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This article is about the character. For other uses, see Wesley.

You do what you have to do to protect the people around you. To do what you know is right, regardless of the cost. You know, I never really understood that. You're the guy who makes all the hard decisions, even if you have to make 'em alone.
Angel[src]

Wesley Wyndam-Pryce was a former Watcher, a member of Angel Investigations,[5] and later an executive at Wolfram & Hart.[6]

Biography[]

Early life[]

All those hours locked under the stairs and you still weren't good enough. Not good enough for daddy, not good enough for the Council.
Unidentified Ethros demon[src]

Wesley was born in England son to the Watcher Roger Wyndam-Pryce. At the age of six or seven, Wesley attempted to resurrect a dead bird using a mystical scroll stolen from his father's library.[7] As a teenager, he attended an Watchers Academy in southern Hampshire, where he was named Head Boy.[8]

Watcher to Buffy and Faith[]

Wesley is assigned serve as Watcher to the Chosen Two.

Wesley was sent to Sunnydale by the Watchers Council to serve as a replacement Watcher for both Faith Lehane and Buffy Summers,[9] after Rupert Giles had been fired.[10] Prior to his assignment, his only other encounters with vampires had been "under controlled circumstances." As such, he proved rather inexperienced and handled himself poorly in combat. Giles did not take him seriously and tended to support Buffy's predilection in Wesley's place, despite the Council's wishes.[9]

While in Sunnydale, Wesley developed a mutual interest on Cordelia Chase, a high school student and reluctant member of the Scooby Gang.[9] Their flirtation would culminate in them dancing together at the prom and,[11] a few days later, sharing an awkward kiss. After this, they both quickly came to realize that they lacked any sort of chemistry.[12]

After Faith accidentally killed the Deputy Mayor Allan Finch,[9] the Scoobies neglected to inform Wesley, leaving him to discover the information by eavesdropping on Buffy and Giles as they conversed. Wesley called in a squadron of the Watchers Council Special Operations Team, which ruined Angel's attempt to reach Faith emotionally and drove her decision to ally herself with the Mayor Richard Wilkins instead. Wesley's mistake only earned him further disdain from Buffy and her companions.[13]

Wesley joins the Graduation Day battle.

Wesley failed to convince the Council to aid Angel after Faith poisoned the vampire with the Killer of the Dead, resulting in Buffy's decision to stop following the Council's orders altogether, promptly severing all ties with them.[14] Still, Wesley chose to help them fight the Mayor after his Ascension to the Old One Olvikan, though Wesley was knocked out during the battle almost immediately.[12]

Due to his failure to control either of the Slayers that he had been assigned, the Watchers Council dismissed and severed all ties with Wesley, even refusing to fly him back to England.[5]

Joining Angel Investigations[]

After his dismissal from the Watchers Council, Wesley styled himself as a "rogue demon hunter" and eventually made his way to Los Angeles in his motorcycle, where he was reunited with Angel and Cordelia. He began assisting their recently opened supernatural detective agency, the Angel Investigations, contributing with his educated knowledge of the paranormal and the occult. He initially kept his firing by the Council a secret from both of them, merely stating that, after Buffy's refusal to work with the Council, he'd had no opportunity to function as a Watcher and had thus turned to demon hunting instead. He came to admit his truth of his arrival in L.A. to Angel,[5] then continued to assist Angel and Cordelia in their following cases.[15][2]

Wesley becomes the Angel Investigation team's main occult expert and researcher.

When Angel realized that Wesley was running low on money, he decided to make him an official member of the team by giving him a paid job at the agency.[16] Wesley proved his loyalty to Angel Investigations when he chose to continue helping Angel after he was tempted with the offer of being reinstated to the Council. He betrayed his former colleagues in order to protect Faith, who was under Angel's protection,[17] despite the fact that she had tortured him the previous night.[18] These actions cemented his relationship with Angel, Wesley admitting that he trusted him.[17]

As time passed, Wesley grew a lot more capable and confident as a result of his time assisting Angel. Wesley eventually found himself running the organization during Angel's descent into darkness, showing himself to be a capable leader. Wesley also developed a strong brothers-in-arms relationship with streetwise vampire-hunter Charles Gunn, being shot trying to protect Gunn and his friends from a police officer. He remained in a wheelchair for several weeks afterward.[citation needed]

Wesley sought his father's approval for being made leader of Angel Investigations, but instead found his father more concerned with his next failure.[19] This, in combination with the unconscious challenge to Wesley's leadership by Angel upon his return to the agency, resulted in a crisis of confidence.[citation needed] When Wesley was placed in charge of a rebellion in the dimension of Pylea, he exhibited a ruthless pragmatism and explained his decisions to sacrifice some rebels' lives and risk Angel's. He said: "If you try not to get anybody killed, you end up getting everybody killed."[20]

Betrayal of Angel Investigations[]

Wesley's throat being slit by Justine.

