She’s an innocent victim.
So were we, once upon a time.
Presumed period of Darla’s birth. Possibly in London or nearby.
All the early Jamestown settlers were English, so it is safe to say she was English in origin, with the balance of probability being that she came from southern England. The majority of the early settlers came from London or East Anglia, although at least one is known to have been Cornish.
1609, Virginia Colony, America: Darla, The Master
A Catholic prostitute, a woman of some property, no husband, no inheritance, is dying of a syphilitic heart condition. Her name is unknown since she subsequently forgot it herself. Revealing a hitherto unsuspected singing talent, the Master charms an invitation and comes to her disguised as a priest. After ascertaining she has no favourable view of either life or God, he makes her a vampire.
Virginia Colony means Jamestown, the first successful English settlement, founded in 1607. The first women did not arrive until the colony had been established for a while, so she couldn’t have been in the New World for more than a year or so at most. Life in the early Jamestown was a harsh struggle for survival, and the colonists teetered on the brink of failure until matters were taken draconically in hand some time after Darla died. Indeed the surprise is not that she died but that anyone lived at all. Of the five hundred people who went out in the first ten years only sixty survived. And there are reports that they were reduced to cannibalism to do so.
It is just one of those little mysteries what a Catholic prostitute was doing in a notoriously Protestant colony given that Catholics were the bogy-men of their day – in late sixteenth century England to be Catholic was not just unusual it was actively illegal. Indeed, all the Jamestown settlers were required to swear an oath of allegiance to the King and the Church of England before embarking. The tolerance of the doctor for her ‘heresy’, not to mention quite where he thought a Catholic priest had come from, remain bizarre, but intriguingly the latest archaeological finds do include rosary beads and part of a crucifix, implying there was at least one closet Catholic amongst the settlers.
Women settlers went out as wives, daughters or servants and, however she had lived back in England, it is impossible to countenance the notion of a prostitute plying her trade in a ‘professional’ organised manner in the colony. Darla would have had to live the life and perform the conventional work expected of any female colonist. It seems unlikely that she should have been dying in quite such a luxurious house at a time when the colonists were still largely sponging off the Indians to survive, but who are we to quibble.
- My soul is well past saving. Let the devil take me if he’ll have me. It doesn’t matter. Either way, I die.
- No. You will not die. You will be reborn.
- I know you…
- I came to you last night. Sang to you from that window.
- I remember now… you’re death…
- What, then?
- I’m your saviour. God never did anything for you… but I will.
Sometime between 1609 and 1753: Darla, The Master
- Darla. Anglo-Saxon derivation. Meaning ‘dear one.’ It didn’t come into common usage until more than a hundred years after she was born… he must have given it to her…
- Forget her.
- How dare you! She was my favourite. For four hundred years…
- Her precious master sent for her. You know Darla – Master’s pet.
Twenty-six year old Liam is living at home with his father, mother and young sister, Kathy. The household has silver cutlery but only one servant, Anna. The young Liam has achieved a reputation for himself amongst the local women and passes his time drinking, fighting, whoring and encouraging his father to despise him.
After the latest row with his father, Liam packs a bag and leaves home. But he only makes it as far as the local pub where he is spotted by Darla, who subsequently draws on her experience as a prostitute to encourage him into a dark alley. There, on the basis of his expressed desire to see the world, she vamps him.
Newly risen as a vampire, Liam kills the grounds-keeper of the churchyard and likes the taste so much he goes on to slaughter his entire village. And, after his sister invites him into their home thinking he has come back as an angel, kills his family.
To only have one servant at this date means that the family were teetering on the brink of poverty.
- I invited you into my home and then you attacked my family!
- Why not? I killed mine. I killed their friends… and their friend’s children… For a hundred years I offered ugly death to everyone I met, and I did it with a song in my heart.
Liam is renamed ‘Angelus’. Angelus and Darla have fun in South Wales
- Angelus – the Latinate for Angel. It’s marvelous.
- On the way back we cut a bloody swath through South Wales and northern England. He was magnificent.
- His name would already be legend in his home village – had he left anyone alive there to tell the tale.
- Ah, you had a nice trip. I’m so glad.
Angelus and Darla move on to northern England, including Yorkshire. Angelus finds the Yorkshire cuisine tough.
- Hmm, Yorkshire men – tough as leather.
Oddly enough, at just this time Daniel Holtz (who has a house in York) becomes a vampire-hunter…
- Record’s Woman
- Holtz, Daniel, vampire killer, circa seventeen fifty four. He hunted Angel and Darla halfway around the world until his mysterious disappearance in seventeen seventy three. Larson Macmillan Vampiricus Conquestus page four twelve.
- How did you…
- Record’s Woman
- I’m files and records. It’s my job.
