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The seven best – and worst – characters from Buffy The Vampire Slayer

February 19th, 2018 by Ciaran McElherron Comments

One of TV’s most enduring – and re-watchable – shows, has to be Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

And our man Ciaran has been revisiting the series recently and has noticed that some of the characters he loves as much as he did first time around… and some of them he really detests.

He’s listed the seven best – and worst below – starting from one and counting down.

Let us know if you agree:

Who else could be number one other than Buffy Ann Summers, the star of the show?

Our titular heroine is the lynchpin of the series and is played with the perfect blend of 90s valley girl and hard edge by Sarah Michelle Geller.

Buffy is an ass-kicking Vampire Slayer who saves the world regularly, sacrifices herself for others, dies and comes back to life on more than once occasion. Buffy was the hero we needed and deserved in the late 90s and early 2000s: a feminist sci-fi/horror icon who has rightly taken her place in the pantheon as one of the greatest female television characters ever.

Played by James Marsters and possibly the character who has the most development over the course of the seven-season run of the show, Spike aka William the Bloody, was intended to be a brief villain intended only to appear in a few episodes of the show’s second season as the dirty, evil punk alternative to Angel.

Spike became a regular foe of Buffy until the later series when he became a friend, confidant and occasional lover to Buffy.

Spike commits the ultimate sacrifice in the final episode by giving his life to close the hell-mouth while confessing his love for Buffy.

Rupert Giles, played wonderfully by Anthony Head, is Buffy’s mentor, friend and father figure.

Assigned to train Buffy by the Watchers Council, Giles bring his immense knowledge of the occult and a certain repressed English charm to Sunnydale; the oldest member of the Scooby Gang, Giles’ past had him meddling in dark magic and he has even claimed to be a founding member of Pink Floyd to impress women.

Handsome, erudite, wise and fiercely loyal to Buffy and, as proven in “once More with Feeling” a pretty decent singer, Giles is everything a slayer needs in her watcher.

Willow Rosenberg, played by the lovely Alyson Hannigan, is Buffy’s best friend and a very important member of the scooby gang.

Debuting in the first episode as an awkward, nerdy high schooler, Willow develops over the course of the series into a powerful witch to the point where she is season six’s Big Bad after losing her partner Tara, becoming addicted to dark magic and going on a rag-fuelled rampage through Sunnydale.

After Buffy’s death in season five, it is Willow who eventually brings Buffy back to the land of the living, so powerful by the end of the show’s run, Willow casts a spell that turns all potential slayers into actual slayers to ensure our heroes defeat the first evil and save the world

 

The woman who turned Spike into a vampire, Drusilla – played by Juliette Landau, was a powerful psychic and soothsayer who was on her way to sainthood before Angelus became obsessed with her and set about mentally breaking her by killing her family and all member of the holy order she was about to join.

With her mind now thoroughly broken, Angelus turned her into a vampire.

Arriving in Sunnydale with Spike, they plot to kill the slayer and over the course of the show her sanity is returned and Spike and her go their separate ways: Drusilla leaves the series unstaked.

Dru brings a level of insanity and predatory evil to the show not matched by many other characters and the fact that she doesn’t die is an exception to the rules of Buffy that all the bad guys eventually get their comeuppance or redemption.

After spending 1000 years as Anyanka, a vengeance daemon who grants wishes to women wronged by men, Anya is turned back to human in her 1st episode. After her return to human form Anya lives the life of a normal high schooler although the millennia of being a deamon has not left her, she eventually develops feelings for Xander, which eventually leads to her including to the scooby gang. From her blunt manor of speaking to her absolute fear and hatred of Bunnies Anya developed from one note bad guy to multifaceted hero who had some of the best lines in the shows run.

The final member of the scooby gang and possibly the inventor of the friend zone trope, Xander, played by Nicholas Brendon, begins the series as Willow’s best friend and quickly falls for Buffy upon her arrival in Sunnydale.

As the Series progresses, Xander changes from the immature, unconfident, emotionally stunted high school boy to a confident mature man.

Xander is often used for comic relief on show as a coward, but he is a loyal friend to Buffy and has saved her from death and put himself in harm’s way on many occasions to help the Slayer and, in turn, save the day.

Now for the part you’re really excited for… the seven worst Buffy character

Intended to be the opposite of Angel, Reilly – played by Marc Blucas –  was Buffy’s boyfriend for season four and the early part of season five.

Reilly is a member of the Initiative, a group of soldiers tasked with taking down supernatural threats.

A one-dimensional character in his first season, a generic soldier who takes orders and does his best in season five, he unravels due to losing his way in life and his jealousy of Buffy; when he becomes involved with letting vampires drink from him, Buffy kicks him to the curb as the betrayal is too much for her to handle.

Generic, boring and not a nice guy, Reilly really is the worst.

Eguh what was Joss thinking?!

Created as a sex toy for Spike (no, really) during one of his more creepy moments and used as a decoy against Glory, the Buffybot was terrible but, to be fair, did give Sarah Michelle Geller a chance to at least act in a more comedic fashion for a few episodes…

 

If you are gonna bring the most famous vampire in history into your mythology at least make him the big bad, but Dracula (Rudolf Martin)was wasted as a minor character.

Portrayed as a fame-hungry vampire, he swans into Sunnydale to confront a star struck slayer.

Described by Spike as a “poncy sod” and a “glory hunter”, he is eventually staked by Buffy and buggers off never to be heard of again in the show…

A Frankenstein’s monster-inspired bad guy created as a product of an experiment gone wrong by military scientists, Adam, played by George Hertzberg, is season four’s big bad.

An amalgamation of human and demon parts, Adam’s motives are never really established other than he is evil and wants an army of monsters like himself; how he was ever deemed as a rival to Buffy is indicative of how poor season four really was.

Professor Maggie Walsh is the leader of the initiative, a shady government agency tasked with studying and stopping demons.

Maggie enjoys a very close relationship with Reilly to the point that she spies on him being intimate with Buffy (creepy) because she thinks Buffy is a threat to the initiative and then creates Adam to try to stop the slayer.

Adam, of course, kills Walsh immediately and reanimates her as a zombie. As you do.

Buffy’s younger sister was ret-coned into the show in the fifth season as part of the season long story arc involving the key and the big bad, Glory.

Dawn was the stereotypical annoying little sister and it is probably a credit to Michelle Trachtenberg that she played the role so well that fans still dislike Dawn so much after all this time.

Dawn was at first a plot device who Buffy had to constantly save and had a glass shattering scream until her real role was revelled and Buffy yet again sacrifices her life to save her.

In later series she becomes a fully-fledged member of the scooby gang but still retains the annoying habits of the younger sibling.

Ted is Buffy’s mother, Joyce’s, boyfriend in a season two episode of the same name.

Played by John Ritter, Ted is a take on the stereotypical 1950s American family man; unfortunately Ted is also a Robot.

He kidnaps Joyce as part of his obsession with women who look like his inventor’s wife and holds them in a bunker until they die. He then goes to find the next victim; thankfully Buffy finally shuts Ted down and with that removes this awful character from the Buffy universe.

So there you have it. Do you agree? Disagree? We want to know, guys…

Let us know your thoughts below, @NerdFollowing on Twitter or on Facebook

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Ciarán McElherron is 37 years old and living in Belfast with his wife Clare and an assortment of cats and a dog. He caught the nerd bug the first time he saw a lightsaber ignite and Luke Skywalker has been his hero ever since. He watches too much TV, reads too many Marvel comic books and plays way too much Football Manager. Sylvester McCoy was his Doctor and when he grows up he would like to be He-Man

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