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Note: This article is about the mystical title. For other uses, see Slayer.

Into every generation, there is a chosen one. One girl in all the world. She alone will wield the strength and skill to stand against the vampires, the demons, and the forces of darkness; to stop the spread of their evil and the swell of their numbers. She is the Slayer.
―The original prophecy of the Slayer[src]

Slayer was the title given to a human female chosen by fate in the Slayer line,[1] bestowed with mystical powers from an ancient demon.[2] While known primarily as the Vampire Slayer, the Slayer did not act only against vampires, but was a hunter of evil mystical forces in general.[3]

Slayers were often referred to as the Chosen One, as originally there was only one Slayer in existence at a time, the death of a Slayer being what allowed her powers to be inherited by the Potential Slayer next in line. This process continued for thousands of years, until the intervention of Buffy Summers in 2003 caused multiple Potentials to be activated concurrently,[4] which continuously happened until the end of magic.[5] The multiple activations resumed with the restoration of a new magic,[6] with the Slayers having chosen this calling and working towards a better future into the 23rd century.[7]


The first Slayer[]

You think I came all this way to get knocked up by some demon dust? I can't fight this. I know that now. But you guys? You're just men. Just the men who did this… to her. Whoever that girl was before she was the first Slayer. [...] No, you don't understand! You violated that girl, made her kill for you because you're weak, you're pathetic, and you obviously have nothing to show me.
―Buffy Summers[src]

Sineya, the First Slayer.

In ancient Africa, a group of tribal elders known as the Shadowmen used powerful magic to infuse the essence of an ancient demon into a young captive girl,[2] Sineya.[8] This process granted her and the Slayer line powers[2] such as prophetic dreaming, strength,[1] durability,[9] speed,[10] and healing.[11] She became the First Slayer, called to fight the vampires, the demons, and other forces of evil that populated Earth and threatened the innocent.[12]

Due to her direct complete merging with the demon, Sineya was the most powerful of all the Vampire Slayers. This full infusion also caused her to lose her humanity,[2] led only by her determination to slay.[13] Still, the First Slayer was a formidable force of good who hunted and killed monsters that preyed on the innocent,[14] and she also slayed the very last pure demon (Old One) that walked the Earth with the weapon on Sunnydale grounds before it was officially named.[15]

Sineya eventually died and her powers passed on to another girl. She then communicated with following Slayers through rituals and dreams.[8][2][16]

The Slayer line[]

You're all gonna die. But you knew that already. 'Cause that's the cool reward for being human. Big dessert at the end of the meal. Don't kid yourselves, you guys. This whole thing is all about death. You think you're different 'cause you might be the next Slayer? Death is what a Slayer breathes, what a Slayer dreams about when she sleeps. Death is what a Slayer lives. My death could make you the next Slayer.
―Buffy Summers[src]

The Slayer chain.

The Shadowmen's descendants went on to form the Watchers Council,[2] an organization dedicated to finding, training, and guiding Slayers, as well as shifting the scales from evil to good in the never ending battle between the two. Whether the ways they went about doing this were entirely ethical or not, the Council was determined to stop the spread of evil.[17]

However, because of the violent nature of the life of a Slayer, their average lifespan was quite short after being called,[18] under a year at most. Consequently, the Shadowmen's spell also created a large number of Potential Slayers — common girls around the world who may one day be called.[12]

Notably, the Slayer line was not genetic in nature. Slayers did not inherit the calling from their parents and did not pass it on to their children.[19] Dawn Summers was also not a Slayer or a Potential, despite being made into human form from Buffy.[20]

When a Slayer died, one of the Potentials gained the powers and abilities of the Slayer. The Watchers Council tried to identify and train these Potentials before they are called, locating some as babies,[21] but were not always able to do so. Some girls were only found after they have been activated as the Slayer, Buffy Summers being one of those girls.[22]

Each girl that was given the power of the Slayer was seemingly randomly chosen by the unknown forces that surround the Slayer line. The forces that chose the Potentials, and that activate the one girl in almost two thousand around the world, were a mystery, only moved by destiny.[1]

Two Slayers[]

We're Slayers, girlfriend. The Chosen Two.
Faith Lehane[src]

Buffy and Kendra.

This process continued through the generations until 1997, when the current Slayer, Buffy Summers, was killed in battle, only to be revived via CPR a few moments later.[23] Buffy retained her Slayer powers, but her momentary clinical death was enough for the next Slayer to be called. For the first time in history, two full-fledged Slayers existed at one time, the other being Kendra.[21]

For the next several years, two Slayers coexisted: first Buffy and Kendra, who was called upon Buffy's death,[23] and then Buffy and Faith,[24] who was called when Kendra died approximately one year later.[25]


Buffy and Faith.

While Buffy and Kendra were immediately determined to be polar opposites in personality and worldview,[21] Buffy and Faith were two sides of the same coin, with one being what the other would have become if put under different circumstances in their respective lives. Faith, temporarily became homicidal and joined the other side, though reformed with the help of ensouled vampire, Angel, and began to seek redemption.[26] When discussing why they could never seem to get along, Buffy and Faith concluded that it's because there was only supposed to be one, a burden one couldn't share.[4]

Attack against the Slayer line[]

And then Faith. Then me. And with all the Potentials gone, and no way of making another… It's the end. There's no more Slayer. Ever.
―Buffy Summers[src]

Buffy's death[27] and resurrection in late 2001[28] disrupted the mysterious mystical forces surrounding the Slayer. So, in 2002, the First Evil began its attempt to use this as a catalyst to destroy the Slayer line, which would allow the primordial entity to take over the world and gain corporeal form.[29] This involved assigning the Harbingers of Death to track down and eliminate all Potential Slayers, before turning their attention towards Buffy and Faith, thus destroying the line completely.[30]

