To you, generous Taranee, the difficult gift of fire.

Yan Lin to Taranee, The Power of Friendship

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Taranee Cook[1] is a fictional character in the Italian comic series W.I.T.C.H. and the French animated series of the same name. She is one of the members of a group, called W.I.T.C.H.; who make up the Guardians, the chosen warriors who guard Kandrakar, the center of the universe, from evil. Taranee is the Guardian of Fire, therefore pyrokinetic, thermokinetic and highly telepathic. Her mother is Asian-American and her father is African-American. Although she is timid and bashful, she has been known to be very intelligent and willing to help out in school, and when W.I.T.C.H. goes into action. She was born on March 23, and her sign is Aries.

Personality

Taranee is 13 years old like Hay Lin (close to her age) and was raised in the town of Sesamo, but later moved to Heatherfield. Her best friend is Will Vandom, the leader of W.I.T.C.H.. Taranee is a timid and reserved teenager, even so, she has a boyfriend called Nigel Ashcroft (an ex-member of Uriah's gang), who quit the bad-boy group because Taranee wanted him to, and so he did. She can be a bit of a "goody-goody" at times and always tries to do what's right. Taranee is the most intelligent member of the group, and her favorite subject is mathematics. She loves photography, basketball, dancing, and classical music, but hates bugs except for butterflies, grasshoppers and crickets.

Her mother is Judge Theresa Cook, and her father, Lionel, is an ex-lawyer turned psychologist. Taranee stated that she believes that they are over-protective of her. Taranee has an older brother called Peter Lancelot Cook, who, unlike the siblings of other fellow W.I.T.C.H. members, is really kind, understanding, and grateful to her and her friends, and has a slight crush on Cornelia, and also loves to surf and skateboard. Like her predecessor Halinor, Taranee is an insecure and even cowardly girl, she was also ironically, afraid of fire which was one of her most fears, but then got used to her pyrokinesis.

When people toy or play with Taranee's feelings, she gets extremely angry and her powers increase drastically. Even Cedric once stated that her elemental power is the most indomitable of all five elements when at its peak. Her voice is provided by Miss Kittie in the animated series.

Chronology

Before W.I.T.C.H.

Before living in Heatherfield, Taranee lived in another town known as Sesamo (called Sesame in the English translation). Because of the move to a different town, Taranee was emotionally and mentally affected but understood that she had no choice but to move to Heatherfield because of her parents' new job placement. In the comics, it is stated that a year before moving to Heatherfield, the Cook family went house hunting on their own accord. Taranee, upset by this, wandered off by herself and found a house of her own. Looking through the window, she saw a hypnotic fire dancing inside. When Taranee asked the real-estate agent about the house, he told her that it was abandoned and that nobody had lived there for years. When Taranee and her parents enter the house, the fire Taranee saw disappeared and the house appeared to be empty. The Cook family made the decision to move into this particular house.

In the comics, Taranee moved to Heatherfield just a few days before Will, but in the animated series she moved one year prior to Will. Also in the comics it is stated that Taranee was adopted when she was very young. Neither she nor her brother Peter (who was too young at the time to know) were made aware of this until they were both in their teens.

Forming W.I.T.C.H.

Comics: In the comics, Taranee bumped into the new girl Will Vandom, just a few days after moving to Heatherfield herself. The two girls became fast friends, and soon became friends with Cornelia Hale, Irma Lair, Hay Lin and Elyon Brown. One night, their local school was throwing a Halloween dance where Cornelia, Irma, Hay Lin and Elyon urge Taranee and Will to come with them. Uriah, the school bully, and his gang play a prank involving firecrackers that puts the girls, and everyone at the party, in harm's way. But after a bit of Taranee's quick thinking and unidentified powers, the girls survive the ordeal without a scratch, or rather, burn. The next day Will, Irma, Taranee, Cornelia and Hay Lin meet at Hay Lin's house to discuss the strange dream that three of the five had. It was then that Yan Lin, Hay Lin's grandmother, informed the girls about their elemental powers, and about Kandrakar (also spelled Candracar), entrusting the Heart of Kandrakar to Will. Animated Series: In the animated series, Taranee had been friends with Irma, Cornelia and Hay Lin since living in Heatherfield. After Uriah's gang picks on the new girl Will at the science fair, Taranee encourages the girls to be nice to her and calls Will over to talk to them. Taranee tells Will that she knows what it's like to be the new girl. While the other girls talk about how they hate Uriah, they somehow exude a bit of their powers. Hay Lin arrives and invites the girls for tea and cookies at her house, as that's what her grandmother had influenced Hay Lin to do. At Hay Lin's, Yan Lin explains about the Guardians and entrusts the Heart of Kandrakar to Will. This is when Taranee and the girls learn about their powers.

