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View Full Version : Why 'ORDINARY' matters and why Xander doesn't need extra magics to be special.



DeepBlueJoy
22-05-18, 05:56 PM
I have a problem... and it's not a small one. My problem is the fix Xander movement. The super power Xander. The make Xander the one in Charge movement. The Show up Buffy Xander movement...

And there's many more just like them.

Now, Xander is far from perfect. I am the first to admit it. I think he has some MAJOR issues, and like most children of addicts, he has learned to get in his own way in the worse possible ways. So, yes, I do think they need addressing... and that's part of why I write stories about Xander... But the other part of why I write about Xander is that to me he's a true blue hero. Most heroes are like everyone else -- flawed. Sometimes, hugely so. But... they are still heroes. Heroes don't claim heroism -- and many actually avoid the limelight.

My favorite speech in Potential is actually a variant of the hero speech. If you ever see a hero on TV being interviewed, they will almost always say something like this:

"I'm not a hero. I was just doing my job. I was just doing what anyone else would have done. Of course, I did it, I had to... you would have done the same thing."


Every single time. It's not that they don't think what they did was vital. It's just that the hero's perspective is NEVER about self aggrandizement.

What they say, particularly in the early moments right after an event, reveals them. They're in the moment, they're thinking -- of course, it had to be done, so I did it -- the thing is that they're right. It had to be done. But they're wrong about something else. Other people wouldn't have done it. Other people DID NOT do it. They did. The hero does what must be done. Often at great personal cost.

It's what they do.

It's WHO THEY ARE.

Xander is a hero. He's different from the rest of them. He simply showed up and did what was necessary.

In season one, he went to find Buffy, to try to save his friend. He had no clue what he was getting into, but like most heroes, he did what he felt had to be done, and he showed up. Good thing too, because it's likely he saved Buffy then... she might have made it out, but she was scared and panicky and they made with the team work, and both of them lived.

Then, in prophecy Girl, we all know the story. Angel gave up. Giles gave up. Buffy was gonna die. Xander did not give up. He did what every fire fighter does. He ran INTO the ****ing building on fire! He saw the fallen colleague, and he rendered aid. He knew he wouldn't make it out without a buddy, so like every good firefighter, he grabbed the one who had the best chance of helping him survive and he ordered him to get off his arse, and get his gear on, and haul arse.

That was the first time we know he saved the world. If Buffy had been in there alone, she drowns, she never comes back, Kendra gets called, she shows up, someone eats her... b/c by this time the Hellmouth is opening, or if not, at the very least, the Master has set up Sunnydale Blood Buffet for all Vampires...

He didn't save the world with weapons. He didn't even use tools. He used his HEART and he showed up and did what was needed.

I'm gonna skip ahead, b/c I think you guys can share all your Xander stories, and riff on the 'greatness of being ordinary' -- at least I hope you will.

Season six.

His best friend's life partner is dead. Buffy has been shot and only isn't dead b/c a crazy witch reversed her injury with magic...

He saved the world with WORDS. He used his big ol' HEART and he showed up and did what was needed.

Heroism isn't about having the biggest toys or the special magics. It's about showing up, sometimes for many boring moments, so that in those moments when the brown stuff hits the whirling device, they're there to run through the red stuff, armed with the wet stuff and save people.

Sosa lola
22-05-18, 06:32 PM
One of the reasons I love Xander so much is that he doesn't have superpowers, doesn't have years of watcher training and knowledge, and yet he stood shoulder to shoulder with the powerful fighters as an equal and fought. That's remarkable.

I think the number of fans who wish Xander had superpowers is a handful, especially these days. There was a website called The Xander Zone filled with fanfics about Xander gaining superpowers. It wasn't my cup of tea so I never read those fics. I love Xander just the way he is on the show. I just wish he had more arcs and that the writers paid him more attention, but I never wanted him to gain superpowers. I even scoff at the line "the one who sees".

DeepBlueJoy
23-05-18, 07:14 PM
For a long time in fanfic I hated Xander. Because of certain fanboyz, it actually began to affect how I felt about the character. To amplify ONLY his negatives. But i really did not want to blur the lines. That is how & why I started to write my own Xander fic. To get perspective on him and to find a real person. I have no use for super xander, can't do anything wrong Xander or misogynistsuperstudSuperNadsXander. (Really dont like him!). Fortunately, writing him helped me remember what I liked, loved, and even discover nuance I hadn't seen before. It has made him tie for second place with Dru, for person I most love to write. Number one is Buffy - who is in nearly every one of my Buffyverse stories. Even if she is not the lead.

