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"Buffyverse" is a term coined by fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel to refer to the shared fictional universe in which they are set. The term has since been used in the titles of published works,[1] and been adopted by Joss Whedon, the creator of the fictional universe.[2][3] The boundaries of the Buffyverse have grown over the years. The Buffyverse established by these many stories is a place in which supernatural phenomena are undeniable, and supernatural evil can be challenged by people willing to fight against such forces.

The term "Buffyverse" is a portmanteau word of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and universe.

Contents

Alternate terms

The issues over the use of terminology to describe the fictional universe established by Buffy and Angel has not been clear cut, and in fact a number of terms are in use, of which 'Buffyverse' is the most common, used in the press[4] and in published non-fiction.

The main disadvantage of this term is that it might be mistakenly seen as excluding information from Angel. However, many fans argue that "Buffyverse" is appropriate to describe the fictional universe encompassing Buffy, Angel, and further expansions to the mythology, because Buffy was the original show, and all further mythology built upon that starting point.

  • Slayerverse/Angelverse

Like "Buffyverse", these can be interpreted as being "tied" to only one particular show (Buffy, and Angel respectively). "Slayerverse" overlooks the fact that relatively few Angel episodes contained Slayers, while "Angelverse" suggests that the mythology built up in Angel takes place in a separate fictional universe from that of Buffy.

  • Whedonverse/Jossverse/ ME-verse (after Mutant Enemy, Whedon's production company)

The use of this term is growing,[5] however it is often used to describe any or all of Joss Whedon's other work,[6] and particularly Firefly. These other works including Firefly do not seem likely to take place in the same fictional universe as Buffy and Angel, therefore Buffyverse is more appropriate to describe the fictional universe at hand. The name itself is parodied on Robot Chicken.

  • Buffy/Angelverse

This explicitly refers to both shows. However, even this term does not acknowledge additions such as Fray.

The construction of the Buffyverse

The fictional universe known as the Buffyverse is now considered the fictional construct created by hundreds of individual stories told through TV, novels, comics and other media. It was initially created only through Buffy episodes. The TV series Angel first aired in 1999. The popularity of these series led to licensed fiction carrying the Buffy and Angel labels, and resulted in fans beginning to distinguish between what they consider 'real' within the Buffyverse (canon).

Outside of the TV series, the Buffyverse has been expanded and elaborated by various authors and artists in the so-called "Buffyverse Expanded Universe". The Buffyverse novels, Buffy video games and the vast majority of Buffyverse comics, are licensed by 20th Century Fox, but are generally considered 'less real' within the Buffyverse (apocryphal). The creators of these works are generally free to tell their own stories set in the Buffyverse, and may or may not keep to established continuity. Unlike some other multimedia Universes, such as the Star Wars Expanded Universe, which uses complicated retcons to be as inclusive as possible in what it considers canon, the Buffyverse often fails to keep continuity over the different mediums. The numerous Buffy novels often come into conflict with the comics, and, in fact, are often themselves contradictory. Similarly, writers for the TV series are under no obligation to use continuity which has been established by the Expanded Universe, and may contradict it.

The works sometimes flesh out background information on characters. For example Go Ask Malice provides essential information about the origins of the character, Faith Lehane.

The Buffyverse comics were first published by Dark Horse who have retained the right to produce Buffy comics. IDW now hold the license to produce Angel comics. Joss Whedon wrote an eight-issue miniseries for Dark Horse Comics entitled Fray, about a futuristic vampire slayer. Its final issue came out in August 2003. Pocket Books hold the license to produce Buffy novels, but their license to produce Angel novels expired in 2004.

The Buffyverse has also inspired several unofficial Buffy the Vampire Slayer productions. For example, in recent years fan films have been created for distribution on the internet (considered fanon), and several adult parodies of Buffy have also been produced. None of these were licensed by 20th Century Fox as official Buffy merchandise.

Chronology

Characteristics of the Buffyverse

In many ways this world is not dissimilar to ours. However, in the Buffyverse, elements of the supernatural are found throughout the world, though only a small proportion of the human population is aware of this. It is interesting to note that although many unique aspects of the Buffyverse are introduced as "good" or "evil" and are usually treated as such, both "good" and "bad" tend to be forced into more ambiguous "grey areas". A few of the main aspects of the Buffyverse follow.

The Old Ones

The world was originally ruled by powerful pure-breed demons, the Old Ones. The Old Ones were eventually driven out of this dimension. Any who remained were vanquished or imprisoned in the "Deeper Well", which is essentially a hole in Earth with one end opening in England. The entrance within England is in a tree ("Hole in the World" Angel Season 5). These demons are the object of reverence and worship from lesser demon species.

