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Hogwarts Whomping Willow

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Willow
Whomping Willow on Hogwarts Grounds
Species information
Endemic to
Related to

Willow

Sentience

Sentient

Stem

Thick trunk

Leaves

Long and thin (deciduous plant)

Distinction(s)
  • Able of movement
  • Violent
Usage

Protection of a given location; offensive weapon

Affiliation

Hogwarts School

Status

Extant (but very rare)

"People used to play a game, trying to get near enough to touch the trunk. In the end, a boy called Davey Gudgeon nearly lost an eye, and we were forbidden to go near it."
Remus Lupin[src]

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.

Description

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.

History

Early history

The Whomping Willow was planted around the year 1971, the same year that Remus Lupin began attending Hogwarts. 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

Whomping Willow CS

The Willow defends itself violently against the Flying Ford Anglia.

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 1993, Harry Potter's Nimbus 2000 broomstick was destroyed when it fell from the air into the Whomping Willow's branches.

Shrieking shack

Confrontation in the shrieking shack. Entered through a secret passage way in the whomping willow.

Willowhogwarts

The Whomping Willow in wintertime.

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.

Media

Behind the scenes

Whompingwillow

The Willow in a completely different location.

  • 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 reality, the tree known as the 'Willow' does not look like the Whomping Willow in the films, but it is possible they were supposed to look more like a real Willow tree in the book adaptions.

Appearances

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