Buffy Character: Kennedy | Iyari Limon

Kennedy was a minor character and potential slayer in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, who made her first appearance during the show’s seventh season. She was originally created by Joss Whedon and portrayed by Iyari Limon. 

Compared to other minor characters, who would have little impact on the seasonal arc, Kennedy’s brief appearance would have a lasting effect on the events of the show, with the character beginning a romantic relationship with Willow Rosenberg following the death of Tara Maclay.

Kennedy was also a potential slayer, which meant she could assume the role should Buffy Summers be defeated in battle. 

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During her time on the show, Kennedy would become a prominent figure due to her romance with Willow, even helping the Scooby Gang to train the next generation of slayers in preparation for the final battle. Following the show’s final season, Kennedy would continue to appear in the comic continuation, where her character would be expanded upon. 

Due to her romance with Willow, Kennedy is often considered a controversial character among the fandom, with some praising the relationship and others criticizing the character as a poor replacement for Tara. 

Biography 

Before the events of the show, Kennedy was raised by her parents in New York, where she enjoyed a wealthy lifestyle and a summer home in the Hamptons. She would first discover that she was a lesbian at the age of five when she developed a crush on Vivien Leigh from Gone with the Wind. 

Around the same time, Kennedy would also be identified as a potential slayer, making her a future target for the First Evil. Because of this, Kennedy would begin her fight training as a child, becoming well-versed in weaponry at the age of eight. 

Season 7 

After her watcher was murdered by the Harbingers of Death, Kennedy would be recruited by Rupert Giles and taken to Sunnydale with her fellow potential slayers, where they would meet Buffy and seek protection from the First Evil.

It was during this time that Kennedy would begin to form close friendships with Molly and Annabelle, while also showing a romantic interest in Willow. Unfortunately, Willow’s lover Tara had recently been murdered, which made her reluctant to start a new relationship. 

However, Kennedy’s persistence soon led to her and Willow sharing a brief kiss, which resulted in Willow transforming into Warren Mears, the man who killed Tara and whom Willow had murdered out of revenge.

During this time, Willow and Kennedy would work together to reverse the transformation, with the two even seeking help from the Wicca community. While asking for their assistance, they would discover that the group was now being led by Amy Madison, a fellow witch who had a contentious relationship with Willow. 

While attempting to return Willow to her natural form, the spells would have no effect and Willow would lash out at Amy and Kennedy. Overcome with the realization that she was slowly turning into Warren, Willow would run away from the group and purchase the same gun that Warren had used to kill Tara.

Following Willow’s departure, Kennedy would learn that Amy was the cause of the transformation, with the witch being openly jealous of Willow’s power and friendships. 

After being teleported back to Buffy’s house, Kennedy would find herself in the back garden, where she would be confronted by a gun-wielding Willow. During this confrontation, Willow would deliver the same speech that Warren had given before shooting Tara, leading her to break down and admit the truth behind her transformation.

Overcome with emotion, Willow would reveal that she had betrayed Tara’s memory by kissing Kennedy, as it meant she had accepted her lover’s death. Following this revelation, Kennedy would kiss her again and break the spell. 

Through this shared experience, Willow and Kennedy would begin a romantic relationship, with the latter acting as an emotional anchor for the powerful witch.

However, Kennedy would never listen to Willow about the dangers of dark magic, which would result in her draining Kennedy’s life force to charge a particularly complex spell.

Shocked by the darker elements of Willow’s power, Kennedy would begin to distance herself from their relationship to recover from the ordeal. Fortunately, they were able to reconcile and continue their romance. 

Even though the number of potential slayers in Sunnydale kept changing, Kennedy remained a formidable force in the Summers’s household, acting as a consistent ally to the Scoobies and training her fellow potential slayers.

However, following a failed mission, Kennedy would vote to remove Buffy as the leader of the group and replace her with Faith Lehane, who has recently returned to assist in the final battle.

During this time, Kennedy would show great initiative and leadership skills in the midst of a crisis, saving her fellow potentials and creating a line of defense against the Turok-Han vampires. 

When Buffy was reinstated as the leader of the Scooby Gang, Kennedy would fight alongside the Scoobies during the final battle against the First Evil and its army of Turok-Han.

It was during this conflict that Willow would use the power of a magical scythe to access the slayer line and activate every potential slayer in the world, thus making Kennedy into a fully powered slayer.

