Alexander LaVelle Harris
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Alexander LaVelle Harris was born to Anthony and Jessica Harris in Sunnydale, California. Anthony (or Tony) - who, according to Xander, once tried to sell him to some Armenians - is a self-pitying drunk who first appeared in a nightmare sequence in Season Four's "Restless"; in it, he tore out his son's heart. His mother, Jessica, is a fragile mess without a stove; her culinary repertoire includes a "famous phone call to the Chinese place." She's known to neglect her son, and to appear cheerful in front of strangers as an attempt to cover the true nature of her miserable life. According to his Aunt Carol, the family are Episcopalians. Xander's uncle, Rory, is an alcoholic taxidermist who claims to have invented Velcro. Every Christmas, Xander sleeps outside to avoid his family's drunken arguments. Neither parent is happy with their marriage, but they have stayed together for decades. When he was thirteen, Xander attended Willow's bat mitzvah, where his parents drank to excess. Throughout the series, Xander's family was said to be unreliable, abusive, and the main source of his insecurities. They finally appeared at Xander and Anya's aborted wedding in Season Six's "Hell's Bells."
Xander has been best friends with Willow Rosenberg since early childhood. At his sixth birthday party, which Willow attended, his parents hired a clown who chased him, resulting in his coulrophobia (a fear of clowns). He overcame this phobia in Season One's "Nightmares." When he did not get a toy firetruck for his seventh birthday, the house next door caught fire. Xander saw real firetrucks then and believes Willow started the fire so he could see the firetrucks. Xander and Willow shared a dislike of their stuck-up classmate Cordelia Chase, so much so that they formed "the We Hate Cordelia Club," of which Xander was treasurer and Willow, presumably, was president.
In Season One, Xander meets Buffy Summers on her first day at Sunnydale High. He overhears her bizarre conversation with Rupert Giles in the school library and loses his best male friend Jesse McNally to vampires in "The Harvest." Xander takes the view "vampires are bad," and is reluctantly forced to stake his former friend. Following Jesse's death, Xander becomes the wisecracking sidekick of the Scooby Gang, often annoying those around him, including Angel ("Enemies") and the more uptight Giles. Xander soon develops a crush on Buffy, but it is not reciprocated; because of this, he is jealous of Angel and unsupportive of Buffy's relationship with him, although he appeared to be just as worried about him as the other Scoobies in "Innocence". In the Season One finale, "Prophecy Girl," he saves Buffy's life by administering CPR after she is bitten by the Master and left to drown in a pool of water.
In the opening of Season Two, Xander almost kisses Willow, but they are interrupted by a vampire; when Buffy shows up and kills the vampire, Xander forgets about Willow and returns his attentions to Buffy. Xander gradually begins a turbulent and ambiguous relationship with Cordelia after they are thrown together in several life-or-death situations. The military knowledge Xander acquires - thanks to a spell ("Halloween") - enables Buffy to defeat the Judge, a supposedly invulnerable demon, in the episode "Innocence." When being seen with Xander costs Cordelia her position among Sunnydale High's most elite clique, she dumps him on Valentine's Day. Xander retaliates by coercing Amy Madison to cast a love spell, which misfires: for a few hours, until the spell is broken, Xander finds himself irresistible to every female (human and vampire) in sight, except Cordelia, who, realizing how much Xander loves her, reunites with him in defiance of her former friends ("Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered").
Season Three sees Xander's interest in Willow revive. They first kiss in "Homecoming" and play footsie in "Band Candy". In "Revelations", they kiss passionately and are almost caught by Giles. Their final liaison leads to Cordelia's near-fatal injury in the episode "Lovers Walk" and Anyanka's arrival in the episode "The Wish." Unable to forgive his infidelity, Cordelia unceremoniously dumps Xander, whom she labels "The Zeppo", mocking him for being useless compared to his more powerful friends. Attempting to prove her wrong, Xander embarks on an adventure with a group of zombies led by tough guy Jack O'Toole, losing his virginity to rogue Slayer Faith Lehane in the process. However, when O'Toole and his friends try to blow up Sunnydale High, Xander single-handedly puts an end to their plan. Later, he is asked to the Prom by Anya Jenkins, formerly the vengeance demon Anyanka. He also makes peace with Cordelia by purchasing her prom dress, after her father lost all their money from tax evasion, and the two restore their friendship. In the Season Three finale, "Graduation Day, Part Two," he leads Sunnydale High's students in a war against ascending demon Mayor Wilkins and his vampire army with the help of his military knowledge.
In Season Four, Xander's inferiority complex and feelings of isolation increase when he chooses not to enroll in college with his friends. Instead, after graduating from high school, he sets out on a cross-country trip inspired by Jack Kerouac's On the Road, ending when his car breaks down (having not made it out of Southern California). Returning to Sunnydale, he moves into his parents' basement, for which he has to pay rent, and takes a series of odd jobs as a food vendor, a bartender, a phone-sex operator, and a deliveryman. After much persuasion, he has sex with Anya and they begin dating. Initially, his interest in Anya is purely sexual, but as the season progesses, his feelings for her intensify and the two fall in love. In the Season Four finale "Primeval", Xander is the "heart" in the spell helping Buffy defeat Adam.
Season Five sees Xander mature significantly, pursuing a more stable career in carpentry and construction work, and moving into his own apartment with Anya. Nonetheless, the infamous vampire Dracula is able to hypnotize Xander into briefly becoming his willing manservant, like Renfield in the novel. Once freed from the thrall, Xander voices resentment for the unfortunate mishaps that often afflict him, citing his previous bout of "the funny syphilis" ("Pangs"), and complains he is tired of being everyone's butt monkey ("Buffy vs. Dracula"). After being hit by the demon Toth's Ferula Gemina, Xander is split into two separate beings; one displaying his strengths and one displaying his weaknesses ("The Replacement"). In "Triangle", he defends Willow and Anya equally from Anya's ex-boyfriend, Olaf the Troll, despite being ordered to choose between them. Shortly before going into battle with the hell-goddess Glory, Xander asks Anya to marry him should they survive.
