This article is about the Watcher. For other uses, see Giles.


You have a father's love for the child. That is useless to the cause.
Quentin Travers[src]

Rupert Edmund Giles was the Watcher and father figure of Slayer Buffy Summers, the former librarian of Sunnydale High School, and the occult expert of the Scooby Gang. Born into a family who worked for the Watchers Council for at least three generations,[6] Giles initially rebelled against his family legacy and became a rogue warlock, until the death of a close friend led him to return to the Council's fold.[7] As the Watcher of Buffy Summers, Giles developed a father-like bond with his charge, not only training her but also fighting by her side and openly defying the Council in order to save Buffy's life, which ultimately led to his dismissal from the Council.[8]

Fired from the Council, Giles struggled to find his way among the Scoobies,[9][10] until he became the owner of the Magic Box[11] shop and eventually reinstated in his position as Watcher.[12] He left Sunnydale in 2001 when he came to the realization that he had to leave Buffy so she would embrace the responsibilities of adulthood.[13] He returned to Sunnydale the next year to stop Willow Rosenberg from destroying the world, nearly losing his life in the process.[14] After she was stopped, Giles took her to England to aid her in her rehabilitation and coming to terms with her power.[15]

When the First Evil began its campaign and had the Watchers Council destroyed, Giles gathered a group of Potential Slayers and returned to Sunnydale to prepare for the coming battle.[16] However, he came into conflict with Buffy regarding the vampire Spike, whom Giles considered a potential threat.[17] When Buffy's leadership was questioned by her friends and allies, Giles sided against Buffy[18] but reconciled with her when Buffy devised a plan that would allow the Scoobies to defeat the First.[19]

After the power of the Slayer was activated in multiple Potential Slayers throughout the world,[19] Giles helped Buffy create the Slayer Organization,[20] but he kept Buffy at a distance while he secretly investigated her role in the Twilight prophecy. After he sent Faith Lehane in a mission to eliminate a rogue Slayer, Giles joined Faith in her plan to seek troubled new Slayers to help them come to terms with their powers and prevent them from falling into the path Faith had fallen to in the past.[21] Giles participated in the battle to defend Earth from Twilight, but he was ultimately murdered by Angel, who was possessed by the sentience of a newly created universe.[2]

Angel and Faith worked the next year to resurrect Giles despite it being a near-impossible task during the end of magic. Angel figured out a way through the Tooth of Ammuk, a magical artifact that would gather pieces of his soul through magical artifacts.[22] Giles' soul was snatched away for eternal torment by Eyghon the Sleepwalker and briefly inhabited in Angel's own body.[23] After finding a proper incantation, Giles' was successfully brought back to life; however, the spell had backfired through his aunts' involvement in the ritual, and Giles was forced to deal with the stressful return to his twelve-year-old body, but with his memories, intellect, and experience still intact. Feeling purposeless and disconnected, Giles nevertheless chose to aide Angel and Faith from stopping Whistler's release of deadly magical all over the world.[3] After the battle was won, Giles chose to part from London, seeing that the place he was at his best was with Buffy.[24]

Biography

Early life

I was ten years old when my father told me I was destined to be a Watcher. He was one, and his, uh, mother before him, and I was to be next. […] I had very definite plans about my future. I was going to be a fighter pilot. Or possibly a grocer. Well, uh… My father gave me a very tiresome speech about, uh, responsibility and sacrifice.
―Rupert Giles[src]

Rupert was born in 1954 in London, England.[citation needed] His family had worked within the Watchers Council for at least three generations; both his father and grandmother, Edna Giles, were also Watchers,[6] though his great-aunts Lavinia and Sophronia Fairweather, instead used their magical prowess to remain forever young and pursue carefree lives as hedonists.[25]

Rupert as a child.

Although as a child Giles dreamed of being either "a fighter pilot or perhaps a green-grocer," being a Watcher was a calling, much as being a Slayer was, and Rupert's father explained his destiny to him when he was ten years old.[6] Any chance of Rupert having a normal life ended when, as a child, he used the Shard of Stronnos to turn a light demon that was attacking his aunts into a solid form that they could kill, his use of such powerful magic at such a young age confirming his potential, prompting his father to send him immediately to the Watchers Academy where his aunts would have preferred him to have more time as a child before taking on such a responsibility.[25]

Giles witnesses the slaughter of his classmates.

In 1972, as part of his Watcher training, Rupert, along with four other Watchers-in-training, was dispatched to the Highgate Cemetery to deal with the mysterious Highgate Vampire. As it turned out, the Council had sent them out to deal with the threat on faulty intelligence, and the "vampire" turned out to be a Lorophage demon, a powerful and deadly insectoid demon that fed on the traumatic memories and experiences, driving the victim insane and killing them in the process. The Lorophage killed the other four Watchers-in-training and began to feed on Rupert, but two elder Watchers, one of them being Rupert's own father, arrived and fought the Lorophage off before it could complete the process. Giles lost his innocence that day and his already-tense relationship with his father only worsened. Because of the incident with the Lorophage, Giles chose to turn his back on his destiny and follow his own path.[26]

Ripper

Giles at sixteen? Less 'Together Guy', more 'Bad-Magic-Hates-the-World-Ticking-Time-Bomb Guy'.
―Buffy Summers[src]

A photograph of Giles in his 20s.

