Buffy Character: The Anointed One | Andrew J. Ferchland

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is largely regarded as one of the most iconic supernatural shows of television history. The show received widespread critical and audience acclaim, due in large part to its iconic cast of characters.

While most of the show’s beloved characters were those the audience were rooting for, a supernatural drama wouldn’t get far without some characters to loathe. And Buffy was no different.

One of the earliest villains introduced in the show was the Anointed One (formerly Colin), played by Andrew J. Ferchland. Prophesied ally of the chief antagonist (or Big Bad) of season one, The Master, the Anointed One was foretold to lead Buffy Summers to Hell.

While this didn’t quite end up being the case, his actions did lead Buffy to The Master’s lair, and ultimately her first death.

According to show creator Joss Whedon, the Anointed One was originally intended to be the Big Bad of season two. These plans ended up changing, because unlike the character, who was by nature a perpetual child, the actor was still very much growing.

Nevertheless, the Anointed One had a large impact on the early seasons of the show. Below is all you need to know about The Master’s messiah.

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Biography

Early Life

Prior to being inhabited by the Anointed One, the child in question was just an eight-year-old boy passing through Sunnydale, the town in which the show is set. Not much is known about who the child was before he was killed and became the Anointed One- it’s implied that there was none of the boy’s mind left after the takeover.

Following a flight, Colin’s journey continued via bus, where at some point one of the passengers stood up to quote prophecies. It was at this point that a vampire stood in the path of the bus, and according to the Sunnydale Press (the local newspaper of Sunnydale), everyone on board was killed. Among the victims were Colin and his mother.

The posse of vampires sent by The Master proceeded to attack the victims, two of whom were themselves turned into vampires.

Following the crash, Buffy Summers (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar) believed Andrew Borba (played by Geoff Meed), the man who quoted prophecies on the bus and was suspected of murder, to be The Anointed One (The Anointed One being The Master’s messiah, who would exist to do his bidding).

Andrew Borba, who had preached about the impending Judgement Day, rose as a vampire in the funeral home. He initially believed this to be his own judgement.

Upon rising, he attacked Buffy’s date, Owen Thurman. Believing Borba to have killed Owen, an enraged Buffy killed Borba by trapping him in a furnace.

She, Giles, and Owen (who was in fact still alive) were all relieved to have killed the one they believed to be the Anointed One due to the negative impact this would have on The Master’s plans (his plans being, namely, to kill Buffy and bring about the end of the world).

What they weren’t aware of was that Andrew Borba was not the Anointed One, but merely a decoy intended to distract Buffy. The real Anointed One was now inhabiting Colin, the eight-year-old boy who had also been killed in the attack on the bus.

The Order Of Aurelius

A cult of vampires, members of the Order of Aurelius worshipped the Old Ones. The Old Ones were pure-breed demons of such power unimaginable to humans. During the Primordium Age, they arrived from another dimension, and ruled the Earth.

The Order of Aurelius was named after its vampire founder, Aurelius. The cult were followers of Aurelius’s prophecies, which dated as far back as the 12th century.

Due to his assumed death prior to the show’s beginning (although it’s never confirmed what actually happened to him), Aurelius never appeared in the flesh. He was however mentioned in both “Never Kill a Boy on the First Date” and “Prophecy Girl”.

In the show’s time period, the Order of Aurelius was commanded by The Master, and the Anointed One. Its symbol was a sun and three stars. While in command of the Order, The Master intended to bring the world to an end by opening the Hellmouth located in Sunnydale. Doing so would allow the Old Ones to return and claim back the planet they once dominated.

Members of the Order of Aurelius were not permitted to live above ground, amongst the humans. The only reason they would ever surface was to feed on their prey (prey being humans), or to turn people into new vampires.

Later in the series, Cordelia Chase wished to a vengeance demon called Anyanka that Buffy had never come to Sunnydale. This created an alternate reality/timeline dubbed the Wishverse. In this reality, Buffy was indeed absent from Sunnydale. This meant that The Master, and therefore the Order of Aurelius, reigned ultimately unopposed.

When this timeline’s Buffy finally is summoned to Sunnydale, she was killed, alongside Angel, Willow, and Xander. The timeline was erased when Giles managed to summon Anyanka, destroying the amulet and her power alongside it. Thus the original timeline was restored.

