Well, to start at the beginning, a sixteen-year old Buffy Anne Summers arrived in Sunnydale at the beginning of her sophomore year (I presume roughly Year 11/12 for us Brits out there!). Buffy moved there with her mother from LA after her parents, Hank and Joyce Summers divorced. Much of Buffy's past is unclear though we know that Buffy was kicked out of Hemery High after burning down a vampire-filled gymnasium. She also had a passion for ice-skating as a little girl. However, things are never as sunny as they seem because Sunnydale used to be known as 'Boca Del Infierno', or more commonly, the Hellmouth. The Hellmouth acts as a centre for the convergence of mystical energies and all things supernatural, not to mention the unusually large abundance of vampires for our heroine to overcome.
As the ancient prophecy states:
"Into each generation, a Slayer is born. One girl, in all the world, a Chosen One. One born with the strength and skill to hunt the vampires, to stop the spread of evil and the swell of their numbers."We have heard of four other slayers mentioned in the course of the show. In the Season One opener (Welcome to the Hellmouth) we are told of Lucy Hanover in Virginia, 1866 and of another unnamed girl in 1927 near Union Station. The first direct reference we have heard is in The Puppet Show - Season One where Sid mentions he met a Korean Slayer in the 30's. The second one is in School Hard - Season Two where Spike says he killed one during the Boxer Rebellion.
However, there is an exception to every rule, even the one about there only ever being one Slayer alive at any one time. In What's My Line? Part 1 - Season Two Buffy is attacked by a girl called Kendra who introduces herself as a vampire slayer. After a great deal of confusion Giles finally works out what had happened. In Prophecy Girl - Season One Buffy gets bitten by The Master and temporarily dies before being rescued by Xander who performs CPR. This event triggered the activation of a new slayer, Kendra. When Kendra dies in Becoming Part 1- Season Two, nobody knows whether or not a new slayer will be called. After all, we have now the usual one slayer left. All questions are answered in Faith, Hope, and Trick - Season Three when the slayer Faith arrives in town and once again things seem to be out of balance. However, during the Season Three Finale - Graduation Day Part 1, Buffy stabs Faith (who then jumps off a building) in order to try to save Angel's life. Faith is put into a coma so come Season Four, with Faith not technically dead, Buffy is once more a solo Slayer. However, in This Year's Girl and Who Are You? Faith reawakens to cause loads more trouble before fleeing Sunnydale to (where else?) LA. Faith then tries her best to kill Angel and anyone who stands in her way but our dark knight refuses to fight back and the bad-ass Slayer breaks down. So, now Faith is in prison after giving herself up to the LAPD and the only one (active at least) Slayer rule seems to be up and running. I wonder exactly how secure those window bars are.
Check out Episodes to get a better idea of what order they come in.
Luckily for her, the Slayer is not alone. Although there is but one Slayer in any generation, loveable Buffy has made some strong friendships which have helped her get through the tough times. The slayerettes have also gained the name of The Scooby Gang and the members are as follows.
Every Slayer is given a Watcher to train, aid and watch them. In this case we have Rupert Giles, an English tea-drinking school librarian who lists cross-referencing as a spare time hobby. Although Giles seems stuffy at first, his heart soon warms to Buffy and his first loyalty is always to her and to the duties which he takes very seriously. Giles may often be found at the scene of battle and he sometimes helps Buffy with her patrols but he spends the majority of his time looking things up in dusty volumes of ancient prophecy and lore. His wisdom has proved valuable time and time again. Although Giles was sacked as Buffy's Watcher in Helpless, he remained by her side until she asked him to resume his position at the beginning of Season 5 in Buffy vs. Dracula.
The first friends that Buffy made in Sunnydale were Xander Harris and Willow Rosenberg. They have both know all about vampires and Slayers and help Buffy in whatever ways they can. Xander sometimes feels an under-rated member of the team as he has no specific abilities. However, his willingness to do whatever is required of him does in fact make him a valuable aid. Willow was shy, quiet and very much the computer nerd though time spent with Buffy has more than brought her out of her shell. Her growing area of expertise is witchcraft and the black arts and her spells have often helped the Slayer fight the supernatural. Angel, though a vampire, was also a member of the Slayer gang although circumstances with Buffy and his soul often caused problems. Read up on all the details and see some cool pics in 'The Angel Pages'.
The outer ring of the slayerettes is made up of Anya and Tara. Anya appeared in Season 3's The Wish as the demon Anyanka. After her spell was thwarted by Giles, she became human and is now dating Xander and reluctantly helping the Scoobies. Tara is Willow's girlfriend and fellow Wiccan and although she is more than eager to help out, she sometimes feels a bit of an outsider. Her and Willow make a powerful team although there are secrets about Tara that we are yet to find out.