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Spike, also known as William the Bloody, was a vampire character from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer television series, portrayed by James Marsters. He made his initial appearance in season two, arriving in town as one episode closed. Later, however, he became—along with his female cohort Drusilla—one of the show’s more popular villains. He hung around long after his initial story line was exhausted and emerged as one of the leading ongoing characters on the show. After the Buffy series ended, a place was found for him on the Buffy spin-off show Angel.
Spike’s life before his arrival in Sunnydale, California, (Buffy’s hometown) was told in various episodes of Buffy. He emerged as a young poet in London, England, at some point in the late nineteenth century. He got his nickname, William the Bloody, from friends who thought his poetry was “Bloody awful,” but was saved from a life of bad reviews by Drusilla, the slightly deranged vampire who turned him. He then met the evil Angel (before he was cursed with the return of his soul), and was thus trained in the vampire life by the one known as Angelus. Angel aside, however, while developing his close relationship with Drusilla, Spike turned on those who had complained that they had rather have a railroad spike driven through their head than listen to his poetry. From his acts of revenge, he adopted the name by which he became known. He seemed to enjoy killing people.
Spike often bragged about killing two slayers (one in China in 1900 and another, named Nikki Wood, in 1977 in New York) and came to Sunnydale to kill number three. He wore a black jacket which he took from the second slayer. He had at least one encounter with Dracula, who tossed Spike’s autographed copy of Bram Stoker‘s novel into a fire. Spike claimed that Dracula owed him eleven pounds for the lost book. He also came to Sunnydale (the sight of the Hellmouth, the entrance to the hell realms) in an attempt to find healing for Drusilla, who had been hurt while under attack from a mob.
By the time Spike and Drusilla arrived in Sunnydale, Spike had taken on the persona of a punk rocker. His love of killing was immediately manifested when he attacked a group of people at Sunnydale High School and almost got to Buffy. He then aligned with Angel, but broke with him when Angel (now reverted to his evil side) attempted to make Drusilla his lover. The ups and downs of his relationship with Drusilla became a subplot of season three, and eventually took him from the city.
Spike returned to Sunnydale in a quest to find the Gem of Amarra, a ring with the power to make any vampire immune to sunlight. His effort was thwarted, however, and he was eventually taken captive by the Initiative, a secret government agency that was tracking and fighting the various kinds of creatures that Buffy opposed. It planted a microchip in Spike that prevented him from biting (or otherwise hurting) any human. Once freed of their control, he turned to Buffy for assistance. Over the next year, he assisted Buffy friends, but also betrayed them on occasion—constantly searching for a way to get the chip removed. He also fell in love with Buffy, only to have her constantly reject him. She was horrified to discover that he had a robot double of her upon which to exercise his fantasies.
A significant change in Buffy and Spike’s relationship began when he refused to disclose the identity of Buffy’s sister Dawn as the “Key” which the demon goddess glory was seeking. He then aligned with Buffy friends to continue the fight against vampires in the period after Buffy’s death at the end of season five and prior her resurrection in season six. His unusual status as a member of the close circle around Buffy allowed him to become Buffy’s confidant. It is to Spike that Buffy revealed that she had been in a heavenly state while dead and was unhappy with her friends for bringing her back. While still grieving her situation, Buffy began a sexual relationship with Spike, notable for its violence. Buffy finally ended the relationship, considering it unsatisfying. Unwilling to accept being cut off, Spike attempted to rape Buffy. Finally, realizing that in his present condition he could never have Buffy, he departed Sunnydale for a remote location where he found a shaman who was capable of giving him his soul (the major component being a conscience).
As the only vampire other than Angel with a soul, Spike returned to Sunnydale ready to make things right with Buffy and to assist her with the last battle with the ultimate opponent, the First Evil. Meanwhile, while trying to establish some trust, his new conscience forces him to deal with guilt over his past actions. Buffy finally took him in and oversaw his recovery. She also facilitated the removal of his chip. He then had to withstand the attention of the son of the slayer Nikki Wood, whom he had killed, and who, as the new principal of Sunnydale High, had aligned with Buffy.
While not renewing their sexual relationship, Spike and Buffy became close emotionally. In the final battle with the horde of vampires emerging from the Hellmouth, Buffy trusted Spike with the key action. He wore a magical amulet, and in an act of self-sacrifice, allowed its energy to radiate from him to destroy the horde and close the Hellmouth. In the process, Spike was consumed along with all of Sunnydale. Just before Spike died, Buffy professed her love for him.
As had been demonstrated throughout the Buffy and Angel series, it was difficult to kill a vampire with any finality. Thus, it was not surprising that, given Spike’s popularity, he reappeared on the continuing Angel series. He was resurrected by another amulet, but initially manifested as a ghost-like being. He haunted the law firm Wolfram and Hart, whose Los Angeles office has been taken over by Angel and his new group of colleagues. After some time, he was finally reembodied. His rivalry with Angel gave him an ambiguous role, but he truly aligned with Angel only after one of his team, a woman called Fred (short for Winifred) was killed by a demon Illyria, who took over her body. In the final episode, Spike joined Angel in the battle to sever, at least temporarily, the Senior Partners of Wolfram and Hart’s positioning on earth, by destroying the Circle of the Black Thorn, their major point of access.
That Spike ended his television appearances on Angel has had serious implications for the continuation of the character in the post-television comic books. While both Spike and Angel have had cameo appearances in the season eight series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics from Dark Horse Comics, Spike’s major adventures have been in the Angel comics from IDW Publishing. In Angel: After the Fall, the official comics continuing the television storyline, we learn that both Spike and Angel survived the battle that was just beginning as the television series ended, but that the city of Los Angeles now exists in a hell dimension. As Angel regrouped, Spike took up residence in Beverly Hills, where he and Illyria were living outwardly as Demon Lords, while assisting humans to escape life in Los Angeles, and joining Angel’s efforts to bring down his fellow demon lords. Spike also continued to protect Illyria, because she possessed the essence of Fred, and hence the possibility of her resurrection.
As Spike’s character increased in popularity, he began to appear on all of the paraphernalia that developed out of the television series. He was pictured on numerous trading cards, had his own action figures, and eventually, as noted above, his own comic books (from IDW). Spike has also prompted significant comment from scholars studying Buffy and Angel.
an inflorescence, having sessile flowers (simple spike) or spikelets with a few flowers (compound spike) on the elongated main axis. Examples of plants with simple spikes are plants of the genus Plantago and many orchids. Rye, wheat, barley, and other cereals have compound spikes.
a part used for fastening rails to wooden crossties or beams. Spikes are made of carbon steel. They have an oval head, a square shank, and a pointed end. The standard spike has an overall length of 165 mm and weighs 0.378 kg. Longer spikes, with lengths of 205, 230, 255, and 280 mm, are used for track repairing.