Friends and Witches
When Buffy first met Willow she could have been described as a sweet, self conscious and often nervous girl. She would exhibit low self esteem and sometimes she’d let people push her around. Willow plays a very important role in Buffy’s life. She, along with Xander, became the Slayer’s first friends when she arrived at Sunnydale and they have remained her best friends ever since. Also, during the course of their friendship Willow has come a long way from being a modest helper who did some research for Buffy and sometimes quite frankly just a nuisance (Buffy having to help her out of trouble constantly), to becoming a very powerful witch and thus a formidable ally. In early days Willow would prove useful aiding Giles digging through volumes of ancient lore in search for prophecies, information about demons, stories of vampires and many more useful knowledge that the Slayer could require at any given moment. Also sometimes her computer expertise was used, for instance, for hacking into government databases and such. Willow’s first contact with witchcraft came out of necessity. Angel had lost his soul and thus became Angelus a vicious murderous vampire so to stop him, Willow created a spell to curse the vampire again with a mortal soul. After that Willow began training in the dark arts and she had a natural talent for that, so soon she became a very powerful witch.
Love, Death and Dark Magik
When Warren Mears attempted to kill Buffy by shooting her in her back garden, as he fled after shooting her, he continued to shoot wildly and without aiming, and a stray bullet flew through Willow's bedroom window and hit Tara in the chest, killing her. Willow caught Tara as she fell, and when she looked up, her eyes glowed red. Willow quickly summons Osirus (previously contacted when Buffy was resurrected) in an attempt to bring Tara back, but he explains that because she died by a natural human fault that he could not bring her back to life. Willow angers and super screams at the god, sending him away in pain. Willow walks downstairs to see Buffy being carried off into an ambulance, with Xander standing frantically watching. She asks who did this, and he tells her that it was Warren, and she quickly walks off. Xander is unable to follow as he's going with Buffy to the hospital. Willow turns up at the Magic Box, asking Anya for the dark magic books. When Anya tries to stop her, Willow shoots her with a beam that leaves her motionless. She quickly flings all the dark magic books down from the top sh
elf, and then puts her hands into the pile of books, adsorbing all the knowledge from them, leaving them bare. This process turned her hair and her eyes black, and she changed into black clothes. This Willow was dubbed "Dark Willow" by the fans and some of the writers of the show. From the Magic Box, Willow makes her way to the hospital, where she demands that all the surgeons that are operating on Buffy leave. She carefully removes the bullet from Buffy and heals her, and she, Buffy and Xander (who was there all along) head to the car, where she makes them drive her to Warren (Willow is able to track him via his sensing his essence/soul). When Willow claims that Xander isn't driving fast enough, she takes control of the car, and she drives it off the road and through to the side of another, all in a desert type area. Willow gets out and we are able to see a bus heading their way.
Willow takes control of the bus, making it drive on until she makes it come to a stand still in front of her. She opens the door and demands that Warren get out, which he does. She begins to strangle him, but his eye falls out and she discovers that he's a robot, which angers her because she thought she could feel his essence. Buffy and Xander try to reason with her, and she tells them that he killed Tara, but Buffy continues to plead, asking her not to kill because it'll change her, but Willow forces them backwards as she walks away. With Tara's blood-spattered shirt, Willow performs a spell in Tara's dorm room, which creates a map on the shirt that leads her to Warren.
Willow chases Warren through the woods. He sends various things to stop her, such as a flying box that explodes, but Willow freezes the explosion and shatters it, and a gel that surrounds her, but she burns through it rapidly. She casts a spell "Irretite" (Latin for ensnare) that causes vines to restrain Warren, and she finally catches him (she found him before, but she was messing with him then). She mocks and taunts him. She summons Katrina (Warren's ex-girlfriend which he murdered) and then begins to talk about how painful it is when someone gets shot, and she shows him what it's like: she tears a hole in him and then slowly pushes the bullet in. Warren begs her to stop, she then silences him and magically sows his mouth shut. Buffy, Xander and Anya then arrive to see what's coming next: Willow mutters "Bored now", and rips off all the skin on his body and then burning his remaining
corpse (it is later revealed that he was summoned away by Amy Madison who brought him back to life).
