Little is known about Ethan's early years, except that he is English. In the early 1970s, Ethan met, and became friends with, Rupert Giles, then known as Ripper. Together, with Deirdre Page, Philip Henry, Thomas Sutcliff and Randall, they practiced small magics for pleasure and gain, until Ethan and Ripper discovered something bigger: the demon known as Eyghon, or the Sleepwalker.
The group tattooed themselves with the Mark of Eyghon. They would take turns falling asleep while the rest of the group would summon the demon into the sleeper. Eventually Eyghon took control of Randall, the others tried to exorcise the demon, which resulted in Randall's death. Ripper was changed by the event; he left London and returned to the Watchers' Council. Ethan, on the other hand went the opposite direction, delving deeper into the black arts. When Ethan asked, years later, when things had changed, when they stopped being mates, Giles replied, "When you started to worship chaos."
Ethan first in Sunnydale as the seemingly benevolent owner of Ethan's Costume Shop in October of 1997. On Halloween, Ethan cursed his costumes, in the name of Janus, to change the wearer into whatever they are dressed as. However, he was discovered by Giles, who beat Ethan until he divulged the secret to reversing the spell.
Ethan appeared shortly after this encounter when he came, looking for Giles, to the Sunnydale High School library. He had been having dreams of Eyghon and the fate of the others who wore his mark; Ethan knew that the demon had returned. The Mark of Eyghon acted as a beacon for the demon to locate, kill, and possess each member. Ethan planned to "hide behind the Slayer", exploiting her desire to protect Giles and thus protect himself in the process. He knocked Buffy Summers unconscious in order to restrain her. When she awoke, he tattooed the Mark of Eyghon on the back of her neck and removed his own with acid, in the hope of fooling Eyghon. The substitution worked and the demon lost interest in him, instead it attacked Buffy. However, Giles, along with the rest of the Scooby Gang, arrived and killed Eyghon. Ethan managed to escape while the others were distracted.
About a year later, Mr. Trick, in the employ of Mayor Richard Wilkins, called upon Ethan to distract Sunnydale's adult population during a tribute ceremony for Lurconis. Ethan cursed the candy bars that were distributed to adults through Sunnydale High School students. Ethan's curse on the chocolate made adults act as if they are teenagers, leaving much of the city unprotected, including the hospital where the tribute of small babies needs to be taken from. Buffy and Giles uncovered the plot and prevented it from being carried out, both Mr. Trick and Ethan escaped.
Ethan returned to Sunnydale, yet again, the following year. He was discovered, lurking in a crypt, by Giles. Ethan convinced Giles not beat him, as Giles had earlier threatened if Ethan returned. Instead, they go for a drink together. Ethan warned Giles that The Initiative was throwing the worlds out of balance, which went "way beyond chaos", into "one hell of a fight." Giles didn't seem to take the warning seriously; instead he was somewhat envious of the Initiative. After spending the night reminiscing and drinking with Ethan, Giles awoke the next morning in the form of a Fyarl Demon. Ethan went into hiding at the Sunnydale Motor Inn while Giles, with the help of Spike, tracked him. After Ethan reversed the spell, he was arrested by the Initiative, who placed him in military custody pending determination of his status. After which he was sent to a rehabilitation facility in Nevada.
Ethan reappeared for the first time in several years, acting as Buffy's guide in the "dreamspace," where he offered her cryptic messages about an approaching twilight and showed her some of her more symbolic dreams. He also helped Buffy find a fragment of Amy Madison's "dreamspace" in order to find a memory to use against her.
While infiltrating a military installation two miles south of Sunnydale, Buffy attempted to break Ethan out of his cell, but instead found him dead, having been shot and apparently killed by General Voll
Buffy Season 3
Buffy Season 4
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