I N F O R M A T I O N
Buffy Anne Summers. Slayer, the. Mystically Chosen and destined to be all defender-y and protect the world from vampires, demons and the forces of darkness. Blonde, petite, athletic, college drop-out. Has a bite mark scar on the right side of her neck from where Angel bit her on Graduation Day. Dresses in stylish, yet affordable clothes.
ABAX: Arrived from 8x40.
COUNTED STARS: Arrived from 5x07, updated to 8x16. Has been trained as a Jedi Knight in the New Jedi Order.
KNIGHTS OF LEGEND: Arrived from 5x22, suffered complete memory loss. Squired to Dragon's Claw Jack Chessing.
PROJECT GEMINI: Arrived from 7x22.
☑ super strength
☑ super stamina
☑ accelerated reflexes
☑ accelerated healing
☑ built Ford tough (enhanced durability)
☑ enhanced speed
☑ ability to sense demons and vampires (in KOL this means seeing demons & angels)
☑ heightened awareness (almost like spidey sense)
☑ dream-sharing with fellow Slayers and precog/postcog dreaming about Slayer line-related events, dreaming the history of the Slayer
☑ natural fighting talent, as well as training in fighting technique
☑ proficiency with numerous weapons including:☑ stakes
☑ compound bows
Prior to becoming the Slayer, Buffy was rather superficial and shallow, which was a point of great contention with her first Watcher, Merrick. She acted the part of the stereotypical valley girl, all about shoes and shopping and boys. However, after becoming the Slayer was when Buffy's growing up first started. She develops a sense of focus in her life, and while she's not quite soldier material, it definitely put her a rut up above most of her classmates on the responsibility scale.
Overall, she's a naturally snarky girl, who's a fan of quips and likes bantering with demons almost as much as she likes fighting them. She's somewhat klutzy and airheaded at times, but despite this she's shown to be highly intelligent when it comes to formulating plans and doing her job -- probably in part due to her Slayer abilities. She's also bull-headed and stubborn and once she's set her mind on something, she doesn't accept anything less. She makes her destiny what she wants to make of it and doesn't accept the "you are fated to this" crap.
Buffy has mixed feelings about her role as the Slayer. She both doesn't want to live without her Slayer calling, because she needs to feel that sense of purpose, but she also views it as a burden, a hurdle between her and the normal life she wants so badly. She wants her biggest problems to be boys and homework. But, she doesn't get the luxury of only worrying about those things -- she has to worry about the fate of the world before the fate of her social and academic life.
She grows to accept it through season 5 more than anything, and she really embraces it, but she doesn't let it define her and she had some initial resistance to the responsibility. She never really stops viewing it as a burden (even calling it that in season 7 when talking to Faith) and has repeatedly tried to reject her destiny in the past before embracing her role and really settling into it in season 5. However, she still has some lingering sentiments of wanting to return to her normal life, which are exploited in Normal Again, but conflict directly with her desire to hold onto her powers because she sees the Slayer as being such a huge part of her that she can't just let go of. She knows, though, that it's not something she will ever have and copes very well with her responsibility.
Her exposure to the supernatural has forced her to grow up rather quickly. It's through her destiny as the Slayer that Buffy learns the importance of duty and how to put it above other things, like her own feelings. She constantly proves herself capable of making the tough calls. However, that doesn't make her invulnerable to fear. When Buffy learned from Giles that her death was prophesized and that she would be killed by the Master, she tried to quit slaying and leave town. However, when other lives were put at stake by her decision, she came back to fulfill her duty. It showed that while Buffy does fear for her own life, she also puts the lives of others before herself. She's not exactly selfless, but she is definitely hero material.
The Slayer rite, called the Cruciamentum, that Buffy underwent in season 3 in which she lost all her powers and was pitted against a demon took a great toll on her. It took her to her weakest point and put her up against things that she couldn't handle -- not only that, but it turned someone she trusted against her and forced him to betray and hurt her. It put a severe strain on her relationship with Giles and came out to be more of a cruel and unusual punishment for being born into this rather than a lesson of any kind. It puts her in this place where she was alone and she had to fight by herself with no powers and she learned that when it comes down to it, it's just her. Just her and the demons.
