In the novel Watership Down, who is the character, Fiver?

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lavincen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Fiver is a small rabbit, a runt, that has visions that come true.  They are often terrible and foretell misfortune for the rabbits of his warren.  He is a seer in a traditional sense, and his older brother, Hazel, trusts Fiver.  But because of Fiver's visions, he leads the rabbits that follow him and Hazel to Watership Down, a place much safer than the old warren.

In mythological terms, Fiver is a Shaman that has a gift and a message for his people, and the people only have to listen in order to get the gift.

elliot44 | Student

Fiver is one of the main characters in the book Watership Down. He is the fifth rabbit of his litter, and he is also the runt. He's the younger brother of the other main character in the book, Hazel.

Fiver's name in Lapine (rabbit language) is Hrairoo, which translates to "little thousand." It is revealed in the book that rabbits cannot count over four, so anything past four is called a "thousand."

Fiver possesses the unique gift of psychic abilities and premonitions. Throughout the book, Fiver has various premonitions of danger. He can also sense certain things that others can't. For example, when all of the rabbits thought Hazel had been killed, Fiver had visions and dreams showing him that Hazel was alive along with his exact location.

After Fiver foresees death and destruction at their warren, a group of rabbits leave to find shelter. Fiver's visions lead the rabbits to the namesake of the book, Watership Down, where they take shelter and find safety after leaving their doomed warren.

While Fiver is considered to be a seer, or what we might call a psychic, he often isn't believed by many of the other rabbits. This has lead people to liken him to the mythological Greek seer Cassandra. Cassandra was a seer who was cursed by Apollo to never be believed. This is similar to how Fiver's visions are often belittled or ignored until they always turn out to be correct.