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View Full Version : Xander & Willow Swapping Roles



Priceless
25-02-18, 07:23 PM
I know there was talk of making Xander gay instead of Willow, and I wondered how this swap between the characters would have translated through the show. If Xander had become proficient at magic they could have shown him and his 'Tara' using magic as a metaphor in the same way as Willow and Tara.

While Willow stayed the the nerdy computer whiz, Xander could have become the wizard, eaten up by anger when his lover is murdered. Can you see Willow delivering the yellow crayon speech?

They could have swapped roles throughout the show, with Willow being taken over by hyenas and Xander meeting a demon love interest in a chat room. It would be Willow telling Buffy to 'kick his ass' . . . Xander coming out would have maybe given his character the respect and affection that Willow gets, and he would be forgiven far more easily for what are now perceived as misogynistic attitudes because he'd have been struggling with his own sexuality.

Fool for Buffy
25-02-18, 07:43 PM
I don't like the idea. Though it's hard for me to comprehend how I would feel about the entire show being different, I'm fairly sure I appreciate Xander and Willow's roles as they are. I think having Xander ever come close to matching Buffy's power would ruin how he puts her on a pedestal and take away his best attribute, that he is loyal to her to the end. Willow, on the other hand, makes perfect sense to develop her own power and change drastically. She always had all the potential to be a powerful force, as brilliant as she was, she just needed support and a purpose.

DeepBlueJoy
25-02-18, 07:44 PM
I know there was talk of making Xander gay instead of Willow, and I wondered how this swap between the characters would have translated through the show. If Xander had become proficient at magic they could have shown him and his 'Tara' using magic as a metaphor in the same way as Willow and Tara.

While Willow stayed the the nerdy computer whiz, Xander could have become the wizard, eaten up by anger when his lover is murdered. Can you see Willow delivering the yellow crayon speech?

They could have swapped roles throughout the show, with Willow being taken over by hyenas and Xander meeting a demon love interest in a chat room. It would be Willow telling Buffy to 'kick his ass' . . . Xander coming out would have maybe given his character the respect and affection that Willow gets, and he would be forgiven far more easily for what are now perceived as misogynistic attitudes because he'd have been struggling with his own sexuality.

If you'd simply swapped them into their roles and experiences, you're just basically cutting and pasting... Women and men don't experience the same world, and even if you make the gay person straight, and the straight person gay, Willow would still experience female things, and Xander would still experience male things... Willow wouldn't be in the swim team, unless you changed it to a female team. And unless you were going to give them very incongruous personalities, you'd have to change some of their behaviors... b/c some of their behaviors are associated with their experiences in the world as males and females. I have written Xander as gay... and he's a gay Xander... he's different in some ways, but he's still a more jovial person and has more of a tendency to see things in black and white. Willow always saw the world in nuance. Willow always wanted to push her envelope... to try things. The magics and the science... I suppose you could make her a science nerd and make him a wizard... Or you could just create a male Willow... Truthfully, 'Willow' (especially in the first three seasons) could have been either gender.

in my story where I pair him with a male, he actually has magic, but he's not going to become Willow powerful... but there's no reason you could not do that (unless it was to create one of those uber powerful Xander stories). Anyway, IMO, swapping some of their roles won't make them into each other. You can create a male who is more like Willow... he'd be more like that character Eric on NCIS LA... You can create a female more like Xander, but I think it would work a lot less well -- I can't think of a girl much like Xander because he's really drawn as a male. If you create a woman who behaves like him, he'd have a hard time making friends with other women... or having a boyfriend.He'd be considered butch... unless you made him into a butch lesbian, he probably wouldn't be believable in a female body. I've seen Xander gender switch stories, btw... really got annoying fast and I quit reading, something I seldom do with fanfic (especially after reading several chapters). He didn't (as I think the author saw things) improve the girl by doing it better and stronger... and he didn't really 'learn how hard it was to be female' (though that part was slightly more successful).