Through the trauma of dealing with Slayerdom, she's learned to rely on others like the Scooby Gang but she's also learned that she'll never be able to do that -- she understands that being the Slayer isn't something you can share with anyone. She has to understand that while she'll always want to be and try to be just a girl, she can't ever do that. Because she's not just a girl, she's the Slayer, and she has responsibilities and experiences and a weight on her chest that no one else can understand. It's a responsibility that Buffy has learned to take very seriously and put above her own wants and needs. She sees her duty as something that has to come before other things like school and boys.
While she's always learned to rely on her friends, the Cruciamentum makes it clear that she doesn't get that luxury as a Slayer.
She is alone.
This is one of the most critical identifying traits of Buffy. No matter how many friends she has, no matter how close to them she is, she will always be alone. And it ties into her superiority complex that comes out of being the Slayer. Because she has to deal with all of these things, because this responsibility falls on her and because she has to make the hard choices (like killing Angel) that no one else has to make because of that role, she feels like she's better than them, because they can't understand what she's going through. Their opinions don't matter.
They're not the Slayer. One girl in all the world, a chosen one. She alone will stand against the demons, the vampires and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer. And that's her. Everyone looks to her to lead them, and she will never feel like she can just be in their company and be their friend and be on their level, because she's not. This may be true to a degree, but it's also a self-fulfilling prophecy that leads to Buffy isolating herself from her friends and family, because she doesn't feel like they can ever truly connect to her. She builds up a wall that separates her from them.
This isolation has grown worse than ever in season 4, because after Angel left, a part of her never really recovered. She loved him more than anything, she killed him, and she lost him. And she's scared to ever love like that again. "Open your heart to someone, and he bails on you." The way her father did. The way Angel did. She makes it incredibly difficult to breach the walls that she puts up because of this. In season 8 it once again redoubles its intensity. Buffy performed the spell to awaken all of the Slayers not just to defeat the first, but to defeat her feelings of isolation and aloneness. However, it didn't solve the problem. Instead of feeling like she had a thousand other Slayers to share her burden with and to understand what she felt, she was pushed further into the role of general and became something of a Queen of the Slayers. She remained the one "true" Slayer in the eyes of most demons and the like, and in the eyes of her Slayers, she was the boss. She was distanced even further from the rest of the world.
When Buffy met Kendra, the second slayer, it was a big stepping stone for her. Meeting someone else who could do exactly what she did, and had the same fate as she did, and yet accepted it so much better than Buffy did changed her in a lot of ways. It helped her accept that being the Slayer didn't have to be a burden, but it could be a gift. Kendra, the dedicated soldier, showed Buffy that it was an honor to be chosen to save the world.
On the other hand, Faith taught Buffy some very different things. Faith taught Buffy that there is a line, and while Slayers are powerful enough to cross it, that doesn't make it right. She taught her to be more aware of her own boundaries and her own underlying urges. Buffy, just as Faith tried to argue with her several times, has a certain ruthless quality about her -- a killer instinct. All Slayers have it, and though Buffy covers it up with all her duty and her self righteousness about doing the right thing and killing the bad guys, she still has it. It's that violent urge that leads to her stabbing Faith in the gut, even though it was for the sake of saving the love of her life.
The other thing is that it proves how far she's willing to go for the ones she loves -- and it's a pretty scary length. She'd literally do anything to save someone she cares about, be it sacrificing her own life (Angel nearly kills her when she uses her own blood the cure the poison Faith introduces into his system) or sacrificing someone else's (she wanted to use Faith's blood). If the person means something to her to that degree, she'd destroy worlds -- and as the Slayer, she can.
However, Faith also taught her about forgiveness when people are looking for it. Buffy claimed that she had tried everything to help Faith when she first began her downward spiral, but it became clear that wasn't true when Angel started getting through to her and Buffy went to L.A. and found them together. Buffy was hurt and betrayed by her own immature and jealous feelings, but eventually came to accept that Faith was looking for forgiveness and trying to make right what she'd screwed up, and Buffy came to forgive her and even respected her decision to turn herself in. She never truly overcomes her bias against Faith, because it rears its ugly head a few times in season 8 as well, but she is mature enough to set it aside for the greater good and to do what's right, whereas in season 4 she didn't really have that ability.
