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Charles Gunn

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This article is about the member of Angel Investigations. For other uses, see Gunn.
First appearance "War Zone"
Name Charles Gunn
Aliases Gunn
Charlie Boy
Chas (by his grandmother)
Denzel (by Gwen)
Gunter Addison
Status Alive
Classification Human
Vampire (formerly)
Affiliation Faith Lehane & Angel (ally)
Team Gunn
Angel Investigations
Gunn's Crew
Wolfram & Hart's Legal Department
Body Jasmine
Known Relatives Alonna Gunn (sister)
Helen (grandmother)
Notable powers
  • Experience in fighting techniques, guerrilla warfare, vampire hunting, and handling of weapons.
  • Legal upgrade grants him absolute knowledge of both human and demon laws, demon languages, golf training, and Gilbert & Sullivan compositions.
  • Temporarily transformed into a vampire with the standard powers and vulnerabilities of one, in addition to possessing prophetic visions.
Portrayed by  J. August Richards
"I can't take it easy. I can never take it easy. Not for one second, alright? The minute I forget that, someone like Alonna pays the price."

Charles Gunn is a vampire hunter, member of Angel Investigations and, for several months, head of the legal department at Wolfram & Hart, until the rebellion of Team Angel.


Early Life

Gunn was born in the Badlands, a section of inner-city Los Angeles where the police would not go, and looked after his sister, Alonna, from a very young age. Although he had a few brushes with the law, he acted as a kind of urban Robin Hood to keep the streets in his neighborhood safe. In his teens, Gunn rose through the ranks to become the leader of a gang of street-fighters who protect their turf from vampires using guerrilla tactics. Possessing the mind of a military strategist and the strength of a back-alley brawler, life in the ghetto hardened Gunn to the extent that his life became less important than the cause, resulting in him trading his soul for a truck in a deal with a demon named Jenoff when he was only seventeen, because he believed he had no future.[1]


Gunn spent his youth battling vampires on the streets of Los Angeles.

In 2000, Gunn witnessed the vampire Angel roughing up a blackmailer and tried unsuccessfully to dust him. Eventually, Angel won Gunn's trust, but unfortunately not in time to save Alonna from being turned into a vampire. Gunn has no choice but to stake his own sister, a decision which continues to haunt him for the rest of his life. It is this loss that forces Gunn to question his own motives and become more receptive to Angel's help, realizing he cannot do everything alone.

Angel Investigations

Angel recognizes Gunn's strength and often calls on him if he needs back up in battle or if he needs protection for the people he cares about when he cannot protect them himself. Although he initially regards his time with Angel Investigations as a "paying side-gig," Gunn eventually becomes a full-time member of the gang, gaining mutual respect for those he fights side-by-side with while finding his place in the world. However, his work with his new 'family' often leads to conflicted loyalties; in the episode "Belonging", Cordelia is accidentally sucked into a portal to Pylea while a member of Gunn's old street crew, George, succumbs to the bite of a vampire. Gunn feels responsible for his friend's death, believing that it would not have happened if he had still been around to help in the fight. Yet even in his grief, he realizes that he could not commit the same crime twice and allow Cordelia to suffer the same fate, so he joins Angel, Wesley, and Lorne to rescue her.

A short time after their return from Pylea, demons across the city are being massacred- regardless of whether or not they actually did anything to deserve being killed in the first place- and Gunn comes to the conclusion that his old gang is responsible for the deaths, currently being led by a man named Gio who has a serious grudge against supernatural entities because of an unrevealed event in his past ("That Old Gang of Mine"). He realizes that his ties with his old life are gone and that his loyalty now lies with the vampire with a soul. In a showdown with one of his lifelong friends, Gunn finally chooses the mission of the Angel Investigations team. Without realizing it, Gunn finds the future he thought he would never have. He has friends, loyalty, respect, and a mission to pursue. He even finds love in the arms of the new girl Fred Burkle, but his past still comes back to haunt him in the episode "Double or Nothing," when the demon Jenoff decides it is time to cash in on the deal Gunn had made years earlier by claiming Gunn's soul. Luckily, Angel and the others at Angel Investigations are able to aid Gunn and defeat Jenoff, allowing Gunn the luxury of living his life to the fullest.

