Protecting the Greater Good and managing their Whitelighters
The Elders, also known as The Founders or The Powers That Be, are a council of extremely powerful Whitelighters who advise benevolent magical beings and are in command of all Whitelighters. Their purpose is to preserve the "greater good" by directing Whitelighters to watch over and protect witches and future Whitelighters from the Heavens. They communicate with witches through their assigned Whitelighters, giving them messages and warning them of impending great threats. They also send Whitelighters after humans who are "Whitelighters to be" and clip their wings whenever serious rules are broken. It is implied in the earlier seasons, that the Elders are in control, or rather, possess a great influence over many things in the avenue of "good magic". However, like the majority of magical beings, their powers are limited.
In the early days of humanity, to help the Nexus that was The All regain some of its magic, the Elders and the Angels of Destiny were forced to send the mate of Neena, the First Witch, back to the Higher Realm where The All resided. This was a decision, the errors of which, would only be fully realised millenniums later. Approximately 1000 BC, the Elders saw the Titans as a risk to the world and themselves. In reply to this expanding threat, they unleashed the powers of the Greek Gods onto mortals, who were then able to use those powers to imprison the Titans for millennia. However, instead of returning the divine powers back to their resting place after the battle, the mortals declared themselves Gods and forced the known world to worship them, as their abilities had completely overwhelmed their senses of humanity. After and since this crises was resolved, the Elders have been providing guidance, support, care and watching over the world from their Heavenly abode. (Oh My Goddess! Part 1).
Creation of the WhitelightersEdit
Nearly a thousand years later, the Elders began to plan the creation of a race of magical beings that would eventually become the Whitelighters. Their initial intentions were to make Whitelighters avenging angels, warriors on the side of good fighting against evil. To aid them in this task, the Elders asked a magical blacksmith to produce a weapon for these warriors. However, some Elders thought that the Whitelighters should mere guides to the good magical beings. After a heated discussion that nearly tore the Heavens apart, the faction which sought to make Whitelighters peaceful guides carried the day, and the weapon created by the bladesmith was hidden away.
The Charmed OnesEdit
The Elders did initially forbid the marriage of Piper Halliwell and Leo Wyatt, which they rescinded, allowing the wedding to occur later in 2001 (season 3). After Leo's efforts to save the Elders and the world, the Elders promoted him to an Elder, however he spent much of his time on Earth, became an Avatar and eventually "fell from grace" which is something no other Elder had ever done.
Interfering in the Halliwell's livesEdit
When Piper and Leo discover that their daughter, Melinda, miraculously had the power of telekinetic orbing, despite Leo being human during the time of her conception, Leo goes to The Heavens with Paige to question the Elders. There, they are approached by newly-appointed Elder, Kyle Brody, who informs them that that since Leo was a Whitelighter for so long, his magical abilities became ingrained within his DNA despite his being mortal, passing those genes onto Melinda. The Elders decided to interfere and caused these whitelighter powers to manifest in Melinda so as to alter the prophecy of the Twice-Blessed Child. They wanted to make both Chris and Melinda twice blessed like Wyatt, which would allow the three first born Halliwell children to inherit a more potent Power of Three so that in the future they would be a greater force of good than the Charmed Ones. Because the Council of Elders interfered too many times in human affairs, they were replaced with a new one, including Kyle.
Referred to as ...Edit
In the episode Secrets and Guys, Phoebe first learns about the Elders. Leo tells her about a "group of elder Whitelighters" known as "the Founders". Prue and Piper learn about them in the episode Love Hurts when they also first found out about Leo being a Whitelighter. They get called "Elders" more frequently starting with the episode "Blinded by the Whitelighter". They are also called "The Powers That Be" in the episode, "Once Upon A Time".
When witches need advice about demons, or anything else that they know nothing about, or can't find in their Book of Shadows, they can ask the Elders by sending their Whitelighters to them as Leo did many times for the Charmed Ones. Even to discuss a battle plan, witches can send their Whitelighters.
Very few Elders ever come to Earth. Only in rare cases do they orb down. The two Elders who spent the most time on Earth were Leo as he had a family and Gideon who was the headmaster of Magic School. Sandra and Odin orbed down to the Earth a few times (mostly on the Golden Gate Bridge) to talk directly to the Charmed Ones or Leo and even once for Zankou, though the meeting with Zankou consisted of Sandra accompanied by Kheel. Elders prefer to remain in the background and spend their time in the Heavens to protect themselves from harm, (as only the orbing power belonging to Elders and Whitelighters can enter it) and with good reason, as their positions and existence, in general, are crucial for the survival of good magic. This explains why witches are not allowed in the Heavens, although the Charmed Ones as a group have visited twice: four times for Piper, and numerous times for Paige after she became a full-time Whitelighter.
