Spike (Buffy the Vampire Slayer): Wikis


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S618 Spike.png
James Marsters as Spike
First appearance "School Hard" (Buffy)
Created by Joss Whedon
Full name William
Affiliation Initially independent, then the Scooby Gang and subsequently Team Angel.
Notable powers

Besides the common powers and vulnerabilities of a vampire, Spike possesses:

  • High skill in both armed and unarmed combat.
  • Great strength and intelligence, even by vampiric standards.
  • Temporary ability to phase through solid objects as a ghost.
Portrayed by  James Marsters

Spike (a.k.a. William "the Bloody"), played by James Marsters, is a fictional character created by Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt for the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. Spike is a vampire and played various roles on the shows, ranging from villain to comic-relief to anti-hero. He is considered a 'breakout character'.[1]


Character history

Early history

Spike's story before he appears in Sunnydale unfolds in flashbacks scattered among numerous episodes of both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. (These flashbacks do not appear in chronological order.) The first flashback occurs in Buffy Season Five's "Fool for Love", and reveals William as in fact a meek, effete young man (and an aspiring poet) who lived in London with his mother Anne.[2] Anne would often sing the folksong "Early One Morning" to her son when he was a baby, right up until the time he was turned into a vampire.[3] William's surname is given as "Pratt" in the non-canon comic Old Times and is written on the label of his jar of blood in the comic Spike: Asylum #002. The name William Pratt may allude to horror actor Boris Karloff, whose birth name was William Henry Pratt. Spike is one of the youngest recurring vampires on the show, and he claimed in Season Four that he was 126, although in School Hard, Giles read that he was barely 200.

William, before becoming a vampire

In 1880, William was a struggling poet, often mocked by his peers who called him "William the Bloody" behind his back because his poetry was so "bloody awful."[2] The true origins of this nickname were not revealed until three years after it was first mentioned in Season Two, when it was believed to have purely violent connotations.[4] William showed a strong capacity for loyalty and devoted love, which followed him after his siring. After his romantic overtures were rejected by the aristocratic Cecily, a despondent William, while wandering the streets, bumped into Drusilla. She consoled him, bit him and forced him to drink from her, thus transforming him into a vampire – "siring" him, in the jargon of the series.[2] Spike's grand-sire Angelus became his mentor (leading Spike occasionally to describe him loosely as his sire): "Drusilla sired me, but you, you made me a monster."[5] Whereas new vampires in the Buffyverse often delight in killing their families once they become evil, William was a notable exception. Having always been very close to his mother, he turned her into a vampire to prevent her from dying from tuberculosis. But his mother, as a vampire, taunted William and insinuated he had always had a sexual fascination with her. William chose to stake her because he found he could not bear to see his mother behaving like the soulless vampire he had made of her.[3] (She, like most common vampires, lacked his unusual capacity for some of the softer human emotions.) He would later write a poem about this traumatic experience titled "The Wanton Folly of Me Mum," which was mentioned, but not recited in the Angel finale "Not Fade Away".[6]

Spike kills his first Slayer

After staking his mother, William began a new life with Drusilla, to whom he was utterly devoted. Euphoric with his newfound vampiric abilities, he adopted the poses and trappings of a cultural rebel, adopting a working class North London accent and embracing impulsiveness and extreme violence. He adopted the nom de guerre "Spike" based on his habit of torturing people with railroad spikes – possibly prompted by criticism of his poetry: "I'd rather have a railroad spike through my head than listen to that awful stuff."[2] In "The Weight of the World" Spike mentions having spent "the better part of a century" in delinquency, suggesting criminal activities other than killing for blood. In the company of Drusilla, Angelus (later known as Angel), and Darla, Spike terrorized Europe and Asia for almost two decades. He had a strained relationship with Drusilla's sire Angelus, who continued a sexual relationship with her despite Spike's strong disapproval.[5] Although Angelus did enjoy the company of another male vampire in their travels, he found Spike's recklessness and lust for battle to be unnecessary risks. Angelus regarded killing as an art not a sport, and killed for the sheer act of evil; Spike did it for amusement and the rush.[2]

In 1894, Spike and Angelus developed a rivalry with the enigmatic Immortal, who later had Spike sent to prison for tax evasion.[7] In 1900, Spike killed a Slayer in China during the Boxer Rebellion,[2] and in 1943, he was captured by Nazis for experimentation and taken aboard a submarine, where he was briefly reunited with Angel.[8] By the 1950s, Spike had reunited with Drusilla, and they traveled to Italy.[7] At some point, Spike also became rivals with famous vampire Dracula. The enmity between Spike and Dracula was explored in the comic series Spike vs. Dracula. In the comic, their mutual hatred is caused when Spike, along with Darla and Drusilla, slaughtered the Romani (gypsy) tribe who had cursed their patriarch, Angelus, with a soul. That clan (unknown to Spike) was favored by Dracula and he sought revenge for their deaths. Spike later mentions in a conversation with Riley Finn, "Dracula? Poncy bugger owes me £11, for one thing," because Dracula tossed a signed copy of Bram Stoker's Dracula in a fire in 1898. Spike, having paid eleven pounds for the book, maintains Dracula owes him the cost of the novel.[9] Spike attended Woodstock in 1969[4] and later fought and killed the Slayer Nikki Wood aboard a subway train in New York City, 1977, taking from her the black leather duster he wore throughout his appearances on Buffy and Angel until it is destroyed in an explosion in Season Five of Angel, whereupon he gets a new one that looks exactly like the old one ("The Girl in Question").