By Season Six, Xander is beginning to have doubts about his future with Anya. Hoping for a happy ending, he summons the demon Sweet to turn Sunnydale into a living musical, which goes horribly wrong when people start bursting into flames as well as song ("Once More With Feeling"). Xander's fears over marrying Anya are made worse by a visit from a demon pretending to be his future self, showing him a bitter future trapped in a marriage similar to his parents' ("Hell's Bells"). Although the vision is later revealed to be false, Xander admits to having doubts beforehand and leaves a heartbroken Anya at the altar. When Willow turns evil after her girlfriend Tara is killed, Xander's love for his childhood friend melts her hardened heart, and saves the world ("Grave").
In Season Seven, Xander struggles with his feelings for Anya and suffers a devastating injury. When Buffy's sister Dawn mistakenly believes herself to be a Potential Slayer, Xander empathizes with her disappointment over not being the one in the spotlight ("Potential"). Despite admitting they still love each other, he and Anya finally break up for good, but continue to have the odd fling in times of crisis. In the episode "Dirty Girls," Xander's left eye is gouged out by the evil preacher Caleb, and he begins wearing an eyepatch. In the final battle against the First Evil, Anya is killed by a Bringer's sword, and her body remains in the new Sunnydale High's ruins as the empty town is swallowed by the earth. Andrew Wells, whom she had fought alongside, comforts Xander by telling him Anya had died saving his life. Xander replies by saying, "That's my girl. Always doing the stupid thing."
Xander along with Buffy in the comic book continuation Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight.The last time Xander is referenced on television (in the Angel episode "Damage"), he is in Africa, rounding up newly activated Slayers for Buffy. He is later featured in the story "Antique" in the Tales of the Vampires comic book line, having spent some time under the thrall of Dracula again, as his manservant. He is summarily rescued by Buffy and two newly-activated Slayers.
In Season Eight, Xander leads Slayer "central command" in Scotland. Buffy describes him as her "Watcher," a description he disputes. From Slayer central command, Xander views his operatives on a large screen as well as monitoring the progress of several computer-based operatives, psychics, and neophyte witches under his command. He talks to his Slayers through earpieces in an Oracle or Nick Fury-style role.
Xander remains in contact with Andrew and Giles, and maintains a close relationship with Buffy, Willow and Dawn. He begins to date the Slayer Renée, but is devastated when she is killed on a mission in Japan; his friendships with Buffy, Willow, and Dawn remain strong, although he is less comfortable around Dracula, who seems to consider Xander his friend.
In "Retreat", Buffy starts to come to realise that she has become a lot closer to Xander and that he might be a good match for her. However, when she prepares to tell Xander, she walks in on him kissing her little sister, Dawn. Xander and Dawn have apparently begun a romantic relationship, leaving Buffy silently hurt. In "Turbulence", Buffy confronts Xander and admits that she may have feelings for him, asking him if "[she is] too late". However, Xander does not believe that she truly means it, speculating that it is a reaction to her seeing him with Dawn. After admitting he loves Dawn, Buffy gives them her blessing.
Powers and abilities
Xander demonstrates that even an "average" person can make a difference and save the world. He is the only main character in the series who has never developed any permanent superpowers of his own, but he gains much experience from battling by Buffy's side. As Buffy explains to the Watchers' Council, Xander has "clocked more field time" than all other Watchers combined ("Checkpoint"). His gifts of persuasion and empathy are often his most useful assets. For example, Xander saves the world from Dark Willow, using only his words ("Grave"). He also recognizes that Buffy and Riley are "imploding" and forces Buffy to accept responsibility for the failed relationship ("Into the Woods"). Xander's most prominent character trait is his laid back, joke-making attitude, even in dangerous situations. He often jokes about his family and school life, though this is probably a cover for his dislike of both.
While possessed by a demonic "hyena" spirit ("The Pack") Xander exhibits enhanced strength almost equal to a Slayer, and heightened senses, as well as predatory instincts, a taste for fresh, raw meat, and a lack of social inhibitions. He lost all of these capabilities when the spirit was exorcised; while he retained his memories of this experience, he keeps it secret from everyone except Giles.
Xander is briefly transformed into a soldier on Halloween, and thereby acquires knowledge of military training, tactics, and weapons handling techniques, as well as military codes and training, enabling him to steal and use a rocket launcher to destroy the Judge ("Innocence"), and later to organize and lead a group defense against Mayor Wilkins after his ascension is completed ("Graduation Day, Part Two"). These skills soon decay by his own admission ("The Initiative"), as shown later when he is unable to read Riley's military hand-signals ("Fool for Love"). While he also demonstrated knowledge of the First's hypnotic control over Spike ("Never Leave Me"), he claimed this was just from seeing military films and not from his "army days".
Xander was once hit by a bolt from the staff of Toth, only survivor of the Tothric Clan which split his personality into two different beings ("The Replacement"). One Xander possessed Xander's more aggressive traits, such as his courage and confidence, easily getting a promotion and a large apartment, in addition to his more impetuous qualities such as impatience. The other Xander possessed his more passive traits, including his sense of humor and fun, and was also highly insecure and paranoid, believing his double to be a demon who was taking over his life and hypnotizing his friends. However, both Xanders are both fiercely protective of Anya. Shortly before Willow fuses them back together, they show the same quirks, causing Giles to proclaim him "a bad influence on himself."
Xander is something of an expert on pop culture; he can be seen reading an X-Men comic in the episode "Tough Love" and references both the Human Torch and Nick Fury. In the episode "Seeing Red", Xander displays the ability to read Klingon. In Season Seven, he often demonstrates pop culture knowledge rivaling that of Andrew Wells.
