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- "I'm the thing that monsters have nightmares about."
- ―Buffy Summers[src]
Buffy Anne Summers was a Slayer that was activated in the late 20th century. Born in 1981, she was called to be the Slayer in 1996 at the age of fifteen. Buffy was originally living in Los Angeles; but, due to an incident involving a gang of vampires at Hemery High School, she moved to Sunnydale with her mother. There, she acted as guardian of the Hellmouth for seven years before the town’s destruction in mid-2003. Initially a reluctant hero who constantly wished for nothing more than a normal life, Buffy eventually grew to embrace her destiny. Buffy is unique as a Slayer in many ways; she refuses to sacrifice her ordinary life for her supernatural destiny, often operates as part of a team with her friends the Scooby Gang, and has maintained several romantic relationships, two of which were with notorious vampires Angel and Spike.
Buffy is one of the longest-lived Slayers, and has returned from death not once, but twice, an act that disrupted the magic surrounding the traditional Slayer line. During their war with the First Evil, Buffy enacted a plan to activate every Potential Slayers in the world, abolishing the traditional line of Chosen Ones, before dedicating herself to gathering and training the Slayers she was responsible for creating.
A few years after the destruction of Sunnydale, Buffy, along with Angel, was involved in an ancient prophecy that would bring about the sentient Twilight dimension, destroying the Earth in the process. When Angel, possessed by Twilight, murdered her beloved Watcher and father figure, Rupert Giles, Buffy, enraged and grief-stricken, destroyed the Seed of Wonder, thus bringing about the end of magic on Earth. Considered a pariah among the remaining Slayers, Buffy established herself in San Francisco, where she continued her Slayer duties.
In childhood, she was close friends with her cousin Celia, and enjoyed playing Power Girl with her. When she was eight, she witnessed Celia’s murder in her hospital bed by Der Kindestod, a demon that killed sick children and who was only visible to those who were ill. Buffy was left with a fear of hospitals after the experience.
In the fifth grade, she developed a crush on sixth grader Billy Fordham; although the two were friends, he never returned her feelings. Buffy started attending Hemery High School in 1995, where she became a popular cheerleader and was elected both Prom Princess and Fiesta Queen.
Called as the Slayer
- "I've got a few things the other girls didn't have. For one thing, there's my keen fashion sense…"
- ―Buffy identifies her strengths as a Slayer.[src]
At the age of fifteen, Buffy suddenly began having violent dreams about women from different historical periods slaying monsters. Although she didn’t understand at first, her experiences were soon explained to her when she was approached at school by Merrick, a mysterious man who revealed her destiny as the "Chosen One" and became her first Watcher.
Buffy and Merrick initially butted heads due to his intolerance of her teenaged-girliness; however, the pair eventually gained a mutual fondness for each other as he trained her for battle against the vampire king Lothos. As her increasingly strange behavior alienated her from her peers and her boyfriend Jeffrey, she befriended fellow outcast Pike. She began relying on him for support after Merrick sacrificed himself to protect her from Lothos. Despite having had very little training, Buffy managed to defeat Lothos and his minions at a school dance. Unfortunately, she burnt down her high school’s gym in the process, for which she was subsequently expelled. Shortly after her expulsion, Buffy and Pike took an impromptu trip to Las Vegas to hunt vampires.
Upon their return, Buffy told her parents what had happened at Hemery High and about her destiny as the Slayer. They refused to believe her, thinking instead that she was losing her mind. They made the decision to commit her to an insane asylum. Shortly after her arrival, Buffy realized that it was better not to perpetuate her story, and she was released after a few short weeks. Buffy and her parents never spoke of it again.
- "It's my first day! I was afraid that I was gonna be behind in all my classes, that I wouldn't make any friends, that I would have last month's hair. I didn't think there'd be vampires on campus."
- ―Buffy is unable to escape her destiny as the Slayer.[src]
Buffy’s parents, who had been experiencing marital troubles for years, finally divorced, and Buffy moved with her mother to 1630 Revello Drive in Sunnydale, a small town in California. Little did they know that the town was located on a Hellmouth, and that Buffy’s presence there was predestined. Buffy enrolled at Sunnydale High where she became friends with Xander Harris and Willow Rosenberg as well as meeting her new Watcher, Rupert Giles. She also met Cordelia Chase, a superficial cheerleader reminiscent of Buffy before she became the Slayer, and Angel, a mysterious and handsome stranger who aided Buffy with cryptic advice. Buffy at first rejected her Slayer duties in favor of a normal life, but was forced into action to stop the vampire ritual known as the Harvest by the Order of Aurelius, a vampire cult under the rule of ancient and power vampire the Master, who was trapped underground in Sunnydale.
Together, Buffy, Xander, Willow, and Giles formed the Scooby Gang and continued to investigate the various supernatural mysteries that occurred on the Hellmouth. Wishing to have a social life separate from her Slayer duties, Buffy tried out for the cheerleading squad and briefly dated fellow student Owen Thurman, but these attempts at normalcy were quickly thwarted by supernatural activity.
Buffy gradually developed an attraction to Angel, and was horrified when she came to realize that he was a vampire. Though initially reluctant to slay him, she ultimately decided to do so when it appeared that Angel had attacked her mother. She relented upon discovering that he had a human soul as a result of being cursed by a Gypsy clan as punishment for his vicious crimes. Additionally, she found out that Angel had in fact been set up by the vampire Darla of the Order of Aurelius, Angel’s sire and Joyce’s true attacker, who was staked by Angel in the ensuing confrontation.
When people’s nightmares began coming true in Sunnydale, Buffy’s guilt over her parents’ divorce manifested and she was briefly transformed into a vampire. When a string of odd occurrences started, making what was believed to be the oncoming apocalypse, Giles warned Buffy that she would eventually be forced to battle the Master as the Hellmouth would open.
Upon learning that the infallible Pergamum Codex prophesied her death at the hands of the Master, a saddened and fearfully Buffy temporarily quit being the Slayer and contemplated leaving town, but accepted her fate after Willow discovered bodies of their classmates slaughtered inside the school. Armed with a crossbow and wearing a prom dress, Buffy descended down the sewers to confront the Master at his lair. Buffy was overpowered and bitten once, discovering it was her that would set the Master free as her Slayer blood gave him the power to do so. The Master then left Buffy to drown in a pool of water in the Master’s dwellings, but Xander resuscitated her, Awakening, Buffy felt more strong and confronted the Master once more, managing to defeat him and effectively closing the Hellmouth.
- "I love you. I don't know if I trust you."
- ―Buffy to Angel.[src]
Buffy spent the summer with her father in Los Angeles. During her time there she didn’t slay a single vampire, but after her fatal experience she began suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, causing her to lavish on material items like clothes while remaining emotionally distant from others. Upon her return to Sunnydale in the fall, she made her condition obvious by taking out her anger on her slaying-targets and behaving rudely to her friends. She finally recovered emotionally when she destroyed the Master’s skeleton when his remaining followers attempted to resurrect him.
In her junior year of high school, Buffy came into conflict with Spike, a vampire renowned for murdering two Slayers previously. Spike and his lover Drusilla were Angel’s former associates, and had come to Sunnydale intent on wreaking havoc on the town. Spike, in particular, wanted to make Buffy his third slayer kill.
Buffy once again attempted to attain some level of normalcy in her life when she lied to her Watcher so she could attend a frat-party alongside Cordelia, due to Giles’ strictness and Angel’s reluctance to start a real relationship. However, she was again forced into action when she was offered as a sacrifice to a snake demon by the fraternity. She also took her relationship with Angel to the next level, and the two began officially dating.
During the school career fair, Buffy’s test qualified her for training in law enforcement. Around this time, Buffy was targeted by the Order of Taraka, an order of assassins hired by Spike to kill her so she wouldn’t interrupt a ritual to heal a sickly and weak Drusilla. While taking hiding in Angel’s apartment, Buffy met Kendra Young, a second Slayer who had been mystically activated when Buffy drowned. The two quickly proved to be near-polar opposites, with Kendra’s complete devotion to her Slayer duties contrasting to Buffy’s emotions and loyalty to her friends and family. They eventually became friends and Kendra helped Buffy rescue Angel after he was kidnapped to complete Drusilla’s healing, his life for hers. From this, Kendra taught Buffy to appreciate that being a Slayer was part of who she was, and not just a burden.
On the night of her seventeenth birthday, Buffy lost her virginity to Angel when their passion for each other grew too strong. By causing Angel to experience a moment of true and utter happiness, she unknowingly lifted the curse placed on him a century earlier, causing him to lose his soul and revert to the evil Angelus, the most notoriously evil vampire in recorded history.
Angelus became obsessed with destroying Buffy’s life and joined Spike and Drusilla (now restored), who had reconstructed an invincible demon called the Judge to destroy humanity. Buffy managed to defeat the Judge with a stolen rocket launcher, but was unwilling to kill Angelus when the opportunity first presented itself. Angelus’ pathological harassment continued to take a heavy toll on Buffy and her friends over the months through the form of creepy letters and threatening to endanger her friends and family. He even revealed their intimate night together to her mother, forcing Buffy to go through “the talk” with her, though came to an understanding when Joyce assured her that she would always be looking out for her no matter how distant they were. Angelus emotional abuse eventually climaxed when he murdered the Scoobies’ ally and Giles’ love interest, Jenny Calendar. This caused Giles to endanger himself in an attempt to kill Angelus in retribution, nearly getting killed himself before Buffy saved him, not wanting to lose him, especially at a time like this.
When faced with Angelus’s subsequent plan to destroy the world, Buffy was completely willing to kill him, but also relied on Willow to re-ensoul him as a last resort after they discovered the spell to do so in Jenny’s office. Buffy accepted Angelus’ challenge to a duel with him under the threat of innocent’s lives, but was tricked again when he staged an attack against Willow and the others in the meantime which culminated to the death of Kendra at the hands of Drusilla. Coming to the scene of the crime, Buffy was suspected for Kendra’s murder and resisted arrest, making her a target to the Sunnydale police force.
Buffy then reluctantly accepted an alliance with Spike, who had become tired of Angelus’ presence and had no desire to see the world end. When returning home with Spike, she killed a vampire in front of her mother which was forced her to reveal her identity as the Slayer. Joyce reacted badly to the news and the two got into a fight, leading to Joyce giving Buffy a spur-of-the-moment ultimatum where she would be thrown out if she left the house to stop Angelus’ plot. Buffy accepted and returned to the scene of the crime to acquire a mystical sword given to her by Kendra prior to her death. The school’s Principal Snyder then arrived and expelled her.
Buffy confronted Angelus and tried to prevent him from opening a vortex to a hell dimension, while Willow cast the spell to re-ensoul Angel. Though the spell was successful, Angelus had already opened the vortex, and Buffy was forced to tearfully drive the sword through the Angel’s chest seconds after his re-ensoulment, sending him through the vortex to the hell dimension before he could even remember Angelus’ siege against her. Traumatized and alone, Buffy then boarded a bus out of Sunnydale and escaped to Los Angeles.
Return to Sunnydale
- Wesley: "The Council's orders are to concentrate on…"
- Buffy: "I don't think I'm gonna be taking any more orders. Not from you, not from them."
- — Buffy's "graduation" from the Watchers' Council[src]
In L.A., Buffy spent the summer waiting tables in a diner under a false identity (her middle name, Anne), trying to turn her back on her destiny. However, after rescuing a runaway from a hell dimension which struck her into battle mode, Buffy returned to Sunnydale to face her own demons.
