The Tento di Cruciamentum, featured in the third season episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer "Helpless", is a test slayers are supposed to go through on their 18th birthday. The slayer is weakened to the strength of an average human and is then locked somewhere with a particularly dangerous vampire. Did Faith Lehane ever experience the Cruciamentum for herself?

  • I believe Faith is older than Buffy (Faith sometimes refers to and treats Buffy as a little sister) so Faith may have turned 18 before she was called as a slayer.
  • Faith had a watcher before Giles. If Faith had not yet turned 18 when she was called, either that watcher or Giles would be expected to administer the test.
  • Faith's first watcher is killed by a particularly nasty vampire, Kakistos. Speculation: Cruciamentum gone wrong?
  • I'm pretty sure the "little sister" bit wasn't intended literally. Faith had a harder life, so she saw herself as more "grown up" than Buffy. (Aren't Slayers always called at roughly the same age? That's what the "if they survive until their 18th birthday" aspect to the test seems to imply.) Aug 21, 2016 at 3:00

1 Answer 1


Faith didn't experience the Cruciamentum.

As you've rightly pointed out, Faith had at least one other Watcher prior to her 18th birthday. According to the Buffy novel "Go Ask Malice" (written largely from Faith's perspective) she was encouraged, by a slayer vision, to find out about the Cruciamentum by sneaking a peek at her Watcher's journals.

Read her diary. Read of the Cruciamentum.
"The what?".
Read of the betrayal to come

Go Ask Malice

Once she'd found out about the ritual, there was little point going through with it.

  • 1
    You consider every book approved by Fox canon?
    – user68762
    Aug 20, 2016 at 13:37
  • @neeshka - In thus instance there's no reason to believe that it's not. The events don't contradict subsequent episodes and the author has gone on to write several books and stories that are part of the main (fully canon) continuity.
    – Valorum
    Aug 20, 2016 at 13:49
  • 1
    Malice was well-received by the fans but no one calls it canon. None of the novels are, as Joss had nothing to do with them. As about RJL he wrote The Suicide King, Go Ask Malice & Back to the Garden (Tales of the Slayer) which of it you referring as part of the canon?
    – user68762
    Aug 20, 2016 at 14:13
  • 1
    Thanks! This was just the kind of answer I was looking for. While its place in canon may be disputed, I think this is this is the best answer I'll get unless future Angel & Faith novels explore this part of Faith's past.
    – Sethen
    Aug 20, 2016 at 14:23
  • 4
    @Neeshka There's nothing wrong with posting a new answer - having more than one answer to the same question is even encouraged here. If you write up an answer which is more canonical (at least by some definition) than Valorum's, that would be worth an upvote. Don't be discouraged by Valorum's brusqueness - he usually means well :-)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Aug 20, 2016 at 23:11

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