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"Hazel, you have to believe me... something will come to this place. We can leave now, or we can be destroyed with it."
—Fiver to his brother in the miniseries

Fiver is the deuteragonist of Watership Down. He seems to be able to sense the future. Initially, he is a resident of Sandleford Warren and is the younger and smaller brother of Hazel. His lapine name, "little thousand" (Hrairoo), comes from the fact that he was the smallest rabbit of at least five in his litter since rabbits cannot count above four. He becomes the mate of Vilthuril, and eventually has a litter with her. His son, Threar, appears to have inherited some form of sixth sense himself.

Appearance[]

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Fiver in the TV series and film.

Fiver has mostly been portrayed as a small, runty rabbit with brown fur, often with a differently proportioned body than the other rabbits.

In the film, Fiver has a head that's bigger on his body, and he also has tufts of fur on the top of his head. In addition, he has a brown pelt, a lighter stomach, and brown eyes.

In the TV series, Fiver is similar to Hazel in appearance, but smaller, with more muted brown colored fur, and has grey eyes in series 1 and 2. In series 3, his design is sharper and cleaner, and Fiver has yellow eyes instead.

In the miniseries, Fiver is shown to have heterochromia iridium, with his left eye brown and his right eye green. He is also small in size. Otherwise, he looks very similar to Hazel in build and fur color.

In the graphic novel, Fiver is portrayed as having blue eyes.

Personality[]

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Fiver's mouth covered in blood after desperately trying to save Bigwig.

Despite how much Fiver berates himself, he is gentle, kind, and loyal. He has a sixth sense to know when danger comes. Even though he saved his family's life with his first vision, he constantly blames himself for it, thinking he is causing all the happenings when he really isn't. He is self-conscious about it, but he restores some faith in himself in "The Vision" when he finds out his vision was about the past, not the future.

Despite being a runt, he is much more mature than most of the other characters in the series, as proved when he stops Bigwig and Hazel from fighting each other. Fiver often thinks before he acts, and sees no point in these blood-spilling wars, also of the fact that whenever he is snapped at or berated, he never expects an apology but goes with it.

Fiver is shy, wise, intelligent, sensitive, gentle, friendly and kind. He is gifted with a special form of sixth sense which gives him the ability to foresee certain events, although these visions are often rather vague and clouded. He usually gets more of a sense of danger or safety rather than a specific vision and has yet to be proven wrong in his warnings. Many of the other rabbits think he's crazy, but Hazel listens to him because he knows that his predictions are always right. Bigwig in particular is skeptical of Fiver's gifts at first, but after his near death in the snare at Cowslip's warren, he changes his views and starts to take Fiver more seriously. He cares deeply about his older brother as he went looking for him in the 1978 film adaptation. He is high strung and a little bit unstable. He can get overwhelmed by his fears and emotions. He is also nervous and a worrier.

Abilities[]

  • Sixth sense: Fiver can see into the future through visions. In the TV series, his visions often come in rhymes and riddles, and he can be trapped in them, repeating them until he is freed. They have saved the Watership Down rabbits numerous times, prompting them to leave Cowslip's Warren.
  • Mind control: Fiver can sometimes possess other rabbits. This ability is only shown in the TV series in The Eyes Of Silverweed, when he controls Silverweed's mind and speech to help him escape from Darkhaven and have the Watership Down rabbits kidnap him. His eyes glow silver when controlling someone's mind.

Biography[]

Book and Film[]

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Fiver at the notice board.

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Fiver's apocalyptic vision on the field.

Fiver discovers a man-made notice board near the Sandleford Warren and becomes terrified by a vision of a field covered with blood and together with Hazel, warns the Sandleford Chief that a great danger is coming to the warren.

Later that night, he and his brother Hazel leave the warren with any other rabbits that decide to come along. Fiver helps Pipkin onto the driftwood at the river in the woods, as they are both too tired to swim and escape the dog. Only he and Blackberry  (the one in the group who thought of traveling on the driftwood to get across the river) fully understood that the wood would float across the water.

