‘Mayfair Witches’ Characters: Rowan Fielding, Lasher, Ciprien Grieve, And Cortland, Explained

AMC’s second dive into Anne Rice’s ‘Immortal Universe’ is a mighty effort toward laying the phenomenal path for a powerful clan of witches to tread on. Chiefly because the elemental mysticism of witches that frown at the idea of bowing to a diabolical, masculine force of the netherworld has only been an interest of gothic TV when ‘American Horror Story’ contrived ‘Coven.’ Even ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ had the protagonist’s supremely powerful witch aunties fight tooth and nail to be granted a chance to serve the Dark Lord. Of course, in terms of a gripping mayhem of gothic horror elements, one shouldn’t expect to find Penny Dreadful-esque magnificence in “Mayfair Witches.” But that isn’t what Elsa Spalding and Michelle Ashford were going for, to begin with. The essential objective of “Mayfair Witches” has been to nudge a fiercely feminine dynasty of dynamic witches to ascend to the kind of self-actualization that doesn’t reject the devilish force but makes use of it. Each character, dovetailing with the supernatural drama’s fairly surreptitious intentions, is modeled to aid the primary purpose. Let’s take a look at what roles the mystical characters play in the show’s transcendental journey.


Spoilers Ahead

Rowan Fielding

Alexandra Daddario brings a fascinatingly jittery disposition to Dr. Rowan Fielding. It is almost as though there’s a beehive that has been thriving within her without her knowledge, and it wants to break free. What has actually been growing within the gifted doctor is a volatile magma of mystical powers her adoptive mother, Elena, has kept her in the dark about. But a truth as consequential as Rowan’s witchy heritage inevitably finds a way to seep out, even if the ordeal leaves a few heedless men with brain aneurysms. Rowan’s labyrinthine psyche has forever been weighed down by the insistent feeling that she doesn’t belong in the world that she has grown up knowing. When Elena passes, Rowan plummets into an ocean of her ancestral secrets from the lifeboat of a life far away from it all. Nothing worth seeking ever comes easy, and Rowan’s ordeal is no different. Her traumatic passage into the Mayfair world is bloodied by the unsightly death of her birthmother, Deirdre. Rowan may be new to the family that has witchcraft running through their very veins but it isn’t easy to manipulate her. There’s not a soul in the Mayfair clan that Rowan is inclined to trust, and she is steady in her resolve from the get-go. Having her severe, darker side duel with the sensible normalcy she has been clinging to lacerates Rowan from within. It is all too overwhelming for a woman of science to be caught up in a vortex of Mayfair mysticism that she inherited from the powerful designees that came before her. Lasher comes to her as the bearer of every hedonistic pleasure a witch can dream up and the liberator of the vivacious powers she is yet to tap into. Waging war within Rowan is the irresistible pull of all that Lasher is prepared to offer and her steadfast determination to hold on to the life that was never meant for her to begin with. What Rowan is in anguished denial about is that Lasher is only going to unleash the darkness that is already flowing through her veins. She is desperate to reject her very truth and maybe even forgive the unforgivable if it accords her the peace of an unperturbed consciousness. It is only when she kills Carlotta that Rowan is vigorously tugged into a life where she can’t hide away from her truth. Rowan is innately benevolent and kind. It is what she fears losing the most if she welcomes Lasher into her life. And that is why it makes sense for Rowan to be drawn to Ciprien—the very epitome of virtue. Yet, there’s only so much Ciprien can do to derail Rowan from the path that was chosen for her centuries before she even came to be. The unfaltering conflict that brews within the mind of someone who is instinctively nurturing and vicious at the same time is what Rowan is helplessly caught up in. But if there’s one thing she knows, it’s that she will invariably do what she feels is right at the moment. If everything that makes her special is what she stands to lose if she wishes to banish Lasher, Rowan will sacrifice it all without so much as a second thought. If it is Lasher who she would need to summon to carry out her savage vengeance, Rowan would utter the unholy words with determined authority. More than anything, Rowan is the captain of her own ship. However much Ciprien may wish to protect her or Lasher to manipulate her into fulfilling his self-serving agenda, a majestic witch who asserts more often than she obeys will always find a way to shape her journey according to her will.



The devil has, time and again, taken a bewitching form in Gothic mediums. Although for someone who hasn’t read the books and has only known Lasher from the first season of ‘Mayfair Witches,’ the charming supernatural entity’s abstruse truth remains as questionable to me as everything else that drives his character. Who or what he really is an enigmatic manifestation of is still hidden under an opaque veil of mystery. But even if he is a derivative of the fallen angel, Lasher is by far the farthest deviation from the emblematic, hellish antagonist that we’ve come to get used to. It isn’t a generic, virile bringer of doom that is entrancing the witches into submission. Instead, Lasher lures the Mayfair designees with freedom. Risen out of the fire that eviscerated the Scottish village in 1600, Lasher’s initiation into the Mayfair clan was born of a noble motive—to free the first witch from the cage. Granted, he didn’t do it out of the goodness of his heart. But there wouldn’t be a Mayfair family if it wasn’t for Lasher saving Suzanne from the witch hunter. He has been bound to the line of the occultist matriarchs for the long-drawn fulfillment of his own design. An ancient prophecy compels the worldly birth of Lasher in a human form, and the one to give birth to the all-powerful being will be the 13th witch, Rowan. All Lasher has ever put his manipulative efforts towards has been to ascertain an uninterrupted witching hour where Rowan will be guided through the supernatural birth by the spirit of Suzanne, the midwife and the healer who was the first to be touched by him. Yet, despite his ulterior endgame, Lasher has time and again shown signs of harboring love for the witches. We haven’t seen his demeanor with the designees that came before Deirdre and Rowan. With Deirdre, Lasher was surprisingly patient. Trapped in the abusive grip of Carlotta, Deirdre had been through more than her fair share of suffering. For as long as her horrid life lasted, Lasher was her window to the world. Lasher tried to the best of his abilities to make things easier for Deirdre when she was confined within her own mind. The otherwise composed spectral being was overcome with rage when his beloved Deirdre was killed. He even showered the funeral home with rose petals to show his love for Deirdre. His tendencies toward being territorial towards the Mayfair designees are telling of the genuine, albeit problematic, closeness he feels with them. Would Lasher ever hurt a designee if it served his purpose? However much I may want to believe that he wouldn’t, that is always a possibility with someone as dicey as Lasher. Only time will tell what he wishes to achieve with his parahuman incarnation.

