|Cause of Death||
| Spoiler warning!|
This article contains plot details.
— in All Fall Down
Mary Sibley (née Walcott) is the main female protagonist of Salem. She is the wife of the late George Sibley, the lover of John Alden and mother of their son, and the most powerful witch in Salem, Massachusetts. She became a witch after sacrificing her unborn baby to Satan in exchange for supernatural powers and arcane knowledge.
In the beginning, Mary's actions were motivated by not only her love for John, but also due to her desire for vengeance upon the Puritans, whom she believed to have robbed her of all her loved ones. However, with John's unexpected return, and the subsequent revelations of how she had actually been deceived and ill-used by the Essex witches, Mary came to wholeheartedly regret her irrevocable choices, especially after her son was taken over by the Devil. Ultimately, she and John reconciled, and dedicated all of their strength and skills to fight for the future they sought.
She is portrayed by British actress Janet Montgomery.
Born and raised in Salem, Massachusetts, Mary is one of the firstborn in the new world. She is the daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Walcott. She never knew her mother and it is unknown whether or not her father was still alive by 1685. At some point in her childhood, her parents bought the slave girl Tituba, who Mary quickly developed a close relationship with, often treating her more like a sister than one of ownership (The House of Pain). Before the events of 1685, Mary embarked on a relationship with the young John Alden and the pair quickly fell in love. However, he was later sent to join the militia to fight in the nine years war. 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 giving one half to her as a symbol of his promise.
Several months later, Mary discovered she was pregnant with John's baby. Believing John to be dead, she was manipulated by the witches into sacrificing her unborn child to the Devil, thus becoming a witch herself (The Vow). Some time afterward, she married George Sibley after the witches had secretly poisoned his previous wife. Within two years of their marriage, she placed her husband under a spell, wanting revenge on the man that cost her everyone she loved (The Red Rose and the Briar) and leaving her in control of Salem.
Poised and dignified from the beginning, Mary is a natural-born leader, which was why she was chosen by the hive's elders to lead the Salem witches and to complete the Grand Rite.
Before she sold her soul to the Devil, she was a kind and compassionate woman, but after she became a witch, Mary described herself as having become darker - ruthless, cunning, and willing to go to any lengths to enact her revenge on the Puritans by completing the Grand Rite.
In the midst of all this, though, it was shown numerous times that Mary had actually retained some of the best aspects of her humanity: she was always affectionate to Isaac, whom she saved from being hanged. She never lost or wavered in her love for John, whom she initially kept at a distance for his own protection, and later on even saved him numerous times at the very expense of her own life. In fact, it was Mary's love for John that ultimately led her to sever all sentimental ties with Tituba, whom she once claimed to have loved as a sister, for it was Tituba's lies about John that led to Mary becoming a witch, to begin with. Last but not least, Mary is a genuinely warm and loving mother to her son, and would go to any lengths to protect him, whether it be from the elders, witches, or Puritans.
Apart from her love for John, one constant feature about Mary would her realism, which could lead her to resort to extreme measures such as cooperating with deadly enemies from beyond the grave, as seen when she summoned Increase Mather's spirit for answers, despite the fact that the witch-hunter had been one of her most dangerous enemies in life. Even after the Devil had taken her son's body as his vessel, Mary was realistic enough to be able to see him for what he truly was, which enabled her to always and effectively resist all his attempts to endear himself to her, even going as far as to call him "the atrocity I gave birth to". It was also this realism that led her to keep Tituba at an emotional distance after she realised her deceptions, and deduced that she and Tituba had different goals.
During her official war against the Devil himself, Mary also demonstrated other admirable qualities: fierce courage, formidable intelligence, and ruthless resourcefulness, all of which made her a most formidable foe. For instance, when her assassination attempt on the Devil failed, she was not at the least afraid when she was summoned for a reckoning, and took the opportunity to taunt both him and the Sentinel as "nothing but common thieves, liars, traitors, rapists, murderers, crybabies". Later on, though she was severely weakened after being stripped of all her powers, Mary was quick to regain her emotional balance, which enabled her to successfully resist the Sentinel's attempt to lure her into suicide, and turn the tables on him by pointing out that though he no longer served God, he was still a slave to someone else. She even turned down the elders' subsequent offer of protection against the Devil, stating that he had made a fatal mistake by sparing her life, for "hell hath no fury like this woman scorned". Hence, the Essex Elder observed that even without her powers, Mary was still the strongest of them all.
