The first evil is able to take the form of dead people. Still, we see several time how it takes the form of Buffy (to Caleb and Buffy herself). How is this possible?

5 Answers 5


To clarify:

We know from the activation of Kendra (and later Faith) as Slayer after Buffy's first death at the end of Season 1 that the metaphysics of the Buffy universe doesn't really cope with people returning from the dead. (The prophecy states "Into every generation a slayer is born: one girl in all the world, a chosen one" but because of Buffy's death there are for the first time two active Slayers when there is only supposed to be one.) Because Buffy has been dead, the universe classifies her as part of the class "people who have died" and for this reason, the First is able to take her form.


Well, to be honest,

by that point Buffy had died twice already. Once at the hands of The Master in season 1, and once at the end of season 5, sacrificing herself for Dawn.

  • I thought so, but IIRC they said that it can take form of dead people, not people that has been died. Tomato tomato I guess. Jul 4, 2012 at 12:27
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    Don't think this really needs spoiler space, seeing as it refers to a series that has been off the air for 9 years. Jul 4, 2012 at 16:53
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    Yeah, you're probably right. I just felt that major character death is the very epitome of spoilers. :) Jul 4, 2012 at 20:14
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    @AvnerShahar-Kashtan: But then you go ahead and say what you spoilered in the comments.
    – Jeff
    Dec 19, 2012 at 17:12
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    @starsplusplus: in theory, when a Slayer dies, the next one is called; if that original Slayer is revived and dies again, their next one has already been called, so nothing happens. But season 7 did thoroughly muddy the waters on that whole question. Jun 3, 2015 at 22:08

When Willow brought Buffy back from the dead, she "came back wrong". She is alive, but dead. This was explained when Spike realized he could hurt her, regardless of the chip in his head - because she is still technically dead. This error in her composite is the same reason The First can appear as her.

  • I always thought that was the first indication that the chip was malfunctioning, of course since the chip had to be semi mystical in nature I guess that works as well.
    – severa
    Sep 30, 2013 at 8:21
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    Tara says: "I-I've double checked everything. There's nothing wrong with you", and "Well, I said that there was nothing wrong with you, but... you are different. Shifting you out of... f-f-from where you were... funneling your essence back into your body... i-it, it altered you on a basic molecular level. Probably just enough to confuse the sensors or whatever in Spike's chip. But it's all just surfacey physical stuff. It wouldn't have any more effect than... a bad sunburn." This makes it seem like she is fully alive. Not dead at all.
    – user21032
    Jan 10, 2014 at 18:26

When Buffy first encounters the First Evil it takes the form of Jenny Calendar. When it appears to Angel it take the form of people that he had killed during his time as Angelus. Buffy had already died once at this point, so it's interesting that the First doesn't attempt to use Buffy's form to manipulate Angel. Perhaps in order for the First to take on someone's form they actually have to cross over into their eternity as Buffy did at the end of season five. Her death in Prophecy Girl was only for a moment before Xander performed CPR and revived her. Willow in season 7 notes that everything is connected. You could imagine the metaphysics of Death and a soul leaving it's body allowing the First to access a person's memory in a state where the soul is separate from the body.


The First Evil is capable of appearing as anyone who is currently dead and those who have been resurrected from death(such as Buffy) and also vampires that are either "alive" or truly "dead"

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