Mechanics of the Impossible – Magic in the Originals & Vampire Diaries Universe

The Originals and The Vampire Diaries are, obviously, set in a world where things like magic and the supernatural exist. However, magic, as in many fantasy stories, must still follow certain rules. This article is meant to give a little bit of an overview of those rules that have been established so far and of the spells common to this universe.

As with “Power of the Witches Rise – Witch Power in the Vampire Diaries Universe” I wiI likely add to this article over time, so if I’ve missed something don’t flip out quite yet, it may be coming still. Though feel free to comment with anything I may have missed and I will look into it.

I should also mention that I’m using my own interpretation of the facts and classification system for the lore, though backed up by plenty of evidence from the story, so there will be speculative elements to this article

The Basics

These are what I would consider to be the basics of any spells in the universe of The Originals and The Vampire Diaries. This is probably the most speculative part of this entire article (an article which is already speculative), so keep that in mind.

Spell Casting

Any spell requires at least the following ingredients: A witch to cast the spell, a power source to draw from and an incantation. More advanced spells may also require something to draw from for the attributes you’re trying to manipulate.

The power source that is drawn from determines what type of magic you are practicing and may inform the type of spell and some of the rules governing the spell. Power can be drawn from many sources such as the witch’s innate powers, recurring natural events like comets, nexus vorti such as the birth of a hybrid baby, the spirits, ancestral witches, sacrifices, etc.

More advanced magic like the creation of daylight spells or Esther’s immortality spell also seem to involve drawing upon something to give the spell its power. For example the daylight spells require the lapis lazuli stone to be exposed to sunlight while the spell is being cast for it to work and it was said of Esther’s immortality spell that she had to draw on the already existing immortality of the ancient white oak to give the Mikaelsons their immortality.

Lasting Spells

Creating a spell which endures passed the moment it has been cast also requires a binder and something the spell can be bound to.

What governs which binder is required is unknown. However, it does seem clear that some binders are more potent than others. For example doppelganger blood is said to be a very potent binding agent for a spell by Esther in “Do Not Go Gentle” and she used it both times when she created the regular and enhanced originals (using Tatia and Elena’s blood respectively). Some other known binders are black kyanite stone for moonlight rings, lapis lazuli for daylight rings and Kandahar root for Davina’s spell to undo the sirelines. These seem to work in the sense that they bind a spell to the place, object or being that the spell is meant to continue affecting, much like someone might tie a rope around a chair’s arm to hold a balloon to it and stop the balloon from floating away.

These spells also seem to require something to bind the spell to with the binder. Usually this is also what the spell is cast on, such as a member of the Mikaelson family in case of Esther’s immortality spell, but it doesn’t need to be (for example Bonnie bound the spell to petrify Silas to herself instead).

If the binder or the thing a spell is bound to is destroyed or disabled, the spell will end. This can be seen when Bonnie, who bound the spell to petrify Silas to herself, dies and the petrification spell put on Silas ends. Though somewhat ambiguous, an example of a binder being disabled can possibly be found in “A View to Kill.” In this episode Bonnie (in her own words) “…drew on the full moon to bind the spell.” and says that it will end in 3 or 4 days when the moon is no longer full.

Daylight spell deconstructedMoonlight spell deconstructed

Magical Laws 

Set-in-Stone Laws 

These are the laws of magic within the universe that are almost certainly true and have both been explicitely adressed on either show or by the series’ creators and demonstrated within the story multiple times.

-Someone cannot be both a witch and immortal (at least not through any variation of Qetsiyah’s spell) at once since witches are the servants of nature and vampires & immortals are abominations of nature.

  • Evidence 1: Rebekah establishes this fact in Ordinary People when she explains her past to Elena and why she’s not a witch despite her mother being one.
  • Evidence 2: Kol Mikaelson as a vampire was frustrated with his inability to use magic despite having been capable of it before he was a vampire.
  • Evidence 3: In All My Children, in an attempt to foil Esther’s plan to destroy her children Damon and Stefan turn Bonnie’s mother into a vampire and this succeeds at severing her magical connection with her ancestors and afterwards she can no longer practice magic or feel a connection with nature (as a witch would).
  • Evidence 4: We know Silas was a witch before he became an immortal and he became one again after the spell was removed but did not have this ability while immortal.

-If a witch channels too much power at once they will die.

  • Evidence 1: Bonnie in season 2 of The Vampire Diaries while in control of the power of 100 witches is often warned that she will die if she uses all of that power.