Xander becomes a skilled carpenter by the end of the series, gaining practical job experience from repairing damage caused by various conflicts involving the Scooby Gang (most notably the windows at Buffy's house; Xander complains he is doomed to replace their windows for all eternity) and as a foreman of a construction crew. He was promoted to this position in the Season Five episode "The Replacement." Spike mockingly referred to Xander as "a glorified bricklayer" in "The Gift."
In Season Seven, both Xander and evil priest Caleb note that Xander is "the one that sees everything", including his friends' flaws and strengths, more clearly than anyone else simply because no one is looking at him. Dawn suggests this may be his super power. This human (non-supernatural) strength - his insight, empathy, and understanding - is what prompts Caleb to take Xander's eye, also knowing it would incite Buffy's wrath. Xander also shows he is a skilled archer: he impales Caleb's hand with an arrow from a distance.
In the non-televised Season Eight, Xander uses his military knowledge to lead a paramilitary group of Slayers, witches and seers based in a Scottish castle, viewed from outside as an international "terrorist" organization. The organization which he and Buffy head employs high-tech and magical weaponry. Xander oversees and orchestrates the efforts of Willow, Dawn, Buffy, and his Slayers through cameras and earpieces. In the four part comic "retreat" of season eight, he again displays a broad knowledge of warfare and military operations, by instructing the slayers in the use of various modern weapons and basic strategy.
Xander has made 168 canonical Buffyverse appearances.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Xander was a series regular for all seven seasons, but was absent from Season Seven's "Conversations with Dead People". He appeared in 143 episodes in total.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 comic
Xander has appeared in 25 issues so far.
The Long Way Home, Parts 1-4
No Future For You, Part 1 and 4
Anywhere but Here
A Beautiful Sunset
Wolves at the Gate, Parts 1-4
Time of Your Life, Parts 1-4
After These Messages... We'll Be Right Back!
Predators and Prey
Retreat, Parts 1-4
Other stories featuring Xander which are considered canonical include "Antique" from the 2004 comic mini-series Tales of the Vampires.
Xander has also appeared in Buffy expanded universe material. He appears in most of the Buffy comics and novels, and is a playable character in the 2003 video game Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds.
Xander is the only one to be in the Scooby Gang for every episode. Buffy left first when she ran away after killing Angel, and at her second death. Giles returned to England in the sixth season. Willow left the group when she turned evil after Tara's death.
In the DVD commentary for the episode "Dirty Girls", writer Drew Goddard mentions there was talk of killing off Xander towards the end of Season Seven and having the First Evil assume Xander's appearance when conversing with Buffy for the remainder of the season. This was ultimately rejected since Xander was thought to be too important to the series, and his death occurring so late in the season would leave little time to deal with it correctly, and that throughout the series' run, Xander was the one character who never wavered, and to punish that characteristic with death would send a message the staff wasn't trying to convey. Instead of killing Xander, he was blinded in one eye.
Spike (William The Bloody)
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Spike's story before he appears in Sunnydale unfolds in flashbacks scattered among numerous episodes of both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. The first flashback occurs in Buffy Season Five's "Fool for Love", and reveals William as in fact a meek, effete young man (and an aspiring poet) who lived in London with his mother Anne. Anne would often sing the folksong "Early One Morning" to her son when he was a baby, right up until the time he was turned into a vampire. William's surname is given as "Pratt" in the non-canon comic Old Times and is written on the label of his jar of blood in the comic Spike: Asylum #002. Spike is one of the youngest recurring vampires on the show; he claimed in Season Four that he was 126, although in "School Hard" Giles read that he was "barely two hundred".
In 1880, William was a struggling poet, often mocked by his peers who called him "William the Bloody" behind his back because his poetry was so "bloody awful." The true origins of this nickname were not revealed until three years after it was first mentioned in Season Two, when it was believed to have purely violent connotations. William showed a strong capacity for loyalty and devoted love, which followed him after his siring. After his romantic overtures were rejected by the aristocratic Cecily, a despondent William, while wandering the streets, bumped into Drusilla. She consoled him, drained him of blood and made him drink of her blood, thus transforming him into a vampire. Spike's grand-sire Angelus became his mentor (leading Spike occasionally to describe him loosely as his sire): "Drusilla sired me, but you, you made me a monster." Whereas new vampires in the Buffyverse often delight in killing their families once they become evil, William was a notable exception. Having always been very close to his mother, he turned her into a vampire to save her from tuberculosis. But his mother, as a vampire, taunted William and insinuated he had always had a sexual fascination with her. William chose to stake her because he found he could not bear to see his mother behaving like the soulless vampire he had made of her. (She, like most common vampires, lacked his unusual capacity for some of the softer human emotions.) He would later write a poem about this traumatic experience titled "The Wanton Folly of Me Mum," which was mentioned but not recited in the Angel finale "Not Fade Away".
Spike kills his first Slayer
After staking his mother, William began a new life with Drusilla, to whom he was utterly devoted. Euphoric with his newfound vampiric abilities, he adopted the poses and trappings of a cultural rebel, adopting a working class North London accent and embracing impulsiveness and extreme violence. He adopted the nom de guerre "Spike" based on his habit of torturing people with railroad spikes - possibly prompted by criticism of his poetry: "I'd rather have a railroad spike through my head than listen to that awful stuff." In "The Weight of the World" Spike mentions having spent "the better part of a century" in delinquency, suggesting criminal activities other than killing for blood. In the company of Drusilla, Angelus and Darla, Spike terrorized Europe and Asia for almost two decades. He had a strained relationship with Drusilla's sire Angelus, who continued a sexual relationship with her despite Spike's strong disapproval. Although Angelus did enjoy the company of another male vampire in their travels, he found Spike's recklessness and lust for battle to be unnecessary risks. Angelus regarded killing as an art not a sport, and killed for the sheer act of evil; Spike did it for amusement and the rush.
