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Sosa lola
09-03-18, 10:56 AM
From the who changed the most thread:



I don't want to go through every arc, but I was recently talking about Wesley on another thread and I think he had a strong arc. So what is a strong arc? How much do you have to change and how much do you remain the same?

Did Xander and Fred have an arc? What about Gunn and Giles?

There are certainly characters with ambiguous and subtle arcs. Xander, Fred, Gunn, Giles and Lorne fall under this category.

I can speak about Xander and I will say that he did have an arc but it was so subtle and unnoticeable. Xander's arc mirrors Buffy's: From an old essay I wrote, "Xander started out as a 16 year old boy who disliked himself because of social constructs of masculinity. Society pressures Xander to be macho, an athlete, have sex at an early age, all things that are not Xander. Just like Buffy, Xander was drawn to the gender norms and didn’t want to laughed at or belittled because he didn’t meet the high expectations demanded from guys." Xander goes through a very long journey where he eventually learns to accept his limits and cheriche being a sidekick who helps in his own way.

Where Xander used to go after the role of the leader and want to shine in the battlefield, he ends up being someone who picks his best friend to be the next leader and doesn't try to outshine others to feel good about himself.

Another arc for Xander, the one that is more obvious, is becoming a successful and respected man (after being told by Cordelia and believing that he'll end up poor and in a degrading job.) Xander works his way up in the workfield. He gets promoted at work, buys a large apartment and earns the respect he wanted.

Xander changed a lot throughout the seasons. He's not the same wisecracking, self-deprecating, angry teenger by S7. He's more observant, quiet and I'd argue that he fulfills the role of the parent figure in S7. (A role Giles left behind in S6 and failed to take back in S7.)

About Giles, I think his arc is about a man with a dark past who tries to make up for his past sins by taking up the role of the watcher and going strictly by the rules. He loosens up a lot throughout the seasons and becomes more flexible in his ways. Sadly, his arc ends in S5 and he regresses a lot in S6 and S7 that he's mostly used as a tool to move Buffy's arc forwards.

I'm not as familiar with AtS the same way I am with BtVS, could someone explain Gunn, Fred and Lorne's arcs?

Priceless
09-03-18, 11:30 AM
I really like Xander's series long arc. He is a different man in S7 than the boy he was. He's far more measured, restrained and less judgemental. The things he's been through have certainly changed him, but I think having his best friend try to destroy the world had a massive affect on him and he finally had to see that good people, people he loves, do bad things and he cannot simply see people as good/evil and life as black and white, which he was prone to do as a young man.

I also think that standing up to Willow, and being the man who saved the world, finally gave Xander the confidence he's lacked. He'd tried to find that confidence by fighting alongside Buffy, but I think he always found himself lacking, and believed those around him didn't value him enough. But it was only at the end of S6 he saw that he was enough, that he wasn't lacking and didn't have to try so hard. I love S7 Xander.

Sosa lola
09-03-18, 11:50 AM
I really like Xander's series long arc. He is a different man in S7 than the boy he was. He's far more measured, restrained and less judgemental. The things he's been through have certainly changed him, but I think having his best friend try to destroy the world had a massive affect on him and he finally had to see that good people, people he loves, do bad things and he cannot simply see people as good/evil and life as black and white, which he was prone to do as a young man.

I also think that standing up to Willow, and being the man who saved the world, finally gave Xander the confidence he's lacked. He'd tried to find that confidence by fighting alongside Buffy, but I think he always found himself lacking, and believed those around him didn't value him enough. But it was only at the end of S6 he saw that he was enough, that he wasn't lacking and didn't have to try so hard. I love S7 Xander.

I also think think Selfless was a huge turning point for Xander. He was put in Buffy's shoes in Becoming and had "Kick his ass" thrown in his face. It explains why he takes Spike in later and how supportive he becomes about Buffy's decision to keep Spike in her house even with the trigger.

a thing of evil
09-03-18, 01:59 PM
Willow's arc is about acquisition of power. All sorts of power - occult power, social power, inner power (like confidence, sexiness and stuff) I kinda expect her to, like, ascend at some point.