  • Evidence 2: In the Vampire Diaries season 4 episode “Graduation,” Bonnie is killed when channeling the power of expression, spirit magic and traditional magic all at once to resurrect Jeremy Gilbert.
  • Evidence 3: In season 2 of The Originals Kol attempts to take down Finn by adding Klaus’ power and the power of several dark objects to Finn’s own already substantial power, which he got from channeling Esther and Mikael, citing this rule as the reason why this will work as a way to stop him, since it will overload him.

-Witches can channel external sources such as other witches, the elements, cyclically recurring natural or mystical events and very rare natural or mystical events (aka nexus vorti) to draw more energy into their magic.

  • Evidence 1: In “History Repeating” Damon specifically states that Emily told him that witches can use celestial events like comets to draw energy into their magic.
  • Evidence 2: In “Ordinary People” Rebekah says that Esther drew from the power of the sun and the immortality of the white oak tree to cast the immortality spell.
  • Evidence 3: In “Do Not Go Gentle” Esther says that as a doppelganger Elena’s blood is a great source of power.
  • Evidence 4: In “The Sacrifice” Luka tells Bonnie that she can channel him in order to preform more powerful feats of magic. This is later demonstrated when he causes a whirlwind and when Bonnie attempts to channel his power to break  the tomb spell.
  • Evidence 5: In “Fool Me Once” Sheila sets up water and burning torches before she preforms the spell to open the tomb. As she uses the spell the torches slowly go out and when they go out her spell ends. This seems to demonstrate that they were part of fueling the spell.
  • Evidence 6: In “Know Thy Enemy” Bonnie learns to channel the power of the witches in the witch house which she later sucessfully uses to preform numerous impressive feats such as changing the weather and bringing the original hybrid Klaus to the edge of death.
  • Evidence 7: In “From a Cradle to a Grave” Davina successfully channels Hope Mikaelson’s birth (referred to in Esther’s grimoire as a nexus vorti) in order to bring Mikael back from the other side.

-Any spell can be broken with enough power. Though the power required may be far greater than a single witch can channel under normal circumstances.

  • Evidence 1: Rebekah says this to Cassie, who agrees, in season 2 episode 12 of The Originals “Sanctuary.”
  • Evidence 2: Later in “Sanctuary” Freya breaks the spell that holds the witches inside of the Fauline Cottage using her own potent magic.

-Any supernatural being can be killed through the use of magic, though depending on the power of the being it may require enormous amounts of power to do normally.

  • Evidence 1: In the season 2 episode “Klaus” of The Vampire Diaries Elijah says that any supernatural being can be killed at the hands of the servants of nature themselves (witches). He later also tells Elena that Klaus, despite being normally immortal, can be killed without the use of a white oak stake if a witch can channel enough power to kill him.
  • Evidence 2: If the reason for this law is that supernatural beings are only protected by spells (which seems to be supported) and any spell can be broken then any evidence for that law may count towards this one as well.
Moonlight stone being destroyed with water and fire

Elijah and Klaus destroy the moonlight rings with water and fire.

-The only way to destroy a dark object is to use the elements of water and fire.

  • Evidence 1: Elijah specifically says this when they destroy the moonlight rings forged in Klaus’ blood and it actually works when they do it.
  • Evidence 2: Dahlia throws the dagger spelled to kill her into water and sets it on fire to destroy it in Night Has a Thousand Eyes.
  • Evidence 3: The moonstone is destroyed when it’s dropped into water and blood and set on fire in the process of breaking the hybrid curse. Though it seemed to require some other, extra steps as well (the reason for this is unknown but may have been a safeguard put on it by Esther).

 

Supported Laws 

These are laws which are supported within the story but are not air-tight and may be open to interpretation, speculation, etc.

-The witch who casts a spell also has the power to reverse it. This seems to extend to the witch’s descendents as well. The reason for this is not known. It may have to do with grimoires and the knowledge of certain spells being passed down through generations of witch lines (which could allow the specific spell to be found and reversed) or it may be completely separate from that and simply have to do with the bloodlines or being able to call upon that ancestral witch’s spirit in order to reverse it either for power or knowledge of the reversal process.

  • Evidence 1: Sophie says to Hayley at one point that if Celeste was in possession of a Deveraux witch at the time that she cast the spell to curse Hayley’s pack that she, as a descendent of that line, may be able to reverse it.
  • Evidence 2: Bonnie tells Caroline that as the person who spelled her daylight ring she also has the power to unspell it.
  • Evidence 3: Esther says that as the witch who turned the Mikaelsons into vampires she also has the power to undo this spell.
  • Evidence 4: In season 3 of The Originals Freya needs to channel the power of the ancestors in order to undo Lucien’s enhanced vampirism (a spell cast on him using the power of the ancestors). She also mentions Esther’s ability to undo the Mikaelson’s vampirism spell specifically.

