Willow – The Powerful Witch – Redemption

Willow does not have long to improve the Wards, that “clamp down” upon her Witchcraft, as her magic is soon required to assist Buffy: raising a “force field” (to help keep an “Uber Vampire” at bay), performing locator spells (to find other potential slayers, before The First can eliminate them), reopening a space/time portal (after Buffy jumped through one) and using a crystal/charm (to help a reformed Andrew remember more about The First).

Willow's Redemption Spell - In balance, with the Goddess

Willow’s Redemption Spell – In balance, with the Goddess

The final test of Willow’s reformed character occurs when Buffy asks Willow to change the “Slayer” spell: so that all potential slayers shall have the same strength as Buffy (and Faith). Willow is initially scared by the request, as she believes the spell could take her beyond Evil Willow: into a total loss of self control. Fortunately, this turns out not to be the case: and after researching the spell, she is able to cast it with the help of Kennedy (a potential slayer), resulting in Willow glowing in white (and thus being equated with a Goddess). After the “Slayer” spell is successfully cast, Willow collapses from exhaustion; but is able to savour the fact that she has helped to defeat The First, and in doing so, has fully redeemed herself.

Willow – The Powerful Witch – Helpful Again

Willow’s character then returns to a sense of normality, as she reclaims her space in the Scoobie Gang; but with one important difference: any spells she now casts are primarily to assist Buffy (either directly or indirectly). Willow proves her worth to the Scoobie Gang, as they start to battle against “The First”; which unlike anything they have fought before, is actually “the reason that evil exists”.

Willow's Candle Magic - Helping to locate The First

Willow’s Candle Magic – Helping to locate The First

An early test for Willow’s reformed character occurs when she talks with Cassie (a young lady they helped in the past); only Cassie is now actually dead, and claims to have a message from Tara (who is also dead). Although Willow becomes emotional in the encounter, she also passes the test: being able to directly face the fact that Tara is dead (without going off the rails). Shortly after, Willow realises that she actually encountered The First, which as it turns out, is able to masquerade as anybody that’s dead. Willow’s reformed character then faces another test, when she attempts to locate The First: her spell goes wrong (as The First corrupts it), and Willow ends up channelling the evil energies of The First (even hitting Buffy with a powerful magical blast). Fortunately, Xander is at hand, who destroys a bowl on Willow’s altar (thus breaking Willow’s channelling of The First). As a result of this (and some common sense), Willow realises that she needs to avoid taking on The First directly: she decides to refrain from magic for a while; and concentrate on increasing her level of self control (in case The First attempts to exploit it again).

Powerful Willow – Two Minds in Witch

Later (despite Willows failed assault on Glory), Willows magic still continues to prove its worth:  being able to temporarily freeze Glory, being able to throw Glory (backwards), being able to raise a “force field” (to help protect the scoobie gang) and being able to re-power a telephone (so that Buffy can call for medical assistance).  Willows growing ability/willingness to undertake dangerous spells is again illustrated when she later assists Buffy (who has suffered from a “mental shut-down”).

Willow - in deep Meditation (within the Depths of Buffy's Mind)

Willow – in deep Meditation (within the Depths of Buffy’s Mind)

After arranging several candles, Willow starts to mediate, entering a trance which allows her to navigate through Buffy’s memories, eventually “snapping her out of it”.  Again, this (necessary) spell raises concern from Giles, who regards the spell as “extraordinarily advanced”.  Willow then takes her powers a stage further, when she enters Glory’s mind, in a bid to regain Tara’s mind (and disorientate Glory).  Doing so involves Willow placing a hand on both Glory’s and Tara’s heads, then channelling explosive blue energies between herself and them (until her spell completes).  Later, we also learn that Willow has gained the ability of telepathy (when she speaks with Spike, through his and her minds).