Tara was the shy and sweet witch who fell in love with Willow. While she didn’t come onto the show until season 4, she was still a quick fan favorite, partly due to her and Willow’s mainstream lesbian relationship, which gained such a positive reaction from people all over the world.
We don’t know too much about Tara since she wasn’t on the show for very long, but bits of her past did come out in various episodes. We learn that Tara inherited her powers as a witch from her mother, who died when Tara was 17.
As for the rest of the Maclay family, yeah, they were a strange and old-fashioned group. They had this ridiculous family legend (designed to keep their women in line) that claimed that the female members in their family turned into demons at age 20 or so. But thanks to Spike, Tara found out that this was a lie, after much worrying about the demon she thought was inside her.
Tara was very shy and nervous, especially around new people. So nervous that she stuttered when talking with them, but this usually faded once she got comfortable around them (but came back when she was uneasy). Eventually she grew comfortable with the rest of the Scoobies and played big part helping them. Most notably, she was the one who recognized that Buffy was not Buffy when Faith took over Buffy’s body – she also helped create the katra needed to switch their bodies back again.
Tara also played a big role in helping Willow embrace her witch powers. Together, with Miss Kitty Fantastico, Willow and Tara spent a lot of their time in Tara’s dorm room learning spells and gaining confidence in their skills. But in season 5, Willow’s power began to surpass Tara’s, which lead to some tension between the two and their first fight. After the fight, Willow stormed off, leaving Tara alone and that’s when the hellgod Glory showed up and sucked out Tara’s sanity. Luckily, during the final fight with Glory, Willow was able to restore Tara’s mind.
In Season 6, Willow continued to go overboard with her magic, and the two argued about whether Willow was taking it too far. Later, Tara found out that Willow had done a spell to make Tara forget their fight, and Tara was forced to break up with Willow. But, a few months later, after Willow had given up the use of magic entirely, they got back together, but VERY shortly thereafter, Tara was shot and killed by Warren (and I admit it, I cried).
Tara’s death caused a hell of an uproar, countless angry viewers refused to watch the show afterward, saying that she was killed off because Joss Whedon “hated gays,” which is ridiculous since it was his idea to make her gay. Her death was needed to take Willow’s character to the next level. I loved Tara, but I also love character development – shows get boring if everyone stays the same.
Favorite Tara Quotes!
Anya: “Well, at first it was confusing. Just the idea of computers was like, whoa, I’m eleven hundred years old. I had trouble adjusting to the idea of Lutherans.”
Tara: “Well, I go online sometimes, but everyone’s spelling is really bad. It’s depressing.”
Anya: “How ’bout you, ever play Shiver Me Timbers?”
Tara Maclay: “I’m not really much for the timber.”
Willow: “I’m sorry you’re feeling all blechy. But we’ll get together with Buffy another time, sometime soon. I think you’ll really like her.”
Tara: “She’s not your friend.”
Willow: “I may have overestimated the ‘you liking her’ factor.”
Tara: “No, no, I mean, I don’t… I-I don’t think she’s… her.”
Willow: “You lost me.”
Tara: “Well, a-a person’s energy has a flow, a unity. Buffy’s was… was fragmented; it-it-it grated, like something forced in where it doesn’t belong. Plus she, um, she was kinda mean.”
Xander: “I’m exhausted just lookin’ at those two. All the splashing and jumping and running. Shouldn’t relaxing involve less exertion?”
Anya: “Absolutely. Exertion can lead to sweatiness.”
Tara Maclay: “Oh, which can cause the, um, pain and heartbreak of stinkiness. Better to just stay put.”
Willow Rosenberg: “I think we’ve just put our finger on why we’re the sidekicks.”
“Nobody messes with my girl.”