It takes a lot to be the Chosen One. When a Slayer dies and a new one rises to take their place, they’re imbued with ancient powers that increase every aspect of their body. Strength, agility, endurance and more are all enhanced in the young women chosen to become the frontline in the fight against the darkness. When Buffy gained her powers and became the legendary Vampire Slayer, she became more than simply the high-school Mean Girl, she became a super soldier in peak physical form, magically designed to be the first last and only line of defence against the hordes of vampires, demons and monsters that plague the world.
It takes more than just a prophecy and a sudden influx of power to become Buffy the Vampire Slayer, however. Since the very first episode, Giles the Watcher has been on-hand to remind his young charge that it takes a life of dedication, training and practice to ensure that she remains in peak physical condition, so that she can hone her skills and remain one step ahead of the relentless evil around her. The body of a Slayer goes through a lot; as such, CBR brings you 15 Dark Secrets about the Body of a Vampire Slayer!
15 HER POWERS ARE FROM A SHADOW DEMON
While it’s established almost immediately that Buffy’s enhanced physical nature comes from her connection to the Slayer lineage, it’s not revealed until Season 7 just where that power comes from. In her journey to uncover any information she can to aid in her fight against The First Evil, Buffy reveals the true nature of her powers.
A group of beings called the Shadow Men, in ancient Africa, harnessed the life force of an evil demon called the Shadow Demon, and contained that immense power within the body of a young girl named Sineya. Now known as the First Slayer, Sineya was forcibly merged with this Demon, and it's the power of the Shadow Demon that has coursed through the body of every Slayer since. The force of this power caused Sineya to lose her humanity entirely, although subsequent Slayers have regained a balance.
14 THE OLDER SHE GETS, THE STRONGER SHE GETS
When viewers were first introduced to Buffy Summers, she’s a 16 year old with the weight of the world on her shoulders. Imbued with the ancient powers of the Shadow Demon and burdened with the life of a Vampire Slayer, Buffy has already suffered a lot, both physically and emotionally.
Although she’s pretty strong even when we first meet her, the older she gets the stronger her body will get. The life of the Slayer is only meant to be very short as, by their very nature, the Slayer is exposed to greater risk of death than your average person. The older she gets, however, the more experience, training and skills she will acquire, and as such her body will become even more deadly. At this point, she’s lived longer than any other Slayer, making her one of the strongest and most successful Slayers of all time.
13 HER EVERY SENSE IS ENHANCED
Having the superhuman strength of a Slayer is useless if you can’t handle yourself in a fight, which is why Giles constantly stressed that their regular training sessions were crucial to keeping her one step ahead of the vampires. Part and parcel of being a Slayer, however, meant enhanced senses all across the spectrum as we see throughout the series.
When battling against an invisible girl in Season 1, Buffy freezes and uses her enhanced hearing to locate her combatant. She could also sense proximity of enemy combatants, and her enhanced senses meant that her reflexes were animalistic in their speed. All of this means that she’s not just physically strong, with a body honed for combat at all times, but mentally she is always prepared for a fight.
12 HER POWERS WAX AND WAN
It appears that Slayers, like the rest of us, have off days. It makes perfect sense, really. This immense power and responsibility lands on the shoulders of a young woman at the most emotionally stressful time of life. When you’re 16, everything is the end of the world, and that’s before you take into account that for Buffy, it very literally might be.
We see throughout the series that aside from her body going through incredible stress, emotionally she’s run through the wringer constantly. There’s only so much her body can handle when her powers are so closely linked to her emotions. She struggled to defeat a single Vampire when she transitioned from school to college, and felt emotionally unprepared and lonely. Conversely, her emotional resilience can enhance her body’s ability to recover from physical injuries faster.
11 SHE HAS MYSTICAL PROTECTION
Following the end of the series, Joss Whedon moved the canonical adventures of Buffy the Vampire Slayer over to comic books, which picked up exactly where the TV show left off with an all-new Season 8. In that, we discover that Buffy’s life has changed drastically, becoming the leader of a Slayer army, one formed from all the newly awakened potential Slayers in need of her guidance.
Following this, or perhaps because of it, it’s noted that her body is protected from physical harm, from daggers for example, which split when they try to stab her. This mystical protection washes over her while she sleeps in the early issues of Season 8, and while it wasn’t to last, this protection saved her life and ensured she could continue leading the Slayer army.
10 BUFFY AND WILLOW HAD A SOULBOND
It’s clear from the earliest episodes that Buffy shares a close bond with her best friend, Willow Rosenberg. Their friendship is one that stands the test of time, and as things go, it appeared that time had plenty of tests for them. Not only were there countless vampires, demons and monsters along the way, but these two survived, school, college and the perils of finding and losing love as you grow up.
It turns out that their bond goes a little beyond being best friends, as we see not only in the show but in the comics, too. In the opening storyline of Season 8, entitled “The Long Way Home,” Willow is rendered unconscious by Amy the Witch and a skinless Warren. Even in this state, Willow is able to empower Buffy’s body with a fraction of her own magical power, enabling Buffy to save the day.
READ MORE: Facts About Willow
9 SHE COULD READ MINDS (TEMPORARILY)
With training and guidance from her Watcher and friends, a Slayer’s body can reach peak physical condition. Thanks to the gifts bestowed upon her by the Slayer lineage, she can also attain superhuman senses and reflexes. For a short time, however, Buffy was enhanced even further by having the ability to read the minds of those around her.
In the Season 3 episode “Earshot,” a fight with a pair of unusual demons left Buffy with their blood on her hand, blood which seeped into her skin and gave her telepathy. While initially she was more than happy to use this new ability to her advantages (in school and with her boyfriend Angel), the strength of the power became overwhelming, threatening to drive her mad. It took the heart of the demon, which Angel acquired, to cure her.
