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).

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).

Darker Evil Willow – Best Seasons to Watch

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

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”.

Evil Willow – No Rede for Concern

After casting a spell to track down Tara’s killer (Warren), Willow goes after him, making use of various magic’s along the way:  power to recover from an axe in her back, power to turn an explosion into “nothing”, power to control vines (that hold Warren) and power to destroy Warren (by both flaying and burning him).

Evil Willow - With Black Eyes - Out for Revenge

Evil Willow – With Black Eyes – Out for Revenge

The scoobie gang now realise that Willow has gone too far, and it falls to Buffy to track her down (and attempt to reason with her).  Unfortunately, Willow’s emotions (grief/fury/rage) still have control of her, which together with her addiction to magic, have helped to give her an altered sense of reality (including the ability to harm her friends).  Having cast a “Strengthen” spell upon herself, Willow intends to beat Andrew and Jonathan to death; and is only stopped when Buffy intervenes.

Evil Willow – The Power in Rede

To help exact her revenge, Willow decides she needs more power, and as such, heads straight for the local magic shop.  Upon entering, it is obvious that Willow is not herself:  her mere presence being enough to shatter several electrical lights; on her way to the shelves containing the “black arts books“.

Evil Willow - Rede like never before!

Evil Willow – Rede like never before!

Willow then demonstrates a new approach to learning:  when she proceeds to absorb their text (by “sucking” it out of the books and into herself).  Although Willow has lost control of her emotions (running on pure grief/fury/rage), she has not yet lost her ability to help others:  as she saves Buffy’s life by magically removing a bullet that would have killed her (as Warren initially shot Buffy).  Despite this, Buffy refuses to help Willow destroy those responsible for Tara’s death (as the scoobie gang does not kill humans).  This refusal is enough to serve as the final catalyst for Willows emotions:  as she casts aside “old reliable/nerdy” Willow and becomes “Evil Willow” (with black eyes and dark veins across her face).

Powerful Willow – Best Seasons to Watch

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

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 🙂

Powerful Willow – Two Paths in Witch

Willows character then evolves to have two specific traits.  Firstly, she is still known for her computing skills (which are of use when researching particular enemies).  Secondly, her magical skills are now considered as being fundamental to the scoobie gang (when helping to defeat various enemies).  The main reason for this change, is the fact that Willows continued study of witchcraft, has helped to make her more powerful.

Willow

Willow “witchcraft can be fun” – A “fire incantation” at a beach BBQ.

This is first witnessed when Willow impresses the scoobie gang with her ability to control fire:  speaking a simple incantation that results in a BBQ being lit.  Willows magic then continues to show its increasing power through the diversity of her spells, for example:  erecting warding spells (to help keep “Count Dracula” out), breaking spells (that were cast by their enemies), bringing forward sunlight (to help light the dark), making use of reverse spells (to “fix” Willows own spells that have gone wrong) and moving a variety of objects (by force of mind alone).