-If you have a witch’s grimoire you can use it to undo the spells they’ve cast and documented. Either this is because every spell has a reversal process noted next to it or the reversal process can be deduced from the original documented spell.

  • Evidence 1: In “Bloodlines” Bree says that if Damon can get Emily Bennett’s grimoire he can have another witch undo the tomb spell that Emily cast.
  • Evidence 2: In season 3 of The Originals Davina uses Esther’s grimoire to figure out how to undo the sirelink that keeps lesser vampires bound to the lives of the original vampires.

-It takes more power to break a spell than it does to cast that same spell.

  • Evidence 1: In the episode “The Last Dance” of season 2 of The Vampire Diaries Klaus’ warlock Maddox casts a protection spell on Klaus while he’s in Alaric’s body. Despite Bonnie having the power of 100 witches at her disposal, she was not very easily able to break this spell. This suggests that it takes more power to break the spell than to cast it.
  • Evidence 2: In season 2 of The Originals Dahlia couldn’t simply break the spell that was cast to protect Hayley and Hope to stop her from entering, despite her being far more powerful than those who cast the spell.

-Specific spells may have very specific ingredients that are required to make them work (or possibly sometimes must be bound to specific objects to persist). Though it is unknown if different spells could accomplish the same effects by using different, but still specific, combinations of ingredients.

  • Kyanite stones being enchanted

    Kyanite stones are used to create the moonlight rings.

    Evidence 1: In The Battle of New Orleans it is revealed that in order for Genevieve to be able to make moonlight rings with the spell in Esther’s grimoire they must first obtain black kyanite stones. If any other option were possible it is likely they would’ve used that instead.

  • Evidence 2: Every daylight amulet ever made has a lapis lazuli stone.
  • Evidence 3: Davina required an unsired heart in order to undo the sirelink between the originals and the vampires they sired. Though since she didn’t create the vampirism spell herself, this may be related to the specifics of that spell instead (which may themselves be somewhat arbitrary).

-For a spell to persist beyond the moment that it is cast it must be bound to an object, place or being. If the object, place or being is destroyed then the spell stops.

  • Evidence 1: The moonstone bound the hybrid curse and only after it had been destroyed could Klaus transition into a hybrid again.
  • Evidence 2: In the season 4 episode “Graduation” upon Bonnie’s death the spell petrifying Silas, which she had bound to herself, ended.
  • Evidence 3: Upon the death of one of the originals to which the vampirism spell was bound, the entire bloodline that owes its existence to that original has its vampirism stripped and returns to its natural state without the spell (death). This is first demonstrated in “The Murder of One” with Finn’s death leading to the deaths of Sage and Troy (vampires of his bloodline) and once again demonstrated in A View to a Kill when Kol is killed by Jeremy and this causes his mark to grow as if he’d killed many vampires.

-The older a vampire is, the harder it is to use the pain infliction spell effectively on them and the more power is needed for it. This also applies to using the spell on multiple people at once.

  • Evidence 1: When Katherine attacks Bonnie in the season 2 Vampire Diaries episode “The Return,” Bonnie cannot use this spell to stop her. Katherine cites her age as the reason. Later in Know Thy Enemy we see the more experienced warlock Maddox effectively use the pain infliction spell on her.
  • Evidence 2: In the season 2 episode of The Originals “Alive and Kicking,” Davina says she cannot use pain infliction on all of the moonlight ringed werewolves around her at once despite them being in real danger. She’s forced to call on Mikael instead.

-Witches automatically generate magical energy over time (they don’t just recharge lost energy) and there seems to be no maximum limit to the magic they can hold at once (even though there is a limit to how much they can use at once).

  • Evidence 1: Dahlia and Freya sleeping for over 100 years is said to allow them to use all of the power they accrued over 100 years of sleep. This seems to imply that witches don’t just regenerate lost magical power but if they don’t use magical power it still builds up.
  • Evidence 2: In the season 3 The Originals episode “Savior,” Vincent mentions that he has been holding in his magic for a long time after performing an impressive magical feat. This also suggests that if a witch doesn’t use their magic, it builds up inside of them.

-In order for spirits to use magic in the mortal world they must have some sort of foothold on the mortal side like a person or a talisman. This may come with an appendix in that either the place where they died/were interred may serve as this in one location or with sufficient power (like the power of 100 witches) they may expend some very large amount of that power to get the spell across anyway.

  • Rebekah's amulet acted as a totem for Esther

    Rebekah’s amulet anchors the spirit of Esther in this world.

