Great Villains From Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Great Villains From Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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Posted 2024-02-10 by Marisa Quinn-Haisufollow
Whedon, J. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003). Mutant Enemy Productions. Image Link.

"I'm the thing that monsters have nightmares about."
Buffy Summers, "Showtime", Buffy the Vampire Slayer

In this article I will be reviewing some of the best villains featured in seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003). I will not be discussing any of the “Big Bad” villains like Angelus, Spike, Adam, the Mayor, Glory, or the First. Instead, I will be talking about some of the other villains she encountered from the humorous, to the entertaining, terrifying and bizarre.

1. D'Hoffryn

Whedon, J. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003). “Selfless.” Mutant Enemy Productions. (Video). Link to YouTube.
Appearances: Season 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7, various comic books, novels and other media.
Classification: Lower Being, Vengeance demon
Portrayed By:Andy Umberger
Best Quote:

“Oh, breathtaking. It's like somebody slaughtered an Abercrombie and Fitch catalogue.”
D'Hoffryn, "Selfless", Buffy the Vampire Slayer

D'Hoffryn acts more like a businessman than an evil moustache-twirling villain. He was the "boss" of the vengeance demons and the ruler of the demon dimension of Arashmaharr. D'Hoffryn could be described as a neutral evil character, which means he was an unscrupulous, self-serving character who was determined to achieve power, glory, wealth and a high position for himself. He didn't care about the feelings of anyone else, all that mattered was that he reigned supreme, which often meant going for the hurt instead of the kill. D'Hoffryn is a good example of a character on Buffy who has shades of grey to him. When Willow turns down his offer to become a vengeance demon, he shrugs and gives her his talisman like a business card and tells her if she changes her mind in the future to give him a chant.

2.Olaf the Troll

Whedon, J. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003). “Selfless.” Mutant Enemy Productions (Video). Link to YouTube.
Appearances: "Triangle" Season 5, Episode 11 and "Selfless" Season 7, Episode 5
Classification: Troll
Portrayed By: Abraham Benrubi
Best Quote:

Olaf: "Stop! It is Olaf!"
Villager: "The troll is doing an Olaf impersonation!"
Olaf: "I am Olaf!"
Villager: "Hit him with fruits and various meats!"
Olaf the Troll chases villagers, "Selfless", Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Olaf is one of the funniest characters ever to appear on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Olaf used to be a human centuries ago but in 880 A.D was turned into a troll by Anya (who called herself Aud back then) after he cheated on her with a load-bearing bar matron. After his transformation, Olaf adjusts to life as a troll and happily wreaks havoc for years until he gets cursed and turned into a crystal by a group of witches. The two episodes he appears in are some of the funniest episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In 'Triangle' he is released from his crystal and goes on a rampage searching for delicious ale, virgins to make merry with and nice, plump babies to eat. All of Olaf's lines in 'Triangle' were written in capital letters to symbolize his loud, booming voice. In 'Selfless' we see in a flashback what he was like as a human and how he was transformed into a troll by Aud. The scene was filmed intentionally to look like a grainy, poorly made horror film and has scared villagers fleeing from Olaf the Troll screaming "Run! Hide your babies and your beadwork!" and "The troll is doing an Olaf impersonation!" while others pelt him with fruits and various meats.

3. Halfrek

Whedon, J. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003). “Older and Far Away.” Mutant Enemy Productions (Video).
Link to YouTube.
Appearances: Season Five, Season Six, Season Seven
Classification: Vengeance demon
Portrayed By: Kali Rocha
Best Quote:

Tara Maclay: "I thought vengeance demons only punished men who wronged women."
Halfrek: "Oh, that was Anya's little raison d'être. Most of us try to be a little more well-rounded, and actually, we prefer "justice demon. " Okay? FYI."

Tara and Halfrek, "Older and Far Away", Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Halfrek is a good example of a villain on Buffy who is not completely evil like The Master or Angelus but is more of a chaotic neutral. Halfrek was a vengeance demon and long-time friend and work associate of Anya back when she was a vengeance demon named Anyanka. Halfrek used her work as a vengeance demon to seek justice for abused and neglected children. She was a cheerful individual who had her own set of values that she lived by in her line of work. She cared a lot for children and could sense when they were miserable. She was convinced that children needed her which is why she preferred to call herself a 'justice demon' instead of a vengeance demon. Like other vengeance demons, she was not concerned if she was being fair to the people she punished, and often used creative punishments designed to inflict mental tortures. Halfrek remained friends with Anyanka after she became Anya, even though she disliked humans, and had nothing but criticism for the human world. Halfrek, much like Olaf, is a very humorous character and brightens up almost every scene that she is in.

