In episode 10, the season 2 finale, it’s time for Matthew and Diana’s journey to the past to end. But first they need to tie up some loose ends and have another adventure or two. For the first time this season, the episode alternates between the present and the past. Matthew and Diana’s allies gather at Sept-Tours, as enemies close in on them.
Diana continues to practice her spellwork. She uses a magical thread that’s the color of abundance the first time she successfully completes the 8th knot. “With a knot of eight, a spell will wait.” Goody tells her to sense the ninth knot. She can see how it should be formed, but it falls apart in her hands. Goody notes that, “A knot about completion is never easy.”
This lines up with her choice of the abundance thread and the scenes of her happy 16th century family life that are interspersed with her magical practice. She needs to perfect the 9th knot in order to perform the magic that will take her and Matthew home to the 21st century. For now, her heart is too conflicted to allow her to complete the knot.
While they take a break, Goody tells Diana that she can sense another weaver has come to London. She says they’ll wait for the new weaver to approach them, since the weaver’s arrival at this time can’t be an accident.
Agatha and her family arrive at modern day Sept-Tours seeking protection for Baby Margaret. Marcus and Phoebe arrive soon after. On their approach to the castle, Marcus chooses the same overlook as Matthew once did to warn Phoebe about his family and give her a last chance to back out. Like Diana before her, Phoebe won’t be deterred by an ancient castle full of vampires (and witches and daemons). She feels that it’s a privilege to be included in the creature world.
Marcus introduces Phoebe to Ysabeau as his partner. The two women have instant chemistry. Ysabeau tells them that Marthe is thrilled to have a castle full of people to fuss over again.
As Matthew and Diana shop for a new book for Jack in the market, Matthew smells coffee. Diana tells him that coffee won’t appear in Europe for decades. He tells her it’s a Timewalker, using a tone that says she’s an idiot for not figuring that out when he did.
When he jumps 400 years to a past that’s new to him, learns very difficult magic very quickly, gets immersed in historical creature culture and has witch/weaver/vampire pregnancy brain, then we can talk about which one of them thinks more quickly and is more capable of multitasking. As it is, he’s working very hard to keep her in her place.
Matthew runs straight to physically confront the Timewalker, because the guy we met in season 1 who stalked Diana with some subtlety and a sense of humor is long gone. He’s been replaced by a guy most of us would get a restraining order against.
Keep what I just said in mind as we continue through the episode.
When Diana catches up to Matthew and his quarry, she recognizes her father, Stephen Proctor, who is a weaver and Timewalker like her. They bring him back to their house, where Matthew offers everyone an alcoholic beverage. Diana, who is pregnant enough to show despite her Elizabethan layers, declines her husband the geneticist’s offer.
Stephen says that Diana was riding a tricycle when he left home. He guesses that Matthew is the vampire Rebecca saw in her visions and asks if they met here in the past. Diana explains that she brought Matthew with her. Stephen praises her timewalking abilities.
There’s new information here, even for book readers- we didn’t know before how much Diana’s parents knew about her future and what they knew because of Rebecca’s forays into divination and what Stephen had discovered through timewalking. Of course, Stephen and Rebecca lived several more years after this, so what Stephen learns on this trip could influence the rest of his and Rebecca lives. But his question confirms that they first learned about Diana’s relationship with a vampire through Rebecca’s visions and that Stephen, at least, didn’t know any details about the vampire.
I’m holding out hope that Matthew and Diana don’t last forever and she’ll have a second, better relationship. Not going to make a big deal about it, but Stephen’s question was carefully worded by the writers so that it didn’t have to refer to Matthew. Matthew may have been destined to help awaken her powers and save her from the Congregation. That doesn’t mean she needs to stay with him for the rest of her life. Rebecca’s early visions could have shown Diana later in life, with a different vampire.
When Stephen complements Diana’s timewalking abilities, Matthew asks if she’s made any progress with the 9th knot. The way he asks seems innocent, but it undermines both her and Stephen by suggesting that she’s not that talented and Stephen wasn’t able to recognize her skill level. This is part of a pattern of behavior for Matthew- he needs to establish that he’s the alpha.