Spike first arrives in Sunnydale in the second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in the episode "School Hard", accompanied by Drusilla.[4] Spike and Dru were fashioned after Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen; punk, "badass" vampires to contrast sharply with the more traditional religiosity of the Master and the Order of Aurelius from Season One.[10] Spike is in fact a fan of Sid Vicious' band The Sex Pistols and punk band The Ramones. In the final scene of the episode "Lovers Walk", he can be seen singing to a cover of "My Way" by Gary Oldman, who portrayed Vicious in the film Sid and Nancy."[11] Notably, Spike's first act in Sunnydale is to attack Buffy and a large group of people at her school, making his first appearance the deadliest of any of Buffy's "Big Bads", as he very nearly kills Buffy, but Spike is distracted, by Buffy's mother, long enough for Buffy to recover. Throughout Season Two, Spike and Dru are the canon's most prominent example of affection between vampires, displaying the humanity and intricacies of vampire relationships. Spike was initially created as a disposable villain to be killed off, but proved so popular with fans that Joss Whedon decided to simply injure him instead,[10] in the episode "What's My Line, Part Two", in which Spike is crushed by a collapsing pipe organ and left paralyzed.[12]

Spike's first appearance in the episode "School Hard."

Spike and Drusilla are major enemies of Buffy for much of the second season. They arrive shortly after Drusilla is seriously weakened by an angry mob in Prague, the details of which are revealed in the canon comic book The Problem with Vampires. Spike is a devoted caretaker to Drusilla in her weakened condition, and initially hopes the Hellmouth's energy can help restore her strength. He reunites with Angel, but is disgusted to find that Angel still has his soul, and is in love with the current Slayer, Buffy Summers.[4] When Angel loses his soul and rejoins Spike and Dru, Spike's initial celebration soon turns to resentment when Angelus starts pursuing Drusilla as a lover and taunting him. Spike decides to ally himself with Buffy against Angelus; as he explains to Buffy, in addition to wanting Drusilla back, he also wants to "save the world":[13]

"We like to talk big, vampires do. I'm going to destroy the world. That's just tough guy talk. Strutting around with your friends over a pint of blood. The truth is, I like this world. You've got – the dog racing, Manchester United, and you've got people: billions of people walking around like Happy Meals with legs. It's all right here. But then someone comes along with a vision, with a real passion for destruction. Angel could pull it off. Goodbye Piccadilly, farewell Leicester bloody Square." — Spike ("Becoming, Part Two").

Spike reappears in the Season Three episode "Lovers Walk", in a drunken depression after Drusilla dumps him for a Chaos demon. He kidnaps Willow and Xander, and forces Willow to conduct a love spell for him to make Drusilla love him again, even coercing Buffy and Angel to help him in exchange for the safe return of their friends. He eventually realizes Drusilla left him because he had begun to go soft, and he resolves to win her back by simply torturing her until she likes him again, simply telling the two where Willow and Xander are being held. He also tells Buffy and Angel that they can never be friends because of their love for one another.[11] This insight foreshadows Spike's later role as the "truth-seer" of the group.

Spike returns to Sunnydale alone in Season Four, in the episode "The Harsh Light of Day," briefly dating Harmony Kendall, a shallow young vampire.[14] He returns to Sunnydale looking for the Gem of Amarra, a ring which would make any vampire immune to all of their conventional weaknesses. He finds it and faces off with Buffy before she steals the ring and sends it to Angel. He goes to Los Angeles, and hires a vampire named Marcus to torture Angel in order to get the ring, only for Marcus to steal the ring himself and for Angel to destroy the ring later on. After being captured by the Initiative and implanted with a cerebral microchip which prevents him from harming or attempting to harm humans without experiencing crippling pain, Spike turns to the Scooby Gang for protection. This inability to bite is comically compared to impotence, much to Spike's constant humiliation;[15] in "Doomed", he attempts to commit suicide by staking himself at Xander's house. From then on, he becomes a Buffy cast regular and an unofficial member of the Scooby Gang,[16] occasionally helping them out by providing them with information and/or combat assistance in exchange for cash,[17] but having no qualms about betraying them to such enemies as Faith[18] and Adam.[19] In Season Four, Spike was introduced to fill a similarly antagonistic role as Cordelia had in seasons One to Three; as Joss Whedon explains on the DVD featurette, "All of our characters got to the point where they were loving and hugging, and it was sort of like, where's Cordelia?"[20] Spike appeared in every episode thereafter with the exception of "The Body".

In Season Five, after some erotic dreams, Spike becomes aware to his horror that he has fallen in love with Buffy.[21] He becomes a more active participant in the Scooby Gang, jumping into several of Buffy's fights to provide assistance, whether she wants it or not. When Buffy rejects his advances in the episode "Crush", Spike attempts to prove his love by kidnapping her to witness him killing Drusilla for her, to little avail; Buffy un-invites him from her house, something she hadn't bothered to do in the almost three years since their alliance against Angelus.[22]

Not wanting to give up his obsession, Spike has Warren Mears make a robot in Buffy's likeness, programmed to love and obey him. Disgusted, particularly after witnessing the full extent of Spike's obsession, Buffy rejects Spike again, but her hostility towards him fades considerably when she learns that Spike, even under intense torture, refused to reveal the identity of The Key (Dawn Summers) to Glory, nearly laying down his life to protect Dawn. Buffy is moved by his unexpected loyalty and kisses him, telling she will not forget what he has done.[23] In the days and hours leading up to the final showdown with Glory, Spike fights by Buffy's side, earning her trust and a re-invite to her house. After Buffy dies in the showdown with Glory,[24] Spike honors her memory by remaining loyal to the Scoobies, fighting at their side and serving the role of baby-sitter/older brother/protector to Dawn, helping Willow and Tara to raise her in Buffy's absence.

