|This article is about the character. For other uses, see Willow.|
- “The magics I used are very powerful. I’m very powerful. And maybe it’s not such a good idea for you to piss me off.”
- ―Willow Rosenberg[src]
Willow Danielle Rosenberg was a witch native to Sunnydale, California, founding member of the Scooby Gang, and the best friend and semi-official sidekick of the Slayer, Buffy Summers. Willow started out as a shy computer nerd, eventually developing her talents to become a powerful and assertive witch.
Willow was introduced to the forces of magic by attempting a complex spell to re-ensoul Angel. To her own surprise, Willow tapped into considerable power during this ritual, and would come to practice witchcraft. Willow was quick to grasp basic spells and with support from her girlfriend Tara Maclay, her powers blossomed even more rapidly as did her self-confidence. Milestones in her magical career include the enjoining spell, taking on the Hell-Goddess Glory and surviving, resurrecting Buffy Summers, nearly ending the world, activating the world’s Potential Slayers and eventually, establishing herself as Earth’s most powerful witch.
Willow Rosenberg was born to Sheila and Ira Rosenberg. Her mother was supercilious and distant, noticing Willow had cut her hair months after she actually had it cut. She had a "bad birthday party pony thing" when she was four, leaving her with a fear of ponies and horses. At some point, Willow also developed fear of frogs and spiders. After watching "Snoopy on Ice", her dad took her backstage, but she was scared and threw up on Woodstock.
Willow became best friends with Xander Harris at a young age and she attended school with him throughout all of her life. On the first day of kindergarten, Willow cried because she broke a yellow crayon. She and Xander also gained another friend, Jesse McNally. Willow was also very close friends with Amy Madison during junior high.
In her early years in high school, Willow was a shy, naive "nerd" with a light, risqué sense of humor. A member of the math, science, and computer clubs, she was the go to person for tutoring help. Willow was ridiculed by her more popular classmates, including cheerleaders Cordelia Chase and Harmony Kendall. She had a hopeless crush on her lifelong friend Xander Harris, who ignored her to pursue his equally hopeless crush on new student and their eventual mutual BFF, Buffy Summers
After witnessing Willow being insulted by Cordelia, Buffy quickly approached Willow as a friend despite Willow responding in fear as she saw her with Cordelia. Willow soon became Buffy’s best friend after being pursued by several vampires, where upon Buffy arrived and fought them, leading Willow along with Xander to learn that Buffy was actually the Slayer. This revelation led Willow to dedicate herself to aiding her friend in the battle against evil. Willow’s assistance to the Scooby Gang was mostly through her computing and hacking skills as well as helping the school librarian and Buffy’s Watcher Rupert Giles on researching about demons.
By the end of her sophomore year, Willow’s interest in computers got her almost killed by the demon Moloch who pretended be a teenage boy talking to her on the net. Willow initially ignored her friends warnings but came to realize his true nature when he revealed himself in his new robotic form. After Buffy killed him, Willow felt bad for falling for a demon, thinking something was wrong with her. Buffy and Xander cheered her up by reminding her of the times they fell for someone out of the norm, Buffy’s being an ensouled vampire Angel while Xander developed a crush for a giant insect posing as their science teacher.
She also witnessed the death of several students at the hands of the Order of Aurelius, affecting her emotionally. This experience gave Buffy the push to confront the Order’s leader, The Master who was prophesied to kill her. Learning this, Willow met up with Giles, Xander and Jenny Calendar, her computer science teacher and technopagan she admired. They believed that a swarm of The Master’s vampire minions would assemble at the Bronze where the school’s prom was currently being held. Willow accompanied Jenny to her car where they discovered that the vampires were actually going to the school where they were. Luckily, Cordelia arrived and rescued them with her car, having been helped the gang prior. Returning to the library, Willow fought off both vampires and a tentacle monster that spawned from the Hellmouth, awakened by the Master after he bit Buffy and left her to drown. Buffy, however, was revived by CPR and came to their need and killed the Master.
The following year, just as Buffy returned, Willow was kidnapped along with Giles, Jenny, and Cordelia by the Order’s remaining members and almost killed in the ritual to resurrect the Master since they were at a close proximity to him as he died. Even though it was Buffy’s emotional irrationality that put them in danger, Willow along with the others did not express any anger to her afterwards.
In her junior year Willow began to have huge advances to her persona. During Halloween when everyone literally became what their costumes were from Ethan Rayne’s Costume Shop, Buffy and Xander were given different mind-sets, leaving the ghostly Willow to take initiative and assign for Giles’ help while wearing skimpy outfit that Buffy before hence encouraged her to put on to impress Xander, though she kept it hidden a ghost costume that she abandoned while becoming a ghost. Also, when Buffy lied to Giles so she could hold off her slayer duties to attend a college frat party, Willow burst out in a fit of guilt yet also judging Giles for not allowing Buffy to have time for herself and Angel for not bothering to make time for her.
After discovering Xander’s relationship with Cordelia when she caught them kissing, a heartbroken Willow angrily expressed her shock and disgust that Xander would involve himself with someone like Cordelia before her, further strengthening her assertiveness and pride.
She then quickly decided to move on, starting a romantic relationship with Oz, a guitarist in the local band Dingoes Ate My Baby. The two began talking after they were selected by the "world’s leading software concern" during the Careers fair. She later invited him to Buffy’s birthday where he witnessed his first vampire being staked. Even after the revelation that he was a werewolf and almost getting killed by him, Willow still continued to date him, even confidently kissing him at her own accord.
When Jenny Calendar was murdered by Buffy’s newly soul-less boyfriend Angel who had become Angelus, Willow agreed to teach her classes for the rest of the year. During this time, she went through her former favorite teacher’s belongings, dabbling in magic. After the discovery of floppy disk containing the completely translated text of the lost Ritual of Restoration, the curse used to originally ensoul Angelus hundreds of years ago, Willow took it upon herself to preform the spell if Buffy couldn’t kill Angelus as she claimed it would be the last resort. She first attempted it in the school library, but failed when Angelus’ vampire minions attacked, resulting in her being taken to the hospital after a bookcase was dropped on her. Recovering, Willow then confidently performed it at the hospital with Cordelia and Oz at her side. She told Xander to inform Buffy of this but, holding a bitter hatred for Angel and vengeful of Jenny’s murder, told Buffy to kill him. At the exact climax of the ritual, a powerful burst of magic surged through her, ensouling Angel just before Buffy stabbed and killed him, sending him to hell.
- “I mean, you’ve been fighting evil here for three years, and I’ve helped some, and now we’re supposed to decide what we want to do with our lives. And I just realized that that’s what I want to do. Fight evil, help people. I mean, I think it’s worth doing. And I don’t think you do it because you have to. It’s a good fight, Buffy, and I want in.”
- ―Willow chooses her path in life.[src]
While Buffy was away in Los Angeles, Willow continued to practice witchcraft – first starting simple through a number of pagan blessings and also once used a glamour to conceal a pimple. She even took a frightening turn when she attempted to contact the spirit world while not being ready, having found the experience to have "pulled her apart inside," as well as blowing out the power for the whole street block. Willow also took charge of the Scooby Gang through their series of unsuccessful vampire hunts.
She joined a coven with fellow magic-users Amy Madison and Michael Czajak, who became the victims of a witch-hunt led by Buffy’s mother and a group called Mothers Opposed to the Occult (MOO). However, they were actually under the influence of a demon who impersonated two witch-victims; with Willow, Buffy and Amy being nearly burned at the stake before Giles revealed the demon which Buffy then slayed, breaking the spell. Willow also then kept Amy as a pet after she turned herself into a rat to escape, Willow not possessing Amy’s powers of transmogrification at that time.
Though she showed initial shock at Buffy’s secret relationship with Angel who had just returned, the heads of the gang where turned when Angel saved her from being killed by corrupt ex-watcher Gwendolyn Post.
She and Xander discovered a growing attraction for each other, despite the fact that were each in relationships with other people. While being held hostage by Spike, Willow and Xander shared a kiss, believing that they were going to be killed. To their dismay, they were caught in the act by Oz and Cordelia, who had come to rescue them. Although Cordelia broke up with Xander for good, Oz and Willow eventually managed to work things out after some weeks.
Tired of being "old reliable," Willow aided former vengeance demon Anya Jenkins in a spell, unwittingly releasing her own vampire counterpart from an alternate universe., wanting to return to her dimension, rounded up a gang of vampire minions originally employed by Mayor Richard Wilkins to kill Willow. She then used them to hold the Bronze patrons hostage in hopes of forcing Willow to send her back. After an fortunate encounter, Willow managed to trap her and was then forced to pretend to be her so the gang could kill each vampire one by one. In the ordeal, she was shocked to discover that her vampire counterpart exhibited homosexual tendencies, a foreshadowing to her very own lesbian relationships. One positive from the whole event was the encounter between vampire Willow and Percy West, a lazy, self-involved jock who Willow was forced to tutor but left Willow to do his own unfinished assignments. After meeting her vampire counterpart, a fearful Percy decided to do the work required and he started to respect her as she tutored him.
Despite being accepted by several colleges, including Harvard, Yale, and Oxford, Willow decided to attend UC Sunnydale so that she could continue fighting the "good fight" with Buffy after being held hostage by the Mayor Richard Wilkins and rogue Slayer Faith Lehane, where the Scooby Gang traded a key component of the Mayor’s Ascension for Willow. Fearing she would die not having experienced new depths in her relationship with Oz, she lost her virginity to him the night before graduation when the Mayor would ascend into the Old One Olvikan. During the fight against the Mayor and his vampire minions, Willow and a number of other students wielded spear guns, though this did little damage to the Mayor. Willow then survived the battle.
- “It’s just in high school, knowledge was pretty much frowned upon. You really had to work to learn anything. But here, the energy, the collective intelligence, it’s like this force, this penetrating force”
In her first year of college, Willow initially enjoyed being in an environment that appreciated her intellect and further excelled in her magical abilities. Moving across town to UC Sunnydale, Willow and Buffy become roommates at Room 214 in Stevenson Hall after the expulsion of Buffy’s previous demonic roommate. Though her skills in magic got better, Willow did struggle in some areas in terms of control. During Halloween, the Scoobies became trapped in a frat house that was being magically altered by a demon. Willow wanted to prove herself by locating endangered party goers with magic despite her friends opposition because of concerns for her safety. She ignored them and the spell she performed ending up attacking her.
Willow soon reached a stage of emotional heartbreak. Oz left town after cheating on Willow with another werewolf called Veruca. Around this time Willow attempted to curse them both with magic, though stopped when Veruca arrived to kill her only to be killed by Oz who then left her out of fear of endangering her.
Willow then waited but was left with a bitter attitude, writing letters to Oz but not knowing where to post them. A devastated Willow cast a spell to have her will done, accidentally endangering her friends’ lives in the process when she called Xander a "demon magnet," thus attracting real hostile demons to his location. This also made her eligible to become a vengeance demon, but she declined the offer and undid the spell.
Afterward, she joined the campus Wicca group , a disappointing experience when she found out none of the other members were actually real witches with the exception of the presence of timid, serious witch Tara Maclay. After discovering each other’s magic during an encounter with the Gentlemen, they became friends, meeting each other on a regular basis to practice spells weeks before Tara was introduced to Willow’s friends. From this, they eventually formed a close bond and fell in love with each other, though both remained discreet about it.
Later, Oz returned, believing he had gained control over his wolf-side, with hopes of continuing his relationship with Willow. This put Willow in a tough position, having to choose between her long-term boyfriend or a new and exciting relationship with a woman. After some serious consideration, and coming out to Buffy about her feelings for Tara, Willow chose Tara over Oz, who left Sunnydale once more, having been unable to control his condition.
Spike, in league with Adam, attempted to split the Scoobies apart. He used Willow’s relationship with Tara as one of the catalysts, and her sexuality came out to everyone at this time. She later joined with the fellow essences of Buffy, Xander and Giles to form a super being to defeat Adam. Willow acted as the "spirit" of the ensemble, using her magic skills to disarm Adam’s technological advantages.
Willow’s power increased at a dramatic rate. Her relationship with Tara was strengthened when she discovered how Tara rose above her family’s abusive lies. However, they argued when Tara voiced her concerns at how much magic Willow had been using over the past few months. Shortly afterward, Tara was "brain-sucked" by the hell-goddess Glory, and was left in an insane, babbling state. Enraged and grief-stricken, Willow ignored Buffy’s warnings and attacked Glory full force in her own home, but was ultimately defeated; however, to Willow’s credit, she did manage to actually injure Glory and weaken her significantly. Willow almost got herself killed after spitting directly in Glory’s face in a show of pure spite, but Buffy arrived just in time to save her.
When Buffy later went into a catatonic state, Willow magically entered her mind and freed her, assuring her that they would find a way to defeat Glory. In the final fight against Glory, Willow managed to slow her down by restoring Tara’s mind, and disorientating the hell-god, as Willow reunited with her lover. However, Buffy was forced to sacrifice herself to save the life of her sister, Dawn. Following the battle, a devastated Willow departed to Los Angeles and visited the Hyperion Hotel to inform Angel that Buffy had died.
Addiction to Magic and "Dark Willow"
- Giles: “The magicks you channeled are more ferocious and primal than anything you can hope to understand, and you are lucky to be alive, you rank, arrogant amateur!”
- Willow: “You’re right. The magics I used are very powerful. I’m very powerful. And maybe it’s not such a good idea for you to piss me off.”
- — Giles condemns Willow over her growing misuse of magic.[src]
Following Buffy’s death, Willow assumed leadership of the Scoobies (at Xander’s insistence) and used her magic in patrols to help keep the vampire population in check while looking after Dawn in Buffy’s absence. Willow’s magical skills peaked when she led Tara, Xander, and Anya in resurrecting Buffy. This had major concerns; both Tara and Xander briefly opposed the idea while Giles branded her as an "rank arrogant amateur" for delving into such deep, consequential magic.
Willow developed an addiction to magic and began to use it excessively, and briefly got into an argument with Tara over it; she subsequently used magic to erase all memory of the fight from Tara’s mind. After a demon’s musical spell lead to Buffy revealing that she had been in Heaven and not Hell as they originally believed, Willow became guilt-ridden over costing her best friend eternal happiness and suggested using magic to erase Buffy’s memories of Heaven, leading to another argument with Tara; not wanting to lose Tara, Willow vowed not to use magic for a week to prove that she was not dependent on it, but almost immediately went back on her word and cast a spell to make Buffy and Tara forget about the negative aspects of what her spells did, only for it to backfire and gave the entire Scooby Gang, including herself, total amnesia, rendering them vulnerable when the Magic Box was attacked by a demonic loan shark trying to collect Spike’s gambling debt. When the spell was broken, Tara promptly broke up with Willow.
Without Tara’s presence, Willow’s addiction spiraled completely out of control; she finally managed to transform Amy back from a rat into a human, and Amy began taking her to Rack, a dark magic dealer, with her more liberal use of magic contrasting with the Scoobies’ attempts to encourage responsibility. Later, while attempting to take Dawn to the movies, Willow dropped by Rack’s place again and left Dawn alone and unprotected in the waiting room for two hours, disregarding Dawn’s fears and complaints when she emerged. Following this, they were attacked by a demon unwillingly summoned by Willow during her high. Willow commandeered a car using magic to escape, and the two suffered a car accident; while Willow emerged relatively unscathed, Dawn suffered a broken arm, and the two were saved from the demon by the timely arrival of Buffy and Spike shortly afterward. Faced with this, Willow was finally forced to face the consequences of her actions and cut off her contact with Rack and Amy, renouncing the use of her powers and choosing to help the Scoobies with her technical skills.
