|The Book of Shadows|
|The Book of Shadows in Season 6|
|For a Complete Alphabetical List of Known Entries|
This ancient magical tome belonging to the Charmed Ones - Piper Halliwell, Phoebe Halliwell and Paige Matthews, and formerly Prue, Patty and Penny Halliwell - is the most powerful book of magic in existence.
Comprised of spells, charms, rituals, and potions, and entries discussing almost each and everyone of the magical beings encountered by the Halliwell Family since it's conception in 1693 by the Charmed Ones' great, great, great, great, great grandmother Melinda Warren, it has aided the Halliwell-Matthews sisters in nearly every evil threat that has manifested itself in their eight years of battling evils. It has also been able to protect itself from the many demonic attempts that have arisen in which evil tried to steal the Book for their personal gain.
Consisting of substantial calligraphical and artistic entries, the Book is a large green leather-bound tome with an embossed red Triquetra on the cover. Every single page contains illustrations of various magical beings that aid in identifying demons, warlocks and other magical beings.
The Book of Shadows is large tome measuring approximately twelve inches across by fifteen and a half inches top to bottom and is bound in green leather, the front cover has a symbol composed of an interlocking triquetra and circle on it, symbolizing the Power of Three and the Warren/Halliwell Family of Witches. Despite being three hundred years old, the book is actually in very good condition, although the pages have yellowed somewhat with age.
The book is written by hand in ink. Entries have their titles in elaborate multicolored calligraphy. The book is written by the whole Warren/Halliwell line, throughout the generations, and possibly by also very close friends. The book contains many illustrations, chiefly of demons and other magical creatures. Most of the book is in English, but some of it is in Italian and Latin.
The book's organization is haphazard at best. The sisters remarked on several occasions that they searched "the entire book" when looking for specific information. This suggests that the book's previous owners simply filled in the pages sequentially rather than arranging the contents topically. (Given that the Book of Shadows is a collaborative work with contributions by generations of Warren and Halliwell witches, topical organization was likely a practical impossibility.)
The Charmed Ones' book was started by Melinda Warren, who began the Warren/Halliwell line of witches, with the year "1693" written on it's cover page. Although it was fairly small then, each succeeding generation of Warren witches had added onto it, particularly information on demons, but also on other supernatural things and magical items they came across and felt necessary to be journaled. One of the earliest entries that was around when Melinda was alive included a curse, and possibly the entry which details the coming of the Charmed Ones, through carvings, (mentioned in Something Wicca This Way Goes), though this could've been done by a future descendant . After Melinda was burned at the stake, the Book passed to her daughter Prudence, and was passed down throughout the generations.
Penny Halliwell, often noted that she created most of the potion recipes in it, and the only other entries we know for a fact that she wrote was the entry on the Necromancer, the Stillman Sisters and Gammill, The Collector. Patty Halliwell added text on Barbas, the Demon of Fear, and also, the page on how to properly raise and nurture magical children. ("Happily Ever After," "From Fear to Eternity," "Reckless Abandon")
The Charmed Ones themselves have added information, spells and potions, as well, for future generations. The first entry they made themselves was "Woogyman Spell", or how to banish the Shadow of the Nexus. Phoebe added a page on Cole Turner, Belthazor's human half including personal information like his favorite food and hobbies; "anything that could help future witches" after he'd broken her heart. This was reminiscent of the alterations Penny made to the Necromancer page, adding such things as "likes Clarke Gable movies" to aid in her getting over the end of their romantic relationship. Phoebe also wrote an entry on the warlock Anton. ("Is There a Woogy in the House?," "Pardon My Past," "Look Who's Barking," "Necromancing the Stone")
At the end of the series, Piper, Phoebe and Paige added their own entries regarding what they've been through in their years as the Charmed Ones in order to pass down the knowledge to future generations. ("Forever Charmed")
Leo added the entry titled, "Tips for Future Whitelighters," logging information about whitelighters and how to properly use their powers, for his sons, Chris and Wyatt, just in case he wasn't around to teach them, himself.
At the end of the series when we are given a glimpse into the future, Wyatt and Chris Halliwell can be seen making a potion with the Book laying aloft the table top; it can be assumed that the sisters retire from their demon hunting and their progeny continue the Charmed Ones' destiny.
