25 Watership Down Quotes with a Profound Impact

As the title suggests, this article shares Watership Down quotes from the novel. 

The quotes listed below are curated to offer you the best possible experience.

You can share these quotes with your friends and family without any hesitation.

In addition to our quotes section, you can also take a look at the information about Watership Down, which is an engaging novel. 

You may also enjoy reading these related articles:

So, without any further ado, let’s dive in!

An Introduction to “Watership Down”

“Watership Down” is a novel written by Richard Adams and published in 1972.

It is an unbelievable work of fiction which still captivates readers even after decades.

This novel is far more than only a tale about rabbits.

On the other hand, it takes the reader on an epic adventure.

The novel offers profound themes of bravery, survival, and friendship. 


The plot of this novel is set in the English countryside.

It starts with a journey of a small group of rabbits.

These rabbits are embarking on a courageous quest to find a new home for their small community. 

“Hazel” is the protagonist of this novel.

Throughout the journey, Hazel stays ahead along with his loyal companion, “Fiver.”

Both these friends possess a powerful sense of danger, which allows them to foresee the threat. 

During their journey, these rabbits face countless trials and hardships.


Talking about the themes, “Watership Down” portrays themes like survival and friendship. 

All the rabbits stay close and fight against the odds. 

During their journey, these rabbits face a wide range of dangers, including:

  • Predators 
  • Hostile warrens 
  • Human intervention

Every time, they survived due to their collective instincts and intelligence. 

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In addition, the theme of friendship is also central to the narrative.

It is the strong bond of friendship that allows the rabbits to fight against the dangers.

Each character comes with a unique skill and serves as a strong part of the group.

This aspect also demonstrated the importance of cooperation and unity. 

Literary Legacy and Impact

“Watership Down” has gained both widespread popularity and critical acclaim.

Its storytelling style allows readers to feel vivid imagery and relate to the characters.

This novel successfully explores the complex themes, including:

  • The balance between communal responsibility and individuality 
  • Environmentalism 
  • Ethics of leadership

In addition to its literary success, “Watership Down” was also adapted into different TV shows, theaters, and films. 

Top 5 Watership Down Quotes

From Watership Down, the classic novel by Richard Adams, here are the top 5 quotes that resonate with readers of all ages.

1. “The primroses were over.” — Richard Adams

2. “Underground, the story continued.” — Richard Adams

3. “There’s terrible evil in the world.” — Richard Adams

4. “They forgot the ways of the wild rabbits.” — Richard Adams

5. “My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend stopped running today.” — Richard Adams

Watership Down Quotes by Fiver

Fiver is one of the central characters in the novel Watership Down. His quotes offer profound insights into the challenges the rabbits face.

6. “You are closer to death than I.” — Fiver, Richard Adams

7. “They’ll never rest until they’ve spoiled the earth.” — Fiver, Richard Adams

8. “Hazel, look… the field… it’s covered with blood!” — Fiver, Richard Adams

9. “…from all I’ve heard of hutch rabbits, they don’t take easily to wildlife. The truth is, you’re just a silly show-off.” — Fiver, Richard Adams

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10. “You pay for it! The food, the warren… but no one must ever ask where anyone was or speak of the wires! The whole place is snared! Everywhere, every day!” — Fiver, Richard Adams

Watership Down Quotes by Hazel

The quotes from Hazel, the brave and kind leader of the rabbit troop in Richard Adams’ Watership Down, inspire his friends and readers to be brave and charitable.

11. “Go… now… or we’ll kill you!” — Hazel, Richard Adams

12. “And you’ll be the one to tell it!” — Hazel, Richard Adams

13. “I think we ought to do all we can to make these creatures friendly. It might turn out to be well worth the trouble.” — Hazel, Richard Adams

14. “We’ll fill in the holes good and deep. They’ll have to dig us out, and they can’t stay out in the open for long without attracting Elil.” — Hazel, Richard Adams

15. “If they have to fight, they fight; and if they have to kill, they kill. But they don’t sit down and set their wits to work to devise ways of spoiling other creatures’ lives and hurting them. They have dignity and animality.” — Hazel, Richard Adams

Watership Down Quotes by Bigwig

Bigwig, a prominent and powerful rabbit in Watership Down, leaves an indelible impression through his memorable quotes. Have fun reading!

16. “I’m afraid I just lost my head, Hazel.” — Bigwig, Richard Adams

17. “That settles it. I won’t go without him.” — Bigwig, Richard Adams

18. “Hazel-rah? That’ll be the day I call him chief, that will.” — Bigwig, Richard Adams

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19. “I told you once that I was trying to impress you… I hope I have.” — Bigwig, Richard Adams

20. “My Chief Rabbit has told me to stay and defend this run, and until he says otherwise, I shall stay here.” — Bigwig, Richard Adams

Watership Down Quotes by Capt. Holly

Captain Holly, a seasoned and weathered rabbit in the timeless novel Watership Down, imparts his wisdom and experience through his memorable quotes. Enjoy reading!

21. “It’s you who’ll be killed!” — Holly, Richard Adams

22. “We all have to meet our match sometime or other.” — Holly, Richard Adams

23. “Men will never rest till they’ve spoiled the earth and destroyed the animals.” — Holly, Richard Adams

24. “Take it from me. What makes a good soldier is not always what makes a good rabbit.” — Holly, Richard Adams

25. “Animals don’t behave like men. If they have to fight, they fight. If they have to kill, they kill. But they don’t set their wits to devise ways of hurting other creatures.” — Holly, Richard Adams

Which One of these Watership Down Quotes is your Favorite? 

“Watership Down” is an impressive literary work that serves as a timeless masterpiece.

It offers a perfect combination of allegory and adventure. 

Richard Adams was successful in relating the emotions of animals to that of humans.

The evocative and rich narrative resonates with readers irrespective of their age. 

This is why Watership Down quotes are so popular among people of all ages.

The quotes listed above are relevant and worth sharing.

If you have found your favorite Watership Down quote, don’t hesitate to share it with us via the comments section.

We would love to hear from you.

Norbert Juma is a Lifestyle Writer and Lead Editor at EverydayPower.com, where he ensures the publication of high-quality and inspiring content for our readers. With a BSC in Computer Science and expertise in WordPress, SEO, and social media marketing, he collaborates with our talented writers to make sure every article we publish is polished and engaging. Norbert's contributions to EverydayPower's vision of positivity and progress in digital media have earned him recognition as a thought leader in the industry.