Some time later, Willow and Tara reconciled, prompting them to spend several hours in bed "catching up". Suddenly, Tara was murdered by a stray bullet from Warren Mears' attempt to kill Buffy. A grief-stricken Willow, having failed to bring Tara back, unleashed her dark side once more, absorbing every bit of dark magic from the texts in the Magic Box, causing both her hair and her eyes to become solid black, with veins protruding on her face as a result of draining Rack’s life force to replenish her magics. Willow left her friends, her old self, and her morality behind, and her vengeance reached a climax when she used magic to flay Warren alive.
Willow absorbed the magic and life force from Rack as she pursued Jonathan Levinson and Andrew Wells, Warren’s accomplices, despite the fact that they had no involvement in Tara’s death, turning against her friends in the process. Andrew Wells compared her to Dark Phoenix and later referred to her as "Dark Willow".
Willow then battled her best friend Buffy, infusing herself with super-strength, declaring: "I’m the Slayer, now." After having heavily beat and nearly defeated Buffy, Willow was attacked by Rupert Giles, who abruptly returned with borrowed power of the Devon Coven. Despite Giles’ attempts to stop her, Willow absorbed his power as well, pushing her so far that she was overcome by all the pain she sensed in the world. She attempted to trigger the apocalypse to end it all, but was thwarted by Xander who, out of love, refused to leave her alone, regardless of what she had done or was doing. The power that she had absorbed from Giles put her back in touch with her true emotions and feelings, so Xander’s act eventually caused Willow to break down over her actions.
- “In every generation one Slayer is born because a bunch of men who died thousands of years ago made up that rule. They were powerful men. This woman is more powerful than all of them combined.”
- ―Buffy trusts Willow to activate the Potential Slayers.[src]
After her attempt at destroying the world, Giles took Willow to his home in England where she was forced to deal with her actions, her connection to magic, and her place in the universe. Under the teachings of the Devon Coven, Willow regained control of her magic, though was hesitant and careful about how much she used, fearing that she might revert to her "dark" self. At the time, she met his great-aunts Lavinia and Sophronia Fairweather.
Upon her return to Sunnydale, Willow was nervous about how her friends would react when they saw her again and accidentally cast a spell that made her invisible to them and vice versa which ended in disastrous results as it caused her to fall victim to the demon Gnarl before the spell was ended at which point she was reunited with the other Scoobies.
When the First Evil began its campaign against the Scooby Gang, Willow reluctantly began a relationship with Potential Slayer Kennedy. After their first kiss, however, Willow was transformed into Warren, the result of a hex placed on her by a vengeful and jealous Amy. Kennedy saved Willow from fully becoming him by helping her to finally come to terms with Tara’s death and move on as she attempted continue Warren’s murderous path with a gun.
Willow was still reluctant to use her full power, especially after the First took control of her during a minor spell. However, Willow was called to Los Angeles by Fred Burkle to re-ensoul Angel once again. While there, Willow did battle with a higher power later known as Jasmine, who had possessed Cordelia, and came out victorious. She then returned to Sunnydale with newly reformed Slayer Faith who was insisted to break out of prison to fight Angelus.
With the final battle with The First drawing nearer, Buffy entrusted Willow with a very big and important task that Willow was very reluctant to perform. Despite this, Willow tapped into the essence of the slayer Scythe (both by her computer and witchcraft prowess), and activated every Potential Slayer around the globe, euphorically overcoming her dark side and briefly turning her hair white in the process before Kennedy deified her as a goddess. Willow then passed out in a mixture of awe and tiredness, mumbling "that was nifty." Willow then escaped Sunnydale before its subsequent destruction.
- “I said I wanted to understand my power and I do. But under that, I wanted to know my fate. Darkness? Enlightenment? Was I a good witch or a bad witch? I feel the pull of both of each. That was my secret motive… but it’s not. Under the under, I just wanted her. She was my light. She was my order. She was my journey. Completed. But either she's an illusion… or Tara is at peace. And either way, no thanks.”
- ―Willow beginning her training to understand her true nature[src]
Following the destruction of Sunnydale, Willow and Kennedy spent some time in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Willow also visited the Himalayas, but was unable to aid Fred Burkle with her mystical illness because she was astrally projecting to another plane at the time.
Willow was given an opportunity to have Tara be her guide while she enhanced her magical prowess but realized that Tara would only be given to her as an illusion or that she would be ripped from her afterlife. Willow decided to study under Aluwyn, also known as Saga Vasuki, a mysterious snake-like woman. Along the way, Willow also began a sexual relationship with Vasuki. During this time, her contact with Buffy and the Scooby Gang diminished.
When Kennedy died a mystical death, Willow resurrected her a month later and they began to take their relationship more slowly. Willow also confessed that she was keeping Kennedy away from Buffy because she didn’t want to lose her, believing that if she hadn’t resurrected Buffy, Tara would still be alive.
Over a year after the Hellmouth battle, Willow appeared at Buffy and Xander’s Scotland base, battling Amy and her army of the undead. Willow was kidnapped by a skinless Warren Mears, who revealed that Amy had revived him moments after Willow killed him. The pair had been conspiring against her ever since, and were responsible for her transformation into Warren in 2003. Warren lobotomized Willow, who took refuge in a mental plane before being rescued by Buffy, unharmed.
Sometime after joining Buffy, Xander, and Dawn in Scotland, Willow traveled to Las Vegas to assist Spike, who had been resurrected in Los Angeles after the destruction of Sunnydale, during his investigation into the new Las Vegas branch of Wolfram & Hart (Spike reasoning that W&H would expect him to contact Angel’s team for help and therefore called Willow to take his enemies by surprise). When Spike’s soul was extracted by the homicidal sociopath John, who had been brought there along with Drusilla by Wolfram & Hart and apparently lost his own soul when Spike regained his, Spike directed his soul into Drusilla to give her a chance at redemption, but ultimately had Willow transfer his soul back into himself when the guilt of a restored conscience only drove Drusilla even more insane. After committing Drusilla to the Mosaic Wellness Center, Willow agreed to keep their team-up a secret from Buffy, knowing that Spike had chosen not to reveal himself to Buffy because he believed it would cheapen his sacrifice; however, unbeknownst to the two, Buffy had already found out about Spike’s return on her own.
Willow began to settle in Scotland with Buffy and Xander, and attempted to aid Dawn who had transformed into a giant. When Buffy and Willow went on a mission to find out about more about the Scoobies’ newest enemy, Twilight, the demon Sephrilian revealed the friends’ secrets to each other, including the reason why Willow was keeping Kennedy away from Buffy, leaving their friendship strained. While fighting a group vampires in Tokyo, Willow met and battled a fellow student of Saga Vasuki, the witch Kumiko. The vision she received during this fight with Kumiko would later lead her to investigate a possible ripple in time in New York. When Buffy was kidnapped into the future, Willow contacted Vasuki for help during sex with an oblivious Kennedy. Saga Vasuki warned Willow not to look forward into the future when she rescued Buffy from it; Willow complied and successfully returned Buffy to the present. After Harmony Kendall unwittingly brought about a new pro-vampire, anti-Slayer world order, Willow was needed more than ever to protect the Slayers from humans and demons alike.
Along with a small team of Slayers who were also witches, Willow cast a series of powerful force fields and glamors to protect and conceal the Scottish base. Demons still attacked and defenses fell. Willow teleported out, and discovered from Saga Vasuki that Twilight was tracking them by magic. Buffy decided, after sharing concerns with Giles that Willow was heading down a dark path once again, that the group should learn from Oz how to suppress their mystical powers and natures. Buffy had Willow do one last big spell, sending everyone to Oz’s retreat in Tibet. In Tibet, Willow was unhappy with the suppression of her powers which she felt were intrinsic to her identity. Furthermore, she was jealous of Oz for having a normal life, settling down with his wife Bayarmaa, and having a son, Kelden. Oz assured her she could have a normal life and learn to suppress her powers too, and also showed his trust in her by letting her watch Kelden for him. Later, Buffy admitted to Willow that she killed her in the future where she had once again gone "dark," but Willow was nonplussed and opined that the future was not fixed.
The suppression of their powers left Buffy and her friends defenseless when Amy tracked them down and Twilight unleashed his military might on the powerless Slayers and Monroe’s small band of werewolves, leading to heavy casualties. When Bayarmaa explained that their method of magical suppression worked by sacrificing one’s magic to three wrathful goddesses of Tibet;Remati, Vajrayogini and Ekajati; for protection, Buffy and Willow performed a ritual to summon them. The Goddesses appeared and began to kill indiscriminately. While collecting the injured from the bloody battlefield, Buffy was dropped by Remati from an incredible height. As Twilight was capturing members of Buffys’ group, Buffy awakened to discover she had new superhuman abilities, including flight. Not long after, Willow’s powers returned to her very suddenly; she identified it as a "ripple effect" of a cataclysmic magical event in the near future. Back at the camp, Buffy instructed Willow not to fight the goddesses head on but to dig a large hole for them instead. Buffy easily manhandled the goddesses, and put them in the pit, which Willow magically sealed up.
Willow later realized that Faith, Giles and Andrew were captured by Twilight. She teleported around the world in search of them, finding dead Slayers at several locations due to Twilight conducting simultaneous coordinated attacks around the world, leading them to theorize Buffy’s new powers have came from the dead Slayers. Amy defected to the Slayers’ side and revealed Twilight’s HQ was located three seconds in the future. With this knowledge they were able to uncloak it, leading to Buffy’s confrontation with Twilight, who revealed himself to be Angel. Willow and the others soon followed to Twilight’s HQ. After Buffy and Angel fought in the air and in space, they fell under the influence of an external power, had sex and created a new universe, which in turn caused extradimensional demons to flood their dimension ahead of its impending destruction. Willow was one of several battling these. Buffy and Angel returned to their senses and tried to help their friends and save the universe. Suddenly, Spike’s ship arrived — which Willow alone recognizes from their adventure together in Vegas.
Spike informed the group that the acquiring the Seed of Wonder was vital to the plans of the universe known as Twilight to incarnate itself. The Seed, which was located in Sunnydale’s ruins, was the source of all magic in this dimension. While they were being transported to Sunnydale aboard Spike’s ship, Willow was summoned to a spiritual dimension by Aluwyn who explained she must protect the Seed or magic will be lost from the universe, and that the walls between worlds will become closed forever. Arriving in Sunnydale’s ruins, Willow was able to connect herself to the Seed and experienced unity with the universe. Using more power than ever before, she easily handled thousands of enormous demons. Meanwhile, below, Angel was possessed fully by Twilight and killed Giles, leading Buffy to destroy the Seed; Willow was very suddenly and dramatically cut off from all of her power. In the aftermath of the crisis, she possessed no magic whatsoever. Willow broke up with Kennedy soon afterwards, believing that Kennedy was drawn to her in part because she had superpowers, and also realizing that she was really in love with someone else (Aluwyn). Living in San Francisco like Buffy, Xander and Dawn, Willow vowed that she would somehow restore magic to the world.
World Without Magic
- “It’s been months since magic left the world. And everything’s changed. Apparently, only I cared. I first realized after a big rain when I saw the rainbow… with two colors. Music, poetry — everything is going bad. This isn’t just me not liking new trends. No one can hit a note. Everyone’s auto-tuned. Coke doesn’t taste right anymore. I see examples everywhere. It’s not just that there suddenly aren’t witches and the occult around now. Suicide rates are moving up every day. It’s the inspiration, the dreams. All the things that make life so wonderful. It’s just not quite… there like it used to be. So I’m setting out to do something about it. To bring magic back.”
- ―Willow realizes the negative effects of the Seed's destruction[src]
A few months after the Seed was destroyed, living in San Francisco along with the other Scoobies, Willow began dating Aura and started working as a computer technician. Willow attempted to warn Buffy of the consequences of destroying the Earth’s "spark," and appeared to have grown to resent her best friend for destroying the Seed, her irritation only growing when Buffy repeatedly dismissed her concerns, insisting that she did what she had to do. However, after Buffy and Spike were nearly drained of their powers by Severin, Willow admitted that she was never angry with Buffy, and Buffy promised Willow that they would find a way to bring magic back to the world. Months later, Willow took the Scythe and left, believing it was the key to restoring magic due to advice given to her by the spirit of the First Slayer.
She subsequently arrived in London, making contact with Angel and Faith in Giles’s apartment. Willow quickly deduced Angel’s plan to resurrect Giles using the Tooth of Ammuk and fragments of his soul derived from magic items linked to key moments of his life, and coldly told Angel that he was selfish, stupid, reckless, and delusional to think that his attempts would not end in disaster, particularly after all of the pain and suffering she put Buffy and the rest of the gang through after Buffy’s own resurrection. However, despite her misgivings, Willow decided to help Angel with his plans because she herself needed him, stating that she needed Connor to bring magic back to Earth; in order to regain her magic, she needed to travel to another dimension where magic still existed and ’soak up’ the energy from there, but the only dimension that could still be accessed from this world was Quor’toth as there were never any portals to Quor’toth in the first place. Having discovered a ritual that might allow her to access Quor’toth using the residual energy in the Scythe as a "battery," Willow needed something from the target dimension to access it in the first place, requiring Connor due to the time he had spent in that world. Angel was unsurprisingly furious with Willow for wanting to involve his son in her plans, at which point Willow snapped and blasted him for comparing her to him before breaking down in tears and insisting that the Earth was dying without magic and she needed to save it. Seeing Willow’s inner turmoil, Angel was more sympathetic and agreed to take her to Connor and talk to him, but made it clear to Willow that it was Connor’s choice to go along with her plan.
Despite Angel’s misgivings, Connor agreed to the plan, with Willow carving various signs on him with the scythe and opening a rift to Quor’toth. Having recharged her magic in Quor’toth—although it took longer than expected due to the nature of this realm’s magic—Willow opened another portal to travel to the world without shrimp, a world with magic sufficiently similar to that once possessed by Earth, although Connor remained to help a cult that had been formed based on his legend. During the quest, Willow and the gang come across the Old One Quor’toth and attempted to fight against him with magic, only to fail at first. Due to Angel’s encouragement, Willow fought back again successfully. Despite this seemingly good thing, it becomes clear that things are now much more difficult as Willow stared at them with the ominous words of "We got a problem," her eyes now black due to absorbing too much dark magic.
Willow was seen to go in a panic over the dark energies taking over, insisting that she could not stay in Quor’toth any longer. Angel comforted and tried to calm the distraught witch, pleading with her to trust him and protect them from the advancing Old One. Hesitantly, Willow decided to obey and fought with the magical forces against the demon, only to shortly afterward attack Connor, the dark forces proving too much for her. Completely consumed and fully Dark Willow now, she won against Quor’toth by dropping a mountain on him and expressed a desire to rule over the dimension. Angel, however, hurled up and bit her. This caused Willow to faint and the influence of the magics to fade. When Angel himself gets taken over by blood lust, Willow awoke and stopped Faith from killing him as well as him trying to get her to kill him. Once he recovered, she thanked Angel in gratitude for helping but firmly said she had not forgiven him yet though did understand his reasons. Insisting that she did not hate him, Willow hesitantly hugged Angel and allowed him to take whatever was left of Giles’ soul out of the Scythe. She entered the portal to the World Without Shrimp, continuing her solo quest to bring magic back.
