Modern witchy books and TV shows have recently been showcasing female strength via realistic characterizations, which means, they’re not perfect. Nor should they be. In celebration of the most recent release of Mayfair Witches, we’ve paired it with two other completed shows that you can binge while you’re waiting for new episodes!
Let’s dive in.
The first book, and new TV series, focuses on a terrifying world of witches that explores how powerful women are often savage and devoted to undermining the status quo. The series also explores complex supernatural elements that touch on secret societies, magic, mythology, and the mysteries of witchcraft.
Dr. Rowan Fielding/Mayfair (Alexandra Daddario) is a young neurosurgeon in California that discovers she is the new heiress to a powerful family in New Orleans after her estranged mother’s death. As she learns about her family history, she uncovers her own powers, which she struggles with as she simultaneously combats the dark and sinister force haunting her family.
Cue Lasher (Jack Huston), a powerful spirit that they often commune with and control. Lasher seduces Rowan into making him flesh again with her extra powerful “Thirteenth Witch” doorway ability, and she keeps him alive with her medical knowledge.
Rowan is characterized as messy and undeniably human with her fierce resolve, her desperation to be accepted, and her reckless decisions—enough to question her ability to earn a doctorate except that her style of medicine is portrayed as intuitive or magical.
However, the series attempts to streamline this messy epic’s bizarre and cumbersome elements, remaining faithful to the spirit rather than the letter of the books by tweaking plot details and combining characters in order to flesh them out and give them more depth.
The Witching Hour (Mayfair Witches book and episode one) takes us on a gruesome adventure filled with murder, incest, and betrayal.
AMC’s Mayfair Witches premiered on January 8th, so go check out the first episode and tell us what you think!
Here are a few more witchy adaptations to watch while you’re waiting for new episodes:
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, also adapted into a successful TV series by AMC, follows Dr. Diana Bishop (Teresa Palmer) as she discovers that she comes from a long line of witches and is the key to unraveling a centuries-old riddle hidden away in the depths of Oxford library’s archives. Are we seeing a theme here?
Diana’s discovery puts her in the path of a slew of supernatural creatures, including her soon-to-be vampire lover (Matthew Goode). This has some serious Twilight for adults vibes, but it’s packed with interesting historical references, alchemy, and time travel!
Her journey encompasses her reluctance to train her magical power, which leaves her vulnerable to her enemies. However, Diana cannot run from her true self, facing deadly challenges until she accepts who—and what—she is to survive.
This series, too, contains a secret collective of creatures that uphold the Covenant, which is an ancient pact to keep their existence hidden from humanity. The vampires, witches, and daemons are forbidden from intermingling with each other romantically. Cue the angst!
A Discovery of Witches has cohesive world-building that’s not overwhelming because it’s woven from real-world history and literature. Dr. Harkness uses her scholarly education to create characters and plot points that fit into our universe with little bending or twisting of the facts, which creates much-needed consistency.
As the series continues, we watch an entire cast of historical figures interact with Diana and her vampire beau, Matthew, who works as a geneticist to understand inherited traits that affect vampires, like the terrible blood rage and general weakening of his species.
Ultimately, the series takes several intellectual steps into explaining paranormal myths and giving them substance based in the real world rather than simply relying on the magic that makes these creatures believable.
AMC’s TV adaptation is complete with three full seasons, so binge the entire show without having to wait, come back, and let us know what you think!
Also befitting this trend or witchy TV series featuring powerful women awakening to their power is Motherland: Fort Salem. Think of an alternate universe where the young women from the Salem Witch Trials ended their persecution by making a deal with the US government to fight for their country, also known as The Accord.
This series, although not based on a book, follows three young women as they make it through basic training and out onto the front lines for magical combat. Motherland’s world flips the traditional roles of gender and power with dominant women fighting against looming terrorist threats that mirror the real world.
Even better, there is a terrorist group, known as the Spree, fighting against the conscription of witches. Dodging the draft is a giant taboo in this alternate universe, preparing us for some excellent intrigue.
While the three main characters, Raelle Collar (Taylor Hickson), Abigail Belleweather (Ashley Nicole Williams), and Tally Craven (Jessica Sutton), undergo training, they discover some dark truths about the history of witches in America—and their true enemy, an ancient group of witch hunters.
The three become a unit that blends their voices together to create “seeds” for magical spells used as weapons. Other magical abilities are present in our females, like healing, and seeing sound waves.
Season one starts off with a bang, love interests, clashes against authority, and so many secrets.
Motherland: Fort Salem has three full seasons, so if you’re in the mood for another twist on the powerful witches trope as you wait for new episodes of Mayfair Witches, give this series a binge—or if you’re like me, space these guys out for a little dose of witchy goodness every day.
Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!