First Evil

First Evil

Infobox Buffyverse Character

Title=The First Evil
Creator=Joss Whedon
Name=The First Evil
Status=Eternal & Omnipresent
Kind=Primeval Force
* Ability to appear as any dead, undead or resurrected being (anything that has died).
* Ability to gain the memories of who it appears as.
* Ability to choose to be seen or heard only by those it is communicating with as well as those outside of normal hearing range.
* Omnipresence.
* Ability to merge with certain beings, imbuing them with superhuman strength, stamina and durability, and establish a psychic link with them.
* Telepathy.
* Ability to manifest in dreams.
*Actors=Shane Barach, Edward Edwards, Cornelia Hayes O'Herlihy, Robia LaMorte, Mark Metcalf, Juliet Landau, Harry Groener, George Hertzberg, Clare Kramer, Adam Busch, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Kristine Sutherland, Azura Skye, James Marsters, Danny Strong, Amanda Fuller, K.D. Aubert, Lalaine, Harry Groener, Nathan Fillion.

The First Evil (also called The First) is a fictional character created by Joss Whedon for the TV series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". The First Evil first appeared in the third season episode "Amends", and became the main antagonist of the 7th and final season.

A being manifested from all evil in existence, the First is an incorporeal entity that can assume the form of any person who has died, including vampires and dead persons who have been resurrected. Because of this it appears in various forms over the course of the series depending on who it is appearing to as a method of manipulation. For this reason, the First usually appears as Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) to the Slayer and her allies, but it also assumes the forms of Warren Mears, Spike, and Jonathan Levinson on multiple occasions, among a variety of other forms taken less frequently. The First Evil also appears on limited occasions as its "true" form of a large, bestial demon.


Character history

The First Evil claims to be the source and embodiment of all that is evil. Older than demons, even the Old Ones, who themselves existed long before the first humans, it is older than the written word and transcends all realities and dimensions; it is older than any other evil being and may even be the very first entity ever to have existed. It is said that the First lurked in the darkness long before the universe was even created and shall remain long after the universe ends. Few have heard of it and even fewer believe in its existence.

The entity cannot affect the world on a physical level. Its power lies in its ability to deceive, torment and manipulate others. It can take the form of anyone who has died and can choose to be seen and heard by just one person or to everyone present. The First has a deep understanding of human nature since it can copy the thoughts and mannerisms of all human beings who have died. It uses the knowledge to drive others to madness and such acts as murder and suicide. Since she had died before, the First Evil often appeared as Buffy in the last season of the series.

The First has appeared as an enormous, phantasmic demon with large horns and long, talon-shaped fingers. The First claimed that when its army outnumbered the humans on Earth, it would gain a corporeal form. For technical purposes, the First Evil is neither male, female, demon, nor god; it is a power.

During Christmas 1998, the First appeared in Sunnydale. It tried to drive the vampire Angel into killing Buffy by appearing to him as Daniel, Margaret, Travis and Jenny Calendar, people Angelus had murdered. It told Angel that it was responsible for his return from Hell and that he could end his sufferings by turning evil again. It did not mind when Angel chose to die in a sunrise instead. After Buffy's confrontation with the First, Buffy attempted to stop Angel from committing suicide. While Buffy was talking Angel into leaving the hilltop, a rare snowfall occurred, with the sun remaining unseen. Sunnydale enjoyed a rare and unusual white Christmas.

Buffy's second resurrection caused an irregularity in the Slayer line. The First tried to use this glitch to eliminate the Slayers forever.

The First Evil had serial killer Caleb command the Harbingers of Death, as they sought and hunted down the Chosen line, young girls with the potential to become slayers. Buffy had visions of these murders in her sleep.

Several characters and creatures referenced the First in the first few episodes of season 7. Halfrek told Anyanka "Something's rising. Something older than the Old Ones, and everybody's tail is twitching".

It tormented the vampire Spike after he had returned from Africa with his soul. The First appeared to Spike in such guises as Warren Mears, Glory, Adam, Mayor Richard Wilkins III, Drusilla, the Master and Buffy. After Spike accidentally stabs a human, the First appeared in the form of a more forgiving Buffy to continue to taunt him.

The First also appeared to Andrew Wells in Mexico as Warren Mears, instructing him to buy an ancient knife. The nightmares it brought to Andrew and Jonathan Levinson drove them back to Sunnydale.

The First Evil began using a traditional English folk song ("Early One Morning") as a trigger to drive Spike to sire again. The First appeared to Willow Rosenberg as Cassie Newton, claiming to be a messenger from her dead lover Tara Maclay, but went too far, as it asked Willow to commit suicide. It also appeared to Andrew Wells as his dead friend Warren, and drove him into killing their friend Jonathan on the Seal of Danzalthar, right above the Hellmouth. The sacrifice yielded too little blood because it turned out Jonathan was anemic. In the same episode ("Conversations with Dead People"), the First possibly masqueraded as Joyce Summers to speak with her younger daughter, Dawn, and warn her that in the end, Buffy would not choose her (Whedon and Jane Espenson have commented that this apparition is in fact the First, but if so it displays powers that are inconsistent with the First's other appearances). The First then sent the Bringers to kill the potential slayer Nora and her watcher Robson in London. It also goaded Spike into battling Buffy so one of them would be killed.