Buffy had some difficulties reconnecting with her mother and friends which culminated in them having a big argument in the middle of her welcome back party after she was caught trying to run away once more. Buffy eventually reconciled with her friends and family following a zombie attack during the party. Buffy was also dropped from her charges and let back into Sunnydale High even though Snyder initially prevented her return from happening before being overruled by the School Board.
Buffy was required to improve her grades by doing several makeup tests, obtain a recommendation from a member of the school staff that wasn’t Giles himself, and received counseling for a small time. She also started a relationship with her schoolmate Scott Hope which ended shortly after a number of weeks. While this was happening, she discovered Angel had been returned from the hell dimension in a feral state. She secretly rehabilitated him at his mansion, helping him heal while still finding herself greatly drawn to him. When the Scoobies discovered this, they were disgusted, confused, and furious, though they begrudgingly accepted him back into the team when he saved Willow from being killed by a corrupt ex-Watcher.
Meanwhile, a rebellious new Slayer, Faith Lehane, arrived in town, immediately winning over Buffy’s friends and family and providing Buffy with a new ally. Contrary to Kendra who was the model slayer, Faith was a fun-loving brawler that threw responsibility more so than Buffy did. Buffy discovered that under her façade of enthusiasm for the kill was fear, having escaped from Sunnydale after the vampire Kakistos killed her Watcher and threatened to come after her. After averting the problem by slaying the vampire, Buffy and Faith started a complicated sisterly relationship of learning each others’ strengths and weaknesses.
Though Buffy and Angel attempted to simply be friends and nothing more, they eventually continued dating, though they took great care to keep their relationship celibate.
Shortly before her eighteenth birthday, Buffy was de-powered in preparation for her Cruciamentum, a Slayer rite of passage organized by the Watchers’ Council meant to test the Slayer’s practical capabilities. This pitted her against a psychotic vampire which she initially avoided though packed the courage to take him on when held her mother hostage and she ended victorious. Giles’ reluctance to see Buffy hurt and subsequent interference in the test led to him being fired as her official Watcher and replaced with Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, though Buffy quickly rebelled against Wesley and refused to take him seriously when he turned out to be little more than a bumbling idiot and a coward.
Eventually, Faith led Buffy on a rebellious tour of her side of Slaying, which did entice Buffy to some degree. This proved disastrous when Faith accidentally killed the Deputy Mayor and refused to take responsibility for her actions. Buffy tried to make her own up, but was shot down and Faith herself tried to frame Buffy for her crime by lying to Giles, though he saw through this. Buffy and Faith’s relationship would be then changed from that point on.
As the Senior Prom was closing in, Buffy expressed excitement in having her prefect high school experience with Angel as her date. However, realizing he could never give her a normal life, Angel broke up with Buffy the day before. Despite being extremely saddened, Buffy still made it her duty that she and her friends enjoy themselves at the event. She went forth and killed a group of mind-controlled hellhounds released by a dateless nerd before attending prom dressed in formal wear. To her surprise, she was presented with an award, acknowledging the countless times she saved the student body. Just as it couldn’t get better, Angel arrived in a tuxedo, not wanting to take her back but give her the slow dance she desired.Faith became increasingly alienated from the Scoobies and found a friend in the affable yet sinister Mayor of Sunnydale, who was preparing to become a pure-blood demon on the Sunnydale High Graduation Day and devour the student body. As the Mayor relied on Faith to help him prepare for his ascension, Buffy worked first to thwart his plans, then to organize a resistance. Faith impeded these efforts by poisoning Angel, leaving him on the verge of death; when the Watchers’ Council refused to help on the grounds that Angel was a vampire, a furious and disgusted Buffy chose to stop following the Council’s orders altogether, severing all ties with them. When the Scoobies learned that only the blood of a Slayer could save Angel’s life, Buffy attempted to sacrifice Faith to save him, willing to kill a human in this case. Their battle left Faith in a seemingly-permanent coma, and Buffy ultimately saved Angel by offering him her own blood.
Buffy then led her classmates in a climactic battle against the ascended Mayor and his minions, which culminated in an explosion that destroyed the Mayor as well as Sunnydale High School. After the smoke cleared, Angel left for Los Angeles so that Buffy could try to have a more normal life without him.
After the explosive events of her high school graduation, Buffy experienced difficulties adjusting to life as a college freshman at U.C. Sunnydale. She was injured during an encounter with a group of on-campus vampires, and came off as unstable to her friends when she suspected her overly compulsive roommate to be demon (which she was eventually proven correct in her assumption) and she began rooming with Willow after Kathy’s departure. Her troubles were only worsened by Angel’s recent departure. She sought comfort with fellow student Parker Abrams, and slept with him only a few weeks after meeting him. He then brushed her off as a one-night stand despite making her believe that this was the start of a new relationship.
Her experience with Parker was made more difficult by Spike, who had returned to Sunnydale after Drusilla left him once again. He uncovered the Gem of Amara — a ring that made any vampire who wore it invulnerable to vampiric weaknesses — and attacked her on campus. Though she managed to defeat him and take the ring back, Spike escaped into the sewers. At Buffy’s request, Oz delivered the Gem to Angel in Los Angeles.
During Thanksgiving, Buffy was forced to deal with Hus, the vengeful spirit of a Native American warrior, after he was released by Xander’s construction crew. Buffy — who had been determined to have a safe and normal holiday meal with her friends — was also shocked when Spike arrived unexpectedly at Giles’ flat, begging for help. Spike had been captured by the mysterious Initiative; a group of army-clad individuals Buffy had previously encountered on campus who implanted Spikewith a cerebral micro-chip that made it impossible for him to harm humans.
Buffy was aided in the battle against Hus by Angel, who had returned to Sunnydale without her knowledge. When Xander accidentally revealed that Angel had reappeared, Buffy immediately traveled to Los Angeles to confront him as she was hurt that he had spoken to everyone but her. Buffy and Angel agreed to remain apart; just as she was about to leave, they were attacked by a Mohra Demon. They tracked the demon down into the sewers and succeeded in wounding it before it escaped. The demon’s blood had mixed with Angel’s during the confrontation, causing him to become human again. Buffy and Angel reveled in finally being able to be together, but Angel soon discovered that The Powers That Be had not yet offered him redemption. When Angel was almost killed by the regenerated Mohra demon, Buffy managed to slay it. After Angel discovered that Buffy would die much sooner if he remained human, Angel had the the Oracles rewind time to reverse his transformation into a human. Buffy was left with no memory of the incident.
Back in Sunnydale, Buffy and the Scoobies kept Spike tied up in Giles’ flat as he bartered information about the Initiative for shelter and blood. At school, Buffy eventually attracted the sincere attention of her psychology teacher’s assistant, Riley Finn, and began to wonder how she could balance her Slayer duties while dating a seemingly-normal boy. While fighting the Gentlemen, however, Buffy came to discover that Riley had a secret of his own; he was a member of the Initiative, which Buffy learned was a government task force created to research mystical and demonic creatures led by Buffy’s psychology professor, Maggie Walsh.
Buffy briefly joined forces with the Initiative, but her relentless questioning of the organization’s motives, as well as her relationship with Riley, began to unsettle Professor Maggie Walsh, who tried to have her killed in action. Walsh was subsequently murdered by a creature of her own creation, the monstrous half-human/half-demon cyborg, Adam, who then escaped and began his plan to create an army of super soldiers like him.
Faith then awakened from her coma and used a mystical device left to her by the Mayor to switch bodies with Buffy. In Faith’s body, Buffy was taken into custody by the Watchers Council Special Operations Team. She managed to escape and convince Giles of her true identity. With the help of Willow and Tara Maclay, Buffy reversed the body swap.
Upon discovering that Faith had traveled to Los Angeles and was attempting to kill Angel, a furious Buffy traveled to L.A. for vengeance, only to discover that Faith had become remorseful for her crimes. This put Buffy into direct conflict with Angel, who insisted that Faith could be rehabilitated. Though understandably unwilling or unable to believe that Faith was capable of redemption, Buffy ultimately had no choice but to work together with her to fight back against the Watchers Council Special Operations Team. Faith subsequently surrendered herself to the police, and Buffy got into a heated exchange with Angel, climaxing when she used her relationship with Riley to put Angel on the defensive, who then harshly ordered her to go back to Sunnydale after reminding her that he himself could not move on from their relationship.
Angel subsequently returned to Sunnydale to apologize, and after running afoul of the Initiative in the process, succeeded in mending things with Buffy, with both sides admitting that they had been wrong. Riley, who had been torn between the Scooby Gang and the Initiative for some time, eventually turned his back on the corrupt organization to join Buffy after helping them save Oz from the Initiative complex. Having been drifting apart for the previous year, the existing tensions between Buffy, Giles, Willow, and Xander reached their boiling point when Spike, wanting to have the chip removed from his head, exploited them to turn the gang against each other as part of Adam’s plan. When Spike let too much information about the plot slip during an encounter with Buffy, causing the Scoobies to reconcile and combined their essences within Buffy’s body, allowing her to destroy Adam.
The Scoobies, helped by Riley and Spike, subsequently helped save the Initiative’s soldiers from the rampaging demon hordes within the complex; the Initiative was subsequently closed down by the U.S. government, and Riley was honorably discharged from the military. The four were later attacked in their dreams by the First Slayer, who was offended by their use of the adjoining spell to defeat Adam; Buffy promptly rejected the First Slayer’s insistence that the Slayer work alone without friends.
Sisterhood and Sacrifice
- "I need to know more. About where I come from, about the other Slayers. I mean, maybe… maybe if I learn to control this thing, I could be stronger, I could be better."
- ―Buffy embraces her role as the Slayer.[src]
Soon after her confrontation with the First Slayer, Buffy started to wonder about what it meant to be the Slayer and this encouraged her to start patrolling every night. On one of these patrols she encountered the world-renowned vampire Dracula, who had traveled to Sunnydale with the intention of making the legendary warrior his bride. Buffy — among others — was at first left powerless to Dracula’s unique "thrall", but managed to overcome his control over her and forced him to leave town. Her battle against the infamous Count combined with her encounter with the First Slayer made Buffy realize the inherent "darkness" behind the Slayer legend and made her want to learn more about the other slayers. She began to fully accept her duty as the Slayer for the first time in her life, and enlisted Giles to put her through more extensive training in order to make her a better Slayer.
Meanwhile, a younger sister, Dawn, had mysteriously appeared in the Summers’ household; her existence had been seamlessly integrated into the memories of all those she had ever known. After casting a spell on herself in the hopes of discovering the mystical source of an illness she believed her mother was blighted by, Buffy discovered that Dawn was not her sister at all, but rather a ball of magical energy known as the Key capable of opening interdimensional portals. A group of monks had influenced the Key to take human shape in order to protect it from a mentally unstable Higher Power known as Glorificus; they had chosen to put the Key in the Slayer’s care, as a sister, in the hopes that she would protect it with her life. Though Buffy was understandably skeptical of Dawn when she learned that she had been fabricated and integrated into her life without her prior knowledge, she quickly came to accept her responsibility as Dawn’s protector, not because she felt obliged to carry out the monks’ wishes, but because she slowly realized that she truly did love her sister, regardless of the circumstances of her existence.
Buffy continued to patrol Sunnydale and fight evil with the Scoobies, despite the looming threat of Glory. After an encounter with an average vampire left her badly wounded, she became interested learning the deaths of past Slayers, and poured through old Watchers’ records with Giles in an attempt to better understand her situation. She eventually went to Spike for information instead, who, having killed two Slayers in his lifetime, proved particularly knowledgeable on the subject. He brought her to the Bronze, where he recounted to her the events of his life in great detail, from his human life as William Pratt, to his siring by Drusilla, his rivalry with Angelus and his obsession with Slayers. He imparted to her his own personal philosophy in regards to Slayers — that everyone has a death wish — before she shoved him to the ground and returned home, where she had to confront her mother’s worsening state. As she cried on the back porch, Spike suddenly appeared; though he at first seemed frustrated and intent on harming her for her prior words, upon seeing her in distress, he abandoned his pointless vendetta and comforted her for the first time.
