5704 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Giles (Anthony Head in Buffy)

Rupert Giles


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Giles is a major character in the highly popular, cult classic 1990s TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He’s a mentor figure, more or less.

If you need additional context, do read the Buffy Summers character profile first. That’ll totally help.


Background

  • Other Aliases: Rupert Giles, “The Ripper”
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Unnamed father and grandmother, presumably deceased
  • Group Affiliation: The Watchers
  • Base Of Operations: Sunnydale, California; Bath, England; Mobile
  • Height: 6’0” Weight: 168lbs
  • Eyes: Green Hair: Brown, Graying


History

Rupert Giles had all intentions of becoming a fighter pilot for the Royal Air Force, growing up… that, or maybe a grocer. Either way, his dreams were shattered at the age of ten. His father came to him and explained that young Rupert was to one day be the Watcher of the Slayer, as the elder Giles was now, and his mother before him.

Rupert tried to accept his destiny, but it was too much for a young man to have a destiny. So, during his college years, he rebelled, finding himself involved in many dangerous things, including drugs and dark cults. After time, and a personal crisis, however, he went back to accepting his destiny as Watcher.

Eventually, Giles was assigned to Sunnydale, California. There he was to await the Slayer, whoever and whenever she may be. Knowing that she would, in all likelihood, be a young high school girl, Giles took a “cover” job as librarian at Sunnydale High School.

There, he soon learned that the local students and faculty rarely, if ever, visited the library, so he moved much of his private occult collection to the shelves.

He also learned that Sunnydale sat atop what an earlier generation had called “La Boca d’Infierno”—the Hellmouth, whatever that may be, and regardless of whether anyone would ever believe him.

Meet Buffy

Giles met the new Slayer, Buffy Summers, the day she enrolled at Sunnydale High. He recognized her instantly and began to explain who he was. He then learned that she was not interested in her career as Slayer, after trouble she faced at her previous school for such adventuring. A crisis, however, brought the mismatched pair (and some additional friends) together.

Over the course of years and many other crises and battles, he, Buffy, and Buffy’s friends would fight many battles together. They saved the world several times over. Allies would come and go. The school would be destroyed (by Giles’s own hand) on Graduation Day.

Each member of the group would grow, and the whole group became something of a family, with Giles serving as their patriarch.

Over this time, Giles has had little luck with romance. A romance with Jenny Calendar was cut short when she was murdered by Angelus to throw the group off-balance. A budding romance with Joyce Summers was avoided to keep from making Buffy, her daughter, uncomfortable, and any hopes for it were dashed when Mrs. Summers died.

Olivia, a woman from Giles’s past, was unable (apparently) to deal with the darker world in which Giles lived in the present.

Albion and back

When Buffy died (again), Giles decided to move back to England, leaving his “family,” now grown, to fend for itself.

He eventually returned when Buffy was resurrected (again). But he could not bear to see the strong woman so dependent on him, and so he left again. He later returned to help save the world from none other than his other surrogate daughter, Willow Rosenberg, whom he also helped to rehabilitate.

Giles also returned to Sunnydale to help fight the First Evil, once again training and leading “his children” into battle, though this time at Buffy’s — and Faith’s — side.

With the proliferation of young women with the Slayer’s birthright, Giles has used his resources to resurrect the Watchers Council. He now travels the world with many of his Sunnydale allies, seeking out new Slayers and Watchers, to train and shepherd them into the new world.


Description

Well, he looks kinda like the old Taster’s Choice guy … Never mind. It’s been too long to use that gag.

Rupert Giles is tall and thin, with greying hair and a narrow face with rounded features and a strong chin. Once upon a time, he dressed in tweed suits, wire-rimmed glasses, cartigan sweater/jackets (with mothballs in the pockets, no doubt), simple (though sometimes “colorblind”) checked shirts, and sensible shoes almost exclusively.

He was dressed in such a way that nearly shouted both “librarian” and “British,” utterly stereotypical.

With the demise of his job as high school librarian, Giles invested in (or dredged up) a more modern wardrobe, such as might be seen on a nonstereotype. Still leaning toward the mostly conservative, Giles was often seen wearing simple sweatshirts, jeans, and other relaxed, casual clothes.

Perhaps of interest to those curious about Giles’s “dark” days, on closeups, one can occasionally see an earring hole (or the remnants of one) in his left earlobe, though no earring has ever been evident.


Personality

Earlier in his career, Giles comes off occasionally as “exceedingly British”—highly intelligent, a rare, but dry, biting sense of humor, a strong sense of responsibility, and a very proper sense of fashion (i.e., he considers it rather unimportant). He “consulted his books” often, and Buffy referred to him as a “textbook with arms.”