Jack comes downstairs looking for some toys he’s lost. Matthew scolds him for leaving them where Francoise could trip on them. Stephen figures out that they’ve been in the past long enough to adopt a child and asks about Jack. Matthew evades the question and asks Stephen why he’s in their territory in the 16th century.
Stephen mildly explains that he’s an anthropologist. He’s observing the past, for science, something Matthew should understand. He’s also searching for Ashmole 782- the Book of Life. Diana tells him that they’ve already found it and gets it out for him to examine. She shows him where Kelley ripped the pages out and describes the images on the missing pages- the Tree of Life, two dragons shedding blood, and the page that the Bishop house gave to Diana.
Stephen tells them that he received the page in the mail unexpectedly, postmarked from Jerusalem. He assumes Jewish witches sent it. Matthew and Diana theorize that Kelley gave the page to Rabbi Loew, then eventually his descendants sent it to Diana’s father. Stephen notes that he thought he’d be able to read the book if he found it in the 16th century.
He doesn’t say where or when he’s tried to read it before, but that’s implied. He also managed to pinpoint the date the book was damaged to within a few months, but he doesn’t say where his information came from and they don’t ask him. He actually just needed to search for it maybe a year earlier in the 16th century, before Edward Kelley stole it from Dr John Dees. Stephen knows a lot more about the book than he’s telling them, yet they don’t ask. Diana can probably be forgiven because she’s caught up in the emotions of seeing her dead father.
Matthew is caught up in the fact that his goal is to use 21st century technology to examine the book’s DNA (from the creature skin, hair and blood used to create it). He doesn’t care about it as a grimoire or a historical artifact, though he has shown respect for Diana’s goals. He warns Stephen that others are looking for it.
Diana tells Stephen that Peter Knox, who is now a member of the Congregation, wants the book. Stephen confirms that Peter is obsessed with the dark arts. He hopes that Peter doesn’t figure out that the book contains dark magic.
I think that ship has sailed. The screaming that Kelley described hearing from inside the book is a big clue as to its nature.
In present day Venice, Peter confirms to Gerbert that Baby Margaret is indeed a witch who is the child of two daemons. She will eventually need to be adopted into a witch family.
Then Peter moves on, saying that right now they need to focus on the Book of Life. He hasn’t been able to turn up any information on the missing pages and Diana’s aunts have disappeared. Gerbert is certain that Ysabeau is hiding something, probably those two witches. Discovering that the de Clermonts are harboring witches is the best thing that’s happened to Peter and Gerbert in years- it finally gives them a reason to invade the de Clermont stronghold. They immediately begin plotting, though Peter balks when Gerbert presumes to order him around.
Stephen lectures Matthew and Diana (but mostly Matthew, because to him
and the writers Diana is still a child) on all of the timewalking mistakes they’ve made in the 16th century.
Stephen ‘s lecture culminates with him ordering them to get out of the 16th century and leave the book behind. He wanted to study the book in the past, but he wasn’t going to timewalk with it. It’s not safe to time travel with such a powerful magical object that you don’t understand. (Back in season 1, Sarah also told Diana to be careful with magical items she doesn’t understand.)
Diana and Matthew argue with Stephen but he convinces them that they’ve messed with history enough. The 16th century version of the book stays in its own time. He didn’t even bring up the most logical argument, that taking the book out of its own time would mess up the book’s timeline so that Diana might not ever find it at the Oxford library to start this entire sequence of events.
At Sept-Tours, everyone sits down for a tense family dinner, with Peter Knox and the danger to Baby Margaret as the main topics of discussion. Agatha explains that they can’t count on the Congregation to help. They’ll take Peter’s side, then enforce the Covenant. Marcus reminds the group that when Matthew and Diana return, the Congregation will renew its hunt for them as well.