Buffy’s relationship with Riley slowly began deteriorate as she repeatedly failed to give him the emotional intimacy he craved. Riley began visiting a vampire brothel where he would allow vampires to bite him; when Buffy discovered this as a result of Spike’s interference, she destroyed the brothel and confronted Riley, after which he left her and returned to the military. Buffy dealt with Riley’s departure as best as she could, but remained emotionally sensitive. Buffy’s pain over having had two failed relationships caused her to take an interest in Ben Wilkinson, a handsome medic. However, an encounter with the love-struck robot girlfriend of one of her former Sunnydale High classmate Warren Mears made hers realize that she was overly dependent on men and decided she needed to be by herself for a while. This proved to be greatly fortunate as Ben was secretly Glory’s human vessel.
Watchers Council eventually came to Sunnydale with information about Glory, but refused to give it up until Buffy passed a test they had prepared for her. The Council interviewed Buffy’s friends and allies in order to ascertain if she was “worthy” of the knowledge they had to deliver. Though Buffy at first failed to meet their high standards, it was through a conversation with Glory (who threatened to kill her and her friends) that gave her the confidence to stand up to the Council. Through a rousing speech, she managed to convince them to give her all the information they and reinstate Giles into the Council as her paid Watcher. With the Council’s knowledge, Buffy discovered Glory was not a demon at all, but a deity.
Later, Dawn casually revealed to Buffy that Spike had fallen in love with her, much to Buffy’s surprise and disgust. She confronted him about it on a stakeout; while she attempted to tell him that his feelings were impossible, he kidnapped her in order to proclaim his devotion to her via murdering his sire and ex-lover, Drusilla. Buffy managed to escape, and subsequently alienated Spike from the Scoobies and had Willow recant his invitation into her house — something she had not bothered to do since he first helped her during their fight against Angel.
Buffy and Dawn were then devastated by the death of their mother shortly after. Joyce had been experiencing health problems for months, and only recently received surgery for a brain tumor when she died unexpectedly from an aneurysm. In order to fully take up her role as Dawn’s legal guardian, Buffy was forced to drop out of college, though she faced difficulties as a result of Dawn’s increasingly rebellious behavior.
Meanwhile, Giles decided to take Buffy on a vision quest to help her discover that being the Slayer truly meant. In involved the First Slayer, her vision guide, cryptically telling her that death was her "gift." Buffy found such a message both confusing and hurtful so soon after her mother’s passing, and immediately returned to Sunnydale. Upon her return, she discovered that Spike forced Warren to build Buffybot, a robotic sex toy in her likeness, which had resulted in him being captured by Glorificus’ minions in belief that he was the Key. Despite her understandable rage and disgust over the robot’s existence, Buffy saved Spike and subsequently discovered that he had endured intense torture — and come close to dying — at the hands of Glory in order to protect Dawn’s identity as the Key. Moved by his sacrifice, Buffy rewarded Spike with a kiss and reconciled with him, welcoming him back into her circle of friends.
When Glory finally discovered that Dawn was the Key, Buffy immediately had her and the gang rushed out of Sunnydale in a Winnebago piloted by Spike. This attempt was hampered when the Knights of Byzantium, a militia intent on killing the Key to stop Glory, attacked the Scoobies on the road. The Scoobies then held up inside an abandoned gas station and called in Ben to treat Giles who had been injured in the assault. He then unwillingly turned into Glory who kidnapped Dawn, despite Buffy and the others’ attempts to protect her.
Believing she had failed, Buffy broke down retreated into her subconscious, where she battled with the guilt of having failed to protect her sister. Via magic, Willow successfully dove into Buffy’s mind and helped her overcome her helplessness.
Although she knew that Dawn’s death would destroy Glory’s plan for good, Buffy refused to allow her sister to be harmed. She prepared for the battle with the Scoobies; whilst retrieving weapons from her house, she granted Spike permission to enter again, after which he expressed his gratitude to her for treating him "like a man." Buffy and the others subsequently attacked Glory’s stronghold in full force. Willow weakened Glory’s mentality, while Xander hit her with a wrecking ball and Buffy beat her repeatedly with Olaf the Troll God's Enchanted Hammer, before she finally reverted to Ben’s weaker form. Not wanting to kill an innocent human, Buffy allowed Ben to live, warning him not to go after Dawn again. Giles, however, knew that Glory would rise again and killed Ben with his own hands, thus destroying her.
Spike climbed the tower where the ritual was to be performed in an attempt to rescue Dawn, but was outmaneuvered and thrown off the tower by Doc, secretly one of Glory’s followers. Despite all the Scoobies’ best efforts, Dawn’s blood had already been used to open the interdimensional portal by the time Buffy reached her atop the tower. Dawn offered to sacrifice herself in order to stop the ritual, but Buffy, who at that moment understood the meaning behind the First Slayer’s message, chose instead to sacrifice herself for the good of the world. She lept into the portal — her blood, which Dawn’s had been modeled after, effectively closed the rift. Buffy’s allies stood over her body and wept openly. She was buried on the outskirts of Sunnydale with the epitaph: "She saved the world. A lot." Finally able to rest, she ascended to heaven, where she apparently found peace.
- "Dawn, listen to me. Listen. I love you. I will always love you. This is the work I have to do. Tell Giles that… tell Giles that I figured it out. And… and I'm okay. And give my love to my friends. You have to take care of them now. You have to take care of each other. You have to be strong. Dawn, the hardest thing in this world is to live in it. Be brave. Live. For me."
- ―Buffy's dying words[src]
- "Everything here is… hard, and bright, and violent. Everything I feel, everything I touch… this is hell. Just getting through the next moment, and the one after that… knowing what I've lost…"
- ―Buffy after being pulled out of heaven.[src]
Several months later, Buffy was resurrected by her friends who had feared that her spirit had been trapped in a hell dimension due to the mystical circumstances of her death. In reality, she had been allowed to move onto heaven, where she had apparently found peace and happiness.
After crawling from the depths of her own grave, Buffy aimlessly wandered the streets of Sunnydale before being found and taken back to her house by Dawn. Buffy was comforted by Spike, who had been serving as Dawn’s protector and sitter in Buffy’s absence and officially joined the Scooby Gang in Buffy’s absence. Her transition back to life was very difficult; she experienced an overwhelming sense of loss after being — as she put it — ripped out of heaven and thrust back into a world of pain. She had to take back her duties as the Slayer, and deal with the everyday responsibilities of raising Dawn, working and paying bills. She attempted to keep the secret that she had been in heaven from her friends, not wanting them to share in her grief, and confided only in Spike, though the truth ultimately came out when she was under the influence of the demon Sweet. Buffy’s depression worsened when Giles left Sunnydale and returned to England when she became overly dependent on him.
Struggling to feel alive and seeking someone who understood her, Buffy began a violent sexual relationship with Spike which left neither of them satisfied, keeping it secret from everyone but Tara out of fear of their reaction. What initiated the relationship was the fact that Spike could now hit her despite his chip still working. Buffy consulted with Tara on whether her resurrection changed who she is and thus no longer made her a human according to the chip. Tara discovered that the chip was merely confused due to her mystical resurrection, upsetting Buffy as it made her come to terms with the fact that her relationship with Spike was her own doing and not anything outside her control.
In order to deal with her increasing financial problems, Buffy started working at a local burger bar called the Doublemeat Palace, a job she found degrading and disturbingly mundane. With all of these problems, Buffy sank into severe depression and self-loathing.
Meanwhile, Willow, proceeding Buffy’s resurrection, developed an addiction to magic and began to use it excessively, which Buffy, faced with her own problems, failed to notice and largely ignored at first, even when confronted with evidence by Anya and Xander. This climaxed when a spell cast by Willow went awry and erased all of the memories of the Scooby Gang; when the spell was ended, Tara dumped Willow, which immediately caused Willow’s addiction to spiral out of control. Buffy finally became aware of the full extent of Willow’s addiction when she and Amy Madison (having been transformed into a rat for three years, only to be finally changed back) began making regular visits to Rack, a shady sorcery dealer, which only worsened Willow’s condition. When Willow made another trip to Rack’s place with Dawn in tow, the two were attacked by a demon that Willow unwittingly summoned during her high, and Willow’s carelessness caused a car accident that left Dawn severely injured. Buffy and Spike arrived in time to save them and, despite being understandably furious with Willow, relented slightly when Willow desperately begged her for help. With Buffy’s help, Willow renounced the usage of her magic altogether and was put on the road to recovery.
In contrast to the ruthless hell-goddess Buffy faced the year before, her newest "nemesises" consisted of her old nerdy classmates that formed a group called the "Trio", with the intent of committing crimes, obtaining women and eventually taking over Sunnydale. Seeing Buffy as a foil in their plans, they made it their top priority to take the Slayer out, proceeding with several, ongoing minor annoyances against her, though she never had any interest in directly stopping them. One of their games led to accidentally turning Buffy invisible. At first Buffy enjoyed this new power by tricking the mentality of a social worker that was unimpressed by Buffy’s ability as Dawn’s guardian, and by desperately going to Spike for sex.
Upon learning that if she were to continue being invisible her molecule structure would break down, Buffy sought to stop the Trio and made herself visible, not wanting to die despite her current grime state of life. The Trio’s scheme’s finally reached breaking point when their leader, Warren Mears, accidentally killed his ex-girlfriend Katrina after a mystical date-rape attempt. With the use of Jonathan Levinson’s magicks and Andrew Wells’s demon summoning, he manipulated events to make Buffy think she killed Katrina. Convinced, Buffy was ready to confess to the police, although this was thwarted when Spike dumped the body to save her. In an encounter of grief and denial in her relationship with Spike, Buffy beat him severely. Luckily for her, Buffy discovered that she wasn’t actually the perpetrator of the crime and the death was ruled as a suicide; nonetheless, Buffy realized that the Trio were becoming too dangerous for her to ignore and resolved to bring them to justice.
Buffy soon met Riley again when she enlisted her help with a demon he’s tracking. Buffy discovered that his current situation was much desirable than her own; Riley as happily married now while Buffy was desperately turning to Spike for relief. This realization shocked Buffy into finally breaking up with Spike, admitting to him that she was just using him and it was killing her. Confused and angry, Spike later got drunk with Anya, who had recently been left at the altar by Xander, and the two had sex in the Magic Box, which the Scoobies discovered through hidden cameras that the Trio had planted in the Bronze, the Magic Box, and Buffy’s house. Xander subsequently attempted to kill Spike in a jealous rage, but Buffy intervened, revealing her secret relationship with Spike in the process; though Willow, Dawn, and Anya accepted it with relative grace, understanding what Buffy had been going through, Xander reacted exactly as Buffy feared, though he eventually realized why Buffy had kept it secret and apologized. Later, Spike cornered her in her bathroom, and in a misguided attempt to force her to admit her love for him, tried to rape her. She managed to fight him off, and in tears, dared him to ask again why she couldn’t love him. Frustrated with his own inability to be either a man or a monster and disgusted with himself for his own actions, Spike fled Sunnydale.