Wesley's path soon became wrought with tragedy. Just as he was beginning to have romantic feelings for teammate Winifred Burkle, he was supernaturally influenced to attempt to kill her.[21] He still harbored feelings for her and eventually decided to try again, however Gunn had similar feelings which were reciprocated. As a result, Wesley was forced to watch as the two started a happy relationship.[citation needed]

After the birth of Angel's son, Connor, Wesley became convinced by a prophecy that Angel would eventually kill his own baby.[22] With the intention of keeping Connor safe, Wesley betrayed his friends by conspiring with Angel's old enemy, Daniel Holtz, and kidnapped the infant. Wesley's plan resulted in his throat being cut while Holtz swept Connor to the dimension of Quor'toth.[23] As it turned out, the prophecy had been created by Sahjhan, a time-warping demon who had learned that Connor was destined to kill him.[citation needed]

Angel was nonetheless furious at Wesley for conspiring with Holtz behind his back and kidnapping his son, so he attempted to kill him while at the hospital. Though Angel was stopped, Wesley was ordered to never return to the Hyperion Hotel again, as no one could forgive the fact he had chosen not to trust any of them. Wesley then began a sexual relationship with Lilah Morgan, an employee of the evil law firm Wolfram & Hart who was trying to recruit him.[citation needed]

Returning to the fold[]

After Angel was eventually sealed in a metal coffin and sunk to the bottom of the ocean by Justine and a then grown Connor, Wesley kidnapped Justine and forced her to help him find and retrieve Angel. When they did so, Wesley fed Angel his own blood to help him regain his strength, before dropping him back off at the Hyperion. Although Gunn and Fred were furious that Wesley hadn't informed them of what had happened and allowed Connor to remain with them, Angel was grateful to Wesley for the rescue. Although offered forgiveness, Wesley refused to return. He formed his own team to continue fighting the good fight, though his team was more of a paramilitary mercenary group than a detective agency. Despite this, Wesley maintained an interest in the affairs of Angel Investigations while continuing his relationship with Lilah.[24]

Although Wesley wanted to keep his distance, the team kept on seeking his help and advice in finding what had happened to Cordelia,[citation needed] then participating in a spell to restore her lost memory.[8] Wesley eventually returned to the team full-time during the gang's first confrontation with The Beast and Jasmine's manifestation.[citation needed]

Wesley, a changed man, returns to the team.

Wesley took command and made the decision to force Angel to be soulless again when information about his history with The Beast was uncovered. Wesley also had to face the trauma of Lilah's death, particularly when he was forced to decapitate her corpse in order to ensure she wouldn't rise again as a vampire.[25]

In an attempt to save Connor, Angel performed a powerful mind-wipe that removed certain events from the collective memories of the world at large, causing Wesley to forget all of his memories involving Connor and, along with it, his betrayal of Angel and the group.[26]

Wolfram & Hart[]

After Angel and his team chose to take over the Wolfram & Hart Los Angeles branch, Wesley began working with them once more.[6] Just as he had adjusted to his new surroundings, his father visited him and tried to convince him to rejoin the Watchers Council. Roger Wyndam-Pryce was soon revealed to have sinister intentions when he attempted to steal Angel's free will. When his father threatened to kill Fred, Wesley shot and killed him, continuing to fire his gun until the magazine was empty. It turned out that the being he had killed wasn't his real father, but rather a cyborg imitation.[7]

Wesley comforts Fred as she slowly dies.

Afterward, Wesley and Fred admitted their longtime feelings for one another and began a romantic relationship.[27] It was short lived, however; Fred became infected with a mystical illness that turned out to be the Old One known as Illyria shelling her out to occupy her body. Wesley watched over her as she died in his arms and Illyria was resurrected in her place.[28] Wesley stabbed Gunn, who had been inadvertently responsible for Fred coming into contact with the virus, then shot Knox, who had chosen Fred as Illyria's vessel.[29]

Wesley with Illyria.

Wesley turned to alcohol to ease his pain. He began to hold onto Illyria as the only thing he had left of Fred, helping her understand the human world and emotions she was blighted with. He inadvertently restored his and his friends' memories of Connor when he smashed the Orlon Window that held said memories, upon learning that Angel had magically altered history when he accepted Wolfram & Hart's offer, thinking that Fred was the price for doing so. Expecting Fred to return, he instead was gifted with the memories of stealing Connor and betraying Angel. Upon discussing the returned memories with Illyria who regained Fred's lost memories, Wesley told her to forget reality and focus on the fake memories, as they were made for a reason.[30]

Wesley later sent Illyria into Wolfram & Hart's Holding Dimension to rescue Gunn, whom he apologized for having stabbed.[31] When Angel proposed to attack the Circle of the Black Thorn, the secret arm of the Senior Partners, Wesley agreed to challenge a demon sorcerer named Cyvus Vail, who knew of Wesley's growing instability and believed him to be a wild card who could betray Angel. Vail proved too powerful for Wesley, who was overpowered and mortally wounded. Despite his wounds, Wesley managed to temporarily knock Vail out with an energy sphere, which allowed him to spend his final minutes of life with Illyria at his side. Wesley finally agreed to let Illyria take the form of Fred while he died in her arms.[4]

Wesley dying in the arms of Illyria, disguised as Fred.

