The Charmed Ones are a sisterhood of three (four) witches who descend from the Warren line of witches. They are the most powerful witches ever to walk the Earth, and are dedicated to protecting innocents and ridding the world of evil.
Each Charmed One has one specific power inherited from their ancestor, Melinda Warren; the prophecy states that the eldest has the power to move things with her mind, the middle sister can freeze time, and the youngest can see into the past, present, and future.
Although the prophecy speaks only of three sisters, there is a fourth Halliwell sister. After the death of Prue Halliwell on May 17th, 2001, the Halliwells' long lost half-sister, Paige Matthews, was revealed. She received her powers and joined Piper and Phoebe, taking Prue's place in the Power of Three and reconstituting the Charmed Ones.
Melinda Warren's Prophecy
- "You can kill me, but you cannot kill my kind. With each generation, the Warren witches will grow stronger and stronger - until, at last, three sisters will arrive. Together, these three sisters will be the most powerful witches the world has ever known, they will defeat all kinds of evil. They will be known as The Charmed Ones."
- —Melinda Warren's last words, before being burned at the stake.[src]
The history of the Charmed Ones goes all the way back to their ancestor, Melinda Warren, a powerful witch who unfortunately lived in the era of the Salem Witch Trials. Melinda possessed all three original Charmed powers; the powers of Telekinesis, Molecular Immobilization, and Premonition, and was the creator of the Warren Book of Shadows.
When the warlock, Matthew Tate, exposed Melinda's secret to the villagers, she was burned at the stake. But shortly before her death, Melinda prophesied that each generation of the Warren line would grow stronger and stronger, finally culminating in the arrival of a sisterhood, which would be known as the Charmed Ones.
The Arrival of the Three Sisters
- "Hear now the words of the witches, the secrets we hid in the night, the oldest of Gods are invoked here, the great work of magic is sought. In this night and in this hour, I'll call upon the ancient power, bring your powers to we sisters three, we want the power, give us the power."
- —The spell, which Phoebe Halliwell cast, that invoked the Charmed Ones' powers.[src]
Prue, Piper and Phoebe were born in between the years of 1970 and 1975. Due to a pact that their mother, Patty Halliwell, was forced to make with a warlock named Nicholas, promising the girls' powers in exchange for their lives, their grandmother, Penny Halliwell, cast a spell to strip away their powers for protection and erased their memories of being witches.
In 1977, their mother had an affair with her Whitelighter, Sam Wilder, and conceived a child. Because it was forbidden for whitelighters and witches to fall in love and have children, they were forced to give the baby up for adoption. They took her to a local church where a nun brought her to Mark and Helen Matthews, who named her Paige. Patty died one year later.
In early 1998, Phoebe moved away from home shortly after their grandmother's passing. Six months later, she moved back in with Piper and Prue. That night, their family Spirit Board directed her up to the attic. By going upstairs, Phoebe finds her family's Book of Shadows and cast the spell on the first page, which unbound their powers, allowing them to become the Charmed Ones.
The sisters encountered countless manifestations of evil as they explored their origins. By vanquishing these dark forces, they developed a reputation of untold power and fabulous destiny. As their bond as sisters strengthened, so did the Power of Three. Eventually, the sisters not only developed magical strength, but also willpower and an unusually strong bond with one another, enabling them to stand united despite their very notable differences.
The Death of Prue Halliwell
No evil had managed to destroy the Charmed Ones until 2001, when the sisters accidentally used magic in public trying to protect a doctor and were caught on TV.
The Source of All Evil used the opportunity to kill the Charmed Ones by making Phoebe willingly stay in the Underworld in exchange for the demon Tempus to rewind time to the moment before their magic was exposed. She agreed after finding out that Piper had been killed because of the madness that resulted from the exposure.
After time was rewound, Piper and Prue were forced to face the demonic assassin, Shax, on their own and were both sent through a wall. The Source sent an assassin after Phoebe, but she managed to escape back to the Manor where their Whitelighter, Piper's husband, Leo Wyatt, healed Piper. However, he did not manage to save Prue. Thus, the Power of Three was broken.
