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It is not for thee. It is for her alone to wield.
―Glyphs engraved upon the wall of Gilroy mission.

, often symbolically referred to as the Scythe, was an ancient weapon designed for the Slayer,[1] embodying their mystical essence.[2] Although the Slayer of any time had rights over it, Sineya,[1] Buffy Summers,[2] and Melaka Fray[3] had been the only known owners of the weapon.



A weapon. A scythe. Forged in secrecy for one like you…
―The Last Guardian[src]

The scythe embedded in solid rock.

In the Primordium Age, a group of powerful mystic women, who called themselves the Guardians, secretly forged the Scythe for the First Slayer, Sineya, to kill the last of the Old Ones that walked upon the Earth. The weapon was kept hidden from the Shadowmen, as well as from their later formation into the Watchers Council. The Guardians magically embedded the Scythe in a rock, for, when the time came and it was needed again, the Slayer would find and use it.[1]

The Scythe was named "mʔ." According to Giles, while the "ʔ" was the international phonetics alphabet symbol for the glottal stop, it also represented a hieroglyph thought to symbolize a sickle or a scythe, which in turn were symbols of death. The picture was present in carvings in Egypt, throughout the ancient world, and in pagan temples, such as the Guardian's tomb.[1]

21st century[]

It's old… It's strong and it feels like… Like it's mine.
―Faith Lehane[src]


In 2003, while the Scooby Gang was researching ways to defeat the threat of the First Evil, they discovered its servant Caleb had visited a mission in Gilroy. Spike went there to investigate, and a monk showed him an inscription carved in the stone of a secret room, words that had angered Caleb once he read them. Written in Latin, they translated to: "It is not for thee. It is for her alone to wield."[4] At the time, the Slayer Buffy Summers reasoned that Caleb was protecting something crucial at the Shadow Valley Vineyards, his base of operations. She found the Scythe and pulled it with ease out of the rock Caleb had been attempting to excavate.[5]

Researching the weapon online, Willow found on the website History of the Axe the name "mʔ" — in lowercase. Giles identified "ʔ" as a symbol for scythes in ancient Egypt, which in turn was a common symbol of death, which directed Buffy to a pagan tomb in Sunnydale. There, she found the Last Guardian, who told her about the history of the Scythe until Caleb killed the woman.[1] With this weapon in her hands, Buffy finally managed to defeat Caleb — killing him even after he merged with the First Evil and had received its empowerment.[2]


Willow uses the scythe to activate slayers all around the world.

Later, the witch Willow used the power of the Scythe to perform a spell that activated multiple Potential Slayers around the world into full-fledged Slayers. Buffy and the Slayers then shared the Scythe among them to defeat the numerous Turok-Hans in the battle at the Hellmouth.[2]

Several months later, Buffy kept possession of the Scythe, hanged on the wall of the armory room in the Slayer Organization command center in Scotland.[6] She used it to rescue her friend Willow from the U.S. military, injuring many soldiers in the process.[7]

One night, the vampire Toru stole the Scythe[6] to use it to undo the activation of all Slayers.[8][9] Kumiko Ishihara successfully tested the Scythe's power against the Slayer Aiko,[8] and Toru used the weapon to kill Renee.[9] The Slayer Organization retrieved the Scythe in a confrontation with Toru's pack in Tokyo.[10]

Soon later, Buffy crossed into the possible future of Haddyn while wielding the Scythe,[11] successfully returning with it.[12]


During the Twilight crisis, Faith used the Scythe to fight the hordes of Placenturian creatures invading the Earth.[13] Giles asked the weapon from her to give it to Buffy, who was fighting Twilight-possessed Angel near the Seed of Wonder, which made the Scythe glow in proximity. Twilight killed Giles, and Buffy used the Scythe to break the Seed, which expelled Twilight, the Placenturians, and the source of magic on Earth. The impact broke the Scythe in turn.[14]


Buffy with the destroyed Scythe.