In fact, she went on to incite the Sentinel's curiosity about her, and seized this opportunity to sow discord between him and the Devil - she flatly told him that the Devil had no intentions of freeing the other Fallen Angels from Hell, and was actually planning to become the new God through the upcoming Great Terror, with her as his Queen and Goddess. In exchange for this revelation, she managed to confirm her suspicions about a spy in the Essex hive, and was quick to convey this to the elders, though they ended up executing the wrong person. In the midst of all this, Mary also demonstrated consummate acting skills as both a resigned submissive (to the Devil) as well as a charming seductress (to Sebastian), which led them both to lower their guard around her. Though she was genuinely grieved when the Essex hive sacrificed themselves to empower her with their combined magic, Mary still maintained her focus on what needed to be done (destroying the Devil's vessel), which again testifies to her being a woman of tremendous emotional control and mental discipline.
However, in hopeless circumstances, she was not above desperately begging for aid from even the unlikeliest allies, as seen by how she pleaded with Anne to be spared from having to consort with the Devil.
Last but not least, Mary was a woman who was willing to accept responsibility for her mistakes: she repeatedly yet sincerely apologised to the innocents whom she had hurt (John, Cotton, Isaac, etc.) in her quest for vengeance, and actually reached an emotional and spiritual reconciliation with Cotton before his death. Ultimately, due to Anne's unexpected generosity, Mary was able to leave Salem for good with John as a woman in love, one who gave up power, ambition, and vengeance with no regrets so she could start a new life with the man she loved.
Mary is a beautiful young woman in her late twenties, with long dark brown hair, black eyes, a perfectly pale complexion, and a tall, slim yet voluptuous physique. Even the Sentinel, who harboured a passionate distaste for human beings in general, once complimented her beauty. Before she became wealthy, she was shown to wear plain dresses in shades of blue or pink.
After her marriage and becoming a witch, Mary demonstrated a penchant for elaborate gowns uncommon among the plain-clothed Puritans, varying from shades of black, purple, and red, along with rich jewellery. Her hair is worn long, though she has been shown to arrange it in various types of plaits, or curls, or buns. She also often wears the half-coin that John had given her, which had been set on a gold necklace.
Throughout The Salem Series
Powers and Abilities
Mary Sibley was shown to be one of the most powerful witches that Salem had ever seen, being able to rival even ancient witches such as Countess Von Marburg in terms of magical strength. In fact, she was the Samhain of the Essex Hive, as well as the only witch shown to possess more than one familiar - a toad and a snake, both of which she could use to control different people. As familiars are gifts of the Devil, it was possible that having more than one represents Mary's level of power. Last but not least, she was possibly the very first witch in history to have successfully performed the legendary Grand Rite, which led to the Devil's incarnation at its completion.
Growth and Progress
After selling her soul to the Devil by sacrificing her unborn child at Tituba's request, Mary was slowly taught witchcraft by both Tituba and Rose, the former Samhain of the Essex Hive. After two years of being a witch, she performed her first significant magic - by forcing down her familiar toad down George Sibley's throat with Tituba's aid, she placed her husband in a paralysis of sorts that rendered him utterly in her power. Since then, her powers continued to grow consistently and dramatically stronger.
For instance, she was shown to be capable of staying conscious while projecting her specter to another place - upon doing this, she would enter a trance of sorts. Later on, she proved skillful enough to imitate feats displayed by far stronger and older witches, such as the the ability to bilocate, and though she confessed that such a feat required all of her strength to accomplish, the fact that she was successful at it and even capable of effectively casting other magic in this state is a definite testament to her tremendous magical strength.
Besides this, Mary was able to access an advanced version of teleportation, being able to teleport within a close proximity and over vast distances, and could even bring others with her. She also had potent telekinetic skills that enabled her to assume control over a person's movements, which was also known as puppetry.
Like Tituba, who was originally Mary's teacher in higher-level witchcraft, Mary was partially-skilled in dream walking, though she usually required Tituba's aid. It was through this method that Mary infiltrated John's dreams to discover the Malum's location, though this led to violent convulsions that forced her to stop, and later caused her to be unable to resist John's amorous advances. She eventually surpassed these limitations, being able to affect Isaac in the same way in his own dreams without suffering any consequences.