4. Sunday

Whedon, J. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003). “The Freshman.” Mutant Enemy Productions (Video).
Link to YouTube.
Appearances: "The Freshman" Season 4, Episode 1
Classification: Vampire
Portrayed By: Katharine Towne
Best Quote:

“Oh, I'm Sunday. I'll be killing you here in a minute or so.”
Sunday, “The Freshman”, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Sunday was a vampire who lived underneath the UC Sunnydale campus. She was the head of her own vampire gang that stalked and killed students. Buffy Summers met Sunday and her gang after they kidnapped and sired her new friend Eddie. Buffy is devastated and wrecked with guilt that she wasn’t able to save him. Sunday and her gang arrive and attack Buffy, spraining her arm, and robbing her of her confidence. After Buffy runs away, Sunday and her gang break into her dorm and steal all of her things. After getting some words of encouragement from Xander, Buffy goes after Sunday and her gang to retrieve all of her possessions. Sunday is such a fun villain. I love her mean girl attitude and how she puts her hands on her hips in annoyance after Buffy stakes her.

5. Ken

Whedon, J. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003). “Anne.” Mutant Enemy Productions (Video).
Link to YouTube.
Appearances: " "Anne" Season 3, Episode 1
Classification: Demon
Portrayed By: Carlos Jacott
Best Quote:

“What is Hell, but the total absence of Hope? The substance, the tactile proof of despair?”
Ken, “Anne”, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Ken was a demon who used make up to disguise himself as a human. He would walk around the streets of Los Angeles and offer flyers to homeless people offering them guidance, hope, and a shelter. Once he lured a victim back to his lair, he would force them through a portal and trap them in another dimension, where he would enslave them and force them to work until old age. In the episode “Anne” Buffy Summers sneaks into Ken’s lair in an effort to rescue her friend Lily Houston from being enslaved. Buffy and Lily end up falling through the portal into Ken’s dimension. Ken enslaves them both but Buffy fights back and starts a rebellion. This episode has so many memorable moments like when a demon asks Buffy “Who are you?” and she lifts her head, flashes a smile, and responds with the iconic line “I’m Buffy the vampire slayer, and you are?” The fight scenes in the demon dimension are some of the best in the entire series. The shot of Buffy fighting under the spotlights is breathtaking. Carlos Jacott is so scary as Ken. He is fantastic in so many of his scenes with Sarah Michelle Gellar. I like the scene when he stops the rebellion and tells Buffy “That was not permitted” and she smirks and tells him ”Yeah, but it was fun.” The best line in the episode is definitely towards the end when Buffy tells him “Hey Ken, wanna see my impression of Gandhi?” before bludgeoning him to death.

6. Zachary Kralik

Whedon, J. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003). “Helpless.” Mutant Enemy Productions (Video). Link to YouTube.
Appearances: "Helpless" Season 3, Episode 12
Classification: Vampire
Portrayed By: Jeff Kober
Best Quote:

"My mother was a person with no self-respect of her own, so she tried to take mine. Ten years old and she had the scissors. You wouldn't believe what she took with those..."
Zachary Kralik, "Helpless", Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Zachary Kralik is one of the most terrifying villains that appeared on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Before he became a vampire, Kralik was a crazed serial killer who tortured and killed more than a dozen young women and was eventually put in an asylum for the criminally insane. After he became a vampire, Kralik killed and ate his own mother, to get back at her for physical and sexual abuse she inflicted upon him as a child. Kralik then went on a murderous rampage, torturing and killing many others. He became dependent on anti-psychotic medication and ended up being shunned by other vampires due to his mental state. He was eventually captured by the Watchers Council and was recruited to take part in the Cruciamentum of Buffy Summers. Kralik managed to escape from his restraints before the Cruciamentum could begin and then kidnaps Buffy's mother Joyce. The cat and mouse game that Zachary Kralik plays with Buffy is disturbing to watch. Buffy is stripped of her powers and reduced to a frightened teenage girl trapped in a house with a dangerously unstable vampire. The scenes where Kralik stalks Buffy and lures her to his lair play out like a horror film with Buffy playing the role of the screaming, terrified blonde. Kralik is excited to play the "game" the Council have recruited him for and takes glee in torturing Buffy, until she tricks him into drinking a bottle of holy water, which causes him to disintegrate from the inside out.

7. Gachnar

Whedon, J. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003). “Fear, Itself.” Mutant Enemy Productions (Video). Link to YouTube.
Appearances: "Fear, Itself" Season 4, Episode 11
Classification: Demon
Portrayed By: Adam Bitterman
Best Quote:

"I am the Dark Lord of nightmares, the bringer of terror... Tremble before me! Fear me!"
Gachnar, "Fear, Itself", Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Gachnar was the Demon of Fear, the Dark Lord of Nightmares and the Bringer of Terror. Gachnar appears in the season four episode "Fear, Itself" after his mark is accidentally painted on the floor of a frat house as part of decorations for a Halloween party. Gachnar's presence starts to manifest itself in the house after a drop of blood falls on his mark. Gachnar traps the partygoers in the house, including Buffy and her friends, and tricks them into thinking all of their deepest fears have become reality. When he is finally made flesh, everyone is expecting him to be monstrous, but then he is revealed to be... only a few inches tall. The twist in the episode that Gachnar is so small in real life is hilarious. My favourite part in the episode is when Giles discovers a caption beneath an illustration of Gachnar in a book and gets annoyed when he realizes it translates as "Actual size".

