Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an American supernatural drama television series based on the 1992 film of the same name. It was created by Joss Whedon under his production tag, Mutant Enemy Productions, with later co-executive producers being Jane Espenson, David Fury, David Greenwalt, Doug Petrie, Marti Noxon, and David Solomon.
The series narrative follows Buffy Summers, the latest in a line of young women known as “Vampire Slayers”, or simply “Slayers”. In the story, Slayers or the ‘Chosen Ones’ are “called” (chosen by fate) to battle against vampires, demons, and other forces of darkness. Buffy wants to live a normal life, but as the series progresses, she learns to embrace her destiny. Like previous Slayers, Buffy is aided by a Watcher, who guides, teaches, and trains her. Unlike her predecessors, Buffy surrounds herself with a circle of loyal friends who become known as the “Scooby Gang”.
Take a look below for our list of the 10 best and coolest Buffy the Vampire characters.
Spike (born William Pratt) was a famous and widely-feared vampire turned in 1880. He was well-known among both humans and demons for having faced and killed two Slayers during his unlife, and his history of torturing his victims with railroad spikes. His reputation for evil and bloodshed was second only to that of his grand sire Angelus.
In his human life, William was an unsuccessful and unappreciated romantic poet known as William the Bloody, for his “bloody awful” poetry, though after he became a vampire, that moniker was re-purposed to imply he was very violent. After being sired by Drusilla, he reinvented himself and terrorized Europe alongside Drusilla, Angel and Darla throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.
Spike first traveled to Sunnydale in 1997, accompanied by Drusilla. He quickly established himself as one of Buffy Summers’ most dangerous enemies, but was eventually forced into a series of uneasy alliances with her and her team, the Scooby Gang, after being captured by the Initiative and implanted with a cerebral microchip that rendered him unable to harm humans. Eventually, Spike realized that he had fallen in love with Buffy and officially joined the Scooby Gang, later being motivated by his love for her to successfully fight to regain his soul.
Spike sacrificed his life in battle against the First Evil, both defeating its army of Turok-Han and permanently closing the Hellmouth, as well as destroying the town of Sunnydale. However, bound to an ancient amulet, Spike became an incorporeal entity haunting the halls of of Wolfram & Hart Los Angeles branch, then under the management of Team Angel. After becoming corporeal again, Spike struggled to find a place in the world, only to join Angel in his battle against the Senior Partners and become a Champion in his own right.
After a slew of adventures, Spike reunited with Buffy and the Scoobies in Europe and joined them in the battle against Twilight. When the world was made void of magic, he moved to San Francisco to continue fighting by Buffy’s side, but left for a time in the hopes of “finding himself”, before returning to San Francisco when he heard the news that Dawn Summers was sick. He then established himself in the city alongside the Scooby Gang, sharing an apartment with Xander and working as a supernatural consultant for S.F.P.D. With this new life, he and the Slayer gave a chance for a serious relationship.
Buffy Anne Summers was a Slayer who was activated in the late 20th century. Born on January 19, 1981, she was called to be the Slayer in 1996 at the age of fifteen. Buffy was originally living in Los Angeles; but, due to an incident involving a gang of vampires at Hemery High School, she moved to Sunnydale with her mother. There, she acted as guardian of the Hellmouth for seven years before the town’s destruction in mid-2003.
Initially a reluctant hero who constantly wished for nothing more than a normal life, Buffy eventually grew to embrace her destiny. Buffy was unique as a Slayer in many ways; she refused to sacrifice her ordinary life for her supernatural destiny, often operated as part of a team with her friends the Scooby Gang, and had romantic relationships with notorious vampires Angel and Spike.
Buffy was one of the longest-lived Slayers and returned from death not once, but twice, then coexisting with another Slayer, an act that disrupted the magic surrounding the traditional line. During their war with the First Evil, Buffy enacted a plan to activate every Potential Slayer in the world, abolishing the traditional line of Chosen Ones, before dedicating herself to gathering and training the ever-growing number of Slayers. She created the Slayer Organization, protecting the world and Slayers when the supernatural had then become public knowledge.
Revealed she had been long involved in an ancient prophecy that would bring about Twilight as an evolution to replace the Earth dimension, Buffy prevented this destroying the Seed of Wonder, thus bringing about the end of magic. She established herself in San Francisco, where she continued her Slayer duties and eventually restored magic on Earth, taking responsibility for its new rules with the Vampyr book. Ultimately, Buffy was the Slayer that defined the battle of the Reckoning, which allowed Slayers to exist and work towards a better future, changing the course of history up to the 23rd century.
