5840 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Faith Lehane (Eliza Dushku in Buffy and Angel)

Faith Lehane


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

“Faith. Her name alone invokes awe. ‘Faith’. A set of principles or beliefs upon which you’re willing to devote your life. The Dark Slayer. A lethal combination of beauty, power, and death.”


Context

Faith Lehane is from Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series in the late 1990s. This cult classic recast the stock horror movie promiscuous blonde girl into the badass hero. Buffy Summers thus was a Slayer, chosen and empowered to fight demons, vampires and the forces of darkness.

A fellow Slayer, Faith was at first Buffy’s uneasy ally. She quickly became her dark opposite and an anti-hero. Faith’s descent into darkness was fascinating to watch. One could not help but feel pity for her as she hit rock bottom, and cheer for her as she eventually climbed back into the light.

This profile covers the third season of Buffy and the first season of spin-off series Angel.


Advertisement


Background

  • Real Name: Faith Lehane.
  • Other Aliases: The Slayer, “The Other One”, The Rogue Slayer.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: George Patrick Lehane (father), Mother (Unnamed), Grandfather (Unnamed), Stella (aunt).
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Base Of Operations: Los Angeles (Prison).
  • Height: 5’5” Weight: 128 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Dark Brown


Powers & Abilities

Strength Level

Faith possesses supernatural strength. She can lift at least eight hundred pounds directly overhead.

Known Superhuman Powers

As a “Slayer,” Faith’s body has been infused with the raw power of a pure demon. This grants her supernatural strength, speed, agility, durability, stamina and the ability to recover from injury at a highly accelerated rate.


Advertisement


While the exact limits of these gifts are hard to define, it is clear that they exceed those possessed by the average vampire.

Presumably, Faith’s “Slayer” heritage allows her to periodically experience prophetic visions during her sleep in the same manner that Buffy Summers does.

Abilities

Faith is an unnaturally talented acrobat and hand to hand combatant. Though she doesn’t possess the same level of skill and experience that Buffy does, her unnatural physical prowess and frenzied style of fighting more than closes the gap between the two.

Like Buffy, Faith has displayed a mastery of melee weapons of all types, though she tends to favour bladed weapons or wooden stakes (for obvious reasons).

Limitations

While Faith is more far more durable than the average human being, she is still vulnerable to most forms of conventional injury (bullets, knives, etc.), and most other human ailments (sleep, hunger, etc).

Weapons

At any time, Faith can be found with one or more stakes (a length of wood, with one end sharpened to a point) secreted about her person and/or an unusually large and wicked looking knife.


History

Faith Lehane was born into an abusive family in Boston, Massachusetts. Her experiences at home left her with deep emotional scars and sociopathic tendencies.

This all changed when Kendra Young died and Faith was “Chosen”. With her new found strength came Diana Dormer, her Watcher. Diana provided a stabilizing influence for Faith and helped to tame the wilder parts of her nature.

The two shared many weird and wonderful adventures together. One high point was receiving a hug from a Baptist preacher while completely naked and literally wrestling crocodiles. However, they eventually ran afoul of a particularly ancient vampire named Kakistos.

Kakistos soundly defeated Faith in single combat, but not before he forced her to watch him brutally murder Diana. After her defeat, Faith fled from Kakistos and Boston with the sole intent of getting as far away from the ancient vampire as she could.

She didn’t stop running until she reached the one place she thought she’d be safe; Sunnydale California.

New Girl in Town

Faith sought out Buffy (presumably using information that Diana had provided to her before her death) on the very first night she arrived in Sunnydale. The two met in the alleyway behind a local night club when Faith fought and destroyed a vampire.

Putting on her best “face”, Faith charmed Buffy’s friends, her mother and even her Watcher Giles. She wasn’t so fortunate with Buffy however; from the outset of their meeting Faith could tell that Buffy resented her presence.

Faith quickly realized that no matter what she did, she simply could not gain the original Slayer’s trust.