    Evidence 1: Emily Bennett was only able to posses Bonnie once Bonnie was wearing the crystal she had spelled to open the tomb. After the crystal was destroyed the possession immediately ended. The fact that Emily didn’t protect Bonnie from being assaulted by Damon immediately afterwards also suggests that she couldn’t intervene anymore without the crystal’s presence.

  • Evidence 2: It was specifically stated in season 3 of The Vampire Diaries that Esther needed a specific foothold on the mortal side, her talisman, to practice her magic there. Upon the destruction of the talisman (even though it was temporary), her spells that were active at the time ended.
  • Evidence 3 (Appendix): In season 3 of The Vampire Diaries Klaus enters the witch house where the 100 dead witch spirits roam. They are able to cast a pain infliction spell on him despite them not having a known foothold in the mortal world at the time. This may be because he entered the house and the house acted as a place where they were bound, or it may be that in this place all 100 of them could use their magic together to push their spell through anyway. This second theory, where they expend a bunch of their energy just trying to get the spell across, is backed up by the idea that 100 witches have enough power to kill Klaus and yet they didn’t do that (though this could also be because he was a full hybrid at that point rather than a regular original).

Types of Magic

Main Types of Magic 

A list of the various types of magic shown in The Vampire Diaries and The Originals universes with the types separated by where they draw their power.Traditional Magic
Traditional magic seems to draw upon the energy of living and natural things such as the user’s own life energy, the life energy of other witches (through channeling), the elements (like fire) or the power of rare events like the birth of a hybrid baby (also known as a nexus vorti) or cyclically recurring events like comets or doppelgangers. This type of magic may be the most widely practiced type in the universe of The Vampire Diaries & The Originals and has seen extensive use throughout both series. Some of the most memorable feats that used this type of magic were when Emily Bennett called upon the power of the comet to create the tomb spell and when Jonas Martin used it to subdue an entire werewolf pack.
Spirit Magic
Spirit magic ftw! Pentagram ftw! Ftw!

Esther prepares to use spirit magic to reverse the vampirism spell.

Spirit magic draws power from the spirits of the witches on the other side to perform feats of  magic. The user however is dependent on the will of the witches on the other side to retain this power and they may be cut off from their power at their will. The user may also channel these spirits directly if they use a specific ritual near the place where they died as Bonnie Bennett did in season 2 of The Vampire Diaries. This affords the user a great deal of power but can be revoked by the spirits at will. It should also be noted that channeling this much power at will into actual feats of magic can be fatal to the witch using the magic. With the destruction of the other side in the early 2010’s this type of magic is presumably extinct. The most prominent examples of its usage were Esther’s creation of the original vampires and when Bonnie Bennett attempted to use it to kill Klaus Mikaelson in The Sun Also Rises.

Ancestral Magic

Ancestral magic draws power from the magical energy that remains to the spirits of witch ancestors interred in a specific place. It seems to be related to spirit magic in that it draws on the magical energy of the spirits of dead witches but different from it in that it seems to involve spirits and their magical power being bound to a specific “sacred ground” or infused in it so that they then reside there and their magic can be channeled from there by members of a single community vs. them residing on the other side where it can be harnassed by anyone. It also seems to be the case that getting too far away from the place where the ancestors are interred makes people unable to channel their power and being closer to this sacred ground makes the witch more powerful. Unlike with spirit magic, ancestral magic requires witches to be interred within 24 after death in a specific way (concecration) for them to join the ancestors and provide power to the living. This magic has seen extensive use by the witches of New Orleans throughout The Originals.

Sacrificial Magic

Sacrificial magic seems to use the sacrifice of beings to draw power directly from them. It seems to take the power of whatever beings are sacrificed and add it to the user’s own power or the power of the spell as opposed to being used as a ritual to invoke otherworldly powers like with expression. This also means however that the more powerful the being sacrificed, the more power it adds to the user. Unlike with regular channelling, this method of drawing power seems to be almost always fatal for the subject used (the exception to this is when beings have powerful protection spells cast on them like in the case of the originals). The most prominent use of this magic so far has been by Papa Tunde in Dance Back from the Grave to become stronger than Klaus Mikaelson and eventually create a powerful weapon to use against them.

