- “Harmony, when you tried to be head cheerleader, you were bad. When you tried to chair the homecoming committee, you were really bad. But when you try to be bad... you suck.”
- ―Buffy Summers[src]
Harmony Kendall was a former Sunnydale High student turned into a vampire, later Angel's secretary at Wolfram and Hart. Being one of the few people to escape before the Fall of Los Angeles, Harmony became an international celebrity with her reality show Harmony Bites.
Harmony attended Sunnydale High, where she was a member of Cordelia Chase's popular clique, the "Cordettes." When Cordelia began dating Xander Harris, Harmony shunned her from their clique and usurped her position as leader of the group. After Cordelia and Xander's breakup, Harmony cruelly tricked Cordelia into thinking that she has been re-admitted into the clique, only to humiliate and reject her. After a vengeance demon granted Cordelia's wish that Buffy had never arrived in Sunnydale, Harmony appears in the alternate, hellish reality as a more subdued version of herself, again a follower of Cordelia's "Cordettes."
SpikeIn the final showdown with Mayor Wilkins during his Ascension in the episode "Graduation Day," Harmony is sired by one of Wilkin's vampire minions. She reappears in the episode "The Harsh Light of Day" as a vampire, having retained her characteristic pettiness, susceptibility to stronger-willed people, and an affection for unicorn figurines (which, in Angel's fifth season, is undiminished). Harmony begins a sexual relationship with Spike, whom she calls her "blondie bear." Neither Spike nor Harmony are satisfied with their relationship; Spike is frustrated by Harmony's ignorance and clinginess while she is exasperated with his endless broken promises and repeated attempts to kill Buffy. They separate, although she agrees to rekindle their relationship after Spike escapes from the Initiative. Harmony quickly regrets this decision after recognizing Spike's renewed campaign against the Slayer, and even chases him out of her lair with a stake when he desperately seeks her help in the episode "Pangs". Harmony thinks of herself as a major villain and is angered when people don't take her seriously, especially since the Scooby Gang sees her as more of a nuisance than a real threat.
Spike's ambition to kill the Slayer apparently rubs off. After separating from Spike, Harmony wants to be an independent, strong vampire who can get by on her own; accordingly, in the episode "Real Me," she gathers her own gang and makes her own attempt to kill Buffy, which ends in an embarrassing defeat, especially when both Buffy and Xander consider the very thought of Harmony having minions to be amusing. Her minions destroyed, Harmony returns to Spike for protection until it becomes clear that Spike's infatuation with Buffy has become an obsession (cf. "Crush").
- “Thought this was a good time to finally check out the LA nightlife.”
Having departed Sunnydale, Harmony is next seen in the Buffy spin-off Angel, in the episode "Disharmony." She visits her old friend Cordelia in Los Angeles, not telling Cordelia that she has become a vampire. Harmony tries to connect with Cordelia, but has difficulty controlling her demon side. She enters Cordelia's bedroom at night, driven by bloodlust, but apologizes for her actions and intentions when Cordelia wakes up. Cordelia misunderstands her explanation, believing her to be a lesbian until the matter is cleared up by Willow via a phone call. Despite this, Cordelia insists on giving Harmony a chance, despite the rest of the team growing increasingly frustrated with such habits as her popping gum or tearing pages out of books. She accompanies the Angel Investigations team on a mission to investigate a new vampire cult, but soon betrays them to their enemies. Cordelia nearly kills Harmony, but, out of some respect for the friendship they once shared, allows her to leave.
Wolfram & Hart
Several years later, Harmony tries to make a life for herself in L.A. She gains employment at the L.A. branch of Wolfram & Hart, as a member of the secretarial pool. Harmony joins in part due to the building's windows being outfitted with necro-tempered glass (which prevents vampires from being killed by sunlight), as well as the firm's non-judgmental workplace culture and dental plan. A few weeks into her employment with the firm, Wesley Wyndam-Pryce hires her out of the blue to be Angel's new personal secretary, after Angel and his staff are given control of that branch of Wolfram & Hart; Wesley apparently thought that a familiar face would be good for Angel. Angel reluctantly agrees, on the strict condition that Harmony refrains from drinking human blood (she notes at that time that she has already been off human blood for several months).
Harmony is reunited with Spike when he returns, first as a ghost and then in corporeal form. She tries to connect with him, and initially hopes to renew their relationship now that he has a soul. Spike shows no interest for Harmony until he regains his corporeal form and proceeds to seduce her into a brief, disastrous fling, after which neither of them puts any effort into rekindling their tumultuous relationship.
