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Charmed is an American television series created by writer Constance M. Burge and produced by Aaron Spelling and his production company Spelling Television, with writer/director Brad Kern as showrunner. The series was originally broadcast by The WB Television Network for eight seasons between October 7, 1998, and May 21, 2006.

The series narrative follows four sisters, known as the Charmed Ones, the most powerful good witches of all time, whose prophesied destiny is to protect innocent lives against evil beings such as demons and warlocks. Each sister possesses individual unique magical powers that grow and evolve, while they attempt to maintain seemingly normal lives in modern day San Francisco. Keeping their supernatural identities separate and secret from their ordinary lives often becomes a challenge for them, with the exposure of magic having far-reaching consequences on their various relationships and resulting in a number of police and FBI investigations throughout the series. The first three seasons of Charmed focus on the three Halliwell sisters, Prue (Shannen Doherty), Piper (Holly Marie Combs) and Phoebe (Alyssa Milano). Following the death of Prue in the third season finale, their long-lost half sister, Paige Matthews(Rose McGowan), assumes her place within "The Power of Three" from season four onwards.

Charmed achieved both critical and popular acclaim, with its first episode, "Something Wicca This Way Comes", garnering 7.7 million viewers, breaking the record for the highest-rated debut for The WB. The series finale, "Forever Charmed", ended with a season high of 4.5 million viewers. In January 2006, Charmed was declared the longest running hour-long television series featuring all female leads. The series also received numerous awards and nominations throughout its run, and the franchise, or "Charmed universe", has been developed into other media, including literature, a video game, and a comic book series which, from June 2010, has continued the narrative through Charmed: Season 9, commencing eighteen months after the end of the television series finale.



PlotEdit

"Before Melinda was burned at the stake, she vowed that each generation of Warren witches would become increasingly stronger, culminating in the arrival of three sisters [...] the most powerful witches the world has ever known- The Charmed Ones."

Phoebe Halliwell, "Something Wicca This Way Comes" (series premiere)

(Written by Constance M. Burge)

In 1998, the three Halliwell sisters (Prue, Piper and Phoebe) move back into their childhood home, The Halliwell Manor, after their Grams's funeral. When Phoebe comes across the family's Book of Shadows (a family heirloom book containing centuries of knowledge, spells, and magic learned or created by the Halliwell matriarchs), Phoebe learns that she and her sisters are the most powerful witches ever known in the history of Witchcraft and the world, destined to protect both innocents and the world at large from demons, warlocks, and other evil creatures. Phoebe, reasonably thinking the book is a novelty, reads the book's initial inscription—an inscription which also happens to be the incantation which activates the Halliwells' "Charmed" powers once all of the sisters are back at the manor.By the end of the first episode, each sister learns that she has a unique power and that they can each cast spells and brew potions. Prue, the eldest, had the power of telekinesis—(the ability to move objects with her mind), and in season two she develops the power of astral projection. Piper, the middle sister, has the power to effectively "freeze" people and objects. As she grows more proficient, she learns how to freeze only certain people or objects or body parts, as she wishes. In season three, her powers grow even more, as she is able to make molecules move so fast they explode. Phoebe, the youngest, initially possesses the power of premonition, which evolves into being able to receive visions of both the future and the past. She later picks up the powers of levitation in season three, and empathy in season six, the latter allowing her to sense and tap into others' emotions and sometimes, powers.

During the first two seasons, the sisters would face various evil beings from week to week. However, they discover in season three that their true enemy is The Underworld's ruler, the Source of All Evil. Prue is later killed in the season three finale by The Source's personal assassin, Shax. While grieving Prue's loss, Piper and Phoebe discover that they have a half-sister—Paige Matthews, who had been the secret love child of the sisters' witch mother and her guardian angel ("Whitelighter"), Sam Wilder. Paige's abilities represent her dual heritage as both a witch and Whitelighter; like Prue she possesses a form of telekinesis, but she has to verbally call for objects to teleport ("orb") them to their intended destination. As she learns to control the dual sides of her ancestry, Paige also learns how to orb herself and others, and eventually she receives her own Whitelighter charges to train and protect as they learn witchcraft. Paige, after falling in love with her future husband, develops the ability to heal others with the touch of her hand in season eight.

