Dawn was, in my opinion, the most annoying person in the Scooby Gang. She was Buffy’s whiny little sister. In her original form though, she was a mystical power, a living energy known as The Key. If used, The Key would cause dimensions to open into one another, causing mass chaos. The monks of the Order of Dagon didn’t want this power used as evil (specifically by hell goddess Glory) so they used powerful magic, as well as a portion of the Slayer’s own essence, to forge The Key into the form of a human fourteen-year-old girl, then sending her to Buffy as a sister for protection.
For a few months, Dawn, Buffy, their mom Joyce and the Scooby Gang were unaware of Dawn’s magical origins, believing the memories the monks had created for them. Dawn was supposedly born in Los Angeles in 1986 and had moved with Buffy and Joyce to Sunnydale after Buffy burned down her old high school gym. Only those “outside reality,” like mental patients, were able to see Dawn’s true nature. Eventually Buffy and Dawn learned about Dawn’s origins, Dawn didn’t take the news well and sliced herself up. But Buffy convinced Dawn that no matter where she came from and was she was, they were real sisters no matter what.
During all the Key drama, poor Joyce dies. Unable to deal with her mother’s death and feeling abandoned by Buffy, Dawn became quite the kleptomaniac, at first beginning by stealing Anya’s earrings and then growing to the point where she began to repeatedly and excessively steal from many stores, including the Magic Box.
Dawn, The Key that Glory wanted, then started to blame herself for all the pain Glory had brought to the people of Sunnydale (mainly Tara’s insanity and Spike’s torture), describing herself as a “lightning rod” for pain. Despite Buffy’s best efforts to keep her safe, Dawn was kidnapped by Glory and taken to Glory’s ritual tower. Unfortunately, Glory’s plan was worked and the dimensions began to crack. Dawn was willing to give up her life to save the world, but Buffy stopped her and sacrificed herself instead.
In season six Dawn manages to be even moodier and more depressed than before. She suffers more abandonment issues due to Buffy’s death and her kleptomania gets worse. But then Willow casts a spell to bring Buffy back to life and Dawn is a bit happier. Later she experiences her first kiss with a vampire named Justin, who she is then forced to stake when he tries to kill her. Feeling lonely, Dawn accidentally makes a wish to the vengeance demon Halfrek which results in everyone becoming trapped inside the Summers’ house. Eventually all secrets come out and Buffy deals with Dawn’s ridiculous stealing.
Due to Willow’s magical recklessness, Dawn breaks her arm, which is what triggers Willow to stop using magic – until Tara’s death, which made her turn evil. This evil Willow, sick of Dawn’s whining, almost turns her back into energy, but Buffy comes just in time and saves Dawn from Willow.
In Season Seven, Dawn FINALLY grows up. After wrongly believing herself to be a Potential Slayer, Xander explains to disappointed Dawn that being normal is perhaps the hardest burden of all, since nobody understands the pain of being overlooked. Before the final battle Buffy orders Xander to knock Dawn out with chloroform and drive her away from the war. But when Dawn wakes up she tasers Xander and returns to Sunnydale to help in the fight. In the final battle against the First, Dawn manages to prove that she is strong young woman, killing at least three Turok-Han vampires all by herself.
Favorite Dawn Quotes!
Buffy: “How was school today?”
Dawn: “Um, the usual, big square building filled with boredom and despair.”
Buffy: “Just how I remember it.”
Buffy: “Hanging out with Spike is not cool, Dawn, okay? It is- it is dangerous and… icky.”
Dawn: “I don’t think Spike’s icky.”
Buffy: “Yeah, well, think again sister.”
Buffy: “You have a crush on him!”
Dawn: “No, I don’t. It’s just… he’s got cool hair and he wears cool leather coats and stuff.”
“The hardest thing in this world, is to live in it.”
Dawn: [excited] “Oh my God. You will never believe what happened at school today.”
Buffy: “Everybody started singing and dancing?”
Dawn: [pauses, deflating] “I gave birth to a pterodactyl.”
Anya: “Oh my God, did it sing?”
[about M’Fashnik demon] “I’m guessing on how you say it. It’s got an apostrophe. I think it’s MmmFashnik. Like ‘Mmm… Cookies!’”
Dawn: “Spike. You sleep, right? You. Vampires. You sleep.”
Spike: “Yeah. What’s your point?”
Dawn: “Well, I can’t take you in a fight or anything, even with a chip in your head. But you do sleep. If you hurt my sister at all… touch her… you’re gonna wake up on fire.”