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Illyria from Angel

Updated on August 31, 2017

Illiyria - the demonic God-King from Angel

Illyria is a former Demon King - an original pure demon from the Primordium Age, from the times before man dominated the Earth, and demons ruled. Mighty and all-powerful, and one of the most loved and feared of all the Old Ones, she/he/it was betrayed and murdered. locked away in slumber.

Her citadel, Vahla ha'nesh, was based where modern day Los Angeles now lies. Through the machinations of her remaining faithful (part of a cult that had survived through the ages), and some pre-ordained teleportation, her sarcophagus was brought to Los Angeles, where she infected Fred (Winifred Burkle), who was the shy scientist part of Angel's team.

Illyria's essence destroys Fred from the inside out, and Illyria hatches into the 'shell' - and a world that she no longer rules. After some confusion, and discovering that her army had been destroyed long ago, she became an uneasy ally of Angel and his team. Wesley took her under his care, despite - or because of - his grief at her murdering his love Fred - and she came to care for him.

She turned up in the fifth season of Angel and was played by Amy Ackers (who also played Fred). She was graceful, and arrogant, and incredibly powerful - much of her power had to be drained off as the human shell could not contain it. She was - despite the suddenness, and loss of Fred - one of my favourite characters.

Page Two: Cosplaying Illyria Illyria is a very unique looking character, and a particularly awesome one to cosplay. There are two parts to her costume - the blue skin, hair and eyes, and the actual armour.

Is she your favourite? Or a horrible terrible monster?

Illyria - sketch-painting by Flynn the Cat (Click through for more Buffy and Angel fan art)
Illyria - sketch-painting by Flynn the Cat (Click through for more Buffy and Angel fan art)

Quick, what do you think of Illyria?

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Illyria's Original Form - Monstrous tentacled demon god - based on her statue

Illustration of Illyria (or of her statue- there was one in that exact location), in her original form, before her massive army
Illustration of Illyria (or of her statue- there was one in that exact location), in her original form, before her massive army

Illyria in the shell of Fred obviously looked human, However, her original form was anything but. Based on an illustration in a book, and the (destroyed) remains of the statue in her temple, she was a cephalopod-like monster, with ten flexible tentacles, and perched on two claw-like feet.

Her body looks otherwise humanoid, but is covered in armour - probably much like the red leather-like armour she creates for herself shortly after being reborn (hatched) in Fred's body, and wears constantly.

Wesley: Illyria?

Illyria: My name ... You would presume to speak my name. Because I have returned in the body of a human, you think you can speak to me. It's disgusting.

Wesley: Who is Winifred Burkle?

Illyria: I thought the humans would have long died out by now. Instead, you've grown bold.

Wesley: So you don't know who Fred is.

Illyria: Nor care. Bleat at me no longer. We're done.

I lived seven lives at once. I was power in the ecstasy of death. I was god to a god. Now... I'm trapped on a roof... just one roof, in this time and this place

Illyria's True Form - Eighth season comics
Illyria's True Form - Eighth season comics

Ilyria regained her true form during the Fall of Los Angeles graphic novel sequels (Season Eight of Buffy the Vampire Slayer was continued in graphic novel format, after the Angel and BtVS television shows ended). Due to various twists, and time changes, she does end up back in her human form again.

A true ruler is as moral as a hurricane. Empty, but for the force of his gale.

Is Illyria evil? Does she only help Angel & Co. because it suits her?

Feigenbaum Bunny Plush Replica - A poignant thread through the story of Fred and Illyria

When Fred was dying, she called out for Feigenbaum, the stuffed bunny she'd brought with her from home, but couldn't remember who he was. Later, Illyria is seen holding Feigenbaum when she felt lost.

A better view of Illyria's facial designs
A better view of Illyria's facial designs

This awesome action figure is the only one available on Amazon, but there's another limited release action figure that still pops up on eBay (see below). If you can find one of Spike, too, you can re-enact their... training!

Illyria: You break so easily. Why do you bother getting back up?

Spike: Right. We need to set some ground rules. First more punching me in the face. Secondly, when I punch you in the face, you tell me how you feel so I can write that down on my clipboard. touching my clipboard. Fourth...

Illyria: I enjoy hurting you.

Spike: Well, we're gonna have to fix that, 'cause...

[Illyria kicks Spike in the face. Spike punches her. Illyria punches him across the room]

Wesley: How goes it?

Illyria: I've been hitting the half-breed. He makes noise.

Spike: We're off to a bit of a rough start, but don't worry. I'll break her.

Illyria Shells Action Figure - And possibly cheaper versions of the Exclusive Action Figure

The Illyria Shells Action Figure is quite hard to find now, but does turn up on eBay. You can read a good review of it, with photos, here.

Casting my eye over some of the results, it looks like you might be able to get the Exclusive Illyria Action Figure for slightly less than it sells for on Amazon as well.

Season Five of Angel - Illyria appears in the last eight episodes

She first appeared in the episode "A Hole in the World" but takes a significant role on her own account in "Underneath". In total, she appears in (the last) eight episodes of Season Five.

Season Five is one of the better seasons, with lots of drama, and the end of the world... so to speak.

After the end of Angel the story was continued in graphic novels such as After The Fall and various spin-off series. Illyria is a fairly central character and remains part of the storyline. She appeared in all but the first issue of After The Fall and the First Night stories of issues #7-8. She also appears in all four issues of the spin-off comic book series Spike: After the Fall.

In 2009, Illyria appeared in the first three issues of Peter David's comic book series Fallen Angel Reborn as a special guest star. On a mission to reclaim three objects of power which she hopes will restore her former glory, Illyria must also dispatch of another "fallen" godling, namely Liandra, the Fallen Angel, Magistrate, and protector of Bete Noire.

Illyria: Spotlight - A one-shot spin off comic about Illyria

Illyria has also appeared in Angel expanded universe material such as comics, most notably in 2006, in her own one-shot comic Illyria: Spotlight. There are several different artist's covers available (although they are all the same comic).

Collect the comic book appearances of Illyria from eBay

A four-part series around Illyria is planned for 2010 (but may not make it). There's an interview with the creators of Illyria: Haunted and some preview artwork here on Buffyverse Comic Reviews

In the meantime, you can find a lot of the existing comics from eBay,

Side and back view of Illyria's armour
Side and back view of Illyria's armour

To never die and to conquer all - that is winning.

I lived seven lives at once. I was power in the ecstasy of death. I was god to a god. Now...

Illyria pulling power from her sarcophagus, after creating her armour
Illyria pulling power from her sarcophagus, after creating her armour

Or are you trying to figure out how?

Have You Ever Cosplayed Illyria?

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Illyria stands, poised.
Illyria stands, poised.


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    • nadjaiskeniskie profile image

      nadjaiskeniskie 6 years ago

      **cry** I miss Fred. She was the 2nd best character on Angel.

    • RandomSpecifics profile image

      RandomSpecifics 6 years ago

      I much prefer Fred. I was SO sad when she died. I adored her!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Interesting lens on an interesting character. I was not familiar with her until reading your lens. Good job on this lens, by the way.

    • capriliz lm profile image

      capriliz lm 7 years ago

      Looks like a very interesting character. Unfortunately, this is the first I have heard of her. sniff

    • profile image

      SofiaMann 7 years ago

      I did not know. Thanks for the info.

    • LoKackl profile image

      LoKackl 7 years ago

      Illyria looks like my kind of Woman!

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 7 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      I loved Fred so I was sad when Illyria took over. Maybe if she hadn't killed off Fred I'd have liked her more!