In 1894, Spike and Angelus developed a rivalry with the enigmatic Immortal, who later had Spike sent to prison for tax evasion. In 1900, Spike killed a Slayer in China during the Boxer Rebellion, and in 1943, he was captured by Nazis for experimentation and taken aboard a submarine, where he was briefly reunited with Angel. By the 1950s, Spike had reunited with Drusilla, and they traveled to Italy. At some point, Spike also became rivals with famous vampire Dracula. The enmity between Spike and Dracula was explored in the comic series Spike vs. Dracula, in which their mutual hatred is caused when Spike, along with Darla and Drusilla, slaughtered the Romani (gypsy) tribe who had cursed their patriarch, Angelus, with a soul. That clan (unknown to Spike) was favored by Dracula and he sought revenge for their deaths. Spike later mentions in a conversation with Riley Finn, "Dracula? Poncy bugger owes me £11, for one thing," because Dracula tossed Spike's signed copy of Bram Stoker's Dracula in a fire in 1898. Spike also notes that Dracula's fame has done more damage to vampires than any Slayer. Spike attended Woodstock in 1969. In 1977 he fought and killed a second Slayer, Nikki Wood, aboard a subway train in New York City, taking from her a black leather duster which he wears throughout his appearances on Buffy and Angel until it is destroyed in an explosion in Season Five of Angel, whereupon he gets a new one that looks exactly like the old one ("The Girl in Question").
Spike first arrives in Sunnydale in the second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in the episode "School Hard", accompanied by Drusilla. Spike and Dru were punk, "badass" vampires who contrast sharply with the more traditional religiosity of the Master and the Order of Aurelius from Season One. Spike is in fact a fan of Sid Vicious' band The Sex Pistols and punk band The Ramones. In the final scene of the episode "Lovers Walk", he can be seen singing to a cover of "My Way" by Gary Oldman, who portrayed Vicious in the film Sid and Nancy. Notably, Spike's first act in Sunnydale is to attack Buffy and a large group of people at her school, making his first appearance the deadliest of any of Buffy's "Big Bads", as he very nearly kills Buffy, but Buffy's mother distracts Spike long enough for Buffy to recover.
Spike's first appearance in the episode "School Hard." Spike and Drusilla are major enemies of Buffy for much of the second season. They arrive shortly after Drusilla is seriously weakened by an angry mob in Prague, as recounted in the canon comic book The Problem with Vampires. Spike is a devoted caretaker to Drusilla in her weakened condition, and initially hopes the Hellmouth's energy can help restore her strength. He reunites with Angel and seems genuinely pleased to see him, but is disgusted to find that Angel still has his soul and is in love with the current Slayer, Buffy Summers. When Angel loses his soul and rejoins Spike and Dru, Spike's initial celebration soon turns to resentment when Angelus starts pursuing Drusilla as a lover and taunting him. Spike decides to ally himself with Buffy against Angelus; as he explains to Buffy, in addition to wanting Drusilla back, he also wants to "save the world"
"We like to talk big, vampires do. I'm going to destroy the world. That's just tough guy talk. Strutting around with your friends over a pint of blood. The truth is, I like this world. You've got - the dog racing, Manchester United, and you've got people: billions of people walking around like Happy Meals with legs. It's all right here. But then someone comes along with a vision, with a real passion for destruction. Angel could pull it off. Goodbye Piccadilly, farewell Leicester bloody Square." - Spike ("Becoming, Part Two").
Spike reappears in the Season Three episode "Lovers Walk", in a drunken depression after Drusilla dumps him for a Chaos demon due to his alliance with Buffy. He kidnaps Willow and Xander, and forces Willow to conduct a love spell for him to make Drusilla love him again, even coercing Buffy and Angel to help him in exchange for the safe return of their friends. The excitement of a brawl with the Mayor's vampires helps him see that Drusilla left him because he had begun to go soft; he resolves to win her back by torturing her until she likes him again, and tells Buffy where to find Willow and Xander. He also tells Buffy and Angel that they can never be friends because of their love for one another.
Spike returns to Sunnydale alone in Season Four, in the episode "The Harsh Light of Day," briefly living with Harmony Kendall, a shallow young vampire. He is in Sunnydale to look for the Gem of Amarra, a ring which makes a vampire effectively invulnerable. He finds it and attacks Buffy in daylight, but she wrests the ring from his finger and sends it to Angel. Spike goes to Los Angeles, and hires a vampire named Marcus to torture Angel in order to get the ring, but Marcus takes the ring himself and Angel finally destroys it.
After being captured by the Initiative and implanted with a cerebral microchip which prevents him from willingly harming or attempting to harm humans without experiencing crippling pain, Spike turns to the Scooby Gang for protection, bartering his knowledge of the Initiative. This inability to bite is comically compared to impotence, much to Spike's constant humiliation; in "Doomed", he attempts to commit suicide by staking himself at Xander's house. From then on, he becomes an unofficial member of the Scooby Gang, occasionally helping them out by providing them with information and/or combat assistance in exchange for cash or for the joy of fighting, but having no qualms about betraying them to such enemies as Adam. Spike appeared in every episode thereafter with the exception of "The Body".
In Season Five, after some erotic dreams, Spike becomes aware to his horror that he has fallen in love with Buffy. He becomes a more active participant in the Scooby Gang, jumping into several of Buffy's fights to provide assistance, whether she wants it or not. When Buffy rejects his advances, Spike attempts to prove his love by kidnapping her so that she can witness him killing Drusilla for her, to little avail; in her disgust, Buffy un-invites him from her house (something she hadn't bothered to do in the almost three years since their alliance against Angelus) and alienates him from the group.