After the ritual was completed, Kennedy would take the scythe and join her sisters in battle, using her newfound strength to cause some serious damage to the First’s forces. 

Fortunately, Kennedy was able to survive the final battle and escape with her fellow slayers, while Buffy and Spike finished off the last of the Turok-Han. Following the events of the final season, Andrew Wells would reveal to Angel that Kennedy and Willow are now living in Brazil, where it can be assumed that they were still working for Buffy and searching for the activated slayers. 

Personality 

In terms of her personality, Kennedy was outspoken, feisty and confident, with the slayer making her presence known through her relentless pursuit of Willow and her somewhat heated relationship with Buffy.

In fact, Kennedy remains one of the only potential slayers to question Buffy’s leadership, even going so far as to eject her from the Scooby Gang following their botched mission at the vineyard.

Once Faith had assumed the role of leader, Kennedy continued to question her skills and motivations, leading Faith to comment that she and Buffy were the leaders of the group and that there was nothing Kennedy could do to change that. Following this interaction, Kennedy would comment on her erratic behavior and refer to herself as a brat. 

Compared to the other potential slayers, Kenedy was unique in that she often became involved in the actions of the Scooby Gang, essentially becoming a secondary member of the iconic group.

When more potential slayers began to arrive in Sunnydale, Kennedy would assume the role of martial arts trainer, which she approached with a cold and ruthless attitude.

During this time, Kennedy would criticize one of her fellow potentials (Chloe) for her weakness, even calling her a maggot in front of the other girls.

This would lead to Chloe committing suicide the following night, with the First Evil using the potential’s insecurities to manipulate her final decision. This would leave Kennedy feeling guilty for her actions, even though Buffy would later agree that Chloe was weak. 

Kennedy was also shown to be somewhat careless and irresponsible, going so far as to pretend she was sick to get out of training and take Willow on a date. Despite this, Kennedy would also take charge in returning Willow to her natural form after their kiss transformed her into Warren.

After a bomb incapacitated Faith and the potential slayers, Kennedy would use her initiative to take command of the group and save her sisters, while also forming a line of defence against the Turok-Han.

During the final battle, Kennedy would assist Willow in her ritual to activate the slayer line before taking the empowered scythe to her fellow slayers. 

While Kennedy would carry the scythe into battle, she would never use it during her time on the show, with the only slayers to wield the weapon being Buffy, Faith and Rona.

During a date at the Bronze, Kennedy would reveal some interesting details about her character, such as her attraction to Scarlett O’Hara as well as her love for Italian food, skate punk and mystery novels, especially those written by Robert Parker. 

Appearance 

Kennedy was a beautiful young woman with olive skin and dark eyes, who could often be found sporting a brown leather jacket and a pair of black jeans.

She would usually wear her dark brown hair loose around her face, although it would sometimes be tied back during training or patrols. During her time on the show, Kennedy would hardly wear any makeup and seemed to prefer a more natural look, whether she was training or dancing at the Bronze.

Towards the end of the final season, it was revealed that Kennedy also sported a tongue piercing, which would take the form of a silver ball bearing. 

Powers & Abilities 

During the events of season 7, Kennedy would not demonstrate any superhuman abilities until the final battle, where her slayer powers would be activated by Willow’s spell. Following this, Kennedy would begin to exhibit the usual enhancements associated with slayers and their heroic line. 

Strength

All slayers were endowed with the physical enhancement of superhuman strength, which made them stronger than humans, some demons and most, if not all, vampires. Because of this, slayers could carry large, human-sized objects and were even capable of bending metal with their bare hands.

Upon receiving her slayer abilities, Kennedy would begin to exhibit this particular power during her time in the final battle, where she was able to overpower several Turok-Han, who were known to be stronger than common vampires. 

Speed 

Slayers were also known to move at great speeds and possess incredible reflexes when compared to other humans. Through this power, they were able to stop incoming attacks and even protect others from flying weapons.

During the final battle, Kennedy would use this power after her activation to run the empowered scythe to Buffy and her fellow slayers, which she was able to accomplish in only a short window of time. 

Agility 

Slayers were capable of superhuman feats of agility, which meant they were able to leap to great heights and distances. Although the exact limits of this power remain unknown, Buffy was once able to jump onto the roof of the original Sunnydale high school without breaking a sweat.