Vampires

According to legend in the Buffyverse, the last Old One to leave this dimension fed off a human and their blood mixed. A demon was trapped in the human body in the place of the soul. Giles describes how the being "bit another, and another, and so they walk the Earth" ("The Harvest"). Some elements of traditional vampire mythology are used while others are abandoned. These said elements(listed below) are essentially the rules of a Vampires life.

Can be killed by

  • Wooden stake through the heart
  • Extensive exposure to sunlight(in Earth's dimension only)
  • Extensive exposure to fire
  • Decapitation
  • Holy Water (ingestion Buffy 3x12)

Vulnerable to

  • Exposure to Holy Water
  • Physical contact of a Christian Crucifix
  • Highly limited exposure to sunlight
  • Highly limited exposure to fire

Other

  • Must be invited into the home of a living human soul before entering
  • Have no reflection (However, in the conclusion of "Angel"'s opening credits, David Boreanaz's reflection can be seen in a long narrow puddle.)
  • Superhuman Strength, Constitution, Speed, and Senses.
  • Have no soul, with exception to Angel and eventually Spike.
  • Cannot have children, with exception to Angel and Darla's son Connor.
  • Bullets cannot kill vampires but can cause them extreme pain. (Angel)
  • In the first episode, garlic is seen in Buffy's trunk along with stakes, crosses, and holy water. It is also used by Buffy in Wrecked to repel Spike.
  • They can be tranquilized (Doppelgangland).

Werewolves

As in historical werewolf mythology, werewolves are people who suffer from lycanthropy. In the Buffyverse, werewolf characters are shown to have an animal side which either complements or clashes with their human side. Prominent werewolf characters include Oz, Veruca, and Nina Ash. Some werewolves have shown the ability to gain control/achieve harmony between their human and bestial sides (Oz and his teacher in the comics). There are at least two different species of werewolf: one smaller and the other much larger.

Demons

In the Buffyverse, the term "demon" is inexact; it has been applied to just about every creature that isn't a god, robot, unmodified human, or standard terrestrial animal. Some classes of creature, such as Vampires and Old Ones, are known to be demons but not always referred to as such.

There are many kinds of demons portrayed in the Buffyverse, of many different natures and origins. Some demons are shown to live and reproduce on Earth (the Bezoar in "Bad Eggs"), but some are extraterrestrial (the Queller demon in "Listening to Fear"), extradimensional (Lorne on Angel), ex-humans (Anya Jenkins was a peasant who became a vengeance demon), and hybrids (Cordelia Chase had aspects of demon fused in her). Some species of demon are capable of breeding with humans (Doyle has a human mother and a demon father).

Some demons in Buffy are shown to be inherently evil and interested in causing suffering, death, and harm. Other characters challenge this notion however, with demons such as Clem and Lorne who appear basically good.

Slayers

A group of shamans used the essence of a demon to produce the First Slayer. She was banished from her own village and forced to fight the forces of darkness alone. When she died another girl was "chosen" in her place. The line of Slayers is maintained right up until some point in the 21st century. The Slayer is given great strength, lightning reflexes, fast healing powers and is highly skilled with many weapons and Martial Arts.

Watchers

The Watchers' Council historically offers guidance to the Slayer, assisting them by supervising their training and by researching existing and possible demonic or supernatural threats.

"The Good Fight"

While most of humanity in the Buffyverse seems oblivious to the existence of demons, other groups and organizations that are waging their own battles against evil come to light over the course of Buffy and Angel and in related media. For example, a group of socially disadvantaged youth in L.A. organized themselves to battle the vampires destroying their community. (See Charles Gunn.) And, although some of their methods and goals proved questionable, a government-funded group known as The Initiative was also aware of the existence of demons and was fighting a secret war against them. Other large scale groups appear in both Buffy and Angel, often as antagonists to the heroes due to differing views on how to fight the good fight.

Magic

Magic in the Buffyverse can be used for all manner of control. Spells can be performed by anyone by use of magical items while saying particular words. Witches and warlocks however have more knowledge and power for using it for their purposes.

A witch can inherit their lineage from their parents or develop their craft over many years, and neither a witch nor warlock must necessarily be human, such as Cyvus Vail.

Humans with powers

While not prominent in the Buffyverse, there are individuals who gain special powers through means other than the ones mentioned above. Gwen Raiden and Bethany (from the Angel episode Untouched) seem to be born with their powers, making them similar to "mutants" from the X-Men franchise or Heroes. Drusilla had psychic powers as a human before becoming a vampire though their origins are never explained. Others, like Marcie Ross from the episode Out of Mind, Out of Sight or the trio of Nerds gain their powers by other magical, non-magical, or "scientific" means.

