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The Widow comes to the dying and sucks their souls out, or something along those lines. But does she merely sense their death and come to usher their souls on to the afterlife, or does she cause it?

On the one hand, she certainly confronts Morgana in order to try to stop her from interfering, which definitely does not seem like the position of a neutral entity, not to mention her plotting with Merlin. Morgana certainly acts as if the Widow needs to be stopped, and the Widow basically tries to strangle her, which is not really in line with her not killing people. On the other hand, when Nimue's name shows up on her hit list, she visits Merlin and expresses her profound regret, suggesting that Nimue's fate is inevitable, and implying that she is not the one who will cause it. Further, when

Morgana

becomes the new Widow, she says that she can sense people who are dying, including the person whom the Widow came for, further suggesting that the Widow just comes to people who are dying naturally.

What is the true nature of the Widow's visitations?

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While the show does not provide an answer, I think the Widow does a little of both. The Widow is the show's equivalent to the Grim Reaper and so the ability to sense when people are dying, or more accurately, when people should die is not surprising. This would explain why she knows Nimue's death is coming when there's nothing to suggest she'll die until moments before it happens.

On the other side, it seems that a person would not die if the Widow does not come for them. Merlin has done many things that should have killed him,

such as being struck by lightning bad enough to burn a scar down his side,

but the Widow refuses to show him her face and take his life. Based on her interactions with

Morgana,

seeing the Widow's face should be the last thing a living being does before passing on. The reason we don't see her all over the place is because she is hidden from plain sight by magic, so only powerful beings and the dying can see her.

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