Despite the Slayer line having gone to Kendra[21] then Faith,[24] various references were made to the possibility of Buffy's second death calling yet another Slayer. Following her first death, Richard Wilkins said that he didn't want Buffy killed too quickly, because he didn't want a replacement showing up.[31] After her second death, Buffy herself, addressing a group of Potential Slayers, said: "My death could make you the next Slayer."[20]

Rupert Giles, one of the few Watchers left, began bringing as many Potentials as he could track down to Buffy's home in Sunnydale.[30] Those who didn't die, Buffy trained to become an army for her final battle with the First, the Bringers, and the Turok-Han.[4]

Breaking the chain[]

So here's the part where you make a choice. What if you could have that power, now? In every generation, one Slayer is born, because a bunch of men who died thousands of years ago made up that rule. They were powerful men. This woman [Willow] is more powerful than all of them combined. So I say we change the rule. I say my power, should be our power. Tomorrow, Willow will use the essence of this scythe to change our destiny. From now on, every girl in the world who might be a Slayer, will be a Slayer. Every girl who could have the power, will have the power. Can stand up, will stand up. Slayers, every one of us. Make your choice. Are you ready to be strong?
―Buffy Summers[src]

The mystical rules governing the calling of Slayers changed again in 2003, when Buffy discovered the Scythe, forged by the hidden Guardians, for the Slayer to wield.[15] In order to defeat the forces of the First Evil, which would have hunted down and murdered all the Potential Slayers and caused an apocalypse without interference from the Slayer, Buffy had her best friend, the witch Willow Rosenberg, use magic to tap into the Scythe's essence and perform the Slayer activation spell, that called multiple Potential Slayers at once, thus ending the legacy of "one girl in all the world."[4]

After taking the time to find and count them, Buffy stated that there were at least 1800 Slayers in the world, 500 of which have joined the Slayer Organization.[32] Potentials were then activated as Slayers when they reached suitable maturation; Soledad, for instance, was activated on her sixteenth birthday, some time after Willow's spell.[33]

For centuries, the Watchers Council knew of a myth that tells of a Slayer who will change the world and the balance for the greater good, resulting in the universe rewarding her with incredible power and the chance to bring about a new reality, a new world, Twilight — and survive it. Rupert Giles came to believe that the myth was true and that Buffy would be the one, so he secretly traveled the world searching for the only item that could stop Buffy if she reached this higher state.[34]

During the Twilight crisis, Buffy used the Scythe to destroy the Seed of Wonder, the source of magic on Earth. This act caused the end of magic from the dimension, along with the expulsion of the many placenturian demons invading it.[35] Though all preexisting supernatural beings with inherent powers, such as vampires and preactivated Slayers, remained as such, the Slayer line was rendered dormant, so that new Potential Slayers would not be called. Resenting Buffy, many girls rejected their titles as Slayers.[5]

New Rules[]

No longer is but one chosen. The power itself becomes the chosen one… and the one who chooses.
―The new prophecy of the Slayer[src]

After the new Seed of Wonder was eventually formed, the Vampyr book's pages were discovered completely blank, being gradually rewritten with the sudden return of magic to the Earth.[36] A handful of pages were eventually filled again chronicling the same Slayer history the book once did, but with new additions: "No longer is but one chosen. The power itself becomes the chosen one… and the one who chooses." This implicated that the combined spiritual force of all past Slayers had then more agency than before. Notably, men still couldn't be Slayers outright, as the vampire hunter Billy Lane didn't share the Slayer strength or speed, but the essence of the Slayers accepted him as an ally[6] when he had a vision of Sineya.[37]

To defeat the Pandora Project's leader, Joanna Wise, who had turned herself into a magic-infused cyborg much stronger than a Slayer, Buffy performed with Willow a Slayer power spell, reversing the activation spell they had cast years later. Willow explained that Buffy had shared what made her special with all Potentials, and the power had grown in each of them. Using the mʔ once again, Willow was able to put the grown powers of thousands of Slayers back in Buffy, giving her the ability to even cut magic with its blade and resist an attack of Rain of Death. After defeating Wise and eventually healing herself, Buffy and Willow used the Scythe to return all the power back.[38]

By the 23rd century, Melaka Fray was called to be the next Slayer. However, the powers of the Slayer were split between her and her twin brother Harth Fray. He possessed the mental aspects of the Slayer such as the dreams and premonitions, while Mel only had the physical attributes.[39] During the battle of the Reckoning against Hart and his demon army, Buffy and Willow began to cast the spell to give her the collective powers of all active Slayers once again. However, Harth intercepted them with the original Shadowmen's staff, and stole the power for himself.[40] Despite that the vampire already possessed the Slayer memories, the real connection to the Slayer line caused his body to break down under the strain of such power. Buffy and Melaka used this moment to stake him with the mʔ, and, as he dusted, the power flowed back to its owners — including his sister Melaka.[7]

The event caused a change in the timeline, replaced Melaka's future with the continuity of the Slayer line. Moreover, after seeing the dystopic version of Haddyn, Willow had began steering her empowerment center, largely composed of Slayers, toward preventing it, forging a better world and changing the future of humanity.[7] 


So it's different, I guess for different people. Some, it's a tickle. They don't even know. Or a rush. Fun. But for me, becoming a Slayer was like Mike Tyson in your face… and not the punching you Mike Tyson, ripping your ear off with his teeth Mike Tyson.
―Buffy Summers (underground decoy)[src]
Buffy Summers decoy activation

A Slayer during her activation.

Activation was a powerful experience. Slayers tended to experience slight disorientation but seemingly felt a burst of power, though this momentary experience would vary from Slayer to Slayer. Sometimes the Slayer would experience just a surge in power,[4][41][42] and sometimes there would be a sudden rush of energy so powerful that it could knock the Slayer backwards. Their powers appeared to manifest at the exact moment of activation as well as the urge to fight and protect.[43]

For instance, the newly-activated Slayers during the battle at the Hellmouth immediately broke out in battle with an army of Turok-Han despite their apprehension seconds before,[4] and an unidentified Slayer, seconds after activation, instinctively pushed her friends out of the way of an oncoming semi-truck before being hit by it (and surviving).[43]

Powers and abilities[]

She's like a woman fighting for more than life. She fights like fighting is her life. It's like the air she breathes, and she knows she will win because there is no alternative.
―Andrew Wells[src]

Buffy slays a vampire.