A few spells in the Book of Shadows are used for personal gain. No explanation has been given to why such spells would be in the Book but it's likely that these spells were put in to teach future witches about the personal gain consequences; or as to they served a magical purpose to deal with evils of the time.
- An entry on the witch Nell, and how she trapped the warlock Malcolm in a painting in the 1920s is completely in Latin. ("The Painted World")
- Phoebe has written a spell to banish the Woogyman ("Is There A Woogy In The House?"), an entry on the warlock Anton and a page about Cole to warn future witches of him. ("Look Who's Barking")
- Leo Wyatt, fearing he may not live to see his two sons grow up, wrote an entry "Tips for Future Whitelighters" on how to use whitelighter powers and general advice on charges. ("The Seven Year Witch")
- Piper, Phoebe and Paige wrote down paraphrased stories of their adventurous years to pass down to the next generation. ("Forever Charmed")
- It is presumed that the sisters occasionally wrote about their experiences after vanquishing a demon, dealing with a ghost or other magical being. In some episodes this is hinted to be true like when Billie says she's been studying the Book. ("Run Piper, Run") She knew how the sisters once used the help of a ghost, Charlene Hughes, to scare a pawn broker to confess to a murder ("Ex Libris"), and also learned about Grams' ring which turned Phoebe and Piper, in two separate occasions, into "Bewitched"-style housewives.
Powers & AbilitiesEdit
The Book of Shadows, is also notable because evil cannot touch it, thanks to the shielding & sensing powers it is enchanted with. Nor can it be taken out of the Halliwell Manor, except by the sisters. This is particularly important, as many evil beings covet the book, and the Charmed Ones would be much weaker without its knowledge. Although it is protected by good magic, evil has found a way around this and captured the book several times.
The Book is tied very closely to the Charmed Ones' powers. For example, when Rex Buckland blackmailed them into giving up their powers, the Book went blank after they read the Relinquishment Spell. However, when Leo healed and restored the Book, their powers were restored as well. ("Wicca Envy") Though, when the Angel of Destiny offered to take away their powers in the Season 4 finale, Witch Way Now?, he said the Book would not be harmed, and would pass down to a future descendant.
Also, if one of the Charmed Ones turns evil, the other two will turn evil as well, and the evil will flow through the Book (although in later episodes, when one sister has turned evil, the other two did not succumb to it). Dantalian, a high-level demon priestess, realized this, and tricked Prue into marrying a warlock, Zile, turning her evil. As expected, this turned Piper, Phoebe and the Book evil as well, enabling her to briefly get the Book. The plan backfired when evil Piper and Phoebe vanquished Zile, breaking the evil bond and restoring the Book to normal. ("Bride and Gloom")
In season four, in the episode Hell Hath No Fury, Paige tried to copy the book, but because of its protection power every page came out blank.
The Book has a different protection mechanism against evil, when someone tried to take it in several episodes; jumping off the stand in Once Upon A Time and The Seven Year Witch, repelling the being away from the Book in Death Becomes Them, a spherical shield around the Book in Death Becomes Them, burning the user's hands in Imaginary Fiends, and so on.
In Thank You For Not Morphing, an evil shapeshifter is able to touch the book and take it as far as the front door before it repels itself from his grasp. In future episodes, it is established that it is impossible for evil to even touch the Book. In this episode, however, the Charmed Ones' magic was not strong enough for its full protection to be activated.
List of times evil has attempted to or stole the Book of ShadowsEdit
- In "Thank You for Not Morphing" , a trio of shapeshifters posing as their neighbors tried to get the book. Although they could touch the book (representative of how the Charmed Ones weren't quite strong enough for its protection to be at full power yet), they couldn't get it out the front door.
- In "Witch Trial", Abraxas managed to capture it by bringing it to the Astral Plane. This was possible as, technically, the book was still in the house (or rather the area where the house would be on the Astral Plane) but just on another plane. Due to his telekinetic powers, he could easily flick through the pages and move the book without it hurting or repelling him. By reading the spells in the book backwards, he almost rebound the Charmed Ones' powers, but they were able to retrieve it just in time.