8. Ted

Whedon, J. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003). “Ted.” Mutant Enemy Productions (Video).
Link to YouTube.
Appearances: "Ted" Season Two, Episode 11
Classification: Robot
Portrayed By: John Ritter
Best Quote:

"Right, it's just a game, do your own thing, well, I'm not wired that way. And I am here to tell you it is not a game! It does count, and I don't stand for that kind of malarkey in my house!"
Ted, "Ted", Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Ted was a robot duplicate of an inventor from the 1950s named Ted Buchanan who suffered from ill health. After his wife left him, Buchanan created a robot version of himself, the kind of Ted he felt his wife should have married. Buchanan died not long after, leaving the robot-Ted to take his place. His duplicate then kidnapped his wife and held her captive in a bunker until she died. Ted repeated this cycle for the next several decades, dating women, getting them to fall in love with him, and then kidnapping them and holding them captive until they died so they could never leave him. When Ted meets Joyce, Buffy's mother, he appears like an ordinary man. But there is something about him that disturbs Buffy, he seems too perfect, and she feels like he is having too much of an interfering influence in her life. Buffy has trouble convincing others of her suspicions about Ted because outwardly he appears very nice. But in private he threatens Buffy, enters her room without permission, accuses her of being mentally ill, expresses sexist values, and even hits her. Ted is a great villain because until it is revealed that he is a murderous robot, he appears as a normal human being, which is a lot more terrifying to Buffy because she feels powerless against him.

9. James Stanley

Whedon, J. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003). “I Only Have Eyes For You.” Mutant Enemy Productions (Video). Link to YouTube.
Appearances: "I Only Have Eyes For You," Season 2, Episode 19
Classification: Human (formerly), Ghost
Portrayed By: Christopher Gorham, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Brian Poth, John Hawkes and James Lurie
Best Quote:

"James destroyed the one person he loved the most in a moment of blind passion. And that's not something you forgive. No matter why he did what he did. And no matter if he knows now that it was wrong and selfish and stupid, it is just something he's gonna have to live with."
Buffy Summers, "I Only Have Eyes For You", Buffy the Vampire Slayer

James Stanley was a student at Sunnydale High School in 1955 who had an affair with his teacher, Grace Newman. When Grace tried to break off the relationship with him, he lost his temper and shot her dead, and then took his own life in grief. In 1998 the spirit of James returns to the school and begins haunting the campus. In an attempt to undo his mistake and seek forgiveness from Grace, James begins possessing people at the school and repeating his final moments with Miss Newman. But because James was trapped in a loop, forgiveness was impossible, causing the participants to repeat the couple's final moments and for one to shoot the other. Eventually, the cycle is broken when James possesses Buffy and Angelus takes on the role of Grace. Buffy/James still shoots Grace/Angelus and "Grace" still dies, but because Angelus is a vampire and cannot die from a gunshot, he survives the injury and is able to stop Buffy/James before "he" can kill himself in the music room. Grace forgives James and the two spirits are finally able to pass on to the next life. This is a great ghost episode with some excellent jump scares. James is a fantastic, tortured character and his storyline with Grace is a great parallel to the relationship between Buffy and Angel.

10. The Judge

Whedon, J. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003). “Innocence.” Mutant Enemy Productions (Video). Link to YouTube.
Appearances: "Surprise" Season Two, Episode 13 and "Innocence" Season Two, Episode 14
Classification: Demon
Portrayed By: Brian Thompson
Best Quote:

"What's that do?
The Judge, "Innocence", Buffy the Vampire Slayer

The Judge was an ancient and powerful demon who was brought forth centuries ago to rid the Earth of the plague of humanity by separating the righteous from the wicked and then burning the righteous to ashes. The armies of men were sent to destroy the Judge, but no weapon forged could stop him, so he was eventually dismembered and the parts were scattered and buried in every part of the Earth. In the season two episode "Surprise" the Judge is reassembled by Spike and Drusilla. The Judge was a powerfully built, intimidating demon, who could sense humanity and emotion in people, which he described as a "stink". The Judge is so strong, so powerful, he is almost unstoppable. In "Innocence" the Judge goes with Angelus and Drusilla to a mall to conduct a massacre. Buffy and her friends follow him there, and in a truly epic scene, the Slayer destroys him with a rocket launcher. The Judge has no understanding of modern weaponry so stands there with a confused look on her face as she fires the rocket toward him.



More Buffy the Vampire Slayer Articles by Marisa
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Trivia Facts
The Best Musical Moments in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The Best Spike Episodes From Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The Best Xander Harris Episodes from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The Best Joyce Summers Moments from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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85685 - 2023-06-11 07:12:45

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