Notable members of the Order included Darla, Luke, Absalom, The Three, and Tansy Fry. Years after the events of season 2, Tansy Fry was dismissed from the Order because she kept drawing unwanted attention to the group. She would then attempt to regroup the Order in Los Angeles, but this attempt was unsuccessful, due in large part to Spike.

Over the course of the show, their three main bases were an unidentified sunken church (from 1937 to 1997), the abandoned Bric & Broc factory, and the nightclub Bronze (within the alternate reality Wishverse).

Relationships

The Master

As he was his messiah, the Anointed One was primarily affiliated with The Master (played by Mark Metcalf). Over a period of several months, The Master taught the Anointed One all he needed to know about the ins and outs of the vampire world, the Order of Aurelius, the importance of family working together and, perhaps most importantly, how to defeat Slayers such as Buffy.

According to prophecies, together they would kill Buffy once and for all.

The prophecy of Aurelius read as such: ‘And there will be a time of crisis, of worlds hanging in the balance. And in this time shall come the Anointed, the Master’s great warrior… The Five will die, and from their ashes the Anointed shall rise. The Brethren of Aurelius shall meet him and usher him to his immortal destiny… the Slayer will not know him, will not stop him, and he will lead her into Hell.’

The Master also demonstrated to the Anointed One the importance of facing and controlling one’s fears by touching a crucifix with his bare hand. As is always the case when a vampire does so, his hand burned, but he kept holding on to demonstrate a vampire’s required resilience.

The Anointed One went on to fulfil his prophecy (in a sense) by leading Buffy Summers to her death at the hands of The Master, thereby breaking The Master free from his mystical prison. Buffy was then revived by Alexander LaVelle “Xander” Harris (Buffy’s best friend and a founding member of Buffy’s core group, the Scooby Gang).

Following her revival, Buffy went on to kill The Master by pushing him from the library roof through a skylight, at which point he was impaled on a broken table. While in the show’s original reality The Master never returned in the flesh, his character did reappear in an alternate reality.

In the season three episode “The Wish”, Cordelia essentially wished into existence a world in which Buffy never came to Sunnydale. Because Buffy was the one who defeated The Master in the main reality, the reality without Buffy sees a successful Master who has created a machine that bleeds humans. This means his followers could feed without even having to hunt.

When the Buffy of this alternate reality finally did arrive, she was killed by The Master, much like in the original reality. His only other appearance in the main show is as the face of the First Evil, a shape-shifter, in the final season.

Several months after the death of The Master, the Anointed One had claimed leadership of the Order of Aurelius. Operating out of the abandoned Bric & Broc factory, the Anointed One’s goal was to resurrect The Master using a revivification ritual.

This was only possible because The Master had left a skeleton when he died, unlike most vampires, who turn to dust. The skeleton was buried by Rupert Giles.

While said ritual had previously been performed on other dead vampires, it had never been successful. Under the Anointed One’s command, Absalom, Bob, Jane, Walt and Ned kidnapped four Sunnydale High School students who had been present at the time of The Master’s death in the library. The students captured were Jennifer Calendar, Rupert Giles, Willow Rosenberg, and Cordelia Chase.

The ritual would have seen each student’s throat cut, allowing their blood to flow onto the skeleton of The Master, which they had retrieved from his grave. This would have brought him back to life (or, more specifically, unlife).

Buffy interrupted the ritual, smashing the Master’s bones with a hammer and therefore preventing him from returning. She killed the vampires present, but the Anointed One managed to escape unharmed.

Absalom

While the resurrection attempt was ultimately the Anointed One’s mission, it was Order of Aurelius member Absalom (played by Brent Jennings) who led the charge on the Anointed One’s behalf. It was he who arranged for a number of other vampires to prepare all they needed for the ritual; namely The Master’s remains.

When Buffy Summers arrived to put a stop to the ritual, Absalom tried to slay her with a sledgehammer, but Buffy burned him to death with a torch. It was with said sledgehammer that Buffy smashed The Master’s skeleton to dust.

Spike

While vampire Spike (played by James Marsters) would go on to fall in love with Buffy Summers and become a member of the Scooby Gang, he was originally one of the group’s greatest threats.

