- "As Neanderthals are to human beings, the Turok-Han are to vampires. They're a primordial, ferociously powerful killing machine, as single-minded as animals. They are the vampires that vampires fear. An ancient and entirely different race, and until this morning, I thought they were a myth."
- ―Rupert Giles[src]
They were a race of ancient powerful vampires, possibly created by the Old One Maloker, stronger and fiercer than the regular vampires, described as the vampire equivalent to Neanderthal man. Judging by Rupert Giles' description of them, they were monsters even amongst vampires.
SunnydaleThe First Evil, via its Bringers, first used the combined blood of Jonathan Levinson and Spike to open the Seal of Danzalthar, thus releasing the first Turok-Han.
Buffy Summers's first encounter with the primordial vampire nearly killed her as she was caught off-guard, tired from two days lack of sleep and worried about the fate of her friends. Their second encounter happened after the Turok-Han killed one of the first Potential Slayers sent to Sunnydale for protection. Buffy spent most of this time avoiding the vampire rather than fighting it but it nevertheless beat her to a bloody pulp.In between its fights with Buffy, it spent most of its time brutally torturing a captive Spike. After Buffy discovered the First's infiltration of the Potential Slayers, he told them that he would have the Turok-Han go after them. The Turok-Han broke into the Summer's residence fought through a barrier created by Willow Rosenberg. Buffy, her friends and Potential Slayers then fled to the streets. As the Turok-Han caught up with them, Buffy tried to hold it off though, the Turok-Han directed its attention the Potentials after a brief struggle. Following them to the construction site, the Turok-Han was pursued by Buffy who, after a long battle, managed to the kill the vampire in front of the Potential Slayers.
The Shadow Men later showed Buffy a vision of thousands of Turok-Han living below the seal. The First Evil apparently planned to open the Hellmouth and release them all, allowing them to conquer the world. The First would have taken physical form when its "forces" (presumably referring to the Turok-Han) outnumbered humanity in this world.
Eventually, a few more Turok-Han were released. Still more waited under Sunnydale for the time when the First would be able to free them all.
Buffy and the other Slayers went into the Hellmouth itself to fight the Turok-Han. In the end, all of them were apparently killed, including thousands by the mystical amulet that entrapped Spike. Spike remarked that, along with "decent punk bands" and his relationship with Drusilla, the Turok-Han were part of a list of "things that just don't exist anymore."
Physiology and powers
The Turok-Han resembled pale, bald humanoid beings with the pronounced browridges shared by their human hybrid cousins. Their eyes were clear save for a black slits, similar to cats or reptiles. They had flat, bat-like noses, a fully sharpened set of teeth, pointed elf-like ears, and long nails. Each Turok-Han was clad in black, leathery outfits. Just like modern vampires, the Turok-Han's bodies and clothes turn to dust upon death.
The Turok-Han possessed the conventional powers of vampires, though to a considerably higher level. The first Turok-Han released was able to easily overpower Buffy and nearly kill her, forcing her to use every possible resource to defeat it the second time around. However, Buffy was also weakened and exhausted from two days lack of sleep and was caught unprepared.
The Turok-Han was able push an entire wheelbarrow filled with timbers and tools out of its way by a mere shove of its hand and punch a cinder block into dust to no ill effect. They were also incredibly resilient; the first one immediately recovered after having a whole mess of steel pipes dropped on it, and kept continuing to fight after Buffy impaled it through the eye with a crossbow bolt.
When in Buffy's house, Willow created a force field to hold it off, though the Turok-Han broke it down in a matter of seconds. However, Dawn Summers later implied that Willow intentionally let the force field fail. The Turok-Han could also leap long distances without aid, doing the same distance as the one Buffy pole vaulted to. Also, according to Anya Jenkins, a Turok-Han's claws could shred flesh.
Despite being near-mindless animals, the Turok-Han possessed enough intelligence to follow orders from the First and even to forge their own weapons
VulnerabilitiesDespite their great power, even the Turok-Han possessed some of the common weaknesses of vampires. Though they were unaffected by crosses and were able to enter human residences without an invitation, the Turok-Han were still vulnerable to sunlight and decapitation. Additionally, due to their denser sternums, it was more difficult to stake them, though not impossible (Anya described it like trying to pierce steel with wood).
Holy water appeared to be effective to the Turok-Han as regular vampires, Anya herself claimed from her achieved information that holy water "seems to run off their guys [Turok-Han] like they've been scotch-guarded". However, it was shown to only cause minor burns which deterred it only for seconds.
Additionally, although their strength is wuthout a doubt superior to most vampires and even Slayers, towards the confrontation with the first, even regular humans like Dawn and Xander, given proper training, could match and defeat Turok-Han vampires in combat.
Behind the Scenes
- They were given the nickname of Übervamp by the Scooby Gang, more specifically Anya. 'Über' was first commonly used by German philosopher Nietzsche who coined the phrase 'Übermensch' – which referred to the higher state that man may aspire to, and has come to be used synonymously with "superman". An Übervamp is therefore a "supervampire".
- The Turok-Han army's performance in the final battle of the series is noticeably worse than the performance of the first Turok-Han. While the first Turok-Han was able to nearly kill Buffy, forcing her to use every possible resource to defeat it the second time around, the later Turok-Han seem evenly matched against the newly activated Slayers and even normal humans such as Xander and Dawn. In the audio commentary for the episode, creator Joss Whedon explains he is aware of the continuity issue with the Turok-Han's powers. He acknowledges that early in the season the demon was nearly unstoppable, yet in the final episode the Slayers can defeat the Turok-Han much more easily. Whedon explains that the story behind the season/episode he wanted to get across to viewers was more important than the continuity.
- In the original shooting script for "Get It Done", the vision shown to Buffy by the Shadow Men was originally supposed to be a ravaged, post-apocalyptic Sunnydale overrun with Turok-Han. .
- The term übervamp was first used by Charles Gunn in a season 3 episode of Angel describing what Darla and Angel's child (Connor) might be, but was not a reference to the Turok-Han who Gunn was unaware of the existence of.
- Dark Horse comics interestingly enough obtained the rights of the comic book Buffyverse and the prehistoric hero known as Turok (previously owned by Acclaim/Valient) around the same time. Turok-Han was not connected to Turok though and is only a Buffyverse canon term for the prehistoric Vampire breed, that coincidentally lined up with the Dark Horse acquisition of Turok.
- "Same Time, Same Place" (Only mentioned)
- "Never Leave Me"
- "Bring on the Night"
- "Get it Done" (Only in visions)
- "First Date"
- "End of Days"
- The Chain (cameo)
- Alone Together Now (Only mentioned)