She traveled throughout the dimension, recalling all of the effects she recognized due to the destruction of the Seed. Willow, after fighting some odd demon here and there, soon met up with a man calling himself Marrak. He claimed to her that he was from Earth but trapped in this current dimension with no way back due to loss of magic and that due to the effects of the dark magic, was transformed into a demon. Ever compassionate and trusting, Willow decided to work together with him. Eventually, after some wandering, they meet a large caterpillar-like demon who seemed to want to help, only to be charged by some monster from the woods.
Willow eventually defeated the monster (revealed to be called Hybberax) with the Zen Caterpillar and Marrak. They soon after get attacked by demonic bird-type demons, causing some hallucinations of faceless people in her mind; Willow deduced this was the missing dreams of people that were unable to pass through. Looking for the Deeper Well of Wonderland, she ran into an old friend: Aluwyn. Immediately, Willow was ecstatic and kissed her in her joy of having finally found her (much to the shock of Marrak). One of the witches with Aluwyn named Vulcana repaired Buffy’s scythe and Willow finally reached the Wellspring (Wonderland’s Deeper Well). She opened up a rift to Earth, seeing Buffy, Xander, and Dawn discussing the vampire problems but it quickly closed. However, it allowed her to witness Dawn being faceless, shocking Willow. Aluwyn then explained afterwards that portals could only open and stay open unless there was magic on both sides.
Aluwyn and her "supercoven" convinced Willow to live with them in their paradise dimension and to give up on her plans to save Earth. Willow also began to doubt the if her mission was really just for the world rather than herself or even if her friends were in danger.
However, Marrak reminded her of her mission. Aluwyn attempted to persuade her to stay, but the pair separates. Willow had a strong epiphany at that point and realized for the first time that there was no such thing as "Dark Willow" and "Light Willow," only Willow. Travelling with Marrak again however, she became aware of his lust for dark magic and realized he was in fact Rack, her former dealer.
Rack did intend to restore magic to Earth, but also to hoard it all for himself. Rack and Willow battled over alternate universes until he was overcome by the antibodies of a sentient universe; their battle further helped Willow to overcome her inner doubts about "going dark" again by accepting responsibility for setting herself down the path of addiction long before meeting Rack. The sentient universe explained to Willow as Aluwyn did that it will be impossible to return magic to the world as she had planned, but also that magic was not completely lost as many beings (such as Slayers) use a magic that came from within. Though the Seed — the "heart" of Earth’s magic — had been destroyed, she would be able to draw power from her own heart now, a power for the world to share. Willow awakened in space, high above Earth, and descended to San Francisco with the intention of returning to her friends.
Willow arrived back in San Francisco with the newly fixed scythe just in time to aid Buffy with Dawn’s worsening condition. She was happy to be reunited with her best friend but reminded Buffy that though she had her magic back, it was limited and the Earth was still suffering from a loss of magic. She proceeded to heal a scar on her friend’s forehead from a previous battle by a mystical knife as Buffy began to inform her what had happened during her absence.
Fully filled on what was happening while she was away, Willow proceeded to furiously work herself to help save Dawn. Eventually, after much effort, she managed to stabilize her enough so that she could be awake and functioning. However, she made sure to firmly remind everyone that she was not powerful enough to save her life at that point and the most she was able to do was give her a few more days. Acknowledging this, Buffy and the others worked up a game plan. It was decided that the most plausible option they had going for them was traveling to the Deeper Well. It was an extremely magical place and held enough power to seal Old Ones. Willow was identified as the "battery" that would absorb enough magical energy there that would enable them to completely save Dawn’s fading essence. Willing to help in any way she could, Willow, Buffy, and Xander all used Kennedy’s jet to England where they would face the council and deal with the guards.
Along with Buffy, Willow fought against the council demons, using her magic to beat them back. After grueling fighting, the arrivals of allies Illyria and Koh, and rescuing Xander from a demon, Willow and Buffy came up with a dangerous plan together to proceed further in the Deeper Well. Unexpectedly, Xander panicked and told them they didn’t have to do it, proceeding to inform the group of his pact with Severin and Simone to prevent Twilight and consequently save Dawn’s life as a result. Willow was shocked and bewildered at Xander’s supposed betrayal, but they nonetheless united together to stop Severin since his plan would undoubtedly create reality tears in the universe.
With Buffy, Willow ventured deeper into the core of the Deeper Well. It eventually became clear that both Buffy and Willow were beginning to forget Dawn, but they still managed to put her as their top priority. As they drew closer, Willow suddenly sensed a very powerful source of magic, so much so that she began to emit a reddish glow. Willow was shocked at this, explaining to Buffy that it could not only be the key to saving Dawn, but the entire world as well. Willow and Buffy had a minor fight when she asked her to go help the council with an Old One rather than save Dawn, but they eventually reached an agreement when she pleaded to Buffy that she would not let her down this time and that she needed to trust her.
As she drew closer to the power source, the glow in her chest intensified to the point it began seriously affecting her. It became apparent that her level of power was so enormous, a small object reminiscent of the Seed of Wonder emerged from her chest. Willow realized she had created the new seed, but the act left her powerless. She found a spot in the Deeper Well for it to reside for while it would save the world, it’d take a millennia for it to mature. Willow then proceeded to use Severin (who had sided with them due to Illyria) as a possible source to save Dawn’s life.
However, Willow, Xander, D’Hoffryn and Koh witnessed Buffy’s "defeat" at the hands of Simone. Willow threatened to kill Doffler while the latter just shrugged it off. Soon, Willow discovers a way to escape the Deeper Well before Severin exploded, which was a staff left behind by one of the Council members, and took the opportunity to retrieve it with Xander helping her out. She then activated the staff’s powers and transported herself and all of her remaining allies out of the Well, only to witness Buffy being dragged away by Doffler. Willow worried for Buffy’s safety but she welcomed her back when she got out of the well, telling her best friend that magic was back. Immediately returning to San Francisco, Willow already started casting the spell to bring Dawn back but she acknowledged that there was something missing. Fortunately, through Spike’s inadvertent comment, she figured out that Buffy’s blood was the key to making the spell work and, soon enough, Dawn was returned to her original state. Willow was overjoyed to see Dawn again and apologized for getting so caught up in her quest to bring magic back. She also obliged to check if every part of Dawn’s body was in order. Buffy and Willow soon discovered that the Vampyr book was blank, with the former wondering what they had done in the Well and the latter in shock from the recent development.
A New World
Since magic had returned, Willow had been working with the Scooby Gang to help rid the zompire threat the suburbs of Santa Rosita. Willow arrived with two civilians so that Buffy and the others could take them to safety. On the way there, Willow aided Buffy and Spike in their attempts to keep the rescue van safe from harm. Arriving at the rendezvous point where Xander, Billy, Devon, and Anaheed were waiting, Willow and the rest of the Scoobies fought against the remaining zompires, only to find themselves facing a group of more powerful vampires that had risen since magic had returned. Willow and the others were on the defensive until Faith, Kennedy, Holly, Leah, and Giles came to their rescue. With the Scooby Gang reunited, they faced the threat together confidently. Fortunately, their combined forces nearly overwhelmed the vampires, who retreated to regroup and increase their numbers. Willow hugged Giles tightly once she got the chance. They all rode Kennedy’s jet back to San Francisco. While on board, she realized the very reason why she couldn’t control her magic: the Seed of Wonder was still maturing despite the fact it had been completely restored. She convened with the rest of the reconstituted Scooby Gang to talk about how much the vampires had changed. She wanted to cast the Tirer La Couverture on one of the enhanced vampires to better understand the new threat they face.
Willow was among the members of the Scooby Gang who aided Dracula while he assessed the powers the new vampires have acquired. Once they returned to Xander’s apartment, she demonstrated how the laws of magic had changed by conjuring a couple of flowers out of thin air unaided by any incantation. She then agreed to find a new vampire to study alongside Buffy. Arriving at the destination, they found no one there, remembering that new vampires had no need to hide from the sun. They soon left in search for a potential subject and bonded over how they distanced themselves from the people they loved and how their whole gang had been reunited. They also worried about the state of Xander and Dawn’s relationship. They arrived later that evening with their captured vampire, only to find Xander’s apartment in shambles and Dawn in tears, shocked by what beheld them.
Willow and Buffy were briefed of the situation, with the former being irked at how Andrew described Xander’s turn as "going Dark Willow." She then sat by Giles’s side as he tried to do a divination spell and calmed him down after his efforts were unsuccessful. After failing another attempt, Willow comforted Giles as he genuinely feared the consequences of recent events. Figuring out how to reach Dracula, Willow went with the rest of the Scoobies to the vampire’s hideaway. Fighting off the vampire hordes subservient to Dracula, Dawn showed concern for Spike, hoping he wouldn’t "go Dark Willow," again irritating the witch. Finally, as Willow and Giles worked together to get to Dracula’s room, Willow inadvertently used the "going Dark Willow" term herself, annoying her again. Willow and the others witnessed Dracula’s transformation and she was swatted by the vampire and knocked out for a couple of moments. She came to and tried to subdue Dracula until it was revealed that he was turning into Maloker through Xander’s connection to the vampire, thinking that Maloker was permanently dead. Willow then witnessed Maloker’s return as he set his sights on the Scoobies with great hunger.
Willow and the others tried their best to take Maloker down, but any and all attempts were for naught. Upon learning that Maloker’s weaknesses were no different from those of an ordinary vampire’s from Giles, Willow magically increased Dawn’s size and set out to find a priest to bless the Redwood Investment Building to use it against Maloker. Once she did so, she reversed the spell she cast on Dawn and let the priest leave the scene unharmed. She witnesses Dracula’s departure from San Francisco once Xander reversed the damage done to his old Master through the Vampyr Book. Willow gathered with the rest of the Scoobies to discuss who would take care of the book, stating that she was unqualified due to her history with abusing magic. However, when D’Hoffryn arrived to take that responsibility from them, Willow stood by Buffy as she made it clear that they would take care of the book together. Afterwards, she was seen playing video games with Giles.
Willow met with Giles to help him monitor his digital trail with Dowling and discuss the possibility of losing their home in San Francisco due to their difficulty of finding employment. Willow had been looking into re-aging Giles, but he decided against it, with Willow agreeing that it would make things worse if they tried. Dowling gave them a job that let them to a building where children had been disappearing for years. When Willow and Xander got no word from those who arrived to handle the job, they set out to investigate. Having done research on the case prior and determined the commonalities among the abducted children, Willow began to detect strange energies in the site but were taken by a mysterious entity along with Xander. They were trapped in a false reality where they were who they were in their earlier years and where Willow couldn’t remember any spells. However, Willow and Xander managed to release themselves from its hold and the former identified it as the Hamelin demon that targeted children who were on the verge of losing their childhood. Though Buffy lashed out at them, they were able to snap her out of it. Finding Dawn and Spike, they were swarmed by the missing children led by Giles, who didn’t want to escape. However Buffy snapped him out of it and all of them were released from the hold of the Hamelin demon. The children were returned to their surviving family and D’Hoffryn came to warn them to be wise and take special care with the changing times.
Willow was then seen having secured her shared apartment with Buffy and Dawn and just came from job interviews.
Willow and the Scoobies were shocked to learn that the Vampyr book was missing and Xander and Spike were quick to blame each other when Buffy asked who was responsible for neglecting to keep it safe. However, they soon learned that Andrew was missing as well. Putting two and two together, Buffy was angry that Willow made Andrew an authorized user but was quick to apologize when she brought the discussion to Tara. However, Willow and Giles placed a tracking sigil on the book and used a locator spell to track Andrew’s movements, learning that he was heading to Sunnydale. Buffy, Willow and Spike set out to find Andrew, leaving Giles, Dawn, and Xander behind. Having arrived to a Halloween party celebrated in the Hellmouth, Willow and the others set out, but lost her hold on the book when Andrew hid it in a special case. Finding where Andrew kept their DNA samples and considering the possibility that Andrew was going to resurrect Warren, they were ambushed by the Soul Glutton. Willow tried to use her goddess magic against it but it drew power from her magics instead. She then used her dark magics against it, which worked to a fault, as it got up almost immediately after. The demon retreated to regain strength and Willow held back the debris as they left the collapsing cave. Willow and the others regrouped and split up, where Buffy and Spike looked for the demon while Willow looked for Andrew. Willow arrived in front of Warren’s grave where she deduced that Andrew had no intention of resurrecting Warren, unaware of the fact that Andrew plans on resurrecting Tara.
When Willow deduced that Andrew was going to bring back Tara, she found him attempting it. Willow tried to convince Andrew to stop, as she had thought about doing the same thing more than once but didn’t do it anyway, but Andrew didn’t waver. She tried using force but the book was protected from her magics. Andrew tried to convince Willow that things were different and that they could do it if they wanted to because of the new rules of magic, but Willow told Andrew that he’d be cheating Tara out of a peaceful afterlife. Willow asserted herself and tried her best to use her powers to stop Andrew. Finally, when Willow understood Andrew’s motivations for attempting to bring Tara back, Willow apologized to Andrew for making him feel alone and told him that he wouldn’t be able to fix things this way. Willow and Andrew hugged it out and left the cave together as the former saved Buffy and Spike from the collapsing caves. Willow then parted with Andrew on good terms as he left for Oakland.
- “History is all romantic adventure stories. Until you live it. Until you live long enough to be a part of it.”
- ―Willow Rosenberg[src]
In the 23rd century, Willow was located in Haddyn (formerly Manhattan); she had remained youthful for centuries and eventually resumed her dark appearance, but could only wield a small amount of magic. She had allied herself with Harth Fray, who considered Willow a "madwoman", but chose to believe her claims that Buffy’s presence in the future would cause that future to exist. However, unbeknownst to Harth, Willow had also manipulated his sister into believing the opposite, an outcome the Slayer Melaka Fray intended to prevent. Joining forces with her older sister, Erin, the Fray sisters had managed to successfully capture and detain Buffy, attempting to keep her at bay until the temporal rift had closed. Later, Harth had arrived at Mel’s apartment in order to confront Willow about her manipulations, and she admitted to lying to one of the twins, but did not reveal which one.
During the ensuring chaos, Buffy managed to escape confinement, with a little help from Gates, and fought her way across Haddyn in order to get to the rift in time. When Buffy arrived at the rift, Willow stood in her way and, after a brief dialogue in which still Willow did reveal her true agenda, Buffy stabbed her in the heart with the Scythe. At that point, present Willow, blindfolded so as to avoid seeing the future, grabbed Buffy and pulled her back into the current timeline. Traumatized by her recent encounter, Buffy began to express concern over how much she relied on Willow’s powers, fearing that she may eventually go overboard again if she was pushed too far.
- “You know Willow. She’s very level-headed.”
Willow was a consistently sweet, trusting, gentle, intelligent, caring person. She was a somewhat naive, painfully shy nerd who was stuck with a hopeless crush on her best friend Xander. She was socially awkward on more than one occasion, but had a very kind heart. She became much more confident and strong-willed, capably leading the Scooby Gang twice during Buffy’s absences. When Buffy died, Willow took care of Dawn to whom she represented a maternal figure. She was very friendly and understanding, even with Spike, though she was not afraid to be tough. While still having a easily nervous nature, she grew more outspoken and confident.