Despite the hive's assumption that Tituba was their only gifted necromancer, Mary proved herself to be a powerful practitioner of this kind of magic as well - through the remains of Increase Mather's corpse, she summoned him from hell in the form of a spirit, and in this spiritual state, he was completely bound to her will. Mary also demonstrated an extraordinarily high level of skill and expertise in magic that directly manipulated life and death, such as Dead Raising. For instance, she was able to temporarily resurrect George after his murder, and the resurrection only failed due to the Countess' curse overpowering her spells. With Tituba's aid, Mary easily located Corwin, and even linked a ram's head to him, allowing her to kill him from a vast distance. Later on, using Corwin's finger, Mary and Tituba identified John as the former's murderer, despite him being cloaked from magic. Last but not least, after she had unwillingly aided the Countess in incarnating the Devil, Mary was soon drained of blood by Sebastian at the former's orders, but with the little amount she had left, Mary still successfully resurrected John at the expense of her own life.
Mary's control over the elements was one of the most advanced versions of the power seen on the series, and definitely her most offensive magical ability. For instance, during an attempt to kill Increase, Mary assumed control over the woods all the way from Salem, using vines to subdue the witch hunter with just a simple drop of blood. Even from a vast distance (Salem), she was able to affect him by causing his chains to strangle him. However, the one element that Mary had the greatest proficiency in and most commonly used was fire: her usage ranged from divining a desired object's exact location to a suicidal attempt at eliminating a powerful rival (the Countess) - with a small blood sacrifice, she set the entire meeting house on fire, though she claimed this act was fuelled by the trees that surrounded her (Essex witches were associated with the forest), and propelled a large fireball at the Countess. She was also shown to be able to extinguish fire with her bare hands without inflicting any injury upon herself.
Mary was also highly psychic in nature, being able to sense the presence of her target even when she was unable to determine its identity, and in John's case, despite him being cloaked against witches. She could cast realistic illusions, both on herself and entire locations, as seen when she hid the pool of hellblood from Cotton and the Magistrate. By simply tasting Anne's blood, Mary was capable of replicating the contents of Anne's Book of Shadows, and subsequently learn the thoughts of the younger witch. She was also skilled in unbreakable curses, as seen when she cursed a doll that nearly led to Anne's death. Even John Hale, an alleged cradle witch, could not break the curse, which is another definite testament to Mary's mysterious yet formidable power.
Following Mary's resurrection and her attempt on the Devil's life after a short ruse of being his follower, he decided that Mary would undergo the ritual known as "the Reckoning," which was the ultimate punishment for the witch who betrayed their lord, the Devil. Mary was then symbolically stripped of her magic by the killing of her familiar and the expulsion of her elemental powers from her body, leaving her a powerless human being.
Fortunately, through a shrewd cautious series of manipulations and plannings, the mortal Mary temporarily regained enough magical power through the Essex Hive's sacrifice for one final dramatic act of magic: dismembering the Devil's human vessel, rendering him temporarily without a foothold on Earth until Tituba resurrected him.
Though Mary ultimately left Salem as an ordinary woman with absolutely no magic, the Essex Elders still confirmed her as the most powerful witch of the Essex Hive, as well as the most powerful contract witch ever seen.
Main Article: Mary Sibley/Relationships
- Main article: Mary and John
|“||Mary, trust me. I will come back for you. Hey, look... this is all that I have and I swear on my parents grave. This is my vow. This war will not last a year.||”|
— John to Mary in The Vow
Mary and John fell in love before the events of 1685. Later John left Salem to join the nine years war but not before vowing to return for her in a year. Several months later, Mary discovered she was pregnant with his child but believed he was dead so she sacrificed their unborn baby to Satan so that she could enact revenge on the Puritans (The Vow). Seven years later she is shocked with John's arrival and is torn between her love for him and her duty to the witches cause but after he is arrested for witchcraft and later put on trial and sentenced to hang for treason she chooses to save him (Ashes Ashes). They both plan flee Salem together but their plan is hindered by the witches who reveal their child is, in fact, alive forcing Mary to choose between him and their son. She stays in Salem and completes the Grand Rite and is reunited with their son (All Fall Down).
- Main article: Mary and Tituba
|“||I, traitor? I, who have endured the worst that sick man could inflict upon my flesh to protect you? I think not. 'Tis you who have betrayed those who nurtured you. You who have turned your back on everything we have planned these long years!||”|
— Tituba to Mary in All Fall Down
Tituba is Mary's oldest friend, most trusted ally and devoted servant. They were raised together as children when Mary's parents bought the young slave girl when she came to the new world and they quickly developed a close relationship during their childhood (The House of Pain). After John Alden was sent to join the nine years war and Mary discovered she was pregnant with his child, Tituba was the one that helped her sacrifice her unborn baby in exchange for powers (The Vow). In the following years, she became her one true ally with completing the Grand Rite. Tituba later makes a confession of love that Mary cruelly rejects (Children Be Afraid) and after she is arrested for witchcraft and tortured by Increase Mather she accuses John of being a witch inciting Mary's hatred. After Mary decides to flee Salem with John, Tituba reveals that the child that she had sacrificed all those years ago is alive, forcing Mary to stay and complete the Grand Rite to save her son and she vows to make her pay (All Fall Down).