- In the episode "Once Upon a Time", Cole Turner, the human half of Belthazor, tried to get the book, however, by then it was strong enough that no evil could touch it. As a result, it jumped off its stand.
- In Bride and Gloom, a dark priestess named Dantalian worked with a warlock named Zile to capture Prue and unite them in a dark wedding ceremony which turned Prue into a warlock. By this time, the sisters' magic was so intertwined that the evil bond turned Piper and Phoebe into warlocks, and the evil contaminated the Book as well. Since the Book was now evil, Dantalian was able to steal it and take its powers into her own hands--thus becoming the first evil being to physically get the Book out of the manor. By vanquishing the warlock, the evil bond broke and the sisters and the book returned to normal.
- In the alternate timeline of "A Witch in Time" , the warlock Bacarra time traveled back a few months with knowledge from the future to help his past-self. He told him of a potion to blanket himself in goodness long enough to get through the Book's defenses, which contained among other ingredients Piper's blood. This allowed him to steal the book, which even he noted contained information on and vanquishing potions for nearly every demon he'd ever heard of. Fortunately, Piper traveled back to stop him the entire series of events from happening, and Bacarra never got the book.
- In The Power of Three Blondes, three evil low level witches, the Stillman Sisters, cast an identity theft spell to make the world see them as the Charmed Ones. The book saw the Stillmans as the Charmed Ones as well; it wouldn't even let the real sisters touch it. The Stillmans then broke into the Manor and used a spell in the Book to steal the sisters' powers. However, the real sisters were able to convince their whitelighter, Chris, that they were the real Charmed Ones. He tricked the Stillmans into fighting with each other and severing their bond as sisters, which undid all of their spells. The real sisters then took back their powers, bound the Stillmans' powers and turned them over to the authorities.
- In Death Becomes Them, the demon Zankou was able to steal the Book by killing friends of the sisters and resurrecting innocents that they've lost, to make them feel weak and vulnerable. Whilst being mentally weakened, the Book's defenses were weakened as well. Eventually they managed to get it back with a Power of Three spell.
Behind the ScenesEdit
There are 4 books in total.
The Hero BookEdit
This is the main book which contains all the pages. This book was taken by Brad Kern at the end of the show in 2006. Holly Marie Combs wanted the book as well but Brad won, claiming he had written most part of it.
- Note: Randy Cabral stated that the only time the Hero Book was actually ever thrown around was for the episode The Seven Year Witch, when Billy Zane's character Drake dè Mon goes up to the Attic and looks for a solution to assist with the Thorn Demon. When he slams his fist on the Book's stand, a wire was attached to the Book and pulled off the stand. The reason for this was because a computerized model would not be as affective and it would have been time consuming as well as costly. When Billy goes to try to pick the Book up, it is still attached to a wire and is subsequently pulled across the floor as he tries to reach for it.
The Throw AroundEdit
This book was used mainly to throw around as to not damage the Hero book. Whenever a demon would try to take it, it would fly away or when Paige threw the book from the Attic outside the house. This book has a giant chunk of foam inside which is most noticeably when the book falls on the floor, neither cover or pages move. The cover is slightly different as well and the pages are all flat. Only one scene were the book is to be thrown was filmed with the Hero in the later series.
The Resting OneEdit
This book was used in scene's were the Book of Shadows is present but isn't used. It would mostly just sit on its stand or lie on a table. The Hero book was kept in a safe when not filming to prevent it from being stolen. It weighs less and holds copies from the real pages and looks exactly the same as the Hero book. This book was also used in scene's were the sisters magic would have disappeared like in The Day the Magic Died when Phoebe finds an empty Book of Shadows. The book then would have flat pages without any drawing or text. The flat pages seen in this book were the remaining flat pages from, the first season.
The Back UpEdit
This book was used during the third season and had about 80 pages. The Hero book was damaged and had to be fixed as well as the Triquetra, which had to be glued on again as it began to come off. This book was an exact copy of the Hero book and had all original pages until the Hero book was fixed again. This book was sold on Ebay in August 2003.
- "Without the Book of Shadows, there wouldn't have been a Charmed."
