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Anya Jenkins
S618 Anya.png
First appearance "The Wish"
Statistics
Full name Aud (original name)
Anyanka (demon name)
Anya Emerson (Sunnydale High School alias)
Anya Christina Emmanuella Jenkins (modern human name)
Affiliation Scooby Gang, formerly Vengeance demons and Sunnydale High
Notable powers
Portrayed by  Emma Caulfield

Anya Christina Emmanuella Jenkins, born Aud (formerly Anyanka, the "patron saint of scorned women"), is a fictional character on the cult television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The character is portrayed by Emma Caulfield.

Contents

Biography

Character history

Anya was born as Aud in the year 860 in Sjornjost, a small Scandinavian village. Aud grew up raising rabbits and became an outsider in her community, who dismissed her as "odd", because of her strange mannerisms and out-of-the-ordinary ideas (such as not wanting to sell the rabbits she had been breeding, but instead give them to people in the village as gifts.) In 880, at the age of 20, she fell in love with the boorish Olaf, a Viking warrior who enjoyed hunting trolls and drinking at the bar. One night, Olaf drunkenly slept with a barmaid named Rannveig, and a furious Aud turned him into a troll. Olaf was forced to flee from fellow villagers, who did not believe his story. Aud had previously used magic against her past lovers as well, casting spells to create boils on the penis, but this act of vengeance against Olaf attracted the demon D'Hoffryn, who offered to transform her into a vengeance demon for scorned women. D'Hoffryn renamed her Anyanka and gave her a mystical pendant with the power to grant wishes. Anyanka's interpretation of the wish expressed was often rather loose and considerably more destructive than the wisher intended.

Around 1199, Anyanka went to the Koskov valleys above the Urals to curse an unfaithful man. She witnessed a sorcerer's Ascension into pure demon form. The death and carnage — only a few people survived — shocked even her. Around 1580, Anyanka met Dracula, and she was in Salem, Massachusetts, during the witch trials in 1692.

In the 19th century, Anyanka became a close friend and fierce competitor of the vengeance demon known as Halfrek. They spent time together during the Crimean War. Anyanka impressed "Hallie" with a granted wish in Saint Petersburg, Russia, that sparked a revolution in 1905. In 1914, Anyanka traveled to Chicago, Illinois to exact vengeance on a man named Stewart Burns, making him a grotesque creature and sending him to a hell dimension to be tortured for all eternity. This came back to haunt her on her wedding day.

Anyanka arrives at Sunnydale High in 1998 (in the episode "The Wish") as a student named Anya Emerson.[1] Anya seeks to wreak vengeance on Xander Harris for cheating on Cordelia Chase with his best friend Willow Rosenberg — a fateful decision for her and Xander. After some difficulty, she tricks Cordelia into wishing "Buffy Summers had never come to Sunnydale". In the grim alternate reality that results, The Master has risen and set up shop in The Bronze, with Willow and Xander having been turned into vampires and Oz and Giles leading the failing resistance against them. After meeting with Cordelia, Giles manages to discover what has happened, subsequently summoning Anyanka and destroying her necklace, reasoning the other reality has to be better than his current one. As a result, Cordelia's wish is undone and Anya is made mortal again.

Caulfield said, "As far as I know, I don't think Joss Whedon ever intended to have Anya around for more than one episode." However, Anya returns in the episode "Doppelgangland", duping Willow into assisting in a failed magical attempt to recover her power center. Now with human feelings, she yearns to attend the school prom in spite of her abhorrence of all men; her only hope for a date is the last man she was sent to punish. Caulfield says, "[Whedon] found this great way to have her interact with the storylines that had developed throughout the entire [third] season."[2]

Anya develops feelings for Xander and asks him out again just before graduation. Her romantic plans are foiled when he tells her of the Mayor's plan for another Ascension — at the graduation ceremony. Anya decides to flee Sunnydale and invites Xander to join her, saying when she thinks something might happen to him, she "feel[s] like [she's] gonna vomit". He refuses, citing his "friends on the line." She leaves without him. In the series finale, however, Anya shows how she has developed throughout the seasons as she states this time, she's sticking around to fight the apocalypse.

Human onwards

Anya returns to Sunnydale early in Season Four, still infatuated with Xander. She persuades him to sleep with her (in the episode "The Harsh Light of Day"), but her lack of tact soon puts her at odds with other Scooby Gang members, especially Willow, who has little trust for the ex-demon. Although she has difficulty with only men in the previous season (she was one of the few who could "tell Prada from Payless," Cordelia remarked in "The Wish"), Anya has trouble conversing with everyone from this season on, most likely because of her new human feelings.

Anya frequently reminisces about her life as a vengeance demon, describing graphic punishments and murders she had inflicted in over a millennium, often for misdeeds that most people would not consider to warrant death. Oddly, no one on the series seemed to find this particularly distasteful, even though Anya's position is analogous to that of Spike's after receiving his microchip: she was a murderer who, although incapable of repeating her crimes, was thoroughly unrepentant for them.