Even then, though, there were cracks to the “prim and proper” cover. He, of course, understood from the beginning that information- gathering could not always be completely legal. He, therefore, acknowledged that fact by vocally disclaiming any knowledge of the covert activity and leaving his charges to whatever work lay ahead of them.

Over time, though, it became obvious that this attitude was mostly overcompensation for his wilder youth, and Giles quickly came out of his shell. Today, he is much more a father figure than anything else, and will gladly help any of his friends on a moment’s notice, particularly Buffy, who he regards as a friend, ally, and surrogate daughter.


Quotes

“Oh, dear lord.”

“What do you know about this town ? Dig a bit in the history of this place, and you’ll find there’ve been a steady stream of fairly odd occurrences. I believe this area is a center of mystical energy. Things gravitate toward it that you might not find elsewhere.” (Buffy suggests vampires) “Like werewolves. Zombies. Succubi, incubi…Everything you ever dreaded under your bed, and told yourself couldn’t be by the light of day.”

“Right. This is me having fun. Watching clown-hair prance about is hardly my idea of a party. I’d much prefer to be home with a cup of bovril and a good book.”

“Can you tell me if there’s a vampire in this building ? You should know ! Even through this mass and this din, you should be able to sense them. Try. Reach out with your mind. You have to hone your senses, focus until the energy washes over you, ’til you can feel every particle of—”

“But… you didn’t… hone…”

“The Earth is doomed.”

“Me ? I’ll be fine. I’m more concerned about you, actually. Ever since Angel… turned, I’ve been reading up on his earlier activities. Learning more about his habits, feeding patterns, the like. There’s a disturbing trend. Around Valentine’s Day he’s prone to rather brutal displays of… what he would think of as affection, I suppose. No — no need to go into detail. Suffice to say it would be best if you stayed off the streets for a few nights. I can patrol. Keep my eye on things. Better safe than sorry.”

“In my years as a Watcher, I’ve buried… too many people. Some I knew, most I didn’t. Jenny is the first one that I’ve loved.”

“Yes, my contrition completely dwarfs the impending apocalypse.”

“Good show, Giles. At least you didn’t get knocked out for a change. Ah, ladies. You would be the Three Sisters, yes ? Excellent. Right. I’d heard you were only myth, but… obviously erroneous. Heh. That tickles ! Oh, dear God.”

(Later) “Thank God you came. I was doomed. There was no possible escape. Is that my shoe ? Silly me, I’ll just pop down and…”

(Later) “… I was not ‘making time’ ! I — I was just about to kill those loathsome creatures when Riley interrupted me…”

“Well, hurt… maybe not hurt… Yes, yes, I imagine it gave him rather a turn… [He] sort of, more… turned and swept out majestically, I suppose. Said I didn’t concern him.”

“Well, I’m not dead or unconscious, so I say bravo for me.”

“Because it’s a killer snot monster from outer space. I did not say that. What I said was, ‘there are demons who approach our world in all sorts of different ways. This one came from above.’”

“Yes, well, my ego thanks you for your little ruse, but I’m forced to agree that I’m barely and adequate substitute for a slayer in the house.”

(After being called “adequate” by Dawn) “And the accolades keep pouring in. I’d best take my leave before my head swells any larger. Good night.”

“Dear God, Buffy, there’s only so much I can take. We’re simply going to have to change the system. A 14-year-old is too old to be baby-sat for. It’s not fair to her… we listened to some aggressively cheerful music sung by people chosen by their ability to dance, then we ate cookie dough and talked about boys.”

“Buffy, if the ritual starts, every living creature in this and every other dimension imaginable will suffer unbearable torment and Death. Including Dawn. You’ll fail. You’ll die. We all will.”

“Yes, Anya, apart from your incredibly uninfectious enthusiasm, have you anything to contribute ? Any ideas on how to fight a god ? Love to hear ’em.”

“I arrived home. Met with the council. Other than that, there wasn’t much to report. I keep a flat in Bath. Saw a few old friends and almost made a new one, which I believe is statistically impossible for a man my age.”

“You’re a very stupid girl. Do you have any idea what you’ve done ? The forces you’ve harnessed ? The lines you’ve crossed ? Oh, don’t worry, you’ve made a deep impression. Of everyone here, you were the one I trusted most to respect the forces of nature… Oh, there are others in the world who can do what you did. You just don’t want to meet them… Having Buffy back in the world makes me feel indescribably wonderful — but I wouldn’t congratulate you if you jumped off a cliff and happened to survive. You were lucky…If I had been [there], I’d have bloody well stopped you ! The Magicks you channeled are more primal and ferocious than you can hope to understand, and you’re lucky to be alive, you rank, arrogant amateur.”