After Buffy is resurrected at the beginning of Season Six, she is despondent and detached from her friends. During this time, her relationship to Spike deepens and she is able to talk to him about things she feels she cannot share with the Scooby Gang. She gets drunk with Spike, and calls him "a neutered vampire who cheats at kitten poker." After a demon's spell makes them express their emotions in song, and Buffy sings, "I want the fire back",[25] Buffy and Spike begin a physical relationship, consummated two episodes later.[26] The relationship is frequently violent, with Buffy most often initiating both the violence and the sex between them; the violence in their relationship is made all the easier Spike finds that (as a side effect of Willow's resurrection spell) his chip now does not stop him from harming Buffy. She also threatens to kill Spike if he ever tells anyone about their relationship. Both are unsatisfied with the relationship; Buffy is ashamed of her dark desires, while Spike obsessively craves the love, trust, and affection that she is unwilling to give. In the episode "As You Were", Buffy tells Spike she is using him and ends their relationship.[27] Believing he still has a chance with Buffy after seeing her reactions of jealousy and hurt when he has a drunk sexual encounter with Anya, Spike corners her and makes aggressive sexual advances. When she refuses him, he grows desperate and unsuccessfully tries to rape her.[28] Horrified by his own actions and intentions, Spike heads to a remote area of Africa, where he seeks out a legendary demon shaman and undergoes the Demon Trials, a series of grueling physical challenges. Proving his worthiness by surviving the trials, Spike earns his soul back.[29]

Spike's soul is restored

In Season Seven, a re-ensouled Spike must cope with the guilt of his past actions and try to win back Buffy's trust. When Buffy asks him why he had fought for his soul, Spike first replies, "Buffy, shame on you," and then explains it was done in an effort to become the kind of man she deserves.[30] Under influence of the First Evil's hypnotic trigger, Spike unknowingly starts killing again. After he discovers what he has done, he begs Buffy to stake him, but she refuses and takes him into her house, telling him she has seen him change.[31] Buffy guards and cares for Spike throughout his recovery, telling Spike she believes in him,[32] a statement which later sustains him throughout his imprisonment and torture at the hands of the First.[33] When Spike's chip begins to malfunction, causing him intense pain and threatening to kill him, Buffy trusts him enough to order the Initiative operatives to remove it from his head.[34] When Nikki Wood's son Robin tries to kill Spike, he unwittingly frees Spike from his hypnotic trigger: the song "Early One Morning", a favorite of his mother, which evokes Spike's traumatic memories of his mother's abusive behavior toward him after she turned; after Spike is able to address these issues, he realizes his mother had always loved him, knowledge which frees him from the First's control.[3]

Later in the season, Spike and Buffy achieve an emotional closeness; they spend three nights together, one of which Spike describes as the best night of his life, just holding her.[35] It is unclear whether they resume their sexual intimacy the third night; creator Joss Whedon says on the DVD commentary for "Chosen" that he intentionally left it to the viewers to decide how they felt the relationship progressed, though Whedon had earlier stated on the commentary he personally felt having them resume a sexual relationship would send the wrong message. In the final battle inside the Hellmouth, Spike, wearing a mystical amulet, sacrifices himself to destroy the Turok-Han and close the Hellmouth. He is slowly incinerated in the process, but not before Buffy tells him "I love you." He replies, "No, you don't — but thanks for saying it".[36] Even as he burns and crumbles to dust, Spike laughs and revels in the destruction around him and the burning presence of his soul, glad to be able to see the fight to its end. In dying to save the world, he becomes a Champion.[37]

"Now, you listen to me. I’ve been alive a bit longer than you. And dead a lot longer than that. I’ve seen things you couldn’t imagine - done things I’d prefer you didn’t. I don’t exactly have a reputation for being a thinker. I follow my blood. Which doesn’t exactly rush in the direction of my brain. I've made a lot of mistakes. A lot of wrong bloody calls. A hundred plus years and there’s only one thing I’ve ever been sure of. You." — Spike ("Touched").

Los Angeles

Spike returns as a ghost in Angel's fifth season, but later in the series is brought back as a corporeal being.

Despite his apparent death at the end of Buffy's final season, Spike returns in the fifth and final season of the spin-off series Angel. Resurrected by the amulet in the Los Angeles branch of supernatural law firm Wolfram & Hart, he spends his first seven episodes of the series as an incorporeal being akin to a ghost. During his time as a ghost, he battles "the Reaper" Matthias Pavayne[38]. When he becomes flesh he is kidnapped by the psychotic Slayer Dana,[39]. He realizes that he is corporeal when he walks into a door and bounces off it. After this, Spike takes on Angel to prove which one of them is the Champion spoken of in the Shanshu Prophecy. Spike defeats Angel, but the prophecy remains ambiguous.[5] Manipulated by Lindsey McDonald into "helping the helpless", Spike becomes a sort of rival to Angel; resembling the heroic Champion Angel was in earlier seasons before becoming disillusioned and corrupted by the bureaucracy of Wolfram & Hart.[40] Cordelia comments on this strange turn of events after coming out of her coma in "You're Welcome", exclaiming to Angel, "Okay, Spike's a hero, and you're CEO of Hell, Incorporated. What freaking bizarro world did I wake up in?"[41]