Willow quickly escapes, now going after the other two members of the Trio, Jonathan and Andrew, who are currently in prison. Willow destroys the engine of Xander's car, so they're unable to follow, but they have plans...Willow quickly gets to the prison, and guards come out at her but she quickly disposes of them, and begins to take down the upper prison wall. When she's finished, she flies up, to find the cell empty, but Anya on the other side. Anya pleads with her to stop, but she quickly blasts her, and then screams in anger, but in a super sonic manner bringing pain to everyone's ears. Knowing that Buffy and Xander have the two, Willow chases them. They think that Willow isn't trailing them, only to be rammed by a truck the next moment, Willow standing a top of it, magically driving it. Luckily for the four, Willow's power has been drained, and she runs out of energy and fails in catching them.
Willow then heads to Rack's apartment, where he taunts her. After a minute or two of the taunting, Willow forces her hand into his chest and drains his magical power causing her to grow even more powerful. A few moments later, Dawn enters the apartment and finds Rack dead hanging upside down in the air. Dark Willow, now with black veins running over her face sees Dawn. Dark Willow begins to mock Dawn, saying that all she does is moan. Dark Willow is then about to turn her back into the Key (energy form), when Buffy bursts in and runs to Dawn. Buffy begins to try and reason with Willow, telling her that her life is worth living, but Dark Willow doesn't listen to her and believes that she's lying.
As they talk, Dark Willow teleports them to the Magic Box, where Xander, Anya, Jonathan and Andrew reside (Anya goes and hides). Dark Willow then begins to fire magic at Jonathan and Andrew, but they are protected by some sort of field, revealed to be Anya chanting. She tries another few times, but is unable to breach the field. Dark Willow then casts a spell on herself, to enhance her strength aiming to pummel the two to death with her fists. Buffy jumps in her way to protect the two, but Dark Willow throws her aside. Dark Willow and Buffy then get into a fight, smashing each other, Xander takes this opportunity to escape with Jonathan, Andrew and Dawn, but Anya stays to keep chanting the spell to stop Dark Willow from harming Buffy with projectile magic. Dark Willow then discovers that Anya is chanting, and begins to strangle her, only to be stopped by Buffy, and the two battle some more, until Dark Willow throws her across the room, and begins to talk: "The Slayer thing really isn't about the violence. It's about the power, and there's no one in the world who has the power to stop me now." At that moment, Dark Willow is flung across the room by a flash of green light, revealed to be Giles, who says "I'd like to test that theory."
Dark Willow begins to mock Giles, and the two verbally fight. She attempts to stand, but Giles gestures, knocking her back down. She attempts to get up again, waving away Giles spell. He says "vincire" which creates a magical ring around her, that restricts her use of magic and movement. Giles and Buffy go downstairs to talk, and Dark Willow is left with Anya who's cleaning up. Dark Willow contacts Anya via telepathy, asking her to release her, but Anya refuses, and she tells Dark Willow that mind control doesn't work on her, even though it does and did. Dark Willow gets Anya to free her. Buffy and Giles are still talking downstairs, when suddenly, Dark Willow appears in the doorway, holding the unconscious Anya, and she and Giles begin to fight. Dark Willow flings several weapons at him, but he uses his magic to place a dummy in front of him, protecting himself. Dark Willow magically moves it aside, but Giles throws a magic blast at her, knocking her back through a wall. She gets back up and talks to Buffy and Giles, but then creates a fire ball, made to seek out Jonathan and Andrew and kill them and anyone else helping them (Xander and Dawn). This however, was a plot to get Buffy out of the way, which it does as she runs after the fire ball. She and Giles duel, but she gets the upper-hand and she pins him to the ceiling and then drops him to the floor several times while taunting him. She then takes his magics, but the power comes with amazing emotions, and she thinks that the world is depres
sed and that she tends to help everyone by destroying the Earth. She heads to the old temple of Satanic demon, who intended on destroying the Earth before by feeding the Earth's energy through the temple. She uses her powers to raise the temple from underground, so she can use it. Dark Willow also animates some corpses in the hole in which Buddy and Dawn are trapped in to distract them. Dark Willow then begins to channel the energy of Earth through the temple, which trigger's severe tremors. But, the process is interrupted by Xander, who stands in the way of the energy flow. Dark Willow threatens to kill him, but he keeps talking and she throws him aside. She starts the process again, but Xander yet again interrupts it. He continues talking, explaining that Willow is the only other person other than his parents that he's known all his life, and that he loves her. He walks closer repeatedly saying that he loves her. Her eyes begin to tear, and she runs at him, hitting him in the chest, but he hugs her and the two fall to their knees, Dark Willow now reverting to normal Willow, and she begins to cry in Xanders arms.
"You guys weren't there..."
