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...the Chosen One...
...she alone can stand against the vampires, the demons, and the forces of darkness...

Yes, that's right...

Buffy Summers is the Vampire Slayer.

Buffy Anne Summers, the daughter of Joyce and Hank Summers, was born in January, 1981. Most of her childhood was uneventful and gave no indication of the future that lay ahead of her. However, in 1996, Buffy, a student at Hemery High School in Los Angeles, was informed by Merrick, a "Watcher", that she was the "Chosen One".

As the Slayer, Buffy discovered that she possessed superpowers such as extraordinary strength and the ability to heal quickly. Under Merrick's supervision, she trained to use these powers to fight and kill vampires. However, in the course of her battles, Buffy burned down the gymnasium at her high school, leading to her expulsion. Buffy and Joyce, who had recently finalized her divorce from Hank, moved to Sunnydale.

At Sunnydale High School, Buffy, then a sophomore, met her new Watcher, Rupert Giles. Together with her friends, Willow Rosenberg and Xander Harris, Buffy continued her fight against evil. And there certainly was plenty of evil... Sunnydale, located over a Hellmouth, is a center of demonic activity and appears to be a magnet for vampires and demons of all kinds.

Soon after moving to Sunnydale, Buffy met Angel, a vampire with a soul. He helped her with her battles, and they eventually became romantically involved. Together, they faced Buffy's first real enemy, the Master. A very old and powerful vampire, the Master had been trapped beneath Sunnydale and hoped to regain his powers in a ceremony that would open the Hellmouth and release Hell onto Earth. While fighting him, Buffy died briefly. Although she was quickly resuscitated by Xander, Buffy's momentary death was enough for the magic to call a new Slayer, Kendra. The full story of Buffy's battle with the Master is chronicled in Season 1 of the television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Buffy's death is detailed in the episode Prophecy Girl.

The continuing story of Buffy's life and adventures is best told by the television show about her. Summaries of many episodes are available at the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Episode Guide. The show itself is currently in its sixth season and airs on UPN in the United States. It is also in syndication on FX, so you can catch all the episodes you missed.

Oh yes, in case it wasn't obvious, Buffy Summers is a fictional character, created by Joss Whedon.

You really have to wonder, since there have been so many vampire slayers throughout the history of the world, why is there a show about Buffy in particular? What is it that makes Buffy different from other Vampire Slayers?

  • Buffy the supposedly the Slayer for our current time period. Buffy the Vampire Slayer takes place in the present, so one possible explanation is that she is the current Slayer. This is simple, though, and not at all the point of this node.
  • Buffy is insolent. Buffy never listened to Giles, her Watcher, when she was in her early years. She has, on numerous occasions, knocked Giles out when she didn't want to hear him anymore. Other Slayers would never dream of doing this to their Watcher. Giles never even bothered giving Buffy the Slayer Handbook because he knew that was not the way to train her.
  • Giles cares for Buffy as a father rather than as a Watcher. Watchers are supposed to train their charges in the ways of fighting, and of the demon world. It is supposed to be a business relationship. Giles, however, develops a personal connection with Buffy. This is in part because of her insolence. Buffy never let herself be treated as anything less than Giles' equal, and as a result, he could never claim to have any sort of authority over her. Their equal strength in the Watcher/Slayer relationship has forged a friend relationship as opposed to a work relationship.
  • Buffy has friends. Most slayers don't have friends, because they're bad for business. People will kidnap them, kill them, do all kinds of nasty things to a Slayer's friends. Not only does this encourage the Slayer to keep her anonymity and not have friends, it also scares potential friends away from the Slayer. However, Buffy has found courageous friends who are willing to put themselves into danger, and Buffy feels that she needs them and is strong enough to protect them.
  • Buffy has died. OK, so that's not so unusual. It's the fact that she has been brought back to life. When Buffy died the first time, she was brought back to life with CPR. This was a first in the Slayer world. When one Slayer dies, the next is called. So after Buffy died the first time, another Slayer came along, doubling the forces of good in the world. Go Buffy, yay for dying. Besides that, death changes a person. When Buffy returned from the dead, it gave her a feeling of invincibility that still persists to this day.
  • Buffy has boyfriends. Most Slayers would never dream of having a boyfriend, because it would get in the way of their duties. Buffy, however, somehow manages to choose all of her boyfriends to be powerful. Angel is a vampire with a soul. Riley is a government agent pumped full of drugs to make himself stronger. Spike is a vampire with a chip in is head so that he can't hurt humans. Most Slayers would have killed Angel and Spike a long time ago, but Buffy lets them live, either because she loves them or because she can use them. Buffy understands that there are shades of evil, and that even demons have the ability to be good.
  • Buffy doesn't want to die. Except of course for that one time that she did. Spike reveals in Fool for Love why he was able to defeat two Slayers in the past. It is the Slayer's job to kill, and as a result, death is a subject that the Slayer is very close to. As time goes on, the Slayer craves death more and more, and becomes so curious about it that in one moment of weakness, they want to know what death is like. That is when a Slayer dies. Buffy, on the other hand, has too many things keeping her in the world. She wants to live for the sake of her friends and family, and even when she dies, her friends find a way to bring her back.
  • Buffy has friends. I know I did this one already, but Buffy has powerful friends. Her friends learn to be useful. Willow develops skill with magic. Anya is a thousand year old ex-demon who knows all kinds of stuff about the demon world. Xander is just an average guy, though he has a lot of heart and a lot of experience, and since he's a construction worker, he's handy to have around after everything is broken after a battle.
  • Buffy understands what power is. Most Slayers are completely clueless that they are the most powerful force of good in the world, because the Watcher's Council tries to keep them under their thumb. Buffy, however, is smart enough to quit the council. She knows that the council only tries to control her because she is the one with the power, and without her, the Watcher's Council is "just watching Masterpiece Theater".
  • Buffy relies on her heart. Most Slayers cut themselves off from their emotions. Buffy, however, learns to draw strength from them.

In short, most Slayers just treat being a Slayer as a job. They aren't attached to the world. Their training and their work cuts them off from the world, and they no longer care about what they are supposed to be protecting.

Buffy loves the world, and she loves the people in it. She doesn't fight because it is her job. Buffy fights because she wants the world to be safe for her and her friends. Buffy has a real reason to fight, and in the end this is what gives her the edge in battle. It is because of all of these things that Buffy has been the strongest Slayer in recorded history, and has survived longer than probably any other Slayer that came before her.

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