General Woundwort

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General Woundwort is a character who appears as the primary antagonist of all versions of the Watership Down story.

Watership Down

General Woundwort is hard, brutally efficient Chief Rabbit of Efrafa. Orphaned at a young age when his mother was killed by a weasel (after a fire had destroyed their entire warren), Woundwort went on to grow into the vicious bully he would become famous for being. He founded Efrafa, and because he felt that the greatest enemy of rabbits was man, he and his Owsla took extra special care to conceal the warren's existence. This included picking up any stranger that the Owsla happened to come upon during their patrols. Woundwort was thought to have been killed by a dog following the botched invasion of Watership Down, but because his body was never found his death cannot be confirmed.

Watership Down (Film)

Largely the same, except he is blind in his left eye (a detail not mentioned anywhere in the book).

Watership Down (TV Series)

General Woundwort in the series

The son of Hemlock and Laurel, General Woundwort was the hard, brutally efficient Chief Rabbit of Efrafa. Mostly identical to the previous two versions: like the movie version, he was blind in one eye, and like the novel version he saw his mother killed in front of him by a weasel. In his own words, pain and suffering hardened his heart, turning him into the hateful and fierce rabbit he grew into.

Woundwort was thought to have been killed when a bolt of lightning hit close to him while he is on a cliff in Efrafa overseeing the fighting between his Owsla and the invading Watershippers, causing him to fall into an enormous crack in the ground. He survived, however, and began a campaign of revenge against Watership Down. He and Captain Vervain went to Redstone, using the aliases of Weedstalk and Chafe, and took it over when Hickory made him Chief.

However, after discovering that humans planned to bulldoze Redstone into the earth, "Weedstalk" betrayed the former members of the Warren of the Shining Wire, selling them out to Cowslip in exchange for his seer, Silverweed. He then travelled to his former home of Darkhaven, wresting control of it from Captain Campion after Silverweed used his powers to look into Woundwort's future and predict that he would lead Darkhaven to glory (and, indeed, the Darkhaven rabbits had long been expecting the return of Hemlock's son, whom they called "the Dark One").

Everything seemed to be going Woundwort's way until Campion, who was secretly aiding the Watershippers, finally betrayed him in order to get Silverweed out of Darkhaven and warn his true allies about Woundwort's plans (with some help from Blackberry). Woundwort then sent Spartina to infiltrate Watership Down, but she too turned against him after she fell in love with Bigwig. Following this, an enraged Woundwort ordered the Darkhaven rabbits to invade Watership Down.

After a lengthy battle between the two opposing forces, during which Woundwort bested Bigwig, Woundwort and all of the Darkhaven rabbits were killed by the dark power of the Black Rabbit himself, sucked up into a dark vortex in the sky called forth by Silverweed. Woundwort swore he would return, but has not been seen since.

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