In 1975, Rupert was a rebellious youth, rejecting his responsibility as a Watcher and dropping out of his attempt at a history degree at Oxford University when he was twenty-one. He delved into dark magics and befriended a group of young people who delved into the dark arts for fun or money: Ethan Rayne, Philip Henry, Diedre Page, Thomas Sutcliffe, and Randall. Rupert gained the nickname "Ripper" during this time. Together, they summoned the demon Eyghon and continued to explore dark magics.[7] During this time, Ripper employed tales of demons and dark magics and also claimed to be a founding member of Pink Floyd in order to impress girls,[27] although he later admitted this was untrue. He delved into minor criminal activity, primarily stealing cars, but most likely for joyriding.[28]

Following the death of Randall, Ethan and the others failed to exorcise Eyghon, Rupert halted his dark magic dabbling and turned to his own punk band Wretched. He ran into Edna after many years, who expressed to him her worry for Giles and encouraged him to become a watcher. Giles rejected it at first, showing her his Mark of Eyghon and how unworthy he felt over mentoring a Slayer.[29] Edna was angry and remarked his mistakes in his youth made him perfect to be a watcher so he could have insight over them not making the same decisions. He showed his guilt over the deaths of his friends because of his recklessness, causing his grandmother to say he could accept his destiny to redeem himself.[23] Rupert accepted his destiny of becoming a Watcher in 1980.[30]

Watcher to Buffy Summers

You were a young fool who felt immortal, did remarkably ill-advised things, and it cost people their lives, eh? You bloody idiot. This doesn't disqualify you from being a watcher. It makes you perfectly suited to mentor a Slayer. They're young girls granted tremendous power. Who can relate to them better? A man like your father, who's done the right and proper thing his entire life? Or you?
―Edna to Giles[src]

Giles meets his Slayer, Buffy Summers.

At the behest of the Watchers Council, Giles traveled to Sunnydale, California, and took up the post of librarian at the local high school. There, he met the Slayer, Buffy Summers, whom he began to instruct and train.[30] The library, a sort of command center for Buffy and her friends who became known as the Scooby Gang, sat right above the Hellmouth.[31] He was a father figure to Buffy and an adviser to her friends Alexander Harris and Willow Rosenberg, who aided Buffy in her Slayer activities. He also developed a mutual attraction with the computer science teacher Jennifer Calendar.[32]

While researching the Master, Giles and Angel discovered a prophecy in the Pergamum Codex that stated that Buffy would face the Master and be killed by him. When Buffy learned of this, she decided to quit being the Slayer altogether; thus, Giles, realizing that he had spent too much time in his books, decided to fight the Master in her place. However, Buffy ultimately accepted her fate and knocked Giles out with a single punch when he attempted to intervene. Subsequently, a Hellmouth spawn emerged from the floor and attacked Giles, Willow, Cordelia Chase, and Jenny, but they were saved when Buffy killed the Master.[31]

When Buffy returned from Summer vacation, Giles' constant pressuring of her to hold to her Slayer duties led to her directly disobeying him and attending a party at the Delta Zeta Kappa fraternity, where she and Cordelia were nearly sacrificed to the demon Machida. After being scolded by Willow, Giles assisted in saving Buffy and decided to stop pushing Buffy so hard.[33]

When Ethan Rayne came to Sunnydale to flee the demon Ehygon, Giles shamefully admitted to Buffy that he was responsible for summoning the demon in his youth and was horrified when Jenny became possessed by Ehygon. Although Ehygon was defeated, Jenny took some time to cope with her ordeal, retaining distance from Giles in the process. Eventually, Jenny revealed she was actually a member of the Kalderash, sent to keep an eye on Buffy's relationship with the vampire, Angel, whom they cursed with a soul. Giles felt betrayal when he learned that Jenny knew that if Buffy gave Angel a moment of pure happiness, he would lose his soul. When Angel lost his soul and murdered Jenny, leaving her corpse for Giles to find in his apartment, Giles sought revenge by burning down Angel's lair and attempted to take the vampire on, only being saved when Buffy arrived, punching Giles out for doing so, telling him that he could not leave her alone.[34]

Later, Angel kidnapped and tortured Giles in order to get information on how to awaken the demon Acathla. As Giles refused to reveal anything, the vampire Drusilla hypnotized him into seeing her as Jenny, convincing him to tell what he knew. Buffy was forced to kill Angel and subsequently left Sunnydale an emotional wreck.[35]

Giles, reverted to his teenage persona, romances Joyce Summers.

Giles spent the summer desperately following up any clues of Buffy's whereabouts and was overjoyed when she finally returned months later.[36] Giles briefly served as Watcher for new Slayer Faith Lehane.[37] The Scoobies were given another disturbing glimpse in Giles' past when, along with every other adult in Sunnydale, he was reverted to his teenage self by enchanted candy supplied by Ethan Rayne. During this time, he indulged in theft and vandalism and had a romantic and sexual fling with Buffy's mother, Joyce Summers. Despite that, he aided Buffy in rescuing babies from the demon Lurconis, remembering a snippet of information his older self knew about the demon.[38]

When Buffy kept Angel's return from hell a secret from the other Scoobies, Giles felt betrayed by her affection for the man who tortured him and murdered Jenny, but later agreed to help Angel.[39]

