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Buffy's archenemy?

burrunjor

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Which of the big bads do you think could be called her archenemy. Who messed with her the most, or was a bigger challenge etc.

Well I'd say in the classical sense it's a tie between The Master and Glory.

The Master was the antithesis to what she was. An ancient, patriarchal, ritualistic, utterly inhuman, ugly Vampire as opposed to a young, rebellious, very human and relatable Vampire slayer. Added to that he also brought her to the very limit of her terror more than almost any other villain.

Spike she knew she could beat, Angelus she knew she could, it was just the emotional trauma. The Mayor she defeated relatively easily and again didn't seem that scared. Adam took a bit out of her, but again she never ever came close to fleeing Sunnydale, and bested him relatively easily. Warren was just unpleasant and a cheating coward, Dark Willow, again much like Angelus she was holding back when fighting her, and the First again scared her, but she always remained confident.

The Master however in Prophecy Girl actually made her want to quit being a Slayer and flee town, not caring about the havoc he'd cause. In Prophecy Girl she's also never seemed so helpless when up against a villain as she did when the Master has hypnotised her. She is weeping and unable to move. Added to that the cost to stop him is huge. He is the only one to kill her directly.

(If you want to get technical he kills her three times.)

Even the aftermath of beating him is bigger than any other villain. To start with his killing her leaves her traumatised for months. (After beating Adam she has a videothon with her friends, after The Mayor she and the others have a nice little group chat.)

On top of that the Master is responsible for creating Darla, Angelus, Spike, Drusilla and Faith too, so his legacy looms large over the series. (Again more than say Adam or The Mayor.

Glory meanwhile again is a classical nemesis in that she is like an evil Buffy. Buffy is the little blond girl who turns around and kills the monster, Glory is the little blonde girl who IS a monster, and a monster far scarier than the traditional monsters. Also Glory much like the Master brings Buffy to the limit of her terror. She actually does make her skip town, she causes her to have a mental breakdown, she tortures and breaks her friends (Spike, Dawn and Tara) she makes Buffy seem helpless, and she indirectly causes her death.

Also the cost to stop Glory is bigger than anyone else. Not only in Buffy dying, but her coming back is also what allows the First to take action.

Other candidates would be Angelus, Faith and Spike, but all of these characters also became her friends/allies/lovers and spent more time as heroes.

I like Adam, The Mayor and The First to be clear (on a recent rewatch the First was a lot more effective than I remembered.) Still they are more just kind of obstacles that Buffy needs to overcome as opposed to the Master and Glory who actually made her seem vulnerable, scared and hopeless.

Warren meanwhile I see as the pathetic wannabe villain, but the twist is that this time he is actually dangerous because he is so unpleasant and cowardly he'll do anything.
 

AlphaFoxtrot

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I don't think any Buffy villian fits the idea of an archnemesis, but I suppose the First was aiming for that.
 

AlphaFoxtrot

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To elaborate, while I agree with the OP that both Glory and Maestro are the antithesis of what Buffy is about, an archenemy needs to show up more than once. No Buffy villain is recurring. So, I suppose the Season's Big Bad is the the season's Arch-Enemy, but the series does not enjoy one. I suppose the Mayor could be, given that everything that was happening in Sunnydale was his doing, or the First Evil, as archenemy, in it's 16th century origins, appears to be a epithet of Satan, and did try to kill Angel, and depending on your theology, may have been messing with Team Angel in Season 4. But if we look at Angel, Wolfram & Hart is Angel's archenemy, nothing like them exists in the Buffy-verse.
 

DeadlyDuo

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I think Buffy is her own archenemy. It is her own emotions that disable her and lead her to make bad choices that affect her negatively. It was her own feelings that stopped her killing Angelus before he killed Jenny, it was her own feelings that led her to start an unhealthy mutually abusive relationship with Spike etc. Buffy's victories tend to be her overcoming her feelings and doing what is right, not what makes her feel better. Sometimes the two go hand in hand, sometimes they don't. Whilst emotion can be strength. it can also be weakness. Buffy is her own worst enemy.
 

famicommander

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She doesn't really have one because the opponents that present the biggest threats to her generally end up dead (Master, Glory, Adam, Mayor, Warren) or dormant/impotent (Angelus, evil Spike, The First).

Drusilla is the only significant recurring villain that wasn't either turned good, rendered impotent, or outright killed by the end of the shows and even the end of the canon comics.
 

white avenger

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Obvious;y, none of you have completely forgotten about Buffy's real archenemy, the baddest big bad that the gang ever faced, the creature so powerful, cunning, and downright despicable that she struck fear in the hearts of every single resident in Sunnydale.

That's right, I'm talking about the one, the only...

