Biography for Spike, aka William the Bloody, aka William Pratt
Spike's story before he appears in Sunnydale unfolds in flashbacks scattered among numerous episodes of both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. They are not presented in chronological order. The first flashback occurs in Buffy Season Five's "Fool for Love", and reveals that William was in fact an ineffectual gentleman who lived in London, England with his mother Anne. Anne would often sing the folksong "Early One Morning" to her son when he was a baby, right up until his late-twenties/early thirties. William's surname is given as "Pratt" in the non-canon comic Old Times; however, Joss Whedon has not confirmed this, lending question to its canonicity.
Before becoming a vampire in 1880, William was a struggling poet, often mocked by his peers who called him "William the Bloody" behind his back because his poetry was so "bloody awful." The true origins of this nickname were not revealed until three years after it was first mentioned in Season Two, when it was believed to have purely violent connotations. William showed a strong capacity for loyalty and devoted love, which followed him after his siring. After his romantic overtures were rejected by the aristocratic Cecily, a despondent William, while wandering the streets, bumped into Drusilla. She then bit him and transformed him into a vampire (it is stated in the Buffy episode "School Hard" that Angel was his sire; however, it is believed that the term "sire" can mean that Spike is simply "descended" from Angel, not necessarily that Angel sired him himself). Whereas new vampires in the Buffyverse often delight in killing their families once they become evil, William was a notable exception. Having always been very close to his mother, he turned her into a vampire to prevent her from dying from tuberculosis. Unfortunately, his mother, as a vampire, taunted William insinuating that William had always had a sexual fascination with her. He was forced to stake her because he could not bear to see his mother in such a twisted form. He would later write a poem about this traumatic experience entitled "The Wanton Folly of Me Mum," which was mentioned but not recited in the Angel finale "Not Fade Away".
After staking his mother, William began a new life with Drusilla, to whom he was utterly devoted. Euphoric with his newfound vampiric abilities he became a rebel, adopting a working class North London accent and embracing impulsiveness and violence. He adopted the nom de guerre "Spike", based on his supposed habit of torturing people with railroad spikes (it is in doubt whether he actually did this or not; he is never seen doing so at any time during the series), perhaps as a result of the insult one of his acquaintances used about his poetry: "I'd rather have a railroad spike through my head than listen to that awful stuff" (from Fool for Love). In the company of Drusilla, Angelus (later known as Angel), and Darla, Spike terrorized Europe and Asia for almost two decades. He had a strained relationship with Drusilla's sire Angelus, who continued a sexual relationship with her despite Spike's strong disapproval. Although Angelus did enjoy the company of another male vampire in their travels, he found Spike's eagerness for battle to be an unnecessary risk. Angelus regarded killing as an art, not a sport, and killed for the sheer act of evil; Spike did it for amusement and the rush.
In 1894, Spike and Angelus developed a rivalry with the enigmatic Immortal, who at one point had Spike sent to prison for tax evasion. In 1900, Spike killed a Slayer in China during the Boxer Rebellion, and in 1943, he was captured by Nazis for experimentation and taken aboard a submarine, where he was briefly reunited with Angel(us). By the 1950s, Spike had reunited with Drusilla and they traveled to Italy. At some point, Spike also became rivals with famous vampire Dracula, apparently over his debt of "eleven pounds." Spike attended Woodstock, and later fought and killed the Slayer Nikki Wood aboard a subway train in New York City, 1977, taking from her the leather jacket he wore throughout his appearances on Buffy and Angel (it is destroyed in an explosion in season 5 of Angel).
 Sunnydale Spike first arrives in Sunnydale in the second season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in the episode "School Hard", accompanied by Drusilla. Spike and Dru were fashioned after Sid and Nancy; punk, badass vampires to contrast sharply with the religiosity of the Master and the Order of Aurelius from Season One. Spike is in fact a fan of Sid Vicious' band, the Sex Pistols; he can be seen singing to a Gary Oldman cover of "My Way" in the final scene of the episode "Lovers Walk." Notably, Spike's first act in Sunnydale is to attack Buffy and a large group of people at her school, making his first appearance the deadliest of any of Buffy's "Big Bads." Throughout Season Two, Spike and Dru show for the first time on Buffy that vampires can be affectionate towards each other, and display the humanity and intricacies of vampire relationships. Spike was initially created as a disposable villain that was going to be killed off, however, he proved so popular with fans that Joss Whedon decided to simply injure him instead, in the episode "What's My Line, Part Two".
