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Note: This article is about the character. For other uses, see Willow.

The magicks 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[2] Rosenberg was a witch native to Sunnydale, a founding member of the Scooby Gang, and the best friend of the Slayer, Buffy Summers. Willow started out as a shy computer nerd,[3] eventually developing her talents to become a powerful and assertive witch.[4]

Willow was introduced to the forces of magic by attempting a complex spell to re-ensoul Angel.[5] To her own surprise, Willow channeled into considerable power during this ritual and would come to practice witchcraft.[6][7] Willow was quick to grasp basic spells and, with support from her girlfriend Tara Maclay, her powers blossomed even more rapidly.[8]

Milestones in her magical career include the enjoining spell,[9] taking on the hell-goddess Glory and surviving,[10] resurrecting Buffy,[11] nearly ending the world,[12] activating multiple Potential Slayers,[13] creating the new Seed of Wonder that restored magic on Earth,[14] and establishing herself as the world's greatest witch.[15]


Early life[]

Willow Rosenberg was born to Sheila and Ira Rosenberg. Her mother was supercilious and distant, noticing Willow had cut her hair months after she had it cut.[16] She had a "bad birthday party pony thing" when she was four, leaving her with a fear of ponies and horses.[17] At some point, Willow also developed a fear of frogs[18] and spiders.[19] After watching Snoopy on Ice, her dad took her backstage, but she was scared and threw up on Woodstock.[20]

Willow became best friends with Alexander "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.[12] Willow was also close friends with Amy Madison during junior high, and they would eat brownies together at Willow's whenever Amy's mother Catherine was in a diet.[21]

Sunnydale High[]



Willow meeting her future best friend, Buffy Summers, for the first time in her sophomore year of high school.

In her early years in high school, Willow was a shy, naive "nerd"[22] and the go-to person for tutoring help.[23][24] She was ridiculed by the popular Cordelia Chase,[23] so she founded the We Hate Cordelia Club.[25] She had a hopeless crush on her lifelong friend Xander, who ignored her to pursue his equally hopeless crush on a new student and their eventual mutual best friend, Buffy Summers.[23]

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. The two met at the Bronze and Buffy encouraged Willow to seize her day, so she went out with a boy she had just met, Thomas, who was actually a vampire.[23] Buffy saved Willow from the Order of Aurelius, leading Willow along with Xander to learn about Buffy's secret identity as the Slayer, but their friend Jesse McNally did not survive. Willow soon became Buffy's best friend, and the revelation of the supernatural 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.[3]

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Willow uses her computing skills to assist the Scooby Gang.

By the end of her sophomore year, Willow's interest in computers got her almost killed by the demon Moloch the Corruptor, who pretended to 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.[22]

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 Jennifer 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 instead 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.[26]

Character development[]

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 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 afterward.[27]

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Willow as a ghost.

In her junior year, Willow began to have huge advances to her persona. During Halloween when everyone became whatever their costumes from Ethan's Costume Shop represented , Buffy and Xander were given different mindsets, leaving the ghostly Willow to take initiative. She assigned 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.[1] 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.[28]

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.[25]

She then quickly decided to move on, starting a romantic relationship with Daniel "Oz" Osbourne, 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.[18] She later invited him to Buffy's birthday where he witnessed his first vampire being staked.[29] 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.[30]


Willow's first spell: the Ritual of Restoration to re-ensoul Angel.

When Jenny Calendar was murdered by Buffy's newly soulless boyfriend Angel, Willow agreed to teach her classes for the rest of the year.[31] During this time, she went through her former teacher's belongings, dabbling in magic. She eventually discovered a floppy disk containing the translated text of the lost Ritual of Restoration, the curse that originally had been used to ensoul Angel decades before. Willow took it upon herself to perform the spell if Buffy couldn't kill him, as she claimed it would be the last resort.[32]

Willow first attempted the ritual in the school library, but failed when Angel's vampire minions attacked and a bookcase was dropped on her.[32] Recovering at the hospital, Willow performed the Ritual of Restoration with Cordelia and Oz at her side. She told Xander to inform Buffy of this, who instead just 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 sent him to hell to close Acathla's portal.[5]

Learning magic[]

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.[6] Willow also took charge of the Scooby Gang through their series of unsuccessful vampire hunts.[33]

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Willow improving her magic skills.

Willow joined a coven with fellow magic-users Amy and Michael Czajak, who became the victims of a witch-hunt led by the group Mothers Opposed to the Occult (MOO), of which Willow's mother was a member. However, the group had been under the influence of a demon who impersonated two victims of witches. Willow, Buffy, and Amy were nearly burned at the stake before Giles revealed the demon, which Buffy then slew, breaking the spell. Afterward, Willow 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.[16]

Though she showed initial shock at Buffy's secret relationship with Angel who had just returned, the heads of the gang were turned when Angel saved her from being killed by corrupt ex-watcher Gwendolyn Post.[34]

Willow and Xander discovered a growing attraction for each other, despite the fact that they were each in relationships with other people.[35] 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,[36] Oz and Willow eventually managed to work things out after some weeks.[37]

Doppelgangland Oz Willow

Willow fakes being her vampiric counterpart.

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, Willow's counterpart 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 the real Willow to send her back. After a fortunate encounter, Willow managed to trap her counterpart 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 attraction to women, a foreshadowing to her own undiscovered lesbianism. One positive from the whole event was the encounter between vampire Willow and Percy West, a 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.[24]

Despite being accepted by several colleges, including Harvard, Yale, and Oxford, Willow decided to attend University of California, Sunnydale so that she could continue fighting the "good fight" with Buffy after being held hostage by Mayor Richard Wilkins and rogue Slayer Faith Lehane, where the Scooby Gang traded a key component of the Mayor's Ascension for Willow.[38] 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.[39]


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
Buffy Willow The Freshman

Willow and Buffy start attending college.

