Buffy Character: Wesley Wyndam-Pryce | Alexis Denisof

Originally appearing in the television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Wesley Wyndam-Price then moved over to its spinoff, Angel. In the show, Wesley had a more significant role and progressed from comedic relief to a more serious character. 

The character is played by Alexis Denisof, who married Alyson Hannigan (the actress who played Willow Rosenberg) in 2003. The couple also has two daughters together. 

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Biography

Before the series, Wesley trained as a Watcher in England. Watchers have the responsibility of training and guiding the Slayer to defeat demons.  

Buffy Season 3

Wesley first appeared in this season. He was sent to Sunnydale by the Watchers Council to replace Rupert Giles, who was fired as the Watcher to Buffy Summers and Faith Lehane. Though he attempted to exercise his authority over Buffy and Faith, both paid little attention to him.

This was because he had little experience. He was also not particularly respected by Giles, who also saw him as an unsuccessful replacement. During this period, Wesley did cultivate an attraction to Cordelia Chase, which was reciprocated. Though they eventually kissed, their relationship did not develop further. 

Wesley’s relationship with the Scooby Gang became further strained after Faith unintentionally murdered Allan Finch, an innocent human being. Behind the backs of the Scooby Gang, Wesley tried to have the rebellious Slayer arrested by the Watchers Council. This plan was unsuccessful and led Faith down a dark path. 

Buffy also ended her connection with the Watchers Council when they refused to aid her Vampire lover, Angel. Despite no longer being Buffy’s official Watcher, Wesley nonetheless agreed to help fight the villainous Mayor. During the fight, Wesley was quickly knocked unconscious but managed to survive. 

Angel Season 1

Wesley returned partway through the first season of Angel. Having been fired by the Watchers Council, he became a demon hunter in Los Angeles. After reuniting with Angel and Cordelia, he joined Angel Investigations. There, Wesley replaced Doyle after his abrupt demise.

Though he could be pompous, Wesley proved to be a valuable addition to the team. This was because of his knowledge of all things demonic and supernatural, as well as his research skills. 

However, this would result in his once again meeting Faith. Having been employed by the nefarious Wolfram & Hart, Faith arrived in Los Angeles to kill Angel. At this point, Faith had abandoned any sense of moral responsibility. Faith even tortured Wesley.

Angel saved Wesley and began helping Faith to repent for her many crimes. The Watchers Council offered to re-hire Wesley if he handed over Faith. Wesley, however, refused, thus showing his devotion to Angel Investigations. 

Angel Season 2

The second season of Angel would see Wesley enter a relationship with Virginia Bryce. Posing as Angel, he was hired by Mr. Bryce to defend his daughter, Virginia. They became close, though Virginia realized that Wesley was not Angel. Wesley is able to save Virginia from being sacrificed by her father. 

Later in the season, when he becomes consumed with thinking about Darla, Angel fires Wesley, Cordelia, and Charles Gunn from Angel Investigations. Though they are originally frustrated, Wesley, Cordelia, and Gunn form their own detective company.

Here, Wesley becomes capable. However, Wesley is injured after being shot in the stomach by a zombie police officer. He eventually recovers, though he has to use a wheelchair for a period. Fearing for Wesley’s safety, Virginia broke up with him. 

When Angel returned to the team, Wesley was placed in charge. After Angel Investigations became trapped in the dimension known as Pylea, Wesley effectively led a revolution. 

Angel Season 3

This season marks Wesley’s character being led in a darker connection. After the group saved Winfred Burkle, nicknamed Fred, from Pylea, Wesley became attracted to her. However, he was soon possessed by Billy, a misogynic criminal. Billy tried to force Wesley to kill Fred. Though Billy was unsuccessful, this managed to put Wesley off asking Fred out. 

Gunn and Wesley both begin to become romantically attracted to Fred. Fred ends up committing to a relationship with Gunn. 