After her breakdown, Willow is taken to England Giles sets her up with a powerful Coven over there who teach her how to balance her magic, using nature and her surroundings to understand what goes on within her. Through hard work and training she is able to settle the darker side of herself, but not without great fear. Returning to Sunnydale she is nervous about seeing the others and her inner magic creates a spell to hide her from them, only reappearing when she is attacked by a flesh eating demon who attacks the town. The others learn to forgive her for what she did and accept her once again
Post Hellmouth destruction
After the destruction of Sunnydale Willow and Kennedy spent some time in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. During this time she became a student of the powerful Saga Vasuki. Under her tutelage the relationship with the scooby-gang faded. Kennedy her girlfriend also died a mystical death but was later resurrected by Willow. Willow suddenly showed up at Buffy's Scotland base to fight off hordes or demons. She was kidnapped by Amy and the skinless Warren. While being lobotomized she/her mind took sanctuary in the psychic plane. Through mind and body connection Willow gave some of her magic to Buffy who was then able to break through and rescue Willow who had healed from the entire process in a matter of seconds. While in Tokyo she met and fought a fellow student of Saga Vasuki. While fighting she received a vision of the future. Vasuki told her not to look at the future for she would not like what she sees.
During the battle for the Seed of Wonder between the Scooby Gang and Twilight, the source of all magic in the world is destroyed by Buffy. Willow is reduced to human form, and completely loses all of her powers, and even though she understands what Buffy did, she resents Buffy for this action. She has since stolen the scythe, and gone to London to meet with Angel and Faith who are tending to Giles unfinished business, since he was murdered by Twilight shortly after the Seed was destroyed, and given them a proposal to help her restore magic. They accepted, and using Connor as a portal, have opened a pathway to another dimension with the sycthe, where Willow hopes to restore magic to the world. However while in this new dimension, (which is similar to the original Earth and contains magic, the difference only being the absence of shrimp), the group meets the Old One Quor'toth, and defeats him through the use of magic. In order to do this however she had no other choice, but to absorb dark magic, which is revealed to be too much for her as her eyes turn black, revealing the return of Dark Willow. Faith is almost anxious to see this new revelation, however Dark Willow proved to be quite dangerous and Angel was forced to bite Willow and this led to her returning to normal. She took the scythe and continued on her quest to gain magic back in her dimension.
She eventually came across a man calling himself Marrak, and he revealed he was from Earth but could not return due to the lack of magic. As Willow continued on her path, she realized that Marrak was actually Rack, her former magic dealer who intended to horde all the magic for himself. The two battled, and Rack was eventually defeated by the antibodies of a sentient universe. Willow gained confidence in herself about transforming into Dark Willow, and she realized that there was no "Dark" or "Light" version of herself, she was just Willow. The sentient universe explained to Willow that she can't return magic to the way it once was, but that there was magic inside of her already which is the form that slayers tap to within themselves. Though the heart of magic was destroyed, she'd be able to draw magic from her own heart now. Willow then awakened in space, however back in her own dimension, and returned to San Francisco.
Willow returned in the midst of a crisis due to the fact that Dawn was dying, because the magic keeping the Key alive was fading since the destruction of the Seed. She was able to use her magic to stabilize Dawn, but this was only biding time. Willow informed Buffy she's still not powerful enough to save Dawn entirely, and so the Scooby Gang goes out on a mission to save Dawn's life.
In season eight, "Time Of Your Life", as of yet unknown means, Willow is alive and young, two hundred years in the future. Willow is not allied with Harth Fray the ruler of vampires. Even though he thinks she's helping him. It is unknown where her true allegiance lies. She acts and is referred to as a fortune teller. She barely has any power left. She is Dark Willow again and is very unclear and cryptic. She tells Buffy how to get home to her own time. Buffy questions Willow and asks her why she is doing this and what happened. Willow reply's saying, "it's a long story", and then Buffy takes her scythe and rams it right through her heart. Willow falls to the ground, dead. Buffy is then pulled back into her own time by Willow (the Willow from Buffy's time).