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,[40] Willow and Buffy become roommates at room 214 in Stevenson Hall after the expulsion of Buffy's previous demonic roommate, Kathy Newman.[41] 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 the demon Gachnar. 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.[42]

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.[43] 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 "My Will Be 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.[44]

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Willow combining forces with another witch, Tara.

Afterward, she joined the campus Wicca group Daughters of Gaea, 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,[8] 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.[45]

Later, Oz returned, believing he had gained control over his wolf side, with hopes of continuing his relationship with Willow. This put her in a tough position, and she came out to Buffy about her feelings for Tara. Oz was unable to control his condition when he discovered that Willow and Tara were involved, so he left Sunnydale once more. Willow stayed with Tara, telling her that she was with the one she loved.[46]

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.[47] 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.[9]


Willow advances further in the dark magicks.

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 left in an insane, babbling state. Enraged and grief-stricken, Willow ignored Buffy's warnings and attacked Glory full force in her own home, when she managed to actually injure Glory and weaken her significantly. Willow almost got herself killed after spitting directly in Glory's face, but Buffy arrived just in time to save her.[10]

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.[48] In the final fight against Glory, Willow managed to slow her down by restoring Tara's mind, and disorienting the hell-god, as Willow reunited with her lover. However, Buffy was forced to sacrifice herself to save the life of her sister, Dawn.[49] Following the battle, a devastated Willow departed to Los Angeles and visited the Hyperion Hotel to inform Angel that Buffy had died.[50]

Addiction to magic[]

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!
―Giles condemns Willow over her growing misuse of magic.[src]
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Willow resurrects Buffy.

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.[11] This had major concerns; both Tara and Xander briefly opposed the idea while Giles branded her as a "rank arrogant amateur" for delving into such deep, consequential magic.[4]

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.[51] After Sweet's musical spell lead to Buffy revealing that she had been in heaven and not a hell dimension as they originally believed,[52] 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 Bro'os, a demonic loan shark trying to collect Spike's gambling debt. When the spell was broken, Tara promptly broke up with Willow.[53]

Wrecked Willow Buffy

Willow's addiction spirals out of control.

Without Tara's presence, Willow's addiction spiraled completely out of control; she finally managed to transform Amy back from a rat back 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 Mandraz, 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[54] and cut off her contact with Rack and Amy,[55] renouncing the use of her powers and choosing to help the Scoobies with her technical skills.[56]

Sometime later, Willow and Tara reconciled, prompting them to spend several hours in bed. Suddenly, Tara was murdered by a stray bullet from Warren Mears' attempt to kill Buffy.[57] 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 magic. 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.[58]

Two to Go Willow Buffy

Willow goes against her friends as "Dark Willow."

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."[59]

Willow then fought Buffy, infusing herself with super-strength, declaring: "I'm the Slayer now." After having heavily beaten and nearly defeated Buffy, Willow was attacked by Giles, who abruptly returned with borrowed power of the Devon coven.[59] 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.[12]


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]
Lessons Willow Giles 02

In England, Willow weans herself from Dark Magic and places her power in nature.

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.[60] At the time, she met his great-aunts Lavinia and Sophronia Fairweather.[61]

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.[62]

When the First Evil began its campaign against the Scooby Gang, Willow reluctantly began a relationship with the Potential Slayer Kennedy. After their first kiss, however, Willow was transformed into Warren, the result of the hex Penance Malediction, 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 to continue Warren's murderous path with a gun.[63]

Willow was still reluctant to use her full power, especially after the First took control of her during a minor spell.[64] However, Willow was called to Los Angeles by Winifred Burkle[65] to re-ensoul Angel once again. While there, Willow magically dueled with the higher power later known as Jasmine, who had possessed Cordelia, and came out victorious.[66] She then returned to Sunnydale with newly reformed Faith,[67] who had broke out of prison to fight Angel.[68]


Willow activates Slayers all around the world.

With the final battle with the First drawing nearer, Buffy entrusted Willow with an important task that Willow was reluctant to perform. Despite this, Willow tapped into the essence of the Slayer weapon (both by her computer and witchcraft prowess), and activated multiple Potential Slayers around the globe, briefly turning her hair white in the process before Kennedy deified her as a goddess. Willow then fell to the floor mumbling "that was nifty." She escaped Sunnydale before its subsequent destruction.[13]

Slayer Organization[]

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.[69] Willow also visited the Himalayas but was unable to aid Fred Burkle with her mystical illness because she was performing astral projection to another plane at the time.[70]

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, 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.[71]


Willow magically assists the Slayer Organization.

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.[72]

Over a year after the Hellmouth battle, Willow appeared at Buffy and Xander's Scotland base, fighting 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.[73]

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 Hart.[74] 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.[75] Willow told Spike that Buffy already knew about his resurrection, but agreed to keep their team-up a secret from Buffy.[76] She then committing Drusilla to the Mosaic Wellness Center.[77]

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.[72]

While fighting a group of vampires in Tokyo, Willow met and dueled a fellow student of Saga Vasuki, the witch Kumiko Ishihara.[78] The vision she received during this fight with Kumiko would later lead her to investigate a possible ripple in time in New York City. 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.[79]


Willow and Buffy suppressing their magic.

