Darkness isn't born, you know. It's created... by the snuffing out of the light. So, however you thought you might mend me, please know you never could. Whenever I looked in your eyes, I saw your mother - the sister who turned my heart to stone. And, with that stone, I will crush every one of her children.
Described by Freya as the most powerful witch she has ever seen, Dahlia first gained her enhanced powers by linking her magic to the magic possessed by her then five-year-old niece Freya. Once Freya reached adulthood, Dahlia then cast a spell that allows them both to gain pseudo-immortality by leap-frogging through time; the women were put into a magically-induced sleep for nearly a century, only to awaken for one single year of life and aging with all of the magic they accrued over their hundred-year-long slumber, before they would once again return to their sleep after the year had passed.
Dahlia's understanding of magic after so many years of study is extensive enough that she was able to create her own form of Connective Magic in the 10th century. She also had the ability to sense the magic of other witches, especially those of the first-born children of her and her sister Esther's bloodline, as the first-born witches of their lineage possess devastating amounts of power. According to Freya, Dahlia aimed to be truly immortal without having to sleep for centuries, and she will not hesitate to come and claim the first-born Mikaelson witches to achieve this goal, even if it means destroying anyone who stands in her way.
Dahlia was born in Norway at some point in the 10th century. She was the first-born child of unnamed witch parents and the oldest sister of Esther. They both belonged to a long and powerful bloodline of witches whose first-born children are well-known to possess even greater magical strength, and because of this, Dahlia and Esther were presumably taught the craft from a young age. Dahlia devoted herself to the mystical arts (unlike her sister Esther, who felt insecure in her abilities in comparison to her prodigious sister and as a result did not take her practice of witchcraft as seriously), and Dahlia grew to become a very skilled and powerful witch.
Sometime between the late 960s and the early 970s A.D., Viking warriors attacked Dahlia's village and killed everyone in it. Dahlia and Esther then hid behind a wheelbarrow, the two sisters promised each other that they would remain together no matter what happened, "always and forever". When a Viking found the sisters and attempted to attack Esther, Dahlia telekinetically shoved him away from her, which led the Vikings to take both girls prisoner rather than killing them like the rest of the villagers. The girls were taken to a nearby hovel, where Dahlia agreed to do the Dark Magic that the Vikings wanted from her to ensure that Esther wouldn't be harmed; instead, Dahlia took the abuse from the Vikings in Esther's place to protect her from the worst of the horrors of their situation.
One day, while toiling in the hovel while Esther picked herbs for her outdoors, Dahlia managed to stealthily infuse potent sage with serpent's blood to give herself and Esther the magical strength necessary to escape their captivity. However, when Esther returned and Dahlia explained her plan, Esther instead confessed that she no longer wanted to practice witchcraft because she had fallen in love with one of their Viking captors, Mikael, with whom she planned to marry and start a family. Dahlia was emotionally devastated by this revelation and begged Esther to stay with her, reminding her of their promise to stay together forever, but though Esther assured her they would always be sisters, she left despite Dahlia's pleas and married Mikael some time later. It was after this event that Dahlia, who was angry that she was living in subjugation under the Vikings and was betrayed by Esther, vowed that she would never be weak again, a vow that would ultimately shape who Dahlia became in adulthood.
In 972 A.D., after being married to Mikael for a year and still not succeeding in conceiving a child, Esther feared she was cursed to be barren and begged Dahlia for her assistance in casting a fertility spell. This angered Dahlia, who pointed out that if Esther hadn't abandoned her heritage as a witch in pursuit of marriage and motherhood with a Viking warrior, she would be able to help herself. However, in spite of her disappointment in her sister, Dahlia agreed to help Esther and admitted that she could never deny her baby sister. However, Dahlia warned her that such magic would require a great sacrifice. Desperate with nowhere else to turn, Esther blindly agreed to the terms; in exchange for casting the fertility spell on Esther, Dahlia would be given claim to Esther's first-born child, as well as every first-born child that followed for as long as Esther's bloodline should last. However, a millennia later, Esther would refer to Dahlia as someone who was willing to magically solve a person's problems for a steep price, suggesting that perhaps Dahlia's motives in helping Esther weren't as altruistic as she made them seem at the time.
Five years later, Dahlia returned to take the first-born child of Esther and her husband, Freya, after she sensed the magical potential in the child. When Esther began to resist giving up her eldest daughter, Dahlia threatened her by reminding Esther that if she did not deliver on her end of the bargain, that not only would she take Freya, but she would also take all of her children, including young Finn and baby Elijah, who was still in the womb at the time. Esther became furious and vowed that she would immerse herself in the Dark Arts again until she grew in power to the point that she could one day defeat her sister. However, Dahlia was not intimidated, and she reminded her that Esther could never match her power. Afterward, Esther did as Dahlia suggested and told her husband that their daughter died in the plague. In their grief, Esther, Mikael, and their sons Finn and Elijah set out on a journey to the New World in hopes of preventing the loss of more children to the disease.
With Freya in her possession, Dahlia planned to make the child the first of a long line of Mikaelson first-borns, believing that she would not only be able to use to create an all-powerful coven with her sister's descendants, but would also be granted an endless source of magical power from which Dahlia could channel to fuel her spells. After forging her own brand of connective magic, Dahlia cast a connectivity spell on herself and Freya, which both augmented the younger witch's power and allowed Dahlia to draw more strength from her. This gave Dahlia more power than ever, which she then immediately used to destroy an entire Viking village, whose chief had threatened to have her exiled for being a witch, with a wave of her hand.
Dahlia spent the next years raising Freya and training her in witchcraft, which led her to become a powerful witch in her own right. According to Freya's accounts later in life, Dahlia treated her like a slave and only seemed to value her for how much power she could give her; however, though Dahlia herself later admitted that she made a mistake in denying Freya the love of a parent, she still insists that she was only doing what needed to be done to both protect Freya from anyone who would use her for her magical gifts and to protect Freya from her own immense, wild magical power that came from her status as a first-born witch of Dahlia and Esther's bloodline. Eventually, Dahlia enacted her plan to make both herself and Freya essentially immortal by casting a spell which protect them from all conventional forms of harm and death and live for centuries; the spell would require that Dahlia and Freya sleep in a state of suspended animation for a full century, after which they would awaken for one single year of activity and aging with access to all of the power they had accrued during their long slumber, making them among the most powerful witches in history. However, Freya, tired of living as an indentured servant with no life or freedom of her own, pleaded to Dahlia to spare her from the spell, which she believed to be a curse; unfortunately for Freya, Dahlia cast the spell on them both anyway, and insisted that Freya would one day thank her for gifting her with eternal life.
