Slaying in the Buffyverse

| Slayers | Buffy's slays | Vampires | Killing vampires |

Warning: this page contains info about episodes up through season 7 BtVS/season 4 AtS. If you're in danger of being spoiled, proceed with caution.

| Vampire Slayers | Origins | Calling | Powers |
| Proto-Slayers | Watcher-Slayer relationships | Multiple Slayers |
| Good vs. evil slayers | The Guardians | The Scythe |
| Philosophies of Slaying | Unanswered questions | Other Demon Slayers |

The Vampire Slayer is a teen-aged girl with extraordinary strength, durability, and fighting skills bestowed upon her by an ancient ritual. Her "sacred duty" is to kill vampires and demons. In a world where much can be achieved through magic, the vampire slayer battles evil with her fists, her feet, and her wits. And a lot of sharp, pointy sticks. For security, the slayer must keep her identity a secret, and typically only has her Watcher for guidance and company on her nightly battles.

Slayers we have known: 


Slayers we have heard about:

Calling slayers

The slayer is a lone soldier in a long, brutal, and terrifying war. For some reason that has never been entirely clear (in the television series, at any rate), there can be just one slayer alive in the world at any given time. A new slayer is only "called" (her dormant abilities made manifest) when the old slayer dies.

Proto-slayers: Girls born with the potential to become the next slayer. They do not have their powers yet, but they do have dreams of the lives of past slayers. Proto-slayers we have known (The Turkish girl, the German girl, Nora, Annabelle, Molly, Kennedy, Vi, Chloe, Rona, Eve, Amanda, Chao-Ahn, etc., etc., etc., etc.)

Slayer callings:

Once called, a slayer's career goes something like this: "Slayer called... blah, blah... great protector... blah, blah... scary battles... blah, blah... oops! She's dead." --Buffy, Fool For Love

The end of the one-slayer only rule

Multiple Slayers

When Buffy drowned and was revived, the anomalous "second slayer" line began. At that point, there were two living slayers, Buffy and Kendra. When Kendra died, Faith was called. If Faith were to die, there would be another new slayer. It is unclear if Buffy's death would bring about another calling (in which case, there might always be two slayers), but the Mayor seemed to think this will happen in a comment made in Enemies, and Buffy implied it would in Potential.

My pet theory is that the 2 slayer thing will straighten out when Buffy dies. She's the one that's alive who, technically, shouldn't be (MeeB, Mar 23 10:47 1999).

Can Buffy's death call another slayer?

Slayer Powers

Dampening slayer powers: It is not clear that a slayer can lose her powers all together, but they can be temporarily diminished. Helpless is the best example of this. See also Ethan's Halloween spell.

Enhancing slayer powers: Beseeching the power of Sineya

Watcher-Slayer relationships

Unanswered questions about Slayers

Giles said that He couldn't imagine anything more dangerous than a rogue slayer' in a manner that makes me believe that it has happened before. He also told Buffy that "accidents" involving slayers killing humans had happened before. Although perhaps he was not being entirely forthcoming (J.S.K., Mar 18 18:57 1999).

I think a better question would be not if it has happened before but how often? How many Slayers have crossed the line over into madness/evil? (Lovely Poet, Feb 18 10:00 1999).

There is only one active slayer at a time (except now cuz of the WACKY circumstances). Inactive, I don't know (Joss, Dec 3 00:23 1998).

Philosophies of fighting


Other bona fide Demon Slayers

Things that kill vamps

Buffyverse vampires are thwarted (turned to dust) by the "usual" means--crosses, stake through the heart, fire, beheading, sunlight, holy water...

Is there a vampire after(un)life?

Stake through the heart

Why stakes work

It has to be the heart:

Strength and staking: Buffy sticks'm in vamps like those blood-suckers were made of butter, fine. But relative wimps like Cordelia (Graduation) can dust vamps without much physical strength. Indications are, that when it comes to wood, vamp flesh is like butter:

Problematic cases:


Direct sunlight kills vampires in a matter of minutes:

Filtered and indirect sunlight does not:

Angel (and all vamps) can stand in a room in broad daylight with the windows open as long as he doesn't stand in a patch of direct sunlight (-mere-, Oct 6 09:54 1999).

Direct light from other suns may not: Pylea, the 'Burb-gatory dimension

"Necro-tempered" tinted glass filters out the constituents of sunlight that are dangerous to vampires while leaving the brightness in tact. Plus it's thirty percent more energy efficient.

Problematic cases: Angel's Lonely Hearts morning stroll, Angel and Marcus' beach-side fight

Crosses and holy water: So far, crosses, holy water, and garlic seem mainly to annoy and deter vamps. The only death we've seen is Zachary Kralik's immolation from drinking holy water in Helpless. These items are sacred objects in the Christian religion. Joss has taken no definitive stand on the nature of the forces of good, which begs the question: why do these particular objects work?

Fire kills vamps. ...It only takes seconds for fire to destroy a vampire. See Graduation Part 2 for the battle scene or When She Was Bad for examples. ...Also, explosions tend to dismember and a vamp with his head blown off is dead (LenS, Nov 14 22:16 2000).

A mystical potion called "Killer of the Dead". To reverse its effects, a vampire must drain the blood of a slayer.

A Mohra demon's blood regenerates the human body of a vampire, and kills the demon residing there. So unless you're a vampire with a soul, touching this blood is likely to result in an inanimate human corpse.

But they shouldn't die from a broken neck.

Of course, none of the above holds if a vampire:

Vampire after(un)life:

"You're so amped about hell--go there" --Buffy, Prophecy Girl

After a vampire is killed, its demon spirit has a final resting place--some place in hell. This means they can come back if their body is re-created and a revivification ritual is performed to unite body and spirit.


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This page last modified 6/23/08

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