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ghoststar
08-01-19, 03:46 PM
My previous thread suggesting that we discuss fanon discontinuity didn't work out very well, I think because I didn't define the concept from the get-go. Here's the first paragraph of tvtropes.org's definition (https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FanonDiscontinuity):

"Fanon ("Fan Canon") Discontinuity is the act of fans mentally writing out certain events in a show's continuity which don't sit well, no matter if it's a single episode, a season-length arc, an entire season or even an entire series. If a plot or ending rubs one the wrong way severely enough, fandom can just decide that the offending events never happened. On the series level, events may fall under Discontinuity because the show is perceived to suck at that point or decline too far in quality. Events also get "discontinued" for particularly screwing up the characters or setting, and a show that starts to suck will end up screwing things up eventually anyway."

That's a decent enough description. For our purposes, I'd include cases where fans come down on opposite sides of a canon discontinuity. (From the same page: "If the questionable elements are written out of canonicity by the creators themselves, then said elements entered in Canon Discontinuity territory.") However, if fans universally accept one canonical version of events over the other, then it isn't a fanon discontinuity and doesn't belong here.

Examples of topics which fit in this thread:


Which version of events to accept when canon contradicts itself (e.g., do werewolves turn into human form when they die)

Whether and why you prefer to use BtVS and Angel to inform one another or treat each as separate

The importance of a given creator's imprimatur on your acceptance of a work

The relevance of Buffyverse stories told in other media (e.g., comics)



Examples of topics which should go in another thread:


Whether a character is telling the truth about something unproven (e.g., Spike about the details of his fight with Nikki in "FFL"), unless their version of events is unambiguously presented as either true or false

Whether BtVS or Angel is better

Which creator is most talented

Subjective interpretations of a character's motivations (e.g., does Wesley kidnap Connor out of arrogance or naïveté?), in cases where fans do not dispute the character's actions

flow
08-01-19, 06:32 PM
Can you give an example of fanon discontinuity for either the Buffyverse or some other fandom that is widely known, like Star Trek or Harry Potter? I am afraid, I still don`t really get the concept.

flow

ghoststar
08-01-19, 07:28 PM
Can you give an example of fanon discontinuity for either the Buffyverse or some other fandom that is widely known, like Star Trek or Harry Potter? I am afraid, I still don`t really get the concept.

flow

Trying to think of something I know is popular enough to qualify-- OK, here's one. People refusing to discuss or think about Spike's involvement with the egg scheme in "As You Were." Interpreting Spike as not being the mastermind behind it all wouldn't necessarily be fanon discontinuity, because it isn't quite proven onscreen, but pretending that the eggs aren't in his "house" or that Buffy doesn't cite it when breaking up with him is, because we see those things. For a significant proportion of the fandom, "As You Were" may as well have never happened. Their fanon directly contradicts canon, and they decide to keep it anyway.

In a larger way but regarding a smaller proportion of fans, there are people who don't like anything that happens after the "high school is Hell" metaphor disappears with graduation. If they said that the metaphor was such a defining aspect of the show that nothing after "Graduation Day" qualified as "real Buffy," and that they weren't going to use it in their fic and metas, then that would be another example of fanon discontinuity.

My personal discontinuities are between different series and between any series and a tie-in novel or comic. I think that BtVS makes Slayers, Hellmouths, and the outward appearance of normalcy so central that the BtVS continuities and Angel continuity cannot be the same. A major conceit of BtVS is that Sunnydale is a weird, off-the-radar town where stuff that people find absurd in other cities happens. On Angel, vampires openly control whole swathes of L.A., one of the most surveilled cities in the world even when the show was made, and Angel takes it for granted that any cop working in the city has seen paranormal events. To me, the dissonance is just too great to deal with. My fanon, and I would guess the fanon of many people who prefer one show to the other, is that the continuity makes a fork at the end of BtVS's third season. I refuse, despite the claims of everyone who was ever officially involved, to admit that we see on Angel and what we see on Buffy from season 4 onward take place in the same fictional setting. As I said, it’s a personal fanon discontinuity that may or more not have a significant following. Does it qualify as fanon on a larger scale? I’m here to find out.