And while Kennedy did not exhibit this particular ability during her fight with the Turok-Han, it can be assumed that she is also capable of matching similar feats. 

Durability

Even though slayers were essentially human, they were also known to exhibit superhuman durability similar to that of some demons, which made them less perceptible to blunt force trauma and physical harm.

While it remains unclear if Kennedy demonstrated this power following her activation, it can be assumed through her survival of the final battle, where she often found herself beaten and overpowered by feral vampires. 

Healing 

Unlike normal humans, slayers were also able to recover from severe injuries in remarkably short periods of time. For example, Buffy was once able to survive a severe blood loss in less than 24 hours and was still able to fight the bad guys during her graduation.

It could be argued that Kennedy also demonstrated this ability during her time on the show, as she would leave the battlefield with very few wounds or damage. However, this could have been the result of her prowess in battle and not her accelerated healing. 

Stamina 

Slayers were also known to possess great stamina, with it being commented that Buffy had the endurance of ten men. This meant that slayers were able to complete physically challenging tasks without losing energy or growing tired.

During the final battle, it seems that Kennedy was also able to demonstrate this particular skill, as she was able to battle the Turok-Han, save her fellow slayers and escape on a school bus without showing any obvious signs of weakness or exhaustion. 

Fighting 

Before her activation, Kennedy was well versed in the martial arts and was known for her prowess with different weapons, as she had been trained to be a slayer from a young age.

It seems potential slayers were also capable of tapping into natural fighting skills, as Amanda was able to fight and kill a vampire without any prior training or experience. Because of this, it can be assumed that Kennedy’s skill in battle came from her latent abilities, which were then activated to enhance her performance. 

Relationships 

During her time on the show, Kennedy would form close relationships with her fellow slayers and the core members of the Scooby Gang, with the potential slayer becoming a secondary member of the group. However, there are some notable connections that should be discussed: 

Willow Rosenberg 

Kennedy would first meet Willow upon her arrival in Sunnydale, where she would immediately make her romantic interest known. However, Willow would show reluctance to the prospect of a new relationship, as she was still recovering from the death of Tara and the evil actions she committed in revenge.

During this time, Kennedy would pretend to be sick to spend time with Willow, which would result in the two sharing their first kiss at the end of the night. Unfortunately, this resulted in Willow transforming into a glamor of Warren Mears, leading her to question and eventually accept Tara’s death. 

Following this, Kennedy and Willow would begin a romantic relationship, with the latter acting as an emotional anchor for the traumatized witch. However, Kennedy would never listen to Willow’s statements about the dangers of powerful magic, which resulted in Willow draining her life force to reopen a dimensional portal.

Shaken by the ordeal, Kennedy would briefly distance herself from Willow to recover, although the two were able to reconcile and continue their romance. After this, Kennedy would assist Willow in her attempts to activate the slayer line, which would transform Kennedy into a fully empowered slayer.

Once the final battle was over, Willow and Kennedy would leave the Scooby Gang and move to Brazil, where they would continue to help the recently awakened slayers. 

Buffy Summers 

Although Kennedy would become a prominent member of the Scooby Gang, she often found herself questioning Buffy’s leadership and authority, which would often lead to verbal confrontations between herself and the slayer.

While it remained clear that Kennedy respected and even admired Buffy, her bratty attitude often led to obstacles in their friendship, with Kennedy even voting to eject Buffy from the group following a botched mission. 

However, after Buffy returned to the position of leader, Kennedy would receive a scolding from Fatih, who commented that she and Buffy were the leaders of the group and there was nothing Kennedy could do to change that.

Following this interaction, Kennedy acknowledged her bratty behavior and assisted Buffy during the final battle, where she would carry the empowered scythe following her activation. 

Photos 

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Appearances 

Buffy The Vampire Slayer (Season 7)

  • Bring On The Night 
  • Showtime 
  • Potential 
  • The Killer In Me 
  • First Date 
  • Get It Done 
  • Storyteller 
  • Lies My Parents Told Me 
  • Dirty Girls 
  • Empty Places 
  • Touched 
  • End Of Days 
  • Chosen 

Other 

  • Chosen: The One 
  • Queen Of The Slayers 
  • Slayer 

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Marianne LeBlanc
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