theladylazarus: Buffy in a white sweater looking pensive. (pensive)
[personal profile] theladylazarus


Player: Tigerlily
Contact: DW messaging, plurk
Age: 27
Current Characters: N/A


Character: Buffy Summers
Age: 20
Canon: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Canon Point: After the season six episode "Wrecked."

Buffy Summers


Buffy is motivated to protect people, preferably with a good work-life balance. She wants to help others, but she also fights to have ownership over her own life, to stay connected to the larger human world. She keeps herself together to provide literal and figurative strength for others, sometimes to her own detriment.


Buffy puts other people first, in terms of always valuing their lives and giving them chances to change their ways if she sees they might choose to stop doing evil, such as killing. When someone is in trouble, even if it's not demon trouble--when it's something like bullies, or sexual harassment--Buffy tries to help them. No matter what it costs her, she will save the world and the people in it. Even when she loses her powers or believes absolutely in a prophecy of her death, she is brave for others. Also, if someone seems to have a chance at behaving differently, she won't hold their past sins against them. She's willing to make peace with them and protect them. This applies both to people she already cares about and people who were enemies up until--or even long after--she met them. Buffy can be angry, but she chooses to act with mercy and compassion. As a friend, this is true for wrongs that have nothing to do with the fight against evil as well. Even when depressed and angry, Buffy does her best to support her friends when they need her, regardless of what mistakes they've made. When her friends are in conflict, she tends not to take sides even while acknowledging that there is a wronged party and a wrongdoer. She expresses concern for and tries to support all of them.

She's bold and determined to find solutions that others don't see. She tends to find a third away, change the game, or just pursue options that others might see but deem too risky or intimidating to be acceptable. Buffy doesn't hesitate to take action and solve problems. If things seem impossible, she relies on her own certainty and strength to carry her through.

She's a leader. People look to her to take charge, and they listen. In turn, she knows when to listen to others, how to rely on them, and how to delegate tasks. She can bring people who hate each other together in service of the greater good, because they trust her motives and her judgment. Her aforementioned ability to see good in others and want them to have a chance contributes to making her an inspirational figure behind their own choice to join the fight. If she makes mistakes, she's willing to change course and take others into account.


Buffy's weaknesses relate to her strengths. Her willingness to prioritize others can cost not only herself but also those she intends to protect. Buffy has high expectations of herself and a "super self-reliance" thing going on. Sometimes she will go off alone, only to find it's a trap to leave her friends defenseless. Other times, the fact that she sees herself as a protector causes her to self-isolate on an emotional level too, hurting her friends and limiting the intimacy of her relationships. The way she hides her feelings can build up until she herself breaks down and does something blatantly disruptive to the life she seemed to be leading: she lashes out at her friends, cuts off contact entirely (her leaving Sunnydale had various reasons behind it, but never getting in touch until her return is what got people), hides returned vampire exes the others don't trust, goes catatonic, becomes depressed, has a miserable sexual relationship with a soulless vampire, and temporarily succumbs to a poison that tells her she's really in a mental institution and Slaying is a delusion. Her approach to protection leads to heroic acts but also cuts her off and leads to her beating herself up for every perceived failure.

Her boldness and determination can be offputting in certain contexts. Sometimes she's reckless out of confidence in her skills, acting quickly without full consideration, or being shocked if an ordinary vampire can hurt her years into being the Slayer. Other times, her ability to follow through on a course of action others think is unwise alarms them. Even if everyone else disagrees, if she's certain she'll insist and go ahead with it, because ultimately she is the one who's usually put in the position to make the calls and she's confident in the role. This can sometimes backfire, since it requires her to deprioritize showing empathy to do what she thinks is right for others--for the mission--which can lower morale and trust if the people she's leading think she doesn't care to listen to them. Buffy might occasionally even think she's better than everyone, because no one else is put her position as the Chosen hero, no one else has to take everything on their shoulders; she admits this, and that she feels it actually makes her inferior to everyone. As a leader, she walks a fine line between being taking others into account and not being swayed by their various leanings, in order to unite and direct them. Sometimes she takes the wrong step, and doesn't realize it in time to avoid the consequences.


She's an adorable blonde, so early on people tend to think she's fragile and socially blessed. Demons know to fear the Slayer as a rule, but they don't know who Buffy is on sight. After being the Slayer for a while, the demons around Sunnydale--and farther way, like in Transylvania--know Buffy, specifically, is a threat. The humans around her also know something's up, and that it's to their benefit. Bullies back away at her approach and during Prom her graduating class in general honors her efforts to lower their mortality rate. Once they're over her looks (if they can do so), they notice the aura of competence and toughness.