Anya becomes a regular in Season Five of the show. While playing The Game of Life, she discovers her love for money and capitalism (as opposed to her belief in Communism during the early 20th century and her charitable attitude of her years as Aud). Anya's budding retail skills encourage Giles to hire her as a cashier at The Magic Box; when he later leaves Sunnydale he becomes a silent partner, leaving Anya to run the shop.

In the Season Five episode "Checkpoint", Anya is questioned by members of the Watchers' Council, and invents the full name Anya Christina Emmanuella Jenkins, claiming to have been born on the Fourth of July in Indiana.

During an apocalypse, Xander proposes to Anya and they are engaged for most of Season Six. Xander's doubts grow, however, and it is not difficult for Stewart Burns - escaped from Hell and impersonating Xander's future self - to persuade him to leave Anya at the wedding by showing him an illusionary life where Anya apparently cheated on Xander and was later killed in an argument between the two (cf. "Hell's Bells"). Hurt and angry, Anya becomes a vengeance demon again thanks to D'Hoffryn. She is frustrated when she cannot grant her own wishes against Xander, attempting to trick Buffy, Dawn, Willow and Tara into wishing for her and subsequently sleeping with Spike. In the Season Six finale, Willow destroys The Magic Box, leaving Anya jobless in the mortal world. Anya does not enjoy her new/old work. She spends a summer granting half-hearted wishes and gains a reputation among demons as "Soft Serve".

When asked what direction she would like to see Anya's character go, Emma Caulfield said she hoped that in Season Seven Anya would become "kind of a badass." Caulfield said that Anya has always been strong in unorthodox ways, but "I'd like to see a more blatant display of her strength."[3] Appropriately, after Halfrek encourages Anya to gruesomely murder a group of fraternity members, Anya and Buffy have an evenly matched battle. However, realizing she has lost her taste for the gore of vengeance, she begs D'Hoffryn to return the fraternity members to life. D'Hoffryn agrees, but at the cost of the soul of a vengeance demon. Anya agrees, thinking it means hers, but D'Hoffryn murders Halfrek instead. He turns Anya human once more for her to live in pain, at least until the coming of the First Evil (cf. "Selfless"). D'Hoffryn's words when Anya tells him that he should have killed her suggest that he has foreknowledge of her death in the series finale, replying "be patient, all good things in time" and quoting "From beneath you it devours" (which is often repeated in season 7, referring to The First). However, despite his stated preference of going for "the pain" instead of the kill, D'Hoffryn almost immediately sends at least two demon assassins after her, although they are individually stopped by Buffy and Spike, respectively. Anya decides that she had been too dependent on others and resolves to find an independent purpose in life for herself. In practice, she rejoins the Scooby Gang and returns to occasional intimacy with Xander; although Xander and Anya still love each other, they never officially resume their relationship.

In the climactic battle against the First Evil (in the episode "Chosen"), Anya is brutally slain from behind, bisected by a Harbinger's sword. Her body lies in the school's remains as the entire deserted town of Sunnydale crumbles into the Hellmouth, although Xander attempts to locate her while fleeing the collapsing building. Andrew Wells comforts Xander by telling him that Anya had died saving his life, to which Xander tearfully replies, "That's my girl, always doing the stupid thing."

In an interview with Buffy The Vampire Slayer/Angel magazine #93, Emma Caulfield stated that she was very pleased with her character's abrupt death, stating, "She didn't get a big, maudlin send-off, it was very quick and to the point - very Anya in that respect."

Post-Sunnydale

Anya may reappear in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer season eight comic book series. Joss Whedon told MTV that she was "definitely dead... but that doesn't mean she's gone."[4] Later, Dark Horse Comics editor Scott Allie stated that there were no current plans for Anya to appear.[5]

Powers and abilities

Anyanka possessed the ability to grant wishes of vengeance and had a frightening demonic form in which her face appeared to be skinless with exposed veins. She was much stronger than some demons and vampires (knocking Spike across the room while lying down in "Beneath You") in addition to holding her own against Buffy in "Selfless", surviving being run through with a sword. She could teleport, use telekinesis and heal quickly. Anyanka also had a psychic sense of a woman's desire for vengeance and could tell if a vampire has a soul. Anya could also manipulate some energies to invisibly knock over an opponent.

With over a thousand years of experience as a former vengeance demon, Anya's knowledge of demonology was immense. Although Anya's native language is Old Norse, she spoke fluent, if sometimes stilted, English as well as some French and Latin.

Thanks to her countless years of experience, Anya also exhibits some basic knowledge of magic. She is seen numerous times commenting on Willow's spellcasting and interest in magic with a reasonable degree of insight, and has occasionally participated in the casting of spells herself (cf. "Doppelgangland"). When she was a human, Anya's experience and practice of combat from her times as a demon allowed her to be an effective fighter, as seen in the series finale.