Wesley also becomes concerned by a conspiracy that Angel will kill his son, Connor, after reading a prophecy. In order to protect the baby, Wesley kidnaps Connor. However, he is betrayed. Justine Cooper slits his throat. This allows Daniel Holtz, who has an antagonistic relationship with Angel, to take Connor to an alternate dimension. It is then revealed that the prophecy was a fake, created by the demon Sahjhan.

Enraged by the loss of his child, Angel tried to kill Wesley while he was at the hospital. Wesley’s friends then turned their backs on him and told him never to return to their base, the Hyperion Hotel.

Consequently, Wesley began seeing Lilah Morgan. Working for Wolfram & Hart, Lilah tried to persuade him to join the wicked organization. 

Angel Season 4

At the end of the third season, Angel was captured by his son and locked in a coffin. This coffin was then plunged into the ocean. In Season 4, Wesley made Justine reveal Angel’s location.

Wesley then saved Angel from the depths of the ocean and allowed the Vampire to feed on his own blood. During this time, Wesley had become a darker and more serious character. 

Despite having saved Angel, Wesley initially refused to rejoin the team. He did eventually return to stop the Beast. When the beast began slaughtering the employees of Wolfram & Hart, Wesley was able to rescue Lilah. However, Lilah was then murdered by Cordelia, who was possessed by Jasmine. Wesley is left devastated by this. 

When Angelus was unleashed by the team, Wesley freed Faith from prison. These two finally worked together as Watcher and Slayer. With the help of Faith and Scooby Gang member Willow Rosenberg, they were able to restore Angel’s soul and banish Angelus. 

Later, the team managed to stop Jasmine. Angel carried out a spell that removed the team’s memories of Connor, including Wesley’s betrayal. Angel Investigations then took over Wolfram and Hart as a way of improving it from within. 

Angel Season 5

Now an employee of Wolfram & Hart, Wesley was visited by his father, Roger. Roger tried to kill Fred, resulting in Wesley shooting him. However, Wesley realized that this was not his real father but merely a cyborg pretending to be him. Nonetheless, Wesley was shocked by how willing he was to murder his father. 

After years, Wesley eventually confessed his love for Fred. They started dating. Sadly, this happiness did not last. In the very next episode, Fred’s body was taken over by a demon parasite, called Illyria.

Fred died as Wesley was helpless to stop it from happening. Blaming Gunn for this, Wesley stabbed him. He also killed Knox, the man who infected Fred. 

Mourning Fred, Wesley became an alcoholic. He formed a bond with Illyria, the ancient demon who took over Fred’s body. Wesley helped her to better understand the modern world in which she found herself.

Wesley managed to release Fred’s old memories. Consequently, he also remembered Connor and his betrayal of Angel. 

Wesley helped Angel investigations in their battle against the Circle of the Black Thorn. When Wesley confronted the sorcerer Cyvus Vail, he was overpowered.

Wounded, Wesley was comforted by Illyria, who took the form of Fred. Wesley then died. In an act of vengeance, Illyria murdered Cyvus Vail. 

Personality / Traits

At first, Wesley has a pompous personality. Though he was a knowledgeable watcher, he was incapable of defending himself. This made him something of a laughing stock to the Scooby Gang.

He would also insist on following rules. This changed later, as he helped Buffy despite the orders of the Watcher’s Council. 

Despite this, Wesley saw himself as doing what was necessary. He was the only person who was willing to let the Mayor keep Willow instead of making a bargain with him. Wesley could also be quite brutal, as evidenced by his killing of Knox. 

Wesley’s personality mellowed when he joined Angel. When he betrayed the team, his personality became more rugged and negative. He distanced himself from his friends. The only person he had any connection to was Lilah. 

Appearance

In Sunnydale, Wesley was very well dressed, regularly wearing suits. He also wore smart glasses. When he became a member of Angel Investigations, his wardrobe became more relaxed though still quite formal. 

When he left Angel Investigations, he wore darker colors. This mirrored his darker personality. He also stopped wearing glasses and grew some stubble during this phase. 

