'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' Showrunner Regrets Killing Off Tara

Buffy The Vampire Slayer is still beloved to this day, but according to writer Marti Noxon, there is one element of the series she might go back and change if given the chance.

Noxon took a more prominent role writing the series during its sixth season alongside Joss Whedon, and in a new interview with Vulture, she asked if the series' feminism holds up today.

"I was so afraid that Buffy was going to be the height of my career and that I would never emerge fully as a creator myself, so it’s actually been weirdly painful to go back and watch it because I was working so wholly to try to meld into the voice of Joss and this genre that was a little bit foreign to me, because I was kind of a straight drama writer. I haven’t revisited it very much. I think parts of it hold up really well, and other parts are a little rickety," Noxon said.

When asked which parts were rickety in her eyes, she brought up the character of Tara, who tragically died during the season. In retrospect, maybe that wasn't the best option.

"There were parts of season six where I feel we went too far," Noxon said. "We pushed into some categories that almost felt sadistic and that Buffy was volunteering for things that were beyond just “bad choices” and were almost irresponsible for the character. That may have to do with my own history. [Laughs.] The personal, right? It’s personal. And I think that killing Tara was — in retrospect, of all the people, did she have to die?"

Tara was played by Amber Benson, and Noxon was one of the people who brought her into the show, which puts a little salt on the wound.

The whole point of that arc was to show a very human side of Buffy, one that can make mistakes just like anyone else, a view she got some flack for from certain fans.

"But I did have way more input over that season and some real muscular influence on the direction of that season in part because I was really vocal about wanting Buffy to make some bad mistakes. My argument was that, when we become young women, especially if we’re troubled or haunted by something, that can lead us to make some bad choices, especially in the area of romance. And people really took me to task online. I finally just disengaged and didn’t participate in that conversation at all."


Tara's death occurred in the Seeing Red episode of Buffy and is killed by an angered Warren after he is defeated by Buffy and her friends. Warren purposeful goes after Buffy, shooting her in the chest, but Tara is hit by the ensuing bullets he shoots while running away.

Fans can check out more Buffy in Dark Horse's new season, which kicks off in Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 12: The Reckoning #1. The book is in comic stores now and you can read our full review here.