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End of magic

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Seed goes smash

Buffy destroys the Seed, bringing about the end of magic

The end of magic was a major event that saw all forms of magic banished from the Earth. It was caused by Buffy Summers when she destroyed the Seed of Wonder during the Twilight crisis. The Seed's destruction cut the Earth dimension off from the extradimensional source of all magic. It also prevented the entrance of new demons into this dimension.

Known effects

The end of magic resulted in numerous negative effects to both the natural and supernatural world:

  • All magic practitioners (witches, warlocks, archmages, etc.) were immediately depowered.
  • All creatures with inherent powers, such as vampires and pre-existing Slayers, continued to exist and retained their powers. Magical artifacts, such as the Slayer Scythe,[1] retained a degree of power, which practitioners could use "like batteries"[2] to achieve magical ends. They were hotly sought-after by remaining scavengers.[3]
  • Whistler's precognitive powers and connection to the Powers That Be no longer functioned properly, which also damaged his mental health.
  • The Slayer line was rendered dormant, so that new Potentials would not be called.
  • Certain active spells were either severely weakened or simply broken.
    • The reality alteration that granted Connor a normal human life and family gradually faded away; thus, while the paperwork and legal documentation of his life appeared to be intact, given that he was still attending college, Connor remembered his new life only in the same sense that someone would recall watching a movie, while the Reillys had no recollection of him whatsoever.[4]
    • While the Order of Dagon's spell to transform the Key into Dawn Summers initially appeared to remain intact, her sickness[5] and an omen seen by Willow[6] called this into question; Angel and Faith began to forget her while Spike remained aware of Dawn's identity (most likely due to the greater amount of time he has spent with Dawn compared to them). It ultimately transpired that the spell was in fact coming undone and Dawn was slowly dying as a result.[7][8]
    • Eldre Koh was freed from his mystical prison.
    • Other spells remained intact. For example, the curse which restored Angel's soul was not undone, nor was the ritual that restored Spike's soul. Though witches Sophronia and Lavinia Fairweather began to age as normal, the loss of magic did not cause them to revert to their true ages, and they remained young and beautiful.
  • Due to its lack of ambient magic, it was reportedly impossible to access Earth from another magical dimension[6] other than Quor'toth, which connected to Earth via a tear in the fabric of reality rather than a conventional portal.[4]
    • Vampire spirits were no longer able to cross into Earth to completely inhabit a vampire's body, resulting in all new sirings becoming mindless "zompires".
  • Following the end of magic, the prophecy predicting "the Siphon" began to come true. A man named Severin acquired the power to drain magic from those that retained it, such as vampires and Slayers. Powerful individuals such as the demon Illyria banded together in response to this crisis.
  • The potency of the Mohra Demon's regenerative blood became uncontrollable, causing those exposed to it to develop tumorous growths all over their bodies and become nearly immortal beings in constant pain, only able to die if decapitated.[9]
  • According to Willow Rosenberg, without magic, the world had become empty. Since the Seed was lost, rainbows consisted of only two colors, no decent song, movie, or book had been produced, suicide rates were rising daily, and people were losing hope all over the world, with things only getting even worse from there.[4][10]
  • Buffy Summers, the one responsible for the world's loss of magic, became something of a pariah in all magical society. Former witches and Slayers alike deeply resented her and attempted to make her life as miserable as possible. Due in part to the various atrocities he committed as Twilight, Angel's reputation and image among the magical community was even worse than Buffy's.[11]

Speculative effects

  • The Slayer Nadira believed that the loss of magic also prevented souls from passing on after death, believing that the souls of the dead were hanging around as ghosts unable to reach Heaven or Hell, but Angel believed that this was not the case, arguing that death was a natural part of life and souls would still be able to go on to wherever they were meant to go.
    • As Giles' soul remained on Earth only by virtue of being owned by the demon Eyghon, Angel was probably correct about afterlife processes still being in working order.

Restoration

First Attempt

Aided by Pearl, Nash and Eyghon, Whistler attempted to restore magic by assembling and draining various magical artefacts to create a magic 'bomb' that would release magic all over the world, creating the potential for magic to be restored at the cost of mutating and twisting at least a third of Earth's population when they were exposed to the raw magic. The resulting 'bomb' succeeded in mutating a sizeable percentage of London's population even before it detonated, but when Whistler absorbed enough magic to stabilize his mental health, he accepted Angel's argument that the deaths his actions would cause meant that the price he would pay to restore magic wasn't worth it, sacrificing his life to contain the bomb with his own body.

Success

Magic was eventually restored to the world after Willow was able to travel into other dimensions using Quor'toth with the aid of Connor and the Scythe. Having soaked up Quor'toth's ambient magic to restore her own powers, Willow travelled through various other realities to absorb magic from them, before returning to her world and travelling to the Deeper Well, where her magic emerged from her as a new Seed of Wonder. Through the sacrifices of Illyria and Severin, the Seed's growth was accelerated and magic was restored.

Results

However, the magic of the new world had different rules compared to before, such as new vampire sirings now being immune to sunlight and able to shapeshift into animals such as bats (Although pre-existing vampires retained their original limits and abilities). The restoration of magic also result in old spells being 'reset', the most notable result being Winifred Burkle being restored to life, now sharing control of her body with Illyria as opposed to Illyria having completely supplanted her. The old Slayer Handbook that Giles had left to Buffy also became a means of writing new 'rules' of magic, making it highly sought after by both sides, although Buffy prevented it from being used by Andrew Wells to resurrect his past victims as she recognized that they couldn't define the rules as they saw fit.

Fray's timeline

By the 23rd Century, in which magic had slowly been returning, and with it demons as well, the Slayer Melaka Fray was called, and the name of the Slayer that had caused the end of magic, as well as her whereabouts following the event, had been lost to history.

Due to alterations to the timeline in Time of Your Life, it is impossible to know if magic's absence in Fray's time was due to a similar event as occurred in Last Gleaming.

Behind the scenes

  • The events of the end of magic as explained by Urkonn to Melaka Fray and the actual event as caused by Buffy are somewhat different. Urkonn originally told Fray that all demons and magicks were banished from the Earth, but when Buffy destroyed the Seed, all vampires, demons, and active Slayers already present on Earth continued to exist and retained their powers.
  • In an ironic twist, the end of magic can be considered the only apocalypse that Buffy and the Scooby Gang not only failed to prevent, but actually helped bring about.

References

  1. Slayer Interrupted (Buffy Season 9)
  2. The Hero of His Own Story
  3. Spike: A Dark Place
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Family Reunion
  5. Welcome to the Team
  6. 6.0 6.1 Willow: Wonderland #2
  7. "The Watcher"
  8. "The Core, Part One"
  9. Live Through This, Part 4
  10. Guarded, Part One
  11. In Perfect Harmony

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