GoSpuffy
08-01-19, 08:06 PM
I think Whedon promotes fanon discontinuity if I understand the concept correctly. Just look at S12 where bangels seem to think they have a future despite the fact it appears Angel is with Illyria and it is really impossible to tell for sure if Spike and Buffy are in a relationship or best friends.

flow
08-01-19, 08:22 PM
You`ve forgotten about the clear signs in season12 that Buffy and Faith are actually together. Also Spike and Angel. But I think we are disgressing again...

ghoststar: There are fans, who claim that Spike was sired by Angel because he told us so in School Hard. Those fans dismiss everything we learned about Spike`s siring in Fool For Love. Would that count as fanon discontinuity? There are also fans who claim that Angel never killed a human after he was cursed with the soul, because he told us so in Angel. They dismiss, what we learned later, for example that he fed off criminals while he was still with the Whirlwind and also that he killed and sired Samuel Lawson.

Would those examples count as fanon discontinuity?

flow

ghoststar
08-01-19, 08:46 PM
You`ve forgotten about the clear signs in season12 that Buffy and Faith are actually together. Also Spike and Angel. But I think we are disgressing again...

ghoststar: There are fans, who claim that Spike was sired by Angel because he told us so in School Hard. Those fans dismiss everything we learned about Spike`s siring in Fool For Love. Would that count as fanon discontinuity? There are also fans who claim that Angel never killed a human after he was cursed with the soul, because he told us so in Angel. They dismiss, what we learned later, for example that he fed off criminals while he was still with the Whirlwind and also that he killed and sired Samuel Lawson.

Would those examples count as fanon discontinuity?

flow

Yes! The conversations I want to see!

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I think Whedon promotes fanon discontinuity if I understand the concept correctly. Just look at S12 where bangels seem to think they have a future despite the fact it appears Angel is with Illyria and it is really impossible to tell for sure if Spike and Buffy are in a relationship or best friends.


Not having read the comics, I can’t speak to those particular examples, but I think it’s fair to say that Joss & Co. haven’t done an especially good job of preventing fanon discontinuity. They have a tendency to treat the characterization of anyone who isn’t the lead of a given story as just fodder for the lead’s drama. When you have multiple storylines centered on different characters, and all those storylines intersect, then that means that, at some point or another, everyone is subject to character assassination.

TriBel
08-01-19, 08:51 PM
A major conceit of BtVS is that Sunnydale is a weird, off-the-radar town where stuff that people find absurd in other cities happens. On Angel, vampires openly control whole swathes of L.A., one of the most surveilled cities in the world even when the show was made, and Angel takes it for granted that any cop working in the city has seen paranormal events.

I don't necessarily have a problem with that. SD can be explained by the "keep yourself to yourself" attitude associated with the suburbs (plus I quite like the American Dream as American Nightmare idea) while I'd always presumed Angel's relationship to LA to be a rewrite of the urban environment of the noir detective / hard boiled PI. Is the dissonance you experience caused by Angel moving between the two?

ghoststar
08-01-19, 09:37 PM
I don't necessarily have a problem with that. SD can be explained by the "keep yourself to yourself" attitude associated with the suburbs (plus I quite like the American Dream as American Nightmare idea) while I'd always presumed Angel's relationship to LA to be a rewrite of the urban environment of the noir detective / hard boiled PI. Is the dissonance you experience caused by Angel moving between the two?

Yeah— I think that either concept could work, but they can’t work on the same show, with the same characters. One of the first and most crucial elements of BtVS’s worldbuilding is the establishment of Sunnydale as Ground Zero for paranormal activity. Sure, L.A. has some vampires hiding out and draining the odd person by night, but it doesn’t have hundreds of demons who can’t pass for humans living in plain sight, let alone the sun being eclipsed for weeks on end. And, if Angel’s archnemesis is a multiverse-dominating demonic legal firm headquartered in L.A., how on Earth does Buffy not wind up involved? Couldn’t W&H threaten Angel with framing her for something? Why doesn’t Giles note an exception to his claim that the Watchers’ Council is “the best in the world” at red tape? Why don’t the Initiative and W&H come into conflict in S4? Does W&H just not care that any one of Sunnydale’s close calls with apocalypses could render their own, L.A.-based apocalypse scheme moot? While I like the first three seasons of Angel, I can’t begin to square any of it with the BtVS canon.

bespangled
08-01-19, 11:51 PM
You`ve forgotten about the clear signs in season12 that Buffy and Faith are actually together. Also Spike and Angel. But I think we are disgressing again...

