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The Salem Wiki

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My father's boots were the very first in Salem and I'm warning every goddamn one of you murdering hypocritical Puritan bastard's that these boots will be the last.
— John Alden[src]

Captain Johnathan "John" Alden[1] is the son of John Alden Senior and Sarah Alden, the former lover of Mary Sibley and father of her son, and a hardened war hero in the French and Indian War.[2] Since his return, he was caught in the crossfire between Puritans and witches whilst trying to win her beloved Mary back. After being exposed to the supernatural, he teamed up with former childhood acquaintances Cotton Mather and Isaac Walton in a battle against the Devil himself.

He is a major character in Salem portrayed by Shane West.

Character Description

"After fighting in the Nine-Year-War, he returned home to his native Salem, Massachusetts, to be reunited with Mary, only to find his hometown amidst a witch panic and that she was now married to George Sibley, the very man who had sent him off to die. In the midst of trying to win Mary back and unravel the mysteries behind the witch panic, John quickly uncovers horrific mystical truths and is forced to confront evil supernatural forces to protect his loved ones."[3]

"Former war hero, John Alden is forced to bury his love, Mary Sibley. After being captured and dragged back to Salem, Alden agrees to train the militia, preparing them for the coming war."[4]

Early Life

The younger John Alden.

Born and raised in Salem, Massachusetts he is one of the firstborns in the new world and the son of the late John Alden Senior, head of one of the founding families and a member of the selectmen board. John had a loving relationship with his father though he often disappointed him particularly for not learning scripture or attending university choosing instead to join the war, but his father soon came to accept his son's choices. [5] Before the events of 1685, John embarked on a relationship with the young Mary Walcott the pair quickly fell in love but he was later sent to join the militia to fight the French and the Indians. The night before he left Salem after witnessing the branding of Isaac Walton he made a vow to Mary that he would return for her within a year, splitting a silver coin in half and giving one-half to her. A token of his promise to her.[6]

During John's time in the militia, he was severally injured in battle and left for dead but was found by the Mohawk tribe who brought him back from the brink of death. Their medicine man took a particular interest in John and he lived with them while he healed from his injuries, learning their ways and language while they treated him with exceptional kindness and compassion. One day while out hunting with their warriors the Mohawk village was raided by white men, the men, women, and children murdered. Enraged by what had been done he hunted down all those responsible killing them all except for William Hooke who he spared.[7]


John enacts revenge.

John is pragmatic, stubborn, and hot-tempered. He is considered to be a loose cannon among the Puritans, but is adored particularly by the commoners of Salem. During the war, he demonstrated a dark side - he killed 20 of his own militiamen to avenge the deaths of the Mohawk people who had taken in after he was injured.[7] When his fellow soldier, William Hooke, first arrived in Salem, John murdered him as he had threatened to reveal his secrets [8]

John often rebels at the Puritan way of life and is thought to be a heretic but he is also brave and gallant which he shows when he saves Anne Hale on numerous occasions. He is not afraid to stand up for what he believes in or stand up for what is right.

Physical Appearance

John is a rugged, handsome man in his late twenties, with shoulder-length brown hair, green eyes, a short beard, and a broad-shouldered, muscular physique that is quite scarred due to his time in the war. He usually wore shades of browns with white or blue tunics, along with a brown leather duster. He was also shown to often carry his rifle wherever he went.

Following the shamanic ritual to enhance his strength, John's upper torso was inked with tribal tattoos and his hair cut short.

Throughout The Salem Series


John returns home.

In The Vow John returns to his home seven years after he left to fight the French and Indians and is reunited with his old friend Giles Corey who is overjoyed with his return as he believed he had died in the war. The pair celebrate his return by sharing a drink together and is informed that his home town is under a witch-panic, led by Cotton Mather the son of the infamous witch hunter Increase Mather and that the love of his life Mary Walcott is now married to his former enemy George Sibley, the very man that had sent him off to die in the war. Later, he is drowning his sorrows in the tavern where he meets Cotton who asks for the help of three strong men to subdue a girl. He takes him to the home of Reverend Lewis, where John helps him tie Mercy Lewis to the bed. Afterward, Cotton tells him that she is under a witches influence but John tells him that is bulls**t.

John speaks with Isaac.