Expression Magic

Expression seems to use the sacrifice of beings in very ritualistic ways (specific layouts, in specific numbers, etc) as a way to attract the attention of some otherworldly sentient or semi-sentient force which actually practices the magic for the user rather than drawing power directly from the beings sacrificed as with sacrificial magic. As such the power of the beings sacrificed does not seem to matter as much as does what type of being they are, the ritual that’s used to sacrifice them, where they are killed in relation to each other (as with an expression triangle), etc. Unlike other types of magic, expression doesn’t seem to require any sort of incantation or ritual for the spells themselves instead simply causing the effect the witch desires it to cause. This often has the side effect that it will accomplish things with unexpected and unintended consequences. This may be because whatever dark force expression draws on is indeed sentient and practices the magic for the user, making decisions about how to go about it, in exchange for the sacrifices. This may make it a form of theurgy. Expression is viewed by many witches as not even being a true form of magic, but something else entirely. The practice of expression grants the user incredible power, but is generally seen as taboo within witch culture. The most standout use of expression was Bonnie’s use of it to cast a protection spell on Shane which protected him from being killed by Kol Mikaelson and later the creation of an expression triangle capable of creating a rift into the other side.

Magic Subtypes 

A list of types of magic that have specific modus operandi but may be be able to draw their magical power from one or more of the above mentioned sources (so are basically practiced through other magic).

Dark Magic

Exactly what dark magic is within the universe is somewhat ambiguous, however it seems to refer to magic which is taboo within witch culture such as immortality spells, stopping a human heart, etc.

Representational Magic
Finn performing representational magic

Finn using antler horns to trap the proud Elijah in his chambre de chasse.

Representational magic seems to entail using something to represent something else and then using that symbol to influence the being/thing it is representative of. Similar to how if you make a voodoo doll with someone’s hair of that person and then stick needles into it, it will cause those wounds to those people. It has seen very limited use on either show, however some notable examples of its use were when it was used in the season 2 episode of The Originals, “Brotherhood of the Damned,” by Finn Mikaelson to create a dimension in the astral plane to trap his siblings and in season 1 of The Originals in the episode “Fruit From the Poisoned Tree” when it was used by Davina to unlink Sophie from the pregnant Hayley.

Kemiya

Kemiya seems to refer to magic which changes the chemical element that something belongs to such as changing silver into gold through the use of magic (in that case it’s much like alchemy from other fiction, except that it requires a spell). The most prominent example of its use was by Kol Mikaelson and Davina Claire to turn one of the white oak ash daggers into gold so it could affect Klaus despite his hybrid nature.

Types of Spells

While every spell is unique unto itself in The Vampire Diaries and The Originals’ universe, there do seem to be various specific types of spells which fulfill various types of functions. Though different spells created and used by different witches may work in different ways, require different ingredients, etc.

Basic Spells 

These are spells that are simple, can be easily learned and are easy to cast by witches, even those still in training. They are usually some of the first spells witches learn upon first practicing magic and are often widely known and used.

Locator Spells

These spells are meant to find out what the location is of specific items or people. Locator spells seem to be a very basic spell that most witches know some version of.

  • Jonas Martin’s Locator Spell: In the season 2 episode of The Vampire Diaries called “The Sacrifice” Jonas Martin uses a locator spell to locate Elena Gilbert. The spell allowed Elijah to glimpse Elena in addition to sensing her location. This spell seemed to require something belonging to Elena to work as Jonas used a strand of hair he had acquired from her toothbrush to cast it and Elijah’s blood (possibly in order to allow Elijah to see her).

  • Bonnie Bennett’s Locator Spell: In the season 3 episode of The Vampire Diaries called “Do Not Go Gentle,” Bonnie uses a locator spell in an attempt to locate Elena and Esther. During the spell the blood flowed on a map to her location. She used Jeremy Gilbert’s blood to do this, suggesting that she needed something related to Elena as well.
Pain Infliction Spells
These spells are meant to cause the person they’re directed at, usually a vampire or werewolf, immense pain. They do this through causing aneurysms in the person’s brain. In case of a supernatural entity like a vampire, these heal quickly and thus can be done over and over again to cause immense pain. In case of a human, the effect is the same but leads to blacking out (as shown when Maddox subdues Alaric in Know Thy Enemy) and may lead to death if not treated. This seems to be one of the most basic spells in existence, and it seems most witches know some version of it.

