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Buffy: 15 Things That Even Diehard Fans Didn’t Know About Faith

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Buffy: 15 Things That Even Diehard Fans Didn’t Know About Faith

One of the most beloved, interesting, and utterly captivating characters in the celebrated Buffyverse was Faith. Played by Eliza Dushku, Faith was the Slayer who appears next in line to replace Kendra after she dies in season two. After arriving in season three, she works closely with Buffy, but it quickly becomes difficult for two Slayers to co-exist. Soon enough, Faith turns to the dark side and loses the trust of the Scooby Gang. That is until she arrives on the spinoff Angel in the wake of feeling remorseful for past actions and seeks the guidance of Angel to redeem herself. In due time, Faith rejoins the side of good and remains an integral part of Scoobies in comic book media.

Despite having a deep running history in the Buffyverse, there are still many things that even her most diehard fans don’t know about. This includes the character’s backstory, behind the scenes secrets regarding original plans for the character that did not exactly fall through accordingly, and specific things that the character is up to now in the comic books that fans won’t know about unless they read them. Many of these secrets can be uncovered by reading below this list to learn more about everyone’s favorite bad girl Slayer.

15. SHE BECOMES GOOD FRIENDS WITH WILLOW 

While she was still on the show, Faith was never exactly the best of friends with Willow. After all, not only did Willow once compare Faith to a werewolf villain by the name of Veruca — the same Veruca who stole her boyfriend, Oz, away from her — but she once called her a “big, selfish, worthless waste” to her face.

Despite their history, the two become good friends in the comics.

While on her road to redemption to make up for all of the evil that she committed in the past, Faith worked closely with Willow to restore magic to the world after all of it was erased. After they succeed, Willow expresses her gratitude to Faith before they part ways and she expresses that she’s proud of the much more mature hero that Faith has developed into.

14. SHE MAKES PEACE WITH BUFFY

Buffy and Faith have always had a complicated relationship, albeit a strained one at that. Things took a dark turn when Buffy watched Faith kill a human in cold blood. From then on, Faith and Buffy were on a course to becoming bitter enemies. Even in season seven when Faith was on the road to redemption, Buffy always kept her former foe at arms length and we never got the closure of seeing the two actually reconcile.

Their story continues in the comic books and their path together is as rocky as ever, frequently butting heads at almost every turn. The two aren’t able to see eye to eye until they both lose their Slayer powers. When they were gathered with the rest of the Scoobies in Tibet to track down the Big Bad, Twilight, the two finally made peace with each other and seemingly formed a friendship.

13. HER BODY COUNT

One thing that rarely goes addressed by the Buffy fandom is the body count of the characters, namely Faith. For anyone curious on the number, Faith’s body count is surprisingly low at 34. At least it is low compared to her counterpart Buffy, who across the original movie, her own show, and the spinoff Angel, Buffy has a body count of 215, which includes 133 vamps, 62 demons, 6 monsters, 11 humans, 1 robot, and 1 spirit warrior.

In Faith’s case, between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the spinoff Angel, Faith killed 24 vamps, 6 demons, and 4 humans.

While 34 does seem like somewhat of a low number, she still has the fourth highest body count among the main Buffyverse character; behind Buffy, Angel, and Spike.

12. HER AND ANGEL HAD A SERIES TOGETHER

While Faith’s story continues well into the comic books during the newly serialized seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Faith eventually gets her own comic book series alongside her mentor, Angel, called Angel & Faith. The interesting thing about the series is that it flips the script on the dynamic that the two had on Angel’s live action spinoff series. While it was on that show where Angel mentored Faith on her road to redemption, Faith did the same for Angel in their comic book series.

During season eight of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel is possessed by an evil entity known as Twilight and manages to kill Giles while possessed. When Twilight leaves his body, Angel is emotionally shattered and Faith feels obligated to guide him on a road to redemption like Angel did for her years prior.

11. HER LINK TO ELEKTRA

elektra

When the writing team behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer were still in the early stages of planning out season three and were developing the character of Faith, they agreed that she should be the Yang to Buffy’s Ying. The writer/producer of the show, Marti Noxon, admitted that they wanted Faith to personify “the road not taken” for the character of Buffy if she went down a darker path.

Writer Douglas Petrie took heavy inspiration from Elektra Natchios of Daredevil fame when crafting the character of Faith.

Anyone who knows the character of Elektra can certainly see how she parallels quite directly to Faith. Similar to Faith, Elektra is a loner and a killer who forms a complex relationship with the protagonist, Daredevil, and manages to fall in love with him.

10. TAKING BUFFY’S STAKE BECAME A RUNNING GAG

The first time that Faith appears onscreen in the season three episode “Faith, Hope, & Trick” and the first time that she meets Buffy in the same episode, Faith borrows a stake from Buffy to kill a vampire outside The Bronze. This would quickly become a running gag throughout the show where Faith would show up unprepared to a vamp fight and would need Buffy to lend her a stake.

Most notably, this occurred in the season seven episode “Dirty Girls” as it would serve as Faith’s first appearance on Buffy the Vampire Slayer since season four. In the episode, much like how their first encounter turned out, Faith asks for and takes Buffy’s stake right before slaying a vampire with it in the cemetery.

9. HER LINK WITH STAR TREK

In season three, while working under the tutelage of the season’s Big Bad, The Mayor, she aids him by picking up a very important package for him at the airport. As a reward, he gifts her a swanky looking knife. It was a Gil Hibben 1999 Jackal. While the name of the knife would seem foreign or pointless to the average viewer, the knife itself has quite some significance in the grander scheme of pop culture history.

A few years after the episode aired, the knife would make an appearance in an extremely prolific movie franchise.