1760, London, England: Angelus, Darla, The Master
Darla takes Angelus to meet the Master, where he is so rude he gets thrown across the room a few times before persuading Darla to leave with him for the benefits of soft beds and a view. Since the alternative is living in a sewer, she wisely decides to go with him (possibly to Naples, as Angelus suggests, but this is never confirmed.) The Master lets them leave, calculating that the relationship won’t last longer than a century.
- So Darla here tells me you’re some sort of master?
- The Master. He commands our order.
- There’s an order?
- The Order of Aurelius. We are the select. The elite.
- And you live in the sewers, do you?
Angelus and Darla, already being chased by Holtz, charm their way into Holtz’ home while he is away. (The month of Holtz’s vow of revenge is given as May.) They kill his wife, Caroline, and baby son, Daniel. His daughter, Sarah, they turn into a vampire – leaving Holtz to find and deal with the result.
- Mummy won’t wake up.
- Shush… quiet now. He sings
Sleep my love and peace attend thee,
All through the night;
Guardian angels God will lend thee,
All through the night;
Soft the drowsy hours are… creeping…
Angelus and Darla are in Italy when Angelus gets a yen for more travel.
- In Italy you said we should go someplace like France.
Having gone to France because Angelus fancied the rich food (specifically waiters from the best hotels), Darla and Angelus flee on horseback from Holtz and another torch-waving crowd. They end up in a barn in a valley near Arles. Their proposed roll in the hay being interrupted by flaming arrows, Darla knocks Angelus unconscious with a shovel and escapes on their only horse.
- This is outrageous! Don’t these people know who we are?
- I believe they do. Which would explain the lynch mob.
Darla and Angelus meet up in Vienna, and he brings home to her the error of her ways. Repeatedly.
- Of course when he finally caught up with me in Vienna I had to pay for my sins. Again and again.
Angelus and Darla have a cultural dinner.
- Didn’t we eat a poet in Madrid?
A troubadour in the eighteenth century? Odd people, vampires meet.
Angelus and Darla – in company with James and Elisabeth, a young and extremely silly vampire couple – eat the Count de Leon, steal his gold, and burn his villa to the ground. This attracts the attention of Holtz (with yet another torch-waving crowd – does he have an agency?), who catches up with them when James dawdles to shoplift a locket for Elisabeth.
Giving the women time to escape to a ship, James and Angelus stay to delay the crowd, which they do by the cunning scheme of getting surrounded and then picking an argument with each other to get away again.
- Young love.
- I give it a century.
- A century? A mere hundred years?
- I would need a thousand to sketch the perfect plane of your face.
- And I would need ten thousand just to name the colour of your eyes.
- They’re green, but take your time.
- He’s killed scores of us, hunted Angelus and me across half of Europe. God, if he follows us to Morocco, what then, the New World?
- You lost me in North Africa.
Darla and Angelus visit Rome so Darla can admire the Botticelli frescos in the Sistine Chapel (specifically The Temptation of Christ). Angelus is finally captured by Holtz in a sewer tunnel, thanks to Holtz being assisted by torch-waving monks this time, rather than laymen. Angelus is then tortured by Holtz and an excommunicated Monseigneur (who apparently performed Holtz’ wedding – nice to know they kept in touch) using a particularly nasty fork thing. This gives Darla time to organise a few minions for a rescue.
- Shouldn’t we be killing Holtz?
- I know, but it’s just so much fun ruining his life.
After killing the skinflint Lord Nichols (royalty, according to Darla) and a prostitute, Darla takes Angelus – thankfully clean shaven again – to see her latest find: a family, reasonably well dressed, mother, father, and three virginal daughters in their teens to early twenties, one of whom has the sight…
- The one in the middle is something delicate and unique… Did you find me a Saint?
- Better than that – she has the sight.
- Visions. She sees the future. She is pure innocence, yet she sees what’s coming, she knows what I’m going to do to her. I’ll really have to come up to snuff for this one.
- Down boy, let the plum ripen.
- You always come up something new.
- Keeps me young.
Angelus proceeds to drive Drusilla mad, killing her family (her parents were probably eaten in their own bed) massacring everyone she loves, and torturing her mentally in further unspecified ways. He finally slaughters all the nuns at the Sisters’ of Mercy convent she has fled to, on the day Drusilla was supposed to take her vows. He stops Dru from cutting her own throat just in time and after rutting with Darla in front of her, turns her into a vampire. He believes this was the worse thing he ever did. I am inclined to agree with him.
It is often mistakenly stated that Dru was turned in 1860, but in fact there is no canon proof of this. The only fixed date we have is for the incident in the church, and we know neither how long before this Angelus first saw her, nor how long afterwards he might have waited until he killed her. It could be that driving someone mad takes longer than a few weeks or months.
