Salem's most powerful witch, whose secrets and desires threaten her position of power in the town. She once carried John Alden's baby and still has strong feelings for him.
Anti-Villain: Due to her Conflicting Loyalty between furthering the witches' cause, and trying to protect her loved ones.
Break the Cutie: She was a very different person before the witches got their hooks into her.
The Chessmaster: Becomes the first witch to complete the Grand Rite, due to her idea of exploiting the Puritans' fanaticism and letting them kill the 13 innocent souls needed under the guise of a witch hunt.
The Chosen One: A villainous version; the witches consider her the most likely to finally succeed at the Grand Rite.
Deal with the Devil: The source of her power, as with all witches.
Familiar: Mary's familiar is a toad she keeps in George Sibley's throat.
Heroic Sacrifice: In the season 2 finale, after most of her blood is drained by Sebastian, she gives the rest to bring John Alden back from the dead. The episode ends with John waking up beside her body.
Hot Witch: Very much so, not least in John Alden's view.
Marital Rape License: From George Sibley.
Meaningful Name: Lampshaded by the Countess in season 2. Just as the Biblical Mary became the mother of the Messiah, Mary Sibley's son is revealed to be the one whom Satan will inhabit after the Grand Rite is completed.
Missing Mom: Her child with John Alden, supposedly sacrificed during her initiation as a witch, is revealed to have survived and been raised by the coven in the season finale. The episode ends with her meeting her son for the first time.
In the season 2 finale, despite Lucifer taking hold of little John, he still wants Mary to love him.
The Mirror Shows Your True Self: Mary's reflection is that of an old hag, one she claims represents the state of her soul.
Ms. Fanservice: She gets naked quite regularly.
Pet the Dog: Her love for John Alden (as much as she tries to repress or deny it) and her genuine affection for Isaac, whom she tries to send to safety when the Grand Rite is about to be completed. Unfortunately he tries to be "helpful" to her and so accidentally gets a face full of Red Death.
Slut-Shaming: A victim of it, after the Marburgs turn on her for letting John Alden escape with their son.
Unresolved Sexual Tension: With John Alden, for whom she still has feelings.
Witch Hunt: She's actually the true architect of the initial witch hunt, manipulating the townsfolk to detract suspicion from herself while eliminating her enemies.
Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: She's an immensely powerful witch and doesn't hesitate in taking her revenge on the Puritans she despises. Behind all her vengeful fantasies, however, she wishes to go back to the time that she and John Alden were in love, and is still deeply heartbroken over everything that came between them.
Woman in Black: Mary can usually be seen wearing black.
Xanatos Gambit: Kills Increase Mather, not by directly using her powers to land the killing blow, but by manipulating Isaac and Cotton so that the latter would kill his own father.
A war hero and Mary's former love interest, who has returned home in the middle of Salem's witch panic.
Anti-Hero: He's only heroic in contrast to the fanatical Puritans and the devious witches plotting amongst them. Otherwise, he's a self-professed murderer.
Becoming the Mask: He was captured by the Mohawk after getting wounded in battle. The tribe raised him as their own, and he later fought for their side, killing many of his former comrades. In the season finale, the tribe later intervenes just as he's about to be hanged, but not before he gets shot.
Big Damn Heroes: Saves Cotton from being murdered.
Deal with the Devil: In the season 2 premiere, his soul is bound to the Great Spirit, empowering him to be able to hunt the witches down. The downside is that not only will his quest for vengeance consume him eventually, he is also fated to never be able to leave Salem alive.
Disappeared Dad: He never finds out that Mary was pregnant with his child when he was sent off to war. The season finale reveals their child has been raised by the witches.
Expository Hairstyle Change: His return in the second season has him without his long hair, having been cut off by the Mohawk during the ritual to bind his soul to the Great Spirit.
Killed Off for Real: Subverted twice. The season 1 finale ends with him getting shot, and his body being carried off by the Mohawk. The season 2 finale begins with him dying from being stabbed in the gut, and ends with him revived after Mary gives what little blood she had left to bring him back.
Morality Chain: For Mary. He's the only reason she cannot fully commit herself to the witches.
Mr. Fanservice: Has more than a few Shirtless Scenes.
Leader of the witch hunts, a man who preaches from the Bible by day and sleeps with women from a brothel by night.
And I Must Scream: In the season 2 finale, he suffers the same fate as George Sibley, courtesy of his own wife Anne.
Anti-Villain: Cotton might be a fanatic who kills innocent people, but he's also a deeply conflicted man.
Drowning My Sorrows: To the point where he has a reputation for being a drunkard.
Heroes Want Redheads: First Gloriana, now Anne Hale. Though with Anne, being bewitched by the latter may have something to do with it.
Historical-Domain Character: He's based on the real-life Puritan minister.
