The Devon Coven was an extremely powerful group of witches and warlocks based in the county of Devon, England. At some point, Rupert Giles came to know its members and maintained contact with them.
The Devon Coven sensed that Willow Rosenberg had become overloaded with dark magic in 2002, and contacted Giles about the threat emerging in Sunnydale. They devised a complex plan that involved the coven giving their magic to Giles with the intention of Willow stealing it so that it could tap into her remaining emotions and give someone the chance to reach her humanity. After he arrived, Giles bound Willow physically and magically with his powers. However, she quickly escaped. An epic magical battle ensued between the two as they pitted their powers against one another. After several rounds that destroyed the Magic Box and weakened Giles, Willow sucked the power from his body. The magic she took from him was accompanied by an emotional burst that put her in touch with the pain of all humanity, making her decide to end it by destroying the world, but allowed Xander Harris to reach her humanity and stop her.
After Willow returned to normal and her power returned to its sources she accompanied Giles to Westbury, England. There she studied magic and meditation with members of the Coven, such as Ms. Harkness, learning a different approach to magic.
After the First Evil began its campaign to eliminate all Potential Slayers and had the Watchers Council destroyed, Giles relied upon seers of the Devon Coven, such as Althenea, to locate any surviving or undiscovered Potential like Eve or Amanda.
Powers and Abilities
The Devon Coven was described by Giles to be an extremely powerful force, and subsequently proved it through the feats they achieved through magic.
Examples of powers it had displayed were:
- Sensing: The Devon Coven had the ability to determine the location and status of other beings, as evidenced by how it sensed Willow emerging as a new threat in Sunnydale due her overloading on dark magic.
- Premonition: The Devon Coven included members who had the ability to see and experience events from the past, present, and future. Through one of these members, Giles learned of Tara's tragic death (which resulted in Willow's spiral into dark magic). Later on, he depended on these members to locate any surviving or undiscovered Potential Slayers.
- Power Granting: The Devon Coven had the ability to confer powers to another being, as seen by how they gave Giles a tremendous amount of magical powers that enabled him to hold his own against Willow in a magical duel. In this state, Giles was able to access potent powers such as:
- Teleportation: Giles was able to transport himself instantaneously from one place to another.
- Telekinesis: Giles was able to move objects with his mind.
- Energy Projection: Giles was able to create and manipulate powerful forms of energy, focusing them and using them to perform specific functions of both offensive and defensive natures.
- Worldwide Empathy (possibly): It was possible that, while he was being empowered by magic, Giles had the ability to feel and understand other people's feelings, emotions, and desires, but to a highly advanced level. This is so, as Willow felt the pain of all humanity after sucking all the magical powers from his body, which heavily implies that the power of empathy (on a global scale) was among the abilities she took from him.
- Spell Casting: Giles was able to cast magical spells powerful enough to contain even a witch like Willow.
- Tactical Thinking: The Devon Coven was shown to be good at thinking tactically, especially in complex situations where the so-called opponent was merely suffering from the pain and grief of a broken heart instead of any true malice. When Willow allowed herself to be thoroughly consumed by the powers of dark magic due to Tara's death, the coven devised a complex plan that ultimately enabled Xander to successfully reach her humanity and bring her back to normal.
- Rehabilitation/Teaching: The Devon Coven was shown to be an adept in rehabilitating even severe magical addicts as well as teaching others about magic and nature. A prominent example of this would be Willow, who underwent a rehabilitation under the guidance of the Devon Coven after she returned to normal. Through this tutelage, she not only developed a new better understanding of magic and balance, but also embraced healthy habits such as meditation and self-restraint, which in turn testifies the coven's effective teaching skills as well as rehabilitation practices.
Behind the Scenes
- One of the members of the Devon coven is named "Ms. Harkness," a reference to Agatha Harkness, a powerful witch featured in the X-Men comic books, of which Joss Whedon is a fan and writer.