The situation eventually came to a head. Buffy came to Faith’s hotel room and confronted Faith about the true purpose behind her visit to Sunnydale. As the two argued briefly in the hotel room, they were interrupted by the sudden appearance of Kakistos.

The ancient vampire had tracked Faith to Sunnydale seeking vengeance for the scar she left him with during their initial battle.

Faith initially fell to pieces in fear of the venerable vampire, leaving Buffy to fight him on her own. However, when Buffy was in danger of losing her life to Kakistos, Faith found her resolve and killed him with a massive impromptu stake.

With Kakistos’ death, the two Slayers formed a tentative bond. Buffy initial coldness towards Faith turned to acceptance of her presence (if not actual friendship). With the revelation of Diana’s demise, Giles told Faith that she could remain under his care until the Watcher’s Council sent her a new Watcher.

Looking in from the outside

Gwendolyn Post arrived in Sunnydale soon-thereafter claiming to be Faith’s new Watcher. She also bore the grim news of an ancient weapon that was rumoured to be in Sunnydale, the Glove of Myhnegon.

Gwendolyn’s no-nonsense nature and take charge attitude soon had the two Slayers searching high and low for the Glove. Though they were unable to find it, they did manage to slay the demon who had been searching for it.

During this time, Faith actually started to bond with Gwendolyn. Despite her rather stern mannerisms, Gwendolyn’s almost maternal nature appealed to a need that lay deep within Faith. As they grew closer, Faith became more isolated from Buffy and her group of friends.

Shortly thereafter, Faith encountered an angry Xander in the Bronze. As the two talked Xander confided in Faith that he had discovered that Buffy had been lying to them all for days. She had already found the Glove of Myhnegon and had given to her former lover Angel, who had miraculously returned from the dead.

Faith jumped to the same conclusion that Xander did, and assumed that Angel was a threat with the Glove.

Faith Lehane (Eliza Dushku) aims a crossbow

She set out immediately for Angel’s old mansion on the outskirts of town. Faith arrived just in time to see the enigmatic vampire hovering over the prone form of Gwendolyn. When Gwendolyn bade her to slay Angel, Faith attacked him without pause and would have killed him if not for Buffy’s timely arrival.

Buffy tried to convince Faith to stand down, but Faith stubbornly refused to be swayed. Left at odds, the two fought briefly and fiercely.

As the two struggled to gain the upper hand, Gwendolyn put on the Glove and activated the weapon. In that moment, she revealed her true reason for coming to Sunnydale. She had abandoned her post as a Watcher and sought only the power of the Glove. With that, she attempted to murder everyone who was present.

The two Slayers put aside their differences in that moment and worked together to defeat (and ultimately) slay Gwendolyn.

In the aftermath, Faith realized that she would never really be part of the “gang.” They all knew about Angel before she did and Buffy had chosen Angel over her. In that moment, she gave up trying to earn their acceptance.

Bad Girls

Faith encountered Xander several days later while fighting a demon. The demon had somehow gained the upper-hand on her when Xander ran it down with his car. The two returned to Faith’s motel room, and with all of the post-battle adrenalin running through them, they had sex.

When the they finished, Faith politely asked Xander to leave so she could get some rest.

Faith’s behaviour continued to grow more erratic after her encounter with Xander. She began taking greater risks as a Slayer, and convinced Buffy to join her. The two began to attack entire nests of vampires during the night or even in the middle of the day.

They ignored the orders of Faith’s new Watcher, Wesley Windham Price, at every turn. When they weren’t Slaying they were dancing off the after-glow of battle. Nothing seemed to be off limit for the two. They even assaulted a pair of police officers after being arrested for robbing a sports store (they were stocking up to attack a warehouse full of demons).

Their reckless behaviour eventually came back to haunt them, when Faith accidentally murdered the Deputy Mayor. She and Buffy were fleeing from a group of vampires down a series of alleyways when the Deputy Mayor came surging out of the darkness at them. Faith reacted instantly and staked the man through the chest.