Powers / Abilities

As a watcher, Wesley was well versed in knowledge when it came to the supernatural. This made him a skilled researcher. He also had some skills in combat and magic.

He was not much of a fighter when he was first introduced. However, as he developed as a character, his fighting capabilities improved Wesley was also a skilled marksman. 

Wesley was also proven to be quite a skilled sorcerer when he battled Cyvus Vail. Though he was defeated, Wesley showed powers such as creating fireballs. 

Relationships

Family Relationships

Roger Wyndam-Pryce

Wesley was not overly close with his father, Roger Wyndam-Pryce. Wesley always disappointed his father. As a result, he always wanted his dad’s approval. Roger was especially let down when Wesley was fired.

In “Lineage”, Wesley was confronted by what appeared to be his father. When Wesley learned of his father’s nefarious intentions, he shot his father. This was later revealed to only be a cyborg using Roger’s image. This event impacted Wesley considerably. 

Romantic Relationships

Cordelia Chase 

Wesley and Cordelia met when he arrived in Sunnydale as a watcher. Wesley had a crush on Cordelia, which was reciprocated. At the time, there was an age gap between them, since Cordelia was still a high school student.

Despite this, Wesley took Cordelia to her prom. They shared a kiss briefly, though they agreed not to continue with their attraction. A while after this, Wesley and Cordelia were reunited in Los Angeles. 

They became friends, with both of them working as members of Angel Investigations. During this time, they would frequently bicker. When Wesley, Cordelia, and Gunn were fired by Angel, they formed their own business. Their friendship was strained when Wesley betrayed Angel. When Cordelia died, Wesley mourned her. 

Winifred ‘Fred’ Burkle 

Wesley’s most serious relationship was with Fred. He developed an attraction to her not long after they first met. He intended to ask her out, but Wesley attacked Fred when he was under the control of Billy.

Wesley was too late, resulting in Gunn forming a relationship with Fred. Wesley was clearly very jealous of this relationship. When Weasley gave Connor to Daniel Holtz, Fred abandoned Wesley like the rest of the team.

 She did, however, try to reach out to him. Fred also attempted to open a dialogue between Angel and Weasley, though this was not successful. When she was no longer dating Gunn or Knox, Fred and Wesley eventually got together.

Their relationship did not last very long, as Fred soon became possessed by Illyria. Consequently, Fred died while Wesley held her. Wesley was deeply upset by her death, showing how much he cared for Fred. He avenged her by murdering Knox. 

Lilah Morgan 

After being abandoned by Angel Investigations, Wesley was in a vulnerable state. Lilah used this as an opportunity to hire Wesley, encouraging him to join Wolfram & Hart. Though Wesley refused, he nonetheless began a physical relationship with Lilah.

Despite this, they actually developed feelings for each other. Lilah noticed Wesley’s affection for Fred but continued to date him. 

Eventually, Wesley broke up with Lilah. Regardless, Wesley cared for Lilah. He was devastated when she was killed by Jasmine. Believing that Angelus was responsible for her murder, Wesley beheaded her corpse so that she would not become a Vampire. 

Virginia Price 

When Wesley and Virginia originally met, he was disguised as Angel. They even slept together while Wesley was posing as Angel. Virginia and Wesley pursued a romantic relationship when she learned of his true identity. This would not last. Virginia broke up with Wesley after he was shot, having realized just how dangerous his occupation was. 

Friends and Allies

Angel 

When they first met, Wesley was not very trustful of Angel. He refused to help the Vampire when he was poisoned by Faith. Months later, they would develop a friendship when Wesley moved to Los Angeles and joined Angel Investigations. Angel grew to trust Wesley. A year later, Angel fired Wesley, Cordelia, and Gunn.

This strained their friendship, though Angel eventually rejoined the team. They once again fell out when Wesley kidnapped Connor. Angel even threatened to kill Wesley. Wesley eventually saved Angel from an older Connor. He rejoined Angel Investigations and somewhat repaired his friendship with Angel. 