People, especially those who meet her in later seasons, sometimes think she's too aloof and self-reliant, to the point where they doubt her capacity for empathy. When Buffy leans into her capacity to be tough and business-like, she can push things into getting done; others bend before her decisiveness, as she intends. But it can also backfire because she gives the impression that she thinks she's better, that she's cut herself off and doesn't value her relationships or the input of others.

Buffy's usual demeanor is pleasantly witty and quirky; she's willing to find the absurd, the silly, in anything and poke at it with a comment that can be equally silly. Sometimes it's a misstep, and she just sounds bizarre to the person she's speaking to, particularly if they don't know her. Her attitude is very flippant, sometimes seeming as if she's not taking things seriously enough. Even her friends, who usually share this attitude in regards to issues of Slaying, don't always like it. It can be more off-putting when Buffy does it to downplay her own issues and the characters know it--like the death jokes in early season six. However, she can use it to good effect when she's deliberately reassuring someone. She successfully rallied the group and made Giles smile during the musical episode, partly due to a well-placed joke. The other part was her building up to it by cheerfully reminding everyone of how strong they are together.

That ties into her strengths as leader, as well as the aforementioned aura of toughness. She's good at projecting confidence, at making other people feel good about themselves. People look at her and trust her, not only in terms of her abilities but also in terms of her judgment. Buffy strives to present herself as someone others can depend on, someone who will listen and can be listened to, and it tends to work. She looks competent and reliable, always there to save the day with a smile and a joke. Projecting herself as that, the kind and cheerful warrior, is important to Buffy's self-image as well as to the image others have of her. It's key to her identity.


She is indeed adorable and more socially skilled than many of her peers, but the Slaying life derailed her from what was previously a path of high social standing and many friends. Her flippant comments, willingness to put herself aside for others, strength as a leader and her toughness in combat help Buffy hide how hurt she really is sometimes, and she takes advantage of that to project a heroic image others can count on for support. She ends up showing her insecurities to love interests, people who are less close, or when she's alone, with mixed results. She breaks down in front of a school counselor to ask for help, only to notice that he's dead. She goes to Angel for comfort, but then he's evil, and then he leaves her. She doesn't do this for Riley, hiding how much of a wreck she is over her mother, only for this to backfire on her when he takes it as a lack of love. She talks to Spike, only for him to use her crisis against her to make her feel like she can't be above him because she "came back wrong." It works better when she breaks down for Tara, because Tara is a friend who's not in the inner circle, making her a safer confidant Buffy isn't on some level afraid of disappointing. It means talking to her is less threatening to her self-concept than talking to Willow, and Tara's empathy makes it easier for Buffy to slip. Buffy has a hard time dealing when she can't pretend she's the energizer bunny.

It's always a shock to her friends when this falls apart. Even a physical illness that lays her low can scare her loved ones, who aren't used to seeing her as vulnerable. Buffy tries to push through weakness, physical or not, to be strong for them. If she gets depressed, if she loses the energy to be her usual self (or at least fake it), to maintain relationships properly or even to be physically present--as when she chooses to be with Spike in the limited free time she's got during season six--they notice. It's upsetting, makes them think it's part of her tendency to self-isolate and that maybe she doesn't value them as much as they thought--when it's really the opposite: she values them so much that she just doesn't know how to be around them if she can't be her best self, the one Buffy thinks they need to see, the self which Buffy needs to see. Not being able to project that best self is a blow to her self-image, making her think she's not as good as she's meant to be. This can be completely disorienting to people used to her confidence; they might not know what's going on, but they can feel something's off, and they're at a loss. In the face of this, Buffy may try to reach out to soothe them, to smooth things over, or she may just make more efforts to pull herself together. It's not always successful, further adding to her identity crisis.

Her commitment to being the Slayer she thinks everyone needs can drive her to behave in a way that seems uncaring to others, particularly in the last season of the show. If she thinks it's the best way to help people, she'll cut off herself off to the point of being mean and ruthless with the people she's leading, but she reverts to her default warmth upon realizing she's wrong.

Overall, Buffy struggles hard to be a good protector of anyone around her, and to provide emotional support, without having to lose the ability to have her own life. At the canon point she's coming in from, it's not working out too well. Buffy's depressed, trying to hide it for the most part, and not finding anyone to lean on. Her mentor just left because she was depending on him, her sister got hurt and is disappointed in her, her best friend is going on dangerous magic binges and needs support, and she's started having sex with a vampire she doesn't really like, because at least she doesn't have to hide her unhappiness to be around him. Buffy's not happy with her friends, but also isn't sure the person she is now is good enough for them, compared to how she used to be; she feels out of touch with the world and with herself. She might as well do things that other person would never have done, as long as it's between her and Spike. The Buffy entering the game just wants to feel, to escape herself.


