Madame of Bird's Nest brothel
Reverend Lewis (Father)
|“|| As long as I must dwell in Hell, |
I might as well rule it.
— Mercy Lewis
Mercy Lewis was a girl with strange afflictions done by an unknown tormentor, who is later revealed to be none other than Mary Sibley. She later becomes a witch and swears to get revenge on Mary for all she has done.
She is portrayed by actress Elise Eberle.
Mercy is the daughter of the Reverend Lewis, forced to a strict education as it relates to the Puritan thought. At some point around 1692, she is chosen by Mary Sibley as host of her familiar and forced to feed the evil creature on behalf of the witches.
Mercy is an unassuming girl with a friendly, trusting disposition that also allows other characters to take advantage of her; she trusts Mary Sibley, which enables the latter to plant a familiar in the form of a black snake inside her body; she trusts her father and the priest each time they minister to her, even when her father takes a knife to slice her belly; and she accepts a private audience with Mary even after having discovered she is the one tormenting her.
Mercy also appears to be a naturally kind person who is visibly pained by the role she unwillingly plays in Mary's plan to turn Salem residents against each other, and at one point fights off Sibley's spell at a great physical strain to herself rather than accuse another innocent of witchcraft.
By the end of the first season, she has become a sadistic witch who cares nothing but revenge on Mary; her obsession for revenge, as well as the belief that the world owes something to her, are the trigger for her bitterness and malice.
Clearly once a well-rounded teenage girl with plump rosy cheeks and golden hair, Mercy Lewis could very well have been the picture-perfect "village belle" if not for the scars she now bears from her prolonged torment at the hands of witches.
Her hair was cut short as symptoms of her possession worsened, and her body has grown weaker both because of the toll possession and harboring a familiar has taken on her and also because of her confinement under the orders of her well-meaning but occasionally misguided family and priest. At the peak of her torture, her skin develops an unhealthy pallor.
Currently, as of now, Mercy is severely burned. She is unrecognizable due to being burned by Mary Sibley along with her coven in the episode Blood Kiss.
By The Beckoning Fair One, Mercy regains her beauty, even regrowing her hair in short curls, by draining and bathing in a girl's blood to wash her burns. However, in The Witching Hour, Mercy angers the Countess Marburg, who undoes some of the healing magic, leaving Mercy with red eyes and burns on her skin.
Throughout The Salem Series
Powers and Abilities
Mercy is a powerful witch of the Essex Hive, having quickly grown in power by herself, though she still remains inferior to the naturally more powerful witches of the Essex Hive, such as Mary Sibley or Anne Hale.
Upon her initiation into witchcraft, she was taught several basic rituals by Mary Sibley, such as the one to enter a state of astral projection, which she showed considerable skill in, going so far as to be able to temporarily possess her target, who despite resisting was killed by Mercy. She was also able to craft a short-lasting illusion using a potion while playing a game with other girls. After betraying both Mary and Tituba, she rebelled against the Essex Hive, though her power continued growing naturally as she was quickly able to teleport, fleeing from Mary in this manner. She was also able to change the shapes of her fingers into animalistic nails, which she achieved through sheer will without any assistance. Mercy eventually learned how to levitate, using this either in fights or when she broke in to help her followers.
Unlike the previously seen use of familiars to control humans by forcing them to ingest the familiar, Mercy learned how to use her familiar bird to control men, by castrating them and sowing in the head of a bird in place of castration, showing skill in witchcraft as she possibly thought of this practice herself. Before this, she also assumed control over Tituba's familiar using her followers in a calculative move, forcing the familiar spider to seal George Sibley's mouth shut, which led to Tituba's arrest, along with Mercy's accusation.
Mercy was also aware that consuming a dying man's flesh would bind their spirit to her will in death, which is something she possibly learned from Mary. One of the most significant techniques she was taught in is the practice of Blooming, bathing in the blood which is a sophisticated practice used by powerful witches such as the Marburg bloodline. It was, in fact, the Countess Marburg who taught Mercy the art of blooming in the first place, healing her scars and regrowing her hair in the process. She also showed herself capable of invisibility, though whether it was achieved through a spell, ritual or potion remains unknown. Like other witches seen, Mercy has demonstrated a greater durability than human beings, easily surviving a knife in the chest. She also while horribly burned survived the fire that killed all of her followers.
