- “‘Respect’. That’s an awfully queer word. Something is not right with all this. So listen. Learn about vampires. It’s knowledge I may need.”
Edna Giles, born Edna Fairweather, was a Watcher. She grew up to become a prominent member of the Watchers Council and the matriarch of a three-generation family of Watchers, which included her son Mr. Giles as well as her grandson Rupert Giles.
When she was ten, Edna underwent training with the Watchers Academy. She demonstrated herself to be extremely insightful, eventually outwitting Roche and Sophie Downs, two old and powerful vampires that had managed to deceive Edna’s own teachers, the first vampires she’d ever seen. She had three colleagues: James, Roger, and the infiltrated vampire Sophie, who she threatened with a knife in her throat to protect Roger.
Despite loathing vampires, she was capable of admitting she had learned from Roche’s stories, and sympathized with his sire’s death. On the other hand, she insulted and yelled at her older Watchers for putting such young children at risk as training.
One of Edna’s teachers observed that he would “be long gone from the Council by the time she [would be] running it,” which seems to imply that Edna eventually became a leading member of the Council.
As a child, Edna was in love with “the slightly older son” of the family that ran the local Giles’ Bakery, with whom she would marry and have a son. Both Edna’s son, Mr. Giles, and grandson, Rupert Giles, would became members of the Watchers Council as well.
When Rupert abandoned his studies at Oxford, Edna heard bad things about his ongoing life and sought him in one of his band presentations. Together, they battled vampires at a disco club and talked while drinking whiskey. Edna advised about Rupert’s guilty on summoning Eyghon the Sleepwalker, and appropriate ability to relate to Slayers, successfully convincing him to return to his Watcher training. Her grandson eventually became notable as Buffy Summers’ watcher.
Edna had two sisters, Lavinia and Sophronia Fairweather. Unlike her, they were flighty and irresponsible and did not become Watchers, instead using their skill with magic to preserve their youth and beauty. Still, Rupert has pointed that the three sisters had identical brand of sarcasm, for which she called him “wicked”, indicating her dislike for her sisters’ personalities.