  • Sheila Bennett’s Pain Infliction Spell: This spell involved simply looking at the other person and causing them pain in this way. It was first demonstrated in the episode “Fool Me Once”  of the first season of The Vampire Diaries. After her death it was used several times by Bonnie Bennett, most likely after she learned it from Sheila’s grimoire. It is worth noting that Gloria’s pain infliction spell, used in Disturbing Behaviour to subdue Stefan, had the same modus operandi.
  • Jonas Martin’s Pain Infliction Spell: This spell involved raising both of his hands and chanting. This spell was able to induce pain in and subdue an entire pack of werewolves at once (though they were in human form at the time).
  • Hand Raised Pain Infliction Spell: This spell involves raising a single arm towards the target to subdue them. It has been used by several characters including Jonas Martin, Maddox and Bonnie Bennett. It worked in much the same way as Sheila’s pain infliction spell, however it seemed to have been more powerful (as it was able to subdue the 500 year old Katherine Pierce). This difference in power could simply be due to Maddox having been a more powerful witch at the time than Bonnie was when she first used her grandmother’s spell on Katherine, however. Though it is worth noting that after Bonnie got a hold of the Martins’ grimoires she started using this version of the spell rather than her grandmother’s version suggesting it may indeed have been more powerful.

 

Advanced Spells

These are spells that are widely known and used but only by more experienced witches. They are more complex to use, often requiring things such as binding and channeling, and difficult to cast and will generally not be used by beginners. Nevertheless most witches stand a good chance of being able to learn to use them eventually with sufficient practice and experience.

Cloaking Spells
These spells are meant to stop their user from being detected in some way. Cloaking spells seem to refer to both spells which stop a person from being detected by a locator spell and those that actually make people invisible and intangible.

  • Gemini Coven Cloaking Spell: This spell used the incantation “invisque” to make its user completely invisible and intangible. The spell had to be fed continuous power to remain active and cloaking multiple people at once significantly increased how draining it was as illustrated when Jo fails to continue cloaking herself, Damon and Elena in Woke Up with a Monster. Its creator is unknown, but it was likely someone within the Gemini coven (members of which have used the spell heavily across the episodes and which are the only ones to ever use the spell).
Protection Spells
These spells are meant to protect the user from harm or death. Though unconfirmed, it appears that it requires more experienced witches to cast these spells.

  • Emily Bennett’s Protection Spell: A spell created by Emily Bennet and used by Bonnie Bennett in the season 2 The Vampire Diaries episode “The Sun Also Rises” to resurrect Elena upon her natural death (stopping her from becoming a vampire). The spell however required the participation of a third person who would die the moment the recipient was revived.
  • Bonnie Bennett’s Protection Spell: A spell Bonnie used on herself in “The Last Dance” so that she was automatically revived when brought back to the witch house. This spell seemed to require the participation of the spirits however, since Bonnie had to be brought back to the witch house and placed inside of a ring of candles for her to be revived. This may be due to Bonnie using their power to cast this spell.
  • Maddox’s Protection Spell: A spell Maddox used on Klaus Mikaelson while he was in the body of Alaric Saltzman so he could not be harmed easily by Bonnie Bennett. It seemed to give Alaric’s body a significantly greater ability to remain unharmed upon recieving damage and automatically healing most of the damage caused (even things such as a broken hand) within seconds.
  • Celeste Dubois’ Protection Spell: In the season 1 episode of The Originals called Casket Girls, Celeste Dubois casts a protection spell on herself which allowed her to die and then be resurrected a few hours afterwards. The spell only worked once after it was cast however, as confirmed by her willingness to help Marcel afterwards when threatened (with Marcel pointing this flaw out for her).
Boundary Spells
These spells are meant to prevent entrance or exit from a certain place. This sort of spell seems to be common but still require a practiced hand to create.

  • The Tomb Spell: A boundary spell cast by Emily Bennett by using the power of a comet that was passing overhead at the time. While it allowed anyone to enter the tomb, no vampire could leave afterwards. The spell could be undone through using a crystal she had created for the task without requiring a witch.
  • Esther’s Bounday Spell: A boundary spell cast by Esther Mikaelson in “Do Not Go Gentle” around Mystic Falls High. She used a gigantic circle of salt to bind the spell to the location. It prevented vampires, once they had entered, from leaving the circle of salt but allowed humans to pass through it freely.
  • Bonnie Bennet’s Boundary Spell: A boundary spell cast by Bonnie on the Gilbert House’s living room in “A View to Kill.” It prevented anyone inside from leaving the area for the duration of the spell but did not prevent anyone from entering. Bonnie drew on the full moon to bind the spell, meaning it automatically stopped working after 3 or 4 days.
  • Finn Mikaelson’s Boundary Spell: A boundary spell cast by Finn Mikaelson, while inside of the body of Vincent Griffith, on the Mikaelson compound in “Gonna Set Your Flag on Fire” using Mikael’s power channelled through scarificial magic. The spell was so powerful it shook the compound when cast and Kol and Davina together were unable to break it. It prevented anyone at all (vampire, witch or hybrid) from leaving or entering the compound and would cause them immense pain if they tried.
  • The Fauline Cottage Spell: A boundary spell cast by an unknown witch on orders from Klaus Mikaelson. It trapped any witches who entered Dowager Fauline’s Cottage inside of it forever. The spell was broken by Freya Mikaelson.
Linking Spells
These spells are meant to link two different people together.

