A Whomping Willow is located on grounds of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It was planted in 1971 to disguise the opening of a secret passage leading from the Hogwarts grounds to the Shrieking Shack, a building located in the village of Hogsmeade. A very violent plant, it has been known to attack anyone who disturbs its branches.
Whomping Willows are a very valuable, very violent species of magical plant. Whomping Willows attack anyone and anything that comes within range of its branches. A deciduous plant, its limbs function as arms and any damage to them must be treated in much the same way.
The Whomping Willow was planted around the year 1971, the same year that Remus Lupin began attending Hogwarts, though it was presumably grown before to already be big enough to cover a trap door and a werewolf. It was placed to disguise the opening of a secret passage leading from the Hogwarts grounds to the Shrieking Shack in the village of Hogsmeade. This allowed Lupin to travel unnoticed to and from the Shrieking Shack, where he was able to undergo his transformation as a werewolf in privacy. There are two known ways to immobilize the particular Whomping Willow placed at Hogwarts: pressing a particular knot at the base of the tree or using the "Immobulus" spell. The purpose of the tree was kept a secret from everyone but Hogwarts staff and Lupin's three closest friends, James Potter, Peter Pettigrew and Sirius Black. In time, Severus Snape also discovered its purpose.
1992-1993 school year
In 1992, Harry Potter and Ron Weasley accidentally crashed the Weasleys' Flying Ford Anglia into the tree, seriously damaging it. The tree violently defended itself and nearly killed both boys. The following day, Herbology Professor Pomona Sprout had to bandage some of the tree's limbs to try and repair the damage, possibly assisted (or hindered) by then-Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor Gilderoy Lockhart.
1993-1994 school year
In 1994, Sirius Black, in his animagus form of a large black dog, dragged Ron Weasley into the secret passage beneath the Willow leading to Hogsmeade's Shrieking Shack . They were quickly followed by Harry and Hermione, then later by Lupin and Snape.
Battle of Hogwarts
In 1998, Harry, Ron, and Hermione sneaked through the passage under the Willow to the Shrieking Shack during the Battle of Hogwarts. There, they witnessed Snape's murder by Lord Voldemort and his serpent, Nagini.
Behind the scenes
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the Whomping Willow is located in the Training Grounds, whereas in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the tree is on a hill, far from the castle.
- In the Chamber of Secrets video game, the Whomping Willow is located within the boundaries of the Forbidden Forest. This is its largest incarnation to date as it appears to be nearly a hundred feet tall. It is the first boss in the game.
- The Whomping Willow inspired a popular wizard rock band called The Whomping Willows. Often the band speaks as though it were the Whomping Willow. In one song, the Whomping Willow wasn't allowed to be sorted so it created a new house, The House of Awesome.
- The tree also appeared on the Marauder's Map that was included in the Harry Potter 5 video game box. It was drawn with the letters WHOMPING WILLOW, instead of with lines. The tree's appearance on the map is quite strange, because the tree didn't appear in the game itself.
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Remus Lupin immobilises the Whomping Willow. However, in the book, someone has to touch the knot in the tree.
- In the films, the Whomping Willow is similar to what is known in reality as a knotted willow. Pottermore, however, depicts a more traditional willow with low hanging branches and green curtains of leaves.
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game) (Game box only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (Appears in flashback(s))
- LEGO Harry Potter: Building the Magical World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game
- Harry Potter for Kinect