Tara Maclay is a fictitious character created by Joss Whedon. She was portrayed by Amber Benson for all episodes. Tara is a witch Willow meets in her Wicca group. The two bond over their mutual interest in witchcraft and eventually fall in love. She is killed by Warren Mears in the sixth season.


Tara is introduced in "Hush" as a shy member of Willow's (Alyson Hannigan) Wicca group. Tara was created to be another magically enclined friend for Willow. Alyson and already known Amber by the time she was auditioning for the role of Tara and when Alyson discvoered Amber was auditioning, she toled Joss to cast her. In the episode "Hush", Tara and Willow telekinetically move a large vending machine. The producers sensed a sensuality between them and decided they would become lovers. After Tara's death in the sixth season, fans accused Whednon of being homophobic, he, however, declined all accusations, stating that Tara's death was simply a medium for Willow to descend into a magical frenzy. Joss requested that Benson reprise her role as Tara in the seventh season, but she couldn't appear due to conflicting schedules.


Seasons 4-5 (1999-2001)Edit

Tara is presented in "Hush" as a shy witch in Willow's (Alyson Hannigan) Wicca group. She listens to Willow's suggestion to the Wicca group about spellcasting, which they take as Willow being sterotypical. Tara reveals to Willow that she herself is an actual witch. Tara and Willow spend sometime in the fourth season simply practicing witchcraft, but subsequently become lovers after Willow's ex-boyfriend Oz visits hoping Willow would take him back.

In the fifth season, Tara struggles with finding her place in the Scooby Gang. Tara's main role in the Scooby Gang is Willow's partner. She feels useless until the episode "Family" when the entire Scooby Gang makes it clear that Tara is a member of the Gang and is somewhat considered family. Tara reveals to Buffy in "The Body" that her mother died when she was 17.

The main antagonist in the fifth season is the hell goddess Glory (Claire Kramer) who is too powerful for Buffy to defeat. Glory attacks Tara, stealing her sanity and provoking Willow to seek reveange through witchcraft. Willow's is powerful enough to weaken Glory, but not enough to destroy her completely. In the final episode of the fifth season, Willow magically transfers Tara's insanity into Glory, damaging her enough so that she can be vanquished.

Seasons 6 (2001-2002)Edit

Tara accompanies Willow, along with Anya and Xander to bring Buffy back to life subsequent to her death in the fifth season's finale. She becomes more outspoken and confident in the sixth season. Her relationship with Willow shifts dramatically when Willow uses magic to violate Tara's mind. Tara challenges Willow to take a break from magic for a month. Tara finally ends their relationship when Willow uses yet another spell to tamper with her memory. Willow spends the next few episodes without Tara and becomes lonely, descending further into magical addicton, ultimately ending in nearly killing Dawn. She subsequently swears off magic. Tara and Willow later rekindle their relationship, shortly, but Tara is later killed by Warren Mears when a stray bullet meant for Buffy hits Tara.

Death and responseEdit

Tara's death in season 6 lead many fans to speculate that Whedon was homophobic, however he denied all of these accusations, saying that Tara's death was no more than a medium for Willow to descend into a magical frenzy.

Powers and abilitiesEdit

At the time of her introduction, Tara is a very accomplished witch, being able to utilize powerful telekinetic abilities. She revealed that both her mother and her grandmother were practicing witches. She is also very adept in casting spells and has a vast knowledge over witchcraft. She also maintains a fluency in Latin. Tara believes in using magic for necesary purposes, causing her to bud heads with Willow who often misemployed her magical abilities.


  1. Revealed in the seventh season of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"