Spangel! My opinion of season 12 has skyrocketed. :p
Hey - Spangel is endgame cuz the rest of the characters will all die.


ghoststar: There are fans, who claim that Spike was sired by Angel because he told us so in School Hard. Those fans dismiss everything we learned about Spike`s siring in Fool For Love.

Yet FFL is corrupted by a unreliable narrator. Once you have decided the narrator can't be trusted it's a matter of opinion as to what you take from the episode. Is it fanon disconnect to create an option from these two? A popular Spangel fanon that combines the two is that after Dru bit William she was making a hash of it, and Angel finished the job.

TriBel
09-01-19, 12:29 AM
Spangel! My opinion of season 12 has skyrocketed.

My initial thought at the end of S12 was "this'll please bespangled". On reflection, I don't think it's the case. Angel wants to stop "for a while"; Spike's gonna hang around for ever. Rinse and repeat; rinse and repeat. ;)

ghoststar:


Subjective interpretations of a character's motivations (e.g., does Wesley kidnap Connor out of arrogance or naïveté?)

I don't think that's necessarily subjective. I'm fairly sure an answer can be inferred in text from Wesley's relationship with his own father. My own response would be "both".

bespangled
09-01-19, 01:21 AM
Okay - would Spangel be canon or fanon?

What are the objective facts? What does Whedon say?

ghoststar
09-01-19, 01:43 AM
Okay - would Spangel be canon or fanon?

What are the objective facts? What does Whedon say?

IIRC, Whedon says yes. Then again, I lean toward “death of the author” and the idea that it’s only canon if it shows up in the finished text. The dialogue for Angel (“Angel and I have never been intimate... except that once”) appears to confirm that they had sex, but only once, and under unknown conditions.

However, this is prime fanon-discontinuity material. Some people are going to insist that they were lovers for decades; other people are going to not want to accept them “cheating” on their partners even once. It’s a funny line, and it is canonm but I doubt it changed many minds about Angel and Spike’s backstories.

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Spangel! My opinion of season 12 has skyrocketed. :p
Hey - Spangel is endgame cuz the rest of the characters will all die.



Yet FFL is corrupted by a unreliable narrator. Once you have decided the narrator can't be trusted it's a matter of opinion as to what you take from the episode. Is it fanon disconnect to create an option from these two? A popular Spangel fanon that combines the two is that after Dru bit William she was making a hash of it, and Angel finished the job.


I’d say that’s just regular fanon. It’s canon that Dru approached Spike and bit him, and we have no reason to doubt that he had to “claw [his] own way out of a coffin” when he rose. Anything else is guesswork. I don’t personally think it’s likely that Angel needed to contribute to the ritual (I mean, when are you gonna pull out your ESP, if not to perfect the art of creating undead lovers with your own magic vampire blood?), but we don’t know. Maybe Dru did it alone. Maybe Angel helped. Maybe it was a family affair, and the whole gang drank Spike’s blood and fed him their blood and then passed around coffee and newspapers while they waited for him to rise. Canon is sadly silent on the possibilities of those hours.

bespangled
09-01-19, 03:26 AM
But if Spike is an unreliable narrator, can his account be canon? In FFL, he tells this to Buffy and I have been in some huge battles about how reliable his narration is. Is it canon or fanon that what is shown is not what he said? Is it canon that these events he relates happen as shown? Because there is a huge amount of fanon here.

Why would no sex be the default on Spangel? That assumption seems both hetero normative and oddly conservative. How much of fanon relies on underlying prejudices like that? Schroedingers canon can is an issue.

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In other words, not all canon appears on the screen. We almost never see characters eat. Is it canon that they don't?

ghoststar
09-01-19, 04:16 AM
But if Spike is an unreliable narrator, can his account be canon? In FFL, he tells this to Buffy and I have been in some huge battles about how reliable his narration is. Is it canon or fanon that what is shown is not what he said? Is it canon that these events he relates happen as shown? Because there is a huge amount of fanon here.

Why would no sex be the default on Spangel? That assumption seems both hetero normative and oddly conservative. How much of fanon relies on underlying prejudices like that? Schroedingers canon can is an issue.

