As any people who read my posts here often will know, I’m a big fan of lore and while I think the lore of The Vampire Diaries and The Originals’ universe is kind of unclear, oddly enough that’s part of what I enjoy about it. I enjoy categorising and figuring out exactly how all of this supernatural stuff could work consistently, reliable, etc. To this end I’ve written an entry about how the magic in this world seems to work (Mechanics of the impossible), so I thought it was about time I started working on creating something to figure out exactly what it means to be a powerful witch in this universe. This was the result of that.
Be forewarned that this, just like Mechanics of the Impossible, is still a work in progress and may be updated in the future.
Here I seek to rank witches according to five separate tiers: Most Powerful, Very Powerful, Powerful, Normal and Novice. Where they fall on the list is primarily determined by the feats (especially the most powerful feat they’ve ever performed) that they have been shown capable of and their percieved levels of power, skill and knowledge.
Tier One (Most Powerful Witches)
The most powerful witches in the world of The Originals and The Vampire Diaries. These are witches who have the knowledge and power to do things like create immortality spells, alternate dimensions, raise people from the other side, etc. They often also have an encyclopedic knowledge of certain areas of witchcraft, enough to cast even more advanced or powerful spells on the fly without the aid of a grimoire.
Many of them create their own most powerful spells and are indeed responsible for the creation of the most advanced and powerful spells in the world.
Known Witches: Qetsiyah, Dahlia and Esther.
Tier Two (Very Powerful Witches)
Witches that are far more powerful and skilled than most of their contemporaries. These witches are usually powerful enough to do things like go toe-to-toe with an original or decimating entire vampire armies. Many of them are also sufficiently skilled and powerful to use more advanced, rare magic like extending their natural lifespan, creating pocket dimensions in the astral plane, etc.
Known Witches: Davina Claire (harvest girl), Malachai Parker (after the merge), Finn Mikaelson, Silas, Monique Deveraux (harvest girl), Cassie (harvest girl), Abigail (harvest girl), Genevieve (with harvest powers), Freya Mikaelson, Papa Tunde, Joshua Parker, Markos, Vincent Griffith, Josephine (likely as regent), Ayana (likely as part of the Bennett line and mentor to Esther), Abby Bennett and Sheila Bennett.
Tier Three (Powerful Witches)
Witches that are on the high end of normal, the most powerful in their direct environments and capable of performing feats like creating powerful boundary spells by drawing on external sources of power, taking down a werewolf pack or incapacitating vampires many centuries old. They usually have a very good grasp of the basic magic of the universe and can cast the most complex of basic spells (like boundary spells).
Known Witches: Lucas Parker, Olivia Parker, Jonas Martin, Maddox, Gloria, Celeste Dubois, Greta Martin (likely as witch in Klaus’ inner circle), Agnes (likely as an elder), Bastianna Natale (likely as an elder), Lucy Bennett and Emily Bennett.
Tier Four (Normal Witches)
Witches that are at about an average level but are practiced to some degree (they can cast basic spells effectively, etc.). Well-familiarised with basic magic like pain infliction, telekinesis, locator spells, etc.
Known Witches: Bonnie Bennett (season 2), Kaleb, Luka Martin, Astrid Malchance, Mary-Alice Claire, Sophie Deveraux, Jane-Anne Deveraux, Bree, Katie and Katerina Petrova.
Tier Five (Novice Witches)
Witches that are weakened or still discovering their power. May be powerful but lacking experience, or experienced but lacking power and the ability or knowledge to gain more (like drawing on celestial events). Capable of basic things like turning water to fire.
Known Witches: Bonnie Bennett (Season 1) and Josette Parker.
In this section I will seek to analyse the abilities of various witches in The Vampire Diaries and The Originals universe based on several attributes, namely: Innate Power, Total Power, Skill and Knowledge. These attributes will be given a score of between 1 and 10.
-Innate Power: The pure magical power at a witch’s disposal without drawing on anything external to them. Usually based on the most impressive feat they have without seemingly having to perform complex rituals or spells or clearly drawing on external sources.
-Total Power: The pure magical power at a witch’s disposal taking into account what types of magic, objects and events they known how to draw upon. Usually based on their most impressive feat.