The powers that were bestowed upon the Slayer were mostly physical enhancements beyond what any normal human could do, rather than extra abilities garnered from a magical source. It should be noted that while Slayers were physically stronger than most vampires, it was their skill and training that mostly gave them the bigger advantage.

Buffy trained regularly and worked out to enhance and maintain her abilities, suggesting that they would atrophy otherwise.[44] Giles himself claimed that Buffy should hone her skills day and night.[45] A workout routine that would enhance a regular human's strength and speed increased her abilities much faster and at greater magnitude.[46] Also, Giles said muscle relaxants and adrenal inhibitors would have the same effects on a normal human as they did on Buffy; the effects were simply more pronounced, as example of the organic compound used in the Tento di Cruciamentum.[17] Also, regular illnesses such as the flu affected the Slayer not greatly different from its effects on humans; once again the handicap was more noticeable given the Slayer's usually enhanced abilities (Xander commented that Buffy was "half the Slayer"), though this nearly cost Buffy her life while fighting Angel.[11]

It appeared that Slayers — much like normal humans — occasionally experienced "off-days" where their powers and fighting ability were not up to its peak. Buffy had fallen victim to this from time to time, mostly due to her emotions affecting her. When Buffy started college, she was easily beaten by a vampire, Sunday, not much stronger or older than her typical share. It was implied that this was due to Buffy struggling with the transition to college and loneliness. When she reunited with her friends and started to perk up, Buffy's powers seemed to improve as her arm that was badly injured the previous night completely recovered by mid-battle.[47]

It is possible that a Slayer's strength, healing, and endurance improved the longer she'd been called. Faith was severely injured and put into a coma from being stabbed in the stomach when she was only a Slayer for one year at that point, whereas Buffy could quickly recover from a similar wound without any need for medical attention after being a Slayer for seven years. In another instance, Buffy was plunged into a stone coffin and hit by a conical roof and still continued to fight. Buffy ended up with only minor cuts and bruises later that day, yet Satsu (a younger Slayer) was hospitalized for a lesser injury. Faith, along with a group of new Slayers, were struck with a magical attack from a demon.[48] While the younger Slayers' faces started melting off, Faith resisted the attack with lesser injuries and even fought back.[35]


You know, not to be rampantly sexist in the workplace, but you've got some serious muscles for a girl.
Benjamin Wilkinson[src]

Slayers were endowed with increased physical strength greater than that of any humans, some demons and most, if not all, vampires.

Slayer strength

Slayer strength

Slayers were capable of lifting and throwing human-sized subjects sizable distances,[49][3][50][51][52][53][54][55] propelling enemies into the air with a single blow,[3][56][57][58][59][48] bending solid metal with their bare hands,[49][60][61][62][63][64] breaking human bones with ease,[65][66] and punching into concrete walls to no ill effect.[67]

Buffy herself had heaved up a metal portcullis which a group of people were unable to budge,[68] snapped a metal blade in half over her knee,[69] punched through a demon's chest,[70] hurled a piece of glass with enough force that it severed a person's arm,[71] effortlessly lifted steel girders weighing several hundred pounds,[58] demolished the interior of an abandoned building from having rough sex,[52] and accidentally kicked Riley clear across a room even though she "held back a little."[72]

Much like vampires, the Slayer's strength seemed to be largely metaphysical, as it did not add to their body mass and they remained buoyant enough to swim. Buffy and Faith, who were of relatively slender build, have performed great feats of physical strength without any apparent added muscle mass.

One example of a Slayer being stronger than most vampires was when Buffy easily lifted Olaf the Trollgod's Enchanted Hammer with one hand when Spike was barely able to do so with both hands.[27][73] Angel remarked that Buffy was "a little bit stronger" than he was, though the humorous tenor of the exchange suggested he might had understated the difference, indicating that a Slayer was stronger than vampires aged at least 200 years.[26]

It appeared that Slayers were able to access even greater levels of strength when upset or angry; for example, during her first battle with Angel, Buffy was initially outmatched until Angel went too far with his taunts and insults, after which she snapped and beat him into submission.[74] Additionally, Faith quickly overpowered the more-experienced Buffy and nearly drowned her in a swimming pool during a fit of rage.[75]

Speed and reflexes[]


Buffy steps on a bear trap, setting it off, and whips her leg up before it closes.

Slayers had the ability to move at great speeds and possessed incredible reflexes. For instance, Buffy prevented a crowbar hurled forcefully by the goddess Glorificus from killing Dawn by leaping in her way and catching the crowbar, resulting in only a shallow wound from being pierced by the implement.[73]

In addition to this, Buffy had snatched a crossbow bolt in mid-flight,[76] blocked a sword with her hands (her eyes were closed at the time) just as it was thrust towards her face,[25] caught/deflected/dodged knives thrown at her from varying distances,[77][78][79] dodged gunfire from multiple ranges,[10][26][80] and set off a bear trap without getting caught in it.[10] Faith had dodged shotgun blasts at point-blank range,[81] while Dana could dodge a tranquilizer dart also fired at point-blank range.[66]

The Slayer's running speed was also quite impressive. Buffy, for example, was able to run fast enough to keep up with a school bus going at full speed. The bus had already taken off before she caught up to it and she was still recovering from a deep abdominal stab wound she got only minutes before.[4] She also could outrun a raiding motorcyclist on his bike shortly after her resurrection,[57] outrun a fireball,[82] and was able to reach the police station to save Andrew Wells and Jonathan Levinson on foot shortly after Willow Rosenberg reached there via flight.[62]



Buffy's super agility.

