The complete de Clermont family tree from A Discovery of Witches, explained

James Purefoy as Philippe De Clermont - A Discovery of Witches _ Season 2, Episode 5 - Photo Credit: Simon Ridgway/Sundance Now/Bad Wolf
James Purefoy as Philippe De Clermont - A Discovery of Witches _ Season 2, Episode 5 - Photo Credit: Simon Ridgway/Sundance Now/Bad Wolf /

Fictional families can be complicated, even more so when fantastic creatures are involved, and especially when they include immortal vampires who’ve been alive for millennia. The de Clermont clan in A Discovery of Witches is woven through a seemingly infinite series of knots. Who is related to whom again?

Here is an explanation of the complex de Clermont family tree, including every member ever mentioned in the show and the books by Deborah Harkness. (Characters without actor credits only appear in the novels, not on the show.)

James Purefoy as Philippe De Clermont – A Discovery of Witches _ Season 2, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: Simon Ridgway/Sundance Now/Bad Wolf
James Purefoy as Philippe De Clermont – A Discovery of Witches _ Season 2, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: Simon Ridgway/Sundance Now/Bad Wolf /

Philippe de Clermont (played by James Purefoy)

Philippe is the patriarch and founder of the family. He is a true pater familias, the head and master of the clan who lords over everyone in the family and rules Sept-Tours and the village of Saint Lucien in the Clermont-Ferrand region of France. Philippe’s orders cannot be refused or avoided by any member of the family, else they risk being disowned and cast out. Philippe’s alias is Alcides Leontothymos, which was Hercules’ birth name.

Until he was killed in 1945, Philippe was the oldest vampire to walk the earth. He was born somewhere in Greece in 1286 BC; he was alive for over three millennia, witnessing every era in western civilization. He speaks many languages, preferring Ancient Greek, Latin and French.

Philippe is the founder of the Knights of Lazarus and of the Congregation. He is the husband of Ysabeau de Clermont, the father of Hugh, Baldwin, Godfrey, Freyja, Verin, and the stepfather of Matthew, among others, as well as grandfather to countless de Clermonts.

A Discovery of Witches Season 2 — Courtesy of Sky UK
A Discovery of Witches Season 2 — Courtesy of Sky UK /

Ysabeau de Clermont (played by Lindsay Duncan)

Her full name is Genevieve Melisande Helene Ysabeau Aude de Clermont.
If Philippe was the leader of the family, Ysabeau was his general, as he proudly called her. Ysabeau was born over 1,500 years ago in France. She is Philippe’s wife and the matriarch of the de Clermont clan.

Ysabeau carries the blood rage gene, which she introduced into the family. Her maker was fully afflicted and he knowingly sired her hoping she would bring destruction and could be used as a weapon, but thankfully, the rage did not manifest in her. As a result of that “disappointment,” she was tortured for a really long time, until Philippe came to destroy the rogue vampire and his blood-raged children; all except Ysabeau. She healed and they fell in love, and built their dominion and their family together.

Ysabeau is the mother of Matthew, Louisa and Louis, the step-mother of Philippe’s children and the grandmother to Marcus and Matthew’s other children.

Hugh de Clermont

Hugh was Philippe’s eldest child, Gallowglass’s father and Fernando Goncalves’s mate. We don’t know when he was sired exactly, but we can assume he was at least two thousand years old when he was burned at the stake in 1314, his execution ordered by the King of France.
Hugh was very dear to Philippe, who relied heavily on him for his military and political schemes, although he could never truly accept his mating with Fernando; the two lived together until Hugh’s death, founding a scion of the de Clermont family, a secondary branch not fully dependent on the patriarch.

Fernando and Hugh were deeply in love, with Fernando still mourning him to this day. Matthew lived with them for a period and was there for Fernando when he lost Hugh, which is why he has Fernando’s unquestioned and unwavering loyalty even though he isn’t officially a member of the family.

Baldwin de Clermont (played by Trystan Gravelle in seasons 1-2 and Peter McDonald in season 3)

His full name is Lucius Sigéric Benoit Christophe Baldwin de Clermont and he currently goes as Baldwin Montclair. He is the second and the eldest living child of Philippe and therefore the current head of the de Clermont family.

Baldwin was sired during the Roman Empire, placing his birth about 2,000 years ago. He is a sharp-minded strategist and has worked in financial markets for the last century. He served as the de Clermont family representative on the Congregation until the events of The Book of Life. Baldwin likes to remind people that he comes from the main branch of the clan, and looks down on Ysabeau and her children as less than. Naturally, he is not well-loved by his step-brother Matthew and the rest of the family.

Baldwin has a daughter, Miyako de Clermont, and is one of the godfathers of Rebecca Bishop-Clairmont, whom he dotes on.

Godfrey de Clermont

Godfrey was Philippe’s third and last full-blooded son. We do not know when he was born or when he was sired. He was killed in battle in 1668, fighting in one of the French king Louis XIV’s wars. He was the brother of Hugh, Baldwin and Godfrey, the stepson of Ysabeau and the stepbrother of Matthew.

