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You think you can fight me? I'm not a demon, little girl. I am something that you can't even conceive. The First Evil. Beyond sin, beyond death. I am the thing the darkness fears. You'll never see me, but I am everywhere. Every being, every thought, every drop of hate--
―The First Evil[src]

The First Evil was a unique entity that predated man and demon, apparently the personification of the concept of evil itself, manifested from all evil in existence. The First was an incorporeal presence that could assume the form of any person who had died, including vampires and persons who had been resurrected. Because of this it appeared in various forms depending who it sought to manipulate. For this reason, The First usually appeared as Buffy Summers to the Slayer and her allies, but it also assumed the forms of Warren Mears, Spike, and Jonathan Levinson on multiple occasions, among a variety of other forms taken less frequently. Its true appearance was seemingly in the form of a large, silvery bestial demon.

History

You're everywhere. You're in the hearts of little children, in the souls of the rich, you're the fire that makes people kill and hate, the cleansing fire that will cure the world of weakness. They're just sinners. You are Sin.
―Caleb about the First[src]

The First Evil claimed to be the absolute embodiment of all evil. Older than demons, including the Old Ones, and even gods who were themselves older than humans, it was older than written word and transcended all realities and dimensions. Few had heard of it and even fewer believed in its existence.

During Christmas 1998, The First appeared in Sunnydale. It tried to drive the vampire Angel into killing Buffy by appearing to him as Daniel, Margaret, Travis and Jenny Calendar, people Angelus had murdered. The First told Angel that it was responsible for his return from Hell and that he could end his sufferings by giving in to his inner demon. It did not mind when Angel chose to die in a sunrise instead; either plan would have been a massive blow to the forces of good, eliminating either the Slayer or the best (and, at the time, only) candidate for the Shanshu Prophecy. After Buffy's confrontation with the First, Buffy attempted to stop Angel from committing suicide. While Buffy was attempting to talk Angel into leaving the Kingman's Bluff, a rare snowfall occurred, with the sun remaining unseen.

Buffy's second resurrection caused an irregularity in the Slayer line. The First tried to use this glitch to eliminate the Slayers forever.

The First Evil recruited Caleb, a preacher turned serial killer, who took command of the Harbingers of Death, the First's priests, who began to hunted down the chosen line, young girls with the potential to become Slayers.

Meanwhile, the First also tormented the vampire Spike after he had returned from Africa with his soul restored by the demon shaman Lloyd. The First appeared to Spike in such guises as Warren Mears, Glorificus, Adam, Mayor Richard Wilkins III, Drusilla, The Master and Buffy herself. Also, after Spike accidentally stabbed a human, the First appeared in the form of a nice, more forgiving Buffy to continue to taunt him.

From beneath you, It devours.
―D'Hoffryn[src]

The First also appeared to Andrew Wells in Mexico as Warren Mears, instructing him to buy an ancient knife. The nightmares it brought to Andrew and Jonathan Levinson drove them back to Sunnydale.

The First Evil began using a traditional English folk song ("Early One Morning") as a trigger to drive Spike into a feral state in which he would sire vampires again. It also masqueraded as Joyce Summers in an attempt to drive a wedge between Buffy and her sister Dawn. That same night, the First also appeared to Willow Rosenberg as Cassie Newton, claiming to be a messenger from her dead lover Tara, but went too far as it asked Willow to commit suicide.

It also appeared to continued to haunt Andrew Wells in the form of Warren, and drove him into murdering Jonathan on the Seal of Danzalthar, right above the Hellmouth. However, the sacrifice yielded too little blood because it turned out Jonathan was anemic, as well as small-statured. The First then sent the Bringers to kill the potential slayer Nora and her Watcher Robson in London, England. It also goaded Spike into battling Buffy so one of them would be killed.

The First Evil then appeared to Andrew as both Warren and Jonathan. The First Evil appeared to Spike, as Spike himself, to trick him into killing Andrew, only to be foiled by Buffy again. It then sent some Harbingers to kidnap Spike from Buffy's house to bleed him to raise the first Turok-Han out of the Hellmouth. Meanwhile, the First's minion Caleb blew up the Watchers Council as they gathered to respond the attack. It also once manifested itself in such a way as to destroy an attempted spell by Willow, thus increasing her fear of using magic. Buffy later dreamt of her late mother, and believes this is an appearance of The First.

The First Evil masquerade as Eve, a potential slayer previously killed by the Harbingers, to spy on Buffy and instill fear in the potentials to doubt Buffy’s leadership.

A few weeks later, The First again appeared to Andrew as Jonathan, instructing him to use a gun to kill the potential slayers but subsequently became angry with Andrew and Buffy's friends when Andrew wore a wire so they could record the First Evil. Continuing to monger fear among the Potential Slayers, the First Evil appeared to Chloe, taunting her to commit suicide before appearing to Buffy and the potentials as Chloe herself, making them feel partly responsible for Chloe’s death.

I want to feel. I want to put my hands around an innocent neck and feel it crack. I want to bite off a young girl's face and feel the skin and gristle slither down my throat.
―The First[src]

The First Evil later summoned Caleb to Sunnydale where they set up base at the Shadow Valley Vineyards, where Buffy and the potentials were dealt a defeat at Caleb’s hands. Using the Harbingers, the First Evil had them excavate the mystic Slayer's Scythe from a rock while at the same time tricking slayer Faith into a trap. Then it masqueraded as the Mayor in order to throw Faith off-guard, telling her to be wary of Buffy. When Buffy later went to the Vineyards and stole the Scythe, The First Evil instructed Caleb to let her go and informed Buffy that Faith and the potential slayers had just been killed in an explosion. Buffy rushed to their rescue and most of them survived.

After Buffy split the First's minion Caleb in half with the Scythe, the First Evil taunted her for being alone, which gave her an idea. Buffy asked Willow to use the essence of the Scythe to make every potential slayer a full Slayer and led a proactive strike on the Turok-Han army within the Hellmouth itself. The First taunted Buffy after she was stabbed through the abdomen, but she recovered. An amulet, given to Buffy by Angel, that Spike was wearing created beams of sunlight which wiped out every Turok-Han and destroyed the Hellmouth.

Powers and Abilities

When this is over -- when our armies spring forth and our will sweeps the world -- I'll be able to enter every man, woman and child on the face of this Earth.
―The First[src]

The First was unable to affect the world on a physical level. Its power lied in its ability to deceive, torment and manipulate others. It could take the form of any person who had died, including those who died temporarily (Buffy and Warren) and vampires who are still "alive" (Drusilla and Spike). The First also had a deep understanding of human nature using it to drive others to madness and such acts as murder and suicide.

Although non-corporeal, the First had demonstrated numerous abilities such as possession or merging with other beings, employed on Willow to prevent a spell that she was trying to cast and with Caleb in order to grant him superhuman strength. Seemingly omnipresent, it was capable of visual and auditive manifestations in any place at will, even in different locations simultaneously, and choosing to remain unperceived by certain beings while communicating with others.

The First's goal of becoming corporeal had been held back by the balance between good and evil. Once this balance was altered by the resurrection of Buffy, the First hoped to overrun this dimension, which would've allowed It to become flesh and/or to possess every single human being.

Appearances

Buffy Season 3

  • Amends (1st Appearance) (as Daniel, Jenny, Margaret and Travis)

Buffy Season 7

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