Reconstituting the Charmed Ones
- "You have no idea what I found out. Turns out the Source doesn't think she's a Whitelighter at all. In fact, he thinks she might be another... Charmed One. That's why he put Shax on it. He thought he ended the Power of Three. Now he's worried that this girl may somehow reconstitute it."
- —Cole Turner telling Piper, Phoebe and Leo that Paige might be another Charmed One.[src]
After many unsuccessful attempts to revive Prue, Piper desperately cast a spell to call a lost sister, which did not work. However, Prue's spirit changed the effects of the spell to locating Paige instead, after finding out that she might have the power to recreate the Charmed Ones. Paige found out about Prue's death and went to attend her funeral. While there, she spoke with Phoebe, who had a premonition of her getting killed by Shax, the same demon that killed Prue.
Though they managed to chase him away, they also discovered that Paige had the power to orb, and later found out that she wasn't just a whitelighter, but the long lost half-sister that they never knew they had. When the three of them joined hands, the Charmed Ones were re-established and Paige activated her Wiccan powers, and received the power to move objects with her mind.
With Prue being dead, Paige's arrival repaired the broken Power of Three, reviving the Charmed Ones and their destiny. Since Prue had the power of telekinesis, Paige received this power as the replacement. The reconstituted Charmed Ones encountered many more manifestations of both good and evil, as well as endured many more losses, heartbreaks, and epic battles. In 2002, the sisters even fulfilled their first combined destiny by vanquishing the Source of All Evil (albeit three separate times). After his third vanquish, their destiny became to protect and prepare the way for the next generation while also continuing to thin out the ranks of evil and save innocents. The rest of their journey took on near-death struggles and painful experiences as they had to deal with powerful foes and personal problems that almost cost them their lives.
Reunion of All Four Charmed Ones
After years of separation, Prue is reunited with her sisters as a scheme set by Rennek to weaken the Charmed Ones' powers by having all four of them united. Prue had previously returned to Earth months before, because the prophecy of the Charmed Ones, which referred only to the Prue, Piper, and Phoebe, bound her to sisters even in death causing her soul to be torn apart. Though she finding Paige did reconstitute the Power of Three, prophecies aren't meant to transfer to anyone else as they are written in stone, with Prue still being torn apart in the afterlife. She took over the body of a comatose witch, but stayed away from her sisters for fear of cataclysmic results. Because the prophecy of the Charmed Ones was created only for three sisters, not four, all of their powers were greatly affected when Paige and Prue met each other. Piper's freezing suddenly began to spread throughout the states, allowing demons to roam freely and prey on frozen innocents, while Phoebe's levitation grows to an extreme form, taking her from one city to another.
To reverse the effects, Paige proposes stripping her powers to make the Power of Three steady again, ready to give her place back to Prue. But Prue disagrees and says that it was her powers that should be stripped: she was dead, and it was Paige's destiny to be a Charmed One. By taking away Prue's powers, she broke away from the bonds of the Charmed prophecy, bringing the Power of Three back under control and allowing the four sisters time for a proper reunion before Prue returns to Salem. One month later, the magical order shifted, causing the three Charmed Ones to lose their magic while Prue is granted with all the Charmed Ones' powers.
Months later, Prue discovers that by using her sisters' powers, Piper, Phoebe and Paige regain their powers slowly. When she dies, however, all of their powers are restored, but Paige manages to bring her back to life before she moves on.
Powers and Abilities
As magical witches, the Charmed Ones have the three basic powers of spell casting, potion making, and scrying. Each Charmed One is particularly skilled at one of these powers. For example, Piper is the best at making potions due to her passion for cooking, and Phoebe is the best spell-writer due to her creativity and dedication to her Charmed heritage. Although Prue and Paige's basic Wiccan skills were good, their specialty was more at thinking and devising plans and helping innocents respectively.
Because powers are linked to one's emotions, when one of the sisters becomes emotionally distressed, her powers will be affected. If all three sisters are distressed at the same time, their combined magic (The Power of Three) will be weakened. Since the Book of Shadows is also linked to the sisters' bond, when their combined magic is weakened, so is the power of their book. This makes the book vulnerable to evil.