Quitting W.I.T.C.H.

In the third saga of the comic books, Taranee is provoked by the Oracle's recent actions, which include not telling Cornelia about Caleb's decision to go back to Meridian and not helping them in their next task. Taranee's last straw is when the nymph Xin Jing's Gift of Regeneration cures her eyesight, as she did not ask for it in the first place, did not want it, and had to wear glasses when she did not need them. Taranee then decides to quit being a Guardian, although she doesn't lose her place as Guardian of Fire. The Oracle is sure she will come back (which of course, she does), but sends for a temporary replacement anyway. The replacement is the warrior Orube, from the Oracle's home planet of Basilíade, who is given no elemental power but excels at martial arts and can shoot energy beams.

Orube goes to live on Earth under the alias of Mrs. Rudolph's niece, Rebecca Rudolph, in order to better understand the other girls and get along with them. Orube is welcome to stay as a Guardian after Taranee's return, but is mostly left out of missions and audiences at Kandrakar in the fourth saga.

Appearance

Taranee has blue-black hair, brown eyes, and wears black glasses. Her birthday is March 23, making her an Aries. She is also 13.

Although she is shy and laid-back, Taranee is very determined when she sets her mind on a goal, and is usually the one who reminds her friends of important tasks to be done. Her hobbies include basketball, listening to classical music, photography, and her favorite subject, math. Taranee is very close to her family,

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which consists of her parents and Peter Cook, her older brother, who is very nice to her and her friends. Though she is very sensitive, Taranee gets annoyed when people hurt or playing with her feelings and could become extremely dangerous when that happens.

Taranee has power over fire. Her theme color varies from red to orange and her symbol is a triangle. Taranee's Guardian uniform is the one that allows the most mobility out of the five, as most of her limbs are exposed for easy fighting. It consists of a purple, turtleneck shirt which is similar to a tank top or a cropped top of some sort. She wears tight, teal shorts over turquoise and green-striped tights, purple wristbands, and high-heeled boots; also her hair is styled into feathery braids around her head. In the New Power Arc, her top changes into a tight T-shirt with her emblem across the chest and she gains black, fingerless, biker gloves. In addition, the bottom section of her hair grows out into long, elaborate dreadlocks.

Powers and Abilities

Taranee in her guardian form

Taranee, as the Guardian of Fire, can spontaneously generate and manipulate flame and heat. She can create blasts or continuous streams of flame, though prefers to generate concentrated fireballs when attacking. Taranee has been shown creating whirling discs of fire, pinpoint beams of flame from her finger for precision strikes, and can breathe fire. As of the 'New Power' arc, she gains the ability to become a being of living fire, which boosts her powers significantly. She also becomes a human torch when she becomes one with the fire dragon in Z Is For Zenith.

Using the more thermal aspect of her Guardian powers, Taranee can sense nearby sources of heat and release concussive bursts of heat. Later, she uses her powers in creating pure thermal energy as a defensive barrier that vaporizes nearly all projectiles. She can manipulate the temperature of an object by thought, melting it by adding to its heat, or make it brittle by taking away the objects' heat. She accomplished the feat of defeating Nerissa's soldier, Ember, by absorbing the heat that emanated from her body made of magma. When she gets angry, her powers increase constantly.

Taranee is a telepath, able to read, project, and perceive thoughts. She can project her thoughts outwards similar to talking and is the center of the special psychic link between all the Guardians, who all learn telepathy through her. When she uses her telepathic powers, flames flash in her eyes and, in most cases, the flames are reflected in her glasses. She is able to sense the presence of others, and can understand the meaning of dreams almost instantly. Initially, she could only use her telepathy on the other members of W.I.T.C.H., but as of Ludmoore, was able to read the thoughts of other people as well.

Taranee has shown she is able to:

