View Full Version : How much will change had Anya remained a vengeance demon?

Sosa lola
30-12-13, 12:19 PM
I'm writing a fic in which Anya granted a different wish to Cordelia in The Wish and she didn't become human. Anyway, we are in S7 now, precisely after episode Him.

What are the changes that accrued without Anya as a Scooby?

1) No Xander/Anya obviously.

2) Without Anya, Triangle wouldn't have happened which means that the Bronze's didn't get to have a new look and there would be no god hammer, so Buffy didn't have a weapon to fight Glory with.

3) Anya was the one who found and bought the urn of Osiris.

4) the Anya/Spike sex wouldn't have happened.

5) Giles will have to hire another person to help him at the Magic Box.

Will there be any more changes?

Local Maximum
30-12-13, 02:36 PM

The first appearance by Anya after The Wish is Doppelgangland. Take out Anya, there's no vamp!Willow. Which, if you really wanted to, you could potentially say that with no vamp!Willow in the story, the vampires Wilkins sent to assassinate Willow would have actually killed her (and not confronted and been coerced into joining the alternate her). Which would lead to, I think, Buffy going on a revenge mission, finding Faith out sooner, and possibly a completely different B/F dynamic -- maybe Faith even hitting bottom and deciding to be good earlier (with a consequence of the death of someone Faith knows jolting her), possibly Buffy even going after her and killing her earlier. If we assume that the assassination attempt was foiled by Buffy, Willow might still have not gotten the jolt of confidence from meeting her vamp self, and so might not have had the super-brave/super-reckless adventure in Choices, staying behind during the assault, and might not have had the epiphany that she wants to stay in Sunnydale and might thus have gone off to Harvard instead.

Here are some other things Anya did (possibly by her presence):

* Info about the Ascension. However, this maybe could have been gleaned through more research, and it's unclear to me how much Anya's information changed the episode.

* Going to get Giles in Fear, Itself. Would the gang have died in the house? Since Gachnar turned out to be so tiny, maybe they would have survived anyway -- Buffy or someone might have thought of axing the pentagram at some point, even without Giles' help.

* If Xander wasn't dating Anya, Willow wouldn't have made that "demon magnet" crack, and so the SB spell would not have become so overwhelmingly dangerous, at least not in that way. Anya also tried summoning D'Hoffryn, but that didn't actually matter in practice. And, since Doppelgangland would have gone differently Willow's ambition and power levels might be different so this episode might not have happened anyway, even if she was still in town. (I think Willow would have tried something like this, but might not have had the kind of power to do any damage with it.)

* Helped save the day in Where the Wild Things Are, so potentially B/R could have gotten lost there (and all the consequences that spring from that), but it's easy to imagine B/R still being saved differently.

* In general, I am not sure how Xander would have fared in s4 without Anya's (admittedly spotty and weird) love and support. He might not have pulled himself together enough to get the promotion in The Replacement. OTOH, he might be closer to Willow, without dating someone she dislikes, which might have helped.

* I tend to think that the Magic Box wouldn't have done as well as it did without Anya there, but it probably wouldn't have gone under since we saw other Magic Box owners succeeding before being, uh, killed.

* I kind of think Xander's controversial talk to Buffy about Riley in Into the Woods wouldn't have happened with no Anya. Partly because Xander was somewhat talking about himself re: Anya, partly because Xander getting the gumption and confidence to talk to Buffy depends on him having his own relationship, partly because maybe Riley wouldn't have confided in Xander without having the "[Anya] digs the whole package" in wherein he compares the two relationships.

* Even without the Troll Hammer, The Gift would have gone differently without Anya's suggestions -- Anya's lack of emotional investment in the Dawn question is part of what gave her the ability to step outside the despair and look for solutions.

* I think it's implied that Halfrek only does vengeance within Sunnydale because she's in town because of Anya's wedding, so I suspect Older and Far Away wouldn't have happened, which means Dawn's feelings of neglect would sort of build up for longer before exploding at a later time, and without all that close-quarters time the W/T timeline for getting back together would be delayed (which might even lead to Tara not being there in SR and not getting shot, which means no Dark Willow, which means Willow might still be giving up magic but kind of tempted to use it again in s7...)