After Harmony Kendall unwittingly brought about a new pro-vampire, anti-Slayer world order,[80] 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 glamours 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.[81]

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 the 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 Buffy's group, Buffy awakened to discover she had new superhuman abilities, including flight.[82] Not long after, Willow's powers returned to her 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.[83]

Willow realized that Faith, Giles, and Andrew were captured by Twilight. She teleported around the world in search of them, finding dying and dead Slayers at several locations due to Twilight conducting simultaneous coordinated attacks around the world.[84] Amy revealed to Willow that Twilight's HQ was located three seconds in the future, and together they uncloaked it, leading to Buffy's confrontation with Twilight, who revealed himself to be Angel.[85] Buffy and Angel's reunion created a new universe, which in turn caused extradimensional demons to flood their dimensions ahead of the Earth's impending destruction. Willow was one of several battling these.[86]

Willow recognized as Spike's ship arrived,[86] and Spike informed the group that 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.[87] Willow was summoned to a spiritual dimension by Aluwyn, who explained she must protect the Seed or magic would be lost from the universe and the walls between worlds would close forever.[88] 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 suddenly and dramatically cut off from all of her power.[89] In the aftermath of the crisis, she possessed no magic whatsoever. Willow broke up with Kennedy soon afterward, 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. Living in San Francisco like Buffy, Xander, and Dawn, Willow vowed that she would somehow restore magic to the world.[90]

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.

A few months after the Seed was destroyed, living in San Francisco along with the other Scoobies, Willow began dating Aura[91] 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.[92] Months later, Willow took the Scythe and left, believing it was the key to restoring magic due to advice given to her by a vision of Sineya, the first Slayer.[93]

She subsequently arrived in London, making contact with Angel and Faith in Giles's apartment.[94] She quickly deduced Angel's plan to resurrect Giles using the Tooth of Ammut 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 did not want to involve his son in her plans, but Willow insisted that the Earth was dying without magic and she needed to save it.[61]

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.[61] During the quest, Willow, Angel, Faith, and Connor come across the Old One Quor'toth and attempted to fight against him with magic. Willow managed to face it and defend the group, but her eyes became black after absorbing too much dark magic.[95] She panicked and insisted she could not stay in Quor'toth any longer, but plead with her to trust him and protect them from the advancing Old One. She became consumed with dark magic in her second confront with Quor'toth and expressed a desire to rule over the dimension. Angel hurled up and bit her, causing Willow to faint and the influence of the magic to fade. When Angel got taken over by blood lust, Willow awoke and stopped Faith from killing him as well as him trying to get her to kill him. She thanked Angel for helping but added that she had not forgiven him yet though understood his reasons for acting as the masked Twilight. After giving Angel whatever was left of Giles' soul out from the Scythe, Willow guided them back to Earth and continued her solo quest to bring magic back.[96]

Wonderland 04-01b

Willow goes on a journey to restore magic.

Willow traveled through dimensions and soon met up with a man calling himself Marrak, who was from Earth but trapped in the current dimension with no way back due to loss of magic. With their common objective to retore magic and return Earth, Willow decided to work with him.[97] Looking for the Wellspring, she ran into Aluwyn and kissed her in their reunion. The witches of the Wellspring's supercoven repaired the Scythe, and Willow used it to open a rift to Earth, but it quickly closed; portals could only stay open if there was magic on both sides.[98]

The witches had Willow living with them, and she began to doubt if her mission was really just for the world rather than herself or even if her friends were in danger.[98] However, Marrak reminded her of her mission, and Willow left the coven. Reflecting on her intentions, Willow realized there was no such thing as "Dark Willow" and "Light Willow," only Willow. However, she became aware of Marrak's lust for dark magic and realized he was in fact Rack, her former magic dealer.[99]

Rack did intend to restore magic to Earth, but also to hoard it all for himself. Rack and Willow engaged in a magic dueled over alternate universes until he was overcome by the antibodies of a sentient universe. Their fight 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 that it would be impossible to return magic to the world as she had planned, but magic was not completely lost; though the Seed had been destroyed, she would be able to draw power from her own heart for the world to share. Willow awakened high above Earth, and descended with the intention of returning to her friends.[100]

Willow arrived back in San Francisco with the newly fixed scythe just in time to aid Buffy with Dawn's worsening condition. She reminded Buffy that, though she had her magic back, it was limited and the Earth was still suffering from a loss of magic.[101] Willow proceeded to work herself to help save Dawn and managed to awake her from her coma. However, Willow warned that she was not powerful enough to save Dawn's life at that point and the most she was able to do was give her a few more days. Buffy, Willow, and Xander decided to travel to the Deeper Well, a magical place that held enough power to seal Old Ones. Willow planned to act as the "battery" that would absorb enough magical energy from there and use it to completely save Dawn's fading essence. They used Kennedy's jet to England, where the Magic Council and the demons guarded the Deeper Well entrance.[102]

In the ensuing fight, Willow used her magic to beat the demons back. Illyria and Eldre Koh joined the Scoobies, and Willow and Buffy came up with a dangerous plan together to proceed further in the Deeper Well. Xander panicked and told them they didn't have to do it, proceeding to inform the group of his pact with Severin and Simone Doffler to restore magic and consequently save Dawn's life. Despite Xander's betrayal, the Scoobies nonetheless united to stop Severin from creating a reality tear in the universe.[103]

Buffy23b zpsce4d8b36

Willow, Buffy, and Xander fight together in the Deeper Well.

With Buffy, Willow ventured deeper into the core of the Deeper Well. They noticed they began to forget Dawn, but they still managed to put her as their top priority. Willow suddenly sensed a powerful source of magic, so much so that she began to emit a reddish glow. Willow told Buffy it could not only be the key to saving Dawn but the entire world as well.[104] As she drew closer to the power source, the glow intensified to the point it began seriously affecting her. A small Seed of Wonder emerged from her chest, but she realized it'd take a millennium for it to mature. As Severin suffered to contain the powers he had absorbed, Willow came with the idea of transferring his energy to the new Seed.[14]

Willow used an abandoned magic staff to escape the Deeper Well with her friends before Severin's power exploded. Back in San Francisco, Willow cast the spell that safely restored Dawn. However, Willow soon discovered that the Vampyr book was blank, and she wondered what they had done in the Well.[105]

New magic[]

Willow worked with the Scooby Gang to help rid the zompire threat from the suburbs of Santa Rosita and rescue the remaining civilians. They found themselves overwhelmed in a battle against a group of more powerful vampires that had risen since magic had returned. A newly-resurrected Giles arrived in time to help with Kennedy and Slayers from her agency Deepscan,[106] and the new vampires retreated. Afterward, Willow realized she couldn't control her magic as well as before because the rules of magic were still being written with the new Seed of Wonder.[107]

BuffyS10 5 B art

The Scoobies take responsibility over the new rules of magic.

