Angel was born in 1727 to a moderately wealthy family in Galway, Ireland under the birth name Liam. His father was extremely strict, which led Liam to become a ne'er-do-well layabout out of rebellion. In 1753, at the age of 26, a heated dispute with his father caused Liam to renounce his family and leave home.
It didn't take long for a mate-seeking vampire named Darla to discover Liam in an impressive drunken brawl at a pub. When she first approached him, he was on his way to steal silver from his father to spend on a woman. Liam found himself easily seduced by the entrancing Darla.
With her bite, he was granted eternal life as a vampire and sired into the historied lineage of The Order Of Aurelius. The patriarch of this "family," the Master, is one of the most powerful vampires of the past millennium. The Master originally sired Darla when he discovered her in North America's Virginia Colony in 1608, dying from the syphilis she no doubt acquired through her profession as a prostitute.
Liam's body was laid to rest by his family, and was resurrected the night after his funeral. Waiting patiently by the tombstone for her new mate was Darla. Liam's first kill came moments after clawing his way out of the earth, when he supped on the blood of a terrified graveyard caretaker.
Wasting no time getting his bearings, Liam headed straight to his family's home, with Darla in tow. His next victim was his younger sister Cathy, who thought he had returned as an "angel." He then made short work of his parents, taking pleasure in their demise. But, as Darla was quick to point out, the memory of his father's disapproval would haunt him forever.
For the next several years Liam, now known as Angelus, "the one with the angelic face," maimed and murdered everyone he had ever known and cared for. With his lover Darla, he cut a swath of destruction through South Wales and Northern Ireland. In 1760, Darla decided it was time for Angelus to meet his grandsire, the Master.
Upon entering the Master's lair beneath the streets of London, Angelus took an instant disliking to the intimidating vampire. Showing a dangerously cocky level of disrespect, Angelus insulted the Master and gave Darla the invitation to continue living with him in the open air, rather than dwelling with her sire in a dank subterranean fortress. For the second time in his life he renounced his "family," and was lucky enough to have the Master permit his freedom out of respect.
The two lovers continued their violent conquest of Europe, tearing through Italy, but finally finding resistance in France. In 1765, a cunning vampire hunter named Holtz pursued them across the French countryside with a hostile mob as his army. When the weary vampires found their barn hideout surrounded, Darla stole their only horse and left Angelus to be slain. As an afterthought, she instructed him to meet her in Vienna someday if he made it past Holtz' militia.
For the latter part of the 1700's, Angelus became even more brutal and twisted in his barbarous onslaught. He took to carving a Christian cross in the left cheek of his victims as a gruesome trademark of his attacks. It was during this period that he sired a man named Penn, who emulated his creator and turned up in modern day Los Angeles as "The Pope Killer."
By 1860, Angelus had returned to England with Darla at his side once again. It was there that she introduced Angelus to Drusilla, an innocent young woman who was gifted with the ability to see the future. Angelus decided to make Drusilla his special toy and began to ruthlessly dismantle her sanity. He posed as a priest and told the na´ve young lass that her visions were the work of Satan, from whom she was spawned, and there was no hope for her soul but to give in to evil and fulfill the Lord's prophecy. He then went to her home and slaughtered her entire family in front of her.
Drusilla was able to escape to a convent on the countryside where she would attempt to become a nun to help cleanse her soul of the horrors she had experienced. But Angelus caught up to her and, on the day she was to take the veil, he descended upon the convent and massacred every last nun. Afterwards, he made love to Darla in front of the quivering, now-insane Drusilla and then sired his conquest into vampiredom.
The three savage vamps traveled to Budapest, among other regions, and in 1880 found themselves back in England butchering mortals in the streets of London. By this time, Drusilla began to thirst for the intimate companionship that Darla and Angelus had and so decided to find a man to share eternity with. Her quest ended quickly when she spotted a skinny, insecure poet named William. Drusilla sired the easily-seduced outcast, and he was resurrected as the vampire known today as Spike.
After becoming well acquainted with each other, Angelus, Darla, Drusilla and Spike set up camp in Yorkshire, where they hunted as a disciplined pack. Although they were experiencing blood-drenched prosperity under the leadership of Angelus, Spike's brazen attempt at gaining notoriety drew too much attention to the crafty predators, and they were forced to move on.
By 1898, Angelus, Darla, Spike and Drusilla had brought their whirlwind of slaughter to Borsa, Romania. It was on a fateful night during that year that Darla gave Angelus a young Gypsy girl to kill for his birthday. The girl turned out to be the favorite daughter of a Romany tribe called the Kalderash clan. The enraged tribe elders put a vengeance curse on Angelus, which restored his soul and forced him to live in anguish over the acts he had committed as a vampire. Darla, Drusilla and Spike attacked the Gypsy camp and slaughtered the entire tribe to avenge their fallen leader, but the damage had already been done. Upon regaining his humanity, Angelus deserted his comrades and attempted to redefine himself.
