Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an iconic 90s television series that won the hearts of so many viewers. The story of a teenage girl and her friends defeating evil from the base of their high school, whilst also grappling with what it means to be a teenager, proved to be incredibly engaging.
Although, Buffy the Vampire Slayer would have been far less exciting if it wasn’t for some of the nonpermanent, but still lovable characters, such as Jennifer Calendar, or ‘Jenny’. Jenny was introduced in the first season of Buffy, and though she wasn’t originally planned to be a particularly important character, her intelligent and witty on-screen chemistry with Buffy’s Watcher, Giles, proved to be too good to cut short.
In fact, she was a great ally to the Scooby Gang, and the perfect partner for Giles, up until her death in the second season. However, thanks to her excellent character development, her influence was felt the entire way through the series. She is even mentioned in the comic book continuation, Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight, showing just how influential she became in such a short space of time.
To learn more about Jennifer Calendar, including her relationships with the other characters, her special abilities, and most of all, her dark secret, check out the information below. Don’t miss the fun facts about the character of Jenny, and the actress Robia LaMorte!
The Kalderash Tribe
Jennifer Calendar, born Janna, was a member of the Kalderarsh, a Romanian tribe. In 1898, a Kalderash girl was kidnapped and given as a gift to Angelus, the ruthless, soulless version of Angel.
Angelus killed the girl but was quickly found by the girl’s father, who told Angelus that he would be cursed to suffer the pain and consequences of his actions. This curse gave Angelus his soul back, and he began to feel the guilt of his formerly murderous ways.
Once this happened, Angelus’s friends, Darla, Drusilla, and Spike, returned to the tribe’s encampment. They murdered everyone, including the girl’s father, as he couldn’t be convinced to undo the curse on Angelus.
In 1997, an elder woman of the Kalderash tribe sent Janna to Sunnydale. The elder woman had sensed that Angel’s pain was lessening, and gave Janna the role of watching over Angelus, to ensure his pain continued.
However, Janna’s true identity had to remain hidden. So, she took the name of Jennifer Calendar and became a computer science teacher at Sunnydale High School. She also described herself as a technopagan, which is an individual who utilized modern technology to understand the supernatural world.
No one, not even the Scooby Gang, knew of her true reality or mission.
Sunnydale High School
Jennifer, more commonly known as Jenny, first became known to the Scooby Gang through Willow. Willow began spending a lot of time online talking to someone she knew as Malcolm.
She developed a crush on Malcolm, and began isolating herself from her friends, and stopped attending social occasions in order to talk to him.
However, when Buffy began asking other students about Malcolm, she became wary of his motives. Soon after, Willow herself also became skeptical of Malcolm.
She asked Giles to help, however, as someone who dislikes modern technology, he was unable to do so. Although, he did notice that one of his old books, Moloch’s book, was unusually blank.
Once it had become clear that Moloch was causing havoc within the lives of Sunnydale High School students, having been released from his imprisonment within the book and accidentally put into the internet, the Scooby Gang look to Jenny for help.
When Giles approached Jenny about the situation at hand, he was shocked to learn of her technopagan status, and that she was already aware of the demon in the internet. The Scooby Gang managed to defeat Moloch when he materialized, by punching him into an electrical power line.
A Part Of The Scooby Gang
Jenny would then start to become a part-time member of the Scooby Gang, however, in the beginning, she and Giles often clashed. Giles’ reliance on traditional methods and books was often challenged by Jenny’s more modern approach and her love of technology. This sometimes seemed to infuriate Giles.
Jenny was particularly aware of the demonic events which happened in Sunnydale, and once approached Giles because she was concerned about several signs pointing toward an impending apocalypse.
It was at this point that Giles revealed Buffy’s status as the slayer to Jenny, and also, the Master’s plans for world domination.
Jenny’s life was actually put at risk during this battle, as she was kidnapped by the Order of Aurelius. Their plan was to slit her throat as part of a ritual to bring the Master back to life.
However, Buffy intervened and destroyed them all, saving Jenny. At this point, Jenny had become somewhat of a member of the Scooby Gang.