Willow was fired from her job for excess of absence, and she shared the Scoobies' dissatisfaction with their living conditions and rent prices in San Francisco. They solved a police case of a supposedly haunted building in exchange of cheap rent,[108] and Willow began sharing an apartment with Buffy and Dawn.[109]

Andrew took the Vampyr book from their apartment and went back to Sunnydale, where Willow concluded he would use the magic rule book to attempt to resurrect Warren.[110] However, she soon discovered he went there to resurrect Tara to undo his past mistakes. In the midst of Andrew's spell, Willow convinced Andrew to stop, as she had thought about doing the same thing more than once but it'd be cheating Tara out of a peaceful afterlife.[111]

Willow reunited with Aluwyn, who saw Willow more as her equal due to her current responsibility of shaping the new laws of magic.[112] However, Willow saw that she had changed her needs while Aluwyn remained a trickster. Willow broke up with her, and Aluwyn refused to ever see her again.[113]

Willow got a job at Daniels Technologies and worked with the military's Unified Supernatural Combatant Command, a project dedicated to fighting the current threat: supernatural creatures invading the Earth through the interdimensional portals the Mistress and the Sculptor opened with the Restless Door. Willow went on a date with her colleague Lake Stevens, and they talked how their career paths made them move from their old friends. Buffy did not approve of Willow's association with the military, which had been their enemy more than once, but they soon reconciled based on their friendship coming first.[114]


Willow works with the military in their supernatural defense project.

After D'Hoffryn betrayed the Scoobies and took the Vampyr book for himself,[115] the military judged Willow as not trustful for previously working with the lower being. They refused to hear her suggestions on how to deal with D'Hoffryn and expelled Willow from the military base. As she left Lake and the premises, Willow told her the military allowed her to accomplish, but an institution would never care about her, and, unlike Lake, Willow needed people she could count on.[116]

Once regrouped, Willow, Buffy, Giles, Spike, Xander, Dawn, and Andrew devised a plan against D'Hoffryn's new powers.[116] He went after the Scoobies and attacked them in their apartment accompanied by a copy of Anya,[117] but Anya ultimately helped them. The Scoobies' combined powers against him made D'Hoffryn retreat and promise a wish to each of them, including bringing Tara back for Willow. Having learned that there's always a catch, they collectively refused and defeated D'Hoffryn.[118]

Without help with the new rules of magic, Willow convinced the Scoobies they should join the new Magic Council. She supported Buffy, the new president, and worked beside Giles, Riley, Dracula, Venobia, the Lucky Cat, Cedric the Slime Man, and a skeleton as members of the new Council.[118]

Supernatural Crisis Act[]

In the following year, Willow taught her own covens about Wicca precepts and spell casting. During a barbecue with the Scoobies, they witnessed Shenlong leading a destructive tsunami against San Francisco. They fought off the dragon and then helped rescuing and taking care of its many victims.[119] However, they could not prevent the anti-magic sentiment that grew in the country after the disaster, such as an attack against Calliope Strachan, one of Willow's students.[120]

Lake introduced Willow to Ophelia Reyes, the Secretary of the Supernatural, who invited her to work with them as a sworn federal agent. Willow refused on the base that the government would divide the supernatural beings between the ones "on a leash" and the ones "in a cage." Indeed, the government set a mandatory census of all magical individuals in San Francisco and their imprisonment to a Safe Zone.[120] As a witch, Willow was taken, and Buffy volunteered to go with her and Spike.[121]

In the interment camp, Willow protected the Wiccans from vampires and demons and got closer to Calliope, who had a girlfriend outside.[122] With Lake's help, Willow got her Wicca students freedom to leave due to their lack of magic,[123] even taking the magic from those who desired to go home.[124] Meanwhile, Willow, Buffy, and Spike also investigated the unknown project the prisoners were forced to work on.[123][124]


Buffy and Willow surrender their magic.

The government offered the remaining prisoners — who were able to survive without magic — to surrender themselves to a magic-absorbing machine. Willow recognized she need to leave to act against whatever was happening, and she didn't need magic to feel special anymore, so she and Buffy took the deal.[125] Once outside, she found Calliope had returned to her girlfriend.[126]

As the government kept watching Willow and Buffy, Riley and his wife Sam offered them a way out of the country. They refused, and the military couple initiated their plan. Faith joined them, and the group infiltrated the Safe Zone,[126] where Willow and Buffy restored their powers and freed all the remaining prisoners.[127] They found out about the Pandora Project, a conspiracy involving members of the government to absorb all magic in the country to empower themselves.[128]

In their laboratory, they found Press Secretary Joanna Wise, a magic-infused cyborg, who called upon Shenlong and revealed to be the one responsible for his previous attack. Willow then performed a spell to concentrate the grown powers of thousands of Slayers back in Buffy,[129] which allowed her to survive Wise's attacks empowered by Shenlong's absorbed magic. After Wise's defeat, Riley and Sam publicly exposed the Pandora Project and all policies regarding the supernatural were reviewed.[130]

The Reckoning[]

One year later, Willow had a space destined to foster women and work with them as an extension to her previous coven meetings. A number of Slayers joined it, a helpful addition considering the threats the center received. Still, Willow's main worry wasn't the trolls, but the possibility that the government would see the center as a threat, similar to what happened with the late Slayer Organization. Riley assured he would not let that happen, and Willow would not let other people's prejudices stop her from doing what was right anymore.[131]

Angel discovered that Wolfram & Hart had been coordinating an attack against the empowerment center and its Slayers. These attackers included both demons and humans, who saw the increasing power and influence of this movement as a threat. They were guided by the time-traveling vampire Harth Fray, who desired to bring upon the Reckoning and rob the Slayer power for himself. To deal with an enemy who already knew the future, the Scoobies united Willow's magical knowledge, Illyria's time-traveling powers, and Dawn's portal abilities as the Key to seek the Slayer Melaka Fray in the 23rd century for help.[131]

B12-04-02b The Reckoning

The battle of the Reckoning.

In the future, the Scoobies learned from Harmony about the Reckoning. According to her, the battle took place at Willow's empowerment center, and something caused all Slayers to lose their powers and memories of being Slayers — except Buffy's, who continued to fight while the others ran away. Outnumbered, Dawn opened a portal to a hell dimension, and Willow threw all the demons through it. Giles took care for the portal never open again, and Willow stood guard for centuries after that.[132] When a new Slayer was finally called, the witch, dark with power, brought an early Buffy to 23rd century Haddyn so she would be the one who killed Willow,[79] a choice made in repentance for her guilt for leaving her friend in a hell dimension.[132]

However, when the Scooby Gang fought the battle in the 21st century, Illyria sacrificed herself in Buffy's place, keeping the Slayer line intact. Afterward, Willow decided to steer her center's work towards trying to prevent what they saw in the dystopic 23rd century. Indeed, these actions helped the Slayers forge a much better world and change the future of humanity; when Melaka returned to her time, she discovered a significantly improved Haddyn replacing the timeline she had left, and the Slayers who received credited it was all to Willow's efforts.[133]

Possible future[]

History is all romantic adventure stories. Until you live it. Until you live long enough to be a part of it.
―Willow Rosenberg[src]

Future Dark Willow.

In the original timeline for the 23rd century, Willow was known as the "Madwoman"; she had remained youthful for centuries and resumed her dark appearance, but could only wield a small amount of magic. She had allied herself with Harth and told him that bringing Buffy to the 23rd century would secure their future to exist. However, Willow also manipulated the Slayer Melaka into believing the opposite, that Buffy would destroy their future. Melaka managed to detain Buffy in an attempt to keep her at bay until the temporal rift had closed. However, Harth went to Melaka's apartment and confronted Willow about her manipulations; the dark witch admitted to lying to one of the twins, but she did not reveal which one.[79]

Buffy managed to escape confinement and fought her way across Haddyn to get to the rift and return to her time. However, Willow stood in her way, prompting Buffy to kill the dark witch, just as present Willow brought her back to her own time. When Buffy later told her of these events, Willow assured her that the future was not set in stone.[79]


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 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 friendly and understanding, though she was not afraid to be tough. While still having an easily nervous nature, she grew more outspoken and confident.[citation needed]

Willow was also 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 anger toward those who done her wrong, even if they were her close friends, retaining a calm and receptive demeanor.[citation needed] She also often spoke in strange speeches and phrases,[48] something she shared with her best friend Buffy, which could often confuse those around her who weren't used to it.[citation needed] She was also greatly emotional and prone to babble when nervous[7] (which was another similarity to Buffy).[8]

Willow was also 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."[5] 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[66] and much later, with Angel.[96]

Willow also had a gift with computers and cracking codes, which was seen many times throughout the years. 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.[citation needed] She had a great interest in science and technology, seen with her fascination with the Buffybot.[134]

Despite her many good qualities, she could also display an addictive, somehow selfish, personality (which Buffy once pointed out).[59] 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 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.[citation needed]

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 was branded as a "junkie" for her addiction to magic. In spite of all these, Willow, at her worst, still acknowledged the love and appreciation she had 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.[citation needed]

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 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 magic 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.[citation needed]

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 magic 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 magic 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 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 did not normally show.[citation needed]

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 at 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 was 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.[citation needed]

Perhaps, among all the members of the Scooby Gang, Willow was 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 into, 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.[citation needed]

Willow was a big fan of Elvis Presley.[43] Before her lesbian revelation, she had a fixation on the actor John Cusack.[135] According to Kennedy, she always turned off the Moulin Rouge DVD at chapter 32 so it had a happy ending.[63]

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[src]

At first, Willow's major powers were her intelligence and computer skills. She aided Giles when he researched information to aid Buffy in overcoming various challenges.[3][136] Willow also aided in the preparation of magical materials, making her first potion to detect a witch.[21] Years later, Willow was regarded as the most powerful witch of the Earth dimension.[15] Examples of powers Willow had demonstrated were:


Willow casts an offensive spell.

  • Spell-casting: In her earliest years of practicing witchcraft, the first fundamental magical skill that Willow mastered was the ability to cast spells and perform rituals, and as she grew as a witch, she demonstrated an extraordinary proficiency in this ability. Throughout the seven years of Buffy's being established in Sunnydale, Willow successfully cast a vast range of powerful spells to help her best friend in the fight against evil — the Ritual of Restoration, Sumerian transmogrification spells, teleportation spells, the thick air spell, force field spells,[citation needed] resurrection spells,[11] and even the Slayer activation spell.[13]
  • Telekinesis: As Willow's skills developed, she manifested the power of telekinesis, which enabled her to move objects as well as individuals with her mind. In the beginning, she used this ability to levitate objects like pencils to stake vampires,[38] and she had to combine her strength with Tara's to perform greater feats,[8] such as levitating individuals and blasting crowds apart.[49] However, as she progressed into a goddess-level witch, Willow was able to use her telekinesis to send her opponents flying great distances with dramatic impacts, and could even lift a mountain to drop it on the Old One Quor'toth.[96]
  • Electrokinesis: In a state fueled by vengeance and dark magic, Willow was able to access the power of electrokinesis, which enabled her to create and project electricity and lightning. She possessed this ability to a highly advanced degree — when she single-handedly took on Glory to avenge Tara's injuries, her lightning bolts caused the hell-goddess such pain that she actually screamed.[10]
  • Voice manipulation: Willow had the power to manipulate her own voice, increasing or decreasing its tone in accordance with her emotions; when a demon denied her request to have Tara resurrected, Willow banished him with a powerful scream,[58] and when she discovered how Buffy had helped Jonathan and Andrew to escape, she emitted a similar screech.[59]
  • Knowledge absorption: Willow had the power to absorb knowledge from objects such as books, and not only store the taken knowledge within her own mind but also to utilize that knowledge to enhance her own magic. Upon Tara's death and Buffy's admittance into the hospital, Willow went to the Magic Box and utterly absorbed all the magical knowledge from the books of dark magic, completing her transition into a Dark witch, as her hair and eyes turned black with her absorption.[58]
  • Teleportation: When Willow was completely consumed by dark magic after Tara's death, she demonstrated the power to instantly transport herself and others from one location to another without having to physically travel through space.[59] Previously, she had demonstrated this ability through a taxing spell.[137]
  • Flight: Willow could float and fly by sheer force of will,[138] able to take anybody with her as well[72][139] even while transmogrified.[140]
  • Invisibility: Willow had the power to make herself invisible, as she once had unintentional selective invisibility,[62] but this ability could include others, like when she cloaked herself and the Vice President of the United States from his bodyguards.[141]
  • Energy projection: Willow had the power to shoot powerful green, blue, or red energy blasts from her hands as well as body.[citation needed] Her power matched the power of the Old One Quor'toth,[96] as well as god-like demons and higher beings.[citation needed]
  • Pyrokinesis: Casting "ignis incende," Willow once magically lit a barbecue[142] and, years later, escaped the grasp of a demon by lighting it on fire.[143]
  • Force field: Willow had the power to conjure powerful force fields whether by sheer force of will or through spells.[144][145][96][146]
  • Healing: Willow had the power to heal herself or others, even from mortal wounds, by sheer force of will.[12][147][101]
  • Transmogrification: Willow had the power to transform herself and others by sheer force of will, like when she transformed her self into seagull and Buffy into a fish.[140]
  • Glamouring: Willow has the power to glamour to cast an illusion around a being to make them look like another.[141]
  • Geokinesis: When Willow connected with the first Seed of Wonder fight the demons, she conjured a gigantic root from the earth itself to impale them. While fighting Rack, Willow demonstrated the ability to manipulate the earth's sand as well, creating a gigantic form of herself to subdue him.[citation needed]
  • Astral projection: Willow was able to perform an astral project in another plane, although this caused her to be unreachable when Angel sought her help.[70]
  • Gigantism: In order to help defeat Maloker, Willow transformed Dawn into a gigantic form of her self by sheer force of will.[148]
  • Telepathy: In addition to the power to magically communicate with others,[149][145] Willow was able to perform telepathic mind control, as an example when she made Anya freed her from Giles's containment spell.[12]
  • Empathy: After she sucked the power out of Giles, Willow seemed to have been connected with every person on the planet, the feeling where too much for that she wanted to end all suffering by destroying the world.[12]
  • Conjuration: Willow had the power to conjure objects out of thin air. After her duel with Amy, she conjured a powerful binding cage to magically trap and confine her. She conjured a magical net with Giles as well in order to rescue survivors of Shenlong's attack in San Francisco.[119]
  • Photokinesis: Willow had the power to conjure balls of light in order to illuminate her way in the dark.[150]

Notable spells and incidents[]

  • Ghostly physiology: 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 spirit and physical body were seemingly separated completely. She returned to normal immediately after Giles broke the spell.[1]
  • Spiritual restoration: Willow cast the Ritual of Restoration twice, restoring Angel's soul when the need arose.[5][66]
  • Reality warping: 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.[44]
  • Unbinding: 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.[151]
  • True resurrection: Willow resurrected Buffy months after her death.[11]
  • Memory erasure: 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 Lethe's bramble, 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.[53]
  • Advanced telekinesis: After inflicting significant physical and mental suffering on Warren, Willow flayed him alive with sheer telekinetic force.[58]
  • Cataclysm inducement: Willow, in an attempt to end the world's suffering, cast a spell to funnel the energy of the Earth into the effigy of Proserpexa, which would cause the planet to burn to a cinder if it was cast successfully.[12]
  • Gender transformation: 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.[152]
  • Slayer activation: Willow channeled the essence of the Scythe in order to activate multiple Potential Slayers in the world.[13]
  • Binding: She cast Carolina's grasp to contain a vampire.[153]
  • Curse reversal: She 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.[78]
  • Power augmentation: Willow connected to the Seed of Wonder to amass immense power to fight multiple interdimensional demons during the battle before the end of magic.[89]
  • Interdimensional travel: Willow tore open reality to make a gate to Quor'toth using a ritual she found all while in a world with no magic.[61]
  • Mystical power bestowal: 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.[citation needed]
  • Restoration: Willow performed magic to awaken Dawn, the Key, from her coma caused by the loss of magic to Earth.[102] She also restored Dawn to her original state through a spell from the scrolls of the Order of Dagon when magic had been fully restored.[105]
  • Mystical artifact creation: Created the new Seed of Wonder several months after the end of magic.[14]


Good to know you've seen the softer side of Sears.
2x10 003

Willow in 1997.

In her first year of high school, her red straight hair was long down to her chest, and her mother still picked out her clothes for her.[23]

In the summer of 1997, she cut her hair just below her shoulders before she entered grade 11[27] and cut it again shoulder-length in August 1998 before she entered grade 12 (which took her mother several months to notice)[16] and developed a penchant for fluffy sweaters and peculiar hats.[36] The alternate universe vampiric Willow, upon seeing her human alter-ego's pink sweater, noted, "Well, look at me. I'm all fuzzy." When she later woke up dressed in the sweater, Vamp Willow said, "Oh, this is like a nightmare."[24]

Pangs Willow

Willow in 1999.

Before college in the summer of 1999, Willow cut her hair to an even shorter layered cut to her chin, and, starting on her first day of college began to wear long skirts and high shoes. However, she felt she was only hiding her true geeky nature.[154] Willow focused her grief over the death of Joyce on what clothes to wear while visiting Buffy at the hospital, and she described her clothes as having "stupid things on them" and asked why she couldn't dress "like a grown-up."[155] For the first months of 2001, Willow had her hair curled.[151][10]

After Buffy's death, Willow's hair was straight and shoulder-length again, and she often wore dark purple[4][52][53] or red pieces.[11][156][157]

When Willow was consumed by dark magic, she could be identified by her black hair, black eyes, and visible veins over her face. She reverted to her natural appearance after overcoming her grief,[12] but she sometimes resumed this appearance when her powers were pushed to their limits or when angered.[158][159] In contrast, while performing the spell to activate multiple Potential Slayers, her hair briefly turned white.[13]

B8x02 Willow

Willow circa 2006.

While she traveled the world with the Slayer Organization, Willow's hair was shoulder-length again, and she began dressing in flowy clothing in earth tones, normally wearing long-sleeves with long skirts.[138][139][140][88]

During the end of magic, Willow bobbed her hair with one half slightly shorter than the other. She continued wearing mostly green, brown, and white, but she also took on more of a modern style of clothing, including short skirts for informal events[91][102] or tailored pieces for her office attire.[160][93]


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.[31][161] 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.[162] She mentioned multiple times that she celebrated Hanukkah and not Christmas.[37] 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.[163] Willow placed stones on Tara's headstone, a Jewish tradition to honor the dead.[164]

Combining her magical inclination, Willow described herself as a Jewish Wiccan,[148] and she taught Wicca precepts in her covens.[119]


Following her first boyfriend Oz's departure, Willow secretly performed spells with fellow Wicca Tara, but there were hints that they were more than just friends. Shortly afterward, their relationship did become more intimate, and Willow would identify as a lesbian. More specifically, Willow explicitly declared herself as gay.[151][165][163][63][166][167] For then on, Willow only had female romantic and sexual partners: Tara,[46] Kennedy,[63] Aluwyn,[72] Aura,[91] Lake,[114] and Calliope.[124]

Her sexuality was notable when, after losing her memory, she quickly noted: "I think I'm kinda gay."[53] As one of the many women under R.J. Brooks' love spell, she sought to transform him into a woman.[152] Also in Buffy's 1997-centric dream, she had been reminded that Willow still had a crush on Xander at that time, and told her: "Oh. That's right. You like… and you're not… Well, you probably are… but not—," referring to Willow later coming out as a lesbian;[168] as Willow described having realized her sexuality since then.[163] While at the beginning of a magical journey, Muffitt noted the symbolic presence of opening petals, instead of thrusting trees, representing Willow's sexual interest in women. She was uncertain of the use "dyke" in reference to herself, not knowing if it was "offensive" or "empowering,"[71] and preferring the use of "friend of Sappho."[167]


Buffyverse The Willow Rosenberg article has a Photo Gallery.

Behind the scenes[]

  • She was first portrayed by Riff Regan in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer pilot before getting recast and portrayed by Alyson Hannigan. She was also portrayed by Adam Busch in the episode "The Killer in Me" and voiced by Kari Wahlgren in Chaos Bleeds and Natalie Lander in the Season Eight Motion Comic.
  • According to Sarah Michelle Gellar, Joss Whedon had Melanie Lynskey in mind for the role, but there were issues with her Visa.[169] Lynskey auditioned for the role when it was to be recast after the unaired pilot, but Alyson Hannigan was ultimately cast.[170]
  • 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."
  • The character was not originally supposed to be a redhead; in 2011, Alyson Hannigan stated in an interview: "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."[171]
  • Willow and Buffy are the only characters to appear in all 144 episodes of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer. With 147 television appearances, Willow is only after Angel (168 episodes) and Buffy (150 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 first and last episodes of Buffy: "Welcome to the Hellmouth" and "Chosen."



