The only thing I ever wanted to be is the one thing no woman is allowed to be. A warrior.
— Billy to John Alden[src]

Billy is one of the young recruits trained by John Alden in the militia that hides a secret. Billy is a guest character portrayed by actress Emily Skeggs in the third season of Salem.

Early Life[edit | edit source]

When Billy was a child, the Indians scalped her father, rounded up the women, tied them together like livestock, and dragged them into the woods. The Abenaki raped Billy's sister and slit her throat. While Billy's mother waited for the legendary John Alden to rescue them, no one saved them. No much more is known about Billy's past, apart from the fact that at some point she started to dress like a man.

Physical Appearance[edit | edit source]

Billy has a slender build, bobbed brown hair, hazel eyes and an oval face. Billy's clothes are ruined and dirty, a sign that Billy belongs to a lower social class.

Personality[edit | edit source]

Billy is stubborn and willing to be noticed by John Alden, deemed at hero like Robin Hood or Oliver Cromwell.

Throughout the Salem series[edit | edit source]

Billy offered to drink to John Alden, toasting his past victories but the veteran soldier doesn't seem so convinced of being a hero and replied badly. Hathorne is not very pleased on how John Alden behaves with the recruits and suggested he begin to train them as soon as possible. In the following days, in the vicinity of Salem Jail, John was teaching recruits some unorthodox methods to use in battle and Billy was the only one who can fight back John Alden's attack, kicking his genitals. After Cotton's sermon seems to have convinced the majority of the citizens so that they are all in the mood for celebrations and toasts, Billy approached John at the tavern's counter, asking him why is not happy and John replied to have no more confidence in his old friend because maybe you can't ever really know a man or what he or you do when put to the test. Billy remained silent. Later that night, Billy went to his room and began to undress in front of a mirror, revealing a female body under the clothes. [1]

After the terrible devastation that struck Deerfield, the selectmen are in turmoil. John Alden decides to intervene and when the Magistrate Hathorne prevents him to carry the militia with him to help possible survivors, John decides to be accompanied only by Billy, and the boy responds to not be afraid of the danger. In the forest the two have a discussion when Billy starts talking of John Alden's past victories, crooning ballads written in honor of the veteran that Billy considers a hero the same way as Cromwell and Robin Hood. When they arrive near the town, they discover that it was entirely burned to the ground. Billy is greatly shocked and would like to bury the charred corpses, but John says there is no time and order to hide because someone is coming. While John keeps an eye on the French and the Indians plotting with a mysterious hooded man (Sebastian), Billy hides in one of the French wagons.[2]

Kidnapped by the French, Billy was about to be tortured with a hot knife by French officers, but John Alden arrived in time to stop him. While Alden questioned the officer, a handful of Indian Revenants arrived brandishing axes and began to fight with Billy and John Alden. [3] While Alden knocked down a couple of dead walking Indians, Billy was pierced in the belly, with the spear of one of the revenant. With the intention to clean the wound, John Alden discovered her breasts bandaged after opening Billy's shirt and Billy, in tears, gave him a kiss on the lips, apologizing. In pain and close to a tree in the woods, Billy told his story and how he always wanted to be what a woman could never be: a warrior. At least, Billy managed to meet John Alden. [4]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Memorable Quotes[edit | edit source]

John Alden: "You fight well alone. That'll keep you alive."
Billy: "Already has. Been alone all my life."
-- The Heart Is A Devil
Billy: "We both know I'm not gonna make it. It's like a ballad. The sad ballad of Billy who weren't really a man. I kind of want at least one person to know who I was and why. The Indians scalped my father in front of me. Rounded up the women, tied us together like livestock, dragged us into the woods. The Abenaki raped my sister and slit her throat. All the while, my mother kept saying, "Your uncles will come for us. They'll hire the great John Alden to ransom us." She was waiting for a man to save us. And I was waiting for you. But you never came. No man did. The only thing I ever wanted to be is the one thing no woman is allowed to be A warrior. To take revenge for my family. Just sorry I failed."
John Alden: "You didn't fail."
Billy: "You're right. I didn't. I got to meet my hero. And maybe reminded him that he is one."
-- The Commonwealth of Hell

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Name[edit | edit source]

  • Billy: Short form of William, from the Germanic name Willahelm, which was composed of the elements wil "will, desire" and helm "helmet, protection", an appropriate name for an aspiring soldier. The spelling "Bill" was first used in the 19th century. The change in the initial consonant may have been influenced by an earlier Irish pronunciation of the name. [5]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Adam Simon said that Billy is transgender. Since Salem is set in 1692, gender confirmation surgery didn't exist yet and this would explain why Billy wrap the breasts with bandages and wear masculine clothes. Adam Simon explained that it was not uncommon for girls to dress up as men and transform their identity, or actually felt that they were men, in order to be soldiers. [6]
    • Despite this, Billy's gender identity is still an on-screen incognita.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Adam Simon (writer) & Tim Andrews (director). November 9, 2016. "The Heart Is A Devil". Salem. Season 3. Episode 2. WGN.
  2. Kelly Souders & Brian Peterson (writer) & Wayne Yip (director). November 16, 2016. "The Reckoning". Salem. Season 3. Episode 3. WGN.
  3. Brannon Braga & Adam Simon (writer) & Joe Dante (director). November 30, 2016. "Night's Black Agents". Salem. Season 3. Episode 4. WGN.
  4. Adam Simon (writer) & Nick Copus (director). December 7, 2016. "The Commonwealth of Hell". Salem. Season 3. Episode 5. WGN.
  5. Meaning of the name Bill, short for William.
  6. Adam Simon on Billy

See Also[edit | edit source]

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