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Richard Wilkins (Buffy the Vampire Slayer): Wikis


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For the Australian television/entertainment personality, see Richard Wilkins (TV presenter).
Mayor Richard Wilkins I, II, and III
Mayor buffy.jpg
First appearance "Homecoming"
Created by Joss Whedon, David Greenwalt
Full name Richard Wilkins I, Richard Wilkins II, Richard Wilkins III/Olvikan
Affiliation Sunnydale City Hall
Notable powers
  • Skilled sorcerer adept with performing dark incantations.
  • Immortality and eternal youth granted to him by demonic benefactors.
  • For 100 days before the Ascension, he could not be killed or harmed in any way.
  • Superhuman physical attributes in demon form.
Portrayed by  Harry Groener

Richard Wilkins III, also simply known as the Mayor, is a fictional character created by Joss Whedon for the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Played by Harry Groener, he was the villainous mayor of the series' fictional town of Sunnydale. Although the character is mentioned in season 2, Mayor Wilkins makes his first on-screen appearance in Season 3, eventually serving as the "Big Bad" of the season. He has several humans, vampires and demons working for him, including the renegade slayer Faith and Mr. Trick.

Wizard Magazine rated the Mayor as the 34th greatest villain of all time.[1]




Past history

Richard Wilkins arrived in California in the late 1800s, looking for gold. It is shown in Tales of the Slayers that he founded Sunnydale after the last Slayer died there in 1899. Wilkins found a place infested with demons, with whom he made a pact to avoid being killed.

He agreed to found a town atop the Hellmouth for "demons to feed on", on the promise of an Ascension and subsequent immortality once a full century has elapsed (see "Enemies"). Until Wilkins attains demon form, he would not age until after 100 years to the very day Sunnydale was founded, at which point he will supposedly lose his power. As it so happens, Richard Wilkins III was also Richard Wilkins Sr. and Jr., pretending to be the son in each subsequent generation to conceal his lack of aging. This created a problem when his wife Edna May, whom he married in 1903, began aging and probably contributed to his lack of romantic relationships later on (see "Choices"). Wilkins seemed to have sold his soul early in life (see "Lovers Walk") as one of his "campaign promises."

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Throughout season 3, Wilkins works to ensure his transformation into an Old One, the pure-breed demon Olvikan. Unlike many villains featured on Buffy, he has quite a pleasant demeanor. A family man with an aversion to swearing, he almost always wears a smile on his face, and is obsessed with cleanliness. After sending his henchmen after Faith and Buffy in the episode "Consequences", Faith leaves the life of a Slayer and offers him her services. He becomes a father figure to Faith; he even furnishes her room, complete with a PlayStation, because he does not like to see her stay at a place with an "unsavory reputation." When he discovers that Buffy has badly injured Faith, he loses his cheery demeanor and attempts to smother Buffy with his bare hands in the hospital, but is stopped by Angel.

After he achieves Ascension into the gigantic demon known as Olvikan during Sunnydale High's graduation ceremony in 1999. He eats Principal Snyder and then battles the entire graduating class, who had come prepared for battle. The students fight the Mayor and his vampire lackeys to a standstill, though they suffer fatalities. The Mayor personally kills recurring student Larry Blaisdell. Buffy exploits his love for Faith by taunting him with the knife he had given to Faith and with which Buffy put Faith in a coma. Buffy lures Wilkins into the empty library, now filled with bags of dynamite, a trap also planned by the class. Rupert Giles then presses the trigger that obliterates the Mayor and the school building. Staying true to his avoidance of foul language, Wilkins' last words are "Well, gosh."

Wilkins is seen again in Season 4 on a videotape he had left for Faith in case she ever woke up from her coma, having left her a mystical device that would allow her to switch bodies with Buffy. He visage is seen again in Season 7 as one of the many incarnations of The First Evil.

There is also a brief flashback appearance of him in the canonical comic "No Future for You" (Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight).

The Mayor is the first non-vampiric Big Bad to appear in the Buffy series.

Non-canonical appearances

The Mayor has also appeared in expanded universe material such as Buffy comics and novels, most notably the 2002 comic Haunted. In the Haunted, Mayor Wilkins is shown to live on as a ghost for a while, possessing the bodies of dead animals and demons (as well as vampires). In the process, he is also responsible for the creation of Adam, when he possesses the corpse of a powerful demon (his earlier vampire body having been captured by the Initiative) and badly injures the then-human Adam. Willow figures something is going on when Wilkins mentions his previous attack on 'the librarian', Giles, which was done with a different vampire body. Without discovering it was the Mayor, the group performs a generic banishment spell, forcing Wilkins spirit out. The closing narrative says he is simply left with 'his hate'.



Unlike other Buffy villains, Wilkins is rather pleasant and formal. He loves the Family Circus cartoon strip, amused that P.J. is such a handful (see "Bad Girls"), but thinks Marmaduke promotes unsanitary behavior. He has an obsession with personal hygiene, and a penchant for golf. He also likes Toll House cookies and is firmly against using foul language. Wilkins is also very close to Faith and showers her with expensive gifts in exchange for her assistance. Their relationship could be described as parental, as Faith seems to view him as something of a father figure. A self-described "Family Man", his charming personality and manner sharply contrast his demonic nature and the activities in which he engages.

Groener has mentioned that "There's something the mayor knows about the potential of his power which makes him less afraid of people who threaten him. That's interesting to play because the closer we get to absolute power, the closer we get to the part that corrupts. Even the vampires are sort of scared of him."[2] Groener made some of his own conclusions about the character: "I think in his actual political life, he's a good mayor. He's probably a fairly conservative politician, a very conservative Democrat or a very liberal Republican. He likes to keep things clean. He likes things to be neat. He doesn't like a lot of clutter, so I imagine he likes to keep his town that way. It's only this other thing which makes him a little weird. Other than that he's a fairly standard mayor."[3]

Powers and abilities

Before transforming into a demon, Wilkins was a powerful sorcerer who specialized in the dark arts. He had a cabinet full of shrunken heads, bones and supernatural paraphernalia. He became immortal and gained eternal youth thanks to demonic benefactors. For 100 days until the Ascension, he could not be harmed in any way, and was able to heal from massive injuries immediately.

As the embodiment of the demon Olvikan, he possesses within his snakelike form inhuman strength, endurance, and size, endowed with a thick, bone-armored hide, sharp teeth and mandibles, and a spiked tail-club.


Canonical appearances

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight 

Other stories featuring the Mayor which are considered canonical include "The Glittering World" from the 2002 comic mini-series Tales of the Slayers.

Notes and references

  1. ^ Wizard #177
  2. ^ Stokes, Mike, "Absolute Power", from Buffy the Vampire Slayer magazine #10 (UK, July 2000), page 18-19.
  3. ^ Stokes, Mike, "Absolute Power", from Buffy the Vampire Slayer magazine #10 (UK, July 2000), page 19-20.


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