  • Jane-Anne Deveraux’s Linking Spell: A spell Jane-Anne Deveraux cast on Sophie Deveraux to bind Hayley’s fate to Sophie’s fate so that any harm done to Sophie would be done to her as well in an attempt to get the originals to cooperate with them. It was undone by Davina Claire.
  • Bennett’s Linking Spell: A spell cast on Katherine binding her fate to Elena so that any harm done to her would be done to Elena as well.
Unlinking Spells
These spells are meant to reverse linking spells others have cast. Elijah Mikaelson said that Esther’s unlinking spell was one of her later spells, implying that unlinking spells are part of more advanced magic.

  • Esther’s Unlinking Spell: A spell created by Esther and later used by Davina to unlink Sophie Deveraux from Hayley in “Fruit of the Poisoned Tree.” This spell was representational magic which used a physical knot which, when undone through use of the spell, would undo the intended linking spell.

Expert-Level Spells

These are spells which are not widely known and rarely used, generally only by witches considered particularly powerful or experienced.

Possession Spells
These spells are meant to place one person’s spirit inside of another person’s body.

  • Esther’s Possession Spell: A spell used by Esther to jump between bodies. It required the body to be prepared for inhabitation through a ritual that involved puncture marks left on the spine of the body that she wanted to use as a vessel. Though it is unknown what the rest of the ritual entailed, it is possible that the puncture marks were places where blood had been infused into the body (as Maddox did with Alaric).
  • Maddox’s Possession Spell: A spell used by the warlock Maddox to place the spirit of Klaus Mikaelson inside of Alaric Saltzman in the 17th episode of season 2 of The Vampire Diaries “Know Thy Enemy.” It appeared to require blood (possibly Klaus’ blood) to be transfused into the body in order to work. This spell may have been Esther’s spell or a variation of it (since Maddox might’ve had access to her grimoire through Klaus and had to prepare the body through puncturing it and infusing it with blood).
  • Celeste Dubois’ Possession Spell: A spell used by the witch Celeste Dubois to hop from body to body for almost 300 years. The specifics of the spell are unknown, however the spell was eventually undone by returning her to her original body as shown in the season 1 episode of The Originals called “Le Grand Guignol.”
New Orleans resident under the effects of a kenning spell

Dahlia uses a kenning spell to spy on Hayley.

Kenning Spells
Seem to be a form of telepathic spells which allow the user to see through the eyes of others and control their minds. They are different from possession spells in that they do not permanently place the user in the body of the other, nor do they leave their own bodies behind. The more powerful the being, the harder it is for kenning spells to control their minds. According to Klaus Mikaelson originals are far too powerful to have their minds infiltrated by these spells, even when cast by a witch as powerful as Dahlia (as he says in Night has a Thousand Eyes).
  • Dahlia’s Kenning Spell: Used by Dahlia when she first came to New Orleans in Night has a Thousand Eyes. She used this spell to turn all of New Orleans into her spies and speak through Jackson’s body.
Life-Extension Spells
These spells are meant to slow down or prevent aging or preserve the caster’s life in some way, shape or form. They however do not protect the user from harm or make them otherwise immortal. This appears to be advanced magic that only powerful and experienced witches can use.

  • Gloria’s Life-Extension Spell: In the season 3 episode “The End of the Affair” of The Vampire Diaries, the witch Gloria mentions that she was able to use a spell along with herbs, etc. to slow down her aging. Though she mentioned that her aging would eventually catch up with her. She may have also kept aging after the spell was cast, as she is much older than in the flashbacks to the 20s, but simply more slowly. Though this is uncomfirmed as she could have cast the spell later in life and completely stopped aging after that until the spell’s effects wear off.

 

Master-Level Spells

These are spells which are extremely rare, sometimes to the point that their usage is considered a historical event (such as the creation of vampires). They are very complex, often requiring multiple ingredients, and require immense levels of power (usually achieved through drawing on powerful external sources such as the spirits or a nexus vorti). Only witches of the highest calibre with immense power and experience are able to create these.

Resurrection Spells
These spells are meant to resurrect a person from the dead.

