Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Slayer (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
A Slayer in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer fictional universe is a young girl bestowed with mystical powers from that originate from the heart of a demon. These powers include super-strength, speed, endurance, agility and stamina to fight demons.
The Chosen One
In every generation, there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons, and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer.
The Slayer is a girl, usually but not always a teenager, who is granted various supernatural powers. These include superhuman levels of speed, strength and stamina, enhanced senses, rapid healing, prophetic dreams and the ability to get by on very little sleep.
First created when sorcerors used powerful magic to bind a demon into a young girl (the primeval slayer), the Slayer is a hunter of monsters, demons, the undead in general and vampires in particular. When a Slayer is killed, the magic immediately transfers her power to the next potential Slayer in line. This is referred to as being "called".
Thus, when Buffy is killed by The Master, the power is transferred to Kendra, though when Buffy is resuscitated by Xander, she too retains the various Slayer powers. When Kendra is later killed by Drusilla, the power passes to Faith. However, when Buffy dies for the second time, no new Slayer is called, as now Buffy had been merely a Slayer, while Faith was the Slayer. Despite this, it is mentioned several times by various characters in Season Seven that Buffy would have to die before one of the Potentials is called.
All Slayers through the ages share a psychic link which manifests itself through dreams. A Slayer will frequently dream of herself as a Slayer in another time and place. Some Potentials also have these dreams. Melaka Fray does not seem to share the Slayer dream-link, instead her twin brother has the dreams and visions. The Slayer often will receive warnings and premonitions in her sleep.
The average Slayer lifespan is usually very short. It is noted that Buffy herself is particularly long-lived, having served seven years active as a Slayer. The Slayer usually works alone; Buffy is again unusual in this regard, having friends to help her. Spike and others theorize that this strengthens her, helping to keep her grounded.
(Note: As of the TV series finale, all current "potential Slayers" are now considered full Slayers.)
- The First Slayer (primeval Slayer)
- Chinese Slayer (killed by Spike around 1900, during the Boxer Rebellion)
- Nikki Wood (killed by Spike in New York, 1977) Believed to be the only Slayer to have given birth to a child.
- Buffy Summers (1996-)
- Kendra (1997-98)
- Faith Lehane (1998-)
- Melaka Fray (from the comic book series "Fray" set centuries in the future)
Only the above slayers are considered canonical, but several others have appeared in the non-canonical novels and comics, including Lucy Hanover and India Cohen (the Slayer immediately preceding Buffy).
Potentials (Slayers-in-training) are girls, generally between the ages of 14 and 19 (although older or younger girls are sometimes called), all around the world, poised to become the next Slayer at any moment. They can be any type of girl from the superstar of the gymnastic squad to the 10th grade algebra queen. Potential Slayers generally have slightly better co-ordination (and other Slayer-type talents) than regular kids, but nowhere near the abilities of an active Slayer. It is noted that battling vampires comes particularly naturally to them.
Sometimes these girls can be identified by the Watchers Council, and a new Watcher is dispatched to guide and train them, should they be called to be the Slayer. Other times the girl is completely oblivious to her calling, and remains that way unless she is activated as the new Chosen One. Buffy was one such potential, only becoming aware of her status when her predecessor was killed and her first Watcher, Merrick, found her. Kendra, on the other hand, was given to her Watcher by her parents when she was very young and educated in Slaying throughout her life.
There is no apparent order to the activation of a new Slayer; for example, if Kendra had died several years later, Faith may not have been the next Slayer called, someone like Kennedy may have been mystically chosen instead.
In Season 7, The First Evil puts its plan to rid the world of the Slayer line into action. It uses its high priests, its Harbingers (Bringers), and its followers like Caleb to try to kill of all the potentials and then Faith and Buffy, thereby making sure no replacement Slayer can be activated. Buffy receives several prophetic dreams of potentials being murdered, but does not fully understand what is happening until Giles arrives back in Sunnydale, flanked by three potential Slayers, to explain the state of affairs. From that moment forth the known surviving potentials (numbering a few dozen) from all across the globe begin to travel to Sunnydale to be under Buffy's protection--some sent by their Watchers, others chased there by the Bringers. Eventually Willow and Buffy discover a way to activate all the potential slayers across the world, including those as yet undiscovered by the gang, using the Guardians' Scythe.