Although Angelus' thirst for butchery had been extinguished, his love for Darla had not. In 1900, he tracked her down in China, where she was feeding on townspeople with Spike and Drusilla during the Boxer Rebellion. In an attempt to win her back, Angelus hid the fact that he could no longer kill the innocent and faked his bloodlust to appease his lover. On the night that Spike killed a masterful Slayer in an abandoned temple, the reunited pack decided to leave China to seek victims in other parts of the world.
It didn't take long for Darla to expose Angelus' fašade. She could tell that he had been killing vermin to satisfy his necessity for blood, and she realized that the few humans he killed in front of her were miscreants like murderers and rapists. Darla finally tested Angelus by bringing him a human baby, the personification of innocence and virtue. As Darla waited for her lover to feed on the infant, Angelus scooped up the child, jumped through the window, and left her for good.
During the 1910's, Angelus moved to America and changed his name to Angel in an attempt to further remove himself from his past. While repenting for the acts he had committed as a vampire, he developed an aversion towards other vampires and lived like a transient, feeding on rats for nourishment. In the 1920's, Angel was living in Juarez when a barbaric demon named Boone took offense to the brooding outcast. The two warriors engaged in a brutal fight over a girl that lasted three and a half hours and ended without a victor. Boone was left with a bitter grudge against Angel that would not be settled until more than 75 years later.
By 1952, Angel had taken residence at the Hyperion Hotel in Los Angeles. The human inhabitants were intimidated by his fierce demeanor and avoided him at all costs. During his stay, a Thesulac demon, which feeds on paranoia, turned the hotel residents into a bloodthirsty mob. The horde turned its wrath on Angel and was able to overpower the vampire and hang him from a rafter. Angel, still very much alive, waited for the mob to lose interest and wander off before he climbed down. He indignantly left the Hyperion and its inhabitants at the mercy of the Thesulac demon.
Angel later left Los Angeles and aimlessly roamed across America until, consumed by self-pity, he hit rock bottom and began living in an alleyway in New York. But in 1996 his life was changed when he met a street-wise demon named Whistler. The Powers That Be, a force for good and order in the universe, sent Whistler to guide Angel on a path to redemption. The slick-tongued demon convinced Angel to help a Vampire Slayer named Buffy fight the forces of evil in California.
Angel first laid eyes on Buffy in Los Angeles and followed her to Sunnydale when she and her mother moved. In 1997, he began to help the slayer by delivering cryptic advice about demonic activity. One night, when Buffy was attacked by vampires outside of the Bronze, the local hangout, Angel saved her and Buffy invited him over to sleep in her room. The two began to sense a mutual attraction and when Buffy returned home from school the next day they shared a passionate kiss. But before they could revel in the afterglow, Angel's vampire face came out and he dejectedly ran away.
As both Buffy and Angel began to consider the consequences of their ironic attraction, Darla showed up in Sunnydale with the goal of winning her "Darling Boy" back. The cunning Darla made it look like Angel had attacked Buffy's mother, which quickly pit the slayer against her soulmate. Angel wasn't able to convince Buffy of the truth until he destroyed his past by slaying Darla at the Bronze. Although Buffy could accept the fact that Angel was no longer evil, the two of them decided that their poetic relationship could never work. As they kissed one last time, the cross Buffy wore around her neck burned an imprint onto Angel's chest, leaving a permanent memento of their love.
Although the forces of good and evil separated Buffy and Angel, fate brought them back together. As they became deeply enamored with one another, they decided to consummate their love on Buffy's 17th birthday. What they didn't know was that the Romany curse was predicated on Angel remaining tortured. Upon experiencing a moment of true happiness, the curse was lifted and his soul removed once again.
Angel quickly became the scourge of Sunnydale and did everything in his power to torture Buffy. After killing one of Buffy's allies and nearly claiming her other friends, Willow was able to re-cast the Romany spell and return Angel's soul to him for the second time. But fate again made a radical turn and, moments after he regained his soul, Buffy was forced to impale Angel to seal the gateway to hell he had opened. Angel was returned a few months later, but he had spent the equivalent of over 100 years being tortured in hell. In time, he was able to recover his sanity, but his psyche would never fully heal. He knew that as long as he remained a vampire, his relationship with Buffy would never work, so he left Sunnydale to find a new life in Los Angeles. . . .
[ Read Part Two of Angel's Story ]
This is a synopsis of the history of the character Angel. The characters are the property (copyright) of Joss Whedon. The words quoted are the property (copyright 2002) of the WB Television Network. All Angel episode images are the exclusive property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemies and 20th Century Fox. No copyright infringement of any kind is intended. No profit is being made. This information is not for distribution; it is being presented here solely for the enjoyment of the shows' fans.
I'd like to thank the Trinity at the Sanctuary web site for permission to use these screen caps; their link is available on the Angel Links page.