- Piper transforms into various creatures and magical beings throughout Charmed, with the Wendigo, Whitelighter, and Warlock being notable examples.
- The transformations in Charmed often lead to interesting plot developments and character growth for Piper, such as confronting buried emotions and learning to manage her emotions.
- While some transformations, like the Hulk Creature, may feel like filler in the final season of Charmed, overall, the show’s use of transformations adds depth and excitement to the story.
Throughout the eight seasons of the WB fantasy series Charmed, Piper turns into creatures and magical beings twelve different times. From 1998 to 2006, Charmed tells the stories of three sisters who learn they are witches with a supernatural destiny. Piper, Phoebe, and Prue Halliwell – the last of whom gets replaced by Paige Matthews in season 4 – fight evil with their special powers while trying to maintain some semblance of a normal life.
Charmed includes a number of elements that make the show special. One of the most appealing elements is that the show centers on strong women, female friendships, and the bond of sisters. Additionally, Charmed has multiple ongoing jokes which tie the eight seasons together. The funniest gag is the fact that all the Halliwell sisters date demons and get turned into creatures at some point. Piper, the second oldest behind Prue, gets turned into the most creatures and magical beings out of all the sisters.
The first time one of the Halliwell sisters transforms into a creature in Charmed, Piper becomes a Wendigo. Piper’s Wendigo looks and acts nothing like the creature from First Nations lore, likely a product of the first season’s low budget. Piper becomes this creature after surviving a scratch from another Wendigo. Her personality becomes more snappy, impatient, and aggressive when infected. Wendigos in Charmed pursue people with AB-negative blood and those in love, attempting to eat their hearts. Ultimately, Phoebe and Prue turn Piper back into a human witch by destroying Agent Fallon, the other Wendigo in this episode.
In Charmed season 1, episode 21, “Love Hurts,” Leo and Piper switch powers, using the power-swapping spell from the Book of Shadows. This turns Leo into a witch and Piper into a Whitelighter. Whitelighters only exist within the lore of Charmed, so this episode provides some clarity on how Whitelighter powers work. Much like witch powers, they possess a specific trigger. Piper cannot figure out how to use Leo’s powers when she needs to heal him from a fatal wound, adding tension to the plot. The power swap forces Piper to confront her buried emotions, propelling Piper and Leo’s relationship forward.
When planning her wedding to Leo in Charmed, Piper and her sisters become warlocks after a demon corrupts Prue. As warlocks, the sisters gain the power to shimmer and transform things with just their thoughts. However, the transformation also affects their sense of right and wrong. Piper and Phoebe behave in ways that they never would’ve in their normal witch state, using their magic frivolously, for amusement, and to harm others. Piper’s transformation provided a nice change of pace after almost two seasons of Charmed without any transformations.
During Charmed season 4, episode 3, “Hell Hath No Fury,” the furies use Piper’s anger about Prue’s death to transform her into one of them. These vigilante creatures view any negative actions as worthy of death, taking pleasure in the act of killing. When they breathe poisonous smoke on a wrongdoer, the person hears the cries of any person they’ve victimized. Luckily, Phoebe and Paige force her to confront her anger before her first kill, allowing her to transform back. This transformation in Charmed shows the importance of facing grief instead of running from it, a lesson Piper must learn the hard way.
8. Little Red Riding Hood
Early in Charmed season 5, the Halliwell sisters transform into storybook characters because of the Evil Witch. This episode posits that fairytales are real and possess magic that the Keeper must protect. By putting on the red cloak, Piper gets turned into Little Red Riding Hood. Though the other storybook characters fit with the lives of the Halliwell sisters, Piper’s transformation doesn’t pull from her story arc in Charmed. Piper unilaterally vanquishes the Evil Queen, a climax that foreshadows the mid-series issue of the oldest living Halliwell sister being too strong.
7. Whitelighter (Again)
Unlike earlier in the first time, season 5 of Charmed shows Piper and Leo swapping both powers and pregnancy symptoms, making Piper a Whitelighter again. The unborn Wyatt pulls this freaky Friday in order to encourage compassion between the pair. While Piper can control her Whitelighter powers better than the first time around, she learns more secrets about the job of these magical beings. Whitelighters not only speak any language in Charmed, but they constantly hear the voices of their charges. By the end of this transformation, both Piper and Leo offer each other more empathy and patience.
6. Goddess of Earth
When a demon releases the Titans from their ice prison in the Charmed season 5 finale, Leo makes the decision to give the Halliwell sister the powers of the Greek gods. Piper gets the power of Gaea – the Goddess of Earth – because it fits with her levelheadedness and desire for a grounded life. Despite this, Piper shows her more emotional and irrational side when she creates a dangerous thunderstorm over San Francisco after learning Leo has become an Elder. She ultimately relinquishes her powers, realizing that she must find a way to manage her emotions.
The season 5 finale and season 6 premiere show the first back-to-back transformations in Charmed. Piper turns into a Valkyrie when she puts on a Valkyrie pendant, infiltrating the demi-goddess’ island. She quickly discovers, though, that she would rather stay a Valkyrie instead of turning back into a witch. As a Valkyrie, Piper channels her anger into finding warriors for the Final World Battle. Despite her resistance, Phoebe and Paige cast a spell to help Piper realize she must return home. This storyline shows the struggle Piper has with processing her emotions and facing negative life events.
When Piper and Leo attend a Hindu wedding in the Charmed season 7 premiere, the pair turn into the gods Shakti and Shiva. This transformation provides insight into the world of Charmed. The Greek goddesses existed as mortals with godlike powers; however, Shakti and Shiva seem to be real gods within the Charmed universe. In addition to the foundational elements, Piper becoming Shakti represents her desire to act as the perfect mother who can handle everything herself. She feels empowered by having both god powers and Wiccan powers. By the end of the episode, she must learn to be okay with not being a supermom.
3. Angel Of Death
Piper becomes an Angel of Death during Charmed season 7, episode 5, “Styx Feed Under,” in order to make up for the damage from a spell Paige casts. Though she initially resists the idea of collecting souls, Piper comes to understand the necessary balance of life and death. She even accepts that she must take Paige’s soul, an act that only stops due to a deal made by Phoebe. This transformation has long-lasting impacts on Piper’s ideas about the cycle of life.
2. Blue Moon Beast
During the three nights of the blue moon, the Halliwell sisters turn into Blue Moon Beasts in Charmed. These creatures look like monster-wolf hybrids, exhibiting super strength and high resistance. Unlike other times when the sisters turn into magical creatures, this isn’t caused by a character. Instead, it occurs every 50 years as a result of the blue moon. Pulling from their existing animosity, the sisters attack only Whitelighters and Elders as Blue Moon Beasts. The transformation helps build the tension between the Halliwells and the Elders, providing clear reasoning for Leo’s choice to become an Avatar in Charmed.
1. Hulk Creature
The last time Piper turns into a creature or magical being in Charmed, she becomes a Hulk Creature due to a government-created virus that only affects magical beings. These creatures have super strength and heightened aggression, allowing them to beat up Leo as Hulk Creatures. Unfortunately, this is the weakest transformation for Piper because the Hulk Creatures have very little purpose in the plot. None of the character arcs develop due to this episode. Instead, this episode seems more like filler put into Charmed to pad the floundering last season of the classic fantasy TV show.