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"This is the magic trick now." - Bigwig about Blackberry's trick with boat.


Blackberry is a rabbit with characteristically black-tipped ears and a part of the group who left Sandleford Warren for Watership Down. Blackberry is a very clever and cunning rabbit and can often come up with things that others can not. He realizes, for instance, that wood floats, and the rabbits use this tactic twice to traverse on water. But his ideas are often too difficult for other rabbits to understand, although Fiver always appreciates them at their true value. He is one of Hazel's most trusted advisors, given the task to plan for a way to rescue does from Efrafa.

Book

"I'm quite sure, myself, that if we don't change our natural ways we shan't be able to stay here very long." - Blackberry about digging burrows.

In the book, Blackberry wanted to leave the Sandleford because there were too many bucks, and not enough does, so he was one of the first to join Hazel and Fiver. When travellers faced a river, Blackberry came up with idea to use a piece of wood to take Fiver and Pipkin across the river as they were too tired to swim. This discovery saved their lives, but everyone, except for Fiver and Blackberry himself, didn't understand the meaning of this and forgot about it soon.

During the journey Blackberry, didn't oppose Hazel's authority, while Acorn, Hawkbit, and Speedwell did, but later he admitted that he, like others, was tired and confused, so he began to wonder whether Hazel knew where they were going. When the rabbits reached fields near Cowslip's warren, Blackberry realized that Hazel lead them well. Blackberry, then, was the first to call Hazel the Chief Rabbit.

The river

Blackberry's trick with a piece of wood

Later Hazel often took advice from Blackberry. For example, when Cowslip invited rabbits into his warren, Hazel consulted with Blackberry, Bigwig and Fiver, and it was Blackberry who said that they should go and rest in Cowslip's warren. In the Warren, Blackberry, Hazel, and Fiver felt that there was something wrong with those rabbits, but he didn't realize the real danger. When Bigwig was caught by the shining wire, Blackberry was the first who understood the meaning of what he said, "Dig out the peg", and managed to rescue Bigwig.

When they reached Watership Down, Blackberry admitted that they had much to learn about it. It was his idea not to live in the small and cold hole that the rabbits found there, but to dig a deep, safe, and comfortable warren for themselves under a beech tree, despite the fact that bucks don't dig. Hazel, Fiver, and Pipkin liked the idea, and so they built Watership Down Warren.

During the raid on Nuthanger Farm, Blackberry and Bigwig freed hutch rabbits by biting through leather hinges and twisting a nail on rabbits' cage, and then escorted two hutch rabbits, Clover and Boxwood, to the Down. Blackberry felt guilty for leaving Hazel on the farm, so later, he returned with Fiver to find him.
Blackberry & Hazel

Blackberry

After Captain Holly's return from Efrafa, Blackberry, Fiver and Hazel worked out a plan of rescuing some Efrafan does. There were three points of the plan: to get the does out of Efrafa, to break up the pursuit, and to escape to Watership Down. Together, the rabbits thought out how to solve first two problems, but not the third one. Fortunately, on their way to Efrafa, he and Fiver saw a boat on the great river, and Blackberry, with the help of Fiver and Kehaar, came up with idea to use the boat to escape by water like they used a piece of wood to cross the river. Due to the fast stream, Blackberry's trick worked well and the rabbits drifted far away from Efrafa.

When General Woundwort and his Owsla attacked Watership Down, Hazel chose Blackberry and Dandelion, the two fastest rabbits, to lead the dog, Bob, from Nuthanger Farm to the Down. One time, Bob almost lost interest to rabbits, but Blackberry managed to draw it's attention and lead it to the Down. After Efrafa's defeat, Blackberry settled on Watership Down with his friends.

Film

Blackberry's character didn't changed much in the film version - he remains the same cunning and fast rabbit, Hazel's advisor and assistant. His image is depicted, as most of the characters, in a fairly realistic manner. Blackberry was voiced by Simon Cadell in the film.

TV series

"I'd go with the Black Rabbit, if it meant peace and freedom for all of us" - Blackberry before the last battle with General Woundwort.

Blackberry in the TV series

Blackberry in the TV series

In contrast to the book, Blackberry is, controversially, portrayed as a female, due to a lack of female rabbits in the original novel. Like in the book, Blackberry is very clever and came up with ideas of using a piece of wood and a boat in the episode 1 and 7. Blackberry has skills in herbs and also referred to as the digging expert. She is the only doe to go to Watership Down with Hazel and the others.

When the rabbits begin to settle into their new home on the down in the episode two, problems become apparent because the burrows need digging, but Blackberry is the only doe, and bucks don't dig. Hazel and Fiver managed to persuade other bucks to help Blackberry, but it remains she who did the lion's share of work and guide all the works. When in the episode 11, rabbits found a strange hole in their back burrows, Blackberry decided to dig a way downward to save Hazel, Fiver and Hawkbit who fell into the hole. So the cavern tunnel to Efrafa was found, which later was often used by rabbits. Blackberry also appears in almost every episode of TV series, but play a minor role.

