Throughout history, powerful women have been called witches, and both magic and witchcraft have been used to express feminine power in fiction. These witches, enchantresses, and sorceresses all connect with the elements. Whether humans, fairies, or even goddesses, they channel the arcane forces of the darkness or the light.
Some are good, some are evil, and some just want to make it through high school. This list covers some of the most powerful women in fiction. But who would win in a sorceress smackdown?
This collection of magical matriarchs and spectacular spellcasters runs the gamut from ancient myths to the latest offerings on Netflix. But only one can reign as the most powerful in a magical mega-duel. You decide.
Reputation: Scarlet Witch has been a member of the Avengers and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and is renowned for her magical abilities.
Signature Accessory: Her red crown, which has yet to make it into the MCU but may appear in WandaVision.
Strengths: She is capable of controlling chaos magic. Her “hex magic” can bend reality around her, and her full powers seem potentially limitless. She’s changed the entire fabric of reality and is immune to the Phoenix Force.
Weaknesses: Certain traumatic events have caused her to make unconscious choices with her power. She eliminates most of the mutants on Earth with only three words: “No more mutants.”
Greatest Magical Feat: She creates an entire reality, the House of M, where she is part of a royal family and mutants rule the Earth.
Reputation: Minerva McGonagall is known as a stern disciplinarian. She is renowned as a powerful witch in both the Hogwarts community and the world at large. She reaches greater notoriety when she becomes the headmistress of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Signature Accessory: Her wand, which is 9 1/2 inches long, made of fir wood, and has a dragon heartstring core.
Strengths: She is an Animagus and can transfigure herself into a cat. As a member of the Order of the Phoenix, she’s also gifted in battle.
Weaknesses: She is of an advanced age and this can affect her overall health.
Greatest Magical Feat: She battles both Severus Snape and the Carrows prior to the Battle of Hogwarts.
Reputation: She’s one of the only Titans to survive their war with the Greek gods, and is frequently referenced in works of fiction as the goddess of magic, witchcraft, the night, the moon, ghosts, and necromancy.
Signature Accessories: She’s often depicted as holding two torches. She’s also known to have multiple dog familiars, and the sounds of dogs often signal her arriving from the underworld. She’s sometimes represented as three women: the maiden, the mother, and the crone.
Strengths: She was born a Titan and has the power of land, sea, and sky. But she also has some ties to the underworld. Her power comes from the thin area between worlds. She can send out creatures from the underworld to teach people magic.
Weaknesses: Like the other Greek gods, she’s likely vulnerable to Zeus’s thunderbolt.
Greatest Magical Feat: She’s the only person to hear Persephone when she is taken by Hades. She leads Demeter into the underworld to help retrieve her daughter.
Reputation: She is widely known in Hogwarts as the best student in her year. She’s also known throughout the magical world as a friend of Harry Potter. But she is described in the press as a “plain but ambitious girl.”
Signature Accessories: Her wand, which is 10 3/4 inches long, made of vine wood, and possesses a dragon heartstring core. She also was briefly in possession of a time turner that allowed her to travel through time.
Strengths: She has a cool intellect and a prodigious memory. Her calm in the face of life-threatening situations combined with her encyclopedic knowledge of spells is formidable.
Weaknesses: Her muggle heritage has made her unaware of some aspects of magic.
Greatest Magical Feat: Surviving the entire Voldermort regime. She travels with Harry Potter, public enemy No. 1, and is muggle born. However, due to her preparedness and advanced awareness of spells, she is able to evade capture. According to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, she becomes Minister of Magic.