The Ancestral Witches consist of three very ancient evil witches named named Belladonna, Liliss and Tharma who once served the Shadow Phoenix and destroyed the Realm of Domino while trying to acquire the Dragon Flame for their master.
Their exact background is largely unknown, although they have been called the "First Creatures of Evil" by the crown of Domino and referred to as the "Mothers of All Witches" by Valtor and the Trix, and Faragonda has stated that they originated in the Realm of Obsidian.
The Ancestral Witches are beings of pure evil and are cruel and pitiless. They love tormenting their enemies and even their allies and use all of them alike as pawns for their own purposes.
The Ancestral Witches seem to have no feelings for people related to them and appear to care only for each other. This might be because, being the most evil beings of the Magic Dimension, they cannot feel love for anyone. The Ancestresses treated Valtor like a servant and a puppet for their purposes and appeared to like tormenting him, even though they still considered him as their son. The Ancestresses never treated the Trix as their descendants, but rather as servers and the Trix also behaved as if the Ancestresses were their mistresses and even called them as such, possibly out of respect.
Some time in the early Magic Dimension, Belladonna, Liliss and Tharma were born as the Dimension's first witches in the Realm of Obsidian, and they served the Shadow Phoenix, who tasked them with searching for the Dragon Flame, which he needed to access the realm of Relix and obtain the Ultimate Power. However, it is unknown how and when the Ancestral Witches born, or if the Shadow Phoenix had a role in their birth, given that they were the first creatures of evil while the Phoenix is Evil personified.
Some time before the destruction of Domino, the three witches found a spark of the Dragon Flame which had mixed with darkness, and they molded into the shape of a boy, named him Valtor and trained him to become the Magic Dimension's most dangerous sorcerer. Belladonna, Lysslis, Tharma and Valtor would then go on to search for the Dragon Flame.
The Ancestral Witches then tried to conquer the Magic Dimension, and the Company of Light, a group of powerful warriors, witches, fairies and wizards led by King Oritel and Queen Marion of Domino, was formed to stop them.
At some point when she was younger, Cloud Tower's headmistress, Griffin, studied the Dark Arts under the Ancestral Witches, and fought side by side with Valtor to conquer all the realms of the Magical Universe. Griffin then realized her mistake and escaped to join the Company of Light.
Their search for the Dragon Flame somehow led the Ancestral Witches to the Infinite Ocean, where Daphne fought back against them to protect the Infinite Ocean. However when the Ancestral Witches attacked again, Politea refused to help Daphne and the Witches defeated them and placed a curse on Sirenix.
The Ancestral Witches then attacked the realm of Domino, where the Dragon Flame was held. The Ancestral Witches and Valtor attacked the royal palace of Domino, where Daphne's baby sister, Bloom, had become the new keeper of the Dragon Flame. However Daphne was able to save Bloom and send her baby sister to a place far away where the Witches would never find her.
When Daphne used Sirenix to defend herself when the Witches attacked Domino, it turned against her and left her as a disembodied spirit when she used its power and transformed Politea into a monster.
Eventually, the Company of Light managed to defeat Valtor and the Witches, freezing Valtor and imprisoning him in the Omega Dimension and repelling the Ancestral Witches into the Obsidian Dimension and imprisoning them there. However, during the final battle opposing the Company of Light to the Witches, the Ancestral Witches managed to drag King Oritel down with them, and Queen Marion used a spell to place herself inside her husband's sword out of refusal to leave his side. The rest of Domino's denizens were sucked into Obsidian and became petrified while a wave of dark energy emitted from the portal to Obsidian froze all of planet Domino, leaving no trace of life on its surface.
In "The Dragon's Flame", the Trix told Bloom that they were the descendants of the Ancestral Witches and understood the importance of the most powerful source of power of the universe, the Dragon's Flame, on Domino, and went to take control of it. But Daphne, Bloom's sister, sent Bloom to Earth and prevented the Dragon's Flame from falling into the hands of the Ancestresses who killed Daphne in revenge for foiling their plan. The Trix said that they had picked up where their ancestors had left off and that while their ancestors were old and worn out, they were younger and stronger and could, therefore, carry on the Ancestresses' mission.
In "The Company of the Light," it is revealed that they were the ones who created Valtor after they found a piece of the Dragon's Flame which had mixed with the darkness of the void, and raised him as their own son. Later, when he was old enough, they sent him to conquer all the realms in the Magic Dimension in their name.
Faragonda tells Bloom that her father, Oritel, and her mother, Marion, had formed the Company of Light in order to fight the Ancestresses, and that both her parents had disappeared on the day of the final battle between the Company of Light and the witches.
In "The Witches' Revelation," The Ancestresses are seen when the Winx and Faragonda summon them to find out more about their location. Faragonda then reveals to Bloom that she could contact the witches in the place where their essence still lies, the crypt of Cloud Tower. Bloom wants to know if Valtor told the truth when he said that he absorbed her parents into his body. The Ancestral Witches denied this fact, and told Bloom that her parents are in a dimension far, far away that cannot be reached by magic. Unsatisfied, Bloom asks for more information, eager to save her birth parents, but the witches vanish.