-Skill: Their ability to understand and perform basic to very complex spells. Usually based on the most advanced (usually determined by rarity and power) spells they cast or created (with created spells earning extra skill points).
-Knowledge: Their knowledge of spells and how they work, without drawing on external sources like grimoires, even if they cannot necessarily cast them themselves (due to lack of skill or power). Based on the most intricate and powerful spells we see them cast without the aid of a grimoire or other outside help of this kind and the most powerful spells they can cast on the fly.
Arguably one of the most famous and powerful witches in the universe, she is also the matriarch of the entire Bennett line of witches (arguably one of the most powerful lines of witches in the world). Among her feats are the creation of the other side, the creation and use of the first known immortality spell, the creation of a whole new field of magic (spirit magic), raising herself back from the other side without any help and frying Silas’ brain.
-Type(s) of Magic: Traditional Magic, Spirit Magic (Possibly), Expression (Possibly)
-Innate Power: 8/10 (Part of one of the most powerful lines of witches, but seemingly not as impressive in a one-on-one unaided fight as some other heavy hitters like Esther and Dahlia.)
-Total Power: 10/10 (She was able to call upon and channel sufficient power to do some of the most incredible spells in the universe such as the first immortality spell and the creation of the other side)
-Skill: 10/10 (Sufficiently skilled to create and perform spells for immortality and the creation of the other side)
-Knowledge: 10/10 (Sufficiently knowledgable to perform spells like incapacitating Silas or creating a new anchorwithout needing outside resources of knowledge like grimoires)
Though not as famous as her younger sister Esther, she was hailed as one of the most powerful witches ever. She not only dedicated her life to the dark arts, but as a firstborn of her line she possesses an innate level of power that has been described as devastating. Among her feats are the creation of a whole new field of magic (connective magic), the creation of a powerful protection/preservation spell that made her nearly immune to death without taking away her witch powers, dessicating two originals at once with a flik of her hand (Mikael and Klaus), breaking the spell on the indestructible white oak stake (a very powerful magical artefact) on a whim and nearly killing the three remaining originals with a single spell.
-Type(s) of Magic: Connective Magic, Traditional Magic
-Innate Power: 10/10 (As a firstborn of her line she naturally has devastating amounts of power at her disposal, even sufficient to do things like destroy the indestructible white oak stake without any external help and even a fraction of her natural power when given to a mere human was sufficient to throw an original around like a ragdoll. Having been able to store a century’s worth of power through her slumber spell has only compounded on this to most likely make her the most innately powerful witch ever.)
-Total Power: 9/10 (Powerful enough to perform spells like casting a very powerful protection/preservation spell, turning an entire city into her spies and changing the weather)
-Skill: 10/10 (Sufficiently skilled to perform incredible spells like changing the weather and binding herself to Klaus Mikaelson all without seemingly breaking a sweat and also sufficient to create new spells and even a new field of magic)
-Knowledge: 10/10 (So knowledgeable of spells that she was able to perform feats like destroy the white-oak stake, change the weather, drain the power of an extremely powerful magic cancellation spell, dessicate two originals and bind herself to Klaus Mikaelson all without the aid of a grimoire)
The famous matriarch of the Mikaelson family, credited with feats such as creating the vampire race, a mastery of body-jumping, the creation of the indestructible white-oak stake, the creation of the spell to create moonlight and daylight rings and the ability to undo the vampirism immortality spell.
