- For the unproduced film, see Spike (film).
- “I may be love's bitch, but at least I'm man enough to admit it.”
Spike was a famous and widely feared vampire. His evil reputation is second only to Angelus', however Angelus was so vicious it would be nearly impossible for anyone to be considered as evil as he was. Spike first appears in Sunnydale in Buffy's second season, in the episode "School Hard", accompanied by his longtime love Drusilla.
Spike has the strengths and vulnerabilities of any vampire, although due to his age and lineage he is more powerful than regular vampires, yet he remains weaker than those that are older than him in his bloodline, such as Drusilla, Darla and Angel and other older members of the Order of Aurelius. Also, like other members of his bloodline, he is able to resist sunlight longer than regular vampires. However, his resistance is again less than that of Angel's who is older and more durable. Like Angel, Spike is one of the most notorious vampires in history, successfully killing two vampire slayers single-handedly. Under the name William the Bloody, Spike terrorized Europe alongside Drusilla, Angel and Darla throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. One of the factors making Spike so deadly an opponent in battle is his complete disregard for tradition and rules. In his human life, William was an unsuccessful and unappreciated poet; as Spike, he is a passionate fighter and one of precious few vampires to profess love, first for Drusilla and later for Buffy (the only other two vampires represented as capable of love appear in the episode "Heartthrob," from the third season of Angel).
William Pratt was born circa 1850 to 1853 in London, England to Anne and an unnamed husband. In 1880, when William was about 27 to 30 years old, he was an ineffectual gentleman who lived with his mother and wrote poetry. He was called "William 'the Bloody'" behind his back because his poetry was so "bloody awful." This nickname (with more deadly connotations) would follow him in his future as a vampire. While he traveled in high society circles, William found little in common with his peers. He showed a strong capacity for loyalty and devoted love, which followed him after his siring. After his romantic overtures were rejected by the aristocratic Cecily, a despondent William, while wandering the streets, bumped into Drusilla. She then bit him and transformed him into a vampire (as seen in the episode "Fool for Love"). However, in "School Hard," Spike's first appearance on the show, Spike says that Angel was his sire. (Joss Whedon provided an explanation for the apparent contradiction in an interview that a vampire's sire refers to anyone prior to them in their "line.")
After Drusilla sired Spike she buried him and he crawled his way out of his grave. The pair partied for several days, both draining humans and drinking alcohol. They decided to go back to Spike's original residence where a live-in servant invited them in. None of these events were shown on screen but were either described or had to happen to explain how Drusilla and Spike gained access to his former house as a vampire.
While new vampires in the Buffyverse sometimes delight in killing their families once they become evil, William had always been very close to his mother, and he turned her into a vampire to prevent her from dying from tuberculosis. Unfortunately, his mother, as a vampire, taunted William claiming that she had despised him all along, and insinuating that William had always had a sexual fascination with her. He ended up staking her because he could not bear to see his mother in such a twisted form. The entire experience was a terrible trauma for William; he would later write a poem about the experience entitled "The Wanton Folly of Me Mum," the text of which was mentioned but not presented on-screen until "Not Fade Away". This experience also comes to haunt him later on in the series when The First Evil uses it to manipulate Spike. He also has mentioned a Cousin married to a regurgitating Demon "who has better taste in Men than Buffy".
After staking his mother, William began a new life with Drusilla. Euphoric with his newfound vampiric abilities he abandoned the genteel hypocrisy of Victorian life. He became a rebel, adopting a working class North London accent and embracing impulsiveness and violence. He adopted the nom de guerre "Spike" due to his habit of torturing people with railroad spikes, inspired by a detractor from his human days who had exclaimed that he would rather "have a railroad spike driven through [his] head" than listen to William's poetry. In the company of Drusilla, her sire Angel and Angelus' sire Darla, Spike terrorized Europe and Asia for almost two decades. It is implied in "The Weight of the World" that Spike may even have been involved in criminal activities, as he mentioned that he had spent "the better part of a century" in delinquency after hotwiring Ben's car. Utterly devoted to Drusilla, he had a strained relationship with Angelus, whose relationship with Spike is portrayed in turns as both that of father and rebellious son; and as vindictive and spiteful former lovers. Although Angelus did enjoy the company of another male vampire in their travels, he found Spike's eagerness for battle to be an unnecessary risk. Angelus regarded killing as an art, not a sport, and killed for the sheer act of evil; Spike did it for amusement and the rush. Tensions also arose surrounding Angelus's sexual relationship with Drusilla, which continued despite Spike's strong disapproval. Spike at one point referred to Angel as both his "sire" and his "Yoda", using both terms as "mentor." Spike later notes that Drusilla made him a vampire, but Angelus truly made him a monster.
Spike killed a Slayer during the Boxer Rebellion in 1900; She gave him the scar on his left eyebrow, which remained a century later. Shortly afterward, he and Drusilla lost touch with Darla and Angelus (who, unknown to Spike or Drusilla, had recently been given a soul), and the couple wandered the world seeking amusement and mayhem, occasionally separating to pursue separate interests but always reuniting. During World War II, Spike and Drusilla accepted a commission from the ice demon Skrymir, and were tasked with the elimination of all potential Slayers, as well as the Slayer herself, in exchange for Freyja's Strand, a task at which they ultimately failed. Later in the war he was captured by Nazis for experimentation and taken aboard a submarine which was in turn seized by Americans. After Spike and two other vampires killed most of the crew, Angel made Spike and another vampire Angel had just sired leave the submarine, forcing them to swim to shore before the submarine reached the United States. While leaving the submarine, Spike looked to Angel and proclaimed, "You're still a dick." By the 1950s, Spike had reunited with Drusilla and they traveled to Italy. At some point, Spike spent time in prison for tax evasion. He also at some point became rivals with Dracula, apparently because he owes Spike £11.