As Buffy's Tento di Cruciamentum approached — a brutal tradition of the Watchers Council in which a de-powered Slayer was forced to battle a vampire —, Giles struggled to cope with the guilt of betraying Buffy's trust. Despite describing the test as "an archaic exercise in cruelty," he secretly injected Buffy with numerous adrenal suppressors and muscle relaxants, which weakened her significantly, before eventually coming clean when the vampire she was meant to fight, Zachary Kralik, escaped. Buffy was disgusted and heartbroken but was later moved when Giles interfered in her Cruciamentum to save her life, staking her foe's minion, Blair, after Buffy managed to best Kralik through a trick involving Holy Water. Because of this, and having a father's love for Buffy which Head Watcher Quentin Travers described as "useless to the cause," Giles was fired[8] and replaced with Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, but continued to act as Buffy's adviser, especially since Wesley turned out to be coward and incompetent.[40]

In a battle with the demonic Mayor of Sunnydale, Richard Wilkins, Giles pressed the trigger which destroyed him and Sunnydale High, putting himself out of a job.[41]

Unemployment

Giles in demon form.

As Giles learned to cope with being unemployed and the growing belief that Buffy no longer needed him, he resumed a sexual relationship with his old friend, Olivia Williams, who Anya Jenkins tactlessly labeled his "orgasm friend."[27]

Lacking a sense of purpose, he spent most of his time lounging around his apartment, watching Passions with the vampire Spike who had become a hostage.[11]

He began to suffer from depression, especially when the Scoobies failed to keep him in the loop regarding Buffy's new boyfriend Riley Finn and his affiliation to the Initiative. When Ethan Rayne cast a spell on Giles which turned him into a Fyarl demon, he enlisted Spike's help to escape the Initiative and Buffy, who believed him to be the demon who murdered Giles. However, Buffy later realized from his eyes and "annoyed" expression that he was, in fact, Giles, and Ethan was taken into custody by the Initiative.[4]

In order to defeat Adam, the bio-mechanical demonoid, the four Scoobies cast an enjoining spell to combine their strength. Giles provided the "mind," granting Buffy access to his superior knowledge, enabling Buffy to defeat Adam.[42]

Giles, no longer seeing his place in Sunnydale, decided to return to England, telling no one except Willow, whom he needed to organize the research documents for the Scoobies. However, after an encounter with the legendary Dracula, Buffy confessed to Giles that she still needed him, both emotionally and in order to find out more about what being the Slayer means and asked him to be her Watcher again. Clearly pleased by this turn of events, Giles decided that he still had a place in Sunnydale after all.[10]

Owner of the Magic Box

Giles becomes the owner of the Magic Box.

When the owner of the Magic Box was killed by vampires, Giles was convinced by the shop's high-profit margins to buy it,[11] hiring Anya as his overtly enthusiastic assistant. Buffy then discovered that her sister, Dawn Summers, was actually the Key: a mystical energy in human form in need of protection from the hell-goddess Glorificus.[43] Buffy initially confided only in Giles about Dawn's true nature and he suggested that he'd contact the Watchers Council for more information about Glory.[44] Quentin Travers threatening to have Giles deported if she did not comply with the Council's demands. Buffy stood up to the Council, informing them that they would release all information concerning Glory to them and would re-instate Giles as her official Watcher, to be paid retroactively from the month he was fired. Travers reluctantly agreed and revealed Glory's true nature as a god before leaving.[12]

As the Scoobies labored to find a way to defeat Glory, Giles brought up the difficult idea of killing Dawn to end her plans which involved using Dawn's blood to break down the barriers to other dimensions, causing an apocalypse. Giles admitted that he loved Dawn, but that sacrifices had to be made. Buffy refused to listen and vowed to protect Dawn at all costs, much to Giles' consternation. Glory shared her body with the human Ben Wilkinson and could be killed if Ben died. In the final battle against Glory, Buffy decided to spare Ben's life, but Giles was less merciful. Explaining that Buffy was a hero and therefore different from them, he suffocated Ben with his bare hands. Buffy then sacrificed her own life to save Dawn's, saving the world in the process.[45]

Return to England

Several months after Buffy's second death, Giles decided to return to England.[46] On the very day he left, Willow, Xander, Anya, and Tara resurrected Buffy, and he came back as soon as he heard of this. Despite being overjoyed to have Buffy back, Giles was furious at Willow for invoking such dark magic and angrily dismissed her as "a rank, arrogant amateur." While the other Scoobies believed Buffy had been in hell, Giles was unconvinced, which proved to be correct when the demon Sweet's musical spell forced her to reveal that she was indeed in Heaven.[47]

Back to life, Buffy began to over-rely on Giles for financial and emotional support; at one point, when Dawn had sneaked out to hang out with a teenager who was, in fact, a vampire, Buffy avoided to scold her herself leaving the job to Giles.[48] This eventually caused Giles to decide that his presence was preventing her to assume responsibility for her own life. He left again for his native England, moving to a place near Bath, where he worked with a powerful local coven.[14]

Willow draining the magics from Giles.

A few months later, Tara was killed by a stray bullet as Warren Mears attacked Buffy. Willow, still recovering from an addiction to dark magic, vengefully gave into the magics, killed Warren, and attempted to kill his former partners in crime, threatening the lives of her friends as well. Hearing about a dark power rising in Sunnydale, Giles teleported back, wielding great magical power borrowed from the Devon Coven. As "Dark Willow" boasted of her indestructibility, Giles knocked her to the floor with a blast of magic energy, stating: "I'd like to test that theory."[49]

Upon discovering all that had gone wrong in his absence, Giles apologized to Buffy, insisting that he never should have abandoned them, but Buffy reassured him that he did the right thing. Knowing that Willow was too strong, he tricked her into draining him of his magic, which brought him near death. Willow stealing his borrowed power allowed her to feel all of the pain of humanity, convincing her to end the world. However, Xander was able to reach the last spark of humanity in Willow that was brought out thanks to stealing Giles' power, by telling her that he loved her no matter what, causing Willow to break down and give up her attempt at causing the apocalypse.[14]

Giles draws pictures to show the Potentials what they're up against.

