Mary Sibley, Queen of the Witches

For this week’s Femme Fatale Friday, I have chosen to feature Mary Sibley, as portrayed by Janet Montgomery on the television series Salem.   While Mary Sibley was a real person, the portrayal of her in the series is totally fictional, and it is this fictional version that I will be discussing here!

In the pilot episode of the series, Mary Sibley is first seen as a young woman from a less well to do family (she is described as poor, but has a servant) whom is in love with John Alden.    She is having a painful time, as John is leaving to fight in the wars, having been sent off by George Sibley.    Soon after John leaves, she finds out that she is pregnant.   It is not the time when it would be a good idea for her to be pregnant out of wedlock.   She makes the difficult choice to end her pregnancy by going into the Witch’s Wood with her servant Tituba.   They end her pregnancy and give the life of the unborn child up to the Woods.   It is at that moment that Mary becomes a witch!

Over the next seven years, she finds out that John Alden has died, sets about marrying George Sibley (after his wife is out of the way), keeping George incapacitated by means of magick, and becoming the First Lady of Salem.   It is in the position of Queen of the Witches of her Hive that she gains the most traction, especially as she begins to prepare for the Grand Rite.   It is also at this time that she learns that John Alden did not die, as she had been informed.   He shows back up in Salem and begins to turn Mary Sibley’s world on its ear!

Memories of her true love come back stronger than ever.    She is trying to keep her promises to the other witches and keep control over the Town Selectmen, by being the voice for her ailing husband.   She does all of this while also struggling with her emotional turmoil over having the man she loves back in her life!   The whole plot of performing the Grand Rite is the crux of season one, along with the tension of whether or not John Alden will find out the truth about Mary’s nature as a witch.   By the end of the season, Mary herself told John that she was a witch and saved him from his own execution and her baby was revealed to have never been killed. 

Going into season two, Mary is starting to begin her relationship with her son and mourning John yet again.   She was told that John was dead once again so that he could plan to kill all of Salem’s witches.   We also see, the mounting tensions of the Witch Wars that are coming.   I loved seeing Lucy Lawless as this iconic character of an ancient witch!   In the second season, Mary is deepening into new emotions and also riding a magical high in that she had succeeded in completing the Grand Rite.   Throughout the show (which only had three seasons), Mary is a unique blend of both badass witchy villain and the sweet personality of a hopeless romantic soul that she tried to hide in order to keep her hold as a Queen of Witches!   At the end of the day, I do not think the series would have been nearly as compelling without Mary at the center.   I adored her romance with John and her genuine love of those close to her (like Tituba and her son) as much as I did the vicarious thrills associated with a villainous character!   I hope you have enjoyed this short look at Mary Sibley from Salem the television series.  What are your opinions about her?   Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Note on Image: The image at the top of the post is a publicity still of Mary.   I found the image on

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Further Watching

  • Salem (2014)