The Source, responsible for all of the attacks on the sisters, becomes the main villain during season four until he is finally vanquished. After The Source is vanquished, an annual season-long storyline and several multi-episode antagonists were introduced in subsequent seasons (the "Big Bad" television format). These included Phoebe's ex-husband Cole Turner until mid-season five; the scheming, misguided Whitelighter Elder, Gideon, throughout season sixthe Avatarsconsequentalist Utopia-advocating neutral beings— until mid-season seven; the demon Zankou, until the season seven finale; and in season eight, powerful sister witches Billie and Christy, who fall under the influence of the evil demonic Triad (who earlier featured as early-season three antagonists). On top of the supernatural issues in Charmed, the characters had to contend with serious issues in the day-to-day world of the mortals — such as relationships, careers, marriage, childbirth, illness and the deaths of their loved ones. The sisters also had to fight to prevent the exposure of the existence of magic to the community at large, contending with several police and FBI investigations.

The sisters also faced romantic storylines. Prue's featured love interest included Inspector Andy Trudeau, a childhood friend, who dies in the season one finale and a co worker, Jack Sheridan. Piper's central love interest throughout the series is the sisters' Whitelighter Leo; their early relationship was problematic due to the forbidden nature of witch-Whitelighter relationships, and so in season two a love triangle forms with Piper, Leo and her neighbor Dan Gordon. Eventually, the two manage to marry and consecrate their union in season three, and have two sons—Wyatt, in season five, and Chris, in season six. The couple separate due to supernatural circumstances at the end of the fifth season, and later reunite in the sixth; the final episode shows them to have a daughter, many grandchildren, and grow old together. Phoebe's relationship history involved many dates in the first two seasons, and a tortured relationship with half-demon Cole Turner in the show's third, fourth and fifth seasons; they had a turbulent marriage in the fourth, and in the fifth he played the role of an aggressive ex. Phoebe had a number of multi-episode mortal boyfriends in subsequent seasons before meeting a cupid, Coop, in the eighth season, whom she marries and has three children with in the finale episode flashforward. Paige, like Phoebe, had several multi-episode mortal boyfriends, as well as male witch and magic "addictRichard Montana (season six) and unstable FBI agent-come-Whitelighter Kyle Brody (season seven). In the eighth season, she becomes committed to mortal parole officer Henry Mitchell, whom she marries and—in flashforwards—is shown to have three children with.


Cast and charactersEdit

Character Portrayed by Role/Position Seasons Comics
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Piper Halliwell Holly Marie Combs Charmed One   Main
Phoebe Halliwell Alyssa Milano Charmed One Main
Prue Halliwell Shannen Doherty Charmed One Main Recurring
Paige Matthews Rose McGowan Charmed One Main
Leo Wyatt Brian Krause Whitelighter, and Piper's husband Recurring Main
Darryl Morris Dorian Gregory Detective, and family friend Supporting Recurring
Andy Trudeau T.W. King Late detective, and Prue's former partner Supporting
Dan Gordon Greg Vaughan Former neighbor, and Piper's former partner Supporting
Jenny Gordon Karis Paige Bryant Former neighbor, and Dan's niece Supporting
Cole Turner Julian McMahon Half-demon, and Phoebe's first husband Supporting Guest Recurring
Chris Perry Halliwell Drew Fuller Piper's second son Guest Main Guest
Billie Jenkins Kaley Cuoco Novice witch Main Guest

[edit]Main protagonistsEdit

[1][2]Shannen Doherty portrayed the role of Prue Halliwell.

The eldest sister Prue Halliwell was born on October 25, 1970. Prue has the power to move objects with her mind using telekinesis with a direct line of sight. As the series progresses, she learns how to channel her telekinetic powers through her hands as well, and gains the power astral projection, which allows her to be in two places at once. Prue, often referred to as "Superwitch", is regarded as the most powerful witch of the Halliwell sisters, as she usually takes charge of situations involving demons or warlocks. She sacrificed a majority of her childhood to help raise her sisters Piper and Phoebe, after the death of their mother Patty and the abandonment of their father Victor Bennett. Taking responsibility for her sisters occasionally leads to clashes with the more free-willed Phoebe, but the two eventually grow closer in the series.

