Rona- played by actress Indigo- was first introduced in the eleventh episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer season seven as one of the Potential Slayers. These Potential Slayers- or Slayers- in- Waiting- were human girls who were born with the unique potential to possibly become a vampire Slayer should they survive and be “activated” via a Slayer activation spell.
Rona was one of several Potential Slayers who arrive in Sunnydale and take refuge in Buffy’s home. This is due to the Harbingers of Death- otherwise known as “The Bringers”- being sent to find and kill as many Potential Slayers as possible by the continuous villain throughout the show, The First Evil.
Rupert Giles- Buffy’s mentor and one of the last surviving Watchers- gathers all the Potential Slayers he can find and harbors them at the Summers’ residence, Rona included.
A Less Than Warm Welcome
Rona arrives in Sunnydale at nightfall in the season seven episode “Showtime”, with the intent of tracking down Buffy Summers. She tries to find her number and goes to a payphone to make the call but before she can do so, she is cornered by a group of Bringers who approach her from behind whilst wielding knives.
Rona is well and truly trapped- literally backed against a wall by the Bringers- until she is rescued by none other than Buffy herself.
Buffy gives her a warm welcome but Rona is shocked by the attack as she was unaware of her role as a Potential Slayer due to never having a Watcher assigned to her. Because of this, she did not have a guide and was not trained in any way prior to her arrival in Sunnydale.
At The Summers’ Residence
Rona joins Buffy and the other Potentials at the Summers home where they discuss their plan of action following the death of one of the most recent Potentials, Annabelle. The Potentials are worried and do not have much belief in their success.
This becomes all the more apparent when one of the latest Potential recruits- Eve- is found dead in her room.
Rona is one of the most negative Potential Slayers, constantly arguing that their fight is futile and that she does not want to be a Slayer.
The whole reason for Rona coming to Sunnydale was simply for protection rather than to hone her powers. As mentioned, she did not even know that she had powers beforehand.
Her doubtful and cynical nature is not merely relegated to her surroundings, but also to her fellow Slayers. This is all the more so for Buffy. Despite Rona owing her life to Buffy, Rona clearly holds resentment towards her as demonstrated by her argumentative and dismissive attitude towards her.
Throughout her time on the show, Rona slowly gains the confidence to believe in herself as a Slayer and begins to train under Buffy’s tutelage alongside the other Potential Slayers.
She hones her skills and is eventually competent enough to protect herself and fight with her fellow Slayers and the Scooby Gang.
The Battle At The Vineyard
Buffy, the rest of the Scooby Gang and the Potential Slayers are drawn into a battle with the misogynistic murderer and preacher Caleb. Caleb acted as the right-hand man to the First Evil, taking the lead in the plot to kill all of the Potential Slayers.
Caleb uses the Potential Slayer Shannon to lure Buffy into a fight, leading to a ferocious battle in the Shadow Valley Vineyards. The Vineyard Battle is a major defeat for Buffy and the group, with two of the Potential Slayers- Molly and Dianne- being killed in the process and Xander losing an eye.
Buffy eventually orders a retreat and the group are highly disillusioned with their failure as well as the power of Caleb and his army of Bringers, so much so that the loss eventually leads to the group holding a mutiny against Buffy and kicking her out of her own house.
Rona is one of the characters to get her morale dampened during the Battle at the Vineyard. Whilst attempting to fight, Caleb breaks Rona’s arm and she is almost killed by one of the Bringers.
Xander saves her but with this being her second close brush with death, she becomes even more agitated. Rona remains in a cast for the rest of her time with the Slayers in Sunnydale
The Mutiny Against Buffy
Rona is particularly vocal during the mutiny against Buffy. She is very much against Buffy’s plan for a second attack on the Vineyard and even jokes about her departure by saying “ Ding dong. The witch is dead” when Buffy is unceremoniously kicked out of the group.
The Battle Of Hellmouth
Rona makes an appearance in the finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer where the remaining Potential Slayers- all of whom have now been activated thanks to witch Willow Rosenberg using a mystical scythe to activate all of the Potential Slayers around the world- and the Scooby Gang engage in a final battle against the First Evil, the Bringers and the Turok-Han vampires.