He thinks it’s time to repeal the Covenant. Philippe created the Covenant nearly a thousand years ago to enforce segregation of the three species of creatures in order to help keep them safe from humans. Now it’s outlived its usefulness and is putting them in danger instead. Miriam agrees. She and Marcus both think human society has evolved enough that creatures don’t need to be as afraid of discovery as they once were.
Marcus: “We need to evolve if we want to survive.”
Phoebe suggests the change in creature society has already started, right there at Sept-Tours, with all four species gathered under one roof.
Phoebe: “I know I’m new to all of this, and I don’t mean to be rude, but it seems pretty obvious that the only way forward is together.”
Ysabeau doesn’t say anything, but she has a wistful glow that shows how much she misses Philippe and how proud she is of Marcus and Phoebe.
Later, she finds Phoebe in Philippe’s library admiring his 16th century table. Phoebe’s appreciation for the de Clermonts’ castles and mansions full of priceless works of art, which to them are just their old stuff, is a delightful running joke in the books. In this scene, Ysabeau tells her the origin of the table (Rome) and gives her permission to snoop around and admire anything she wants.
Ysabeau came to speak to Phoebe about her grandson. She makes sure Phoebe understands the magnitude of what Marcus has revealed to her and how important it is that she prove worthy of his trust. Phoebe assures her that she won’t let Marcus down. She’s more afraid of what humans are capable of than the creatures in the house.
Let’s recall that Ysabeau told Marcus to kill Phoebe when he revealed he’d told one of his dates the truth about himself. Ysabeau only agreed to let Phoebe live because Phoebe didn’t believe Marcus. Now, Ysabeau decides that Phoebe passes all of the tests and heartstrings practically grow between the two of them.
Marcus finds them and asks if everything is okay- they do look a little like they’re conspiring. Ysabeau asks for a moment alone with Marcus, then tells him he’s made an excellent choice. He glows with happiness and says he knows.
Phoebe and Marcus are the next de Clermont power couple in the making. For 200 years, Marcus was stuck in adolescence, living in Philippe and Matthew’s shadows. With Philippe gone and Matthew occupied with his own family, it’s Marcus’ turn to be the grown up who guides the next direction taken by this influential family. Phoebe is a superstar in her own right.
Ysabeau: “Maybe she’s right. Perhaps today is the start of something. You’re right to criticize our conservatism. Philippe was one of the most humane and progressive men who ever lived- always adapting. He believed in hope for all creatures.”
Marcus: “I wish he was here.”
Ysabeau: “Grief carves a place in the heart and sits there forever. But when focused, it can be a powerful motivator. Sadness becomes resolve and pain becomes action.”
Gallowglass arrives at the lodge, where Matthew is sorting through his belongings, preparing to leave the 16th century. Matthew tells him that they are preparing to leave, but the original 16th century Matthew Royden will return after Future Matthew jumps to back to his time. Gallowglass admits that he prefers Future Matthew.
16th century Matthew must have quite a temper, since Philippe was upset that Future Matthew is too calm, and Gallowglass, who is always worried about Matthew’s temper, prefers the new version, who is currently much more out of control than the man we met in season 1 episode 1.
As Stephen walks Diana to her magic practice, he tells her not to waste her sessions with one of England’s greatest witches. Then he asks about the 9th knot, which he knows nothing about, since he’s self taught. He wonders if Diana is having trouble with it because she’s afraid of her magic or lacking in the desire to complete the knot. He already knows how powerful she is. She agrees that when she masters the 9th knot it will be time to leave the 16th century and she has conflicted feelings about that.
When they arrive, Goody Alsop is expecting both of them, having sensed that Diana had found the other weaver. Goody and Stephen mentor Diana through her practice session. Stephen suggests that she’s trying too hard. Goody tells her to let her magic flow naturally. Once she relaxes, Diana is able to complete the 9th knot.
“With knot of nine, the spell be mine.”
Stephen says, “Some witches would kill for that kind of power.”
Awkward, since he will eventually be murdered by Peter Knox because he is a weaver.
