In his pre-ascension state, Mayor Wilkins is apparently invincible to Buffy, the Scoobies, or anyone else who crosses him. He attempted to have the volcanological research of Lester Worth squashed via Faith: he knows that in fully-ascended/Big Time Demon form he will be vulnerable to death, yet the acquisition of ultimate power is his main objective so invulnerability would definitely be an advantage. Why sacrifice these abilities in order to become a big combustible snake?

Why would Mayor Wilkins want to ascend?

  • I attempted to find this answer via SE and Google search. The site I found on Google that seemed to address it has so many advertisements I couldn't even load the page.
    – 1252748
    Dec 15 '16 at 3:41
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    My understanding was that the invincibility wore off after the hundred days. It was either become a powerful demon, or revert to a very mortal ..whatever he was before the 100 days. Dec 15 '16 at 3:59
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    Some people dream of being a rock star, some people dream of being a giant snake. Dec 15 '16 at 4:15

He was a soulless servant to demons of the Hellmouth and was seeking to become more powerful than them

Mayor Wilkins had committed himself one hundred years prior to the events of Buffy to what is termed the Ascension. This backstory is revealed in scripts for Buffy: The Animated Series. There, Wilkins was a human who originally arrived in California in the 19th Century, and founded Sunnydale on the site of Boca del Infierno shortly after a Vampire Slayer, Naayéé'neizgháni, had been killed there. Wilkins stumbled upon the Hellmouth and found it overrun with demons because of the death of the Slayer. He ended up making a pact to avoid being killed himself. He agreed to make Sunnydale a refuge for demons, free from outside interference, so that they could feed on the inhabitants unchecked. As part of the deal, he gave up his soul. In 1899, he began planning his 100-year Ascension into the form of a pure demon — this is what you see happening in Season 3 of Buffy.

So his choice was to remain a soulless human maintaining a feeding ground for demons, or ascend to become a powerful pure demon, not under the control of other lesser demons.

Finally, note that his invulnerability was never stated to be permanent, but rather a temporary power that kicks in for the 100 days leading up to the Ascension. So (a) he became invulnerable because he was on the way to Ascension (these are not independent things), and (b) the invulnerability was not a permanent transformation.

  • I haven't read any of the books, but in the TV series he sure didn't seem like he was "under the control of lesser demons". He seemed like he was the big cheese shot caller.
    – 1252748
    Dec 16 '16 at 18:00
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    @1252748 : With the power he was amassing, yes. You're only seeing him in the 100 days leading up to the Ascension, where he is invulnerable. But he didn't start that way. Also, his back story is based on The Animated Series (not the books, as far as I am aware). Like I said, he only survived his discovery of the Hellmouth by selling his soul and agreeing to maintain Sunnydale as a feeding ground.
    – Praxis
    Dec 16 '16 at 18:07
  • I didn't even know there was an animated series. Is it good?
    – 1252748
    Dec 16 '16 at 18:09
  • Excellent answer and a new show recommendation. Can't beat that. Thanks!
    – 1252748
    Dec 16 '16 at 18:25
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    As far as I can tell, Buffy: The Animated Series never made it to production and only a 4 minute clip has ever been released, of which I don't believe any of it involved the mayor. So either you're confusing it with the comic book, or you're coming to us from a parallel universe. On the off chance it's the latter, please, how do I get there? Dec 16 '16 at 21:28

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