After yet again foiling the Trio’s plan, an enraged and embarrassed Warren tried to kill Buffy by shooting at her while she was caught off-guard in her backyard. Buffy used the split-second she had after being made aware of Warren’s presence to push Xander out of the way and take the bullet in the process. Meanwhile, one of Warren’s stray bullets accidentally killed Tara. Willow, enraged and grief-stricken, suffered a relapse and recklessly absorbed a large amount of dark magic. Willow saved Buffy at the hospital by telekinetically removing the bullet before proceeding to hunt down Warren and exacting bloody revenge against him; Willow flaying him alive before the eyes of her friends who came to stop her.
Despite Warren’s actions, Buffy was adamant that Willow had done the wrong thing and worked to protect Andrew and Jonathan (who had no involvement in Tara’s murder) to prevent further deaths and to prevent her friend from becoming completely evil. Buffy even battled her best friend one-on-one so that the remaining Trio members could escape, but was promptly defeated before Giles came to her rescue.
In the ensuing battle, the Magic Box was destroyed and Willow tried to kill Andrew and Jonathan with a homing fireball which Buffy managed to stop, though this resulted in Dawn and herself being trapped underground in the cemetery where the fireball impacted.
Willow then tried to destroy the whole world to end everybody’s pain, which caused a number of demons to spawn and attack Buffy and Dawn. Xander eventually got through to Willow in the end. The trauma of Tara’s death, Willow nearly destroying the world and seeing Dawn’s showing her proficiency with a sword was all it took in helping Buffy to realize that life was worth living after all. With that, Buffy promised to stop her self-destructive behavior in order to be there for Dawn when Dawn needed her; with this crisis resolved, Buffy was finally ready to live again.
Leader to the Potentials
- "So I say we change the rule. I say my power… should be our power."
- ―Buffy chooses to share her power with the Potentials.[src]
When Dawn enrolled in the recently rebuilt Sunnydale High as a freshman, Buffy was offered a job as guidance counselor by Principal Robin Wood, which she gratefully accepted. Initially, she found it to be an unfulfilling experience, as she was unable to connect with any of the students that came to her for advice, while others had trivial reasons. She soon became concerned when a girl with psychic powers, Cassie Newton, came to her claiming she would soon die. Buffy at first thought she was suicidal, but after learning it was an upcoming event, she saved her from being sacrificed by a group of demon-worshiping students. Afterwards, Buffy discovered it was actually because of a congenital heart condition that Cassie would die from. Cassie would be the first of numerous young women Buffy wouldn’t be able to save in the following months.
Meanwhile, Buffy had discovered that Spike was living in the basement of the high school. Though at first taken aback by his madness, she eventually came to realize that he had regained his soul in order to prove himself to her. Recognizing that he had changed, she brought him out of the basement and helped him to recover. It eventually became apparent that he was being controlled by an evil force to feed on, kill and sire humans in town. Buffy tied Spike to a chair in order to prohibit him from moving; after he frenzied and attacked Andrew Wells, she chained him in her basement. When he begged her to kill him, she refused, and expressed her belief in him. He was later kidnapped by the agents of The First Evil. The First’s minions had been tracking down and killing Potential Slayers in an attempt to abolish the entire Slayer chain. These Potentials were brought to Sunnydale for protection and training at Buffy’s home; the house was quickly overrun with teenage Potentials.
Andrew, who had been under the influence of the First and captured by Buffy and her friends, led them to the First’s area of focus, the Seal of Danzalthar, situated on the gateway to the Hellmouth; Spike’s blood had been used to open the Seal. Upon investigating the creature that had been released, Buffy encountered an ancient and powerful vampire known as a Turok-Han. Buffy eventually stepped up as leader to the Potentials, and killed the Turok-Han to prove her determination and ability. Afterward, she delved into the First’s lair, where she rescued Spike, who had been brutally tortured by both the First and the Turok-Han.
She later used the Slayer Emergency Kit given to her by Robin, whose mother was a Slayer herself. She used this to contact the the Shadow Men for assistance. In response they took her into another dimension and offered to increase her strength via the essence of a demon. Buffy refused, unwilling to sacrifice her humanity in exchange for power.
Meanwhile, a reformed Faith, having escaped from prison to help Angel, traveled to Sunnydale to aid the Scoobies in the battle. Upon learning that the First’s minion Caleb had something of hers, Buffy led the Potentials into battle at a Vineyard to retrieve it, which resulted in the loss of several girls as well as Xander’s eye. With this, the Scoobies and Potentials, having been losing confidence in Buffy’s leadership skills and methods for quite some time, held a mutiny, appointing a reluctant Faith their leader and forcing Buffy out of the house. Alone, she briefly resided in a house that had been abandoned by its owner.
Only Spike remained loyal to her; he followed her to the house, and expressed his love and admiration for her; it was because of his belief in her that Buffy was able to overcome her feelings of rejection and depression, and found the strength to keep fighting. Through quick maneuvers and witty remarks, Buffy found the object Caleb was keeping from her — an ancient Slayer Scythe — and saved the Potentials and Faith after the latter led them into a trap, earning back the gang’s loyalty and finally making peace with Faith before revealing her plan to share her power with the other Potentials.
Also, with the help of Angel, Buffy finally defeated Caleb and killed him by cutting him in half, killing the First’s leading enforcer and one of her greatest foes. The First confronted her once more. From the rantings on how there was only one Slayer, Buffy realized her revolutionary idea.
Willow used the Scythe to perform a spell that activated Slayers all around the world. This happened just as Buffy led an army of potential Slayers down to the Hellmouth through the Seal of Danzalthar in the now abandoned Sunnydale High. A huge battle was then waged between the newly-activated Slayers and the Turok-Han Vampires. During the fight, Buffy was struck down with a sword and then taunted by the First while witnessing the loss of several new Slayers; Buffy, however, found the strength within herself to get up again and continue fighting.
When Spike’s amulet suddenly activated, she rushed to his side and attempted to urge him to accompany her to the surface. He made it clear that he needed to finish his job; the two locked fingers, and their hands ignited in flame. Buffy confessed her love for him, though he remained unconvinced yet flattered by the gesture, and then escaped the ruins at Spike’s insistence.
With the other survivors, she looked on at the crater where her hometown had been situated, and revealed to them that Spike had sacrificed himself to save the world. Resolved to go on, she reflected on what they would do next.
A New World
- "The thing about changing the world… once you do it, the world’s all different."
- ―Buffy reflects on her new role.[src]
Following the destruction of Sunnydale, the Scoobies scattered across the globe to locate and train newly-activated Slayers. Simultaneously, in Los Angeles, Angel and his team began working at the L.A. branch of the demonic law firm Wolfram & Hart. Believing he had been corrupted by the firm, Buffy and her friends lost trust in him; when he contacted them for help containing the psychotic Slayer Dana, Buffy directed Andrew to L.A. to apprehend her, but refused to leave her in Angel’s care afterwards, and even sent a sizable squad of Slayers to ensure that Andrew accompanied her back out of the city.
Meanwhile, in the midst of mourning Anya’s death, Xander had once again fallen under Dracula’s thrall. Buffy was left with no choice but to break into the elder vampire’s castle and convince him to let his "manservant" go. When he returned, he resumed his place in Buffy’s team. Encompassing both mystics and a wide technological army, as well as countless new Slayers, the Scoobies expanded to keep watch on demonic threats on a global scale. Although it counted with voluntary donors, Buffy funded this organization’s great expenses by robbing a Swiss bank with the help of several of her fellow Slayers, which she later reasoned had been a victimless crime because of the bank’s insurance. Buffy was forced to create decoys of herself to divert enemy attention: one in Rome, supposedly dating the Immortal, and the other underground; not even former allies — namely, Angel — were made aware of her true location.
Buffy, Xander, and Dawn — who had been magically made giant — eventually set up their base in a castle in Scotland, where Buffy, with the help of Xander as a watcher, trained new Slayers, and formed a team of her most trusted fighters, including Satsu, Rowena, and Leah. At some point, she learned that Spike had been resurrected in L.A., and, according to Willow, followed several leads to make sure the information was valid, but could not find the time to get in contact with him afterward.
Buffy eventually encountered signs of an attack from a new enemy known as Twilight. In her investigation, her team came under fire by the United States military, who had the Slayers declared terrorists, justified by Sunnydale’s violent destruction and the creation of a powerful army. General Voll, leader of the the secret operation investigating the town’s destruction, informed Buffy she was at war with the human race, and that many others like him were part of the anti-Slayer Twilight Group.
Though she had managed to organize a highly effective institution, Buffy failed to experience the feelings of connection that the other Slayers did. In her first encounter with Twilight, Buffy was warned that her decision to activate the Slayers had been a mistake, and she began to question her own actions. Accompanied with Satsu, her most trusted fighting companion, she discovered the other Slayer’s feelings for her, and, despite flattered, she was mostly worried for Satsu’s safety due to her own past relationships, describing that people tended to get hurt. The two ended up sleeping together anyway. While Satsu remained in love with her, Buffy adopted a stance of either avoiding or protecting her, ordering Satsu to lead Tokyo cell after its former leader, Aiko, was assassinated by Toru's pack. She accepted the position, and two had sex one last time, before parting ways indefinitely.
On a mission to New York, Buffy was transported several centuries into the future. In Haddyn, she discovered that, by the 23rd century, the thousands of Slayers activated had been reduced to one individual once more, a young woman named Melaka Fray. Though Buffy and Fray quickly became accustomed to each other, Fray betrayed her when she learned that if Buffy returned to her own time, her own world would cease to exist. Both Fray and a future version of Dark Willow tried to prevent her from returning home, prompting Buffy to kill future Willow, just as present Willow brought her back to her own time. When Buffy later told her of these events, Willow assured her that the future was not set in stone.
War Against Humanity
Over time, various factors — including Simone Doffler’s rogue Slayers, Harmony Kendall’s pro-vampire reality show, and the machinations of Twilight — caused the existence of the supernatural to become public knowledge and public opinion towards Slayers to turn hostile. Buffy herself became a public hate figure in the media, at one point being branded the "Worst Person in the World." The Scooby Gang fled to Tibet, where old friend and werewolf Oz taught them to suppress their magical powers in order to hide from Twilight.
When Twilight found them anyway, the Slayers were forced to fight a human war against the military, with casualties incurred on both sides. Buffy found herself suddenly and inexplicably imbued with new powers, including flight, super speed, and even greater strength than before; she quickly used these abilities to contain three wrathful goddesses that had been unleashed during the battle. She also confessed to Xander that she had developed romantic feelings for him, but acknowledged that she was too late as he had already fallen in love with Dawn.
During their second confrontation, Buffy was horrified when Twilight unmasked himself as Angel; he had created the Twilight persona to unite the various anti-Slayer forces and minimize the destruction they would cause. It was revealed that Buffy and Angel were actually prophesied to bring about an apocalyptic event which would destroy Earth and create the sentient Twilight dimension in its place. Being separated from each other for a long time, despite Angel’s actions as Twilight, Buffy and Angel succumbed to their passions and engaged in an act of passionate airborne sex. After that, they found themselves in the new twilight dimension. Despite the prospect of eternal happiness with Angel in the new paradise dimension, Buffy started questioning the reality, especially after observing that her friends were fighting the demons on earth unleashed by the creation of the new dimension. She decided to return to Earth to help her friends in the resulting apocalypse and, with brief hesitation, Angel following suit. Amidst this chaos, Spike returned to inform Buffy about the Seed of Wonder, the source of magic on Earth and the secret to defeating Twilight.
The Scooby Gang traveled to the ruins of Sunnydale, where they were confronted by the Master, resurrected and protecting the Seed. Taking possession of Angel, Twilight killed the Master, battled Buffy, and murdered Giles to prevent him from destroying the Seed; however, a grief-stricken Buffy succeeded where Giles had failed and smashed the Seed, defeating Twilight and putting an end to magic on Earth. Still in a state of despair and hopelessness, Buffy recuperated enough to prevent Xander from murdering Angel, tearfully pleading to him that she couldn’t handle losing anyone else close to her but most of all, she could not lose Xander by betraying his very being if he went through with this. This successfully calmed her friend down enough to stop and they quietly mourned together over Giles’ body.
