.
- This was Piper's only developed power on the series.