- Main article: Mary and George
|“||The only thing keeping me alive is the look on your face. When John Alden finds out what you really are and throttles you with his bare hands.||”|
— George to Mary in The Stone Child
Mary married the wealthy selectman some time after she was told that John Alden had died when Magistrate Hale poisoned his late wife. Within two years of their marriage, Mary placed George under her spell while the rest of Salem believed he was suffering from a mystery illness. Mary has shown to hold no affection for her husband and simply married him to acquire the influence she needed to control Salem as well as an act of revenge for sending John away (The Vow). After the arrival of Increase Mather Mary tried to destroy his mind to prevent him from revealing what she was, where it was shown he had once been enamored with his young wife despite her own revulsion of him but her plan failed due to Increase's intervention (Children Be Afraid). Since his bewitchment, he has shown to hold no more affection for his wife and even voted for John Alden to go to trial to spite her (Cat and Mouse).
- Main article: Mary and John Sibley
|“||My child.... lives!?||”|
— Mary in All Fall Down
During the events of 1685 Mary discovered that she was pregnant with John Alden's baby but believing him to be dead was manipulated by the witches in sacrificing her unborn child becoming a witch herself (The Vow). For seven years Mary believed the child she had lost was dead and often wondered if she had made the right choice especially with the arrival of John Alden (The Stone Child). She later discovered that her child is alive and was forced to choose between fleeing Salem with John or saving her son. They are finally reunited after Mary completes the Grand Rite (All Fall Down). Without being baptized, her son later decide to name himself "John" after his father.(Cry Havoc)
- Main article: Isaac and Mary
|“||I promise you, though a grim future awaits the people of Salem, I will protect you from any further pain. I swear to you.||”|
— Mary to Isaac in Cat and Mouse
Mary and Isaac are childhood friends and both are firstborns in the new world. During the events of 1685 Mary witnessed his punishment for fornicating with his lover Abigail Cooke (The Vow) and after she became a witch and married George she took pity on him when no other would. Mary has shown to have a lot of affection for Isaac and went to great lengths to save him from Magistrate Hale (In Vain). But despite this, she has manipulated him on many occasions to benefit her own agenda causing her to vow to protect him from any further harm after he was injured due to her intervention (Cat and Mouse). After she saves John from being hanged, she tries to save Isaac from the Grand Rite by sending him away from Salem but gives him one last task, to place the Malum in the witches tree but unbeknown to her he has been infected by the plague it contains (All Fall Down).
- 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: Mary and Samuel
— Dr.Wainwright to Mary Sibley
Mary and Dr. Wainwright know shortly after the arrival of man in the city and now seem to get along. She sees him as one of the few allies against misogynist selectmen who would usurp her command over the town. The two flirt shamelessly and also have sexual intercourse.
|The Stone Child||Appears|
|The Red Rose and the Briar||Appears|
|Our Own Private America||Appears|
|Children Be Afraid||Appears|
|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||Appears|
|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|
- Mary Sibley (to Anne Hale): "Love is to a woman what war is to a man the most deadly thing they'll do. Only a fool runs quickly to war or love. You’d best watch yourself."
- — The Vow
- Mary Sibley (to George Sibley): "We will use the trials to turn the puritans against each other. They will hunt and kill and drown in their very own blood till there's no puritans left standing. And Salem is ours."
- — The Vow
- Mary Sibley: "There was once a time I might of suckled more than a toad."
- — The Stone Child
- Mary Sibley: "Sometimes in life, we make choices. And sometimes, these – these difficult choices – they lead us to do things, terrible things, and we don’t wish to. We’d do anything not to. But choice informs choice."
- — Lies
- Mary Sibley(to Mercy): "Men think of themselves as rock, hard as stone. So they are. Hard, brittle, easily broken. Women know that we are mostly water. Sea around us, sea inside us. When I hurt, I remember that. I remember what water is, what it does. It flows. It changes. It endures far longer than the rock."
- — The Red Rose and the Briar
- Mary Sibley: "All things return, like every salty tear returns to the sea."
- — All Fall Down
- Mary Sibley: "My heart has never known peace."