Giles returned to England with Willow to rehabilitate her.[15] A few months later, he began bringing Potential Slayers to Sunnydale to protect them from the First Evil and its Harbingers of Death, who were attempting to wipe out the Slayer line. Giles became one of the only Watchers left when the First's lieutenant, Caleb, blew up the Council's headquarters, though Giles was able to extract a few integral volumes of text and certain files beforehand.[16] The Watcher Robson, while injured, witnessed Giles about to be decapitated by a Bringer, before blacking out.[50]

When the Scoobies heard about this, they worried that Giles had been killed and that the First was impersonating him. They were relieved, however, when they managed to tackle him to the ground, proving he was corporeal and therefore not the First; it turns out that Giles heard the Bringer approaching and decapitated it before it could kill him.[51] Giles later lost Buffy's trust somewhat when he took part in a scheme with Robin Wood to kill Spike, who had recently regained his soul, though Giles believed the vampire was too dangerous to be kept alive. After the ordeal, Buffy told him, "I've think you've taught me everything I need to know."[17] Giles participated in the final battle at the Hellmouth, surviving it.[19]

Prophecies and conspiracies

Following Sunnydale's destruction, the Scooby Gang had expanded into a global organization, training approximately five hundred Slayers spread over ten squads.[52] Giles was one of the heads of the Slayer Organization and traveled the squads to instruct their Slayers, such as St. Petersburg[20] and Chicago.[53] In addition, with the Watchers Council's destroyed, the only known traditionally trained Watcher of the Organization was Giles, who recognized himself as the Council itself "for all intents and purposes."[21]

As a side note, he took Andrew Wells under his wing, training him to be a Watcher; Andrew claimed to be "faster, stronger and 82% more manly" as a result of Giles' mentoring, and was sent by him to retrieve the psychotic Slayer Dana from Los Angeles and to make sure that Angel and his teammates didn't keep her as they had recently taken over the evil law firm Wolfram & Hart and the Scoobies no longer trusted them.[54] Later, after Winifred Burkle was killed by the Old One, Illyria, Angel phoned Giles, desperate to get in contact with Willow, who could not be reached as she was in the Himalayas on an astral plane. After confirming that Angel still worked for Wolfram & Hart, Giles simply refused to help him, much to Angel's frustration.[55]

Giles and Faith team up.

About a year and a half after the destruction of Sunnydale, Giles came to Faith with a mission for her to assassinate another Slayer, Genevieve Savidge, who would bring around the apocalypse if left unchecked,[21] though her initial plan was to assassinate Buffy. After killing Gigi and her mentor Roden, they break away from the Slayer Organization and decide to work together as partners, keeping Slayers from turning down the dark path both Faith and Gigi walked. His secret partnership with Faith strained Buffy and Giles' relationship even more.[56]

Giles and Faith heard of a "Slayer Sanctuary" in a town called Hanselstadt from a young Slayer named Courtney. There, Giles encountered Duncan Fillworthe, a former Watcher, who claimed vampires did not dare to enter the town because they know the town contains an army of Slayers. Later, as Giles argued that a stalemate was not a solution to the vampire problem, Duncan revealed that the town was actually feeding to an ancient demon the Slayers who had been coming seeking sanctuary. The fear of the demon was what really kept the vampires from entering. Giles went to warn Faith as Duncan stated that this was the fate that Slayers deserve for rejecting the Watchers Council, especially Buffy, reminding Giles that Buffy's relationship with Angel resulted in Jenny Calendar's death. Giles found Faith already in combat with the demon, which fed on beings who feel regret and fear. While trying to free Courtney from the demon, Duncan intercepted Giles. During their skirmish, the demon devoured Duncan and Giles saved Courtney while Faith killed the demon. The stalemate ended, Giles and Faith rallied the reluctant townspeople against the coming vampires, telling them if they wanted to live, they would have to fight.[57]

After Harmony Kendall's reality show Harmony Bites established a new pro-vampire, anti-Slayer world order, Faith and Giles were in hiding in the Führerbunker. Once their underground hideout was compromised by demons, they retreated to Scotland to reunite with Buffy. Giles and Buffy are driven to reconcile by Twilight's attacks. The entire group was then transported to Tibet to learn how to suppress their magic to stop Twilight from tracking them.[58]

It was later revealed that Giles had been searching for something; one of the reasons he had been traveling around the world was to search for the Slayer who would be given enormous power and would create a new reality. Believing it to be a Watcher myth, Giles knew all along that Buffy was the Slayer in question, and had in fact been searching for the only weapon that could kill Buffy should she have reached this godhood.[59] As it was eventually attested, the Seed of Wonder, source of all magic on Earth, had weakening proprieties to those empowered by Twilight when in close proximity.[60]

Death and legacy

Giles dies at the hands of Angel.

