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The 40 Best ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’ Villains, Ranked

Attention Slayers: these are the greatest adversaries in the many adventures of Buffy Summers.
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By  · Published on September 20th, 2018

20. Eyghon the Sleepwalker


Poor Giles just can’t catch a break. The man who, according to Buffy, is so tightly wound he donned diapers made of tweed, the lonely watcher finally finds a love interest in the form of Miss Calendar, the new computer teacher. However, as soon as the two start smooching in the halls of Sunnydale High, as expected, everything promptly falls apart. See, to Buffy, Giles has always been a watcher, a stiff-upper-lipped gentleman whose life revolves around the tedious scrutinizing of ancient first edition texts and cups upon cups of hot British tea. However, the truth is, back before he was the stuffy librarian who was fluent in six languages, Giles was known to his punk rocker friends as “Ripper”, and he spent his spare time summoning and being possessed by a demon named “Eyghon the Sleepwalker”. Now, the past has come back to haunt him, as Eyghon returns to his world, first killing off his childhood friends, then turning his sights on Jenny Calendar, invoking a side of Rupert never before seen by his sweet little Scooby gang – a shocking sight they won’t soon forget, and one in which Miss Calendar might not survive.

19. Ted

Buffy Ted

Any fully grown man who refers to himself as “Daddy” when speaking to his wife is not to be trusted, and Ted is living, breathing, short-circuiting proof of that. A top-notch chef, master putt-putter, and the ever constant employee of the month – every home should have one of Ted. The only problem is, this computer equipment selling machine is a little more human than human. A robot, if you will. So, naturally, Buffy isn’t too psyched about this bionic man setting up camp in her home – especially since he’s made it his new mission to marry her mother, Joyce. Guest starring prolific actor John Ritter as Ted, this episode is just another shining example of the way Buffy the Vampire Slayer was able to cleverly capitalize on the fears all children have and tweak the situation to include horror elements. What if the new man in your mom’s life really was a monster? What if your mother is going to replace your father with a guy who was out to make your life a waking nightmare? If anything, this episode proves that while every home might not need a Ted, each town could certainly use a Buffy Summers.

18. Machida


There’s a reason why your parents warned you not to go to frat parties – all it takes is one drink brought to you by one Sigma Kappa, or Kappa Kappa Gamma, or what-have-you, and before you know it, you’ve just woken up in the dirt-coated basement, surrounded by a bunch of bros who want to feed you to a giant snake monster as part of their annual sacrifice. In his name. That’s right, just when you were about to chalk up the reasoning behind fraternity brothers always getting the good jobs and the fancy cars and pretty much anything else they wanted to just be trust fund kids, it turns out that all of their wealth and privilege can actually be traced back to good ‘ol ancient Pagan rituals. It just goes to show that this is what happens when you live on a Hellmouth, the place where no tiny misdeed goes unpunished, and the centering of mystical convergence lends to Lair of the White Worm-esque happenings at even the smallest of house parties.

17. Balthazaar


Spilling over the sides of a Jacuzzi tub, his countless belly roles rippling off his gigantic soaking body as he screams for one of his servants to “Moisten the front!”, his bright red eyes bulging out of his tiny little bald head, Balthazaar angrily commands his cult followers to find his amulet. It’s been missing for a hundred years, ever since Balthazaar supposedly died and the amulet was buried with the wealthy landowner who killed him. However, as Buffy, her friends, and her perfectly pompous new watcher are about to find out, this dead demon is actually alive and well, and he’s come to the Hellmouth to reclaim the omen that’s rightfully his – even if that means telekinetically pulling every single Sunnydale citizen’s head into his giant claustrophobic tub and squeezing them southern style between his big sweaty cans until they are dead.

16. Giles as a Fyral Demon

Fyarl Demon

By the time season four rolls around, it’s become quite the running gag that Giles is a soft fuddy-duddy who needs to find the fun in life for once. Still, it never ceases to amuse to watch the Watcher take his nose out of a book long enough to get wrapped up in some of the malarkey that the Hellmouth has to offer. Whether it be seeing the rebellious Ripper backstory peek out from the shadows in “Bandy Candy” and “Halloween” – oddly enough, both seasonal episodes – or witnessing Rupert lay a big wet one on Anya in “Tabula Rasa”, after Willow’s spell causes the gang to collectively catch a case of amnesia, seeing Giles take on a different persona for a little while is always a good time. That’s why when returning character Ethan Rayne comes back to town, it may not be a welcome reunion for Rupert, but getting the chance to see the uptight man in tweed transform into a very basic ‘crush now’ monster type is endlessly entertaining for the audience. In more specific terms, Giles becomes a Fyral Demon after Ethan doses his beer at the local pub, and the result is an amped up, horn adorning Giles who chases his enemies for fun. Who wouldn’t want to see this?

