Dahlia was one of the most powerful witches in history and the main antagonist of the second season of The Originals. She was the older sister of Esther, the sister-in-law of Mikael, the maternal aunt of Freya, Finn, Elijah, Niklaus, Kol, Rebekah and Henrik Mikaelson, and also the great-aunt of Freya's deceased unborn son and Hope Mikaelson.
Described by Freya as one of the most powerful witches she has ever seen, Dahlia first gained her enhanced powers by linking her magic to the magic possessed by her then five-year-old niece Freya. Once Freya reached adulthood, Dahlia then cast a spell that allows them both to gain pseudo-immortality by leap-frogging through time; the women were put into a magically-induced sleep for nearly a century, only to awaken for one single year of life and aging with all of the magic they accrued over their hundred-year-long slumber, before they would once again return to their sleep after the year had passed.
Dahlia's understanding of magic after so many years of study is extensive enough that she was able to create her own form of connective magic in the 10th century. She also had the ability to sense the magic of other witches, especially those of the first-born children of her and her sister Esther's bloodline, as the first-born witches of their lineage possess devastating amounts of power. According to Freya, Dahlia aimed to be truly immortal without having to sleep for centuries, and she will not hesitate to come and claim the first-born Mikaelson witches to achieve this goal, even if it means destroying anyone who stands in her way.
Dahlia was a relative to the Mikaelson Family via her sister, and was a member of an unnamed Norwegian family of powerful witches.
It had been suggested by Esther/Dahlia herself and later confirmed in flashbacks that she was much kinder and caring in her youth, as Dahlia claimed to have not only taken the brunt of the Vikings abuse while she and Esther were in captivity to prevent her sister from being harmed, but that she also never resented Esther for it, as they had made a promise to stick together forever. Esther also went to her for help to give her the ability to conceive children and did not anticipate the payment Dahlia would request in exchange, suggesting that Dahlia's personality was much more gentle in her earlier years. However, after Esther left her sister to marry one of their Viking captors, Dahlia's hatred of being oppressed by the warriors led her to develop a much colder and more calculating personality after she vowed to never allow herself to be that vulnerable again.
In adulthood, Dahlia became a wicked, selfish, manipulative, and spiteful woman, as evidenced by when she collected her niece Freya from Esther in payment for her fertility spell and threatened to take all of Esther's children if Esther did not comply. Dahlia was devoted to witchcraft and seemingly finds the idea of starting a family ridiculous, though she has had no qualms with raising the children she claimed from the Mikaelson bloodline in order to augment her own magic. While she did help Esther get pregnant with a spell, it was only as a means to her own end; to create an extremely powerful coven of witches from whom she could use as a source of power. It had even been speculated that Dahlia could have originally cursed Esther with infertility in the first place in retribution for abandoning her, though this has yet to be confirmed in canon. During flashbacks to her time spent raising Freya, Dahlia showed several key traits of psychopathy, such as a lack of remorse and empathy, evidenced by the fact that she had no difficulty destroying those who sought to prevent her from gaining more power, and went so far as to bluntly tell a five-year-old Freya, after she began crying for her mother, that Esther no longer wanted her.
She had also been said to deal with disobedience harshly, as Freya said that any disobedience was punishable by death in Dahlia's eyes, and she fears that her own punishment for leaving Dahlia's control will be "profound".
Based on Freya’s words, she seems to share some traits of personality with her nephew Klaus, and Dahlia herself even claimed that she and Klaus shared the same plight after they were both abused and oppressed in their youth by those who sought to control them. She had also shown similarities with another one of her nephews, Elijah, as they both believe that true power comes from family; however, they each have very different perspectives on how that power should be used.
She was a fundamentally selfish being, viewing everything in relation to how it benefits herself and increases her own power, and had little interest in how it could negatively affect others. However, though Dahlia had shown to possess powers far and beyond those of any other witch on either series, and had used said power to great effect against those who stand against her, Dahlia prefers to achieve her goals with the least amount of complication, effort, or violence, and as a result, she was not above playing nice with others to expedite her plans. She had been shown to make deals, compromises, and concessions in order to get what she wants more efficiently, and did not seem to want to resort to killing or violence unless it's absolutely necessary. She claimed to be willing to allow Klaus to take care of Hope as her father while she trains her in using her powers, as doing so will give Dahlia access to the power she claims she was owed while still giving Hope the parental love and affection that she mistakenly denied Freya; Dahlia freely admitted that it was that lack of parental love that caused Freya to turn against her, and claimed that this is something she does not wish to repeat with Hope. However, as with Esther, Dahlia's bargains have a hefty price, and she asked Klaus to eliminate Hayley to ensure that their arrangement continued as promised without complication.