Fred becomes the most important person in Gunn's world, but Gunn's devotion suffers the ultimate test in the episode "Supersymmetry" when he kills Professor Seidel, the person responsible for deliberately sending Fred to Pylea, in order to save Fred from having to carry the burden of doing it herself. The guilt of what he had done for her plagues Fred and instead of bringing them closer together, it begins the rut that leads to the end of their relationship. Although no longer romantically linked, Gunn and Fred continue to fight side-by-side, and Gunn has a fling with the electric Gwen Raiden in the episode "Players." When Wolfram & Hart want to cut a deal to have Angel take over the LA branch, Gunn is led into the mysterious White Room where he is exposed to the mysterious conduit to the Senior Partners, who impresses Gunn with his immense power. Soon, he undergoes a remarkable transformation at Wolfram & Hart.

Wolfram & Hart


Gunn, as a lawyer

Feeling undervalued by his friends, Gunn submits to a procedure at the hands of Wolfram & Hart's Medical Department that enhances his mind with a comprehensive understanding of the law (and Gilbert & Sullivan, to help improve his voice and diction), making him the only member of Angel's team who can work inside the system seamlessly (cf. "Conviction"). When his mental abilities begin to diminish, Gunn, fearful of losing his new talents and respect, makes a pact with Dr. Sparrow and gets a permanent upgrade in exchange for signing to release an ancient curio stuck in customs. When this curio results in the death of Fred and the resurrection of Illyria (cf. "A Hole in the World"), a guilt-ridden Gunn re-dons his old street attire and willingly offers himself to take Lindsey McDonald's place in a hell dimension in order to get information on how to stop the Senior Partners (cf. "Underneath"). While the team have no clue how to free him, Illyria saves Gunn with ease. He then returns to the fold, changed and seeking redemption for his sins. In the show's finale "Not Fade Away", he slays Senator Helen Brucker, one of the members of the Circle of the Black Thorn, but is seriously injured in the process. While preparing for one last fight against the army of the Senior Partners, Illyria states that he has only minutes to live with Gunn quoting, "Then let's make them memorable."



Gunn's sire

Although Gunn was badly wounded in the alley, Angel left him to slay the dragon, resulting in Gunn being taken and sired by a group of vampires while Angel was distracted. The vampires had been following the visions of a demon. After rising into unlife, Gunn killed his sire and took over the vampire pack, convincing himself that he was not the same as the others.

In issue one of the Angel: After the Fall comic series, Gunn and his followers storm a stadium and kill Kr'ph, Demon Lord of Westwood, who has taken up residence there. The group frees the humans the demon was forcing to fight each other for its enjoyment. Gunn then makes a suggestive comment to the demon's female captives. At the end of the issue, Gunn is revealed to be a vampire, who feeds on the women and turns the "rescued" men into vampires as part of "Team Gunn".

Vampire gunn

Gunn struggles to cope with his vampiric nature

In the second issue, Gunn insists that he is still a good guy. He resents being a vampire, though is prone to murderous impulses due to his lack of a soul. He reveals that he blames Angel for allowing him to be turned, and that he intends to save L.A. to prove that one doesn't need a soul to be a champion. He kidnapped Betta George and is using him to complete his plans, forcing George to tap into his psychic ability to freeze Slayers in their tracks and contact people outside of Hell/Los Angeles.


Gunn and his vamp crew

He made mystical plans to have Angel come to the conclusion he sent Gunn to die, then Angel himself would die moments later.

As part of his revenge against Angel, Gunn destroys the Wolfram & Hart building, Angel's headquarters in the war with the Demon Lords, which also forces Wesley back to the Senior Partners for the time being. Gunn later bears witness to Angel's defeat of the Lords, hanging back to ensure that not all of the people are slaughtered should Angel fail. Shortly after the team moves back into the Hyperion Hotel, Gunn confronts them and reveals his vampire nature.

Upon seeing what has become of Gunn, Angel tells him he is sorry. Gunn says he figured he would say that, and tells him to table that for now. Gunn takes Angel around his base of operations and explains what happened to him. When Angel sees that Gunn thinks he is doing the right thing, Angel cautions him that the beast is the one in control, not him. Gunn attacks him, angered that Angel thinks that Gunn isn't himself. Gunn proceeds to remove all of the magic that had kept Angel alive, and realizes that Angel is now a human.