When Dahlia learned that Esther had turned her husband and surviving children into vampires, preventing them from ever having children of their own whom Dahlia could claim as part of her bargain with Esther, she became furious at this loss of potential Mikaelson witches whom she believed she was owed. In response to this unexpected setback, she turned to Freya, the last living Mikaelson, to continue Esther's bloodline. Freya, who hated Dahlia for everything she had inflicted on her over the course of her life, swore she would never love or have children, as she knew they would be condemned to the same life of slavery that she was. However, after Dahlia and Freya awoke for their single year of life in the early 1400s, Freya fell in love with a man named Mathias despite her vow to remain alone. Dahlia encouraged this romance in hopes that Freya would bear her a child to add to their power, and eventually, Freya did indeed become pregnant with a son. Mathias, like Freya, wanted their child to be free more than anything else, and so he tried to help the three of them escape from Dahlia shortly before the child would be born. When Dahlia learned of this betrayal, she killed Mathias before Freya's eyes with a death hex. Grief-stricken, Freya drank the most potent of Dahlia's poisons, hoping to kill herself and her child and end the vicious cycle of misery in which she was trapped. However, the spell Dahlia cast that granted them pseudo-immortality also protected them from any form of harm, rendering Freya incapable of dying from any means, including by poison. Unfortunately for Freya, her unborn son was not afforded this protection, and he ultimately died from the poison she drank, a revelation which devastated Freya. Dahlia was furious with her for taking the life of the first-born she was owed, but she claimed that she would, eventually, come to forgive her.
An unknown amount of time later, Freya finally managed to escape Dahlia's control, although according to her, she knows Dahlia will not stop until she finally tracks her down - when she described her situation to Elijah, Freya stated that her punishment for running away from Dahlia would be "profound".
In Wheel Inside the Wheel, Esther revisited her memories of going to Dahlia for help in 972 A.D. after a year of trying and failing to conceive a child with her husband Mikael. Dahlia was resistant at first, but ultimately cast the spell, though she demanded that Esther give her her first-born child and every subsequent Mikaelson first-born in her bloodline for as long as it continued to exist. deal they had made. Five years later, Dahlia sensed Esther and Mikael's first-born child Freya's magic and came to claim her while Mikael was away in battle, and swore that if Esther interfered with her taking the payment she was owed, she would go on to take Esther's second-born son Finn and her third child Elijah, who was still in the womb at the time.
In The Brothers That Care Forgot, when Finn was held captive by his brothers, he finally shared the truth about their existence with Klaus: Esther learned she was barren after she and Mikael were married, and the only reason she was able to have her seven children was because of the fertility spell Dahlia cast. Finn also told Klaus that Esther was forced to give Freya away, though Klaus was reluctant to believe the story due to Esther's history of telling them lies. Finn tried to arouse some compassion toward their mother with this story, but Klaus only saw in it another reason to kill Esther. Not giving up, Finn explained that the only reason why Esther had tried to kill Klaus' daughter Hope was because she knew that if the child had lived, Dahlia would come for her, as she was the only first-born Mikaelson to exist since she claimed Freya one thousand years ago. Finn emphasized the fact that Esther wholeheartedly believed that Dahlia's return would result in the deaths of them all in retribution for Esther's decision to turn her children into Original Vampires.
In The Map of Moments, Klaus shared his new discovery about Dahlia, Hope, and the so-called "first-born curse" with Hayley, Rebekah, and Elijah. Elijah seemed suspicious of the validity of Finn's story, reminding them that Finn couldn't be trusted to tell the truth either. He also argued that since Dahlia was older than they are, she was most likely long deceased by now. However, Hayley was less confident and pointed out that since Esther, Finn, Kol, and Mikael had all managed to be resurrected in one way or another at least once, they shouldn't be so eager to assume that Dahlia wasn't still alive as well.
In The Devil is Damned, Freya, who had just awoken from her century-long sleep and escaped the Fauline Cottage asylum, reunited with her brother Finn for the first time since she was taken by Dahlia and explained some of her history since she was taken away from her family in the 10th century, including her discovery of the pseudo-immortality spell on her and Dahlia and her escape from her aunt several centuries ago. When Finn looked concerned about the trouble Freya was in with their aunt, Freya insisted that the only one who needed to fear Dahlia is her due to her betrayal, forcing Finn to confess to her that their brother Klaus had fathered a daughter, Hope. With Dahlia's curse on the first-born Mikaelsons still active, Freya stated, "I've come to learn a hard lesson in our time apart -- you have to let some things die so that others may live," alluding that she either believed Hope needed to die to help prevent Dahlia from finding and killing them all, or that she believed Dahlia needed to die to protect them all from her wrath.
In I Love You, Goodbye, Freya admitted to Finn that Dahlia managed to find her and claim her when she was young because Dahlia was able to sense her magic beginning to manifest itself. She also informed Finn that once Hope started to demonstrate magical abilities as well, it would act as a beacon to draw Dahlia to her, not knowing that Hope had already begun to demonstrate magical abilities such as the power to heal herself of wounds and to control technology by making a car stop. That night, the tune Dahlia used to hum to Freya as a child began to play on Hope's music box, which alluded to the fact that Dahlia had already sensed Hope's power.
In They All Asked For You, Freya officially met her brothers Klaus and Elijah for the first time, though she had caught a glimpse of them in 1914. Sensing their distrust of her, Freya assured them that she only had one goal: to kill Dahlia before she had the chance to kill them and take Hope for her own. She asked her brothers for their help, but only Elijah was willing to listen to her.
