12 TV Witches of Past and Present Who Have Cast a Spell on the Small Screen
Why do gay men love witches so much? That’s simple: Witches take our love of strong, fierce women up about a billion notches.
Gay men actually have a lot in common with witches. Think about it. Witches are women who step outside their gender roles, harness incredible power and often hide their true selves for fear of exile, ridicule or torture. Sounds awfully familiar.
And while we naturally love a witchy woman, we really love our TV witches.
Without further ado, here are 12 of our favorite TV witches:
1. Prue Halliwell (Charmed)
Prue is portrayed as the oldest, strongest and most responsible of the O.G. “charmed ones,” the Halliwell Sisters. An portrayer Shannnen Doherty has always been a bit of a rebellious bad-ass herself, getting herself into trouble on the sets of 90210 and Charmed, leading to her premature exits from both. But these days Doherty is a true badass, kicking cancer’s ass and telling the tale.
2. Willow Rosenberg (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Once the gang began its freshman year of college at UC Sunnydale, Willow really came into her own as one of our favorite TV witches. She met her first girlfriend, Tara, at the Daughters of Gaea Wicca group. She quickly became a fully fledged queer woman, and an increasingly powerful witch. She might have had a couple of moments of grief and stress, allowing “Dark Willow” to get the best of her, but that’s kind of when we loved her the best.
3. Sabrina Spellman (The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina)
Forget that ’90s sitcom version. Netflix has gifted us a live-action take on the hit Archie Horror graphic novel The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Each episode is as glorious and cinematic as a mini-film, and they promise to knock our socks off. Kiernan Shipka portrays Sabrina, the youngest of the TV witches on our list. Half-mortal and half-witch, on her 16th birthday she must choose between the dark Wiccan world of her family and the human world of her friends (and her gorgeous boyfriend, Harvey).
4. Prudence Blackwood (The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina)
The show may be called Sabrina, but Prudence steals every single scene she’s in. Equal parts villainous, complex, entertaining and devoted, the character is endlessly compelling … and by far the most stylish person in Greendale. Her journey from antagonist to sometimes-ally is a cool take on the “mean girl” archetype.
5. Fiona Goode (American Horror Story)
In the third season of American Horror Story, Jessica Lange plays the Supreme Witch of Salem descendants who returns home to rule her coven and repair her fractured relationship with daughter Cordelia. We probably had you at “Jessica Lange.” Flawless.
6. Stevie Nicks (American Horror Story)
Next, we have the incomparable Stevie Nicks. The witchiest woman there ever was proved to us in AHS: Coven what we’ve always wanted — a depiction of her as an actual witch. She reprised this glorious role in the Murder House / Coven mashup, AHS: Apocalypse.
7. Endora (Betwitched)
While Samantha Stephens bumbled her way through her marriage to Darrin, constantly breaking the promise she made him to hide her powers, her mother proved to be our true favorite, a legend among TV witches. Endora, brilliantly portrayed by Agnes Moorehead, disapproved of her daughter’s decision to marry a mortal and would often cast spells on Darrin for her own amusement.
8. Grandmama Addams (The Addams Family)
Speaking of legends, Grandmama Addams is an aged witch who specializes in potions and spells, fortune telling and a little bit of knife throwing. She’s the grandmother of Addams children Pugsley and Wednesday, and was played by Blossom Rock. You probably most remember Grandmama as portrayed by Carol Kane in the film Addams Family Values.
9. Melisandre (Game of Thrones)
Melisandre is the very powerful Red Priestess on Game of Thrones. Most importantly to us, though, she revives the delectable Jon Snow after mutiny got the best of him, believing him to be “The Prince That Was Promised.” Thank you, Melisandre.
10. Marnie Stonebrook / Antonia Gavilan (True Blood)
Of course this HBO series was due to feature some witchcraft at some point. In Season 4 we meet Marnie Stonebrook, a seemingly harmless medium and leader of a local Wiccan group. But she becomes the physical conduit for Antonia, a long dead witch who is hell-bent on vengeance against the vampires who persecuted and burned her at the stake. When Marnie gives up her “power within,” which is a witch’s ability to practice the craft without harming others, it allows possession by Antonia, who becomes the controlling entity. Things then get pretty wild in Bon Temps.
11. Bonnie Bennett (The Vampire Diaries)
12. Carmen Eguiluz (Siempre Bruja)
Based on the Isidora Chacón novel Yo, Bruja, Netflix’s Siempre Bruja brings a young, complicated and powerful Black witch to the forefront. Though the show notably has its flaws (most prominently: featuring a romance between an enslaved woman and a slavemaster’s son), Angely Gaviria’s performance as Carmen is multi-faceted and compelling. You can’t help but root for her.
Do you have any favorite TV witches?
This article was originally published in October 2018. It has since been updated.