The Coven of the Eight are characters featured in the ABC series Once Upon a Time. They are a team of evil witches hailing from the Magical Forest, and are feared and dreaded, considered to be the "worst of the worst". They're behind the curse that transplanted several residents of the Magical Forest to Hyperion Heights, and are lead by Mother Gothel. They make their first appearance in the Season Six finale, "The Final Battle Part 2".
Powers and abilities
While the coven possess magical abilities on their own, together, their combined powers allow them to perform feats of magic, any singular witch is incapable of.
- Teleportation: The ability to transport from one place to another. The coven have demonstrated this ability together, but members are also seen, capable of doing so, individually.
- Resistance to Blood Magic: Blood Magic is a powerful and dark branch of magic, which can only be performed or broken, by one's blood relation. The coven's united strength, make then an exception to this rule, as they were able to break free Drizella, from her petrified stone state she was placed under by her mother.
- Dark Magic: The coven are shown to be able to cast the Dark Curse, without the necessary heart sacrifice, with each member giving an individual ingredient (although the eighth ingredient needed was given by Regina, a non-member of the coven).
- Phytokinesis: The ability to manipulate and grow plant life. This power is Gothel's speciality, and she cultivates her magic, within her garden.
- Blood Magic: Magical spells that are linked to a person's bloodline. Gothel sealed her tower with Blood Magic before becoming trapped herself. The only way of escaping was to allow a blood relation to take her place.
- Shapeshifting: The power to change one's appearance and clothing. Gothel performed this ability, when tricking Hook into thinking she was Rapunzel.
- Electrokinesis: The ability to manipulate and produce electricity. This ability was displayed by Madame Leota, who was capable of conjuring an offensive attack of lightning.
- Resurrection: With the Resurrection Amulet, Gothel is capable of bringing back a life, which has not yet fully surrendered to the other side, in exchange for another life.
After the Fourth Curse
After killing all of humanity, Gothel leaves with Seraphina to the Magical Forest. At an unknown point in time, she recruits witches to assemble her coven. After making Seraphina her first recuit, she sets her eyes on the Blind Witch, the Hedge Witch, and another member. Gothel attempts to recruit Zelena, who remains uninterested, in doing so, but gives her a symbol of theirs, should she change her mind. She finds her next member, in the place of Drizella, the daughter of her enemy Rapunzel.
Drizella goes to deliver a prophecy to the heroes on behalf of the coven; warning of the Dark Curse that will follow on the eighth birthday of newborn Lucy. Before she can escape, she is placed in a petrified stone state, by the Resistance, who had the help of her mother. After this, Gothel sets her sights on another member, Madame Leota, a spirit and powerful medium. She attempts to resurrect her, but is stopped in the process by Zelena, Captain Hook, and Robin.
Eight years after Drizella's prophecy, the coven arrive to Tiana's Palace, managing to free her from the blood magic that entrapped her, so they can cast her curse. Each of the seven members of the coven gives an ingredient to enact it, but their final one needed, is a willing blood sacrifice of a witch who crushed the heart of the thing she loved the most, Regina. The coven capture her son Henry, who was attempting to escape the curse with his daughter, and have him poisoned, as a means of forcing her into joining the coven as their eighth member and to give her blood. Acting as the final ingredient, the coven successfully enact the Dark Curse.
During the Fifth Curse
Following the curse, the coven are now living in Seattle, and dispersed through the neighbourhood Hyperion Heights, with new names and personas (though Gothel and Drizella still remember their past lives). Despite this, the Coven's symbol is placed within each member's wrist, in the form of a tattoo. Because they now reside in a Land Without Magic, the witches remain powerless. Gothel, now known as Eloise Gardener, remained trapped within Belfrey Towers, before managing to escape. Drizella, now known as Ivy Belfrey, works as an assistant to her mother Victoria Belfrey. The Hedge Witch lives as Dr. Andrea Sage in the hospital, and begins the process of removing her tattoo. The Blind Witch now lives as Hilda Braeburn, and works within a bakery. Victoria manages to awaken her other daughter, Anastasia, from her frozen state, and she is revealed to be the Guardian, a person of pure heart who is able to perform magic within the realm. She is sought out by Eloise, who attempts to indoctrinate her into the coven, and has Ivy locate her, only to betray the latter by transferring all of Ivy's magic into Anastasia, expelling her from the coven in an attempt to replace her with her sister.
Over the next few days, an unknown asailant begins targeting members of the coven, and taking a snippet of their hair. First, he has Dr. Sage poisoned through a drink, and then targets Hilda through carbon monoxide poisoning. She is found and saved by Detectives Weaver and Rogers, though a piece of her hair has been cut.
Hilda Braeburn was attacked by the Candy Killer, but was saved by Detective Weaver and Rogers. Hilda was later killed by the Candy Killer in the hospital and Tilly was framed for her murder. Eventually, Nick, the Candy Killer, is killed by Mr. Samdi before any more witches from the coven can be murdered.
Eventually, Gothel decides that it is time to reunite the coven. She comes to Hyperion Heights' police station and places a spell on the Desk Sergeant, ordering him to find and awaken the coven. The Desk Sergeant tracks down and awakens Seraphina, also retrieving replacement witches for the Blind Witch, the Hedge Witch, and Drizella. He brings the coven to a movie theater, where Gothel's Grove used to be located, and reunites the coven with Gothel, who is delighted to see them. As Tilly and Rogers come to stop them, the coven subdues them and takes them below. Gothel reveals her parentage to Tilly and initiates her into the coven, threatening Rogers' life. With Tilly now in the coven, they all join forces to enact a spell.
Once each Coven member finishes the spell, they are turned into trees and become part of the grove.
After the Fifth Curse
After the curse is broken by Henry's true love's kiss to Roni, Tilly stands up to Gothel and turns her into a tree, marking the end of her spell and the Coven.
- The cursed identities of the known members of the coven have plant-based names: Gardener, Ivy, Sage, and Braeburn.