Willow was also incredibly loyal and supportive to her friends, especially Buffy and Xander as she almost never openly criticized their decisions with hostility even when she disagreed, a factor in her understanding nature. She normally did not display fits of extreme anger toward those who done her wrong, even if they were her close friends, retaining a calm and receptive demeanor. She also often spoke in strange speeches and phrases, something she shared with her best friend Buffy, which could often confuse those around her who weren’t used to it. She was also greatly emotional and prone to senseless babble when nervous (which was another similarity to Buffy).
Willow was also very determined to get things done that she feels are important. It was sometimes hard for people to change her mind, a sign of this being her "Resolve Face." Willow often did not hold grudges against people. In fact, she was usually one of the first to forgive people for their mistakes, even if large ones, being incredibly forgiving. Another notable trait of Willow was her remarkable ability to put aside grudges and personal feelings to get an important task done which she had done on numerous occasions, most notably with Faith and much later, with Angel. She didn’t often let personal feelings cloud her judgment, being very responsible and level-headed.
Willow also had an amazing gift with computers and cracking codes, which was seen many times throughout the years, which is likely because of her intelligence. During her high school and college days, she seemed to be the only one out of the Scooby Gang that actually enjoyed going to school and doing homework as well as tutoring, much to the confusion of Buffy and Xander. She had a great interest in science and technology, seen with her fascination with the Buffybot.
Despite her many good qualities, she could also display an addictive, somehow selfish, personality (which Buffy once pointed out). This was seen when Willow became addicted to magic, as it was then that she felt useful and needed, which slowly but surely spiraled out of control to the point where it even hurt her loved ones. Willow however had since claimed that she had grown up since then and was not that same "little girl" she was then, showing emotional maturity and growth. Willow also was very stubborn in her beliefs and not easily swayed from them, shown in her insistence that the world needed magic and determination to bring it back to the world.
However, on several occasions, Willow gave into fits of vengeance, especially if it involved someone she loved such as Oz or Tara. The incident with Tara made her personality, for a brief time, change drastically. She became consumed with pain, grief and anger, which culminated in lashing out at The Trio, who she believed was the cause of her suffering. Willow became cold and uncaring, with little regard for her friends and no remorse over her actions. She also showed deep self-loathing, stressing how she was mocked and ridiculed in her past years and how she is branded as a "junkie" for her addiction to magic. In spite all these, Willow, at her worst, still acknowledges the love and appreciation she has received from Tara, who she could no longer be with. After gaining the power to feel the emotions of all the people of the world, she became hellbent on saving it from any more suffering by ending it herself. However, Willow returned to her former self thanks to Xander.
Since returning from her brief trip to England to restore herself, Willow has become more reluctant to use her powers, as she was afraid to go dark once more. This reluctance to use magic became stronger when the First Evil worked through her while she was doing a locator spell. However, after restoring Angel’s soul and defeating the "The Beast’s Master," she became a bit less apprehensive of her powers. When Willow was asked by Buffy to do one of the most powerful spells she’ll do in her entire life, Willow was still very lukewarm to the idea, even when Buffy acknowledged her as one of the strongest people she knew. However, when she did her preparations to center herself and cast the spell, she was overwhelmed with the good magics she could channel, even being deified by Kennedy. The spell changed the landscape for everyone and since then, Willow desired to delve deeper into the high witching arts, allowing her to become more powerful than she already is.
During the point in her life when her powers were at its strongest, Willow has become more open to casting complex spells consecutively without worrying if the magics will corrupt her once again. Though there came a point when she went dark for a moment, it didn’t do much to make her falter. She has since become more confident in her magics and her capacity to control her overwhelming power. Despite this newfound awareness of her strength, Willow remains as the person she always was. However, the moment magic was cut off on Earth, Willow burst out in a fit of extreme anguish and despair, knowing that she does not have powers anymore. This point in her life showed a side of vulnerability and dependence that the witch does not normally show.
Following the recent end of magic, Willow became obsessed with finding a way to bring it back; though it initially appeared that she simply wanted her powers back, she later revealed that, with the loss of the Seed, people were losing hope and that suicide rates are spiking all over the world; thus, her motivations to restore magic were to save the world and undo the damage caused by the Twilight crisis. Though she was not furious with Buffy for her part in the end of magic, she admitted to treating her best friend poorly. Since returning from her brief mission, Willow has learned to no longer fear her powers and reassured Buffy that if it weren’t for everything that happened and for the choices that she made, she wouldn’t have had such a realization. This is evident during the battle at the entrance to the Deeper Well in England, when Willow did not hesitate to unleash her full powers to destroy the opposition and cover Buffy.
Perhaps, among all the members of the Scooby Gang, Willow is the one that has changed the most, not just in terms of her personality, but in all aspects of her being. She transitioned from a dainty young girl with an affinity for computers, research and academics to, probably, the most powerful witch on Earth, and with such a transition comes changes that affect Willow and those close to her. Despite all these changes, Willow, in the deepest aspects of her being, remains as sweet, kind and understanding as she always was. Even in her present state, Willow does not veer too far from who she was, as seen from still having books on mathematics on her shelves despite the multitude of spellbooks surrounding it and working as a computer technician after the end of magic.
Powers and Abilities
- “Willow always had all the power. Even before she knew what to do with it. It came so easy for her. The rest of us, we had to work twice as hard to be half as good”
- ―Amy Madison commenting on Willow's power[src]
At first, Willow’s major "powers" were her intelligence and computer skills, as well as a marked snarkiness. She aided Giles when he researched information to aid Buffy in overcoming various challenges. Willow also aided in the preparation of magical materials, making her first potion to detect a witch and performing the ritual to revoke Angelus’ invitation to Buffy’s house, but did not seriously begin practicing magic until the death of Jenny Calendar, one of her teachers. She was asked to take over teaching the class because of her high aptitude, and one day came across a floppy disk holding the Ritual of Restoration that Jenny had successfully translated to English. Though for months she believed that the ritual didn’t work, Willow learned that the Ritual of Restoration was successful and performing it initiated her interest in magic.
Willow’s first major spell involved re-cursing Angel with a soul, a feat she later repeated years later. She learned to levitate a pencil early in her senior year, using it to stake a vampire through his heart, and her powers continued to develop until she was casting powerful spells first independently and then with the help of Tara Maclay. Soon she surpassed Tara, a more experienced witch, in skill and was able to draw enough power to even hurt the powerful hell god, Glory.Willow demonstrated the ability to bring Buffy back to life, leaving her drained but she regained her magic in a few hours. Her friend Amy introduced her to a warlock, Rack, who gave her the ability to last longer and cast spells of more power which led Willow further down the path to the dark side of magic. Eventually, after Tara died, magic consumed Willow and she nearly destroyed the world. At the time, Anya assumed Willow was the most powerful Wicca in the Western Hemisphere.
Willow was capable of flying, absorbing life and magic from others, teleportation, being impervious to physical damage, healing herself and others instantly at will, unleashing powerful energy blasts, locating people and objects at a distance (even when theoretically protected from such spells), emitting high-pitched shrieks in frequencies harmful to human ears, and exerting powerful levels of telekinesis and telepathic mind control. This mind control even extended to Anya, despite Anya’s statement that vengeance demons were immune to mind-controlling magics. Additionally, she proved more than capable of going head-to-head against Buffy in a physical fight after casting a strength-enhancing spell on herself, able to show impressive strength as well as fighting skills though it should be noted that Buffy was holding back and before a decisive outcome could come about, Willow used magic. It is also interesting to note that even before she went dark, the immense amount of grief she dealt with affected her powers immensely, as seen with how she banished the deity Osiris with just a scream filled with anguish. Willow also caused most of the light bulbs in the Magic Box to short circuit and paralyzed Anya, who recently regained her powers, with a simple command. Finally, she was able to cast extremely powerful spells, as she single-handedly almost brought upon an Apocalypse by attempting to channel the power of the Earth and focusing it on Proserpexa’s effigy to burn the world to a cinder, which was only averted by the timely intervention of Xander.
Return of Dark Willow
During her time in Quor’toth with Angel, Faith and Connor, Willow once again went dark, her veins protuding, her eyes gone black and the power inside her was made manifest in the form of dark energies circling around her in flight. At first, she was reluctant in using her powers, but once she let her dark side take over, she unleashed massive blasts of immense magical power towards the Old One, Quor’toth. Her own power easily matches that of the primordial demon. To defeat the monster, albeit temporarily, she used her powers to telekinetically lift a mountain from the surrounding area and drop it on the Old One. Before she could do anymore lasting damage, Angel intervened, reverting the witch to her stable state.
Her willingness to use magic was greatly diminished after her experience as Dark Willow. Willow spent time at a coven in England with Giles where she developed a better understanding of magic, balance, etc. At that point, she was so powerful her very feelings and thoughts could cause some sort of effect. Amy commented that other practitioners worked "twice as hard to be half as good" as Willow. Despite this, Willow was largely prevented from accessing more than slight magic by The First Evil, who attempted to corrupt her at each spell. Examples of the controlled usage of her power were her use of telekinesis to practice self-restraint, conjuring force fields, extensive telepathic conversations, opening a portal, and exerting hypnotic control. Willow also commented that she absorbed power from the things around her, one time draining some of Kennedy’s life-force. When Willow came to the aid of Angel Investigations, she displayed a great capacity for casting powerful spells, such as the Ritual of Restoration and Delothrian’s Arrow, consecutively without any strain. She was also able to defeat "Cordelia" (possessed by Jasmine at the time) who was trying to stop her from restoring Angel’s soul, casting "Cordelia" out of her mind and defending herself effectively. Willow cast a spell that imbued all Potential Slayers on Earth with Slayer powers (formerly reserved for only one girl in every generation), temporarily turning Willow’s hair crystal white in the process. Kennedy remarked on it by calling her "a goddess".
Willow’s powers greatly expanded since she returned from her time being mentored by the Saga Vasuki in the high witching arts. Even before she underwent her tutelage, she has shown great prowess with her magic, defeating Gnog, one of Aluwyn’s cohorts, in a blinding burst of magical energies without hurting him significantly. Since returning from her time with Aluwyn, she could fly by force of will and regained control of her powers, and although her roots continued to go dark whenever she tapped into more power, this didn’t faze her. She has acquired the ability to absorb an opponent’s magic in order to decode it. It was at this period where she would typically, but not frequently, use binding spells as offensive magics have her tap into more power, which was something she was still generally apprehensive about at the time. During her battle with Amy, she referred to Willow as a "big all powerful earth mother witch goddess." Xander has once called her Elphaba, the name of the Wicked Witch of the West in the novel and musical Wicked. She can also cast powerful summoning spells. She was able to project vast amounts of energy from her fingertips and cast aside powerful spells. She was able to heal herself rapidly from extreme injuries, at least including partial lobotomy. She was also able to heal injuries in others, though having a lack in power could only do so much in that case. She was also able to cast complex spells consecutively without showing any considerable strain, which is best demonstrated when she tried to pinpoint the location of Giles, Andrew and Faith and teleported to three different locations in such a short amount of time without experiencing any form of physical fatigue or loss of control. She became capable of casting powerful teleportation spells that bypass enchantments preventing such spells from being cast and can even take others with her, dispelling possessions and powerful enough to knock back multiple demons with sheer telekinetic force. On two occasions she demonstrated the ability to channel part of her power through Buffy; once to help her overcome Amy and rescue Willow and again to tag-team the demon Sephrilian.
When Willow connected with the Seed of Wonder (the source of all magic in our dimension), she became so powerful that she was able to fight a whole array of demons from different dimensions, conjuring massive tree roots with little effort that impale airborne targets and consuming multiple opponents in fires she conjured with willpower alone. However, Buffy destroyed the Seed, disconnecting this world from magic, preventing Willow from fighting any longer. Willow was rendered powerless, unable to perform any magic.
Traversing the Multiverse
Willow grew frustrated and worried for the world without magic and theorised she would have access to her powers again if she could travel to another dimension. She was able to channel the residual magic in Buffy’s scythe in conjunction with Angel’s son Connor to access the hell dimension Quor’toth. While there, the magical power drastically changed but enabled her to cast bolts of energy and various enchantments though of considerably lesser appeal than her previous Earth magic. Despite what she went through to get used to the magic in Quor’toth, she was capable of releasing bolts of electricity, blasting demons with streams of powerful magics, break open sealed doors and erect powerful barriers that can even withstand Quor’toth’s power. She was even able to subdue the Old One temporarily by unleashing bolts of immense magical power fueled by her intense longing for power. When she gone dark in the hell dimension, she was able to match the power of the Old One Quor’toth with extremely powerful magics and temporarily defeat it by dropping a mountain on it. She was also initially speculated to be immune to the corrupting effects of Quor’toth, though it was revealed that it was not the case, as Willow herself said that the hell dimension is affecting her, pulling her further into the darkness she was so afraid of.
After arriving in Wonderland she showcased her true power completely, detailing an intricate and elaborate understanding of magic and witchcraft. She was able to cast powerful magics such as the Prey Inversion spell and the Visigoth Pyre spell, without showing excessive strain despite casting them consecutively. Upon meeting Aluwyn’s coven, she was praised as the most powerful witch of the Earth dimension, and by Saga Vasuki herself as a battle witch. When combining her power with Saga Vasuki, she was made capable of even more powerful magics, similar to how she once united with Tara to perform spells. She was able to banish a large sea creature alongside Aluwyn without hurting it.
After overcoming her fear of her powers, Willow began to perform spells of immense power, molding the sand around the Liminals in her own image to attack for her, easily going toe-to-toe with the dark warlock Rack before he obtained the Scythe, near split-second teleportation, casting aside offensive magics thrown at her, and releasing explosions capable of levelling large mounds of land. Following interaction with a sentient universe that represents magic, she regained her powers, also allowing her to restore the "magic" in other Earth-bound beings just by approaching them. Dark Willow was the most powerful Big Bad in the buffyverse
After returning to Earth, she was able to easily heal a scar on Buffy’s forehead. However, her magic was revealed to have become limited due to her drawing on her internal energies instead of the external powers. Though still capable of elaborate and complex spells of significant power, such as awakening a comatose Dawn and giving her more lifeforce to last longer in a magicless world, she has a limit to what she can muster up, and exceeding such a limit results in an explosion of magical energy. However, this seems to only apply with regards to the magic she can give to others, as she is seen to still be able to cast extremely destructive spells without being drained. During the battle of the Deeper Well, she displayed a great capacity for magical combat yet again and was able to go toe to toe with multiple God-class Demons and Mystics who remained in the Dimension. She was able to fly to great heights, survive a fall from a substantial distance in the sky, ward mystical blasts away with magical will alone, blow apart multiple demons with blasts of powerful magical energies and cause single, larger demons to combust. Her willingness to tap into her Dark Magic have also increased, her going dark in an instant without hesitation.
Willow’s new magical abilities were apparently lost when she ’gave birth’ to a new Seed of Wonder in the Deeper Well, her magic manifesting a new Seed that would save Earth from its immediate fate and eventually restore magic to Earth full-time, the creation of the Seed apparently depriving Willow of all of her pre-existing powers.
Despite having no powers, Willow was still capable of using a magician’s staff to escape the Deeper Well before it exploded in an immense burst of magical power. However, once Severin and Illyria restored the Seed of Wonder, Willow’s magic came back at full strength. The first spell she attempted since regaining her magic was to fully restore Dawn’s body, a feat that she was able to achieve successfully.