Rupert Edmund Giles was the Watcher and father figure of Slayer Buffy Summers, the former librarian of Sunnydale High School, and the occult expert of the Scooby Gang. Born into a family who worked for the Watchers Council for at least three generations, Giles initially rebelled against his family legacy and became a rogue magician, until the death of a close friend led him to return to the Council’s fold.
Nevertheless, he would retain his rebellious streak and a fierce, ruthless devotion to his loved ones. As the Watcher of Buffy Summers, Giles developed a father-like bond with his charge, not only training her but also fighting by her side and openly defying the Council in order to save Buffy’s life, which ultimately led to his dismissal from the Council.
Fired from the Council, Giles remained as a member of the Scooby Gang for two more years, trying to find his way even after being reinstated in his position as Watcher. He left Sunnydale in 2001 when he came to the realization that he had to leave Buffy so she would embrace the responsibilities of adulthood. He returned to Sunnydale the next year to stop Willow Rosenberg from destroying the world and nearly lost his life in the process. After she was stopped, Giles took her to England to aid her in her rehabilitation and coming to terms with her power.
When the First Evil began its campaign and had the Watchers Council destroyed, Giles gathered a group of Potential Slayers and returned to Sunnydale to prepare for the coming battle. However, he came into conflict with Buffy regarding the vampire Spike, whom Giles considered a potential threat. When Buffy’s leadership was questioned by her friends and allies, Giles sided against Buffy but reconciled with her when Buffy devised a plan that would allow the Scoobies to defeat the First.
When the power of the Slayer was activated in all potential Slayers throughout the world, Giles helped Buffy create the Slayer Organization, though in secret he sent Slayer Faith Lehane to eliminate a rogue Slayer. After Buffy discovered Giles had gone behind her back, they were not on speaking terms for a while, and Giles joined Faith as the two sought troubled new Slayers to help them come to terms with their powers and prevent them from falling into the path Faith had fallen to in the past. A short time later, however, as the Twilight crisis came to the near destruction of the world, Giles was murdered by Angel, who was possessed by the sentience of a newly created universe.
Angel and Faith worked tirelessly the next year to resurrect and bring back Giles despite it being a near-impossible task in a world without magic. Angel figured out a way through the Tooth of Ammuk, a magical artifact that would gather pieces of his soul through magical artifacts. Giles’ soul was snatched away for eternal torment by Eyghon the Sleepwalker and briefly inhabited in Angel’s own body. After finding a proper incantation, Giles’ was successfully brought back to life. However, the spell had backfired through his aunts’ involvement in the ritual, and Giles was forced to deal with the stressful return to his twelve-year-old body, but with his memories, intellect, and experience still intact.
Feeling purposeless and disconnected, Giles nevertheless chose to aide Angel and Faith from stopping Whistler’s release of deadly magical all over the world. After the battle was won, Giles briefly helped them with the changed people of London but nonetheless chose to part from Angel with Faith, seeing that the place he was at his best was with Buffy.
Willow Danielle Rosenberg was a witch native to Sunnydale, California, a founding member of the Scooby Gang, and the best friend and semi-official sidekick of the Slayer, Buffy Summers. Willow started out as a shy computer nerd, eventually developing her talents to become a powerful and assertive witch.
Willow was introduced to the forces of magic by attempting a complex spell to re-ensoul Angel. To her own surprise, Willow tapped into considerable power during this ritual and would come to practice witchcraft. Willow was quick to grasp basic spells and with support from her girlfriend Tara Maclay, her powers blossomed even more rapidly as did her self-confidence. Milestones in her magical career include the enjoining spell, taking on the Hell-Goddess Glory and surviving, resurrecting Buffy Summers, nearly ending the world, activating the world’s Potential Slayers and eventually, establishing herself as Earth’s most powerful witch.
Anya Christina Emmanuella Jenkins was a member of the Scooby Gang and a former vengeance demon. Over a thousand years old, she was originally known as Aud and lived in Sweden. After cursing her unfaithful lover, Aud was approached by the demon D’Hoffryn with the offer of becoming an immortal demon and dedicating her life to vengeance. She accepted and was transformed into Anyanka, earning the title of Patron Saint of the Women Scorned as she spent a millennium granting dark wishes to the girlfriends and wives of men.
However, Anyanka met her downfall in 1998 when she took the guise of Anya Emerson and came to grant a wish in Sunnydale. Stripped of her demonhood by an alternate version of Rupert Giles, she lost her powers and was forced to live the rest of her life as the human Anya Emerson. Then later on, she invented the name Anya Christina Emanuella Jenkins which she used from then on as a mortal human.