Spike then has Warren Mears make a robot in Buffy's likeness, programmed to love and obey him. Disgusted, particularly after witnessing the full extent of Spike's obsession, Buffy rejects Spike again, but her hostility towards him fades considerably when she learns that Spike, even under intense torture, refused to reveal the identity of The Key to Glory, nearly laying down his life to protect Buffy's sister Dawn. Buffy is moved by this unexpected loyalty and kisses him, saying she will not forget what he has done. In the days and hours leading up to the final showdown with Glory, Spike fights by Buffy's side, earning her trust and a re-invitation to her house. After Buffy dies in the showdown with Glory, Spike honors her memory by remaining loyal to the Scoobies, fighting at their side and serving the role of baby-sitter / older brother / protector to Dawn, helping Willow and Tara to raise her in Buffy's absence.
After Buffy is resurrected at the beginning of Season Six, she is despondent and detached from her friends. During this time, her relationship to Spike deepens and she is able to talk to him about things she feels she cannot share with the Scooby Gang. She gets drunk with Spike, and calls him "a neutered vampire who cheats at kitten poker." After a demon's spell makes them express their emotions in song, and Buffy sings, "I want the fire back", Buffy and Spike begin a physical relationship, consummated two episodes later. The relationship is frequently violent, with Buffy most often initiating both the violence and the sex between them; the violence is made all the easier when Spike finds that (as a side effect of Willow's resurrection spell) his chip now does not stop him from harming Buffy. Buffy threatens to kill Spike if he ever tells anyone about their relationship. Both are unsatisfied; Buffy is ashamed of her dark desires, while Spike obsessively craves the love, trust, and affection that she is unwilling to give. In "As You Were", Buffy tells Spike she is using him and ends their relationship.Believing he still has a chance with Buffy after seeing her reactions of jealousy and hurt when he has a drunk sexual encounter with Anya, Spike corners her and makes aggressive sexual advances. When she refuses him, he grows desperate and unsuccessfully tries to rape her. Horrified by his own actions and intentions, Spike heads to a remote area of Africa, where he seeks out a legendary demon shaman and undergoes the Demon Trials, a series of grueling physical challenges. Proving his worthiness by surviving the trials, Spike earns his soul back.
Spike's soul is restored in Season Seven, a re-ensouled Spike must cope with the guilt of his past actions and try to win back Buffy's trust. When Buffy asks him why he had fought for his soul, Spike first replies, "Buffy, shame on you," and then explains it was done in an effort to become the kind of man she deserves. Under influence of the First Evil's hypnotic trigger, Spike unknowingly starts killing again. After he discovers what he has done, he begs Buffy to stake him, but she refuses and takes him into her house, telling him she has seen him change. Buffy guards and cares for Spike throughout his recovery, telling Spike she believes in him, a statement which later sustains him throughout his imprisonment and torture at the hands of the First. When Spike's chip begins to malfunction, causing him intense pain and threatening to kill him, Buffy trusts him enough to order the Initiative operatives to remove it from his head. When Nikki Wood's son Robin tries to kill Spike, he unwittingly frees Spike from his hypnotic trigger: the song "Early One Morning", a favorite of his mother's, which evokes Spike's traumatic memories of his mother's abusive behavior toward him after she turned; after Spike is able to address these issues, he realizes his mother had always loved him, knowledge which frees him from the First's control.
Later in the season, Spike and Buffy achieve an emotional closeness; he alone stays loyal to her when the Scoobies and Potentials mutiny against her, and his words and encouragement give a depressed Buffy the strength to continue fighting. They spend three nights together, one of which Spike describes as the best night of his life, just holding her. It is unclear whether they resume their sexual intimacy during the third night; creator Joss Whedon says on the DVD commentary for "Chosen" that he intentionally left it to the viewers to decide how they felt the relationship progressed, though Whedon had earlier stated on the commentary he personally felt having them resume a sexual relationship would send the wrong message. In the final battle inside the Hellmouth, Spike, wearing a mystical amulet, sacrifices himself to destroy the Turok-Han and close the Hellmouth. He is slowly incinerated in the process, but not before Buffy tells him "I love you." He replies, "No, you don't - but thanks for saying it". Even as he burns and crumbles to dust, Spike laughs and revels in the destruction around him and the burning presence of his soul, glad to be able to see the fight to its end. In dying to save the world, he becomes a Champion.
"Now, you listen to me. I've been alive a bit longer than you. And dead a lot longer than that. I've seen things you couldn't imagine - done things I'd prefer you didn't. I don't exactly have a reputation for being a thinker. I follow my blood. Which doesn't exactly rush in the direction of my brain. I've made a lot of mistakes. A lot of wrong bloody calls. A hundred plus years and there's only one thing I've ever been sure of. You." - Spike ("Touched").
Spike returns as a ghost in Angel's fifth season, but later in the series is restored to corporeality.Despite his apparent death at the end of Buffy's final season, Spike returns in the fifth and final season of the spin-off series Angel. Resurrected by the amulet in the Los Angeles branch of supernatural law firm Wolfram & Hart, he spends seven episodes as an incorporeal being akin to a ghost; during this time he battles "the Reaper" Matthias Pavayne. When he becomes flesh he is kidnapped by the psychotic Slayer Dana. He realizes that he is corporeal when he walks into a door and bounces off it. After this, Spike takes on Angel to prove which one of them is the Champion spoken of in the Shanshu Prophecy. Spike defeats Angel, but the prophecy remains ambiguous. Manipulated by Lindsey McDonald into "helping the helpless", Spike becomes a sort of rival to Angel; resembling the heroic Champion Angel was in earlier seasons before becoming disillusioned and corrupted by the bureaucracy of Wolfram & Hart. Cordelia comments on this strange turn of events after coming out of her coma in "You're Welcome", exclaiming to Angel, "Okay, Spike's a hero, and you're CEO of Hell, Incorporated. What freaking bizarro world did I wake up in?"
