Rupert Giles: Wikis


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Rupert Giles
S608 Giles.png
First appearance "Welcome to the Hellmouth"
Created by Joss Whedon
Full name Rupert Giles
Affiliation Scooby Gang, Watchers' Council, formerly Sunnydale High Faculty and his "bad crowd"
Portrayed by  Anthony Stewart Head

Rupert Giles is a fictional character created by Joss Whedon for the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The character is portrayed by Anthony Stewart Head. He serves as Buffy Summers' mentor and surrogate father figure.




Character history

Rupert Giles (most frequently called Giles) was born circa 1955 in England. His family has worked within the Council of Watchers for at least three generations; both his father and grandmother, Edna Giles, were also Watchers. As a child, Giles dreamed of being either "a fighter pilot or possibly a grocer", but he soon learned that being a Watcher is a calling, much as being a Slayer is, and Rupert's father explained his destiny to him when he was ten years old (revealed in "Never Kill a Boy on the First Date").

Although the Scooby Gang later joked that he wore tweed diapers as a child, Giles was in fact a rebellious youth, rejecting his responsibility as a Watcher and dropping out of Oxford University, where he was studying history, when he was twenty-one. During this time, Giles claimed to be a founding member of Pink Floyd in order to impress girls, and may have delved into criminal activity (he remarks that hot-wiring a car is "like riding a bloody bicycle", and a psychologically younger Giles has no qualms about breaking into a clothing store and attacking a police officer). He is a talented singer and guitar player (as Head is in real life) which the gang discovered, to their horror, when they saw him singing "Behind Blue Eyes" by The Who in "Where the Wild Things Are". Spike also saw him singing "Free Bird" by Lynyrd Skynyrd in "The Yoko Factor".

He began to explore dark magics and befriended a group of young people who delved into the dark arts for fun or money: Ethan Rayne, Philip Henry, Dierdre Page, Thomas Sutcliff, and Randall. Giles gained the nickname "Ripper" during this time. Together, the group summoned a particularly grotesque demon called Eyghon, who would eventually murder Randall. Following Randall's death, Ethan and the others failed to exorcise Eyghon, and Giles accepted his destiny of becoming a Watcher. Before becoming a fully-fledged Watcher, he also worked as "the curator of a British museum, maybe the British Museum" as Willow says ("Welcome to the Hellmouth").


At the behest of the Watchers' Council, Giles travels to Sunnydale, California, and works as the librarian at the local high school. There he meets the current Slayer, Buffy Summers, whom he begins training. The library, a sort of command center for Buffy's demon-hunting gang, sits right above the Hellmouth.

As the Watcher, librarian, and general authority figure, Giles often delivers exposition. He is a father figure to Buffy and an advisor to her friends Xander Harris and Willow Rosenberg, together forming the "core four" of the Scooby Gang. Giles is often portrayed as somewhat of a "straight man" and his "stuffy" Oxford sensibility serves as counterpoint to the stereotypical Southern Californian characters and setting. He makes a "weird cluck-cluck sound with his tongue" when he is angry but is "too English to say anything" ("Faith, Hope & Trick"). He admits to being technophobic, a fact which often brings him into conflict with technopagan and computer science teacher, Jenny Calendar. However, after Jenny aids him in casting the demon Moloch out of the Internet, the pair reach an understanding and begin a romantic relationship.

Mr. Giles, Sunnydale High's uptight librarian

In Season Two, Giles' dark side is revealed and his relationship with Jenny deepens. In "The Dark Age", Ethan Rayne comes to Sunnydale to flee the demon Eyghon. Giles ashamedly admits to Buffy that he was responsible for summoning the demon in his youth, and is horrified when Jenny becomes possessed by Eyghon. Although Eyghon is defeated, Jenny takes time to cope with her ordeal, retaining distance from Giles in the process. When new Slayer Kendra Young arrives in Sunnydale, Giles shares with her an appreciation for obscure texts, resulting in Buffy nicknaming her the "She-Giles." Giles feels betrayed when Jenny reveals she is actually a member of the Kalderash gypsy clan, sent to keep an eye on Buffy's relationship with the vampire Angel. When Angel loses his soul and murders Jenny, leaving her corpse for Giles to find in his apartment ("Passion"), Giles seeks revenge by burning down Angelus' home. Angelus later kidnaps and tortures him, and Drusilla hypnotizes him into thinking she is Jenny, so he will reveal how to awake Acathla. Buffy is forced to kill Angel, despite Willow restoring his soul, and subsequently leaves Sunnydale.

