Before the Scoobies went down into the hellmouth to kill the ubervamp army, in the last episodes, why didn't Willow use the ball of sunshine spell? It's very hard to kill the Uber Vamps, holy water doesn't work and staking them doesn't work unless you're super strong, so why didn't she use her sunlight spell? Not once during any episode did she try that spell on them. It could have saved a lot of lives and potential slayers.

  • Like most magic in Buffy, it turned out to be difficult to cast and highly unreliable :-)
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 0:50
  • 2
    Willow can float pencils early on yet she never uses it to stake vamps. Same with the sunlight spell which she can do IIRC from sesson four and which would be very handy in a lots of situations. Just don't look for logic there. BTVS is about the slayer solving problems not her OP witch. They also never reuse useful items like the troll hammer.
    – user68762
    Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 6:55
  • 2
    @Lt.Ortega Willow did use a pencil to stake a vampire: she was being held prisoner in the Mayor’s office and used the pencil staking to temporarily escape. Buffy used the troll hammer in the final battle with Glory. But she is the only person who could pick it up - let alone wield it (Spike tried and dropped it). Sorry: can’t not correct BTVS trivia. Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 12:40
  • Whosoever holds this hammer, be they worthy, shall possess the power of Buffy.
    – Irishpanda
    Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 13:26
  • @RichardCosgrove yes, i meant reuse the hammer after season 5 (or the bazooka after s2). about the pencils - oops, forgot that one, but it seems willow forgot too, she doesnt use them later on :)
    – user68762
    Commented Apr 5, 2018 at 13:54

2 Answers 2


The last time we see the Simulated Sunlight spell, Willow is trying to get it to work. Suffice to say, she's unsuccessful and her attempts result in the release of an extremely dangerous opponent, Olaf the baby eating and damn near invulnerable Troll.

There's no indication that she was ever able to get it to work properly (at least within the main TV series, see below) and given its potential for failure and the possibility it could release an even worse baddie than the vampires that Buffy is fighting, it's pretty reasonable to assume that she either stopped working on it because it was more trouble than it was worth or just plain couldn't get it do what it was supposed to.

Interestingly, in the (non-canon) video game Chaos Bleeds, the 'sun spell' is one of Willow's standard weapons again vampires and can simply be cast rather than created using any of the ingredients seen in the show.

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  • Technically the sunlight spell didn't cause the troll. The troll just happened to be in the magic shop trapped in a crystal and when Willow's spell exploded (due to her breaking off to squabble with Anya :-D) it knocked the crystal off the shelf and broke it. But yes, presumably they never did get it to work.
    – A. B.
    Commented Mar 17, 2021 at 8:03

Asides from the sunlight spell being unreliable (mentioned in the comments), it would only hurt the vampires present - not those still down in the Hellmouth - and likely blind everyone else. So Willow would have to have a load of the spells ready and throw them down like grenades. Asides from that, using the spell would mean the climax to BTVS wouldn’t be in line with the overarching theme of the series.

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