Faith tried to convince Buffy that it wasn’t her fault, and that they needed to cover up the killing. When she realized that Buffy would not keep it a secret, Faith went to Giles and told him that Buffy had been the one that slew the Deputy Mayor. With that she returned home to her hotel room and waited.

Xander showed up at her home shortly thereafter, and tried to convince her that she needed to turn herself in. When Faith told him that Buffy killed the deputy, he told her that they all knew it was her. As she grew angrier, Xander tried to leverage the intimate moment that they shared together as a means of calming her down.

This only proved to set Faith off. She threw him on the bed and was on the verge of raping him but decided to throttle him instead. Angel arrived at that moment and knocked her unconscious.

When Faith awoke, she was shackled in Angel’s mansion where he attempted to reason with her. As the two talked, Faith sensed a kindred spirit in the ensouled vampire. Before she knew it, the barriers inside her begin to drop.

Unfortunately, it was at that moment that Wesley and a special ops team from the Watchers Council broke into Angel’s home and captured Faith. As they took her away, any progress that Angel made was washed away and the walls within her snapped back into place. Faith was in Watchers’ custody for minutes before she managed to escape.

Going Over to the Darkside

With nowhere left to turn, Faith attempted to escape Sunnydale. She went to the docks with the intent of gaining passage on a ship leaving that very night. Buffy intercepted her there and so did the vampire Mr. Trick. Trick was the right-hand man of Mayor Richard Wilkins, the mastermind behind most of the misfortune that had occurred to the Slayers over the year.

While Buffy and Faith exchanged bitter words, Trick attacked with a group of vampire minions. He nearly killed Buffy, but Faith saved her once again by staking Trick through the back. The two Slayers took cautious stock of the situation and with a tentative truce established between them Faith returned to her hotel room. Or so it seemed.

When Buffy left, Faith went straight to Mayor Wilkins’ office and offered him her services in Mr. Trick’s place. Wilkins, feeling Trick’s loss, readily agreed.

Faith Lehane (Eliza Dushku) vs. Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar)

Faith spent the next couple of days acting as a double agent for the Mayor. She fed him information that the Scooby Gang discovered and “subtly” thwarted their plans from the inside.

Unfortunately for Faith, Buffy and the others were easily capable of seeing through her act. When Faith and the Mayor concocted a plan to transform Angel back into Angelus, they enacted a plan of their own to trick Faith into revealing the Mayor’s plans.

When Faith realized that she had been played by her former friends, she abandoned all pretense of loyalty and fled back to the Mayor’s side.

From that point forward, Faith’s only focus was the Mayor and his desires. Over a short period of time the two formed an affectionate and emotional bond. The Mayor had developed genuine paternal love for Faith, and Faith loved him in return.

Climatic Confrontation

When Buffy and the Scoobies proved to be a true threat to his plans, Mayor Wilkins ordered Faith to “distract” Buffy by poisoning Angel. The poison itself had but a single cure, the blood of a Slayer. The two hoped that Buffy would sacrifice herself to cure Angel, but miscalculated the amount of anger that she harboured for Faith.

Buffy showed up at Faith’s apartment (rented for her by the Mayor) with the intent of taking her to Angel so he could drain her blood. Faith, initially surprised by Buffy’s anger, soon welcomed it and fought for her life and for what she thought should have been hers. There was supposed to only be one Slayer, and the fates had chosen her.

Ultimately, Buffy proved to be Faith’s superior. The fight had carried the two Slayers to the rooftop where Buffy stabbed Faith in the abdomen with her own knife. The shock of her actions caused Buffy to hesitate for a moment, during which Faith struck her and then jumped from the rooftop to prevent Buffy from claiming her body.

She landed on a moving truck which carried her away from Buffy and the grisly fate that awaited her.

This Year’s Girl

Faith ultimately ended up in a local hospital in Sunnydale. She had fallen into a deep coma, as a result of the trauma from her wounds. While she was comatose, she and Buffy entered a shared psychic dream where she told Buffy how to defeat the Mayor.

Why she did was never revealed; presumably she felt some remorse over her actions, particularly towards Angel.

