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Glory
Glorificus.jpg
First appearance "No Place Like Home"
Created by Joss Whedon, Douglas Petrie
Statistics
Full name Glory, Glorificus
Affiliation None
Notable powers
Portrayed by  Clare Kramer

Glory is a fictional character in the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Also known as "Glorificus", "That Which Cannot Be Named" and "The Beast", she appeared during the fifth season of the program and was portrayed by Clare Kramer.

Contents

Character biography

History

Glory "Glorificus" is a god from a hell dimension in which she ruled alongside two other deities. Glory's lust for pain and vengeance grew, as did her power and she quickly became the most powerful of the three in the dimension. Afraid and fearful that Glory would seize the dimension for herself a war began and the other two deities struck first. They combined powers and Glory was banished out and into the earthly dimension where she was forced to share a body with a child named Ben, who was created solely to "contain" her.

Although not until Ben's early 20s, Glory began to gain control over Ben for short periods of time, taking the form of a vain, self-centered human female who possessed superhuman strength but lacked many of her other powers. A magical "amnesia" spell keeps humans from learning that Glory and Ben are one and the same, even if she transforms right in front of them. However, the spell does not affect non-humans and Spike gained knowledge that Glory and Ben are the same entity. This becomes a recurring joke in the penultimate episode of Season Five, where Spike finds himself repeatedly having to explain to the Scooby Gang that Ben and Glory are the same person, only for them either to misunderstand him or to instantly forget. However, as Ben and Glory's personalities begin to merge more and more (see below), the magical ruse weakens until, in the finale, the whole gang is able to see through it.

The Key

The Key is an almighty extreme power, an old mystical energy created to work on a multi-dimensional level. The Key needs to draw on powers from the dimension it's in before being used which is why it can only be used at a certain time and certain place. The Key was created within another dimension with the ability to annihilate the barriers that separate one dimension from another. The longer the Key is in use, the more walls that are torn down. When the Key is activated during it's moment, a small portal is opened, which immediently allows anyone to cross from one dimension to another. Obviously the longer the Key is used, the more the portals open, the more barriers will come down and eventually dimensions will bleed into each other, forcing Chaos to rein on Earth.

The Key became lost throughout dimensions until 3 powerful Monks located it and kept it hidden with their magics. Years after the Monks kept the Key hidden from all magics of being traced, a powerful god had been banished from her world into theirs and learnt how to escape brief periods of her human prison before searching for the Key. The Monks knew that the Beast would tear them apart once found and unfortunately the Beast quickly discovered that the Monks had the Key. She was known as The Beast, She Who Must Not Be Named, Glorificus, a Torturous Hell god passionate about pain, torment and suffering.

The Monks had the ability to alter reality as we know it, a power that works on high levels and one of which enables memories, souls and human tissue to be created. Before the Beast found the Monks, they changed the Key's form, made it human, build memories into Buffy's mind and sent the Key to her in the form of a sister. The Monks labelled the Key, Dawn. All 3 Monks were killed whilst Glorificus searched for the Key.

Buffy's first discovery of Glorificus came shortly before she became aware of what had happened regarding who Dawn was. Buffy tried to go up against Glorificus and failed miserably. She threw Buffy into several walls, almost punched her out several times and then tossed her across the room whilst laughing. The only thing she did manage to do was escape with the Monk who quickly told her what had happaned.

Sunnydale

Although Glory enters early in on the Season, the Buffy gang is given bare information on her to begin with. The only reason Buffy found out her name was because she heard one of Glory's minion's say it. Glory's god-like status, her extreme power level, her history, the Key's true power and where it came from is not known until the last dozen episodes, but closer to the end. Glory comes to Sunnydale looking for "the Key," a mystical artifact that will break down the walls between all dimensions, allowing her to return to reign in her own dimension. Use of the Key will also cause the merging of all other dimensions, including the one Buffy and her friends inhabit, though Glory does not care about that. Glory is not aware of what form the Key has taken, though she knows that Buffy, the Slayer, protects it. She begins the quest to locate it, aided by a group of pale, black-eyed demons who are loyal to her almost to a fault (despite the fact that she physically and verbally abuses them). Glory quickly establishes herself as one of Buffy's most dangerous and determined enemies; at one point, she confronts Buffy in her own home, openly threatening to kill Buffy's friends and family and force Buffy herself to watch her do so.

