When it comes to a Willow that both radiates on-screen Power, and that makes you want to don your “knee-high thigh length boots” (that just ooze Sex Appeal) – then there’s really no better season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, than Buffy Season Six:
Best season to watch for “Darker Evil Willow” – the “Black in Witch” – Buffy Season Six
Here do I find that Willows character is akin to a Willow Tree, that just happens to be at the edge of some “Mighty Chasm”. The Chasm is Witchcraft, and it’s “gravity” is her Quest for Power. Yet, this is no ordinary Chasm – for Willow adds two further ingredients. The first ingredient is added knowingly: her desire to “jump” into the Chasm, which comes from her desire to learn. The second ingredient is added unknowingly: her emotional state continues to fluctuate – and she has no choice, but to careen down the sides, with a great big grin on her lips! It’s a Power thing 🙂 The roots of her Quest for Power, are found in the very first episode (of season six) – where she brings Buffy back “from beyond the Grave”. It’s Willows “single minded” determination that she’s her resurrect Buffy, even when the rest of the Scoobie Gang, appear to have “changed their minds”. It’s her “single mindedness”, that sees Willow using magic more than she should, even when the Scoobie Gang voice their concerns. It’s the magic that begins to dominate Willow, even ignoring the advice of Tara – wanting to change things, “just the way” she wants them to be. It’s the darker magic that seeds itself in Willow, which along with her “revealed” friend Amy – is just “much more fun”. Yet, are we really to be surprised? For there’s a saying: Power Corrupts. And in Willow’s case, does Power not only Corrupt – for she becomes like a Sun, that radiates her “Sense of Self”, through both her friendships, and her willingness to help Buffy. Whilst Buffy seems to have “lost the plot” (such as her relationship with Spike), Willow knows exactly what she wants: More Power! It radiates through her Being. It radiates through her Soul. It radiates through her Spirit. It may be rooted in Darkness, but Willow doesn’t care! For a time: she Eclipses Buffy. It’s roots lie not in Jealousy. It’s vines lie not in Friendship. It’s leaves lie not in Morality. For it’s Revenge – a dish that’s best served Cold. And Willow, is “best equipped” to serve that dish: an Emotional Wreck, Lost in Space, no need for Friends, just “Two to Go”.
When it comes to a Willow who is both “helpful”, and is regarded by her friends as a “powerful witch” – these are my favourite seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
Best season to watch for “Powerful Willow” – the “Scoobie Gang Witch” – Buffy Season Five
At this time, I feel that Willows character is akin to a Willow Tree, that appears to be strong; yet unbeknown to her (and her friends), decided to grow it’s roots in “sand stone“. At the core of the tree, there is no denying that her witchcraft is helpful to Buffy (especially when it comes to her encounters with Glory). Yet at the leaves of the tree, does Willow appear to have gained a reputation for “spells going wrong” (especially in the eyes of Giles and Anya). This is a fact that is overlooked, by various members of the scoobie gang, depending upon “which way the wind is blowing”. For example, Buffy seems not to notice/care whether Willows spells can go wrong; whilst Giles and Anya are “more than happy” to go along with – when their “lives are on the line”. Yet, at the base of the tree, does the “sand stone” make it’s presence known – for Willow is too emotional. From a distance, does there appear to be strength in both Willows character, and her emotions; yet at close range, do we start to realise that Willow is only strong because of Tara. This is first evidence when Glory (temporarily) destroys Tara’s mind – as Willow reacts like most lovers would (by lashing out); but with a complete lack of morals, decides to “lash out”, by resorting to Black Magic! It is here that I started to wonder about “two things”. The first: how did a “computer nerd” that always “followed the rules” even consider going against the Wiccan Rede? The second: if Buffy had never encountered Glory (or Glory had just been, lets say, a simple vampire); would Willows character have wanted/needed to experiment with spells, that continued to grow in power so much? My answer to both questions is essentially “the same” – it’s much more fun to be “yourself”; and like many of us, we may have (at least for a time), forgotten exactly who our “authentic self” is! In Willows case, she liked to learn, and as “knowledge is power”, so is her witchcraft 🙂
When it comes to the development of Willows character; both “growing in power”, and “finding her roots” – these are my favourite seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
Best seasons to watch for “Young Willow” – the “Growing Witch” – Buffy Seasons Three and Four.
