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I'm the victim here. First off, I don't even want to be here. And I don't mean this room, or city, or state or planet, I'm talking the whole mortal coil now. You know it's disgusting. The food, the clothes, the people. I could crap a better existence than this. [...] I am hurt, yes, by your incredibly selfish behavior. Newsflash, hairdo: It's not always about you. All I want is the Key.
―Glory to a Monk of the Order of Dagon[src]

Glorificus, commonly known as Glory and also referred as The Beast, The Abomination and That Which Cannot Be Named, was a powerful goddess from a hell dimension, banished to Earth in human form, and one of the Scooby Gang's most dangerous enemies.

Biography

History

Glory was a goddess from a hell dimension, over which she ruled alongside two other deities. The three of them originally ruled with equal power, but Glory's strength grew beyond even what the other two could conceive, as did her lust for pain and misery, and she quickly became the most powerful and frightening of the three deities of the dimension. Afraid and fearful that Glory would seize their dimension for herself, the other two deities struck first and a great war began. Glory lost the war, though narrowly, and was banished into the earthly dimension, where she was forced to share a body with a human child named Ben Wilkinson, who was created solely to "contain" her.

Unexpectedly, Glory was too powerful to be completely contained within a human vessel, and although not until Ben reached 20, she began to gain control over Ben for short periods of time, taking the form of a beautiful, but vain and self-centered human female who possessed superhuman strength, speed, and near-invulnerability. Though her powers were severely diminished due to her being imprisoned in human form, her strength was far greater than any Slayer, vampire or demon on earth, making her a most formidable enemy. A magical "amnesia" spell prevented humans from learning that Glory and Ben were one and the same: even if she transformed right in front of them, they instantly forgot what they saw. However, the spell did not affect supernatural entities like vampires and demons. As a result, Spike found himself repeatedly having to explain to the Scooby Gang that Ben and Glory were the same person, only for them either to misunderstand him or to instantly forget. However, as Ben and Glory's personalities began to merge more and more, the magical ruse weakened until the whole gang was able to see through it. Additionally, though Ben and Glory were aware of each other's existence, one was rendered dormant while the other was active and did not remember any of the other's actions.

Glory's only goal was to find the "Key", a mystical energy nexus which was the only way for her to return to her original dimension. Unfortunately, using the Key would break down the barriers between all dimensions, causing all worlds to bleed into each other allowing "hell to reign on Earth". The Key was safeguarded by an ancient group of monks known as The Order of Dagon. When they discovered Glory was after the Key, they chose to hide it. Using ancient magic, they transformed the Key into a human girl and placed her under the protection of the Slayer, Buffy Summers, altering the memories of the Slayer and anyone connected to her into believing the girl was Buffy's sister Dawn. The Order of Dagon was ultimately destroyed by Glory, who took and interrogated the last of the monks for information. Under torture, the monk revealed to Glory that the Key had been transformed, but not about what form it had taken, and though he was later rescued by Buffy, he still died.

Glory was opposed by a military order known as the "Knights of Byzantium", composed of knights and clerics. The knights, who were sworn to prevent Glory from using the Key, fought with Buffy several times in an attempt to kill Dawn, before Glory could find her. When a large group of knights gathered to besiege Buffy and Dawn, Glory arrived and slaughtered nearly all of them, taking the Key with her.[1]

Sunnydale

Glory arrived to Sunnydale in search of "the Key". She started by hunting down the last remaining member of the Order of Dagon, holding him up in an empty building and brutally torturing him as he was tied to a chair while she continued to complain about her sufference in this dimension. It was long then Buffy arrived and attempted to save the monk. Glory quickly attacked her and proved to be too dangerous and unmatched, forcing Buffy to take a run for it with the monk in hand. An angered Glory (not by losing the monk but by accidentally breaking a shoe) then unintentionally destroyed the building she was in, making it collapse which had kept her trapped there overnight.
File:Glory monk.jpg

Glory was set up in a fancy apartment in Sunnydale and was both aided and pampered by a race of pale, black-eyed demons who were loyal to her almost to a fault, though she did not care for them, and viciously abused them, both verbally and physically, for even the slightest failures. Seeing Buffy as an barrier in her plans, and embarrassingly learning she was also a Slayer, Glory forcibly employed the use of a group of Lei-Ach demons to assassinate her Buffy which failed.