TriBel
25-02-18, 07:49 PM
If Xander had become proficient at magic they could have shown him and his 'Tara' using magic as a metaphor in the same way as Willow and Tara. I'm not sure this works - in the sense that, I'm not sure a direct transposition is possible - simply because historically society has positioned witches and warlocks differently. For instance, Shamans were respected, witches were persecuted. Willow's relationship is with the Goddess - philosophically and mythologically, this figures something different than a God. LOL! - I can't quite get my head around it. :confused: I'll wait till Sosa Lola responds! :)

LOL! I'll go with FfB:)

Priceless
25-02-18, 08:09 PM
I think having Willow be a witch is a bit stereotypical, and it's more unusual in television (especially in the 90's) to have a gay male warlock and the female be a straight nerdy geek who likes computers and comic books. I agree that Xander as a warlock couldn't be as powerful as Willow, especially in a show that was meant to be feminist. Buffy would always have to be the strongest.

But I can also see it working the other way around, Willow's only change is that she remains straight, whereas it's Xander who discovers he is bi. But Willow remains the witch while Xander stays the nerdy guy he's always been.

Andrew S.
26-02-18, 01:47 AM
Wasn't there originally a plan (that was unfortunately scrapped for some reason) for Xander to join The Initiative during S4? If that subplot had been done and they decided to really do Gay-Xander, maybe he would have discovered he was gay by falling in love with another soldier and that would have been his thing. What if the guy he fell for was Riley? :lol:

Sosa lola
26-02-18, 08:07 AM
I'd switch one storyline if it were me. Like Xander taking the magic storyline from Willow, while Willow could keep being gay, not to mention she already had computer smarts so it's not like she hasn't gotten any.

Though I do like Xander not having powers, though I would have kept the soldier memories or had Xander work on keeping them. He could also try and train himself to be a better fighter without taking any storyline from Willow.

As much as I enjoy Gay Xander, especially with Spike, I like that they kept him straight. We need more straight men like Xander, men who appreciate strong women and don't mind being their sidekicks.


I've seen Xander gender switch stories, btw... really got annoying fast and I quit reading, something I seldom do with fanfic (especially after reading several chapters). He didn't (as I think the author saw things) improve the girl by doing it better and stronger... and he didn't really 'learn how hard it was to be female' (though that part was slightly more successful).

Would you link me? I adore Female Xander fics.

TimeTravellingBunny
27-02-18, 02:06 AM
If you'd simply swapped them into their roles and experiences, you're just basically cutting and pasting... Women and men don't experience the same world, and even if you make the gay person straight, and the straight person gay, Willow would still experience female things, and Xander would still experience male things... Willow wouldn't be in the swim team, unless you changed it to a female team. And unless you were going to give them very incongruous personalities, you'd have to change some of their behaviors... b/c some of their behaviors are associated with their experiences in the world as males and females. I have written Xander as gay... and he's a gay Xander... he's different in some ways, but he's still a more jovial person and has more of a tendency to see things in black and white. Willow always saw the world in nuance. Willow always wanted to push her envelope... to try things. The magics and the science... I suppose you could make her a science nerd and make him a wizard... Or you could just create a male Willow... Truthfully, 'Willow' (especially in the first three seasons) could have been either gender.

in my story where I pair him with a male, he actually has magic, but he's not going to become Willow powerful... but there's no reason you could not do that (unless it was to create one of those uber powerful Xander stories). Anyway, IMO, swapping some of their roles won't make them into each other. You can create a male who is more like Willow... he'd be more like that character Eric on NCIS LA... You can create a female more like Xander, but I think it would work a lot less well -- I can't think of a girl much like Xander because he's really drawn as a male. If you create a woman who behaves like him, he'd have a hard time making friends with other women... or having a boyfriend.He'd be considered butch... unless you made him into a butch lesbian, he probably wouldn't be believable in a female body. I've seen Xander gender switch stories, btw... really got annoying fast and I quit reading, something I seldom do with fanfic (especially after reading several chapters). He didn't (as I think the author saw things) improve the girl by doing it better and stronger... and he didn't really 'learn how hard it was to be female' (though that part was slightly more successful).
I don't see how Xander is supposedly so super male that you couldn't make him female?! Dorky nerdy girls who are constantly making jokes, thinking about sex and pining after the hot hero of the show already exist on TV....What I just described is pretty much Felicity Smoak on the first two seasons of Arrow (before the new showrunners decided to make her the female lead and "develop" her in the way that made her super annoying), only with hacking - and admittedly less anger and occasional Nice Guy moments, but you can write women like that as well (Willow had some pretty Nice Guyish moments as well, as in Innocence and, to a smaller extent, Inca Mummy Girl). None of that would make a character"butch".