When Fred is killed by Illyria,[42] Spike mourns her death and decides to join Team Angel in her honor.[43] Upon learning that Buffy is now dating The Immortal, Spike and Angel travel to Rome on the pretext of business but spend most of the time there trying to find Buffy. In the end, they fail to catch up with her. (The blonde glimpsed in Rome is later revealed to be a decoy Buffy, set up by Andrew Wells, who had researched the history between Angel, Spike and The Immortal, and thought the idea would be "hilarious".)[7] During the final episodes of Angel, Spike is the first to vote for Angel's plan to wound the Senior Partners by taking out the Circle of the Black Thorn. He then spends what might be his last hours on Earth returning to his mortal roots as a frustrated poet, triumphantly knocking them dead (figuratively) in an open mic poetry slam at a bar. After single-handedly (literally, he held the baby in one hand and a sword in the other) rescuing an infant and destroying the Fell Brethren, Spike joins Angel, Illyria, and a badly-wounded Charles Gunn in the alley behind the Hyperion as the series draws to an end, preparing to incur the apocalyptic wrath of the Senior Partners, as a way of going out in a blaze of glory.

Following the end of Buffy and Angel's respective television runs, Joss Whedon would later continue both stories in canonical comic book series published by Dark Horse Comics and IDW Publishing respectively, with both series beginning in 2007. Spike and Angel both make cameo appearances in Buffy's continuation, Season Eight (Dark Horse) as part of Buffy's sexual fantasies,[44] and may reappear later in the series.[45] Spike also appears in the Dark Horse Presents #24 Season Eight tie-in, "Always Darkest" (once again, a dream sequence). Within, he and Angel appear at Buffy's side when she is fighting Caleb. However, to her dismay, the two start flirting with and kissing one another.[46]

After the Fall

Spike does not appear until the second issue of Angel: After the Fall (IDW), written by Brian Lynch with art by Franco Urru (the creative team of Spike: Asylum and Spike: Shadow Puppets) with plotting and "executive production" by Whedon himself, as well as Lynch's Spike: After the Fall spin-off miniseries. In Angel: After the Fall, Spike has adjusted to Los Angeles' new status as a literal hell on Earth; he and Illyria both serve together as the Demon Lords of Beverly Hills, living in a lavish mansion. Both appear to have reverted to evil, but this is revealed during Angel's fight with Illyria to be a façade; Spike and Illyria are secretly rescuing humans and benevolent demons and evacuating them into the care of Connor, Nina Ash, and Gwen Raiden. He then is given the opportunity to return to the side of evil, but as usual remains loyal to the good fight as he's helping Angel to bring the Lords down. Spike rallies with the rest of the gang against the machinations of Gunn, who is now a vampire unknowingly working under visions from the Senior Partners, and struggles to control Illyria's unstable powers in her new environment. Illyria periodically reverts to the form and personality of Fred, in which times Spike tries to protect his friend from harm. During Gunn's attack on the Hyperion, Spike is overpowered by three Slayers that Gunn has enslaved, and staked; but returns, thanks to a five-minute temporal fold caused by Illyria.

Gunn kills the remnants of Fred's personality within Illyria, reverting her to her original form, but Betta George subdues her by using Wesley's and Spike's memories of Fred. In the process, Connor is murdered by Gunn. When Angel begins to kill the Partners' army in a blind rage, Spike allows him to do so, letting him get it out of his system. After Angel realizes what needs to be done to return them to Earth, Wesley entrusts Spike to take care of Illyria, as she will still have Fred's essence within her.



Spike is seen as something of a paradox amongst vampires in the series, and frequently challenges vampire conventions and limitations. Even as a vampire, he exhibits quite a few traits that are characteristic of humanity – such as love and loyalty. Unlike Angel, Spike is perfectly able to love (first Drusilla, then Buffy), almost to the point of obsession, with or without his soul, whereas Angel didn't love Buffy without his soul.

With or without a soul, the character of Spike often displays a strong sense of honor and loyalty; leaving anonymous flowers to show respect for Joyce Summers after her death,[47] enduring torture at the hands of Glory rather than reveal Dawn's identity,[23] continuing to aid the Scooby Gang after Buffy's death[48], and immediately keeping his promise to leave Sunnydale with Drusilla after helping to stop Acathla. Many of Spike's actions, good or evil, are motivated by love for either Drusilla or Buffy. Despite insisting that he hates the Scooby Gang he forms an alliance with the gang and helps them in their missions. He had a close relationship with Dawn and Joyce and a great respect for Willow and Tara. He reciprocated Xander's dislike and often insulted him, once calling him a "glorified bricklayer" and slapping him over the head despite his chip, saying beforehand: "This is gonna be worth it."[49] Nonetheless, he has been shown to be able to put differences aside for a greater good.

Spike is perhaps unique among vampires in having killed two Slayers. He is quite proud of this feat, and admitted to Buffy it was possible because he perceived their desire to be free from their burden, and used that weakness to his own advantage. Unlike most other vampires, Spike does not fear the Slayers, but hunts them and wants to defeat them. Before joining Buffy and her friends, he tried many times to make Buffy his third victim.