Buffy would not be half as funny if it wasn't for him. It has spoiled me for other shows. I keep expecting humor in the face of death. Buffy is an impossible act to follow!

Sosa lola
23-05-18, 11:11 PM
For a long time in fanfic I hated Xander. Because of certain fanboyz, it actually began to affect how I felt about the character.

I'm so blissed because I never came across the type of Xander fanboyz write about. I was mostly into Xander/Spike fics when I first started reading fanfic so I was saved from those fics. Hee.

Even when I started reading Het Xander fics (Xander/Buffy, Xander/Faith, Xander/Cordelia .... etc) thankfully, all of them were wonderful and Xander didn't have superpowers in them. But I am very picky about what I read in the last ten years. Not so much before than when I used to just read Xander/Spike and Xander/Angel - and believe me, those had their own problems as well. Buffy-bashing in Slash fics made me dislike Buffy so much. I hated her for years because I used to read more fanfic than watch the actual show.

DeepBlueJoy
24-05-18, 02:07 AM
I'm so blissed because I never came across the type of Xander fanboyz write about. I was mostly into Xander/Spike fics when I first started reading fanfic so I was saved from those fics. Hee.

Even when I started reading Het Xander fics (Xander/Buffy, Xander/Faith, Xander/Cordelia .... etc) thankfully, all of them were wonderful and Xander didn't have superpowers in them. But I am very picky about what I read in the last ten years. Not so much before than when I used to just read Xander/Spike and Xander/Angel - and believe me, those had their own problems as well. Buffy-bashing in Slash fics made me dislike Buffy so much. I hated her for years because I used to read more fanfic than watch the actual show.

Buffy Bashing in slash fic, or any fic, just makes me hate the fic and where possible, block the writer and the fic. I have no use for hate-ons for Buffy. She's my hero. Even when the SUBJECT of my story is not her, she gets my respect as the slayer. She may not be central in the story of someone else's life, but she doesn't lose respect.

But Bashfic is badfic as far as I'm concerned. I find some characters odious, or merely irritating, but i don't bash them. I leave them out, or I give them 'great pathos' as I send them off to the wonderful hereafter... honorable deaths, hero deaths even... but I get to kill them and make you cry... even if you hate them too... and then they're out of my story! And it didn't hurt... much.

I would have to have a really good reason to ever kill Buffy off in a fic, however.

There are whole sites dedicated to turning Xander into the avatar of the writer in question... most of them demean or minimize Buffy. And turn Xander into a superTOOL. He's XanderSue, the sex stud who is better than everyone. Instead of being truly heroic by being a PERSON. Real, feeling, resourceful, kind, loyal, honorable and someone who acts even when he's totally terrified. His personal life is another matter, but when the world needs him, he shows up... even when he's under powered and really the odds aren't in his favor.

Why do you need to create XanderSuperTool, when you can have REAL XANDER, the cool and decent friend?

Sosa lola
24-05-18, 08:47 AM
Buffy Bashing in slash fic, or any fic, just makes me hate the fic and where possible, block the writer and the fic. I have no use for hate-ons for Buffy. She's my hero. Even when the SUBJECT of my story is not her, she gets my respect as the slayer. She may not be central in the story of someone else's life, but she doesn't lose respect.

I feel the same way about any character. Even Riley. It's just lazy. A fic would be more engaging when all the characters are written sympathetically. Sure make Buffy abuse Spike, make Xander jealous, make Willow abuse magic but do it with a sympathetic look at the characters and why they are that way.




There are whole sites dedicated to turning Xander into the avatar of the writer in question... most of them demean or minimize Buffy.

Was the website The Xander Zone? I never read fics there. I did meet those Xander stans in the TWoP boards.

DeepBlueJoy
26-05-18, 11:30 PM
I referenced xander fics that often power him up in ways sometimes disturbing. Some are on this site.http://fanfiction.tenhawkpresents.com/index.php
You should, of course, form your own opinions. Been years since i read anything here. YMMV