Despite the fact that Willow regained her powers, she still has a difficult time using them to their fullest potential without consequences. She cannot traverse long distances within a barrier she conjured using powerful magics without causing the barrier itself to go down. She is capable of teleportation, unaided flight, projecting blasts of energy powerful enough to vanquish vampires in one hit, force field projection, and releasing pulses of telekinetic power. Apparently, the reason why Willow could not use her powers to fullest is because the Seed of Wonder is still in the process of maturing, as the process for it to take root was rushed by a surge of immense power that came from the Deeper Well and the energies that the Siphon absorbed. Despite this setback, she is still an effective combatant. However, it has been shown that because the laws of magic have been changed, Willow seems to have no need to recite any incantation to cast a spell. She was able to transform holy water into mist and conjure a couple of flowers without chanting an incantation, and even speaking gibberish on the latter. Willow was not powerful enough to take on Maloker by herself (a stark contrast to how she fared against Quor’toth, though the circumstances were clearly different), but despite the instability of Earth’s magic, she managed to enlarge Dawn to gigantic proportions which played a big part in taking the primordial demon down. It is also interesting to note that Willow has truly overcome her dark side and can now willingly go "Dark Willow" whenever the good magics she normally utilizes do not seem to work, as she temporarily took down a vengeful demon with a grudge against the Slayer with dark, unbridled energies.
When Buffy travelled nearly two hundred years into the future, she discovered that Willow was alive and youthful hundreds of years into the future, and had once again gone "dark," though she was unable to cast spells of much power.
Notable Spells and Incidents
- A spell cast by Ethan Rayne on a ghost costume that Willow bought caused her to transform into an immaterial specter; however, while all others were literally transformed into her costume, Willow’s soul and physical body were seemingly separated completely. She returned to normal immediately after Giles broke the spell.
- Willow cast the Ritual of Restoration twice, all to restore Angel’s soul when the need arose.
- Willow cast a spell to have her will done in an attempt to get over the pain of Oz’s departure, but the exact wording she used caused anything she said to come true, though only when she did so inadvertently. With this ability, she rendered Giles completely blind, made Xander a literal demon magnet, and caused Buffy and Spike to become engaged. Upon discovering what she had done, Willow immediately reversed the spell.
- Willow attempted to create a ball of sunshine in order to allow Buffy to slay vampires easily, but Anya’s inability to keep quiet during the ritual instead caused the release of Olaf the Troll from the crystal in which he was trapped.
- Willow resurrected Buffy Summers shortly after her death.
- Willow tried to cast a memory spell to wipe Buffy and Tara’s memories clean of all the negative aspects of what her spells did to them, but she was rushed to do so and carelessly left an entire package of a crucial spell ingredient right next to Buffy’s fireplace, which caught fire and gave the entire Scooby Gang, including herself, total amnesia. The spell was broken when Willow unwittingly dropped a crystal she used in the spell-casting and Xander stepped on it.
- After inflicting signficant physical and mental suffering on Warren Mears, Willow flayed him alive with sheer telekinetic force.
- Willow, in an attempt to end the world’s suffering, cast a spell to funnel the energy of the Earth into Prosepexa’s effigy which will cause the planet to burn to a cinder if it was cast successfully.
- Willow attempted to transform R.J Brooks into a woman because his enchanted jacket made Willow (along with any other girl) fall in love with him.
- Willow channeled the essence of the Scythe in order to activate all the Potential Slayers in the world.
- Cast "Carolina’s Grasp" To imprison a vampire capable of transmogrification.
- Cast the reversal spell for "Augustine’s Curse" on the giant lens built by Toru and his minions, thereby making all enhanced vampires within the immediate vicinity to lose their unique powers, including Dracula.
- Willow connected to the Seed of Wonder to amass immense power to fight multiple interdimensional demons during the battle before the end of magic.
- Tore open reality to make a gate to Quor’toth using a ritual she found all while in a world with no magic.
- After an interdimensional journey, she became inherently magical and returned to a magicless Earth as the only empowered witch in the whole world, capable of restoring magic to anyone who lost it by just being near her.
- Performed magic to awaken Dawn, the Key, from her deep slumber caused by the loss of magic to Earth. Willow also restored a matter of days to Dawn’s increasingly drastic condition.
- Created the new Seed of Wonder several months after the loss of magic.
- Restored Dawn to her original state through a spell from the scrolls of the Order of Dagon when magic on Earth has been fully restored.
Willow’s appearance changed drastically over the years, which reflected her growing level of confidence and power. In her first year of high school, her red straight hair was long down to her chest. Initially, she dressed like a little girl, and her mother still picked out her clothes for her. Cordelia cruelly stating, "Good to know you’ve seen the softer side of Sears!" After Buffy encouraged Willow to "seize the moment," her fashion sense began to reflect the growing confidence that her friendship with the Slayer granted her. She often wore dresses or sometimes a hat. In the summer of 1997, she cut her hair just below her shoulders before she entered grade 11.
Willow blossomed through her relationship with Oz, and her appearance reflected this. She cut her hair again shoulder-length in August 1998 before she entered grade 12; (it took her mother several months to notice this) and developed a penchant for fluffy sweaters and peculiar hats. One of her memorable outfits was her pink sweater. Feeling undervalued by her friends, Willow threatened to change her look, shortly before the arrival of the alternate universe Vampire Willow, dressed in her iconic leather outfit. Upon seeing Vamp Willow, Percy West asked her if she was "trick-or-treating," while Buffy described her as a dominatrix. Upon seeing her human alter-ego’s pink sweater, vamp Willow pointed this out to her by saying, "Well, look at me. I’m all fuzzy." When she later woke up dressed in said sweater, Vamp Willow said, "Oh, this is like a nightmare." Spike admitted that he found Willow’s "fuzzy pink number with the lilac underneath" to be arousing.
Before college in the summer of 1999 Willow cut her hair to a even shorter layered cut to her chin, and starting on her fist day of college began to wear long skirts and high shoes, which made her appear significantly taller and more confident than in her shy, wallflower years in high school. However, it was revealed through a dream that Willow felt she was only hiding her true geeky nature, with Buffy and Riley describing her normal clothes as a "costume". She found herself back in a high school classroom, where Buffy ripped off her "costume", leaving her dressed in her "softer side of Sears" outfit shortly before being attacked by the First Slayer. In the summer of 2000, she curled her hair at the ends which it stayed through out the year.
Willow focused her grief over the death of Buffy’s mother Joyce Summers on what clothes to wear while visiting Buffy at the hospital. She described her clothes as having "stupid things on them" and asked why she couldn’t dress "like a grown-up." After Buffy’s resurrection, her hair was straight and shoulder-length again.
When Willow was consumed by black magic, she took on a goth look. Dark Willow, as Andrew Wells referred to her, could be identified by her black hair, black eyes, and numerous veins over her face. Xander described Dark Willow’s appearance as the "makeover of the damned," but later assured her that he loved "scary, veiny Willow" just as much as "crayon breaky Willow." Willow’s hair and eyes reverted to their natural color following Xander’s heroic speech, but she sometimes resumed this appearance when her powers were pushed to their limits or when angered, such as battling the Grimslaw demon, and Amy.
Willow’s hair later grew slightly longer and she dressed more maturely. While performing the spell to activate the potential Slayers, her hair briefly turned white, contrasting the benevolent intent behind this spell against the black magic performed by Dark Willow.
Willow later dressed in clothing reminiscent of Tara, normally wearing long sleeved shirts or long skirts with matching boots, and her hair was shoulder length again.
After the Seed was destroyed and magic was taken away from this dimension, Willow bobbed her hair with one half slightly shorter than the other. She seemed to have also stopped wearing dresses reminiscent to Tara, and took on more of a modern style of clothing. Since arriving in the Wellspring, she wore a long, light blue dress held together with a corset, with dark blue high-heeled boots. During their mission to the Deeper Well, Willow has on a long-sleeved, form-fitting, green shirt, a green skirt which has a length that reaches the mid-thigh, dark-green leggings and boots. Her new outfits seem to give Willow an air of femininity that wasn’t really evident in her previous clothing choices. Even in her regular clothes, this newfound femininity is evident. She was most recently seen wearing a long-sleeved, olive green shirt underneath a loose-fitting top that is long enough to reach above her knees, dark leggings and a pair of brown boots.
Her future counterpart was dressed in clothing that combined elements of her vampiric counterpart from the Wishverse and Drusilla. Her future self, much like Dark Willow, has black hair, black eyes, and veins over her face. While magic left Willow ageless, her power was all but depleted and she relied on Harth’s power to bring Buffy to their present time.
Willow was identified, ethnically and culturally, as Jewish. She referred to herself on a number of occasions as Jewish and appeared to come from a religious family, noting that she has to go to Xander’s house to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas every year. Also, when doing the spell to un-invite Angel from her house, she hid the crosses she nailed to the wall behind a curtain, noting that her father would have a fit if he saw them. Willow also said that the egg given to her to take care of in her junior year of high school was Jewish. She mentioned multiple times that she celebrated Hanukkah and not Christmas. She also mentioned that she was "like Santa Claus, only thinner and Jewish" when she brought presents to Joyce in the hospital. Willow did not keep Kosher, although this was true of many Jews. Willow mentioned that she had a Bat Mitzvah. Willow placed stones on Tara’s headstone, a Jewish tradition to honor the dead.
Combining her magical inclination, Willow described herself as a Jewish Wiccan.
Following Oz’s departure, Willow secretly performed spells with fellow Wicca Tara, but there were hints that they were more than just friends. Shortly afterwards, their relationship did become more than platonic. While identifying as lesbian, Willow seemed to have a bisexual side to her. Vamp Willow displayed overt bisexuality and Willow revealed strong heterosexual tendencies early on. She also commented upon Dracula’s sexiness, which was likely caused by Dracula’s thrall over people and even revealed a former crush on Giles after seeing him sing with his guitar at the coffee shop. However, Willow did make her preferences clear. As one of the many women under R.J. Brooks’ love spell, she sought to transform him into a woman, though only after Anya reminded her that R.J. was a man. Discussing the conquest of best friend Xander, Willow teasingly said that even she "went in for smoochies" before reiterating "and I don’t truck with the stubbly crowd." Also in Buffy’s strange 1997-centric dream, she had been reminded that Willow still had a crush on Xander at that time, said incoherently, "Oh. That’s right. You like… and you’re not… Well, you probably are… but not-," referring to Willow later becoming a lesbian; Buffy was likely trying to say she was gay then too but just hadn’t realized it.
- Thomas – Encouraged by Buffy to "seize the day," Willow built up the courage to talk to this boy and go for ice cream. However, when he turned out to be a vampire and tried to kill her, Buffy had to save her, and Willow was forced to accept the existence of demons.
- "Malcolm Black"/Moloch – Willow unwittingly awoke this ancient demon by scanning him into the Internet. He claimed to be in love with her, starting an online relationship with her under the identity of Malcolm Black. However, when Willow rejected Malcolm after discovering he is actually a murderous, demonic robot, he tried to kill her and Buffy was forced to slay him.
- Oz – Willow first formally talked to Oz during the time Spike was trying to heal Drusilla, showing a interest in him, describing him as funny and cute. Encouraged by Buffy, Willow talked to Oz and invited him to Buffy’s 17th birthday party which he came to as her date. He found out about vampires rather mellowly and Willow, infatuated, claimed that was cool of him. Soon after a while alone in a van with him, Willow impulsively asked him if he’d make out with her. While he admitted that he did want to kiss Willow, he mentioned that she might be trying to make Xander jealous or get even with him (due to his involvement with Cordelia) so he declined the offer, wanting to wait for the right time. They went on a date to see a movie but Willow began to get frustrated that their relationship was so delicate, as they hadn’t even kissed. After some advice from Buffy, she decided to nervously confront Oz over it, only to realize he was a werewolf. Initially shocked by it, she showed understanding, as the discovery did not change her feelings for him and she claimed she was willing to give the relationship a shot, resulting in their first kiss. Willow and Oz continued to date for a while, developing a close and affectionate relationship. However, Willow began to act on her suppressed attraction to her best friend Xander and cheated on Oz many times by kissing him. Oz eventually found out about this, catching them kissing each other after they were abducted by Spike. They broke up because of this and Willow spent much of her time trying to earn Oz’s trust again, feeling guilty, so much so that she permanently ended any future romantic liaisons with Xander. It wasn’t long before he confronted her and despite the betrayal he had felt at her unfaithfulness, he genuinely admitted her missed her very much and wanted to be with her again, much to Willow’s delight. She attempted to set a romantic mood and expressed a willingness to have sex with him to prove that she was truly serious about this. Oz gently declined her offer, reasoning that when it happened he wanted it to be for the same reasons and not stemming from a desire to prove herself to him. Willow accepted this and they spent Christmas watching movies and cuddling instead. Eventually, Willow and Oz finally made love with each other for the first time, fearing that they would die in the battle against Mayor Wilkins. Afterwards, Willow confessed that she felt different and she shared a brief cuddling moment with him. She would admit to Oz that she felt guilty because in some ways, it was the best day of her life, while an apocalypse was going on. They continued to have a happy and fulfilling relationship through their first few months at UC Sunnydale only for complications to arise with the appearance of Veruca. Oz started to show intense attraction to her despite his loyalty and love for Willow, something she quickly noticed. Willow became increasingly insecure and jealous of this, bitterly describing Veruca as "dressing like Faith, voice like a albatross." It only became worse as it did not go away, distressing and worrying Willow. She did not want Oz to know she was jealous so she didn’t tell him, instead acting out advances on him. Oz was not into it, feeling too distant and guilty to sleep with her. This only made her more insecure, seeking out advice from both Xander and Buffy. Soon, she discovered a naked Oz and Veruca in his cage. Willow was horrified and angry, lashing out at Oz for it. In a state of extreme pain and vengeance, she prepared to perform a dark magic spell on Oz and Veruca to make sure neither of them would ever know love again. Despite coming very close, she couldn’t bring herself to carry it out. Veruca interrupted and attempted to kill Willow, only for Oz to show up and save her, killing Veruca instead. Oz came to the decision that he had to leave Sunnydale to find himself between animal and human, believing he shouldn’t be around her. In tears, she desperately tried to convince him to stay. They confessed their love to each other before Oz departed Sunnydale, Willow heart-broken and despairing  Willow was thrown in complete depression months after Oz left. Unable to tolerate the pain anymore, Willow resorted to magic to make the pain go away. However, the spell backfired and ended up affecting her the Scooby Gang (Giles went blind, Spike and Buffy became engaged, and Xander was a literal demon magnet). When Oz returned to Sunnydale months later hoping for a reconciliation, Willow had already grown strong romantic feelings for Tara. She had been readying herself to reject him until Oz had shown her he had a supposed cure for his lycanthropy and they had spent the whole night just talking to each other over their adventures, refreshing Willow’s feelings from how their relationship has been before. Willow was confused and distraught, not sure anymore what Oz meant to her since Tara had stepped into her life. After Oz was freed from the Initiative’s hold, Willow was pained and regretful at Oz’s departure. Yet she had assured him she was happy now with Tara and her life was getting better. While her heart laid with Tara, her feelings for Oz had remained strong, and she genuinely told him, "I feel like some part of me will always be waiting for you." When Willow and Oz met again, he had a wife and a son, which Willow said she was fine with, but Oz sensed her unease and asked if he was right at thinking they were "not okay." Willow assured him that they were, and explained she was upset at him being able to have a normal life and apologized to him for being jealous and hateful. Oz assured her she too could have a normal life and comforted her; she teared up when Oz trusted her with watching his baby. When Willow visited Wonderland, Oz featured prominently in visions and flashback of "things most important."