In season one, Prue battles with maintaining control of her newfound powers and keeping her identity as a witch secret. Due to the witchy interferences in both her work and personal life, Prue finds it difficult to rekindle a relationship with her old high school flame Detective Andy Trudeau and stay on top of her new job as an appraiser for Buckland's Auction House. In the season one finale, Prue must come to terms with the death of Andy to a demonic foe. During the first half of season two, she struggles to deal with Andy's death, but later opens herself up to the potential of finding love again, through a courtship with a fellow Buckland's employee Jack Sheridan and a romantic fling with ex-con Bane Jessup. Prue eventually quits her job at Buckland's to pursue her lifelong dream of being a photographer, and subsequently lands a job as a photographer for 415 magazine. During the season three finale, with only three years into the craft, Prue is killed by Shax, a powerful demonic assassin sent by The Source of All Evil. Her death is not established until the premiere episode of season four, which shows an anguished Piper trying to resurrect Prue's spirit. Instead, the sisters' grandmother Penny appears and tells Piper that Prue is still adjusting to being in the afterlife and that she and Patty are helping Prue to process her actual death. She also reveals that Prue cannot be summoned back to Earth because it would not allow Piper and Phoebe to grieve and move on.

In the season five episode "Cat House", Prue is briefly seen when Phoebe and half-sister Paige Matthews visit the past memory of Piper's wedding. However, Prue's face is never shown and only her back is seen. During the season seven finale, it is revealed that Prue had taught Piper's husband Leo Wyatt how to use astral projection despite being "really protective of it". Piper, Phoebe and Paige later utilize the power of astral projection to defeat the demon Zankou. This is indicated by Piper saying "Thank you Prue," once they reflect on the successful attack. In the comic book form of Charmed, Prue was reincarnated into the form of a blonde witch named Patience who resides in Salem, Massachusetts. Upon reuniting with her sisters Piper and Phoebe, as well as meeting Paige for the first time, Prue's presence causes their powers to go haywire because the Charmed prophecy never spoke of a "Power of Four". She then chooses to strip her powers away so that Paige will be the only sister with the power to move things with her mind.

[3][4]Holly Marie Combs portrayed the role of Piper Halliwell.

The second eldest sister Piper Halliwell was born on August 7, 1973. One of the reoccurring struggles for Piper as a character is her attempt to maintain a normal life. She has the power to freeze her surrounding environment. When Piper was new to her powers, objects she froze would eventually regain their mobility on their own, usually after several seconds. She later learns to unfreeze at will, even freezing an entire object, then unfreezing only part of it. In late season three, Piper gains the ability to cause objects to spontaneously explode. During her role as the middle sister in the first three seasons, Piper is often regarded as the peacemaker of the trio as she often attempts to keep the peace between Prue and Phoebe. Following the death of Prue, Piper becomes the oldest sister to Phoebe and Paige.

A majority of the first episode of the series focuses on Piper realizing that her boyfriend Jeremy is a warlock, when he seizes upon the opportunity to kill her for her powers, forcing Piper and her sisters to vanquish him. Throughout season one, Piper works at the restaurant Quake as a chef and later as its manager. She also develops an on-again off-again relationship with the handy-man Leo Wyatt who she later discovers to be her Whitelighter – a guardian angel for good witches. Piper quits her job at Quake in season two and ventures into running her own business in the form of the nightclub P3. After breaking up with Leo, due to his Whitelighter duties putting their romantic relationship on hold, Piper begins to date her next door neighbor Dan Gordon in an attempt at a normal relationship. Later in season two, she ends things with Dan and reconciles with Leo. During season three, Piper and Leo are told by The Elders to end their relationship or Leo will no longer be the sisters' Whitelighter. After they attempt to wed in secret, Leo is taken into captivity by The Elders and Piper is left heartbroken. They are finally allowed to wed in mid-season three, after The Elders allow the couple to prove that their relationship will not interfere with their greater calling.

In season five, Piper gives birth to son named Wyatt. She goes to great lengths to protect him, because Wyatt is believed to be The Twice-Blessed Child, the most powerful magical being of all time, which attracts even more demons, warlocks and evil witches into the sisters' lives. During the season five finale, a Whitelighter from the future named Chris arrives to assist the sisters against the ancient Titans of mythology. After The Elders are forced into hiding by The Titans, Chris manipulates events so that Leo has to become an Elder, causing him to separate from Piper. During season six, Piper begins to date again, though Chris (in reality, Piper's second son from the future) tries to stop this from happening. He is able to temporarily reunite Piper and Leo in the episode "The Courtship of Wyatt's Father" in order to ensure his conception. Piper gives birth to present-day Chris in the season six finale. Piper and Leo get back together in season seven. In the comic book form of Charmed, Piper has a third child, a girl named Prudence Melinda, and plans on opening her own restaurant.