Fire Powers

Taranee Cook (Television Series)/Power Development

  • Pyrokinesis: This is the ability to control and manipulate any fire or flame, even ones she did not create, and utilize them in any way imaginable. She possesses complete and precise control over their shape, size, intensity, density, temperature, and even color. She could alter its size and intensity from a mere candlestick flame, to an immeasurable inferno. She could telekinetically manipulate any fire or flame to do whatever she desires. She can breathe fire, cause huge, fiery explosions, and use fire to cut through objects. She can even form and control fireworks and dangerous infernos.
    • Fire Shield: She can create force fields of fire.
    • Pyromancy: She can see vivid visions or scene through fire.
    • Pyrokinetic Constructs: She can create objects out of fire. Users can turn the fire into tools, objects, weapons and other items, create semi-living constructs and/or create structures/buildings of varying permanence. Users who have mastered this ability can use it for almost any situation, creating anything they need.
    • Fire Ball Projection: Create balls of fire.
    • Ring Creation: Create rings of fire.
    • Disc Generation: Throw whirling discs of fire and heat.
    • Shield Generation: Use fire as a shield to bounce back attacks.
  • Thermokinesis: She has the ability to manipulate temperature by thought. She can use pure thermal energy as a defensive barrier that vaporizes nearly all projectiles. She can melt any object or food like chocolate, ice, glass etc. She can absorb the heat of opponents.
    • Microwaves Emission: She can throw blasts of heat energy (heat waves).
    • Heat Senses: Sense the heat presence of others.
    • Heat Rays: She can fire heat rays from her fingertips to weld metal.
    • Heat Absorption: Absorb the heat of opponents.
  • Telepathy: Contact the other Guardians through telepathy' read, project, and perceive thoughts of others as well as peoples' feelings, and memories, use her telepathic powers to stun or kill opponents.
  • Understand the concept of dreams instantly.
  • Animal Communication: She can communicate with animals, such as dogs, dolphins, cats and ravens.
  • Superhuman Awareness.
  • Uses fire to fly. 

Taranee's power as her status as a guardian:

  • Flight (only in the TV show).
  • Teleportation.
  • Glamouring.

Weaknesses

The Star of Threbe: Taranee as well as the rest of the guardians was rendered powerless due to the power of the Star of Threbe, used to find Elyon. The star renders powerless anyone who might prevent her from returning home. Ironically the star was created with the Heart of Kandrakar.[2]

Appearances

Love Life

Comics

Like the other girls from the comic book series, Taranee has a love life. Nigel Ashcroft was once part of a group of bullies and got into trouble when they broke into a museum and Taranee's mother judged them. Because of this Nigel's friends hold a grudge against Taranee. Nigel, however, defends Taranee against his 'friends'. Later on a special friendship blooms and Nigel and Taranee started dating. Nigel's friendship with his former friends ends, and Nigel starts a new way of life by doing good and making new friends such as Martin, Matt, Eric, and Peter.

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Nigel's older brother, Daniel, who was judged and punished by Taranee's mother, shortly returns to

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Heatherfield and reunites with his younger brother. This causes a riff between Nigel and Taranee, ending with him breaking up with her unexpectedly. Despite of this their relationship does not stop there. Taranee tries to find out the reason but Nigel ignores her and even starts harassing her with his brother, such as writing the word 'unbearable coward' on her parents' car, which is directed at Taranee. But soon, Nigel is overwhelmed with guilt feeling sorry for what he did. He apologizes to Taranee and to Taranee's parents, and Nigel and Taranee become girlfriend and boyfriend again.

Their relationship starts off good but soon begins to have problems again. Taranee starts having dancing lessons which results in taking up a lot of her time and getting new friends. Taranee starts neglecting her four other friends, and even Nigel, who has started to get annoyed at Taranee spending most of her time practicing dancing moves. Taranee befriends a new boy named Luke, who is also part of the dancing group. A friendship starts between them, and Luke becomes interested in Taranee (finding her pretty and kind). Soon, Taranee develops feelings for Luke as well, and admits to her brother that she thinks she is no longer in love with Nigel. It's later revealed that the two broke up around this time.

Taranee continues to interact with Luke but their relationship never progresses beyond being friends and dance partners.

Later on in issue 77, Taranee develops feelings for a boy named Hamza, whom she meets on a vacation at a summer camp. Hamza and Taranee weren't able to communicate well as they both come from different countries and don't understand each other's languages. Despite this, they get together. Taranee started having fantasies of being with him at Heatherfield and introducing him to her friends, but she realizes they weren't meant for each other, considering the distance and the fact that they just met. They soon parted ways and Hamza was never mentioned again.

Taranee goes through many one-off romances through the remainder of the series.

In Issue 98, she is good friends with classmate Francis and kisses him on the cheek for good luck with his test results, causing him to blush.

In issue 112, she goes to visit her Aunt Louisiana and falls for her neighbor's handsome grandson. He in turn thinks her beautiful and the two sneak away to spent time together.

In issue 113, Taranee is instantly crushing on the handsome Arthur, even though he's an adult and the boyfriend of starfish princess Mareeve. She goes so far as to try to have a group hug with him until being pulled away by Will.

Issue 114, Taranee starts crushing on her new neighbor, Jason Drake, who turns out to be the son of Sheffield's new geography teacher. She takes to spying on him through the window and believes he plays the violin and eats spring rolls, which would make him her ideal type. However, after getting to know the boy, she realizes he isn't what she thought he was and the crush ends there.

Issue 115, while WITCH travels back in time to last century Sheffield, Taranee starts up a friendship with a stable boy while she is impersonating a countess. The would-be romance ends abruptly when WITCH must return to their own time, not even giving her a chance to say goodbye.