- So are we going to kill her during, or after?
- Neither. We turn her into one of us. Killing is so merciful at the end, isn’t it? The pain has ended.
- But to make her one of us? She’s a lunatic.
- Eternal torment… Am I learning?
After killing a young sailor, Drusilla complains that she is growing lonely since all Angelus’s attention is focused on Darla. Angelus therefore suggests that she find herself a playmate.
Meanwhile, William is in London mingling with a set of rude people who have odd notions of dress and propriety. After having his poetry justifiably condemned, he fails to woo Cecily and dashes out into the night, distraught, where he makes the mistake of bumping into the vampires. Drusilla follows him into an alley, makes a few personal remarks about fish, and bites him.
In the shooting script of Fool for Love Cecily’s surname is given as Addams, but in Lies My Parent Told Me William’s mother asks if the Cecily mentioned in his poems is the Underwood’s eldest daughter. Either way the Cecily we see on screen looks quite remarkably similar to Halfrek the vengeance demon. Odd that.
- ‘Lu-mi-nous…’ no, no, uh, ‘irra-di-ant…’ better… Quickly, I’m the very spirit of vexation, what’s another word for ‘illuminate’? It’s perfectly perfect as many words go, but the bother is nothing rhymes, you see.
Some days later, William returns to his home with Drusilla and turns his mother. Within a few minutes of meeting her as a vampire he rather sensibly dusts her.
From Dru’s remark about the house smelling of daffodils we might be able to conclude that these events occurred around March or April. Or we might be able to conclude that Dru was a raving nutcase.
- I am no longer bound to this mortal coil. I have become a creature of the night. A vampire.
- Are you drunk?
- A little bit.
Meanwhile, Darla has left to visit the Master. And in her absence Angelus decides to state his recently reawakened, but most definitely not deviant, interest in men – something he elegantly demonstrates by sticking his hand in the sunlight.
- Touch me again—
- Don’t mistake me. I do love the ladies. It’s just lately I’ve been wondering… what it’d be like to share the slaughter of innocents… with another man. Don’t… don’t think that makes me some kind of a deviant, do you?
- Staring at Angelus, William sticks his own hand in the light.
- Ah! I like this one! You and me, we’re gonna be the best of friends.
These palm-tingling events occurred in the suite of an Ambassador, in a place described as The Royal London Hotel. This presumably means the Royal Hotel on the Embankment at the corner of Blackfriars Bridge, described in 1888 as a moderate priced hotel though still with excellent accommodation.
1880: Darla, The Master
The Master and Darla have a family reunion. Not an unusual event according to Angelus.
- Darla and I had a little spat. Her precious Master sent for her. You know Darla: Master’s pet.
- Oh. Poor Angelus.
- Ah, don’t fret, Dru, we’ll make up. Always do. touches his bruised brow After a little tit for tat. Shouldn’t let that spoil our fun here.
As a vampire, William has started combing his hair flatter, but his other behaviour has somehow led the family to hide in a Yorkshire coal-mine, where Angelus remonstrates with him, aided by a stake. Angelus has clearly been attempting to teach him a sense of caution and artistry, but William prefers a brawl. William, who has just started talking with a North London accent, reminds Angelus that he wishes to be called Spike from now on, and learns what a Slayer is for the first time.
- After that, I was obsessed. I mean, to most vampires, the Slayer was this object of cold sweat and frightened whispers. But I never hid. Hell, I sought her out. I mean, if you’re looking for fun, there’s Death, there’s Glory, and sod all else, right? shrugs I was young.
After ‘actions against his concerns’ the boys have some trouble and the girls have some fun with the Immortal. The girls are of course entirely consenting since the Immortal doesn’t use magic, but given the boys’ taste in underwear he may not need to.
- He’s gonna curse the day he ever crossed purpose with Angelus.
- And William the Bloody.
- We’ll see just how immortal he is when we’re done with him.
- We’ll carve him up like a Sunday roast and make him watch as we feast on his steaming flesh. Yaaaagh! Aah! Unh! …How you doin’?
Angelus and Darla (possibly wearing a short skirt for some reason) behave very badly during an earthquake.
- What’s with the Catholic schoolgirl look? Last time I saw you it was kimonos.
- And last time I saw you it wasn’t high school girls. Don’t cha like? Remember Budapest? Turn of the century? You were such a bad boy during that earthquake.
- You did some damage yourself.
- Is there anything better than a natural disaster? The panic. The people lost in the streets. It’s like picking fruit off the vine.
Angelus receives a birthday present from Darla – a beautiful, seventeen-year-old Gypsy girl of the Kalderash clan. He kills her, watched by Darla, and takes his time over it (Darla estimated an hour), during which he discovers she is ‘dumb as a post’.