The following morning, John is reunited with Mary at church after he publicly mocks the idea that witches even exist, she then proceeds to invite him to a dinner party she is hosting with her husband that evening which he ungraciously accepts. Later that night he notices a man staring at him strangely in the tavern and confronts him and is shocked to realize it is Isaac Walton the very man he had witnessed being branded before he left to enlist into the militia. Isaac tries to convince him that witches are real by making a scene but John is still doubtful that such creatures exist. While returning home he has a brief encounter with Cotton outside of brothel where he had been visiting his lover local prostitute Gloriana Embry but the reverend tries to convince John that he had been visiting the poor but John does not seem convinced. Cotton speaks of his shock that he did not join him at Harvard instead choosing to join the militia while John questions his supposed knowledge of witches.

Mary & John speak alone.

At the dinner party, John is accompanied by both Cotton and Magistrate Hale and his family. Where the magistrate's daughter Anne Hale shows to be taken with the captain, which does not go unnoticed by those present. As the dinner proceeds, John hallucinates of both of Anne and Mary caressing him under the table provocatively, an illusion cast by Mary and excuses himself from the dinner table going outside for some air but is soon joined by Mary. Mary informs him that she had been led to believe that he had died, while John questions whether she married the ailing head selectmen before or after this. John tries to convince Mary to run away with him to New York and shows her the other half of the silver coin he had given her seven years ago revealing he had held onto it all those long years. The pair kisses passionately but Mary pulls away and tells him it is impossible for them to be together but the pair are soon interrupted by Magistrate Hale who has come looking for the captain.

John spies on the witches.

The next day John is leaving Salem and stumbles upon the young Anne who is sketching in the graveyard. She flirtatiously asks if she can draw the captain one day but he informs her he is leaving and is traveling to New York. She sarcastically asks if he afraid of witches or afraid of being taken for one before she watches him walk away neither knowing they are secretly being watched by Mary Sibley. While traveling along the dirt road John is surprised with the arrival of Isaac who holds a gun to him informing him he cannot leave Salem until he shows him something first. By nightfall, Isaac takes John deep into the woods where John is horrified to watch the witches who are wearing the carcasses of a stag, a pig, and a wolf to conceal their faces light a pit of burning black tar with a torch summoning demons to their Sabbat while they sacrifice a single white dove. As black human figures begin to writher in the pit the pair is seen when Isaac makes a sound revealing to the witches that they are being watched and an unknown witch approaches them forcing John to shoot his gun at him so the pair can flee.

John threatens the selectmen.

John returns to Salem with Isaac who is terrified that the witches will discover it was them who witnessed their Sabbat while John tells him to keep quiet and pull himself together but overhears a commotion in the town square and goes to investigate. John is horrified to find his friend Giles being stoned in front of the entire townsfolk and rushes to his friend but is held back and watches helplessly as he calls out his name before he is crushed to death. John angrily attacks Cotton in front of the crowd before threatening the selectmen while Mary watches him from her balcony.

In The Stone Child following the death of Giles Corey, John angrily confront's Cotton who is with Gloriana, he demands she leave the room before he attacks him, holding a knife to his throat but Cotton is adamant that they are unsure of Giles guilt as he did not plead and John continues to hesitate in killing him after her refers to hell as a pit of black tar. He tells Cotton to meet him outside as he has something to show him. Cotton follows him but watches on helplessly as John is arrested by Magistrate Hale for threatening the selectmen.

later that evening John is visited in his cell by Mary Sibley who tells him he is free to go but urges him to leave Salem. John questions her lack of compassion for Giles and again asks her to leave Salem with him but Mary insists that she does not want him and he tells her he almost believes her but nevertheless gives his half of the silver coin to a beggar girl outside as Mary watches on.

The next day John and Isaac are visiting Cotton looking through his books to find what they had seen when they spied on the witches but John and Cotton begin to argue, Isaac diffuses the situation by reminding them if they didn't stop fighting each other who would save Salem. John notices a picture in a book that has the same black pit of tar he saw the previous night and Cotton reveals it is a passage about the Grand Rite, Cotton tells him that the grand rite cleanses the land before the devil returns and is left confused as it requires human sacrifices. John is further horrified to learn that the body of Giles Corey has been dumped into the Crag with Salem's unwanted's and enlists Isaac's help in retrieving him. Together they return to Salem and bury Giles in Salem's cemetery.

John confronts Cotton.