8 SHE COULD CHANNEL THE POWER OF THE FIRST SLAYER
The Slayer lineage began with Sineya, the First Slayer in ancient Africa, after the Shadow Men forced her to be infused with the full might of the Shadow Demon. This immense power drove her humanity away and left her nothing more than a lone animal of a Slayer, but she also contained the purest form of the Slayer powers.
It’s for this reason that Sineya was the one that Willow called upon to aid Buffy in her fight against Adam in Season 4. The Enjoining Spell called upon the spirit of the First Slayer in order to not only increase Buffy’s Slayer strength -- infusing her body with the raw energy of the Shadow Demon -- but also gained Willow’s Magic, Giles’s Knowledge and Xander’s heart. With this overwhelming power, Adam and the initiative never stood a chance.
7 THE UNIVERSE GAVE HER THE GIFT OF FLIGHT
Season 8 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer was pretty wild. Being the first season to take place in comic book form, Season 8 was able to take the Scooby gang to places that a TV budget would never allow, such as living in a giant castle in Scotland, Dawn being the incredible 50 foot teenager (don’t ask), and Buffy being able to fly.
That’s right, in the comics, Buffy’s body was greatly enhanced by the universe itself in order to properly fight against the Big Bad of that season, Twilight. Not only was she able to fly, but she essentially became Supergirl, with enhanced strength, durability, telescopic vision, super hearing and invulnerability. She wasn’t strong enough to save the mess that the final act of Season 8 became, but she’s the Slayer, not a miracle worker.
6 SHE TECHNICALLY DIED FOUR TIMES
Being a Slayer can have a punishing effect on your body. Long hours of training, battles to the death against the hordes of darkness, it’s a real chore. The most gruelling thing that can happen, though, is being killed which, for most non-superhero folk, only happens once. That also holds true for most Slayers too, but Buffy isn’t most Slayers. At current count, she’s died three times... technically four.
There was the time that The Master drained her blood, causing a clinical death that Xander saved her from with CPR. Then there was the time that she sacrificed her life to close a mystical portal. Following her resurrection, she was shot by Warren and flatlined in the hospital before being revived, meaning she was clinically dead for a short time. Finally, when Billy Palmer’s nightmares manifested in Season 1, Buffy briefly died and became a Vampire, until reality was restored.
5 SHE CAN BE SUPER CLUMSY
You would think that being a Slayer would mean that your every move would be precise and planned. After all, with constant training and the powers of the Slayer, your body is in peak physical condition at all times, ready to take on the demons and stake all the vamps.
The thing with being a Slayer, though, is that you’re still a teenager, and as such, you’re still growing and getting used to the torrent of emotions running through your body, meaning that, at least for Buffy, clumsiness is sometimes unavoidable. With a natural proficiency in all forms of combat, an improvisational fighting style and excellent reflexes, it’s sometimes hard to forget that occasionally Buffy would trip over her own feet, or stumble over her own words in an effort to look as cool as most people would imagine a Slayer to be.
4 SHE EATS JUNK FOOD ALL THE TIME
If you thought to yourself that you’d like to have the body of a Vampire Slayer, you would need some serious dedication. Although Buffy may make it look easy, even she puts in long hours training with Giles in the library, and she has the enhanced skills and strength of the Slayer line.
Even with those skills and super strength, it’s surprising how little Buffy cares about what she puts into her body. You never once see her concerned about a healthy diet, or her protein intake, or making sure not to indulge in too many fatty foods, like the rest of us would have to do in order to keep ourselves in shape. Instead, we see Buffy indulge in everything from burgers to pizza to epic breakfasts.
3 SHE HAS BODY DOUBLES ACROSS THE WORLD
When Buffy becomes the leader of an entire of army of Slayers in Season 8, it soon becomes clear that the already substantial target on her back has only gotten bigger. It’s because of this that Buffy and her organisation arrange for some Slayers to become “decoys”, who go on missions around the world presenting themselves as Buffy Summers.
In the Season 8 issue “The Chain,” one such decoy takes center stage, the focus of the issue seeing her life as it flashes before her eyes while she lays dying. It’s a fantastic stand alone story that goes to illustrate the sacrifices these young girls make, as well just how far Buffy has come in her short years. Luckily, the decoy survives, but although she saved the world, her status as a body double of Buffy means that no one will ever recognise her accomplishment.
2 SHE HAS PREMONITIONS ABOUT THE FUTURE
Throughout the entire Slayer line, those chosen with this incredible burden all share a psychic link that manifests in dreams. Buffy displays this ability numerous times, occasionally receiving a physical reaction that negatively impacts her body. She shows the ability to see through the eyes of past Slayers -- even before she is activated -- as well as see prophetic visions of the future.
These dreams occupy a shared psychic space, which essentially means that Buffy has fought the same battles as every Slayer before her. This has the benefit of giving a Slayer increased experience and reflexes, as well as sharpen their skills in battle. Slayers can also appear in the dreams of other Slayers -- a rare occurrence as there is usually only one; however, Faith and Buffy could appear in each other’s dreams.
READ MORE: Facts About Faith
1 LOVE/FRIENDSHIP INCREASE HER POWERS
The strongest aspect of Buffy Summers as a Slayer is her ability to call upon her friends to help her. It’s the main reason that Buffy is so much more successful than any Slayer that has come before her, going as far back as the First Slayer. Sineya resented Buffy for using her friends to help her, but at the end of the day, it’s what made her the Slayer that saved the world time and time again.
It’s not just moral support that Buffy gets from the Scoobies, however. Aside from the times when her powers were literally combined with those of her friends in a mystical bond, it’s been shown that having the support of her friends and loved ones makes her a stronger, more competent fighter, occasionally giving her a second wind to push herself past the normal physical boundaries.