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Created byJoss Whedon
Original workBuffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)
Owner20th Century Studios
Print publications
Novel(s)List of Buffyverse novels
ComicsList of Buffyverse comics
Films and television
Film(s)Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)
Television seriesBuffy the Vampire Slayer (1997–2003)
Angel (1999–2004)
Role-playingBuffyverse role-playing games
Video game(s)Buffy the Vampire Slayer video games

The Album
The Score
Radio Sunnydale
Once More, with Feeling

Live Fast, Die Never
Original musicBuffy:
Christophe Beck
Thomas Wanker
Robert Duncan
Sean Murray
Shawn Clement
Walter Murphy
Douglas Romayne
Nerf Herder (Theme)
Christophe Beck
Robert J. Kral
Darling Violetta (Theme)
Other musicDingoes Ate My Baby
Velvet Chain (The Buffy EP)
AudiobookSlayers: A Buffyverse Story
List of all Buffyverse canon

The Buffyverse or Slayerverse is a media franchise created by Joss Whedon. The term also refers to the shared fictional universe in which the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel are set. This term, originally coined by fans of the TV series, has since been used in the titles of published works,[1] and adopted by Joss Whedon, the original writer and creator of the fictional universe and its corresponding works.[2][3] The Buffyverse is a setting in which supernatural phenomena exist, and supernatural evil can be challenged by people willing to fight against such forces. Much of the licensed Buffyverse merchandise and media, while released officially, is not considered to be canon within the universe.


The Buffyverse is a fictional construct created by hundreds of individual stories told through TV, novels, comics and other media. It began with the first episodes of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series in 1997 and expanded with the spinoff TV series Angel in 1999. The popularity of these series led to licensed fiction carrying the Buffy and Angel labels.

Outside of the TV series, the Buffyverse has been expanded and elaborated by various authors and artists in the so-called "Buffyverse Expanded Universe".[citation needed] The Buffyverse novels, Buffy video games and the vast majority of Buffyverse comics, are licensed by 20th Century Fox. The works sometimes flesh out background information on characters. For example, Go Ask Malice provides information about the origins of the character Faith Lehane.

The Buffyverse comics were first published by Dark Horse, who have retained the right to produce Buffy comics. IDW now hold the license to produce Angel comics. Joss Whedon wrote an eight-issue miniseries for Dark Horse Comics entitled Fray, about a futuristic vampire slayer. Its final issue was published in August 2003. Pocket Books holds the license to produce Buffy novels, but their license to produce Angel novels expired in 2004.[citation needed]


The Buffyverse is distinguishable from the real world in that it contains and engages with supernatural elements, although only a small proportion of the human population is aware of these phenomena in canon. In regards to its presentation of morality, many elements of the Buffyverse are introduced as being either good or evil, and they are usually linearly handled as such. However, certain instances in the plot call fall under and are handled as more ambiguous or grey areas. A few of the main aspects of the Buffyverse are as follows.

The Old Ones[edit]

The world of the Buffyverse was originally ruled by powerful pure-bred demons: the Old Ones. However, the Old Ones were eventually driven out of the earth's dimension. Any who remained were then vanquished or imprisoned in the "Deeper Well", which manifests as a hole through the earth, with one opening hidden within a tree in England.[4] These demons are revered and worshiped by lesser demon species. They await their chance to return and reclaim Earth.


According to legend in the Buffyverse, the last Old One to leave this dimension fed off a human, and in the process, their blood mixed. The human's body was left without a soul, and a demon took its place. Rupert Giles details that the resulting creature "bit another, and another, and so they walk the Earth", creating what became known as Vampires.[5] Some elements of traditional vampire mythology are used in the Buffyverse, while others are abandoned. The elements, rules, and customs held by Buffyverse vampires are as follows.

Killing Methods

  • Wooden stake through the heart
  • Extensive exposure to sunlight (other dimensions' stars may not work the same as Earth's, as Pylea's dual suns did not kill Angel)
  • Extensive burning by fire
  • Decapitation
  • Holy water (ingestion)[6]
  • Magical and supernatural devices and spells


  • Exposure to holy water
  • Physical contact with a cross
  • Limited exposure to sunlight
  • Limited exposure to fire
  • Possession by other supernatural creatures and forces
  • Supernatural spells and devices


  • Cannot enter private dwellings unless invited.
  • Vampires' bodies and clothes explode to dust when slain (except for articles of importance, such as magical rings, amulets, etc.)
  • Have no reflection (however, they do have a shadow and can appear in photos)
  • Superhuman strength, endurance, speed, and senses
  • Have no soul (unless it is in some way restored such as with Angel and later Spike)
  • Cannot have children (unless foretold by prophecy, such as Angel and Darla's son, Connor)
  • Bullets cannot kill vampires, but can cause them extreme pain.[7]
  • In the first episode, garlic is seen in Buffy's trunk along with stakes, crosses, and holy water. It is also used by Buffy in "Wrecked" to repel Spike. Also, in the episode "The Wish", which explored an episode where Buffy Summers never came to Sunnydale, and vampires ruled the city, garlic is seen lining the lockers of Sunnydale High.
  • In that same episode, "The Wish", it was alluded that bright colors attract vampires, and therein the townspeople wear dark, muted colors.
  • They can be tranquilized.[8]
  • Can become intoxicated by consuming alcohol or the blood of a human who is intoxicated with drugs. This fact's first application can be attributed to Spike within season two. He claims that after he drank from a hippie at Woodstock, he spent "the next six hours watching [his] hand move". This fact is consistent with season four of Angel, wherein Faith becomes high on the drug orpheus and allows Angelus to feed on her, causing him to react to the drug as well.