A Slayer was capable of superhuman feats of agility. She could leap to great heights and distances.[49][83][84][44][4][81][85] Buffy was capable of reaching the roof of the original Sunnydale High School in a very short period of time, after running up a sloping rail, and then flipping onto the roof.[77]

Buffy once utilized her agility and speed to avoid Caleb's attacks which caused him a noticeable amount of frustration.[86] She had also made standing jumps over the heads of foes much larger than her; including the Master[23] and a troll,[87] and performed improbable mid-air kicks.[73][58][88]

Melaka was seen reaching a roof top by leaping across multiple flying cars, something Buffy claimed she couldn't do herself.[89] However, Buffy was seen leaping from building to building months later.[5]

A Slayer's agility could work by mere instinct. An amnesiac Buffy was flipped over by a vampire and landed perfectly on her feet, much to her own surprise.[90]


I don't bruise easily.
―Buffy Summers[src]

A Slayer survives a collision with a semi-truck.

A Slayer's body was substantially more durable and resistant to blunt force trauma than an ordinary human's. Slayers also had several times the endurance of a common human, so it was difficult, though not impossible, to cause physical damage to them.

  • Buffy had survived contact with a live electrical wire; the normally fatal jolt simply melted her shoe soles. Giles noted that if she was anyone but the Slayer, she would not survive it.[9]
  • Buffy looked relatively unfazed after she had a vase smashed over her head by Tucker Wells.[91]
  • Buffy had been hit by a moving car, got up and walked off, ignoring the several bystanders who offered to help.[68]
  • Buffy appeared only to sustain some minor damage after being shot by a high-voltage blast from the Initiative's taser blasters. While normal human beings and even demons were shown to become incapacitated, and require time to recuperate afterward, Buffy was fit enough to escape.[92]
  • Buffy could leap from a two-story window with a man in her arms, landing on the ground and letting her body take the brunt of the fall. Buffy was already tanking powerful blows from Glory minutes before.[93]
  • Faith had fallen from a height of three stories on top of a closed dumpster, rolled off it to hit the ground and got up immediately with no signs of damage;[51] she also could hold her own in a fight with Buffy less than 24 hours after waking from a nine-month coma without suffering any muscle atrophy[94] — a coma which she entered after surviving a deep stab wound to the abdomen immediately followed by a fall from the top of a multi-story building into a moving truck.[95] Also, in an attempt by the Watcher's Council to capture Faith without killing her, they prepared a tranquilizer that was capable of knocking out a man twice her size which is more than enough to subdue an ordinary young woman of her size.[26]
  • Faith crashed through a window with Wesley in hand and landed on a car. The car's roof was severely damaged, yet Faith was unharmed.[67]

Despite these feats, the Slayer was far from invulnerable. For instance, Buffy had been knocked out by blunt force trauma, such as being hit over the head with a lead pipe by a possessed Cordelia Chase[96] and with a detached mannequin arm by Ethan Rayne,[97] and rendered unconscious when Drusilla jabbed her with a cattle prod, (though it should be noted that it took two jolts from the cattle prod to knock her out).[98] In addition, the Slayer could be injured by conventional bullets[99] and bladed weapons[95][4] just as an ordinary human could.

Slayers were also susceptible to drugs, mystical or otherwise; Buffy had fallen unconscious to chloroform and rohypnol (though the latter appeared to take longer as Cordelia was already long out by the time Buffy succumbed to its effects).[100][45] Slayers could also be inebriated which affected their fighting technique[3] or their ability to control their strength.[58] Faith was able to inject herself with a drug and fight long enough to fool Angelus into biting her.[101]


Slayers could recover from even very severe injuries in remarkably short periods of time.

  • Buffy had suffered from a sprained arm as a consequence of fighting vampires, but seemingly healed mid-fight. Despite the injury taking a toll on her fighting and her injured arm being twisted once more, Buffy still could punch a vampire in the face, sending it flying, without any problems later.[47]
  • Melaka Fray was hit with a steel girder thrown at her from a demon and recovered within minutes;[102] she also fell from a height of over five stories to land face-first on a cement sidewalk and be only dazed before fully recovering in moments,[103] and at a later time, to fall four stories down, crash through the cement roof of an adjacent building and fall down the height of one more story, and recover instantly.[104]
  • Buffy was hospitalized with a high-grade fever, some bone fractures and an injured arm. She was completely healed of her injuries the next morning with no signs of swelling (to the doctor's surprise) and was relieved of her fever the morning after that.[11]
  • Despite being closest to the bomb,[86] Faith survived an explosion that caused an entire sewer tunnel to cave-in, killing several potential slayers in the process.[15] Although she was severely wounded and weakened, Faith was ready to fight Turok-Han vampires after about a day of rest.[4]
  • Slayers also seem to recover quickly from blood loss: Buffy was almost completely drained of blood by Angel, but recovered in time to be able to lead the Graduation Day battle in the same day.[61]

Usually, Buffy was completely healed within 24 hours of being injured, though more serious injuries have taken at least a few days; Buffy suffered from a severe stab wound to the belly that required at least a few days to heal,[98] and, according to Violet, was heavily bruised for several days after her second encounter with the Turok-Han.[29] Also, the Slayer could receive scars; Buffy had a scar left from the Master's bite on her neck, though Angel and Dracula have also bitten her in the exact same spot.[44]


Slayers possessed great stamina. Buffy claimed she had the endurance of ten men and that it took a lot to wear her out when Riley propositioned her for sex immediately after the two already finished having sweating-inducing intercourse.[46]

Faith underwent an intense physical evaluation that involved a lot of running and reflex training. She showed no signs of tiredness or exhaustion following a training session at the obstacle field while her Watcher, Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, was still winded and even claimed he was going to need defibrillators to recover. Since Faith was the one being evaluated, she would have had to do more physical activity than he did.[105]

Buffy managed to stay at pace with an airborne Willow on foot while Xander (a physically fit male of the same age) could hardly keep up and was seen heavily panting and sweating at the end. Buffy was totally fine.[106]


The point is, a Slayer should be able to see them anyway. Without looking, without thinking.
―Rupert Giles[src]
Slayer senses

Buffy senses an invisible Marcie Ross.

