The big-screen disaster that was the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie pitted Buffy against a particularly strong vampire for the climax. Season one of the show pitted her against a thousand-year-old vampire cult leader. Then she was pitted against a vampire she loved. By season three, we'd moved past vampires and she was pitted against a newly-ascended 'pure demon'. Season four brought us a character whose Frankenstein-nature meant he was stronger, and tougher to kill, than other demons.
Just like any good video game, the 'bosses' get harder and harder to defeat. By Season Five, which might have been the final season of Buffy, they'd taken it as far as they could go: pitting Buffy against a god from a hell dimension.
Glory, a/k/a Glorificus, a/k/a the Beast, a/k/a “That Which Cannot be Names”, a/k/a “Sweaty-Naughty-Feelings-Causing One” was the 'big bad' of Season Five, and she was an absolute delight: a vain, sassy, ostentatious, funny, psychotic and slightly clueless work of evil portrayed by Clare Kramer. As tends to be the case with Big Bads, she appears only in 'her' season, in this case Season Five, a total of 12 times, where her 4732 words are the eighth largest word count for the season. The First takes her face just once, in “Lessons”, where he takes the guise of each of the season's 'big bads' in order to torment a half-mad Spike.
Like the Mayor, Glory gives good speech, in her case tinged with the madness that besets her if she's unable to suck human brains to preserve her sanity at their expense. We meet her in the fifth episode of the season, “No Place Like Home”, where she gets off fully 315 words of unbridled malevolent madness with only the most minor of interruptions. All in all, that episode's 443 words give her a #3 finish, one of four #3 finishes, alongside “Shadow”, “Blood Ties” and “Tough Love”. “Checkpoint” and “The Gift” (her final episode) are #4 finishes, and she puts in five minor appearances.
That leaves only “The Weight of the World”, a remarkable episode where her 1162 words give her an easy #1 finish, excluding the 281 words spoken by Ben. Throughout this season, I treat Glory and Ben as entirely different individuals, even though they share a single body. If I didn't, Glory/Ben would rank 25th overall and 6th for the season.
Through the combined efforts of Willow, the Buffybot, Buffy and Xander, Glory is well beaten by the time Buffy runs up the stairs to save Dawn. Yet ultimately it is Giles who kills her, by smothering Ben. Ben's death is Glory's death too, putting deicide on the list of Giles's achievements.
- Overall ranking: #28
- Ranking on Buffy: #17
- Total words spoken on Buffy: 4732
- Season 5: 4732 (#8)
- Total speaking appearances on Buffy: 12
- Ranking #1: 1
- Ranking #3: 4
- Ranking #4: 2
- Minor: 5