At some point in a century or so of being his own boss, Spike employed a pair of Fyarl Demons as muscle, which is unusual because vampires and demons rarely get along; he continues this diversity in friendships and relationships throughout his un-life. Spike attended Woodstock, where he drank blood from a flower child and spent the next several hours "watching his hand move", a side effect from the psychoactive drugs in their bloodstream. He fought and killed Nikki Wood, a Slayer in New York City aboard a subway train in the 1970s.
Spike and Drusilla were in Prague in what's now the Czech Republic in 1997 where they were chased by an angry mob.
- “Once he starts something he doesn't stop, until everything in his path is dead. Stay away.”
- ―Angel on Spike[src]
Spike first appears in Sunnydale in the second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in the episode "School Hard," accompanied by his longtime love Drusilla, who has been seriously weakened by an angry mob in Prague. He is a devoted caretaker to Drusilla in her weakened condition, and initially hopes that the Hellmouth's energy can help restore her strength. The presence of a Slayer to fight makes the town even more attractive to Spike. Upon discovering that Angelus is also in Sunnydale, he initially greets the older vampire as a friend (not realizing that Angel now has a soul); however, Angel's loyalty to Buffy soon ends their camaraderie. Soon afterwards, when Spike's impatience to fight Buffy ruins their plans for the Night of Saint Vigeous, he kills the Anointed One and takes control of the remainder of the Order of Aurelius, planning to make things "a little less ritual and a little more fun". When Spike later learns that Drusilla can only be cured by the blood of the vampire who had sired her (Angel), he is more than willing to kill Angel in order to restore Dru; while Angel survives thanks to Buffy, the ritual still succeeds, and Drusilla is restored to health.
Spike and Drusilla are major enemies of Buffy for much of the second season. He is severely injured in a fight with Buffy and Kendra (in the episode "What's My Line, Part Two") when a church organ collapses on him and spends several months unable to walk, using a wheelchair instead. (Joss Whedon had originally intended to kill Spike, but the character had grown popular with fans and it was decided to injure him instead.)
When Angel reverts to Angelus after making love with Buffy, he joins Spike and Drusilla, and eventually plots with Dru to destroy all of humanity. Spike initially celebrates their reunion with Angelus and demonstrates affection, but their longtime rivalry is renewed when Angelus taunts the (temporarily) helpless Spike by pursuing Dru as a lover. Spike continues to use his wheelchair after he recovers, feigning weakness to avoid suspicion while he plots against Angelus. Spike decides to ally himself with Buffy in his efforts; he explains to Buffy that, in addition to wanting Drusilla back, he also wants to "save the world":
- "We like to talk big, vampires do. I'm going to destroy the world. That's just tough guy talk. Strutting around with your friends over a pint of blood. The truth is, I like this world. You've got – the dog racing, Manchester United, and you've got people: billions of people walking around like Happy Meals with legs. It's all right here. But then someone comes along with a vision, with a real passion for destruction. Angel could pull it off. Goodbye Piccadilly, farewell Leicester bloody Square."
When Buffy makes her attack, Spike knocks out Drusilla, removing her from the fight. He and an unconscious Dru leave Sunnydale and travel to Brazil.
Spike appears in only one episode of Season Three, "Lovers Walk." In Brazil, Drusilla is horrified by his alliance with the Slayer and senses that Spike will develop feelings for Buffy; she rejects and cheats on him, which sends him into an extended drunken depression. Spike returns to Sunnydale and attempts to force Willow Rosenberg to cast a love spell on Drusilla. He visits Joyce Summers, who listens sympathetically to his heartache, and recruits Buffy and Angel to help him gather spell ingredients. After reveling in the rush of an intense fight, Spike cheerfully abandons the love spell idea, resolving to win Drusilla back by torturing her until she likes him again. He also tells Buffy and Angel that no matter what happens, they will never be friends because of their love for one another. Buffy remarks to Angel that "I can fool Giles, and I can fool my friends, but I can't fool myself – or Spike, for some reason," foreshadowing Spike's role as the "truth-seer" of the group.
- “You feel smothered. Trapped like an animal, pure in its ferocity, unable to actualize the urges within... Clinging to one truth like a flame struggling to burn within an enclosed glass... That a beast this powerful cannot be contained.”
Spike returns to Sunnydale alone in Season Four, in the episode "The Harsh Light of Day," to search for the Gem of Amarra, a talisman that renders a vampire completely immune to all of the conventional vampire weaknesses; he later travels to Los Angeles to retrieve it, torturing Angel in an attempt to discover its location before he is thwarted and driven from the city (cf. Angel, Season 1, "In the Dark"). He becomes involved with Harmony Kendall, a shallow young vampire who used to be Cordelia's best friend before being turned at graduation. Despite her beauty and affection, Spike treats her as little more than a nuisance and sexual plaything.His un-life takes a pivotal turn when The Initiative, a secret government demon-fighting army, captures him and implants a microchip in his head, which causes crippling pain whenever he harms or attempts to harm a human being. Unable to hunt for blood, Spike turns to the Scooby Gang for protection, bartering his knowledge of the The Initiative; he quickly becomes their reluctant captive. In the episode "A New Man," he helps Giles out of a tight spot in exchange for money. In the episode "Something Blue," Spike and Buffy briefly become engaged through an accidental enchantment by Willow; although the spell only commands them to get married, each mentions being in love, foreshadowing their later bond. His inability to bite is likened to impotence, much to his constant humiliation; in "Doomed", Spike attempts suicide at Xander's house, only to be foiled by the timely arrival of Willow and Xander.