When Fred is killed by Illyria, Spike mourns her death and decides to join Team Angel in her honor. Upon learning that Buffy is now dating The Immortal, Spike and Angel travel to Rome on the pretext of business but spend most of the time there trying to find Buffy. In the end, they fail to catch up with her. (The blonde glimpsed in Rome is later revealed to be a decoy Buffy, set up by Andrew Wells, who had researched the history between Angel, Spike and The Immortal, and thought the idea would be "hilarious".) During the final episodes of Angel, Spike is the first to vote for Angel's plan to wound the Senior Partners by massacring the Circle of the Black Thorn. He then spends what might be his last hours on Earth returning to his mortal roots as a frustrated poet, triumphantly knocking them dead (figuratively) in an open mic poetry slam at a bar. After single-handedly (literally, he held the baby in one hand and a sword in the other) rescuing an infant and destroying the Fell Brethren, Spike joins Angel, Illyria, and a badly-wounded Charles Gunn in the alley behind the Hyperion as the series draws to an end, preparing to incur the apocalyptic wrath of the Senior Partners, as a way of going out in a blaze of glory.
Following the end of Buffy and Angel's respective television runs, Joss Whedon would later continue both stories in canonical comic book series published by Dark Horse Comics and IDW Publishing respectively, with both series beginning in 2007. Spike and Angel have a joint cameo appearance in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight (Dark Horse) as part of Buffy's sexual fantasies. In the Dark Horse Presents #24 Season Eight tie-in, "Always Darkest", Spike and Angel appear (again in a dream sequence) at Buffy's side when she is fighting Caleb, but to her dismay the two start flirting with and kissing one another. At the end of the recent Twilight arc, Spike appears in the flesh before the Scoobies and Angel, claiming that only he can stop their latest crisis.
After the Fall
Spike does not appear until the second issue of Angel: After the Fall (IDW), written by Brian Lynch with art by Franco Urru (the creative team of Spike: Asylum and Spike: Shadow Puppets) with plotting and "executive production" by Whedon himself, as well as Lynch's Spike: After the Fall spin-off miniseries. In Angel: After the Fall, Spike has adjusted to Los Angeles' new status as a literal hell on Earth; he and Illyria both serve together as the Demon Lords of Beverly Hills, living in a lavish mansion. Both appear to have reverted to evil, but this is revealed during Angel's fight with Illyria to be a façade; Spike and Illyria are secretly rescuing humans and benevolent demons and evacuating them into the care of Connor, Nina Ash, and Gwen Raiden. He then is given the opportunity to return to the side of evil, but as usual remains loyal to the good fight as he's helping Angel to bring the Lords down. Spike rallies with the rest of the gang against the machinations of Gunn, who is now a vampire unknowingly working under visions from the Senior Partners, and struggles to control Illyria's unstable powers in her new environment. Illyria periodically reverts to the form and personality of Fred, in which times Spike tries to protect his friend from harm. During Gunn's attack on the Hyperion, Spike is overpowered by three Slayers that Gunn has enslaved, and staked; but returns, thanks to a five-minute temporal fold caused by Illyria.
Gunn kills the remnants of Fred's personality within Illyria, reverting her to her original form, but Betta George subdues her by using Wesley's and Spike's memories of Fred. In the process, Connor is murdered by Gunn. When Angel begins to kill the Partners' army in a blind rage, Spike allows him to do so, letting him get it out of his system. After Angel realizes what needs to be done to return them to Earth, Wesley entrusts Spike to take care of Illyria, as she will still have Fred's essence within her.
After the Senior Partners take back the Fall, Spike begins a loosely-affiliated relationship with the reformed Angel Investigations company, collaborating with Angel and his associates while maintaining independence.
During the conclusion of the Twilight arc, as Buffy, Angel (Twilight) and the Scoobies are being overrun with demons, a large submarine craft crashes through the walls, taking out many of the demons in the process. The pilot of the craft claims that he has the answers to the Twilight crisis - and then reveals himself as Spike.
Spike is seen as something of a paradox amongst vampires in the series, and frequently challenges vampire conventions and limitations. Even as a vampire, he exhibits quite a few traits that are characteristic of humanity - such as love and loyalty. Unlike Angel, Spike is perfectly able to love (first Drusilla, then Buffy), almost to the point of obsession, with or without his soul, whereas Angel didn't love Buffy, nor did he have any real capacity for love, without his soul.
With or without a soul, Spike often displays a strong sense of honor and loyalty: leaving anonymous flowers to show respect for Joyce Summers after her death, enduring torture at the hands of Glory rather than reveal Dawn's identity, continuing to aid the Scooby Gang after Buffy's death while helping Willow and Tara raise Dawn, immediately keeping his promise to leave Sunnydale with Drusilla after helping Buffy stop Angelus, and choosing to remain in Los Angeles and become part of Angel's crew after Fred's death because "it's what she would've wanted". Many of Spike's actions, good or evil, are motivated by love for either Drusilla or Buffy. Despite insisting that he hates the Scooby Gang he forms an alliance with them and helps them in their missions. He had affection for Dawn and Joyce and a great respect for Willow and Tara. He reciprocated Xander's dislike and often insulted him, once calling him a "glorified bricklayer" and slapping him over the head despite his chip, saying beforehand: "This is gonna be worth it." Nonetheless, he has been shown to be able to put differences aside for a greater good.
Spike is perhaps unique among vampires in having killed two Slayers. He is quite proud of this feat, and admitted to Buffy it was possible because he perceived their desire to be free from their burden, and used that weakness to his own advantage. Unlike most other vampires, Spike does not fear the Slayers, but hunts them and wants to defeat them. Before joining Buffy and her friends, he tried many times to make Buffy his third victim.