Though Giles and Jenny were polar opposites and were often visibly frustrated with each other, they also flirted with each other. The subtle flirtation slowly became a romance, however, it wasn’t smooth sailing.
When Giles’ dark past came back to haunt him, Jenny was put in danger. When Giles was a student at Oxford University and went through his rebellious phase wherein he explored dark magics, he summoned the demon Eyghon.
However, Giles and his occult-obsessed friends lost control of Eyghon and were unable to contain him.
Eyghon vowed to kill the surviving members of the group who summoned him, and, by the end of 1997, the demon had killed two of them. After that, Eyghon tracked Giles’ friend Ethan to Sunnydale High School. Here, Eyghon possessed Jenny.
Although Jenny survived thanks to the Scooby Gang, and Eyghon was defeated, Jenny struggled to return to her normal self after the possession. She asked for some space from Giles, as she processed what had happened to her, but eventually, they managed to rekindle their romance.
Revealing The Truth
However, their harmonious relationship wasn’t to last. Jenny was reminded of her original task when she was visited by her uncle. He demanded that Jenny ensure that Buffy and Angel were separated in order for Angel’s suffering to continue.
After becoming aware of an evil plan to reassemble the Judge, a powerful demon who desires to wipe out the human race, Jenny encouraged Angel to leave Sunnydale with a piece of the Judge, in order to separate him and Buffy.
However, this plan didn’t come to fruition, as Spike managed to steal the piece of the Judge back and assemble it. Unfortunately for Jenny, Angel and Buffy became even closer and made love for the first time.
The act of making love with Buffy reversed the curse placed on him by the Kalderash tribe and his soul was removed again. A devastated Buffy went on to feel uneasy after dreaming that Jenny knew more about the situation with Angel than she was letting on. It was at this time that Jenny revealed her true self and mission.
The Scooby Gang was hurt and angry with Jenny for concealing her true self, and so Jenny attempted to make it up to them. She researched a restoration spell that would hopefully return Angelus’ soul to him, however, Drusilla sensed Jenny’s plan and warned Angelus.
Angelus found Jenny and destroyed her computer and printer, preventing her from performing the spell. He then killed Jenny by breaking her neck. He went on to move Jenny’s body into Giles’s bed, surrounded by romantic symbols.
After Jenny’s death, Giles became devastated and had a thirst for revenge. The act of killing Jenny also cemented Xander’s view of Angelus as unredeemable and pure evil. Once Buffy found out about Jenny’s death, she became certain that she had to kill Angelus.
However, sometime later, Willow and Buffy came across a disc that belonged to Jenny. They found that it was a version of the ritual that Jenny was trying to use to restore Angel’s soul.
Feeling that it was Jenny’s last wish, the Scooby Gang decide to try and carry out the ritual. The ritual worked, after a failed attempt, but it was too late, and Buffy ended up slaying Angel anyway.
When Angel was somehow resurrected, and Buffy concealed this from the Scooby Gang, Xander and Giles became especially angry. Though the gang eventually accepted Angel again, Jenny’s death would always haunt the group, including Angel.
In fact, when the First Evil arose in Sunnydale, it took Jenny’s form in order to torment Angel.
Buffy would feel responsible for Jenny’s death forever. Her death proved to Buffy that she was a dangerous person to be around.
Personality / Traits
Jennifer Calendar was a highly intelligent woman. She also had a very friendly, sweet, and caring demeanor. She was very funny in a subtle way, especially during her flirtation with Giles. However, Jenny was able to hide a very dark secret and completely lied about who she was.
As a member of the Kalderash tribe, Jenny must have harbored some anger towards Angel for what he had done to a member of her group. However, she also showed great courage, empathy, and the ability to move on, when she attempted to restore Angel’s soul for the sake of Buffy.
Jennifer Calendar had dark brown, shoulder-length hair, which framed her face with a fringe. She always dressed very well and had a kind face.
Powers / Abilities
Jenny was a technology expert, as well as a technopagan. As Sunnydale High School’s computer science teacher, she often helped the gang by utilizing modern technology. Most notably, she was able to write a program for the purpose of translating a lost language.