  • Esther’s Resurrection Spell: A spell created by Esther and used by Davina (through the use of Esther’s grimoire) to return Mikael from the dead. The spell required an inordinate amount of power, requiring Davina to channel a nexus vorti (in this case the birth of Hope Mikaelson) along with the power of several dark objects to make the spell work (though only the nexus vorti was specifically mentioned as a requirement in the grimoire). It should be noted that this spell seemed to only work to recall people from the other side, as Mikael was afraid that if the other side collapsed before the spell was cast he’d be gone forever.
  • Bonnie’s Resurrection Spell: A spell created and used by Bonnie to resurrect Jeremy Gilbert from the other side in the season 4 The Vampire Diaries episode “Graduation.” This spell used the power of expression, traditional magic and spirit magic all at once to accomplish its goal. It however also required so much power that it cost the caster her life.
  • Emily Bennett’s Resurrection Spell: A spell used by Bonnie to resurrect Jeremy Gilbert in the season 2 episode of The Vampire Diaries “As I Lay Dying”. She used spirit magic obtained from the spirits of the witch house where their power was strongest (in the witch house itself) to resurrect the recently deceased Jeremy Gilbert. It should be noted that this is the only known example of a resurrection spell bringing a human (who was never on the other side) back from the dead. It should also be noted that this spell may have involved Esther’s intervention as it played into her later plans involving the spirits of Anna and Vicki Donovan.
Immortality Spells
These were spells that allowed the user to become immortal. Witches who have these spells cast on them will no longer be witches. Only the most powerful and skilled witches have been known to cast these spells.

  • Qetsiyah’s Immortality Spell: Known to be the first immortality spell ever created, Qetsiyah’s spell allowed the creation of an elixir which would grant whoever drank from it immortality and eternal youth. It made them nearly immune to all physical damage even to vital organs and psychic to boot, also enhancing strength and senses. It did make the user dependent on blood to sustain their eternal life, however.
  •  Esther’s Immortality Spell: A variant of Qetsiyah’s spell created using doppelganger blood as a binding agent for her spell. Esther’s spell consisted of a ritual (where doppelganger blood was drank, the person was stabbed through the heart and they then had to feed on human blood to complete their transition) rather than of an elixir, though how Lucien was turned in the season 3 episode “Behind the Black Horizon” suggests that maybe the doppelganger blood Esther used was spelled before it was ingested (thus making it much like an elixir). She was known to have used spirit magic and called upon the immortality of the ancient white oak for immortality and the power of the sun. Like Qetsiyah’s spell it made the recipient nearly immune to all forms of physical damage, however unlike Qetsiyah’s spell it had several side effects like burning in sunlight, temporary death due to wooden
    Vincent creates an immortality serum using ancestral magic

    Vincent recreates Esther’s immortality serum with the help of the ancestors.

    stakes and the possibility to be killed through the use of the white oak tree that had given them their immortality. It however also gave the user vastly enhanced strength, speed, senses and emotions as a result (far beyond what Qetsiyah’s spell allowed). Like Qetsiyah’s spell the recipient had to feed on human blood to sustain their immortal lives. Two more powerful variations of the spell were created, one which used Elena Gilbert as its source of life rather than the white oak tree (creating the Enhanced Original) and another using the blood of Freya Mikaelson (a firstborn Mikaelson) seemingly as a binding agent instead of doppelganger blood and adding to it the venom of all 7 original wolf lines (in order to give the being a bite deadly even to originals). The first variation was cast on Alaric Saltzman by Esther herself, the second on a serum later ingested by Lucien Castle by Vincent (using his powers as a regent of New Orleans).

  • Dahlia’s Immortality Spell: A completely different type of spell than the other two, it also made the user essentially impervious to all lethal harm and stopped them from aging but required them to sleep for a century for every year spent awake. Unlike Qetisyah and Esther’s spells however it also did not require the person to give of their magical abilities and instead, due to still accruing magical power while they slumbered, made them extremely powerful magic users upon waking. While it did not in any way provide further enhancements to the user’s abilities, lacking things such as enhanced strength and speed, it also avoided many of the weaknesses associated with the other two spells (such as not making the user require blood or be harmed by sunlight). However the user could be killed by an enchanted blade forged using the source of their power. For Dahlia this was Norwegian soil (sacred earth from her homeland that likely connected her to nature), Viking ash (the ash of the oppressors that drove her search for power) and the blood of the person she loved most in the world: Esther (a betrayal which made her want to seek more power for her protection). This seems to suggest that “source of their power” not only includes a tangible connection to a source of magical power (such as nature) but also whatever motivated them to obtain that power.
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Copyright: The images used in this article are screenshots taken from the episodes of the show. We are allowed to use them under section 107 of the US Copyright Act of 1976. The Vampire Diaries & The Originals belong to the CW and Alloy Entertainment.

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