One of Spike's most notable personality traits is his lust for violence and his love of brawling. He has noted he finds the very act of violence therapeutic: in the episode "School Hard", he responds to a lackey's incompetence by snapping the neck of a hostage whom he considers to be "too old to eat" and says he feels better afterward. Similarly, during his drunken pining for Drusilla in the episode "Lovers Walk," he remarks that a brawl with several vampires "put(s) things in perspective" for him. Depressed by his inability to bite or hurt humans, Spike is delighted to discover he is able to fight demons and gladly accompanies the Scooby Gang on patrol, proving it does not much matter to him what he is fighting for so long as he can fight. Even in the episode "Bargaining, Part Two", when Spike has Dawn under his wing, he smiles to see demons destroying the town, explaining that it "looked like fun."
Despite his love of violence, Spike is highly intelligent (unlike most vampires, apparently). He has displayed excellent skills of insight and analysis, particularly on relationships; yet he was often delusional about his relationship with Drusilla and refused to acknowledge her acts of infidelity. As seen in his Season 2 introduction, Spike uses his physical and intellectual prowess to assert himself as the Alpha Vampire. He often easily recruited lesser vampires to do his bidding, and is considered a peer to Dracula and Prince of Lies (Nosferatu), attaining infamy to the levels of Angelus and the Master, going as far as killing the Master's second in command, The Anointed One. But even with his legendary lust for violence, he says he does not enjoy pain, where he believes Angelus does.
By Season Six, it is shown that, though Spike is now good for the most part and an official member of the Scooby Gang, he is still prone to murderous impulses due to his lack of a soul; for example, in "Smashed", when he believes his chip has stopped working, he tries to attack an innocent woman with only a slight hesitation and a pep talk to himself to overcome performance anxiety.
Spike insults Xander with the bowfinger in "Hush" In contrast to the brooding Angel, Spike has a dry, sarcastic sense of humor. A polar opposite to his callow and simpering human nature, Spike as a vampire possesses a swaggering posture and enjoys living by nobody's rules but his own. He has a habit of pithy remarks and glib insults, even toward the few he does not view as antagonists. Among his favorite targets are Angel, Xander, Giles, and (to a lesser extent) Buffy.
Spike often nicknames people, both as insults and as terms of endearment; for example, he calls Dawn "Little Bit" or "the Niblet". Spike also retains something of his literary intellect from his human side, routinely referencing poetry, songs, and literature; on occasion he even waxes poetic on the nature of love and life (and unlife) as being driven by blood, reasoning that blood is more powerful than any supernatural force because it is what separates the living from the dead.
Spike often treats his vulnerability to the sun as simply an annoying inconvenience. He drives in broad daylight in vehicles with blacked-out windows, and on several occasions travels outside during the day, using a blanket for cover. Indeed, he has a remarkably stronger resistance to sunlight than most all other vampires seen in the series (who usually catch on fire just by the slightest solar ray) except Angel. Both Spike and Angel have demonstrated an ability to resist the pain of sunlight on extremities; in fact, when Spike was first sired, he and Angel originally bonded over enduring the direct rays of the sun. This elevated endurance should not be confused with total immunity, as both have on occasion caught fire with prolonged exposure to sunlight.
Spike appears to be a fan of pop culture; when held captive by the Scooby Gang in Buffy Season Four, his biggest concern is missing his favorite soap Passions. Over the course of the series, he makes references to movies and shows such as Star Wars, Dawson's Creek, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Ghostbusters, Knight Rider, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and The Nightmare Before Christmas. In the Angel episode "You're Welcome", after his hands are cut off and reattached, he is instructed to play video games for physical therapy, including Donkey Kong and Crash Bandicoot, and can be seen playing a Game Boy Advance in "The Girl in Question". Before fighting a demon to win his soul, he said "Here we are now, entertain us," quoting from "Smells like Teen Spirit".
In contrast to Angel, Spike's personality remains much the same whether he has a soul or not.
Bouncer: When asked if he has seen Spike "Yeah, yeah, I know the guy. Billy Idol wannabe?"
Buffy: "Actually, Billy Idol stole his look from - never mind."
Spike has a punk look which strongly resembles English rock musician Billy Idol; humorously, Buffy claims that Billy Idol in fact stole his look from Spike. His hair is peroxide blond for the duration of his time on Buffy and Angel, although in flashbacks it can be seen in its natural medium brown state as well as dyed black. Angel once sarcastically asked him "What color do they call that, radioactive?". He has been called "Captain Peroxide" by Xander and Angel. Xander also refers to him as "Bleach Boy" in season 5. His nails are often painted black.
A flashback in "Fool for Love" reveals that Spike received the Y-shaped scar on his left eyebrow from the sword of the first Slayer he killed in 1900.
Spike usually wears long black leather coats, including one that he took from a Nazi officer and another that he took as a trophy from Nikki Wood, the second Slayer he killed. He wore the Slayer's black duster for over twenty-five years. When the coat was destroyed by a bomb from the Immortal in Italy, Spike heartbrokenly declared it to be irreplaceable; but the Italian branch of Wolfram & Hart quickly supplied him with a whole wardrobe of new, nearly identical ones which he happily began wearing. His trademark look includes the leather duster, a black t-shirt or v-neck shirt and black denim pants, usually with heavy boots. He also wore a red long-sleeved shirt fairly often, particularly during the earlier seasons of Buffy, and a bright blue shirt early in Season 7. He explained that the shirt was supposed to show Buffy that he had changed and give him confidence (because the First was messing with his head and he didn't want Buffy to think he was still evil or crazy). But later, he returned to his trademark look, commenting that he was back.
