Episode 1 is the first episode of the first season of A Discovery of Witches.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

In Oxford’s Bodleian library, brilliant American historian and reluctant witch Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up an ancient magical manuscript, Ashmole 782, which has been missing for centuries and finds herself confronted by acclaimed geneticist and vampire Matthew Clairmont, who is determined to get his hands on the book.[1]

Plot[edit | edit source]

Spoilers below: Click the 'show' button to the right to read a more detailed description.

Diana Bishop, a successful author and tenured historian at Yale, arrives at Oxford University on sabbatical. She is there to research alchemy and its place in the history of science, taking advantage of the resources at the Bodleian Library. Diana’s friend and fellow witch, Gillian, invites her to the local coven's equinox celebration, but Diana declines, having distanced herself from that part of her heritage. At the Bodleian, Diana requests several Ashmole manuscripts. The archivist can't find one of them at first glance, but when she passes the shelf again, Ashmole 782 is there.

Diana can tell something is unusual about the book as soon as she opens it. First, she observes that three pages have been cut out. An illustration of the alchemical child intrigues her. There is barely discernible text below it, and as Diana examines it further she sees it moving and changing. Touching the page causes the text to spread to her hand. Alarmed, she puts her hand on the illustration, which burns its image into her palm. She returns the book and runs from the library, seeing a vision of her father as she leaves.

Across town, two vampires react to the opening of the book: Matthew Clairmont, professor of biochemistry, and Miriam Shephard, his lab manager. Gillian observed Diana's reaction in the library and asks her about it, but Diana is still distressed and doesn't answer. Gillian later reports the incident to her coven leader, Sylvia, after receiving a text asking members if they felt anything strange the day of the equinox. Diana dreams about the book, spiders, and a web that envelops her whole body. She calls her aunt Sarah to tell her about the book and her vision. Sarah reacts combatively, but her partner Emily is more understanding of Diana's discomfort with magic.

Marcus Whitmore, a vampire and medical doctor, sees one of his colleagues hit by a car. He attempts to save him by turning him into a vampire, but the siring process fails. After making a police report, Marcus is picked up by Matthew, who takes him to the lab and asks Miriam to run tests. The three vampires discuss the possibility that Ashmole 782, a book Matthew has sought for hundreds of years, has been found.

The next time she is at the library, Diana accidentally uses magic to retrieve a book from a high shelf. Matthew catches it as it sails through the air. He introduces himself and praises Diana's writing, claiming he recognized her from the author photo in her books. In fact, he overheard Gillian's questioning of Diana after she ran from the library and researched her identity. Diana attempts to learn more about Matthew and finds to her annoyance that he keeps showing up wherever she goes. He warns her that other supernatural creatures are interested in Ashmole 782 and she won’t be able to avoid notice.

After a long day of research, Diana goes out for drinks with Sean, a library employee. She reveals that her parents were killed when she was young, on suspicion of being witches, and that she was raised by Sarah and Emily. Sean doesn’t realize that supernatural creatures exist and scoffs at people who still believe in witchcraft.

In Finland, two men approach a remote cottage. A witch, Satu, emerges and uses her powers to kill one of them. It is then revealed she knows the other man, Peter Knox, who hired a local huntsman to test Satu for suitability to join the Congregation. The two of them later visit Oxford at Sylvia’s invitation to question Gillian about what she observed.

While Diana is out of her apartment, Matthew searches it for the missing book. He then tracks her down to the boathouse as she returns from rowing. She insists she no longer has the book, and that he should leave her alone. He picks up the jacket she drops and is compelled to breathe in her scent. As his vampire instincts kick in, he warns her to walk away from him, but not to run.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Starring[edit | edit source]

Guest Starring[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.