|Occupation:||Scourge of Europe, hapless bum, private investigator, CEO of Wolfram & Hart|
|Title/Rank:||Billowy Coat King of Pain|
|Status:||Undead (vampire with a soul)|
|Relationships:||Buffy Summers (ex-girlfriend), Connor (son), Darla (sire), Drusilla (childe), Spike (pain in the ass)|
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Angel is a 200-year-old vampire who first appeared in the pilot episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and was a main character on the show for the first three seasons before becoming the title character on the spin-off series Angel.
Angel's birth (human) name was Liam (Irish version of the name William - something that's featured in some Angel/Spike fics as Spike's human name was William). On the show, in flashbacks, Liam is portrayed as a drunk and a disappointment to his father.
Angelus is Angel's soulless alter ego. He got the name for being a monster with a face of an angel. Angelus is also the latin word for Angel.
The biggest and most defining character trait associated with Angel was the fact that he is a vampire with a soul. After killing a gypsy girl, her family cursed him and returns his soul to him, with a happiness clause - and the moment he experienced the moment of true happiness, he would lose it. As one would expect, this causes mountains of angst.
Souled vs. Soulless
Some fans consider Angel's soul to be the changing factor for his personality - writing Angelus as a completely different characters. Others follow the school of thought that says becoming a vampire doesn't change who you are, which means that Angel has all the potential for cruelty, torture and killing that Angelus had, but his soul and guilt act as a moral compass.
This translates into some of the fics with soulled Angel, where he tortures, threatens or acts violently when his loved ones are in danger.
A significant body of fic and meta about Angel focuses on his complicated past history. Some writers focus on the Fanged Four with Darla, Drusilla and Spike in various pairings; for example, Coquette and Peasant. Others write predominantly gen works about him in the period between acquiring a soul and the beginning of the series; for example, Cas and Corinna.
Angel's canonical relationship with Buffy Summers was enormously popular among early Buffy fans, and the pairing continued to have a strong following during the early seasons of AtS. Angel's most popular BtVS slash pairings include Angel/Xander and Angel/Spike (which became popular some time after [when?] Spike was introduced on BTVS in the second season).
- A Stitch in Time by Rheanna and Yahtzee, a time travel longfic involving Angel and the gang meeting the Fanged Four
- Two Steps Back by Yahtzee, post-finale an Angel POV Peggy Sue fic with a twist
- Splinter by Rheanna and Yahtzee, a universe-hopping fic in which Angel and the gang get a little lost on their way back from Pylea, and enter a universe similar to their own. Well, mostly.
- Interview With Four Vampires by Peasant, the Fanged Four, interviewed with a standard set of questions by a somewhat foolhardy journalist in 1885.
- Warmth by PhoenixVictoria, (Buffy/Angel) a darker and realistic take on what it's like to live with the memories of a serial murderer. Angel, dealing with things, pre-"Innocence".
- Courting Sin by Leni, (Angelus/Buffy) a dark AU in which Angel never gets his soul back but he and Buffy get back together anyways.
- Morning After & Other Fairytales by Leni, (Buffy/Angel) an AU in which Angel never loses his soul and he and Buffy stay together
- Phoenix Burning by Yahtzee, at the end of Season Five, Buffy plunges to her death. Then she is resurrected - 350 years in the future.
- The Grand Unified Theory - Human, Vampire, Soul, Redemption by DLGood (2003)
- Meta: Who is Angel? by angearia (2010)
- Warm Skin, Wolf Grin, an Angel/Nina ship manifesto by doyle_sb4 (2004)
- History of the Aurelian Vampires by Peasant, a "reasonably complete timeline" of who was doing what, when and where.
- Angelus – Not So Scourgy? by Peasant, an essay considering what Angelus’s reputation was based on, and if it was really deserved.
- Angelus's Tattoo by Peasant, an analysis of the meaning of Angel(us)'s tattoos
- Cunning Plans by Peasant, an analysis of what Angel's plan in the finale of Angel, "Not Fade Away", was really about
- Thoughts on souls, provoked by 'Awakening' by Peasant
- AtS Season 4: Whither Angel? by Peasant, an essay on Angel's character arc in season 4 of Angel
- So I was thinking about Angelus... by Shapinglight