Forgiveness is one of the strongest traits Buffy possesses. Back in season 2 when Angel became Angelus and they were possessed by ghosts (long story), Giles told her "to forgive is an act of compassion […]. It's not done because people deserve it. It's done because they need it." This set the tone for Buffy's approach to forgiveness and she demonstrates it first when she forgives Angel wholeheartedly for what he did as Angelus, then again when she tries to reach out to Faith repeatedly in season 3 and 4 despite what she's done to her, and then later with Willow and (more definitively than anything else) with Spike. She forgives Willow for becoming the big bad and trying to end the world, and she forgives Spike for trying to rape her in her own home, because he didn't have a soul, and he made his penance by acknowledging that what he had done was wrong and seeking out redemption at the ends of the Earth, the kind of redemption that lasts and lasts via a soul. People who come to her truly repentant and seek forgiveness will always get it, and she will always forgive her friends. She has an incredible amount of love in her heart for her friends.
However, it's not always easy for her. When Angel kills Giles in 8x39, it's said in 8x40 that she can't even look at him, even though it wasn't technically him. She hasn't had time to mourn Giles, who meant more than her to anything in the world and with whom she didn't get a chance to really reconcile with before his death. It's not so much that she doesn't forgive Angel for getting possessed by Twilight and killing Giles, but more that he's reminder of her greatest failure. Fucking everything up (literally) and bringing the Apocalypse with her naked shenanigans with Angel, letting Giles get killed, destroying the Seed. It hurts her too much.
That said, Buffy, despite how mature she's had to become, is still an intensely immature person. She often lets herself get distracted by petulance, jealousy and petty arguments. The smallest, most insignificant thing can become something that she fixates on and blows way out of proportion. She's very possessive, and doesn't let go of things easily -- even after she and Angel say their goodbyes, when she sees Faith with him in L.A., it kicks up the same jealous reaction she had when seeing them together in season 3 prior to their break-up. She doesn't like other people playing with her things, and she just generally doesn't like sharing.
It was one of the greatest contenders between her and Faith -- Buffy's only child complex. She has a hard time viewing the world outside the scope of her own wants, needs and desires. Normally, it's not an issue, because her own desires and needs involve Slayerdom and therefore saving the world, but when it comes to the more day-to-day stuff, it can be a trial to deal with. She's self-involved and can occasionally get so wrapped up in her own life that she is neglectful of her friends and/or boyfriends.
But, Buffy also has a complex of having to take care of everyone and be everyone's mother. It doesn't get really inflated until Dawn's appearance, but it's been there since day one. Her egocentrism and only child complex present in the form of taking the blame and guilt for any time someone gets hurt, even if it's not through direct or indirect action by her. She feels responsible for everyone's life because she is the Slayer. She's constantly the savior, constantly the one scolding people who screw up, and she just generally has to take on a whole lot of roles that she's not ready for. A part of this only child syndrome wears away after Dawn comes into play, in that it forces Buffy to grow up and take on a kind of mom role since Joyce dies around there. She learns how to have maternal instincts and while this is good for her because she has to be somewhat down to Earth and not go crazy overboard, and put others before herself instead of being her usual selfish Buffy, it's also part of what drives her to power-tripping, because she has to make all of the hard decisions (particularly after her mother dies) not just in slaying, but amongst her friends and in her family for her sister's safety.
Buffy is self-righteous. She's the very textbook definition of self-righteous. When it comes to Buffy, because of how much of a natural born leader she is and because of how seriously she takes her role as the Slayer and how much experience she's had in calling the shots and saving the world (successfully!) doing it, it's her way or the highway. It is what causes her to break ties with the Watcher's Council, and it's also what causes it to be tough for her to get along with certain people and butt heads. The potential Slayers in season 7 call her out on it and impeach her from being their leader because they can't tolerate it, but it is prevalent far before then. The only reason it comes to a head then is that it's the first time her self-righteous approach didn't succeed -- it resulted in casualties and injuries, and they turned on her that time. But, she is always that way, even from day 1.
She doesn't know how to accept being wrong and she has a sense of pride that is often overwhelming and keeps her from admitting she's wrong when she does finally come to terms with the fact that she is. It's a part of the burden of being the Slayer, as well. The Slayer doesn't get the luxury of admitting she's wrong. She has to be right because she is justice. She is the law. Always. So, she can't waver. And, for Buffy, it gets taken a little overboard when she takes it into her every day life as well. Even in her personal relationships, she doesn't like to admit personal culpability. It's part of what makes her such a contradiction. She'll blame herself and take responsibility for the injuries and deaths of people that were out of her control, but she won't admit when she's in the wrong and back down. Once she's made up her mind, it's made up. When Riley is feeling disconnected because she's not opening up to him after Angel? It's not her fault. He shouldn't be seeking that connection elsewhere or blaming it on her.