In an ironic twist, she even came to fall in love with Alexander Harris, the man she was sent to destroy, and through him learned true happiness for the first time. Before the battle against Glory in a successful effort to save Dawn’s life, Xander and Anya got engaged; but Xander told Anya that he did not want to get married straight away. In 2003, Anya was killed in the battle which destroyed the Sunnydale Hellmouth, although she returned a few years later to haunt Xander for some time.
Alexander Lavelle “Xander” Harris was the best friend of Slayer Buffy Summers and a founding member of the Scooby Gang. Being the only one of his group of friends to not possess any supernatural abilities, Xander was usually the one who saw everything beyond the supernatural. Besides this, Xander was known to be very humorous and sarcastic, especially in the face of danger.
Xander was born to Anthony and Jessica Harris and grew up in the small California town of Sunnydale sometime before the middle of January in 1981. Xander’s father struggled with alcohol addiction while his mother’s mental health declined; both parents were negligent and even abusive towards their son, leaving him with various insecurities.
Xander’s lifelong best friend was Willow Rosenberg, who secretly harbored a hopeless crush on him. The pair briefly “dated” when they were five, but broke up over a stolen Barbie. In kindergarten, Xander suffered an unknown humiliation involving Aquaman underpants. Xander and Willow developed a mutual hatred of their snobby classmate Cordelia Chase, which led them to form the “We Hate Cordelia Club”, of which Xander was the treasurer.
At his sixth birthday party, Xander’s parents hired a clown which chased him; this traumatic incident gave him a lifelong phobia of clowns and caused him to suffer from nightmares. When Xander did not get a toy fire truck for his seventh birthday, the house next door burned down and he believed that Willow had set the fire to let him see real fire trucks. When he was seven, Xander had to take a test to see if he had a learning disability. Despite being a little slow on math and spatial relations, it was assured he wasn’t “challenged”. When he was sixteen, he attended Willow’s Bar Mitzvah, where his drunken parents caused a scene.
Cordelia Chase was an agent of The Powers That Be. She attended Sunnydale High School as a teenager, where she was a popular cheerleader known for her standoffish “queen bee” personality and attitude. Since the school was situated on a Hellmouth, Cordelia also became familiar with demons and mystical occurrences, even helping to fight them as part of the Scooby Gang.
After graduating high school, Cordelia moved to Los Angeles where she joined supernatural detective agency Angel Investigations and gained the power of the visions. These visions gave Cordelia great insight into the pain of others, stripping her of her selfishness and forging her into a dedicated and powerful warrior in the fight against evil.
However, they also allowed her to fall victim to the machinations of the goddess Jasmine. Cordelia died in 2004, using her last moments on Earth to aid her friend and love, Angel, and put the disillusioned hero back on his heroic path. After death, Cordelia legitimately became a higher being in the service of The Powers That Be.
Faith Lehane was a Slayer called in 1998 when her predecessor Kendra Young died at the hands of Drusilla, and the last Slayer to be called by the original succession line abolished in 2003.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Faith had a difficult upbringing and life, which left her with various trust and emotional issues. Though she found some stability with her Watcher, Faith retreated to Sunnydale when they were brutally murdered by the vampire Kakistos, where she became a friend and ally of Buffy Summers and the Scooby Gang.
However, numerous events and circumstances took a toll on Faith’s better judgement and she defected to the side of the evil Mayor Richard Wilkins, helping him to carry out his Ascension, able to find the stable father figure she always wanted. On the day before the climactic Graduation Day battle, Faith was critically injured by Buffy and put in a coma, from which she awakened eight months later.
She proceeded to wreak even more havoc in Buffy’s life and then attempted to kill Angel in Los Angeles as part of a deal with Wolfram & Hart. However this was a ruse by Faith in order to get Angel to kill her instead as Faith had actually become remorseful of her past deeds and wanted to end her life. Nevertheless, with help from Angel, she came to terms with her past and willingly surrendered herself to the L.A.P.D. to face the consequences of her actions.
Three years later, Faith busted out of prison to assist Angel Investigations in containing the recently released Angelus, subsequently returning to Sunnydale with Willow Rosenberg after Angel was re-ensouled to assist the Scoobies in their battle against the First Evil and its army. Furthermore, Faith was even appointed the leader of the Scoobies after they lost confidence in Buffy’s leadership, only for Buffy to be accepted back as the leader when Faith’s first plan led herself and several Potentials into a near-fatal trap.
