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Template:Infobox Buffyverse Character
Kennedy is a fictional character in the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Portrayed by Iyari Limon, the character was introduced in the final season of the series and goes on to appear in the comic book series Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight, which continues the story of the television series.
Kennedy is introduced as a "potential Slayers" - one of many girls who might become endowed with supernatural abilities, destined to battle evil creatures such as vampires and demons, like protagonist Buffy Summers. Distinctly, Kennedy is also a love interest for the character of Willow; Kennedy is an out lesbian with an assertive personality, which is intended to contrast with the timid character of Willow's deceased girlfriend Tara. In the series finale of Buffy, Willow magically activates the potential in all girls like Kennedy to become full-fledged Slayers like Buffy.
Kennedy is one of the first three Potential Slayers to arrive in Sunnydale. She comes from a wealthy New York City family with a summer home in the Hamptons and has at least one sibling; a half-sister. An out-of-the-closet lesbian, Kennedy has known about her sexuality since the age of five (commenting that she found out watching Gone with the Wind), and aggressively pursues a relationship with Willow, whose longtime lover, Tara, was murdered at the end of season six.
This state of affairs produces unexpected consequences in the episode "The Killer in Me." Eventually, Kennedy and Willow become lovers and remain so through the end of the series, acting as an anchor to keep Willow sane when doing powerful magic. She supports Willow in her attempt to activate all Potential Slayers. Afterwards Kennedy joins Buffy and the other Potentials in the final battle against the First Evil's army of Turok-Han as a fully-activated Slayer.
In Season Five of Angel, a year after the end of Buffy, mention is made that Kennedy and Willow continued to be a couple and were then living in Brazil together. Later in the show, though, it's known that Willow went to Himalayas and was apparently unavailable due to using astral projection to leave this plane. It's unknown whether Kennedy followed her in Asia or remained in South America.
Later, in the comic "The Long Way Home, Part III", Buffy catches up with Willow in Scotland, after the latter's year long absence. During this conversation, Buffy asks how Kennedy's doing and Willow reveals that she died, though it was only a short-lived mystical death. However, it did freak Kennedy out, causing her to slow things down in her and Willow's relationship.
She is next seen in "Anywhere but Here" in flashback. She worries that Willow is keeping her away from Buffy's inner circle because she is ashamed of her, which prompts Willow to reveal that she blames herself for Tara's death by keeping her close to Buffy and therefore danger. Willow then states that she refuses to let that happen to Kennedy.
In Season Eight, Kennedy is directing an army of slayers in New York, along with Vi. She and Willow finally reunite in the fourth arc of the series, Time of Your Life, in which Buffy is accidentally sent to the future and Kennedy is helping Willow in an attempt to bring her back.
After Buffy and Faith, she's the oldest known living Slayer.
Outspoken, confident, and never one to shy away from confrontation, Kennedy made her presence known by both aggressively pursuing her attraction to Willow, and coming to verbal blows with Buffy several times. Continually disagreeing with Buffy's choices, she played an instrumental part in the argument which ended with Buffy's brief ejection from the Summers' residence and the Scooby Gang in the episode "Empty Places." However, Kennedy later admitted her somewhat rash actions in "Chosen," unashamedly pointing out she was a "brat."
Unlike the other Potential Slayers, Kennedy sometimes became involved with actions and events of core Scoobies (most notably in the episode "Get It Done"). In the same episode, Kennedy is seen serving as a martial arts instructor to other Potentials, showing and enjoying a "drill sergeant" attitude, echoing Gunnery Sergeant Hartman of Full Metal Jacket and Sergeant Foley of An Officer and a Gentleman: like them, she concurred in causing the suicide of the weakest of the "recruits" (in this case, Chloe, who was called "maggot") when the First Evil manipulated the feelings of weakness Kennedy caused. Kennedy also chose to dismiss her other responsibilities in the episode "The Killer in Me," opting to feign illness to avoid joining Vi, Rona, and several other potentials on a vision quest to converse with the spirit of the First Slayer, instead choosing to take the opportunity to further pursue her relationship with Willow.
Notes and trivia
- According to the shooting script for "Bring on the Night," Kennedy is 19, and the oldest of the Potentials to arrive at that time, though this information is never given on-screen, although Kennedy alludes to this in the episode "Showtime" when, after the First Evil, secretly operating under the guise of a deceased Potential, strikes up a conversation, detailing on how the Slayer line operates. After discussing who might be next to follow in the footsteps of Buffy and Faith, Kennedy suggests although she feels "ready," she is "starting to think she is too old" to be the next Slayer to be called.
- Kennedy witnessed her Watcher's death; he was murdered by Bringers. That she knew about Watchers (as well as having some comprehension of how the Slayer line works) before being chosen indicates that she was approached by them at some point during her youth, like Kendra Young. She states in the episode "Showtime" that she's been using a crossbow since she was eight. However, this is unlike Buffy, who only learned about Watchers after she was chosen. Despite this early familiarization with the supernatural world, Kennedy was initially extremely skeptical of magic in the form of spells (as opposed to the magic inherent in vampires, demons, etc.).
- Online critic Amy Amatangelo's readers gave Kennedy the "Can We Vote Them Off the TV Island?" award for the "Most Annoying Character" in the 2002-2003 television season, narrowly beating Connor from Angel. Phi-Phenomenon, a site that provides statistical analysis of online Buffyverse opinion, has demonstrated that the number of lines of Kennedy's dialogue is a statistical predictor of an episode's unpopularity, both among committed Buffy fans and among those who were disenchanted with the show.
- In the DVD commentary for "Chosen," Joss Whedon explains that Kennedy was created to be a sort of "anti-Tara," with a personality very distinct from Willow's previous girlfriend.
Appearances in Buffyverse
Kennedy has appeared in 17 canonical Buffyverse appearances
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- Kennedy appeared as a supporting character in 13 episodes:
- Season 7 (2002-2003)- "Bring on the Night"; "Showtime"; "Potential"; "The Killer in Me"; "First Date"; "Get It Done"; "Storyteller"; "Lies My Parents Told Me"; "Dirty Girls"; "Empty Places"; "Touched" ; "End of Days"; "Chosen"
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight
- Kennedy has appeared in 4 issues thus far:
- "Anywhere but Here" (in a flashback)
- "Time of Your Life" Parts 1, 2, and 3.
- List of women warriors in folklore, literature, and popular culture
- Template:Imdb character
Template:Buffy The Vampire Slayer Characters
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