When the rabbits are invited into Cowslip's Warren, Fiver warns them that they should have nothing to do with the warren and should move on. However, the rabbits ignored Fiver's warning and went into the warren anyway. Fiver followed but became deeply disturbed by Silverweed's poem. He stayed outside the warren until Bigwig and Hazel came to look for him. When Bigwig became caught in a snare, he took turns with Silver and Pipkin to chew through the peg holding the wire. Afterward, the rabbits realized that Fiver was right about the place and did not question his visions anymore.

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"Hazel's not dead."

Fiver is credited with saving Hazel's life by finding his near-unconscious brother after he is shot at Nuthanger Farm; this forms the Bright Eyes sequence in the feature film where Fiver, refusing to believe his brother is dead, follows the Black Rabbit of Inlé.

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Fiver feels cold during his panic attack

In the story's climax, the assault on the Watership warren by General Woundwort's forces, Fiver again falls into a trance and manages to instill fear into some of Woundwort's Owsla with his fearful moans. During his vision, he recalls the dog in the wood by the Enborne River, which inspires Hazel to release the Nuthanger Farm dog onto the attackers. He found a mate in Vilthuril, a former Efrafan doe, to whom he is deeply devoted and who understands his burdens.

Fiver himself notes that he does not foresee every potential danger; some of the dangers they encounter on their journey do not inspire a vision in him, for example, when crows attack them in a field.

Tales from Watership Down[]

Fiver befriends a rabbit named Coltsfoot.

TV series[]

Fiver TV Series

Fiver as he appears in the TV series

Fiver retains his sixth sense, and his visions are spoken aloud in riddles, which he only sometimes understands. When receiving a vision, his body goes rigid, and he often collapses. He has no control over them, and this has both caused trouble and benefited the rabbits. He can sometimes become trapped in his vision, repeating it over and over until he is freed. Fiver is portrayed as more confident in the series than in the movie and book.

Season 1[]

To be written!

Season 2[]

To be written!

Season 3[]

To be written!

Miniseries[]

The Journey[]

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Fiver in the miniseries

In this adaptation, Fiver's personality is a mixture of his book and TV series counterparts. Much like in the book, Fiver shows a shy side when interacting with most rabbits and speaks in a young and nervous voice most of the time. However, much like the TV series, Fiver is also shown as calmer and slightly more confident than he was in the book. He could calmly talk to Hazel about Sandleford Warren's destruction in a serious and even voice, as well as shouting at the Threarah when he realizes that his warning is not being taken seriously.

His visions are portrayed differently in this adaptation, with the audience being able to follow Fiver when he "goes beyond" and being shown a cacophony of images and events in a very surreal fashion. Although his visions' brutal nature and intensity haven't diminished, Fiver is shown to recover from them relatively harmless (though shaken), in contrast to his affected mental state in the book following the Battle of Watership Down.

For instance, Fiver's vision of Sandleford Warren consists of him being able to move around the warren while seeing escaping rabbits frozen in time before eventually coming across excavators destroying the warren. Likewise, his vision regarding the raid on Nuthanger Farm involves a lot of imagery involving ropes, a shotgun, and a pool of blood formed by a bleeding rabbit (Hazel) in a storm drain.

When Captain Holly attempts to arrest the rabbits, Fiver begs him to understand that a bad danger is coming to the warren before Bigwig comes and scares him off. However, they have to move quickly, as Holly had merely run off to gather the entire Owsla to take down the rabbits. Coming across a river, Fiver insists on immediately crossing it despite him and Pipkin being worn out. Luckily, Blackberry comes up with the idea to get on a trash can lid to float away on, and they successfully escape the Owsla.

During the journey, Fiver becomes aware that the other rabbits consider him strange and don't exactly believe in his vision. While traveling in the rain, Fiver notices Watership Down in the distance and declares the hill their future home. However, Bigwig refuses to believe that the Down will be their ideal home as they are only going there on a simple feeling, and he stops to dig a scrap to stay in. All the others, bar Hazel and Fiver, go to help him. The following day, Fiver listens as Hazel confides in him his doubts about being a leader, believing he could never make a good leader because he doesn't have any special abilities like most other rabbits. Fiver attempts to reassure Hazel by pointing out how nobody has died thus far under Hazel's command, considering it a miracle. However, Hazel credits their survival as simple blind luck. Suddenly, a purplish-red rabbit named Cowslip sees the predicament the rabbits are in and invites them to his warren. This arouses Fiver's suspicion since it doesn't make sense to invite complete strangers into the warren. Fiver doesn't trust Cowslip and tells the group that he feels they should have nothing to do with him or that his warren continues to the Down. But everyone, even Hazel, chooses to check out the Cowslip's warren.

