- "You think you can fight me? I'm not a demon, little girl. I am something that you can't even conceive. The First Evil. Beyond sin, beyond death. I am the thing the darkness fears. You'll never see me, but I am everywhere. Every being, every thought, every drop of hate--"The First Evil, "Amends"
The First Evil (also called The First) is a fictional character created by Joss Whedon for the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The First Evil first appeared in the third season episode "Amends", and became the main antagonist of the 7th and final season.
A being manifested from all evil in existence, the First is an incorporeal entity that can assume the form of any person who has died, including vampires and dead persons who have been resurrected. Because of this it appears in various forms over the course of the series depending on who it is appearing to as a method of manipulation. For this reason, the First usually appears as Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) to the Slayer and her allies, but it also assumes the forms of Warren Mears, Spike, and Jonathan Levinson on multiple occasions, among a variety of other forms taken less frequently.
Its only real weakness is that it is non-corporeal, and can therefore not do real physical damage. It is, however, expert at psychological manipulation, and can act through its servants, such as the Bringers, Turok-Han, Caleb or whatever person it can manage to trick.
- "You're everywhere. You're in the hearts of little children, in the souls of the rich, you're the fire that makes people kill and hate, the cleansing fire that will cure the world of weakness. They're just sinners. You are Sin."
-Caleb about the First, "Touched"
The First Evil is the absolute source and embodiment of all that is evil. Older than demons, Old Ones, and even gods who are themselves older than humans, it is older than the written word and transcends all realities and dimensions; it is older than any other being and is even the very first entity ever to have existed. It is said that the First lurked in the darkness long before the universe was even created and shall remain long after the universe ends. Few have heard of it and even fewer believe in its existence.
The entity cannot affect the world on a physical level. Its power lies in its ability to deceive, torment and manipulate others. It can take the form of any person who has died. The First has a deep understanding of human nature since it can copy the thoughts and mannerisms of all human beings who have died. It uses the knowledge to drive others to madness and such acts as murder and suicide. Since she had died before, the First Evil often appeared as Buffy in the last season of the series.
The First has appeared in its true form as an enormous silvery demon with large horns and long, talon-shaped fingers. For technical purposes, The First Evil is neither male, female, demon, nor god; it is a power.
During Christmas 1998, The First appeared in Sunnydale. It tried to drive the vampire Angel into killing Buffy by appearing to him as Daniel, Margaret, Travis and Jenny Calendar, people Angelus had murdered. It told Angel that it was responsible for his return from Hell and that he could end his sufferings by turning evil again. It did not mind when Angel chose to die in a sunrise instead. After Buffy's confrontation with the First, Buffy attempted to stop Angel from committing suicide. While Buffy was talking Angel into leaving the hilltop, a rare snowfall occurred, with the sun remaining unseen. Sunnydale enjoyed a rare and unusual white Christmas.
Buffy's second resurrection caused an irregularity in the Slayer line. The First tried to use this glitch to eliminate the Slayers forever.
The First Evil had the vicious preacher Caleb command the Harbingers of Death, as they sought and hunted down the Chosen line, young girls with the potential to become slayers. Buffy had visions of these murders in her sleep.
Several characters and creatures referenced the First in the first few episodes of season 7. Halfrek told Anyanka "Something's rising. Something older than the Old Ones, and everybody's tail is twitching,".
It tormented the vampire Spike after he had returned from Africa with his soul. The First appeared to Spike in such guises as Warren Mears, Glorificus, Adam, Mayor Richard Wilkins III, Drusilla, The Master and Buffy. After Spike accidentally stabs a human, the First appeared in the form of a nice, more forgiving Buffy to continue to taunt him.
The First also appeared to Andrew Wells in Mexico as Warren Mears, instructing him to buy an ancient knife. The nightmares it brought to Andrew and Jonathan Levinson drove them back to Sunnydale.
The First Evil began using a traditional English folk song ("Early One Morning") as a trigger to drive Spike to sire again. It also very likely masqueraded as Joyce Summers to her younger daughter, Dawn, and warned her that in the end, Buffy would not choose her. The First appeared to Willow as Cassie Newton, claiming to be a messenger from her dead lover Tara, but went too far as it asked Willow to commit suicide. It also appeared to troubled nerd Andrew Wells as his dead friend Warren, and drove him into killing their friend Jonathan on the Seal of Danzalthar, right above the Hellmouth. The sacrifice yielded too little blood because it turned out Jonathan was anemic, as well as small-statured. The First then sent the Bringers to kill the potential slayer Nora and her watcher Robson in London, England. It also goaded Spike into battling Buffy so one of them would be killed.