The morning of the Bridget Bishop's trial, John stands in the crowd, he announces the birth was simply bad luck and tries to clear the woman's name by insisting all those present at the monstrous birth should also be tried. All the women are brought forward and proceed to stand before Mercy Lewis who is tied to the roof pillars but she doesn't react to anyone till Bridget stands before her and she begins to vomit blood and nails. Outside John watches as Bridget is hanged and sarcastically congratulates Cotton on taking another life before Anne Hale attacks the reverend, slapping him across the face before John stops and comforts her in her grief.

John speaks to Mary of his plans.

That night John is in the Tavern when Anne arrives, Hawke tries to get her to leave as women are not allowed inside after nightfall but John convinced him that they can make an exception for one night and let her stay. Anne questions John in why he is in Salem and done nothing to stop the hangings quickly becoming angry over the deaths that have occurred and John tells her she reminds him of someone he once knew referring to Mary before he enlisted in the militia. The same night he visits Mary at her home at informs her he will be staying in Salem and taking his father's place on the selectmen board, he is also shocked to see Mary wearing the half a silver coin he had giving her in the shape of a necklace, but the pair are interrupted by Tituba and John bids her goodnight.

In In Vain the morning after Bridget's Bishop hanging, John watches the rest of Salem citizens gather around her body as Isaac takes her to the crag and ask Cotton how he feels about killing two innocents, he hears Anne's cry for help as thieves have broken into the orphanage and rushes to help who is closely followed by Cotton Mather and Magistrate Hale. John scares the thieves away by firing his gun before Anne publicly blames her father and the Reverend for what has transpired. Anne asks John to escort her home who obliges. While on their way to her home she asks him where they are taking Bridget and is saddened by what she hears. She thanks John for his heroism and for telling her the truth about where they have taken her friends body.

John later follows Magistrate Hale into the woods and watches him leave an unknown shack. John investigates but finds only a home full of stuffed animals but suddenly one of them- a dog comes alive and attacks him but he is saved by the Magistrate. John questions him on the owner of the shack, who insists Petrus is a harmless hermit but John is not convinced believing what happened may have something to do with witchcraft.

That night John stumbles across Isaac acting erratically, almost like he has had too much to drink. He tries to calm him but Magistrate Hale comes and arrests him. At the prison cells, John tries to convince Cotton that Isaac is innocent, while Cotton cannot decide if he is innocent, bewitched or a witch himself after he finds witches' object on his person. While doctor Lamb examines Isaac the magistrate arrives to question him but John informs him that Lamb has to give him a sleeping tonic preventing the Magistrate from questioning him. Later John approaches Mary and asks for her help to save Isaac, who gives John her complete allegiance.

The next morning John observes Cotton question Isaac and Mary approach him and tells him that the Magistrate will arrive soon with the guards and that he plans on hanging Isaac and he must do whatever it takes to save him. The Magistrate arrives and tries to take him but John stands in the way of the guards and refuses to allow them access to him attacking the guards. Cotton unable to do nothing frees Isaac from his cell and tells him to help John but the magistrate is suddenly called away by a servant, he quickly demands Isaac be placed back into his cell fleeing home to his daughter.

Afterward, the magistrate approaches John and Cotton and tells them that Isaac as been pardoned. Cotton gives him the keys to his cell, while John frees Isaac who thanks him for helping him but is unsure of how to repay him as no has ever stood up for him before. Later Mary tells John if he insists on staying in Salem she will be unable to protect him.

In Survivors while visiting his parents' graves John finds Anne in the cemetery who asks if he misses them, he tells her as a child he thought them terribly boring and asks if she is well as he had heard she had been unwell. Anne assures him she is now well despite the cause of her fit being unknown and tells him of a vivid dream where she was plagued by a doll in her room and that her father had come into her room and took it away but he denied such a thing had happened but the pair are interrupted by Magistrate Hale who insists on escorting his daughter home.

Later John meets with Cotton at the tavern and tells him he believes that Anne may have been bewitched but he is unconvinced and furthermore unconvinced when John suspects it was her father. As the pair enjoy their drink Cotton notices an unknown man propositioning Gloriana he attacks him in his jealousy but John stops him causing the man to leave, afterward Cotton asks John if he knows the man after noticing a strange look the pair share. Later, the Magistrate approaches John and informs him that a party is being held in his honor, to welcome him to the selectmen board but John does not seem enthusiastic about it and suddenly leaves, when he notices the man Cotton had an earlier altercation with leaving the tavern.