One of Spike's most notable personality traits is his lust for violence and his love of brawling. He has noted he finds the very act of violence therapeutic: in the episode "School Hard", he responds to a lackey's incompetence by snapping the neck of a hostage whom he considers to be "too old to eat" and says he feels better afterward.[4] Similarly, during his drunken pining for Drusilla in the episode "Lovers Walk," he remarks that a brawl with several vampires "put(s) things in perspective" for him.[11] After a prolonged period of being unable to bite or hurt humans, Spike is delighted to discover he is able to fight demons and gladly accompanies the Scooby Gang on patrol, proving it does not much matter to him what he is fighting for so long as he can fight.[16] Even in the episode Bargaining, Part Two, when Spike is a protector and surrogate-big-brother for Dawn, they look outside to see demons destroying the town and Spike smiles. Dawn asks why he's smiling. He shrugs and responds, "Just... looked like fun." Despite his love of violence, Spike is highly intelligent (unlike most vampires, apparently). He has displayed excellent skills of insight and analysis, particularly on relationships; yet he was often delusional about his relationship with Drusilla and refused to acknowledge her acts of infidelity. As seen in his Season 2 introduction, Spike uses his physical and intellectual prowess to assert himself as the Alpha Vampire. He often easily recruited lesser vampires to do his bidding, and is considered a peer to Dracula[9] and Prince of Lies (Nosferatu),[8] attaining infamy to the levels of Angelus and the Master, going as far as killing the Master's second in command, The Anointed One. But even with his legendary lust for violence, he says he does not enjoy pain, where he believes Angelus does.[39]

By Season Six, it is shown that, though Spike is now good for the most part and an official member of the Scooby Gang, he is still prone to murderous impulses due to his lack of a soul; in "Smashed", for example, he tries to attack an innocent woman with only a slight hesitation and 'performance anxiety' pep talk to himself when he believes his chip has stopped working.

Spike insults Xander with the bowfinger in "Hush"

In contrast to the brooding Angel, Spike has a dry, sarcastic sense of humor. A polar opposite to his callow and simpering human nature, Spike as a vampire possesses a swaggering posture and enjoys living by nobody's rules but his own. He has a habit of making pithy remarks and glib insults, even toward the few he does not view as antagonists. Among his favorite targets are Angel, Xander, Giles, and (to a lesser extent) Buffy. Joss Whedon credits this antipathy as what convinced him in the episode "Lovers Walk" to bring Spike back as a cast regular. As James Marsters put it, "I was supposed to be the one who stood at the side and said, 'Buffy, you're stupid, and we're all gonna die'."[20]

Spike often nicknames people, both as insults and as terms of endearment; for example, he calls Dawn "Little Bit" or "the Niblet". Spike also retains something of his literary intellect from his human side, routinely referencing poetry, songs, and literature; on occasion he even waxes poetic on the nature of love and life (and unlife) as being driven by blood, reasoning that blood is more powerful than any supernatural force because it is what separates the living from the dead.[11][24]

Spike often treats his vulnerability to the sun as simply an annoying inconvenience. He drives in broad daylight in vehicles with blacked-out windows, and he regularly travels outside during the day, using a blanket for cover. Indeed, he has a remarkably stronger resistance to sunlight than most all other vampires seen in the series (who usually catch on fire just by the slightest solar ray) except Angel. Both Spike and Angel have demonstrated an ability to resist the pain of sunlight on extremities; in fact, when Spike was first sired, he and Angel originally bonded over enduring the direct rays of the sun. This elevated endurance should not be confused with total immunity as both have on occasion caught fire from sunlight because of prolonged exposure. He also has a taste for human food and drink, such as beer, whiskey,[50] hot chocolate (even asking Joyce Summers if she has any of "those little marshmallows"),[11] chocolates, Buffalo wings,[2], and onion blossoms,[51] constituting the most varied diet of any vampire on the show, particularly unique since, when Angel is temporarily made human in "I Will Remember You", he starts eating a lot, explaining that food tastes like nothing for vampires, which is clearly not the case with Spike. Sometimes Spike even adds extra ingredients into his blood, such as Weetabix (for texture)[52] and spices and burba weed (for flavor)[53] He also smokes cigarettes; preferring the fictional brand Morley,[54] which he lights with a trademark silver Zippo lighter.

Spike appears to be a fan of pop culture; when held captive by the Scooby Gang in Buffy Season Four, his biggest concern is missing his favorite soap Passions.[55] Over the course of the series, he makes references to movies and shows such as Star Wars,[4] Dawson's Creek,[21] It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,[53] Ghostbusters,[34] Knight Rider and The Nightmare Before Christmas.[42] In the Angel episode "You're Welcome", after his hands are cut off and reattached, he is instructed to play video games for physical therapy, including Donkey Kong and Crash Bandicoot, and can be seen playing a Game Boy Advance in "The Girl in Question".[7] Before fighting a demon to win his soul, he said "Here we are now, entertain us," quoting from "Smells like Teen Spirit".

In contrast to Angel, Spike's personality remains relatively the same whether he has a soul or not.