When the battle was brought to Sunnydale, Giles attempted to bring the weapon to Buffy but Angel — possessed by Twilight — snapped his neck, killing him instantly. Buffy managed to destroy the Seed of Wonder, cutting magic off from this dimension in the process.[2]

In his will, Giles left all of his belongings, property, and savings to Faith so that she could retire and be free of the constant violence and danger that had plagued her life as well as have the resources to do what she felt needed to be done. To Buffy, he left her the Slayer Handbook tome he had shown her when the two had first met, a clear statement that he considered Buffy the one true Slayer.[61]

After Angel regained consciousness from his Twilight-induced catatonia, he and Faith took it upon themselves to complete Giles' unfinished business, such as defeating a demon that was possessing a child. In the past, Giles was only able to bind the demon using a spell that required him to sacrifice his memory of a valued day. When Angel drove the demon out, he learned that the memory was of the day that Giles fell in love with Jenny. Feeling guilty over his role in Giles' death, Angel expressed his desperate desire to try to bring Giles back to life, although he was willing to listen to Faith's objections to his plans to ensure that he wouldn't repeat his mistakes as Twilight and cross a line out of his desire to make up for his past mistakes.[62]

It was later revealed that Angel was using a Tooth of Ammuk, the Egyptian devourer of souls, to absorb fragments of Giles' soul from locations that had a particular meaning to Giles in the hope of essentially reconstructing his soul, such as the graveyard where Giles faced the Loorphage demon representing the beginning of his rebellious phase while the Shard of Stronnos — given to Angel by Giles' aunts — represents the last of Giles' childish innocence. As a result, Angel began taking on aspects of Giles' personality and mannerisms.[63]

When Angel attempted to acquire the last fragment of Giles' soul from his body — also planning to restore to Giles' body to vitality magically — he discovered that Giles's coffin was empty, with the lack of disturbance around the grave suggesting that it had been buried that way. Later, the slayer Nadira went to Guildford to consult an expert about resurrecting one of her fallen comrades; this man appeared to be Giles,[64] but it was later revealed to be a Giles possessed and reanimated by Eyghon, who used Giles to resurrect others to act as his agents after the Eyghon-possessed Ethan Rayne stole his body.[65]

Discovering this, Angel recruited Spike to his team to take on Eyghon. As the majority of Giles' soul then existed within Angel, it provided him added protection from Eyghon's increased ability to possess the dead. Recovering the last fragment of Giles' soul, Angel's body contained three entities: his own soul, Giles', and that of the demon within. He reverted to a near-catatonic state, speaking in a British accent and as if he were reliving events in Giles' youth.[23]

Later, Spike and Faith were successful in extracting Giles' soul from Angel using the Essuary, and Angel and Faith restored Giles' corpse to perfect condition using the Crown of Coils. Assembling Giles' aunts Lavinia and Sophronia Fairweather (de-powered witches), his friend Alasdair Coames (a de-powered warlock), and using Coames' collection of magical items as fuel for a spell, they attempted to reunite body and soul in a resurrection ritual. However, the ceremony was partly interrupted by an attack by Whistler, Pearl, and Nash, seeking Coames' remaining magical items, putting the success of the ritual to resurrect Giles in question.

Resurrection

Do you know I finally managed to figure out quite a bit? About myself, the world, my place in it. Now all that's gone. I find myself stumbling into an uncertain future, groping in the dark, surrounded by a world that makes no sense. […] I said I'd come back as the opposite of what you need. I should amend that statement. In sharing Angel's body, his mind, I have seen all you've been through since my passing. All you've done. And I know this. You may have wanted the old me back. But you don't need him anymore, Faith. None of you do.
―Rupert Giles[src]

Giles is resurrected as a child.

Against all odds and better judgment, Giles was successfully returned to the living. However, it quickly became clear that the spell was not without side effects. Instead of adult Giles, they were instead faced with the very same man trapped in his young twelve-year-old body. Giles reacted with horror and fury at this. Struggling to be comfortable in his new younger form, the former Watcher criticized Angel's obsession with bringing him back, then accused Lavinia and Sophronia of ruining his life once more when it became clear they were responsible for his resurrection as a child (they had both focused on ten-year-old Giles, the one whose life they had ruined instead of the adult one). Calming down and trying to reign in his abhorrence of the situation, he decided to help Angel and Faith against Whistler.[3]

Nevertheless, Giles was irrevocably depressed and directionless. He felt nothing but disconnection from the world he had returned to. Despite Faith's attempts to convince him he was needed, Giles disagreed, believing — based on what he had seen while his soul was trapped in Angel — that everyone around him had moved on with their lives during his death and that none of them, not even Faith or Buffy, really needed him as a guide or authority figure. After successfully pinpointing Whistler's location in London, Giles and the rest of the group had a moment of reflection. Giles was grateful for Angel's resurrection of him and freeing him from Eyghon's hold of torment, but admitted that if he was to die again in this battle, he would be able to accept his death peacefully. All of the others agreed that they also didn't mind sacrificing their lives against Whistler, Pearl, and Nash if it came down to it in the end.[66]

While Angel and Faith engaged in the heavy fighting, Giles had, for the most part, remained on the sidelines with his aunts and his old friend Alasdair Coames. Giles and Alasdair had agreed to form magic together as some form of spell against their enemies. When Nash prepared to release the magic plague ball throughout London, Giles had managed to conjure up a fireball to injure him. He successfully hit him in the back, causing Nash to drop the unstable ball of pure magic. Giles and the group attempted to stop it from landing but were ultimately too late as the citizens below began mutating into monsters as soon as the plague ball touched them.[67]