Issue 121, the guardians are allowed a peek into their future ten years from now and while Taranee likes her future career as an Olympic runner, she doesn't approve of the overly-sappy boyfriend she has. Due to this, she decides to rearrange her fate to get a new future.

Issue 127, while Sheffield Institute is under threat of being sold, Taranee is approached by fellow classmate Gabriel, who tells her he finds her beautiful. This display of young love is so touching that the buyers change their minds about taking away the school as it would destroy the chances of so many other young people making these beautiful memories. Later, Taranee admits to her friends she isn't sure if she's in love with Gabriel, though her friends are certain he already loves her and Taranee doesn't seem to mind.

Issue 137, while on summer vacation, Taranee tries to catch the eye of the kiddie swim coach, Brad, but all her attempts seem to just embarrass her. This changes when he invites her to the Midsummer Dance where they both prove to be amazing dancers. As they are teamed up for a performance, Taranee realizes all she needed to do was to be herself.

Animated Series

In the animated series, Taranee retains her romance with Nigel though it has noticeable differences. Nigel does have a friendship with Uriah but is a more self-confident person, hanging out with them for fun rather than being peer-pressured. It should be noted that Nigel in the animated series plays the base guitar for Wreck55 and enjoys sushi. This makes him the ethnic-food loving musician that Taranee's comic book character described as her ideal guy. 

Their interactions began when asked Taranee out to a concert where he was playing with his band, Wreck55, and she told her friends he "finally figured out he likes [her]". The romance didn't start in full until the following school year began as she was excited for the summer's end just so she could see him again, as her mother theorized. He saved her from Uriah's teasing, admitting he had become friends with the bully over the summer, though was looking forwards to spending time with Taranee instead. He then asked her out to the club that night and she accepted happily. Later, as she was hunting around the school grounds to find her missing glasses, she came across Nigel aiding Uriah in vandalizing a school statue. Nigel brought her over to show her how he'd tagged a heart with their initials in it and though she appreciated the romantic gesture, it almost got her in trouble once the principal found the group. Taranee was let off of punishment but her mother, believing Nigel was a troublemaker, forbid her from seeing him again. Taranee refused to accept such an order and instead chose to turn herself into a rebel to match Nigel, then snuck out to attend their date. Uriah, Kurt, and Clubber were amazed by her transformation, but Nigel seemed concerned. Their date was cut short when Nerissa attacked the club to get to Taranee and she had to ditch Nigel outside to handle the situation. Later that night, while trying to sneak back into her house, she was caught and grounded by her mother. Shortly afterwards, Nigel snuck up to her balcony to see her and apologized for once again getting her into trouble. When Taranee complained about always being seen as the "good girl" and "smart one", Nigel declared that these were the traits he liked about her, returning her missing glasses and kissing her, to her delight. 

Unfortunately, Judge Cook continued to get in the way of this romance, threatening permanent grounding and even taking Taranee's cellphone if she tried to call Nigel. Unlike Taranee, Nigel didn't try to fight this and kept a distance so as not to get her into further trouble with her mother. She did not appreciate this compliance.

Taranee did eventually convince Nigel to start going out in secret, assuring him that her mother couldn't arrest him just for seeing her though he was more concerned that their being together was going to cause her problems more than him. On one such date, they became mixed up in a robbery and though they managed to stop the thieves, they were arrested as potential accomplices and taken downtown. Judge Cook was outraged to discovered them there, certain they were guilty which furthered Taranee's anger at her. The teens were quickly found innocent of any wrong doings and the repentant Judge apologized for the accusations, but Taranee refused to forgive her. Later, after meeting Kadma, Taranee recognized her own incorrect actions and likewise apologized to her mother for sneaking around instead of just showing her the great guy Nigel really was. The two made up and Taranee was allowed to keep dating Nigel, on the condition she bring him to the Cook house so they could meet him properly.

Taranee and Nigel were allowed to continue dating without further conflict.

Trivia

  • Taranee has lived in two houses that have been destroyed by fire.
  • She is in the same class as Hay Lin and Irma.
  • Her favorite colour is Red.
  • Her hobbies are photography and dance. She does photography for fun, but does dance seriously. She sometimes plays street basketball with her big brother Peter.
  • Taranee and Halinor both have the same emotional weakness, both of them suffer from fear.
  • She likes a good dance class, a relaxing afternoon, and a stunning photo.
  • She hates a bad dance class where everything goes wrong, fights with her mother, social (especially guy) mix ups, and insects.
  • She absolutely hates her mom's stubbornness, and Cornelia's and Irma's constant fights.
  • She likes classical music.
  • Her Birthday is March 23, same day as Gretchen Grundler.
  • She is voiced by Miss Kittie[3][4]

Reference

Gallery

Main Article: Taranee Cook/Gallery

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