Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an Emmy Award-winning and Golden Globe-nominated American cult television series that aired from March 10, 1997 until May 20, 2003. The series was created in 1997 by writer-director Joss Whedon. The series narrative follows Buffy Summers (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar), the latest in a line of young women chosen by fate to battle against vampires, demons, and the forces of darkness as the Slayer. Like previous Slayers, Buffy is aided by a Watcher, who guides and trains her. Unlike her predecessors, Buffy surrounds herself with a circle of loyal friends who become known as the "Scooby Gang."
Although Willow had previously been established as a "straight girl", pining after Xander and enjoying a long-term relationship with Oz, there are hints of her being at least bisexual in the episode "Doppelgangland" when she meets her vampire alter ego.
In Season Four, following Oz's departure, Willow secretly performs spells with fellow Wiccan Tara, but there are hints that they are more than just friends. The first confirmation that their relationship is romantic in nature comes in the episode "Who Are You?." Since coming out in Season Four, the Willow character became one of the most prominent lesbian characters in pop culture, having enjoyed the longest-running lesbian relationship on network television, lasting approximately two and a half seasons. Willow and Tara earned a dedicated fan base of gay and bisexual viewers who were inspired by the characters, with Alyson Hannigan and Amber Benson becoming gay icons.
However, broadcasting constraints from the WB meant that, unlike the heterosexual characters, Willow and Tara were not allowed to be shown in any sexual scenes. The couple did not have their first on-screen kiss until the Season Five episode, "The Body", almost a year after their relationship began. (The context of the scene involved Tara comforting Willow after the death of Joyce Summers.) This changed significantly when Buffy switched networks to the more lenient UPN, with Willow and Tara shown kissing, sharing a bed, and even having implied oral sex ("Once More, With Feeling"). The character of Willow continued to break new ground when, in the Season Seven episode "Touched", she was seen having sex with her new girlfriend Kennedy, in the first lesbian sex scene on network television. It is worth noting that this relationship is the only one involving one of the "core four" (Buffy, Willow, Xander, and Giles), to survive the series, all previous relationships having come to a tragic end one way or the other.
Willow's alter ego in "Doppelgangland" displays overt bisexuality, with Willow forming strong heterosexual relationships across the first three seasons of Buffy. She also comments upon Dracula's sexiness, which is likely caused by Dracula's thrall over people, in "Buffy vs. Dracula," and even reveals a former crush on Giles after seeing him sing with his guitar at the coffee shop. Later in the series, Willow's relationship with dealer Rack takes on sexual overtones, although it is mostly because of the magic he gives her. However, Willow does make her preferences clear. In "Him", as one of the many women under RJ Brooks' love spell, she seeks to transform him into a woman. Discussing the conquests of best friend Xander in "The Long Way Home, Part Three", Willow teasingly says that even she "went in for smoochies" before reiterating "and I don't truck with the stubbly crowd."
A new species of sea slug found on the West Coast, Alderia willowi, was named after this character in a tongue-in-cheek tribute due to Alderia willowi's rare reproductive dimorphism and Willow's own unique sexuality shifts during various seasons and episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Buffy and Season EightEdit
In the story "Wolves at the Gate", Buffy shares a lesbian encounter with fellow Slayer Satsu; however Satsu leaves soon after because she realizes Buffy cannot return her feelings.