The First Evil then appeared to Andrew as both Warren and Jonathan. The First Evil appeared to Spike, as Spike himself, to trick him into killing Andrew, only to be foiled by Buffy again. It then sent some Harbingers to kidnap Spike from Buffy's house to bleed him to raise the first Turok-Han out of the Hellmouth. Meanwhile, the First's minion Caleb blew up The Watchers Council as they gathered. It also once manifested itself in such a way as to destroy an attempted spell by Willow, thus increasing her fear of using magic. Buffy later dreams of her late mother, and believes this is an appearance of the First.

In 2003, viewers saw the First Evil masquerade as Eve, a potential slayer previously killed by the Harbingers, to spy on Buffy and encourage the potentials to doubt Buffy’s leadership. The First Evil took a break after Buffy decapitated the Turok-Han and freed its hostage Spike.

A few weeks later, the First again appeared to Andrew as Jonathan, instructing him to use a gun to kill the potential slayers but subsequently became angry with Andrew and Buffy's friends when Andrew wore a wire so they could record the First Evil. Continuing to monger fear among the Potential Slayers, the First Evil appeared to Chloe, taunting her to commit suicide before appearing to Buffy and the potentials as Chloe, making them feel partly responsible for Chloe’s death.

The First Evil later summoned Caleb to Sunnydale, where they set up base at the Shadow Valley Vineyards, where Buffy and the potentials were dealt a defeat at Caleb’s hands. Using the Harbingers, the First Evil had them excavate the mystic Slayer's Scythe from a rock while at the same time tricking slayer Faith into a trap. Then it masqueraded as the Mayor in order to throw Faith off-guard, telling her to be wary of Buffy. When Buffy later went to the vineyards and stole the Scythe, the First Evil instructed Caleb to let her go and informed Buffy that Faith and the Potential Slayers had just been killed in an explosion. Buffy rushed to their rescue and most of them survived.

After Buffy split Caleb in half with the Scythe, the First Evil taunted her for being alone, which gave her an idea. Buffy asked Willow to use the essence of the Scythe to make every potential slayer a full Slayer and led a proactive strike on the Turok-Han army within the Hellmouth itself. The First taunted Buffy after she was stabbed through the abdomen, but she recovered. An amulet, given to Buffy by Angel, that Spike was wearing created beams of sunlight, which wiped out every Turok-Han and destroyed the Hellmouth.

The First appears in the video game as the main antagonist, having helped Ethan Rayne escape from his imprisonment at the hands of the Initiative, and also participating in a contest of battle between the two (or rather, each of their five champions). Buffy, Willow, Xander, Faith, Spike, and Ethan are all transported to the First's dimension (which appears as a version of Sunnydale similar to the "Wishverse" created by Anya) against their will. In the end, Buffy defeats Ethan, possessed by the First, with Hope's Dagger.


The First Evil has appeared in 16 canonical Buffyverse episodes:

; "Buffy the Vampire Slayer":

*Season 3 (1998, 1999)
**"Amends" (as Daniel, Margaret, Jenny Calendar, and Travis - name revealed in the shooting scripts).
*Season 7 (2002, 2003)
**"Lessons" (as Warren Mears, Glory, Adam, The Mayor, Drusilla, the Master, and Buffy Summers)
**"Selfless" (as Buffy Summers)
**"Conversations with Dead People" (as Warren Mears, Cassie Newton, and Joyce Summers)
**"Sleeper" (as Buffy Summers and Spike)
**"Never Leave Me" (as Buffy Summers, Spike, Warren Mears, and Jonathan Levinson)
**"Bring on the Night" (as Spike and Drusilla)
**"Showtime" (as Buffy Summers and Eve)
**"First Date" (as Jonathan Levinson and Nikki Wood)
**"Get It Done" (as Chloe)
**"Storyteller" (as Warren Mears)
**"Dirty Girls" (as Buffy Summers and Betty)
**"Empty Places" (as Buffy Summers)
**"Touched" (as Mayor Wilkins and Buffy Summers)
**"End of Days" (as Buffy Summers)
**"Chosen" (as Buffy Summers and Caleb).

Further reading

* Gallagher, Diana G. "Prime Evil". Simon and Schuster, 2001. p. 60. ISBN 0743431545

* Holder, Nancy. "CHOSEN". Simon Spotlight Entertainment, June 2003. ISBN 0743487923

* Jowett, Lorna. "Sex and the Slayer: A Gender Studies Primer for the Buffy Fan". Wesleyan University Press, 2005. p. 116. ISBN 0819567582

* Kaveney, Roz. "Reading the Vampire Slayer: The Complete, Unofficial Guide to Buffy And Angel". Tauris Parke Paperbacks, 2004. pp. 49-51. ISBN 186064984X

* South, James B. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy: fear and trembling in Sunnydale". Open Court Publishing, 2003. p. 213. ISBN 0812695313

* Tracy, Kathleen. "The Girl's Got Bite: The Original Unauthorized Guide to Buffy's World". St. Martin's Press, 2003. p. 342. ISBN 031231258X

* Wilcox, Rhonda V. "Why Buffy Matters: The Art of Buffy the Vampire Slayer". I.B. Tauris, 2005. pp. 32, 48, 51, 61, 77, 89, 91, 100, 105-106. ISBN 1845110293

ee also

*Harbingers of Death

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