Priceless
27-02-18, 08:41 AM
What I would like to see is a writer writing male and female characters and them just swapping the genders. So the male gets the females lines and vice versa. I think that would have been quite possible with Xander and Willow, at least early on in the show. I wish they had written the brave nerdy girl who has no powers but helps Buffy fight and the shy computer whizz boy who sits in the library and does research and eventually becomes a wizzard and then tries to destroy the world. It's better nowadays, but in the 90's Xander and Willow fitted the stereotypes pretty well I thought and it's a pity Joss didn't take that extra step with the gender roles. Can you imagine Willow becoming a carpenter and fitting the windows at Revello?

Sosa lola
27-02-18, 11:11 AM
I would personally enjoy a female Xander. A female character who is into TV shows/comics/incredibly flawed/self-deprecating/foolishly brave/openiative.

I agree with TimeTravellingBunny that I never saw Xander as butch. A lot of the stereotype male stuff like enjoying sports and cars, riding motorbikes, being good in a certain sport, and macho behavior in general isn't something Xander is known for.

I wanna see a female Chandler or a female Jake Peralta on TV, the two characters who remind me of Xander.

Sosa lola
27-02-18, 11:16 AM
What I would like to see is a writer writing male and female characters and them just swapping the genders. So the male gets the females lines and vice versa. I think that would have been quite possible with Xander and Willow, at least early on in the show. I wish they had written the brave nerdy girl who has no powers but helps Buffy fight and the shy computer whizz boy who sits in the library and does research and eventually becomes a wizzard and then tries to destroy the world. It's better nowadays, but in the 90's Xander and Willow fitted the stereotypes pretty well I thought and it's a pity Joss didn't take that extra step with the gender roles. Can you imagine Willow becoming a carpenter and fitting the windows at Revello?

I would write it if I had more time and way less WIPs because it's really an interesting idea. I'm gonna call them Xandra and Will. Would Xandra be a lesbian in this version?

Priceless
27-02-18, 11:30 AM
I would write it if I had more time and way less WIPs because it's really an interesting idea. I'm gonna call them Xandra and Will. Would Xandra be a lesbian in this version?

I think she would, because that's what happened to Willow, but it would work either way, or neither, with neither character being gay. I'd leave that up to the writer.

Sosa lola
27-02-18, 11:57 AM
I think she would, because that's what happened to Willow, but it would work either way, or neither, with neither character being gay. I'd leave that up to the writer.

Thing is I would write Xander and Willow the way they are, but a different gender. Xandra would skateboard her way to school and be distracted by Buffy's beauty and get knocked to the ground. Shy Will will laugh at her, he's in love with her for years, and Xandra asks for help in Math, "Which part?" "The math."

Xandra is openly bi, with preference to girls, while Will is straight. Xandra would get the courage to ask Buffy out, except Buffy isn't gay, and Xandra makes assholic remarks because she doesn't take rejection well. The change I'd make in future couples would probably be Will dating Amy, and Xandra dating a male jock (not Larry, someone else.)

In this version, Cordelia's character development wouldn't be as fast as it was on the show without a relationship with Xander, and I could see a Buffy/Angel/Cordelia triangle being prolonged.

Would Buffy be closer to Xandra since she's a girl? Or Will because he's not in love with her?

Priceless
27-02-18, 01:02 PM
Thing is I would write Xander and Willow the way they are, but a different gender. Xandra would skateboard her way to school and be distracted by Buffy's beauty and get knocked to the ground. Shy Will will laugh at her, he's in love with her for years, and Xandra asks for help in Math, "Which part?" "The math."

Xandra is openly bi, with preference to girls, while Will is straight. Xandra would get the courage to ask Buffy out, except Buffy isn't gay, and Xandra makes assholic remarks because she doesn't take rejection well. The change I'd make in future couples would probably be Will dating Amy, and Xandra dating a male jock (not Larry, someone else.)

In this version, Cordelia's character development wouldn't be as fast as it was on the show without a relationship with Xander, and I could see a Buffy/Angel/Cordelia triangle being prolonged.