Freyja de Clermont

Freyja is one of Philippe’s three living daughters. We do not know much about her history, but she currently lives in Paris. Marcus Whitmore affectionately calls her Aunt Fanny. Freyja was a very important figure in Marcus’s upbringing, raising him in her household when he first came to France. She first appears in Time’s Convert, where she hosts Phoebe Taylor at her house during her transition. Freyja can be terrifying, but she is also sweet and kind.

Verin de Clermont

Verin is another of Philippe’s surviving daughters. She briefly appears in Shadow of Night and plays a bigger role in The Book of Life. She currently lives in Berlin with her human husband Ernst Neumann, whom she loves very much. Verin saved Ernst from her stepmother Ysabeau de Clermont when he was young. Verin is known to the family for keeping her promises and never disappointing her father Philippe.

Teresa Palmer as Diana Bishop – A Discovery of Witches _ Season 2, Episode 6 – Photo Credit: Sundance Now/Bad Wolf
Teresa Palmer as Diana Bishop – A Discovery of Witches _ Season 2, Episode 6 – Photo Credit: Sundance Now/Bad Wolf /

Diana de Clermont (played by Teresa Palmer)

Diana Bishop-Clairmont is Philippe’s third living daughter, and the only full-blooded de Clermont who is not a vampire. While Philippe did not sire her, he adopted her with a blood vow during the events of Shadow of Night. As Philippe’s blood-sworn daughter, Diana did not marry into the de Clermonts, as she is technically more full-blooded than her husband Matthew, with whom she shares no blood.

Diana is the protagonist of the series. She is a witch and a weaver, and a professor of alchemical history, with tenure at Yale. The daughter of Rebecca Bishop and Stephen Proctor, she was raised by her aunts Sarah Bishop and Emily Mather. Diana is married to Matthew, with whom she has three children: Rebecca and Philip Bishop-Clairmont, and Jack Blackfriars. She is also Marcus’s stepmother, Ysabeau’s daughter-in-law, and Baldwin’s sister.

Matthew Goode as Matthew Clairmont – A Discovery of Witches _ Season 2, Episode 6 – Photo Credit: Sundance Now/Bad Wolf
Matthew Goode as Matthew Clairmont – A Discovery of Witches _ Season 2, Episode 6 – Photo Credit: Sundance Now/Bad Wolf /

Matthew de Clermont (played by Matthew Goode)

His full name is Matthew Gabriel Philippe Bertrand Sebastien de Clermont, and he currently goes as Matthew Clairmont; he’s been known as Mathew Roydon, Sebastian St. Clair, Gabriel ben Ariel, and Matteo Chiaromonte.

Matthew is Ysabeau’s son and Philippe’s stepson; he was born in the village of Saint Lucien by Sept-Tours in 500 AD and made into a vampire in 537 AD.

At one point in history — at least until 1591 — Matthew was the de Clermont family representative on the Congregation. He became the Grand Master of the Knights of Lazarus in 1945. He is a professor of genetics and a fellow of the All Souls College in Oxford. He is Diana’s husband and the father of Lucas (human son by his first wife Blanca), Jack, Rebecca and Philip. He also sired Benjamin Fuchs. Matthew is the head of the Bishop-Clairmont clan, a scion of the de Clermonts that answers primarily to him instead of Baldwin.

Steven Gree as Gallowglass – A Discovery of Witches _ Season 2, Episode 7 – Photo Credit: Sundance Now/Bad Wolf
Steven Gree as Gallowglass – A Discovery of Witches _ Season 2, Episode 7 – Photo Credit: Sundance Now/Bad Wolf /

Gallowglass de Clermont (played by Steven Cree)

Gallowglass’s real name is Eric Ragnall Brendan William Sorley de Clermont. He is part Scot and part Norse, by way of Ireland. He fell in battle to Hugh de Clermont, who made him a vampire and a de Clermont.

For centuries after his father’s execution, Gallowglass didn’t set foot in France. His grandparents Philippe and Ysabeau are fond of him, and so is his uncle Matthew, who trusts Gallowglass like no other. We first meet Gallowglass in London in 1590 where he and Diana become fast friends. In  the present day, he is one of the godfathers of Philip Bishop-Clairmont.

Benjamin Fox (played by Jacob Ifan)

Benjamin Fuchs was a German crusader in the twelfth century. After discovering he wanted to reveal the de Clermont’s secrets, Matthew turned him into a vampire so that he couldn’t expose any secrets without exposing himself, and then abandoned him to live without a clan, a fate worse than death. Benjamin was erased from all de Clermont family records and in revenge vowed to destroy the family who cast him out.

We first meet Benjamin in Shadow of Night, in 1591 at the court of Emperor Rudolph in Prague, and in the second season of the TV show. Despite Matthew being his sire, Benjamin is not recognized as a de Clermont. He is the father of Andrew Hubbard and the grandfather of Jack Blackfriars.

Marcus de Clermont (played by Edward Bluemel)

Marcus Raphael Galen Thomas Chauncey de Clermont, who currently goes as Dr. Marcus Whitmore, was an American medic who fought in the Revolutionary War. He was born as Marcus MacNeil in 1751. Matthew de Clermont offered him a chance at a new life when Marcus was dying of a fever in 1781, and made him a vampire.

