Willow – The Powerful Witch – Atonement

Willow’s character then has to atone for what she has done. Firstly, she has to change her attitudes (and beliefs) towards magic. Secondly, she has to accept responsibility for the fact that she caused pain to her friends (and enemies). Thirdly, she has to face up to the fact that Tara is dead. Giles is able to help with the first of these: by taking Willow to a coven where she can work towards reconnecting with the “true essence of magic“. This is achieved by helping Willow connect with nature, and in doing so, become closer to “Mother Earth” (and all things good). Willow has a harder time dealing with the second: as she’s worried that the Scoobie Gang won’t want to know her (after what she did to them).

willow-the-powerful-witch-atonement

Willow’s Atonement – What if they won’t take me back?

Upon returning to Sunnydale, Willow does not have time to see whether or not she’s fully recovered, as her magic is required straight away: Willow casts her “Demonic Energy” locator spell (with assistance from Anya), involving candles and the scattering of powder on a map, to help her track down a demon (that’s been flaying its victims). The Scoobie Gang initially suspect that Willow may be responsible for the flaying (because that’s what she did to Warren), although Dawn eventually discovers another possibility: a demon. It is only after encountering this demon (and chatting with Anya), that the Scoobie Gang realise that something else is a foot: as Anya can see Willow, but the rest of the Scoobie Gang can’t. It turns out that Willow has not yet fully recovered: she was so afraid of her friends rejecting her, that she managed to subconsciously cast a spell, whereby they were unable to see each other. Once the spell is reversed, an important indication of friendship occurs: Buffy allows Willow to take energy from her, so that Willow may magically heal herself (from the injuries the demon inflicted).

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Evil Willow – The Power of Love

With Willows thoughts being beyond all logic/reason, Willow fights Buffy:  eventually rendering Buffy unconscious (by hitting her with some powerful blue lightening).  Fate then intervenes – as Giles returns, leading to a magical duel between himself and Willow:  he blasts her across the room, he commands her to stay down and he binds her in a stasis field (to prevent her from causing further harm).

Evil Willow - Smiling - With a red Fireball in her Hands

Evil Willow – Smiling – With a red Fireball in her Hands

Unfortunately, Evil Willow is too powerful to be defeated so easily:  she’s able to use mind control (on Anya) to help free herself from the stasis field.  The magical duel then resumes, with Willow eventually defeating Giles and absorbing all his powers (which he borrowed from a coven).  In doing so, Willow becomes more powerful, which combined with her emotional state, leads her to conclude that:  the whole world is suffering emotional pain (and that it must be stopped).  Thus, she decides to destroy the world (even though this goes against everything that Tara stood for).  Fortunately, Willow has managed to overlook one emotion:  love.  And it is love that finally defeats her:  when Xander tells her he loves her (as a friend).

Willow – Campus Covens and a Like Minded Witch

Willows interest in the basics (such as charms, glamours and levitation) eventually turns into a desire to move to the next level (where spells involving conjuration, primal forces and transmutation can be found).  Willow wants to learn this higher level, despite the fact that her basic spells are only being successful about fifty percent of the time.

Willow - Starting to "step up" her spells (a way to "fix" her problems!)

Willow – Starting to “step up” her spells (a way to “fix” her problems!)

Fortunately, Willow soon meets a “like-minded” witch at a campus coven:  Tara.  It is through Tara that Willow starts to learn more about witchcraft, for example: Tara offers Willow a crystal as a gift (which Willow refuses), but leading to Willow suggesting that they can “try out some spells together with it”.  Despite their growing friendship, Willow still casts spells without Tara’s assistance – particularly when its needed to help the scoobie gang.

Tara – The Shy Witch

Tara is a shy, stuttering, likeable witch who Willow meets at a campus coven.  Unlike the other members of the coven (who are all talk), Tara and Willow actually have an interest in performing spells.  Later one evening (after all Sunnydale residents have lost their voices), Tara looks up the campus house that Willow is staying in – and heads over there with the intention of helping to cast a spell to make people speak again.  This eventually leads to Tara bumping into Willow (just outside Willow’s room), whilst fleeing from the “The Gentlemen” monsters (who are responsible for the lost voices).

Willow and Tara end up in a common room where Willow attempts to barricade the door by moving a drinks machine with magic.  Tara realises what Willow is attempting to do, and grasping Willows closest hand, they use their combined powers to move the drinks machine.  The following day, Willow and Tara share their first real conversation, where Willow enquires how long Tara has been practising “The Craft” for.  Tara’s reply is:  “Always, since she was little” (as her Mum used to).