Gunn decides to let Angel lie there and die slowly, only to be confronted by Wesley's "ghost" who reveals to him that the visions he has been receiving are from the Senior Partners rather than the Powers That Be. Ignoring this revelation, and now proclaiming that he may be the subject of the Shanshu Prophecy as the vampire with soul rather than the vampire with a soul, Gunn continues to attack his former friends, his team of Slayers apparently staking Spike- although Spike is later seen alive thanks to a training room Gunn developed that caused time to revert back to a period five minutes before the last slip- before he is kicked out of a window by Connor (in a manner similar to how Angel kicked Russell Winters out of a window in the pilot episode of the television series) while trying to kill Angel again, though he survived thanks to his vampire constitution. Confronting Illyria, he tricks her into transforming into Fred so that he can shoot her, reverting her to her true form in the hope that he can convince her to use her powers to rewind time so that the Fall never occurs, only for Illyria to vow to unmake time itself.

Nonetheless, Gunn decides to allow Illyria to carry out her plan, and mortally wounds Connor, who later dies in Angel's arms. Angel defeats Gunn, but doesn't kill him, and Betta George successfully implants Fred's memories back into Illyria's mind, forcing her to recognize the division between who Fred was and what she was attempting to do.

Angel vs Gunn Flaming Sword

Gunn kills Angel with the Flaming Sword, forcing the Senior Partners to rewind time and undo the Fall.

Realizing that the Senior Partners needed him alive for his plans, Angel verbally attacked and taunted Gunn into decapitating Angel with a flaming sword, forcing Wolfram & Hart to revert time back to the point before Los Angeles was sent to Hell so that Angel could still be alive to fulfill his role in their planned apocalypse. Back in the alley, as Gunn lay wounded and dying, Angel rescued Gunn from his sire and took him to the hospital where the doctors say they'll do what they can for him. Afterward Angel returned to Gunn- currently in a coma from his injuries-, assuring his friend that he was not himself when he committed those acts.

"A man isn't measured by the mistakes he's made. He's measured by what he does about them."
―Angel forgives Gunn.[src]


Following the end of magic, Gunn reunited with Angel when he, Faith and Willow came to Los Angeles to ask for Connor's help in a plan to restore magic, Gunn updating Angel on what the rest of the gang had been up to since he last saw them, standing guard at the Earth end of the portal Willow subsequently created into Quor'toth while the others followed to protect Willow while she 'recharged' her magic batteries[2].

When Willow and the others completed their objective, they returned to Gunn's position and true to the vast time difference in dimensions, it was only some minutes to him. [3]

Personality and Traits

"Hey, I have a rep to maintain, alright? I can't have y'all seeing through my brusque and macho exterior."
―Gunn to Cordelia and Wesley[src]

Gunn initially maintained a black-and-white outlook on life, with a particular prejudice toward vampires and demons, similar to that of Xander Harris. This attitude softened considerably during his time with Angel Investigations. Eventually, Gunn was able to see that not all demons were bad, but nonetheless carried some shreds of his old beliefs when regretfully admitted to Angel he could still not trust him as a vampire.[4] When he had first starting working with Angel, Gunn's trademark traits was his distrusting nature and tendency to be insensitively straightforward. He had very little patience, and did not put up well with anything that would hold him back.

Despite his off-putting front, Gunn showed remarkable loyalty towards those in his inner circle and took up responsibility to protect them. After the death of his sister Alonna, Gunn became increasingly self-destructive. He was very tightly wound and believed that if he ever let himself relax, another innocent person would die. Cordelia Chase would make note of this, encouraging him to end his reckless habits so he wouldn't destroy himself.[5]Consequently, he had somewhat of an issue with authority figures and often preferred doing things his own way[6], but this lessened over time once he became used to following Angel's orders. He was also characterized as being very stubborn, Cordelia once stating that "Gunn" and "Stubborn" were synonyms.[7]

Although he liked to give the impression of a gruff loner, Gunn valued his friendships and showed a sensitive side in his relationship with Fred. However, he was also plagued with insecurities regarding his role in the team, and began to resent being considered "the muscle".