However, she becomes one of the leading characters begining with episode 26 when Campion visited Watership Down in order to warn rabbits about Vervain finding their secret tunnel to Efrafa. Campion and Blackberry very quickly fall in love at first sight, as she explains her plan to bring down a rock to block the passage. Unfortunately, Campion was crushed beneath a rock in the process of saving Woundwort, and Blackbery felt devastated, not knowing that the brave Efrafan Captain survived.

Blackberry & Campion

Blackberry and Campion

Blackberry began to suspect something when she paid attention on Pipkin's strange behaviour and found fresh Campoin's tracks. Under these circumstances, Pipkin was forced to confess that he found wounded Campion and saved his life. Blackberry runs off to find Campion. When she found him, she told him she loves him, despite the scars, but Campion told Blackberry he cannot be with her because he's been touched by the Black Rabbit of Inle and didn't want Blackberry to suffer, and then ran off.

Blackberry was rejoined with Campion when she was captured by General Woundwort's soldiers and taken prisoner in Darkhaven. Campion tried to help her to escape with another rabbit, Silverweed, but Blackberry stayed with Campion because she didn't want to cause any trouble for him. But her troubles only began. A Darkhaven doe Spartina was sent by Woundwort to befriend Hazel and the others and act as a spy for him. Before she left, she informed rabbit named Granite that if she does not return to Darkhaven by the next full moon, he must kill Blackberry. Nor Spartina, neither Granite knew that Blackberry would save Granite's life when the male got injured while chasing Blackberry. But since Darkhaven law forbids to show mercy, Vervain ordered to punish Blackberry for it, and only Campion managed to save her.

When Spartina didn't return, Granite felt that he can't kill Blackberry, so he tried to help her escape out of gratitude, but failed as Blackberry was caught by General Woundwort, who found out of Campion's betrayal and used Blackberry to make him confess where Watership Down is and to lead his army into battle there. However, Campion, Blackberry and Spartina managed to escape from Woundwort with help of Hannah, Skree and some bats. They fought in the battle with Woundwort and at the end of the series Blackberry and Campion settled on Watership Down together.

Miniseries

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Blackberry with Bluebell in the miniseries.

Blackberry appears in the miniseries, and he is a buck, like in the book and film. He is voiced by Miles Jupp.

He is still the one who comes up with the idea to hop on a human object that can float on water (which is a trash can lid). He seems to be good friends with Bluebell, but gets annoyed when he tries to kiss him, just for complementing his storytelling. He is shown to be brave and aggressive, when needed, as when Cowslip tries to stop the rabbits from going to help Bigwig, who has been trapped in a snare. He threatens Cowslip (with assistance from Bluebell), before shoving him aside, allowing them to run and rescue Bigwig.

He, Captain Holly, and Bluebell leave Watership Down to check out Efrafa, and are captured by its rabbits. However, they manage to escape with the help of Hyzenthlay, but this leads to the death of Captain Orchis's brother. He gets run over by a train, while pursuing the three. It is not shown if Orchis holds it against Blackberry or Bluebell for this, but he does against Holly and Hyzenthlay.

Later on, during the battle of Watership Down, he saves Hyzenthlay from an Efrafan soldier, but this leads to him witnessing Holly, who had tried to save her, getting killed by other soldiers. He has to push a sobbing Hyzenthlay back into the burrow. He then goes and informs Hazel of the former captain's death. He survives the battle, and continues to live at Watership Down. Bluebell is shown leading his kittens to play fight with "Uncle Blackberry", and they do so, despite his insistence that he does not like play fighting.

Personality

In the book Blackberry is a highly intelligent buck, grasping concepts that completely elude the others, such as the physics behind floating wood. As such, he usually devises the ideas that save the rabbits on their journey to Watership Down. Hazel often calls on him when there is planning to be done, and orders him to come up with a trick that will lose the Efrafans after Bigwig's breakout.

In the television series, she is female, being the only female to travel from Sandleford to Watership Down. She is a hard worker and Hazel considers her to be Watership Down's best digger. She is somewhat feminist as a result of being outnumbered by bucks and is affronted about their laziness and unwillingness to help her with digging. Blackberry has a considerable knowledge about a warrens structure and is careful to make sure that diggers do not accidentally weaken it by working in the wrong place. Blackberry is also brave and says that she would willingly go with the Black Rabbit of Inle if it means peace and freedom.

In the finale of Season 2, Blackberry and Campion fall in love at first sight. Blackberry is devastated when he nearly dies to protect General Woundwort but upon learning that he survived she goes into enemy territory to find him. She also refuses to leave his side in Darkhaven, even when he tells her to escape and leave him behind. Eventually they settle on Watership Down together.

Blackberry's talents lie in digging and healing rather than physical combat. She is knowledgeable about plants and herbs that are good for healing injuries. Although she is not a fighter by nature, Blackberry's quick thinking gives her an edge over her opponents which makes up for her lack of physical strength. For example she uses sand to blind an opponent during Woundwort's siege on Watership Down and leads Granite under a conveyor belt so that a rock falls on him, although she does not intend for him to get hurt so badly and therefore heals him afterwards.

Trivia