Deborah Harkness’ writing is full of magical passages. Here are 9 favorite Shadow of Night quotes we hope to hear in A Discovery of Witches Season 2.
As we impatiently await the second season of A Discovery of Witches, we find ourselves returning to the source material, Shadow of Night, for inspiration and insight. We also like imagining the new cast in their roles.
We fell in love with Deborah Harkness and her writing a while ago, but these rereads remind us of the way she lovingly crafts words into moments that make our hearts melt or cause our eyes to fill with tears. We recently published a podcast episode on what we hope to see in Season 2 but we thought it might be fun to take a few moments to reflect on what we hope to hear in the second season.
These are our 9 favorite quotes from Shadow of Night and the words we hope were woven into the script. We also included our own thoughts about why we love these quotes because, what we can we say, Deborah Harkness gets us all up in our feelings.
“Stop worrying about what other women do. Be your own extraordinary self.”
Isn’t being a woman sometimes—okay, many times—just plain exhausting? As if it’s not enough to balance everything while constantly championing our worth in what is often perceived as a man’s world, we expend what precious energy we have left worrying about how we stack up to our female contemporaries. The old adage applies here: comparison is the thief of joy. This was a square-between-the-eyes reminder that the world doesn’t need another one of someone else—there’s only one you and the magic you bring and that’s perfectly enough.
All of us, including Diana, would do well to heed this powerful advice.
“Philippe told me that mating was destiny. Once I found you, there would be nothing to do but accept fate’s decision. But that’s not how it works at all. In every moment, for the rest of my life, I will be choosing you—over my father, over my own self-interest, even over the de Clermont family.”
I’m now convinced Matthew has my house bugged because this is an eerily identical conversation my partner and I have had on perpetual repeat in our household throughout our more than 12 years of marriage. When the road gets bumpy, we’re not seeing eye to eye or are having trouble connecting, we remind ourselves that marriage (though this applies to any level of commitment to a relationship) is a conscious, purposeful choice we make day in and day out. It was never sold as guaranteed sunshine and roses and rainbows and giggles every moment of every day. It’s work—with the potential of so much immeasurable reward on the other end.
We all know life can be hard. But for me, we’re at our best when we live all of it together, completely. I love him unconditionally every single day… though I don’t necessarily like him every day. But I choose him over anyone else, every single day, to be on this journey with me.
“Did you find him in the church?” he asked quietly.
I love the simplicity of the question and the weight held within those six tiny words. Phillipe isn’t asking Diana if she, physically, located Matthew. He is asking if she reached the part of him that he had, until this moment, kept hidden from her. Diana did find Matthew in the barn and it was in large part due to Phillipe’s encouragement and his ability to lay bare both Diana and Matthew’s souls.
I’m looking forward to falling in love with the screen version of Phillipe just as I did with the version that lies within the pages of Shadow of Night.
“No matter how much we change, it is important to remember the past and honor it.”
Several weeks transpired between the idea of this post and its publication. In that span of time, I had an email exchange with my ex-husband who informed me that I am not the same woman he married 24 years ago. After giving silent thanks for that, I reflected on the meaning of his words. He meant them as an insult but I took them as the highest praise. I never again want to be the 21-year old version of myself, but I honor that woman because her mistakes and missteps shaped every element of the 45-year old version. Standing still is not an option. We move forward every moment of every day and make thousands of choices. Some will be right. Some will be wrong. We won’t know the end result of some choices for years. Through it all, we must always “remember the past and honor it” as we constantly evolve into the person we are at this moment.
This feels like a quote that won’t quite make the cut for a script. I wanted to share it here though because of the beauty and grace that it embodies and the element of permission that it gives to each of us as we shift in our skin to find the most comfortable version of ourselves.
“You will not be alone either, Philippe de Clermont,” I whispered fiercely. “I’ll find a way to be with you in the darkness, I promise. And when you think the whole world has abandoned you, I’ll be there, holding your hand.”
This quote has been ever-present in our little coven over the last year. There has been much heartbreak and grief and unexpected life changes. Because we are separated by miles and incompatible work schedules, we have rarely been physically present to offer each other comfort. What we have done, instead, is leveraged all the technological tools at our disposal to send words of comfort and to be as present as possible in the darkest of times. We aren’t always able to be there but we always try to send as much of ourselves as possible to hold the hand of our friend when she feels most alone.
