2023 Author: Leah Sherlock | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-08-25 09:26
Has anyone seen a more unusual, mysterious and at the same time aggressive magical tree? Professor Snow claimed that this is the rarest specimen of the weeping willow subspecies of the wizarding world of Harry Potter. What is the Whomping Willow hiding in itself, and why was such a vicious plant planted on the territory of a magical school?
The appearance of the fulminating willow is not much different from an ordinary tree. The willow has a rather thick trunk, from which the same thick branches come, and already from them thin twigs with leaves. Whomping willow comes from the weeping willow family, the one that people most often meet near the river.
The rattlesnake willow differs from the usual one in that its branches are directed upwards, and not traditionally downwards. The willow has a small knot, pressing on which temporarily calms, paralyzes the evil plant. Specifically, in the willow that grows in Hogwarts, at the foot is the entrance to the underground tunnel.
Where this plant was brought to Hogwarts is unknown, this was never mentioned in the story. In what region the fulminating willow is common is also unknown. The only known specimen grows near the school for young wizards.
Magical properties and protection
The tree is an excellent watchdog. Willow senses when a living being approaches her and attacks him. The branches of the tree are always ready to drive away potential offenders and overly curious students. At the same time, the willow clearly does not understand whether the approaching object carries a threat or not. Both living creatures and objects can suffer from an aggressive plant.
According to Ron Weasley, this is the only tree in the world that can hit back the offender.
Appearing in Harry Potter story
The whomping willow is the only such plant at Hogwarts. The reason for the presence of a dangerous and aggressive tree on the school grounds was that a guard was needed to enter the Shrieking Shack. After all, students who got there could be torn to pieces and killed by a werewolf. It was in the Shrieking Hut that Remus Lupin, then a student at Hogwarts, sat out every full moon, and the willow was needed in order to keep students away from the werewolf.
Showed off Lupin to the place of his monthly forced detention Madame Pofri - the school nurse. Each time she had to "turn off" the tree by pressing on a branch. Subsequently, Lupin's best friends, James Potter, Peter Pettigrew and Sirius Black, also learned about this process. In the future, the young men also turned off the willow in order to be with Remus on a full moon, but already in the form of animals (Lupin's friends wereAnimagi, like Professor McGonagall). The willow was calmed by Peter Pettigrew, in the form of a rat.
Harry's school years
A fan of the saga meets such an unusual tree as the Whomping Willow during the second year of Harry Potter at Hogwarts. In the summer before the start of the school year, Harry went to the Weasley family, where he spent the last two weeks of vacation. The head of the family - Mr. Arthur Weasley - had an old Ford, on which he then delivered all his children, his wife and Harry himself to the station. But bad luck - the portal was blocked just before Ron and Harry entered it. Then the friends decided to go to school in Arthur's car, which, in addition to all his Muggle properties, could also fly and disappear if necessary.
During the flight to the school, the Ford became completely out of control and finally crashed into an ominous willow growing on the school grounds. The tree did not leave such an act unpunished, but began to shake the car with the students violently. Several times the branches even pierced the windshield, nearly injuring the boys. In the end, the willow did throw the car with Harry and Ron to the ground. The unhappy children hurried to school.
A whole chapter is devoted to these events in the book "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets", which is called "The Whomping Willow".
After this incident, Professor Snow said that they had caused irreparable damage to this rare tree, and Professor Sprout had toapply on the branches of the tire most damaged by the car and bandage them. Based on this, it becomes clear that Professor Sprout knew about how to calm the willow.
The next appearance of the Whomping Willow occurs already during the third year of study of the main characters at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Then an unknown dog, who later turned out to be Harry's godfather and the escaped criminal Sirius Black, grabbed Ron by the leg and dragged him into the tunnel at the foot of the willow.
After that, Harry and Hermione made an attempt to get to the entrance, but the willow immediately struck and knocked Harry off his feet with its branches, and Hermione managed to jump over the branch. But her success was short-lived. The girl hung on one of the branches, and the willow shook and circled in her entirety, then the same fate awaited Harry.
In the end, the students managed to jump from the branches of the tree right into the entrance, which was at the foot of the willow. Once inside, the students saw stone steps leading up, and after walking along them, they found themselves in the Shrieking Hut. This episode shows that the willow reacts negatively not only to those who crashed into it and thereby injured, but also to everyone who happens to be nearby, indiscriminately.
At that moment, Remus Lupine, who knew how to calm a crazy tree and where to find the right knot, and Professor Severus Snow, who spied on how to stop a willow while still a school student, approached the willow. These events were able to be seen by Harry and Hermione when they returned to the past using the Time Turner.
Besides this, in the third year the whomping willow is mentioned again. After Harry fell off his broom during a Quidditch match due to the Dementors coming after him, his broom flew off and fell into a willow tree. The Nimbus 2000 could not survive such a collision and was broken by an aggressive plant.
The next and last mention of the Whomping Willow in the story of the Boy Who Lived happened when Harry was 17 years old. During the Battle of Hogwarts, Harry, Ron, and Hermione paralyzed the Whomping Willow on their own in order to get into the Shrieking Shack, where Lord Voldemort and his last remaining Horcrux, Nagini, were located.
Role in the Wizarding World
Appearing in the stories of the adventures of Harry Potter, the whomping willow is a dangerous plant that is best not to approach. With the curious situations that arose through her fault, the willow enlivens a rather dull landscape, rather boring and ordinary. She becomes an important element of the magical world.
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