Bouncer: [When asked if he has seen Spike] "Yeah, yeah, I know the guy. Billy Idol wannabe?"
Buffy: "Actually, Billy Idol stole his look from - never mind."[31]
The character's look has been compared with rock musician Billy Idol

Spike has a punk look which strongly resembles English rock musician Billy Idol. His hair is peroxide blond for the duration of his time on Buffy and Angel, although in flashbacks it can be seen in its natural medium brown state as well as dyed black.[8] Marsters' V/Y-shaped scar on his left eyebrow, which he received during a mugging[56] was worked into the show; make-up artist Todd McIntosh decided to shave out his eyebrow in order to make it more prominent. He also included the scar on Spike's "vamp face" prosthetic, albeit slightly altered as though the skin has stretched.[57] In Spike's first appearances the wound still looks fresh, but it gradually fades until, in Angel season 5, it is barely visible. A flashback in "Fool for Love" reveals that Spike received the scar from the sword of the first Slayer he killed in 1900.[2] Angel once sarcastically asked him "What color do they call that, radioactive?". He has been called "Captain Peroxide" by Xander and Angel. His nails are painted black.

Spike usually wears long black leather coats, including one that he took from a Nazi officer[8] and another that he took as a trophy from Nikki Wood, the second Slayer he killed.[2] He wore the Slayer's black duster for over twenty-five years. When the coat was destroyed by a bomb from the Immortal in Italy, Spike heartbrokenly declared it to be irreplaceable; but the Italian branch of Wolfram & Hart quickly supplied him with a whole wardrobe of new, nearly identical ones which he happily began wearing.[7] His trademark look includes the leather duster, a black t-shirt or v-neck shirt and black denim pants, usually with heavy boots. He also wore a red long-sleeved shirt fairly often, particularly during the earlier seasons of Buffy and a bright blue shirt early in Season 7. He explained that the shirt was supposed to show Buffy that he had changed and give him confidence (because the First was messing with his head and he didn't want Buffy to think he was still evil or crazy).

Powers and abilities

In addition to possessing the common powers and weaknesses of vampires, Spike's age and experience makes him a highly effective, skilled, and versatile fighter in both armed and unarmed combat. For example, he is able to briefly overcome Illyria during a testing of her abilities prior to her powers being greatly reduced by Wesley. Illyria criticizes his (and others') ability to adapt, calling it "compromise."[58] He is able to withstand excessive amounts of pain for extended periods of time, particularly when properly motivated, as seen in the episodes "Intervention"[23] and "Showtime."[59] While not as skilled or as sadistic as Angelus, Spike also proves himself to be effective at torture, noting he had gained "screams, various fluids, and a name" from Doctor Sparrow.[43] Much like Angel, he is highly proficient in various forms of martial arts, and his typical fighting style blends karate, kung fu, and others.

Spike often displays insight and skills in perception and observation, especially with regard to relationships and personalities, so long as the relationship in question doesn't concern him personally. This ability allows him to wield powerful psychological weapons as easily and effectively as physical ones. For example, when he wants to create disharmony among the Scoobies, Spike divides-and-conquers with the "The Yoko Factor", exploiting tensions that exist under the surface to alienate Buffy and her friends against each other.[19] He explains to Buffy he was able to defeat two Slayers because he sensed and exploited their secret desires to be free of their burden.[2] Spike's skills of analysis allowed him to be the first to see through Tara's abusive and controlling family,[60] forced Buffy and Angel to admit that they were more than "just friends"[11] and identify when and why some relationships, such as between Buffy and Riley, are not meant to last, masterfully feeding Riley's insecurities in an effort to sabotage his relationship with Buffy, so Spike can pursue her. His analytical skills also help him in battle from time to time; for example, in "Time Bomb", he identifies Illyria's fighting style as a Tae Kwon Do/Brazilian Ninjitsu hybrid.

Although capable of developing sound battle strategies, Spike (particularly in the days before receiving his chip and being re-ensouled) often loses patience with anything more complicated than outright attack, as mentioned in the episode "In the Dark".

Spike: I had a plan.
Angel: You, a plan?
Spike: Yeah, a good plan. Smart. Carefully laid out. But I got bored.

He is also impatient to fight the Slayer upon his initial arrival in Sunnydale; the attack is supposed to coincide with the Night of St. Vigeous (when a vampire's natural abilities are enhanced), but he "couldn't wait" to go after the Slayer and attacks the night before, thus ruining the Order of Aurelius's plans. However, Spike did exercise patience throughout the latter half of Buffy Season Two, when he was confined to a wheelchair for several months after a brutal battle with the Scoobies in the episode What's My Line left him paraplegic. Feigning weakness, he endured tortuous weeks watching Angelus sexually pursue Dru as he waited for the right time to strike against his enemy.

Spike's "vampire constitution" provides him with an extremely high tolerance for alcohol (which he regularly consumes in copious quantities). Due to his experience in criminal activities, he is skilled at picking locks, hotwiring cars, and pick-pocketing. He is also capable of easily operating various vehicles, such as various cars, a Harley Davidson motorcycle ("Bargaining"), and a Winnebago ("Spiral"). He has also been shown using video game systems and a computer, treating injuries, and playing poker and pool. Spike is also seen speaking/understanding Latin, Luganda (a language of Uganda, where he meets the demon shaman), and the language of Fyarl Demons, two of whom he once employed as underlings during his pre-Sunnydale days. He is also shown to be capable of recognizing literature; in the last episode of season five, he paraphrases a line from the St. Crispin's Day Speech while in conversation with Giles after Buffy tells them her plan of attack on Glory.