After the First was defeated and all Potential Slayers were activated worldwide, Faith initially stationed herself with the new Slayer Organization’s Cleveland squad, and then joined forces with Rupert Giles to prevent more Slayers from going rogue. After the ensuing Twilight crisis and the end of magic, which also resulted in Giles’ death, Faith was bequeathed with all of Giles’ property and possessions in accordance with his will.
She stationed herself in London, where she continued to run a London-based Slayer squad while working alongside Angel, who was used as a pawn of Twilight and forced to kill Giles, to tend to Giles’ unfinished business. Faith decided to stick by Angel when he wanted to resurrect Giles, initially to stop him from crossing a line again and going too far. The two went on many adventures before resurrecting Giles, and Faith helped Angel against Whistler in his plan to destroy millions of people to “save the world”. After the world was saved, Faith decided to leave Angel and London behind, justifying it by her realization that she still needed time on her own to sort out her life.
Angel was one of the most well-known vampires in all of vampiric history, legendary for both his savage villainy and his great heroism. Born Liam in 1727 in Galway, Ireland, he was sired by Darla in 1753, taking the name Angelus, and was dubbed The Scourge of Europe, earning notoriety for being one of the most sadistic and brutal vampires in history. Both the Master and the First Evil recognized and appreciated how purely evil Angelus was.
He was also known as The Demon with an Angel’s Face or The One with the Angelic Face because of his physical beauty. However, in 1898, Angelus was cursed by members of Clan Kalderash as vengeance for killing a member of their clan. They returned his soul, forcing him to live eternally in guilt over the countless crimes he had committed.
In the late 20th century, Angel, as he began calling himself, became an ally and lover of the current Slayer, Buffy Summers. After the two were forced to realize their limitations as a couple, Angel left Buffy and moved to Los Angeles. Strongly believing that even someone as damned as him possesses the potential to become a harbinger of good and redemption, he became a Champion of the Powers That Be and dedicated himself to “helping the helpless” with the Angel Investigations in the hope of achieving atonement.
Eventually, Angel adopted the identity of the masked Twilight and gathered a cabal of humans and demons who had become wary of the rise of multiple Slayers. As Twilight, Angel sought to keep these forces distracted as well as make Buffy grow more focused and stronger, and at the same time, try to keep the Slayers’ deaths as low as he could. Angel was later discovered to be under the control of Twilight, a sentient dimension who had been manipulating him all along to destroy the Earth and recreate itself in the Earth’s place. When Angel came to his senses and rebelled against Twilight, it possessed him and battled against the Scooby Gang in the ruins of Sunnydale, where Buffy destroyed the Seed of Wonder, causing the end of magic. After being purged of Twilight, Angel fell into a catatonic state.
Upon awakening, Angel, along with Faith Lehane, once again dedicated himself to redemption, this time by resurrecting Giles. He eventually succeeded, and was soon after forced into conflict by Whistler, who wished to unleash a mystical plague over the world, even if it meant killing millions of people. Angel managed to reason with him, causing Whistler to give up his life by sacrificing himself. Once the world was saved, Angel decided to stay in London and help the people in the new Magic Town.
10. Daniel Oz Osbourne
Daniel “Oz” Osbourne was a member of the Scooby Gang, a werewolf, the guitarist of Dingoes Ate My Baby, and a student at Sunnydale High School then UC Sunnydale. He also was the boyfriend of Willow Rosenberg until he left to Tibet. There, he learned to control his powers and met his wife Bayarmaa, with whom he had his son Kelden.
Oz was well known for his detached and collected demeanor and ironic approach to life, masking a deeply philosophical interior. For example, he took the existence of the supernatural in stride, remarking that it “explained a lot”, and reacted to the sight of a massive submarine teleporting outside of his monastery with a simple “Huh.” Oz also had a characteristic and smooth sense of humor, being witty and intellectual.
As noted by Xander, Oz tended to express himself in short, non-committal phrases. He approached life and situations rather eccentrically, once informing Willow that he would later ask her out on a date and asking what she would think of that, despite claiming he was unsure and nervous about it. Buffy claimed that Oz had a “trademark stoicism”.
When it came to him being a werewolf, Oz took this seriously and was very prudent about the risk he posed to others and how it affected him. He asked the Slayer Faith about her position on dealing with werewolves while she was reminiscing about her own enjoyment from slaying. His love for Willow led him to leaving her and abandoning college to seek out a cure.