Goody tells Diana to go ahead and be honest with Stephen. She says goodbye so they can talk. Diana cries and tells her dad that she’s desperate to tell him so many things but she’s also terrified of how she might change the future. He says that nothing can stop him and Rebecca from meeting their fates. He’s not sure exactly what will happen, but he knows they don’t have much time with her. She should make peace with fate, including the child she’s going to have. Rebecca saw Diana’s pregnancy in her visions.
Stephen: “A child is a precious gift. I should know. It’s time I took a stroll. You’re everything we dreamed you’d one day become. I’ll see you later.”
Diana: “I’ll see you, Dad.”
Diana tearfully watches him leave. Later on, back at their lodgings, Matthew completes his preparations for their own return to the 21st century. Diana tells him she’s getting a taste of what it’s like for vampires to leave their lives behind every few decades. He says that he always has mixed feelings about it, but he tries to focus on the good parts. They’ll both be glad to see their families when they return. And now they know what the missing pages they still need to find look like.
But leaving Jack will be hard. Matthew assures Diana that his friend Henry Percy will take care of the boy, then apprentice him in a good trade when he’s old enough. Diana is still worried about Jack. He could become a target, since the creatures of Europe know he’s connected to the de Clermonts.
The next day, she has Gallowglass walk her to meet with the coven, but tells him he doesn’t need to wait for her. She’s arranged a secret meeting with Father Hubbard, who’s waiting for her inside. She asks if he’d look after Jack once she and Matthew leave, since she’s noticed how protective he is of his flock. He will only take care of Jack for her if she becomes part of his flock, too. They agree that she will share a single drop of blood with him, without their bodies touching, so that Matthew won’t know that this meeting occurred.
She magically opens a vein in her wrist so that the single drop falls into his mouth where he’s kneeling below her. He sees flashes from her past, including: her fight with Juliette; when she fed Matthew her blood to save his life; Matthew smelling her jacket at the boathouse; the first time she met Matthew; and she and Matthew timewalking to 1590. He tells her he’ll watch over Jack, but then reveals how much he’s learned by calling her by her true name, Diana Bishop.
From there, she goes to her real meeting with Susanna and Goody Alsop, who are sad to see her go. Goody teaches her a last lesson, the 10th knot.
Goody: “There is one final knot that you may need. It’s a weaving of creation and destruction.”
Diana: “Endings and beginnings.”
Goody: “Only a weaver who stands between worlds can complete it. I cannot make it myself.”
She attempts to make it, so that Diana has a sense of the form, but it won’t come together properly. Then they say a heartfelt goodbye. Before she leaves, Diana gives Susanna the Diana chess piece so that someday Sophie can give it back to her.
Peter Knox plans his invasion of Sept-Tours in the Congregation’s archives. Satu finds him there and he explains to her that he intends to exploit the magic that still dwells in the nearby ancient temple. She wants to go with him, but he tells her that he doesn’t need the help of an elemental witch. She replies, “Your confidence will be your downfall.”
In 1591, Benjamin Fuchs, the vampire Diana met in Bohemia who told Kelley he was interested in the Book of Life, stops Andrew Hubbard in the street. He demands, as Hubbard’s vampire sire (maker), that Hubbard reveal everything he knows about “Matthew’s witch”, Diana.
Father Hubbard tries to resist telling Benjamin Diana’s secrets, but I don’t think he can deny his sire.
In the present day, in a building that I’m probably supposed to recognize- maybe it’s the auction house? or one of Matthew’s houses? -someone in a hoodie breaks in during the night. Domenico figured out that this would be the vampire killer/miniature portrait thief’s next stop and is waiting for them. Without turning on any lights, Domenico tells the thief that he knows what they’ve done and that it has something to do with Matthew and Diana. He asks the thief what they want and offers to help them, if they’ll show him who they are. The thief chooses another option, brutally attacking Domenico instead.
He uses the same slashing technique that Benjamin used on the guard in Bohemia, so we were probably supposed to figure out that Benjamin has Blood Rage, too.