Hypocrite: He preaches God's word during the day and sleeps with prostitutes during the night.
This is somewhat mitigated in that he actually is in love with Gloriana, the prostitute he regularly sleeps with.
Self-Made Orphan: Gets manipulated by Mary into killing his own father.
Shaming the Mob: Cotton Mather successfully gets a mob to refrain from killing a family suspected of witchcraft. He's a zealous witch hunter, but he ''does' believe suspects have the right to a fair trial and face their accusers.
"Well Done, Son!" Guy: He and his father Increase have this kind of relationship.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: He's brutal and overzealous in his effort to hunt down witches, but they do exist, while everything he says about them appears to be true. However, he's also being tricked by them into condemning innocents. For what it's worth, his partnership with John Alden is starting to point him in the right direction.
Mary's seemingly ageless loyal accomplice, but also has mysterious powers and secrets of her own.
The Corrupter: To Mary, at least.
Dragon with an Agenda: Ostensibly Mary's slave, but she seems to have more clout among the witches that her "mistress". It also helps that she's the one who introduced Mary to the witches in the first place.
Eye Scream: In the course of hunting down the witch killer in season 2, she eats the eyes of one of his victims. Which makes it somewhat karmic when she is killed by crows in the season 2 finale, some of which peck at her own eyes.
Familiar: A spider which she feeds by letting it bite her neck.
Killed Off for Real: As she flees Salem at the end of season 2, she is killed by a murder of crows.
Secret Keeper: Kept the survival of Mary's child a secret from her, in order to have leverage should she attempt to leave the witches.
Token Minority: Tituba is the only person of color within the show and also an alluded lesbian.
A girl who is believed to be tormented by a witch because she has strange and violent afflictions caused by Mary Sibley.
Axe Crazy: A few days living in the woods sleeping amongst corpses will do that to you. Her friends getting killed really pushes her over the edge, however.
Burn the Witch!: Survives being burnt alive somehow.
Face–Heel Turn: Goes from being a victim of witchcraft to being a witch herself.
Familiar: While she was being used by Mary, a snake inhabited her stomach. Somehow, her father was able to exorcise it from her.
From Nobody to Nightmare: Starts out the seasons as a poor girl afflicted by witches, ends the series as a witch ready to command an army of teenagers to take down Mary Sibley and become the true Queen of the Night.
The Starscream: In the season finale, she plots to take Mary down and become "queen of the night". Although to her mind, Mary betrayed her.
Unwitting Pawn: At first, Mary uses her as a puppet to accuse innocent people of witchcraft and have them executed. After her familiar is exorcised, the "unwitting" part no longer applies as Mary takes her under her wing.
A resident of Salem punished by George Sibley for fornication, branding his forehead. Friends with both Mary Sibley and John Alden.
Hero with Bad Publicity: In the season 2 finale, he saves a little girl from Mercy, but she turns the townsfolk against him.
Morality Pet: Of Mary Sibley. She genuinely has affection for him, and regrets having to mentally manipulate him in order to allow a plot to proceed. Mary even gives him several fortunes worth of gold and sends him on his way when the Grand Rite is about to be complete. Unfortunately he doesn't follow her instructions on what to do with the Malum, and gets a face full of Red Death for his trouble.
Never Live It Down: Enforced; his forehead was branded with an 'F' for "fornicator". However, in season 2, Magistrate Hawthorne gives him a new title, as "truth-teller," after he gives Salem's citizens a scathing speech after he finds Dolie's body.
Only Known by Their Nickname: His branding consequently labeled him as "Isaac the Fornicator"
Too Dumb to Live: He never notices that his employer is a witch, and ignores Mary's instructions on what to do with the Malum, getting a face full of Red Death for his trouble.
Made of Iron/Unexplained Recovery: Somehow survives the pox over the course of season 2.
A boy raised by the Essex witches, who is actually the son of Mary with John Alden. He is later revealed to be the new vessel for Satan.
Creepy Child: Whenever he's possessed. Becomes permanent after being baptized.
Demonic Possession: After he is "baptized" by the Countess, he is completely taken over by Satan, but still longs for Mary's love. Foreshadowed several times beforehand, with his macabre drawings, birds tending to die by his window, and other bizarre behaviors.
Dead Guy Junior: After Mary tells him his father's name, he takes it as his own.
Oracular Urchin: Senses the death of several of the elder witches.
Walking Spoiler: His existence is a massive spoiler for the first season.
The Sentinel is a Fallen Angel - eventually revealed to be Beelzebub - and age-old companion of the Devil, who has escaped from Hell in order to guard and assist his friend on Earth.
Deadpan Snarker: When the Devil happily claims that their plans have begun, the Sentinel sourly notes that he remembers how their last endeavour, storming Heaven, went. "Forgive me if I hold my tongue this time for a successful end."