The Seal of Danzalthar- a mystical seal that acts as the gateway to Hell- is opened by the Scooby Gang and the Potential Slayers to begin the Battle at the Hellmouth.
Rona and the other Potentials cut their hands and spill their blood onto the seal to open it, allowing them to directly confront the Turok-Han forces.
Although several of the Potential Slayers are killed, Rona survives and fights valiantly during the battle. At one point during the fight, Rona uses the mystical scythe- the same one used to activate Slayers around the world- and fights off several Turok-Han vampires.
She fights incredibly bravely despite still having significant injuries from The Battle at the Vineyard, including still having her arm in a cast.
The Destruction Of Sunnydale
When Sunnydale begins to crumble in the aftermath of the battle, Rona manages to escape on the school bus that the surviving group members use to get out of the collapsing town.
Rona is badly injured, with her new injuries from the Hellmouth Battle piling up on top of her previous ones. Fellow Potential Slayer and survivor Violet helps an almost unconscious Rona with her wounds as they make their escape.
The Season 8 Comic Continuation
Season eight of Buffy the Vampire Slayer came in the form of a comic book series that ran from 2007 to 2011 and Rona is mentioned in a few chapters. She is said to have become the leader of the Chicago branch of the Slayer Organization, having risen through the ranks.
Rona is responsible for recruiting Potential Slayers and for training them in her role as the Chicago squad leader.
Rona is also responsible for choosing the Slayer who would become the underground decoy for Buffy Summers.
Rona decides to transfer one of her Slayer proteges- Simone Doffler, a character in the comics who believed in Slayer supremacy- away from her Chicago squad to Andrew Wells’s squad in Italy.
She did so with the hope that a setting that wasn’t quite as urban would be good for Simone and would bring out her softer side, though Buffy wasn’t so sure about Rona’s intentions and believed that Rona was possibly “passing the buck” onto Andrew by transferring Simone to him.
Judging by Rona’s previous behavior in the show, it wouldn’t be that much of a surprise if this was the case!
Rona is initially incredibly cynical of both her abilities and the abilities of her fellow Slayers. She initially has no desire to pursue her role as a Potential Slayer. This negativity along with her hostility towards the other characters led to her becoming rather unpopular with the Buffy fanbase.
Rona’s cynicism made her feel that the entire situation of being a Slayer was pointless and so, therefore, training was pointless.
She shows some character development throughout the show though, developing a rapport with her fellow Potential Slayers and willingly learning under Buffy’s teachings.
Despite her initial negativity and reluctance, it is clear that Rona is a fighter and has a strength within her that surpasses some of the other Potential Slayers.
She is badly wounded by Caleb in The Battle at the Vineyard- to the point where she has a cast on her arm for the rest of her time in Sunnydale- and yet she continues to fight during that battle.
Not only that, but she fights again during the Battle at the Hellmouth despite her wounds being far from healed. She can keep getting back up and keep fighting despite her injuries, suggesting resilience and strength both physically and mentally.
Rona is a brave character in her own right as well. Despite only recently coming into the knowledge of her role as a Potential Slayer, she attempts to fight Caleb- a big bad of season seven- head-on.
He hurts her badly by breaking her arm but he does not completely incapacitate her. Not only does this show her bravery as a character- actively attacking a character who is far more powerful than she is in an attempt to help her comrades- it is also another example of her resilience.
Caleb killed both Mollie and Dianne- two of the Potential Slayers- and badly injured many others in their squad, including Xander whose eye he gouged out. A broken arm doesn’t sound too bad in comparison!
The fact that she managed to escape from her encounter with Caleb with only a broken limb is a marvel in itself, let alone when you consider the fact that she is a relative newbie to the Slayer community.
Don’t forget, she was never assigned a Watcher either and so was unaware of what she could become for a long time.
Rona is played by an American DJ and actress Indigo (whose birth name is Alyssa Ashley Nichols) and she appeared in eight episodes of the seventh and final televised series of Buffy The Vampire Slayer (with the eighth series appearing in the form of a comic book).
Rona is meant to be seventeen years old at the time the character appears in the show. She has a slim build and is relatively tall for her age at around 5’7”. Rona has brown eyes, dark skin and has long dark dreadlocks.