Following the failure of the Order to resurrect The Master, they decided a new leader was required to replace him. One of the members pointed out that the new leader, whoever they may be, would naturally be a target of Buffy’s. They agreed that whoever killed Buffy Summers during the Night of Saint Vigeous would be declared the new leader.

The Night of Saint Vigeous (or the Feast of Saint Vigeous), was for vampires the holy night of attack, a tradition held every October 4th. The holiday existed in remembrance of the crusade of vampire Saint Vigeous. During this feast, the vampires believed they were at their most powerful, hence why they never doubted their ability to defeat Buffy.

During the three nights leading up to the feast, the participating vampires would fast, chant, and practice self-mortification (inflicting great deals of pain upon oneself). It was their intention to be near berserk by the time the holiday arrived.

Following this pact, Spike arrived, along with Drusilla, his lover. While, like the Order of Aurelius, Spike and Drusilla were descendants of The Master, they were at this time unaffiliated with the Order itself. Seeking somewhere to stay and guaranteed safety from the members of the Order, Spike offered to kill Buffy himself.

Rather than waiting until the Night of Saint Vigeous, Spike (along with other members of the Order) raided Sunnydale High early. The raid was unsuccessful, and led to the deaths of several members of the Order. Spike escaped, and the Anointed One was enraged.

A survivor of the raid demanded Spike pay for those lives lost with his own. Within the Order of Aurelius, offering one’s life was often expected following a major offense. Spike acknowledged his mistake, but clarified that, if he was doing it over, he’d do it all the same but kill the Anointed One first. Spike proceeded to lock the Anointed One in a cage he’d hung on a chain.

Pulling the chain rose the cage into the sunlight, causing the Anointed One to burn to death, at which point Spike said, “From now on, we’re gonna have a little less ritual, and a little more fun around here!” Spike would go on to assume leadership of the Order of Aurelius, putting an end to the Order’s rigid traditions.

Traits

Before The Master’s death (and failed resurrection) at the hands of Buffy Summers, the Anointed One was largely defined by his loyalty to The Master. As prophesied, the Anointed One went on to be The Master’s “greatest weapon against the Slayer” (the Slayer in this instance being Buffy), the only warrior capable of doing his bidding.

Appearance

As he inhabited a young child, his only describable appearance is that of said child, who prior to his death was named Colin. The Anointed One/Colin had long brown hair, and initially wore the clothes that Colin had been wearing at the time of his death: a hoodie, jeans, and sneakers. He then transitioned to darker clothes, in keeping with his true identity.

The Anointed One is one of very few vampires whose “vamp-face” (their appearance in their vampire form) has never been seen.

The only other two notable vampires with which this is the case are Jay-Don (a thief sired in the 1950’s who ran with Sinatra’s Rat Pack) and Nostroyev (a Siberian who was kidnapped, alongside Spike, to be put to use in a super-soldier project funded by the Nazis).

Powers And Abilities

The Anointed One possessed the powers and abilities that most vampires possess. These included supernatural strength, stamina, speed, agility, rapid healing, immortality, and Acute sensory perception (essentially a sixth sense). With the latter power, he could sense others who possessed great psychic power.

The Master also possessed such a power, and they both sensed the reality shift that would be caused by young teenage boy Billy Palmer. Whilst in a coma after being beaten up by his baseball coach, Billy created an astral body. This led to many citizens of Sunnydale experiencing nightmares.

Due to their psychic abilities, The Master and the Anointed One both foresaw this chaos, which was eventually halted by Buffy Summers.

While according to Angel and Drusila he was believed to hold great and ancient power, the Anointed One was killed by Spike before he could display the true extent of his powers.

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Appearances

Despite being largely responsible for Buffy Summers’s first death at the hands of The Master, the Anointed One only appeared in six episodes throughout the first two seasons. He first appeared in the fifth episode of season one, “Never Kill a Boy on the First Date”.

In his first appearance, he inhabited the body of schoolboy Colin. His last appearance was in the third episode of season two, “School Hard”, wherein he was killed by Spike, which led to Spike taking over as the leader of the Order of Aurelius.

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Marianne LeBlanc
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