Slayers possessed a heightened awareness of their surroundings. This heightened awareness could, with experience, allow the Slayer to know the position of an attacker and fight them blindfolded or in the dark.

  • Buffy pinpointed the position of invisible Marcie Ross by standing silently for a few seconds to hear her movements before landing a perfect punch.[107]
  • Buffy sensed a trio of invisible demons quietly entering the room before hearing a faint growl that alerted her to the presence of the demon standing behind her just in time to turn around and block its attack. The demons were silent enough to sneak past Buffy's friends inches away from them unnoticed. She later ordered her fellow Scoobies to be quiet in order for her to sense the position of the other demons during the ambush.[108]
  • Giles once required Buffy to throw a ball at him after being spun around in order to test her awareness of her opponent's location during fights in total darkness. Despite initially missing him when throwing the ball, the ball bounced off the wall she threw it at and landed on him.[109]
  • Buffy dispatched an axe-wielding Watcher while blind-folded, relying entirely on instinct when she found the orders given to her in Japanese too complicated.[110]
  • Buffy easily dispatched the Trio when they were invisible (and as she was invisible herself).[111]
  • While confronting Buffy for the first time after her coma, Faith sensed Willow sneaking up behind her to hit her, and warned her, without even looking her way: "Try it, Red, and you lose an arm."[94]
  • Faith turned around in time to prevent a hired assassin from striking her from behind as she was doing chin-ups.[67]
Buffy Sensing Spike

Buffy senses Spike from behind a tree and pulls him out.

According to Giles, the Slayer had the potential to sense a vampire's presence within the area. This skill must be honed through practice and the Slayer usually must focus to achieve the full benefit.[1] This was not a constant ability, however. Buffy had never appeared to really hone in on this ability as she confused a couple of human thugs as vampires one time.[52] Buffy also didn't know Angel was a vampire until he revealed his demonic visage after a number of encountered with him[112] (the same with vampire Willow),[105] but did sense his presence when he was secretly following her.[1] Additionally, Buffy briefly paused to scan the area around her with a look of uncertainty as Angel watched her from behind the bushes, possibly sensing him but unsure of what it was.[113] She also sensed the presence of The Three when they stalked her.[112]


Main article: Prophetic dreaming
Buffy slayer dreams

Buffy having a psychic dream.

All Slayers through the ages shares a psychic link, manifested in dreams.[66] A Slayer would frequently dream of herself as a Slayer in another time and place, even before being called, which would hint if they were Potential Slayers. They could also experience prophetic dreams related to upcoming crises.[1]

Dreams existed in their own dreamspace where, for a Slayer, precognitive sense and the inherited memories of other Slayers could manifest themselves.[114] One consequence of this power was that a Slayer would essentially have fought all the battles of the Slayers before her. These experiences helped hone their skills and aid them in future battles.[115] Also, activated Slayers have appeared in each other's dreams, as Buffy and Faith shared several dreams when Faith was in a coma. Faith provided the first cryptic reference to Dawn Summers' arrival.[61]

Melaka Fray, a Slayer of the 23rd century, lacked these abilities, which caused her to be unaware of her status, as well as have a different fighting style than most Slayers. Her twin brother, Harth, received these visions instead. To the best of her temporary mentor Urkonn of the D'Avvrus' knowledge, it was unheard of for a Slayer to have a twin before.[104]

Fighting skills[]

Agility, clarity, stamina and strength. These are the qualities that the Slayer must possess to do her job.
―Quentine Travers[src]

Buffy fighting a demon.

A Slayer naturally had formidable fighting abilities. Buffy easily fended off multiple vampires at the same time while under a memory loss spell, with no memory of her combat training — relying entirely on her natural Slayer instincts (this could be attributed to muscle memory though).[90] Dana was also seen holding her own against Spike without having any previous combat training.[66]

Her fighting prowess also appeared to extend to her weapon proficiency. When Giles trained Buffy to spar with a quarter staff for the first time, she easily outmaneuverd him. Despite his initial insistence that he would teach her how to use a crossbow in steady time after mastering the quarter staff which needed "countless hours of vigorous training," he quickly decided that Buffy was now ready after she bested him.[112] The same principle appeared to also apply to accuracy with firearms. Faith was able to head-shoot vampires after only recently learning how to shoot.[116]

Potential Slayers had innate ability in combat, even before being called, as Amanda was able to defeat a vampire and ward off a couple of Bringers without any previous combat training.[20]

The Slayer's fighting talent could likely be attributed to their dreams of past Slayers. When Buffy fought Melaka who had currently the advantage, Buffy managed to overcome this because she had "dreamed every battle a Slayer's ever fought" and Melaka hadn't because she lacked the Slayer's psychic abilities.[89]

Other abilities[]

  • Twilight's empowerment — With the incoming fulfillment of the Twilight prophecy, Buffy gained a multitude of new powers: her strength, speed, agility, and reflexes were greatly enhanced, and she developed telescopic vision, superhuman hearing, flight, and a level of invulnerability.[117] Willow initially theorized that these powers were a result of Buffy unwittingly absorbing the collective powers of all of the Slayers who had died since they began the Slayer Organization, but it was later discovered that these abilities were granted to her by the universe as a reward for changing the world and the balance of the grand design.[118] Buffy lost these new powers when she stopped Twilight by destroying the Seed of Wonder.[35]
  • Collective Slayer powers — In order to fight Joanna Wise, a magic-infused cyborg much stronger than a Slayer, Buffy was the focus of a spell reversing the activation of all the Slayers in the world, returning to her the power she had shared with Potentials in 2003 and grew in each of them. Notably, it gave Buffy the ability to cut magic with the Scythe, resist an attack of Rain of Death, overpower Wise's strength,[119] survive the burning from her spells, and heal from severe wounds within days. After defeating Wise and eventually healing herself, Buffy and Willow returned all the power back.[120]


Oh, God… the power!
―The Master after biting Buffy[src]

The blood of the Slayer could be consumed by vampires to either strengthen themselves or to cure affliction. For instance, the Master used Buffy's blood to break himself free from his mystical prison.[23] Buffy also used her blood to cure Angel from the Killer of the Dead — Slayer's blood being the only cure.[95] Slayer's blood was also considered a powerful aphrodisiac.[18]


Personal life[]

No… friends… just the kill… we are… alone.

