Buffy Character: Veruca | Paige Moss

Veruca was a minor character and antagonist in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, who made her first appearance during the show’s fourth season. She was originally created by Joss Whedon and portrayed by Paige Moss.

Unlike other minor characters, who would leave little impact on the show’s arcing story, Veruca’s brief appearance was used to rock the foundations of the show, with the character being cited as one of the main reasons for the collapse of Oz and Willow’s relationship, something that would later influence Willow’s relationship with Tara. Like Oz, Veruca was a werewolf and the lead singer of a rock band called Shy.

During her time on the show, Veruca would never interact with Buffy, making her one of few antagonists to never face the slayer in combat.

While Veruca would only appear in one season, she is notable for being one of two female werewolves to appear in the universe, with the other being Nina Ash.

Due to her destruction of Willow and Oz’s relationship, Veruca is often considered a contentious character among the fandom.

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Biography

While there is little information concerning Veruca’s life before the events of the show, it is heavily implied that she and Oz already knew each other through the music scene, although they would not meet until the latter’s freshman year at UC Sunnydale.

Before the events of season four, Veruca would be attacked by an unknown werewolf and turned into one herself, leaving her broken and confused. However, Veruca would later accept her new supernatural status, seeing her werewolf persona as the true embodiment of her inner self.

Season 4

Oz would first encounter Veruca during his freshman year at UC Sunnydale, where their paths would cross during his search for Buffy. It was during this time that Buffy would form a toxic relationship with her roommate Kathy Newman, leading the slayer to conclude that her roommate was a demon.

Scared that Buffy’s erratic behavior could endanger an innocent life, Willow would ask Oz to go with Buffy on patrol, leading to his initial encounter with Veruca.

While Veruca could immediately sense that Oz was a werewolf, Oz could sense that there was something unusual about the unknown girl, although he would not discover her hidden lycanthropy until much later.

Although shaken by their brief encounter, Oz would not meet Veruca again until much later in the academic year, when she would perform with her band at the Bronze.

While Oz had gone to the club to spend the night with the Scooby Gang, he would find himself attracted to Veruca while she performed on the stage. It was during this time that Willow would begin to suspect a connection between Oz and Veruca, leaving her both hurt and concerned.

The next day, Oz would meet Veruca again on campus, where they would talk about their bands and musical interests. Willow would also attempt to join the conversation, only to misunderstand the topic and be spoken down to by her boyfriend.

During the next full moon, Oz would go to an abandoned tomb and lock himself in his cage, which he had built for his werewolf self.

After transforming into his werewolf persona, Oz would break free from his confinement and stalk around the UC Sunnydale campus, where he would encounter Maggie Walsh on her way home from class.

However, before Oz would harm the professor, he would be stopped by a female werewolf and the two would engage in battle before eventually having sex. When awoke the next day, he would find himself naked in the middle of a forest, with Veruca by his side.

After sneaking into a local laundrette to steal some clothes, Oz and Veruca would discuss their shared supernatural status, although Oz would feel ashamed of their affair.

During this conversation, Oz would reveal that he had broken out of his cage, something that would amuse his fellow werewolf. It was during this time that Veruca would reveal to Oz that she did not fear her wolf persona and even saw it as the true embodiment of her inner self.

Shocked by this news, Oz would return to his dorm to find Willow, where they would have a brief argument over his strange behavior.

Following the attack on Professor Walsh, Buffy would learn of the presence of another werewolf on campus, leading her to question Oz about his whereabouts the previous night.

While Oz knew that Veruca was the other werewolf, he would choose not to reveal her identity to Buffy and would instead try to reform Veruca by using his own approach.

It was during this time that Oz would arrange to meet Veruca in his crypt, where he would attempt to lock her in his cage. While Veruca was hesitant, Oz would kiss her before locking the door, leading them to transform and have sex.

The next morning, Willow would arrive at the crypt to find Oz and Veruca sleeping naked in his cage. Although heartbroken by his betrayal, Willow was also upset that he had chosen to conceal Veruca’s identity from the Scooby Gang, citing his motivations as being selfish and invalid.

During this confrontation, Veruca would agree with Willow’s argument before being sent away by an uncharacteristically angry Oz. After her departure, Willow would ask Oz if he was attracted to Veruca due to their shared animalistic nature, to which he would respond with silence.