In "A New Beginning," the witches appear to Valtor. They are angered that he has wasted the magic knowledge they gave him for his own revenge instead of carrying out his orders to destroy the universe. They told him that the Dragon's Flame was claiming him, and that he had to return to it, much to his protest as he claimed that they were the ones who created him from the flame and that he would remain Valtor forever.
They then turned him into his original demon-like form in such a way that he would never be able to return to his man-like appearance and ordered him to cross the inter-dimensional Portal of Andros to destroy the Magic Dimension. However, they are not successful as Bloom finds and defeats Valtor just before he goes on to obey his mothers' orders.
Before being defeated for good, he tries to convince Bloom to join forces with him against the Ancestresses as a means of regaining her parents and that Oritel and Marion disappeared because of them, to which Bloom does not heed, knowing that he is lying once again.
In "Return to Alfea," when Bloom asked Daphne to tell her where the Sirenix Book is, Daphne told Bloom that using Sirenix would be dangerous for her and that she must not seek to acquire it. Daphne revealed that when the Ancestral Witches attacked Domino, she had acquired Sirenix and was ready to fight them, but the Ancestral Witches had previously placed an evil spell on Sirenix which, when used by Daphne, caused it to turn against her and turned her into a spirit without a body.
In "Faraway Reflections," Bloom sees the Ancestral Witches are seen during a flashback. Bloom sees that Daphne was defending the Infinite Ocean with her friend, Politea. Daphne was able to fend them off. However, the witches struck again, casting a spell on both Daphne and Politea, effectively cursing the Sirenix power.
Revenge of the Trix
Bloom encounters a faux book that featured the ancient witches telling Bloom she is a witch. When Bloom returns home to Gardenia, the Trix had followed her and aimed to steal Bloom's power. Before they steal her power, Icy informs Bloom about the Ancient Witches who destroyed Domino.
The Secret of the Lost Kingdom
They are shown as being prisoners of the realm of Obsidian, where they continually have to bear the presence of Oritel's sword. After Bloom talks with Daphne in her dream after seeing the images of the Ancestal Witches capturing her parents, she regains hope, causing the piece of the Dragon's Flame in the sword to ignite.
The heat of the flame becomes so unbearable to them that they send their servant, Mandragora, to find out where the bearer of Dragon's Flame is so that she may snuff out the last of the Dragon's Flame. They transferred their power to her. Mandragora then finds out, and informs the witches that Bloom is alive.
When the Winx enter the realm of Obsidian, Bloom sees the scene of the Company of Light almost defeating the Ancestresses by sucking them into the Obsidian portal, but they grabbed Oritel prompting Marion to enter his sword to be with him forever.
The witches tell Bloom how they enjoyed torturing the inhabitants of Domino who were also imprisoned in Obsidian, and try to convince Bloom to destroy Oritel's sword. They almost succeeded after they showed Bloom a vision of Mandragora in Gardenia, ready to kill her adoptive parents, Mike and Vanessa until Mike was shown playing with a small cat, revealing to Bloom that the image is fake as Mike is allergic to cats.
Regaining hope, Bloom attacked them, but her powers began to weaken the Obsidian started to drain her energy. Just when Bloom began to feel hopeless again, Daphne came to Bloom's aid, combing her spirit with Bloom's physical body. The witches are shocked to see Daphne as they thought they had killed her. As the witches weaken, they call out to their servant, Mandragora, who was subduing the Specialists. The witches and Mandragora combine and fight Bloom and Daphne.
Then, Sky arrives and pulls Oritel's sword from its stone sheath, for even though only a king could raise the sword, he had just become King of Eraklyon. As Bloom is in Mandragora and the witches' grasp, Sky thrusts the sword through the dark entity as Bloom casts an attack on them, liberating planet Domino, completing Bloom's Enchantix, and unknowingly freeing the Ancestral Witches from their prison.
They send the Trix to steal a magical compass which indicates where what they wish for the most lies and, by using it, they find the Tree of Life at Pixie Village. Using a powerful spell, the Trix cause the tree's negative side to take over the entire tree, causing all the positive energy in the universe to disappear, and leaving only negative energy.
Later, when the Ancestresses discover that there still remained a leaf representing positive energy in the Tree of Life, preventing them from obtaining the ultimate power they were seeking, they send the Trix to Eraklyon to take something from Erendor, Sky's father and King of Eraklyon.
It is later revealed by Sky that when his father was young, he had allied with the Company of Light to fight against the three Ancient Witches, but they threatened to destroy his kingdom if he helped Oritel. Erendor made a deal with the witches in which he vowed not to help Domino, in exchange of which the witches gave him the Ancient Hourglass, containing positive magic from the Tree of Life, which would protect his kingdom from evil.
Later, when he regretted his actions, he went to Havram, a city on Eraklyon which has been haunted by wandering shadows and where nothing, including technology, works properly after the Ancestral Witches destroyed it in order to threaten him. He ended by breaking the hourglass, which caused a sapling of the Tree of Life containing energy from the positive part of Tree of Life to grow.