Domenico is taken by surprise, which allows the thief to momentarily disable him and get away, but he’s not seriously injured. This might be an indication that Domenico is an especially old and strong vampire, since you’d think all that slashing would cause some major blood loss and weaken him for a little while.
Diana ponders the Book of Life one last time, but decides that she has to trust that it will appear for her once they find the missing pages. She and Matthew will timewalk to Sept-Tours tonight. She asks Gallowglass to give the book back to Dr John Dee and to keep the original 16th century Matthew safe for her until they meet again. They hug. Gallowglass has a strange expression when they finish.
Gallowglass says goodbye to Matthew before he leaves. He still looks troubled.
Diana and Matthew say goodbye to Francoise, Jack and Pierre. Everyone cries. Diana gives Jack his new book. Matthew tells Jack that he’s proud of him and wants him to be brave. Everyone cries some more.
Peter Knox arrives in the vicinity of Sept-Tours and of course there’s thunder and lightning. Oh, I guess it’s just the full moon. Sept-Tours always seems like it should be much more sentient than it is. Needs some animate gargoyles, at the very least.
Domenico returns to what I assume is his current lodgings in London, while modern day Benjamin Fuchs watches him from the shadows. Modern Benjamin has a sharp beard, but he seems to be the same stalkery creep that he was in the 1590s, lurking around the edges of Matthew and Diana’s lives.
Peter makes his way to the ancient temple on the edge of de Clermont property where Matthew and Diana got married. He notices the remnants of Emily’s recent rituals and immediately forms a new plan. He takes out the stone ball that he frequently uses to channel his magic and repeats an incantation:
Peter: “I harness the power of this site to draw those who are connected. Wrest them from their slumber and carry them forth.”
Emily is in bed asleep. She awakens and quickly, but quietly, walks to the temple. She doesn’t seem to be in a trance, just drawn there. She does usually do her rituals in the middle of the night, so she may believe that this is happening spontaneously, of her own free will. Baby Margaret wakes up at the same time as Emily and won’t stop crying, waking up the entire household. They soon begin searching for Emily.
Margaret might remember Peter’s evil presence and the signature of his magic from the hospital and sense them now.
At the temple, Emily doesn’t notice Peter. She begins her usual ritual for calling up Rebecca’s spirit. Rebecca comes through especially well this time, probably because Peter’s power and longing for her are added to the mix. Emily and Rebecca hold hands. Rebecca says she can’t help Emily. Emily says it’s Diana who needs help.
Rebecca: “Understand this: There will be dark times and great losses. But the Book will change everything. Once it’s completed, the Book is going to reveal itself… You’re in danger. He wants the page.”
Peter was frozen for a minute by the sight of Rebecca. When she calls attention to him, he moves toward Emily and Rebecca disappears. Emily makes the page, which was on the ground in front of her, vanish. Peter puts his hand on the top of Emily’s head and tries to force her to give him the page. He uses magic to torture her. Emily tells him that he’s lost his soul to the darkness and refuses to give in.
At the house, Ysabeau can sense that another powerful creature is nearby. Marcus tells her to protect Margaret while he finds Emily.
Emily: “I am not afraid of you, Peter. I will always fight for Diana. She will always come first.”
Peter: “She abandoned you.”
Emily: “She will be back. She will be more powerful than you can imagine. Diana will unite all creatures against bigots like you. And she will avenge me!”
Emily collapses to the ground, either unconscious or dead.
Peter was demanding the page and intensified his magic, but that also seemed like Em chose the moment when she’d lose consciousness. She wanted to make sure he couldn’t force her to give up the page.
Peter realizes what he’s done and runs away. Marcus cuts him off and warns him away from Sept-Tours. Peter says the witches belong to him, magically throwing Marcus to the ground. He tortures and threatens Marcus. Sarah can be heard in the distance- she’s found Emily and is crying her name. Marcus tells Peter that they’re on de Clermont land. If he kills a member of the family there, he’ll start a war that he can’t win. Peter forces Marcus into unconsciousness instead, before he continues running away.
