Real Name: William
Occupation: (pre-vampire days) would-be poet; (as a vampire, until recently) murderer and hell-raiser; (last few years) hero and world saver
Affiliations: (former) part of the company of Angelus, Darla and Drusilla; then partner and lover of Drusilla; ally of Adam; (recently) ally of Buffy and her friends
Enemies: (former) Buffy and her friends
Known Relatives: Anne (mother, deceased)
Aliases: William the Bloody
Base of Operations: Wolfram and Hart offices, Los Angeles, California; formerly Sunnydale, California; formerly mobile
First Appearance: Buffy the Vampire Slayer #2.3 "School Hard" (Fox for Warner Bros, 29th September 1997)
Powers/Abilities: Most of the standard vampire abilities - superhuman strength and durability, but unable to survive in daylight.
History: William was born and raised in London, England by his mother Anne. He loved his mother dearly, and grew up to be a sensitive and emotionally restrained man, who tried to express his feelings with poetry...extremely bad poetry. After trying to declare his love to a girl called Cecily at a party through his verse, another partygoer humiliated him by naming him "William the Bloody" because his poetry was "so bloody awful you wanted to shove a spike through your own skull".
William left the party in tears, heartbroken, and unwittingly stumbled into the path of Angelus, Darla and Drusilla, three vampires. Dru, drawn by his pain and sensitive soul, sired him, turning him into one of the undead. The repressed William was released, and spent several days carousing with his new love (and probably killing his former tormentors), before returning to see his mother. Even though a (Buffyverse) vampire is supposed to be a demon inhabiting a human corpse, William's capacity for love survived, and he wished to keep his mother with him forever. Knowing she was old and frail, he sired her, only to be horrified at the heartless creature she became. He staked her himself, and for over a century he would suppress this painful memory.
William met Angelus (Darla was absent following an argument with her lover, and had temporarily returned to her own sire, the Master), and at first he believed they had struck up a friendship. However Angelus' nature gave him an enjoyment of playing cruel mind-games, and seeing how much William adored Drusilla, Angelus arranged things so that William would catch him in flagrante delicto with her. This sparked off a growing resentment which swiftly grew into hatred between the two. With Darla back in the fold, the four vampires travelled together on and off for a couple of decades. William, remembering the wit at the party, took the name Spike, and built a reputation for sadism, following the partygoer's suggestion by torturing people with railroad spikes. His antics sometimes drew unwanted attentions from local humans, forcing the group to flee and hide out from mobs. During one such incident, while the four vampires were hiding down a mine, Spike first heard of the Slayer, a title given to a series of mystically enhanced girls who killed vampires. Rather than being scared by this information, Spike was intrigued.
Nearly twenty years later, Spike got his chance to face a Slayer. It was the turn of the nineteenth century into the twentieth, and the four vampires were in China when the Boxer Rebellion broke out. Separated from the others, Spike encountered the current Slayer, a young Chinese girl. After a fierce battle, he slew her, and finally came fully into his own, no longer under Angelus' shadow. Shortly afterwards Angelus vanished; it wasn't until nearly a century later that Spike discovered that his rival had regained his soul shortly before their time in China, and was struggling to come to terms with the evil he had done while he had been soulless.
With Angelus gone, Darla returned to her sire, the Master, while Spike and Dru travelled the world together. During the 1940's Spike got hold of a list of potential Slayers (those whose vampire slaying powers had yet to activate), and he tried to kill them all while they were relatively helpless. In the late 1970's Spike ran into another Slayer, Nikki Woods, in New York. Spike had adopted a punk look by this point (which would later be stolen by rocker Billy Idol), and he killed Nikki in a battle on a subway train, then stole her long leather jacket, an item of clothing which would become part of his look for the next few decades.