Hurt by her boyfriend’s actions, Willow would attempt to cast a spell on Oz and Veruca, with the intention of destroying their relationship. However, Willow was unable to finish the ritual as she knew she could never hurt Oz.

After stopping the magic, Willow would be confronted by Veruca, who would attempt to kill the witch to free Oz from his constraints. However, Oz was able to bust in and battle Veruca in his werewolf form, leading to the latter having her throat ripped out.

Following this confrontation, Oz would then attempt to attack Willow, only to be knocked out by Buffy.

After Veruca’s death, Oz would decide to leave Sunnydale to learn more about his lycanthropy, even though this would mean abandoning Willow in her time of need. Following Oz’s departure, Willow would form a close friendship with Tara Maclay, a fellow witch who would later become her new romantic interest.

Personality

In terms of her personality, Veruca was rebellious, philosophical and sarcastic, with the werewolf often being distinguished by her cool and laid back aesthetic.

During her time on the show, Veruca would reveal that she had been scared following her first transformation, demonstrating that she had shared the same fears as any new werewolf.

However, in contrast to Oz, Veruca would learn to accept her supernatural status, even going so far as to see her werewolf persona as the true embodiment of her inner self.

Because of this, Veruca refused to cage herself during the full moon, not caring about the death and destruction she could leave in her wake.

In a unique twist, Veruca’s acceptance of her werewolf nature seemed to have a profound effect on both her human and lupine forms, as she was able to retain memories from her transformations and would often demonstrate animalistic characteristics during the day.

For example, Veruca was able to retain her sexual potency while in her human form, which she would later use to ensnare an unsuspecting Oz. It was in her human form that Veruca would also make the decision to kill Willow, although she would have to transform into a werewolf to make the strike.

For this reason, it could be argued that Veruca was somewhat mentally unstable or psychotic, as she refused to control the animal inside her.

While she was known to be cunning and manipulative, Veruca was also shown to be friendly and approachable, in the right context, even going so far as to engage with Willow in conversation even though the latter had misunderstood the topic at hand.

In many ways, Veruca is a unique character in the Buffy Universe, as she is the only werewolf in the show who has fully accepted their inner bestiality without any repercussions.

Appearance

While in her human form, Veruca would appear as an attractive and slender young woman with short blonde hair and dark brown eyes. She could often be found sporting dark or revealing clothing, with one of her most notable accessories being her signature leather jacket.

When performing with her band, she would often wear dark makeup around her eyes, although she seemed to prefer a more natural look during the day.

However, while in her wolf form, Veruca would take the appearance of an ape-like creature with distinctly feminine characteristics, such as longer and straighter fur.

In contrast to Oz, Veruca’s coat would be lighter in shade, with the color being very similar to that of her human hair. Like any werewolf, Veruca would also gain sharp fangs and claws during her transformation, which she would use to overpower prey.

Species

Since Veruca’s introduction, it has been revealed that there is more than one species of werewolf in the Buffy Universe, something that would be confirmed through the introduction of Nina Ash during Angel’s fifth season. Because of this, we can assume that both Oz and Veruca belonged to the common species, as their appearance differed greatly from Nina’s werewolf form.

Common werewolves seem to take the appearance of ape-like creatures with heavy coats and sharp teeth. The species is also shown to walk on all fours and is considerably smaller when compared to other advanced breeds.

However, this does not mean that common werewolves are any less dangerous than their counterparts.

While some people could argue that Veruca belonged to her own unique species, her appearance implies that she and Oz belonged to the same lupine family.

Powers & Abilities

Because of her werewolf nature, Veruca has the standard powers and weaknesses associated with the demonic species, such as the superhuman strength, heightened senses and acute reflexes.

However, there were some instances when Veruca demonstrated her own unique abilities, which seem to have been influenced by the acceptance of her inner lycanthrope.

Strength

After being transformed into a werewolf, Veruca would obtain the power of superhuman strength, which would allow her to chase and overpower her prey. Veruca would use this ability during her original confrontation with Oz, where the two wolves would fight before having sex.

However, Veruca would not be able to retain this strength during her daily life, as she knew only her werewolf form was strong enough to kill Willow.