This time, the knife was wielded by Praetor Shinzon, the clone of Captain Jean-Luc Picard and main villain at the forefront of Star Trek: Nemesis played by Tom Hardy.

8. HER FATHER HAD ISSUES

Apart from a mention in her origin book “Go Ask Malice” that Faith’s father was an abusive alcoholic, we never get much of a glimpse at Faith’s father in the Buffyverse. That is until the second volume of Angel & Faith where Pat Lehane tracks Faith down to London. He tells her that he has been six months sober and asks for a second chance.

After a convincing from Angel, Faith lets her father back into her life, but soon learns that he only tracked her down because he needed her help to take a crime boss who he owes money to. After paying off Pat’s debt, Pat insists to Faith that she’s always get in trouble because she will always be a Lehane at heart. This prompts Angel to kick Pat out the house on Faith’s behalf.

7. SHE WASN’T SUPPOSED TO LAST

Faith

There are several instances throughout the history of the Buffyverse where a character was supposed to be killed off after a few episodes, but wound up expanding their time passed their expiration date. For example, Spike was supposed to be killed off after about four episodes, but the writing team was so fond of him that he stuck around.

A similar situation happened with Faith as she was originally brought in for five episodes before she was supposed to be killed off.

The episode “Bad Girls” was supposed to end with Buffy discovering Faith’s body, having hung herself. Joss Whedon was so impressed with Dushku’s performances leading up to the episode that he decided to keep Faith around for the remainder of season three.

6. HOW SHE GOT HER LAST NAME

Faith in Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Throughout her character run on both Buffy and Angel, Faith never had a last name. It wasn’t until January 2005 — shortly after Buffy went off the air and Angel was months away from being cancelled — that Joss Whedon announced Faith’s last name was officially Lehane. The reason being that when Eden Studios was developing a Buffy the Vampire Slayer role playing game and they approached Whedon about how they needed to include a last name for Faith’s biography section.

So seemingly at the drop of a dime, Whedon decided on Lehane because he wanted “something southie” for Faith. The name has since been considered official canon in all future Buffy the Vampire Slayer media products and was even included in the season eight comic books.

5. SHE ALMOST HAD A SPINOFF

Eliza Dushku as Faith on Buffy

When the character was introduced during the third season, Faith became immensely popular in ways that no one working on the show would have ever expected. So popular, in fact, that after Buffy the Vampire Slayer ended after season seven.

There were plans to give Faith her very own spinoff show starring Eliza Dushku.

Tim Minear once confirmed had the show gone into production, it would have basically been “Faith meets [the show] Kung Fu” with Faith travelling around the world struggling to find her place in it. None of this would come to fruition as Dushku declined the offer, opting instead to star in the short-lived series Tru Calling. Dushku’s reasons being that having a spinoff right after Buffy ended would have been “really big boots to fill” and after playing Faith for so long, Dushku “just wanted to try something else.”

4. HER BACKSTORY

During her tenure on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Faith’s backstory was rarely covered and when it was, it was only ever in tiny fragments here and there. We never got an in depth Faith origin story. The closest the Buffyverse ever gets to a full Faith origin story is the novel Go Ask Malice by Robert Joseph Levy. Released in 2006, it follows a young Faith living as a loner from a broken home in Boston.

Things get even tougher on the girl when she is taken from her mother by Social Services and taken to Foster Care, but things take a strange turn when she’s introduced to her first Watcher. The novel’s place in canon is questioned by fans, but if it counts for anything, the novel needed to be approved by Fox before its release. No word if Whedon himself had to approve the novel though.

3. HER TATTOO WAS SPOOFED

The character of Faith has a tribal tattoo on her right arm. At the time of playing the character, Eliza Dushku had no real tattoos of her own to speak of, but as a gag, she brought a spoofed version of Faith’s tattoo onto the set of Bring It On for a scene in the movie.

Although, in the film, the tribal mark appears on Dushku’s left arm instead of the right one.

In the movie, Eliza Dushku’s character is prepping to audition for the cheerleading team when one cheerleader reminds her that tattoos are forbidden on the cheer team. With a lick of her middle finger, Dushku wipes away the tat revealing it to be fake. “I got bored during fourth period,” she explains.

2. ELIZA DUSHKU’S LACK OF RISQUE SCENES 

Eliza Dushku Black Widow Iron Man 2

Buffy the Vampire Slayer frequently featured scenes where its characters would strip down and indulge in sexual situations. Whether it was Buffy losing her virginity or Spike having a nude tryst with an invisible Buffy, most of the actors among the cast have appeared on-screen almost nude. Except Eliza Dushku.

While on the show, Eliza Dushku decided against appearing nude on-screen because she grew up as a Mormon and stripping down for the world to see acted against her Mormon beliefs. While she no longer is active in the Mormon church, she is still close with her mother, Dr. Judith Dushku, who is a well-respected feminist professor and scholar within the Mormon community. After leaving the Mormon church, Dushku appeared nude in the slasher horror thriller, The Alphabet Killer.

1. HER ATTRACTION TO BUFFY

Buffy the vampire slayer and Faith

Many fans look at the very complicated love-hate relationship between Buffy and Faith and perceive it as lesbian subtext. One of the writers on the Buffy staff, Douglas Petrie, admits he was well aware of such subtext while writing Faith’s scenes with Buffy.

Eliza Dushku herself has said that she thinks Faith “swings both ways” and has a “thing for Buffy.”

This should be enough to convince anyone to at least be open to the idea of Faith being attracted to Buffy, but the show’s creator needed a little more convincing. When this subtext was first brought to Whedon’s attention, he completely dismissed it, telling fans to “get over it” and they “just want to see girls kissing.” However, after a fan directed Whedon to their website where they analyzed Buffy and Faith’s interactions, Whedon finally saw the subtext. He realized he was wrong and apologized.

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