Buffy the Vampire Slayer stars Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy, a teenager who is chosen to defeat vampires, demons, and other monsters. Over seven seasons, she and her friends Willow (Alyson Hannigan) and Xander (Nicholas Brendon), plus Watcher Giles (Anthony Stewart Head) take on everything from insect women to Dracula himself. The show’s foundation consists of monster-of-the-week episodes, similar to The X-Files. Sometime in the season’s first half, we get a glimpse of the “Big Bad,” who serves as that season’s main villain. The audience learns about them as the characters do, with interspersed conflicts that eventually lead to a final confrontation – a format today seen in numerous superhero TV shows. Buffy faces many memorable villains throughout the show. Here’s our list of every main villain, ranked.
The final season of the show brings its most ambitious villain: the embodiment of the very first evil, which can assume the forms of the dead and reborn. While a fitting opponent for Buffy after her years of villains, the First Evil is almost too ambitious. The factor of possessing people’s bodies creates fear and uncertainty over whom to trust – it even takes Buffy’s own form – but the downside is that there is nothing concrete for Buffy to take on; there’s no face to put to the Evil. Smaller opponents throughout the season, like the preacher Caleb or the vampire army that the First raises, are better villains.