After moving to San Francisco, Buffy kept the ruined Scythe in a chest below her bed. However, Willow soon took the Scythe, which Sineya had signaled into a dream to be the key to restoring magic.[15] Using its residual magic as a "battery," Willow carved various sigils on Connor with the Scythe, performing a ritual that allowed her to access Quor'toth.[16]

After succeeding in restoring her magic, Willow allowed Angel to absorb the fragments of Giles' soul that still latched onto the Scythe — due to Giles holding it during his death — so that he could continue his quest to resurrect him via a Tooth of Ammut.[17]


In Willow's journey, the Scythe was restored by the witch Vulcana, who referred to it as a counterpart of Excalibur. With the Scythe at full power, Willow was able to cut rifts between any two worlds with magic.[18] Upon returning to the Earth dimension, Willow gave the Scythe back to Buffy.[19]

Buffy equipped herself with the Scythe when she went to the Deeper Well in her mission to restore magic.[20] In her fight against Simone Doffler, the newly slaypire outmatched Buffy and impaled her through the shoulder with the Scythe.[21] Despite her wounds and Simone's superior abilities, Buffy eventually gained the upper hand and used the Scythe to stake her, declaring her regret that she ever used the Scythe to make Simone a Slayer in the first place.[22]

Buffy then had the opportunity to use the weapon in less apocalyptic circumstances, such as destroying flesh golems in a cemetery[23] and wrestling a vampire for VampCon.[24] She constantly carried the Scythe for various missions and patrols;[25][26][27] otherwise, she kept it hung on her bedroom's wall.[28]

In Oakland, the Sculptor proposed Andrew rob the weapon from Buffy in exchange for a body for the then holographic Jonathan. At the time of the exchange, Andrew had made his choice and arrived with the Scooby Gang, who attacked the Sculptor and successfully killed the demon lord.[29]


The Scythe became Buffy's most common weapon of choice.

Under the Supernatural Crisis Act, Buffy was taken to the Safe Zone in solidarity with the vampire Spike and the witch Willow. She was allowed to maintain her Scythe with her under the second amendment,[30] and she used it during her patrols as a trustee peacekeeper.[31][32] In an investigation on the Pandora Project, the Scooby Gang infiltrated the Safe Zone headquarters, but, having given up her powers for her freedom, Buffy lent the Scythe to Faith.[33] Buffy received the weapon back as soon as she recuperated her powers.[34]

Buffy used the Scythe to fight the Pandora Project's leader, Joanna Wise, who had turned herself into a magic-infused cyborg — and much stronger than Buffy. To protect all supernatural beings from Wise's destructive plans, Buffy performed with Willow a Slayer power spell, reversing the activation of the Potential Slayers they had done years later. Willow explained that Buffy had shared her power with the Potentials, which had grown in each of them. Using the Scythe, Willow put the power of thousands of Slayers back into Buffy, giving her abilities that included cut magic with the Scythe's blade.[35] After defeating Wise and eventually healing herself, Buffy and Willow used the Scythe to return the power to the other Slayers.[36]

One year later, to defeat an army of demons during the Reckoning, Willow and Buffy began to use the Scythe to combine the power of all the Slayers into Buffy once again. However, Harth Fray interrupted the spell by interlocking the Scythe with an original Shadowmen's staff, channeling the power into himself.[37] The Slayer connection, though, was too much for the vampire to handle, and Buffy used this moment of vulnerability to stake him with the Scythe. Harth's death allowed the power to flow from him back to its owners, and this new Reckoning changed the future into the collective Slayer line continuing up to the 23rd century.[38]

23rd century[]

That Scythe is my only connection to the whole Slayer heritage thing. And it kills great.
―Melaka Fray[src]

In the 23rd century of the original timeline, the demon Urkonn of the D'Avvrus gave the Scythe to Melaka Fray, the Slayer of that time.[3] She used it to defeat dozens of vampires led by her brother Harth, as well as the Old One Neauth.[39] She eventually found an abandoned apartment full of past Watchers Diaries and a mosaic illustrating the Scythe on its floor.[40]

Sometime later, Fray and a time-displaced Buffy dueled with their respective Scythes.[11] In their final fight, Buffy destroyed Fray's Scythe with a backhanded punch.[12]

Appearance and qualities[]


Melaka first wields the Scythe.

Despite its name, the Scythe actually resembled a Lochaber ax with a shiny red blade and (initially) a silver border. A metal shaft held the head with nails stamped throughout it, and, connected via an assembly of metal spikes, a brown haft with a simple wooden stake in its other extremity.[1] Since it was restored, the blade was changed to be completely red,[18] and this aspect was preserved as well in the 23rd century.[40][3] For some reason, this differentiation didn't happen during Buffy's time travel, when both Buffy's and Fray's Scythes had their original colors.[11]

Its stake seemed stronger than common wood, as it could be jammed against a stone wall without any visible damage to it afterward.[1] Buffy could easily use it to stake several Turok-Hans[1][2] despite their harder sternums,[4] as well as use its blade to shield herself from D'Hoffryn's energy blasts.[41] The blade was also capable of simply rebounding the rays from a ray gun.[42]