Harmony

 
LemonBanana
LemonBanana
YES! How could we forget! 😂 🤣

LemonBanana

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Sineya
Hi! Love ur post, here is what I think...
I don’t think Buffy had an archenemy but The First was one of the worst big bads. Saying that, I do think that Glory and Angelus messed with her more than the rest of them, as well as Faith because she expected more of her. 😊 💕
 

Athene

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Sineya
I think an archenemy normally would have a personal vendetta against the hero or has some sort of connection to them so in that way it would be either Angelus or Faith.
Glory made it personal by going after Dawn but that was purely circumstantial so I don't know if that makes Glory Buffy's archenemy.
I would probably say the Master too out of the rest.
 

Spanky

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Black Thorn
Judging with the tone of the ending and the last few episodes, I would say the patriarchy.
 

VisionGirl

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Wow this is a great question. I would say The First but it just doesn’t seem personal enough. I think maybe if there had been hints about The First throughout the show ever since Amends I might consider this.

I think the Master and Glory comes closest because of how powerful they were and because of the personal consequences for Buffy. She died...twice. Glory died not because of great planning on the Scoobies or Buffy’s strength but because of a fluke- Giles happened on Ben in human form and killed him. But it was too late and if Buffy hadn’t sacrificed herself Dawn would’ve died.

But I don’t think any Buffy villain reaches archenemy level like Wolfram & Hart on Angel.
 

katmobile

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Not every hero has an archenemy - traditionally though they're former friends or lovers so I guess Angelus comes closest plus it was personal for him, he wanted to hurt her. The Master was her anti-thesis and his plan involved her - the interconnectedness of them was quite arch nemesis like. Glory is a shadow self but their conflict seems incidental - Glory wants to go home and Buffy wants to protect her sister. The First had direct conflict like Glory because it wanted to eliminate the slayer line and was able to do so because of Buffy's resurrection so it's aims were connected to Buffy - it also messed with people she cared about. Faith and Spike fit the sometimes allies, sometimes enemies dynamic - think Magneto/Professor Xavier model and there some sex chem Batman/Catwoman dynamic going on there. The closest thing we really get though is on Angel with Holst - he really was Angel's arch nemesis, also so is Wolfram and Hart while Lindsay so wanted to be Angel's arch nemesis.
 

burrunjor

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Not every hero has an archenemy - traditionally though they're former friends or lovers so I guess Angelus comes closest plus it was personal for him, he wanted to hurt her. The Master was her anti-thesis and his plan involved her - the interconnectedness of them was quite arch nemesis like. Glory is a shadow self but their conflict seems incidental - Glory wants to go home and Buffy wants to protect her sister. The First had direct conflict like Glory because it wanted to eliminate the slayer line and was able to do so because of Buffy's resurrection so it's aims were connected to Buffy - it also messed with people she cared about. Faith and Spike fit the sometimes allies, sometimes enemies dynamic - think Magneto/Professor Xavier model and there some sex chem Batman/Catwoman dynamic going on there. The closest thing we really get though is on Angel with Holst - he really was Angel's arch nemesis, also so is Wolfram and Hart while Lindsay so wanted to be Angel's arch nemesis.
LOL poor Lindsey. I'd argue that he was still Angels archenemy though. Obviously Holtz was too, but you can have more than one. Despite Angel dismissing him, Lindsey did more to mess with Angel than any other villain including Holtz.

The biggest thing Holtz did was stealing Connor and turning him against Angel, but even then Sajhan was the one who led to Connor being sucked into hell. (In that situation as Holtz pointed out, ironically he did Angel a favour as Lilah would have killed Connor, so Holtz saved his son and kept him alive in Qurtoth. Making Connor think he had killed him however was a big deal, but ultimately as we've seen it didn't last. Even before the memory wipe.)

Lindsey meanwhile brought Darla back (sure the other lawyers played a role, but he was the key figure actually fighting Angel and performing the ritual himself.) That in turn led to so much shit for Angel, from Connor to Jasmine. He also along with Darla was the main instigator for pushing Angel down the bad path in season 2. It was Lindsey after all that got Dru in to revamp Darla (which was probably one of Angel's biggest losses and unlike Connor wasn't undone) Darla being a Vamp pushed Angel over the edge and made him abandon his friends.

Added to that Lindsey in season 5 also nearly broke Angel with his Spike scheme. It took Cordelia and the Powers That Be to intervene and save Angel from Lindsey. Added to that Angel hated Lindsey more than he did Holtz.

He pushed Angel to do really evil, shitty things like locking people in a room with two Vampires, (ans betraying Kate in the process) to firing his friends, to even in the finale where he makes Lorne kill Lindsey which completely breaks Lorne and ends their friendship.

Angel never came close to killing Holtz out of anger and hatred. He always felt sorry for him, even after he captured his son, whilst with Lindsey he always hated his guts, so I'd argue that Lindsey got under Angel's skin more.

Ironically in a way, though Lindsey didn't see it, Angel's murder of Lindsey was proof that he was his archenemy, as it showed a much nastier, sadistic side to Angel than in his dealings with other enemies like Holtz.
 
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