- Vampire Willow – Willow’s bisexual vampire alter ego expressed an attraction for her. The introduction of Vamp Wilow was the first hint that Willow’s sexual orientation may be something other than heterosexual. Willow found this somewhat disturbing, asking, "Would that mean we have to snuggle?" However, in a fight with her, she stated she would rather snuggle than fight. Willow had also stopped Buffy from staking her alter ego, taking pity on her. So instead, they decided to send Vampire Willow to her own world only for her to get immediately staked once there.
- Tara Maclay – Willow met Tara when the Gentlemen had invaded Sunnydale. Tara had immediately noticed she was a real witch in their Wicca group, complimenting her by being very powerful. Glad to find someone who was into witchcraft just like her and was not an amateur, the two quickly bonded and became friends. They frequently executed spells together and connected through their witch status. Willow started meeting with Tara in secret to perform magic, not telling her friends at all. When Tara asked if they could hang out sometime, Willow guiltily refused since she had promised Buffy they would have a Scoobies only hang out. When Buffy brought Riley and his friends with her, Willow was bothered by this and noted she could’ve had Tara come. Shortly afterwards, Willow admitted to Tara that she had been putting off her meeting her friends because she felt she would be overwhelmed by it, but most importantly she wanted to keep something that was "hers"; Tara would earnestly reassure her she was. Their relationship is even more overtly confirmed to be romantic when Faith (an outsider of the Scoobies) identified the lesbian undertones immediately, saying that Willow wasn’t "driving stick anymore." As the two witches grew closer, the return of Oz strained and complicated things. Willow was sure her affections were for Tara now and she had been meaning to tell him, but was halted when Oz told her he had found a supposed cure for his lycanthropy. Her feelings for Oz were revived strongly, confusing and distressing Willow. In a painful conversation with her, Willow admitted that Oz had been everything she had ever wanted, but since she met Tara her life was happier, healing the hole he had left. Crying, Tara hugged her tightly and tried to comfort her. Despite her still-strong feelings for Oz, Willow ultimately realized that Tara was the one she truly loved and wanted to be with at that point in her life. Tara was selflessly prepared for Willow to reject her, wanting her to be happy with the one she loved. Willow smiled and replied, "I am." They started an official relationship. When Tara confessed her outsider feeling from the Scooby Gang (along with Dawn), Willow vehemently denied it. She hugged her, and lovingly told Tara that no matter what she said, she was one of them. When Tara’s strained relationship with her family because of her witch side became apparent, Willow would reassure Tara that everything she went through just made her love her more. Willow and Tara would share a dance on her birthday, levitating off the ground together through their magical connection. Following Joyce’s unexpected death, Willow was greatly emotional over what outfit she should wear to her funeral and proceeded to criticize some of her more childish clothes. Tara immediately comforted her and they shared their first known kiss. Eventually, Willow was shocked to learn that Tara found her power frightening and worried on some level that she would use that magic for the wrong purposes. She was especially hurt when she realized Tara worried that Willow would leave her for a man. Feeling like Tara did not trust her, an angry and hurt Willow left to be alone. When she was brain-sucked by Glory, however, Willow was devastated and felt like it was her fault. Enraged beyond reason, Willow delved into dark magics and recklessly attacked Glory even though Buffy told her not to. She managed to land a blow on her, but was in the end beaten. Afterwards, she took care of her despite Tara’s insanity and simply said she was everything to her. Willow managed to restore Tara’s sanity by transferring it to Glory, briefly disorienting the god. She was immensely happy of this and hugged her, telling Tara she would always find her. After Buffy’s death, both her and Tara served as surrogate parents to Dawn and even moved in her house. Tara briefly left Willow because of her inappropriate use of magic to erase part of Tara’s memory, but they soon got back together just in time for Tara’s shocking death. Tara’s death hit Willow so bad that she lost all sense of morality and vengefully gave into dark magic and skinned Tara’s murderer, Warren Mears, alive. However, Willow later admitted that after Buffy died and she resurrected her, she felt that she chose Buffy over her love, which caused her death.
- Dracula – Willow described the infamous vampire as "sexy," to Tara’s surprise and mild jealousy.
- R.J. Brooks – Under a love spell along with Buffy, Dawn, and Anya, Willow became obsessed with this male high school student, despite his "physical presence." When Anya pointed out that "his physical presence has a penis," Willow insisted that she could "work around it," invoking the goddess Hecate to transform him into a woman. Xander and Spike intervened before she succeeded, and the love spell was soon lifted.
- Kennedy – Willow continued her recovery from Tara’s death as she embarked on a relationship with this Potential Slayer. Though reluctant at first because she believed giving into her desire for Kennedy would cause her to forget Tara, Kennedy helped her to move on from Tara’s death and also became her anchor whenever she performed powerful magic. After the Battle at the Hellmouth, Andrew stated that Kennedy and Willow were living together in South America. Following Kennedy’s month-long mystical death, they decided to take things slow but broke up after the destruction of the Seed of Wonder. Due to the end of magic, Willow was without her abilities and came to the conclusion that Kennedy was mainly interested in her because of her powers and felt that her skill with computers didn’t "do it" for Kennedy. During the same conversation with Buffy, Willow also stated that she was in love with someone else and that it was someone she will never see again. This could be a reference to Aluwyn or even Tara as she did not name the individual. Kennedy, despite being hurt and bitter when Willow broke up with her, later reflected while in San Francisco, that Willow breaking up with her is best thing that ever happened to her, as it forced her to realize that she found her life’s purpose in Deepscan.
- Fred Burkle – Though not technically a romantic relationship, Willow somewhat slyly inquired as to what is Fred’s "story" to Wesley, indicating a possible interest on Willow’s part and earning her a surprised look of pondering from Wesley. Additionally, Willow mistook Fred’s excitement at seeing her, and her eagerness to spend time with her, for attraction and told her that she was already seeing someone.
- Aluwyn – Willow first met Aluwyn when she arrived to the spirit world to look for a guide to help her control her powers. On their first meeting, Aluwyn told Willow that she was her guide and that she would help her better control the power that dwelled within her; however, Willow quickly learned that Aluwyn was not her guide and another goddess appeared and told Aluwyn to leave Willow alone. With Aluwyn gone, the other goddess offered Willow to have Tara be her guide on her journey toward improving her understanding of her powers. However, Willow surmised this would either be robbing Tara of her afterlife or an illusion, and instead chose Aluwyn. At some point during Willow’s training, the two began an affair and even began to sleep together. When Buffy smashed the Seed of Wonder, Willow broke up with Kennedy because she realized she was in love with someone else; Aluwyn was heavily hinted to be the unnamed person. Eventually, Willow finally came across her mentor in Wonderland by chance while trying to return magic to her world. She was very shocked and happy, immediately kissing Aluwyn passionately after being apart for so long. Aluwyn decided to help her with bringing magic back, informing her of helpful facts along the way. However, while Willow does trust Aluwyn she was still aware of the fact that she is a trickster, even introducing Aluwyn to Marrak as "the lying , deceitful, sexy snake."  Willow and Aluwyn rekindled their close relationship, even fighting together against a monster in Wonderland. Aluwyn retained deeply strong feelings for Willow and the two slept together again. When Aluwyn confessed her true intentions and that she had all along planned for Willow to stay with her by distracting her from her mission, she was disappointed but nonetheless forgive Aluwyn because she knew she did it out of love. Willow, however, rejected staying with her since she could not live with her friends and the world being in danger because of the loss of magic. She also admitted that Aluwyn was one of the people she loved and that being with her made her feel powerful, which scared Willow. Her resolve unwavering, Aluwyn was remorseful for her manipulations and encouraged her to save her friends. The two shared a moment and hugged. In a conversation with Marrak, Willow would show her seriousness of her mission by pointing out she gave up being with her.
- Aura – After moving to San Francisco, Willow began dating this woman. At Buffy’s housewarming party, Willow seemed to avoid her, much to Aura’s annoyance. While helping Buffy with her confusing slayer dreams, she would later mention her again, warning her to not tell Aura about their "slumber party".
- Lake Stevens – While working together, Willow and Lake had a brief relationship, until their moral perspectives on the military became irreconcilable. They continued meeting each other due to the nature of both woman’s jobs, still demonstrating resentment for each other.
- Calliope Strachan – a Wicca student in one of Willow’s covens, they had a mutual attraction even though Calliope was already in a relationship with Linda Martin. When both witches were taken to the Safe Zone, Calliope kissed Willow twice, who both times rejected her because of her girlfriend, so Calliope promised to break up with Linda to be with her. After they were freed, she was reunited with Linda and returned to her previous normalcy, even missing the meetings when their coven was resumed. Willow said she didn’t blame her, reasoning that "this life isn’t for everyone."
- Other — In high school, Willow professed an attraction to Owen Thurman and Daryl Epps, and admired the college students from Delta Zeta Kappa fraternity. She appreciated the beauty of the robot April, and leered at a racily dressed Dawn dancing at the Bronze before realizing who she was. Whilst playing "Anywhere but here" with Buffy in high school, she chose actor John Cusack as her fantasy, and years later the TV comedienne and actress Tina Fey.
- Harmony Kendall – Willow had let Harmony sign her year book on the last day at Sunnydale High, Willow promising that they’d keep in touch. Despite this friendly gesture, Willow soon after revealed she "hates her with a fiery vengeance," the reason being that Harmony had bullied her for 10 years and Willow called her a "tramp." Willow soon after stated that she was only nice to Harmony because she was "missing everything." Willow reunited with Harmony once in college. They at first exchanged pleasantries until Harmony attempted to bite her and drain her, as she was now a vampire. However, she was stopped by the appearance of Oz with a cross, causing her to threaten them with her "new boyfriend" who would be very upset with them for doing this to her. Willow soon after mocked this, mentioning that she always lied about stuff like that in high school. She would constantly say "Oh, my boyfriend goes to a different school. You wouldn’t know him."  She further antagonizes the Scoobies by being the spearhead for the new Vampire Craze in the United States with her reality show. It also Willow who inform Cordelia on Harmony’s vampire status, describing her like a dangerous vampire. When Harmony comes to San Francisco for to propose new magic laws for the Vampyr book, Willow was clearly bored to see her.
- Rack — Rack was a warlock who became Willow’s black magic dealer after being introduced to her by Amy. Rack’s business relationship with Willow took on frequent sexual, perhaps abusive overtones in his referring to her "taste" as being "like strawberries." Eventually, after her transformation into Dark Willow, Willow attacked Rack and stole his life force and power, leaving him comatose. Years later Rack would encounter Willow in the Wonderland Dimension under the guise of Marrak and would help guide her to find magic, until he was revealed and engaged her in a magical duel in order to enact vengeance and reclaim magic for his own personal use and distribution. He was savagely overpowered by a dimension’s antibodies and whisked away when he attempted to kill Willow and caused massive damage to the dimension itself.
- Amy Madison – Amy and Willow were friends from junior high through high school. Willow kept her as a pet after Amy accidentally transformed herself into a rat. The two become closer during Willow’s magic-junkie period; however, their friendship ended when Amy kept enabling Willow’s magic addiction and Amy later sought retribution. Amy started a romantic relationship with Willow’s enemy Warren Mears, whom she had kept alive mystically since resurrecting him after Dark Willow skinned him alive. Amy then put a hex on Willow causing her to transform into Warren and later tried to assassinate Buffy on behalf of the American military. Willow intervened and engaged Amy in an airborne battle. Throughout that year Amy and Willow upheld a rivalry while Amy was in service to Twilight until the Earth was endangered and she was forced to help Willow fend off the Otherworldly demons, in which Willow nobly protected Amy from the demons. Amy then escaped the battle, leaving the Scoobies to fend for themselves, though she expressed concern about their wellbeing and the notion of possibly seeking retribution like Andrew received.
- Warren Mears – Warren incurs Willow’s wrath when he accidentally shot Tara while aiming for Buffy. Consumed by grief and black magic, Dark Willow tracked him down, tortured him, and eventually flayed him alive. However, unbeknownst to Willow, Warren was kept alive by Amy Madison, and plotted revenge on the woman who tried to kill him. He was able to capture Willow and lobotomize her until Buffy came to save her. He was later killed when the magics keeping him alive failed when the Seed of Wonder was destroyed.
- Kumiko Ishihara – The vampiric witch went after Willow when her pack attacked the Slayer Organization command center. In Tokyo, she revealed to be also a student of Aluwyn, and personally targeted Willow during the confront between the Slayer Organization and Toru’s pack.