Ciprien Grieve

If there was ever a gullible rule follower who would agree to risk his life without knowing what he was risking it for, that would be Ciprien. Unsuspectingly being puppeteered by Talamasca while being kept in the dark about their real purpose, Ciprien Grieve makes himself a pawn in the preternatural game he can’t wrap his mind around. Like Lasher, the root of Ciprien’s psychometric abilities has been added to the pile of the show’s myriad unanswered questions. There have been many subtle hints suggested throughout “Mayfair Witches” Season 1 that places a young Cip in the vicinity of the Mayfairs. Could he have acquired his “gift” on the grounds of the Mayfair house? I wouldn’t rule out the possibility. The burden of his superhuman ability compels him to wear gloves whenever he isn’t directed by Talamasca to touch an object and intrude upon the secrets it holds. There’s seldom a man who can deny a Mayfair designee’s charm. And like the one who came before him, Cip does the one thing that he wasn’t supposed to do and falls head over heels for the Mayfair witch he has been assigned to protect. What Lasher thinks of the man who has impregnated his favorite witch may not be entirely unsubstantiated. All Ciprien ever means to do is look after Rowan’s well-being. What he doesn’t take into account or can even begin to fathom is just how great an impact her mystical roots and her innate prowess have on Rowan. Granted, Ciprien would go to the ends of the earth for Rowan, but making her swerve when she has set her mind to something is beyond his capabilities. It’s easier for Cip to underestimate the inconceivable extent of Rowan’s powers. At the end of the day, he would rather Rowan go back to her ordinary life than see her embrace her witchy potential. Blurry in his anxious state, Cip can’t grasp the motherly bond Rowan has instantaneously formed with her fiendish newborn. It would be fascinating to see how being part-Ciprien would play into Rowan’s unholy child’s momentous endeavors.



In a whole array of grays, Uncle Cortland is perhaps the only truly dark character. His bestial teeth cut deeper than the witchy business. Uncle Cortland may have come off as a compassionate man who wanted to help Deirdre break out of Carlotta’s draconian rule, but none of his actions are ever without a heinous agenda. With the entirety of the Mayfair riches at the tip of his fingers, Cortland has taken control over the bulk of the industries that run the town. From the hospital that prioritizes finances over helping the patients to the underpaid blue-collar workers he put out of work when he shut down the factories, Cortland’s brutal self-servitude has affected more people than his family can ever know. Yet the lowest point his wretched morals have ever led him to has crossed boundaries even a supernatural evil would flinch at. Clarifying the bewildering nature of Rowan’s father’s puzzling death, the season finale shook us to our very cores with the traumatic reveal that saw Cortland as the perpetrator who killed the man that Deirdre went to bed with and raped his own niece. And even after taking advantage of Deirdre and secretly fathering Rowan, Cortland was wicked enough to continue to pretend that he cared about the two Mayfair designees. Compared to the absolute evil Cortland is really capable of, making a pact with Lasher and dragging Rowan to the mausoleum at the witching hour seems to be customary for someone like him. The only plausible course of action for someone who doesn’t lift a finger if he won’t get anything in return is falling for Lasher’s promise of granting him immortality. It only makes sense that it was part of Lasher’s plan for Rowan to learn of all of Cortland’s dreadful transgressions and put an end to them once and for all.

Final Thoughts

The showrunners’ fine craftsmanship in carefully curating intriguingly gray characters didn’t get buried in the rubble of the show’s chaotic narrative. The one that stood out from the rest was Carlotta. Neurotic in her noble quest to keep Deirdre from falling for the cryptic manipulations of Lasher, Carlotta lets go of all sense of right and wrong. Wringing out the last drop of light from the poor girl whose life shouldn’t have turned out the way it did, Carlotta unintentionally pushed her toward the liberation Lasher was offering. The mystical world of ‘Mayfair Witches’ isn’t made of conclusive notions of good and evil. Yet, somehow, it isn’t necessarily a yin-yang of balance, either. If anything, AMC’s gothic drama poses the question of the morally murky salvation of feminine force in the omnipresent context of socio-spiritual scruples.


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Lopamudra Mukherjee
Lopamudra Mukherjeehttps://muckrack.com/lopamudra-mukherjee
Lopamudra nerds out about baking whenever she’s not busy looking for new additions to the horror genre. Nothing makes her happier than finding a long-running show with characters that embrace her as their own. Writing has become the perfect mode of communicating all that she feels for the loving world of motion pictures.

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