* No Anya/Spike sex also means no Buffy/Xander/Anya/Spike confrontation, means Xander doesn't really hit that low point, and also means that Buffy/Spike doesn't come out in the open at that time, and Spike doesn't hit bottom the next episode or hits bottom in a different way, and the AR and soul quest either doesn't happen, or happens but is delayed a bit later, or....

* IF Willow still goes dark, which is a big if since it requires Tara's death and Willow's huge amounts of power, she probably kills the rest of the Trio, at least, without Anya's anti-magic spells. I guess conversely Willow would need a different way of escaping from Giles' stasis field.

* Ronnie ("the worm") is probably still alive, and not a worm, unless of course Anyanka is still working in Sunnydale and has been since The Wish.

Annnnd, lots of others, big and small, probably. For ex, the Xander/Anya wedding actually plays a part in a lot of the dysfunction in the group throughout s6 -- Willow's creation of the party decorations in All the Way, IMO partly because of stress at the realization that Xander is getting married and she doesn't know how she feels about it, is what leads to the acceleration of the W/T conflict; part of Buffy's low point in Normal Again is depression after the not-wedding and she might have just taken the medicine of Willow's, having less of a present despair.

Conversely, Xander not having a relationship, or having a relationship with someone who never tries to kill him, could actually make his life better than we saw it on the show, which might have lifted the others up, too. Or he might have fared much worse without Anya. It's kind of cool to think how much every person affects everyone else, in ways big and small, especially since so much of BtVS relies on timing (never more so than with things like Warren's bullet).

Sosa lola
30-12-13, 04:15 PM
Max, this is so wonderfully detailed and utterly awesome. Anya's non-presence is a minor detail in the story but it's very important to establish a solid background even though some of these changes will be subtly hinted at within the story.

I have a question, is Anya's presence necessary in Buffy's resurrection? I can see Willow finding the urn of Osiris on her own but during the resurrection itself, did Willow need Anya there?

Also, would Anya's lack of presence affect the Spuffy relationship too much? Seeing as her sleeping with Spike did play a part in what's going to come in Seeing Red.

Local Maximum
30-12-13, 04:48 PM
Hm. I think that during the ritual itself, Anya wasn't so essential. Probably if they didn't have four people present, they wouldn't have split up afterward and would have just stayed a group of three. But I don't know if this would have any big impact. I would say that Buffy probably could have been resurrected. Something could have gone wrong, but that's true of almost everything in the show -- I think any Scooby being removed could change everything, or could end up leaving things mostly the same.

30-12-13, 05:24 PM
I agree completely with Local_Max's analysis. To add

*Anya's description of different dimensions in Superstar kick-started Buffy's thinking that Jonathan altered this world. I kind of think that Buffy would have figured it out anyway because Buffy was already heavy-pondering because of the Trade Off Demon and Adam said that Jonathan's magics were unstable. However, the situation may have resolved itself differently.

*Even with Willow's supposedly clear instructions on how to turn off Sunnydale's power in New Moon Rising, I think there's a good chance that Giles wouldn't have been able to figure it out and would have yelling "You stupid fad" at the computer without Anya's assistance. This would have jeopardized Oz's rescue.

*In No Place Like Home, Anya came up with the idea and spell to see the spell that created Dawn. Supposedly the last Monk of Mind F*ck died in Buffy's arms right then when Buffy went to investigate the spell that she saw. That Monk gave Buffy the key (lol) information about Dawn's origins and the reason to create her in one of the most expositiony deaths on the show. It would have taken the Scoobies a lot longer to figure out that Dawn was a Key that the Monks magically turned into Buffy's sister to protect the Key from Glory without Anya. This would have really altered the course of S5 in ways that I can't even predict.

*In Shadow, Anya caught Giles's mistake of selling Glory the ingredients to make a snake into a monster which can suss out the Key. This allowed the gang to research and warn Buffy in time for Buffy to kill the snake before it came back to Glory with the message on the identity of the Key. Again, Anya's presence drastically changed the S5 story.