Powers and abilities
In addition to possessing the common powers and weaknesses of vampires, Spike's age and experience makes him a highly effective, skilled, and versatile fighter in both armed and unarmed combat. For example, he is able to briefly overcome Illyria during a testing of her abilities prior to her powers being greatly reduced by Wesley. Illyria criticizes his (and others') ability to adapt, calling it "compromise." He is able to withstand excessive amounts of pain for extended periods of time, particularly when properly motivated, as seen in the episodes "Intervention" and "Showtime." While not as skilled or as sadistic as Angelus, Spike also proves himself to be effective at torture, noting he had gained "screams, various fluids, and a name" from Doctor Sparrow. Much like Angel, he is highly proficient in various forms of martial arts, and his typical fighting style blends karate, kung fu, and others.
Spike often displays insight and skills in perception and observation, especially with regard to relationships and personalities, so long as the relationship in question doesn't concern him personally. This ability allows him to wield powerful psychological weapons as easily and effectively as physical ones. For example, when he wants to create disharmony among the Scoobies, Spike divides-and-conquers with "The Yoko Factor", exploiting tensions that exist under the surface to alienate Buffy and her friends against each other. He explains to Buffy he was able to defeat two Slayers because he sensed and exploited their secret desires to be free of their burden. Spike's skills of analysis allowed him to be the first to see through Tara's abusive and controlling family, forced Buffy and Angel to admit that they were more than "just friends" and identify when and why some relationships, such as between Buffy and Riley, are not meant to last, masterfully feeding Riley's insecurities in an effort to sabotage his relationship with Buffy, so Spike can pursue her. His analytical skills also help him in battle from time to time; for example, in "Time Bomb", he identifies Illyria's fighting style as a Tae Kwon Do/Brazilian Capoeira / Ninjitsu hybrid.
Although capable of developing sound battle strategies, Spike (particularly in the days before receiving his chip and being re-ensouled) often loses patience with anything more complicated than outright attack, as mentioned in the episode "In the Dark".
Spike: "I had a plan."
Angel: "You, a plan?"
Spike: "Yeah, a good plan. Smart. Carefully laid out. But I got bored. "
He is also impatient to fight the Slayer upon his initial arrival in Sunnydale; the attack is supposed to coincide with the Night of St. Vigeous (when a vampire's natural abilities are enhanced), but he "couldn't wait" to go after the Slayer and recklessly leads a mass assault against Buffy at Sunnydale High, which fails and results in the deaths of many Aurelian vampires. However, Spike did exercise patience throughout the latter half of Buffy Season Two, when he was confined to a wheelchair for several months after a brutal battle with the Scoobies in the episode What's My Line left him paraplegic. Feigning weakness, he endured tortuous weeks watching Angelus sexually pursue Dru as he waited for the right time to strike against his enemy.
Spike's "vampire constitution" provides him with an extremely high tolerance for alcohol (which he regularly consumes in copious quantities). Due to his experience in criminal activities, he is skilled at picking locks, hotwiring cars, and pick-pocketing. He is also capable of easily operating various vehicles, such as various cars, a Yamaha XJR400 motorcycle ("Bargaining"), and a Winnebago ("Spiral"). He has also been shown using video game systems and a computer, treating injuries, and playing poker and pool. Spike is also seen speaking/understanding Latin, Luganda (a language of Uganda, where he meets the demon shaman), and the language of Fyarl Demons, two of whom he once employed as underlings during his pre-Sunnydale days. He is also shown to be capable of recognizing literature; in the last episode of season five, he paraphrases a line from the St. Crispin's Day Speech while in conversation with Giles after Buffy tells them her plan of attack on Glory.
When Spike was transformed into a ghost-like intangible state following the destruction of Sunnydale and the Hellmouth and his subsequent materialization at Wolfram & Hart, he was capable of walking through solid objects. He was initially unable to make contact with objects around him until he learned how to focus his abilities through desire, allowing him to make brief contact with people and things if he concentrated enough. This ability was relatively useless in a fight; he was unable to pick up a wooden bar to hit the demon Tezcatcatl in "The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco", and required a few moments to properly punch a cyborg strangling Gunn in "Lineage". Naturally, he lost these capabilities when he was recorporealized by Lindsey.
Spike has been in 125 canonical Buffyverse appearances.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Spike was a series regular from Season Four (starting with the episode "Wild At Heart"), through to the end of Season Seven, although he did not appear in the episode "The Body". He appeared in 96 episodes, including guest appearances in:
Season Two (1997, 1998) - "School Hard"; "Halloween"; "Lie To Me"; "What's My Line"; "Surprise"; "Innocence"; "Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered"; "Passion"; "I Only Have Eyes For You"; "Becoming"
Season Three (1998, 1999) - "Lovers Walk"
Season Four (1999, 2000) - "The Harsh Light Of Day" and "Wild At Heart"
Spike was a series regular in the show's fifth and final season. He appeared in 24 episodes, including guest appearances in:
Season One (1999, 2000) - "In the Dark"
Season Two (2000, 2001) - "Darla" (flashbacks)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight
He appears in one issue so far with a cameo appearance in Buffy's dream sequence only:
"The Long Way Home", part 3
"Twilight", part 3
Angel: After the Fall
He appears in all but the first, seventh and ninth issues of the original After the Fall miniseries. In addition, the spin-off Spike: After the Fall is a four-issue continuation of the "First Night" story arc and chronicles Spike's and Illyria's time together before the events of After the Fall.
Other stories featuring Spike which are considered canonical include "The Problem With Vampires", from the 2004 comic mini-series Tales of the Vampires.
Spike has also appeared in many of the Buffy and Angel expanded universe material. He appears as a main character in various comic book one-shots such as Spike: Old Times, Spike: Old Wounds, and the mini-series, Spike vs. Dracula, Spike: Asylum, Spike: Shadow Puppets. He also appears in many of the Buffy comics and novels, and the Angel comics and novels. He is a playable character in the 2003 video game Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds.