Willow Rosenberg

Real Name: Willow Rosenberg

Identity/Class: Human magic user (witch)

Occupation: Witch, trainer of Slayers
former college student

Affiliations: member of "the Scooby Gang"; ally of Buffy Summers, Rupert Giles, Angel, Xander Harris, Cordelia Chase (deceased), Daniel 'Oz' Osbourne, Kendra (deceased), Faith, Riley Finn, Spike, Wesley Wyndham-Price (deceased), Robin Wood, Tara Maclay (deceased), Kennedy, Dawn Summers, Anya Christina Emmanuella Jenkins/Anyanka (deceased)

Enemies: The Master, Adam, The First, Drusilla, Mayor Richard Wilkins III, Glory, The Anointed One, Mr.Trick, Professor Maggie Walsh, Warren Meers

Known Relatives: Sheila Rosenberg (mother), Ira Rosenberg (father)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: South America;
formerly Sunnydale, California (specifically Sunnydale High School Library, then Giles' House and Sunnydale University, then The Magic Box and Buffy's House);

First Appearance: Buffy the Vampire Slayer #1 "Welcome to the Hellmouth" (Fox for Warner Bros, 10th March 1997)

Powers/Abilities: Willow is highly intelligent. She is a genius with computers, and an exceedingly powerful witch.

History: Willow Rosenberg was a shy and retiring girl who attended Sunnydale High School and had a secret crush on her best friend, Xander Harris. Things in her life began to change when she made friends with a new girl, Buffy Summers, a transfer from Los Angeles. Shortly after Buffy moved to the area, she saved Willow from dying at the hands of a vampire who had chatted her up at the local club, the Bronze. Unable to ignore the strangeness that went on in her hometown any more, she learned from Buffy that Sunnydale was built over a Hellmouth, and was infested by demons and vampires; Buffy was the Slayer, a girl born to fight these forces of evil. Along with Xander and the school librarian Rupert Giles, who was really a member of a secret organisation known as the Watchers, which directed the Slayers, Willow formed the basis of the "Scooby Gang", Buffy's support network of friends. Willow used her computer skills to search the internet for information on the threats they faced, and even hacked into official files a few times for information.

A little over a year after Willow met Buffy, another significant person entered her life. Daniel Osborne was another genius, but one whose sole ambition was to be a guitarist in his band, Dingoes Ate My Baby. Oz, as he preferred to be known, fell in love with Willow on first sight, though it was some time before he got a chance to ask her out. She happily accepted, and her feelings for him were strong enough to cope with the revelation that he was a werewolf (something he hadn't known either). Buffy meanwhile had been dating a vampire, Angel, who had been made good again when he had been cursed with a soul. Sadly the curse was broken, and Angel reverted to his pre-soul personality of Angelus, a vindictive and ruthless killer. When Giles' girlfriend, Jenny Calender, tracked down the spell which could give Angel a soul again, Angelus snapped her neck before she could tell anyone, then left her corpse on her lover's bed. Jenny had been the school's computer teacher, and Willow was asked by the Principal to take over her classes temporarily until a proper replacement could be found. Thus it was that she came to discover a computer disk containing the soul-restoring spell. While Buffy confronted Angelus and began a fight to the death, hoping to stop him from releasing a captive demon which could unleash armageddon, she was unaware that Willow was trying to cast the spell to restore her boyfriend. Willow succeeded, but too late to stop the demon being released: to save the world, Buffy was forced to send her lover to Hell, though he did eventually return.

This began Willow's fascination with magic, a subject she proved as adept at as she was with computers. Meanwhile her relationship with Oz suffered a blow when Xander finally realised that he too was attracted to Willow - although Willow loved Oz, she found herself unable to resist the feelings for her best friend which she had been forced to suppress for so long. Unfortunately Oz caught the two of them in a clinch, causing them to break up for a while, although he eventually forgave her. Some months later, when another apocalypse loomed, the two finally consumated their relationship.

After graduating high school (and blowing it up on the same day), Willow and Oz moved on to University, choosing to go to the local alma mater so they could stay near Buffy and continue to help her. However Oz found himself inexplicably attracted to a girl called Veruca, the singer of a band. He finally discovered that she too was a werewolf, and that it was their animal sides which were attracted to one another, but on the nights of the full moon he was unable to fight the attraction, and they slept together in their lupine forms. Willow found them the next morning, and was heartbroken. At first she didn't want to hear Oz' side of things, but then Veruca came after her in wolf form, and to save her life, the lupine Oz killed his fellow werewolf. In time Willow and Oz might have been able to patch things up, but Oz was horrified to realise how little control he really had of his other self, and left Sunnydale hurriedly, fearing he might one day hurt Willow.

Willow was emotionally wrecked, unable to understand why he had not tried to stay and work things out. She tried casting a wishing spell to get him back, but that backfired, though not before it showed just how powerful she was becoming. Soon afterwards she met another witch, Tara Maclay, even more shy than Willow had originally been. Tara was attracted to Willow; it's unsure whether Willow would have responded to (or even recognised) her interest, but for the fact that various dangers forced them to do magic together, with literally orgasmic results. They were on the verge of acknowledging to themselves the depths of their feelings, when Oz returned. He had been travelling the world, seeking a cure, and now he believed he had found it. However he realised (probably even before Willow did) how close the two girls had become, and overcome with jealousy, turned into the wolf during the day. Figuring that he had shifted his curse so that instead of changing on a full moon, he was now changing when he lost control of his emotions, Oz realised he could not be with Willow, the person who stirred the strongest emotions in him. They bid one another a tearful farewell, and Oz left again, this time for good. That night Willow went to Tara, and the two became lovers. After a few months, Willow revealed to her shocked friends her new relationship.

Willow's love for Tara was easily as deep as her love for Oz had been - when a evil goddess hurt Tara, Willow called on dark magics to try and get revenge. In fact Willow began to use magic all too readily, for even the most mundane of tasks, a fact which worried her girlfriend. After a particularly bad argument, Willow decided to fix things by casting a memory spell on Tara, making her forget their disagreement. Tara realised what she had done, and horrified that Willow could try and control her like that, broke off the relationship. After a long struggle, Willow seemed to beat her addiction to magic, and Tara forgave her. Sadly, the day after they got back together, one of Buffy's enemies, Warren Meers, accidentally shot Tara with a stray bullet while trying to eliminate Buffy. Tara died in Willow's arms.

Willow went insane. She called on darker magic than she had ever done before, and in spite of her friends trying to stop her, she hunted Warren down and brutally tortured him to death. However this did not end her pain, so she decided to do the same to Warren's associates, who were innocent of any involvement in Tara's death. Buffy intervened, but by now Willow was completely in the thrall of the magic. Deciding the world would have to end to stop the pain she felt, Willow tried to bring about an apocalypse. Finally it was the least powerful of the Scooby Gang, her best friend Xander, who managed to reach the real Willow buried deep inside, and get her to let go of her grief.

Willow travelled to England, to Giles' current home, where she recuperated. Returning to Sunnydale, she was present when the First Evil began to track down all the potential Slayers and kill them. For their own safety, Giles began gathering the potentials together and brought them to stay with Buffy in Sunnydale. One of these potentials, Kennedy, made a play for Willow. Initially unsure, Willow eventually caved under Kennedy's persistent advances, and allowed herself to fall in love again. After the destruction of Sunnydale and the closing of the Hellmouth, she and Kennedy reportedly moved to South America, where they are training new Slayers.

Comments: Created by Joss Whedon. Played by Alyson Hannigan.

Thanks to Leslie Claussen for additional information.


Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.

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