In Season Three, Giles' paternal feelings for Buffy are strengthened significantly. He spends the summer desperately following up any clues of Buffy's whereabouts, and is overjoyed when she finally returns months later. Giles briefly serves as Watcher for Kendra's replacement Slayer, Faith Lehane. The Scoobies are given another disturbing glimpse in Giles' past when, along with every other adult in Sunnydale, he is reverted to a teenager by enchanted band candy supplied by Ethan Rayne. During this time, he indulges in theft and vandalism, and has sex with Buffy's mother, Joyce Summers. When Buffy keeps Angel's return from hell a secret from the other Scoobies, Giles feels betrayed by her affection for the man who tortured him and murdered Jenny, but later agrees to help Angel in "Amends".

As Buffy's Cruciamentum approaches, a brutal tradition of the Watchers' Council in which a depowered Slayer is forced to battle a vampire, Giles struggles to cope with the guilt of betraying Buffy's trust. Despite describing the test as "an archaic exercise in cruelty", he secretly injects Buffy with muscle relaxants and adrenaline suppressors, which weaken her significantly, before eventually coming clean when the vampire she is meant to fight escapes. Buffy is disgusted, but is later moved when Head Watcher Quentin Travers dismisses Giles for having a father's love for her. Giles is fired, and replaced with Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, but continues to act as Buffy's unofficial Watcher. When Buffy briefly finds herself endowed with telepathic powers, she 'hears' her mother remembering that Giles was "like a stevedore" during sex. In a battle with the demonic Mayor of Sunnydale, Giles presses the trigger which destroys the Mayor and Sunnydale High, putting himself out of a job.

In Season Four, Giles must cope with unemployment and a growing awareness that Buffy no longer needs him. He continues a sexual relationship with his old friend Olivia. Lacking a sense of purpose, he spends most of his time lounging around his apartment, watching Passions with Spike. He begins to suffer from depression, especially when the Scoobies fail to keep him in the loop regarding Buffy's new boyfriend Riley Finn and his membership in the Initiative. In the episode "Something Blue", Giles becomes blind as a result of a faulty spell cast by Willow Rosenberg. When Ethan Rayne casts a spell on Giles which turns him into a Fyarl demon ("A New Man"), he must enlist Spike's help to escape the Initiative and Buffy, who believe him to be a demon who murdered Giles. Buffy, about to kill him, at the last moment recognizes his eyes and "annoyed" expression, and Ethan is taken into custody by the Initiative. In order to defeat the cyber-demonoid Adam, Buffy, Willow, Xander and Giles cast a spell to combine their strength. Giles provides the "mind", and Buffy is able to defeat Adam.

At the beginning of Season Five, Giles finally no longer sees his place in Sunnydale and decides to go back to England, telling no one except Willow, whom he needs to organize the research documents for the Scoobies. He quickly abandons this decision when Buffy asks him to be her Watcher again, confessing that she needs him, both emotionally and in order to discover more about what being a Slayer means.

When the owner of The Magic Box is killed by vampires, Giles is convinced by the shop's high profit margins to buy it, hiring Anya as his overtly enthusiastic assistant. Buffy learns her sister, Dawn Summers, is actually the Key: mystical energy disguised in human form to conceal it from the hell-god Glory. Buffy initially confides only in Giles about Dawn's true nature, and he decides to contact the Watchers' Council for more information about Glory. In "Checkpoint", Quentin Travers blackmails Buffy into obeying the Council's demands, threatening to have Giles deported if she does not comply. Buffy stands up to the Council, instructing them to release all information concerning Glory to her and to reinstate Giles (with back pay) as her official Watcher. Travers reluctantly agrees, and leaves.

As the Scoobies labor to find a way to defeat Glory, Giles brings up the difficult idea of killing Dawn to end her plans. Buffy refuses to listen, and vows to protect Dawn at all costs; Giles is the only member of the "Scooby Gang" to suggest the idea in order to save the world. Glory shares her body with an innocent human male called Ben, and can be killed if Ben dies. In the final battle against Glory, Buffy abandons the fight when Glory turns back into Ben, so that she can save Dawn, but Giles is less merciful. Explaining that Buffy is a hero and therefore different from the rest of the world, he suffocates Ben with his bare hands ("The Gift"). Buffy later sacrifices her own life to save Dawn's, saving the world in the process.

