- “What soul? [...] Do you know what the most frightening thing in the world is? Nothing. That's what I found in the boy. No conscience, no fear, no humanity. Just a black void. I couldn't control him, I couldn't get out, I had never even manifested until you brought me forth. I just sat there and watched as he destroyed everything around him. Not from a belief in evil, not for any reason at all. That boy's mind was the blackest hell I've ever known.”
- ―An unnamed Ethros Demon[src]
Ryan Anderson was a young boy born without a soul.
He was possessed by an Ethros Demon which was exorcised by Wesley and Angel. The disturbances, animal deaths and a missing person were accredited to his possession until they tracked down the demon, which revealed that Ryan was the actual monster, his mind representing a terrifying blackness that scared the Ethros demon to the extent that it tried to prompt Ryan to 'sleepwalk' into danger, willing to end its own life to escape Ryan.
It was not until after Ryan was exorcised that he tried to kill his sister in a fire simply because she had more marshmallows in her cup of hot chocolate than he had, Stephanie only just being saved by Angel as her room burned. He was later taken to Social Services for evaluation.
Ryan was incapable of feeling anything such as remorse, sadness, or guilt. Moreover, he appeared to be very quick to anger and was murderously spiteful over the smallest things. At Social Services where he was to be tested, this behaviour might have been interpreted as symptomatic of conduct disorder. The behaviour is also reminiscent of antisocial personality disorder (commonly referred to as "sociopathy"), but this mental disorder could only be diagnosed in persons over 18. It was unknown if child mental health care professionals would have indeed attributed his behaviour to a mental disorder, or whether the mystical cause of his behaviour (the lack of a soul) would have disqualified him from such a diagnosis.
Behind the Scenes
- He was portrayed by Jesse James.