Faith and Angel still fighting, Giles and Alasdair manage to get the orb of pure magic while the others were too distracted fighting. Along with his aunts, who had decided to calm down the townspeople as they began shifting into monsters, Giles and Alasdair form a plan. They attempt to detonate the orb and absorb it given their history with magic, but it was dangerous since the consequence could be death or restoring Alasdair's magic and Giles' true age. Coming to terms with their decision, they are both stopped when Pearl and Nash realize their intentions. After Faith killed Nash and knelt over a severely injured Nadira with the intention of healing her through the magical orb, Giles consoled her and regretfully informed her it was unlikely for it to heal her. She sadly accepted this and tried to give it back to them, only for Whistler to take it and prepare to unleash the plague himself.[68]

After Angel managed to get through to Whistler and stop the magic plague from spreading globally, Giles briefly stayed to help tend to the mutated people of London. However, he felt no desire to be there permanently with his aunts, believing the place he was at his best was with Buffy and the others. Giles parted from Angel on friendly terms before traveling to San Francisco with Faith.[24]

San Francisco

Giles reunites with the Scoobies.

Giles reunited Buffy and the Scoobies midst fighting zompires in Santa Rosita and traveled with them to live in San Francisco. Being in a young body restored Giles' proficiency in casting powerful spells, which greatly helped the Scoobies in their battles.[69] However, Giles encountered some mood issues due to him going through early puberty again.[70]

Willow devised a spell to restore Giles to his true age, which would work by rapidly aging him. However, it would have to be removed within 48 hours or he'd die of old age and, once the spell was complete, his age couldn't be altered once more. Giles agreed to have the spell cast on him when he found out Olivia was free that morning and the two met up and had sex in his 20-year-old body[71] (Olivia originally rejected intimacy with him before due to his prepubescence).[72] He also contacted Lavinia and Sophronia regarding the spell, and the two of them were opposed to the idea of growing old.[71]

Giles' luck then started to change over the course of the day. Willow and Buffy declined Giles' fatherly wisdom, he couldn't play video games as well as he could as a child because his hand-eye coordination had diminished, and he lost the great magical power he possessed in his youth. After being attacked by a demon sent by enemies of the Slayer, Giles had Willow reverse the spell so that he maintained his magic to protect Olivia. With two hours left before the spell's reversal, a middle-aged Giles had a heart-to-heart talk with Buffy who he claimed was proud of how she turned out.[71]

After the death of the second Magic Council, Giles was made the vice-president under Buffy in the Council's new formation.[73]

Personality

I imagine you hate me right now. […] But I have sworn to protect this sorry world and sometimes that means saying and doing things that… other people can't. What they shouldn't have to.
―Giles to Buffy[src]

As the Watcher, librarian, and general authority/father figure, Giles frequently delivered exposition. Giles was often portrayed as somewhat of a "straight man" and his "stuffy" Oxford sensibility served as a counterpoint to the stereotypical Southern Californian characters and setting. According to Willow, he made a "weird cluck-cluck sound with his tongue" when he was angry but was "too English to say anything."[37] Giles was well-known for wearing tweed clothes, so much so that the Scoobies joked that even his diapers were made from the material.[7]

However, he wore non-tweed suits and even casual clothes more often after his retirement from the library. A good deal of humor came from Giles contradicting his established prim and proper image. Giles was also a talented singer and guitar player.[74] Giles was a fan of 60's rock band Cream,[38] The Who,[74] Lynyrd Skynyrd,[9] David Bowie,[75] The Velvet Underground,[76] and The Bay City Rollers.[7] He also enjoys celebrating Halloween, which Buffy was surprised to learn.[77] At times, he also proved to be arrogant and somewhat of a liar: when explaining how he survived being attacked by a Bringer in Robson's flat, he initially stated that it was the instinct that saved him, but later admitted that he simply heard the Bringer's shoes squeaking.[78]

He was not what one would call technology-savvy, and was even somewhat technophobic by his own admission, a fact which often brought him into conflict with technopagan and computer science teacher Jenny Calendar. However, after Jenny aided him in casting the demon Moloch the Corruptor out of the Internet, the pair reached an understanding and began a romantic relationship. Despite this, he never overcame his aversion to technology and was horrified to see that the new Sunnydale High School library had only computers.[17]

Giles had a tendency to take off his glasses and wipe them during situations. It was eventually figured out by Buffy that this was his way of avoiding having to see the activities of the other Scoobies when he did so as Xander and Anya passionately kissed after announcing their engagement.[48] At one point, Giles wiped his glasses so hard they broke when the Watchers Council came to Sunnydale.[12]

Very few people called Giles by his first name, Rupert, including the Scoobies. Willow called him "Rupert" while she was evil, and Spike did so often in disdain or just to be annoying. He was called by his nickname, Ripper, by Ethan Rayne and by Joyce Summers, when she and Giles were both under a spell that made them like teenagers.[38]

Although seen early on as purely present to be her adviser and trainer, Giles developed a very close almost father-daughter relationship with Buffy, who lacked a father figure because of her own father not being around for her since she was called. One thing that definitely separated Giles from most Watchers was his compassion; while most Watchers were ruthless and fanatically devoted to their mission to the extent that they were willing to sacrifice people and perform unethical deeds, Giles truly did care for Buffy and her friends, to the extent that he defied the rules of the Cruciamentum to save Buffy's life.[8] Giles had also shown a willingness to commit more questionable actions than the rest of the Scoobies could condone, such as secretly killing the human Ben in order to prevent Glory from returning.[45]

