The Elders, also known as the Council of Elder Witches and Protectors of the Sacred Covenant, are a council of senior good witches who govern over the forces of good. They oversee and direct Whitelighters in their effort to guide and protect witches.
The Elders create and enforce rules and guidelines for witches and Whitelighters to follow. They are viewed as royalty and can dispense punishment on those who do not follow their directives.
Despite their magical responsibilities, The Elders live among mortals as regular people, dealing with normal human responsibilities like jobs and families. However, they do not use their abilities or allow other witches, to interfere in mortal matters or crimes.
With their powers, The Elders can congregate anywhere, including alternate dimensions that can resemble real-world locations. Charity Callahan was shown entering one such dimension using her Portal Teleportation ability. It is unknown if other Elders also possess abilities or spells that allow them to access these dimensions.
When meeting Mel Vera, The Elders present (with the exception of Charity, whom Mel had already met) obscured their faces through the use of magic with a Cloaking Spell. Charity acknowledged that the disguises were unnerving, while Priyanka Bari declared it makes it impossible to hold a conversation.
According to Harry, Elders are forbidden to see the memories of Whitelighters and doing so could result in them losing their Elder status.
The Killing of The Elders
Three months before the Vera sisters became The Charmed Ones, a yet-to-be-identified entity started killing Elders, starting with the sisters' mother, Marisol Vera. The murders would continue, informing The Elders that the Apocalypse was underway.
These murders caught the attention of Detective Bailey who began to investigate. He learned that all the murder victims had wounds on them that appeared as if they had been struck by lightning and that someone was interested in retrieving the DNA of these victims.
Governing The Charmed Ones
While The Charmed Ones continued their journey as witches, their Whitelighter, Harry Greenwood, acted as a liaison between the neophyte witches and The Elders. The Council would only make an appearance, in the form of Charity Callahan, when the Harbinger of Hell was defeated and contained by The Charmed Ones. The rest of the council were unable to come to the sisters' aid due to the fact that the Elder murderer was still at large, but Charity did relay that The Charmed Ones were ordered to kill the Harbinger before it could reach full power.
The Charmed Ones, specifically Mel Vera, disobeyed the directive and instead used unsanctioned magic to exorcize the Harbinger and save its vessel. Having been disobeyed, The Elders decided to punish The Charmed Ones by taking their Book of Shadows and checking it for any more unsanctioned magic.
Facing The S'Arcana
When The Charmed Ones lost the Scythe of Tartarus to a mysterious woman, Charity came back to help the sisters identify what kind of demon the thief may be. Mel was later approached by the thief, Jada Shields, who informed Mel about the Sisters of Arcana and that The Elders forbid relationships between witches and Whitelighters. Mel would investigate further and learn from Charity that an Elder was actually responsible for starting the S'Arcana. There had been a war between the two but The Elders had believed that the S'Arcana were destroyed.
Mel continued to be conflicted between the two groups and decided to summon Charity so she could get more information. Charity brought her into a duplicate dimension to see the other Elders (though their identities were hidden due to their lives being at threat) and explained how the Council wanted Mel to join the S'Arcana and be their spy. However, Mel later chose to side fully with the S'Arcana when she saw The Elders as only looking out for themselves.
Eventually it was discovered that Charity Callahan murdered Marisol Vera during a confrontation and all the other Elders to cover her tracks. While Charity had been stripped of her powers by The Charmed Ones and sentenced to Tartarus for her crimes, the other Elders discovered Harry’s previous relationship with Charity, and ruled that it had led to him endangering The Charmed Ones due to his commitment being misguided, and so stripped him of his powers as well.
Due to being irritated that they had no way of communicating with the Elders, The Charmed Ones tried to use their magic in public and were quickly remote teleported to the headquarters of the Elders. Mel, Maggie, and Macy attempted to force the Elders to reinstate Harry’s powers, but they refused. Instead, they simply reasoned that, as Harry had accepted the consequences of his actions, The Charmed Ones should too. The girls are then teleported back to their attic, but not before Mel tells them that they were duped by Charity as well and asks where their culpability was.
Powers and Abilities
- Basic Powers
- Spell Casting: The ability to cast spells and perform rituals.
- Potion Making: The ability to brew and concoct potions, remedies and elixirs that have supernatural properties.
- Divination: The ability to gain insight through arcane tools.
- Other Powers
- Individual Powers: Since they are witches, Elders possess a variety of powers that are unique to each individual.
- Longevity: The ability to live longer than humanly possible. The Elders possess a level of longevity, though it is unclear how vast it is.
- Power Granting: The ability to grant magical power to another being. The Elders can use this power (probably) as a collective to turn dying mortals into Whitelighters.
- Power Stripping: The ability to take away another magical being's powers. The Elders can use this power as a collective to strip Whitelighters of their powers.
- Marisol Vera †
- Charity Callahan (formerly)
- Ravyn Ribera †
- Merante Arnaud †
- Priyanka Bari †
- Unnamed Murdered Elder †
- Devorah Silver
- Unnamed Elders
- In the original series, The Elders (also known as the Founders or referred to as "They" or "Them") were a powerful group of elder Whitelighters who advised and governed the forces of good. Their purpose was to preserve the "greater good" by directing their Whitelighters to guide and protect both witches and future Whitelighters. The Elders resided in the Heavens and communicated with witches through their assigned Whitelighters.
- Unlike the original series, The Elders are actually witches.
- In the original series, no Elder made an appearance until the fifth season.
- Between episodes Pilot and Exorcise Your Demons, there had been at least three Elders murdered after Marisol Vera by Charity.
- Members of The Elders wear white.
- In Keep Calm and Harry On, Charity stated she already was one of the Elders when they took Harry's memories upon his becoming a Whitelighter, implying the Elders possess a level of longevity.