The Halliwell sisters of Charmed are most powerful when they bring their magic together, but each sister also has her own set of unique powers. Debuting on The WB in 1998, Charmed ran for eight seasons and was recently rebooted on The CW. The show was built around the premise of three sisters who discover that they come from a long line of witches, and that combining their abilities creates “The Power of Three,” which can be used to achieve incredible feats of magic.
The original trio of sisters was Prue (Shannon Doherty), Piper (Holly Marie Combs) and Phoebe (Alyssa Milano), but the Power of Three was complicated when Prue was killed off at the end of season 3. To fill the void, Charmed introduced a long-lost sister called Paige (Rose McGowan) at the start of season 4, who had been given up for their adoption but was driven to return to the family fold after Prue’s death.
When they were first introduced in season 1, each of the Halliwell sisters possessed a specific magical power: Prue had telekinesis, Piper could freeze time, and Phoebe could see the future. At first they had minimal control over their abilities, but as the series progressed they were able to refine them and even discovered new powers. All of the Charmed sisters had the general witch aptitude for spells and potions, but individually they were able to achieve amazing feats without saying a single magic word.
Prue’s control freak personality manifested itself in telekinesis: the ability to move objects with her mind. This started out with small feats and developed to the point where she could throw people across a room simply by focusing her anger on them, and Prue was also able to fine-tune her control of her powers. In season 2, the sisters travelled ten years into the future and Prue discovered that her future self had enormously powerful telekinetic abilities (though in the show she died before they ever reached that level). In season 2, her powers expand to include astral projection, with Prue leaving her physical body behind and travelling in an astral form to distant locations.
The first power that Piper develops is the ability to freeze time, though what she’s actually doing is simply slowing down molecules until they reach a standstill (rather than literally freezing time). As she learned to master her powers, she was able to freeze individual objects without stopping everything around her. Piper’s powers later expanded so that she could speed up molecules, which caused objects to explode. This ability was particularly handy for fighting demons, as under the right circumstances Piper could vanquish them simply by making them blow up.
Most of Phoebe’s powers are telepathic in nature. She first discovers her magical heritage when she experiences premonitions of the future, with her visions becoming clearer and easier to manipulate for clues as the series progressed. This also manifested itself as a “spidey sense,” with Phoebe able to sense and dodge incoming dangers. In the season 2 episode where the Halliwell sisters visit the future, Phoebe discovers that her future self can use her telepathic abilities to kill people with her mind (though she never gets this far in the show). In season 6, Phoebe develops the telepathic ability of empathy, through which she is able to sense and influence the emotions of people around her. Phoebe’s real wild card magic power, however, is levitation. She first discovers the ability to levitate in season 3, and over the course of the series learns different useful ways to manipulate it.
Paige has a whole smorgasbord of powers, thanks to being the daughter of both a witch and a whitelighter (a guardian angel for witches). On the witch side, she starts out with an ability called telekinetic orbing, which allows her to call objects to her by making them dematerialize and then rematerialize in her hands. She could also use this power to teleport and then throw objects, and the ability grew in complexity until she could call for objects without saying their name out loud, and could send objects to different locations instead of just calling them to herself. On the whitelighter side, she can also orb herself to different locations (basically teleportation), create illusions using glamor, heal injuries, and sense when people under her protection are in need of help.