Gunn shaved his head and dressed casually, usually in hooded coats. Following his mental upgrade, Gunn shed his street look for the sleek, professional suits of a legal powerhouse. He also let his hair grow slightly, which came as a surprise to Cordelia, who had always assumed he was prematurely bald. Following Fred's demise, Gunn came full circle, returning to his roots, taking back his street clothes, and reawakening his purpose as a soldier in the fight against evil. As a vampire and leader of his own crew, he took credit for coordinating the team's outfits.

Powers and Abilities

Gunn was a normal human with no supernatural abilities, but he had strength and street fighting expertise due to his years as a vampire hunter, often being described as "the muscle" of Angel Investigations; Angel has even stated once that Gunn could conceivably defeat him in a fight if he was angry enough (Although even when Angel was human and Gunn a vampire Gunn still only managed to defeat Angel in a straight fight- discounting when Gunn sabotaged the charms Angel was using to heal his injuries as he had an unfair advantage- when Angel wanted to lose). He was an expert at using weapons, his favorite being a large battle axe made from a hubcap. However, Gunn has been shown to be a talented and intelligent investigator. Gunn was also a fan of pop culture and often displayed a detailed knowledge regarding comic books. Due to Wolfram & Hart's legal upgrade, Gunn also had knowledge of all legal codes, both human and demon, as well as fluency in some demonic languages, knowledge of golf techniques and knows all Gilbert & Sullivan light operas.

During the Fall of Los Angeles, Gunn was turned into a vampire. As such he had the standard powers and vulnerabilities of a vampire: superhuman strength, speed, reflexes, and durability, along with virtual immortality and accelerated healing. He was vulnerable to holy items and sunlight, and had to regularly feed on mammal blood to maintain his vitality. Gunn could not enter the home of a living human without being invited by someone who lived there first. In a conversation with his sire, it was suggested that his Wolfram & Hart upgrade partially affected the control the inner demon has over Gunn's actions; he considered himself "good" despite the fact that he has killed innocents, arguing that the demon does what he wants "on [his] terms". He also told Angel that he has added to his powers by devouring a prophetic demon and since acquiring its power to receive visions, which he believed to be the same visions which come from the Powers That Be, but in fact from the Senior Partners.

After time was reverted by Wolfram & Hart, Gunn lost the vampire abilities and possibly the visions, although the visions have yet to be confirmed either way.


Romantic Interests

  • Veronica — Gunn had a romance with this girl prior to becoming a full-time member of Angel Investigations. She appeared briefly during a party of his, in which her non-fatal injury at the hands of a vampire brought back painful memories and feeling of guilt about Alonna.[5]
  • Fred Burkle — Gunn and Fred fall in love and continued a strong relationship throughout much of Seasons Three and Four. However, when Gunn murdered Fred's old teacher, Professor Siedel, in order to protect her innocence, it eventually led to the end of their relationship. Nevertheless, he retained his romantic feelings for her for her and is devastated by her death, for which he is partially responsible. Gunn believed he didn't deserve to live for a time after that. Unlike the other characters, who usually referred to Gunn by his surname, Fred always called him Charles and continued to do so following their break-up.

Intimate Liaisons

  • Gwen Raiden — Gunn and Gwen flirt and have sex in the episode "Players" in which Gwen gains the ability to touch people without harming them.