At this time, I feel that Willows character is “many things” – for she is akin to a Willow Tree, whose roots are attempting to “spread”; in several different directions. At the core of the tree, we can see that she is still herself – as she is keen to help the scoobie gang; through both friendship and research. Yet, it is with her breakup from Oz, that Willows roots, start to seek “new directions”; especially for something that can be, “just hers”. She finds this in two places. The first is witchcraft. The second is her friendship with Tara. It is with witchcraft, that Giles “throws some fertilizer”, amongst Willows roots; as he integrates Willow further into the scoobie gang, but as a “source of magic“. It is here that Giles is somewhat “naive” – for he is keen to have Willows assistance in various magical spells; yet fails to fully appreciate, that Willow wants to learn more about the craft, especially in her spare time. It is also here that Willow starts to view witchcraft as a “tool“, when she starts to use magic as way to “fix” her problems. Unfortunately, Willows character, is constantly at the mercy of her emotions – which is something, that the scoobie gang fail to realise; at least for sometime. As such, it is “all too easy” for Willows character, to disregard a cornerstone of witchcraft; the fact that you should be “clear and concise”, when casting spells! A good example is when Willow casts a “guiding sphere” spell, aka Will-o’-the-wisp; within a Halloween house, but then looses control of her spell – when she attempts to do “too many” things with it, aka Will-o’-the-wisps!
When it comes to the “Early Days” of Willows character – these are my favourite seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
Best seasons to watch for “Early Willow” – the “Gypsy Witch” – Buffy Seasons One and Two.
I feel that “Early Willow” is typical of the school friends, that many of us had – at a similar age. She’s your “best friend“, but you don’t really know why – nor, did she have to “earn it”. I had such a friend (as well) – her name was Hazel! I/You seemed to “connect” with Hazel/Willow easily – and everything seemed so much simpler (perhaps because we were yet to learn: the word “romance”). Now, just like Hazel, Willow had a range of interests to – with many of them being quite Nerdy! Hazel was to collecting Lego, as Willow was to learning Computers. And yet, here do my childhood memories differ: for Willow has an interesting twist to her character (that Hazel did not). On the one hand, Willow can be easily lead (such as when Principal Snyder suggests that she changes a students mark). Yet, on the other hand, does “Early Willow” appear to be quite strong – when she takes over the Computer Class (after Miss Calendar dies). How many of us, would have been capable of “stepping in” like that – whilst still being at school? How many of us could do it today? Before you answer – consider: the last time you walked to town (or to the mall). Did you find yourself looking at the floor? Because if you did, then perhaps there’s more Hazel “in you” – than there was in “Early Willow“. As a passing thought – it was Willow who found Miss Calendar’s files/notes on “paganism and magic”. Yet, to a Witch, perhaps it is fairer to say that The Craft found her (through the Paths of Fate). Especially as Willow – eventually chants, the Gypsy Spell (to re-curse Angel’s Soul).
When it comes to the character of the “Wiccan Witch” Tara, these are my favourite seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
Best seasons to watch for Tara – the “Wiccan Witch” – Buffy Seasons Four, Five and Six
I feel that Tara’s character best portrayed the paths of a “Nature Witch“. She started as a shy, stuttering, “Solitary Witch” who was always over looked by other people (akin to a new born seed – taking roots in the soil). She then starts to venture out (at a campus Coven), where she meets Willow, and starts to put her ideas forward (akin to the seed’s roots spreading out – in search of Water and Soil). She then slowly “Blossoms into a Flower”, walking the paths of Happy and Fun, when it’s realised that both her, and Willow, are Soul-mates (akin to a Plant that’s bathing in the “Rays of the Sun”). Yet then does her character surprise the most, as she becomes someone that’s both strong and dependable, having grasped the “True Nature of Witchcraft“, when Willow starts to go “Off the Rails” (akin to a plant with “Strong Roots”, that’s able to “Weather the Storm”). Yet just when we have grown accustomed to seeing the plant each day, are we reminded of the “Wrath of the Earth”, when Tara is snapped away (akin to a plant that got flattened one day) – it’s “Cycle Complete”, and the Earth starts again.
When it comes to the character of the “Fire Witch” Amy, these are my favourite seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
Best seasons to watch for Amy – the “Fire Witch” – Buffy Seasons Two, Three and Six
For me, the character of Amy was something of an “Unlucky Witch“. Whilst she initially showed much potential for witchcraft, her abilities were soon surpassed (by that of Willows). She also never appeared to have that many friends (at least when compared to the closeness of the “Scoobie Gang”). I also feel that Amy was something of an “Undeveloped Character”. Whilst she spent much of her time as a rat, it would have been interesting to have seen her character develop along a similar path to that of Willows (i.e. becoming more powerful). But instead of “putting the work in”, she decided to go down the paths of both jealousness and envy. If Amy had walked a different path, then perhaps she could have taken the place of Tara (in later seasons).