Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an Emmy-Award winning American supernatural drama series that aired from March 10, 1997 until May 20, 2003. The series was created in 1997 by writer-director Joss Whedon under his production tag, Mutant Enemy Productions with later co-executive producers being Jane Espenson, David Fury, and Marti Noxon. The series narrative follows Buffy Summers (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar), the latest in a line of young women known as Slayers. Slayers are chosen by fate to battle against vampires, demons, and other forces of darkness. Like previous Slayers, Buffy is aided by a Watcher, who guides and trains her. Unlike her predecessors, Buffy surrounds herself with a circle of loyal friends who become known as the "Scooby Gang".
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Buffy Summers

Actor: Sarah Michelle Gellar

Buffy is "The Slayer", one in a long line of young girls chosen by fate to battle evil forces. This calling mystically endows her with a limited degree of clairvoyance, usually in the form of prophetic dreams, as well as dramatically increased physical strength, endurance, agility, intuition and ease of healing.
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Buffy Summers

Actor: Kristy Swanson

The character of Buffy first appears in the 1992 film Buffy the Vampire Slayer, played by Kristy Swanson. The film, written by Joss Whedon, depicts Buffy as a shallow high school cheerleader who is informed by a man named Merrick (Donald Sutherland) that she has been chosen by fate to battle the undead. Buffy reluctantly undergoes training in her abilities by Merrick, and as her responsibility as the Slayer causes her to become alienated from her valley girl peers, she finds friendship and romance with fellow outcast Pike (Luke Perry). Merrick eventually comes to respect Buffy's rebellious nature, and she defeats vampire king Lothos (Rutger Hauer) by relying on her own contemporary style as opposed to traditional Slayer conventions. Although this film is not in continuity with the later television series, in 1999, author Christopher Golden adapted Joss Whedon's original script into a comic book entitled "The Origin", which Whedon later confirmed to be "pretty much" canonical.
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Alexander Harris (Xander)

Actor: Nicholas Brendon

Possessing no supernatural skills, Xander provides comic relief as well as a grounded, everyman perspective in the supernatural Buffyverse. In another departure from the usual conventions of television, Xander is notable for being an insecure and subordinate male in a world dominated by powerful females.
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Willow Rosenberg

Actor: Alyson Hannigan

Willow was originally a nerdy girl who contrasted Buffy's cheerleader personality but also shared the social isolation Buffy suffered after becoming a Slayer. As the series progressed, Willow became a more assertive and even sensual character; in particular, she became a powerful Wiccan and a lesbian.
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Willow Rosenberg (Alternate Universe)

Actor: Alyson Hannigan

In an alternate universe where Buffy never came to Sunnydale to kill the Master, Willow Rosenberg was at some point turned into a vampire. After the apparent deaths of Luke and Darla, she became one of the most powerful and feared members of the Order of Aurelius and, alongside Xander, one of the leading acolytes of The Master.
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Rupert Giles

Actor: Anthony Stewart Head

Giles, rarely referred to by his first name, is a Watcher and a member of the Watchers' Council, whose job is to train Slayers. In the earlier seasons, Giles researched the supernatural creatures that Buffy must face, offered insights into their origins and advice on how to kill them. Throughout the series, he became a father-figure to Buffy, giving her advice not only on the supernatural world, but on life issues as well.
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Cordelia Chase

Actor: Charisma Carpenter

Cordelia is originally an archetypal popular, shallow, mean-spirited cheerleader. She is tactless, but direct and honest, and she becomes a reluctant ally of the Scooby Gang, even after her relationship with Xander disintegrates. When her family loses its wealth, she leaves for Los Angeles to pursue an acting career, later joining Angel to fight evil at his side.
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Faith Lehane

Actor: Eliza Dushku

Faith, a Slayer, is called when Kendra is killed by the vampire Drusilla. When she arrives in Sunnydale, she fights alongside Buffy and the Scooby Gang. After accidentally committing murder, she indulges her violent tendencies and joins forces with the Mayor. Buffy stabs Faith, who falls into a coma; eight months later she wakes up and swaps bodies with Buffy. After being defeated, she flees to Los Angeles and accepts a contract to kill Angel. Angel is able to rehabilitate her, and she confesses to her crimes and goes to prison. Three years later, she breaks out to capture Angelus when Wesley Wyndam-Pryce informs her that he has been released. After Angel is re-ensouled, Faith reluctantly returns to Sunnydale to stand with Buffy against the First Evil. She temporarily leads both the Scoobies and the Potentials when the general faith in Buffy dissolves. Throughout the series, Faith displays a much darker, dangerously fun-seeking approach to both slaying and murder; she is the dark side of a Slayer's personality.
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Daniel (Oz) Osbourne

Actor: Seth Green

Oz is a brilliant (yet generally unmotivated) student, and part-time rock guitarist. He is Willow's first and only boyfriend, and an active member of Buffy's inner circle, despite the fact that he has recently become a werewolf. Portrayed as taciturn and unflappable, the contrast between his outward coolness and his violent animal episodes is an example of the show's efforts to subvert usual character expectations, as well as to display double-personalities (like Angel/Angelus).
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Actor: Amber Benson

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Riley Finn

Actor: Marc Blucas

Riley Finn (born in Huxley, Iowa) was an agent of the Initiative and a short-time member of the Scooby Gang. He was portrayed by Marc Blucas.
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William "The Bloody" (Spike)