The clan somehow find out who did the deed, and, since the girl was ‘the most beloved daughter of [the] tribe’, during her funeral they get an old woman to curse Angelus by restoring his soul in a ritual involving an Orb of Thesulah. This causes Angelus to run around the woods for a bit and have a glowy-eyed moment before writhing in pain. He then returns to Darla’s house to feel sorry for himself, but she comes back, and, revolted by his soul, tries to stake him then throws him out.
- When you become a vampire the demon takes your body, but it doesn’t get your soul. That’s gone! No conscience, no remorse… It’s an easy way to live. You have no idea what it’s like to have done the things I’ve done… and to care. I haven’t fed on a living human being since that day.
Darla tries to get her boy back by massacring the gypsies. She hopes to persuade the father of the girl to reverse the spell in exchange for the lives of the rest of his family. But Spike (who presumably missed the memo on whom to save) has nipped in and killed the man’s family already, so Darla gives it up as a bad job, snaps the Gypsy man’s neck, and tells Spike and Dru to kill the rest of the camp. There are presumably sufficiently few survivors that the story of events gets garbled, because Angel is subsequently being blamed for the camp slaughter as well.
- I promise you, Angel still suffers. And he makes amends for his evil. He even saved my life.
- Gypsy Man
- So you just forget? That he destroyed the most beloved daughter of your tribe? That he killed every man, woman and child who touched her life? Vengeance demands that his pain be eternal, as ours is. If this – this girl – brings him even one minute of happiness: that is one minute too many.
Within a short time Angel tries to kill again, attacking a group of men and a woman in an alley, but he cannot bring himself to go through with it and staggers off into the night.
- Mie foame… (I’m hungry…)
- Pleaca de aici! (Get away!)
- Lasal in pace. E un cersetor. (Let him be. He’s just a beggar.)
- tossing a coin at Angel Bea o Bere. (Have a pint on us.)
- Nu vreau banii rai… (I don’t want your money.)
- Ce ai spus! (How dare you!)
- O vreau pe ea. (I want her.)
- E un monstru! (He’s a monster!)
- Eu sunt monstru. (I’m a monster.)
Angel tracks down Darla, Spike and Dru enjoying the Boxer Rebellion, and persuades Darla to give him a second chance. For a while he gets by, killing rapists, murderers, thieves and scoundrels – of which there is presumably a large supply, given the war. Then one night he tries to distract Darla’s attention away from an alley where a missionary is hiding with his wife and child, and Darla starts to grow suspicious.
- You know what I am. You made me, Darla. I’m Angelus.
- Not anymore.
- I can be again. Just give me the chance to prove it to you.
- You almost made me believe you…
- Believe it. We can have the whirlwind back…
Meanwhile, Spike has fought and killed a Slayer in a Buddhist temple, gaining a sword-cut over his eye in the process. And after a spot of celebrating with Dru he comes to boast of his kill. Angel is less than thrilled, still intent on leading the family away from the missionaries, but he does tell Spike he is now
one of us.
- It was the best night of my life. And I’ve had some sweet ones.
But Darla is on to Angel. While he is down at the waterfront catching rats to eat, she returns and kills the missionaries, bringing back the baby as a test for Angel. He refuses to kill it, instead seizing its basket and running off into the night.
- I won’t be made a fool, Angelus. Not by you. Not by anyone.
- I didn’t mean…
- While Spike – Spike! – was out killing a Slayer – you were saving missionaries. From me.
Darla and Luke come to Sunnydale.
- Are you sure this is a good idea?
- The Master: killed by Buffy Summers, 1997 (Prophecy Girl)
- Dracula: killed by Buffy Summers, 2000 (Buffy vs. Dracula)
- Luke: killed By Buffy Summers, 1997 (The Harvest)
- Darla: committed suicide, 2001 (Lullaby)
- Angel: last seen fighting minions of Wolfram & Hart, 2004 (Not Fade Away)
- Sarah Holtz: killed by Holtz, 1764 (Lullaby)
- James: killed by Angel, 2001 (Heartthrob)
- Elisabeth: killed by Angel, 2001 (Heartthrob)
- Penn: killed by , 2000 (Somnambulist)
- Dru: whereabouts unknown, 2000 (Crush)
- Spike: last seen fighting minions of Wolfram & Hart, 2004 (Not Fade Away)
- Sam Lawson: killed by Angel, 2004 (Why We Fight)
This page would not have been possible without the inspiration and information of the timelines at Blood Screaming and the BTVS Series Chronology. Psyche’s Transcripts and Buffy World supplied most of the quotes, any variations being based on my own observation.