Willow Rosenberg is one of pop culture’s best Jewish TV characters, brought to life by Joss Whedon’s writing and years of amazing performance by Alyson Hannigan on the cult favorite show, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
When we first met Willow she was sweet and shy, shopping at “the softer side of Sears” and pining for her best friend, Xander. But then Buffy Summers, vampire slayer, came to town and all that changed. Willow used her impressive computer skills to aid Buffy in her fight against the forces of darkness and became one of the founding members of the Sunnydale Scooby Gang. Willow grew into herself, dating a werewolf and learning magic to help Buffy slay.
As the years went on Willow changed more and more, while always staying the same precociously brilliant and steadfastly loyal girl she’d always been. At college her powers grew with the help of a new friend, Tara, who later became her first girlfriend. While Buffy was battling demons, Willow was always on hand with a cute sweater and some witty banter.
But the shy, innocent Willow of the ‘90s couldn’t last forever. When Buffy died saving the world, the Jewish witch used powerful dark magic to bring her back from the dead. In a story arc that showcased the dangerous power of addiction, Willow became increasingly reliant on magic, eventually losing Tara because of it. And when they eventually reconciled, Tara was killed by a stray bullet, sending Willow on a rampage of magic-fueled revenge. Willow killed a man and almost destroyed the world, saved just in the nick of time by Xander. In the show’s last season Willow accepted herself as a witch, a lesbian and a human being, empowering women all over the world.
Willow had some great lines over the years:
Xander: “You gotta take care of the egg; it's a baby, gotta keep it safe and teach it Christian values.”
Willow: “My egg is Jewish.”
“Oh, I don't get wild. Wild on me equals spaz.”
Buffy: "What are you doing for Christmas?"
Willow: "Being Jewish. Remember, people? Not everybody worships Santa."
“Don't warn the tadpoles!”
“This shouldn't take long. I'm probably the only girl in school who has the coroner's office bookmarked as a favorite place.”
J-Connection: Alyson Hannigan, like her character Willow, is Jewish.
Find out more of our favorite fictional Jews.