She claimed that she didn’t have the power of a witch, but was comfortable with some dark magic as a technopagan. Like Giles, Jenny had great knowledge and understanding of the occult and was able to cast with the help of the others.
She also attempted to perform the Ritual of Restoration, which would have returned Angelus’s soul back to him, although she never got the chance to prove this. Though, after Jenny’s death, Willow eluded to Jenny’s spell casting capabilities.
Jenny’s intelligence was also somewhat of a power. When helping the Scooby Gang, she was a quick thinker, who often thought outside the box to defeat evil. Her empathy and compassion were also noticeable, as she ended up trying to help the gang, regardless of her original mission.
From the moment Jenny and Giles met, there was definite flirting, despite them often becoming frustrated by each other. As a technopagan, Jenny often pushed Giles out of his comfort zone, as he disliked computers and preferred more traditional methods.
Although Jenny often seemed to annoy Giles, the two made a great pair. Between them, they had an incredible knowledge of the occult, and with Jenny’s help, they were able to use modern technology as well as traditional research to defeat evil.
Their relationship was a slow-burner, which took time to transform from harmless flirting into a commitment, and, unfortunately, once they became committed, things became anything but easy.
When Giles’ past rebellious phase resulted in Jenny getting possessed by an evil demon, Jenny struggled with the experience. Giles felt particularly guilty and hoped to sort things out with Jenny as soon as the ordeal was over, but Jenny required more time and distance to process what had happened.
They did manage to rekindle their romance, but it didn’t last very long. When Jenny had to reveal who she really was, and why she was in Sunnydale, Giles was hurt that she had kept this secret.
She attempted to make it up to him and the other members of the Scooby Gang but was killed as she tried to do so.
After Jenny’s death, Giles was devastated. He struggled to move past what happened for the rest of his life.
Jenny was first and foremost a teacher at Sunnydale High School, and as such, she had a teacher-student relationship with most of the gang. In particular, Willow looked up to Jenny a lot, as Willow also had an interest in technology and magic. After Jenny’s death, Willow continued with her interest in technology and magic.
As the Scooby Gang got to know Jenny, she became something of an ally. She and Giles were sometimes almost parental figures to the younger members of the group.
Member Of Kalderash Tribe
Although there is little information about Jenny’s past before traveling to Sunnydale, she was obviously a committed member of the Kalderash tribe. She followed the orders of the elder members and her uncle by trying to keep Angel and Buffy apart.
However, this relationship was strained just before Jenny’s death, when she felt guilty for her actions. Her turmoil over the situation was obvious, as her commitments to her tribe and to her new friends clashed.
- “I, Robot, You, Jane”
- “Prophecy Girl”
- “When She Was Bad”
- “Some Assembly Required”
- “School Hard”
- “Lie to Me”
- “The Dark Age”
- “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered”
- Jennifer Calendar’s original name was supposed to be Nikki Calendar. However, to prevent confusion on set, she was renamed Jenny, as the name of the actor who played Xander is Nicholas “Nicky” Brendon.
- Jenny wasn’t originally supposed to be killed by Angel. The writers knew that once Angel lost his soul he would have to kill a character that the audience held dear. For this reason, they decided to write a new character, which turned out to be Oz, Willow’s love interest. However, it became quickly clear that Oz was a fun character to write, and everyone really enjoyed working with Seth Green. For this reason, the writers decided to keep Oz and progress his character further and ended up killing Jenny.
- The writers never intended for Jenny to be a part of the Kalderash tribe, but rather, they initially wrote her to just be a teacher who was also a technopagan and Giles’ romantic interest. It isn’t clear whether her back story was changed in order to make her a specific target for Angel, or whether it was constructed before they knew she was going to die.
- There were plans for Jenny to return to the show in the form of ghostly appearances. However, Robia LaMorte became a born-again Christian after leaving the show and was no longer comfortable being a part of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In fact, when she returned to the show to play The First, she was apparently very uncomfortable, due to her belief that witchcraft can lead to demonic possession.
- Before becoming an actress, Robia LaMorte toured Europe with Prince and The Pet Shop Boys and also traveled extensively as a dancer in fashion shows for brands such as Adidas.
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