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Foreshadowing In The Buffyverse

Joss Whedon and his trusted team of writers sure liked to drop clues of what was to come for the Scoobies. Spotting them, however, was often rather tricky.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer was littered with clues and hints about the future of our favourite Sunnydale residents. Some were the product of Joss Whedon's terrific brainpiece, others were probably just a happy coincidence. Have a read and decide which category you think these moments of Buffy foreshadowing belong in...

NB – this is by no means an exhaustive list. I'd have to be taking crazy pills to even attempt that...

Season 3, Episode 16 – Doppelgangland

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Oof, it's a two-times-Willow scenario all up in here. Vampy Willow is back and she wants to grapple, causing standard Willow to remark:

"I'm so evil and... skanky. And I think I'm kinda gay."

Evil? Check. For a short, but memorable, time at least.

Gay? Check.

Skanky? Well, two out of three ain't bad...

Incidentally, both vampy Willow in this episode and dark Willow in Season 6 utter the same disdainful "bored now" quip before doling out some uber-violence. Well payed, Joss, well played.

Season 3, Episode 21 – Graduation Day: Pt 1

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That shifty rascal of a mayor confronts the Scoobies in the library, whereupon he glances at a book strewn on the table and reads from it:

"The Beast will walk upon the Earth and darkness will follow."

Jump a few years (and one show) forward and we have Angel and co getting their heinies thoroughly chastened by a sturdy fellow known as the Beast, as fire rains from a permo-black sky.

Season 3, Episode 21 – Graduation Day: Pt 2

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This one is a biggie, and no mistake. It all centres around a dream sequence with that naughty little Faith lady. Much of what she says is full of allusions to Buffy's future, but perhaps the most important part comes right at the end:

"Little Miss Muffet, counting down from 7-3-0."

At the time there was no way of knowing what the Dickens she was talking about. Looking back, it's clear that Little Miss Muffet is a reference to Dawn. This is confirmed in Season 5's Real Me, when a crazy guy looks at Dawn and says, "I know you. Curds and whey." And we all know what Little Miss Muffet ate whilst sat on her tuffet. (Pssst, it's curds and whey...). Crazy man goes on to say, "I know what you are. You don't belong here," which is a good analysis of Dawn's upcoming story arc.

Anyway, moving on, the "counting down from 7-3-0" part is a brilliant forewarning of Buffy's impending (second) death. Fast forward two seasons and two Buffy years, or 730 days if you will, Buffy flings herself into Glory's portal (fnar fnar...) to save the world at the cost of her life. AMAZING foreshadowing.

Season 4, Episode 1 – The Freshman

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Yikes, this is a tough one. Sensational foreshadowing or an unfortunate coincidence? Whilst blundering her way through the library picking up a pile of textbooks, Buffy jests to Willow:

"I can't wait till mum gets the bill... I hope it's a funny aneurism."

By Episode 16 of Season 5, it's obvious there's nothing funny to be seen here.

Season 4, Episode 9 – Something Blue

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I'm leaning towards putting these in the 'coincidence' column, but you never know. Anyhow, as well as Buffy and Spike being all lovey dovey (perhaps a hint at what's to come for them), there's also the scene between D'Hoffryn and Willow where he offers her the chance to become a vengeance demon. He's giving props to her mad skills, no doubt. She turns him down, but later goes alone and becomes the ultimate raging vengeance queen after Tara's untimely death.

Season 4, Episode 22 – Restless

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You could write a thesis on this episode if you wanted. I don't want to, but I will mention it here. There's an awful lot going on, for all the Scoobies, but let's focus on the Buffmaster General. Bear with me...

Early on in Buffy's dream, she chats with Adam:

Buffy: "We're not demons."

Adam: "Is that so?"

This foreshadows Buffy's future investigations into her nature and her discovery that the Slayer line has an essence of demon running through it.

Her lack of knowledge, at this point, about where her powers really come from is again rammed home by dream Tara when she says:

"You think you know... What's to come... What you are... You haven't even begun."

She will start to understand a little better as Season 5 unfolds. Interestingly, Dracula repeats this exact quote in the first episode of the following season.

The final bit worth mentioning from Restless is dream Tara suggesting that Buffy should "Be back before dawn." Seemingly meaningless at the time, but yet more foreshadowing of her sister's arrival.

Season 5, Episode 15 – I Was Made To Love You

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"Things are always darkest before..."

Let me finish that sentence for you, Aprilbot. "Dawn." This could be taken in a number of ways, but there's little doubting that much of what laid before Dawn was pretty bleak for the remainder of the season. Especially up that tower.

Warren's pretty creepy dweebishness is quite telling too.

Season 6, Episode 1

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Giles is flying home, the send-off party are looking wistful and Xander suggests:

"It'll be dark soon."

In a season that was darker than the darkest thing you've ever seen, locked in a dark room with a dark blanket over its head, Xander couldn't have been more on the money. The writers' subtle way of warning us what we were in for, perchance. Between Buffy's issues and Willow's angry phase, things got real dark.

So there you have it, a small gathering of Buffy foreshadowing incidents, intentional or not. There are plenty more examples, that's for sure, so please do add your favourites in the comments.

Grr, argh...

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