Marcus is Matthew’s son. He is a passive carrier of the blood rage gene; unfortunately many of his own children were not so lucky. In the early 1800s, Marcus sired dozens of children in New Orleans. Because they exhibited signs of blood rage, Philippe ordered Matthew to eliminate them to protect the de Clermont’s secret. Marcus had to kill many of Marcus’s children and grandchildren, decimating his clan in Louisiana.

Marcus’s surviving children include Ransome and Gwendoline. Marcus is the brother of Jack, Rebecca and Philip, the cousin of Gallowglass, grandson of Philippe and Ysabeau, and Freyja’s favorite nephew. He is currently the Grandmaster of the Knights of Lazarus and Phoebe Taylor’s mate.

Jack Blackfriars (played by Joshua Pickering in season 2 and Toby Regbo in season 3)

Jack is a de Clermont both by blood and adoption. His last name denotes his status as an orphan of the Blackfriars. As a human boy in 1590 London, Jack was adopted by Matthew and Diana in the sixteenth century. Before their departure, Diana entrusted Jack to Father Hubbard, who made him a vampire when he was dying from plague. In an ironic turn of events, Hubbard was sired by Benjamin Fox, the son that Matthew made and then cast out, so Jack is technically Matthew’s vampire great-grandson as well as his adoptive son. He is the brother of Marcus, Rebecca and Philip, Ysabeau’s grandson, and a member of the Bishop-Clairmont scion.

Rebecca de Clermont

Rebecca Arielle Emily Marthe Bishop-Clairmont, affectionately nicknamed Becca by her family, is Diana and Matthew’s only daughter. Her namesake is her maternal grandmother Rebecca Bishop. Becca is a Bright-Born (the child born of parents from two different species), though more vampire than witch, as she enjoys blood more than human food. She has a twin brother, Philip, and two older brothers, Marcus and Jack. Rebecca’s godparents are vampires Miriam Shephard, Fernando Goncalves, Marcus Whitmore, Marthe, human Chris Roberts, and witch Vivian Harrison. Her grandmothers Ysabeau and Sarah and her uncle Baldwin dote on her.

Philip de Clermont

Philip Michael Addison Sorley Bishop-Clairmont, nicknamed Pip by his sister, is Diana and Matthew’s youngest son. His namesake is his paternal grandfather Philippe de Clermont. Pip is a Bright-Born, more witch than vampire, and he has a familiar, a griffin he calls Apollo. He is Rebecca’s twin and Jack and Marcus’s younger brother. Philip’s godparents are vampires Jack Blackfriars, Gallowglass de Clermont, human Phoebe Taylor, daemons Hamish Osbourne, Sophie Norman, and witch Amira. His brother Jack is especially protective of him.

Fernando Goncalves (played by Olivier Huband)

Not an official de Clermont, Fernando is Hugh’s mate. The two were never married and Philippe never recognized their union, although they formed a scion and lived together for many centuries. He is Gallowglass’s stepfather and godfather of Rebecca Bishop-Clairmont, and a loyal friend to Matthew, who has always considered him family. Fernando is now part of the Bishop-Clairmont scion.

Phoebe Taylor (played by Adelle Leonce)

Not a de Clermont by blood, Phoebe married into the family through her mating with Marcus. She was a human who was turned into a vampire by Miriam Shepard. As Marcus’ mate, Phoebe now goes by Madame de Clermont. She and Diana are good friends, and Freyja de Clermont is fond of her, as is Ysabeau.

Ransome Fayrweather (played by Parker Sawyers)

Ransome is Marcus’ eldest son. He was sired in New Orleans at the time of the Louisiana Purchase. He had many siblings who were affected with blood rage and therefore killed by Matthew to protect the family secret. Ransome is the unofficial leader of the New Orleans clan and now part of the Bishop-Clairmont scion, officially answering to his grandfather Matthew de Clermont, after despising him for two centuries.

Geraldine (played by Genesis Lynea)

Geraldine is a vampire and Marcus Whitmore’s daughter; she is one of his few remaining children from Louisiana. Not much is known about her from the books. As per author Deb Harkness’s website, Geraldine came to New Orleans with a traveling circus and was famous for her acrobatic skill and ability to swing from trapezes (and balconies on Bourbon Street). She lives in New Orleans with Ransome and the rest of the clan. She is now part of the Bishop-Clairmont scion.

Andrew Hubbard (played by Paul Rhys)

Father Hubbard is the vampire king of London. He is not an official de Clermont, as his sire Benjamin Fuchs was disowned. Technically speaking, Hubbard is Matthew Clairmont’s grandson. He also sired Matthew and Diana’s adoptive son Jack Blackfriars, so their relations are a bit complex, but Hubbard means well. They mostly stay out of each other’s spheres of influence.

Hopefully you understand these characters and their relations better now. Who’s your favorite member of the de Clermont family, and why?

Next. A beginner’s guide to A Discovery of Witches. dark

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