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Watership Down

Watership Down


by Richard Adams

Watership Down Resources


Lapine Vocabulary

If your edition of this book doesn't have the glossary at the end, here's a copy of it so you can be as fluent as you'd like.

Famous Rabbits through History

Hilarious and exhaustive, this list covers everything from the Chinese Zodiac to the Energizer Bunny.

Rabbit Stories

This website is mostly entertaining, but it might provide some starting points for more research on the issue of rabbits in folklore.

Commonsense Media Review

This website for parents seems a little confused about this book—but then, so are we. The book seems perfect for young kids in some ways, but not all ways. What do you think? (Also, they say there are no good role models in the book, which we disagree with. What did Fiver ever do to them?)

Watership Down: Actual Pictures

Check out the real Nuthanger Farm, iron road, and plank bridge where Hazel's rabbits board the boat. And there's a helpful chart comparing the warrens.

Map and Photos

And here are even more photos of the real setting where this book takes place. This site is especially helpful for its maps of the area.

The Many Covers of Watership Down

This fan offers his collection to show the many covers—books, CDs, movies—that have been made for this now 40-year old bestseller.

Many Rabbits

This Tumblr (where did the "e" go?) is dedicated to Watership Down, which mostly means that it has rabbit paintings and quotes from the book. It's yet another example of how this book has an active legacy. (Especially among people who love rabbits.)

Movie or TV Productions

Watership Down (1978)

The movie keeps pretty close to the book in many respects—which means that, though it looks like a fun animated movie, there's a lot of death and violence. It also features a pretty distinguished cast, which wasn't really normal for animated films back then. And while the animation style looks dated today, the opening myth (the Blessings of Frith) is pretty cool.

Watership Down TV show (1999-2001)

This TV show lasted three seasons. The first season was pretty close to the book, but later seasons started stretching the material and changing some of the characters. But at least some fans liked it, judging from this comprehensive fan page.

Articles and Interviews

BBC Interview

Richard Adams discusses how the story started and how real the setting is. He also discusses an alternative ending. (Bigwig was supposed to die but his kids protested, and we are grateful.)

Afternoon with Adams

This interview with a rabbit fan site (no, really) has lots of little fun notes. For instance, with Richard Adams's accent—he really rolls his R's—"hrududu" really is the sound of a tractor/engine. (You can easily imagine him telling this story to his kids.)

Appreciation of Watership Down

Jo Walton, science fiction and fantasy author (and professional British person), offers an appreciation and some criticism of Watership Down. Especially interesting is her complaint about the omniscient point of view, which she says gives too much information to the reader. What do you think?


Watership Down Movie Trailer

Yes, it's animated; no, it's not really for kids.

Watership Down Opening (Frith's Blessing)

Why do you think the film animates myth of El-ahrairah one way, and the rest of the story differently?

Watership Down TV opening credits

Now that you've seen how the movie starts (with an El-ahrairah story), check out how the TV show starts, with a view of the map/landscape that the adventure takes place in. (Also, the song here is the theme song from the movie, "Bright Eyes" by Art Garfunkel (ask your grandparents).

Figurine Review of General Woundwort

Okay, this is so bizarre that we just had to show you. If we were to tell you that they made figurines for these characters, would you believe us? Because they did and here's a review of one. Yes, a review.


Interview with Richard Adams

Here's a 1985 interview with the rabbit-man himself, Richard Adams. Here he talks about the hero's journey of Joseph Campbell (which gets a "Shout-Out" since it's mentioned in one chapter's epigraph).

BBC Radio on Watership Down (the Location)

This is a radio show about landscapes, but it does include a little interview with Richard Adams, which starts at around the 13:00 minute mark. It's nice to hear him talk about the Downs as his homeland. Also, considering how much he describes the sounds of nature in his book, it's interesting to hear them for oneself.

BBC Adaptation of Watership Down

In addition to the movie and TV versions, there was also at least one radio adaptation, in 2002. Though currently unavailable on the BBC website, this adaptation was reviewed as superb by the Guardian newspaper.


Watership Down Original Cover (UK)

Imagine this book hot off the presses as you check out the cover for the UK first edition.

Watership Down Original Cover (US)

Of course if you lived in America at the time, this is the version you would have had.

Watership Down Movie Poster

Imagine this hanging out the wall of your local theater. Yeah, that would creep us out, too.

General Woundwort in Watership Down Movie Still (Not for Kids)

General Woundwort is pretty dangerous and scary-looking, if you ask Shmoop. We might have some trouble falling asleep tonight.

Young Richard Adams

Here's Adams as a younger man, before rabbits took over his life.

Old Richard Adams

That rabbits have taken their toll. (Just kidding.)

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