After Wesley passed away, Illyria avenged his death by shattering Vail's skull with a single punch. Illyria went to the alleyway behind the Hyperion Hotel to battle the Senior Partners' armies with Angel, Gunn, and Spike, where she informed them about Wesley's death.[4]

Afterlife[]

Following his death, Wesley returned due to the standard perpetuity clause in his Wolfram & Hart contract keeping him working for the company even after death. He was made the liaison between the Senior Partners and the Los Angeles branch of Wolfram & Hart, which was sent to hell by the Senior Partners along with the rest of Los Angeles, being permanently trapped in the form of the pompous and cowardly Watcher he once was; however, knowing that they would not be able to control him as they had Lilah or Holland Manners, the Senior Partners revived Wesley as a ghost and rendered him unable to make contact with anything. For the first few weeks in Hell, Wesley cared for Angel who had been rendered human by the Senior Partners and was badly injured. Upon recovering, Wesley helped him mystically keep up the guise that he was still a vampire and assisted in healing his wounds. Wesley tried to contact Cordelia, who had become a higher power, for assistance; but she and the other Powers That Be were unable to exert any influence in Wolfram & Hart's domain.[citation needed]

Wesley during the Fall of Los Angeles.

He was apparently destroyed when Gunn, who had become a vampire, destroyed the Wolfram & Hart building. He then convinced the bodiless voices in the White Room to let him return with Angel.[32] As he returned during the battle against the Demon Lords of Los Angeles, he was seen by Illyria who, as a result, transformed into Fred. Spike subsequently tried to keep Illyria from Wesley, because she was vulnerable in Fred's form. Illyria however, was protective both over Wesley and his deceased body, which remained in her possession.[citation needed]

When Angel was brought near death by Gunn, the Partners took him there to deliver their message: Gunn's visions were sent by them and not by the Powers and Angel was still entitled to the Shanshu Prophecy should he survive to become a vampire again. Wesley transferred the Partners' vision to the dying Angel of a post-apocalyptic Angel, fulfilling the Shanshu.[33]

After Connor died, Angel began slaughtering Wolfram & Hart's army. After questioning the army, Wesley realized that the Senior Partners couldn't allow Angel to die. This was an opportunity to undo the death and chaos caused by the fall of Los Angeles, so they reversed time to before it. However, because Wesley died before the fall, he would remain dead. Nonetheless, Wesley was resigned to his fate, believing that he had nothing more to live for with Fred gone. He walked away, but not before asking Spike to take care of Illyria in his stead.[34]

In the new timeline, Angel used his new status as a public hero to honor of Fred and Wesley naming the Burkle Wyndam-Pryce Wing in the public library. Although Angel was told that Fred's soul had been destroyed, he occasionally imagined that Wesley and Fred were reunited after death.[35] However, this was proved invalid after Illyria's eventual immortal death and subsequent restoration resulted in Fred being brought back to life, sharing her body with Illyria.[36]

Personality[]

You try not to get anybody killed, you wind up getting everybody killed.
―Wesley Wyndam-Pryce[src]

Although trained in the skills of a Watcher, his overwhelming fear initially prevented him from gaining experience in real-life combat, and rendered him useless in fights. In one example, Giles was forced to save him during a vampire fight soon after he became Buffy's Watcher;[9] in another, he was knocked out nearly immediately in the final battle with the evil Mayor.[12] Although, he did save Cordelia from Wishverse Willow, threatening the indifferent vampire with a cross and holy water.[37] In yet another instance, he proved bumbling at rescuing Cordelia while a "rogue demon hunter" and was easily bested by the sadistic empath demon Barney, being only saved when Cordelia killed Barney herself.[5]

Wesley's most notable personality trait was his ruthlessness; he was "one to make the hard decisions even if he has to make them alone."[7] He would rather have allowed Willow to die than to give the Mayor back an object which would allow him to complete his Ascension. He is immediately dismissed by the Scoobies as lacking in compassion, though his logic is sound.[38] Later examples include his plans to storm the Pylean Royal Palace, sending numbers of rebels to certain death to allow the rest to infiltrate the palace;[20] taking baby Connor away from Angel;[23] and shooting what he thought was his own father to protect Angel and Fred.[7] Despite this, Wesley has allowed his emotions to get the better of him, such as stabbing Gunn and killing Knox after Fred died.[29]

