View Full Version : How much the Scoobies know about Spike as William the bad poet?

21-03-15, 10:13 PM
How much Buffy and the Scoobies actually know about the kind of person Spike was as a human? Do they know about how gentle and naive William was before he was sired?
(I haven’t found a thread about this.)

Maybe I missed something and they know for sure what kind of person he was. But I always assumed that when Spike told his story to Buffy in 'Fool For Love' he didn’t tell her the specifics. He said „I’ve always been bad.” and I always thought he wanted Buffy to think he was badass, just as he is as Spike and only the viewers know that he meant it as a bad poet, but a gentle person. I also don’t remember if they found out or knew about it in 'Lies My Parents Told Me'.

In the comics.
In the comics they know he was a poet as a human and they saw him in his illusion, but I’m still not sure if they know the extent of what kind of person he was.
And if they don’t know about it, especially Buffy, the mindwalk will be all the more interesting.

Mrs Captain Peroxide
18-04-15, 06:19 PM
I'm not an expert here, because I haven't read the comics. But judging from everything that has happened in the show, I don't think anyone really knows what a sensative and sweet and poetic guy William was before he became a vampire. I also think that side of Spike is a side he doesn't want others to see. He wants to be seen as the Big Bad evil vampire, even when he has a soul. I think that's mostly because he's afraid of showing his true feelings.

08-07-15, 04:36 AM
It is heavily implied that William Pratt aka William the Bloody aka Spike told Buffy exactly what we see in the 'flashbacks' of "Fool For Love" (B 5.07). Buffy repeats the line "You're beneath me." in the episode. She later seems to know exactly what he means when in "Hells Bells" (B 6.16) he tells her she "glows" when she's happy. The same is true of "Same Time, Same Place" (B 7.03) regarding his telling her, "Look at you. Glowing. What's another word means glowing . Gotta rhyme."

It's possible that Giles knew of Spike's actual past given Giles researched Spike. But we also don't know what is in the Watchers books regarding Spike's human past.

It's never hinted that any of the other Scoobies know of Spike's human past.

08-07-15, 01:31 PM
I don't agree at all that Buffy was supposed to be getting the details we were seeing in Fool for Love. I think he presented the image to her of just being tough and talking about the slayers. The insight into the truth of his past was for the viewers only and the upset he felt at Buffy saying the same line that Cecily said was a chance remark that we understood the depth of impact of. Flashbacks are for viewers to get expanded 'real' knowledge, not to show you what the character is describing imo. Quite often the character insight comes from seeing the reality compared to their own perceptions of themselves that are unintentionally different and sometimes to show us, like in FFL, the truth about someone when they intentionally try to present something else, again providing insight into the character. William's insecurities and what we learn of how that affected Spike and played into the persona he generated is what we gain, he didn't just open up his humiliation for Buffy to see.

Angel refers to Spike's poetry in S5 but otherwise I don't think his past is something that is touched on between the characters in the shows.

02-11-15, 06:37 PM
It is heavily implied that William Pratt aka William the Bloody aka Spike told Buffy exactly what we see in the 'flashbacks' of "Fool For Love" (B 5.07). Buffy repeats the line "You're beneath me." .

Yes, that's not her usual style. But if he told her about cecily and she used it against him, that's really low.

03-11-15, 04:28 PM
Agreed. I always thought the flashbacks were kind of the omniscient author POV that Buffy isn't privy to. Spike starts out with "What can I tell you, baby? I've always been bad." We don't know what he gives her for a back-story, but we see the truth of William being anything but bad (well, okay, a bad poet, but that's probably not the kind of bad Spike had in mind).

For the next flash-back Spike leads in with the opening that he had to get himself a gang. The flashbacks show us that the Fanged Four are not "his" gang. They are Angelus' gang and he has Spike by the throat and nearly dusts him. As for the girls, well they are nobody's gang, thank you very much. The boys are there to amuse them!

The only time we see a convergence between Spike's narrative and the omniscient author POV is during the Slayer-fights. During the second fight where the scenes cut rapid-fire between Spike taking on Nikki and Spike mock-fighting Buffy, narrative and imagery have become one and Spike has arrived at telling the truth. By this time he has fashioned himself into a persona he is fully prepared to share with Buffy. The tough devil-may-care Slayer of Slayers is someone he is proud of, someone he can hide his bleeding poet self behind.

This makes Buffy repeating Cecily's line of rejection WITHOUT knowing what she's doing truly ironic. After all this journey he's gone precisely - nowhere. He bares his heart to the girl of his dreams and she slams him down.

