The most recent episode of A Discovery of Witches hints at Philippe’s incredibly long life and explains the mythical origin of Diana’s name.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Season 2, Episode 6, of A witch discovery, now broadcasting on Sundance Now, Shudder and AMC +.
Matthew and Diana finally reached Sept-Tours, the De Clermont family home in France, in last week’s episode of A witch discovery. However, the dynamic between Matthew and his stepfather Philippe was tense, and even turned hostile at times. Worse still, Philippe seemed decidedly distrustful of Diana. He even let another unknown witch into his house, who then tried to magically take away his memories as he watched. Fortunately, Diana was able to fight back, but needless to say, the incident did not improve Diana or Matthew’s feelings for Philippe. However, things change drastically between the trio in this week’s episode.
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Episode 6 starts right after Diana killed the attacking witch. Matthew is furious at his father for not protecting Diana and Diana is furious at Philippe for testing her with this other witch. But Philippe notes that their union is dangerous and the witch’s death will not be the last he causes. Then later, he provokes the bloody wrath of Matthew, making sure Diana understands how dangerous her son can be.
Ultimately, however, when none of this causes Diana to waver in her engagement to Matthew, and Philippe recognizes her as the witch in an ancient prophecy whose power will usher in a new era for creatures, Philippe changes her attitude toward Matthew and Diana’s relationship. Philippe performs a ritual accepting Diana as De Clermont, and later takes her and Matthew to an ancient temple in a forest clearing.
Philippe explains that the temple is dedicated to Diana’s namesake, the goddess Diana, the Roman goddess of the hunt and the moon. When Philippe was a child, brides would go to temples like this to ask for the protection of the goddess. But although Philippe acknowledges that Diana got her name from the Roman version of the goddess, he indicates that her origins go back even further than ancient Rome. Say a prayer on behalf of Diana invoking Artemis, the Greek name for the goddess.
Philippe’s familiarity with this ritual suggests that he can trace its roots back to ancient Greece. What’s more, when he completes the sentence, he appears to somehow commune with the goddess in a way that allows him to summon a white deer. This is a testament to Philippe’s longevity and great power. And when the deer leaves, Philippe indicates that Artemis has accepted his prayer and will extend her protection to Diana.
It is interesting to note that another Greek goddess, Hecate, was often associated with Artemis, and Hecate later became a goddess of witchcraft. In this indirect way, the choice of the name Diana for A witch discoveryThe main character, and Philippe’s choice to take her to a temple for the goddess Artemis, have some degree of symbolism that points to Diana’s powerful abilities as a witch.
A Discovery of Witches Season 2 stars Teresa Palmer, Matthew Goode, Alex Kingston, Valarie Pettiford, Lindsay Duncan, Edward Bluemel, Aiysha Hart, Daniel Ezra, Aisling Loftus, Trevor Eve, Owen Teale, Malin Buska, Gregg Chillin, Tom Hughes , James Purefoy, Steven Cree and Adelle Leonce. New episodes are available to stream every Saturday on Sundance Now, Shudder, and AMC +.
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