|“||New Orleans is full of ghosts. Our dead are always here, hovering. When supernatural creatures die, they're doomed to spend eternity alone watching the world go on without them. Of course, that's not the cause for the ancestral witches, we linger in a different way. Consecrated in the Earth, replenishing its power.||”|
The Ancestors are the totality of all New Orleans witches who have been consecrated to the earth. They inhabit the Ancestral Plane where they fuel the power of the entire witch community of New Orleans.
Every three centuries the Ancestors demand a sacrifice ritual called the Harvest where they take four witches and teach them in death. However, their belief in their cause is absolute, and teach this devotion to the Harvest girls. If a witch strays from the faith, they demand that said witch pay with their life and suffer the consequences in the land of the dead.
The Ancestors are the power source of all New Orleans covens. Once a witch has died, they are consecrated, and the magic in their bones are added to the ancestral power. While this restricts the witches, both living and dead, to New Orleans, it gives the coven the power, and the knowledge, of hundreds upon hundreds of witches. However, every three hundred years, the connection between the living witches, and the dead ones begins to wane. In order to rebuild the connection, The Harvest Ritual must be performed. The Ancestors also seem to be a near divine pantheon to the living witches of New Orleans; the orders of the Ancestors are treated as divine edicts that must be obeyed.
Presumably, the Ancestors have existed as long as the New Orleans covens have.
In 1919, Papa Tunde implied that there were other Ancestral Covens in the world, as he claimed to have practiced Ancestral Magic, drawing power from the Ancestors, but was not a native of New Orleans.
In Sinners and Saints, through flashbacks, the incomplete Harvest was shown, and it was revealed that the plan of the witches was to kill Davina and allow the magic to flow to the Ancestors, appease them, and have them resurrect the four dead witches, with the power of the coven restored.
In Après Moi, Le Déluge, the Harvest was completed, however, the power did not return to the Ancestors, as Céleste Dubois hijacked, and used it to resurrect Papa Tunde, Bastianna Natale, and Genevieve.
In Crescent City, in response to Papa Tunde's death, Monique Deveraux is revived and is revealed to have been schooled by the Ancestors, inheriting more power, but also their blind faith in the coven. She later kills her aunt for her lack of faith.
In Farewell to Storyville, Davina reveals that, unlike the other Harvest Girls, she was not taught by the witches in the land of the dead, but was berated and shunned by them, for her helping the vampires. The ordeal seems to have left psychological scars on her.
In The Big Uneasy, Monique is communicating with the Ancestors and they tell her it's time to resurrect Cassie, the last Harvest girl. Later on, she is about to kill Genevieve, when the Ancestors tell her not to, but they want her to kill Klaus' unborn child and will let Genevieve live.
In A Closer Walk With Thee, Genevieve explains to the Harvest witches that the Ancestors do not reside on the Other Side, but in the Earth, where their magic remains. After Genevieve saves Hayley, she begs the Ancestors that she can't kill Klaus and Hayley's Unborn Baby and an unseen force makes Genevieve bleed from her eyes, nose, etc. and flings her across the cemetery.
In From a Cradle to a Grave, Genevieve, Monique and Abigail plan to sacrifice Hope Mikaelson to the Ancestors which would fuel their power for centuries. However, Klaus, Elijah, and a transitioning Hayley break through their illusion and try to stop the sacrifice. Monique and Abigail call on the full power of the Ancestors buried in the cemetery to stop the Originals. However, Abigail is killed by Klaus, breaking the power of the Ancestors and, before she can be sacrificed, Marcel saves Hope, killing Monique in the process. Held prisoner by Elijah and Hayley, Genevieve reveals that the Ancestors would not stop trying to kill Hope because that was the deal that they had made with the most powerful witch of them all: Esther. The Ancestors have resurrected Esther and Finn to allow her to kill Hope and the other Originals.
In They All Asked For You, Finn Mikaelson is confronted in the cemetery by his brother Klaus. Finn criticized his brother for confronting him in the place where the Ancestors were the strongest. As a witch possessing another witch against his will, Klaus deduced that the Ancestors did not like Finn. He agreed with the fact that the Ancestors had little affection for him but he also told him that they hated Klaus far more. At that, Finn unleashed a wall of flames against his brother but he was able to evade them. Despite channeling the full power of the Ancestors, Finn was unable to stop his brother and was only saved by the intervention of Elijah and Freya.
In Out of the Easy, Davina reveals to Marcel that the Ancestors warned her about the Strix. Later in the episode, Davina is shunned by Vincent Griffith and the Ninth Ward Coven, as punishment for the massacre of Kara Nguyen and 10 other witches; as a result, Davina lost all connections to the Ancestors.