Glory was vaguely unaware of what the Key was, only knowing it was in Buffy's protection. To locate it, Glory broke into the Sunnydale Zoo and transformed a cobra into the Spawn of Sobek who was naturally able to find the Key on it's own. Buffy then briefly chased after the beast and killed it before it could reach Glory again.

The human mind could not control the power of a goddess in a human body, which gradually drove Glory insane. In order to maintain her sanity and power, Glory fed off the mental energies of humans by a process that Buffy and her friends referred to as "brain-sucking". She inserted her fingers into the victim's head, absorbing the energies that bound the victim's mind. The humans that she "devoured" in this way became incoherent and mentally unstable; those affected were also able to see Dawn in her true form. Glory's arrival in Sunnydale was followed by an inexplicable increase in the number of mental patients. This forced Ben to summon a Queller Demon to "quell" the mentally-ill of Sunnydale, who including Buffy's currently sickly mother but Buffy managed to kill the demon.

The Scooby Gang knew very little about Buffy. In fact, Buffy was able to find out her name only because she heard one of Glory's minions say it. Glory's status as a Hell-Goddess, her extreme power levels, her history, the Key's true power and its origins, were at first elusive. Glory came to Sunnydale looking for "the Key", which would allow her to return to reign in her own dimension. Despite knowing full well the damage the Key would cause to all dimensions, including the one Buffy and her friends inhabited, Glory did not care in the least, being ruthlessly determined to return to her dimension and be restored to the height of her powers at all costs.

Glory openly threatened Buffy, her friends and family by freely encountering her house where Buffy refused to fight as it would've of been pointless. Left with a warning, Buffy stood up to the Watcher's Council leading to finding out what Glory was. Around this time, the Knights of Byzantium arrived to Sunnydale and began their crusade against the Slayer and Glory, killing several of Glory's minions in battle before she intervened herself.

File:Glory dawn.png

When Ben discovered Dawn was the Key while talking to her, Glory immediately switched places with him at the hospital he worked at, unaware of what was just revealed. She took Dawn to away to the x-ray room to begin questioning, using both promises of rewards and threatening her. Buffy and her friends then arrived and battled her, but Glory quickly overpowered their efforts. Before Glory could do any real harm, Willow Rosenberg used magic to cast Glory away. After a minion's encounter with Ben, Glory found out that the Key was specifically in human form, narrowing the search down.

She commanded her minions to search out someone precious to the Slayer and bring them to her in hopes that they would be the Key. After seeing the affection placed on Spike by Buffy's robot double, dubbed the "Buffybot", Spike was selected but Glory quickly confirmed he wasn't as he was a vampire. She then kept him tied up at her apartment and tortured him, wanting the key's location. He refused to tell and used her ego to get himself far away from her so that he escaped.

Continuing the
Glory and tara

Glory inserting her fingers in Tara's head

search, Glory was mislead once again, this time to Willow's girlfriend Tara Maclay. Glory approached her and threatened to hurt her and kill many people if she didn't reveal who the Key was. Tara refused and she was then "brain-sucked". Willow, a powerful witch, was so enraged that she confronted Glory and attacked her at her apartment. Despite her best efforts, Willow did extremely minimal to Glory who almost killed her if not for the intervention of Buffy.


Angry at Willow's attack, Glory came after her and Willow at their college dorm room where she witnessedTara describe Dawn as ball of green energy. Now knowing who the Key was, Glory chased after Buffy and Dawn but was stopped when she reverted to Ben. She later managed to kidnap Dawn when Buffy asked for Ben's help, thus taking Glory to their hidden location.

The Key could only be used at a certain time and as that time drew near, the power that separated Glory from Ben dissolved. They still inhabited Ben's body separately, but their memories and personalities began to blur together.

File:Glory.png

After recovering from a mental breakdown caused by Glory's kidnapping of Dawn, Buffy decided to attack Glory with everything she had: Willow's magic spells (which drew on and weakened the goddess' mind, restoring Tara to sanity at the same time), the Dagon Sphere (a protection talisman created by the monks, which caused physical pain to Glory and seemingly lowered her strength), the "Buffybot", Olaf the Troll God's Enchanted Hammer (with which Buffy was able beat Glory to pulp due to the hammer being a weapon of the gods), and eventually a wrecking ball, commandeered by Xander Harris. Meanwhile, Spike, Rupert Giles, and Anya Jenkins attacked her minions. However, the final spell to open the dimensions had already been started by one of Glory's disciples, Doc, unsuccessfully confronted by Spike, cutting Dawn with a knife and making her bleed (the act of which opened a portal to the other dimensions). Ultimately, after killing Doc, Buffy realized that because the monks created Dawn from her essence, they shared the same blood, which meant that her own blood could also close the portal, but it would require her to die (the portal would only close when her blood stopped flowing). After saying goodbye to her sister, Buffy jumped into the portal that was opening between dimensions, resulting in its closure and her own death.