Endurance

Beyond her superhuman strength, Veruca would also acquire the ability of lupine endurance, which would allow her to remain active throughout the night without exerting her werewolf form.

During her time on the show, Veruca would use this power to not only battle Oz but also to sleep with him during their first encounter as wolves. It can be assumed that this power also made Veruca resilient to harm, as she would wake the next morning with only a few scratches.

Speed

Because of her werewolf nature, Veruca was also incredibly fast and agile when in her lupine form, which allowed her to chase and capture her prey. During her final confrontation with Willow, Veruca would use this power to chase the terrified witch around the room, making sure to block her every attempt at escape.

It also appears that Veruca was more agile than Oz, although the former would still overpower and defeat her.

Reflexes

During her first meeting with Oz, Veruca also displayed superhuman reflexes, which allowed her to counter his initial attack. She would use these reflexes again during her final confrontation with Willow, as she was able to easily overpower the witch and calculate her every move.

Acute Senses

After Veruca was transformed into a werewolf, she would also gain acute senses, which she could access while still in her human form.

By using this ability, Veruca would be able to sense that Oz was a werewolf, demonstrating a power set that the latter had yet to control. In contrast, Oz was unable to sense Veruca’s lycanthropy during their first encounter, even though he was also capable of accessing his werewolf senses during the day.

Memory

In contrast to Oz, who was unable to remember anything from his nights as a werewolf, Veruca was able to retain her memories after every transformation, giving her a unique knowledge that Oz often overlooked.

It could be argued that Veruca’s acceptance of her werewolf persona influenced this particular ability, as she did not see the wolf as a separate entity from herself.

Relationships

Due to her minor character status, Veruca did not form many notable relationships during her time on the show, with the werewolf only interacting with Willow and Oz. However, there are some significant connections that we thought should be addressed:

Daniel ‘Oz’ Osbourne

While it can be assumed that Oz and Veruca knew each other before the events of the show, the two characters would not physically interact until their freshman year at UC Sunnydale, where they would bump into each other from time to time.

During their original encounter, Veruca would sense that Oz was a werewolf, although he would not discover her lycanthropy until much later in the year.

After locking himself in his cage during the full moon, Oz would transform into a werewolf and escape his confinement, where he would begin stalking the college campus for prey.

It was during this time that Oz would attempt to maul Professor Maggie Walsh, only to be distracted by Veruca in her lupine form.

Following this, the two werewolves would get into a ferocious fight, before eventually engaging in a sexual tryst. The next morning, Veruca and Oz would wake up in the middle of a forest and discuss their animalistic natures.

While it remains unclear if Oz harboured any romantic feelings for Veruca, it was confirmed that he felt a strong sexual connection, which was influenced by their shared lycanthropy.

Whereas Oz seemed to show no romantic interest in Veruca, it can be assumed that she harbored some feelings for him, as she was willing to kill Willow so that he could live his life as a wild animal.

Unfortunately, this would result in their final confrontation, which saw Oz ripping out Veruca’s throat.

Willow Rosenberg

During her time on the show, Veruca would only meet Willow on a few occasions, with each interaction being fraught with awkwardness.

While Veruca would later attempt to kill Willow for her romance with Oz, she was never outwardly cruel to the witch during their few conversations. In fact, Veruca would attempt to speak to Willow about her love of Elvis Presley, even though the witch had misunderstood the topic of conversation.

Upon discovering Oz and Veruca’s affair, Willow would scold her boyfriend for his betrayal and for keeping Veruca’s lycanthropy a secret.

During this confrontation, Oz would state that he was trying to protect innocent lives by keeping Veruca distracted, with Willow countering that he could have told the Scooby Gang from the start.

It was during this time that Veruca would actually agree with Willow’s assessment, something that would receive a scolding from Oz.

Following this interaction, Veruca would begin to view Willow as the cause of Oz’s problems, making the decision to kill her so that Oz could accept his inner werewolf. However, Oz would rush to Willow’s side and protect her during his final confrontation with Veruca.

Photos

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Appearances

Buffy The Vampire Slayer (Season 4)

  • Living Conditions
  • Beer Bad
  • Wild At Heart

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Marianne LeBlanc
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