- — All Fall Down
- Mary Sibley: "There is no world, new or old, not founded on bones and blood. Imagine a world free of the violent hypocrisy and oppression of the Puritans, a new world that celebrates the power of nature, freedom of thought, belief, and feeling. This is our chance. A moment when the future of this land is utterly in doubt."
- — Cry Havoc
- Mary Sibley (to Anne Hale): "Neither the world, the flesh nor the devil himself is like a Puritan suit in only black and white. All is grey. And the devil they fear is not the devil I know."
- — Cry Havoc
- Mary Sibley (to her son): "You were not born for this. You were born to be loved. And I do love you. I am so sorry, my love. I have failed you over and over again, but I will not fail you now. Whatever happens, do not be afraid. We will meet again. I love you beyond all measure, beyond any other love, beyond life itself."
- — Midnight Never Come
- Mary Sibley (to Countess Von Marburg): "I had a dream, too, once. A dream of a new birth of freedom. But my sleep produced only a monster."
- — The Witching Hour
- Mary Sibley (to the Dark Lord about losing her magic): "No! That is mine! That fire is mine, and it was there long before..."
- — The Reckoning
- Mary Sibley (to the Dark Lord): "I don't want to be a god. Only a woman."
- — The Man Who Was Thursday
- Mary Sibley (to the Dark Lord before destroying him): "I am not your mother! I am the Last of the Essex."
- — The Man Who Was Thursday
- Mary is a feminine given name which is the usual English form of Maria, which was the Latin form of the New Testament Greek names Μαριαμ (Mariam) and Μαρια (Maria) - the spellings are interchangeable - which were from the Hebrew name מִרְיָם (Miryam).. The meaning is not known for certain, but there are several theories including "sea of bitterness", "rebelliousness", and "wished for child". However, it was most likely originally an Egyptian name, perhaps derived in part from mry "beloved" or mr "love".
- Walcott originates from England and the habitational name from any of several places called Walcott, Walcot, or Walcote, for example in Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Norfolk, Oxford-shire, and Wiltshire, all named in Old English with w(e)alh ‘foreigner’, ‘Briton’, ‘Welsh’, genitive plural wala (see Wallace) + cot ‘cottage’, ‘shelter’, i.e. ‘the cottage where the (Welsh-speaking) Britons lived’.
- Sibley originates from England and the popular form of the medieval female given name Sibley, a vernacular form of Latin Sibilla, from Greek Sibylla, a title of obscure origin borne by various oracular priestesses in classical times. In Christian mythology, the sibyls came to be classed as pagan prophets (who had prophesied the coming of Christ), and hence the name was an acceptable one that could be bestowed on a Christian child.
- Historically Mary Walcott was the one who showed Tituba how to make the "Witch Cake" to feed to a dog in order that she and her friends might ascertain exactly who it was that was afflicting them.
- Official WGN Salem site describes Mary Sibley as:
"Beautiful, ruthless and vulnerable, Mary Sibley is Salem’s most powerful enchantress, with a deep secret and deeper desires that may threaten her position and strength. Both villainess and heroine – she is always the center of attention. Mary uses her position of power and influence not only to promote her personal ascension within Salem but to wreak revenge upon those whose hypocrisy and cruelty lead Mary to her current struggles. When John Alden returns, it turns her world upside down. No matter how tough she is, Alden nearly derails everything, causing long-dormant emotions to resurface with a dizzying vengeance. Regardless of whom she truly loves, her husband or John, Mary may well be bound by ties even deeper to someone – or something – else."
- The version updated to the third season, released on WGNA Salem, was the following:
"Mary Sibley, Salem’s most powerful and ruthless witch, is the only person on earth with the power to destroy the Devil. She must kill her son. The only problem is – she’s dead. Or is she?"
- As revealed in one of the interviews for the first season, available on official website, Janet Montgomery has always been fascinated by the supernatural. To better prepare for the role, she has read about the history of witchcraft and Wicca.
- Mary Sibley seems to favor dark shades of burgundy and black clothes. Rarely she was spotted wearing light-colored clothing;
- The description given on official Instagram to accompany the promotional photos of the third season is as follows: "Mary Sibley: the queen of sacrifice."
- When asked by a fan what a potential fourth season for Salem would entail, Brannon Braga replied by saying that it would likely involve Cotton Mather somehow escaping Hell and returning to a war-torn and impoverished Salem that he described as "worse than Hell itself" to stop Anne Hale's malicious plans. While Braga made no mention of Mary in the tweet, it is not unlikely that she could return to Salem to help stop Anne. However, such is merely speculation and a fourth season may never happen.