Faith eventually regained consciousness – even though her doctor’s had told the Scoobies and the Mayor that she would never reawaken. She awoke to discover that she had been asleep for months and that Sunnydale still stood and Mayor Wilkins was dead.

Anger and loss raged for control in Faith’s fragile psyche when she escaped the hospital. She wandered throughout Sunnydale and after eavesdropping on the Scooby Gang at Giles’ apartment, half-heartedly attacked Buffy and Willow on the Campus of Sunnydale University. Their fight was brief; Faith retreated when she heard the police coming.

As she once again wandered the streets of Sunnydale, Faith was approached by a demon bearing her a gift. Faith took the present (after killing the demon) and broke into a video store. The gift was a small device and a video tape of the Mayor who had left Faith a series of instructions for Faith in the event that he died.

Later that night, Faith broke into Buffy’s mother’s home and assaulted her. As the framework of a plan began to form in her mind, Buffy arrived home unexpectedly and the two Slayers fought once again. Buffy had the fight well in hand until Faith triggered the Mayor’s device.

In a flash of light, the device placed Faith’s consciousness into Buffy’s body and vice versa. Stunned by the transfer, Buffy was prone long enough for Faith to render her unconscious with a single blow.

Who Are You?

Soon thereafter, Faith had the satisfaction of watching the police take Buffy away (in her body) in chains. When Buffy had left, Faith started to make preparations to leave the country as “Buffy” was not a wanted fugitive. While she waited for the right time, she did her best to live Buffy’s life.

She impersonated Buffy with the Scooby Gang, flirted with Spike and even slept with Buffy’s new boyfriend Riley Finn.

The experience was eye-opening for Faith. For the first time in her short life, she discovered what it was like to be surrounded by friends and family that loved her. Confused and angry, she decided to flee immediately when she heard of a group of churchgoers being held hostage by vampires.

Torn between her desire to leave and her duty as the Slayer, Faith eventually made her first selfless decision in a long time.

She went to the church and confronted the vampires because leaving would be “wrong.” In a classic display of violence, Faith attacked the vampires and was nearly killed until Buffy appeared (in Faith’s body) and saved her life. When Faith saw her own face, her world disappeared behind a sheet of red and she attacked Buffy in a rage.

The two fought, but Faith’s anger gave her the edge over Buffy. She savagely beat her own body while cursing herself, until Buffy (with Willow’s help) enacted a spell that switched them back. Stuck back in her own body, Faith fled the scene once more.

L.A. Girl

Faith ended up in L.A., seemingly looking for a new start. Upon her arrival, she began to cause chaos. She seemed to randomly assault anyone who gained her attention, from pimps to men in nightclubs, as she began to spiral into a cycle of self-destruction.

Her rampage was only ended by the attentions of the evil law firm Wolfram & Hart . The firm had been having serious issues with Angel over the last few months and hoped that Faith would be able to kill him in exchange for her criminal record being expunged and a large sum of money.

Faith instantly agreed to the lawyers’ offer. When they informed her of Angel’s location she immediately staged a series of attacks on him, seemingly to goad him into attacking her.

Despite his immediate anger at her gall, Angel still proved to be reluctant to using lethal force on the confused young woman. Frustrated at his lack of commitment to their fight, Faith did her best to bring out Angel’s vicious side. She eventually got her wish after assaulting Cordelia in her home and brutally torturing her former Watcher Wesley who had joined Angel in L.A.

The two had their final confrontation in the apartment of a young man that Faith had put into the hospital the very first night she arrived in Los Angeles. As the two traded blows, Faith slowly noticed that Angel wasn’t truly fighting back.

With that realization, she grew more and more desperate and began to scream and beg for Angel to fight back. But Angel had already realized what Faith had truly planned all along. She had set up their confrontation with the sole purpose of having Angel kill her.

When he refused to follow through, Faith broke down crying and literally begged him to end her pain. Instead, Angel simply held her while she sobbed into the rain soaked darkness.