Technology

Technology in the Buffyverse is more advanced than in the real world, although the applications of it do not seem to be common knowledge. Examples of advanced technology include:

  • Inventor Ted Buchannon built a highly advanced android version of himself in the 1950s that was capable of impersonating a human being without drawing suspicion. ("Ted")
  • Warren Mears builds a life-like android named April as a companion in the episode "I Was Made to Love You", then builds the Buffybot for Spike as well as an android version of himself. He later forms and leads the Trio as their technology guru. The trio is shown to use a freeze ray ("Smashed"), an invisibility ray ("Gone"), a Cerebral Dampener capable of removing someone's free will ("Dead Things"), and jet packs ("Seeing Red").
  • Pete Clarner is shown to create a chemical compound that gives him highly enhanced strength. ("Beauty and the Beasts")


Additionally, there is much technology specifically geared towards the supernatural, used by the government organization known as "The Initiative" and the demonic law firm Wolfram and Hart.

Footnotes and references

  1. ^ Ouellette, Jennifer (2006). The Physics of the Buffyverse. Penguin. ISBN 0143038621.  
  2. ^ Porter, Rick. "Whedon's 'Angel' Goes Down Fighting". Zap2it. http://tv.zap2it.com/tveditorial/tve_main/1,1002,271%7C88269%7C1%7C,00.html. Retrieved 2007-02-14.  
  3. ^ Morris, Clint. "Interview: Joss Whedon". Moviehole.net. http://www.moviehole.net/news/6251.html. Retrieved 2007-02-14.  
  4. ^ Ausiello, Michael (30 July 2007). "Exclusive: Charisma Carpenter Nabs Big Fat Greek Gig". TVGuide.com (TV Guide). http://community.tvguide.com/blog-entry/TVGuide-Editors-Blog/Ausiello-Report/Exclusive-Charisma-Carpenter/800019565. Retrieved 2008-02-06.  
  5. ^ The use of the term "Whedonverse" is growing in Internet fandom but is often used to describe Firefly as well as Buffy/Angel (a few examples: Whedon.info, Slayage.tv, and Whedonverse Multimedia Project)
  6. ^ (Astonishing X-Men, Alien Resurrection, Firefly, Speed, Toy Story, and Waterworld)

Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

English

Etymology

Buffy +‎ universe

Proper noun

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Wikipedia

Singular
Buffyverse

Plural
-

Buffyverse

  1. The fictional world, or universe, which serves as the setting for the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, consisting of those dramatic motifs, characters, rules, mythology, and other characteristics which define the world in which the dramatis personae of the show live.

Simple English

The Buffyverse is a fictional universe created by writer/director Joss Whedon. It is the setting used for the movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer (BtVS), the BtVS television series and the Angel television series. Comic books and novels based on both the Buffy and Angel television series and the Fray comic book also take place in the Buffyverse. The term Buffyverse was created by the fans of the shows and later used by Whedon as the name for his world[1]. The term has also been used in the titles of published works[2].


The Buffyverse is a world where Vampires and demons exist. Many different types of fictional creatures and monsters can be found in this world. These creatures include werewolves, ghosts, trolls, and witches. It is a world where magic is used often. Most of the people in the Buffyverse do not know that these creatures live in this world or that magic exists.

Contents

Notable features

The Slayer

The Slayer or Chosen One is a young girl with super-human strength, agility and stamina. It is her destiny to fight evil. When one Slayer is killed, a new girl is chosen to become the new Slayer. The new slayer has all of the power of the last Slayer as soon as she is chosen. The new Slayer also begins to have dreams that tell her of her future and Slayers from the past.

The first Slayer was created long before written history by a group of men who looked like Aborigine. She was created by combine her with a demon. As each Slayer is killed, the demon moves to the next slayer. It gives her the powers of the Slayer as well as the dreams of it's past with the other slayers.

Hellmouth

In the Buffyverse there are many different dimensions or worlds. Some are full of evil. A place where the borders between the normal world and an evil dimension are weak is called a Hellmouth. Evil in the normal world will naturally move towards a hellmouth. The area closest to a hellmouth will be home to much evil and strange circumstances.

There are two well known hellmouths in the Buffyverse. The first is located in Sunnydale, California. This is the place where the stories in Buffy take place. It is the largest and most powerful hellmouth in the Buffyverse. The second hellmouth is in Cleveland, Ohio. Not much is known about this hellmouth.

References

  1. Porter, Rick. "Whedon's 'Angel' Goes Down Fighting". Zap2it. http://tv.zap2it.com/tveditorial/tve_main/1,1002,271%7C88269%7C1%7C,00.html. Retrieved 2007-02-14. 
  2. Ouellette, Jennifer (2006). The Physics of the Buffyverse. Penguin. ISBN 0143038621. 

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