With magic cut off from Earth, the Slayer organization disbanded and Buffy returned to relative civilian life. The government continued to monitor the remaining Slayers, although most of them no longer identified as such. Giles left the majority of his assets to Faith in his will; Buffy’s only inheritance was Vampyr, the book he presented her with on their first meeting. Faith interpreted this as Giles’ belief that Buffy was the one and only Slayer. Four months after the destruction of the Seed, Buffy was a guest in Xander and Dawn’s apartment in San Francisco, while working as a waitress at the coffee shop Pick Me Up. Willow told Buffy she had robbed the Earth of its heart by destroying the Seed; however, Spike assured her that nobody else could have acted better under the circumstances. When confronted with three Slayers angry at her for betraying the cause, Buffy asserted herself and focused on her mission, hoping that she had still managed to make some positive change to the world.
- "The trouble with changing the world is… you don't. Not all at once. You just inch it forward, a bit at a time, and watch it slip back, like the Greek guy with the rock. And you hope that when you're done, you've moved it up a little, changed it just enough. You hope. Let's go to work."
- ―Buffy comes to terms with the apparent failure of her Slayer army[src]
World Without Magic
- Willow: "This is what I'm talking about, Buffy. You don't realize how the destruction of the seed affected everyone. You only think about how it affected you. All the slayers, vampires, even the demons with magic mojo. You all got to keep your power because it's inside of you. But everyone else got cut off from what made them tick. For me, it was magic. Or that demon, his home."
- Buffy: "We've been through this. I had no choice."
- Willow: "Maybe… but that doesn't mean you can sit back like everything's over. You're going to have to deal with the fallout eventually. "
- — Buffy's dismissal of the end of magic[src]
After a while, Buffy moved out of Xander and Dawn’s apartment in favor of her own place, which she shared with two new roommates, Anaheed and Tumble. During her housewarming party, Buffy experienced a night of wild, unprecedented drinking — unable to recall the events of the previous evening the following day, she made slow attempts to piece together her memories while going about her daily business. Spike, who had also relocated to San Francisco ensuing the destruction of the Seed, continuously warned her about a new evil force stalking her, while Willow desperately tried to make Buffy realize the consequences of shattering the earth’s literal "spark of creation." While on rounds with both Spike and Willow, Buffy was suddenly approached by a demon, who, instead of attacking her, demanded that she pay back her student loans. Though Buffy withdrew money from her ATM, it wasn’t nearly enough to satisfy the demon.
Later, after Buffy saved a young man who was under attack by a vampire, she was suddenly arrested by the San Francisco detectives Robert Dowling and Cheung, who had recently discovered a large number of dead bodies, and had theorized they they belonged to vampires. Though both detectives decided not to free Buffy until she gave them the answers they desired, Buffy managed to escape custody, and became a fugitive from the law as a result. She fled to the top of a skyscraper, where Spike met her; the two discussed her predicament once more. He expressed worry for her, and resolved to continue looking for the thing that had been seeking her, much to Buffy’s gratitude. She then came across the same man she had saved earlier — Severin — who revealed his mysterious ability to drain the energy from mystical beings. Buffy also discovered one of the more pressing consequences of the destruction of the Seed: all vampires sired after Seed’s shattering had risen mindless and feral, and were later dubbed "zompires" by Xander. After consulting on the matter with the Scoobies, Buffy accompanied Severin to take out a vampire nest, only to have Severin turn on her when they entered a seaside warehouse filled with dead bodies.
In the ensuing fight, Severin told Buffy that he had to kill all those vampires because Buffy destroyed the Seed and that she didn’t deserve her power. When Severin shrugged off a stake to the heart because of the energy he had absorbed, Buffy resolved to simply wait him out until he used up all of his energy, but that plan backfired when she discovered that Severin had imprisoned numerous zompires in the basement as a power source. Eventually, Severin overpowered Buffy and began to drain her powers, as well as Spike’s when he arrived to help her, but just before he could drain the two completely, Detective Dowling, having been anonymously tipped off, arrived and made the save by shooting Severin four times in the chest. Having discovered that Severin was the real culprit, Buffy was subsequently cleared of all charges. Buffy was subsequently approached by Willow, who admitted that she was never angry because she lost her powers while Buffy got to keep her own, and Buffy promised Willow that they would solve the magic problem.
Proceeding this, Buffy began to suffer from strange dreams involving the First Slayer and a mysterious fairy, along with frequent bouts of vomiting and morning sickness. After a few talks with Willow, Buffy encountered the fairy, who told her that the First Slayer wanted her to "unlock the key", but this was in fact Willow’s job. When Buffy awoke, she discovered both Willow and the Scythe missing; according to her dream, the Scythe was the key to restoring magic, and that she had to go. On top of all this, Buffy was shocked to discover that she was pregnant. Despite advice and encouragement from Robin Wood, Buffy came to the decision that she was not ready to be a mother and asked Spike to come with her to get an abortion. However, this planned abortion was interrupted when, while helping Spike tackle a group of zompires, Buffy sustained injuries that revealed that she was actually in a robotic body.
Confronting Andrew, Buffy and Spike learned that she was actually Buffy’s mind transferred into Buffybot; based on Warren’s notes, Andrew had transferred Buffy’s mind into the robot in order to help her escape a rumored assassination attempt, while leaving her body living a civilian life in another part of the country. However, as Andrew, Spike and Buffy went to retrieve Buffy’s body, which was captured by Simone. Once the ordeal was over, Spike left San Francisco and Buffy, much to her disappointment and sadness. Buffy then appeared to turn in her resignation to her boss.
Following quitting her job as a waitress, she began to try something newer. Buffy was forced to take orders from fellow slayer Kennedy, under the profession of being a bodyguard in Deepscan. However, she struggled with shutting off her slayer instincts, much to Kennedy’s annoyance who could do so easily. Nevertheless, she received a client named Theo Daniels who revealed he is being hunted by Wolfram & Hart. Acknowledging the seriousness of the situation, Buffy sought out Eldre Koh for his help only to have him betray her trust and his code, reasoning to Buffy that vengeance towards the demon that imprisoned him was much more important than honor, much to her shock.
After her client was kidnapped, Buffy and Kennedy come up with a plan of attack due to the information that Koh would not get what he wanted right away. After some clashes with Kennedy over Giles’s death, they sneaked underground and arrived before Eldre Koh could find out the information he was after from them over who imprisoned him. Once Kennedy saved Theo, Buffy faced off against Koh only for him to escape with his life. With TinCan destroyed and her mission complete, Buffy originally believed she’d get punished but instead received praise and a promotion, given a check for her efforts. Despite the prospect of money, Buffy declined the offer, coming to an epiphany that she had to do this by herself.
- "You were right. Sometimes I keep trying to save the world when sometimes I should just save a single person. It was different when I was younger. Something changed. But I don't think that's a bad thing."
- ― Buffy's epiphany, reflecting on Kennedy's words[src]
Soon afterwards, Buffy became acquainted with Billy Lane, an 16-year old boy who decided to become a "slayer" and aid others in the zompire epidemic. Realizing the growing problem of zompires and other challenges created since the end of magic, she easily accepted him with open arms. Friendly and impressed by his skills, she agreed to Billy being her ally, noting he "belonged".
She quickly created a routine with Dowling and Billy, regularly patrolling with them to slay the zompires. However, she made sure to give Billy certain limitations, due to his young age and how dangerous slaying could be. During one of those patrols, she got easily beaten by a zompire; this was because she had earlier been cut with a mystical knife that was slightly draining her strength. Having moved back in with Dawn and Xander, she realized that she had recognized this strong vampire that had bested her but could not remember where she had seen her before. Buffy hangs out with Dowling and Billy as well as Xander and Dawn, seeming to be somewhat happy that she had finally managed some semblance of an average night. However, she was ripped away from it just as quickly and teleported to the Magic Council, courtesy of none other than the Old One, Illyria. She abruptly forced her to join this council, much to Buffy’s great confusion and indignation.
Quickly, Buffy recognized Illyria based on what Angel and Spike had told her about her, even expressing slight knowledge about her previously having lost her powers. She was faced with a council of many demons, even D'Hoffryn (leader of the Vengeance Demons). They immediately get to the point that they have to protect the remaining magic and that Severin was threatening that. As the council continued to warn her about the serious threat of the Siphon, Buffy agreed to help them, reasoning that she had no problem taking out demons and knew that Severin was gathering all of this energy for a reason. Buffy fell into an uneasy alliance with Eldre Koh and Illyria, arriving at Severin’s new lair. After a failed attempt to attack on three sides, Severin suddenly showed before him: completely a full power.
Buffy and the others immediately attack Severin, only to be blown away by his immense strength by just one blow. Eventually, after Koh lands a hit and Illyria recovered, Illyria quickly teleported both of them out of the building. They return back to the council where Buffy told the demons that Severin’s plan was to lure Illyria out to drain her power, hoping to use her time-travel abilities to save the girl he had killed. As the council argued over this, Severin suddenly burst in. As the council tried to fight him off with the little magic they have left, Buffy decided to have Illyria act as bait and then kill Severin when he started to drain her powers.
Buffy and Koh are shocked to see Illyria’s powers drained, her hair not even blue anymore. With the new reality of Severin taking her time-travel powers, Buffy came to the conclusion she needed the other Scoobies to help her with this one. Buffy arrived at the apartment, only to be informed by Tumble that Xander and Dawn were at the hospital. They met up with Andrew, Xander, and Dawn. Illyria noted that mystical energy was leaving Dawn’s body, continuing on to explain that mystical energy was used to hold the body together and without it, she would die. Later at Andrew’s, Xander immediately lashed at Buffy when she tried to comfort him, furious and grief-stricken. Buffy asked him if he blamed her for this and Xander admitted he did. She explained that she had to destroy the Seed, but then he blamed her for sleeping with Angel and creating all of this. Despite her attempts to explain, Xander didn’t listen. Guilty and miserable, Buffy insisted that Dawn was still her sister and she would do anything she could to help her.
After Buffy called Faith, she reasoned that none of her allies―namely the Council, Illyria, Kennedy and Spike ― were either not present or would be useless in the situation at hand. She told Xander that they would have to work together to save Dawn; Xander, however, who still held a grudge against Buffy, refused to talk to her, and instead instructed that Andrew humerously talk for him. As her frustration took over, Buffy reiterated that Dawn’s condition had not been her fault, but Xander only stormed out of the apartment. Later, Willow reappeared in San Francisco, and Buffy realized that she had managed to regain her magic. Overjoyed by this development, Buffy and Willow hugged.
In an effort to save Dawn’s life, Buffy formed a seemingly logical plan. With Willow’s magic temporarily holding off Dawn’s death for a few more days at the most and Xander’s information over what Severin and Simone were planning to do with the Vampyr book, she deduced that their solution to all of this was traveling to the Deeper Well in England. Since that place was magical and powered with many powerful sealed Old Ones, they could use that magic to load Willow up as a "battery", hopefully ensuring her sister’s life to be restored. After sharing some heartfelt words of comfort to Dawn, she borrowed Kennedy’s jet and flew to England. After going through the new guards of the Deeper Well, Buffy and her friends stand up to the council, unflinchingly determined to finish their goal successfully.