Glory was left defeated and significantly weakened, losing her hold on this reality and returning to the form and mind of Ben. Giles knew that Glory would eventually return and get her revenge on Buffy unless Ben was killed, so he smothered him to death with his bare hands. As Ben died, so did Glory.

The First appeared to Spike in her form in an attempt to torment him.[2]

Personality

Do you ever stop talking? I don't know which is worse: waking up in a dress not knowing where I've been, or having to hear all your self-involved ranting!
―Ben to Glory[src]

Glory was mentally unstable, egotistical, and violent. She frequently abused her own minions both physically and verbally, and was also obsessed with herself and her looks. Despite finding human things to be beneath her, Glory adored fine fabrics like silk, and had an impressive designer shoe collection. Her ego was such that she was horrified and offended when she learned that she had just faced the Slayer, describing such a face-off to be "unbelievably common." After her first battle with Glory, Buffy compared her to Cordelia Chase.

Being from a higher plane and another dimension, Glory's mind did not function like a human's or lower demon's, and existing in our reality meant that her mental faculties were constantly deteriorating. As a result, she had to infrequently feed on the energies that held a human's mind together, leaving the victim a mere shell of their former self. Whenever Glory had gone too long without feeding, she would grow increasingly histrionic, babbling, kicking, and screaming, most times without even purpose. As the deterioration wore on, Glory would be become nigh-catatonic, unless her followers supplied her with a suitable "meal".

Glory was particularly ruthless, unafraid to hurt those close to Buffy in an attempt to torment her, such as openly threatening to kill Buffy's friends and family and force Buffy to watch her do it while confronting Buffy in her own home,[3] brutally torturing Spike to get him to reveal the identity of the Key,[4] and violently crushing and breaking Tara's hand.[5] Additionally, Glory frequently showed a blatant lack of empathy and disregard for human life, most notably shown in her pursuit of the Key despite full knowledge that using the Key would cause severe damage to the very fabric of reality. Other examples include her regular draining of sanity from the humans of Sunnydale, brutally torturing the last monk of Dagon,[6] and casually snapping the neck of a security guard at Sunnydale Memorial with no hesitation.[7]

Powers and Abilities

Buffy: “What do we know about her? You know, she's tough, yeah, but no bolts of lightning, no blasts of fire. Shouldn't a god be able to do that kind of stuff?
Giles: “Usually, yes, but being in human form must be severely limiting her powers. All we have to worry about right now is she's immortal, invulnerable, and insane.
— Buffy and Giles[src]

Glory's powers were reduced when she was imprisoned in human form. However, the powers that remained were:

  • Near-invulnerability: Only a Troll God's hammer was able to do any lasting damage to Glory when used repeatedly. In her original form, she was immortal. Willow's lightning bolts caused her pain, but caused no visible damage as the hammer did, though she commented that Willow's assault slowed her down slightly. Buffy mentioned that Willow was the only one of them who was ever successful in actually hurting Glory up to that point. When a building collapsed on top of her, she was slowed down, but unharmed. Similarly, she was unharmed after being hit by a truck. Presumably, she was either unharmed or left with minor injuries after Willow's teleportation spell during the hospital attack.
  • Superhuman strength: Glory possessed tremendous physical strength far beyond that of most, if not all, vampires, demons, or Slayers. In fact, she is considered to be the most physically powerful big bad in the series, able to inflict massive damage on her opponents through pure brute force and physical strength alone. When Buffy first fought Glory, the latter quickly proved to be too much for Buffy to handle, causing Buffy to take quite a beating before just running away. During the hospital attack, she effortlessly defeated the entire Scooby Gang, though Spike managed to physically restrain her for a few moments. At one point, a building collapsed on her after she repeatedly stomped her foot in a temper tantrum over a broken shoe. She kicked Spike across her living room, through a solid wooden door, and halfway across the room behind said door after losing her patience with him.[4] She was able to punch a hole through an extremely powerful force-field that Willow had conjured up, though the force-field magically repaired itself after a few seconds.[1]
  • Superhuman speed: Glory's super-speed appeared as a fast-moving blur that was apparently invisible to the naked eye. This was seen when she pursued Buffy and Dawn immediately after Tara, in her insane state, accidentally revealed that Dawn was the Key.
  • Superhuman hearing: Glory's super-hearing appeared when she visits Buffy to threaten her, she knows instinctively that Dawn is behind her going up staircases discreetly.
  • The ability to drain the mental energy of humans: This was primarily to maintain her own mental strength, but would also prevent Ben's form from resuming control. Not only did the drain draw out all energy leaving the victims in an insane state, they were also able to visually see the Key's true energy and ultimately become psychically linked to Glory and the Key.
  • A mystical shroud cast to prevent people from learning that she and Ben were the same person: It only worked on humans. Vampires, demons, and other non-humans were immune. She ultimately lost this capability prior to her death.
  • The ability to psychically differentiate between vampires and humans: When her minions captured Spike under the mistaken impression that he was the Key, she knew he was a vampire on sight.[4]
  • Apparent omnilingualism: able to speak and understand any human or demon language. She was shown to speak Czech[6] and the language of the Lei-Ach Demons.[8]
  • Magic: Glory cast an ancient spell that caused an ordinary snake to grow to a massive size and granted it the ability to see the true form of the Key, in addition to making it completely loyal and submissive to Glory. According to Giles, a spell such as that required enormous levels of magic to perform, yet the stress of doing so did not deter Glory in the least.[9]