- — John Krechmer, a producer, discusses the Book in the Book of Shadows Documentary
- The script of Something Wicca This Way Comes has Phoebe saying "The Book of Shadows" before opening the cover. This means that Connie's original idea was to have "The Book of Shadows" written or engraved on the cover itself as there is also no mentioning of a title page.
- A picture of the Book of Shadows and the title page, can be seen on Disc 1, of every Charmed DVD.
- Props master, Roger Montesano, said in an article of Charmed Magazine that Connie wanted the Book to be bigger but he worried that the actresses would have a hard time carrying the Book around.
- There was an original pitch that a spirit would be contained in the Book that would assist the sisters causing spells and information about demons to appear.
- In the Book of Shadows Documentary, it was stated the Book is a crucial part of the show, hence why on the series premiere the trunk it was contained in lit up as well as the entire storm sequence, and also why the chandelier in the foyer rattled when Phoebe invoked their powers.
- The directors of the series state that the Halliwell Manor was the "womb" for the girls and the Book of Shadows was the heart and soul of their powers.
- At one point the book was weighed at 9 pounds, 6 ounces and was the most valuable prop on set.
- Almost all of the book is hand drawn, calligraphy and images. Alyssa Milano liked the drawings so much that she had the artist paint murals on her walls at home.
- Each page is hand-drawn by artists, and a lot of the pictures in the book are actually based on the crew - for example an artist will base the new demon's facial structure etc on e.g. one of the camera men...
- The Book of Shadows is kept locked in a safe while they're not filming.
- In the Book of Shadows Documentary Rose stated that when kids from the Make-A-Wish foundation or other charities came to visit the Charmed set, she would always make the prop managers take the Book of Shadows out of lock and key and allow the kids to thumb through the Book and look at it.
- A photocopy of the Charmed Book of Shadows (beginning of Season 3, about eighty pages) was sold on e-bay in August 2003. It was supposedly used on the set as a stand-in for the real BOS. The final bid was $202,500.
- The back-up versions of the following pages have been sold in 2009; the Vinceres pages, the Charm of Multiplicity page, the Dark Priestesses page, Time Loops, Deflection, the Banshee pages and the Ice Cream Man & The Nothing pages. In season 2/season 3, back-ups from the book's pages were made. Other back ups have been sold as well.
- There are several pages completely in Latin, though the pages on Nell shows signs of being the most recent, possibly being written by one of the three cousins from the 1920s; it seems odd that entries meant to advise would be in a language the reader would not likely know.
- The Book's place in the attic is exactly above the Nexus.
- To this day a lot of mystery surrounds it, several alternate pages exist for pages seen on television as well as features pages that never made it to air due to necessary editing of episodes. Many texts like the one's from Zankou, and the Raptor demon still remain unknown.
- Shortly after the show ended, Derek Baron, the artist of the season 8 pages, had a pdf file on his site which could be downloaded. The pdf contained all texts and fonts which he used on his pages. You can find a jpeg-version of the pdf in the image here.
- A copy of the Book of Shadows was made for actor/director/producer/writer Quentin Tarantino after he would constantly call Rose McGowan about various demons that had appeared on the show.
- It is rumored that the the foam book was sold on ebay for around $1,000, the resting one for around $4,000 and the back book for $202,500. This has not been confirmed.
- Holly Marie Combs stated in an interview that when Rose McGowan began working on the show, she once wrote her lines in the Book of Shadows and doodled on the pages as she was unaware of how valuable the prop was to the show, crew and actors/actresses. This creates a real life parallel to the episode Hell Hath No Fury in which Phoebe remarks that Paige stole the Book of Shadows without care because "it was just a book to her."
- Upon the show's completion, a complete series set of Charmed on DVD was released. The set was packaged to look like the Book of Shadows which included selected pages from the series between seasons and a scan from the real Book's triquetra (only the R1 version).
- The page "To Relinquish Our Powers" was removed by Prue in 1x10 Wicca Envy and in 4x03 Hell Hath No Fury, Piper marked the page "The Kevmay" with a large black X in marker because she vanquished him.
- The Book of Shadows' pages were created by the following:
- Carol Wood - Season 1 and 2
- Dan Haberkorn - Season 2 to 7
- Derek Baron - Season 8
- Other unknown artists.
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