Against the council, Buffy fought against hordes of demons that stood in her way to save Dawn’s life with Willow and her magic to help her. After nearly getting killed by a flying gargoyle, new allies in the form of Illyria and Koh arrive. Buffy rejected their help, mostly due to her lingering distrust of Koh since his betrayal. After some reassurance that he only desired to help her protect Dawn, Buffy let go of her reservations and decided to trust Koh. Buffy and the others finalized a plan that could potentially get them all killed, only for a guilty and worried Xander to confess to them that he had feeding Simone and Severin information of Buffy’s motives in exchange for going back to reverse Twilight. Buffy was naturally hurt at his complete lack of trust in her. After Illyria identified that preventing Twilight would create a reality tear in the universe, Buffy’s emotions changed to anger, realizing that because of Xander she had to save the entire world once again rather than just Dawn.
While the Council pleaded for Buffy to help them immediately to help save the world, she was more focused on saving Dawn. Ordering them to handle it for now, Buffy and Willow venture deeper and deeper into the Deeper Well. After showing early signs of forgetting about her sister, Willow began to grow red with magic as they got closer to a powerful source of magic that was (according to Willow) the solution to not only saving Dawn, but the world. Willow then tried to send Buffy to help Illyria, Koh, and the council to help them defeat the Old One Maloker. Buffy refused, wanting her to help save her Dawn instead, but Willow was firm, saying she needed to trust her. Reluctantly, Buffy agreed. She eventually ran into Xander, who was standing at the dead body of Simone near Maloker’s coffin. Xander warned her that Simone’s plan was to create an army of slayer/zompire hybrids. Buffy seemed to figure something out, and lifted her Scythe to decapitate the dead Slayer. At that moment, Simone awakened as a fully intelligent vampire and attacked them.
Buffy proceeded to battle against Simone, who expressed her intense hatred of her since she was the one who turned her into a Slayer when she never wanted to be one. Buffy ignored it, realizing how much stronger Simone was now that she was a slayer-vampire. Despite her efforts, she proved to be much stronger than Buffy and brutally injured her. In a moment of distraction because of Xander’s safety, Simone turned her scythe against her and stabbed Buffy entirely though her shoulder. She was rendered unconscious, Simone lifting her on the scythe to the people below them, declaring she had won.
Despite being severely injured, Buffy continued the fight, and was briefly ensnared by Maloker, before being saved by Koh, while Simone fled the scene, confident that Maloker would kill Buffy and her friends. However, at that moment, a burst of magical energy incinerated Maloker, but Willow saved Buffy, Xander, and the surviving members of the council. However, as they made their escape, Simone attacked them and dragged Buffy off, determined to kill her once and for all. In the ensuing skirmish, Simone nearly beheaded Buffy, but only succeeded in cutting off some of her hair. Gaining the upper hand, Buffy told Simone that she regretted ever making her a Slayer before staking her with the Scythe and making her way out of the Well.
Upon her escape, Buffy discovered from Willow that a new Seed of Wonder had formed and restored Earth’s magic, but both Severin and Illyria sacrificed themselves in the process of doing so; Buffy assured Willow that they would not let their deaths be in vain before the group returned to San Francisco to save Dawn. Though their initial attempts were unsuccessful, an offhanded remark from Spike helped them realize that Buffy’s blood was the key because Dawn was originally made from her, their second try succeeding. Buffy proceeded to thank Spike for watching over Dawn and forgive Xander for his alliance with Simone, but when she and Willow decided to check the Vampyr book now that they had planted a new Seed, they were shocked to discover that its pages were blank, leaving Buffy to wonder exactly what they did in the Well.
Return of Magic
- "The only worse option than me being in charge of the book is everyone else who wants it. No… I'm done running away from the hard choices. But I can't even manage my own life. How am I supposed to write the freaking rules of magic?"
Buffy and the others went to Santa Rosita to deal with the last zompires, and was assisted by Vicki and a group of a new breed of vampires, discovering the consequence from the return of magic. As soon as the zompires were extinguished, the vampires turned against the Slayer. The Scooby Gang then counted on the sudden assistance of Deepscan, with Kennedy, Faith, Leah, Holly, and Giles, who revealed himself resurrected in an emotional reunion.
Returning to San Francisco, the Scoobies discovered the new magic of this world was still undefined, with Buffy’s allies learning that they could write new rules for magic in the Vampyr book, such as preventing the vampires from using their new powers in daylight, or Clem making unicorns real for Harmony.
She and her friends were able to move to a haunted building in Tenderloin, with discount on their rent after exorcising the place. Buffy shared the apartment with Willow and Dawn, while neighbors to Xander and Spike’s, as well as Giles’ apartment. Both in a better place than their previous encounters, Buffy and Spike began a relationship.
Her father attempted to reconnect with Buffy and Dawn through monthly reunions. Announcing he was about to marry again, he communicated his decision to exclude Buffy from their wedding ceremony “for safety reasons,” based on her public reputation as a Slayer. When Buffy returned distraught from this reunion, Giles defended her, declaring she was an exceptional woman more than capable of forging her own path, and she didn’t need Hank, himself, or anyone else; so they shared an emotional hug.
Buffy became a supernatural consultant to SFPD, working alongside Spike and Dowling. She assisted in Jean Anthony’ case, who was attacked by an Incubus. This made Buffy revisit Spike’ attempt rape, as well as many difficulties through her life, and the couple finally talked and came to terms about their turbulent past.
The world then was being taken by interdimensional demons, allowed to enter the Earth dimension with the use of the Restless Door, in power of the demon lords the Mistress, the Soul Glutton, and the Sculptor. Through a visit of Satsu, the American army contacted Buffy in order to use her in a necessary partnership between humans, vampires, and new vampires. For this, she participated of the VampCon event, which included Harmony and Vicki, and won a battle against their strongest vampire. Although, when Willow revealed to be working for the government in secret, their friendship was shaken. The two quickly realized their unity was strongest than their divergent opinions.
Buffy finally met the new Magic Coucil formation. Insecure about her responsibility over the magic rules of the world, she counted with the group to oversee her choices, and gave them new abilities to assist her.
The Slayer was faced again with a critical crisis to save the world when D’Hoffryn then suddenly killed the rest of the Council and took all their power for himself. He affirmed the Scooby Gang had taken Anya away from him, and he wanted his vengeance.
During to an ambush by the demon lords, Dawn volunteered herself to use her Key powers and be left behind, arguing Buffy always sacrificed herself for her and she always wished to be that brave, and that was her chance. Despite Spike’s protests, Buffy agreed with her sister, explaining she was an adult and that was decision, and she was proud of her for that. Buffy also considered the fact that she had to resume her responsibilities and focus on saving the world.
This choice, though, wasn’t easy, as Buffy ended up taking her anger and frustration on her friends, in special on his boyfriend Spike. Saddened he wanted to help but only making her angry, Spike suggested them to break up. He pointed his inability to give her a normal life despite his want, and it’d be easier for the to call things off before it hurts worse later. Buffy immediately stopped crying and disagreed with him, and asked him to follow her in her mission and hit the road. She met with various demons and vampires she had allied himself before, and counted with their help to take D’Hoffryn new powers away. With the time, Buffy agreed it would be easier to break up indeed, but it wasn’t right; she could’ve had a normal relationship with Riley, but it didn’t erase other challenges, as nothing would ever be perfect. Buffy declared that they together was something she didn’t want to lose without a fight, and she wanted to give it a try.
After Buffy and the Scooby Gang had their morals back, and D’Hoffryn had to run away from the fight, Buffy finally used the book in her favor: giving her own sister the possibility to manifest her Key powers in any dimension. With D’Hoffryn defeated, Buffy assembled a new Magic Council, consisting of her allies and potential adversaries to supervise the magic, and herself as the president.
- "I love what you are. What you do, how you try. I've seen your kindness and your strength. I've seen the best and the worst of you and I understand with perfect clarity exactly what you are. You're a hell of a woman."
- ―Spike to Buffy[src]
Before becoming the Slayer, Buffy’s personality was that of a superficial blonde valley girl; she herself claimed that even Cordelia "looked like a classical philosopher next to me". Initially snobby towards people of a lower social class such as Pike, the isolation she experienced from her popular friends at Hemery High gave her new-found empathy towards outcasts like Willow and Xander. Nevertheless, Buffy was something of a rebel who did not conform to traditional Slayer conventions; Rupert Giles once admitted that "some flexibility is required" when it came to being Buffy’s Watcher. Buffy also tended to venture out of the Slayer’s typically supernatural jurisdiction, often fighting crazed robots and even human criminals. Buffy is unique as a Slayer in that she refuses to give up her "normal" life for her destiny and works with a group of close friends who know her identity. The spirit of the First Slayer once insisted to Buffy that the Slayer must work alone, a belief which Buffy promptly rejected. Buffy’s individualistic and rebellious tendencies culminated into developing an extreme distaste of being manipulated and "losing control", particularly when it revolved around her life. This was made most apparent in her initial request to have the monks erase her false memories of Dawn, her forced destiny as The Slayer, her brief loss of her abilities through Giles’ betrayal, her rejection of Twilight, anger over Angel’s decision to keep his presence hidden while in Sunnydale, as well as deciding to turn himself into a vampire again without her knowledge. Kendra, who had been trained as a Slayer from early childhood, told Buffy that a Slayer did not have the luxury of emotions. Buffy responded that her emotions gave her power and she considered them "total assets". Spike once stated that Buffy’s improvisational fighting style was much like that of Nikki Wood, the second Slayer he killed.
Additionally, one of Buffy’s most notable qualities was her frequent sarcasm and ironic sense of humor. She often cracked jokes and puns about her opponents, especially in the midst of battle. Buffy apparently took much enjoyment out of taunting them, usually getting very annoyed her enemies didn’t respond. Angel had once stated that Buffy always deployed light-hearted humor to cover up how she truly felt or to avoid uncomfortable situations, similar to Xander. Buffy had a tendency to be overconfident when she faced her enemies, but this probably came from her Slayer strength. Buffy was also very stubborn, hard-headed and a natural leader, making her at times overly demanding and bossy. She was extremely determined and fiercely independent by nature, detesting giving up or losing battles of any kind, be it supernatural or personal issues. This would be especially apparent in her humiliation of running away from Glory while trying to protect Dawn. Buffy has been accused of being violent following her calling as a Slayer. Buffy denied that she was but when questioning Xander of this, he said "The important thing is, you believe that." Faith had also once harshly mentioned to her that Buffy was "all about control." She was also somewhat short-tempered in nature, as it never took very much to irritate her. Buffy once described herself as "I am capable of awesome. I’m usually super reliable and conscientious and according to popular report, a little tightly wound."
Throughout most of her career as the Slayer, Buffy functioned as a reluctant hero. She constantly wished for nothing more than a normal life, an attitude that was particularly prevalent during her high school years. However, as time moved on, Buffy slowly became more accepting of her Slayer duties, particularly after Kendra helped her to understand that being the Slayer was part of who she was and not simply a burden forced upon her shoulders against her will. After her meeting with the First Slayer and battle with Dracula, Buffy finally came to terms with her role as the Slayer. Despite her ever-present reluctance to be the Slayer even in her later years, Buffy has been depicted as having an incredibly strong sense of responsibility with the people she saved and the world as well. This was shown in her disagreements over Faith’s impulsive and careless attitude and her self-righteous stance on many other things.
When it too came to her duties or what she felt was important, Buffy would always focus all her energy on it, fearing letting anyone down. Because of this, she could be seen as a very serious and resolved person when it came to slaying or other matters, unlike her more easygoing, less serious counterpart Faith. Buffy was also an expert in battle strategies and tactical plans, being very much a leader type. This skill earned her great respect from others and many successes, becoming the self-proclaimed leader of the Scooby Gang for many years. Buffy was also very down-to-earth and a definite realist, being one of the first to recognize disadvantages and weigh them appropriately. Because of her powerful feelings of responsibility for those around her, it was easy for Buffy to blame herself harshly for failures or misfortunes for those she cared for.
