Buffyverse Wiki
Buffyverse Wiki

In the beginning, before the time of man, great beings walked the Earth. Untold power emanated from all quarters — the seeds of what would come to be known as good and evil. But the shadows stretched and became darkness, and the malevolent among us grew stronger. The Earth became a demon realm. Those of us who had the will to resist left this place, but we remained ever-watchful.

The Powers That Be (or PTB) referred to the first beings to exist in the Earth after the schism that created them and the Old Ones. After leaving this dimension, these higher beings watched over humankind and guided the forces of good.[1]


The Powers That Be were beings with extreme power. Jasmine, a fallen PTB, claimed she had been "forged in the inferno of creation." She demonstrated having incredible powers even after having lost a portion of them for stepping down as a Power That Be.[2] Despite their might, the Powers were forced to leave Earth and watch from afar instead, due to the growing power of the Old Ones.[1]

Having left Earth, the Powers had the tendency to recruit significant people in the grand design to be their champion. For example, in 1996, the agent of the Powers That Be Whistler to set the ensouled vampire Angel on the path of active redemption.[3] Later on, the Powers gave the gift of visions to the half-demon Doyle, who was sent to be Angel's guide in helping the helpless.[4]

After defeating Jasmine, Angel and his team seemingly gave up on the Powers and their wishes until Cordelia woke from her coma due to a powerful vision from the PTB. Cordelia claimed that the Powers "owed her one."[5] Angel stated that after Cordelia's goodbye kiss, he received one final vision from the Powers concerning the Circle of the Black Thorn, the leading enforcers of the Senior Partners' will on Earth. The vision gave Angel the information he needed to take the organization down.[6]

After her death, Cordelia became a higher being in the service of the Powers. However, she did not have the power to go up against the Senior Partners or to physically help Angel during the Fall of Los Angeles.[7]

With to the destruction of the Seed of Wonder and the consequential end of magic, Whistler was unable to make contact with the Powers.[8]

Known powers[]

Opinions about the Powers[]

The Powers that Be were also referred to by Fred as "The Powers that Screw You"[9] and by Gunn as "The Powers that Sit on Their Behinds,"[10] due to their apparent inaction during many times of crisis that Angel Investigations faced.

Angel and Jasmine also complained about their lack of interest in important events. Doyle, Cordelia, Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, and Lorne appeared much more concerned with doing their will.[citation needed]

Powers and abilities[]

  • Extreme Power: The Powers That Be were an extremely powerful group that were forged in the "inferno of creation." They were said to be the counterparts of the Old Ones and possess similarly extreme levels of power. Even Jasmine, a rogue member of their race who had lost much of her power, was still able to easily match Willow Rosenberg, one of the powerful witches on Earth.
  • Immortality: The Powers That Be were eternal entities.[citation needed]
  • Evolution Inducement: The High Priest zealot stated that his race's evolutionary process was altered in some manner or form by Jasmine, a member of the Powers-That-Be.[2]


Though Angel never made contact with the Powers themselves, he did communicate with them in a number of ways.

  • Visions: The visions were first given to Doyle, then passed to Cordelia, and finally made their way to Angel. The visions tended to have double meanings, with a micro-purpose and macro-purpose to each vision. For instance, a vision told Doyle: "we have a common enemy"; on a micro scale, the Powers meant the Scourge; on the macro scale, they meant the Senior Partners or evil itself. While helping people, the visions tended to make Angel meet the right people who were useful to plans and prophecies later.[citation needed]
  • The Oracles: Angel visited the Oracles on four occasions: to find if he really was human, to turn back time after becoming human,[11] after the death of Doyle,[12] and finally after Vocah murdered them. The Oracles, a pair of Greek-deity-like entities, one male and one female, gave Angel prophecy-like advice. After they were murdered, the female Oracle manifested in spiritual form to speak to Angel one last time.[13]
  • Trials: Through the Trials, Angel asked the Powers to give Darla a second chance.[14] Angel later referred to the Trials when talking about the Powers' inaction.[1]
  • Conduit: After learning the deadly effects of the visions on Cordelia, Angel sought to communicate with the Powers That Be, which he accomplished via the Conduit. He entered an empty cave with a bonfire in the middle and spoke with an entity which appeared to be the disembodied voices of a man and a woman speaking almost in synchronicity.[15]
  • Projections: The Powers sent a vision of Darla to Connor to convince him not to kill an innocent girl; he did not listen and Jasmine was born.[16] The Powers granted Cordelia a favor before dying and sent a corporeal astral projection of Cordelia to Angel, where she helped reorient him and passed the visions to him.[5] Later, when Angel was fatally injured, Cordelia appeared to him to help ease his transition into death,[17] but she ultimately urged him to go back to his son.[18]