Charles Gunn 

At first, Gunn and Wesley were not close, coming from very different backgrounds. After they were both fired by Angel, Wesley and Gunn became closer. Wesley even took a bullet to the stomach to save Gunn.

After this, they became rivals for Fred’s affections. Weasley partly blamed Gunn for Fred’s death, stabbing him in anger. They did not get much of a chance to rebuild their friendship, as Wesley died soon after Fred. However, Gunn was still sad to hear this news. 

Lorne 

As a member and ally of Angel Investigations, Lorne was friendly with Weseley. 

Complicated Relationships

Faith Lehane 

Wesley was chosen to be Faith’s new Watcher by the Watcher’s Council. Faith was reluctant to embrace Wesley as a Watcher, having already been betrayed by Gwendolyn Post.

Post had falsely posed as Faith’s Watcher, resulting in her having some trust issues when it came to authority. When she killed an innocent man, Wesley attempted to have Faith arrested. In doing so, he betrayed Buffy and Angel, who were attempting to redeem Faith. She escaped and began working for the demonic Mayor of Sunnydale.

Sometime after this, Faith tortured Wesley. Though he was reluctant, Wesley helped protect Faith from the authorities. Ultimately, Faith gave herself up and was arrested. Years later, Wesley broke a reformed Faith out of jail.

This was so that she could help stop Angelus, Angel’s evil alter ego. During this time, they were capable of working together. 

Buffy Summers 

Buffy and Wesley were not particularly close. Though he was her Watcher, Buffy had already formed a father-daughter relationship with Rupert Giles. She was unhappy with the Watcher Council’s decision to succeed Giles.

She was especially annoyed with Wesley when he would not help save Angel. Ultimately, they did work together to battle the Mayor. 

Rupert Giles 

Having been sent by the Watcher’s Council to replace Giles, the relationship between Giles and Wesley was quite hostile. Despite this, they would eventually become better friends and work together. 

Illyria 

After Fred’s death, Wesley took care of Illyria. They argued a lot, though Wesley still helped her adjust to the modern setting.

When Wesley was mortally wounded, Illyria took on the appearance of Fred to comfort him. She was upset and angry at his death, resulting in her defeating Cyvus Vail.

Connor 

When Connor was a baby, Wesley became afraid for his safety after reading a prophecy. This prophecy stated that Angel would kill Connor, his son. To protect Connor, Wesley betrayed Angel.

This resulted in Daniel Holtz taking Connor and raising him in another dimension. Though Wesley’s actions were questionable, they were clearly motivated by concern for Connor. Wesley’s memories of these events would later be removed by Angel. 

They were eventually returned to Wesley when the Orlon Window was destroyed. 

Justine Cooper 

Though Wesley tried to persuade Justine to stop working with Daniel Holtz, Justine refused to listen. Instead, she slit his throat and left Wesley to die. When he recovered, Wesley kidnapped Justine and forced her to unveil what had happened to Angel.

After keeping her for months, Wesley eventually let Justine go after he saved Angel. 

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Appearances

In total, Wesley Wyndam-Pryce appears in 109 episodes of Buffy and Angel combined. He is one of the characters with the highest episode appearances in the Buffyverse. 

Wesley first appeared in the fourteenth episode of the third season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, entitled “Bad Girls.” He would then go on to appear in the rest of the episodes of this season, appearing in 9 episodes. Across the season, he appeared in nine episodes. After this, he would not appear in any more episodes of the show. He is treated as a recurring character in this show. 

However, he did then become one of the main characters in the spinoff, Angel. He first appeared in the episode “Parting Gifts.” He appears in every single episode of Angel after this. Two episodes that center around Wesley are “Guise Will Be Guise” in Season 2 and “Lineage” from Season 5. 

Though he died, Wesley appears in some of the comic book continuations of Buffy and Angel

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