Outside John angrily attacks the man revealing his name to be Hooke and an old associate of his. Hook threatens to reveal to the everyone that he is a murderer and tries to get him to arrange a meeting between him and Mary so that he can obtain a package on board a ship that is under quarantine at the docks (on Mary's orders). John tells him to leave Mary alone and finish his business quickly and leave Salem.

That night John attends the party, held by the selectmen in honor of him taking his father's seat on the board. At first, he is greeted by Magistrate Hale who assures him that he has more in common with his fellow selectmen board members and is pleased he decided to attend but John admits he flipped a coin to decide whether he was going to come or not. Soon after he is greeted by Anne who flirtatiously greets him which does not go unnoticed by Mary and her father who are standing nearby. Later, the magistrate publicly welcomes John in the selectmen's fight against the witches, where John jokingly tells the crowd maybe the witches aren't those that deliver their babies but those that have been chosen to lead, leading to an awkward silence before the crowd laugh.

Later that evening, John returns home before Tituba arrives unannounced. She informs him that she saw his altercation with Hooke and that he is blackmailing her mistress, threatening to tell all of Salem that she is having an affair with John unless she allows him access to the ship that he wants to board to retrieve a package. Later John confronts him at the dock where he reveals that John murdered twenty militiamen but spared his life under the condition that he never laid eyes upon him again. Hooke threatens to reveal this to the selectmen board causing John to angrily attack him and strangles him to death hiding his body among those that had died of an influenza outbreak, John finds the package Hooke was so desperate to get a hold of inside a wooden casket, a strange small wooden box that has strange symbols carved into the wood, after he flees the scene, he stumbles into Mary on his way home. The pair reminisces about their shared history and about the promises they had once made to each other. John asks her if they were lies but she tells him that they were wishes made by those who know nothing of the world, Mary starts to leave bidding the captain a goodnight but not before he wishing her sweet dreams and returns home.

In Lies after the murderer of Hooke. John has returned home and is struggling to open the mysterious wooden box that he was so desperate to get a hold of. He tries to pry it open with his hands and a knife but to no avail. In frustration he throws the knife and box onto the table before the box suddenly opens mysteriously and inside he finds a wooden apple but when he picks it up it burns his flesh and he has a vision of a plague that will soon come to Salem. John rushes to speak with Cotton but stumbles upon him and Gloriana in a compromising position. Cotton questions why he is there and he shows him the box. Afterward, with Gloriana went Cotton questions him in what he saw when he touched the object. John describes what he saw and reveals it came to Salem by sea, like most things. They then devise a plan to lure the witch out who had enlisted the help of Hooke to obtain the object much to Cotton's displeasure who would rather reveal what they had discovered to the selectmen board.

The same day John is at the market where he threatens a preacher who is upsetting the townsfolk who is handing out flyers about the witches making a scene about how the devil has come to Salem. The commotion is seen by Anne Hale who becomes distant and not her usual self when John tries to talk to her. John asks her if he has upset her and with that replies "Do you consider it offensive raising hope in a heart most normally well-guarded while your own beats in the breast of another? Do you, Captain Alden, find that reprehensible or simply unkind" but their conversation is cut short when Mary arrives and the young woman storms off. Mary and John speak briefly and John reveals that Anne reminded him of her when they were young but Mary tells him she was never that young.

Later that evening John arrives home and is confronted by Mary revealing she knows that he is a murderer and John tells her that he killed twenty of his own militiamen. Mary clearly shocked by his revelation tells him his secret is safe before they kiss passionately and leaves. Left alone as the rest of Salem sleep in their beds Rose sneaks into the Alden house intent on obtaining the Malum but John and Cotton layout a trap which causes her to fall through the bedroom floor trapping her below.

In The Red Rose and the Briar after capturing Rose, John and Cotton proceed with their plan to interrogate her but Cotton informs him that they must use the planetary alignment of Saturn that takes place that evening to divulge the truth from her. Cotton concocts a powerful paralytic to subdue her but not before she appears to John as an illusion of his mother. John angrily attacks her giving Cotton time to administrate the drug while she is distracted. The next morning they place her on a cart under the guise of taking one of the unwanted's to the crag, leaving Salem to go deep into the woods unnoticed. As the day passes they are spied upon by The seer who watches them as they go to the spot Cotton has chosen to suspend Rose beneath Saturn.