Spike discovers that the chip does not prevent him from fighting demons; since he thrives on violence, he fights alongside the Scoobies on occasion. At this point, Spike is still looking out for himself first and foremost, and does not shy away from letting the Scoobies know it. For example, upon learning that Faith is on the loose after coming out of her coma, he proclaims that he will find her and tell her exactly where the Scoobies are, and watch while she tears them all apart.
Later in the season, Spike allies with Adam, a demon/human/cyborg chimera created by the Initiative, and helps the creature in its quest to destroy the Initiative and the Scoobies. Spike's price is simple: he wants the Initiative's chip out of his head for good. He briefly manages to turn the Scoobies against each other by manipulating existing tensions within the group (cf. "The Yoko Factor"), but he changes sides again when he realizes that Adam is double-crossing him and pretends to help save the Scoobies from rampaging demons in the middle of a battle. The pretense does not go unnoticed.In Season Five, Spike becomes aware after some erotic dreams that, to his horror, he has fallen in love with Buffy. Unsure how to proceed, he keeps a nightly vigil outside her home, occasionally even breaking in (most notably to sniff and steal Buffy's clothing, and to steal photographs for his secret shrine to her). Spike also becomes a more active participant in the Scooby Gang, jumping into several of Buffy's fights to provide assistance whether she wants it or not. At Buffy's request, he reveals to her how he killed the two Slayers he had fought, offering survival advice, and later comforts her when her mother has to go into the hospital, much to her surprise.
Buffy's younger sister Dawn, who has a crush on Spike, perceives his feelings for Buffy, and casually mentions it to Buffy. When Buffy rejects his advances, Spike attempts to prove his love by kidnapping her to witness him killing Drusilla for her. When that fails, Buffy has Willow un-invite him from her home (something she had not bothered to do in the two years since their alliance against Angelus).
Later on, after the death of Joyce Summers, Spike attempts to pay his respects by leaving flowers at the Summers residence, as she was the only member of Buffy's group that ever treated him even halfway decent, though Xander thinks that he was merely attempting to take advantage of the situation to score points with Buffy and could not be convinced otherwise until Willow discovers that he didn't even leave a card with the flowers. When Dawn attempts to resurrect Joyce, Spike helps her out, but assures her he doesn't want any credit for it, as Buffy would "drive a redwood through his chest" and swears that he would kill Dawn himself if she ever told Buffy about his involvement. He ends up getting badly injured by a Ghora demon when they attempt to steal one of its eggs in order to perform the spell correctly.
Not wanting to give up his obsession, Spike has Warren Mears make a sex-bot made in Buffy's likeness that is programmed to love and obey him, though it ends up getting him captured by Glory's minions, who mistake him for the Key. Disgusted, particularly after witnessing the full extent of Spike's obsession, Buffy rejects Spike again, but reconciles after learning that he refused to reveal the location of the Key to Glory under intense torture, nearly laying down his life to protect Dawn. Buffy is moved by his unexpected sacrifice and kisses him. When Glory discovers the identity of the Key, Buffy allows Spike to accompany the Scoobies out of Sunnydale (much to the chagrin of Giles and Xander) as he was the only one besides Buffy himself that stood any chance of protecting Dawn if Glory caught up to them. In the days and hours leading up to the final showdown with Glory, Spike fights by Buffy's side, earning her trust (as well as a re-invite to her home). After Buffy dies in the showdown with Glory, Spike honors her memory by remaining loyal to the Scoobies, fighting at their side and serving the role of baby-sitter/father figure/protector to Dawn. Blaming himself for Buffy's death, he keeps track of the number of days since she died until she is resurrected in Season Six.During the sixth season, Spike and Buffy became lovers. Unable to confide in her friends, Buffy is increasingly drawn to Spike. Their physical relationship starts after a demon's spell makes them share their emotions and Buffy expresses that she "want[s] the fire back," but it is not consummated until Spike finds out that his chip no longer stops him from hurting the resurrected Buffy. Buffy most often initiates both the violence and the sex between them, and threatens to kill Spike if he ever tells anyone about their relationship. During their first sexual encounter, they fought and the house around them shook and fell, foreshadowing the volatile nature of their relationship. Both are unsatisfied with the relationship; Buffy is ashamed of her dark desires, while Spike obsessively craves the love, trust, and affection that she is unwilling to give. Shortly after Buffy's ex-boyfriend Riley Finn finds Spike in possession of smuggled demon eggs and accuses him of being "The Doctor" (cf. "As You Were"), Buffy ends their relationship. Spike at first tries to make her jealous by bringing a date to Xander and Anya's wedding. Later, after Xander leaves Anya at the altar, Spike and Anya get drunk together and seek solace in each other's arms. Buffy and Xander catch them, and her jealousy at seeing Spike with Anya leads him to believe he still has a chance at winning Buffy back.
After a lecture from Dawn, Spike, his obsession out of control, corners an injured Buffy in her bathroom, making aggressive sexual advances. When Buffy refuses him, he attacks her in desperation, apparently intending to rape her; although their sexual history is highly violent, Buffy clearly says no to this encounter. When Buffy fights him off, Spike returns to his crypt, shocked by the fact that he not only attacked Buffy, but that he backed off, something that the pre-chip Spike never would have done, especially with the Slayer injured and weakened. Spike then leaves Sunnydale for a remote location in Africa, where we are led to believe that he intends to get his chip removed and become his old evil self. Spike undergoes the Demon Trials, a series of brutal physical tests, to prove his worthiness. He succeeds, and we find out his true intentions: he wanted to earn his soul back in order to give Buffy "what she deserved", and the demon shaman who put him through the trials grants his wish. (cf. "Grave").
