Background[edit | edit source]
Ysabeau de Clermont is a vampire. Her full name is Genevieve Melisande Helene Ysabeau Aude de Clermont. She was once married to Philippe de Clermont. She had several vampire children with Philippe. The middle son is Baldwin Montclair, known for his love of destruction and prowess at strategy. Hugh, the oldest of Philippe's three sons, was known as the negotiator. The youngest of the three was Godfrey, known to be the conscience of Philippe's sons. Ysabeau knew Matthew Clairmont from birth and watched him grow up to work as a stonemason for her husband. After Matthew lost his family to a fever, she watched him slip into a deep sorrow. One day, Matthew fell from a scaffold while he had been working on a church that Philippe was having built. Ysabeau came to Matthew and offered him eternal life as a vampire. He accepted and she became his mother. Ysabeau would often sing to Matthew, hoping to calm him when he was mourning the loss of his wife and son. During World War II, Philippe was tortured by Nazis and thereafter died. After her husband's death, Ysabeau would only hunt in Germany and Argentina. She had a strong hatred for witches who helped prevent her husband from being rescued from the Nazis. She lives in Sept-Tours in France with Marthe, her housekeeper.
History[edit | edit source]
A Discovery of Witches[edit | edit source]
Ysabeau is introduced when Matthew brings Diana Bishop to their home, Sept-Tours in France, to get away from the threats that await them in Oxford. Immediately, Diana can tell that Matthew's mother is not happy to meet her. Ysabeau is known for her powerful dislike of witches. At the beginning of their stay, Ysabeau is cold to Diana and does not show much interest in behaving cordially to her. As time goes on, Ysabeau begins to respect Diana's strong will and principles. When the vampire, Domenico Michele comes to warn Diana and the de Clermont family about the Congregation's objections to Matthew and Diana's union, Ysabeau is protective of Diana. When Matthew leaves to return to Oxford, Ysabeau takes care of Diana when her witchwater almost drowns her. While watching over Diana after the incident, Ysabeau tells Diana the story of how she made Matthew into a vampire. While Matthew is away, Ysabeau takes Diana to watch her hunt animal blood, thinking it will make Diana reconsider her relationship with her son. When Matthew returns from Oxford and kisses Diana, Ysabeau tells them that because they are now mates, they have broken the covenant of the Congregation. When Diana is abducted by the Congregation, Ysabeau calls Baldwin to help Matthew track her down. When Matthew and Baldwin bring Diana back to Sept-Tours, Ysabeau helps tend to her injuries. She stays with Marthe at Sept-Tours when Diana and Matthew decide to go to the Bishop house in Madison, New York.
Shadow of Night[edit | edit source]
Ysabeau's earring helps Diana steer Matthew and herself to the past. Ysabeau is away from Sept-Tours in the 1590s when Matthew and Diana timewalk there, however, her ring on Diana's finger helps Philippe in the 1590s to recognize that Ysabeau accepted Diana as a daughter. In the present, Ysabeau tries to protect Matthew and Diana in the past by looking for anomalous historical artifacts that might reveal their location, and trying to arrange to obtain the artifacts and keep them out of the news.
Ysabeau reveals to Diana's aunts, Sarah and Emily, whether or not there was once a witch who gave birth to a vampire child, with the power to cause fierce sea winds to blow. Ysabeau becomes chatelaine of a household of family and others supporting the cause of the Knights of Lazarus at Sept-Tours in the present while Matthew and Diana are timewalking in the past. When they return, she detects whether or not Diana has become pregnant with Matthew's child
The Book of Life[edit | edit source]
Ysabeau on the origins of blood rage: "Matthew cannot tell you the beginning of this tale," Ysabeau said softly. "Only I can."
"No, Maman, " Matthew said, shaking his head. "That's not necessary."
"Of course it is," Ysabeau said. "I brought the disease into the family. I am a carrier, like Marcus."
"You?" Sarah looked stunned.
"The disease was in my sire. He believed it was a great blessing for a lamia to carry his blood, for it made you truly terrifying and nearly impossible to kill." The contempt and loathing with which Ysabeau said the word "sire" made me understand why Matthew disliked the term.
"There was constant warfare between vampires then, and any possible was seized. But I was a disappointment," Ysabeau continued. "My maker's blood did not work in me as he had hoped, though the blood rage was strong in his o
Ysabeau stopped and drew a shaky breath.
"As a punishment," she repeated slowly, "I was locked in a cage to provide my brothers and sisters with a source of entertainment, as well as a creature on whom they could practice killing. My sire did not expect me to survive."
Ysabeau touched her fingers to her lips, unable for a moment to go on.
"I lived for a very long time in that tiny, barred prison—filthy, starving, wounded inside and out, unable to die though I longed for it. But the more I fought and the longer I survived, the more interesting I became. My sire—my father—took me against my will, as did my brothers. Everything that was done to me stemmed from a morbid curiosity to see what might finally tame me. But I was fast—and smart.
My sire began to think I might be useful to him after all."
"That's not the story Philippe told," Marcus said numbly. "Grandfather said he rescued you from a fortress—that your maker had kidnapped you and made you a vampire against your will because you were so beautiful he couldn't bear to let anyone else have you. Philippe said your sire made you to serve as his wife."
"All of that was the truth—just not the whole truth." Ysabeau met Marcus's eyes squarely.
"Philippe did find me in a fortress and rescued me from that terrible place. But I was no beauty then, no matter what romantic stories your grandfather told later. I'd shorn my head with a broken shell that a bird had dropped on the window ledge, so that they couldn't use my hair to hold me down. I still have the scars, though they are hidden now. One of my legs was broken. An arm, too, I think," Ysabeau said vaguely. "Marthe will remember."
No wonder Ysabeau and Marthe had treated me so tenderly after La Pierre. One had been tortured, and the other had put her back together again after the ordeal. But Ysabeau's tale was not yet finished.
"When Philippe and his soldiers came, they were the answer to my prayers," Ysabeau said. "They killed my sire straightaway. Philippe's men demanded all of my sire's children be put to death so that the evil poison in our blood would not spread. One morning they came and took my brothers and sisters away. Philippe kept me behind. He would not let them touch me. Your grandfather lied and said that I had not been infected with my maker's disease—that someone else had made me and I had killed only to survive. There was no one left to dispute it."
TV Series[edit | edit source]
Ysabeau de Clermont is one of the oldest vampires in existence, and certainly one of the cleverest. Known for her beauty and elegance, Ysabeau was mated to the legendary Philippe de Clermont. Ysabeau is fiercely protective of her family and her concerns are primarily for her beloved son, Matthew. Because Philippe was held and experimented on by Nazis and witches during World War II, Ysabeau once vowed to kill every witch she could get her hands on. So when Matthew asks her to help him protect Diana she is angry and conflicted. Steely, ferociously intelligent and deeply loyal, Ysabeau is the strong female core at the centre of the de Clermont clan.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Episode 4 (Season 1)
- Episode 5 (Season 1)
- Episode 6 (Season 1)
- Episode 7 (Season 1)
- Episode 8 (Season 1)
- Episode 2 (Season 2)
- Episode 4 (Season 2)
- Episode 6 (Season 2)
- Episode 8 (Season 2)
- Episode 10 (Season 2)