Powers & Abilities
For the first two seasons of the show, Willow was an average human, and thus, had no powers of her own; however, her intelligence, computer skills, and snarkiness made her a major asset to the team. She aids Giles as he researches information to aid Buffy in overcoming various challenges. In Seasons Five and Six, she displays enough knowledge of robotics to repair and reprogram the Buffybot on several occasions. Willow aids in the preparation of magical materials, making her first potion to detect a witch in the episode "Witch" and performing the ritual to revoke Angelus' invitation to Buffy's house in "Passion", but does not seriously begin practicing magic until the death of Jenny Calendar, one of her teachers. She is asked to take over teaching the class because of her high aptitude, and one day comes across a floppy disk containing a spell that Jenny Calendar had successfully translated to English, which can restore a vampire's soul. Willow's initial interest in Wicca lies more in the spell-casting portion rather than the faith itself; she sees magic as a way of hacking the universe, and an extension of her computer hacking skills. This mentality may have been influenced by her relationship with Jenny, who identified herself as a "technopagan," and was connected to an online pagan network.
Willow's first major spell involves re-cursing Angel with a soul in the season two finale, a feat she repeats in the Angel episode "Orpheus".
She learns to levitate a pencil early in the show's third season, and her powers continue to develop until, at the end of Sea son Four, she is casting powerful spells independently and with the help of Tara.
Season Five finds her surpassing Tara, a more experienced witch, in skill and being able to draw enough
power to fend off the hell-god Glory, learning how to cast elemental magics such as fire and lightning. In Season Six, Willow demonstrates the ability to bring Buffy back to life, leaving her drained but regaining her magic in a few hours. Her friend Amy Madison introduces her to a warlock, Rack, who gives her the ability to go longer
and do more spells, which leads Willow further down
the path to the dark side of magic. Eventually, after Tara dies, magic consumes Willow and she nearly destroys the world. It is at this time that Anya assumes Willow is now the most powerful Wicca in the Western Hemisphere. Willow is capable of imbuing herself with superhuman strength rivaling Buffy's, flying, absorbing life from others, teleportation, invulnerable, emitting high pitch screams that are harmful to human ears, healing herself and others instantly at will, unleashing powerful energy blast, locating people and objects at a distance (even when theoretically protected from such spells), and exerting powerful levels of telekinesis and telepathic mind control. This mind control even extends to Anya, despite Anya's statement that vengeance demons are immune to mind controlling magics.
Season Seven sees her willingness to use magic greatly diminished after the events of the Season Six finale. Willow spends time at a coven in England with Giles where she develops a better understanding of magic, balance, etc. At this point, she is so powerful her very feelings and thoughts can affect the world. Amy comments that other practitioners "work twice as hard to be half as good" as Willow. Despite this, Willow is largely prevented from accessing more than slight magic by the First Evil who attempts to corrupt her at each spell. Examples of the controlled usage of her power are her use of telekinesis to practice self-restraint, conjuring force fields extensive telepathic conversations, opening a portal, and exerting hypnotic control. In the Season Seven premiere, Willow receives an apparent precognitive vision of the Hellmouth, although this has only been shown once. Willow also comments that she now absorbs power from the things around her, one time unwillingly draining some of Anya's and Kennedy's life-force. At the end of Season Seven, Willow casts a spell that imbues all Potential Slayers on Earth with Slayer powers (formerly reserved for only one girl in every generation), temporarily turning Willow's eyes and hair crystal white in the process. Kennedy remarks on it by calling her "a goddess".
Season Eight shows that Willow's powers have greatly expanded since the television series. She can now fly by force of will and has regained control of her powers, and although her roots continue to go dark whenever she taps into more power, this doesn't faze her. She is able to project vast amounts of energy from her fingertips and cast aside powerful
spells. Willow is able to teleport giant Dawn, apparently from Scotland to Tokyo, without visible strain. She is able to heal herself rapidly from extreme injuries, at least including partial lobotomy. She is also able to heal injuries in others. Amy characterizes her as a "big all-powerful earth-mother witch goddess". The Season Eight time travel storyline "Time of Your Life" depicts Dark Willow as alive and youthful hundreds of years into the future, although unable to create magic of much power.
Since the destruction of the Seed, Willow has become powerless, along with all other magic users. Willow was distraught about this for quite a while, and resented Buffy for destroying the seed. However, Willow was able to go to another dimension, and there a sentient universe explained that she could tap into magic within herself. Willow is now back to being able to use magic, however it is on a limited scale since the destruction of the Seed.
Willow first meet Aluwyn when she had arrived to the spirit world to look for a guide to help her control her powers. On the first meeting, Aluwyn had told Willow that she was her guide and that she would help her better control the power that dwelled within her, but, Willow had quickly learned that Aluwyn, was not her guide and the other Goddies had appeared and told Aluwyn to leave Willow alone. With Aluwyn now gone, the other Goddeies offered Willow to have Tara be her guide on her journey towards improving her understanding of her powers. But, 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.