Her style is very much casual and sporty and she has a penchant for denim overalls paired with brightly coloured t-shirts and zip-up sports jackets.
Rona is a year older in the season eight comic book series but her style seems to have matured significantly since she is first introduced in the television series.
Rona is only seen in flashbacks in the comic but we do see that she has got shorter dreadlocks and has developed a penchant for tank tops! She is also a little bit more muscular and toned, likely from the upkeep of her fitness so that she can properly train her Slayer recruits.
It is also sure to have been caused by getting older and having to grow up quickly in her new role of leader of the Chicago branch of the Slayer Organization.
Rona’s powers are the same as her fellow Potential Slayers, but she also has some unique abilities too. Her powers/abilities include the following:
- Superhuman Strength
- Superhuman Speed
- Superhuman Agility
- Superhuman Reflexes
- Superhuman Stamina
- Superhuman Senses
- Superhuman Instincts
- Enhanced Healing
- Enhanced Resilience
- The Ability to Sense Vampires
- Prophetic Dreams
- Psychic Link to Other Slayers (Manifested within Dreams)
- Weapon Wielding
- Mixed Martial Arts
It could be argued that Rona possesses a particularly strong level of physical strength- even more so than some of her fellow Potentials- due to her coming out of a fight with the extremely powerful Caleb with only a broken arm.
She also manages to make it through two major battles- with some very powerful enemies- despite being badly injured. She appears to have the same level of prowess in combat that the other Potential Slayers do despite not having a Watcher to train her.
Her ability to come out of these fights alive despite her lack of training and her ability to keep fighting despite her very obvious injuries suggests willpower, physical strength and natural talent as a Potential Slayer.
There is a strong sense of hostility towards Buffy from Rona initially. Rona is irritated by Buffy constantly trying to bolster the Potential Slayers. Buffy’s positivity contrasts Rona’s negativity, with Rona commenting that there is not much point in Buffy fighting the Turok- Han vampires as they will kill Buffy before they reach her and the other Potential Slayers.
Rona also opposes Buffy’s plans to take on the Vineyard again after their first attempt ends in a catastrophic loss. Rona is happy to get rid of Buffy too when the group mutiny against her, saying “Ding, dong. The witch is dead” when she is forced out of the house.
Buffy and Rona eventually gain a mutual understanding and Rona accepts training from Buffy. There is still a bit of friction between the two of them though, which is suggested by Buffy’s none too pleased reaction to Rona’s decision to move Simone Doffler to Andrew Wells’ Slayer squad in the season eight comics.
Rona is relatively friendly with Violet, one of her fellow Potential Slayers who would also go on to become a leader (the leader of the New York Slayer Organization squad).
Violet helps to bring Rona back to health as they escape from Sunnydale after The Battle of Hellmouth and the two seem to have a mutual understanding despite Violet’s early training from her Watcher and Rona’s relative unawareness of her powers due to her lack of a Watcher.
Although Rona doesn’t get much of an opportunity to interact with Xander, he does notably save her life during the Battle at the Vineyard.
Despite the obvious strength and power that bad guy Caleb has over Rona, this doesn’t stop her from trying to take him down during The Battle at the Vineyard.
Her attempts end in a broken arm but compared to some of the other injuries that Caleb causes to the team during this battle (including the deaths of some Potentials), Rona comes away from their encounter relatively unscathed.
Rona makes her debut in season seven, the final series of the show- where she is present in eight episodes. She is also seen in flashbacks and mentioned several times in the season eight Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic book, which continues the story a year after The Battle at Hellmouth finale.
- Season 7, Episode 11: “Showtime”
- Season 7, Episode 12: “Potential”
- Season 7, Episode 13: “The Killer in Me” (Mentioned)
- Season 7, Episode 15: “Get it Done”
- Season 7, Episode 16: “Storyteller”
- Season 7, Episode 17: “Lies My Parents Told Me”
- Season 7, Episode 18: “Dirty Girls”
- Season 7, Episode 19: “Empty Places”
- Season 7, Episode 20: “Touched”
- Season 7, Episode 22: “Chosen”
Season 8 Comic Book
- Season 8: “The Chain” (Flashback)
- Season 8: “A Beautiful Sunset” (Flashback)
- Season 8: “Predators and Prey” (Mentioned)
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