Beginning with the Primeval One, the Slayer was always meant to act alone, traditionally accompanied only by her Watcher's guidance. Sineya herself was isolated from the villagers she protected, as they were in fear of her power.[14] According to the Slayer Handbook, the Slayer was supposed to separate herself from civilization for security.[21] As Spike, the Slayer hunter, himself remarked: "A Slayer with family and friends. That sure wasn't on the brochure."[121]

Buffy and her friends Willow, Xander, and Giles channeled the spirit of the First Slayer by performing the enjoining spell, infusing mind (Giles), heart (Xander), and spirit (Willow), with Buffy's strength to become omnipotent and have enough power to kill Adam.[8] The spirit of the first Slayer was not pleased with this, and attempted to kill the Scoobies in their dreams, demanding that the Slayer act alone.[13]

Buffy was known to be unique, as she had a support system stemming from the Scooby Gang, her mother, and later her sister. According to Spike, Slayers die quickly because their self isolation cuts them off from family and friends, therefore making them lose their will to live.[18] Buffy, unlike most, had multiple friends and allies to aid her and subsequently, helped her reinforce what she is fighting for. She argued with Kendra: "My emotions give me power. They're total assets!"[21]

Notably, while her love for the people around her made Buffy sacrifice herself for saving the world, directly resulting in both her deaths, these allies were the responsible for saving her from death, resurrecting her twice.[23][27] The Guide once told her: "Love is pain, and the Slayer forges strength from pain. Love… give… forgive. Risk the pain, it is your nature. Love will bring you to your gift."[122]

Still, Buffy constantly felt alone in her position of the Slayer, even while living with hundreds of Slayers, as she was only their leader.[48] After Faith observed the loneliness in being looked up and trusted in Buffy's shoes, Buffy stated that this was the price of being the Slayer, a burden one couldn't share.[15]

Robin Wood, the only known child of a Slayer — Nikki Wood —, once referred to this as "isolationist Slayer crap."[4] About his mother, he concluded: "No matter where she went. No matter how much she wanted to be with me. She wasn't strong enough to ignore it. She had to be a Slayer," in reference to her frequent patrols and eventual death, even though she was allowed to leave from her Slayer duties. Although, Nikki had observed during the pregnancy: "You saw what I did today when that vamp threatened my baby. I dug down deep and fought back. The baby could be my reason to fight."[123]

Human awareness of Slayers[]

Throughout most of history, the majority of humans remained ignorant or in denial of the existence of Slayers, which notable exceptions including the Order of Dagon,[93] the Knights of Byzantium, the law firm Wolfram & Hart, and demon/vampire hunters like Sid[124] and Holtz.

By 1999, all the graduating class of Sunnydale High School were aware of the role Buffy played in their continued survival, though many of them remained unaware of the institution of the Slayer.[91]

Members of the U.S. governmental military Initiative, such as Forrest Gates, believed that the Slayer was only a boogeyman-like myth meant to frighten demons.[125] It was not until they actually met Buffy that they realized they had been mistaken.[72] After the destruction of Sunnydale in 2003, the military set the operation Drextalcorp Recycling Technologies to investigate it. They were aware that Buffy was the cause and that she then led the Slayer Organization, which General Voll considered terrorist.[32]

B8-05b Predators and Prey

Vampires and Slayers become public knowledge.

In the early 21st century, the existence of vampires became public knowledge. Harmony Kendall, the exposed vampire, gained her own reality show, Harmony Bites, which got to film the lone Slayer Soledad attempt to slay Harmony. The vampire, though, killed her and sucked her blood, and the scene was a success of audience, and Slayers became the show's villains.[33] Due to the popularity of vampires, known as vampire craze, an anti-Slayer sentiment became common, reinforcing the Twilight Group's efforts in destroying the Slayer Organization. Buffy and her organization were classified as terrorists by the military and general public.[32][126]

Anti-Slayer sentiment continued following the destruction of the Seed of Wonder, to the extent Buffy was arrested by the San Francisco Police Department after they caught her staking a vampire on patrol.[127] However, due to the presence of zompires, savage vampires who killed and sired indiscriminately, public opinion against Slayers eventually shifted to a more neutral stance, with Buffy eventually becoming a member of the SFPD's Supernatural Crimes Unit.[128]

Watchers Council[]

Main article: Watchers Council

The Watchers Council was descended from the Shadowmen,[2] and the institution continued to guide and train Slayers and Potential Slayers.[30]

Notably, the Watchers Council practiced a rite of passage to test a Slayer's natural ingenuity and capability, known as Tento di Cruciamentum, if/when they turn eighteen, which stripped the Slayer of her powers and forced her to fight a powerful vampire without them. The compound used to weaken the Slayer made her typically weaker than most humans, forcing the Slayer to rely solely on her intellect and wit.[17]

Weapons and equipment[]

Lesson the first: a Slayer must always reach for her weapon. I've already got mine.
Buffy slayer tools-comics

Buffy, with a chest full of various Slayer weapons.