Wesley began as a "by-the-book" Watcher, characterized as an "annoying version of Giles," demonstrating an arrogance in his knowledge and an over-confidence in his lackluster combat skills, but he gradually matured to show a more caring, compassionate side through his friendship with Angel and his temporary position as team leader, as well as becoming a skilled independent combatant capable of standing up to such powerful foes as Angelus, the Beast,[citation needed] and Cyvus Vail.[4] An example of his early arrogance was when he proudly told Giles that he killed two vampires under controlled circumstances, only to be proved completely useless in a later battle, forcing Giles to save him.[9] While initially by the book, he ended up deferring to Giles a lot[citation needed] and eventually came to aid Buffy on his own when she'd quit the Council and thus no longer needed his help.[12]

A significant change in Wesley's persona came about shortly after he kidnapped Connor and had his throat slit by Justine Cooper (as well as his looks, as he started going unshaven and without his glasses). While he ultimately still fought the good fight, his emotional attachment to the friends he once fought with were completely severed, the only exception being Fred, to a certain degree. He developed a pessimistic views, a self-loathing view of himself and a more darker sense of humor. He also become much more serious and focused and lost a great deal of his former cowardice. He began to work on his own and form his own group, and showed little interest in rejoining Angel even after he forgave him for kidnapping Connor.[citation needed]

While initially Wesley and Giles were polar opposites, they began to mirror each other through their willingness to commit "lesser evils" for the greater good. Both either attempted or succeeded in murdering people with the aims of saving the world. For instance, just as Giles killed Ben to prevent the eventual resurgence of Glory,[39] Wesley tried to kill the newly arisen Illyria, without hesitation or attempting to find a way to separate her from her shell, Fred.[29] Both were also willing to let innocents die for the same cause.[citation needed]

Wesley has a strained relationship with his father Roger Wyndam-Pryce. His father had always been disappointed in him as a child, an attitude that was worsened when Wesley was fired from the Watchers Council.[citation needed]

Wesley was a fan of the comedian Gallagher and his water melon smashing routine. He appeared to enjoy playing darts and drinking beer.[citation needed] He professed to admire John Wayne in his film Rio Bravo and Denzel Washington's performance in Malcolm X.[40] He appears to have been a fan of board games, notably Jenga, Word Puzzle 3D, and Risk, which he played with Gunn.[citation needed] He was also a fan of the singer Cat Stevens.[41]

Appearance[]

When he first appeared in Sunnydale, he most often dressed in prim suits, vests and overshirts, and had a manner of dress and attitude somewhat reminiscent of fellow Watcher Rupert Giles. Upon joining Angel Investigations, he maintained his style and mannerisms; however, as his character progressed Wesley took on a more casual appearance, mostly wearing black or white t-shirts under a short sleeve button shirt, light colored pullovers, khaki pants and a wool pea coat.[citation needed]

As he slowly regressed into darkness and depression his attire came to match (black t-shirts, darker ill fitting button shirts, jeans, work/cargo pants, sweaters and a stained brown leather coat); all his clothes were often stained or unwashed in appearance. He also left his hair unstyled, no longer wore glasses (despite his heavy use of firearms around that time) and even allowed himself some light stubble, which added to his air of melancholy. Even after he rejoined Angel and his friends at Wolfram & Hart, he retained his more casual clothing style, albeit with a more groomed appearance rather than his previously disheveled look and slightly more work place friendly clothing.[citation needed]

He returned to his suit and tie when he became Angel's liaison to the Senior Partners, but this was explicitly identified as part of their torment of him, forcing Wesley to regress back to an appearance and time that he had grown apart from.[citation needed]

Powers and abilities[]

  • Intelligence: Wesley's superior and detailed knowledge of demons and sorcery aided Angel and the team regularly. He had a wide range of knowledge in both academic and occult fields, was a brilliant strategist, and possessed incredible talent in both human and non-human languages. He also led his own militia of demon hunters, during his exile from Angel Investigations. He was also a skilled counter; while fighting a member of the Council's black ops team, while under direct fire, he kept count of how many bullets had been fired, coming out from under cover only when the other man had run out of bullets.[citation needed]
  • Weapons usage: Wesley always used gadgetry and weapons in combat against demonic forces. A powerful and efficient marksman, he was able to hit a tiny target while performing acrobatics (e.g., when he killed the demon Skip by shooting a bullet into the small hole in his armor created when Angel broke a horn off in a previous confrontation).[citation needed] Wesley made extensive use of firearms in the fight against evil and habitually packed a pair of 13-shot version Colt 45 pistols and a compact pump-action shotgun.[42] Even before he began using firearms regularly, he was able to help Angel take out a Haxil beast with a vat of liquid nitrogen by shooting the canister just as Angel had thrown it at the Haxil beast.[citation needed]
  • Combat prowess: Due to the lifestyle he led, Wesley had developed above-average strength, reaction time and endurance and was somewhat athletic. Over time, Wesley developed exceptional physical abilities, as he led his own demon hunting militia against string demonic creatures and had bested them. He was able to take on vampires with success and subdued Justine Cooper single-handedly on two occasions. Wesley gained experience during his time with Angel, as his personality hardened, and he became an incredibly skilled martial artist, as well as being proficient with weapons.[citation needed]

Wesley conjuring a fireball to attack Cyvus Vail.