Sarah holds Em and begs her to wake up.
Diana tells Matthew that she’s glad they had this time together in the 16th century. Matthew has done so much in his life, but all he’s ever wanted is to be a husband and father again.
Matthew: “Let’s go meet our future.”
Emily’s fate was clear by the end of the book, but the show gives us a cliffhanger. Since the TV show has changed the fate of at least one other character, there’s an outside chance they’ll change hers.
There were a couple of changes from the books in this episode relating to father Hubbard: It wasn’t revealed that Benjamin is his sire until The Book of Life. And in Shadow of Night, Andrew only learns Diana’s real name from the drop of blood she gives him. He still takes Jack into his flock. It’ll be interesting to see if there’s a reason why they used Diana’s blood to give Hubbard extra information about the future.
The final sequence with Peter in the woods wasn’t shown in the book, though we’re told about what happens later. I think we just heard two prophecies, but in universe, only Peter Knox is awake to be a witness to them right now. Rebecca made a prophecy about the Book of Life and Emily made a prophecy about Diana. Rebecca seemed very knowledgeable about the book and the future.
I was struck by Goody’s words about the 10th knot- “a weaver who stands between worlds”. Stephen and Rebecca both came to Diana when she was at the bottom of the pit after Satu tortured her and talked her through breaking out of her spellbinding, then flying out of the pit. After death, are they in between worlds and able to reach back to certain people in this world at opportune moments? They knew they were going to die. They could have prepared themselves in some way to ensure that their spirits would remain close to Diana. Or they could have somehow used astral projection combined with timewalking to seed the future with messages they knew she’d need, so that they seem like spirits in those messages.
Peter was mesmerized by the sight of Rebecca. I think we can confirm that she was the love of his life. But then we saw the scariest, most power mad version of him we’ve ever seen when he was ready to kill Marcus. That was the guy who could also kill Rebecca and Stephen without a second thought.
Who Is Stephen Proctor?
TV Stephen is a real buzzkill, whereas Book Stephen was a loveable aging hippie. Why so angry, Season 2 Discovery of Witches TV characters? Almost all of your book counterparts knew how to be whimsical and have more fun.
While I’ve assumed that the characters are different because we aren’t seeing them through the filter of Diana’s biases (the books are narrated from her point of view), the difference in Stephen surprised me the most. I didn’t expect her sweet dad to come off as a little sinister. But then, Spirit Rebecca doesn’t seem all that innocent, either. And these are the parents who secretly spellbound their child for 25 years, which is basically a form of torture. They didn’t even leave a note for Sarah and Em to find when she became an adult so they could help Diana fully develop her power- and Stephen knew what she would need to do.
While his lectures on proper time travel rules make sense, sometimes it almost sounds like
Gollum Evil Stephen wants them to leave the book behind in the 16th century so he can snatch it for himself as soon as they’re gone. In his timeline, he has years to find the 3 missing pages before he and Rebecca are supposed to die. Maybe he’s hoping he can change the timeline.
According to Diana’s aunts, he did quite a bit of timewalking, with and without Rebecca. Peter thought he was sketchy and never liked him. Just because Peter is Evil doesn’t mean Stephen wasn’t up to some questionable activities at times. We know Young Rebecca and Emily were involved in the Dark Arts/Higher Magic. Part of Peter’s jealousy may be that Rebecca left him to practice the Dark Arts with Stephen instead.
Then there is the issue of Stephen as a self taught witch. Or maybe he is actually an expert, but he comes from a different tradition from Goody Alsop. Like the Bishops, the Proctors are one of the witch families from the Salem witch trials. Stephen’s family may have gone underground and pretended to be average witches after the witch trials, while continuing to teach their weaver children according to their own family traditions.
Stephen says a sweet goodbye to Diana, giving her the messages everyone wants to hear from their parents. Then he says “See you later”, leaving open the possibility that they’ll meet again somewhere in another time. There’s no doubt that he loves his daughter, but he’s also a haunted, hunted man.