Some time after this a mob nearly killed Dru, instead leaving her terribly weakened. Spike sought to restore her health, and took her to Sunnydale, where he hoped he might find a way to use the Hellmouth located beneath the town to achieve this goal. What he did find was both the current Slayer, Buffy Summers, and his old rival Angelus, now going by the name Angel. Spike tussled with both a number of times, and finally managed to restore his love, only to be badly injured himself and stuck in a wheelchair. To make matters worse, Angel lost his soul, becoming Angelus once more; he rejoined his old travelling companions, and started picking at old wounds by moving in on Drusilla.
Spike eventually recovered the use of his legs, but kept this secret from everyone, and when Angelus and Dru made plans to destroy the world by raising the demon Acathla, Spike made a temporary alliance with Buffy, stating that he liked the world as it was, "You've got Manchester United, dogracing, and people. Millions of people, all walking around ... like Happy Meals on legs." During the final battle to stop the awakening of Acathla, Spike knocked Dru out, then fled town, leaving Buffy to die at the hands of Angelus.
They went to Mexico, but Dru could sense what Spike denied even to himself - that he had a growing attraction for the Slayer. Repulsed by this, she dumped him, and a very unhappy Spike returned to Sunnydale, seeking revenge on those he blamed for this - Buffy and Angel (whose soul had been restored). Instead he was forced into another temporary alliance with them, and left heartened, having decided to torture Dru until she took him back.
This failed, and Spike came back once more, now seeking the Ring of Amara, which could make a vampire indestructible, immune even to daylight. He hooked up with Harmony Kendall, a recently sired vampire who used to be one of Buffy's classmates. When Buffy sent the ring to Los Angeles, where Angel had recently moved, into her ex-boyfriend's safe keeping, Spike followed it and had another confrontation with his hated grandsire, which he lost.
Spike returned to Sunnydale once more, only to be captured by a secret government agency, the Initiative, who implanted a control chip in his head which inflicted him with debilitating pain if he tried to harm a human. Effectively neutered, Spike ended up as a reluctant part of Buffy's group of allies, though he did try to betray her to the killer demon-cyborg Adam. After a while he began to have erotic dreams about the Slayer, and realised to his horror that Drusilla had been right - he had fallen in love with her. Unsurprisingly Buffy rejected his advances, but after being killed and brought back to life, she needed someone to help her fill the emptiness she felt within her soul...and Spike was the only one who seemed to understand. They eventually became lovers, but the reaction of her friends when this was discovered caused her to realise she was just using him, and she broke it off. Spike, unable to cope, confronted her and tried to make her take him back; things went too far, and he came close to raping her.
Horrified, Spike realised that the chip was restraining him somewhat, but his demon side was by nature evil, and Buffy could never love him under these circumstances. He decided he needed to have the chip removed, so that he could return to his old self and kill Buffy. He sought out a demon capable of granting wishes, and after being put through a series of arduous trials, he was granted a request. He asked to be "returned to the way he was before", but instead of being de-chipped, he had his human soul returned to him.
He returned to Sunnydale a broken man, overwhelmed with guilt over the evil and murderous acts he had carried out while soulless. Gradually he came to terms with his past, and made amends with Buffy. However the First, the original evil, temporarily used his guilt over his mother's death to control him like a puppet, activating him like a sleepwalker to create more vampires. Additionally Buffy's group had gained a new member - Robin Woods, the son of the Slayer Spike had killed in the seventies. As soon as Robin realised Spike was his mother's killer, he began to plot revenge. Ironically, both problems reached a head at the same time, and it was while fighting Woods that Spike broke the First's ability to control him. A few months later Spike was responsible for ending the First's plot to destroy the world by opening the Hellmouth. Wearing a magical amulet he destroyed the Hellmouth at the cost of his own life, saving the Earth.
The amulet somehow made its way back to where it had come from, the offices of evil lawfirm Wolfram and Hart, now run by Angel. When Angel opened the envelope containing the amulet, it fell out...and Spike appeared, a non-corporeal ghost. He has since regained his solid form, and has now joined Angel's band of do-gooders.
Comments: Created by Joss Whedon, played by James Marsters.
Thanks to Lori Foster for providing some details of his history.
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
Spikes Harvey Rotten, punk biker
Billy Idol, punk rocker
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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