In this light the final scene on the porch makes so much sense to me and attests that the end of the episode foreshadows a new path for Spike. William ran away in tears and got himself killed. Spike bites back his tears, focuses on his anger, relies on his Slayer of Slayers persona and goes for his gun to bag his third girl.

The new Spike that will eventually emerge as a souled champion rears his head when he sees Buffy's tears. He forgets his own hurt and his own rage and he sits down next to her to comfort her. He is starting to learn to overcome his selfishness.

05-11-15, 06:26 AM
On the show, it is definitely implied that the scoobies don't know that Spike was a bad poet. In the episode Never Leave Me where Spike is tied to chair after killing people. All the scoobies imply, maybe William the Bloody is back. And all diaolgue in the episode indicates they think he was a bad man with a soul.

28-07-16, 04:59 PM

* Spike wants Buffy to love him. Drusilla knew everything about Spike. Harmony Kendall knows about Spike – though we don’t know exactly how much.

* “Fool For Love” (B 5.07) gave Spike the opportunity to tell Buffy about him and he took it. What we see in “Fool For Love” is what Spike told Buffy. What we see in “Darla” (A 2.07) is Darla’s recollection of events.

I think he presented the image to her of just being tough and talking about the slayers. All indications point to Spike’s telling Buffy what we saw in the flashbacks.

William's insecurities and what we learn of how that affected Spike and played into the persona he generated is what we gain, he didn't just open up his humiliation for Buffy to see. William got rejected by Cecily Underwood and was an infamous bad poet. He also told Buffy he was an upper crust Victorian Londoner who was somehow important enough to be infamous and to have opinions that actually matter. And he was chosen by Drusilla. Cecily was clearly interested in William and they may have had something ‘going on’, but she simply rejected what was essentially his marriage proposal.


* Buffy later tells Robin Wood, “The mission is what matters.” Buffy has no problem being verbally cruel and heartless.


* I don’t know why people ignore and/or forget what Drusilla tells William in that alley. William obviously had some very dark thoughts and obviously had the potential to be what Drusilla would consider the perfect vampire mate.

* The Fanged Four very quickly became much more ‘Spike-like’ than ‘Angel-like’. Within a year, Spike had them going from London to Yorkshire. In 1900 C.E., even Darla is in the Boxer Rebellion.

In canon, “Fool For Love” (B 5.07) is the first time we see the Fanged Four and is the first time we learn Darla, Angel, Drusilla, and Spike were a group.

* I’ve always reasoned that the exact nature of the fights that Spike told Buffy is possibly not exactly what happened in the fights. Spike was trying to teach Buffy that a Slayer always needs a weapon to kill a vampire and that a vampire doesn’t need a weapon to kill a Slayer. Then he reminds her that her emotional state can greatly affect her slaying.

* The porch scene makes sense partly because Buffy knows that Spike was a sensitive poet.

William ran away in tears and got himself killed. That’s not how Spike considers things. Spike prefers the life he has a vampire and he clearly prefers Drusilla to Cecily. Spike’s being the vampire he is is the only reason he has a chance with Buffy.

* Spike’s in love with Buffy. He was very upset and then very angered that she told him that he was beneath her. But seeing her crying brings forth again his love for her.


* In “Never Leave Me” (B 7.09), Anya was using “William the Bloody” to distinguish the ‘good Spike’ from the possible now ‘bad Spike’. It is being used like “Angelus” is used for Angel.

- In addition, Anya possibly knew about William the Bloody before actually meeting Spike in BtVS S4.

28-07-16, 05:41 PM
I very strongly disagree that Buffy is told what we see in the flashbacks in Fool for Love and the episode loses impact and sense if that were so imo. The whole point of the initial cut to the past is to show us the audience that the image Spike is trying to project of himself, of having always being bad, just isn't so. We then learn the truth of why he wanted to cultivate and project a tough image, to try and move past his human self and become respected and not seen as weak again. Our readings of that episode, as we have discussed before, and often find is true of the character in many ways in fact, vastly differs.

Dru seduced William, fed him the belief that he would be understood and would get what he sought in a relationship with her and then she killed him and turned him into a vampire. His rejection of what she offers him in Crush is a fabulous repetition of the same she offered in FFL, often duplicating visual aspects of the earlier episode, and now fully informed of all that it means and already on the path towards the light through his feelings for Buffy, he turns away from it. Clavus compared the two beautifully in his Crush review in the rewatch.