The First Evil then appeared to Andrew as both Warren and Jonathan. The First Evil appeared to Spike, as Spike himself, to trick him into killing Andrew, only to be foiled by Buffy again. It then sent some Harbingers to kidnap Spike from Buffy's house to bleed him to raise the first Turok-Han out of the Hellmouth. Meanwhile, the First's minion Caleb blew up The Watchers' Council as they gathered. It also once manifested itself in such a way as to destroy an attempted spell by Willow, thus increasing her fear of using magic. Buffy later dreams of her late mother, and believes this is an appearance of The First.
In 2003, viewers saw the First Evil masquerade as Eve, a potential slayer previously killed by the Harbingers, to spy on Buffy and encourage the potentials to doubt Buffy’s leadership. The First Evil took a break after Buffy decapitated the Turok-Han and freed its hostage Spike.
A few weeks later, The First again appeared to Andrew as Jonathan, instructing him to use a gun to kill the potential slayers but subsequently became angry with Andrew and Buffy's friends when Andrew wore a wire so they could record the First Evil. Continuing to monger fear among the Potential Slayers, the First Evil appeared to Chloe, taunting her to commit suicide before appearing to Buffy and the potentials as Chloe, making them feel partly responsible for Chloe’s death.
The First Evil later summoned its head minion Caleb to Sunnydale where they set up base at the Shadow Valley Vineyards, where Buffy and the potentials were dealt a defeat at Caleb’s hands. Using the Harbingers, the First Evil had them excavate the mystic Slayer's Scythe from a rock while at the same time tricking slayer Faith into a trap. Then it masqueraded as the Mayor in order to throw Faith off-guard, telling her to be wary of Buffy. When Buffy later went to the vineyards and stole the Scythe, The First Evil instructed Caleb to let her go and informed Buffy that Faith and the potential slayers had just been killed in an explosion. Buffy rushed to their rescue and most of them survived.
After Buffy split the First's minion Caleb in half with the Scythe, the First Evil taunted her for being alone, which gave her an idea. Buffy asked Willow to use the essence of the Scythe to make every potential slayer a full Slayer and led a proactive strike on the Turok-Han army within the Hellmouth itself. The First taunted Buffy after she was stabbed through the abdomen, but she recovered. An amulet, given to Buffy by Angel, that Spike was wearing created beams of sunlight which wiped out every Turok-Han and destroyed the Hellmouth.
The First is one of the few villains in the series that were never killed off. As an incorporeal entity, the First Evil cannot be physically harmed. Buffy makes it clear that evil is eternal and omnipresent. The foiling of its plans are to it but a minor setback since it "has an eternity to act."
While the destruction of Sunnydale, the Hellmouth, and the Watchers' Council HQ is mentioned multiple times by the Angel Investigations team in Angel Season Five, the First itself is not mentioned as having any involvement.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Although non-corporeal, the First has demonstrated numerous abilities such as possession or merging with other beings, employed on Willow to prevent a spell that she was trying to cast and with Caleb in order to grant him superhuman strength. Omnipresent, it is capable of visual and auditive manifestations in any place at will, even in different locations simultaneously, and choosing to remain unperceived by certain beings while communicating with others.
- "I want to feel. I want to put my hands around an innocent neck and feel it crack. I want to bite off a young girl's face and feel the skin and gristle slither down my throat."
-The First, "Touched"
- "When this is over -- when our armies spring forth and our will sweeps the world -- I'll be able to enter every man, woman and child on the face of this Earth."
-The First, "End of Days"
However, the First's goal of becoming corporeal had been held back by the balance between good and evil. Once this balance was altered by the resurrection of Buffy, the First hoped to overrun this dimension, which would've allowed it to become flesh and/or to possess every single human being.
Buffy Season 3Edit
Buffy Season 7Edit
- Lessons (as Warren, Glory, Adam, Mayor Wilkins, Drusilla, the Master and Buffy)
- Selfless (as Buffy)
- Conversations with Dead People (as Warren, Cassie and Joyce)
- Sleeper (as Buffy and Spike)
- Bring on the Night (as Spike and Dru)
- Showtime (as Buffy and Eve)
- First Date (as Jonathan and Nikki the Vampire Slayer)
- Get It Done (as Chloe)
- Storyteller (as Warren)
- Dirty Girls (as Buffy and Betty)
- Empty Places (as Buffy)
- Touched (as Mayor Wilkins and Buffy)
- End of Days (as Buffy)
- Chosen (as Caleb and Buffy)