Five | Season
Six | Season
The Key is a mystical ball of energy that can open a portal to all dimensions, causing dimensions to bleed into one another. When a brethren of monks came across it, they felt the dangerous power could be put to good use, using powerful magic to forge it into human form - a fourteen-year-old girl - and sent it to the Slayer in the form of a sister to protect with her life. As Dawn Summers, she along with everyone else around her was unaware of her mystical origins, having been imbued with artificial memories to support her existence as Buffy's younger sister. These altered memories showed Dawn to be the one to discover and subsequently inform her parents that Buffy believed herself to be a Slayer, which prompted them to commit her to a mental institution.
Prior to her stay at the mental institution, Buffy had run away from home, leaving her parents worried sick, causing them to become overly protective of Dawn. During Buffy's absence, one of her enemies delivered a package to her home, and mistakenly gave it to Dawn, believing her to be the Slayer. The package was a demonically made teddy bear possessed by a Djinn, who had the power to transform into a more dangerous creature. After the bear came to life and attacked people in order to grant Dawn's wishes, Dawn discovered that her desires were what controlled the Djinn, using her desires to force him out of her home.
Dawn and Hoopy the
After Buffy's return and subsequent stay at a mental institution, Buffy and Dawn were forced to deal with their parents' crumbling marriage. One night, Buffy took Dawn to a carnival, where she left Dawn with a security officer in order to stake several vampires in the area, unaware that she left her little sister with one as well. Buffy was not in time to save the day, but Dawn's life was spared when a Angel, who been stalking Buffy from afar, dusted the vampire and left Dawn back in the care of Buffy.
Angels We Have Seen On
After their parents' divorce and subsequent move to Sunnydale, Buffy discovered the truth about her sister's origins, initially only confiding the truth to her Watcher. When Dawn's function as the Key was activated, Buffy sacrificed her life in Dawn's place to close the interdimensional bleed. Following Buffy's death, Dawn's emotional state became unbalanced and she began to cause problems at her school. She managed to overcome her grief with the help of Giles and Buffy’s friends. (BtVS:
False Memories, Death of
After Buffy's death, the Scooby Gang tried to move on and continue with their lives, but the sadness and grief that they bore attracted the attention of a malignancy demon. Dawn saved the day by convincing the Scoobies to put aside their grief and celebrate Buffy's life instead of mourning, which killed the demon. (BtVS:
Lost & Found)
After her resurrection, Buffy’s pain of having been ripped from Heaven, as well as the added responsibilities of raising Dawn and paying bills made her fail to notice Dawn's growing isolation and kleptomania. Dawn fell into the wrong crowd, nearly getting herself killed when a vampire gang attempted to use her as a virginal sacrifice to resurrect an ancient demon. She was kidnapped again by a surviving member of the gang, who used Dawn in a revenge plot to draw out the Slayer. Dawn's constant endangerment made Buffy realize that she had been neglecting her sister, and ended her self-destructive behavior in order to become a more positive role model for her adolescent sister. (BtVs:
Creatures of Habit,
Following the destruction of Sunnydale, Dawn began college at Berkeley. Dawn spontaneously became a giant, the result of sleeping with her ‘thricewise’ boyfriend’s roommate. Living in the basement of Command Central's Scottish citadel, Dawn's relationship with her sister was strained, refusing to talk to her sister about her giant circumstances. Dawn was not as proportionally strong as she was large. Nevertheless, she still took an active role in large-scale battles, decommissioning enemies with super-sized kicks. (BtVS:
The Long Way Home)
Dawn later shrunk to normal size again, but then turned into a centaur, leaving the possibility that she would likely experience a third such transformation before she could return to normal. (BtVS:
Time of Your Life)
Book Guide to Buffy
of the Slayers