  • Mystical prowess: Wesley's superior arcane knowledge lent towards a minor talent for sorcery on occasion.[4]
    • Fireball projection: He could conjure fireballs to his palm by force of will.[4]
  • Link to the Senior Partners: In his state as liaison to the Senior Partners, Wesley possessed a link to the Partners that allowed him to communicate with them.[citation needed]
  • Intangibility As a ghost, he was trapped in an intangible state that prevented him from making contact with anything, while having the bonus of rendering him completely immune to physical attacks.[citation needed]

Relationships[]

Romantic[]

  • Cordelia Chase — Wesley and Cordelia met at Sunnydale High School, where Wesley was sent to act as Watcher to Buffy and Faith. The two quickly grew attracted to each other, though Wesley had great doubts about it due to the age difference. However, when he voiced his doubts to Giles, he told him to just go for it, which he did by asking her to dance with him at the prom.[11] The two eventually kissed but found it awkward.[12] When the two meet again in Los Angeles, any trace of a romantic relationship was gone,[5] and the two become close friends.[citation needed]
  • Virginia Bryce — Wesley and Virginia met and slept together under the false pretense that Wesley was in fact Angel; Virginia's father had been attempting to hire Angel as a bodyguard for her, but Angel was away on a "spiritual retreat."[3] However, the two continued a fairly serious relationship, but Virginia eventually left because she didn't feel capable of coping with Wesley's lifestyle.[citation needed]
  • Lilah Morgan — Lilah and Wesley's relationship initially began as simply physical but eventually grew into something more. Wesley broke off the relationship after realizing that he could no longer bring himself to ride the line of good and evil. While he didn't truly love Lilah, he held a great deal of care for her and when she was murdered by The Beast, Wesley was saddened and felt responsible for her death, even seeing her ghost when she died. He took the liberty of cutting off her head, believing her to have been bitten by Angelus, which was undoubtedly hard for him. When she arrived in the Hyperion weeks after she died to offer Team Angel control of Wolfram & Hart, Wesley attempted to burn her contract, stating that he wanted her to be free. A visibly touched Lilah revealed that the contract could not be destroyed, but appreciated that he had tried.[citation needed]
  • Winifred Burkle — Wesley soon developed a strong attraction for Fred after she was saved from Pylea. This set him at odds with Gunn who also had a romantic interest in her. Fred eventually chose Gunn, to Wesley's disappointment. Even after he was ostracized by Angel Investigations after kidnapping Connor, Wesley remained attracted to Fred, and helped her when she asked him to.[citation needed] After they took control of Wolfram and Hart, Fred began pursuing him[27] (though he was completely clueless to her hints), and their relationship would last about a week before her untimely death. Wesley was the only one with her when she died.[citation needed]

Familial[]

  • Roger Wyndam-Pryce — Wesley had a strained relationship with his father who had always been disappointed in him as a child, an attitude that worsened when Wesley was fired from the Council. Wesley's father always made him feel as though he was never good enough and Wesley constantly sought approval in his father's eyes.[citation needed] When a cyborg posing as his father threatened Fred's life, Wesley, believing it to be his actual father, shot him without hesitation multiple times; something that affected him greatly.[7]

Friendships[]

  • Angel — During his time as Buffy's Watcher, Wesley had a distrust for Angel who was a vampire, though cursed with a soul.[citation needed] Months after being fired by the Council, Wesley, who had been trying take up the mantle of rogue demon hunter, came into contact with Angel and Cordelia in Los Angeles.[5] A few weeks after beginning employment at Angel Investigations, Wesley betrayed the Council's Special Ops Team for Angel and his desire to redeem Faith, revealing he had complete trust in him and his actions, thankful to him for doing more good under his employ than he ever did with the Council.[17] After Angel had fired him from Angel Investigations, Wesley was angry and betrayed. Eventually, Angel re-joined Angel Investigations but Wesley nonetheless made sure he was the boss this time and wanted him to work to earn his trust.[43][44] Angel and Wesley's relationship dissolved when Wesley took baby Connor away after uncovering a prophecy that foretold that Angel would kill his son, though it proved to be false. As retribution, Angel tried to suffocate Wesley whose throat had just recently been slit. Despite seemingly being bitter and being abandoned by Angel Investigations, Wesley nevertheless worked tirelessly to save Angel when Connor entombed him under the sea. After this, they seemed to more or less reconcile and became friends again. Wesley remained unwavering in his belief that Angel was a champion and a force for good.[citation needed]
  • Charles Gunn — Wesley and Gunn formed a brotherly relationship after the former took a bullet for the latter,[45] even creating a personal handshake.[43]  When Gunn's crew caused an upset in Caritas and nearly killed all of them, Wesley expressed sympathy for his divided loyalties towards them and Angel Investigations. However, he nonetheless warned him that if it ever happened again, he would fire Gunn since the mission came first.[46] However, their relationship took a turn for the worse when both men took romantic interests in Fred upon her arrival. Wesley was hurt when Fred and Gunn began a relationship, and even attempted to coerce Fred into giving into her desire for him after he returned to the team following his betrayal, which caused him to get into a hand-to-hand fight with Gunn. Upon discovering that Gunn was inadvertently responsible for Fred coming into contact with Illyria, Wesley stabbed him though he later awkwardly apologized, and the two seemingly made peace.[citation needed]