In order to maintain her sanity and power, Glory feeds off humans by a process that Buffy and her friends refer to as "brain-sucking". She inserts her fingers into the victim's head, absorbing the energies that bind the victim's mind. The humans that she "devours" in this way become incoherent and mentally unstable; Glory's arrival in Sunnydale is followed by an inexplicable increase in the number of mental patients. One of her unfortunate victims is Willow's girlfriend, Tara. For her part, Buffy is not initially aware of the Key's nature either. It is eventually revealed that Buffy's "new sister", Dawn, is the Key, in human form. Glory soon discovers this fact, and manages to kidnap Dawn.

The Key can only be used at a certain time, and as that time draws near, the power that separates Glory from Ben dissolves. They still inhabit Ben's body separately, but their memories and personalities begin to blur together.

Buffy attacks Glory with everything she has: Willow's magic spell (that draws on Glory's stamina, giving sanity back to Tara at the same time), the Dagon Sphere (that lowers Glory's strength as well), her identical robot twin (the "Buffybot"), Olaf's Hammer (with which Buffy beats Glory to a pulp), and eventually a wrecking ball, commandeered by Xander. Meanwhile, Spike, Giles, and Anya attack her minions. However, the final spell that will open the dimensions has already been started by Glory's cohort Doc, unsuccessfully confronted by Spike, cutting Dawn with a knife and making her bleed (the act of which opens a portal to the other dimensions). Ultimately, after killing Doc and saying goodbye to her sister, Buffy jumps into the portal that is opening between dimensions, resulting in its closure and her own death.

Glory is left defeated and significantly weakened, losing her hold on this reality and returning to the form and mind of Ben. Giles knows that Glory will eventually return and get her revenge unless Ben is killed, so he smothers him to death with his bare hands. As Ben dies, so does Glory.

Glory is also referred to as "Glorificus" by her minions and in most textual references, and occasionally as "The Beast" by the monks who created Dawn (although she has nothing to do with The Beast who appeared in Angel, the spin-off series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

After this, her final appearance in the series is at the end of the episode "Lessons", as an avatar of the First Evil along with most of the other major villains from the series.

Name

"That Which Cannot Be Named" came into existence before written word, and therefore (as its title implies) has no name. When the hell-god came to this dimension, she was dubbed "Glorificus" (Latin: "glorified") or sometimes "Glorifius," names which she shortened to "Glory." She was also known as "the Glorious One" (among many other amusing, groveling titles such as "Her Splendiferousness," "Her Sparkling Luminescence" and "Oh Sweaty-Naughty-Feelings-Causing One") by her demon minions, and as "the Beast" or "the Abomination" by the human priesthood and the Knights of Byzantium. Ben refers to her as "the Most Unstable One", while the Scoobies at one time refer to her as "Hell-Bitch." But they mostly refer to her as Glory.

Powers and abilities

It is revealed that Glory's powers were reduced when she was imprisoned in human form. However, the powers that remained were:

  • Near-invulnerability: Even though Buffy and Glory fought often throughout the season, only a Troll god's hammer was able to do any lasting damage to Glory when used repeatedly. The hammer is so heavy and strong that only a Slayer's strength or greater is able to handle it or pick it up. In her original form, she is immortal. Willow's lightning bolts caused her pain, but caused no visible damage as the hammer did, though she comments that Willow's assault slowed her down slightly; by the time of the season finale, Buffy mentions that Willow was the only one of the Scoobies who was ever successful in actually hurting Glory up to that point. When a building collapses on top of her (see below), she is slowed down, but unharmed. Similarly, she is unharmed after being hit by a truck. Presumably, she was either unharmed or left with minor injuries after Willow's teleportation spell during the hospital attack.
  • Superhuman strength: Glory possesses physical strength far beyond that of most, if not all, vampires, demons, or Slayers; in fact, she is considered to be the most physically powerful Big Bad in the series. Glory is known for using her strength through out all her battles. Through counter-acting Buffy's punch attempts, Glory could hit and send her hurtling across the room. At one point, a building collapses on her after she repeatedly stomps her foot in a temper tantrum over a broken shoe. In "Intervention", she kicked Spike clear across her living room, through a solid wooden door, and to the other end of the room behind said door after losing her patience with him. In "Spiral", she punches a hole through the barrier that Willow had previously generated.
  • Superhuman speed: Glory's super-speed is depicted as a fast-moving blur that is apparently invisible to the naked eye. This is seen when she pursues Buffy and Dawn immediately after Tara, in her insane state, accidentally reveals that Dawn is the Key.
  • Glory's fighting ability was very advanced, even against the Slayer. She could counter-act most fighting techniques and use her strength and speed render them defenseless. Buffy needed the Troll god's Hammer, the Dagon's Sphere, the Buffy Robot and Willow's spell that drew the energy from Glory back into Tara to restore her sanity, to do any lasting damage and weaken her. Glory still fought until the Hammer began to weaken her human form.
  • The ability to drain the mental energy of humans. This was primarily to maintain her own mental strength, but would also prevent Ben's form from resuming control. Not only does the drain draw out all energy leaving the Victims in an insane state, they are also able to visually see the Key's true energy and ultimately become psychically linked to Glory and the Key. Unaware that the Victims will be able to see the Key's form, Glory discovers Dawn is the Key when Tara identifies Dawn as the Key in front of Glory.
  • A mystical shroud cast to prevent people from learning that she and Ben were the same person, the origins of which are unclear. It only worked on humans; vampires, demons, and other non-humans were immune. She loses this capability in the penultimate episode of Season Five.
  • The ability to identify the race of any being through smelling them, as seen in "Intervention", when her minions capture Spike under the mistaken impression that he is the Key, Glory says instantly that Spike is a vampire and therefore impure.
  • Apparent omnilingualism: able to speak and understand any human or demon language. This is known when humans and demons would talk to her in other languages and she would easily be able to interpret and understand.
  • Glory, besides Willow in Season 7, is one of the only beings on "Buffy" able to cast enormously powerful levels of magic glibly. Glory cast an ancient spell that multiplies the size of a snake and supplies it with the ability to see the Key's true energy. Although the Snake becomes 10 times the size of Glory after being cast, it quickly obeys her command by seeking out the key. Giles is quoted saying that this spell is only successful when enormous levels of magic is used. Glory cast this spell quite easily.