Personality

Commenting on the personality of her character, Caulfield said, "Anya remains mortal and ambivalent. She's just struggling with being human, and really, don't we all struggle with that from time to time? She's very irreverent - and definitely bitter."[2] Anya states in the "Selfless" flashback that she likes to bowl and she's "good with math" (although, in the episode "Doppelgangland", she says she's failing math).

When rejected sexually (as she is by Spike in "Sleeper" and Torg in "Showtime"), Anya has a tendency to question the effectiveness of her hair. Anya's hair is also the most variable in style and color of any of the main characters, the color seems to change per episode and sometimes, per scene.

A running gag is Anya's brutal honesty and tendency to blurt out inappropriate comments and questions without thinking. This is largely due to her lack of knowledge concerning human social standards. In spite of this, Anya often has good intentions and seems to not understand life and death, breaking down when Joyce Summers dies.

Bunny phobia

Anya's irrational fear of rabbits (leporiphobia) is established for the first time in "Fear, Itself", and becomes a running joke for the remainder of the series. In "The Gift", Anya sees a stuffed rabbit in the basement of The Magic Box (while looking for an Orb of Thesulah with Xander), causing her to scream and exclaim, "Who would put something like that there?!" In "Once More, With Feeling", Anya sings, "Bunnies aren't just cute like everybody supposes. They got them hoppy legs and twitchy little noses, and what's with all the carrots? What do they need such good eyesight for anyway?", a verse reminiscent of Willow's speech about spiders (cf. "Nightmares"). In "Tabula Rasa", while suffering from memory loss, she repeatedly casts a spell that does nothing more than cause rabbits to appear. The phobia also manifests itself in her final moments. Anxiously waiting for the final fight with Andrew Wells, he suggests she "picture happy things: a lake, candy canes, bunnies..." The change is drastic and instantaneous. She confidently raises her sword, musing coldly, "Bunnies. Floppy, hoppy, bunnies."

Strangely enough, a flashback to her human times ("Triangle") shows her surrounded by bunnies. As stated before, she raised rabbits to give as gifts leading to the rest of her village to consider her weird and a bit of an oddball, perhaps explaining why she fears them, as a reminder of the long-ago human existence that ended in heartbreak.

Although she has a phobia towards bunnies, she seems to love monkeys. In the episode "Into the Woods" she tries to convince Dawn and Xander to go and see a movie about a monkey who plays ice hockey and in "Bargaining, Part One", after Willow tells the group she's ready to resurrect Buffy, Anya states, "But Discovery Channel has monkeys! And our tape machine's all wonkey..." Furthermore, in "Once More, With Feeling" Anya says that she and Xander were watching Monkey Trouble when they started singing.

Trivia

  • Being born in A.D. 860, Anya is the oldest character whose year of birth is known.
  • Joss Whedon joked at the Nocturnal convention in 2001 Anya was originally supposed to die during the Season Five finale, "The Gift". However, he had to keep her alive because Emma Caulfield kept moving as Xander was carrying Anya.[6]

Appearances

Buffy the Vampire Slayer 
Anya appeared in canon 81 episodes overall. Anya was a series regular for Seasons Five through Seven (2000–2003). Although she was a regular in those seasons, she did not appear in "Normal Again", "Help" (her scenes were cut), "Conversations with Dead People", or "Dirty Girls". She also appeared as a guest star, in:

Anya has also appeared in a number of comics including Past Lives, Ugly Little Monsters, and Reunion and novels including Unseen; Wisdom of War; and Monster Island. She also makes a brief appearance in the 2003 video game Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds.

Products

In 2005, Diamond Select Toys produced several action figures in the likeness of Emma Caulfield for their Buffy the Vampire Slayer line. Each figure featured a "real-scan" likeness of Caulfield and episode/character specific outfit. Figures produced: "Season 5 Anya" in red top and black skirt, "Hell's Bells Anya" in wedding dress, "Once More, With Feeling Anya" in butterfly top and green skirt, "Anyanka" in demon dress, and "Bunny Suit Anya" in removable bunny suit. A repaint of "Bunny Suit Anya" was featured in the Vengeance Book box-set.

References

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

It has been suggested that this article or section should be merged with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (Discuss)

Doppelgangland

Anya: Look, I know you find me attractive. I've seen you looking at my breasts.
Xander: Nothing personal, but when a guy does that, it just means his eyes are open.

Anya: You know, you can laugh, but I have witnessed a millennium of treachery and oppression from the males of the species. And I have nothing but contempt for the whole libidinous lot of them.
Xander: Then why are you talking to me?
Anya: I don't have a date for the prom.
Xander: Well, gosh. I wonder why not? It couldn't have anything to do with your sales pitch.
Anya: Men are evil. Will you go with me?
Xander: One of us is very confused, and I honestly don't know which.

The Harsh Light Of Day

Anya [to Xander, regarding sex]: I think it's the secret to getting you out of my mind. Putting you behind me. Behind me figuratively — I'm thinking face to face for the event itself.

Hush

Anya: You don't need me. All you care about is lots of orgasms.







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