Aside from their basic abilities, each Charmed One possesses separate powers. These powers are linked to each other, which is how their advancements are 'selected'. Each Charmed One possesses one of Melinda Warren's powers (more commonly referred to as "The Warren Powers") and are given by seniority; Telekinesis, Molecular Immobilization and Premonition, respectively.
|Prue Halliwell||Mind and Movement||Telekinesis, Astral Projection, Telematerialization|
|Piper Halliwell||Molecular Speed||Molecular Immobilization, Molecular Combustion, Molecular Acceleration|
|Phoebe Halliwell||Seeing and Feeling||Premonition, Levitation, Empathy, Pathokinesis|
|Paige Matthews||Mind, Movement and Whitelighter powers||Orbing, Telekinetic Orbing, Remote Orbing, Sensing, Healing, Hovering, Glamouring, Omnilingualism, Photokinesis, Orb Shield|
The Power of Three
Although each sister has proven herself to be a powerful witch in her own right, the combined magic of the Charmed Ones, known as the "Power of Three", is where their true strength lies.
When all three sisters are gathered, their powers are united as one. Said to be the most powerful form of magic, the Power of Three is rooted in the Charmed Ones' bond as sisters. It is their love for each other that makes the bond and the magic of each sister stronger. The Power of Three also has its own spell, called the Warlock Spell or simply The Power of Three Spell.
It is said that no demon or warlock, or any other magical being can withstand the Power of Three. Although some have come far into the destruction of the Power of Three, either trough trickery or some higher source of demonic being, none have succeeded in accomplishing this.
The Book of Shadows
Like any other witch, the Charmed Ones have a Book of Shadows. This is the magical tome of the Warren line of witches and is said to be the most powerful and coveted tome in the entire world. It contains spells and potions created and collected by their ancestors, many of which being from the Charmed Ones' grandmother; Penny Halliwell. It also contains information about various demons and histories that were passed down throughout the generations.
The Charmed Ones' bond with the Book
Connected to the Charmed Ones is the Book of Shadows. This magical artifact is believed to be the "source" of their magic. The strength and power of the Book depends on the strength of the Charmed Ones' sisterly bond as well as each sister's individual emotional state. If they are not 'connected' with each other, the Book's defenses lower. On the other hand, the stronger the connection, the more powerful the Book of Shadows' magic becomes. This has been proven many times when a certain evil attempted to steal the Book of Shadows.
The Power of Three
Whenever the sisters are in turmoil and use their powers on each other in an offensive way, the triquetra will split, resembling the broken bond. The leaves of the triquetra disconnect and the circle will vanish. As a result, the book will lose its powers, as will the sisters'.
The only way to restore everything is for the sisters to bond with each other again and solve their problems.
Protecting itself from Evil
As the sisters grew closer and their powers stronger, their book grew stronger as well. It was able to move itself when evil wanted to touch it and later on, even create a shield around itself that could electrocute demons.
When the sisters are all emotionally weakened, the book will lose its strength and power, leaving it vulnerable to be taken by evil. When a demon is then able to steal the book, its power will shift and it will protect itself from good. The only way for good to reclaim the book is for the sisters to bond with their book again, by casting "The Power of Three Spell".
Notes and Trivia
- The Charmed Ones are represented by an ancient symbol called the "Triquetra". This symbol is also used to represent their universal power as well. The cover of the Book of Shadows, as well as Kit's collar, feature the Triquetra.
- Every episode features a shot of all three Charmed Ones together.
- All four Charmed Ones have been hospitalized and have gone to jail.
- The Tall Man had been imprisoned for centuries, and as such had never heard of a Charmed One when ordered by the Seer to capture one for her. In order to explain the term, she simply used the description of "a powerful witch", that every demon before him had failed to contain.
- The wizard Rathmere, while confined by the Spider Demon, was told that she had captured a Charmed One, something she knew little about. As a powerful wizard in the magical community, up until his capture in 1904, he had heard of the prophecy of their coming.