The extent of Glory's true powers as a hell god were never revealed or used, though according to Gregor in "Spiral", they were beyond what even her compatriot hell gods could conceive. At the end of the season when Glory captures Dawn, Ben attempts to release Dawn but withdraws this offer after Glory offers him immortality when she returns to her dimension.

Personality

"You may be tiny queen in vampire world but to me, you're a bug. You should get on your knees and worship me. I could crush the life out of you as easy as you would break a nail. But you have my Key, and that's the only thing keeping you alive right now." - Glorificus

"Safe? We've barely managed not getting seriously dead everytime we've crossed paths with Glory, and now that she knows that Dawn is the Key? She's too strong. Glory is going to win. We have to leave town. We stay we die." - Buffy

"I'm the Slayer, the Chosen One, big mythical defendery. Evil nasties are suppose to flee from me. Not the other way around." - Buffy

"Buffy has never met anyone before who is the same human age as her, dresses better, has a funnier sense of humour and is stronger in every sense of the word. Buffy is use to demons and spirits and vampires but Glory is much more then that. She's a god and she can do far worse damage than Buffy can." - Executive Producers of Buffy.

Glory's personality is one of the strongest in the series. She is almost, if not the most, confident Big Bad in the series, never displaying fear and is quoted saying "Don't send a minion to do a god's work".

Clare Kramer, in an interview with the BBC, says Glory's strength was her lack of self-doubt: "She was completely secure in herself, focused on what she wanted and dedicated to her cause." However, her strength was also her downfall; Kramer notes that Glory was unable "to look at more than just herself."[1]

Servants

  • Dreg
  • Jinx
  • Murk
  • Slook
  • Gronx
  • The High Priest Minion
  • Doc

Art links

  • The picture in the living room of Glory's mansion is a copy of Tamara de Lempicka's Irene and her sisters a.k.a. Four nudes. The Polish art déco/futurist artist is renowned for being strongly feminist and openly bisexual/lesbian.
  • In Buffy & Angel: Official Yearbook 2006, Glory was voted number one by fans as "Best Buffyverse Villain", followed by Angelus and the Mayor respectively.

Appearances

Canonical appearances

Glory has appeared in 13 canonical Buffyverse episodes:

Season 5 (2000–2001) - "No Place Like Home"; "Family"; "Shadow"; "Checkpoint"; "Blood Ties"; "I Was Made to Love You"; "Forever"; "Intervention"; "Tough Love"; "Spiral; "The Weight of the World"; "The Gift"
Season 7 (2002-2003) - "Lessons" (as an incarnation of The First Evil)

Merchandise

The character's popularity prompted Diamond Select Toys to release two unique Glory action figures in 2006 and 2007: one figure is modeled on the character wearing her trademark red dress, and the other features the character dressed in black, as seen in "The Gift" (episode 5.22). The latter action figure was released as part of a set, the other figure being Dawn from the same episode.

In mid-2009, a maquette of Glory will be released as part of Electric Tiki's "Tooned-Up Television" line[2].

See also

References








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