MembershipEditDespite the fact that many Elders are former Whitelighters (as a result of a form of promotion), many are witches or other magical beings who have become Elders, due to their services for Good. An example of this is seen in Witches In Tights, where Kevin, a young witch, becomes an Elder after the death of Ramus (his powers were passed on to the youth). Elders who have been former magical beings retain their original powers and also possess the mental powers of an Elder.
Although it was initially believed that the Elders' powers are mental and not physical, this was eventually proven to be wrong: many Elders possess deadly offensive powers, such as Lightning bolts. They can also mimic powers, such as energy balls, but they would not have any effect as they do not actually possess the ability. Whitelighters can do this too, like Natalie did in Blinded by the Whitelighter, while training with the Charmed Ones.
Relationship with the Charmed OnesEdit
Despite the fact that they share a common purpose of protecting the innocent and vanquishing evil, the Elders and the Charmed Ones did not have a good relationship. It had to do mainly with the dramatic differences in their natures: The Elders, being superior, high-ranking magical beings with powerful senses of duty, were "sticklers for the rules" and always placed their responsibilities towards the world above all things. The Charmed Ones, being first and foremost human beings despite their incredible powers in witchcraft, very naturally hated to be confined by the restrictions and ideals imposed upon them by the Elders, who also seem to have an infuriating tendency to almost constantly interfere in their private and family lives for fear that they would be distracted from their Wiccan duties. It was often up to Leo to mediate between the sisters and the Elders, and even then whatever truces he could patch up between them were always shaky. Fortunately, in face of great crisis, both parties have been shown to be able to put aside their differences and work together effectively, showing that both do value the other in the eternal fight against evil.
- As high-ranking force of Good, the Elders are the
- highest level of guardian angels, they are also the
- newer agents for Good, the Elders also guide and
- direct Whitelighters and other charges. In times of
- great need, the Elders can aid with their vast wisdom.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- Basic Powers
- Active Powers
- Orbing: The ability to teleport oneself from one place to another with the use of orbs.
- Remote Orbing: The ability to orb other beings from one place to another.
- Electrokinesis: The ability to create and project electricity or lightning.
- Shielding: The ability to create protective electrically charged force fields.
- Invisibility: The ability to become unseen to the naked eye.
- Photokinesis: The ability to create and manipulate light and orbs.
- Thermokinesis: The ability to manipulate heat.
- Power Stripping: The ability to strip powers from any being.
- Healing: The ability to heal the injuries and wounds of others.
- Portal Creation: The ability to open a vortex or portal to other locations, planes and times.
- Premonition: The ability to see premonitions of the past, future or present. Only a few Elders possess this ability.
- Hovering: The ability to rise a few feet in the air, with or without orbs.
- Power Granting: The ability to grant any number of powers to any being.
- Other Powers
- Sensing: The ability to magically sense and locate beings anywhere in the world, unless they are dead or in the Underworld.
- Regeneration: The ability to instantly heal from injuries.
- Reconstitution: The ability to reform the body after being destroyed by explosive powers.
- Immortality: the abiliy to possess an an infinite lifespan and an arrested aging process.
Notes and TriviaEdit
- The Elders clothing has changed many times over the course of the series. The retiring Elder, Ramus, was shown wearing a simple white robe. The next appearance of Elders saw them wearing golden, single-layered robes. Then, in later seasons, they started wearing white and gold, multi-layered robes. Brad Kern stated in a season 8 commentary, that the clothing department could never get the robes just the way he wanted them.
- In the episode Witches in Tights it is stated that Elders possess passive abilites. This was disregarded in later episodes, with Elders being capable of orbing on their own and shooting lightning from their hands.
- It not clear whether an Elder's offspring is granted Elder-like powers, as in the Charmed novel, Leo Rising, it is shown that Chris Halliwell uses the Elder power, Electrokinesis. The novels are not canon however.
- Though it was previously stated that Whitelighters and Elders could only be killed by poison arrows forged by Darklighters, lightning bolts are also capable of killing them; the Titans killed many Elders with them, Leo killed both Gideon and Zola using them, and Sandra, Kheel and a few others tried to kill Leo using them. But, this may only be possible when fired from powerful beings like the Elders themselves and the Titans.
- In the episode Something Wicca This Way Goes...?, Sandra stated that a long time ago, they put a spell in the Book of Shadows to banish the Suxen.
- Elizabeth Dennehy as Sandra
- John de Lancie as Odin
- Bruce Gray as Kheel
- James Avery as Zola
- Ian Abercrombie as Aramis
- Ken Page as Adair
- Eyal Podell as Roland
- John Cothran Jr. as Cecil
- Gerry Becker as Ramus
- Andrew James Allen as Kevin
- Gildart Jackson as Gideon
- Nigel Gibbs as Jonnah
- John Richard Todd as Unidentified Male Elder
- Baadja-Lyne Odums as Unidentified Female Elder