After her mother’s death, Buffy’s determination to succeed was becoming more frayed. The constant setbacks and tragedies in her life was causing her to lose faith in herself, not going unnoticed by Giles and Xander. Dawn’s capture by Glory shattered her resolve entirely, falling into a catatonic state that she was only able to pull out of because of Willow. Buffy’s waning faith even reached the point that she had, just for a moment, wanted Glory to win and Dawn to die so the pressure and responsibility would be over, a thought that intensely disturbed her. Buffy’s personality and character developed a much darker and self-destructive persona after being brought back from Heaven. She had hated living and the harshness of everything her life had, even attempting to commit suicide at one point until stopped by Spike, with whom she had sought out a violent sexual relationship, later admitting that she didn’t love him and was just using him to feel something. However, after the death of Tara and Willow’s subsequent dark magic-fuelled rampage, Buffy realized that life was worth living.
While Buffy acknowledged that humans can be just as bad as demons, if not even worse, she largely refused to kill humans, insisting that the Slayer did not have a license to kill, which occasionally put her into conflict with her less-merciful teammates. She held great disgust and hatred of collateral damage as she had always tried to save as many people as she could by any means necessary, even if a solution to save the world was killing someone innocent (a striking difference from her ex-boyfriend Angel, who had employed "ends justified the means" tactics in the past). For example, she spared Ben’s life after Glory was defeated despite full knowledge that Glory would eventually resurface and come after her again, which resulted in Giles doing so instead, and flat-out refused to even consider killing Dawn to stop Glory’s plans, however, she tells Giles two years later that, with what she knows now, she would allow her to die. Additionally, she refused to kill Warren Mears despite his vicious crimes, including Tara’s murder, preferring to let him face human justice, whereas Xander and Dawn were so disgusted and furious with him that they openly supported Willow’s intent to kill — until after she actually did it and then targeted Andrew and Jonathan, who had nothing to do with Tara’s death. However, throughout her focus of the "Slayer mission", she stated that she would be able to kill a human to save the world; indeed, Buffy had made exceptions to her "kill no humans" rule: she was apparently willing to kill Faith to save Angel’s life, killed several members of the Knights of Byzantium to protect Dawn, and bisected Caleb with the Scythe. Nonetheless, she made it a rule in the Slayer Organization to "go for the wound" with their human enemies.
Additionally, Buffy fully understood that not all demons were evil and was in fact good friends with several demons, such as Clem, and held a code of honor even with longtime enemies, refusing to kill Spike when he was rendered helpless by the Initiative’s Behavior-Modification Circuitry despite their long history of animosity before and after that point, while also being disgusted with Riley when he expressed prejudice against Willow for dating Oz, a werewolf. Despite this, Buffy was perfectly willing and able to kill demons when they committed bad deeds, and while not speciesist per se, when Anya, having become a vengeance demon again, killed several fraternity boys in accordance with a wish and visibly regretted, showing obvious morals and humanity, Buffy decided right then and there that she had to kill Anya rather than talk her down or find other options like they did with Dark Willow, who was in fact evil and trying to end the world out of nothing more than hatred and spite, justifying it by stating that Willow was a human and Anya was a demon, and reminding Xander that she killed Angel because it was necessary, stating that as the Slayer, she is the law and her judgement on demons were absolute. However, this is in contrast to what she said to Faith in that Slayers are not the law or above it. Willow herself was aware of the disregard Buffy had for Anya’s life and sought out other options that Buffy was unwilling to look for. Curiously, despite her attempt on Anya’s life, she told Anya that she was her friend.
Though she was normally quite aware socially, Buffy had proven to have a few lapses in judgment that cost her and others as well. Her destructive relationship with Spike, for example, was attributed to her own feelings of vulnerability, self-loathing, and unworthiness after the death of her mother as well as her abrupt descent from heaven. Despite her powerful sense of responsibility, when in a state of depression or ill humor, she had been shown to procrastinate and put off or otherwise ignore things she should be dealing with. This was most prominently seen in her exile out of Heaven, ignoring her role as guardian of Dawn and forcing Giles to both take care of her and pay the bills she couldn’t afford. Another example was when she had smashed the Seed of Wonder and remained indifferent over Willow’s pleas of returning magic, hardly thinking of the consequences of the action because she did what she had to do; in this case, she was finally forced to face the negative consequences of the Seed’s destruction when she discovered that without magic, Dawn was fading away.
Buffy also concluded to have an “inferiority and superiority” complex, as she felt like she was worse than everyone or that there was something wrong with her, and that even though her friends and former boyfriends think the opposite, their opinions didn’t mean anything. She could also be surprisingly rather negative and give in to fits of pessimistic tendencies, suffering from occasional abandonment issues since almost all her friends and boyfriends had left her at some point. She suffered from constant loneliness, especially since she felt the burden of being the Slayer was something no one could understand or share with her. Buffy had once admitted that she cut people out, of both her problems and personal feelings for years, coming to the conclusion that she was closed off from everyone else. Fearing her attachment to reality was disconnecting, Buffy wondered if being the Slayer would eventually overcome her so much, she’d be too hardened to be able to love anymore. However, Buffy’s increasingly closed off demeanor over the years was a combination of the harsh lifestyle of a slayer and her chronic habit to be strong for everyone else despite her own problems. This was often misinterpreted by many as insensitivity and detachment, even from her closest friends.
When her intelligence or abilities have been put into question, as when she was under investigation by the Watchers' Council, Buffy responded poorly to authority and was mostly unable to complete any of the tasks given. She would almost appear as the "dumb blonde" stereotype, but in her confrontation with the Council, when things were on her terms, Buffy appeared to have a relatively advanced sense of awareness that wasn’t accessed through many traditional methods. However, Willow did admit that Buffy wasn’t always very smart ("You know Buffy. Sweet girl, not very bright."). The strength in her personality sometimes made it hard for her to relinquish control.
One of Buffy’s most defining personality traits was her tendency to keep things secret from the rest of the Scooby Gang, which came back to haunt her more than once. Such secrets included Angel’s resurrection, Dawn’s identity as The Key, her relationship with Spike, and her sighting of Spike in the basement of the new Sunnydale High. Buffy has also been shown to have a usually forgiving nature, the only exception possibly being Faith to an extent, despite the fact that others have done worse than Faith, such as Willow, Spike and Angel, though the vampires didn’t have a soul, so at least they had an excuse.
Buffy had a tendency to mangle the names of vampires, demon species, and mystical terminology, much to Giles’ constant irritation. For example, "Astral Body" became "Asteroid Body"; "Tirer La Couverture" became "Rolling Food Stuff"; Bezoar" became "Bozo"; "Morgala" became "Morgan Freeman"; "Kakistos" became "Kissing Toast", "Taquitos", and "Khaki Trousers"; "Acathla" became "Alfalfa" and "Al Franken"; "Beljoxa’s Eye" became "Botox’s Eye"; and "Turok-Han" became "Chaka Khan". Even some words unrelated to the supernatural she has been shown to mispronounce, such as "Haperdashery", which became "Haerbradasgrening", "Habbledaspery", and "Have-a-dash-of-tea."
She often displayed poor driving skills. She repeatedly asked her mother if she could take lessons, to little avail. When she finally did get behind the wheel, she didn’t know what the hand brake was for. She later admitted that "drive and Buffy are unmixy things." She also drove while in Faith’s body, again badly (although this could be because she was being chased by assassins at the time and was trying to get away). Still later, she was shown to still have possession of Joyce’s SUV, but was still characteristically terrible at driving and parking it. Strangely, however, she was shown driving at one point and did so perfectly.
Buffy also tended to unconsciously babble out almost senseless sentences when she was emotional or nervous (much to the dismay, amusement or confusion of others). Angel and Willow had fondly discussed this aspect of hers, both agreeing that when Buffy was emotionally excited or worked up, it’s hard to get a word in. Giles also had once described Buffy as willful, insolent, and that she abused the English language terribly (Buffy later admitted to having this trait, when briefly transported to the future ). Buffy also spoke in strange phrases and tangents, similar to Willow, which could confuse others, especially Giles at one point.
Buffy had a strong distaste towards the use of conventional firearms largely to their ineffectiveness against most demons, with Tara’s death by Warren’s stray bullet only reinforcing her dislike. When a police officer intervened while she fought a M’Fashnik demon, Buffy chucked his pistol away, telling him “These things, never helpful”. Months later, when given a machine gun and was unable the aim it properly, Buffy rephrased what she said instead saying guns weren’t useful instead of helpful. Even during a war against human soldiers, Buffy still stuck by her "Slayers don’t use guns" philosophy after Giles brought her a Chinese assault rifle. Despite this, Buffy still employed the use of a tranquilizer rifle to sedate Oz while he was in wolf-form  Buffy’s favorite weapon over time was shown to be frequently identified as the traditional wooden stake, even being completely unbothered with using it on creatures other than vampires. When probed of this habit, Buffy would simply say it was because she knew how to use it.
- "The part that gets me, though, is where Buffy is the Vampire Slayer. She's so little."
- ―Jenny Calendar[src]
Buffy’s most obvious noted feature was her relatively small size and slender frame, somewhat of an ironic statement given her physical strength and superior slayer agility. Her hair, although changing in tone, haircut, and hairstyle through the years in accord to fashion and mood, is naturally and constantly blond.
Buffy’s other distinguishing features include a bite-mark scar on the right side of her neck. She originally received this scar from the Master, but has been bitten by other vampires: Angel, Dracula,, and Spike. This was a recognizable fact among other Slayers and demons alike, enough to be a requisite to her decoys. Notably, Buffy received a tattoo of the Mark of Eyghon from Ethan Rayne, but later spent her allowance to have it removed.
Powers and Abilities
- See Slayer
Buffy was arguably the most powerful and successful Slayer to have existed (though Faith Lehane was her rival and considered herself more powerful), as seen through her long-Slayer lived-life and numerous victories. A contributing factor to this is the emotional connections she formed, thus increasing her will to live which is in contrast to previous slayers who are disconnected from everyone, giving them little to live for. As with every Slayer, Buffy possessed a natural proficiency with virtually all forms of weaponry and unarmed combat styles, and in addition to this she had years of combat training to hone in her skills using various marital arts (particularly jiu jitsu and aikido ). Buffy tended towards a more improvisational approach to fighting, utilizing her emotions and anything in her environment that could help best her enemy. Her insistence to "go with the flow" during fights was sometimes looked down upon by others who considered her technique too "sloppy" , but Buffy believed this gave her the upper hand.
As a Slayer, Buffy had the normal powers that came with the role: superhuman strength, speed, agility, reflexes, durability, accelerated healing, a limited ability to sense supernatural activity, the collective memories of all past Slayers, and precognitive dreams, the last of which had allowed her to foresee events such as: Angel’s transformation into Angelus, Jenny Calendar’s deception, the arrival of the Gentlemen, and the deaths of the Potentials Slayers by the Harbingers of Death. However, Buffy never fully developed the Slayer power to sense supernatural activity and normally relied on her wits to discern demons and vampires from humans. While her exact strength level is unclear, her former boyfriend, Riley Finn has marvelled at her strength level saying "You’re really strong. Like, Spiderman strong."
