If you are looking for another type of Watcher check the disambiguation page.
|Fandom:||Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Watchers are members of the Watchers Council in Buffy the Vampire Slayer; an ancient organization tasked with protecting the world from vampires and demons. Rupert Giles is by far the most prominent example, appearing in a large majority of episodes of Buffy, others include Wesley Wyndam-Pryce (Buffy S3, Angel), Sam Zabuto, Quentin Travers (Head of the Council), etc.
The Council claims to have existed since before the dawn of civilization, and their wizards may have originally created the Slayer line by forcing the essence of a demon into the First Slayer. Membership is hereditary; Giles and Wesley both had parents in the council. Its ostensible role is to help the Slayer and provide training, research, and other forms of support; however, as the series developed it became apparent that they also attempt to control the Slayer. Most Potential Slayers were "trained" from an early age, and seem to have been conditioned into obedience; Buffy fell through the cracks, wasn't identified until she was already a Slayer, and was less amenable to control. Kendra, activated when Buffy was briefly dead, was a more typical example, and was quickly killed.
The Council was shown to be ruthless on several occasions; subjecting every Slayer to the Cruciamentum test when they were 18, sending a hit team after Faith when she went rogue, and refusing to help Buffy with Glorificus until she had jumped through their hoops. While Watchers were paid and seem to have received many benefits for their work, none of this routinely reached their Slayers.
During S7 the Council and Potential Slayers were systematically targeted by the First Evil and most active Watchers were killed and the headquarters destroyed; in the aftermath the Slayers build their own organization with the role of Watchers much more limited.
S7 briefly shows one member of a female-run organization, the Guardians, who were opposed to the Council's control and created the Slayer's Scythe.
The comic series Fray, set in the 23rd century, shows the Council reduced to little more than a cult since there have been no Slayers for 200 years. The first Watcher shown commits suicide because he is "not worthy". This appears to be canon for the series, since this future is also shown in the Buffy S8 comics.
Archives and Communities
Links and Resources