- Buffy Summers – On her first day at Sunnydale High, Buffy expressed sympathy towards Willow being a loner and school outcast, especially after being cruelly bullied by Cordelia. She had immediately tried to be friends with her, even giving her advice on dating, which surprised Willow, as she was very unpopular at the time. Because of this as well as her saving her from vampires, Willow and Buffy began to bond. They became best friends, even sisterly, and risked their lives for the other on numerous occasions throughout the years. When Willow stumbled on magicks to re-ensoul Angel, she had heartily went along with it, wanting to bring Angel back for her. When Willow realized that Angel had returned from Hell and Buffy was taking care of him, she was not judgemental and angry like the others, seemingly only concerned about Buffy’s well-fare. Willow was also there for Buffy after Angel left her, feeling angry at him for hurting her like this, despite believing he did the right thing in leaving her. Both enrolled in UC Sunnydale, eventually becoming roommates, Buffy expressed great sympathy towards Willow after Oz left her, likening it to what she went through with Angel and stood by her in her time of need, encouraging her and comforting her. Willow also displayed great protectiveness over Buffy when realizing that Riley carried an interest in her, giving him advice but also warning him that if he emotionally hurt her, "she would beat him to death with a shovel." However, Willow and Buffy began to grow apart. Willow didn’t agree with Buffy’s quick acceptance of the Initiative, and was jealous and left out since Buffy’s time was completely monopolized. Willow would again note her distance with Buffy to Tara, lamenting that both of them had been so busy with their relationships to nurture their friendship. Spike would then lie to Willow, claiming that Buffy saw her relationship with Tara and involvement in Wicca affairs as "a phase". Hurt and disappointed, she would eventually lash out at Buffy when she ordered them to not help her against Adam. Willow bluntly said their friendship had been strained since she realized she was a lesbian, and mistook her concern as reckless superiority and seeing them as too useless to help her. Buffy denied her accusations, but coldly said she figured out why slayers didn’t usually have friends before walking out on the group.  Unsettled by how easily Spike had broken them apart, Buffy apologized to Willow and her other friends, promising to "never not talk again." Willow also told her that she was sorry for keeping her relationship with Tara a secret from Buffy and everyone else, making peace with each other. After Buffy’s break-up with Riley, Willow was one of the most sympathetic and sought to make her feel better. When Giles had taken a brief trip to England for three days, she stole some of the Magic Box items for a spell that would create a "ball of sunshine" that would help Buffy slay vampires. However, her spell backfired partly due to the interference of Anya and instead brought back the troll Olaf. Assuming Buffy was sleeping with Spike due to Xander seeing the Buffybot, Willow reacted in confusion and tried her best to sympathize. Believing she was Buffy, Willow told the Buffybot she would always be her best friend and tried to excuse her sexual relationship with him because of vulnerability. However, Willow responded badly to the Buffybot’s blunt remarks over her sexual interactions with Spike and was immensely relieved it wasn’t really Buffy afterwards. After Buffy was overcome with guilt and went catatonic due to Dawn’s capture from Glory, Willow used a spell to enter her mind and bring her back. She witnessed Buffy’s guilt in a mind loop and she shared with Willow her shame of giving up for one second and just wanting it all over. Willow strongly disagreed, insisting that it was only natural for her to give up briefly with her life being the way it was, but nonetheless said she was needed and Dawn could be saved. Once she returned to herself, Willow immediately hugged Buffy when she cried in front of her. When Buffy died a second time, Willow was heavily affected and began almost hyperventilating at the sight of her body. She resolved to to resurrect her, later admitting that she had never considered any other option. Willow was the most determined to bring Buffy back to life out of any of her friends, convincing herself that Buffy was put in a hell dimension and that she could not leave her there. However, it’s unknown whether she truly believed this or was simply trying to justify her resurrection. Willow performed advanced and dark magics, reaching an extreme level of devastation when it seemed Buffy was still dead. Her efforts were successful and Buffy was resurrected. She was initially overjoyed at this, but began to worry over Buffy’s state of mind, due to her emotionless and closed off personality she had developed following her resurrection. This concern had them developed into newfound guilt upon the discovery that she had ripped Buffy out of Heaven, not Hell. Buffy had originally keep this a secret from all except Spike, not wanting to burden them with guilt despite a part of her resenting Willow and her other friends. After the destruction of Sunnydale, Willow went out of her way to keep her then-girlfriend Kennedy away from Buffy because she believed that, had she not chosen to bring Buffy back to life, Tara would never have died. Nonetheless, when reminiscing about Buffy’s resurrection with Angel five years later, Willow admitted that, despite all the suffering it caused for everyone, she had never, not even for a second, regretted bringing Buffy back though sadly doubted that Buffy would feel the same. When told by Tara that Buffy was sleeping with Spike, Willow expressed no anger; just confusion and concern, unlike Xander. Soon after, when Tara was murdered and Willow turned dark, she was scornful and mocking towards Buffy, even resulting in a full-out fight between them. Once Xander had stopped her from destroying the world, Buffy in the end forgave a guilt-ridden Willow and renewed their friendship with continued support and faith from her. Buffy had also freely admitted Willow to be one of the strongest people she knows and she had helped Buffy create slayers all throughout the world by putting magic through the scythe. A year and a half after the destruction of Sunnydale, their bond becomes so close that Willow is able to share some of her power with Buffy. Despite Buffy’s lesbian experience, both women (loudly) insisted they were not attracted to each other although out of curiosity, Willow had asked Satsu what Buffy was like in bad (Satsu refused to answer, too embarrassed). This did not prevent Kennedy from becoming suspicious when she saw the duo hug after Buffy’s trip to the future (Ironically, in the possible future, Buffy was the one to finally end Willow’s life). Following the end of magic, Willow expressed her disapproval that Buffy destroyed the seed, believing that world is dying without magic. Because of this as well as Buffy’s initially flippant attitude of Willow’s worries, they grew apart a little. However in the end, Willow admitted she was never angry towards Buffy for the loss of magic and they made up, Buffy promising to bring magic back to the world. After giving her friend some help with her slayer dreams, Willow realized that she had to leave San Francisco to return magic to the world. She plunged herself into Buffy’s dream and assured her that she would be back, but for now she had to finish her "mission." Before she awoke, Willow left a note telling Buffy that she loved her and that saying goodbye twice would be too painful, much to her best friend’s disappointment. After restoring herself with magic (albeit limited) a few months later, she returned to San Francisco. She had easily healed a small scar on Buffy’s forehead and two tearfully hugged each other. After stabilizing a very sick Dawn, Willow came to a complete resolution with her best friend. She promised her that she had lost any form of grudge or resentment towards Buffy and that if it wasn’t for her, she would’ve never realized that she had no need to be afraid of her power any longer. Buffy also admitted her grievances for the Twilight events that had happened last year, regretfully acknowledging that was partly responsible for it since she had not asked enough questions over what she was actually doing. When Buffy and Willow made their way down the Deeper Well, they had an argument about what they were meant to do when they got there. Buffy told Willow about her sadness from being left alone by her best friend during the times she needed her the most, but since Willow discovered that the Deeper Well could be the key to restoring magic not only to Dawn, but to the world, she assures her that she won’t let her down this time and that Buffy must trust her. After restoring magic and getting Dawn back, Buffy, despite the chaos swirling around them in Santa Rosita, took the time to reflect on how concerned she was of her best friend who was still trying to understand how much magic has changed since it was brought back. Also, during a mission to capture a new vampire to study, Buffy and Willow managed to have some well-needed girl talk, and bonded over what they had to give up to accomplish their goals.
- Xander Harris – Willow "dated" Xander when they were five until he stole her Barbie which was when they "broke up". She maintained a hopeless, unrequited crush on her lifelong friend up to high school. Willow was often forced to give Xander advice on Buffy, who he had feelings for but she never voiced her discomfort. Willow later said that this was because she knew Xander never had a chance with Buffy. She did, however, reject his offer to go to prom with her, as she didn’t want to be his rebound after Buffy rejected him, but then reconsidered and called him, only for Xander to ignore her after suffering two rejections on the same day. Willow and Xander shared a brief moment of tenderness but were interrupted by Buffy’s return to Sunnydale after being away all summer. Xander then became focused on Buffy again and did not pursue anything with Willow, much to Willow’s disappointment. Willow then dated guitar player Oz, whom Xander appeared to be jealous and suspicious of, despite being romantically involved with Cordelia. In their senior year, Willow and Xander started an affair, cheating on their respective others. Willow was consumed with guilt over her actions, even attempting a "de-lusting" spell for her actions with Xander, only to be stopped by him. However, their affair was revealed by Oz and Cordelia, and Willow permanantly ended her secret romantic liaisons with Xander, too guilty of hurting Oz and wanting to win his trust back as well as Cordelia’s. Interestingly enough, Willow’s bisexual vampire alter-ego had a romantic relationship with Xander in the Wishverse, after both were turned into vampires. Nevertheless, despite her goal to repair her relationship with Oz, Willow was shown to visibly hurt upon realizing Xander had slept with Faith, even crying alone in the bathroom. While having another intervention with Buffy’s actions, Willow would openly express her dislike of Anya and his relationship with her, noticing how he was always with her. However, the two sided together against Buffy and simultaneously targeted her superiority towards them as well as her view that they couldn’t help her defeat Adam, endangering herself instead by wanting to go alone. Willow’s dislike of Anya reached the point they were frequently arguing, causing Xander to be put in the middle. Willow had expressed her distrust of Anya and believed that she would someday end up wreaking vengeance on him, while Anya thought she would hurt him with her magic. Both fervently denied this and reached a strained peace with each other through their care for Xander and the role they both played in his life. When Anya accused her of being a possible threat to her relationship with Xander because she had once ended his relationship with Cordelia, Willow responded in the negative, claiming "Hello? Gay now." Willow would be frustrated when he broke into a fight with Spike and physically separated them with her magic, firmly ordering them to work together while Buffy was catatonic. When Xander claimed smart was hot, Willow pointedly muttered, "You couldn’t have figured that out in 10th grade?" Xander and Willow had a brief conflict over resurrecting Buffy, Willow believing that it was the right thing to do while Xander was more cautious with it. When he criticized the level of danger she had put both herself and Buffy in by such a dark ritual, Willow easily brushed off his concerns. On Xander’s wedding day to Anya, Willow had teasingly said that he was lucky she realized she was gay as he looked very good in a tux, referring to the time they had kissed while both were wearing formal wear.. Later, it was revealed that Willow had written angst-filled love poems over her unrequited crush on Xander but when informed of this by him later in life, Willow had politely pointed out: "I’m over you, sweetie." Willow also has been seen reminiscing on how attractive she thought Xander was during her teen years, before she became a lesbian. Ultimately, though the two of them are not in love, they do have a great deal of platonic love towards each other; so much so that Xander was able to revert Dark Willow back to her old self by repeatedly pointing out that he loved "crayon-breaky Willow" just as much as "dark, veiny Willow," saving the world just by declaring his unconditional love for her. Willow and Xander’s friendship remained strong through the times that followed after Sunnydale’s destruction and the rise and fall of the Slayer Organization. When Willow came back from her mission and subsequently tried to restore magic to Dawn, Xander was somewhat surpised with Willow’s newly regained magic, just as much as Willow was surprised with his battered face. They hugged after realizing that Willow’s spell worked, giving Dawn more time. During their mission to the Deeper Well to restore Dawn completely, Willow was able to save Xander from being attacked by a demon that cornered him by blowing it apart. However, at one point, Willow expressed considerable disappointment over Xander’s betrayal. She wasn’t as furious as Buffy was, a testament to her understanding nature and her friendship with Xander. Willow and Xander continued to work together after magic has been restored.
- Cordelia Chase – Cordelia was a bully to both Xander and Willow since grade school, which caused them to form the "We Hate Cordelia Club." This mutual hatred continued into high school, until Cordelia had reluctantly began working with the Scooby Gang against various threats. While she often took Cordelia’s criticism passively, she displayed great disgust, hurt, and anger at her relationship with Xander. Willow had even once claimed Xander’s phone number was ’1-800-I’m-Dating-A-Skanky-Ho’. Willow eventually warmed up to Cordelia and developed a odd friendship once she adjusted to their relationship. They confided in their relationship problems and hung out a lot more often, which slightly unnerved Xander. When she had first kissed Xander and cheated on Oz, she was overwhelmed with guilt and felt terrible for doing that to Cordelia. She had in fact felt so bad, during Homecoming, she had originally decided to help her with creating a database, only to betray her five minutes later to help Buffy. When Buffy and Cordelia were at odds, Willow had agreed to put them together in a limousine to sort out their problems. After Willow and Xander were caught having an affair, Cordelia reverted to her former bully persona, and was cruel toward Willow and the Scoobies once again. Willow felt extremely guilty over her involvement in the affair and graciously accepted Cordelia’s bitter snark, believing it to be entirely deserved. Ironically, Cordelia seemed to get some closure over the tryst, while discussing her feelings with Willow’s vampire counterpart (whom she believed was actually the real one). While Cordelia continued to spit snide remarks and insults to the Scooby Gang, Willow remained uncaring and entirely sympathetic, even giving Xander a mild scolding for always trading barbs with her, insisting he should "find a different nature." Eventually, Cordelia and Willow made amends and the two remained in touch after Cordelia left for Los Angeles. Willow also expressed amusement at Cordelia working for Angel Investigations, seeing it as comical and ironic. Willow seemed to be the only one Cordelia actually kept in constant contact with. While busy decrypting files on Adam with Tara, she had received a call from Cordelia and gave her advice on how to break into her own files for an "hour and forty-five minutes." After Harmony arrived in Los Angeles, Cordelia phoned Willow and expressed her displeasure that none of the Scooby Gang had told her what happened to her (having assumed she was a lesbian). Willow was confused and showed concern for her about how dangerous Harmony was as well as slightly annoyed with Cordelia’s misunderstanding about her. She would also reveal to her that she was gay in that conversation, much to Cordelia’s shock.
- Riley Finn – Willow, along with Buffy, met Riley on the first day of college. They were friendly to each other and quickly were able to relate over their love of courses and school. Ironically, Riley conversed more with Willow than he did with Buffy. They later interacted again when she had impulsively walked in front of a car in a fit of distress and pain after discovering Oz’s infidelity with Veruca. Riley had saved her life and gave her an unsuccessful pep talk about not hurting herself, whatever happened. Still reeling from the aftermath of Oz’s departure and falling into a depression, Willow showed rudeness and distrust when Riley asked her for help to get to know Buffy (who he recently realized he had a crush on her). She projected to him her hurt and bitterness over relationships combined with her protectiveness of her friend, cynically saying one of them always left, leaving the other person a "hollow mockery of the human condition." Nonetheless, Riley was respectful and admired her protectiveness of her friend. Willow’s resolve and grudging attitude toward him faltered a little, and she agreed to give him tips on how to ask out Buffy. While she decided to help him, she was still unsure. She had bluntly threatened him by beating him with a shovel if he hurt Buffy in any way, greatly surprising him. The two seemed to have a distant friendship during his relationship with Buffy, as he and Willow rarely ever hung out with each other without being with the rest of the Scooby Gang. Willow displayed no clear signs of missing him once he left Sunnydale.
- Anya Jenkins – Willow originally met Anya in her Senior year, after she had reverted back to her human form. Feeling unappreciated and dull, she had agreed to help Anya with a spell to help her retrieve her necklace. However, Willow quickly became startled by the level of dark magic they were using and backed out, clearly disapproving her methods. When told by Xander that he was taking Anya to the prom, she warned him to watch out for her and don’t blame her if she got to say "I told you so," clearly distrusting of her. When mentioned by the others, she just stated that Anya should avoid crossing her again. She also showed brief annoyance that the "evil girl" had shown up but quickly got over it, realizing that Anya was giving information on the Ascension. Willow’s dislike of Anya was eventually brought up again in an argument with Xander, expressing her distaste that she was always with him. Her dislike for Anya continued, bringing them into direct conflict with Xander. She hated Anya’s abrupt speech and insisted she learn tact and actually act human. She also mocked her obsession with money, stating she was more fond of money than she was of people. Willow also appeared to harbor distrust towards her out of concern for Xander, not wanting him to end up on the end of her vengeance. Willow had also seriously stated to her: "Anya, I have faith in you. There is no one you can’t piss off." They reached a strained peace with each other once they accepted the different but important roles they had in Xander’s life and realized how much they both cared for him. However, Willow responded negatively when Anya bluntly questioned what they would do with Joyce’s body out of pure curiosity. Willow’s attitude towards Anya softened considerably over time, even asking her to watch over an insane Tara while she entered Buffy’s mind. Their love-hate feelings towards each other provided frequent comic relief. Their relationship became more close and sisterly, which naturally led to further occasional arguments between the two. After her rehabilitation, Willow sought out Anya’s help to stop a demon as the other Scoobies could see her. They develop a mutual comprehension as far as both were allowed snatched by the dark forces at a moment of their life. When Anyanka is threatened to be killed by Buffy, it is Willow who calls D’Hoffryn to find a way to save her. Ironically, Willow did offer to kill Anya to provide Spike with blood after his ensoulment.
- Spike — Willow and Spike have maintained a friendly relationship over the years. Willow’s kind, trusting nature immediately caused her to sympathize with his heartache; she comforted him about his breakup with Drusilla and agreed to perform a love spell for him, even though he had kidnapped and briefly threatened her. When Spike was implanted with his chip he immediately attempted to bite Willow, but found that he was unable to harm her. She tried to sympathize with him by stating that she wasn’t the type of girl vampires would usually want to bite, but he admitted to her that he "would bite her in a heartbeat," suggesting that he thought her attractive enough to kill or sire. Although she retaliated by hitting him over the head with a lamp, she nonetheless seemed flattered. When Spike attempted to commit suicide by leaping onto a stake, she seemed upset, and declared to Xander: "It’s ooky! We know him! We can’t just let him poof himself!" Like the others, Willow was disturbed by Spike’s obsession with Buffy and took part in ostracizing him from the Scooby Gang. Still, she never showed any true dislike for him, and recognized the sincerity of his gesture to bring a bouquet of flowers as a sign of respect for Joyce after her death. Spike empathized with Willow’s vengeful feelings toward Glory for brain-sucking Tara, and admitted that if she had done that to someone he loved, he would have done the same. Willow was, however, annoyed when Spike and Xander antagonized each other while Buffy was catatonic, angrily ordering the two to work together and help find Dawn. Following Buffy’s sacrifice, Spike worked tirelessly with Willow and Tara to take care of Dawn, Buffy’s younger sister. He also defended her against Anya, who had been pressuring Willow into doing a spell during a recovery when they were trapped inside Buffy’s house on her 21st Birthday. Following his attempted rape on Buffy, their relationship suffered, although she turned to him for help upon his return. Willow also appeared to forgive him for his act, as she trusted him after his chip was removed. Almost two years later, Willow traveled to Las Vegas to help Spike out when he was having difficulties which included his soul and Drusilla. Though Willow was considerably irked at the prospect of having Drusilla around when she came to help Spike, she still did her part in aiding her friend. Willow and Spike were shown to have established a strong friendship, Spike even calling her by her nickname "Will," and making her promise not to tell Buffy about her visit.
