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. This is why Hope was a "danger" to the witches in New Orleans and why Esther wanted to kill her, she was "trying to protect" her family from getting killed.
She appears in The Originals and become a major threat to the Mikaelson family and Hope and it has cause an unlikely alliance between Klaus and Esther as Esther is afraid of Dahlia due to her being a much more powerful and dangerous witch then she is.
Dahlia was a cold, wicked, spiteful and manipulative woman who was also dangerous and never cared about the consequences. She is the Bigger Bad of the Originals. 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
- Magic: Dahlia was an extraordinarily 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, who is stated to be no match for her. In addition to Esther, Finn and Freya are both shown 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. Despite Freya being an extremely powerful witch on her own right, she freely admits Dahlia was much more powerful than her. In fact, it could be argued that aside from the Hollow and Qetsiyah, Dahlia was the most powerful witch in the series. Even when her body was not indestructible, Dahlia had more than enough magical strength to easily hold the power afforded to her by her link to Freya.
- Dark Magic: Dahlia was extremely skilled 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, which granted her the ability to sense their presence and magic. She was capable of creating her own branch of dark magic, developing from scratch her form of corrupt representational magic that granted immortality, keeping her and Freya 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. Dahlia was later on able to swiftly modify and effortlessly cast the very powerful Crescent Curse, which she ensured would affect Hayley despite her being a Hybrid and thus transform both her and her pack at once.
- Biokinesis: Dahlia was capable of casting such powerful pain infliction spells to outright kill and at a massive scale: 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. Dahlia could easily inflict considerable pain on Freya and just a fraction of her power could cast powerful pain-infliction spells on Klaus and Mikael. She could effortlessly desiccate both Klaus and Mikael just by waving her hand and likewise she was able to restore Klaus from desiccation by the Golden White Oak Dagger without even being present.
- Telepathy: Dahlia displayed the greatest amount of magical telepathic powers seen thus far, mastering the powerful mind-control spell known as Kenning. She could effortlessly 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. Her mastery was such that she could affect, with no strain to herself, an entire crowd of mortals, able to command an entire army of mortals against Klaus and Mikael, influence the crowd into remaining ignorant while she confronted Freya, and have them not resist Klaus as he fed on them. She was likewise able to take Klaus' consciousness into her mind and show him the memories she wanted him to know.
- Weather Control: Without even being close, Dahlia effortlessly caused a severe storm to prevent Hayley, Hope and Jackson from escaping and with similar ease wished the storm away.
- Healing: Dahlia was highly proficient in healing spells: She included them into the enhancement she cast on herself and Freya so they would be able to quickly regenerate from any wounds, even one that should have killed them. She effortlessly cured Josephine of the curse on her hands simply by blowing into them.
- Pyrokinesis: Dahlia was able to reduce an entire village to ashes with a simple wave of her hand. Without even reciting any incantation, she was able to burn the dagger meant to kill her and seamlessly dissipate it. Dahlia was even able to melt the Golden Dagger slowly while incapacitated.
- Telekinesis: Dahlia was extremely skilled in telekinesis. Not only is she able to effortlessly use this on evolved werewolves, able to break their necks with a light gesture and even able to force Aiden to follow her and subsequently mutilate and rip out his heart with hardly any effort, but she is able to use this on Originals with incredulous ease: She intercepted Elijah when she was super-speeding at her and knocked him out, forced Klaus on his knees and pulled him to her, and even destroyed the indestructible White Oak Stake with ease and forced the Originals to breathe their ashes.
- Teleportation: Dahlia was proficient enough in teleportation to be able to simultaneously appear and disappear within a matter of seconds simultaneously without the need of a spell or verbal action of any kind.
- Genius Intellect: Her mystical attributes aside, Dahlia's greatest asset was her sharp intellect. Her penchant for strategies and forming contingencies way ahead of time easily surpasses even that of Elijah's. She quickly came up with a plan to make it look like Klaus had killed Aiden and 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.