When Spike was transformed into a ghost-like intangible state following the destruction of Sunnydale and the Hellmouth and his subsequent materialization at Wolfram & Hart, he was capable of walking through solid objects. He was initially unable to make contact with objects around him until he learned how to focus his abilities through desire, allowing him to make brief contact with people and things if he concentrated enough. This ability was relatively useless in a fight; he was unable to pick up a wooden bar to hit the demon Tezcatcatl in "The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco", and required a few moments to properly punch a cyborg strangling Gunn in "Lineage". Naturally, he lost these capabilities when he was recorporealized by Lindsey.


Canonical appearances

Spike has been in 125 canonical Buffyverse appearances.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Spike was a series regular from Season Four (starting with the episode "Wild At Heart"), through to the end of Season Seven, although he did not appear in the episode "The Body". He appeared in 96 episodes, including guest appearances in:
Spike was a series regular in the show's fifth and final season. He appeared in 24 episodes, including guest appearances in:
  • Season One (1999, 2000) - "In the Dark"
  • Season Two (2000, 2001) - "Darla" (flashbacks)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight
He appears in one issue so far with a cameo appearance in Buffy's dream sequence only:
Angel: After the Fall
He appears in all but the first, seventh and ninth issues of the original After the Fall miniseries. In addition, the spin-off Spike: After the Fall is a four-issue continuation of the "First Night" story arc and chronicles Spike's and Illyria's time together before the events of After the Fall.

Other stories featuring Spike which are considered canonical include "The Problem With Vampires", from the 2004 comic mini-series Tales of the Vampires.

Non-canonical appearances

Spike has also appeared in many of the Buffy and Angel expanded universe material. He appears as a main character in various comic book one-shots such as Spike: Old Times, Spike: Old Wounds, and the mini-series, Spike vs. Dracula, Spike: Asylum, Spike: Shadow Puppets. He also appears in many of the Buffy comics and novels, and the Angel comics and novels. He is a playable character in the 2003 video game Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds.

Spike movie

In 2004, Joss Whedon set plans for a Spike movie. The film, if ever greenlit, would star James Marsters, Alyson Hannigan and Amy Acker. At a convention, Acker stated the film was not going ahead due to money issues.[61][62]