With the returning of his soul comes a conscience filled with guilt. In the early episodes of Season Seven, Spike resides in the basement of the recently reconstructed Sunnydale High School, close to the Hellmouth's opening. Tormented by The First Evil as well as his newfound conscience, he appears to be going insane (he notes at one point that he is "bug-shagging crazy"). When Buffy asks him why he had fought for his soul, Spike explains: "For her. To be hers. To be the kind of man who would nev-...To be a kind of man." After Buffy learns that Spike is in the basement, she enlists his assistance in several situations, although it is not until well after she learns that he is ensouled that she decides to bring him out of the basement.Spike becomes reluctant roommates with Xander, because he has nowhere else to go. However, this arrangement backfires as Spike, under influence of the First Evil's hypnotic trigger, unknowingly kills innocent people. Spike initially has no memory of his actions; after he discovers what he has done, he begs Buffy to stake him. Buffy refuses and takes him into her house, telling him she has seen him change. He suffers severe withdrawals after his extended feeding on human blood, and is still vulnerable to the (as yet unidentified) hypnotic trigger, so he is willingly confined with ropes or chains. Buffy guards and cares for Spike throughout his recovery, telling Spike that she believes in him, a statement which later sustains him throughout his imprisonment and torture at the hands of the First Evil.
Spike assists Buffy in her efforts to train the Potentials that are gathering in Sunnydale. In the meantime, his chip begins to malfunction, causing him intense pain and threatening to end his un-life. To the dismay of Giles and her friends, Buffy trusts Spike enough to order Initiative operatives to remove it from his head. She also takes Spike's side when Robin Wood attempts to kill him in retribution for the murder of his mother, Nikki Wood, the Slayer Spike killed in 1977. Ironically, by attempting to kill Spike when he is under the First's influence, Wood frees Spike from his hypnotic trigger: a song called "Early One Morning" that Spike's mother often sang to him before he became a vampire. The song evokes Spike's traumatic memories of his mother's abusive behavior toward him after she turned; after Spike is able to address these issues, he realizes that his mother had always loved him, knowledge which frees him from the First's control. Afterwards, he bites Wood, but lets him live out of respect for his mother, but swears that he will kill him (Wood) without a second thought if he so much as looks at him wrong again.
Later in the season, Spike and Buffy achieve an emotional closeness; he, alone, remains selflessly loyal to her when the other Scoobies, Giles, and the Potentials abandon her (noting, with contempt, "You sad, sad, ungrateful traitors. Who do you think you are? ... She has saved your lives again and again. She's died for you. And this is how you thank her?"). After Spike tracks Buffy to an abandoned house, they spend three nights together; after the first night, Spike tells Buffy that it was the best night of his life, just holding her. It is unclear whether they resume their sexual intimacy the second night; creator Joss Whedon said on the DVD commentary for "Chosen" that he intentionally left it to the viewers to decide how they felt the relationship progressed, though Whedon had earlier stated on the commentary that he personally felt having them resume a sexual relationship would send the wrong message, although Spike does say that Buffy came back to him for some "cold comfort", which is the name he gave to their sexual encounters.
In the final battle inside the Hellmouth, Spike, wearing a mystical amulet, fights alongside Buffy, Faith and the newly awakened Slayers against the First Evil's army of Turok-Han. The amulet mystically channels sunlight that turns the Turok-Han to dust and collapses the cavern containing the Hellmouth, sealing it and creating a crater which swallows up the entire town of Sunnydale. Despite Buffy's pleas, Spike sacrifices himself to destroy the Turok-Han and close the Hellmouth. Spike is slowly incinerated in the process, but not before Buffy tells him "I love you." (This is what the prophetic Cassie Newton was referring when, earlier in the season she says to Spike, "She'll tell you".)Spike replies "No you don't. But thanks for saying it". Even as he burns and crumbles to dust, Spike chuckles and revels in the destruction before him, glad to be able to see the fight to its end. He finally dies at the Hellmouth and saves the world in the process, becoming a Champion.
Los AngelesDespite his apparent death at the end of Buffy's final season, Spike returns in the fifth and final season of Angel. The amulet he wore at the Hellmouth mysteriously returns to Wolfram & Hart by mail; Spike materializes from a whirlwind after Angel opens the envelope. Spike initially intends to leave Wolfram & Hart and find Buffy, who is now in Europe; however, he discovers that he is mystically bound to Los Angeles and unable to leave.