Mercy was possibly one of the more powerful witches of the Essex Hive, growing quickly in power on her own and currently residing in Salem.
- Main article: Mary and Mercy
|“||No! I didn’t wish for my friends to be killed! I promised them that they would be safe because you promised me, but you lied! You lied and now they are all dead! Everything that comes from your lips is a lie!||”|
— Mercy to Mary in All Fall Down
Not much unknown of their past history other than that it was Mercy's father that had wed Mary to George Sibley so it is presumed Mary knew or knew of Mercy before she placed her under her spell. Mercy was used to accuse those of witchcraft but after she was freed from the familiar within she was no longer under Mary's control so Mary turned the young girl into a Witch to prevent her from revealing what she was (The Red Rose and the Briar). Mercy soon developed a strong attachment to her as Mary took her under her wing, teaching her the craft. When Increase Mather arrived in Salem and became suspicious of Mary, Mercy accused Tituba of witchcraft to protect Mary but was later forced to go into hiding after Tituba revealed Mercy was now a witch herself. Together they tried to kill Increase but their plan failed (Cat And Mouse) and after the deaths of Mercy's friends who had been arrested and tortured by the senior Mather, Mercy vowed vengeance against Mary as she had promised she would protect them (Ashes Ashes).
- Main article: Mercy and Tituba
The relationship between Mercy and Tituba was non-existent up until Mary turned Mercy into a witch (The Red Rose and the Briar). At times their relationship was antagonistic due to Tituba's possessiveness of Mary and their relationship finally came to a breaking point when Mercy cast a spell to gain control of Tituba's familiar to silence George Sibley to protect Mary from Increase Mather. She later accused Tituba of witchcraft leading to her arrest and torture. Tituba enacted her revenge on the girl by telling Increase that Mercy was now a witch, forcing Mercy to go into hiding.
- Main article: Mercy and Dollie
|“||You were too good for me, always, until you saw my dark gift the power to send people to death with just the point of my finger. And you took Isaac. You betrayed me.||”|
— Mercy arguing with Dollie
A relationship born when the two were children and deepened during adolescence when both begin to take their first steps in witchcraft. The two, however, have a different view of their feelings because Mercy accuses Dollie of having always mistreated her, feeling superior to her in both beauty and social status, and eventually killed her friend, declaring her a betrayer.
- Main article: Countess and Mercy
|“|| Mercy: "You promised me. To be my mother, to make me one of you, that I might marry Sebastian and become a princess." |
Countess: "Your wishful mind promised you all those things."
— the two about their relationship
- Main article: Mercy and Sebastian
|“||The heart of a prince. I intend to marry Sebastian Marburg. The first time I saw him, I knew he was meant for me. And the Marburgs are royalty. I'll be a princess, even a real queen someday.||”|
— Mercy to Mary regarding her daydreams about Sebastian
The turbulent relationship between these two witches is based on sexual attraction to her and from disgust and jealousy by him. Sebastian is jealous of the relationship that Mercy has with his mother and when she tries to have sex with him, he taunts and insults her.
- Main article: Mercy and Hathorne
Mercy and Magistrate Hathorne began a deviant role-play that resulted in a long term relationship, crowned with a marriage celebrated by Cotton Mather himself at the Bird's Nest.
|The Stone Child||Appears|
|In Vain||Credit Only|
|The Red Rose and the Briar||Appears|
|Our Own Private America||Appears|
|Children Be Afraid||Absent|
|The House of Pain||Appears|
|Cat And Mouse||Absent|
|All Fall Down||Appears|
|Book of Shadows||Appears|
|The Wine Dark Sea||Appears|
|Ill Met by Moonlight||Appears|
|The Beckoning Fair One||Appears|
|Wages of Sin||Credit Only|
|Til Death Do Us Part||Appears|
|On Earth as in Hell||Appears|
|Midnight Never Come||Appears|
|The Witching Hour||Appears|
|After the Fall||Appears|
|The Heart Is A Devil||Appears|
|Night's Black Agents||Appears|
|The Commonwealth of Hell||Appears|
|The Man Who Was Thursday||Appears|
- Mercy Lewis: "Our deal no longer pleases me."