“Well, now I know I’m back in America as I’ve been knocked unconscious.”

“Well, I sang, but I have my guitar at the hotel, and I often — of course that would explain the huge backing orchestra I couldn’t see and the synchronized dancing from the room service chaps…”

“Well, I’m a hair’s breadth from investigating bunnies at this point, so I’m open to anything.”

“Certainly emotions are running high, but as far as I could tell the victims burnt up from the inside. Spontaneously combusted. I just saw the one — I managed to examine the body while the police were taking witness arias.”

“Well, if we hear any inspirational power chords we’ll just lie down until they go away.”

“When I want your opinion, Spike, I… will never want your opinion.”

“[I’ve] contained her and her powers within a binding field. It puts her in a kind of stasis for the time — you’ve cut your hair.”

“The Council hasn’t a clue. About much of anything, really. There’s a powerful coven in Devonshire. They sensed the rise of a dangerous magical force here. A dark force, fueled by grief… Then a seer in the coven told me about Tara. That’s when the coven imbued me with their powers.”

“In any case, the magic she took from me tapped into the spark of humanity she had left. Allowed her to feel again… Giving Xander the opportunity to reach her. Yes. It was he that got to her in time. He saved us all.”

“It’s a lot more than [radical]. Buffy, what you’re talking about flies in the face of everything we’ve ever — that every generation has ever done in the fight against evil. I think it’s bloody brilliant. If you want my opinion.”

“I’ll start digging up my sources. Literally, actually ; there’s one or two people I need to talk to who are dead.”

“Well, no, aren’t we going to discuss this ? We’re saving the world to go to the mall ?”

“The Earth is definitely doomed.”

“Yes, because the mall was actually in Sunnydale, so no hope of going there tomorrow…”


DC Universe History

After a series of terrible actions in their youth, Giles was be one of several humans cursed many years ago with a long life. With many decades of experience behind him, he became a parapsychological consultant, wandering Europe partly to atone, but also to find a way out of his predicament.

Giles has frequently worked with John Constantine on individual projects. They, of course, have never liked each other, but each always tends to have exactly the information that the other needs, so they make sure to stay in contact.

To help with his atonement, the Phantom Stranger has assigned Giles to help advise and train young Timothy Hunter in the ways of magic. In this role, he is almost indistinguishable from his role on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, though his relationship with Tim is not quite as close as it could be.

Several years ago, Giles left Tim’s school to advise the Justice League against the Grey Man. Later that year, he helped determine the background of the mind-controlling entity that KORD, Inc. accidentally unleased on the world.

For a time, Giles joined up with “Hell and Back Consulting”—an experience which has left the poor fellow emotionally scarred (and quite confused) to this day. He and Petey didn’t get along well. This caused him to move back to Britain, where he helped the European contingent of the Justice League on several cases.

Today, Giles acts as a parapsychology expert for Oracle’s information services, backing up Barbara Gordon’s extensive files with things that she never would have even believed existed.


Sharing

The links to follow us and/or subscribe to our monthly newsletter are at the bottom of this page.



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Giles

Dex: 06 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 07 Wil: 07 Min: 08 Occupation: Watcher, Adventurer
Inf: 05 Aur: 06 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 009
Init: 020 HP: 025

Skills:
Artist (Guitarist): 04, Artist (Singer): 09, Martial Artist: 05, Occultist: 07, Vehicles (Land): 04, Weaponry: 06

Bonuses and Limitations:
The Premonition Subskill of Occultist requires a good library and time to research. The standard time to research a prophecy is approximately one week (18APs of Time), reduced by the number of APs assigned to the library which Giles is using. Giles personally maintains an excellent library, which must go through periodic Upkeep as if it were a 5 AP Laboratory.

Advantages:
Attractive, Leadership, Omni-Scholar, Languages (Giles can speak and read Latin, Sumerian, and several other languages fluently, and can muddle through and translate many others, such as Gaelic)

Connections:
Buffy (High), New Watchers (High)

Drawbacks:
MPR (Myopia), Arch-Enemy (Ethan Rayne), Dependent (Dawn Summers), Miscellaneous (When adventuring in the United States, Giles falls unconscious when at 2APs of BODY, rather than zero)


Design Notes

It’s true that Singing seems a tad high, but (a) Giles was the best singer in the musical, which I believe enhanced (or did not) the soundtrack to reflect the abilities of the characters, (b) most everyone agreed with 8APs for Tara, and (c) the characters were all mesmerized when they first heard Giles sing.


By John Colagioia

Source of Character: Television, Buffy, the Vampire Slayer, played by Anthony Stewart Head

Subscribe to our MINI-NEWSLETTER !

One bare-bones e-mail per month. Plain text. Short. To the point. Learn more.