Slayers are super fast, super strong, have advanced healing and stamina, good reflexes, and are combat prodigies. Buffy can pick up a weapon and learn it almost instantly. She can also jump on rooftops, bend metal with her bare hands, force her way out of a coffin and through the packed ground above it, take a deep stab to the gut and do the aforementioned jumping along with some fighting, rip chains off the wall, and pick up special weapons like Olaf the troll god's hammer and the scythe which was the Slayer equivalent of Excalibur. Additionally, Slayers can sense the presence of demons--although it takes some time and training for Buffy to use that well--and dream visions or cryptic information, sometimes through their connection to fellow Slayers. With all of this, she rarely loses a fight, especially as the show goes on, unless there's some unexpected factor (like her opponent being a hellgod). Even when there is something going on, she can overcome it with the right information or help, and she usually does so fast.

However, there are limits to her powers. She can be knocked out with a blow to the head if she's reasonably distracted, especially during the early seasons. Electrocution knocks her out as well as it would any other human. As mentioned above, her demon detector doesn't seem to work at first, so it's not as naturally strong and reliable as her other Slayer abilities. Buffy's healing, while advanced, is not instant. A stab wound will slow her down for a little while, and so will a back injury. A gunshot to the right place will have a good chance of killing her if there's no interference; although, if not hit somewhere that kills instantly, her healing may keep her alive longer than the average person. She's strong enough to take some damage from a hellgod and even slow one down some, but she can't do much damage herself without the aid of a special weapon--and some friends to weaken the god with magic or strike a good blow with a wrecking ball. While her healing keeps her healthy enough not to get sick most of the time, wearing herself down can cause enough stress that infectious diseases like the flu virus can affect her. Also, she's not immune to magic, or poisons.

Based on her experiences with the vampire Master, her human watcher Giles, and the vampire Dracula, she can fight off hypnosis if given enough time. The Master succeeded in their first confrontation, but not in their second and last. When he took her blood and drowned her, she was revived through CPR, saying that she felt different, stronger, and shrugged off his second attempt at hypnosis. Over the course of a few nights, Giles hypnotized her to drug her for a ritual the Watcher's Council forces on Slayers for their eighteenth birthdays; it was Giles who broke the trance each time, and he didn't let it last longer than it took to inject her. Dracula hypnotized her, but she was able to resist enough to attempt to fight him and then break free completely once she'd tasted his blood; drinking gives her visions of the First Slayer, implying a connection revealed two seasons later: that the Slayer was created through infusion of a human girl with a demon's essence. Overall, the show has Buffy being able to resist hypnosis with some success, and throw it off completely if visions that reconnect her to her Slayer origins, deepening her awareness of her nature, are triggered.

As for non-supernatural talents:

* Buffy takes command naturally and others tend to look to her to do so. She's effective at leading both her circle of people and larger inexperienced groups in the fight against evil.

* When Buffy's at her best, people respond to her warmth and social skills. At twenty-one she made a good high school counselor despite not having a degree or professional experience, due to her empathy and ability to reach people, draw them out. Despite her status as the Slayer being the main reason she was hired--the principal wanted her around for when things got bad-- students felt safe around her, that she could be relied upon.

* She's good at standardized tests, acing her SATS despite struggling in school.

* During Buffy's brief time in college, a less punishing institution for her than high school, she flourished academically. She actively enjoyed and did well in her psychology and literature classes. In the right circumstances, Buffy is a good and fulfilled student in academia.

* Buffy takes care of her appearance, grooming-wise, and she goes for fashionable, as long as she can fight in it.

* She's a good cook, able to pull off a Thanksgiving dinner made from scratch (with friends to help with the prepping.)

It's hard to choose between Elios and Thras, but I believe Elios is the right fit. Buffy's actions throughout the series, including her bravery, are motivated by love. It's love and concern for others that brings her back to Slaying when she wants to quit, when she's scared, burned out, or just wants to go to prom. That's the source of her courage.

Other: N/A


General Sample:

A girl should know her monsters.

Emotion Sample:

[Buffy is used to bizarrely awful things happening around her. Anything seemed to have a magical side effect on the Hellmouth. This, however, seems hilarious. So much for trying to focus her emotions, or lack thereof. Getting in touch with her inner numbness was bound to end up gross; she should've known. Even being torn out of another world--again--isn't enough to change that, apparently. Buffy gets up from her bench (now riddled with little holes) and addresses a passerby too slow to avoid the stench of decay within a five feet radius of her.]

You think I could make the zombie cheerleading squad? I'm springier than I look.

[Her hair, stringy and white, frames a face as pale and sunken as a corpse. She shrugs.]

It's all the rage in the crypts back home.


Could she bring a small silver cross and her stake, Mr. Pointy?


theladylazarus: Buffy in a white sweater looking pensive. (Default)
Buffy Summers

August 2017

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