For the first seven episodes of the season, Spike is an incorporeal being akin to a ghost with a connection to the human world that is unstable, causing him to disappear at random (but increasingly frequent) intervals. As his disappearances become more frequent and intense, Spike, terrified, confides only to Fred that every time he disappears, he is being transported to Hell. He asks her to help save him, and she promises to find a way to make him corporeal again. Later, in the episode "Hell Bound," it is discovered that Spike's disappearances are being caused by another ghost, Matthias Pavayne aka The Reaper, who toys with the many souls trapped at Wolfram & Hart in order to delay his own sentence to Hell. Fred successfully creates a machine to recorporealize Spike, but when Pavayne threatens Fred's life, Spike chooses to use the machine to save her, throwing away his opportunity to become corporeal but successfully stopping Pavayne; Spike's heroic actions reinforce Fred's belief that he is "worth saving." Spike finds himself able to affect the world around him if he wants to badly enough, so he is able to assist in fighting before he is actually recorporealized.Later, Spike receives a mysterious package in the mail; when he opens it, he sees a flash of light and discovers that he has become corporeal again. Chaos concurrently erupts in Wolfram & Hart, and Eve arrives with information that the existence of two corporeal ensouled vampire champions is complicating the Shanshu Prophecy and destroying the fabric of reality (although it was later implied that Angel's old foe Lindsey McDonald made the situation worse than it would have been). She tells them that a new translation of the Prophecy reveals that, in order to restore the balance, Spike and Angel must compete to drink from the Cup of Perpetual Torment, which will bestow upon the winner great responsibilities and pain before ultimately washing his past clean and allowing him to live as human again. In their extended physical and verbal battle, each tries to assert himself as the better man. Although Angel tells Spike that Spike is a monster just like him, Spike denies any similarities: "You had a soul forced on you. As a curse. Make you suffer for all the horrible things you've done. Me, I fought for my soul, went through the demon trials, almost did me in a dozen times over, but I kept fighting. Because I knew it was the right thing to do. It's my destiny." Their battle culminates with Angel unable to touch a giant cross, which Spike, contemptuously ignoring the pain, holds and wields with ease. During the fight, he also reveals his hate and resentment toward Angel for making him into the monster he became. Spike defeats Angel for the first time in their long history and drinks from the Cup, but the prophecy turns out to be a sham (the liquid in the Cup was merely Mountain Dew).
Even though he is now corporeal (and therefore no longer bound to Los Angeles), Spike decides not to go to Europe in search of Buffy; he wants her to remember him as the hero who died to save the world, and later mentions to Andrew Wells, who is, as far as any Buffy fans know, the only member of the Scooby Gang who knows that Spike is still "alive", that it would be pretty stupid to go to Europe after that, mockingly similating a phone call between the two by stating "Hello, Buffy, it's Spike. I didn't burn up like you thought I did. How are things?" Beginning in the episode "Soul Purpose," Lindsey McDonald, using the name of the late half-demon Doyle with a connection to The Powers That Be, persuades Spike that he is destined to "help the helpless," in much the same way as the real Doyle persuaded Angel of the same thing at the start of Angel. Alienated by Angel's corporate, bureaucratic approach to fighting evil, Spike steps into his role as hero. He takes on Dana, a psychotic Slayer who had, until recently, been locked in a mental institution, but Dana captures him, drugs him, and cuts off his hands. This experience causes Spike to more deeply examine the nature of the evil inside him, and he tells Angel that Dana thought that he had killed her whole family, and says: "And I'm supposed to, what, complain, because hers wasn't one of the hundreds of families I did kill?" Spike believes that Dana has become a monster like them, but Angel responds that the girl is an innocent victim, and Spike points out that he and Angel were innocent victims at one point. Spike's hands are reattached at Wolfram & Hart, and he is instructed to play video games for physical therapy, including Donkey Kong and Crash Bandicoot.
Eventually, Spike learns that "Doyle" is actually Lindsey, who has been manipulating him the whole time. His relationship with Angel becomes increasingly acrimonious, and they contemplate the possibility of Spike leaving L.A. after a particularly bitter argument over whether cavemen or astronauts would win in a fight (cf. "A Hole in the World"). When Fred becomes infected with the essence of the Old One known as Illyria, Spike works alongside Angel and the rest of the crew to find a cure, and mourns for Fred when they fail. He abandons the idea of leaving L.A. after Fred's death, deciding to stay because that is what Fred would have wanted, and officially joins Team Angel in her honor. Spike is put in charge of "testing" the newly-awakened Illyria's abilities, which generally involves fighting with her and recording details on his clipboard, and the two develop a bond. By the end of the season, Spike is a trusted member of the group. Although Spike and Angel make it clear that they still do not like each other, they are a lethally effective fighting team thanks to their decades or so of experience with each other, and get along far better than they did earlier in the season by the time Spike officially joins Angel's crew.When the final episodes of Angel air, Spike is the first to vote for Angel's plan to wound the Senior Partners by taking out the Circle of the Black Thorn and go out in a blaze of glory. Before Angel's team enters what may be their final battle, Angel gives them the day off, to spend as though it was going to be their last day. Spike, returning to his mortal roots as a frustrated poet, triumphantly knocks them dead (figuratively) in an open mic poetry slam at a bar after having some drinks to gather "Dutch courage," reciting his completed version of a poem he had begun over a century earlier before being sired by Drusilla (cf. "Not Fade Away").
After single-handedly rescuing an infant and destroying the Fell Brethren, Spike joins Angel, Illyria, and a badly-wounded Charles Gunn in the alley behind the Hyperion as the series draws to an end, preparing to incur the apocalyptic wrath of the Senior Partners, as a way of going out in a blaze of glory.
Spike would, however, survive the battle.