That night, as they reach their destination the drug begins to wear off Rose and she secretly gathers a stick from the ground to use as a weapon while Cotton and John gather the rope to use to suspend her from a tree. As they approach her she attacks them hitting John in his crotch before they eventually subdue her suspending her as they had planned. Rose taunts both John and Cotton about Mary and Gloriana before Saturn finally reaches its apex. Cotton begins to question the witch but she speaks only in riddles but reveals the grand rite has begun leaving the Reverend confused as he believes no innocent blood has been spilled but she breaks free from her restraints casting a spell to raise the dead and flees the scene leaving them to battle the corpses of the crag.

As the battle continues Cotton and John are bewildered when the corpses disappear and they are free. They return to Salem and stumble upon Mary in the commons and John escorts her home.

In Our Own Private America TBA

In Departures TBA

In Children Be Afraid TBA

In The House Of Pain TBA

In Cat And Mouse TBA

In Ashes Ashes TBA

In All Fall Down TBA


John's alive.

In Cry Havoc John is first seen in a vision that Mary has after she goes to the seer to discover what has become of him. She sees John undergoing a native Indian funeral before his body is burned on a raft. moments later, Sooleawa- a native Indian woman is seen burning sage upon a dream catcher and informs her father the tribe's Shaman that she blocked the witches vision. The shaman is pleased that she saw what they wanted her to see but she corrects him stating it was what "he" wanted her to know. They go to one of the huts where John is seen cleaning his rifle and inform him that Mary tried to discover his fate but believes he is dead. Appearing cold and distant about this news reveals that she won't see him coming till every last witch in Salem is dead.

File:Salem-Promo-Still-S2E01-15-John Alden Shamanic Ritual.jpg

John with the indians

Later, Sooleawa is tending to John's still healing wounds when the Shaman comes to see him and tries to persuade him from his plan but John is adamant that he will not rest till Salem is cleansed in the blood of the witches and mysteriously asks him for his protection. The Shaman tries to convince him to leave Salem with his tribe and explains that what the witches plan to release they cannot control and will destroy everything stating Salem will become hell on earth as Sooleawa translates for him.

That night, while John is sleeping the Shaman wakes him and tells him the spirit guides have spoken and will do as he asks but there will be two consequences; one he will be changed forever in this life and the next and that he will never leave Salem alive but John tells him that he was born in Salem and had figured that he would die there. The tribe proceeds to perform a ritual where they cut of his hair and tattoo his body before Sooleawa arrives painted in red kisses him as a part of the ritual and the tribe begin to dance around him.

In Blood Kiss TBA


Skills and abilities

  • Marksmanship: John is a perfect sniper, precise in the use of firearms such as bayonets and rifles, which were commonly used in the 17th century.
  • Melee Combat: John is an amazing swordsman, skilled and agile in his movements despite having a remarkable musculature that does not fit exactly the slender body canons of the fencers. He is also skilled in hand-to-hand combat, having been tempered in barroom brawls and war fights.
  • Orienteering: Due to his tutelage under the Native American tribe (the exact tribe of which was not determined), John is very skilled in crossing the woods without getting lost, following tracks and covering his own.
  • Mastery of Tribal Language: During his time with the Native American tribe, John had learned their language.
  • Bladesmithing: John is a skillful blade-smith - he independently forged the Angel Dagger through a forge and Tituba's potion.


Main article: Mary and John
Time for truth...I lied to you earlier I was young once, young enough that I believed in goodness, I believed in it because I saw it in you. You can't help it, you can't stop it, you can't be any other way. I think that's why I loved you. Imagine my surprise being told you're a murderer.
— Mary to John in Lies

John & Mary

Mary Sibley is John's former lover and the love of his life. The pair fell in love before the events of 1685 but he left Salem to enlist in the nine years war not knowing that she had become pregnant with his child. He returns seven years later expecting Mary to be waiting for him but discovers her to now be the most powerful woman in Salem after she had married his former enemy George Sibley. Upon returning John tries to convince Mary to run away with him so that they can be together but she refuses not knowing that the reason was that she was the witch behind all of Salem's misfortune. Following John's arrest for witchcraft, Mary saves him by transporting them both from his cell to the woods revealing that she is a witch (Ashes Ashes). The pair had planned to flee Salem together but their plan was hindered by the witches when it was revealed their child was alive and Mary was forced to stay in Salem to complete the Grand Rite to save their son (All Fall Down).