At this point in her un-life, Harmony feels isolated and alone. She knows that she is incompetent as an evil vampire, but her struggle to lead a more normal life is hindered because she lacks a soul. Angel often treats her with distrust and barely-masked hostility, and her input, ideas, and presence are generally ignored by his team. Harmony also experiences an inability to connect with her co-workers, who resent her quick rise to the position of the CEO's secretary. In the episode "Harm's Way," she is framed for murder by Tamika, another vampire secretary who wants her job, the vampire also substituting her otter blood for human blood to make it appear as though Harmony drank from the victim. She clears her name and ironically saves a demon summit by staking her scheming rival on a conference table with a pair of chopsticks. Despite her incompetence, Harmony manages to prove a "sort of" asset to the team, "torturing" Eve to get information- although the "torture" just consisted of her hitting Eve in the face a few times, arguing that she was willing to do it given her 'evil' status-, helping Wesley search for information about Knox's plans- even consoling him after Fred's death by pointing out that the girl of his dreams loving him back was more than most people got-, and aiding Lorne in protecting Eve from her replacement as their liason to the Senior Partners. She strikes up a brief friendship with Fred Burkle, though her relationship with Illyria, the demon who later inhabits Fred's body, is quite frosty.
Harmony becomes a member of the regular cast starting with the episode "Underneath", although her appearances remained brief. In the series finale, "Not Fade Away," she betrays Angel, revealing his plans to go after Archduke Sebassis to Marcus Hamilton, the Senior Partners' new liaison, with whom she has a sexual relationship. Angel, however, always expected her to betray him at some point, so he had only confided information that he wanted her to reveal. After her betrayal (which Angel blames on her lack of a soul and she blames on his lack of confidence in her), he fires her, but not before providing her with a letter of recommendation (which he had already written and signed, in anticipation of her disloyalty). As Angel and Hamilton prepare to fight each other, she runs off with the letter, wishing them both luck: "May the best man win!"
Harmony caused vampires to be exposed to the world at large when she bit comedian Andy Dick in an alley and was photographed in vampire face by a paparazzo. Afterward, she became the star of a reality show "Harmony Bites". She also caused a major public perception problem to Slayers after one of them, a new, lone Slayer called Soledad tried to dust Harmony during a party. Harmony killed the Slayer, but used the media attention to drive the public against Slayers and becoming a spokeswoman of sorts for vampire rights. She appeared on Anderson Cooper 360 later on and declared Slayers a threat to society. Keith Olbermann was later mentioned to have given Harmony his support. Harmony began a new pro-vampire, anti-Slayer world order which is plaguing the Slayer Organization. On a later appearance on The Stephen Colbert Show, Harmony seems to give away her motive, bringing about the end of magic, seemingly in line with Twilight's master plan. While on the show, she also candidly declares that she's evil and suggests she might kill Barbara Walters and take her place on The View. Colbert points out the implausibility of her being a vampire who wants to bring about the end of magic.
Although Harmony's reality show was cancelled, the vampire fad continued. Harmony later became a contestant on this season's Dancing with the Stars.
Personality and traits
- Cordelia: “You know what you are, Harmony? You're a sheep.”
- Harmony: “I'm not a sheep.”
- Cordelia: “You're a sheep. Sweaters are made from your woolly coat. All you ever do is what everyone else does, so you can say you did it first.”
- — Cordelia and Harmony[src]
Beyond her shallow yet perky personality, Harmony's defining characteristic, from her high school years up to her employment at Wolfram & Hart, is that she always tried to associate herself with what she perceived to be the most powerful and/or popular (Cordelia, Spike, Angel Investigations, Doug Sanders, Wolfram & Hart) in order to ensure her own social status and, later on, survival. She also delusionally believes herself to be a great villain, and constantly irritated when the Scoobies don't take her seriously, especially when both Buffy and Xander are greatly amused by the very thought of her having henchmen.
Another one of Harmony's strengths, related to her lust for power, is her knack for survival. She is never perceived as a major threat, just little more of a nuisance than anything else.
Behind the Scenes
- She was portrayed by Mercedes McNab.
- Harmony Kendall first appeared in the unaired Buffy pilot as a member of Cordelia Chase's clique, the "Cordettes".
- The character Harmony holds the record for the longest a character has been in the televised Buffy universe, being the only character to appear in both the Buffy unaired pilot and the Angel series finale. Counting only aired episodes, she is second to Angel as the longest-serving character (Angel first appears in the first Buffy episode and she in the second, both appear in the Angel finale).
- She also holds the record for longest 'wait' to become series regular, what with her only finally becoming a regular right towards the end of the final season of Angel. She is also the only character to go from being a co-star (credited only at the end of an episode), through to guest-star and then ultimately star.
- Harmony has appeared more often as a vampire than as a human.
- She is one of the three Buffyverse characters, other than Buffy & Angel, to have two episodes named after her, "Disharmony" and "Harm's Way". In Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight she also has an issue named after her, Harmonic Divergence and two supplemental e-comics, Harmony Bites and Harmony Comes to the Nation.