15. Gnarl


If Buffy the Vampire Slayer monsters are being judged on their level of fright-inducing terror alone, then Gnarl might just be the scariest villain to ever grace the screen of Master Whedon’s show. Like a modern day Gollum who’s more interested in human flesh than some old ring, Gnarl slinks around in the dark, bony, crazed, muttering to himself and singing silly little childlike rhymes in the faces of his victims. With sharp, lanky talon-like claws, Gnarl slashes his victims, cutting them open and injecting a paralyzing liquid into their systems which renders them defenseless as he slowly peels and eats their skin. As Willow learns in the season seven episode “Same Time, Same Place”, this process can take hours.

14. Olaf the Troll God


In case you were wondering how Anya became a vengeance demon in the first place, know that it all began hundreds of years ago with a large Viking named Olaf and a load bearing bar matron. That’s right, just like all of the women Anyanka, or Aud as she was known before D’Hoffryn found her, avenges with her justice demon powers, she, too, began her journey as a woman wronged. Of course, because she’s Anya, when her man runs around on her she turns his sorry cheating self into a troll, complete with horns, a hammer, and a wicked short temper. Flash forward to 2001 when a newly reformed Anya is going steady with a very human Xander Harris, much to a very witchy Willow Rosenberg’s dismay, drop in one ticked off troll, and suddenly, you’ve got a situation on your hands. Sunnydale has seen its fair share of demons, but while the Scooby gang is busy figuring out a way to send Olaf back to his dimension, will there even be enough mead and babies in this sleepy little town to tide over the troll in the meantime? Only time will tell, but one thing’s for sure – Olaf is one of the most entertaining villains to ever appear on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and his initial appearance in season five came at just the right time after all of that Riley sadness.

13. Caleb


Throughout all of season seven, and honestly, throughout the entire show, Xander has always been the guy who literally and figuratively kept the Summers’ household together. He’s the one voice of reason Buffy can fall back on when everything else in her life falls apart. That’s why when Caleb moseys into town, lures Buffy and her potentials into a trap, and jabs out Xander’s eye with a bored flick of the wrist, it becomes a bit of an understatement to say this new enemy is cause for alarm. Donning a minister suit, superhuman strength and a spouting a preacher’s style sermon about dirty girls and sin, Caleb might look like a man of God, but he represents something much more dangerous. Caleb is the embodiment of the male gaze, the ultimate misogynistic troll comes to life in the form of a priest – a quiet commentary on the ease with which powerful men can commit violent acts and safely assume they won’t be caught. Caleb is one of the most vital components of season seven, because not only does he heighten the stakes for Buffy and the potential slayers, but also because his arch is the ultimate antithesis to the empowerment of women via the strength of the Chosen One.

12. D’Hoffryn


When it comes to drumming up vengeance demons, nobody does it better than D’Hoffryn, Lord of Arashmaharr, and proud member of the Lower Beings. Making his debut in “Dopplegangland” as Anya’s employer, D’Hoffryn is also responsible for Halfreck’s becoming a “Justice Demon”, as she puts it, and even tried to recruit Willow after her blind rage manifests into a spell wherein all of her friends become powerless, helpless to carry out her will. D’Hoffryn’s got an eye for talent, all right, but aside from his killer curating skills, he’s also gloriously ruthless, quickly snapping at any given moment from the sarcastic comedic relief to the man who makes everyone in the room tremble. This is especially true when he punishes Anya’s pious nature by murdering Halfreck in her presence – a trick which can actually bring back the dead, just one of his many powers.

11. The First

First Evil

It’s all come down to this. Through all of the battles and the demons and the lost loved ones and spells and stakes and crosses and bumps in the night, it’s hard not to side with Riley’s bewilderment when he says he finds himself “needing to find the plural of apocalypse”. The first. The eternal, omnipresent, infinite non-corporeal primordial force hell-bent on bringing about the end of the world. This time, evil might just win.

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