Actor: James Marsters

Spike is a vampire character whose role varies dramatically through the course of the series, ranging from a major villain to "love's bitch"", to the sarcastic comic relief, to Buffy's romantic interest in a relationship that grows from miserable lust to a friendship, and eventually to a self-sacrificing hero, dying as a Champion at the Hellmouth. His path to redemption subsequently resumes in L.A., where his resurrected character continues to develop into a selfless hero. Spike is known for his Billy Idol platinum hair, his catch-phrase "bloody hell", and his black leather duster, which he acquired after killing a slayer for the second time. Nikki Woods was a vampire slayer in the 1970s who Spike killed and began wearing her jacket. Spike is also known for killing two different slayers.
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Spike and Drusilla

Actors: James Marsters and Juliet Landau

After being sired, Drusilla joined Angelus and Darla on their murderous travels. In 1880, Drusilla sired the young poet William, who joined the group. She and William, later known as "Spike", shared an intimate relationship, though Angelus continued to engage in sexual relations with Dru as well.

Shortly after Angelus is cursed with a soul, Spike and Drusilla (unaware of the ensoulment) go their separate ways from Darla and Angel. At some point before their arrival in Sunnydale in late 1997, Drusilla is attacked and severely injured by an angry mob in Prague, leaving her in a weakened and frail condition. Spike cares for her, and the couple decide to travel to the Hellmouth in hopes that its energy will help to restore Drusilla's strength and health.

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Anya Jenkins (Anyanka)

Actor: Emma Caulfield

Anya is a 1,120 year old former vengeance demon (Anyanka) who specialized in avenging scorned women. After being forcibly stripped of her demonic powers by Giles, the character is forced to re-learn how to be an ordinary human, a journey which is portrayed as both comical (e.g., her fear of rabbits and her love of money) and poignant (e.g. her grief over Joyce's death). Her story is largely focused on her romantic relationship with Xander, and like many characters on the show, she is portrayed as morally ambivalent.
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Dawn Summers

Actor: Michelle Trachtenburg

Dawn is first introduced as Buffy's (Sarah Michelle Gellar) little sister at the end of Buffy season five premiere "Buffy vs. Dracula", despite Buffy having been previously established as an only child. Initially, the mystery of Dawn's sudden existence is not acknowledged in the series, with the other characters accepting her as a part of the status quo. Four episodes later Buffy discovers Dawn is in fact a mystical object known as the Key; a group of monks transformed the Key into human form and sent it to the Slayer for protection from the villainous Glory (Clare Kramer). The memories of Dawn and the other characters were altered so they believed her to have always been Buffy's sister.
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The Master

Actor: Mark Metcalf

The Master is a fictional character from the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off series Angel, played by Mark Metcalf. Within the series, the Master is an ancient vampire whose age has afforded him considerable status, a monstrous appearance and considerable strength beyond the limits of most vampires.
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Principal Snyder

Actor: Armin Shimerman

Principal Snyder is a fictional character in the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, played by Armin Shimerman.
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Actor: Jeremy Roberts

Kakistos, whose name is said in the series to be Ancient Greek for "the worst of the worst" (in actuality, the word means simply "worst"), is an ancient vampire so old that his hands have become cloven hooves. He is well known enough to have been heard of by Rupert Giles, although Buffy Summers misrecalled the name as "Kissing Toast" or "Taquitos" the first time she heard it. He had assembled a small cult of fanatically loyal minions whose motto was "For Kakistos we live, for Kakistos you die."
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Mayor Richard Wilkins III

Actor: Harry Groener

Richard Wilkins III, also simply known as the Mayor, is a fictional character created by Joss Whedon for the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Played by Harry Groener, he was the villainous mayor of the series' fictional town of Sunnydale. Although the character is mentioned in season 2, Mayor Wilkins makes his first on-screen appearance in Season 3, eventually serving as the "Big Bad" of the season. He has several humans, vampires and demons working for him, including the renegade slayer Faith and Mr. Trick.

Wizard Magazine rated the Mayor as the 34th greatest villain of all time.

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Actor: George Hertzberg

Originally a fallen agent of the Initiative, Adam is a creation of Professor Maggie Walsh. He is part human, part demon, and part robot, and was to be the perfect organism, with the adaptability and intelligence of humans, and the strength and emotional detachment of demons. Adam is created in Lab 314, and his first act was killing Professor Walsh with a retractable skewer inside one of his arms.
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Actor: Clare Kramer

Glory is a fictional character in the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Also known as "Glorificus", "That Which Cannot Be Named" and "The Beast", (see name below), she appeared during the fifth season of the program and was portrayed by Clare Kramer.

Glory is a god from a hell dimension, over which she ruled alongside two other deities, though she was the most powerful of the three. Afraid that Glory would take full control of their dimension, the other two began a war against her. Glory lost the war, albeit narrowly, and was banished into the earthly dimension where she was forced to share a body with a child named Ben, who was created solely to "contain" her.

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The Gentlemen

The Gentlemen were a group of demons that roam from town to town, seeking out seven human hearts they require to stay alive. They are served by a group of demonic footmen in straight jackets. The sound of a human voice is fatal to the Gentlemen, so upon arrival in a new town they steal the voice of every inhabitant through a magical box. This forced silence has the added benefit of none of their victims being able to scream for help as the Gentlemen tear their hearts from their still-living bodies.