From Fanlore
Jump to: navigation, search
Name: Illyria
Occupation: god
Relationships: Winifred Burkle (shell)
Fandom: Angel
Other: Wikipedia
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

This article or section needs expansion.

Illyria is a recurring character in Angel series 5 and the Buffyverse comics, played by Amy Acker.


Illyria is a god, one of the Old Ones, who is resurrected from death-cum-hibernation by Knox to take over the body of Winifred Burkle, which she[1] uses as a shell. She is able to access Fred's memories and can imitate her. The Angel team strips her of most of her powers, which threaten the world, and she subsequently fights on Angel's side in the S5 finale, 'Not Fade Away'.

Fannish Opinion the end Fred is taken over by a goddess from another dimension. An early iteration of the themes from Dollhouse? Co-opting of the body by a different mind, with a certain amount of co-existence with the original soul that inhabited that body? The containment of Illyria also plays into some familiar Whedon themes as well; she’s too dangerous to be allowed loose, but too valuable to kill. She’s a bright mind trapped in a grim place. It’s something that I ponder a lot because Joss makes me ponder it. He keeps coming back to these themes in different narratives and, I admit it, I like it. It makes me think about what it means to be human, and it makes me think about identity, sometimes in interesting ways. (s.e. smith)[2]


The Illyria arc was popular with many fans. Though some fans regretted the loss of Fred, they tended to vent at Joss Whedon for killing off yet another female character, rather than dislike the new character.

For a character who only appears in a handful of episodes immediately before the show was axed, Illyria has attracted a reasonable amount of creative activity. Fanfiction for her is set during Angel S5, post-'Not Fade Away' and during the comics, as well as in crossovers. An Illyria Ficathon was organised circa 2004 by ms_dollsome. Her costume made her popular in cosplay, and she is a fairly popular character in fanvids & fanart. Art ranges from angsty depictions of her missing her home world or in contrast with Fred to depictions of her as a kick-ass warrior, majoring on her costume & weapons.

Illyria is shipped most commonly with Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, who was just starting a relationship with Fred when she died and acts as a mentor to Illyria, and Spike, whom Illyria canonically refers to as my pet. Other partners include Charles Gunn and many others.

Example Fanworks

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.


Fan poetry




Fansites & Communities



  1. ^ The original Illyria is referred to as a 'god-king' with neuter pronouns, but Illyria embodied in Fred is usually referred to by female pronouns; see the discussion by paratti in Queen Elizabeth meets The Terminator
  2. ^ Disability on Angel: Winifred Burkle and the Hot Mess (accessed 9 September 2015)