In Save My Soul, Klaus invited Freya to the Mikaelson compound to learn more about Dahlia so they could stand a chance at protecting Hope. Freya described more of her history with their aunt, including the fact that Dahlia had magically linked them together when she was five years old to increase Freya's power while still allowing Dahlia to channel it, the spell that made them essentially immortal, and the trauma of losing Mathias and her child because of Dahlia's tyranny. When Klaus continued to be suspicious of Freya and her motives, Freya insisted that if Klaus didn't forge an alliance with her, then Dahlia would ultimately take Hope and force her into the same life of indentured servitude and slavery that Freya lived.
In Night Has A Thousand Eyes, Hayley and Jackson were walking with Hope around the French Quarter when several people on the street began to look at them suspiciously. A flower merchant offered them a black dahlia and stated that it was a gift for their child before the man's eyes turned white, suggesting that he was being possessed by Dahlia. Klaus arrived suddenly, realizing that Dahlia had finally arrived to town, and tried to threaten the flower merchant to protect Hayley and Hope, only for Dahlia to instead possess Jackson and warn them that she is everywhere and will not stop until she has claimed what is hers. Freya later explained to her siblings that this ability to possess multiple people at once from a distance is called "Kenning" and that she knows how to block it. Freya then got the idea to magically connect with Dahlia's essence that was left over from her brief possession of him in order to trace the magic to its source to locate her. However, when Freya touched Rebekah in order to channel her magic for extra strength, Rebekah was able to sense that Dahlia was still channeling Freya's power to this day.
Afraid that Freya could either intentionally or unintentionally lead Dahlia to them, Rebekah and Hayley asked her to leave, making Freya hurt and upset. While Freya wandered through the French Quarter, Dahlia appeared before her, first using Kenning to possess those around her, and then materializing herself. She chastised Freya for leaving her all those centuries ago and then warned her that she will destroy her family if she tries to stop her. Dahlia was later confronted in St. Anne's Church by Klaus and Mikael, who had procured an enchanted blade forged with the three sources of Dahlia's power: Norwegian soil (sacred earth from her homeland), the ash of a fallen Viking (the body of her oppressors), and the blood of the closest thing Dahlia has ever known to love (Freya). When bound together, these three elements combined to form Dahlia's sole weakness. Before they could fight her, Dahlia revealed that she had the ability to give her "acolytes" a fraction of her own power. Two witches confronted Mikael and Klaus directly. Eventually, though, all of those under her control were quickly slaughtered, and it gave Dahlia enough time to locate their weapon and destroy it. Before she vanished, she gave them all an ultimatum: they had two days to say their goodbyes to Hope before Dahlia came to finally claim her, and so long as they handed her over, none of them had to die.
That evening, Dahlia lured the Mikaelsons' witch ally Josephine LaRue, who had created the safe house where they were hiding Hope, to her by playing the violin on the streets of the Quarter. When Josephine came to compliment her on her technique, Dahlia bonded with Josephine over their mutual love for the violin, and when Josephine mentioned that she had been unable to play for decades due to her arthritic hands, which had been cursed by her mother as a punishment, Dahlia used her magic to heal them. Josephine quickly realized that she was speaking to Dahlia, and that Dahlia intended to kill her, so she offered to help her in an attempt to have her life spared. Dahlia politely informed her that there was nothing Josephine could do for her that she could not do herself, and admitted she regretted that it had to come to this, so Josephine instead requested that she be allowed to play one last song on the violin before she dies. Dahlia agreed and handed her the violin and watched for a long moment as Josephine played a song before taking the bow from her and using it to slit Josephine's throat, leaving her to bleed to death on the sidewalk.
In When the Levee Breaks, Dahlia magically reanimated Josephine's body and used Kenning to enter the Mikaelson compound in Josephine's body to give Klaus, Elijah, and Rebekah a message: she would be coming to claim Hope at nightfall the following night. When Klaus defiantly disagreed, Dahlia reminded him that their existence was only made possible by her fertility spell on Esther, and that they should be thanking her for that, before telling them that if they had a problem with the arrangement, they should take it up with their mother instead. The reanimation spell then began to break on Josephine, causing her neck to start to bleed from where Dahlia slit her throat; despite the fact that Josephine was already dead, Klaus karate-chopped her neck and decapitated her with his hybrid strength to ensure that Dahlia could no longer use her to spy on them.
Later that morning, Dahlia finally located Hope and Hayley at the safe house and killed multiple evolved werewolves from the Crescent Wolf Pack who were guarding the outside before magically taking out the cell phone towers to ensure no one could call for help. She also caused black dahlia plants to grow all over the safe house to alert Hayley to her arrival to the point that the vines completely covered the windows. Once she made it to the entrance, she realized that the enchantments on the building would strip her of her ability to do magic, and decided to stand outside the door as to not be put at a disadvantage in a fight against Hayley. She complimented Hayley on how beautiful Hope is and commented on the fact that the magical enchantments on the safe house were slowly weakening. Hayley threatened to torture Dahlia in ways she had never seen if she laid a finger on her daughter, but Dahlia simply reminded her that she expects people to keep their word when they make promises and apologizes for the fact that Hayley was dragged into her deal with Esther. She then went on to say that she understood that Hayley was scared for her daughter, but assured her that she would be much better off than Freya was because Freya was old enough to remember her parents and siblings, whereas Hope would be too young to remember Hayley and Klaus. When Hayley once again insisted that Dahlia wasn't going to take Hope, Hope began to cry, and Dahlia pointed out that her last hours with Hayley would be spent saying their goodbyes, because nightfall the following night would come too soon, before Dahlia finally left.
Upon realizing that Hayley would be too resistant to allow her to take Hope peacefully, Dahlia set her sights on turning the Mikaelsons and their allies against each other, and determined the exact way to achieve it. She then tracked down Aiden, a beloved member of Hayley and Jackson's pack who had been convinced by Klaus to spy on his Alphas for him. She confronted him in the French Quarter and used her magic to claw up his body before ripping out his heart, staging Aiden's murder to look as though Klaus killed him. Just as she intended, his body was found by Josh Rosza and Davina Claire, who immediately called Jackson and Hayley. They assumed that Klaus had killed Aiden, which turned the Crescent pack tasked to protect Hope against Klaus, and even went so far as to make Elijah, Rebekah, and Freya believe that Klaus was too out of control to be trusted to protect his daughter, playing right into Dahlia's hands. Elijah then used the golden dagger, that Kol and Davina made to neutralize Klaus, unknowingly helping Dahlia in her hand to claim Hope by turning Klaus against them as well and effectively dividing the family to the point that they were too scattered to create a comprehensive plan.
