Why did Principal Wood bury Jonathan's body?

At that time, the story tellers were trying to put doubt in the audience's mind about whether Wood was good or evil. But, once we discover who he is, I find it hard to explain his actions. I've heard it suggested that sitting in his office over the hellmouth, he was influenced by The First (kind of like how the kids went crazy a few episodes later).

But, why would he secretly bury a dead body found in the school basement? Is this ever explained?

  • I always assumed it was The First cleaning up after itself by influencing Wood (possibly through his mother's apparition) to do its bidding, like it did to Andrew.
    – Walt
    Commented Oct 19, 2016 at 17:35

1 Answer 1


The short answer is that it's not specifically explained in the show, however we can make certain assumptions about his actions.

Principal Wood deliberately took the job because he knew that "something big" is coming. He's been actively fighting vamps and demons for decades and can smell which way the wind is blowing.

PRINCIPAL WOOD: Well, I actually do enjoy the work, but yeah. Yeah, you're right. I maneuvered myself into that school, that office — just like I maneuvered you there. The hell mouth draws the bad things in close, and now we're headed for something big, Buffy. Really big, and I need to be here when it happens. I want to help.

Buffy: First Date

Wood knows that the seal is important. He takes great pains to rebury it before taking Jonathan's body a considerable distance away from where he found it. Calling the police would undoubtedly result in the area being investigated, dug up and possibly the seal being opened by a curious (but clueless) constabulary. None of which are things that he wants.

  • At least someone takes seriously the sunnydale PD.
    – user68762
    Commented Oct 21, 2016 at 16:12
  • @Neeshka - I always got the impression that those in authority (School board, local PD, city council) were fully aware that something was very odd about their town and simply chose to look away.
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 21, 2016 at 16:15
  • 1
    As evidenced in the Once More With Feeling episode where the headline's Suspiciously Specific Denial reads "MAYHEM CAUSED. MONSTERS CERTAINLY NOT INVOLVED, OFFICIALS SAY."
    – Longspeak
    Commented Oct 22, 2016 at 1:14

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