Antagonistic[]

  • Rupert Giles — Wesley was originally resented by Giles as a usurper of his position as Buffy's Watcher.[9] However, the two eventually seemed to bond over shared interests, such as fencing and tea.[citation needed] They would work together in preventing the hellhound attack on the Sunnydale High prom[11] and thwarting the Mayor's Ascension.[12] Wesley would later be resentful of Giles for not informing him about Faith's recovery but otherwise seemed to be on good terms with him and the Scoobies.[citation needed]
  • Harmony Kendall — During Harmony's first visit to Los Angeles, Wesley openly expressed annoyance of her. He had requested someone stake Harmony due to her constant gum chewing and was horrified to see her tear a page out of a twelve-hundred year old book. Eventually, Wesley would try to come at her with a stake before being stopped by Cordelia and Angel. After damaging the computer by spilling a cup of blood, he would comment: "Harm, such a fitting nickname."[44]

Other[]

Faith torturing Wesley

  • Faith Lehane — Faith and Wesley had a complicated relationship from the start; after her experience with Gwendolyn Post, Faith did not want a new Watcher, while Wesley's by-the-books attitude clashed with her rebellious nature.[9] After Faith went rogue, Wesley frustrated Buffy and Angel's attempts to reach out to her by locking her up and to send her to England, in order to punish her for her crimes. This led to Faith escaping custody and allying herself with Mayor Wilkins instead.[13] After Faith wakened from a coma, she went to Los Angeles to take revenge on Wesley and tortured him.[18] While Wesley was initially resistant to Angel's attempts to reform her, he came to understand that Angel was the only one that could help her, then saw that she was changing for the better when she agreed to give herself up and go to jail.[17] He would contact her three years later to enlist her help to save Angel.[25] The two worked together well, finally redeeming their relationship as Slayer and Watcher,[47] then parting on good terms.[48]
  • Buffy Summers — Wesley and Buffy had a strained relationship from the beginning, as she resented him for trying to replace Giles.[9] This resentment would turn to outright hostility when Wesley refused to help cure Angel, who had been poisoned by Faith.[14] Despite this, the two were able to work together to stop Mayor Wilkins ascension, and parted on good terms.[12]
  • Illyria — Wesley felt drawn to Illyria as she was all that remained of Fred. Although they were mostly at each other's throats for a long period, Wesley took a keen interest in helping Illyria navigate Earth, and was easily the person who understood her eccentricities the most. Wesley himself admitted to Angel that he was not in love with Illyria, but for some reason he felt he needed her. For her part, Illyria treated Wesley as a trusted guide and adviser. At the moment of his death, Illyria took Fred's appearance and gave him a moment of comfort before he died, shedding tears at his passing. Illyria had also grown to like him enough that she admitted concern for him and came to aid him out of concern for his well-being. Illyria was enraged by his death and avenged him, and wanted to do more violence as a result of her rage. After his death, Illyria kept his body in her presence for months.[citation needed]

Gallery[]

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Behind the scenes[]