Spike: After the Fall
Spinning out of Spike's First Night story, the first issue of Spike: After the Fall shows Spike and Illyria watching over a group of citizens. Illyria keeps turning back into Fred, and Spike is forced to keep turning her back into Illyria to protect her. Spike questions whether he may have feelings for Fred, and the group of women that Spike is with during Angel: After the Fall make their first chronological appearance. The issue opens with Spike meeting the dragon: while Spike considers ways of killing it, the dragon communicates that Spike should mount it. Once together, the dragon takes Spike to Wolfram & Hart, where a figure whom Spike does not recognize is suspended inside an energy field, writhing in pain. Meanwhile, the civilians are at the mercy of the group of women. Spike encounters one, commandeers her truck, and finds the hostages, then tries to run down their leader of the group of female demons. She throws Fred in front of the truck, and Fred reverts to Illyria on impact. Illyria and Spike begin to melee the demon women, but their leader uses life-draining magic to turn the hostages into zombies and knock out Spike and Illyria. Spike awakens chained in a dark room filled with his zombified wards, and the demon leader tells him she is keeping him alive for his connections. Non, the head of the female demons attempts to bargain with a Gunn to return Spike to him. Her power is revealed to be control of humans. Gunn beats her down and lets her go leading her to decide to kill Spike and all the humans with him. Non attempts to behead Illyria, but the ax shatters on contact. Illyria breaks free and starts killing all the female demons. Non prepares to kill the last human hostage before Connor appears and stops her. Connor, Spike, and Illyria continue their battle with Non. In the midst of the battle, Non attempts to feed on Connor, whom she realizes is not human, and on whom she cannot feed. After discovering that Non's Sadecki demon controls her flock of females, Spike tells Illyria to finish it off. During her confrontation with the demon, she again starts reverting between Fred and Illyria, but finally is able to gather herself and kill the demon. Realizing his plan worked, Spike goes mano y mano with Non. After taking a beating from Spike, Non uses the last human hostage that the gang saved to gain some energy back. Illyria realizes this and kills the human, allowing Spike to finish off Non. Spike then becomes Lord of Beverly Hills, and tells the other lords to keep out. Later, Spike and Connor meet up and begin their crusade of saving the remaining humans in Los Angeles.
Angel: After the Fall
In Angel: After the Fall, Spike has adjusted to Los Angeles' new status as a literal hell on Earth; he and Illyria both serve together as the Demon Lords of Beverly Hills, living in a lavish mansion- while it appears that both of them have once again become evil, it is revealed during Angel's fight with Illyria that their position is a facade; Spike and Illyria are secretly rescuing humans and benevolent demons and evacuating them into the care of Connor, Nina Ash, and Gwen Raiden. He then is given the opportunity to return to the side of evil, but as usual remains loyal to the good fight as he's helping Angel to bring the Lords down. He is assembled, along with the other members of Team Angel, by Lorne in order to help Angel fight the other Demon Lords' champions. Spike rallies with the rest of the gang against the machinations of Gunn, who is now a vampire unknowingly working under visions from the Senior Partners, and struggles to control Illyria's unstable powers in her new environment. Illyria periodically reverts to the form and personality of Fred, in which times Spike tries to protect his friend from harm. During Gunn's attack on the Hyperion, Spike fights three of Gunn's enslaved Slayers, but cannot defeat all three of them at once and is staked. However, he returns due to Illyria's manipulation of time. After Gunn manages to unleash Illyria's true form by killing the remnants of the Fred personality, a gravely-wounded now-human Angel, Connor and Spike are the only surviving members of the team. After Illyria is defeated and Connor is killed by Gunn, Angel begins killing everything with Spike preventing them from interfering letting Angel get it out of his system. As Angel realizes what needs to be done to return them to Earth, Spike is asked by Wesley to watch over Illyria as she will still have essences of Fred.
- “You know what I find works real good with Slayers? Killing them.”
In "Fool for Love" Spike retells Buffy of how he first learns about the Slayer and sets out with the goal of killing her. He tracks down his first Slayer, Xin Rong in China during the Boxer Rebellion. Spike kills her during the battle, but not before she cuts him above the eye, giving him his trademark scar. He feeds off of the Slayer, whose blood is like an aphrodisiac to vampires.
Later, in the 1970s he tracks down another Slayer, Nikki Wood, in New York. They fight on the subway, with Spike eventually snapping her neck. He then takes her leather coat which he is seen wearing for most of the series.
Spike is seen as something of a paradox amongst vampires in the series, and frequently challenges vampire conventions and limitations. He embraces certain elements of humanity, such as love and loyalty, that would be considered too human (and therefore offensive or impure) by other vampires. With or without a soul, Spike often displays a strong sense of honor and loyalty; leaving anonymous flowers to show respect for Joyce Summers' death ("Forever"), enduring torture at the hands of Glory rather than reveal Dawn's identity as the Key ("Intervention"), and continuing to aid the Scooby Gang after Buffy's death ("Bargaining"). Many of Spike's actions, good or evil, are motivated by love for either Drusilla or Buffy. Spike honestly likes Joyce and Dawn and has never seriously threatened either one, even before he got his chip. He also has great respect for Willow and Tara and had a friendly relationship with both. However, he seems to have a constant hatred of Xander, once calling him "a glorified bricklayer", and even slapped him in the back of the head once, stating that his chip-induced headache was "worth it". Despite all of this, he is able to put differences aside for a greater good.
One of Spike's most notable personality traits is his lust for violence and his love of brawling. He has noted that he finds the very act of violence therapeutic: in the episode "School Hard," he responds to a lackey's incompetence by snapping the neck of a hostage that he considers to be "too old to eat" and notes that he feels better afterward. Similarly, during his drunken pining for Drusilla in the episode "Lovers Walk," he notes that getting pent-up aggression out of his system by staking and driving off several vampires "put(s) things in perspective' for him". After a prolonged period of being unable to bite or hurt humans, Spike is delighted to discover that he is able to fight demons and gladly accompanies the Scooby Gang on patrol, proving that it does not much matter to him what he is fighting for so long as he can fight. Even in the episode "Bargaining, Part Two", when Spike is a protector and pseudo-big-brother for Dawn, they look outside to see demons destroying the town and Spike smiles. Dawn asks why he's smiling. He shrugs and responds, "Just... looked like fun." Despite his love of violence and mindless destruction, Spike is highly intelligent. He has displayed excellent skills of insight and analysis, particularly on relationships. However, despite this, he was often delusional about his relationship with Drusilla and refused to acknowledge her acts of infidelity.