Under the orders of the Ancestresses, the Trix attack Erendor in trying to find out where the hourglass is. Despite Oritel's efforts to help his friend when he goes to Eraklyon, the witches capture Erendor and fly away.
Meanwhile, the three ancient witches try to harm the Winx by causing the clouds to attack the flying boat they are using to go to Havram. The Winx manage to arrive at the haunted city, but find the Trix, with Icy keeping Erendor hostage, and the Ancestresses there, and have to battle them without any magic, but they receive aid from Oritel.
Bloom and Sky, who were separated from the rest of the group, manage to find the magical sapling which can restore the balance of the Magic Dimension, but they are attacked by Icy, under Belladonna's orders, who ends up by hitting the sapling when she was trying to attack Bloom, causing positive magic to be restored in the universe. With the Winx's magic restored and the balance of power shifted, the Ancestral Witches are angered and decide to possess the bodies of the Trix in order to combat the Winx. Using a Believix convergence, the Winx summon the essence of the Dragon's Flame, which extracts the Ancestresses from the Trix and destroys them forever.
The Ancestral Witches are first mentioned by the Trix in Dragon's Flame as, according to Bloom, they told her of her origins and their duty as the Ancestral Witches' direct ancestors, as they believed the Dragon's Flame to be their birthright.
They later appear in a flashback as Daphne tells Bloom the full story of her origins after she and the Winx make it inside the deserted royal palace. After being told all of this as well as how her birth parents are still alive somewhere, Bloom finds the resolve she needs to face the Trix in battle.
Since they were the first users of the dark arts and being born in the Obsidian dimension, they are the most powerful witches in the entire Magic Dimension. They are able to curse powerful energies like Sirenix, petrify beings, create strong spells, and possess people (due to their spiritual body). The Ancestral Witches may know some basic, first-level spells that all witches can use, such as telekinesis, transmuting objects, and fixing minor messes. Like all witches, they can fly.
Uses of Magic
- Darkness Empowerment - They can strengthen dark energy and extinguish positive energy. They gave this to the Trix to extinguish the positive magic from the Tree of Life.
“In the name of the mother of all witches, we command you, shadow, rise up, run, darkness, rise up and extinguish the light of all goodness. Concentrate, soak up the tree of light's vital energy. We command you, dark energy, rise up. May the positive energy wither in the great shadow's presence.”
“In the name of the great ancestral witches, we command you, shadow, rise up, run darkness, extinguish the light of goodness. Concentrate, focus the dark magic, shut out the good. Great shadow overcomes the light. We command you, dark energy, rise up, rise up!”
- The Ancestral Witches were probably inspired by evil witches from folklore and fairy tales:
- The Wicked Fairy Godmother, also known by the name of Carabossa a figure in fairy tales. She is the witch who puts a curse on the princess and makes her fall into her hundred-year sleep in the Sleeping Beauty tale. She is depicted as an old, ugly and bad humpbacked woman.
- The Ancestral Witches all look like typical folklore and fairy tale witches who are old humpbacked women with crooked noses and hands with sharp, pointy nails.
- Another source of inspiration for Ancestral Witches might have been the the Nazgûl as they appeared in the Lord of the Rings books and films: once powerful and made of flesh and bones like everyone else, but later becoming wraiths (the bodies of the Ancestresses apparently perished during their imprisonment in Obsidian, and were bound to continue existing in a ghost-like appearance).
- Another inspiration for them may be Koume and Kotake form the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time their similar in a few ways:
- The Ancestral Witches, Kotake, and Koume both have a stereotypical hag witch like appearance.
- Kotake and Belladonna have ice powers.
- The Ancestral Witches taught Valtor dark magic and they refer to him as their son, much like how Kotake and Koume taught Ganondorf magic and that he is a surrogate son to them.
- In the flashbacks of Magical Adventure when Sky tells Bloom about the deal his father made with the witches, the Ancestral Witches appear like spirits even then. It is unknown why they appear like that as they still had their bodies at this time, and the Witches themselves told Bloom in Winx Club: The Secret of the Lost Kingdom that their bodies had perished during their captivity in Obsidian after the destruction of Domino.
- The Ancestral Witches are linked to each villain from Season 1 to the first movie and are directly or indirectly the source of the problem in each of them, except in Season 2, where their master is the main villain - Lord Darkar.
- Ironically, had the witches not destroyed Domino, Earth and the Earth Fairies would not have been saved from the Wizards of the Black Circle, as Bloom would not have been sent to Earth, and the Wizards would not have attacked her in the fourth season, causing Faragonda to send the Winx to Earth to save the Earth Fairies.
- It is also interesting to note that the witches destroyed Domino more or less at the same time that the Wizards were capturing the Earth Fairies, including Morgana, with the exception of Roxy (the last Earth Fairy), and that both Marion's and Morgana's respective kingdoms were both destroyed and both queens were imprisoned into another realm at about the same time.