  • He was portrayed by Alexis Denisof.
  • The script for Wesley's first appearance in "Bad Girls" described: "Young, not bad looking, but a bit full of himself. Thinks he's Sean Connery when he's pretty much George Lazenby."[49]
  • He was originally American. Ironically, he's English but played by an American.
  • Wesley appears in a total of 109 episodes of the Buffyverse, all of which also featured Angel. The only characters to appear in more episodes are Angel (167), Willow (147), Buffy (146), Xander (143), Cordelia (140), Giles (121), and Spike (120).
  • Wesley was initially designed to be a foil for the character of Giles. Actor Alexis Denisof comments that Wesley and Giles come from very similar backgrounds, but have gone in different directions "with the tools that they had;" he was conceived as a "nemesis" for Giles and Buffy. Co-executive producer Douglas Petrie, who wrote Wesley's first episode, explains "the way Faith is a reflection of Buffy, Wesley takes up a lot of the space that Giles traditionally occupies." He elaborates that, because Giles is usually the "stuffy guy from England who tells you to sit up straight and obey the rules," introducing Wesley, who embodies those traits "to the nth degree," allows Giles to become "subversive" and "cool." Writer Jane Espenson claims that the character was intended for viewers to have antipathy towards, since he was trying to undermine Giles.[50]
  • Denisof had been living in England before coming to Los Angeles and was unaware of Buffy the Vampire Slayer since it had not yet aired in Britain. When Anthony Stewart Head found out that the series was looking for an actor to play Wesley, Head contacted Denisof to ask whether he would be interested in the role. Denisof claims that Wesley was originally supposed to "come in, irritate Giles and Buffy for a couple shows, and then be gloriously terminated." However, the writers became fond of the character's "curious humor" and found themselves unable to kill him off. Joss Whedon struggled to find a place for Wesley in the series where he wouldn't clash with Giles, and eventually approached Denisof with the offer of appearing in Angel. For Wesley to work as a long-term character, Denisof claimed they had to re-shape the character to be more sympathetic.[49]
  • Denisof claims that his initial goal in playing the character was to be as annoying as possible to the other characters. He explains: "I thought that an irritating version of Giles would be annoying for Giles and also for Buffy. Wesley's purpose was to come there and point the finger and get things shipshape. He's a "by-the-book school teacher." He considered what kind of person it would be who would have dedicated his life to this peculiar task of being a Watcher and what would be the unique characteristics of somebody who had made those decisions, was taken out of that environment, then put into Sunnydale. To Wesley, that was a completely new and bizarre place."[51]
  • Denisof came up with a background story for Wesley regarding his father to explain "why he was so repressed." The writers used this story in the show, alluding to it in early Angel episodes such as "I've Got You Under My Skin," and "Belonging." While discussing Wesley's character development over the course of Angel, Denisof explains: "I decided that Wesley was internally confronting his father and that released him a little bit and made him less repressed."[52]
  • When Wesley is introduced in Angel, having been fired from the Watchers Council, Denisof says this experience gave the character "a little shake". He elaborates: "When he arrived in Sunnydale, he was straight out of Watcher grad school; he lacked practical experience. He was living in the ideal of the perfect way to execute his duties. I think that losing his job and going out alone roughened him up a little, lopped off some of his sharper corners. It made him more approachable and more personable, less sure of himself all the time."[51] Coming into the show immediately following the death of Doyle, Wesley serves as a partial replacement for that character. Comparing the two characters, Denisof states: "Wesley is a clearer counterpart to Angel, whereas Doyle had more street smarts. Although [Doyle] was struggling with his demon nature, he had seen a lot more of the world in the same way Angel had."[51] Nonetheless, Denisof believes that in this period, his character "was so anxious to be a tough rogue demon hunter but was clearly a kind of soft puppy dog."[53]
  • Denisof complimented the Angel episode "Billy," in which Wesley tries to murder Fred after becoming supernaturally misogynous, "because it was the first real dark change in Wesley to experiment with."[53] Discussing Wesley's betrayal of his friends to protect Angel's baby, Denisof explains: "It isn't that he's purely bad or purely good, we're discovering a deeper and more complicated area of the character where good and bad aren't as clear, where Wesley does something motivated, he thinks, for the good of all — i.e. saving Connor and relieving Angel of the responsibility of murdering his son — and in doing so creates the situation in which the baby could be kidnapped, Angel loses his son and Wesley has his throat slit for the trouble. So it's grey rather than black or white."[53]
  • Science fiction magazine Starburst said that "somber, subdued, bearded Wesley is worlds away from the foolish, pompous Wesley." Denisof says of the period, "it was a great opportunity to explore some of the character's darker layers. You couldn't have predicted it when he arrived in Sunnydale. This was an important element to introduce and explore, to be consistent with the show and to continue the organic exploration of all the characters." Whilst the character spent less time with his old friends, Denisof was "more or less isolated from the [main cast], barring one or two scenes of mild confrontation when they would come to visit me and we'd chew each other out. There's definitely a cold war going on with Wesley versus the world."[54]
  • Discussing the way Wesley's English accent softens over the course of Angel, Denisof says: "[The modified accent] just sits on him better. As an actor, it just felt that organically the way he was changing, and it also seemed to be accurate when you consider the amount of time he's spent in Los Angeles that the accent could have softened. And since he isn't surrounded by upper-crust academics as he was as a young Watcher in the Academy in England, it's understandable that he is changing the way he speaks and changing his voice, his delivery, as a result of his environment."[53]
  • Denisof had earlier stated that he thought "it's better for the father [of Wesley] to be kept in the background and not become part of the story."[52] When Wesley's father finally did appear in Angel season 5, he said, "I had mixed feelings [at first]. It was a lot of pressure to have to define something that had been speculated about for many years. I was worried that by making it specific, it would lose its power, both in the mind of the character and in the minds of the audience. All my concerns disappeared as soon as I read it. There are responses to powerful figures in your life, like your parents, that you can't necessarily control. Wesley's a very controlled person on the exterior and presents a very collected persona to the people around him, being with his father he would no longer be able to control his responses. That's one of the things I wanted to explore with this, the subtle ways in which you respond to the conditioning of your parents. Wesley has difficulty around his father on a physical level, on an emotional scale, and on an intellectual scale. He is extremely intimidated by his father, and at the same time, still seeking the approval that we all essentially want from our parents when we're children. The shooting [of the cyborg Wesley believed to be his father] was an exhilarating moment in which there was the most dangerous person in his life on every level, and there is a woman he is obsessed with. And to have the woman jeopardized by something as dangerous as his father — I played that moment as a moment of pure instinct. Wesley is centered in his intellect and is more uncertain in his emotional life, but in that moment, he becomes pure instinct because he has to choose between the woman he loves and his father."[53]
  • Denisof talked with Whedon about what storylines would have been in place had the television series received another season; Wesley would not have died, and he and Illyria would have featured in an arc in which the transformation of Illyria to Fred would have been extended over many episodes and taken to a "much deeper, darker place" than it briefly was in the late fifth season episode, "The Girl in Question." Denisof continues: "They would have progressed the relationship between Wesley and Illyria in such a way it would conflict with his own feelings for Fred, in a much more profound way. And then we would have gone into the switching of Fred and Illyria and having these two people that he was having these strong feelings about. That was going to be a fairly long journey in the following season, all of which got abbreviated tremendously when [the WB] decided to cancel the show." The cancellation of the show was the inspiration for Wesley's death; Whedon gave Denisof the option of keeping the character alive, but Denisof believed killing the character was right for the story, "It was very upsetting to read. It's too good a story because it hurts."[citation needed]

