Sunday, December 4, 2011

Back in Your Place Woman

THE Dark Willow Saga of Buffy was undoubtedly my favorite character arc. Watching willow transform from a shy, dorky, socially awkward girl, into a mature, powerful, and sassy woman, really help round out the character in my mind. I've always preferred Willow to Buffy, who seemed a bit too perfect to exist (beautiful, strong, smart, everyone's in love with her), and watching Willow rise to almost godlike power also gave her the emotional strength to step out of the tall shadow cast by Buffy. She finally began speaking her mind to each character of the series, and more importantly, pointing out their flaws, their weaknesses, and their insecurities. By systematically breaking down each character to their weakest point, the roles in the Scooby Gang were subverted, with Buffy and the others for once having to deal with the crippling fear and ineptitude that Willow had dealt with since childhood.
Many people did not like Dark Willow for the simple fact that she was evil. While evil is generally considered an unattractive quality in people, it brought out what I thought was the best in Willow. For the first time in her life she got to be the girl that everyone looked at in awe. She got to be the center of Buffy's attention, she got to be the force of divine retribution, and in the end she got to be the cursed princess who gets saved by the prince, Zander, and the power of love. Even though I was happy the world didn't end as Willow intended it, I truly miss Dark Willow because to me, that was her triumph. I think that watching shy, mousy Willow, ascend to godhood touches a place in every nerd's heart that one day they will overcome, and that one day they will the the one everybody focuses on. For better or for worse. Sadly, for plot reasons Willow had to be put back in her place and once again accept the status quo in which Buffy is God, Zander will never desire her, and the only person who had ever or would ever look at her like a god is dead. But one thing is certain. Willow's true strength comes from her sheer will to carry on each day, knowing the world will never change in her favor.


  1. I'd have to disagree. While I enjoyed seeing Willow gain power and feel empowered, I find it almost sad that she has to spiral completely out of control to get such attention. To be honest, this world is full of diverse people - some fulfill the role of Buffy, some the role of Xander, and others the role of Willow. It is not in everyone's nature to be Buffy, for some are not only incapable but simply wouldn't want to. This being said, throughout the series, Willow has proven to be a pivotal character, and she doesn't need to be the center of attention nor does she need to be like Buffy to hold such importance.

  2. I disagree as well. Willow crossed a line. She could have been looked at as strong and independent without becoming addicted to magic. She was in a stable relationship, was successful as a witch before becoming addicted, and stayed true to herself, all qualities I consider to make her a truly successful woman. However, it really upset me when Willow became evil. She was ruthless to her friends and loved ones, something MY Willow would never do.

  3. I completely agree with your post. I feel like this was so shocking and at the same time bittersweet. I was so glad that she finally found herself. If magic is what makes her feel great about herself then I support it. Although her addiction led her to become somewhat out of control I feel that it was necessary for her to learn how powerful it really is. If she had never sought this she would've remained the same old boring Willow. I probably would've given up on the series before I finished seeing the end


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