Henry Joseph Nest better known as The Master is a major antagonist in the Buffyverse.

He appears as the main antagonist in the first season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer before becoming a posthumous antagonist throughout the rest of the show as well as Angel, an alternate reality counterpart of him also appears as the main antagonist of the season three episode "The Wish" and as the secondary antagonist in the canonical season eight comic books. He is an ancient and powerful vampire plotting to conquer the world by opening the Hellmouth and breaking free from his prison and is the first big enemy encountered by Buffy Summers in Sunnydale.

He was portrayed by Mark Metcalf.

Biography

The Master was portrayed as one of the most powerful of all surviving vampires. He planned on escaping from his prison deep under Sunnydale, created when his original attempts to open the Hellmouth instead triggered an earthquake that buried him underground, the magic also forming a mystical force-field around the Master that prevented him from escaping.

He believed that he would eventually be free and lead an age of darkness across the world in which demons, vampires and other evil beings would dominate everything, and as the self-proclaimed Master of vampires he saw himself as a natural leader who mercilessly planned to fulfill this dark prophecy with aid from many minions.

To aid him, he created a child vampire (which he dubbed the Anointed One) and held him in high regard, second only to Darla — whom he viewed as a daughter despite her abandoning him to fulfill her own desires.

The Master eventually did manage to escape his imprisonment but was slain by Buffy shortly after. However, unlike most vampires the Master did not turn to dust after being staked through the heart, instead becoming a skeleton.

The Anointed One planned on bringing the Master back using this skeleton, but had his hopes literally shattered when Buffy interrupted the ritual and destroyed the skeleton, ending the Master’s threat once and for all.

Trivia

  • The script for the first episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Welcome to the Hellmouth", reveals the real name and rough age of the Master, neither of which are explicitly stated in the series itself.
  • The Master's design was inspired by Count Orlok.

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