Main article: Anne and John
I suppose one could choose that life honest work, community, a loving family and not a witch in sight. Maybe there's hope for us yet.
— Anne to John in Children Be Afraid

Anne & John

Anne and John first meet at the dinner party hosted by Mary Sibley, where Anne shows to be clearly attracted to him. As time progresses they soon develop a friendship of a sort and later share a passionate kiss (only due to John being under Mary's dream spell) (Our Own Private America). John often comes to Anne's rescue saving her from thieves in the orphanage following the death of Bridget Bishop (In Vain) and when she is lost in the woods (The House Of Pain). Anne later watches helplessly when John is arrested by the selectmen for witchcraft. She is later coerced by Increase Mather into admitting during John's trial that he forcefully kissed her further damning him (Ashes Ashes).

Main article: Cotton and John
I admire your 'sangfroid.' It's French for cold blood. It's a compliment.
— Cotton to John in The Red Rose and the Briar
File:Cotton and John still Image.jpg

Cotton & John

John and Cotton both knew each other briefly as children (The Vow) though how much contact they had is unknown. Both are firstborn sons in the new world but while John became a war hero, Cotton chose to become a scholar studying at Harvard and spoke of his shock that John did not join him there. They are reunited when John returns to Salem and often come at odds especially after Cotton stones John's old friend Giles Corey to death. The pair is forced to join forces to combat the witches though they both have different ideas on how to defeat them but soon develop a friendship (The Red Rose and the Briar). When Cotton's lover Gloriana Embry is accused of being a witch John tries to plead her case on Cotton's behalf (Departures) and when John himself is arrested for witchcraft Cotton defies his father and vows to defend his friend during his trial (Cat and Mouse).

Main article: Isaac and John
Does he deserve anything less? The man who marked your flesh, drove me to war and has ruled over Salem like a power-mad king? And now, what, he begs for compassion?
— John to Isaac in Departures

Isaac and John.

Both are first born son's in the new world they were both raised in Salem, Massachusetts but it is unknown in how much contact they had before the events of 1685. John with the rest of Salem witnessed the branding of Isaac by George Sibley but was the only one that tried to prevent it but was later sent to join the militia (The Vow). Seven years later when John returns his arrival is witnessed upon by Isaac who later informs Mary of his return. Isaac tries to convince John that witches are real and take him into the woods where they spy on their Sabbath and they both become allies but when Isaac is later captured and spelled by the witches leading to his arrest it is only John who tries to save him (In Vain). Isaac turns to John following George Sibley's injuries after the carriage crashes, but John tells him to leave him there and keep quiet as he deserves nothing from either of them (Departures). Isaac considers John to be one of his only friends.

No dead animal could threaten a storied soldier such as yourself, Captain.
— Magistrate Hale to John in In Vain

John and the Magistrate.

Magistrate Hale knew John as a young man and presumably when he was a boy. When John returns to Salem and following the death of Giles Corey he has him arrested believing him to be a threat to the witches cause (The Stone Child) but is warned to leave John alone by Mary Sibley. John later becomes suspicious of him suspecting him to be a witch (Survivors). When the Magistrate suspects his daughter has feelings for the captain he forbade's his daughter to have any contact with him and later with Tituba's help tries to force John to leave Salem. After Anne goes missing in the woods he turns to John for help and when he is arrested on the charge of witchcraft the magistrate is coerced by Mary Sibley into voting against John going to trial.

An honor, Captain. Truly, I can have no greater respect than for a man who has risked his life in battle. Sadly, not all young men possess the same mettle.
— Increase to John in Departures

John and Increase.

Increase knew the late John Alden senior as a young man as they both were classmates together at university. It is said John's father had greatly respected the man before his death. When Increase arrives in Salem, he holds John in high regard for his prowess in battle and comments in how he wishes his own son was more like him (Cat and Mouse). When Increase begins to suspect Mary Sibley is the witch who has spelled his old friend George Sibley, he has John falsely arrested on the charges of witchcraft to lure Mary into saving him but after he tortures the young Tituba she reveals that John had killed his own militiamen leading him to have John convicted of treason and sentenced to hang (Ashes Ashes).

You didn't come back for all this horseshit. You came back for one thing and one thing only.
— Giles to John in The Vow

John and Giles.