In contrast to the brooding Angel, Spike has a dry, sarcastic sense of humor. A polar opposite to his callow and simpering human nature, Spike, as a vampire, possesses a swaggering posture and enjoys living by nobody's rules save his own. He has a habit of making pithy remarks and glib insults, even toward the few he does not view as antagonists. Among his favorite targets are Angel, Xander, Giles, and (to a lesser extent) Buffy. Joss Whedon credits this antipathy as what convinced him in the episode "Lovers Walk" to bring Spike back as a cast regular. As James Marsters put it, "I was supposed to be the one who stood at the side and said, 'Buffy, you're stupid, and we're all gonna die'."
In Season Six, although he is, for the most part, good and a full-fledged member of the Scooby Gang, Spike is still prone to murderous impulses due to his lack of a soul; in "Smashed", when he believes his chip has stopped working, he does not hesitate in trying to bite an innocent woman. However, this was likely out of frustration over Buffy; in "Crush", when Drusilla snaps a girl's neck and hands her body over to Spike, he hesitates before biting.
Spike often nicknames people, both as insults and as terms of endearment, referring to Dawn, for instance, as "Little Bit", "Nibblet", and "Platlet" and to Drusilla and Buffy as "Pet", he also calls Willow "Red", he has nicknamed Angel: "Poof", "Peaches", and "Captain Forehead" and Illyria "Little Shiva", "Smurf", and "Blue Meanie". He also once called Buffy "Slutty the Vampire Slayer". He has given himself the nickname "Big Bad",a reference to the nickname for major Buffy Villains. He speaks with a strong lower class English accent and slang; while suffering from amnesia in "Tabula Rasa", he labels Giles as a "nancy boy" for being English, before realizing, "Bloody hell! Sodding, blimey, shagging, knickers, bollocks, oh God! I'm English!" However, Spike also retains something of his literary intellect from his human side, routinely referencing poetry, songs, and literature; he on occasion even waxes poetic on the nature of love and life (and unlife) as being driven by blood, reasoning that blood is more powerful than any supernatural force because it is what separates the living from the dead.
Spike often treats his vulnerability to the sun as simply an annoying inconvenience, rather than a limitation; he drives in broad daylight in vehicles with blacked-out windows, and he regularly travels outside during the day, using a blanket for cover. Indeed, he has a remarkably stronger resistance to sunlight than all other vampires except Angel (who usually catch on fire just by the slightest solar ray). Both Spike and Angel have demonstrated an ability to resist the pain of sunlight on extremities; in fact, when Spike was first sired, he and Angel originally bonded over enduring the direct rays of the sun. But on occasion both have caught fire from sunlight. He also has a taste for human food and drink, such as beer, whiskey, hot chocolate (even asking Joyce Summers if she has any of "those little marshmallows"), chocolates, Buffalo wings, and onion blossoms, constituting the most varied diet of any vampire on the show. Sometimes he adds extra ingredients into his blood, such as Weetabix (for texture), and spices and burba weed (for flavor). He also smokes cigarettes (as do many vampires); preferring the fictional brand Morley, which he lights with a trademark silver Zippo lighter.
Spike appears to be a fan of pop culture; when held captive by the Scooby Gang in Buffy Season Four, his biggest concern is missing his favorite soap, Passions. Over the course of the series, he makes references to movies and shows such as Star Trek, Star Wars, Dawson's Creek, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Ghostbusters, Knight Rider, and The Nightmare Before Christmas. In the Angel episode "You're Welcome", after his hands are cut off by Dana and subsequently reattached at Wolfram & Hart, he is instructed to play video games for physical therapy, including Donkey Kong and Crash Bandicoot, and can be seen playing a Game Boy Advance in "The Girl in Question."
In contrast to Angel, Spike's personality remains relatively the same whether he has a soul or not.
Although Spike has been portrayed as heterosexual through both "Buffy" and "Angel" he once said to Illyria "Angel and I have never been intimate... except that one..."
Spike has a punk look which strongly resembles that of English rock musician Billy Idol. His hair is platinum blonde for the duration of his time on Buffy and Angel, although in flashbacks it can be seen in its natural medium brown state as well as dyed black. Marsters' V/Y-shaped scar on his left eyebrow, which he received during a mugging, was worked into the show; make-up artist Todd McIntosh decided to shave out his eyebrow in order to make it more prominent. He also included the scar on Spike's "vamp face" prosthetic, albeit slightly altered as though the skin has stretched. In Spike's first appearance in the series, the wound still looks fresh, but it gradually blends in over the course of the series, eventually to the point where it is barely visible in Angel Season Five. In Season Five's "Fool for Love", it is revealed through a flashback that Spike received the scar from the sword of the first Slayer he killed in 1900. Angel once sarcastically asked him, "What color is your hair? Radioactive?". He has been called "Captain Peroxide" by both Xander and Angel.His nails are also painted Black.