Some demon carapaces exhibited resistance to the Scythe's blade, such as the Morituri demon[43] and Vermis mysteriis.[44] D'Hoffryn, while having the Vampyr book and its magic rules under his control, was resistant to the Scythe's attack,[41] but he was hurt and eventually decapitated with it under normal circumstances.[45] The Scythe was capable of breaking the Seed of Wonder, although being destroyed in return.[14] Notably, Buffy herself was capable of destroying Fray's future counterpart Scythe with a single punch.[12]

Scythe Portals

Willow slashing open portals with the Scythe.

Willow displayed the capacity of the Scythe to be used in magic. She used its power to activate thousands of Potential Slayers,[2] retrieve,[35] and eventually give the power back to the Slayers.[36] The weapon itself also contained magic even after the end of magic, which allowed the witch to use the Scythe's power to tear open a rift in reality to gain access to Quor'toth.[16] The Scythe could also be used to tear open dimensional portals[18] and cast powerful spells, such as streams of magic power that could match the strength of an Old One.[46]


The following Slayers have wielded the Scythe:


Behind the scenes[]

  • The Scythe appeared as a cameo among objects displayed in the episode "Skin Deep" (2012) from Once Upon a Time television series, which was also written by Buffy writer Jane Espenson.
  • The Scythe was featured as an accessory in three Buffy the Vampire Slayer action figures, five Deluxe action figures, a Tooned Up maquette, and an exclusive Sideshow Collectibles statue.
  • There is only one known metal "Hero" Scythe that was used on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but multiple copies were made of it using plastic and rubber for stunt purposes. Joss Whedon has claimed in many interviews that he kept the "Hero" metal Scythe.[citation needed]
  • The original prop was fabricated by Tony Swatton who then sold the rights to it to a company named Factory X. Unfortunately, Factory X follows a little known copyright clause which states that any "replica" they create must be 10% smaller than the original prop. Factory X, which no longer produces the scythe, followed a business model of sending a model of the scythe to China where it was mass produced using the cheapest known materials. The Factory X "Slayer Scythe" was made using Zinc for the main blade, untempered steel for the main handle, cheap pine for the stake and a plastic vinyl wrap for the handle that has a printed pattern on it of Ostrich Leather. Finally, because of the contractual copyright clause, the Factory X "Slayer Scythe" is roughly 3 to 4 inches shorter than the screen used prop (even though it states on every box "The Slayer's Scythe was made using Joss Whedon's personal souvenir prop scythe as reference.").[citation needed]





  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 "End of Days"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 "Chosen"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Alarums
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Empty Places"
  5. "Touched"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Wolves at the Gate, Part One
  7. The Long Way Home, Part Four
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Wolves at the Gate, Part Two
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Wolves at the Gate, Part Three
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Wolves at the Gate, Part Four
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Time of Your Life, Part One
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Time of Your Life, Part Four
  13. 13.0 13.1 Last Gleaming, Part Three
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 Last Gleaming, Part Four
  15. 15.0 15.1 Slayer, Interrupted
  16. 16.0 16.1 Family Reunion, Part One
  17. Family Reunion, Part Four
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Wonderland, Part Three
  19. The Watcher
  20. The Core, Part One
  21. The Core, Part Four
  22. The Core, Part Five
  23. Love Dares You, Part One
  24. In Pieces on the Ground, Part One
  25. New Rules, Part Five
  26. I Wish, Part One
  27. Return to Sunnydale, Part One
  28. Triggers
  29. In Pieces on the Ground, Part Three
  30. A House Divided
  31. Desperate Measures
  32. Back to the Wall
  33. 33.0 33.1 Ordinary People
  34. 34.0 34.1 The Great Escape
  35. 35.0 35.1 Revelations
  36. 36.0 36.1 One Girl in All the World
  37. The Reckoning
  38. Finale
  39. All Hell
  40. 40.0 40.1 Tales
  41. 41.0 41.1 Own It, Part Four
  42. The Gateway
  43. Old Demons, Part One
  44. The Spread of Their Evil
  45. Own It, Part Five
  46. Family Reunion, Part Three
  47. The Core, Part Four
  48. The Core, Part Five
  49. Disempowered
  50. "Family Reunion"
  51. Willow: Wonderland
  52. Welcome to the Team, Part Four
  53. Relationship Status: Complicated, Part Two