Buffy the Vampire Slayer


As one of the main characters in the franchise, Willow has also appeared in the majority of Buffy expanded universe material of unknown canonicity, including comic books, novels, and video games.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Halloween"
  2. "Bad Girls Draft." Petrie's Dishes. Archived from the original on September 23, 2001.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "The Harvest"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Flooded"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 "Becoming, Part Two"
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Dead Man's Party"
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Faith, Hope & Trick"
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 "Hush"
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Primeval"
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 "Tough Love"
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 "Bargaining, Part One"
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 12.7 "Grave"
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 "Chosen"
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 The Core, Part Four
  15. 15.0 15.1 Wonderland, Part Two
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 "Gingerbread"
  17. "Where the Wild Things Are"
  18. 18.0 18.1 "What's My Line? Part One"
  19. "Nightmares"
  20. "Helpless"
  21. 21.0 21.1 "Witch"
  22. 22.0 22.1 "I Robot, You Jane"
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 "Welcome to the Hellmouth"
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 "Doppelgängland"
  25. 25.0 25.1 "Innocence"
  26. "Prophecy Girl"
  27. 27.0 27.1 "When She Was Bad"
  28. "Reptile Boy"
  29. "Surprise"
  30. "Phases"
  31. 31.0 31.1 "Passion"
  32. 32.0 32.1 "Becoming, Part One"
  33. "Anne"
  34. "Revelations"
  35. "Homecoming"
  36. 36.0 36.1 "Lovers Walk"
  37. 37.0 37.1 "Amends"
  38. 38.0 38.1 "Choices"
  39. "Graduation Day, Part Two"
  40. "The Freshman"
  41. "Living Conditions"
  42. "Fear, Itself"
  43. 43.0 43.1 "Wild at Heart"
  44. 44.0 44.1 "Something Blue"
  45. "The I in Team"
  46. 46.0 46.1 "New Moon Rising"
  47. "The Yoko Factor"
  48. 48.0 48.1 "The Weight of the World"
  49. 49.0 49.1 "The Gift"
  50. "There's No Place Like Plrtz Glrb"
  51. "All the Way"
  52. 52.0 52.1 "Once More, with Feeling"
  53. 53.0 53.1 53.2 53.3 "Tabula Rasa"
  54. "Wrecked"
  55. "Doublemeat Palace"
  56. "Gone"
  57. "Seeing Red"
  58. 58.0 58.1 58.2 58.3 "Villains"
  59. 59.0 59.1 59.2 59.3 59.4 "Two to Go"
  60. "Lessons"
  61. 61.0 61.1 61.2 61.3 Family Reunion, Part One
  62. 62.0 62.1 "Same Time, Same Place"
  63. 63.0 63.1 63.2 63.3 "The Killer in Me"
  64. "Bring on the Night"
  65. "Lies My Parents Told Me"
  66. 66.0 66.1 66.2 "Orpheus"
  67. "Dirty Girls"
  68. "Salvage"
  69. "Damage"
  70. 70.0 70.1 "Shells"
  71. 71.0 71.1 Willow: Goddesses and Monsters
  72. 72.0 72.1 72.2 72.3 Anywhere but Here
  73. The Long Way Home, Part Four
  74. Bedknobs and Boomsticks
  75. Something Borrowed
  76. Give and Take
  77. Stranger Things
  78. 78.0 78.1 Wolves at the Gate, Part Four
  79. 79.0 79.1 79.2 79.3 Time of Your Life, Part Four
  80. Harmonic Divergence
  81. Retreat, Part Three
  82. Retreat, Part Five
  83. Turbulence
  84. Twilight, Part One
  85. Twilight, Part Two
  86. 86.0 86.1 Twilight, Part Four
  87. Last Gleaming, Part One
  88. 88.0 88.1 Last Gleaming, Part Two
  89. 89.0 89.1 Last Gleaming, Part Four
  90. Last Gleaming, Part Five
  91. 91.0 91.1 91.2 Freefall, Part One
  92. Freefall, Part Four
  93. 93.0 93.1 Slayer, Interrupted
  94. Women of a Certain Age
  95. Family Reunion, Part Three
  96. 96.0 96.1 96.2 96.3 96.4 Family Reunion, Part Four
  97. Wonderland, Part One
  98. 98.0 98.1 Wonderland, Part Three
  99. Wonderland, Part Four
  100. Wonderland, Part Five
  101. 101.0 101.1 The Watcher
  102. 102.0 102.1 102.2 The Core, Part One
  103. The Core, Part Two
  104. The Core, Part Three
  105. 105.0 105.1 The Core, Part Five
  106. New Rules, Part One
  107. New Rules, Part Two
  108. I Wish, Part One
  109. I Wish, Part Two
  110. Return to Sunnydale, Part One
  111. Return to Sunnydale, Part Two
  112. Love Dares You, Part One
  113. Love Dares You, Part Three
  114. 114.0 114.1 In Pieces on the Ground, Part Two
  115. Own It, Part One
  116. 116.0 116.1 Own It, Part Three
  117. Own It, Part Four
  118. 118.0 118.1 Own It, Part Five
  119. 119.0 119.1 119.2 The Spread of Their Evil
  120. 120.0 120.1 In Time of Crisis
  121. A House Divided
  122. Desperate Times
  123. 123.0 123.1 Desperate Measures
  124. 124.0 124.1 124.2 Back to the Wall
  125. Disempowered
  126. 126.0 126.1 Ordinary People
  127. The Great Escape
  128. Crimes Against Nature
  129. Revelations
  130. One Girl in All the World
  131. 131.0 131.1 One Year Later
  132. 132.0 132.1 Future Shock
  133. Finale
  134. "Intervention"
  135. "The Dark Age"
  136. "Teacher's Pet"
  137. "Blood Ties"
  138. 138.0 138.1 The Long Way Home, Part Two
  139. 139.0 139.1 Wolves at the Gate, Part One
  140. 140.0 140.1 140.2 Retreat, Part One
  141. 141.0 141.1 Crimes Against Nature
  142. "Buffy vs. Dracula"
  143. Last Gleaming, Part Three
  144. "Spiral"
  145. 145.0 145.1 "Showtime"
  146. In Pieces on the Ground, Part Four
  147. The Long Way Home, Part Four
  148. 148.0 148.1 New Rules, Part Five
  149. "Bargaining, Part One"
  150. Old Demons, Part Two
  151. 151.0 151.1 151.2 "Triangle"
  152. 152.0 152.1 "Him"
  153. Wolves at the Gate, Part Three
  154. "Restless"
  155. "The Body"
  156. "Life Serial"
  157. "Smashed"
  158. "Selfless"
  159. The Long Way Home, Part Three
  160. Freefall, Part Three
  161. "The Replacement"
  162. "Bad Eggs"
  163. 163.0 163.1 163.2 "Hell's Bells"
  164. "Help"
  165. "Checkpoint"
  166. "Entropy"
  167. 167.0 167.1 Wolves at the Gate, Part Two
  168. After These Messages... We'll Be Right Back!
  169. Evan Ross Katz, Into Every Generation a Slayer is Born: How Buffy Staked Our Hearts. Hachette Books, March 2022.
  170. Shania Russell, "Melanie Lynskey passed on Buffy the Vampire Slayer because she 'wasn't super into' TV at the time." Entertainment Weekly, July 18, 2023.
  171. "Alyson Hannigan: 'High School Was My Worst Beauty Blunder.'" Popsugar, December 12, 2011.