Spike usually wears long black leather coats, including one that he took from a Nazi officer and another that he took as a trophy from Nikki Wood, the second Slayer he killed. He wore the Slayer's black duster for over twenty-five years. When the coat was destroyed by a bomb from the Immortal in Italy, Spike heartbrokenly declared it to be irreplaceable. However, the Italy branch of Wolfram & Hart quickly supplied him with a whole wardrobe of new, nearly identical ones which he happily began wearing. His trademark look includes the leather duster, a black t-shirt or v-neck shirt and black denim pants, usually with heavy boots. He also wore a red long-sleeved shirt fairly often, particularly during the earlier seasons of Buffy.
Powers and abilities
In addition to the the standard powers and vulnerabilities of a vampire (albeit substantially enhanced due to his age), Spike is perhaps the only vampire to have killed two Slayers. Spike is a highly skilled, and versatile fighter in both armed and unarmed combat. For example, he is able to briefly overcome Illyria during a testing of her abilities when she is at the height of her powers, however he had been training with her for months and had adapted to her abilities so others could have achieved this as well if given the time Spike had. Illyria criticizes his (and others') ability to adapt, calling it "compromise." He is able to withstand excessive amounts of pain for extended periods of time, particularly when properly motivated, as seen in the episodes "Intervention" and "Showtime"' however Angel has shown this same trait. While not as skilled or as sadistic as Angelus, Spike also proves himself to be effective at torture, noting that he had gained "screams, various fluids, and a name" from Doctor Sparrow in "Shells". Much like Angel, he is proficient in various forms of martial arts, and his typical fighting style blends karate, kung fu, and others.
Spike often displays insight and skills in perception and observation, especially with regard to relationships and personalities, so long as the relationship in question doesn't concern him personally. This ability allows him to wield powerful psychological weapons as easily and effectively as physical ones. For example, when he wants to create disharmony among the Scoobies, Spike divides-and-conquers with "the Yoko Factor," exploiting tensions that exist under the surface to turn Buffy and her friends against each other. He explains to Buffy that he was able to defeat two Slayers because he sensed and exploited their secret desires to be free of their burden. Spike's skills of analysis allowed him to be the first to see through Tara's abusive and controlling family, forced Buffy and Angel to admit that they were more than "just friends", and identify when and why some relationships, such as that between Buffy and Riley, are not meant to last, masterfully feeding Riley's insecurities in an effort to sabotage his relationship with Buffy, so that Spike can pursue her. His analytical skills also help him in battle from time to time; for example, in "Time Bomb", he identifies Illyria's fighting style as a Tae Kwon Do/Brazilian Ninjitsu hybrid.
Although capable of developing sound battle strategies, Spike (particularly in the days before receiving his chip and being ensouled) often loses patience with anything more complicated than outright attack:
- Spike: “I had a plan.”
- Angel: “You, a plan?”
- Spike: “Yeah, a good plan. Smart. Carefully laid out. But I got bored.”
- — Angel and Spike[src]
He is also impatient to fight the Slayer upon his initial arrival in Sunnydale; the attack is supposed to coincide with the Night of Saint Vigeous, but he "couldn't wait" to go after the Slayer and attacks the night before, thus ruining the Order of Aurelius's plans. However, Spike did exercise patience throughout the latter half of Buffy Season Two, when he was confined to a wheelchair after a brutal battle with the Scoobies left him paraplegic for several months. Feigning weakness, he endured tortuous weeks watching Angelus sexually pursue Dru as he waited for the right time to strike against his enemy.
Spike's "vampire constitution" provides him with an extremely high tolerance for alcohol (which he regularly consumes in copious quantities). Due to his experience in criminal activities, he is skilled at picking locks, hotwiring cars, and pick-pocketing. He is also capable of easily operating various vehicles, such as various cars, a Harley Davidson motorcycle ("Bargaining"), and a Winnebago ("Spiral"). He has also been shown using video game systems and a computer, treating injuries, and playing poker and pool. Spike is also seen speaking Latin, Luganda (a language of Uganda, where he meets the demon shaman), and the language of Fyarl Demons.
When Spike was transformed into a ghost-like intangible state following the destruction of Sunnydale and the Hellmouth and his subsequent materialization at Wolfram & Hart, he was capable of walking through solid objects. He was initially unable to make contact with objects around him until he learned how to focus his abilities through desire, allowing him to make brief contact with people and things if he concentrated enough. However, this ability was relatively useless in a fight, as he was unable to pick up a wooden bar to hit the demon Tezcatcatl in "The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco", and required a few moments to properly punch a cyborg that was strangling Gunn in "Lineage". Naturally, he lost these capabilities after being recorporealized, as seen when he attempted to phase through Angel's office door and comically bounced right off.
Behind the Scenes
- Spike's story before he appears in Sunnydale unfolds in both Expanded Universe material and flashbacks scattered among numerous episodes of both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel.
- Whedon has confirmed Spike and Angel will appear in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight although as of issue #20 he, as well as Angel, has only appeared in a steamy dream sequence about Buffy's sexual fantasies. Although Angel appeared once more in another dream.
- Spike was originally intended to die in What's My Line, Part Two, at which time Drusilla would become the main villain along with Angelus. However, due to the immense popularity of the character and Marsters' performance, the character was given a reprieve and placed temporarily into a wheelchair instead.
- It was after Marsters' guest appearance in one episode of Season 3, and Marsters' immediate chemistry with the cast, when Joss Whedon decided that he wanted Spike to return as part of the permanent cast and devised the chip storyline.
- James Marsters auditioned for the role with both a Southern US Gentleman's accent and the eventually-chosen cockney accent.
- Spike's present-day resemblance to British punk rocker Billy Idol was a running gag throughout Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Numerous times, Spike claimed that he invented the look, and Idol stole it.