In Spike's first appearance in the episode "School Hard", Spike and Drusilla are major enemies of Buffy for much of the second season. They arrive shortly after Drusilla is seriously weakened by an angry mob in Prague, the details of which are revealed in the canon comic book "The Problem with Vampires". Spike is a devoted caretaker to Drusilla in her weakened condition, and initially hopes that the Hellmouth's energy can help restore her strength. He reunites with Angel, but is disgusted to find that he has a soul, and is in love with the current Slayer, Buffy Summers. When Angel loses his soul and rejoins Spike and Dru, Spike's initial celebration soon turns to resentment when Angelus starts pursuing Drusilla as a lover and taunting him. Spike decides to ally himself with Buffy against Angelus; he explains to Buffy that, in addition to wanting Drusilla back, he also wants to "save the world":
"We like to talk big, vampires do. I'm going to destroy the world. That's just tough guy talk. Strutting around with your friends over a pint of blood. The truth is, I like this world. You've got the dog racing, Manchester United, and you've got people: billions of people walking around like Happy Meals with legs. It's all right here. But then someone comes along with a vision, with a real passion for destruction. Angel could pull it off. Goodbye Piccadilly, farewell Leicester bloody Square." Spike (cf. "Becoming, Part Two").
Spike reappears in the Season Three episode "Lovers Walk", in a drunken depression after Drusilla dumps him for a Chaos Demon. After toying with the idea of using a love spell, he eventually resolves to win Drusilla back by simply torturing her until she likes him again. He also tells Buffy and Angel that no matter what happens, they will never be friends because of their love for one another. This insight foreshadows Spike's later role as the "truth-seer" of the group. Spike returns to Sunnydale alone in Season Four, in the episode "The Harsh Light of Day," briefly dating Harmony Kendall, a shallow young vampire. After being implanted by The Initiative with a microchip which prevents him from harming humans, Spike turns to the Scooby Gang for protection. This inability to bite is comically compared to impotence, much to Spike's constant humiliation. From then on, he becomes a Buffy cast regular and an unofficial member of the Scooby Gang, occasionally helping them out for a price, but having no qualms about betraying them to such enemies as Faith and Adam. In Season Four, Spike was introduced to fill a similarly antagonistic role as Cordelia had in seasons One to Three; as Joss Whedon explains on the DVD featurette, "All of our characters got to the point where they were loving and hugging, and it was sort of like, where's Cordelia?"
In Season Five, Spike becomes aware after some erotic dreams that, to his horror, he has fallen in love with Buffy. He becomes a more active participant in the Scooby Gang, jumping into several of Buffy's fights to provide assistance whether she wants it or not. When Buffy rejects his advances in the episode "Crush", Spike attempts to prove his love by kidnapping her to witness him killing Drusilla for her, to little avail. Not wanting to give up his obsession, Spike has Warren Mears make a robot in Buffy's likeness that is programmed to love and obey him. Disgusted, particularly after witnessing the full extent of Spike's obsession, Buffy rejects Spike again, but reconciles after Spike refuses to reveal the identity of Dawn Summers to Glory under intense torture, nearly laying down his life to protect her. Buffy is moved by his unexpected sacrifice and kisses him. In the days and hours leading up to the final showdown with Glory, Spike fights by Buffy's side, earning her trust. After Buffy dies in the showdown with Glory, Spike honors her memory by remaining loyal to the Scoobies, fighting at their side and serving the role of baby-sitter/father figure/protector to Dawn.
During the sixth season, Spike and Buffy become violent lovers following Buffy's resurrection. Unable to confide in her friends, Buffy is increasingly drawn to Spike. Their physical relationship starts after a demon's spell makes them express their emotions in song, and Buffy sings, "I want the fire back.", and is consummated two episodes later. Buffy most often initiates both the violence and the sex between them, and threatens to kill Spike if he ever tells anyone about their relationship. Both are unsatisfied with the relationship; Buffy is ashamed of her dark desires, while Spike obsessively craves the love, trust, and affection that she is unwilling to give. In the episode "As You Were", Buffy admits that she is using Spike and finally ends their relationship. Believing he still has a chance with Buffy after seeing her reactions of jealousy and hurt when he has a drunk sexual encounter with Anya, Spike corners her and makes aggressive sexual advances. When she refuses him, he grows desperate and unsuccessfully tries to rape her. Horrified by his own actions and intentions, Spike heads to a remote area of Africa, where he seeks out a legendary demon shaman and undergoes the Demon Trials, a series of grueling physical challenges. Proving his worthiness by surviving the trials, Spike earns his soul back.
