As Neanderthals are to human beings, the Turok-Han are to vampires. They're primordial, ferociously powerful killing machines, as single-minded as animals. They are the vampires that vampires fear. An ancient and entirely different race. And until this morning, I thought they were a myth.
―Rupert Giles[src]

The Turok-Han, largely referred to as "übervamps" by the Scooby Gang, were an ancient and powerful breed of vampire.

History[edit | edit source]

Background[edit | edit source]

They were a race of ancient powerful vampires, possibly created by the Old One, Maloker. Turok-Han are stronger and fiercer than the regular vampires, described as the vampire equivalent to Neanderthal man. Judging by Rupert Giles' description of them, they were monsters even amongst vampires.

Sunnydale[edit | edit source]

The first Turok-Han rises

The First Evil, via its Bringers, initially used the combined blood of Jonathan Levinson and Spike to open the Seal of Danzalthar, thus releasing the first Turok-Han.

Buffy Summers's first encounter with the primordial vampire nearly killed her as she was caught off-guard, tired from two days lack of sleep and worried about the fate of her friends. Their second encounter happened after the Turok-Han killed one of the first Potential Slayers sent to Sunnydale for protection. Buffy spent most of this time avoiding the vampire rather than fighting it but it nevertheless beat her to a bloody pulp.

The Turok-Han fearlessly faces Buffy on a one-on-one fight

In between its fights with Buffy, it spent most of its time brutally torturing a captive Spike. After Buffy discovered the First's infiltration of the Potential Slayers, he told them that he would have the Turok-Han go after them. The Turok-Han broke into the Summers residence and fought through a barrier created by Willow Rosenberg. Buffy, her friends and Potential Slayers then fled to the streets. As the Turok-Han caught up with them, Buffy tried to hold it off though, the Turok-Han directed its attention to the Potentials after a brief struggle. Following them to the construction site, the Turok-Han was pursued by Buffy who, after a long battle, managed to the kill the vampire in front of the Potential Slayers.[1]

Several weeks after, a demon attempted to release a Turok-Han using Xander Harris' blood. She was only successful in opening the seal long enough for a Turok-Han to stick its arm out before the ritual was disrupted.

The Shadow Men later showed Buffy a vision of thousands of Turok-Han living below the seal. The First Evil apparently planned to open the Hellmouth and release them all, allowing them to conquer the world. The First would have taken physical form when its "forces" (presumably referring to the Turok-Han) outnumbered humanity in this world.

The Turok-Han army

Eventually, a few more Turok-Han were released.[2] Still more waited under Sunnydale for the time when the First would be able to free them all. 

Extinction[edit | edit source]

Buffy and the other Slayers went into the Hellmouth itself to fight the Turok-Han.[3] In the end, all of them were apparently killed, including thousands by the mystical amulet that entrapped Spike. Spike remarked that, along with "decent punk bands" and his relationship with Drusilla, the Turok-Han were part of a list of "things that just don't exist anymore."[4]

Physiology and powers[edit | edit source]

The Turok-Han resembled pale, bald humanoid beings with the pronounced brow ridges shared by their human hybrid cousins. Their eyes were clear save for black slit pupils, similar to cats or reptiles. They had flat, bat-like noses, sharpened teeth, pointed elf-like ears, and long nails. Each Turok-Han was clad in black, leathery outfits. Just like modern vampires, the Turok-Han's bodies and clothes turn to dust upon death.

Abilities[edit | edit source]

The Turok-Han overpowers Buffy

The Turok-Han possessed the conventional powers of vampires, though to a considerably higher level. The first Turok-Han released was able to easily overpower Buffy and nearly kill her, forcing her to use every possible resource to defeat it the second time around. However, it should be noted that Buffy had been caught unprepared, and was also weakened and exhausted from two days' lack of sleep.

A Turok-Han Vampire about to break down Willow's protective spell.

