In Buffy The Vampire Slayer (TV Series), during the Season 1 Finale Buffy gets bitten by The Master.

Why does she not either turn into another vampire? Or die suddenly? I know that Xander performed CPR on her, but that wouldn't heal a bite.

In other Vampire universes, once you're bit, you're done. Is this not the same?

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  • 1
    Many "Vampire universes" require that the new vampire is willing to become one, by drugs or decision. Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 17:22
  • I'd say that all must have a way to feed without creating a new vampire, lest the world be overrun with vampires in short order. Imagine if every hamburger you ate turned into a person who wanted to eat hamburgers.
    – Oldcat
    Commented Jun 3, 2015 at 23:27
  • I spent most of season 2 thinking expecting it to be revealed that Buffy was a vampire, and was then a little annoyed that she had been described as dead when she was in a state she could recover from without supernatural action.
    – bdsl
    Commented Jan 17, 2016 at 22:53

3 Answers 3


As Buffy explains to Giles in the Pilot episode (Welcome to the Hellmouth), simply being exsanguinated by a vampire isn't enough to make you into a vampire. In order for that to happen, you also need to feed from the vampire yourself :

GILES : Will he rise again?

BUFFY : Who?

GILES : The boy.

BUFFY : No, he’s just dead.

GILES : Can you be sure?

BUFFY : To make you a vampire they have to suck your blood and then you have to suck their blood, it’s a whole big sucking thing. Mostly they’ll just take all your blood and then you just die – why am I still talking to you?

Since Buffy didn't feed from the Master, it would be impossible for her to have turned into a vampire. In the event that Xander's CPR hadn't worked, she would simply have stayed dead.

  • 5
    +1 for Exsanguinated. I would have went for death-by-blood-suction. But exsanguinated is good!
    – Daft
    Commented Feb 3, 2015 at 13:45
  • Have another gold.
    – ibid
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 0:09
  • 1
    @ibid - Cheers. I shall chuck it on the pile.
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 6:33

Siring a vampire requires more than just a bite. In some stories it's looked at as a disease (Blade) but for the most part that's not correct.

Vampirism is more along the lines of demonic possession. To reproduce, vampires must drain a human being of most of his or her blood and bringing his or her soul just to the point of death, then forcing the human to consume some of the vampire's blood. This can be something as simple as the vampire biting his own wrist and allowing blood to drip into the victims mouth. A demon is summoned to take over your body, which retains your memories and to some extent your personality due to the human soul still being trapped within the body. The demon takes possession of the host body and becomes a vampire.

Vampires usually sire someone in order to spend eternity with them, although in some cases this isn't true. Angelus sired vampires to play head games with Buffy when he lost his soul. Spike was siring vampires against his will when he was being triggered and controlled by The First.

Most often they just kill to feed or torment, so the blood transfer is not initiated.

  • 2
    At least, in the Buffyverse that's how it's supposed to work. There are as many different views on that as there are stories involving vampires. Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 12:50
  • 5
    "...but for the most part thats not correct." You realize these are ALL fictional universes, right? What holds in the Buffyverse doesn't necessarily hold in the Bladeverse.
    – Klay
    Commented Aug 21, 2014 at 13:20
  • 1
    "...human soul still being trapped within the body" - not in the Buffyverse. Angel is special because he has his soul.
    – Adeptus
    Commented Dec 22, 2015 at 2:25
  • Yeah, this is flat wrong for the buffyverse. The soul goes and is replaced by a demon.
    – Tim B
    Commented Jan 1, 2016 at 16:31
  • What exactly the deal is with what happens to "souls" when somebody becomes a vampire in the Buffyverse starts out unclear and stays unclear, probably by design on the writers' part. Anything that anyone says gets contradicted by another character or by events on screen. But I think it's definitely not exactly either of the above. But yeah, some kind of demon magic element has to be introduced and that can only be done by feeding the victim vampire blood, and I think it's also magically important that they have to actually die.
    – A. B.
    Commented Mar 17, 2021 at 6:53

There are several different common rules for creating a vampire. I believe that the rules in the Buffy universe require that the person dies (from blood loss) - and they are then reborn as a vampire on some future night. I'm not sure that the exact time frame is ever explicitly discussed, but as the vampires frequently come out of graves, it is probably something on the order of 2-3 days.

Buffy's "death" was a temporary thing, easily reversed by modern medicine. She was not completely dead, nor dead long enough for the change to take place.

  • 1
    Also, I'm fairly sure a vampire has to want to sire the human, otherwise the human just dies. Unfortunately I cannot find an appropriate quote. But be sure, if the Master had wanted to sire Buffy, she'd been a Vampire afterwards.
    – bitmask
    Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 16:27
  • @bitmask: Not only the Vampire needs to want it. The victim too. From "Buffy vs. Dracula" DRACULA (to Buffy): I have not drunk enough for you to change. You must be near death to become one of us. And that comes only when you plead for it.
    – Einer
    Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 17:07
  • 6
    @Einer that could have just meant that Dracula was going to make her beg for it, not necessarilly that there needed desire on the victim's part to become undead.
    – Monty129
    Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 17:39
  • 2
    @Monty129 In that scene Buffy is offered to drink from Draculas blood. She hesitates because she doesn't want to turn into a Vampire. And with the words above Dracula reassures Buffy that that will not happen unless she wants it.
    – Einer
    Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 17:57
  • 4
    Doesn't the victim also have to drink the sire's blood? Like when Liam feeds back off of Darla when she sires him?
    – HorusKol
    Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 0:07

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