I do want to see this scene. I desperately want to see it. I’m also a little hesitant to think about my reaction to it knowing that this quote has transitioned from dialogue between two fictional characters to a practice among friends. I think I need to stock up on tissues the next time I make a Costco run!
“Magic begins with desire. The words come much, much later.”
One of the things I love about this line is that it gives us hope that magic dances inside all of us, whether we’re a witch or not. Because the logic at the heart of this is true for most things. When we finally muster the courage to voice what we truly want from something or some person, it’s long after the desire firmly rooted itself in our core. The words are just words, a vehicle for expressing what lives on the inside that people cannot readily see without our willingness to share it. Like a flowering tree whose blooms net all the visible glory, but the seeds that silently sowed underneath the soil’s surface are what gave it the power to grow to its full potential.
In Season 1, we only scratched the surface of Diana’s struggle to understand, accept and control her innate power so this next season is bound to be a doozy as she dives in deeper. I don’t imagine this line getting left on the cutting room floor and thank goodness—we all need reminders of leaning into our own blend of inner magic.
“Don’t be such a spoilsport. She’s a dragon—not a goldfish. Why are you always trying to pretend that the magical is ordinary? Let her fly!”
I am the mother of a teenager who could be the high school version of Diana Bishop. This child is a rule follower, an achiever, and a damned hard worker. She single-handedly flipped the script on what I thought it was to be a mother. Instead of grounding her for breaking rules, or getting bad grades, I’m constantly looking for ways to help her loosen up, to see the lighter side of life. Outside the performance and audition rooms, I’m the mom cracking jokes while all the other moms are giving last-minute pep talks.
The dynamic between Diana and Stephen feels so familiar to me that I simultaneously laughed and cried my way through their interactions. Stephen’s words remind us all to look around and find the magic in the mundane, to understand that if we spend our lives holding ourselves back for the “right” moment that we’ll miss the million small moments that make a life well lived. I do hope we get to see these interactions on screen but, if not, we’ve got these beautiful words to hold in our hearts and that’s a pretty solid consolation prize.
“Will you not sit with me? The goddess may not afford us another chance.”
I cry each time I read this line and I’m wiping away tears as I type this. I love the Goody Alsop character. She is a wise and powerful old woman and she seems genuinely happy to impart her wisdom to someone who will carry it through the ages (literally). She also knows that her journey is nearly over.
This reminds me so much of my own dear Granny. She’s 92. She’s in excellent health but we both know that her journey is drawing to a close. I sit with her at every available opportunity and I listen. She tells me stories. She talks about her fears and her greatest joys. She reminds me of the (many) times that I tried her patience. Each time I sit with her, I wonder if we will be afforded “another chance.” The answer will only make itself known in hindsight so I try to make the most of each moment with her.
I’m here for every scene involving the St. James Garlickhythe coven. This group of women help Diana discover the truth of herself and how to live with that truth. Isn’t that what our own friend groups do for us every single day? I’m especially interested in the scenes with Goody Alsop because of the spiritual bond shared between two witches from two different times and how comparable it feels to my relationship with my dear granny. Is that magic or just imagination? I don’t know, but I’ll take it no matter what the label.
“All that children need is love, a grown-up to take responsibility for them, and a soft place to land.”
In my seven-plus years of parenting (as well as the nine months that preceded it), I’ve yet to come upon a manual that truly breaks down the mechanics, operating instructions and warning lights of how to raise a child. If we’re being truthful, I’ve never made it through a single how-to parenting book. Even if I had, I’m certain I’d still be sitting around asking myself, “Am I qualified to operate this all-consuming a level of heavy machinery?” And then I reassure myself—as Deb’s words so aptly do here—that our instincts can serve as the best guidepost for how we do best by our children. Love them, nurture them, support them, advocate on their behalf and regularly remind them that you’re both beside them and behind them—no matter how high they soar or how hard they fall.
What are your favorites lines from Shadow of Night you hope make it into Season 2?
*This post was weaved together by two individual—but always harmoniously intersecting—viewpoints.