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Fiver is the only one who doesn't sleep at the warren, choosing to spend the night under a tree. Hazel, at the request of Bigwig, goes to deal with him. When Hazel attempts to get Fiver to join the others, Fiver refuses to eat the food that humans have left for the rabbits. When Hazel wonders if Fiver was trying to make him angry, Fiver responds that it should be him who should be angry. Fiver tries to talk to Hazel about his feelings about the warren. Still, Hazel questions whether or not his visions have ever been right, eventually saying that they most likely left Sandleford Warren and Dewdrop (Hazel's love interest back at Sandleford) for no reason. Fiver responds by revealing that Dewdrop was the one who told Captain Holly that the rabbits were leaving and that he heard her telling Captain Holly. This infuriates Hazel, who refuses to believe in his brother despite Fiver insisting that he would never lie to Hazel. Hazel coldly demands that Fiver go back to the warren or be dragged in there by Hazel before shoving him to the ground and running back. Having no choice, Fiver eventually enters the warren but sits apart from the group and huddles to the ground miserably, feeling more alone than ever. This causes Hazel to stare at his brother sadly, clearly feeling sorry for Fiver as well as regretting his behavior toward him

Later on, while Silverweed recites a poem about death, Fiver is shown to be terrified of Silverweed, claiming that he smells of pain and rot. He begins to have a terrifying vision where he sees bones instead of tree roots, claiming that the hall's roof is made of bones. Frightened, Fiver is out of the warren but is stopped by an angry Bigwig, who insults him and says he's very close to getting them all kicked out of the warren. Fiver insists that he's going to the down, but Bigwig says he would have no hope there and would be dead by sunset. Fiver, however, claims that Bigwig is closer to death than himself, stating that the entire warren is death. Fiver then talks about how Hazel believed he could never make a good leader because he wasn't fast like Dandelion, strong like Bigwig, or smart like Blackberry. However, Fiver thinks that what makes Hazel a great leader is that he believes in his friends and brings out the best in them. This conversation shows how, even though Hazel may no longer believe in Fiver, Fiver still believes in Hazel and his leadership capacity.

Surprised by Fiver's display of faith in him and realizing that he would be failing Fiver if he let him go, Hazel is quick to stop him and assures him that if he says that the warren is unfit, then it is unfit and they will all leave. Hazel states that they began this adventure together and will finish it together, choosing to stand by Fiver. He tries to go back to tell the others they need to leave, but Bigwig assaults him and declares the two out of the warren. He turns back into the warren but is caught in a snare. Fiver quickly runs and warns the others, but Cowslip tries to stop them from leaving, claiming that it is Bigwig's time and he will make sure of it. However, Blackberry shoves him out of the way, and they go to save him.

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Fiver and Bigwig

He quickly starts chewing away at the peg the wire's tied to, eventually chewing it in half, freeing Bigwig, but his mouth is left bloody. He seems about ready to cry when Bigwig is supposedly dead but is relieved when he wakes up. He stops Bigwig from returning to kill the rabbits, saying they are not worth it. Strawberry, a doe from the warren, joins them. Bigwig finally listens to Fiver about the Down, and the eight go to it. Upon arriving at the top of the Down, they marvel at being able to look across the land for miles, allowing them to detect any elil coming their way. Later, they are found by a wounded and broken Captain Holly, who turns to Fiver, saying that he knew the story before it was told. The next day, Holly tells the entire story, revealing that Fiver's vision of the destruction of the warren came true.