Although she was sometimes considered a dumb blonde by herself and others, Buffy frequently showed herself to be quite intelligent, possessing strong leadership skills and having a natural flair for tactical planning. Prominent examples of Buffy’s intelligence included her near-perfect S.A.T. score, her defeat of Zachary Kralik by using his dependency on anti-psychotic medication against him, her quick deduction of the Buffybot’s true nature, her rapid deduction of Riley’s affiliation to the Initiative based on weeks of evidence, and her immediate realization of Katrina Silber’s true murderer upon hearing her name at the police station.
Near the end of the Twilight crisis, Buffy gained new special powers. Her strength, speed, agility, stamina, and reflexes were enhanced to vastly superior levels. Her new powers included flight, superhuman hearing, telescopic vision and a level of near-invulnerability. Willow claimed that the source of these new powers was that Buffy has been absorbing the collective powers of all the Slayers that died while they had suppressed their powers, though Angel claimed that they were in fact a reward. According to the higher power that instructed Angel in the use of his new powers, Buffy’s powers could only be activated if she was completely focused on her goal, resulting in Angel assuming the disguise of the villainous Twilight in order to provide an enemy for Buffy to fight to trigger her "evolution".
In addition to the common Slayer powers, Buffy has gained other abilities through spells:
- Mystical protection — After becoming leader to the activated Slayers, Xander commented that Buffy had some degree of mystical protection over her now, at least while she slept. To that end, her protection meant even daggers split apart so as not to pierce her skin.
- Mystical link with Willow — Buffy’s connection to Willow was strong to the point that even when unconscious, Willow could channel an amount of her power at will through Buffy. While Willow lay dying, she empowered Buffy, turning Buffy’s eyes black and allowing her to conjure up a shield and a fist-enhancing gauntlet made out of green magical energy.
Buffy has had possession of other abilities for brief periods of time:
- Telepathy — In high school, Buffy received an aspect of a demon that she killed, and gained the ability to hear the thoughts of others (although not vampires, which leave no reflection in the mind). She became unable to control all of the thoughts in her head, so Angel killed a second demon of this type and fed her a potion containing the demon’s heart, stopping the ability. It is unknown if the potion removed the power altogether, or merely blocked it out. Such as, Angel mentioned that she couldn’t read his mind because his thoughts "didn’t create any reflection in her", so perhaps the potion merely "covered up" the "mirror" that gave her the power.
- Super-Slayer — In order to defeat Adam, Buffy became the focus of a complex spell that drew on the pure source of the Slayer’s power and briefly gave her the combined abilities of Xander, Willow, and Giles. Her original Slayer powers were increased to far greater levels, gained incredibly potent magical abilities, and had access to Giles’ extensive knowledge of hand to hand combat and spells. For example, she fried Adam’s bullets in the air and turned a missile into a dove. She was able to punch through Adam’s armored hide and rip out his radioactive uranium power core without ill effects. Immediately after Buffy defeated the nearly invincible Adam, the spell faded.
- Invisibility — Shortly after her resurrection, Buffy was accidentally rendered invisible by the Trio. At first, she enjoyed her new ability, before she learned that her life was in danger. Willow reverses the effects when she gets a hold of the Trio’s gun.
- Twilight’s empowerment — Near the end of the Twilight crisis, Buffy gained a multitude of new powers: her strength, speed, agility, and reflexes were greatly enhanced, and she developed telescopic vision, superhuman hearing, flight, and a level of invulnerability. Willow initially theorized that these powers were a result of Buffy unwittingly absorbing the collective powers of all of the Slayers who had died since they began the Slayer Organization, but it was later discovered that these abilities were granted to her by the Universe as a reward for changing the world and the balance of the grand design. According to the higher power that instructed Angel in the use of his new powers, Buffy’s powers could only be activated if she was completely focused on her goal, resulting in Angel assuming the disguise of the villainous Twilight in order to provide an enemy for Buffy to fight to trigger her "evolution". Buffy returned to her original power levels and limitations after the destruction of the Seed.
- "Hey, I've died twice."
- ―Buffy Summers[src]
Buffy died at the age of sixteen after being bitten and drowned by the Master. This was a clinical death, in which the heart stops beating, but there is still brain activity. People who experience clinical deaths have often been revived. This death activated Kendra Young as the Slayer. Buffy’s second death occurred when she was twenty years old, when she sacrificed herself to save Dawn and the world by hurling herself off a tower and using her own body to close a mystical portal. She was buried in a Sunnydale cemetery, where her body rested for 147 days until Willow, Xander, Tara, and Anya resurrected her.
When Buffy was shot by Warren Mears, she briefly flat lined in the hospital before being saved by Willow, who removed the bullet via telekinesis. It is never acknowledged by Buffy or anyone else whether this constituted a third death. Buffy’s nightmare came true when she was turned into a vampire by the Master because a comatose Billy Palmer was inadvertently merging the line between reality and dreams; this death was quickly reversed when Billy woke up. An alternate version of Buffy also died at the hands of the Master, who snapped her neck, but this timeline was erased by the alternate Giles.
Buffy’s most significant romances in her life were with the vampires Angel and Spike. Angel was her high school sweetheart and first love, but he eventually left her because his immortality and vampiric nature meant their relationship was doomed. Spike was initially her enemy, but he fell in love with her and the pair eventually formed a meaningful connection. Buffy continued to dream about both men, often together, long after the respective relationships ended. She appears to still love both vampires. Giles even made a comment of her truest loves being Angel and Spike. Many of her friends and the fans joke that Buffy has ’a thing for strong vampires’ which could also apply to her attraction to Dracula. In one of these dreams, Spike commented that she could no longer tell them apart.
Other important relationships of Buffy’s have included Pike, Parker, Riley Finn, and Satsu. Pike was her friend and love interest when she first began her journey as the Slayer, but the pair broke up before she moved to Sunnydale. In college, she dated Riley in the hopes of having a "normal" relationship, only to discover he was an Initiative soldier. Satsu was Buffy’s fellow Slayer, as well as her first and only same-sex liaison.
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Normal Again Buffy
An alternative narrative is that Buffy Summers was a schoolgirl who succumbed to a form of schizophrenia in 1997 and was eventually cured and returned to her normal life once more in 2003. This version is known as Asylum Buffy.
Behind the Scenes
- Buffy first appeared in the 1992 Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie, but the later television series marked her first canonical appearance in 1997. Buffy was played by actress Kristy Swanson in the movie, while Sarah Michelle Gellar portrayed her on television and is more closely associated with the role.
- Joss Whedon chose the name Buffy “because It was the name that I could think of that I took the least seriously. There is no way you could hear the name Buffy and think, ’This is an important person.’ To juxtapose that with ‘Vampire Slayer’, just felt like that kind of thing — a B movie. But a B movie that had something more going on. That was my dream.” Whedon went on to say that “the network begged me to change the title. I was like, ‘You don’t understand. It has to be this. This is what it is.’ To this day, everyone says, ‘Oh, the title kept it from being taken seriously.’ I’m like, ‘Well, f*** them. It’s a B movie, and if you don’t love B movies, then I won’t let you play in my clubhouse.”
- Buffy, as a character, is largely based on Kitty Pryde, a character in the X-Men comic books. According to Joss Whedon, Kitty “was a huge proto-Buffy”. This was references when Buffy was experimenting her new powers in Twilight, Part One, and Xander asked if she was able to phase through solid objects, which is Kitty’s mutant ability. In No Need to Fear, the Slayer’s Here, Xander recommends her to read X-Men, guessing she would like Shadowcat.
- When asked at the 2015 San Diego Comic Con about the favourite character among his own, Joss Whedon replied, “My answer would change daily. But, I kind of feel how can say Buffy? She is the distilled essence of everything I am…not. She’s the beating heart of everything I have done or will do.”
- Despite failing and quitting with cheerleading in the TV series, Buffy is sometimes still mentioned as so. Darla references her as “that cheerleader” in "Dear Boy", and Twilight calls her “that goofy little cheerleader” in "Last Gleaming". Although, this may be a reference to her past as a cheerleader in Hemery High School, as explored in "The Origin".
- Katie Holmes and Selma Blair were originally in the running for the role of Buffy in 1996. Holmes was Joss’s first choice for Buffy but she was turned down as she was deemed too young for the role. Many others who auditioned for Buffy instead got other roles, including Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia Chase), Julie Benz (Darla), Elizabeth Anne Allen (Amy Madison), Julia Lee (Anne Steele), and Mercedes McNab (Harmony Kendall).
- Along with Willow, Giles, Xander, and Angel, she is one of only five characters to appear in both the pilot and series finale of Buffy: "Welcome to the Hellmouth" and "Chosen".
- Buffy appears in a total of 146 episodes of the Buffyverse (150 if counting archive footage). The only characters to appear in more episodes are Angel (167) and Willow (147).
- If counting archive footage as an appearance, Buffy, Cordelia and Angel are the only characters that appear in both the first and final seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.
- Buffy was originally going to appear in the Angel fifth season episode "You're Welcome" as the one who reminded Angel of his purpose and helped him get back on track. Though Sarah Michelle Gellar was willing to appear, she was forced to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts and family problems; thus, the episode was rewritten to center around Cordelia. The writers also hoped to get Buffy to appear in the penultimate episode, "Power Play", but Buffy didn’t appear as Sarah Michelle Gellar was filming The Grudge in Japan.
- In the film, Buffy says she plans to “graduate from school, go to Europe, marry Christian Slater, and die.” Her television counterpart achieves three out of four.
- Buffy admitted to finding puppets creepy and that they gave her “a wig”.
- Buffy attended two high schools and managed to (partially in one case) burn down both of them.
- Buffy had fixation on the singer Gavin Rossdale, and the actors James Spader, Daniel Craig, and Christian Bale.
- Buffy likes bubblegum, chewing gum, cola, lollipops, popcorn, cheese, and Ice Capades.
- In the pre-Sunnydale period when she had a crush on Billy Fordham, Buffy hopelessly listened the song "I Touch Myself" by the Australian rock band Divinyls.
- Buffy was a self-proclaimed fan of the reality TV show The Bachelor.
- In "I Robot, You Jane", an online school profile of Buffy originally states that her birthday is October 24, 1980. Then, in the same episode, the report states her birthday is May 6, 1979. Neither date is considered “Capricorn, on the cusp of Aquarius,” which is generally considered to be between on or just before January 19, her official birthday date. A probable continuity error, the demon messing with the computer files at the time could explain the discrepancy.
- Buffy is referred only two times over the course of the series as "Buffy the vampire slayer". The first time is in "Anne", and the last one in "Help". She’s usually referred only as "the Slayer". Glory identifies her as "a vampire Slayer".
- Sarah Michelle Gellar has stated she is afraid of graveyards and that being buried alive was her childhood fear. In "Nightmares", Gellar was required to be actually buried in a real cemetery, with a straw.
- Buffy has often been cited like a reference for many heroic figures in many shows: Max Guevara from Dark Angel, Sidney Bristow from Alias, the title character from Veronica Mars, Sookie Stackhouse from True Blood, and Emma Swan from Once Upon a Time.
- Over the course of the television series, Buffy's slay count includes around 137 vampires, 73 demons, 8 humans, 2 cyborgs, 1 spirit warrior, and 1 robot, making a total of 222 kills in all.
- Buffy Summers (underground decoy)
- Buffy Summers (Wishverse)
- Buffybot (I)
- Asylum Buffy
- Buffy Summers (Rome decoy)
- Buffybot (II)
- Buffy Summers at Wikipedia
- Buffy Summers at the Internet Movie Database
- Buffy Summers at Comic Book DB
- Buffy at BuffyGuide.com
- Buffy at BBC.co.uk
- Buffy Summers at Dark Horse Database
- Buffy Summers at Heroes Wiki