In Season Seven, a re-ensouled Spike must cope with the guilt of his past actions and try to win back Buffy's trust. When Buffy asks him why he had fought for his soul, Spike explains that it was all in effort to find "the spark" for Buffy. Under influence of the First Evil's hypnotic trigger, Spike unknowingly starts killing again. After he discovers what he has done, he begs Buffy to stake him, but she refuses and takes him into her house, telling him she has seen him change. Buffy guards and cares for Spike throughout his recovery, telling Spike that she believes in him, a statement which later sustains him throughout his imprisonment and torture at the hands of the First. When Spike's chip begins to malfunction, causing him intense pain and threatening to kill him, Buffy trusts him enough to order the Initiative operatives to remove it from his head. When Nikki Wood's son Robin tries to kill Spike, he unwittingly frees Spike from his hypnotic trigger: the song "Early One Morning" that Spike's mother sang when he was human. The song evokes Spike's traumatic memories of his mother's abusive behavior toward him after she turned; after Spike is able to address these issues, he realizes that his mother had always loved him, knowledge which frees him from the First's control.
Later in the season, Spike and Buffy achieve an emotional closeness; they spend two nights together, one of which Spike describes as the best night of his life, just holding her. It is unclear whether they resume their sexual intimacy the second night; creator Joss Whedon says on the DVD commentary for "Chosen" that he intentionally left it to the viewers to decide how they felt the relationship progressed, though Whedon had earlier stated on the commentary that he personally felt having them resume a sexual relationship would send the wrong message. In the final battle inside the Hellmouth, Spike, wearing a mystical amulet, sacrifices himself to destroy the Turok-Han and close the Hellmouth. He is slowly incinerated in the process, but not before Buffy tells him "I love you." He replies, "No, you don't but thanks for saying it." Even as he burns and crumbles to dust, Spike laughs and revels in the destruction before him, glad to be able to see the fight to its end. He finally dies at the Hellmouth and saves the world in the process, becoming a Champion.
"Now, you listen to me. I've been alive a bit longer than you. And dead a lot longer than that. I've seen things you couldnt imagine--done things I'd prefer you didn't. I dont exactly have a reputation for being a thinker. I follow my blood. Which doesn't exactly rush in the direction of my brain. I've made a lot of mistakes. A lot of wrong bloody calls. A hundred plus years and there's only one thing I've ever been sure of. You." Spike (cf. "Touched").
Despite his apparent death at the end of Buffy's final season, Spike returns in the fifth and final season of the spin-off series Angel. Resurrected by the amulet in the Los Angeles branch of supernatural law firm Wolfram & Hart, he spends the first seven episodes of the series as an incorporeal being akin to a ghost. As well as battling enemies such as "the Reaper" Matthias Pavayne and psychotic Slayer Dana, Spike also takes on Angel to prove which one of them is the Champion spoken of in the Shanshu Prophecy. Spike defeats Angel, but the prophecy remains ambiguous. Manipulated by Lindsey McDonald into "helping the helpless", Spike becomes a sort of rival to Angel, resembling the heroic Champion Angel was in earlier seasons before becoming disillusioned and corrupted by the bureaucracy of Wolfram & Hart. Cordelia comments on this strange turn of events after coming out of her coma in "You're Welcome", exclaiming to Angel, "Okay, Spike's a hero, and you're CEO of Hell, Incorporated. What freaking bizarro world did I wake up in?"
When Fred is killed by Illyria, Spike mourns her death and decides to join Team Angel in her honour. Angel and Spike discover that Buffy is now dating the Immortal, and travel to Rome to find her, but fail to catch up with her. During the final episodes of Angel, Spike is the first to vote for Angel's plan to wound the Senior Partners by taking out the Circle of the Black Thorn. He then spends his potentially-last day returning to his mortal roots as a frustrated poet, triumphantly knocking them dead (figuratively) in an open mic poetry slam at a bar. After single-handedly rescuing an infant and destroying the Fell Brethren, Spike joins Angel, Illyria, and a badly-wounded Charles Gunn in the alley behind the Hyperion as the series draws to an end, preparing to incur the apocalyptic wrath of the Senior Partners, as a way of going out in a blaze of glory. The question of whether Spike survived this battle was left unanswered by the show.
Spike appears in certain material set after Angel Season Five.
Spike is set to appear in the canonical sixth season of Angel, titled Angel: After The Fall, written by Brian Lynch and plotted by Joss Whedon. Spike and Angel make cameo appearances in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight as part of Buffy's sexual fantasies, and may reappear later in the series.
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