- "It is not for thee. It is for her alone to wield."
- ―Glyphs engraved upon the wall of an old church.
Mʔ, often referred to as the Scythe, was an ancient weapon designed for the Slayer, with a wooden stake on the handle. Its name was “Mʔ”, “ʔ” being the symbol for a glottal stop. It embodied the mystical essence of the Slayer. Slayers who wielded it were capable of sensing its innate power and felt an initial sense of ownership.
In prehistoric Africa, a group of powerful mystic women, who called themselves the Guardians, secretly forged the Scythe for the First Slayer, Sineya, to kill the last of the Old Ones that walked the earth. It was kept hidden from the Shadow Men, who watched the Slayers and would later become the Watchers Council. The Guardians became watchers of sorts to the Watchers, and sought to help and protect the Slayers. These women put the Scythe in a rock, for when the time came and it was needed again, the Slayer would find and use it.
In 2003, the Scooby Gang were researching ways to defeat the threat of the First Evil. Spike found an inscription carved in stone, in a secret room in an abandoned mission in Gilroy, which translated to “It is not for thee. It is for her alone to wield.” Buffy Summers found the Scythe in a Sunnydale vineyard and pulled it out of the rock. With this weapon in her hands, Buffy managed to kill Caleb — who had merged with the First Evil and was extremely powerful. Later, Willow Rosenberg, using the power of the Scythe, performed a spell that activated all Potential Slayers around the world, making them full-fledged Slayers. Buffy and the Slayers then shared the Scythe among them to defeat the numerous Turok-Han in the depths of the Hellmouth.
Several months later, Buffy was still in possession of the Scythe, and used it to rescue her friend Willow from the U.S. military, injuring many soldiers in the process. It was then stolen by the vampire, Toru, who wanted to reverse the spell Willow did to activate the potential Slayers of the world. After Buffy recovered the Scythe, it crossed its own timeline as Buffy was summoned to the future of Haddyn.
After moving to San Francisco, Buffy kept the ruined Scythe in a chest. However, the Scythe was soon taken by Willow, who believed it to be the key to restoring magic; using the residual magic in the Scythe as a “battery”, she carved various sigils on Connor with the Scythe, performing a ritual that allowed her to access Quor'toth. After succeeding in restoring her magic within Quor’toth, due to Giles holding the Scythe during his death, Willow allowed Angel to absorb the fragments of Giles’ soul that still latched onto it so that he could continue his quest to resurrect him via a Tooth of Ammuk.
Later in Willow’s journey, the Scythe was restored by the witch Vulcana, an associate of Aluwyn, who referred to it as a counterpart of Excalibur. With the Scythe now at full power, Willow could easily cut rifts between any two worlds with magic.
When Willow returned to the Earth dimension, she returned the Scythe to Buffy. During her battle with the newly-vampiric Simone Doffler, Simone easily outmatched Buffy and impaled her through the shoulder with the Scythe. Despite her wounds and Simone’s superior abilities, Buffy eventually gained the upper hand and used the Scythe to stake Simone, openly admitting her regret that she ever used the Scythe to make Simone a Slayer in the first place.
Buffy then had the opportunity to use the weapon in less apocalyptic circumstances — such as destroying flesh golems in a cemetery, and wrestling a vampire for VampCon —, constantly carrying the Scythe for various battles and patrols, but otherwise keeping it on her own bedroom. In Oakland, the Sculptor proposed Andrew to rob the weapon from Buffy in exchange for a body for the holographic Jonathan, replacing it with a copy. At the time of the exchange, Andrew had made his choice and arrived with the Scooby Gang, who attacked the Sculptor, successfully killing the demon lord.
- "That Scythe is my only connection to the whole Slayer heritage thing. And it kills great."
- ―Melaka Fray[src]
Sometime in the 23rd century, the demon Urkonn gave the Scythe to Melaka Fray, the Slayer of that time. She used it to defeat dozens of vampires led by her vampire brother Harth, as well as the Old One Neauth. She found out an abandoned apartment full of past Watchers Diaries with an illustration of the Scythe on its floor.
Some time later, during her battle with Fray, a time-displaced Buffy smashed the Scythe clean in half with a backhanded punch.
Appearance and Qualities
Despite its name, the Scythe actually resembled a lochaber axe with a red, steel head, and a sliver edge on the border of the blade; a steel shaft hold the head with nails stamped along it, and, connected via an assembly of metal spikes, a brown haft with a simple wooden stake in its other extremity.
Its stake seemed apparently sharper and stronger than basic wood, as it could be jammed against a stone wall without any visible damage to it afterwards. Buffy could easily use it to stake several Turok-Han vampires despite their harder sternums, as well as use its blade to shield herself from D’Hoffryn’s energy blasts.
Some demon carapaces exhibited resistance to its blade, such as the Morituri Demon and Vermis mysteriis. The Scythe was capable of breaking the Seed of Wonder, although being destroyed in return. Notably, Buffy herself was capable to destroy Fray’s scythe with a single punch.
Willow displayed the capacity of the Scythe to be used in magic. She used its the power to activate every single Potential Slayer on Earth. The weapon itself also contained magic even after the end of magic, which allowed the witch to use the Scythe’s power to tear open a rift in reality to gain access to Quor’toth. The Scythe could also be used to tear open portals to other dimensions, and could even be used as a means to cast very powerful spells, such as immense streams of magic power that can match the strength of an Old One.
The Scythe’s metal was initially red with silver blade. Since it was restored, it was changed to be completely red, and this aspect is preserved as well in 23rd century. This differentiation didn’t happen during Buffy’s time travel, when both Buffy’s and Fray’s scythes had its original colors.
The following Slayers have wielded the Scythe:
- Buffy Summers
- Faith Lehane
- Simone Doffler
- Melaka Fray
- Rupert Giles
- Willow Rosenberg
- Last Guardian
- Kumiko Ishihara
Behind the Scenes
- The Scythe appeared as a cameo among the objects owned by the character Rumpelstiltskin in the episode "Skin Deep " from Once Upon A Time television series, which was also written by Buffy writer Jane Espenson.
- There is only one known metal "Hero" Scythe that was used on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but multiple copies were made of it using plastic and rubber for stunt purposes.
- Joss Whedon has claimed in many interviews that he kept the "Hero" Metal Scythe
- The original prop was fabricated by Tony Swatton who then sold the rights to it to a company named Factory X. Unfortunately, Factory X follows a little known copyright clause which states that any "replica" they create must be 10% smaller than the original prop. Factory X, which no longer produces the scythe, followed a business model of sending a model of the scythe to China where it was mass produced using the cheapest known materials. The Factory X "Slayer Scythe" was made using Zinc for the main blade, untempered steel for the main handle, cheap pine for the stake and a plastic vinyl wrap for the handle that has a printed pattern on it of Ostrich Leather. Finally, because of the contractual copyright clause, the Factory X "Slayer Scythe" is roughly 3 to 4 inches shorter than the screen used prop (even though it states on every box "The Slayer’s Scythe was made using Joss Whedon’s personal souvenir prop scythe as reference.")