His personality also became darker over the years with insights into his past actions. He once reverted to his teenage personality of "Ripper," a violent criminal.[38] He was also shown to have meddled in dark magics which got a friend of his killed.[64] He was not above using violence to solve problems, such as coercing Principal Snyder to get Buffy readmitted to school[28] and hurting Ethan in order to know to revert a curse.[79]

Powers and abilities

Knowledge

He'll be alright. He's like 'Super Librarian'. Everyone forgets, Willow. Knowledge is the ultimate weapon.
―Xander describes Giles[src]

Giles had immense knowledge of demonology and Slayer combat (including at least a theoretical knowledge of Jujutsu and Aikido, but excelling at the art of fencing), mainly due to his training as a Watcher. While he had no true supernatural powers of his own, his extensive experience in dealing with vampires, demons, and other creatures made him capable of handling them effectively. His youthful interest in witchcraft and sorcery had endured into his adult life, granting him knowledge of a wide variety of spells, though his natural aptitude for it was only moderate (much less than that of Willow or Amy). Giles was proficient in several languages, including Latin, ancient Greek, Sumerian,[42] Japanese,[12] and possibly Gaelic,[80] but weak in German,[81] Mandarin, and Cantonese.[78]

Fighting skills

Giles had moderate skill in hand-to-hand combat, as well as various melee weapons. He also implied that he was a skilled marksman.[82] While his demeanor was typically mild and polite, Giles was not above using raw violence to solve a problem (his nickname "Ripper" should suggest something), such as physically threatening Principal Snyder into readmitting Buffy to school after her expulsion,[28] pummeling Angelus senseless with a flaming baseball bat and burning down his hideout upon discovering that he had killed Jenny Calendar,[34] smothering Ben to death with his bare hands to prevent Glory's return when Buffy chooses to spare him,[45] brutally beating Ethan Rayne for information[79] or simply to improve his mood,[4] manhandling Spike while ordering him to get over his obsession with Buffy,[83] and forcing Glory's minion, Slook, to talk by inflicting a painful-sounding injury.[84] Typically, however, Giles' calm demeanor and professionalism offered him a detached state of authority even in the face of fearsome monsters, as demonstrated during his confrontation with a violent demon.[85] He was also shown to be able to quickly hot-wire a car.[28]

Magical powers

Giles was granted the powers of the Devon Coven in an attempt to stop Willow. During this time, he demonstrated powers such as teleportation, telekinesis, and energy projection. He lost all of these powers when Willow drained him and left him on the brink of death, but he recovered immediately after Xander calmed her down from her rampage.[14] His moderate proficiency in magic combined with his natural acumen and intelligence made him quite formidable; he killed Roden, a skillful warlock, through using a spell inventively.[56]

When Giles was resurrected as a child, he possessed magical abilities surpassing that of his older self. This was due to him being born with a natural talent for magic which he repressed in his previous life.[86]

Most notably after his resurrection, Giles displayed the following magic powers:

  • Energy projection: Giles was able to shoot energy blasts capable of incinerating vampires and hurting demons. While While Willow's magic manifested in orange, Giles' were often blue.[87][88][89]
  • Force field generation: He created a force field capable of protecting the Scoobies from falling rubble.[90]
  • Telekinesis: He used this power to move a man above his head, combined with his energy projection power.[91]
  • Spellcasting: As a warlock, Giles had the ability to cast sleeping spells,[86] scanning spells,[92][93] a divination spell with Willow,[94] and a bounding spell also along Willow.[95] Even before he was resurrected, he cast a containment mystic shield spell inside Roden so it could blow him from the inside out.[56]
  • Conjuration: Giles used this power with Willow to conjure a magical net and use it to rescue people underwater.[96]
  • Astral projection: Giles was able to communicate with others from afar creating a magical window.[90]

Relationships

Gallery

Buffyverse.png The Rupert Giles article has a Photo Gallery.