In Wild at Heart, Davina uses magic to access the Ancestral Plane where Kol finds her. They hide from the Ancestors and keep up with each other with Davina informing Kol she found a way to bring him back. However, despite wanting to come back, he tells Davina she cannot use the spell the Strix gave her knowing she would be stuck into their services. However, after nearly being found by the people they have been hiding from, they make their way back to St. Anne's where Davina's psychical body is, but not before being confronted by Kara Nguyen who wanted revenge on Davina. Fortunately for them, Ariane came and saved them from Kara. However, The Ancestors attention was drawn and Kol offered himself up so Davina could return safely to the psychical plane of New Orleans.
In An Old Friend Calls, although not seen, Vincent contacts them so they could show him where the last White Oak is and they refuse to. After Cami leaves, they show him images of where it is and Vincent later finds the White Oak bullet underneath a floorboard.
In Behind the Black Horizon, it's revealed that the Ancestors made a deal with Lucien. He would get rid of the Originals by becoming The Beast. They make a few attempts to stop Vincent and after the ritual is complete, Vincent goes to St. James Infirmary to meet up with Davina. Unknown to the Ancestors, Vincent and Davina are talking about getting rid of them since all they've done is get rid of people once their use is done and killing people if they disobey them.
In Where Nothing Stays Buried, the Ancestor's are seen on the Ancestral Plane once more, after Davina Claire's tragic death. Kara Nguyen attacks Davina and states that "they have big plans for her". The ancestors start to torture her and attempt to curse her with an ancient stone, La Gemme Vital, when Freya pulls her into a safety circle. Later on, Freya decides to save her family and uses Davina's link to the ancestors to do so. She takes her magic and then uses her new Ancestral Magic to defeat Lucien. However, Davina is left with The Ancestors; they torture her, before cursing her soul for all of eternity - their worst punishment.
In Give 'Em Hell Kid, Vincent and Kol seek to untether the Ancestral Plane. Using Josh as their life-link, they travel to the Ancestral Plane, where they conjure the pieces of Davina's shredded soul. Vincent brings with himself The Dépôt D'argent which serves as a mystical battery. Davina's last scene is where she severs the connection between the mortal and the ancestral world.
In High Water and a Devil's Daughter, Elijah and Vincent performed The Harvest and with the help of Davina Claire, they restored the link between The Ancestors and the New Orleans witches.
Note: * indicates the witch is a former ancestor.
- The Ancestors are based in the Ancestral Plane which is a spiritual limbo that separated them from the Other Side, and exists only within the boundary of New Orleans.
- Given that Esther is buried on New Orleans land, and was consecrated, it can be inferred that she was in fact one of the Ancestors, which was confirmed in From a Cradle to a Grave.
- The spell that allows the living witches to channel that power of the dead fades away over time, and must be recharged every three hundred years through the Harvest Ritual.
- Given that everything in the first two chapters of The Originals' first season was to complete the Harvest, the Ancestors can be seen as the true antagonists of that arc.
- The Ancestors have some connection with the Spirits, a similar group of deceased witches on the Other Side. Whereas the Ancestors act as overseers of the New Orleans Covens specifically, the Spirits reside over the witches in general.
- According to Genevieve, unlike other supernatural beings, the Ancestors do not reside on the Other Side, but instead exist apart from the Earth and fuel the power of Ancestral Magic in New Orleans. This is the reason why the Other Side's collapse didn't affect them.
- It seems that the Ancestors, like living witches such as Josephine LaRue, do not like the idea of witches possessing other witches, according to statements made by Klaus and Finn in They All Asked For You.
- The Elders elect a Regent to lead the nine covens of New Orleans.
- The Regent has a direct link with the ancestors and speaks on behalf of all the consecrated dead in New Orleans.
- The Regent is also offered a one-time access to the full power of the Ancestors to be used freely.
- The Ancestors have the right to decline a Regent, such as Van Nguyen.
- The Ancestors seem to have set certain laws in motion that the witches of New Orleans must abide by, such as shunning.
- Kol may have been a member of The Ancestors but he's not welcome among them. Due to the fact that he possessed one of their own, and he's an Original Vampire. Throughout his time with them, Kol had been tortured.
- Also, The Lifeblood Stone was used on him, but his soul was strained so ironically he survived it.
- According to Kol, a majority of the Ancestors primarily hang out in Lafayette Cemetery as he knows this from living with them.
- Ariane the only ancestral spirit seen thus far to be able to manifest in front of the living on her own accord. This could be due to her use of Dark Magic as shown when she previously entered the Ancestral Plane to save Davina without having to resort to killing herself.
- The Ancestors gave Lucien Castle full access to the power of the Regent to do as he wishes if he rids the world of the Originals.
- Magic can be stolen from the Ancestors by a witch who is powerful enough, however, they must have a conduit on the Ancestral Plane to draw the magic from.
- Davina cut off the link between the Ancestors channeling the covens but they are still there, unable to connect with the mortal plane.
- Vincent, with Davina performed the Harvest Ritual which restored the Ancestors' link to the living world. Upon doing so, he made Davina the Gatekeeper for all of the Ancestral Magic of New Orleans.