‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’: Buffy Was Never Supposed to Come Back to Life After Season 5

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is one of those shows that haven’t aged well especially considering that one of its showrunners was accused of toxic behavior on set. Nonetheless, the show still stands the test of time as it remains iconic years after it ended.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer was famous for many reasons. From the main character Buffy Summers to the excellent storylines, fans couldn’t help but get attached to the characters as they went through every obstacle and heartbreak.

Speaking of heartbreak, in season 5, viewers saw Buffy sacrificing herself for the greater good. The moment was heartbreaking and selfless of the protagonist, but it didn’t last long as Buffy eventually returned. Interestingly, Buffy’s death in that episode was meant to be the end of the show.

‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’: Buffy first died in season 1

For an ordinary high school kid, Buffy Summers‘ life was far from average. Mid-high school, the teenager learns of her destiny to fight off evil and protect the world. As she starts accepting her fate, she suddenly dies in a shallow pool of water.

In “Prophecy Girl,” the show’s season 1 final episode, a prophecy is told about the ride of a supernatural entity called the Master. The prophecy reveals that the Master would ascend soon from his underground prison.

Buffy, who’d sworn off slaying, halfheartedly accepted her fate to stop the prophecy from actualizing. Things, however, go awry as the ancient vampire overpowers Buffy. He feeds on her and throws her body aside. Fortunately, Buffy’s vampire boyfriend and his friend found her and resurrected her through CPR.

Buffy’s second death saved the world

Sarah Michelle Gellar smiling
Sarah Michelle Gellar | Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Buffy died a second death in the season 5 finale when fighting off Glory’s demons. Glory’s arrival was made possible by Buffy’s sister’s arrival to town. During the season 5 finale episode, “The Gift,” Buffy and her friends plot to destroy Glory’s plans, but the only possible solution is to kill Dawn, a solution which Buffy isn’t willing to take.

She remembers the First Slayer’s words that death was her gift, which she interprets as Dawn’s death. Meanwhile, Glory’s demonic minions prepare to open a portal between dimensions, but Buffy and her friends confront Glory as the ritual begins.

Buffy and Glory fight, and viewers learn that Buffy had been fighting her robot double. She, however, attacks Glory with Olaf’s Hammer, and after some punches, Glory reverts to Ben. Giles ends up killing Ben to prevent Glory from ever returning.

The window to stop the ritual is almost closing, and the Scooby Gang notices someone on top of the scaffolding. Willow asks Spike to go up to Dawn, and while there, he sees the demon Doc who was about to start the ritual. They start fighting, but Doc gets the upper hand by attacking Dawn and throwing Spike off the top.

Buffy gets to the top of the tower and pushes the demon off. She frees Dawn, and as Dawn is about to sacrifice herself, Buffy internalizes the true meaning of the First Slayer’s words. She throws herself into the portal, which closes up and she dies.

Buffy’s death was meant to be the show’s finale


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According to Vulture, when Buffy sacrificed herself by jumping into the portal, the show’s creator had intended for “The Gift” to be the show’s finale. Buffy the Vampire Slayer had been on WB for five years but eventually moved to UPN to finish its final two years.

In season 6, Buffy’s friends revived her from what they eventually learned was Heaven. Her realization of the same leads Buffy into a spiral of depression and self-loathing. Had the show ended with “The Gift,” Buffy would have gone out on a high note. However, the seasons that followed didn’t impress audiences as much as the showrunners had hoped, and Buffy had to wrap things up in season 7.