Behind the scenes

  • He was portrayed by Anthony Stewart Head in the television series and J. Anthony McCarthy in Season Eight Motion Comic.
  • Anthony Stewart Head was the very first actor to be cast in the series.[citation needed]
  • In the episode "Band Candy," when Giles is magically transformed to his teenage personality, the accent he uses is Anthony Head's natural accent.
  • Writer of the episode "A New Man," Jane Espenson opined she believes that Giles and Ethan had some kind of sexual history together. As she put it: "Come on, they both went to public school!"[97]
  • Along with Buffy, Willow, Xander, and Angel, he is one of only five characters to appear in both the premiere and series finale of Buffy: "Welcome to the Hellmouth" and "Chosen."
  • Giles was a regular character in the first five seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and then appeared as a recurring character in following seasons, credited as "Special Guest Star." He appeared in 8 episodes of the sixth season and 13 episodes of the seventh. He overall appeared in a total of 121 episodes of the Buffyverse, all of which also featured Buffy, Willow, and Xander. The only characters to appear in more episodes are Angel (166), Willow (147), Buffy (146), Xander (143), Cordelia (140), Spike (120) and Wesley (109).
  • Additionally, during his regular seasons, Anthony Stewart Head was lastly credited in the opening as "And Anthony Stewart Head as Giles." For the sixth and seventh season, he was replaced by Alyson Hannigan.
  • Originally, Giles was set to appear in "A Hole in the World" as the one whom Angel and Spike approached in an attempt to save Fred because Joss Whedon needed a character who would be instantly believed both by the characters and by the audience when he said that there was no way to save Fred. As it was too expensive for Anthony Stewart Head to fly out to Los Angeles to guest-star, Whedon created Drogyn the Battlebrand, who was mystically compelled to tell the truth no matter what.
  • Shortly after Buffy ended its seven-year televised run, there was the talk of a Giles-based spin-off series for the BBC entitled Ripper. As of San Diego Comic-Con 2007, Joss Whedon confirmed that Ripper was still planned and in the pipeline.
  • In a 2011 interview, Whedon stated that his decision to kill off Giles could not be discussed in detail "because ripples from that event" will also be a large part of both Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Nine and Angel & Faith. However, he was able to explain other motivations; he felt that from a writing perspective, Giles did not work in the comic book medium where he had flourished on the television show. His primary roles — the provider of narrative exposition and paternal figure—didn't work well in the comic book format. Whedon killed off Giles where he did so that it might have a greater effect on the coming season, "because [he] wanted to make all this matter. Also, because I'm kind of a prick."[98]

Appearances

Canonical

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Angel


Other

  • As one of the main characters in the franchise, Giles has also appeared in the majority of Buffy expanded universe material of unknown canonicity, including comic books, novels, and video games.

References

  1. "Intervention"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Last Gleaming, Part Four
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 What You Want, Not What You Need, Part One
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "A New Man"
  5. Season Eight Motion Comic
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "Never Kill a Boy on the First Date"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 "The Dark Age"
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Helpless"
  9. 9.0 9.1 "The Yoko Factor"
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Buffy vs. Dracula"
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 "Real Me"
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 "Checkpoint"
  13. "Tabula Rasa"
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 "Grave"
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Lessons"
  16. 16.0 16.1 "Bring on the Night"
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 "Lies My Parents Told Me"
  18. "Empty Places"
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 "Chosen"
  20. 20.0 20.1 The Long Way Home, Part Two
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 No Future for You, Part One
  22. Daddy Issues, Part Two
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Death and Consequences, Part Four
  24. 24.0 24.1 What You Want, Not What You Need, Part Five
  25. 25.0 25.1 Women of a Certain Age
  26. Daddy Issues, Part One
  27. 27.0 27.1 "Hush"
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 "Dead Man's Party"
  29. Death and Consequences, Part Three
  30. 30.0 30.1 "Welcome to the Hellmouth"
  31. 31.0 31.1 "Prophecy Girl"
  32. "When She Was Bad"
  33. "Reptile Boy"
  34. 34.0 34.1 "Passion"
  35. "Becoming, Part Two"
  36. "Anne"
  37. 37.0 37.1 "Faith, Hope & Trick"
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 38.3 "Band Candy"
  39. "Amends"
  40. "Bad Girls"
  41. "Graduation Day, Part Two"
  42. 42.0 42.1 "Primeval"
  43. "No Place Like Home"
  44. "Family"
  45. 45.0 45.1 45.2 "The Gift"
  46. "Bargaining, Part One"
  47. "Once More, with Feeling"
  48. 48.0 48.1 "All the Way"
  49. "Two to Go"
  50. "Sleeper"
  51. "The Killer in Me"
  52. The Long Way Home, Part One
  53. The Chain
  54. "Damage"
  55. "A Hole in the World"
  56. 56.0 56.1 56.2 No Future for You, Part Four
  57. Safe
  58. Retreat, Part One
  59. Twilight, Part Three
  60. Last Gleaming, Part Three
  61. Last Gleaming, Part Five
  62. "Live Through This"
  63. "Daddy Issues"
  64. 64.0 64.1 Death and Consequences, Part One
  65. Death and Consequences, Part Three
  66. What You Want, Not What You Need, Part Two
  67. What You Want, Not What You Need, Part Three
  68. What You Want, Not What You Need, Part Four
  69. New Rules, Part One
  70. New Rules, Part Two
  71. 71.0 71.1 71.2 Freaky Giles Day
  72. Love Dares You, Part One
  73. Own It, Part Five
  74. 74.0 74.1 "Where the Wild Things Are"
  75. "The Freshman"
  76. "The Harsh Light of Day"
  77. "Fear Itself"
  78. 78.0 78.1 "First Date"
  79. 79.0 79.1 "Halloween"
  80. "Fear, Itself"
  81. "Gingerbread"
  82. "No Future for You"
  83. "I Was Made to Love You"
  84. "Tough Love"
  85. The Long Way Home, Part Three
  86. 86.0 86.1 Relationship Status: Complicated, Part One
  87. New Rules, Part Four
  88. Love Dares You, Part One
  89. Relationship Status: Complicated, Part Two
  90. 90.0 90.1 New Rules, Part Five
  91. A House Divided
  92. Old Demons, Part One
  93. Old Demons, Part Two
  94. Return to Sunnydale, Part One
  95. Love Dares You, Part Three
  96. The Spread of Their Evil
  97. "Writercon 2004". Storyteller, July 31, 2004.
  98. Adam B. Vary, "Joss Whedon talks about the end of the 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' Season 8 comic, and the future of Season 9 -- EXCLUSIVE". Entertainment Weekly, January 19, 2011.
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