Buffy Character: Harmony Kendall | Mercedes McNab

Harmony Kendall is a recurring character in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, who would make her first appearance in the show’s first season. She was originally created by Joss Whedon and portrayed by Mercedes McNab.

Harmony was a former student at Sunnydale High who was transformed into a vampire following her graduation, making her a recurring opponent for Buffy Summers and her friends.

While the Scooby Gang saw Harmony as a nuisance, they understood that she could be dangerous when given the chance, as her previous disdain for the group meant that she would often target them during attacks.

After leaving Sunnydale, Harmony would join the cast of Angel, where she would become a supporting member of the team. Harmony is now considered to be one of the most iconic characters in the Buffy universe, with her numerous appearances cementing her as a fan favorite.

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Biography

Little is known about Harmony before the events of the show, but it can be assumed that she came from a wealthy family, as she was a member of Cordelia Chase’s popular clique, the Cordettes.

Sunnydale

During her time at Sunnydale High, Harmony was particularly cruel to Willow Rosenberg and Xander Harris, even though they would only consider her an annoyance. Harmony could often be found in Cordelia’s company and would help her friend to alienate Buffy when she first arrived in town.

Because of the clique’s spiteful nature, Harmony and her friends would also be responsible for Marcie Ross turning invisible, as they would often ignore her existence.

Following this, Marcie would attempt to kill the Cordettes in revenge, even going so far as to push Harmony down the stairs. However, Harmony would only sprain her ankle and recover from the attack.

When Cordelia started dating Xander, Harmony would shun her former friend from the clique and would usurp her role as leader of the group, making her the new ‘Queen Bee’ of the school.

During this time, Harmony would fall in love with Xander due to a love spell cast by Amy Madison. Fortunately, the spell was broken and Harmony returned to her usual ways.

However, when Cordelia and Xander broke up, Harmony would pretend to accept Cordelia back into the group before humiliating her. She would also strike a brief friendship with Anya Jenkins, who considered Harmony to be boring.

During her graduation, Harmony would join Buffy and her friends to stop mayor Richard Wilkins, where she would be sired by an unknown vampire.

Following her resurrection, Harmony would retain her characteristic personality and affection for unicorns, with the vampire also beginning a relationship with Spike, who she lovingly referred to as ‘blondie bear’.

Vampire

Harmony would reveal her vampiric transformation during Buffy’s freshman year, where she would attempt to kill Willow and drain her blood. Fortunately, Willow was saved by Daniel ‘Oz’ Osbourne, allowing her to reveal Harmony’s new status to Buffy and the gang.

Following this confrontation, Harmony would return to Spike’s lair, where it would become clear that their relationship was built on a fragile foundation.

While Harmony wanted someone to love, Spike found her clingy nature annoying and would even attempt to kill her before ending the relationship.

However, the two would attempt to rekindle their affair following Spike’s escape from the Initiative, which resulted in Harmony chasing him away from her lair, as she had grown tired of his obsession with killing Buffy.

After her separation from Spike, Harmony would attempt to reinvent herself as a strong and influential vampire, going so far as to form her own gang of vampire fledgelings.

During this time, Harmony would attempt to kill Buffy by storming her house, only to discover that Buffy was not home. Following this, Harmony would kidnap Dawn Summers to lure Buffy to her lair, which would result in Harmony’s embarrassing defeat.

With her minions slain, Harmony would seek protection from Spike, who allowed her to assist him in his mission to remove the chip from his brain.

During this time, Harmony and Spike would rekindle their relationship, with Spike later discovering that he was in love with Buffy. Following this revelation, Spike would use Harmony to live out his sexual fantasies, even making her dress up as the slayer.

While Harmony believed that he now appreciated her, she would later be discarded upon the arrival of Drusilla, whom Harmony often viewed with jealousy and disdain.

While Spike had Buffy and Drusilla chained in his lair, Harmony would attempt to kill him using a crossbow, before eventually leaving Sunnydale and traveling to Los Angeles.

Los Angeles

While visiting Los Angeles, Harmony would try to rekindle her friendship with Cordelia Chase, while pretending that she was still human. However, Harmony would find it difficult to keep her demonic abilities under control, as she thirsted for human blood and attempted to drain Cordelia in her sleep.

Upon learning that Harmony had escaped to Los Angeles, Willow would warn Cordelia about her vampirism, which the latter had mistaken for Harmony being a lesbian.

Following this revelation, Cordelia would attempt to give Harmony a second chance and make her part of the team, even though both Angel and Wesley found her actions to be extremely annoying.

However, Harmony would eventually betray the team to a vampiric cult, which resulted in Cordelia almost staking her former friend before letting her escape.

Several years later, Harmony would set up in Los Angeles and seek employment at Wolfram & Hart, a demonic law firm that often opposed Angel and his friends.

