"Hazel, look... the field... it's covered with blood!" - Fiver
Fiver is the deuteragonist in Richard Adams' book Watership Down. He seems to be able to sense the future. Initially, he is a resident of the 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[edit | edit source]
Fiver has mostly been portrayed as a small, runty rabbit with brown fur, often with a differently proportioned body compared to 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. He has brown fur with a lighter stomach and brown eyes.
In the TV series, Fiver is similar to Hazel in appearance, but smaller, with more muted brown coloured fur, and has grey eyes in series 1 and 2. In series 3, his design is a lot sharper and cleaner, and Fiver has yellow eyes instead.
In the miniseries, Fiver is shown to have heterochromia iridium, with his left eye being brown while his right eye is green. He is also small in size. Otherwise, he looks very similar to Hazel in build and in fur colour.
Book and Film[edit | edit source]
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, warn 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.
At the river in the woods, Fiver helps Pipkin onto the driftwood, as they are both too tired to swim and escape the dog. Only he and Blackberry (the one in the group who thought of travelling 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. Afterwards, the rabbits realized that Fiver was right about the place, and did not question his visions anymore. 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.
In the story's climax, the assault on the Watership warren by the General Woundwort's forces, Fiver again falls into a trance, and manages to instill fear into some of Woundwort's Owsla by 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 personal 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 they are attacked by crows in a field.
TV series[edit | edit source]
Fiver retains his sixth sense, and his visions are spoken aloud in riddles, which he does not always understand. 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.
Miniseries[edit | edit source]
Fiver appears in the miniseries and is voiced by Nicholas Hoult.
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, as well as speaking in a young and nervous voice most of the time. However, much like in the TV series, Fiver is also shown as calmer and sightly more confident than he was in the book, being able to 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 a portrayed different in this adaptation, with the audience being able to follow Fiver when he "goes beyond" and being shown a cacophony of images and events displayed in a very surreal fashion. Although the harrowing nature and intensity of his visions hasn'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 in a storm drain (Hazel).
When Captain Holly attempts to arrest the rabbits, Fiver begs him to understand that there is a bad danger 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 being 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 of the fact that the other rabbits consider him strange and don't really believe in his vision. While traveling in the rain, Fiver notices Watership Down in the distance and declares the hill to be 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 next morning, Fiver listens as Hazel confides in him his doubts on being a leader, believing that could never make a good leader because he doesn't have any special abilities like most of the 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 has a feeling that they should have nothing to do with him or his warren continue on to the down. But everyone, even Hazel, chooses to check out the Cowslip's warren.
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 has been left by humans 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, but Hazel questions whether or not his visions have ever been right, eventually saying that they most likely left Sandleford warren as well as 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 else be dragged in there by Hazel, before shoving him to the ground and running back. Seeing no other 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 towards 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 see bones instead of tree roots, claiming that the roof of the hall is made of bones. Frightened, Fiver out of the warren, but is stopped by an angry Bigwig, who insults him and says that 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 that he would have no hope there and would be dead by sunset. Fiver, however, claims that Bigwig is closer to death than himself, as well as stating that the entire warren is death. Fiver then talks about how Hazel believed that he could never make a good leader because he wasn't fast, strong or smart. However, Fiver believes that what makes Hazel such a great leader is his 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 in his capacity for leadership.
Surprised by Fiver's display of faith in him, as well as realizing that he would be failing Fiver if he lets 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 they will finish it together, choosing to stand by Fiver. He tries to go back to tell the others that they need to leave, but Bigwig assaults him, and declares the two of them out of the warren. He turns to go 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.
He quickly starts chewing away at the peg that 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 going back to kill the rabbits, saying that they are not worth it. Strawberry, a doe from the warren, joins them. Bigwig finally listens to Fiver about the down, and the eight of them go to it. Upon arriving at the top of the Down, they marvel at being able to look across the land for miles, which will allow them to detect any elil coming their way. Later on, 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.
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 goes and finds him instead of Fiver. During Bigwig's infiltration of Efrafa, Fiver has another vision of himself inside a car and that it represents safety, but doesn't manage to make any sense of it.
During the Battle of Watership Down, Fiver accompanies Hazel to the farm to free Bob, with Fiver being in charge of chewing the rope that he is attached to. However, before he gets to finish, he is attacked by Tab (in place of Hazel in the books) while Bob attempts to attack a nearby Hazel. Though Hazel attempts to help Fiver, Hazel is forced to leave his brother behind at his request. Later on, it's revealed that he survived, because Tab's owner, a human girl named Lucy saved him and brought him near the down. At this point, Hazel finally believes that humans aren't really evil, believing that some humans do understand the struggles that rabbits go through.
Many years into the future, Fiver eventually visits an aging Hazel, 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, his brother, and his friend, Hazel and Fiver share one last loving embrace before Fiver back to the warren, stopping only to take a 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. Sensing Hazel's presence, Fiver look up at the evening sky, where a rabbit-shaped cloud float on, representing Hazel's spirit running forever.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Despite how much he berates himself, Fiver is gentle, kind and very 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. Despite being a runt, he proves to be much more mature than most of the other characters in the series, as proved when he stops Bigwig and Hazel from fighting each other, 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. He is very self conscious.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
- Sixth sense - Fiver can see into the future in the form of 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 on numerous occasions, like prompting them to leave Cowslip's warren.
- Mind control - Fiver can sometimes possess other rabbits. This ability is only shown in TV series in the episode The Eyes Of Silverweed, when he controls Silverweed's mind and speech in order to help him escape out of Darkhaven and have the Watership Down rabbits kidnap him. His eyes glow silver when controlling someone's mind.