Are Witches Evil In 'Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina'? They're More Human Than They Might Like To Think
Spoilers ahead for The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Season 1. This is not your childhood Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Netflix's take on Sabrina Spellman is decidedly darker and more sinister. At times, it even seems like the witches on Chilling Adventures of Sabrina are evil — they've pledged their souls to the devil and everything.
But, as with most things, whether they're good or bad has no black and white answer. The best way it can be summed up is by Ros' grandmother in Episode 10. When Ros is concerned about what being a witch means for her friend Sabrina, her grandmother says that she knows in her heart whether Sabrina is good or bad; just being a witch doesn't make you evil.
Of course, Sabrina may have more morals and empathy because of her half-mortal side, but it seems that witches are just as evil or good as normal people. Which is to say, it depends on the person, not whether that person is mortal or witch.
On the surface, yes, all witches are "evil" by evangelical standards because they worship Satan and have signed their souls over to the devil. They say things like "unholy sh*t" instead of "holy sh*t" or "for Satan's sake" instead of "for God's sake." They wear black, aren't afraid of death, and sacrifice and eat a witch once a year. But even within the confines of the coven — which requires some pretty nasty stuff from time to time — some witches are better than others.
Aunt Hilda and Zelda love Sabrina so much that they've repeatedly risked their own reputations to protect her. Sabrina knows right from wrong and will stop at nothing to help her mortal friends — even when the witches mock her for it. Nick also helped Sabrina save Harvey for no other reason than that she asked him to. Even the Weird Sisters have shown compassion — to one another, if not anyone else.
But just as they've demonstrated human qualities like forgiveness and love, witches can have their "evil" moments too. They have a lot of power at their fingertips, and their Dark Lord could not care less what they do to mortals — or even to each other. The harrowing (akin to hazing) of students at the academy led to some witches dying, and many more being severely traumatized. Dorcas and Agatha knowingly caused a mining accident that killed many people. Zelda murders her sister whenever she's annoyed with her (but resurrects her later). And the High Priest is about as shady as they come.
But while the witches certainly don't have the same moral compass as mortals, the humans are just as capable of doing wrong. One could argue that the witches wouldn't hate the mortals so much if they hadn't been hunted. Harvey Kinkle's family is descended from witch-hunters, and his father and grandfather are basically the definition of trash people. The human principal of the school is also a total creep, as are most of the teenage boys at Sabrina's mortal school.
Like with humans, it seems the witches can determine the kind of people they want to be. Do they want to fight back against the more malevolent ways of the Church of Night like Sabrina and her father? Do they want to blindly play along? Do they want to actively cause others harm? It's a choice they have to make. So, devil-worshipping aside, not all witches are evil — just as not all evil people are witches.