Jen Juneau
October 07, 2015 7:05 am

When we consider the very best of ’90s television, we can’t get very far into our thoughts without Buffy the Vampire Slayer popping up. Simultaneously smart, terrifying, and hilarious, Buffy cemented its place in history just by being its unique self in a world of typical teenage TV melodrama – particularly by Joss Whedon’s use of strong female characters, which he’s sort of famous for and we sort of love him for. Among those badass ladies were Buffy Summers herself, Faith Lehane, and even Cordelia Chase, who ending up having a lot of life lessons to offer us young female viewers under her guise of snobbery.

But for us Buffy viewers who would rather have been reading a book than slaying monsters of the week and who felt like we were constantly working through breaking out of our shells, Willow Rosenberg was a heroine in her own right. While Buffy was the best friend we shell-dwellers dreamed of having around to burst through doors and make our missions known, Willow was the poster girl for getting answers and wasting no time. She was everything we wanted to be and more – and we still love her for it.

Here’s why Willow is our first October #WCW!

She’s basically the smartest person ever

Where would Buffy and Xander have been without Willow’s research and ability to hack her way through literally any security system in Sunnydale or otherwise? Without Willow, the gang would’ve looked for literal breadcrumbs and fallen flat constantly. She even taught know-it-all Rupert Giles a thing or two, since he was so unwilling to look past print media – especially in the first couple of seasons.

Speaking of smarties sticking together, did anyone else ship college Willow with Giles in their head before Tara came along? Just me? OK, moving on.

She dates (and is able to handle) a werewolf

Although most of us can all agree that Willow/Tara was the standout of Willow’s relationships (and quite possibly one of the top ones on the show, period), the fact that she stuck by Oz even after learning what he was is commendable. Not everyone would react the way Willow did when they found out their boyfriend was a werewolf. And not only did Willow stand by Oz – she was his self-appointed handler, making sure he and the people around him were safe from harm during full moons. For someone who had barely begun dabbling in witchcraft at that point, that takes a hell of a person.

She doesn’t change who she is for a love interest

At one point earlier in the series, Willow gathers enough courage to tell Xander how she feels about him. Though there are a few episodes of “Will they/won’t they?” between these two characters who have been best friends since before they can remember, deep down, Xander only has eyes for Buffy.

And even though Willow is crushed initially, she moves on. She doesn’t dwell for too long, or try to change her personality to be like the more-popular Buffy. She doesn’t let jealousy get the better of her, because she knows both Buffy and Xander are true friends. Extremely mature, especially for a teenager.

She’s a good witch – though a well-rounded one, having seen her own darkness

Willow bucks the witch stereotype by being a good-hearted person, which is awesome to begin with. But when she goes through a dark phase – and even more intensely after losing the love of her life, Tara (we’re still crying) – she somehow becomes an even better person. Because she sees what true darkness really means, and is stronger for it. We’d take her getting Tara back a million times over, though.

(Featured image via The CW; GIF via here)

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