5 Of The Most Shocking Deaths In Buffy The Vampire Slayer

dark willow
Posted on: September 23rd, 2012

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“From beneath you it devours…”

I am in a bit of a dark mood today. The kind of mood that befits the need for arming up and taking down some Zombies (via the X-Box360…unless the invasion has begun and in that case…’let’s lock and load’). The kind of mood that has me still in my PJ’s at 5 in the afternoon and already cursing the fact that Monday is close. The kind of mood that needs to be cheered up by seeing some gruesome action of people in way worse situations than me, which led  me to thinking about Buffy the Vampire Slayer . Joss’s little universe where there is never just a summer of fun, but always a season of monsters, apocalypses, and demons all wrapped up in a slayerific present on-top a sweet feast of a Hellmouth.




I am a bit of a Buffy fan (for those of you that know me…I admit that last statement is a bit of an understatement). I love the fact that it is a show that, for the most part of 7 seasons, kicks serious ass. I love the strong female characters that Joss creates (esp. Anya) and I really like the solid story-lines.

Joss Whedon has such a talent for creating such multi-layered self-contained universes with story arcs for well-rounded characters and he also has a unique talent for killing these characters off. Though that being said, I feel kind of disappointed as the one person I wouldn’t have minded getting the proverbial axe, only lost an eye and the girl who was way too good for him anyway (damn, I hate Xander…). Joss is famous for bumping off his characters whether they be fan-favourites or not. If the story will benefit then off with their heads.




A couple of character deaths that stood out for me in particular; were firstly, Willow’s awesome hot lesbian girlfriend,  Tara, who I thought it was a real shame to kill off, she was so nice and gave the scooby dynamic a little bit more balance and she was so nice (oops I already said that!).




And secondly, ex-vengeance demon and painfully but hilariously honest Anya, who had a heroic death but still, I would have been happier if one-eyed muppet of a man Xander ‘I’m a douche’ Harris had been the one to be taken out by the ‘uber’ vamps running rampant in the series finale.

Now, I bet a few of you are expecting Joyce Summers to be on my list of shocking deaths, as this is one of the ‘Buffy moments’ that people tend to mention when it comes to talking about character deaths and I am going to put this out there right now – She did not make my list. Not because her death wasn’t shocking, because it was (a bit), and not because it wasn’t well done (it was, I think it is one of the best episodes written in all of the series and that the subject matter was handled realistically and sensitively). The reason it didn’t make my list is this: My list is made up of moments that I found fairly shocking and that stood out to me and Joyce’s just didn’t make the cut. Harsh…but…fair (in my humble opinion anyway).




I also feel like when talking about all the character deaths in Buffy, it would be rude not to mention the Slayer in charge herself. Buffy for a lead character in a show dies a fair bit (by fair bit, I mean twice…but still, I think that is quite a lot for the lead). Seriously, Joss Whedon has some serious cahoonas - when the lead character dies in the first season and again in the 5th, you really know that no one is safe!

Well without further ado, I give you my:

5 Most Shocking Deaths

In Buffy The Vampire Slayer


anya stabbed

5. 12 Frat boys, killed by a Grimslaw

Demon (a spider demon)  

who rips out their hearts.

Season: 7 Episode: Selfless

Killer: Anya (in her capacity as a Vengeance Demon)

A young co-ed upset with 12 frat boys who were cruel to her in a conversation with Anya (unaware that Anya is actually Anyanka a Vengeance Demon) makes a rhetorical wish about “having their hearts ripped out.” Anya grants this wish and all 12 boys are killed in a very horrible manner. There is pretty much blood everywhere. This mass killing is something that Anya deeply regrets and wishes that she hadn’t done as she is still feeling the weight of her recently departed humanity. This is also the event that triggers Anya to fully face who she is as a person/demon, her lost humanity, her mortality (under the threat of Buffy trying to kill her), who she is without Xander and where she fits into the world. Though the boys lives are restored at the end of the episode, it is at the cost of Anya’s friend Halfrek’s (another Vengeance Demon’s) life and she is stripped of her demonic powers and is left a very broken human.



4. Maggie Walsh’s ‘Frankenstein-like’

creation, Adam,

kills and dissects a little boy

Season: 4 Episode: Goodbye Iowa

Killer: Adam

Season 4′s Frankenstein of a big bad, Adam (a very bad dude made of human and various demon/monster parts) who is obsessed with finding out who he is, what he is, where he comes from and why. In an attempt to answer some of his questions, he talks to a small young human boy and then kills and dissects him in a horrible manner…all in the name of mad science and not so healthy curiosity.

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Author Info

Susie McBeth is a features writer at Bad Haven. She is a comic book reading, anime loving, Batman obsessed, writer, blogger, musician, artist, cosplayer, occasional supervillain and all round very nerdy girl. Susie is also the founder and Editor-In-Chief of nerd site Nerd Like You. She also writes for the Huffington Post, Bit Rebels and is the author of the acclaimed blog A Twin Adventureas well as the geektastic Deviant Geek Girl tumblr blog.

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  • Simon

    What about Tara, the Mayor’s assistant Faith killed, Buffy’s mom and Buffy herself (twice!)? The death of Buffy’s mom had a couple of episodes dedicated to it, whereas everybody forgot about Kendra pretty much straight away. Strange picks.

    • Buffbuff

      The reasons for buffy’s mom and Tara not being covered are covered at the start of the article. I think the way Kendra was killed was awesome. Dru is a badass

  • susiemcbeth

    Yes I got what you did there… :) I am glad you like my picks. Willow’s complete annihilation of Warren only won out for me because of why she did it and also because his death was such a drawn out process that was worthy of saluting. I mean most of the demons and vampires that decide to get their torture on etc before they kill their victims don’t usually go to as much trouble. So she sinched the top spot…

    Thanks lots for commenting :)

  • Grey

    These are definitely 5 of the best!! It’s such a close call between the top 2 but I reckon you’ve got them right, I mean it would just be wrong not to have Evil Willow on top (do like the Freudian slip there lol)!!

    Another top sci fi Sunday!