As within historical werewolf mythology, werewolves are people who suffer from lycanthropy. In the Buffyverse, werewolf characters are shown to have an "animal side" which either complements or clashes with their "human side". They transform on the full moon of each month, as well as on the day before and the day after. Some werewolves have shown the ability to gain control/achieve harmony between their human and bestial sides (such as Oz and his teacher in the comics). Prominent werewolf characters include Oz, Veruca, and Nina Ash.


In the Buffyverse, the term "demon" is inexact; it has been applied to just about every creature that is not a god, robot, unmodified human, or standard terrestrial animal. Some classes of creature, such as Vampires and Old Ones, are commonly known as "demons" but are not always referred to as such.

Portrayed within the Buffyverse, there are many kinds of demons of many differing natures and origins. Some demons are shown to live and reproduce on Earth (the Bezoar in "Bad Eggs"), but others are extraterrestrial (the Queller demon in "Listening to Fear"), extradimensional (Lorne on Angel), ex-humans (Anya Jenkins was a peasant who became a vengeance demon), and even hybrids (Cordelia Chase had aspects of demon fused in her). Some species of demon are capable of breeding with humans (Doyle has a human mother and a demon father). Anya Jenkins states in the episode "Graduation Day" that the demons that walk the earth are not pure demons, they are half-breeds. She states that true demons are "bigger", in reference to Mayor Richard Wilkins' Ascension into a true demon.

Many demons in Buffy are shown to be inherently evil and solely interested in causing suffering, death, and harm. Other characters challenge this notion however, with demons such as Clem and Lorne who appear to be basically good.


In the Buffyverse, long ago, a group of shamans once used the essence of a demon to produce the First Slayer. She was banished from her own village and forced to fight the forces of darkness alone. When she died, another girl was "chosen" in her place. The line of Slayers is maintained over the years until Buffy's two deaths and revivals cause a disturbance that ultimately leads to the awakening of the First Evil.

The Slayer is given great strength, lightning reflexes, fast healing powers and is naturally highly skilled with many weapons and martial arts.


Within the Buffyverse, the Watchers' Council historically exists to offer guidance to the Slayer; assisting them by supervising their training and by researching existing and possible demonic or supernatural threats. Notable Watchers include Rupert Giles, Watcher of series protagonist Buffy, and Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, who takes over temporarily in season 3.

"The Good Fight"[edit]

While most of humanity in the Buffyverse seems oblivious to the existence of demons, there exists other groups and organizations battling against evil, and these factions come to light over the course of Buffy and Angel and in related media. For example, a group of socially disadvantaged youth in L.A. organized to battle the vampires destroying their community (See Charles Gunn). And, although some of their methods and goals proved questionable, a government-funded group known as The Initiative was also long aware of the existence of demons and was revealed to be fighting a secret war against them. Other large-scale groups appear in both Buffy and Angel, often as antagonists to the heroes due to differing views on how to, as they say, fight the good fight.


Magic in the Buffyverse can be used for all manner of control. Spells can be performed by anyone by use of magical items and the invocation of particular words. Witches and warlocks, however, have considerably more knowledge and power to use it for their purposes than the average person.

A witch can inherit their lineage from their parents or develop their craft over many years, and neither a witch nor warlock must necessarily be human, such as Cyvus Vail.

Humans with Powers[edit]

While not prominent in the Buffyverse, there are select few individuals who gain special powers through means other than those mentioned above. Gwen Raiden and Bethany (from the Angel episode "Untouched") both seem to have been born with their powers. Drusilla had psychic powers as a human before becoming a vampire, though their origins are never explained. Others, like Marcie Ross from the episode "Out of Mind, Out of Sight" or the trio of Nerds, gain their powers by other magical, non-magical, or "scientific" means. Connor is also a human with supernatural powers, similar to those of vampires, because he was born as a product of two vampire parents.


Technology in the Buffyverse is more advanced than in the real world at the time it was produced, although the applications of such technologies do not seem to be common knowledge. Examples of advanced technology include:

  • The demon Moloch has an advanced robotic body built for him to inhabit. ("I, Robot... You, Jane")
  • Inventor Ted Buchanan built a highly advanced android version of himself in the 1950s that was capable of impersonating a human being without drawing suspicion. ("Ted")
  • Warren Mears builds a lifelike android named April as a companion in the episode "I Was Made to Love You", then builds the Buffybot for Spike as well as an android version of himself. He later forms and leads the Trio as their technology guru. The trio is later shown to use a freeze ray ("Smashed"), an invisibility ray ("Gone"), a Cerebral Dampener capable of removing someone's free will ("Dead Things"), and jet packs ("Seeing Red").
  • Pete Clarner is shown to create a chemical compound that gives him highly enhanced strength ("Beauty and the Beasts").

Additionally, there is much technology specifically geared towards use both by and against the supernatural, used by the government organization known as "The Initiative" and the demonic law firm Wolfram & Hart.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ouellette, Jennifer (2006). The Physics of the Buffyverse. Penguin. ISBN 0-14-303862-1.
  2. ^ Porter, Rick. "Whedon's 'Angel' Goes Down Fighting". Zap2it. Archived from the original on 13 February 2007. Retrieved 14 February 2007.
  3. ^ Morris, Clint. "Interview: Joss Whedon". Moviehole.net. Archived from the original on 13 December 2006. Retrieved 14 February 2007.
  4. ^ "A Hole in the World". Angel. Season 5. Episode 15.
  5. ^ "The Harvest". Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Season 1. Episode 2.
  6. ^ "Helpless". Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Season 3. Episode 12.
  7. ^ "Angel". Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Season 1. Episode 7.
  8. ^ "Doppelgangland". Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Season 3. Episode 16.