Mar. 10, 1997
60 min.
UPN TV Network

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer

In every generation there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer. Sarah Michelle Gellar stars as Buffy Summers. For five years Buffy slayed vampires on the WB, then for her last two seasons she went to UPN.

Characters: #9 of 32 (Full List)
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Anya Buffy the Vampire Slayer
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  Played by:
Emma CaulfieldEmma Caulfield
Born and raised in San Diego, Emma Caulfield began studying drama in high school at the La Jolla Playhouse ...

Character Bio

Anya photo
Anya is a 1,120 year old former vengeance demon (Anyanka) who specialized in avenging scorned women. After being forcibly stripped of her demonic powers by Giles, the character is forced to re-learn how to be an ordinary human, a journey which is portrayed as both comical (e.g., her fear of rabbits and her love of money) and poignant (e.g. her grief over Joyce's death). Her story is largely focused on her romantic relationship with Xander, and like many characters on the show, she is portrayed as morally ambivalent.

Character History
Anya was born as Aud in the year 860 in Sjornjost, a small Scandinavian village. Aud grew up raising rabbits and became an outsider in her community, who dismissed her as "odd", because of her strange mannerisms and out-of-the-ordinary ideas (such as not wanting to sell the rabbits she had been breeding, but instead give them to people in the village as gifts.) In 880, at the age of 20, she fell in love with the boorish Olaf, a Viking warrior who enjoyed hunting trolls and drinking at the bar. One night, Olaf drunkenly slept with a barmaid named Rannveig, and a furious Aud turned him into a troll. Olaf was forced to flee from fellow villagers, who did not believe his story. Aud had previously used magic against her past lovers as well, casting spells to create boils on the penis, but this act of vengeance against Olaf attracted the demon D'Hoffryn, who offered to transform her into a vengeance demon for scorned women. D'Hoffryn renamed her Anyanka and gave her a mystical pendant with the power to grant wishes. Anyanka's interpretation of the wish expressed was often rather loose and considerably more destructive than the wisher intended.

Around 1199, Anyanka went to the Koskov valleys above the Urals to curse an unfaithful man. She witnessed a sorcerer's Ascension into pure demon form. The death and carnage — only a few people survived — shocked even her. Around 1580, Anyanka met Dracula, and she was in Salem, Massachusetts, during the witch trials in 1692.

In the 19th century, Anyanka became a close friend and fierce competitor of the vengeance demon known as Halfrek. They spent time together during the Crimean War. Anyanka impressed "Hallie" with a granted wish in Saint Petersburg, Russia, that sparked a revolution in 1905. In 1914, Anyanka traveled to Chicago, Illinois to exact vengeance on a man named Stewart Burns, making him a grotesque creature and sending him to a hell dimension to be tortured for all eternity. This came back to haunt her on her wedding day.

Anyanka arrives at Sunnydale High in 1998 (in the episode "The Wish") as a student named Anya Emerson. Anya seeks to wreak vengeance on Xander Harris for cheating on Cordelia Chase with his best friend Willow Rosenberg — a fateful decision for her and Xander. After some difficulty, she tricks Cordelia into wishing "Buffy Summers had never come to Sunnydale". In the grim alternate reality that results, The Master has risen and set up shop in The Bronze, with Willow and Xander having been turned into vampires and Oz and Giles leading the failing resistance against them. After meeting with Cordelia, Giles manages to discover what has happened, subsequently summoning Anyanka and destroying her necklace, reasoning the other reality has to be better than his current one. As a result, Cordelia's wish is undone and Anya is made mortal again.

Caulfield said, "As far as I know, I don't think Joss Whedon ever intended to have Anya around for more than one episode." However, Anya returns in the episode "Doppelgangland", duping Willow into assisting in a failed magical attempt to recover her power center. Now with human feelings, she yearns to attend the school prom in spite of her abhorrence of all men; her only hope for a date is the last man she was sent to punish. Caulfield says, "[Whedon] found this great way to have her interact with the storylines that had developed throughout the entire [third] season."

Anya develops feelings for Xander and asks him out again just before graduation. Her romantic plans are foiled when he tells her of the Mayor's plan for another Ascension — at the graduation ceremony. Anya decides to flee Sunnydale and invites Xander to join her, saying when she thinks something might happen to him, she "feel[s] like [she's] gonna vomit". He refuses, citing his "friends on the line." She leaves without him. In the series finale, however, Anya shows how she has developed throughout the seasons as she states this time, she's sticking around to fight the apocalypse.

Episode Screenshots

04x18 - Where the Wild Things Are
Season 4, Episode 18
03x01 - Anne
Season 3, Episode 01
04x15 - This Year's Girl
Season 4, Episode 15
07x17 - Lies My Parents Told Me
Season 7, Episode 17
[More Episodes]

Anya Photos

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