Slayers typically used weapons to fight vampires and other demons. Simple wooden stakes, crosses, and holy water were common components to a Slayer's inventory due to their effectiveness against vampires, though Buffy would usually only be seen armed with nothing but a stake during patrols because her physical power was enough to subdue them. Swords, axes, and knives were also the most common implements used for dispatching demons, though other melee weapons (generally of medieval European design) were also used. Ranged weaponry was usually confined to crossbows.[citation needed]

On occasion, more sophisticated weaponry was used; Buffy used a military-issue rocket launcher to defeat the Judge.[74] Buffy had a strong distaste for guns,[129][117] declaring them as never helpful[130] or useful.[131] While Buffy claimed that Slayers didn't use guns,[132] the rogue Slayer Simone Doffler and her group, on the other hand, were enamored of them.[133][129]

The Slayer Melaka Fray used weaponry native to her time period, such as ray guns,[134][135][136] as well as the traditional scythe[137] until her version was destroyed.[138]


Main article:
End of Days Buffy 01

Buffy wields the Scythe.

Mʔ was a mystical weapon forged by the Guardians to help the first Slayer kill the last of the Old Ones, on the site of what would eventually become Sunnydale. The Last Guardian passed the Scythe on to Buffy in 2003.[15] She used it to activate every Potential Slayer in the world,[4] and it became a prominent weapon in her arsenal ever since.[7] In the 23rd century, the Scythe was passed onto Melaka Fray.[137]

Emergency kit[]

Main article: Emergency kit

According to Robin Wood, the "emergency kit" was a Slayer heirloom which should have been passed on to the next Slayer, but he kept it, probably because he didn't have much to remember his mother by. At the time Buffy received it, the brown leather bag contained several things including the following:[2]

These objects, when used, recreated the story of the first Slayer and opened a portal that allowed the current Slayer to speak directly to the Shadowmen.[2]

Slayer Handbook[]

Main article: Vampyr

Giles presents the Slayer Handbook to Buffy.

Vampyr was the title of the Slayer Handbook, a manual given to Slayers by their Watchers to instruct them on how to operate as the Slayer.[21] The book was the very first and most complete attempt by man to record and codify the laws of magic. Initially a study of vampires — the most pressing threat — its scope grew over time, as did the book's power. It became, by common acceptance, the definitive guide to magic on Earth.[139]

Giles had presented it to Buffy when she first arrived in Sunnydale,[1] but then decided she wasn't one to follow rules and put the book away. Sam Zabuto, Kendra's watcher, owned himself a copy. According to Kendra, the handbook insisted that Slayers study demonology.[21] After Giles' death, despite Faith was his main heiress, he left the book for Buffy. With this gesture, Faith said Giles meant that Buffy was the one true Slayer and he believed in her strength.[5]

After the new Seed of Wonder was formed, the pages of Vampyr had turned completely blank.[36] With the sudden return of magic to the Earth, the book was being gradually rewritten, both following common sense[139] and rules written by anyone in its pages.[140] Despite the interest of many creatures in taking the book to themselves, Buffy was the book's owner, eventually accepted and learned the responsibility of understand, negotiate, develop, protect, and control the rules of magic.[141]


Main article: Slaypire

Buffy as a Slaypire.

Slaypire was a term used to refer to the result of a Slayer being turned into a vampire.[36] Despite the name, the creature was not a separate species; Slayers were humans thus could be turned into vampires, while retaining the supernatural powers they had in life combined with vampires' weaknesses and strengths.[142][143]

List of Slayers[]

Main article: Slayer timeline

Behind the scenes[]

  • In the 1992 film, the ability to detect vampires manifested itself in the form of cramps — a "natural reaction to their unnatural presence." Additionally, the Slayer possessed a birthmark as a sign of her legacy (a large mole on her chest), which Buffy had removed before she was called. The movie, however, is considered non-canon, and these aspects were not carried over to the series.
  • The Slayer could possibly have a heightened immune system: Buffy is never seen getting sick, as Joyce commented that she "never gets sick" when she contracted the flu during a period of great emotional stress ("Killed by Death").
  • Writer Douglas Petrie mentions in his audio commentaries for "The Initiative" that he wanted there to be a scene where Buffy is seen eating about three times the usual amount of food for her normal lunch, suggesting that Slayers have a faster metabolism than regular humans. Faith also mentions that slaying always makes her "hungry and horny" in "Faith, Hope & Trick" and Dawn claims the fridge is the first place Buffy goes to after patrolling and that she's "such a pig after killing things" in "Wrecked." However, this is contradicted when Buffy says her idea of a binge is a low fat yogurt in response to Faith's statement and Joyce comments that Buffy's eating habits save money in "Prophecy Girl." It's entirely within reason that a Slayer's physically-demanding life involving regular training and hunting would yield a faster metabolism.
  • According to creator Joss Whedon, Buffy is not immune to poisons, but could take out fictional superhero Black Widow without much physical effort.[144]
  • In "A New Man" Riley compared Buffy's strength to the superhero Spider-Man. According to artist Georges Jeanty, "when I talked to Joss [Whedon], because I was doing the comic book… I sort of need details. You need your stage in order to perform. You need to know what's on that stage so you know what you can use. And with Buffy, I told Joss, 'Well she's strong. Ok. I get that, but how strong? Is she Superman strong?' And he's like, 'Well, it's funny. We've never really tested her limit, but in all honesty, think maybe Spider-Man strong, not Superman strong. But definitely more than Batman strong.' So that sort of put things in place to me where as an artist I knew how far I could go. She could probably turn over a car, but she would have a lot of trouble lifting it over her head. Those little details, which obviously never came to play in the book, but I knew what she could do."[145]
  • At the beginning of "Tabula Rasa," Buffy turns around to arm herself against Spike who was quietly approaching her. The original script for the episode describes this as her "Spider senses," a reference to the comic hero's Spiderman's ability to anticipate danger at the right time. Slayers have demonstrated similar abilities from time to time.
  • In the original script for "Two to Go," Buffy is described as running close to 40 miles an hour. Even though Buffy demonstrates inhuman running speed in "Chosen," there have been occasions of normal humans out-running Slayers (such as "The Dark Age" and "What's My Line? Part Two"). It's possible that Slayers can pick up greater levels of speed by running long enough, such as in "Shadow" when Buffy initially couldn't catch up to a very fast snake demon until some time later — unlike vampires, which have been shown flashing across sizeable distances in an instant.