As Dahlia predominately seems to use dark magic, she had shown an affinity for land that is steeped in darkness and death, locations that have been imbued with the dark power created by a massacre, or sacred ground that has been stained by the blood of the innocent. When Dahlia used Kenning to possess Jackson, he felt her inside his mind and described her as being nothing but pure darkness. However, she did respect the passion that Klaus shows in defense of those he cares about, which she said she had not anticipated given the reputation that proceeded him. Nevertheless, she showed no mercy in striking him down after he and Mikael showed up with a weapon to render her mortal, as she was intent to gain what she believes is hers. Despite her methods, Dahlia made it clear that she only came for Hope and she would be willing to spare the lives of the Mikaelsons if her wishes are granted, showing a measure of twisted mercy. She showed a similar kindness to the werewolf Aiden while she was brutally killing him, suggesting that, in a warped way, she appreciates the people she kills for their role in her plans, as her goal for Aiden's death was to cause the Mikaelsons to turn against each other, an intention that ultimately played out exactly as she wanted.
Despite the behavior Dahlia exhibits, had a very rigid sense of honor, as she prides herself on being a woman of her word and had made it clear that she expects those with whom she has made promises to do the same. As such, she has constantly reiterated that she promises not to harm any of the Mikaelsons and their allies as long as they hand Hope over to her. She also appears to have a very corrupted sense of respect for her own kind. This was evidenced when Dahlia, who had the intention of killing a witch ally of the Mikaelsons named Josephine to help weaken their plans to protect Hope from her, was surprisingly polite and gentle with her target. Dahlia even went so far as to cure Josephine's cursed hands and allowing her to play her beloved violin one last time before she slit her throat with the very bow she used to play.
Dahlia was brutally victimized by the Vikings in her youth in Norway, and she has since then vowed to never be weak again. It was this event that played the most major role in who Dahlia became in adulthood, and also led to her hatred of Vikings in general, especially Mikael, who married her sister and took her away from her.
Dahlia was seemingly hypocritical, though, as she has stated on more than one occasion that she believes that she had done nothing but good for Freya, and even went so far as to suggest that her family only wanted to use her for her power, behavior that, in psychology, was referred to "projection"; in this case, Dahlia projecting onto Freya her awareness that she had used Freya for her power for centuries in order to turn her against those who would try to stop her from doing so.
Dahlia was very intelligent and a brilliant strategist, as she killed Aiden and made it look like Klaus did it, to frame him for this act, effectively dividing the family to the point that they were too scattered to create a comprehensive plan, and turning her nephew, Klaus against his maternal half-siblings and Hayley, however, unlike her sister Esther, she never underestimated members of her family, or her enemies.
Dahlia gave her nephew, Klaus, a glimpse into her past to make him understand things from her point of view in an attempt to show them that they are, in a way, kindred spirits. Like Klaus, she was painted as the villain in their families, and she walked him through her memories that demonstrated she was once a loyal, loving, and protective sister to Esther who did her best to make sure that Esther wasn't harmed while they served the Vikings. However, when Esther betrayed her, Dahlia grew to become the woman that she was today. Despite her suffering, Dahlia was shown to truly care for Freya, her eldest niece, helping her to control her unbridled powers and protecting her from the evils of those who hate witches for practicing a magic they can't hope to understand.
Powers and Abilities
Dahlia was a powerful witch, powerful enough to be feared by Esther, Dahlia's younger sister and one of the most well-known and powerful witches in history. In addition to Esther, Finn and Freya are both said to be terrified of her, as well, due to the fact that the first-born witches of their bloodline, including Dahlia, Freya, and Hope, possess what Dahlia described as "devastating" amounts of magical power.