During this time, Harmony would join the firm’s secretarial pool, citing the non-judgemental workplace and dental plan as the key reasons for her interest in the role.

After Angel and the team took over the Los Angeles branch, Wesley promoted Harmony to Angel’s personal assistant, believing that a familiar face would help Angel adjust to his new position.

While Angel was not happy with the decision, he was willing to accept Harmony on the condition that she stopped feeding on humans, to which Harmony replied she had already been off human blood for several months.

During her time in this role, Harmony would be reunited with Spike and even framed for murder, although she was able to clear her name and kill the vampire responsible.

Despite her incompetence, Harmony proved a valuable member of the team, as she was willing to torture enemies and even consoled Wesley following the death of Winifred ‘Fred’ Burkle. While working for Angel, Harmony would form brief friendships with characters such as Lorne and Fred, with the latter even comforting Harmony after she has been berated by Angel for doing a bad job.

Following Fred’s death, Harmony would form an icy relationship with Illyria, the demon who had seized control of Fred’s body and killed her.

However, it would later be revealed that Harmony was in a sexual relationship with Marcus Hamilton and had been betraying the team from the start of the season.

Fortunately, Angel knew that Harmony would one day betray him and used her as a pawn to spread misinformation. After her betrayal was revealed, Angel gave Harmony a letter of recommendation and allowed her to escape Los Angeles.

Personality

In terms of her personality, Harmony was shallow, perky and annoying, with the vampire often infuriating those around her. However, one of Harmony’s most defining traits was her ability to seek out the most powerful person and associate herself with their dominance, something that was demonstrated through her friendship with Cordelia, her romance with Spike and her employment with Wolfram & Hart.

Harmony was also somewhat delusional, as she considered herself to be one of Buffy’s greatest enemies, even though Buffy found Harmony to be annoying.

While Harmony often demonstrated incompetence, one of her main strengths was her knack for survival, with the vampire never being seen as a threat by Buffy and her friends.

In fact, Harmony was considered a nuisance by the Scooby Gang, something that would allow her to live for centuries into the future, where she would one day become the ruler of all vampires.

Despite her vampiric nature, Harmony still retained her affinity for fashionable clothes and ceramic unicorns, with the vampire amassing a large collection of paraphernalia during her time on the show.

Because Harmony had been transformed into a vampire, she did not retain her human soul, which meant she would rarely show remorse for her evil actions. However, she was still able to form brief friendships during her vampire life and even consoled Wesley during his depression after losing Fred.

While these demonstrations of emotion were rare, they still conveyed Harmony’s capacity for good and her ability to connect with others.

Appearance

As a human, Harmony was a beautiful young woman with pale skin and long blonde hair, which she often wore loose and straight.

Upon being transformed into a vampire, Harmony would retain these visual characteristics, although she would also demonstrate the usual vampiric features such as the scrunched forehead, yellow eyes and fangs.

Despite her vampiric nature, Harmony also retained her passion for fashion and could still be found wearing various shades of pink and blue, although she would later inject some black into her regular wardrobe.

Powers & Abilities

Because of her vampiric nature, Harmony had the standard powers and weaknesses associated with the demonic species, such as accelerated healing and eternal life.

However, there were some instances when Harmony demonstrated unique abilities, although these were often the result of magical influence.

Immortality

Due to her vampiric nature, Harmony was granted eternal life, although she would have to drain human blood to retain her immortality. Because of her transformation, Harmony would also develop the standard aversion to sunlight and religious items, although she was able to avoid these weaknesses.

During the show, Harmony was a relatively young vampire and therefore displayed weaker abilities than her older counterparts. However, it would later be revealed that Harmony would go on to live for centuries, with the vampire showing no fatigue despite her great age.

Strength

After being transformed into a vampire, Harmony acquired the power of superhuman strength, which would allow her to overcome her victims and drain their blood.

Harmony would use this ability in domestic situations, such as when she lifted a heavy wardrobe to locate a lost shoe. However, because of her relative youth, Harmony was notably weaker than the older vampires she encountered.

Fighting

Whereas most vampires will often demonstrate innate defensive abilities, Harmony had poor fighting skills following her initial siring, which made her evenly matched with Xander during a confrontation.

However, Harmony would later learn to hone her powers and was eventually able to overpower both Spike and Riley in battle.

During her time at Wolfram & Hart, she would also overpower and kill a vampire that had framed her for murder. In the comic continuation, it is shown that Harmony’s powers have continued to grow, as she is able to kill a slayer and drain her blood.

The Gem Of Amara

During her first year as a vampire, Harmony would assist Spike in his search for a magical artifact called the Gem of Amara, which had the ability to grant vampires complete invulnerability.