Season Six sees Giles reluctantly stepping back to allow Buffy to gain independence. Forty-seven days after her death, Giles decides to return to England. On the very day he leaves, Willow, Xander, Anya and Tara resurrect Buffy, and he comes back as soon as he hears of this. Despite being overjoyed to have Buffy back, he is furious at Willow for invoking such dark magic, and angrily dismisses her as "a rank, arrogant amateur"; while the other Scoobies believe Buffy was in Hell, Giles is not convinced, and his suspicions prove true when a demon's musical spell causes Buffy to reveal to them all that she was indeed in Heaven. As Buffy begins to rely excessively on Giles for financial and emotional support, he decides his presence is preventing her assuming responsibility for her life. He leaves again for his native England, moving to a place near Bath, where he works with a powerful local coven.

A few months later, Tara is killed by a stray bullet as Warren Mears attacks Buffy. Willow, still recovering from an addiction to magic, suffers a relapse, kills Warren and attempts to kill his former partners in crime, before resolving to end humanity's pain (and her own) by destroying the world. Hearing about a dark power rising in Sunnydale, Giles teleports back there, wielding great magical power borrowed from the Devon Coven. As Dark Willow boasts of her indestructibility, Giles knocks her to the floor with a blast of magic energy, stating "I'd like to test that theory" ("Two to Go"). Knowing Willow is too strong, he tricks her into draining him of his magics, which brings him near death. It also allows Xander to reason with Willow as the good magic brings out her natural love and compassion, eating away at the evil within her. Giles returns to England with Willow for her rehabilitation. A few months later, he brings Potential Slayers to Sunnydale to protect them from the First Evil and its Bringers. Giles had removed a few volumes from the headquarters of the Watchers' Council, which is soon afterward destroyed by Caleb, an agent of the First. An injured Watcher named Robson witnessed Giles about to be decapitated by a Bringer, before blacking out. When the Scoobies hear about this, they worry that Giles may have been killed and the First is merely impersonating him. They are relieved when Anya, Dawn, Xander and Andrew tackle him to the ground, proving he is corporeal and therefore not the First. Giles later loses Buffy's trust somewhat when he takes part in a scheme with Robin Wood to kill Spike ("Lies My Parents Told Me"), with Buffy telling him, "I think you've taught me everything I need to know." Giles believes that Buffy kept Spike around for personal reasons rather than tactical ones; this is confirmed when she talks to Spike the night before the final battle under the Hellmouth. In the series finale, he participates in the battle of the Hellmouth, and survives.


In season five of Angel, Angel contacts Giles via phone twice. It is established that, after the events of "Chosen", Giles travels to Europe with Buffy to train new Slayers. He also takes Andrew Wells under his wing, training him to be a Watcher. In "Damage", Andrew claims to be "faster, stronger and 82% more manly" as a result of Giles' mentoring. Later in "A Hole in the World", after Fred dies, Angel phones Giles, desperate to get in contact with Willow, who cannot be located. After Angel confirms that he still works for Wolfram & Hart, Giles coldly hangs up on him.

In Season Eight, the Scooby Gang has expanded into a global organization, training approximately five hundred Slayers spread over ten squads. Giles is head of the Slayer operations in England, parallel with Andrew's operations in Italy and Buffy and Xander's in Scotland, and he keeps in close contact with Xander and Andrew, discussing issues. In the Season Eight arc, "No Future For You", he comes to Faith to request her assistance assassinating another Slayer, who will bring around the Apocalypse if left unchecked. After they are both forced to make the difficult decisions to kill the rogue Slayer Gigi and her mentor Roden, they decide to work together in the future as equal partners, keeping Slayers from turning down the dark path both Faith and Gigi walked. As a result of their covert operation, Buffy and Giles have fallen out of speaking terms.