Buffy the Vampire Slayer


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 "Welcome to the Hellmouth"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 "Get It Done"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Witch"
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 "Chosen"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Last Gleaming, Part Five
  6. 6.0 6.1 New Rules, Part Two
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Finale
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "Primeval"
  9. 9.0 9.1 "I Robot, You Jane"
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 "Homecoming"
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 "Killed by Death"
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Tales"
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Restless"
  14. 14.0 14.1 "Prologue"
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 "End of Days"
  16. Slayer, Interrupted
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 "Helpless"
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 "Fool for Love"
  19. "First Date"
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 "Potential"
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 21.5 21.6 21.7 "What's My Line? Part Two"
  22. "Becoming, Part One"
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 "Prophecy Girl"
  24. 24.0 24.1 "Faith, Hope & Trick"
  25. 25.0 25.1 "Becoming, Part Two"
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 "Sanctuary"
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 "The Gift"
  28. "Bargaining, Part One"
  29. 29.0 29.1 "Showtime"
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 "Bring on the Night"
  31. "Enemies"
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 The Long Way Home, Part One
  33. 33.0 33.1 Harmonic Divergence
  34. Twilight, Part Three
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 Last Gleaming, Part Four
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 The Core, Part Five
  37. Love vs. Life
  38. One Girl in All the World
  39. The Worst of It
  40. The Reckoning
  41. A Beautiful Sunset
  42. Twilight, Part Three
  43. 43.0 43.1 The Chain
  44. 44.0 44.1 44.2 "Buffy vs. Dracula"
  45. 45.0 45.1 "Reptile Boy"
  46. 46.0 46.1 "Out of My Mind"
  47. 47.0 47.1 "The Freshman"
  48. 48.0 48.1 48.2 A Beautiful Sunset
  49. 49.0 49.1 49.2 "The Harvest
  50. "Where the Wild Things Are"
  51. 51.0 51.1 "Five by Five"
  52. 52.0 52.1 52.2 "Smashed
  53. "Doublemeat Palace"
  54. "Beneath You"
  55. Freefall, Part Three
  56. "Into the Woods"
  57. 57.0 57.1 "Bargaining, Part Two"
  58. 58.0 58.1 58.2 58.3 "Life Serial"
  59. "Dead Things"
  60. "Phases"
  61. 61.0 61.1 61.2 "Graduation Day, Part Two"
  62. 62.0 62.1 "Two to Go"
  63. In Time of Crisis
  64. Crimes Against Nature
  65. "Hush"
  66. 66.0 66.1 66.2 66.3 "Damage"
  67. 67.0 67.1 67.2 "Salvage"
  68. 68.0 68.1 "Anne"
  69. "Older and Far Away"
  70. "Normal Again"
  71. "Revelations"
  72. 72.0 72.1 "A New Man"
  73. 73.0 73.1 73.2 "Blood Ties"
  74. 74.0 74.1 "Innocence"
  75. No Future for You, Part Three
  76. "Help"
  77. 77.0 77.1 "Earshot"
  78. "Some Assembly Required"
  79. "Once More, with Feeling"
  80. The Long Way Home, Part Four
  81. 81.0 81.1 "Release"
  82. "Grave"
  83. "Inca Mummy Girl"
  84. "Lie to Me"
  85. Anywhere but Here
  86. 86.0 86.1 "Touched"
  87. "Triangle"
  88. "Wrecked"
  89. 89.0 89.1 Time of Your Life, Part Two
  90. 90.0 90.1 "Tabula Rasa"
  91. 91.0 91.1 "The Prom"
  92. "The Yoko Factor
  93. 93.0 93.1 "No Place Like Home"
  94. 94.0 94.1 "This Year's Girl"
  95. 95.0 95.1 95.2 Graduation Day, Part One
  96. "Bad Eggs"
  97. "The Dark Age"
  98. 98.0 98.1 "Crush"
  99. "Seeing Red"
  100. "Gingerbread"
  101. "Orpheus"
  102. Ready, Steady...
  103. Big City Girl
  104. 104.0 104.1 The Calling
  105. 105.0 105.1 "Doppelgängland"
  106. Time of Your Life, Part One
  107. "Out of Mind, Out of Sight"
  108. "Family"
  109. "Band Candy"
  110. "Checkpoint"
  111. "Gone"
  112. 112.0 112.1 112.2 "Angel"
  113. "Pangs"
  114. The Long Way Home, Part Three
  115. Time of Your Life, Part Four
  116. Lost and Found, Part One
  117. 117.0 117.1 Twilight, Part One
  118. Twilight, Part Four
  119. Revelations
  120. One Girl in All the World
  121. "School Hard"
  122. "Intervention"
  123. On Your Own, Part One
  124. "The Puppet Show"
  125. "Doomed"
  126. Last Gleaming, Part One
  127. Freefall, Part Two
  128. Finale
  129. 129.0 129.1 Predators and Prey
  130. "Flooded"
  131. "As You Were"
  132. Retreat, Part Two
  133. The Long Way Home, Part Two
  134. Big City Girl
  135. Time of Your Life, Part Three
  136. One Year Later
  137. 137.0 137.1 Alarums
  138. Time of Your Life, Part Four
  139. 139.0 139.1 New Rules, Part Three
  140. New Rules, Part Four
  141. Own It, Part Five
  142. Welcome to the Team, Part Four
  143. Welcome to the Team, Part One
  144. Kevin Melrose, "Buffy Summers Vs. Black Widow? Joss Whedon Knows Who'd Win." Comic Book Resources, April 10, 2012.
  145. Adrian Puryear, "Denver Comic Con 2014 Interview – Georges Jeanty." Hush Comics, June 18, 2014.