Warning: contains spoilers for Fate: The Winx Saga Season 2.
Fate: The Winx Saga brought The Winx Club into the modern television era with its grounded, edgy live-action take on a magical fairy boarding school. Instead of the Magical Realm, Fate gave us Otherworld, a parallel Earth where magic and magical creatures exist. Fairies rule Otherworld, but they’re not alone within it. Burned Ones and Blood Witches are just two of the magical antagonists we’ve been introduced to.
Fate borrows a lot from the animation it is based on, but it approaches magic in a different way. Fairies are not cutesy, colorful sprites, but essentially regular people who manipulate elements and sprout wings if the situation calls for it. And Blood Witches appear to be entirely different from their animated counterparts. In The Winx Club, witches are a magical species that exist alongside fairies. They have their own school like Alfea, their own version of the Winx Club, The Trix, and a goth aesthetic.
In the Fate lore, Blood Witches are merely humans who have tapped into magic by using blood and sacrifice. Fairies, on the other hand, are magic beings who draw power from the elements. What differentiates them, in essence, is whether powers come naturally. It gives this world a power structure, and a potential system of oppression centered on magical affinity.
While season one of Fate focused primarily on Burned Ones as the big bads, Blood Witches were introduced as a potentially larger looming threat. They are treated in the story as inherently evil because their means of conjuring magic is unnatural. Where Winx witches are just another type of magical being, Blood Witches in Fate are people who meddle in dark magic… apparently. Everything we know about Blood Witches we learned from Rosalind.
Rosalind, Aster Dell, Sebastian and the Scrapers
Rosalind is responsible for the destruction of Aster Dell, a Blood Witch settlement not far from Alfea. She convinced other fairies to combine their magic and raze the town, under the guise of destroying Burned Ones. She knew Blood Witches lived there and that they hadn’t evacuated. Rosalind hates Blood Witches, and controls their narrative for students at Alfea—and the show’s audience. We’re set up to fear and mistrust Blood Witches, but they may not be what we think.
After the build up of last season, we finally meet Blood Witches in the flesh when Bloom catches Sebastian in the act of controlling Andreas. Sebastian harbored Silva when the Suitemates helped him escape prison, and utilized a portal to keep Silva hidden. He summoned the scrapers to steal fairies powers. At first glance, Blood Witches are indiscernible from fairies. So much so that they are able to hide in plain sight at Alfea—Sebastian was a classmate of Silva’s after all. Their abilities, however, are much more powerful than almost anything we’ve seen from any fairy, including Bloom and her Dragon Flame.
Blood Witches are able to take complete control over the bodies of people they’ve cursed. They can make people do and say whatever they want, and have full control of their victim’s behavior. Their hold is so strong, they can even force their victims to self-harm. They are incredibly dangerous. But considering how their ability is used—or not used— this season, perhaps not as evil as they’re made out to be. When Blood Witches infiltrate Alfea, they control the specialists, but instead of having all those people hurt one another or themselves, they mostly use them to defend the school from the specialists who were inoculated from their magic.
How Does Blood Witch Magic Work?
Fate doesn’t explicitly show us how Blood Witches conjure magic. Scrapers take magic from fairies and transfer it to Blood Witch Sebastian, but it’s never clear whether that is his only source of power, or just a way to amplify what is already there. We see fairies being controlled before we see the first scraper, though, suggesting inherent power. We don’t know exactly how their magic works, but they don’t seem to operate the way Rosalind suggests. The scrapers used throughout the season are summoned and controlled by Sebastian, in presumably the same way as the fairies are controlled—through manipulation of the blood.
While we do know there is a book of magic that is used to summon the scrapers, it’s not entirely clear whether controlling other sentient beings is a spell that’s cast or an inherent ability. When Sky’s heart stops, Grey specifically uses Blood Witch magic to keep it beating and keep him alive, alluding to them being able to control and manipulate blood inside the body as opposed to drawing power from it. Or in addition to that, at least.
Though Fate is its own thing, the animated show might give us insight into what Blood Witches truly are. In The Winx Club, witches use dark magic and draw from negative emotions. The Winx fairies use light magic and draw on positive emotions. Both species are magical, and powerful, they just call on their magic from different places. So what if everything Rosalind believes—or chooses to share—about Blood Witches is wrong?
Blood Witches and Fairies: Two Sides of the Same Coin?
Ms. Downling spends her time at Alfea—and with Bloom especially—teaching the young fairies to draw only on positive emotions. Rosalind focuses instead on pulling from negative emotions. Later in the season, Bloom and her Suitemates are encouraged to embrace both positive and negative emotions in order to reach the full potential of their power and unlock their ability to transform. Using the animated series as an analog, this suggests that there’s not just a place for positive and negative forces, but a need for both of them.
Fate: The Winx Saga may be closer to the animation than it first appears. Magic can be light and dark, so can people. Fairies and Blood Witches may be two sides of the same coin, the Yin and Yang of magic in the Otherworld. Blood Witches have gotten a bad rap, but they have been reacting to fairies’ treatment of them. Maybe they’ll have an opportunity in season three to show that their existence is not a threat to fairies, and their magic is valid.
Fate: The Winx Saga Season 2 is streaming now on Netflix.