- Satsu – Willow and Satsu seemed to become friends, as after Satsu’s one-night stand with Buffy, she expressed sympathy towards her situation. She had given her advice on how Buffy was the "general" and they were "the army. She had gently pointed out to her that Buffy was alone and vulnerable so she had reason to believe that both of them took advantage of each other. She did not want her to have hurt feelings and later refereed to Buffy that "she had to take care of her girls." Willow had also curiously asked her how Buffy was in bed, in an effort to cheer her up
- Faith Lehane – When Faith first arrived in Sunnydale, Willow was not fond of her for many reasons. One reason was that Buffy initially spent more time with Faith than with herself, causing Willow to feel left out of the "Slayer’s Only" attitude Buffy has been projecting. After Xander had slept with Faith, she was visibly hurt by this realization, and also when she began to go rogue, Willow explicitly asked the other Scoobies why they were trying to help her, stating that since Faith had taken a human life and tried to pin it on Buffy, and had also tried to strangle Xander to death, she believed that the smartest thing to do would be to simply turn her over to the police or the Watchers’ Council and be done with it. When Willow got kidnapped by The Mayor, she bravely confronted Faith over her actions, stating that she did not have to become this, even going as far to say she was too far gone to be saved. This remark earned a punch from Faith but Willow didn’t seem to care, later bragging to Buffy proudly over her words. Willow once called Faith a "cleavagey slut-bomb" and mocked her usage of the phrases "wicked" and "five-by-five." Willow overcame her animosity towards Faith when the two helped re-ensoul Angel and Willow then let her come back to Sunnydale to help with the battle against The First. When Buffy incorrectly told Willow that Faith had tried to kill her again, Willow proceeded to say, "Faith. Never been a fan." However, when Willow contacted Faith and Angel in London, Willow greeted her pleasantly. She even appeared to bond with her when Faith expressed her concerns and fears over what Angel was trying to do with Giles, seemingly now friends. Finishing their journey in Quor’toth, they said their goodbyes. Willow earnestly said that, out of all of them, Faith had grown and matured the most, much to her surprise and gratitude.
- Sheila Rosenberg – Willow’s mother was distant and had little interest in what happened in her daughter’s life. Sheila’s disinterest was such that she didn’t even notice that Willow cut her hair until four months later and that she called Willow’s best friend "Bunny." When told that her daughter was a witch, Shelia dismissed it, believing it be a ’teen phase’ that she read about in books. Willow and Sheila’s disconnected relationship continued throughout the years, but it was mentioned that when she realized Willow came out a lesbian in college, she was proud of her, believing her to be making a political statement. Despite this, she had little contact with Willow’s girlfriend Tara Maclay and the novelty of her homosexuality soon wore off. After Buffy’s mother died, Willow had decided to spent more time with her own mother afterwards given how sudden Joyce’s demise had been.
- Joyce Summers – Joyce treated all of Buffy’s friends as one of her own. She especially seemed to like Willow. Like the rest of the Scoobies, Willow was close to Joyce and bonded with her quite well, even having a better relationship with her than with her own mother. One example includes when Willow received the call about Jenny Calender’s death, Joyce holding her as she cried over Buffy who was less affected. Willow was particularly distraught when she passed on, so much so that when Willow was getting dressed to go to the funeral, she constantly worried on what to wear and was shown to be in tears while doing so. She wondered which one Joyce would want her to wear, emotionally critizing herself until comforted by Tara.
- Rupert Giles – When Willow saw Giles sing at the Expresso Pump, her reaction was "Now I remember why I used to have such a crush on him." There were a handful of hints of this crush in high school: Giles recognized Willow in The Bronze since she was one of the few students that actually enjoyed going to the library, there was a picture of Giles and Willow together, when Buffy thought it was ’eww’ that Faith thought Giles was sexy and asked who else thought the same, Willow said nothing, but with an impish smile on her face. But Willow’s crush on Giles never went anywhere and it altogether evaporated as the series went on. However, Willow had stated multiple times that seeing Giles sing was "kinda sexy" despite her feelings for Tara. When Giles initial decided to return to England, Willow was the first person he told and she promised him she’d kept it a secret until he was ready to tell everyone. Noting his sense of being unnecessary, Willow tried very hard to get him to feel needed, but none of the others were helping the situation. However, Willow had no qualms stealing from the Magic Box while he was away to make Buffy happier, much to Anya’s dismay. Normally they shared a "mentor–mentee" relationship that borders on parental but not to the extent of Buffy and Giles’s bond. It was very affectionate, mutually respectful, but occasionally conflicted, especially when Willow was addicted to magicks. After Buffy’s resurrection, Willow did not understand Giles’ anger at defying the laws of nature, believing he should be congratulating her skill with magicks. After calling her a "rank, arrogant amateur," she openly challenged him by reminding Giles of her power and that it "wasn’t a good idea to piss her off." However, Willow quickly became passive again, telling him she did not want to fight and that they should be happy Buffy was back. Giles once said she was "the best of all of them." Willow also, despite her great respect and platonic love towards Giles, disapproved of Angel’s efforts to resurrect him, seeing it ending as nothing but disaster. However, after giving him a piece of Giles’ soul through the scythe, she was shocked and excited to see she had actually felt him. Willow then fully supported his resurrection, describing it as "very legit" and "something big." Willow was very surprised to see Giles again after he came along with Faith and Kennedy’s squad to help them in Santa Rosita. She gaved him a warm, tight hug after the dust had settled.
- Dawn Summers – Despite Buffy’s strained relationship with Dawn at times, Willow and girlfriend Tara served as cool older friends to the young teenager despite their angsty turbulence. In contrast to Buffy’s harsher approach to her, Willow was involuntarily sympathetic since she was a "big spaz". After the devastating death of Joyce, Willow was extremely sympathetic and had, albeit hesitantly, considered resurrecting her on Dawn’s request. While she mostly rejected the idea and reasoned that spells like that usually backfired, Willow magically pulled a book out of the bookshelf that covered resurrection spells for her. After Buffy became overbearing in her effort to be a proper guardian to Dawn, Willow disagreed and sympathized with her, explaining that Buffy would only make her more inclined to rebel. After Buffy had died, both her and Tara raised Dawn and acted as surrogate parents. Willow’s sisterly/motherly affection for "Dawnie" continued to the point that even Buffy envied that she saw Willow as a better sister than her. Willow’s relationship borders on motherly towards Dawn, as she once said that "Will was like a mom to her." While with Kennedy, Willow revealed that she and Tara considered simply taking Dawn and moving out of Sunnydale to start their own family together. Willow’s love for Dawn is evidenced by how she resolved to acquire more magic in the Deeper Well to save her and by how her memories of Dawn lasted longer than their other friends.
- Angel – Angel shared affection and confidence with Willow. Willow also restored Angel’s soul on two separate occasions. On several occasions, he asked for her help, looking at her as a reliable ally and friend. During his initial time in Sunnydale, after Buffy, Willow was probably Angel’s closest friend in the Scooby Gang, as he only socialized with the two of them outside of combat situations, although, as with all the team, his relationship with her was somewhat strained after he came back from Hell. She had also been the one to tend to Angel, along with Oz, when he was delirious with poison after Faith struck him with an arrow. Willow continued to treat Angel in a friendly way, easily accepting his decision to keep his brief presence in Sunnydale a secret from Buffy in an attempt to protect her, and immediately calling him out of concern for Cordelia when she was with Harmony. When Buffy died, Willow was the one who made the trip to Los Angeles to inform Angel personally of what happened to her. They hugged as old friends after Willow re-ensouled him for a second time. After Angel was discovered to be Twilight, her attitude toward him changed to open hostility, to the extent that, while fighting the invading demons, Willow momentarily turned him into a frog. After Giles’ death, Faith stated that the entire Scooby Gang, aside from Buffy, wanted "Angel’s head on a pike." During her quest to restore Earth’s magic, Willow traveled to London, where Angel was currently based with Faith, and after criticizing him for thinking that his plans to resurrect Giles would end in anything but disaster, reluctantly decided to help him because she herself needed their help. Angel had then criticized her desire to involve Connor, which caused her, out of anger, to smack him. She had angrily blamed him for everything that had gone wrong lately but when she burst into tears out of emotion, Angel tried to comfort her, agreeing to let Connor chose, much to Willow’s gratitude. It seemed that throughout their adventure in Quor’toth, Willow slightly repaired her relationship with Angel. Being on the verge of "going dark" again, Willow admitted she did trust Angel despite his actions as Twilight, but did not trust herself. Angel eventually aided her in returning to her former self by biting her, reversing the effects of the magic. When he himself began to lose control, Willow was there for him in return. She reminded him that she trusted him and that he could fight it. After regaining control, Willow and Angel suddenly hugged each other in gratitude. She expressed understanding of his mindset of Twilight and that sometimes there were no good options, but firmly reminded him that did not excuse what he did and he still should’ve known better. Willow seriously admitted to him that she didn’t think she could truly forgive him, but she could no longer hate him either. True to her word, she gave him part of Giles’ soul through the scythe and departed. Afterward, Willow reflected on all the events lately and her working with Angel, seemingly genuinely sympathetic, noting that everyone, including her and Angel, were still just picking up the pieces. During her time in Wonderland, Angel was listed as one of the people she promised to save by bringing magic back, and stated to Rack that she forgave Angel, making it easier for her to control her dark side.
- Principal Snyder – Unlike most students, Willow was actually in good terms with Principal Snyder due to her high academic performance, representing the pinnacle of academic achievement despite her "unsavory" associations. Snyder himself said Willow was a team player when she agreed to continue teaching Jenny Calendar’s computer class, something he liked. Snyder did however bully Willow into doing things that she wouldn’t like but would benefit the school’s reputation, such as making her unfairly pass a failing Gage Petronzi and tutor the lazy, held back Percy West. Even though Snyder never said anything that could be interpreted as a threat, Willow knew he meant something due to the look of his eyes and nostrils. Even 3 and a half years after his death, Willow says Wood is so much cooler than Snyder indicating she still dislikes him.
- Wesley Wyndam-Pryce – Just as every other member of the Scooby Gang (except for Cordelia) Willow dismissed Wesley’s commands or strategies during his stint as Buffy’s Watcher. Wesley on the other hand, despite wanting to do otherwise, wasn’t willing to exchange the Box of Gavrok with the Mayor for Willow. When meeting in L.A. Willow was reminded of the put-downs on Wesley that she shared with her friends, when first seeing him she said "Oh, and it’s the Marlboro Man. Or at least his extra stubbly, mentally unstable, insomniac, first cousin of—for the love of Hecate, somebody stop me." While preparing to re-ensoul Angelus, Willow and Wesley shared a brief conversation about how much they changed. Wesley claimed his fall into darkness was one she wouldn’t of understood before Willow told him about the time she flayed a man alive and nearly destroyed the world which Wesley fell short and admitted it couldn’t compare to the time he kept a woman locked in his closet, though Willow responded "No, dark. That’s dark. You’ve been to a place."
- Connor – Willow met Connor when journeying to Los Angeles to ensoul Angelus, who had recently been let loose. She showed no surprise at seeing Angel had a son (already told over the phone) and when introduced, quipped "So the sneer’s genetic? Who knew." However, they had briefly been on opposing sides due to Connor’s efforts to kill Angel but in the end he failed. Willow later reunited with Connor as she needed him to help her open a rift to Quor’toth, which he had heartily agreed to. Willow and Connor appeared to have a friendly relationship, as Willow described him as an amazing guy and was visibly shaken that she had to injure him with the scythe in order for the ritual to work. Willow hugged Connor when they finished their journey in the dimension, thanking him for seeing the problems since the end of magic and reassuring herself that she wasn’t crazy. She genuinely told him to be happy and that he deserved it, before leaving to bring magic back.
- Drusilla – Although Drusilla was a long-time enemy of the Scooby gang, she and Willow met face to face only seven years after the events concerning Acathla. Spike contacted Willow in Las Vegas to ensoul the crazy vampire. Willow was hostile to Dru, mainly because she was at the origin of the attack in the library which caused her coma in 1998. Likewise, Drusilla hated Willow because she was a witch having the knowledge to restore souls, the reason behind the The Whirlwind’s scattering. However, Willow demonstrated certain respect for the vampire because she knew her tragic story with Angelus. Willow’s futuristic, Dark counterpart strongly resembled Drusilla in both her looks and behavior.
- Nadira – Nadira and Willow bonded quickly, as she was the one that healed Nadira after her Slayer squad was murdered in the Azores. Nadira had cried in Willow’s arms because of everything that had happened. She was equally upset and hugged her, reassuring Nadira that everything would be alright. Willow and Nadira had spent time talking and Willow even seemed to calm Nadira’s hostile disposition a little. Afterward, despite how well they got alone, Willow admitted to Faith that she hasn’t succeeded in changing her mind about killing Angel, much to Faith’s disappointment.
Behind the Scenes
- She was portrayed by the actress Alyson Hannigan.
- Joss Whedon briefly described Willow in the shooting script for "Welcome to the Hellmouth": WILLOW. She is shy, bookish, and very possibly dressed by her mother. The intelligence in her eyes and the sweetness of her smile belie a genuine charm that is lost on the unsubtle high school mind. It’s certainly lost on Xander, though he brightens considerably to see her. The new face forgotten, at least for now.
- Willow was a regular character for all seven seasons. She and Buffy are the only characters to appear in all 144 episodes of the series, Xander appearing in 143 as he was not in "Conversations with Dead People"
- With 147 television appearances, Willow is second only to Angel (who appears in 167 episodes) as the most prolific character.
- Along with Buffy, Giles, Xander and Angel, she is one of only five characters to appear in both the pilot and series finale of Buffy: "Welcome to the Hellmouth" and "Chosen."
- The character was not originally supposed to be a redhead, as she is seen as a brunette in the first seasons. In 2011, Alyson Hannigan stated in an interview that Joss Whedon "had us all over his house. Charisma and Sarah and I all had brown hair at the time. Joss said, ’All of your hair is kind of the same shade. Does anyone want to be red?’. I went for it. Eventually Sarah got more and more blond, but it was because we all had a brownish, auburn mane."
- Willow was a big fan of Elvis Presley. Before her lesbian revelation, she had a fixation on the actor John Cusack. According to Kennedy, she always turn off the Moulin Rouge DVD at chapter 32 so it has a happy ending.
|The Willow Rosenberg article has a Photo Gallery.|
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Willow is a regular character for all seven seasons of the television series (1997-2003). Willow and Buffy are the only two characters who appear in all 144 episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
|Angel: Season 1|
|"Rm w/a Vu"|
|Angel: Season 2|
Now or Have
You Ever Been"
|Angel: Season 3|
|Angel: Season 4|
|Angel: Season 5|
- Willow Rosenberg at the Internet Movie Database