Giles Corey is John's oldest friend and is presumably a family friend of his parents. During the events of 1685 Giles was aware of John's relationship with Mary and also witnessed the branding of Isaac Walton stopping John from attacking George Sibley warning the younger John that George tolerated his father but would see him hang. After John was sent to join the militia Giles witnessed Mary sacrificing their unborn child in the woods but kept what she had done a secret but when John returned seven years later who had been presumed dead gave Mary the ultimatum to tell John the truth or he would. Mary not wanting John to know her secrete had Mercy Lewis accuse him of witchcraft and had him stoned to death while John was forced to helplessly watch his friend die (The Vow). After John discovered that his body had been dumped into the crag he recovered his body burying him in Salem's cemetery

(The Stone Child).

Main article: John and Little John
Are you really truly my father...John Alden?
— John Jr to John Alden in On Earth as in Hell
File:5 FULL.jpg

John and his son.

John was unaware of his son existence for seven years as he didn't know that Mary had been pregnant with his child went he went to war. John finally discovered the truth after Mary freed him from Tituba who had been holding him captive and together joined forces to save their son from the Countess Marburg who planned to sacrifice him to complete the grand rite. John later enlisted Cotton's help to perform an exorcism on his son who is possessed by the devil and begins to bond with his son, proving the lengths he will go to save his only child. When the Countess arrives with her son to take his child he urged Cotton to flee with his son and tried to hold them off so that Cotton and his son could escape but was soon stabbed by Sebastian.


Memorable Quotes

John Alden: "Salem can go to Hell. If it ain't already there."
The Vow
John Alden: "The universe itself is made out of vows, and breaking them carries consequences."
The Vow
John Alden: "I would rather die than have Salem's finest control my fate."
John Alden: "I always wondered why Giles Corey never fought back. Now I know, he knew he lost the moment he played their game... Dignified their madness."
Cat And Mouse


  • Johnatan, shortened to John, is a masculine given name of Hebrew origin. It means "Graced by God". It is a very common name in the United States.
  • The Alden surname originates from the old English language. It derives from Ealdwine meaning "Old Friend"

Status and Rank

  • Captain: following his enlistment in the militia, John Alden took over the role of captain. This has given John a prominent place in the community of Salem (over the inherited one from his founding family), and a certain respect among his subordinates. [9]




  • Historically, John Alden escaped from Salem after the accusations that he was a witch and took refuge with friends in Duxbury. He also married an Elizabeth Phillips Everill who gave him 14 children. The real John Alden wrote a written account of the Salem Witch Trials.
  • Between the first and second seasons, John hatred towards the Puritans is replaced by the even more ruthless hate towards the witches.
  • He died at the end of the second season and was resurrected by a dying Mary. The consequences of this resurrection spell have yet to be revealed.
    • Even in the period between the introduction and the beginning of the first season, Alden was on the verge of death and was healed by a shaman.
  • John Alden (Shane West) and Mercy Lewis (Elise Eberle) never interacted with each other after a brief scene in the pilot episode, nor they ever had a dialogue.
  • The description given on Official Instagram to accompany the promotional photos of the third season is as follows: "John Alden: the brokenhearted war hero."
  • In discarded content still visible in some earliest promotional videos, John Alden's back was horribly scarred by whippings. A potential reason for discarding such feature is due to the long process to create large prosthetic make-up and for a main character, and possibly it's cost for the first original series of a small channel already spending a lot on sets and costumes. [10]


  1. In the episode "In Vain" Isaac Walton addressed to John with his full name, Johnathan.
  2., French and Indian War
  3. John Alden Official Description - Season 1 - WGN America
  4. John Alden Official Description - Season 3 - WGN America
  5. Jon Harmon Feldman (writer) & Alex Zakrzewski (director). June 8, 2014. "Departures". Salem. Season 1. Episode 8. WGN.
  6. Brannon Braga & Adam Simon (writer) & Richard Shepard (director). April 20, 2014. "The Vow". Salem. Season 1. Episode 1. WGN.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Brannon Braga & Adam Simon (writer) & Bill Johnson (director). July 6, 2014. "Ashes, Ashes". Salem. Season 1. Episode 12. WGN.
  8. Jon Harmon Feldman (writer) & David Von Ancken (director). May 11, 2014. "Survivors". Salem. Season 1. Episode 4. WGN.
  9. For further info on the role, see: Military History Gateway: Militia Captains
  10. The People of Salem — Cotton Mather

See Also