Dahlia was arguably the most powerful witch featured in The Originals. However, while the full extent of Dahlia's power remains unknown, Freya explained to her brother that she herself (who is an extremely powerful witch in her own right) was still running from Dahlia, as she understands that Dahlia's power was strong enough to defeat her the moment they reunite. This confirms that Dahlia was much more powerful than Freya and that she was truly to be feared by the Mikaelson family. Freya also claimed that Esther pales in comparison to her sister, in part due to Dahlia's ability to sense magic in others, especially in witches of their bloodline.
Dahlia was very talented in the Dark Arts and was able to use her magic to cast a fertility spell on Esther, although it came at the price of Esther's first-born child and the first-born child of Mikaelson witch to follow for as long as their line shall last. As revealed by Freya in The Devil is Damned, Dahlia had been able to keep herself alive for over a thousand years by casting an enchantment on herself (and Freya) that would place her in a deep slumber for a hundred years, only to wake for one year of life and then repeat the cycle. During the sleep, their magic would accrue over the decades until they finally awakened stronger than they had ever been. According to Dahlia, this enchantment was the next best thing to immortality a witch could have, as all other forms of immortality require the witch to become a vampiric creature and subsequently severs their connection to magic.
Because of the spells she cast on herself and Freya, she was capable of incredible acts of power. She once wiped out an entire village of people with the wave of her hand, killing men, women, and children alike because she was threatened with death for practicing the craft. She was also seen killing Matthias, Freya's lover, by making him bleed from the inside out, a spell that was later cast by Freya to kill Cassie.
She had shown the ability to enter minds en masse, allowing herself to see through their eyes, and talk through their mouths, a spell known as Kenning. She used this to spy on her marks before making her move against them. She was able to cast a powerful pain infliction spell on Freya, an extremely powerful witch in her own right, and had demonstrated the ability to cast spells without attracting the attention of the crowd, though the latter is likely due to her version of Kenning.
She can command an army of mortals to do her bidding with ease, even granting them a portion of her already enormous power, as well as the ability to use said power defensively, as evidenced by her "acolytes" being able to fling Klaus and Mikael through the air with invisible force. She was able to desiccate both Klaus and Mikael at once with little effort and without making physical contact with them. She also had the power to move from one place to another without occupying the space in between instantaneously, as though she was literally teleporting. Casting spells appear to be of very little trouble for Dahlia, as she destroyed the enchanted blade that was created to kill her without so much as an incantation, and she only needed to blow on Josephine LaRue's hands to heal them of the curse that had plagued them for decades. Dahlia then killed Josephine by slitting her throat with a violin bow, something that would likely be impossible in human hands.
Dahlia displayed the power to use Kenning on corpses after she killed Josephine and subsequently reanimated her long enough to use Kenning to send a message to her nieces and nephews at the Mikaelson compound. She had also displayed the power to create plant life and accelerate its growth, as she conjured vines with black dahlia flowers that covered the entirety of the exterior of St. James Infirmary to make her arrival known to Hayley. She can also cause plant life to die, as she did with the bouquet Aiden bought to give to his boyfriend Josh. While at the Mikaelsons' safe house, she also disrupted the nearby cell phone towers to prevent anyone from calling for help. She had shown herself to be proficient in snapping bones, breaking necks, and ripping/puncturing flesh with only simple hand gestures, and can easily use telekinesis to rip a heart from a victim's chest. She even managed to kill Aiden in a manner that appeared as though he was killed by a werewolf or hybrid, complete with claw marks all over his body, to cause Klaus' family and allies to believe that he was the one who had killed him. She had also been shown to play her signature tune on various instruments, with and without magic, including music boxes, violins, and church bells.
Dahlia was able to take Klaus's consciousness into her own mind to convince him that they can be allies. She even managed to wake him from desiccation without even making contact with his physical body, and conjured a thunderstorm in a remote area of the Bayou all the way from Lafayette Cemetery to create a flood that would prevent Hayley, Hope, and Jackson from escaping.
Dahlia once again used her powers of mind control to gather innocents for Klaus to feed on. She easily wished the storm she conjured herself away with the wave of her hand. She flung Freya across the Abattoir with a simple gesture and subdued her with no need of an incantation. She then reactivated the Crescent Moon Curse on Hayley's pack, modifying the spell so that everyone affected by the unification ceremony of the werewolves will be affected.