Potential Slayer was each human girl born with the potential to become the Slayer, chosen by mystical forces. With the exception of Sineya, the primeval one, by definition all Slayers had been once Potential Slayers. Although, not all Potentials necessarily become a Slayer, either due to their own death or the long survival of the current Slayer.
The term was most notably used in reference to the group of Potentials persecuted by the First Evil in 2003 in his plans to end the Slayer line.
Originally, only one Slayer would be called at a time, activated after the previous one had died. However, there were many Potentials all over the world, any one of which could be chosen. In most cases, these girls were identified by the Watchers Council and assigned a Watcher to guide and train them, so that they would be prepared if they were called to be the Slayer. Kendra Young was an example of this, as she was given to her Watcher when she was still an infant.
Since the Watchers themselves had only a vague understanding of the forces that selected the Slayer however, they were unable to identify every Potential in the world. There were many cases where the girl was completely oblivious to her calling, and remained that way unless she was activated as the new Chosen One. Buffy Summers was one such Potential, only becoming aware of her status when her predecessor was killed and her first Watcher, Merrick, found her.
Disruptions of the Line
Buffy’s death and resurrection in late 2001 disrupted the mysterious mystical forces surrounding the Slayer, so in 2002, the First Evil used this as a catalyst to destroy the Slayer line. It dispatched an army of Bringers to kill as many potentials as possible, including their watchers, eventually planning to murder Slayer Faith Lehane and then finally Buffy.
Rupert Giles, one of the only Watchers left, began bringing as many potentials as he could track down to Buffy’s home in Sunnydale. Those who didn’t die, Buffy trained to become an army for her final battle with The First, the Bringers, and the Turok-Han. To defeat its army, Willow Rosenberg tapped into the essence of the Slayer Scythe to perform the Slayer Activation spell for every Potential around the world.
Almost a year and a half after the spell was cast, nearly 1800 new Slayers were active around the world, though only a certain amount of them were working with the Slayer Organization. After Buffy destroyed the Seed of Wonder, causing the end of magic, no more Slayers were called. It was so until in the 23rd Century, when Melaka Fray was activated as the first Slayer in nearly 200 years.
List of Potential Slayers
Although all Slayers had been once Potential Slayers by definition, some Potentials were first known while such:
- Amanda (activated)
- Caridad (activated)
- Chao-ahn (activated)
- Colleen (presumably activated)
- Dominique (activated)
- Frankfurt Potential Slayer
- Injured Girl (activated)
- Istanbul Potential Slayer
- Kennedy (activated)
- Rona (activated)
- Shannon (activated)
- Soledad (activated)
- Violet (activated)
Behind the Scenes
- Notably, the non-canon novel "Spike and Dru: Pretty Maids All in a Row" prominently features Potentials around the world, as they were being hunted by Spike and Drusilla in the year of 1940.