The Turok-Han was able to push an entire wheelbarrow filled with timbers and tools out of its way by a mere shove of its hand and punch a cinder block into dust to no ill effect. They were also incredibly resilient; the first one immediately recovered after having a whole mess of steel beams dropped on it, and continued to fight after Buffy impaled it through the eye with a crossbow bolt.  Like regular vampires, Turok-Hans possessed great speed that mimicked teleportation. In Buffy's first encounter with a Turok-Han, it suddenly appeared right next to her even though it was nowhere to be seen seconds before.

When in Buffy's house, Willow created a force field to hold it off, though the Turok-Han broke it down in a matter of seconds. However, Dawn Summers later implied that Willow intentionally let the force field fail. The Turok-Han could also leap long distances without aid, doing the same distance as the one Buffy pole vaulted to. Also, according to Anya Jenkins, a Turok-Han's claws could shred flesh.

Despite being seemingly mindless animals, the Turok-Han are intelligent enough to follow orders from the First and even to forge their own weapons, indicating that they simply lack sophistication.[3]

Vulnerabilities[edit | edit source]

Turok-Han vampires disintegrating under the sunlight.

Despite their great power, even the Turok-Han possessed some of the common weaknesses of vampires. Though they were unaffected by crosses and were able to enter human residences without an invitation, the Turok-Han were still vulnerable to sunlight and decapitation. Additionally, due to their denser sternums, it was more difficult to stake them, though not impossible (Anya described it like trying to pierce steel with wood).

Holy water appeared to be less effective against the Turok-Han than regular vampires, Anya herself claimed from her information that holy water "seems to run off these guys [Turok-Han] like they've been scotch-guarded". It was shown to cause only minor burns which deterred it for only a few seconds.

Additionally, although their strength is without a doubt superior to most vampires and even Slayers, towards the confrontation with the First Evil, even regular humans like Dawn and Xander, given proper training, could match and defeat Turok-Han vampires in combat (or at least ward them off momentarily).

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Buffyverse.png The Turok-Han article has a Photo Gallery.

Behind the Scenes[edit | edit source]

  • They were given the nickname of Übervamp by the Scooby Gang, more specifically Anya. 'Über' was first commonly used by German philosopher Nietzsche who coined the phrase 'Übermensch' – which referred to the higher state that man may aspire to, and has come to be used synonymously with "superman". An Übervamp is therefore a "supervampire".
  • Just like The Master and The Prince of Lies, the Turok-Hans posses a big resemblance to Count Orlok, the iconic vampire from the 1923 silent horror movie Nosferatu.
  • The Turok-Han army's performance in the final battle of the series is noticeably worse than the performance of the first Turok-Han. While the first Turok-Han was able to nearly kill Buffy, forcing her to use every possible resource to defeat it the second time around, the later Turok-Han seem evenly matched against the newly activated Slayers and even normal humans such as Xander and Dawn. (This phenomenon is known as Conservation of Ninjutsu.) In the audio commentary for the episode, creator Joss Whedon explains he is aware of the continuity issue with the Turok-Han's powers. He acknowledges that early in the season the demon was nearly unstoppable, yet in the final episode the Slayers can defeat the Turok-Han much more easily. Whedon explains that the story behind the season/episode he wanted to get across to viewers was more important than the continuity.
  • In the original shooting script for "Get It Done", the vision shown to Buffy by the Shadow Men was originally supposed to be a ravaged, post-apocalyptic Sunnydale overrun with Turok-Han.[5]
  • The term übervamp was first used by Charles Gunn in a season 3 episode of Angel describing what Darla and Angel's child (Connor) might be, but was not a reference to the Turok-Han; Gunn was unaware of their existence.
  • Dark Horse comics interestingly enough obtained the rights of the comic book Buffyverse and the prehistoric hero known as Turok (previously owned by Acclaim/Valient) around the same time. Turok-Han was not connected to Turok though and is only a Buffyverse canon term for the prehistoric Vampire breed, that coincidentally lined up with the Dark Horse acquisition of Turok.
  • As the Turok-Han vampires were mentioned to be an extremely old and more powerful class of vampire, it may be possible that they were among the first, if not the very first, vampires that Maloker created.
  • It is unknown how the Turok-Han can sire other vampires (if they can at all) to add to their ranks, as regular vampires create others using humans.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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