In the hierarchy of evil, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are unknown evil beings that rank higher than demons. The horsemen are empowered by the the Source of All Evil and are charged with bringing about the end of the world through their respective personifications.
Each horseman represents and controls a certain destructive force, namely War, Death, Strife and Famine. When unleashed by the Source, the horsemen set out to cause destruction and chaos to instigate the apocalypse.
Only the Source of All Evil can destroy the horsemen. In each age across history, the horsemen have been tasked with bringing about the end of the world. However, each time they fail, they are destroyed by the Source and new incarnations are anointed.
Encountering the Charmed Ones
In 2000, the sisters noticed an increase in violence in the city. While returning from diner, Piper and Leo witnessed a violent outburst on the street. When Piper froze the scene, she noticed a man, Strife, in a suit observing the situation. She chased after him, though Strife escaped by conjuring his horse and fading away.
Strife reunited with his fellow horsemen on a field, where he informed them about what had happened. The horsemen figured it might pose a problem, as they were nearing their deadline. War then decided to set a trap to kill her so they could move forward with the plan.
Portal to the Netherworld
The sisters searched the Book of Shadows and Piper concluded that they encountered the Demon of Anarchy. They then called Darryl Morris to find the hot spot of violence, as they figured that was where the demon was.
Once the sisters arrived, they spotted Strife and he lured them into an alley. Once there, War grabbed Prue while Strife cast a spell. Piper and Phoebe countered it with their own spell, causing a portal to open under War and Prue, sucking them both into the Netherworld between Good and Evil. The other horsemen then quickly retreated.
Saving Prue and War
While both the horsemen and the sisters tried to figure out what happened, they are contacted by Prue and War from the other world. Meanwhile, Leo consulted with the Elders to figure out the true identity of the horsemen. Both sides agree that they have to work together to get Prue and War back.
The sisters meet with the horsemen at the Halliwell Manor to figure out how to open the portal. Phoebe eventually figured out they unknowingly formed a pentagram, meaning they would have to reverse their positions and spells to open the portal. Meanwhile, Leo went to the headquarters of the horsemen and discovered the truth. He then informed the sisters that if they opened the portal, they would bring back the final horseman and unleash the apocalypse.
Piper and Phoebe, still determined to get their sister back, met with the horsemen in the alley. However, when Phoebe shook hands with Strife, she got a premonition of the apocalypse and realized they could not bring back Prue if it meant the end of the world.
Through this selfless act, the Source of All Evil's plan to bring about the apocalypse failed and he opened the portal himself to vanquish the horsemen. As they were being sucked in, Piper and Phoebe quickly cast their spell and managed to free Prue before the portal closed. The remaining horsemen were then vanquished for their failure.
Powers and Abilities
- Basic Powers
- Spell Casting: The ability to cast spells and perform rituals.
- Active Powers
- Fading: A light or energy-based method of teleportation.
- Technopathy: The ability to manipulate electronics. Even while trapped in another dinemsion, War still managed to manipulate and communicate through a TV device.
- Conjuration: The ability to draw imaginary objects into existence. The horsemen were able to conjure their horses when they arrived on the physical plane.
- Other Powers
- Immortality: The ability to possess an infinite lifespan and an arrested aging process.
- Immunity: The ability to be immune to certain powers, spells or potions. The horsemen were immune to the powers of witches.
Notes and Trivia
- The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are described in the last book of the New Testament of the Bible, called the Book of Revelation, at the beginning of Chapter 6. The four riders are commonly seen as symbolizing Conquest, War, Famine and Death, respectively.
- In Charmed, Conquest was replaced with Strife. In other popular culture, Conquest is often replaced with Pestilence.
- The Horsemen viewed their results on televisions to keep track of how far they were from reaching their goals:
- Death's goal was 2.000.000 and had killed 1.985.736 with a 30% growth in the regions Central Africa and the United States
- War's goal was 785.000 and had killed 540.782 with a 27% growth in the regions of Rwanda and Chechnya.
- Strife's goal was 376.000 and had killed 301.654 with a 42% growth in the regions of San Francisco and Taiwan.
- Famine's goal was 1.929.000 and had killed 1.085.549 with a 65% growth in the regions of North Korea and Appalachia.
- The Horsemen are mentioned by Phoebe in "Siren Song".
- When discussing their potential failure after losing War, one horseman remarks that the Source would vanquish them all and choose four other "willing souls" to take their place. This would suggest that the Horsemen originate as humans.
- The Horsemen appeared to be unfamiliar with Whitelighters, as Leo orbing prompted one them to ask what he was.
- The horsemen share many parallels and similarities to the sisters;
- Similar to how Piper and Phoebe view Prue as the strongest and a leader of sorts, the horsemen felt the same way about War.
- Famine is the calmest and most rational. He seems to act as the mediator between the other horsemen, similar to Piper and Phoebe Halliwell did, when they were the middle sister.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse appeared in a total of 1 episode over the course of the series.
|Charmed, Season 2|
|#01||"Witch Trial"||#09||"Ms. Hellfire"||#17||"How to Make a Quilt Out of Americans"|
|#02||"Morality Bites"||#10||"Heartbreak City"||#18||"Chick Flick"|
|#03||"The Painted World"||#11||"Reckless Abandon"||#19||"Ex Libris"|
|#04||"The Devil's Music"||#12||"Awakened"||#20||"Astral Monkey"|
|#05||"She's a Man, Baby, a Man!"||#13||"Animal Pragmatism"||#21||"Apocalypse, Not"|
|#06||"That Old Black Magic"||#14||"Pardon My Past"||#22||"Be Careful What You Witch For"|
|#07||"They're Everywhere"||#15||"Give Me a Sign"|
|#08||"P3 H2O"||#16||"Murphy's Luck"|