We don’t actually see Stephen timewalk out of the 16th century, so I’ve always wondered who else he might visit before he leaves. Gallowglass? Philippe? Hubbard? He could introduce himself to some of the other characters as Diana’s father, then continue his relationship with them throughout the centuries in adventures which we haven’t been told about (yet!). Stephen only has to return to his own time to live out certain events and to die. He can stay away from home for years in between visits, then go back to the instant that he left.
In the books, Stephen is 10 years older than Rebecca. Did he start out that way or is that how long he’s spent time traveling during their marriage?
Creature Genetics: Susanna, Sophie And Margaret’s Witch-Daemon Family Tree, Plus a Vampire Theory or Two
Since there’s some confusion out there about Margaret and Sophie’s lineage, let me clarify- Sophie is a daemon who was spontaneously born from a long line of witches, going back at least as far as Susanna Norman in 1590. Sophie’s family was obscure and the Congregation never discovered her cross species birth.
In the book Shadow of Night, there is a character, Annie, who connects the witches and Kit Marlowe (she was cut out of the TV series). Annie is Susanna’s young niece, who lives with Matthew and Diana while they are in the 16th century, then she becomes Kit’s servant after they leave. Even in the books, it hasn’t been made clear if the daemon bloodline in Sophie’s family connects back to Kit Marlowe or his family, but that’s my headcanon.
In Shadow of Night, the connection is more direct, since Matthew loses the Goddess Diana chess piece to Kit, which then ends up with Sophie’s family, whereas in this episode, Diana gave the chess piece directly to Sophie’s lookalike ancestor, Susanna. As Diana foretold in this episode, Kit Marlowe died in real life and in the books not long after the end of Shadow of Night, but he could have had daemon family members who stayed in touch with the Norman family.
The witches are territorial and particular about how their children are trained, as opposed to the daemons. Daemons are often spontaneously born to humans and left with their human parents. Even if Marcus hadn’t told Baldwin about her, it would have been harder to keep Margaret a secret because her paternal grandmother, Agatha, is a daemon member of the Congregation. Once the de Clermonts and their age old rivalries became involved, there was no way the baby wouldn’t become ammunition in the feuds between species and clans.
Sophie’s unusual parentage hasn’t been mentioned onscreen since season 1. It doesn’t seem to have registered with Matthew and his science team that in Sophie’s family the species flip happened twice in two generations (it doesn’t in books 1-4 either). That says to me that either there were daemons in Sophie’s bloodline before her or witches and daemons are very closely related, so closely related that they might as well be the same species. Maybe both.
The companion book The World of All Souls briefly describes the genetic differences between the species: humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes; daemons have 23 pairs plus a single extra chromosome; and witches have 24 pairs of chromosomes. Vampires also have 24 pairs of chromosomes, but they reproduce through resurrecting dying humans rather producing newborn babies. Theoretically, daemons and witches can also be turned into vampires, but there is a cultural taboo against doing so.
My guess is the cultural taboos against feeding from and turning witches and daemons will be proven as detrimental as the Covenant- vampire survival may depend on the direct intermingling of witch and daemon blood within the population of living vampires, since many are having trouble siring (like Marcus did in season 1). Maybe humans, daemons and witches are also better off if the populations mix- inbreeding isn’t good for anyone. I also have a theory that Gallowglass is a witch who was turned, based on clues in the books, but that’s a discussion for another day.
For now, let’s recall that according to both witch and vampire lore, the witches made the vampires. Both species want the Book of Life because they think it has the original spell that created the vampires. The fact that both species have 24 chromosomes suggests that there could be some truth to this legend. It could be that vampires were originally created by witches who didn’t want to lose their dying loved ones, a trope that’s been used before (The Vampire Diaries and The Originals explored a similar shared origin story for years).
Peter Knox wants to use the Book of Life to unmake the vampires. Gerbert wants to take control of the book so it can’t be used against vampires. They are working together right now because they have a common goal, but if they ever actually gain possession of the book, they’ll fight to the death over it.
Images courtesy of AMC and Sky One.