Redemption

Angel took Faith back to his apartment, where he began the long process of saving her soul. The two spent hours talking and working on breaking down the emotional walls that she had built up over her entire life. Unfortunately for the two, the combined forces of Wolfram & Hart, the Watcher’s Council, the L.A.P.D. and Buffy herself came seeking Faith for their own reasons.

In the end, when the fighting had concluded, Faith surrendered herself to the L.A.P.D. in order to face the consequences of her actions over the last year. She was convicted of two counts of murder and received a life sentence.

Prison ended up being good for Faith. It provided a certain amount of stability for the erratic young woman. Moreover, she proved to be committed to process and getting “healthy.” Even though she could have escaped at any time, she chose to remain in her confinement.

Angel proved to be equally as committed to her recovery, and visited her regularly. Overtime, the two formed an unbreakable bond that continues to this day.


Description

Faith is every girlfriend’s nightmare. She is darkly attractive with: shoulder length dark brown hair, dark playful eyes, and a wide inviting smile. Her body is tight and muscular in all the right places and soft and curvy in the others.

She has been described as a “cleavagey slut-bomb” oozing violence and sex appeal; and this description isn’t that far from the mark. Men of all ages have found themselves attracted to or distracted by not only her unusual good looks, but the general air with which she holds herself.

Faith tends to wear darker clothing. She usually wears tight leather pants, dark tank tops with studded belts and various bracelets. Her makeup was similarly dark; she tended to stick to dark eyeliner and similarly dark shades of lipstick.

Faith has a medium sized tribal tattoo, made up of wavey lines with thorns protruding from them, across the triceps of her right arm.


Personality

Faith is, in virtually all ways, a twisted mirror image of Buffy. She is everything that Buffy may have been had she grown up in a broken home with abusive and neglectful parents. She is charismatic, impulsive, insecure, promiscuous, mistrusting, violent, careless, irresponsible, carefree, unpredictable and at times down-right dangerous.

Upon first look, Faith appears to be carefree and full of life. She enjoys smoking, drinking, dancing and slaying (boy does she enjoy slaying). She loves flirting with other girls’ boyfriends and surrounding herself with life. But her actions are merely a façade for the hurt that she feels inside.

In fact, a lifetime of bad choices have filled her with a feeling of self-loathing so powerful that it forces her to take greater and greater chances with her life.

At her core, Faith truly believes that any and everyone that she cares about will eventually abuse and abandon her. Moreover, she believes that she deserves it. This even applies to individuals she perceives as authority figures and especially to the men in her life.

Because of this belief, she has adopted a “love ’em and leave ’em” attitude towards her lovers. She simply refuses to allow herself to care or even share a truly intimate moment with any man.

This victim mentality extends itself to all of her relationships, especially her relationship with Buffy and her friends. Nonetheless, Faith has a deep need for family. Anyone that manages to gain her trust, through overt displays of kindness or compassion will gain her loyalty.

Faith has an unusual capacity for cruelty and violence, perhaps due to her Slayer heritage. While Buffy seems to actively refuse this side of her personality, Faith embraces it. She brawls and bulls her way through battles, fighting with abandon and losing herself in the fight.

She has described the act of slaying as better than sex. Her rough and tumble style of fighting shows everyone her love of wanton violence.

Finally, Faith loves Angel unconditionally. She isn’t “in love” with him, but she loves him nonetheless. Angel’s refusal to abandon her to the darkness that rages within her has earned her unending loyalty. Like Buffy, she would sacrifice anything, including her own life, for him if he needed it.


Quotes

Buffy: “Are you all right ?”
Faith: “Five by five.”

“Isn’t it crazy how slayin’ just always makes you hungry and horny ?”

“But you like him, and when you think about him, you get that good down-low tickle, right ?”

Faith: “She got me really wound up. A fight like that and, no kill. I’m about ready to pop !”
Xander: “Really ? Pop ?!”
Faith: “You up for it ?”
Xander: “Oh, I’m up. I’m suddenly very up. It’s just, um, I’ve never been up with people before.”
Faith: “Just relax. And take your pants off.”
Xander: “Those two… concepts are… antithetical.”
Faith: “Don’t worry. I’ll steer you around the curves.”