*Anya told Buffy and Xander that Willow was in town and went to Gnarl's cave in Same Time Same Place. Given that Gnarl was already devouring an immobilized Willow by the time Buffy and Xander showed up, Anya's information almost definitely saved Willow's life.

Will there be any more changes?

*If you mean past Him, Anya gave Willow the idea to get a catalyst that could conduit magical energy to recover Buffy in Get It Done. I sort of think that Willow and Co. could have figured that out after brainstorming a little, but Anya got the ball rolling in the brainstroming session on rescuing Buffy from the Shadowmen's dimension.

*Anya was a major voice of opposition towards Buffy in the Empty Places confrontation and Anya voiced more complaints about Buffy's speeches and manner of leadership and preference for Spike beforehand. It's not clear but it's possible that Anya's vocal opposition towards Buffy emboldened the Potentials and Faith to take a stand against Buffy. Anya and Giles were the two long-term Scoobies who spoke the most against Buffy and their criticism does mean something to the newer members of the household.

*Anya died saving Andrew's life. Without Anya, there's a chance that Andrew would have died in Chosen. Unless, Andrew got paired up with someone else who would risk their lives to protect Andrew.

08-01-14, 08:44 PM
Totally onboard with Max's meta. Another thing to consider is not only the absence of Anya, but how nature abhors a vacuum. Who would step in to fill the space left by Anya's absence? Who would Xander be dating? Who would be helping out at the Magic Box (if not Anya)? Or would Giles be going slowly batty from having to deal with customers on his own and looking at a quarterly tax sheet and wetting himself?

That sort of thing. The needs that Anya fulfilled... who else fulfills them?

Okay, let's say in Season 4, without Xander dating Anya, that does allow Xander to get closer to Willow. How does that affect Willow's other romantic relationships? Would Willow turn to Xander when Oz left? Would she still get together with Tara? Would there be another awkward round of Xander and Willow plus love interest? I'm thinking it's possible, simply because both Xander and Willow would be hitting rock bottom at the same time (almost a precursor to Season 6 and them hugging each other on the cliff...).

Would Xander maybe run off to LA for a spell without a job and a girlfriend he's invested in? What if the Army thing really happened? Maybe without Anya to give Xander confidence, Xander overly identifies and models himself on Riley to the extent that he enlists for a tour (possibly even getting injured and sent home wounded)?

I can see the opportunity for a lot of dramatic turns for Xander in Season 4 without Anya there. It's an incredibly low point in his life when he's feeling disconnected from his best friends (and never really that closely connected to Giles). So, without Anya, his own person who's just there for him, I can see Xander spontaneously deciding to go to Tibet with Oz/join the Army/run off into the sunset hoping to get burned... just to feel something.

Local Maximum
09-01-14, 12:20 AM
I definitely think that without Anya, Willow would have less reason not to get close to Xander -- except, her other Big Reason for not getting close to Xander in s4 after Oz' departure is fear about whether he's really accept her and Tara if he knew (with a bit of Left Over Anger over past resentments on the table as well). Well, there's also, less generously to Willow, the fact that Willow wants to lose herself in the college lifestyle and Xander is a drag on that. But without Anya actively creating friction and reminding Willow of the reasons she's annoyed at Xander (he who picks bullies and demons over her), I think she'd probably have an easier time connecting to him -- though Xander himself might be too depressed to make the first move, and might slink down into deeper depression.

Actually, I think the biggest point might really be after Oz leaves. Xander would probably get sick of Willow's grief, but if he doesn't have Anya to occupy his time, he might really be just glad to have Willow leaning on him because he misses her. I actually could see another round of awkward Willow/Xander at this point, post-Oz pre-Tara with no Anya present, and with no "Something Blue" would Willow devote herself to finding a community to help her with her magic, and go to the Wicca group? I mean, I think she would, but she might have gone and given up earlier, or later, and missed Tara. Lots of ways things could have gone.

Sosa lola
09-01-14, 08:21 PM
Re Magic Box - how about Giles hiring Buffy? Granted she knows nothing about magic and potions, but I can see a scenario working there.

It'll start with Giles hiring someone new at first - who turns out to be evil ( maybe another demon girlfriend for Xander who turns out to be bad ) and then after Joyce dies, Giles would hire Buffy to help her out.