The extent of Glory's true powers as a hell god were never revealed, though according to Gregor, they were beyond what even her compatriot hell gods could conceive.[1] She gained Ben's aid in recapturing Dawn by offering him immortality should her powers be restored.[10] Although it was possible she was bluffing, by this point Glory and Ben had merged to the extent that they shared the thoughts and memories of the other. If Glory was bluffing, or if she was incapable of doing it, it was likely that Ben would have known.

Name

"That Which Cannot Be Named" came into existence before written word, and therefore (as its title implies) had no name. When the hell-god came to this dimension, she was dubbed "Glorificus" or sometimes "Glorifius," names which she shortened to "Glory." She was also known as "the Glorious One" (among many other amusing, groveling titles such as "Her Splendiferousness," "Her Sparkling Luminescence" and "Oh Sweaty-Naughty-Feelings-Causing One") by her demon minions, and as "the Beast" or "the Abomination" by the human priesthood and the Knights of Byzantium. The Scoobies often referred to her by the insulting name of "Hell-Bitch" and Ben referred to her as "the Most Unstable One" at one point.

Behind the Scenes

  • Kramer, in an interview with the BBC, said Glory's strength was her lack of self-doubt: "She was completely secure in herself, focused on what she wanted and dedicated to her cause." However, her strength was also her downfall; Kramer notes that Glory was unable "to look at more than just herself".[11]
  • Glory was originally meant to return for the final episode of the series as one of the forms assumed by First Evil. However, due to conflicting schedules, Clare Kramer could not appear.
  • The picture in the living room of Glory's mansion is a copy (or indeed, perhaps the original, as it is unlikely someone of Glory's personality would settle for "second-best") of Tamara de Lempicka's Irene and her sisters a.k.a. Four nudes. The Polish art déco/futurist artist is renowned for being strongly feminist and openly bisexual/lesbian.
  • Glory's identification as "The Beast" and "The Abomination" are seemingly references to the Biblical Whore of Babylon
  • She has several common points with Sélène (divine status, taste pronounced for the luxury, the inhalation of the life forces and megalomania), Hellfire Club's Black Queen and enemy of the X-Men.
  • Glory is the first and along with The Trio and Dark Willow one of the few Big Bads not to have Vampires as her minions. The vast majority of The Master, Spike, Drusilla, Angelus and The Mayor's minions were Vampires, whilst Adam had many Vampire followers including Boone and even Spike. The First also commanded over an army of the Turok-Han who served as its main force. It is not surprising that Glory is not served by vampires considering her complete disdain for them evidenced in episodes such as Family, Checkpoint and Intervention.

Appearances

External Links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Spiral"
  2. "Lessons"
  3. "Checkpoint"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Intervention"
  5. "Tough Love"
  6. 6.0 6.1 "No Place Like Home"
  7. "Blood Ties"
  8. "Family"
  9. "Shadow"
  10. "The Gift"
  11. BBC Interview with Clare Kramer http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/buffy/interviews/kramer2/page3.shtml
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