Amanda is the first potential Slayer to be named, though we do not know who she is at the time. She appears as in Buffy's guidance office in the episode "Help ", noting that she has beaten up someone who has taunted her. She learns of her destiny in "Potential " while battling a vampire alongside Dawn in the high school. She participates in swing choir and appears to be a fan of role-playing games, as she participates in one along with Andrew, Giles and Xander in "Chosen". She dies in the final battle in the Hellmouth.
Chao-Ahn (played by Kristy Wu ) is a potential Slayer when we first meet her. Hailing from Shanghai, China she arrives without speaking a word of English. Most of her (subtitled) lines serve as comic relief, as none of the other characters understand her Cantonese words or properly interpreted her non-verbal communication. Nevertheless, she survives through the end of the series.
Kennedy (played by Iyari Limon) is an older potential Slayer hailing from a wealthy New York family. She aggressively pursues a relationship with Willow--whose longtime lover, Tara, had been murdered at the end of season 6. This state of affairs produces unexpected consequences in the episode "The Killer in Me ". Eventually, Kennedy and Willow become lovers and remain so through the end of the series. Kennedy fights alongside the other "potentials" and Buffy at the final battle with the uber-vampires in the series finale. In Season 5 of Angel, a year after the end of Buffy, mention is made that Kennedy and Willow continue to be a couple and are now living in Brazil together.
Molly (played by Clara Bryant ) is one of the first three potentials to arrive to Sunnydale, in the season 7 episode "Bring on the Night ". She likes to eat and is from England. She is stabbed and killed by Caleb in the episode "Dirty Girls ".
Vi (played by Felicia Day) is a timid redhead who initially seems unfit for her calling. However, she proves to be an extremely courageous Slayer in the series finale. Vi first appeared in the episode "Showtime ". She lives to become a Slayer in "Chosen" and survives the Hellmouth fight.
Other Potential Slayers that we are introduced to include:
- An unnamed girl in Istanbul, murdered by the Bringers.
- An unnamed girl in Frankfurt, Germany, also murdered by the Bringers.
- Nora - a British girl, murdered and then discovered by her Watcher, Robson.
- Annabelle - another British girl, arrives in Sunnydale in "Bring on the Night" only to try to escape. She is killed by the Turok-Han.
- Chloe - a quiet American girl, who loves Winnie the Pooh; hangs herself at the First's urging in "Get It Done ". Chloe is portrayed by Lalaine.
- Eve - Southern belle who gets to Sunnydale, but is killed before meeting Buffy. The First uses her form to infiltrate the Summers house in "Showtime".
- Shannon - arrives in Sunnydale after being stabbed and thrown out of a moving car by Caleb in "Dirty Girls". She survives, regains her strength, and takes part in the final fight.
- Rona - A somewhat argumentative African-American girl, who arrives in Sunnydale in "Potential ". She eventually accepts her destiny and makes it out alive. Rona is portrayed by Alyssa Ashley Nichols .
- Caridad - Girl whom Xander is attracted to; first seen in "Dirty Girls ". Presumably makes it out of the Hellmouth alive. Portrayed by Dania Ramirez .
- Colleen - Girl, first seen in "Dirty Girls ", who is killed in the final assault on the Hellmouth.
- Dominique - First named in "Dirty Girls " when she has the stomach flu; dies in the final fight.
- Dianne - Brave Potential, killed by Caleb during the fight in the vineyard in "Dirty Girls".
- "Injured Girl" (as she is referred to in the credits) - never called by name, played by Lisa Ann Cabasa ; first appears in "Touched (Buffy episode) ." In "End of Days," she is tended to by a somewhat unmotivated Anya and Andrew.
A number of other Potentials, all unnamed, are seen at Buffy's house and in various battles.
Many Potentials are seen on the fifth season of Angel - including Dana - in the episode "Damage ".
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