In City Beneath The Sea, Dahlia, knowing that fighting the Mikaelsons to gain possession of Hope would require more effort and violence than she thought ideal, took advantage of Klaus being neutralized to transfer his consciousness into her mind so she could walk him through her memories to convince him to form an alliance with her. She first showed him her memory of her village being attacked by Viking warriors and she and Esther being taken captive by them to be used for their magical talents as a way to show him that they were very much alike; both of them have suffered at the hands of others (and, in both their cases, suffered at the hands of Mikael himself) and because of their suffering, they sought power to ensure they were never weak again. Then, she used the memory of Esther abandoning her for Mikael in an attempt to show that she was wronged by her sister, just like Klaus was by his mother. Finally, she showed him a memory of Freya, and how her magic was completely out of control for the first part of her life as a result of her being a first-born witch of Dahlia and Esther's bloodline, as a way to show him what is to come for Hope and her own magical power unless Dahlia, who was also a first-born, could teach her how to control her gifts.
After seeing all of these memories, Dahlia made Klaus another offer to try to expedite her possession of Hope without having to fight the Mikaelsons over it-- she would allow Klaus to remain Hope's father to give her the love of a parent that Freya never had, which made her turn against Dahlia her entire life, and in exchange, Dahlia would be able to teach Hope the craft while channeling the power that she was owed. She also added that with herself and Hope at Klaus' side, no one would dare test him, an offer which was very tempting to Klaus. However, there was one catch -- since Hayley would never agree to Dahlia's offer, Klaus would need to eliminate her to ensure that she wouldn't interfere. When Klaus seemed hesitant to kill Hayley, Dahlia agreed to give him time to think, and as a sign of good faith, she magically neutralized the white oak ash on the dagger that neutralized him, allowing him to awaken and pull the dagger out.
While Klaus was deciding what to do, he overheard Elijah and Rebekah listening to a voicemail on speaker phone that Hayley left for Elijah, which informed them that she didn't want Hope to be a Mikaelson anymore because even if they could deal with Dahlia, Hope would still be Klaus' daughter and would be subjected to the thousand years of enemies he had made. When Klaus overheard Rebekah telling Elijah that Hayley was right to flee with Hope, he became so enraged by his siblings' betrayal, both because they daggered him and because they didn't disagree with Hayley's decision, so he sought Dahlia out at Lafayette Cemetery and agreed to her deal for an alliance. He also claimed that he never cared for Hayley, but assured Dahlia that his siblings would fight against them in defense of her, leading Dahlia to ask him if he was prepared to go through them to get to her. Klaus smirked and stated that after everything they had done to him, they deserved everything that they got. He then watched her as she cast a spell on a cauldron full of blood that caused an intense thunderstorm to form above the Bayou to prevent Hayley and Jackson from fleeing with Hope, who had been cloaked with an enchanted bracelet Davina made to prevent her from performing magic that could be tracked by Dahlia.
In Fire with Fire, Dahlia watches a couple walk down the street and tells Klaus to regain his strength, leaving behind more then a few bodies as he does. Dahlia confronts about how she got the dagger out of him and her deadline is over, they are in the bell tower just waiting. Klaus tells her it's all a part of his plan and she magically gives a pain in his head and tells him that they made a deal. She then wonders if he wants to back out because of the family, but he says no. They then leave and arrive at the compound since Freya was acting as a beacon to bring Dahlia there to kill her. As Marcel gets Rebekah from stopping the spell and Klaus getting Elijah from stabbing her, it is revealed to Dahlia that the baby is not there, but a golem instead. She tells Freya she's ashamed of her and that she's a wretch for believing that she could go to her family without all of the violence. She then magically snaps her neck, leaving her motionless. She and Klaus then leave to go to the swamp to find Hayley and the baby. After Klaus defeats the other werewolves and lands both Jackson and Hayley down, Dahlia casts a spell causing them to revert to their wolf forms and putting the curse placed on them before back on. Afterwards, Klaus finds Hope in the truck and Dahlia sees the baby. She thanks him for betraying his own family to procure her, but Klaus tells her that he wants her to protect and mentor her only drawing the power of what she needs to keep her safe. She says she will bond Hope to herself first, once she can channel her power and she'll keep her safe from all harm. He stops her and thinks not, as he doesn't want to lose her to a century slumber. Since Hope is still a child, he has another alternative, which is him since he's already an immortal and once the sleep spell is broken, he will allow her to link herself to Hope.
In Ashes to Ashes, in order to severe the link that binds her immortality and power to Freya and their one-year-of-immortal life she needs another immortal and powerful source so she links herself to Klaus, freeing her and her niece from her curse, but before she can get to Hope to make her immortality independently on herself and the baby, Klaus daggers himself with Davina's Golden Hybrid Dagger and since they are linked, she desiccates with him. Elijah joins up with Freya and they take both of them to the compound to find a way to kill her without killing Klaus as well.
As they discuss on how to defeat the witch, Rebekah notices that the dagger in Klaus's chest has begun to melt. Fearing Dahlia's awakening with Klaus's, Freya tries to counter Dahlia's magic, but Dahlia - though unlinked from the younger witch - still manages to be more powerful even as she is unconscious, forbidding Freya's magic from affecting things in the slightest. Having no more choice, Freya tries to stab Klaus with the White Oak Stake to kill Dahlia, she tells Marcel she doesn't want to kill him, but because of Dahlia, she couldn't have her family she's always wanted and she is forced to kill the brother she loves in order to be free, but Dahlia's magic melts the dagger completely, awakening both of them before Klaus can be staked and he catches her hand before Freya can kill him.
Enraged, Dahlia telekinetically takes the Stake from Freya and pulls Klaus to her in an attempt to end him, but fails when Marcel intervenes, saving himself by saving Klaus.
Dahlia takes Freya away to kill her and promises to do so under the light of a crescent moon. Freya reveals to her aunt that throughout their time together, she realized that her ability died a long time before her, and Dahlia responds by saying that no matter how much Freya may have thought she could mend Dahlia, she never could as Dahlia only ever saw Esther in her eyes, "the sister who turned my heart to stone and with that stone, I will crush every one of her children". Before Dahlia can kill her, Rebekah, Klaus and Elijah arrive to save their eldest sibling, and, to Dahlia's surprise and shock, Esther her younger sister is revealed to be alive - in her original body - to Dahlia. Dahlia recognizes her and asks if Esther is a bargaining chip to make her change her mind, a way to get her to let them live as a way to pacify her, she then reveals that she still has the White Oak Stake and she easily raises the weapon above her and it explodes turning into snow which the Originals are magically forced to inhale by the witch and it begins to burn them and kill them from the inside with the magic of the White Oak Tree. Dahlia taunts her sister, telling her they can watch together she burns them from the inside out.
When Esther sees they were risking their lives to save their sister and each other, and she begins to help them by talking to her sister, telling Dahlia that it is pathetic that she continues to carry hatred for her after all these years. As the Originals begin to die around them, Dahlia counters this by saying that Esther broke her vow, that they were to stay together always and forever, but she broke it for a "brutish, Viking imbecile", Esther ended her family and the Originals were the result of her betrayal. Esther answers that it is not her own doing as Dahlia made her bargain her first born child, her daughter and gestures to a helpless Freya. Dahlia angrily replies that not only Esther promise her Freya but every first born, but even then, she'd found a way to deny her what she'd sworn would be hers by turning her family.
Niklaus attempts to interrupt by killing the witch, but Dahlia easily subdues his dying body just as the light of the crescent moon touches down and Dahlia begins to strangle Freya to fulfill her promise while the oak's magic begins to finally kill Esther's last remaining vampire children. Esther begs her to wait as all her surviving children begin to die and tells her elder sister that she's won as she has everything she ever wanted, including the first born of a new generation - she has bested them all and asks to at least let her try to make amends and share with her the glorious freedom Esther has found in death and Esther quickly puts the chains of the handcuffs on her arms (the magic-suppressing shackles) around Dahlia and strangles her, freeing Freya from Dahlia's hold. This gives Freya the chance to break Dahlia's circle and extract the Snow Oak from Klaus, Elijah and Rebekah. Esther continues to strangle Dahlia and signals Elijah, who throws the knife meant for Dahlia to a healing Klaus, who stabs Esther and pushes the blade through her into Dahlia, killing her with her sister's blood.
Dahlia and Esther then immediately appear in a peaceful surrounding and appear as their younger selves, with Esther apologizing for leaving her sister, finally realizing her mistake and her cruelty for abandoning her in her most desperate time and Dahlia accepts her apology and hug each other, their spirits at the Peace Esther has found in her death. Back in their real bodies, both Dahlia and Esther's bodies turn to ash sculptures and are then blown away by the wind.
"She's paranoid, obsessed with power. She hungers constantly for what's been denied her, be it love or revenge."
—Freya about Dahlia
It had been suggested by Esther/Dahlia herself and later confirmed in flashbacks that she was much kinder and caring in her youth, as Dahlia claimed to have not only taken the brunt of the Vikings' abuse while she and Esther were in captivity to prevent her sister from being harmed, but that she also never resented Esther for it, as they had made a promise to stick together forever. Esther also went to her for help to give her the ability to conceive children and did not anticipate the payment Dahlia would request in exchange, suggesting that Dahlia's personality was much more gentle in her earlier years. However, after Esther left her sister to marry one of their Viking captors, Dahlia's hatred of being oppressed by the warriors led her to develop a much colder and more calculating personality after she vowed to never allow herself to be that vulnerable again.
In adulthood, Dahlia became a wicked, selfish, manipulative, and spiteful woman, as evidenced by when she collected her niece Freya from Esther in payment for her fertility spell and threatened to take all of Esther's children if Esther did not comply. Dahlia was devoted to witchcraft and seemingly found the idea of starting a family ridiculous, though she had no qualms with raising the children she would claim from the Mikaelson bloodline in order to augment her own magic. While she did help Esther get pregnant with a spell, it was only as a means to her own end; to create an extremely powerful coven of witches from whom she could use as a source of power. It had even been speculated that Dahlia could have originally cursed Esther with infertility in the first place in retribution for abandoning her, though this has yet to be confirmed in canon. During flashbacks to her time spent raising Freya, Dahlia showed several key traits of psychopathy, such as a lack of remorse and empathy, evidenced by the fact that she had no difficulty destroying those who sought to prevent her from gaining more power, and went so far as to bluntly tell a five-year-old Freya, after she began crying for her mother, that Esther no longer wanted her.
She had also been said to deal with disobedience harshly, as Freya said that any disobedience was punishable by death in Dahlia's eyes, and that she feared her own punishment for leaving Dahlia's control will be "profound".
Based on Freya's words, she seemed to share some traits of personality with her nephew Klaus, and Dahlia herself even claimed that she and Klaus shared the same plight after they were both abused and oppressed in their youth by those who sought to control them. She had also shown similarities with another one of her nephews, Elijah, as they both believe that true power comes from family; however, they each had very different perspectives on how that power should be used.
She was a fundamentally selfish person, viewing everything in relation to how it benefited herself and increased her own power, and had little interest in how it could negatively affect others. However, though Dahlia was one of the most powerful witches in history, and had used her power to great effect against those who stood against her, she preferred to achieve her goals with the least amount of complication, effort, or violence, and as a result, she was not above playing nice with others to expedite her plans. She had been shown to make deals, compromises, and concessions in order to get what she wants more efficiently, and did not seem to want to resort to killing or violence unless it was absolutely necessary. She claimed to be willing to allow Klaus to take care of Hope as her father while she trained her in using her powers, as doing so would give Dahlia access to the power she claimed she was owed while still giving Hope the parental love and affection that she mistakenly denied Freya; Dahlia freely admitted that it was that lack of parental love that caused Freya to turn against her, and claimed that this was something she did not wish to repeat with Hope. However, as with Esther, Dahlia's bargains had a hefty price, and she asked Klaus to eliminate Hayley to ensure that their arrangement continued as promised without complication.
As Dahlia predominately seemed to use dark magic, she had shown an affinity for land that is steeped in darkness and death, locations that have been imbued with the dark power created by a massacre, or sacred ground that has been stained by the blood of the innocent. When Dahlia used Kenning to possess Jackson, he felt her inside his mind and described her as being nothing but pure darkness. However, she did respect the passion that Klaus showed in defense of those he cared about, which she said she had not anticipated given the reputation that proceeded him. Nevertheless, she showed no mercy in striking him down after he and Mikael showed up with a weapon to render her mortal, as she was intent on gaining what she believed was hers. Despite her methods, Dahlia made it clear that she only came for Hope and she would be willing to spare the lives of the Mikaelsons if her wishes were granted, showing a measure of twisted mercy. She showed a similar kindness to the werewolf Aiden while she was brutally killing him, suggesting that, in a warped way, she appreciated the people she killed for their role in her plans, as her goal for Aiden's death was to cause the Mikaelsons to turn against each other, an intention that ultimately played out exactly as she wanted.
Despite the behavior Dahlia exhibited, she had a very rigid sense of honor, as she prided herself on being a woman of her word and made it clear that she expected those with whom she has made promises to do the same. As such, she had constantly reiterated that she promised not to harm any of the Mikaelsons and their allies as long as they handed Hope over to her. She also appeared to have a very corrupted sense of respect for her own kind. This was evidenced when Dahlia, who had the intention of killing a witch ally of the Mikaelsons named Josephine to help weaken their plans to protect Hope from her, was surprisingly polite and gentle with her target. Dahlia even went so far as to cure Josephine's cursed hands and allowed her to play her beloved violin one last time before she slit her throat with the very bow she used to play.
Dahlia was brutally victimized by the Vikings in her youth in Norway, and she had since then vowed to never be weak again. It was this event that played the most major role in who Dahlia became in adulthood and also led to her hatred of Vikings in general, especially Mikael, who married her sister and took her away from her.
Dahlia was seemingly hypocritical, though, as she has stated on more than one occasion that she believed that she had done nothing but good for Freya, and even went so far as to suggest that her family only wanted to use her for her power, behavior that, in psychology, was referred to "projection"; in this case, Dahlia projecting onto Freya her awareness that she had used Freya for her power for centuries in order to turn her against those who would try to stop her from doing so.
Dahlia was very intelligent and a brilliant strategist, as she killed Aiden and made it look like Klaus did it, to frame him for this act, effectively dividing the family to the point that they were too scattered to create a comprehensive plan, and turning her nephew, Klaus against his maternal half-siblings and Hayley, however, unlike her sister Esther, she never underestimated members of her family, or her enemies.
Dahlia gave her nephew, Klaus, a glimpse into her past to make him understand things from her point of view in an attempt to show them that they were, in a way, kindred spirits. Like Klaus, she was painted as the villain in their families, and she walked him through her memories that demonstrated she was once a loyal, loving, and protective sister to Esther who did her best to make sure that Esther wasn't harmed while they served the Vikings. However, when Esther betrayed her, Dahlia grew to become the woman that she was today. Despite her suffering, Dahlia was shown to truly care for Freya, her eldest niece, helping her to control her unbridled powers and protecting her from the evils of those who hated witches for practicing a magic they couldn't hope to understand.
However, Dahlia's heart had long been turned to stone after Esther turned her back on her older sister to marry Mikael. Her reaching out to Klaus was a blatant attempt at exploiting his deep-seated vulnerabilities so she could have Hope's power without any opposition. She never anticipated that Klaus was only putting on an act to buy his siblings time to prepare the weapon to kill her and she reacted to his with unrestrained fury. She revealed to Freya that she lost the ability to love after Esther abandoned her and that Freya was never able to soften her heart, vowing to destroy her younger sister's children in revenge.
However, Dahlia eventually made peace with Esther after the latter sacrificed herself to end the former's life. Meeting in the afterlife, Esther delivered a heartfelt apology that Dahlia tearfully accepts, granting both sisters peace.
Dahlia was a brunette with brown eyes, which contrasted greatly with her younger sister Esther's light blonde hair. Her cold brown eyes were an indicator of her cruel, apathetic personality. She shared some resemblance with her nephews Finn, Elijah, Kol and Henrik in their coloring. When she appeared, in the modern day, she had shown a fondness for the color black, as a majority of her clothes were in this color. In her youth in the 10th and 11th centuries, she was shown wearing the simple wool and cotton dresses of the period, while in the modern-day, she was usually seen in long, flowing coats, long-sleeved blouses, fitted pants, and high heeled boots. Her medium-length brown hair was styled in gentle waves, and she had an affinity for wearing multiple rings with large gemstones.
Powers and Abilities
As one of the most powerful witches in history, Dahlia was powerful enough to be feared by Esther, her younger sister who bore the same title. In addition to Esther, Finn and Freya were both terrified of her due to the fact that the first-born witches born to every generation of their bloodline, including Dahlia, Freya, and Hope, possess what Dahlia described as "devastating" magical power.
While the full extent of Dahlia's power remains unknown, Freya explained to her brother that she herself was still running from Dahlia, her power was strong enough to defeat her the moment they reunited. This confirmed that Dahlia was much more powerful than Freya and that she was truly to be feared by the Mikaelson family. Freya also claimed that Esther paled in comparison to her sister, in part due to Dahlia's ability to sense magic in others, especially in witches of their bloodline. Dahlia appears to be very skilled in sensing magic. As shown when Freya tried to trick her into a killing field, Dahlia managed to sense the ingredients that the spell was composed of.
Dahlia was very talented in the Dark Arts and was able to use her magic to cast a fertility spell on Esther, although it came at the price of Esther's first-born child and the first-born child of Mikaelson witches to follow for as long as their line shall last. As revealed by Freya in The Devil is Damned, Dahlia had been able to keep herself alive for over a thousand years by casting an enchantment on herself (and Freya) that would place her in a deep slumber for a hundred years, only to wake for one year of life and then repeat the cycle. During the sleep, their magic would accrue over the decades until they finally awakened stronger than they had ever been. According to Dahlia, this enchantment was the next best thing to immortality a witch could have, as all other forms of immortality required the witch to be severed from their connection to magic.
Due to the spells she cast on herself and Freya, she was capable of incredible acts of power. She once wiped out an entire village of people with the wave of her hand, killing men, women, and children alike because she was threatened with death for practicing the craft. Dahlia was able to hold that much power even when her body was not yet indestructible. Dahlia was also responsible for creating Freya's Talisman, which allowed Freya to focus her own magic, and could also act as a limbo that prevented Finn's spirit from crossing over.
Through her Kenning spell, she had the ability to enter minds en masse, allowing herself to see through their eyes, and talk through their mouths. She used this to spy on her marks before making her move against them. She could even gift a fraction of her own power to her "acolytes" and command said army to do her bidding with ease. She was able to desiccate both Klaus and Mikael at once with little effort and without making physical contact with them and even teleport instantly, seemingly without the need of a spell.
Casting spells appeared to be of very little trouble for Dahlia, as she destroyed the enchanted blade that was created to kill her without so much as an incantation, and she only needed to blow on Josephine LaRue's hands to heal them of the curse that had plagued them for decades. Dahlia then killed Josephine by slitting her throat with a violin bow.
Dahlia displayed the power to use Kenning on corpses after she killed Josephine and subsequently reanimated her long enough to use Kenning to send a message to her nieces and nephews at the Mikaelson compound. She had also displayed the power to create plant life and accelerate its growth, as she conjured vines with black dahlia flowers that covered the entirety of the exterior of St. James Infirmary to make her arrival known to Hayley. She could also cause plant life to die, as she did with the bouquet Aiden bought to give to his boyfriend Josh. While at the Mikaelsons' safe house, she also disrupted the nearby cell phone towers to prevent anyone from calling for help.
She had shown herself to be proficient in snapping bones, breaking necks, and ripping/puncturing flesh with only simple hand gestures, and could easily use telekinesis to rip a heart from a victim's chest. She even managed to kill Aiden in a manner that appeared as though he was killed by a werewolf or hybrid, complete with claw marks all over his body, to cause Klaus' family and allies to believe that he was the one who had killed him. She had also been shown to play her signature tune on various instruments, with and without magic, including music boxes, violins, and church bells.
Dahlia was able to take Klaus's consciousness into her own mind to convince him that they could be allies. She even managed to wake him from desiccation without even making contact with his physical body, and conjured a thunderstorm in a remote area of the Bayou all the way from Lafayette Cemetery to create a flood that would prevent Hayley, Hope, and Jackson from escaping, though, both feats were done by channeling an unknown herb soaked in blood.
Dahlia once again used her powers of mind control to gather innocents for Klaus to feed on. She easily dismissed the storm she conjured herself away with the wave of her hand. She flung Freya across the Abattoir with a simple gesture and subdued her with no need of an incantation. She then reactivated the Crescent Moon Curse on Hayley's pack, modifying the spell so that everyone affected by the unification ceremony of the werewolves will be affected.
Dahlia was able to link herself to Klaus, ensuring that she would no longer need to sleep for another century. However, Klaus took this as an opportunity to dagger himself so he could, in turn, neutralize his aunt. Unfortunately, hours later, Dahlia managed to melt the dagger while incapacitated and conjured a vast overgrowth of dahlia vines to procure a drop of Hope's blood, all the while severing the link she made with her nephew. Dahlia managed to render the White Oak Stake into ash so she could disperse it in the air and slowly kill Klaus, Elijah, and Rebekah while almost managing to kill Freya, after channeling a waning moon, had it not been for Esther's timely intervention. Dahlia did not seem able to break free from the cursed shackles used to choke her by Esther, despite having the potential to break through it, thus allowing Klaus to stab her and Esther to death. This was most likely due to psychological hold Esther had over her, which weakened her enough to let this happen.
Dahlia is the only witch so far that has been able to make a form of pseudo-immortality which allowed her to retain her magical powers. Dahlia was also the only witch known to have forged a new brand of an established form of magic, connective magic, which augments a witch's power.
Her mystical attributes aside, Dahlia's greatest asset was her sharp intellect. Her penchant for strategies and forming contingencies way ahead of time, easily surpasses Elijah's, she came up with a plan, to make it look like Klaus had killed Aiden and frame him for this act, effectively dividing the family to the point that they were too scattered to create a comprehensive plan, and turning her nephew, Klaus against his maternal half-siblings and Hayley.
Her only intellectual equal was Klaus, who was barely able to outsmart her.
Dahlia was susceptible to the forces of witchcraft. Like all creatures, Dahlia could be undone by powerful magic, however, according to Freya Mikaelson, it would require power equivalent to Dahlia's (or greater) to defeat her.
Shortly after her arrival in New Orleans, Freya gave her father a spell with the necessary ingredients to kill Dahlia. Apparently, the combination of sacred soil from her homeland (Norway), along with the ash from her oppressors (Vikings) and the blood of the one person she loves most (Esther) can be combined to create Dahlia's sole weakness and forged into a powerful weapon against her. However, it appears that this combination of ingredients only had the power to render her mortal, and could not kill her outright; Freya's plan was to use them to create a "killing field" to strip away her pseudo-immortality and make it so that she could be killed by conventional means.
While linked to Klaus, she overcame her need to be forced to sleep for 100 years by drawing on the power of his immortal body. But that power came at the cost of sharing Klaus's fate. When Klaus daggered himself with the Golden White Oak Ash dagger, Dahlia was also incapacitated. Should Klaus be killed by having his heart stabbed by the White Oak Stake while Dahlia were still linked to Klaus, Dahlia would have also died.
It should be noted that when she was strangled with the cursed shackles by Esther, Dahlia did not fight back or break free from this hold. One can assume it was most likely due to the psychological hold Esther had over her sister and this delay is what ultimately allowed Klaus to kill her.
Dahlia's relationship with her younger sister is a seemingly complicated one. Dahlia seemed to be disappointed and angered that Esther chose to devote her life to being a wife and mother instead of devoting life to witchcraft. In spite of that, she seemed to care about her sister when Esther begged Dahlia to use her magic to help her get pregnant and agreed to help her. However, Dahlia tricked Esther and took her oldest daughter and even went so far as to threaten taking all of her children if she did not cooperate.
Dahlia did not, however, kill Freya after taking her. Instead, the powerful witch groomed Freya and taught her niece to control her vast powers, eventually teaching her a spell that would allow Freya to preserve her life though a hundred years of hibernation and upon awakening only to a year of natural age and repeating the process after that. After learning more, Freya escaped Dahlia after discovering that "her truths were paired with lies" by unknown means and has been running from the older, more powerful witch ever since.
Esther correctly fears that her older sister could return and if her payment isn't given, she would destroy the entire Mikaelson Family.
Dahlia took Freya from Esther due to a pact she made with Esther that gave her claim over Esther's first born child. When Freya came of age, Dahlia cast her a spell on her that would put her in a deep sleep for a hundred years and she would waken for one year of life. Dahlia told Freya that this would allow them both to remain young and beautiful (since witches cannot be truly immortal), but in time Freya learned that Dahlia's stories were also paired with lies. At some point, Freya fled from Dahlia and has been running from Dahlia ever since, fearing that Dahlia would find her and kill her for her "betrayal" (at least what Dahlia would consider to be a betrayal). Freya mentioned that the punishment of Dahlia would be repaid.
Klaus and Dahlia were at first enemies when he and Mikael went up against her. She beat them both with ease and tells them all she wants is the child, then she'll let them live. After Klaus is stabbed with the golden dagger meant for him, Dahlia gets the dagger out with magic after Klaus tells her he'll help her get Hope in exchange for having a part in her life and getting vengeance on who wronged him. Klaus later tells her he wants to bound himself to her instead of Hope since he's immortal already and she can link herself to Hope after she gets what she needs.
Like her nephew Klaus, Dahlia had a negative relationship with Mikael, as he was one of the vikings who killed every person in her village, as well as the fact that his fellow vikings, abused her witchcraft. Even after Mikael married her sister, Esther, her relationship with Mikael did not change at all; in fact, it worsened as Mikael took Esther away from her. This lead her to have a strong distaste for Mikael, so much so that she wanted to see him suffer. Six years later, after Mikael's marriage to Esther, Dahlia took his firstborn child and forced Esther to lie to him, that Freya died from the plague, although she took Freya mainly because Freya is a first-born from a Norwegian family of powerful witches, like herself. When they met again in the present century, Dahlia took time to torture Mikael and relished in the pain she caused him, both physically and emotionally as she was the one who had taken Freya from him.
Although Dahlia was shown to be a confident and prodigious witch, it was hinted that she did fear Mikael, as she forbade Esther from telling him the truth of what happened to Freya and insisted that Esther lie and tell him Freya died from the plague. This seemed to suggest that Dahlia believed, or at least used to believe, that Mikael posed a threat to her and her plans, despite the immense magical power at her disposal.
Both symbols were prominently used to pinpoint Hope's location by the respective witches.
She could be considered as the true main antagonist of the first two seasons of The Originals, as her claim on the first-born children of Esther's bloodline was the main reason why Esther attempted to kill Hope in the first season.
Dahlia was known for whistling, humming, and playing her own musical tune on various instruments. It was shown in flashbacks that this had been a practice of Dahlia's since childhood, and was used as a way to calm down Esther during times of stress and anxiety.
Both have been listed as the most powerful witches in history or of all time, respectively.
Both were responsible for extending someone's lifespan to unnatural lengths.
Both were feared and hated by their own; Qetsiyah by the Travelers and Dahlia by her family.
Both had cheated death; Qetsiyah by resurrecting herself while the Veil to the Other Side was down and Dahlia by casting her pseudo-immortality spell)
Both were ruled by an obsession; Qetsiyah was obsessed with getting her revenge on Silas by killing him and separating him from Amara for eternity while Dahlia was obsessed with gaining more magic to ensure she would ever be abused by those who were stronger than her again.
Dahlia was very similar to Silas:
Both of them had lived for many centuries; Silas over 2,000 years and Dahlia over 1,000 years.
Both of them gave immortality to someone else; Silas stole the elixir of immortality and shared it with Amara while Dahlia cast a century-long slumber spell on Freya and herself.
Both of them are known for persecuting their family members who disappoint or betray them.
Both of them were able to control many people at the same time.
Kol Mikaelson wanted to kill Jeremy Gilbert because he feared that Silas would come back and destroy the world. Finn Mikaelson wanted to kill his niece so that Dahlia would not come back and destroy him and his family.
Both of them were described by biblical references. Kol was defining Silas' return as "end of the world" or "hell on the earth", while Bonnie defined Silas' eventual resurrection as a "plague". Freya, while describing Dahlia, referred to her as "the devil".
Both of them were reunited with a person who they loved, before their death; Silas with Amara and Dahlia with Esther.
Both of them were ultimately killed by descendant of their sibling; Silas by his distant nephew, Stefan, and Dahlia by her nephew, Klaus.
Dahlia also had several parallels to Klaus:
Both of them suffered abuse at the hands of others because of their perceived weakness, and both of them subsequently strove to gain more and more power to ensure that they would never have to suffer that fate again. Dahlia accomplished this by pushing the boundaries of dark magic to increase her magical strength to unprecedented levels. Conversely, Klaus accomplished this by reveling in his vampirism and striving to break his hybrid curse, which would make him the most physically powerful being in the world and allow him to create a powerful army of fellow hybrid's.
They also both have been known to massacre others who dared to defy them, and have no problem vanquishing anyone who gets in the way of their plans, or who poses a significant threat to their power or existence.
As Dahlia was still able to practice magic, it is presumed that she still aged during her year of life, and was still capable of dying a natural death of old age, albeit many, many centuries in the future; this however is never directly stated. In general, Nature will not stand for an imbalance of power and will restore the balance by removing a new immortal's connection to magic.
It is also possible that she retained eternal youth, since she seemed to have willingly added the century of sleep as a loophole to maintain her magic along with her pseudo-immortality, as she was only active for one year every century rather than roaming the earth for eternity like most immortal beings.
Dahlia was the fourth oldest living woman (but the oldest living witch) in the TVD/TO universe.
The oldest living women, in order, were Seline, Sybil, and then Amara. The Siren sisters were nearly 3,000 years old while Amara was 2,000+ years old; Dahlia was just over 1000 years old.
Dahlia was very skilled at the violin. Josephine LaRue, a prolific violinist and violin-enthusiast referred to her technique as "exquisite."
She was the only character able to defeat four Mikaelson's at the same time (Mikael, Freya, Elijah, and Klaus).