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Xander Harris
Xander Harris 001.jpg
Xander Harris
Aliases: Alexander Lavelle Harris
Franchise: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Notability: Main character
Type: Student
Gender: Male
Location: Scotland [1]
Sunnydale, California
Known relatives: Anthony Harris [2]
Jessica Harris [3]
Status: Alive
Born: January, 1981 [4]
1st appearance: "Welcome to the Hellmouth"
Actor: Nicholas Brendon

Alexander Lavelle "Xander" Harris is a central character featured in the WB Network/United Paramount Network television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He was played by actor Nicholas Brendon and appeared in all 145 episodes of the series . The character has also been presented as a supporting character in several Buffy the Vampire Slayer video games, comic books and novels. In the show, Xander is presented as the good-hearted, yet nerdy friend of Buffy Summers who, although lacking in any supernatural powers or applicable skills, devotes himself towards aiding Buffy in her fight against the forces of evil. Xander has been romantically linked to several of the show's supporting characters including Willow Rosenberg, Cordelia Chase and Anya Jenkins.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Xander Harris was a young man who grew up in the town of Sunnydale, California. As a child he befriended a young girl named Willow Rosenberg. The two "dated" when they were five-years-old, but broke up after Xander stole her Barbie doll. [5] Despite the misdemeanor, the two remained extremely close friends; so much so that Xander began to regard Willow more as "one of the guys" rather than a girl.

As a teenager, Xander was a plucky, well-meaning boy, but was generally regarded as a geek by the other students at Sunnydale High School. His best friend at the time was another student named Jesse McNally. Both Xander and Jesse had a romantic interest in Sunnydale High's most popular student, Cordelia Chase, but Cordelia routinely dismissed their flirtations, usually by ridiculing them in front of the entire student body.

In 1997, Xander learned that a new girl had enrolled at Sunnydale named Buffy Summers. Eager to meet a potential future girlfriend, Xander introduced himself, but his nervous demeanor prevented him from making the cool, suave impression that he was hoping for. Regardless, Buffy endeared herself to Xander and the two quickly became friends. On that same day, Xander overheard Buffy speaking with school librarian Rupert Giles and learned that she was in fact a super-powered vampire slayer. This revelation changed Xander's entire world view. [6]

When Jesse McNally was kidnapped and turned into a vampire, Xander was desperate to help. Buffy didn't want him getting involved, believing the situation would place him in great danger. This rejection spurned feelings of guilt and inadequacy inside of him and despite Buffy's warning, he refused to stand idly by and do nothing while his friend was in danger. Xander finally found Jesse, but it was too late. Armed with a wooden stake, he held it to Jesse's chest, but tried still tried to reason with him. As it turned out, a woman brushed by, accidentally pushing Jesse onto Xander's stake, killing him. Because of this, Xander developed a lifelong hatred of vampires. [7]

As he spent more time around Buffy Summers, his feelings for her began to intensify. He bought her an ID bracelet as a show of affection, but Buffy didn't appear to understand the significance of the gift. He tried to muster up the nerve to ask her out, but when Buffy fell under the sway of a witch's spell, she revealed that she only regarded Xander as a friend. This left him greatly depressed, but he soon moved on. [8]

Xander then became the object of affection of a substitute science teacher named Natalie French. Miss French was an extremely attractive older woman who expressed great interest in Xander. She invited him over to her home to help her prepare a school science project. Xander quickly came to learn however, that Miss French was actually a She-Mantis - a mythological creature that mated with virgins and then killed them after using them to fertilize her eggs. She drugged Xander and locked him in a cage until the time was right for mating. Fortunately for Xander, Buffy, Willow and Giles showed up and destroyed the creature before she could end Xander's life. Unfortunately, he now had to deal with the fact that everyone now knew that he was a virgin. [9]

Xander soon found himself the victim of another variety of supernatural menace. During a high school field trip to the Sunnydale zoo, Xander and several other students ventured into the restricted hyena house which housed an extremely rare breed of hyenas bearing supernatural properties. The hyenas imprinted upon the students imparting upon them various behavioral characteristics. The group became ill-tempered, domineering, self-absorbed and moreover, harbored an intense craving for flesh, be it animal or human. Buffy and Willow immediately picked up on Xander's change in personality. When Willow tried to help him with his geometry work, Xander blew her off, even to the point of making fun of her. During gym class, Xander aggressively targeted both Buffy and Willow during a game of Dodge Ball, using greater strength and tenacity than the game warranted. He later rejoined with the other affected students and they broke into Principal Flutie's office and ate Herbert the pig, the school's football mascot. When Buffy tried to confront him, Xander's pent up sexual aggression towards her took control and he pinned her to the floor, possibly even with the intent of violating her. Buffy fought him off by throwing a desk at him. She knew for certain now that Xander's behavior was anything but natural and she locked him up inside of a cage in the library. Xander tried tricking Willow into letting him out, but she refused. The rest of his new pack members broke Xander out and they began tailing Buffy. Buffy, now aware of what needed to be done, baited them into following her back to the zoo. The zookeeper was keenly aware of the hyenas' supernatural properties and used a ritual to steal the power from Xander and the others. With a little help from Giles, Buffy was able to defeat the zookeeper who became a victim of the very hyenas he was charged with guarding. Xander and the others returned to normal. Xander retained full memory of everything he had done while under the possession of the animal spirit, but let Buffy and Willow believe that he had no knowledge of his previous actions. Giles however, knew better, but swore to keep the truth a secret. [10]

Notes & Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Xander Harris and Buffy Summers are the only two characters to appear in every single episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  • Although Xander is not a trained fighter, he did briefly attend a martial arts school so he could defend himself better during fights. It was at this time that Xander killed an ancient Chinese vampire named San Sui. [11]
  • Xander and Willow Rosenberg used to date when they were five-years-old, but broke up after Xander stole her Barbie doll. [12]
  • Xander's middle name, Lavelle, was revealed in the season one episode "Teacher's Pet".

See also[edit | edit source]

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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