Appearances[]

Canonical[]

Buffy the Vampire Slayer


Angel


Other[]

Angel (Dark Horse Comics)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Classic
Buffy the Vampire Slayer novels
Angel novels
Crossover novels
Angel (IDW series)
Spike comics
Fallen Angel: Reborn
Video games

References[]

  1. "The Ring"
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Expecting"
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Guise Will Be Guise"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 "Not Fade Away"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 "Parting Gifts"
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Conviction"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 "Lineage"
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Spin the Bottle"
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 9.8 "Bad Girls"
  10. "Helpless"
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 "The Prom"
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 12.6 "Graduation Day, Part Two"
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Consequences"
  14. 14.0 14.1 "Graduation Day, Part One"
  15. "Somnambulist"
  16. "She"
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 "Sanctuary"
  18. 18.0 18.1 "Five by Five"
  19. "Belonging"
  20. 20.0 20.1 "There's No Place Like Plrtz Glrb"
  21. "Billy"
  22. "Loyalty"
  23. 23.0 23.1 "Sleep Tight"
  24. "Deep Down"
  25. 25.0 25.1 "Salvage"
  26. "Home"
  27. 27.0 27.1 "Smile Time"
  28. "A Hole in the World"
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 "Shells"
  30. "Origin"
  31. "Time Bomb"
  32. After the Fall, Part Seven
  33. After the Fall, Part Twelve
  34. After the Fall, Part Sixteen
  35. After the Fall, Part Seventeen
  36. United, Part Two
  37. "Doppelgängland"
  38. "Choices"
  39. "The Gift"
  40. "First Impressions"
  41. "Redefinition"
  42. "Inside Out"
  43. 43.0 43.1 "Epiphany"
  44. 44.0 44.1 "Disharmony"
  45. "The Thin Dead Line"
  46. "That Old Gang of Mine"
  47. "Release"
  48. "Orpheus"
  49. 49.0 49.1 Nancy Holder, Jeff Mariotte, and Maryelizabeth Hart (2000). Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Watcher's Guide, Volume 2. New York: Pocket Books.
  50. Alexis Denisof, Douglas Petrie, Jane Espenson. (2001). "Season 3 Overview" (Buffy the Vampire Slayer The Complete Third Season DVD Special Features). 20th Century Fox.
  51. 51.0 51.1 51.2 Matt Springer (May/June 2001). "Vogue Demon Hunter." Buffy the Vampire Slayer Magazine
  52. 52.0 52.1 Darryl Curtis, (October 2003). "Wyndam of Change." Angel Magazine
  53. 53.0 53.1 53.2 53.3 53.4 Abbie Bernstein (Winter 2002/2003). "The Pryce is Right". Buffy the Vampire Slayer Magazine (2002 Yearbook)
  54. David Richardson, "Sleeping with the Enemy". Starburst, August 2002.