Cast of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'
(20th Television)

I’m Happy To Announce I Was Right About the Best ‘Buffy’ Character

It took me a while to work through Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Starting back in 2018 and just slowly working my way through the series, I went through a number of changes as I watched it. I was originally an Angel fan until I realized that I definitely liked Spike more; finally understood the appeal of friends like Xander and, at times, Willow (who isn’t perfect); and I realized that I am Anya and I love her. But the thing that has remained throughout the entire show is one simple fact: My favorite character is Rupert Giles and I love him with my whole heart.

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From the moment I saw him, I was invested. Granted, I knew who Anthony Stewart Head was because of Repo! The Genetic Opera and Merlin, but neither would really prepare me for the love I would have for Giles. Anyone who tried to hurt him? Watch out. In season 6, when Willow fought him and I thought for one brief moment she had murdered my boy? I was willing to take out the witch myself. The point is that Giles has somehow become the character I love most of all, throughout the entire series.

I ship him with many characters, think he is the most fun to watch, and there’s a lot about Giles I still want to know. All of this makes him more fascinating as a character, and while we’re on this journey with Buffy Summers, who I do love, she’d be nowhere without her Giles, and I think even she’d agree that Giles is the best. I’m sure that people thought my love would change and that I’d pick a different character to love over the course of my journey, and yes, I do love Spike (James Marsters) a lot, but Giles is who I would kill and die for.

Giles has my sword

Anthony Stewart Head and Sarah Michelle Gellar in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
(20th Television)

While he starts the show with a very clear job, later in the series, when his purpose is a little less obvious, Giles still doesn’t become obsolete. That’s one of the reasons why I think he’s still a favorite of mine. The Watcher of the Slayer, Giles is all about making sure that Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) trains to be the best Slayer she can be at the beginning of the show. He helps her learn what is necessary and also works as the librarian at her high school. Giles continues as her Watcher until, essentially, season 6, which begins with everyone thinking that Buffy is dead until Willow (Alyson Hannigan) brings her back from the dead.

This is when Giles’ role switches and he becomes more of a figure that pops into the lives of those in Sunnydale whenever he’s needed. He goes back to England and checks in on them accordingly, but makes sure not to abandon Buffy and her friends. When Tara (Amber Benson) dies and Willow goes off the deep end with her powers, Giles comes back to stop her. He then takes Willow to England to help her, and later in season 7, he brings potential Slayers with him to Sunnydale to protect them from the First, who are trying to kill all the potential Slayers in the world.

The point is that he’s still there and he still has a purpose. Giles never once becomes a character that doesn’t serve the overall story or doesn’t serve Buffy. It’s what makes him the most important figure in her life. While her friends can sometimes weigh her down or turn on her, while her boyfriends can hurt her and break her heart, she always has Giles.

I know that there is an importance to so many characters throughout the seven-season run of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and subsequent comics. Still, that doesn’t change the love that I have for Giles and how I chose him from the start of my watch, and through all that time, my appreciation for the Watcher has never wavered.

(featured image: 20th Television)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.