Would Buffy be closer to Xandra since she's a girl? Or Will because he's not in love with her?

Have you not already written this? :D I think Buffy would be closer to Xandra until she realised how much she loved her, and then she'd want to distance herself, gently, so not to hurt her or make it too painful. Then her friendship with Will would strengthen. When Xandra found a real love, they'd all come back together and their bond would be stronger than ever.

I love the Buffy/Angel/Cordy triangle but I am a biased Cangel fan. Angle loves them both maybe, and Cordy can follow him to LA while Buffy can't, she has to stay at the Hellmouth.

Sosa lola
27-02-18, 01:34 PM
I love the Buffy/Angel/Cordy triangle but I am a biased Cangel fan. Angle loves them both maybe, and Cordy can follow him to LA while Buffy can't, she has to stay at the Hellmouth.

It's gonna have a Spuffy ending! :D

I don't know how to develop Cordelia's character... maybe Angel will tell her off gently, or maybe Xandra, Miss Perspective Gal, will spell it out to her the way Xander told Cordelia in Halloween: "Give it up, Cordy. You're never gonna get between those two. Believe me, I know."

To win Angel's heart, Cordelia decides to join the Scoobies and prove herself to be as brave and heroic as Buffy and later she discovers that saving the world is so rewarding and something she's interested in. Hanging out with Buffy and her loser friends is why Harmony and the others would ditch her. On the other hand, Buffy and her friends aren't warming up to Cordelia and constantly slut shame her. So Cordelia is torn between helping to save the world with a group who dislikes her or go back to her old shallow life with friends who only follow her because of her popularity.

Now my heart is breaking for poor Cordelia. :(

As for Xandra, I'm thinking she starts dating Devon, but he mistreats her, and then Oz notices her. Ozandra would be fun!

Will will grow interested in magic after dating Amy who will teach him a few spells. Later when Amy turns into a rat, Will tries his best to get her back. In college, Will meets Tara, who is straight in this story, and falls in love with her but feels guilty because of Amy. When Amy is turned back, her anger at Will for forgetting her and dating another woman while she had to suffer as a rat. Amy takes Will to the dark side to punish him.

Priceless
27-02-18, 01:45 PM
It's gonna have a Spuffy ending!


Well that makes me happy :wub:


I don't know how to develop Cordelia's character... maybe Angel will tell her off gently, or maybe Xandra, Miss Perspective Gal, will spell it out to her the way Xander told Cordelia in Halloween: "Give it up, Cordy. You're never gonna get between those two. Believe me, I know."


I think it's more Xandra's role, as Angel never had that sort of relationship with Cordy. It was always Cordy telling him off. I can see Xandra and Cordy having that sort of frenemy relationship.


To win Angel's heart, Cordelia decides to join the Scoobies and prove herself to be as brave and heroic as Buffy and later she discovers that saving the world is so rewarding and something she's interested in. Hanging out with Buffy and her loser friends is why Harmony and the others would ditch her. On the other hand, Buffy and her friends aren't warming up to Cordelia and constantly slut shame her. So Cordelia is torn between helping to save the world with a group who dislikes her or go back to her old shallow life with friends who only follow her because of her popularity.


I like this. I think Cordy has great self-esteem, but when it comes to Buffy she knows she can't compete when it comes to fighting. I'd love to see Cordy written with real depth. Angel would be drawn to her confidence and happiness, something Buffy only has when she's fighting.


As for Xandra, I'm thinking she starts dating Devon, but he mistreats her, and then Oz notices her. Ozandra would be fun!Will will grow interested in magic after dating Amy who will teach him a few spells. Later when Amy turns into a rat, Will tries his best to get her back. In college, Will meets Tara, who is straight in this story, and falls in love with her but feels guilty because of Amy. When Amy is turned back, her anger at Will for forgetting her and dating another woman while she had to suffer as a rat. Amy takes Will to the dark side to punish him.

Xandra and Devon would be interesting, but I'd love to see her with Oz. I love the idea of Amy punishing Will for seeing Tara and not trying hard enough to turn her back. The whole Will/Amy relationship has a lot of scope because she's not completely a good-guy even from the start and is leading him astray.