Wesley: “Ah, this is perhaps Faith.”
Faith: “New Watcher ?”
Buffy: “New Watcher.”
Faith: “Screw that.” [turns on her heels and leaves]
Buffy: “Now why didn’t I just say that ?”

“When are you going to get this, B. ? Life for a Slayer is very simple: want, take, have.”

Buffy: “Faith, you don’t get it… you killed a man.”
Faith: “No, you don’t get it… I don’t care!

Angel: “You can’t imagine the price for true evil.”
Faith: “Yeah ? I hope evil takes MasterCard.”

“I could do anything to you now, and you’d want me to. I could make you scream. I could make you die.”

“You know, I come to Sunnydale. I’m the Slayer. I do my job kicking ass better than anyone. What do I hear about everywhere I go ? Buffy. So I slay, I behave, I do the good little girl routine. And who’s everybody thank ? Buffy.”

“You hurt me, I hurt you. I’m just a little more efficient.”

(While confronting 4 vampires in Buffy’s body)
Faith: “You’re not going to kill these people.”
Vampire: “Why not ?”
Faith: “Because it’s wrong.”

“We’ve only done one of the 5 basic torture groups. We’ve done blunt, but that still leaves sharp, hot, cold, and loud.”

(While desperately trying to convince Angel to fight her without holding back)
Faith: “I’m evil ! I’m bad ! I’m evil ! Do you hear me ? I’m bad ! Angel, I’m bad !” (starting to break down and getting more hysterical by the moment) ““… I’m bad. Do you hear me ? I’m bad ! I’m bad ! I’m bad. Please. Angel, please, just do it.” (finally breaks down into tears and collapses against Angel) “… Angel please, just do it. Just do it. Just kill me. Just kill me.”

(Talking to Angel during one of his visits to her prison)
Faith: “The road to redemption is a rocky path.”
Angel: “That it is.”
Faith: “You think we might make it ?”
Angel: “We might.”



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Faith Lehane

Dex: 06 Str: 05 Bod: 06 Motivation: Anti-Heroic Thrill of Adventure
Int: 03 Wil: 04 Min: 04 Occupation: Inmate, Vampire Slayer
Inf: 05 Aur: 03 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 021 HP: 040

Powers:
Enhanced Initiative: 05, Jumping: 01, Postcognition: 25ML, Precognition: 06ML, Regeneration: 04, Running: 05

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Jumping: Catfall advantage (+1FC).
  • Postcognition: limited to events that affected one in the “Slayer Line” (-2FC), can only be used while sleeping (-10BC, -1FC).
  • Precognition: can only be used while sleeping (-10BC, -1FC).

Skills:
Acrobatics (Athletics, Climbing, Dodging): 08, Evasion (Ranged only): 08, Martial Artist (No Techniques): 07, Thief (Stealth): 05, Weaponry (Melee, Thrown): 07

Bonuses and Limitations:
Acrobatics and Evasion both are Powered Skills (+1FC).

Advantages
Attractive, Conditional Soaking (Blunt Force Trauma, Falling Damage), Schtick (Goonbane).

Connections:
Angel (High).

Drawbacks:
Age (Young), Guilt (Murders and Betrayals), Minor Irrational Attraction to Impetuous Behaviour, Mistrust, Public Identity.

Genre:
Action.

Equipment:
Stakes (x4) [BODY 02, EV 02].


Design notes

When modelling Faith, I really kept her stats very close to those possessed by Buffy. She’s essentially as fast and strong with a single AP difference in their Martial Artist skill.

That coupled with the fact that she doesn’t have the techniques subskill differentiates the two Slayer’s fighting styles enough to make them different.


By Bryan Gittens.

Source of Character: Television Series: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, created by Joss Whedon, character portrayed by Eliza Dushku.

Write-up completed on the 1st of October, 2014.

Writeups.org is a non-commercial, community site

We chat and work at the DC Heroes Yahoo! group .