The Goddess and the Slayer
An Examination of the Willow and Kennedy Relationship
By Susan L. Carr
Summary:An essay on the Willow/Kennedy relationship
After the brutal death of her lover and her own descent into darkness,
it seemed nearly hopeless to believe Willow Rosenberg would ever find
love again. But Joss Whedon promised fans at the beginning of Season 7
that Willow would meet someone who would shake her world.
That someone arrived in the form of Kennedy, potential slayer and
certified spoiled brat who took one look at Willow and set herself on a
course of conquest, not relenting until she achieved her goal. And it
wasn't an easy task. Not only did she have to deal with Mourning Willow, but
Witchy Willow as well. Added with Kennedy's courage and outspokenness,
all of this proved to the fans that she was worthy of the attentions of
our beloved redhead.
It was obvious from the moment Kennedy made her opening move, ("You
better not hog the covers.") Willow-and the audience-knew that Kennedy was
going to shake up Will's world. What surprised us was that Willow shook
Kennedy up as well. First when she turned into the man she murdered and
waving a gun in her face and then by using Kennedy as a mystical
battery without her permission. Kennedy got a hard lesson in the reality of
just what she was taking on, and if not for her inner courage-had her
character been any less strong-then she would never have continued to
As the series came to a close, Willow and Kennedy were officially a
couple and in a first for television history, fans were allowed to bear
witness to the consummation of their relationship. Their affection for
one another was apparent, but the real question remains...will the
relationship last or is it merely a transition for Willow to help her move on
On their first "date" Willow wonders why Kennedy is after her. She's
not feeling very attractive herself, so she can't understand why anyone
would be interested in her.
Willow: I still can't figure it out. Why you... like me. You
don't even know me.
Kennedy: Have you seen you?
Kennedy is totally smitten with Willow and obviously views Willow as
her own Scarlett O'Hara who she's determined to sweep off her feet. But
even though the physical attraction is foremost, Kennedy is willing to
overlook their incompatibility.
Kennedy: And we like the same things. Italian. Skate punk.
Robert Parker mysteries. Fighting evil.
Willow: I don't like any of those things. Except the fighting
evil part. And even then I'd prefer a nice foot massage.
Kennedy: Okay...I dig the way you always turn off the Moulin
Rouge DVD at chapter 32 so it has a happy ending. I like the way you
speak. It's interesting. And your freckles. Lickable. I'm not so into the
magic stuff. Seems like fairy tale crap to me. But it matters to you. You
care about it. So it's cool.
As Andrew observed during <i>Storyteller</i>, it took a lot of effort
on Kennedy's part after she realized that her pursuit of Willow would be
a little bit harder than she probably was accustomed to.
Andrew: You see, Kennedy pursued the reluctant Willow and won
her heart, only to find herself frightened when she glimpsed the darkness
that still dwells within the witch's mind.
However, Kennedy was used to getting her own way and she admitted as
much in the final episode when Willow told her that if she got out of
control during the final battle, then Kennedy would have to kill her.
Kennedy: In fact this may have escaped your keen notice, but I'm
kind of a brat. I've sort of always gotten my way. So you're gonna make
it through this, no matter how dark it gets. Because now... you're my
While the writers made sure we know exactly how Kennedy feels towards
Willow, we've gotten few glimpses of how Willow feels about Kennedy.
However, it seemed that Willow could only relate to Kennedy on a physical
level. Each new stage of their relationship involved magic, and for
Willow, magic has always been related to sex...from the orgasmic
conclusion of the journey to the Nether Realm to Anya's sexy demon locator
So, it really didn't come as quite a surprise when Willow and Kennedy's
first physical contact resulted in yet another expression of
magic...this time in the initialization of Amy the Rat's curse. As a result,
Willow was very much afraid of taking the relationship to the next level.
Willow: I'm scared if we... Then I'll... And then...
Kennedy: And then, isn't that the good part?
Willow: Yeah, good. Good feeling. But also...
Kennedy: Bad stuff like unrestrained moaning and screaming with
Willow: Well, yeah. Sort of. Yeah, with the unrestrained of it.
I've been in a place where I kinda should be restrained. I've been
controlling myself and if I get out of control... if I let myself go, I
could just... go.
Kennedy: You're worried you're going to turn into Big Bad
Willow: It's not stupid. When we kissed, I turned into ...
But, Kennedy reassured her and Willow took a chance...and obviously
enjoyed the results.
Still, the question remains...is there more to their relationship then
just a mutual-and satisfying-physical attraction? Probably not. Clichés
aside, while opposites do attract, they rarely last. And Willow and
Kennedy are undoubtedly opposites. Willow was a single child raised in a
middle-class Jewish household. Kennedy, with one half-sister, was raised
in affluent surroundings. Willow went to public school...Kennedy went
to boarding schools.
On the other hand, Willow's been fighting demons since she was fifteen
and Kennedy's been training to fight demons since she was eight.
However, training to do something and actually doing the same thing are two
different things. Willow's got way more experience than Kennedy. But it
was only recently that Kennedy was able to put her training into
On the personal side, Kennedy admitted she knew she was gay when she
was just five years old and seems to have a lot of experience in chasing
women. Willow never admitted she was a lesbian until she met Tara and
even then she was so wrapped up in her lover she really never explored
the gay lifestyle.
Willow: Hey! What do you think; you have some kind of, like,
special lesbi-dar or something?
Kennedy: Okay, you know there's a better word for that, right?
You really haven't been getting out there that much, have you?
This is not to say that their relationship won't be full of fun and
mutual enjoyment and satisfaction. Fan fiction writers for a long time to
come will have plenty to write about. Eventually however, there will
come a time when Willow and Kennedy will part company, each to seek out
new adventures and new faces. Willow has already experienced the love of
her life...she knows the exquisite joys of sharing her life with a soul
mate. Kennedy is a way for her to heal. To open herself again to the
pleasures of life, to the wonderful pleasure two people can take in each
other. But having known that joy before, she'll naturally want it
again. She may never find it, but she'd be selling herself short if she
didn't try. And that is one of the lessons Tara taught her, "Do what makes
For now, Kennedy makes her happy.