  • Angel - Gunn was initially hostile and distrusting of Angel, not believing that a vampire could chose to do good. His attitude towards him softened somewhat after the heartbreaking death of his sister, but Gunn still did not trust him and refused to work for Angel Investigations.[8] Eventually, Gunn started to work part-time for him against demons and had agreed to look after Wesley and Cordelia when they were both in the hospital.[9] Out of Angel's crew, Angel was the only one Gunn at first viewed competent, seeing Cordelia and Wesley as only slowing them down. [5]Gunn's hostile disposition towards him began to lessen considerably as he worked with him more, entirely disappearing in a matter of months.[10]When told of Angel's violent past and how he could revert to Angelus by a moment of perfect happiness, Gunn's initial suspicions returned. He declared he would never kill Angel, but if he turned bad again, he wouldn't hesitate to stake him.[11]After a confrontation between Angel over The Shroud of Rahmon,[12] Gunn's distrust of him was was increased more. Due to his obsession with taking down Darla, Angel had fired him along with Wesley and Cordelia from Angel Investigations.[13] While the two eventually reconcile, Gunn made it clear at one point he did not truly see him as a friend nor entirely trust him, but refused to kill Angel when egged on by his crew because he could see that he was on the right side. Gunn apologized to him over this, but admitted he could not truly alter his black-and-white views just like that. Angel understood, trusting him to be able to kill him if he ever needed to.[14] The two remained close friends and allies despite such moments as Angel's brief return to Angelus or Gunn killing Angel when he was turned into a vampire while in Hell, Angel assuring Gunn when he was recovering in hospital that he didn't blame his friend for what he had done as a vampire.
  • Cordelia Chase - Due to Gunn's impatience and withholding personality, he did get along well with either Cordelia or Wesley.  While had had once agreed to watch other them while in the hospital on request of Angel,[9] Gunn was particularly rude and even described Cordelia as a "stick figure barbie". When Cordelia was given a vision of Gunn being in trouble, she became obsessed with protecting him. He, however, did not want any of her help nor did he take her warning seriously, viewing her as nothing more but an useless nuisance.  However, after going up against Deevak, Gunn came to respect Cordelia when she warned him of his self-destruct path.[5]
  • Wesley Wyndam-Pryce - Gunn had no respect for Wesley at first and saw him as entirely incompetent, along with Cordelia, mockingly calling him "C3PO".[15] Eventually, however, Gunn started to warm up to Wesley as he continued to work part time for Angel Investigations, being friendly with him for the most part. When Angel had fired him along with Cordelia and Wesley, Gunn had joined the group at Caritas and tried to find a path for their future. The three of them argued over who was more responsible for Angel starting to lose himself, Gunn particularly describing Wesley as "a pansy ass British guy." However, he quickly forgot it since he started to work for Wesley soon after.[16]Gunn and Wesley quickly developed a strong friendship with each other through their work fighting demons, Gunn even refusing to leave his side when Wesley was put in the hospital because of a gun shot wound. [17] However, when Gunn and Fred's relationship was already in difficulties, Angelus commented on Wesley's feelings for Fred. When Wesley tried to get close to her, Gunn kept telling him to stay away from her. The arguments once ended in a fist fight. Even with the antagonistic relationship, Wesley was sympathetic when Fred and Gunn broke up.


  • Alonna Gunn - Gunn was extemely close to his younger sister throughout the years, and saw it as his duty to protect her. However, they both tended to clash with Alonna's concern for his reckless nature and the dangerous situations he was put in. Jumped by vampires, Alonna was killed and sired. Upon this realization, Gunn was overcome with grief and guit. She appeared twistedly obsessed with him, urging him to embrace the life of a vampire without the burdens of an average human life in return for all of the years he took care of her. Before Alonna could successfully turn him, Gunn forced himself to stake her since the sister he loved was already gone. [8]Gunn struggled to get over this, and eventually remarked that he could never take it easy anymore because if he did, someone like Alonna would get killed.[5]Her death continued to haunt him, declaring to his crew how could he keep them safe when he couldn't even kill his own sister safe.[18]

Behind the Scenes

  • Gunn was a fan of Denzel Washinghton and hadn't bothered to see a movie since the actor was robbed at the Oscars for Malcom X.[19]
  • Gunn was named after filmmaker James Gunn and actor Sean Gunn, both of whom had worked with Joss Whedon.
  • When asked what became of Angel, Spike, Gunn, and Illyria during the battle in the alleyway after Angel's cancellation, Whedon joked, "Gunn is dead, Illyria keeps fighting, Angel loses an arm, Spike gets Shanshu, and Xander loses another eye, which is funny, because he isn't even there."



External Links


  1. "Double or Nothing"
  2. Angel & Faith #10
  3. 'Family Reunion, Part Four'
  4. "That Old Gang of Mine"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 "First Impressions"
  6. 'Redefinition'
  7. 'The Thin Dead Line'
  8. 8.0 8.1 "War Zone"
  9. 9.0 9.1 "To Shanshu in L.A.
  10. "Untouched"
  11. 'Dear Boy'
  12. 'The Shroud of Rahmon
  13. 'Reunion'
  14. 'That Old Gang of Mine'
  15. 'First Impressions'
  16. 'Redefinition'
  17. 'The Thin Dead Line'
  18. 'That Old Gang of Mine'
  19. 'First Impressions'

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