-Type(s) of Magic: Spirit Magic, Ancestral Magic, Traditional Magic
-Innate Power: 9/10 (As a member of one of the most powerful lines of witches she possesses a great deal of innate power, enough to snap an originals’ neck with a flick of her wrist or cast a boundary spell on a whim)
-Total Power: 9/10 (Powerful enough to perform spells like the immortality spell)
-Skill: 9/10 (Impressive enough to rework Qetsiyah’s immortality spell into her own spell and perform complicated spells and rituals such as undoing this spell and performing body-jumping spells on the fly)
-Knowledge: 9/10 (Capable of using boundary spells, body-jumping, illusions and other such advanced magic on the fly and performing even immensely complex spells like the immortality reversal spell without the aid of a grimoire)
A very powerful witch of the Mikaelson family, eldest daughter of Mikael and Esther and eldest sister of the original siblings. As a firstborn of her mother’s line she is extremely powerful, this is compounded by the fact that her century long slumbers have allowed her to store massive amounts of magical energy. She was also taught by Dahlia, one of the most powerful witches in history, and as such likely possesses a vast amount of knowledge and skill with magic
-Type(s) of Magic: Traditional Magic, Connective Magic (Defunct)
-Innate Power: 10/10 (A firstborn of her family line and having stored a century worth of magical energy, she is extremely powerful. She broke the spell on the Fauline Cottage without effort or external help and was shown snapping the necks of half a dozen old vampires at once with a flick of her wrist while at the same time projecting to Rebekah in Morocco in Beautiful Mistake.)
-Total Power: Unknown
-Skill: Unknown (Though likely she is quite skilled, having been raised as Dahlia’s apprentice.)
-Knowledge: Unknown (Though likely she is quite knowledgable, having been raised as Dahlia’s apprentice.)
A young New Orleans witch who was selected and participated in the 21st century harvest ritual. As a harvest girl Davina has access to an incredible amount of innate power, though being quite young she is still relatively inexperienced. Her most impressive feats include almost figuring out how to break the originals’ sirelines. It should be noted that here I’m counting her after the completion of the harvest and without the additional power of the regency.
-Type(s) of Magic: Ancestral Magic, Traditional Magic, Kemiya (Inexperienced)
-Innate Power: 9/10 (As a harvest girl she has an incredible amount of innate power)
-Total Power: 8/10 (Powerful enough to recall Mikael back from the dead, though only by drawing on several dark objects and a nexus vorti.)
-Skill: 7/10 (Though it took her several months, it is nevertheless impressive that she almost managed to figure out how to create a new spell to sever the originals’ sirelines)
-Knowledge: 5/10 (Seems to have a basic degree of knowledge, sufficient to understand things like binders but does not seem to posses too much advanced knowledge and require grimoires to perform any really complex spells)
A powerful Chicago witch who worked at a bar frequented by Klaus Mikaelson, Rebekah Mikaelson and Stefan Salvatore in the 1920s. She was later killed in a surprise attack by Katherine Pierce. Her most notable feats include creating a spell which extended her life and youth significantly.
-Type(s) of Magic: Traditional Magic
-Innate Power: Unknown (Incapable of performing more advanced magic like the paralysis spell without drawing on the elements, as shown by the candles which surrounded the scene, though at least powerful enough to subdue a 160 year old vampire without effort.)
-Total Power: Unknown
-Skill: 8/10 (Shown to be capable of performing more complex spells like a paralysis spell and a spell which let her see into Stefan’s mind in Disturbing Behaviour and a rather impressive life-extension spell.)
-Knowledge: 8/10 (Likely highly knowledgeable consider Klaus went to her for information on why he couldn’t make hybrids, though she’s never shown using more advanced spells like the paralysis spell without her grimoire.)
A powerful witch who was part of Klaus Mikaelson’s inner circle in 2010. Later killed by a surprise attack from Matt and Damon. His most notable feats include incapacitating Katerina Petrova (a 500 year old vampire), putting Klaus into Alaric’s body and casting a protection spell on Alaric which even Bonnie (with the power of 100 witches) couldn’t easily break.
-Type(s) of Magic: Traditional Magic
-Innate Power: 8/10 (Capable of subdoing the 500 year old Katherine without any external source of power in Know Thy Enemy.)
-Total Power: 8/10 (With time capable of casting a protection spell that Bonnie couldn’t easily break with the power of 100 witches in The Last Dance.)
-Skill: 8/10 (Capable of casting advanced protection and possession spells as seen in The Last Dance and Know Thy Enemy respectively.)
- Mechanics of the Impossible – Magic in the Originals & Vampire Diaries Universe
- “I’m an Original. Show a Little Respect.” – Rewriting Inconsistent Fight Scenes
- Unlimited Power! – A Discussion on How Magical Power Works in the Harry Potter Universe
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 Originals & The Vampire Diaries belong to the CW and Alloy Entertainment.