The Raid[]

Fiver goes with Hazel to free the hutch rabbits, but they only manage to save Clover and Haystack. Hazel gets shot by the farmer, and they are forced to leave without him, with Fiver tearfully blaming himself for Hazel's apparent death. After learning in a vision that Hazel is still alive, Clover finds him instead of Fiver.

The Escape[]

During Bigwig's infiltration of Efrafa, Fiver has another vision of himself inside a car and that it represents safety, but he doesn't manage to make any sense of it.

The Siege[]

During the Battle of Watership Down, Fiver accompanies Hazel to the farm to free Bob, with Fiver in charge of chewing the rope he is attached to. However, before he finishes, he is attacked by Tab (in place of Hazel in the books) while Bob attempts to strike a nearby Hazel. Though Hazel attempts to help Fiver, he's forced to leave his brother behind at his request. Later, it's revealed that he survived because Tab's owner, a human girl named Lucy, saved and brought him near the down. At this point, Hazel realizes that not all humans are evil, considering that some humans understand rabbits' struggles.

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Fiver visits Hazel for the last time

Many years later, Fiver eventually visits an aging Hazel. Although it is not explicitly said, some of Fiver's behavior in this scene suggests he may be sensing his brother's imminent death. Reflecting on the journey that they have walked together, Fiver talks about how it has been a pleasure, an honor, and a real privilege to have walked it with him. When pressed by Hazel, Fiver admits that he has come to say good night to Hazel. Fondly acknowledging Hazel as his leader, brother, and friend, Hazel and Fiver share one last loving embrace before Fiver returns to the warren, stopping only to take one last final sad look at his dying brother.

While Bluebell is telling a bunch of kittens the story of Hazel, Fiver looks at them sadly from a distance. Then, sensing Hazel's presence, Fiver looks up at the evening sky, where a rabbit-shaped cloud floats, representing Hazel's spirit will be running forever.

Quotes[]

  • "Hazel, look... the field... it's covered with blood!"

Trivia[]

  • Fiver is voiced by Richard Briers in the film. Briers returned to the Watership Down franchise to voice Captain Broom in the 1999-2001 TV series.
  • Despite his character being younger than Hazel, Richard Briers was six years older than Hazel's voice actor, John Hurt.
  • Fiver was inspired by Cassandra, the figure from Greek mythology who had the power of prophecy.
  • Fiver's character contributed to the original book being rejected by publishers because they found the idea of a future-telling rabbit too silly.

Gallery[]

Film[]

TV series[]

Miniseries[]

Graphic Novel[]

Rabbits
Cross-media
Sandleford Warren
BigwigBlackberryBluebellCaptain HollyDandelionFiverHawkbitHazelHazel and Fiver's MotherPipkinPimpernelSilverThrearahToadflax

Nuthanger Farm
BoxwoodCloverHaystackLaurel
Cowslip's Warren
CowslipKingcupLaburnumSilverweedStrawberry
Efrafa
BlackavarCaptain CampionCaptain ChervilCaptain OrchisCharlockGeneral WoundwortHyzenthlayRagwortSainfoinThethuthinnangThistleVervainVilthuril
Folklore
Black Rabbit of InléEl-ahrairahHufsaRabscuttle

Books only
Introduced in Watership Down
AcornAshAvensBartsiaBetonyBuckthornButterburCaptain BuglossCaptain MallowColtsfootFlescaGroundselMarjoramMoneywortNelthiltaNightshadeNildro-hainNose-in-the-AirPine NeedlesScabiousSnowdropSpeedwellThrayonlosaThrearThunder

Introduced in Tales from Watership Down
BurdockCelandineCrowfootCrowlaFescueFlyairthFoxgloveHeartseaseKing Fur-RociousKnapweedLemistaLoosestrifeMelsaMianMilmownNyreemPeertonPrakeQuiensRithlaSandwortStitchwortStonecropThrennionTindraWoodruff

AspenBlueskyButtercupCaptain BroomFelsparFlaxGentianGiliaGorseGraniteHeatherHickoryLarchMallowMarigoldMossPrimroseRaincloudRedShaleSnowdropSpartinaSpeaker of the PastLaurel
Film/Miniseries only
Dewdrop (Miniseries) • Nettle (Miniseries) • Violet (film)
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