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Sling all the little barbs at me that you want, Anyanka, it doesn't change the fact that this girl was in pain, and none of you could hear it. I could hear her crying out everywhere I went in this town. It was unbearable. And none of you knew.
―Halfrek[src]

Halfrek was a vengeance demon who sough justice for neglected children. She also had been known as Cecily in 1880 and Hallie in 2002.

Biography

Background

Halfrek was a long-time associate and sometime friend of Anya Jenkins, who knew her from her days as a vengeance demon named Anyanka. The two had worked together in the past, notably during the Crimean War and the Russian Revolution.[1]

However, Halfrek’s raison d’etre was quite different from Anyanka’s. Whereas Anyanka was an avenger of scorned women, Halfrek’s objective was to exact vengeance for children who have been wronged by their parents or guardians, but personally calling this justice other than vengeance. Anya attributed this to “daddy issues”.[2]

Cecily

Halfrek as Cecily in 1880.

In 1880, Halfrek assumed the alias of Cecily, being an upper class object of William Pratt’s affections in Victorian England. She spurned William’s advances, saying he was “beneath her”, and upsetting him greatly. This set in motion the events that lead William to accept comfort from Drusilla and become a vampire, eventually known as the notorious Spike.[3]

Sunnydale

In 2002, Halfrek was summoned by the then human Anya in Sunnydale. Halfrek appeared ready to perform a vengeance against Alexander Harris, but was interrupted by Anya, who explained she was called to be invited to her upcoming wedding with Xander.[4]

While in town, Halfrek posed as a guidance counselor and coaxed Dawn Summers into making a wish. Feeling that no one wanted to spend time with her, Dawn wished that people would never leave; Halfrek therefore cast a spell that prevented anyone from leaving the Summers residence. The crisis ended when Halfrek herself was caught in the spell and had to break it.[2]

At the event, Halfrek recognized Spike, and called him by his human name, William. He also recognized Halfrek, but when asked to explain this, they both sheepishly denied being acquainted.[2]

Eventually, Halfrek cast a curse on a father for his 11-year-old daughter, making it so that any paper he touched that wasn’t a child support cheque would result in papercuts.

Even after Anya ceased to be a vengeance demon, she continued her friendship with Halfrek. Just as Anyanka used the name Anya when masquerading as a human, Halfrek’s mortal persona went by the name Hallie. She also appeared as a bridesmaid at the failed wedding of Anya and Xander.[5]

D'hoffryn burns halfrek selfless

Halfrek is killed by D’Hoffryn.

Halfrek attempted to coax Anya back into vengeance, but Anya had spent too long as a mortal; while she was initially successful in her return to demonhood, she subsequently regretted the deaths she had caused. Anya thus asked the vengeance demon lord D'Hoffryn to restore the lives of a group of men slaughtered as a result of one of her wishes. While Anya offered her own life to complete the undoing, D’Hoffryn preferred to take the life of her friend to scorn her. He destroyed Halfrek before Anya’s eyes in order to accomplish what she had requested.Her last words had been "Anya”, before she disintegrated into flames.[1]

Powers and abilities

Like I would be stopped by a sword in the chest. Flesh wound. Honestly, Anyanka, you used to know better.
―Halfrek[src]
HumanHally

Halfrek’s human form, posing as a guidance counselor.

Halfrek possessed the regular abilities of vengeance demons contained in a pendant she wore on her neck. These powers included enhanced strength, wish granting, ability to shift between demonic and human appearance, among others.  

Enhanced durability: She was able take a sword to the chest without any signs of injury after briefly falling to the ground unconscious.[2]

Telekinesis: When Anya tried to take Halfrek’s pendant while she was unconscious, Halfrek was able to push her back with a shift gesture of the hand.[2]

Empathy: Due to her specialty in neglected children, Halfrek could sense Dawn’s pain and heard her cry at every corner of Sunnydale which she found unbearable.[2] 

Immortality: Halfrek existed at least before the French Revolution and had not aged since.[1] 

Teleportation: Halfrek could teleport to any destination at any given time.However, this could not be done when she was in the Summer’s residence when she cursed it, repeatedly trying before she was informed of what she got herself into and she broke it. When teleporting, she often did it in a uppish fashion, gracefully waving her wands for effect or simply by clicking her fingers when the moment was lost during Buffy’s birthday.[2] 

Voice manipulationWhen having mistaken Xander for one of her victims, Halfrek spoke to him in a loud, deepened voice before seeing Anya where she reverted to her normal tone.[4]

Behind the scenes

  • Rocha has discussed about Halfrek and Cecily being the same entity: “My personal feeling is that they probably are the same person. A lot of people come up to me and they all want to know if Cecily and Halfrek are the same person. So, I always ask what they think, because I’m interested in different perceptions of that. There’s some thought that maybe Cecily went to the party to reject or seek vengeance on someone else, and that Spike somehow got in there, or that I just wanted to spurn him and hurt his feelings, which I did, which made him become a vampire, basically.”[6]
  • In the non-canon graphic novel "Old Times", Halfrek was at the party in 1880 seeking to perform a vengeful curse against an unidentified gentleman. In this story, William says he wished they were the bloody ones, and with this Halfrek makes them all bleed from their eyes, and their blindness cause a fire. In the 21st century, she meets Spike in Los Angeles, and the two discuss the events from their first meeting.
  • In the non-canon novel "These Our Actors", Cecily was a mere human, and not the same individual as Halfrek. In this story, she was killed by the recently turned vampire Spike, and her father gets to seek his revenge in 21st century Sunnydale.

Appearances

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Selfless"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 "Older and Far Away"
  3. "Fool for Love"
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Doublemeat Palace"
  5. "Hell's Bells"
  6. Natalie Clubb, She's the Devil in Disguise?. "The Slayer Collection Volume 2: Fear, Itself — Monsters and Villains", Titan Comics, 2016.