[5][6]Alyssa Milano portrayed the role of Phoebe Halliwell.

The third eldest sister Phoebe Halliwell was born on November 2, 1975. Phoebe has the power of premonition, which enables her to see into the past as well as the future, usually locating a demon in need of vanquishing or an innocent in need of saving. As the series progresses, she gains the powers of levitation and empathy. During the first three seasons, Phoebe is the youngest and most rebellious of the Halliwell sisters. Because of her free-spirited nature, she often comes into major conflicts with Prue, but the two eventually mend their relationship. In season four, Phoebe becomes the middle sister as she attempts to play mediator between Piper and Paige.

In season two, Phoebe is seen re-entering college and majoring in psychology. In the absence of an active power, Phoebe becomes progressively adept at martial arts in order to better fight demons and warlocks. In season three, she enters a relationship with Cole Turner, who is actually the demon Belthazor that was hired to kill The Charmed Ones. Upon this discovery, Cole convinces Phoebe that he, being half human, truly loves her. She decides to fake his death so that her sisters would not hunt for him. Phoebe eventually marries Cole in season four, unaware that he has become the new Source of All Evil and ruler of The Underworld. She later discovers that she is pregnant but her unborn child is magically stolen by The Seer who claims that the child is rightfully hers and never belonged to Phoebe or Cole. Also during season four, Phoebe lands a job as an advice columnist for the newspaper The Bay Mirror.

In season five, Phoebe attempts to live a life without Cole and focuses more on her career, and the sisters finally vanquish him in the episode "Centennial Charmed". Later that season, she begins a romantic relationship with her new boss Jason Dean. In season six, Jason discovers Phoebe's secret identity as a witch by accident and unable to handle the revelation breaks up with her. In the series finale "Forever Charmed", it is revealed that Phoebe falls in love with and marries a cupid named Coop, who was initially sent by The Elders to help Phoebe find love again. Their marriage produces three children, all daughters. Phoebe also becomes a successful author, writing a self-help book on finding love.

[7][8]Rose McGowan portrayed the role of Paige Matthews.

The youngest sister Paige Matthews was born on August 2, 1977. Paige is introduced into season four as a reformed alcoholic in her early twenties working for South Bay Social Services as an assistant and would-be social worker. It is revealed that Paige is the daughter of Patty and her Whitelighter Sam Wilder, making her a sister-witch to Prue, Piper and Phoebe. She was given up at birth to protect her from the wrath of The Elders if they were to discover her Whitelighter heritage. Paige goes on to help reconstitute The Charmed Ones by taking Prue's place in "The Power of Three". In a fulfillment of the Melinda Warren prophecy regarding The Charmed Ones, Paige inherits an ability to move objects with her mind to fill the niche of Prue's missing powers. However, due to her Whitelighter heritage, her magical method of movement causes objects to orb from one location to another. As the series progresses, Paige shows that she has inherited a variety of Whitelighter powers such as orbing, sensing, glamouring, and healing.

Paige struggles with living up to the legend of her deceased sister Prue and her title of "Superwitch". During season four, she finds it easier to develop a friendship with Phoebe, while she initially butts heads with Piper, but eventually the two sisters grow to have a mutual respect for each other. In season five, Paige quits her job at South Bay Social Services to become a full-time witch. In season six, she grows tired of unemployment and obtains a job at a temp agency. In season seven, The Elders place Paige in charge of Magic School as the new headmistress, following the death of its headmaster Gideon, who was also known as a powerful Elder that wanted to destroy Wyatt.

In season eight, Paige enters a relationship with parole officer Henry Mitchell, who later discovers her secret identity as a witch and Whitelighter. The two get married in the episode "Engaged and Confused". In the series finale "Forever Charmed", Paige accepts her role as a Whitelighter, aiding many witches and future Whitelighters that include her nieces and nephews. It is also revealed that Paige and Henry's marriage produces three children, which includes twin daughters and a son. In the comic book form of Charmed, Paige finally meets Prue.

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