  1. ^ August 3, 2005; Movie File: Jon Heder, Ryan Reynolds, Alyson Hannigan, Mike Judge & More; MTV Movie News; text refers to Spike as a breakout character.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Fool for Love". Joss Whedon, Douglas Petrie, Nick Marck. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. WB. 2000-11-14. No. 7, season 5.
  3. ^ a b c "Lies My Parents Told Me". Joss Whedon, David Fury, Drew Goddard. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. UPN. 2003-03-25. No. 17, season 7.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "School Hard". Joss Whedon, David Greenwalt. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. WB. 1997-09-29. No. 3, season 2.
  5. ^ a b c "Destiny". Joss Whedon, David Fury, Steven S. DeKnight, Skip Schoolnik,. Angel. WB. 2003-11-19. No. 8, season 5.
  6. ^ "Not Fade Away". Joss Whedon, Jeffrey Bell. Angel. WB. 2004-05-19. No. 22, season 5.
  7. ^ a b c d e "The Girl in Question". Joss Whedon, Steven S. DeKnight, Drew Goddard, David Greenwalt. Angel. WB. 2004-05-05. No. 20, season 5.
  8. ^ a b c d "Why We Fight". Joss Whedon, Steven S. DeKnight, Drew Goddard, Terrence O'Hara. Angel. WB. 2004-02-18. No. 13, season 5.
  9. ^ a b "Buffy vs. Dracula". Joss Whedon, Marti Noxon, David Solomon. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. WB. 2000-09-26. No. 1, season 5.
  10. ^ a b "A Buffy Bestiary" Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 2 DVD featurette
  11. ^ a b c d e f "Lover's Walk". Joss Whedon, Dan Webber, David Semel. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. WB. 1998-11-24. No. 8, season 3.
  12. ^ "What's My Line (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)". Joss Whedon, Marti Noxon, David Semel. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. WB. 1997-11-17. No. 10, season 2.
  13. ^ "Becoming (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)". Joss Whedon. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. WB. 1998-05-19. No. 22, season 2.
  14. ^ "The Harsh Light of Day". Joss Whedon, Jane Espenson, James A. Contner. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. WB. 1999-10-19. No. 3, season 4.
  15. ^ "The Initiative". Joss Whedon, Douglas Petrie, James A. Contner. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. WB. 1999-11-16. No. 7, season 4.
  16. ^ a b "Doomed". Joss Whedon, David Fury, Marti Noxon, Jane Espenson, James A. Contner. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. WB. 2000-01-18. No. 11, season 4.
  17. ^ "A New Man". Joss Whedon, Jane Espenson, Michael Gershman. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. WB. 2000-01-25. No. 12, season 4.
  18. ^ "This Year's Girl". Joss Whedon, Douglas Petrie, Michael Gershman. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. WB. 2000-02-22. No. 15, season 4.
  19. ^ a b "The Yoko Factor". Joss Whedon, Douglas Petrie, David Grossman. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. WB. 2000-05-09. No. 20, season 4.
  20. ^ a b "Introducing Spike" Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 4 DVD featurette
  21. ^ a b "Out of My Mind". Joss Whedon, Rebecca Rand Kirshner, David Grossman. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. WB. 2000-10-17. No. 4, season 5.
  22. ^ "Crush". Joss Whedon, David Fury, Daniel Attias. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. WB. 2001-02-13. No. 14, season 5.
  23. ^ a b c "Intervention". Joss Whedon, Jane Espenson, Michael Gershman. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. WB. 2001-04-24. No. 18, season 5.
  24. ^ a b "The Gift". Joss Whedon. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. WB. 2001-05-22. No. 22, season 5.
  25. ^ "Once More, with Feeling". Joss Whedon. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. UPN. 2001-11-06. No. 7, season 6.
  26. ^ "Smashed". Joss Whedon, Drew Z. Greenberg, Turi Meyer. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. UPN. 2001-11-20. No. 9, season 6.
  27. ^ "As You Were". Joss Whedon, Douglas Petrie. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. UPN. 2002-02-26. No. 15, season 6.
  28. ^ "Seeing Red". Joss Whedon, Steven DeKnight, Michael Gershman. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. UPN. 2002-05-07. No. 19, season 6.
  29. ^ "Grave". Joss Whedon, David Fury, James A. Contner. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. UPN. 2002-05-21. No. 22, season 6.
  30. ^ "Beneath You". Joss Whedon, Douglas Petrie, Nick Marck. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. UPN. 2002-10-01. No. 2, season 7.
  31. ^ a b "Sleeper". Joss Whedon, David Fury, Jane Espenson, Alan J. Levi. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. UPN. 2002-11-19. No. 8, season 7.
  32. ^ "Never Leave Me". Joss Whedon, Drew Goddard, David Solomon. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. UPN. 2002-11-26. No. 9, season 7.
  33. ^ "Bring on the Night". Joss Whedon, Marti Noxon, Douglas Petrie, David Grossman. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. UPN. 2002-12-17. No. 10, season 7.
  34. ^ a b "The Killer in Me". Joss Whedon, Drew Z. Greenberg, David Solomon. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. UPN. 2003-02-04. No. 13, season 7.
  35. ^ "Touched". Joss Whedon, Rebecca Rand Kirshner, David Solomon. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. UPN. 2003-05-06. No. 20, season 7.
  36. ^ http://enisy.livejournal.com/1654.html
  37. ^ "Chosen". Joss Whedon. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. UPN. 2003-05-20. No. 22, season 7.
  38. ^ "Hell Bound". Joss Whedon, Steven S. DeKnight. Angel. WB. 2003-10-22. No. 4, season 5.
  39. ^ a b "Damage". Joss Whedon, Steven S. DeKnight, Drew Goddard. Angel. WB. 2004-01-28. No. 11, season 5.
  40. ^ "Soul Purpose". Joss Whedon, Brent Fletcher, Elizabeth Craft, David Boreanaz. Angel. WB. 2004-01-21. No. 10, season 5.
  41. ^ "You're Welcome". Joss Whedon, David Fury. Angel. WB. 2004-02-04. No. 12, season 5.
  42. ^ a b "A Hole in the World". Joss Whedon. Angel. WB. 2004-02-25. No. 15, season 5.
  43. ^ a b "Shells". Joss Whedon, Steven S. DeKnight. Angel. WB. 2004-02-03. No. 16, season 5.
  44. ^ Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight #3, "The Long Way Home, Part Three"
  45. ^ DiLullo, Tara, "Pieces of Eight", from The Official Buffy & Angel Magazine #93 (UK, April/May 2007), page 23-24.
  46. ^ "Always Darkest" Dark Horse Presents (24): 2–5 (July 1, 2009), Dark Horse Comics
  47. ^ "Forever". Joss Whedon, Marti Noxon. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. WB. 2001-04-17. No. 17, season 5.
  48. ^ "Bargaining". Joss Whedon, Marti Noxon, David Grossman. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. UPN. 2001-10-02. No. 1, season 6.
  49. ^ "The Weight of the World". Buffy the Vampire Slayer. 2008-05-15. No. 21, season 05.
  50. ^ "Life Serial". Joss Whedon, David Fury, Jane Espenson, Nick Marck. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. UPN. 2001-10-23. No. 5, season 6.
  51. ^ "Triangle". Joss Whedon, Jane Espenson, Christopher Hibler. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. WB. 2001-01-09. No. 11, season 5.
  52. ^ "Hush". Joss Whedon. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. WB. 1999-12-14. No. 10, season 4.
  53. ^ a b "All the Way". Joss Whedon, Steven S. DeKnight, David Solomon. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. UPN. 2001-10-30. No. 6, season 6.
  54. ^ Buffys Spike kicks a bad habit - James Marsters discusses Spike's smoking [1]
  55. ^ "Something Blue". Joss Whedon, Tracey Forbes, Nick Marck. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. WB. 1999-11-30. No. 9, season 4.
  56. ^ "The Official James Marsters Site FAQ". http://www.jamesmarsters.com/james/faq.html#When_did_he_get_the_eyebrow_scar. Retrieved 2006-11-24. 
  57. ^ "Beauty and the Beasts" Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 2 DVD featurette
  58. ^ "Time Bomb". Joss Whedon, Ben Edlund, Vern Gillum. Angel. WB. 2004-04-28. No. 19, season 5.
  59. ^ "Showtime". Joss Whedon, David Fury, Michael Grossman. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. UPN. 2003-01-07. No. 11, season 7.
  60. ^ "Family". Joss Whedon. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. WB. 2000-11-07. No. 6, season 5.
  61. ^ Wizard Universe - Whedon says that "money is standing in the way" of the project.
  62. ^ Syfyportal.com - Amy Acker confirms that the project will not be going ahead.

External links

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