The Dragon: While the Devil naturally regards Sebastian and Anne as subordinates, the Sentinel is much more of a right hand man, as well as a guardian.
Hidden Depths: His efforts to persuade Mary to commit suicide instead help her to realise that he does actually feel compassion and empathy, since he thought to use her own guilt against her when the Devil never did.
Instant Expert: He speaks perfect English after listening to the Devil speak it for about half a minute.
Secret Test of Character: He puts Mary through one by telling the Devil that she passed his interrogation; when she is giving the Devil a bath she stabs him and tries to drown him - and then it turns out that the Devil was actually the Sentinel in disguise, testing her to see if she would make an attempt on his brother's life. Obviously, she failed.
Shape Shifter: One of his forms is to become a swarm of insects, and he disguises himself as the Devil to test Mary's loyalty.
Soft-Spoken Sadist: Even when annoyed, he never raises his voice too much - and of course, he takes rather too much pleasure in torturing Mary.
You Are Who You Eat: He initially comes out of the ground looking like an insect-riddled corpse, but after absorbing an unfortunate bystander he immediately forms the appearance of a normal, if threatening, human.
The Worm That Walks: His true form appears to be a hive mind of insects: "I and the swarm are the same."
A rich European countess who takes pity on Salem's destitution and walks among its most powerful citizens. Actually one of oldest witches in existence, who survived millennia and died several times over, seeking only to see the Grand Rite through and revive her Dark Lord.
And I Must Scream: If her current body is killed, she goes back to her original body, which has somehow survived across millennia. After Satan kills her, Sebastian shuts her coffin just as she returns to her old body.
Aristocrats Are Evil: She is introduced first as a very powerful witch, before she is recognized by the people of Salem as the Countess.
The Corrupter: Does everything to make sure Mary completes the Grand Rite.
Expy: Of Countess Elizabeth Bathory, who has legends told of her bathing on the blood of young women.
Greater Scope Villain: She's more invested in the Grand Rite's completion, and also despises the Essex witches which spawned Mary and Tituba.
Humiliation Conga: The entire season 2 finale is this to her.
Luke, I Am Your Father: She's Anne Hale's real mother.
Parental Incest : "I have loved you [Sebastian] in ways no woman ever has."
Really 700 Years Old: She's been alive since the time of Jesus.
Too Dumb to Live: Did she seriously think trying to Satan into thinking Mary had killed herself was a good idea?!
Cotton Mather's father and an even more fanatical witch-hunter than his son.
Genre Savvy: Has an uncanny intuition for finding out witches. He even knew Mary was a witch the whole time, and drew out John Alden's incarceration and sentencing, thinking that she would try to save him.
He Who Fights Monsters: Crossed this a long time ago.
Jerk Ass: He's devoted to fighting witches (who are, after all, servants of Satan) but that doesn't make him a nice guy
Killed Off for Real: By his son Cotton, having been manipulated by Mary.
Played By: Kevin Tighe
A close friend of John Alden.
"Facing the Bullets" One-Liner: As he's being crushed to death by pressing, his last words are "More stones."
Secret Keeper: The only other person who knew of Mary's pregnancy, which is one of the reasons she arranges his execution.
One of the founders of Salem—the last surviving one as of the start of the series, and accordingly the most politically powerful. Had John Alden sent off to war so that he could have Mary all to himself.
Asshole Victim: He was a brutal, self-satisfied Knight Templar and moral guardian who indulged in Marital Rape License, so it's hard to feel sorry for him.
And I Must Scream: Mary uses him as a 'home' for her familiar, rendering him mute, immobile and in constant pain.
Couldn't Find a Pen: Tries to get a message out regarding Mary's secret by stabbing himself in the thigh. Unfortunately for him, he gets caught.
Establishing Character Moment: When we first see George, he's burning an 'F' into Isaac's forehead as punishment for fornication.
Killed Off for Real: Midway through season 2, the Countess kills him while she's trying to convince Mary to work with her in completing the Grand Rite.
Knight Templar: George is a fervent true believer and Puritan.
Visual Pun: He has a toad in his throat quite literally.
A member of Salem's select men, who aspires to wield political power in Salem, and wants to take advantage of Anne Haleafter her parents' deaths.
Beard of Evil
It Is Pronounced Tro PAY: His name is pronounced as though there's a "w" after the "a".
Last Name Basis: Nobody in Salem calls him anything other than Hathorne.
Love Triangle: In one with Anne Hale and Cotton Mather.
Murder the Hypotenuse: Attempts to have Cotton killed.
The Rival: Of George Sibley.
Pet the Dog: After being called out as a hypocrite by Isaac, and punishing the latter for his audacity, he then publicly bestows on him the title of "truth-teller," and even says that Isaac shall no longer be considered as the fornicator.