- Mary Sibley: "Then I ask again. What do you want?"
- Mercy Lewis: "I want to be just like you."
- — Lies
- Tituba: "What did you do?"
- Mercy Lewis: "What Mary told me to do."
- Tituba: "She told you to frighten the woman, not slaughter her."
- Mercy Lewis: "But she deserved it. We're tired. Tired of being beaten and used. We won't be used anymore. Any of us. We won't take it."
- — Our Own Private America
- Mercy Lewis: " Let the little children come unto me, for the kingdom of the Devil belongs to them. Come, sit here, poor boy. Poor, sweet boy. Worked to death by your family. Every day of your life, making you unfit for burial in the churchyard so they dumped you here. Alice, died in childbirth, pregnant from your mother's brother. There! There, the baby! Smothered to hide the evidence. Let mother and child be together. I am your mother now. All of you! And you all are my children."
- — Ashes, Ashes
- Mercy Lewis: "My father, the good Reverend Lewis, said that there is no Purgatory. No place for souls lost between Heaven and Hell, but he was wrong. Earth is Purgatory. We are the ghosts that haunt this land."
- — Ashes, Ashes
- Mercy Lewis: "You see children, only by killing the Rose will the Queen of the Night really become the Queen of the Night. Little did that mighty Queen know that all her plans would be turned upside down. Yes, that wasn't really the true Queen of the Night who beheaded the Rose. That was me. I beheaded the Rose. Though Mary Sibley knows it not yet, I am the Queen of the Night. And she will pay for what she's done."
- — All Fall Down
- Mercy Lewis: " Sometimes the best revenge is revenge."
- Mercy Lewis (to Mary Sibley): " You alone know the truth. That I, and not you, beheaded the Samhain witch. But I'm not greedy. I'm perfectly content to rule alongside you. As your equal."
- — Cry Havoc
- Mercy: "Nothing new under the sun. That which is done unto us must be done unto others. That is the way of the world. To everything, there is a season, a time to every purpose in hell. A time to reap, a time to sow. The season of the witch."
- — Book of Shadows
- She's based on the real Mercy Lewis who lived during the Salem Witch Trials.
- In the real-life trials, Mercy was one of the afflicted girls which included Ann Putnam Jr, Abigail Williams, Mary Warren, and Betty Parris. She was 18 years of age during the trials.
- Marcy Lewis's sexuality has been dealt with in a subtle way throughout the series.
- In the episode "Lies," she shares a kiss with Mary Sibley, remaining slightly puzzled, and fascinated by the gesture. It is unclear what role her sexuality might have played in her coming under the influence of Mary Sibley and being infected with a familiar in the first place. Another hint to her possibility to be attracted to women is in the episode "Children Be Afraid," when she flirts with Anne Hale, twisting a lock of her hair with lascivious voice. In "Midnight Never Come," however, she demonstrated sexual attraction towards Sebastian Von Marburg, and later on, she started a relationship with Magistrate Hathorne, often covering the role of a dominatrix in their BDSM type of sentimental and loving relationship. Since she has shown herself to be broad-minded when approaching sex, she may be bi-curious.
- Mercy Lewis (Elise Eberle) and John Alden (Shane West) never had interactions on the screen after the events of the pilot episode; they never had, however, a dialogue.
- Season three promotional photoshoot posted on Salem official Instagram account describes her as: "Mercy Lewis: the lost witch."
- The updated summary description of the character for the third season, released on WGNA Salem, read as follow:
"Mercy has found her calling running the brothel and starts an unlikely partnership with someone in Salem which turns into a love affair. "
- During Ask Salem interview, Elise Eberle said that what she likes in portraying Mercy Lewis is the ability to impersonate a person with a wide range of contrasting emotions happening simultaneously, which she has compared to a "bipolar, almost schizophrenic girl." The toughest part for her was the preparation in the make-up room, which in her case also lasted two hours each time. Elise likes to play a witch and believes that the witch figure is a great symbol of female empowerment.