Upon discovering that the gem was a fake, Spike attempted to kill Harmony with a wooden stake, although the stake would have no effect. Following this, it was revealed that Harmony’s ring was the real gem, which meant she was briefly impervious to sunlight and religious items.

Influence

While Harmony demonstrated very little influence during her time on the show, in the comics, she would become a minor celebrity and reveal the existence of vampires to the world.

Through her influence, Harmony was able to demonize slayers to the general public, making them into social pariahs. Following this, Harmony would also become a future political leader, using her influence to create peace between humans and vampires.

Relationships

Due to her vampire status, Harmony did not form many lasting relationships during her time on the show, with the vampire being considered a nuisance by Buffy and her friends. However, there are some notable connections that should be mentioned:

Cordelia Chase

During their time at Sunnydale High, Harmony and Cordelia were best friends, even though it was clear that their friendship was born out of necessity rather than general affection. When Cordelia began dating Xander, Harmony used her social status to alienate Cordelia from the group, making herself the new leader.

While Cordelia was originally willing to break up with Xander to please her clique, she instead called Harmony a sheep and chose to continue her relationship.

It wouldn’t be until years later that the two would reconnect during Harmony’s time in Los Angeles, where Cordelia would mistake her vampirism for homosexuality.

With their friendship rekindled, Harmony briefly considered joining Angel Investigations, but would instead betray them to a vampiric cult. While Cordelia had the chance to kill Harmony, she left her to escape out of respect and pity.

The two would meet again during Harmony’s time at Wolfram & Hart, where Cordelia would remind the vampire of her former betrayal. Unfortunately, we would never see Harmony’s reaction to Cordelia’s death, although it can be assumed that she would have felt some loss.

Winifred Burkle

While working as Angel’s personal assistant, Harmony would often find herself on the wrong side of her employer, which would result in a firm scolding from the elder vampire.

Feeling overwhelmed, Harmony would eventually break down in tears and be comforted by a concerned Fred. Although the two women hardly knew each other, Harmony insisted that they go out for drinks, where she would share her feelings of underappreciation.

During this particular outing, Harmony would abandon Fred to go home with a handsome man named Toby, something that she promised she would never do.

After being framed for Toby’s murder, Fred soon discovered Harmony’s involvement, which led to the vampire knocking out Fred and locking her in a closet. Fortunately, Harmony was able to clear her name and stake the vampire responsible, although she and Fred would never go for drinks again.

While the two women only had a brief friendship, Harmony was left visibly shaken by Fred’s death, leading to an icy relationship between herself and Illyria.

Spike

During her first year as a vampire, Harmony would begin a romantic relationship with Spike, although he would only see her as a sexual plaything.

While Harmony wanted to travel the world with her new boyfriend, Spike was more concerned with locating the Gem of Amara and killing the slayer, which caused a rift between the two vampires.

After escaping from the Initiative, Spike would attempt to rekindle their relationship, which would result in a one night stand. However, Harmony soon grew tired of his obsession with Buffy, leading to their eventual breakup.

After kidnapping Buffy’s sister, Harmony was left alone with no minions and friends, which made her seek Spike’s help and protection. During this time, Spike would discover that he was in love with Buffy, using Harmony to fulfil his sexual fantasies of the slayer.

While Harmony would feel more appreciated in the relationship, she would later be discarded for Drusilla. Hurt by Spike’s betrayal, Harmony would attempt to kill him with a crossbow before ending their relationship for good.

While working at Wolfram & Hart, Harmony would once again encounter Spike, who had returned from the dead as a ghost. Upon regaining his physical form, Spike and Harmony would attempt to have sex, although this would result in Harmony trying to kill Spike while being possessed.

Although the two vampires would later reconcile, it was clear that Spike no longer shared any sexual interest in Harmony, which may have been due to his romantic past with Buffy.

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Appearances

Buffy The Vampire Slayer (Season 1)

  • The Harvest
  • Out of Mind, Out of Sight

Buffy The Vampire Slayer (Season 2)

  • Surprise
  • Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered

Buffy The Vampire Slayer (Season 3)

  • The Wish
  • Graduation Day (Part One)
  • Graduation Day (Part Two)

Buffy The Vampire Slayer (Season 4)

  • The Harsh Light of Day
  • The Initiative
  • Pangs
  • Restless

Buffy The Vampire Slayer (Season 5)

  • Real Me
  • Out of My Mind
  • Family
  • Fool for Love
  • Crush

Angel (Season 2)

  • Disharmony

Angel (Season 5)

  • Conviction
  • Just Rewards
  • Life of the Party
  • Destiny
  • Harm’s Way
  • Soul Purpose
  • Damage
  • You’re Welcome
  • Smile Time
  • Shells
  • Underneath
  • Origin
  • Time Bomb
  • The Girl in Question
  • Power Play
  • Not Fade Away

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Marianne LeBlanc
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