In the story "Safe," Giles and Faith hear of a "Slayer Sanctuary" in a town called Hanselstadt from a young Slayer named Courtney. There, Giles encounters Duncan Fillworthe, a former Watcher, who claims vampires do not dare to enter the town because they know the town contains an army of Slayers. Later, as Giles argues a stalemate is not a solution to the vampire problem, Duncan reveals that in fact the town is feeding the Slayers who come seeking sanctuary to an ancient demon. The fear of the demon is what really keeps the vampires from entering. Giles goes to warn Faith as Duncan states this is the fate that Slayers deserve for rejecting the Watchers Council, especially Buffy, reminding Giles that Buffy's relationship with Angel resulted in Jenny Calendar's death. Giles finds Faith already in combat with the demon, which feeds on beings who feel regret and fear. While trying to free Courtney from the demon, Duncan intercepts Giles. During their skirmish, the demon devours Duncan and Giles saves Courtney while Faith kills the demon. The stalemate ended, Giles and Faith rally the reluctant townspeople against the coming vampires, telling them if they want to live, they'll have to fight.[1]

After Harmony Kendall's reality show establishes a new pro-vampire, anti-Slayer world order, Faith and Giles are in hiding in the Führerbunker. Once their underground hideout is compromised by demons, they retreat to Scotland to reunite with Buffy. Giles and Buffy are driven to reconcile by Twilight's attacks. The entire group are later transported to Oz in Tibet to learn how to suppress magic to stop Twilight tracking them.

Shortly after Buffy ended its seven year televised run, there was talk of a Giles-based spin-off series for the BBC entitled Ripper. As of Comicon 2007, Joss Whedon confirms that Ripper is still planned and in the pipeline.

Originally, Giles was to appear in "A Hole in the World" as the one whom Angel and Spike approached in an attempt to save Fred, because Whedon needed a character who would be instantly believed (by the characters and by the audience) when he said there was no way to save Fred. As it was too expensive for Anthony Stewart Head to fly out to Los Angeles to guest-star, Whedon created Drogyn the Battlebrand, who was mystically compelled to tell the truth no matter what.

Powers and abilities

Giles has extensive knowledge of demonology and Slayer combat (including at least a theoretical knowledge of jujutsu and aikido, but excelling at the art of fencing), mainly due to his training as a Watcher. His youthful interest in witchcraft and sorcery has endured into his adult life, though his natural aptitude for it is only moderate (much less than that of Willow). Giles is proficient in several languages, including Latin, ancient Greek, Sumerian ("Primeval"), Japanese ("Checkpoint"), and possibly Gaelic ("Fear, Itself"), but weak in German ("Gingerbread"), Mandarin and Cantonese ("First Date"). While he has no prominent supernatural powers of his own, his extensive experience with dealing with vampires, demons, and other creatures makes him capable of handling them effectively.

Giles has moderate skill in hand-to-hand combat, as well as various melee weapons. While his demeanor is typically mild and polite, Giles is not above using raw violence to solve a problem, such as physically threatening Principal Snyder into readmitting Buffy to school after her expulsion ("Dead Man's Party"), pummeling Angelus senseless with a flaming baseball bat upon discovering that he had killed Jenny Calendar ("Passion"), causing one of Glory's minons to talk with a painful sounding injury heard offscreen, and severely beating up Ethan Rayne for information ("Halloween"). Giles also suffocates a critically injured Ben with his bare hands to keep Glory from returning once her scheme is thwarted ("The Gift"). Typically however, Giles' calm demeanor and professionalism offer him a detached state of authority even in the face of fearsome monsters, as demonstrated during his confrontation with a violent demon in "The Long Way Home". He is also shown to be able to quickly hotwire a car in the episode "Dead Man's Party".

In the season six finale, Giles was temporarily endowed with powers of the Devon Coven in an attempt to stop Willow. During this time, he demonstrated powers such as teleportation, telekinesis, and energy projection. He lost all of these powers when Willow drained him and left him on the brink of death, but he recovered immediately after Xander calms her down from her rampage. His moderate proficiency in magic combined with his natural acumen and intelligence still make him quite formidable; in Season Eight's "No Future for You", he kills the warlock Roden, who could fly and conjure easily, through using a spell inventively.


Canonical appearances

Giles has been in 132 canonical Buffyverse appearances.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer 
Giles was a series regular for the first five seasons (1997–2001). He disappeared from the opening credits but made guest appearances in Season Six and Seven. He appeared in 121 episodes overall.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight
Giles appears in eleven issues so far:

Non-canonical appearances

Giles also appears in Buffy expanded Universe. He appears in many Buffy comics and novels, notably Ring of Fire and Giles.


  1. ^ Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 - #24 "Safe"

External links


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