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In other words, not all canon appears on the screen. We almost never see characters eat. Is it canon that they don't?

Given that most of the characters are established to not have superpowers (and I think that being able to photosynthesize or power up on nothing but demon spirit would qualify), it’s safe to say that they have to eat. The setting for most of the airtime is the contemporary U.S., with very few people knowingly involved in the supernatural, and most of those either at a very low level or at a very high price. Since the premise requires a normalcy baseline against which we measure the heroes’ adventures, I consider it canon that things not otherwise stated to be different in the Buffyverse are the same as, or at least similar to, their real-world equivalents. Of course, fanon discontinuity is made out of YMMV, so there’s nothing wrong with building a case against food in the Buffyverse being canon, if you have a theory to support you.

Even I would agree, though, that the individual characters, particularly the ones who are established as existing outside of human social norms, aren’t bound to that normalcy baseline. There’s no reason why the writers couldn’t have had Spike say “once in a while,” rather than “once.” Or left the question of Spangel sex up to our imaginations. I didn’t say it was the best take on Spangel, just that it was the canon take on it. But, if you think that Spangel’s confirmation is written to badly to accept, that isn’t a rap against fanon— it’s a complaint about the canon, and a prime example of the sort of fanon discontinuity I was talking about.

This is probably a good place to note that I’m not attempting to argue anyone into accepting canon when they don’t want to. First, canon is, on occasion, so self-contradictory that no one can accept all of it at once, which means we all have to reject some canon, at some time. Second, I think that writers and producers (in general, not just for the Buffyverse), tend to expect both too much and too little of their fans. It’s expecting too little for writers to assume that the fans won’t pay attention to OOC behavior by a character the writers consider unimportant. It’s expecting too much for writers to demand that fans who signed on for a show with its own tone, moral outlook, and characters accept the conclusions of a show in a different genre, with different philosophies and an eye to new viewers. Yes, it’s annoying when people cherry-pick the episodes that cast their faves in the best light, but I think it’s possible for a writing decision to so egregiously discount the investment of the fanbase that the fans are justified in ignoring it.

I’m not trying to tell anyone that they have to accept canon; I’m collecting perspectives on when it’s reasonable to ignore canon while continuing to participate in the fandom. Again, YMMV on where to draw the line, but I wouldn’t have started this thread if I’d thought that fanon discontinuity was always indefensible.

bespangled
09-01-19, 05:06 AM
I didn't say that well. Should have ignored Spangel.

The place where canon meets fanon is where assumptions are. Food is a natural assumption. So is sleep, bathing, etc. Other assumptions are more tenuous. Sex is one of those. Does Willow masturbate? Does Xander? What human norms apply to demons? Does Clem crap in the woods?

In other words, how much extrapolation is allowed before canon becomes fanon? And yes, ymmv always. Just playing with the concepts here. Trying to define the terms - or more seeking a consensus.

Stoney
09-01-19, 09:30 AM
I lean heavily towards the text and authorial intent. I think if you are making every day assumptions about eating/sleeping that's obviously true. I personally think adding in character details that are happening off screen is just fanon. We all have things we like to imagine might be the truth but without textual support, and especially when the text can be read to contradict the desired fanon that isn't played out on screen, it is just fanon. In terms of what I understand about the idea of fanon discontinuity, I personally try to avoid ignoring things. My aim/approach is to look for how it can all make sense. And yes sometimes there are just contradictions but life can be like that so I'm more likely to shrug and just call it one of those things than deny it or ignore it. I don't think the two series are incompatible because they are in different towns and so different awarenesses works for me. Plus, you know the crossovers make them being separate too hard for me to swallow. So really, overall I'm just trying to make sense and follow the canon story that we're given, so I'm probably not going to be much use on this for offering things. I'm very interested to hear though in things that people draw lines on and decide nothing 'counts' regarding that afterwards as it is so far removed from how I approach the work it is interesting to me.

vampmogs
09-01-19, 09:45 AM
I've never understood what the fuss is about the supposed inconsistency of Spike calling Angel his "sire" in "Schoolhard" and Dru siring him in "Fool For Love". Granted, the writers obviously just changed their mind at some point which I have a vague recollection of Whedon admitting, but it's easily fanwankable. Spike calls Angel his "Yoda." I don't think he's speaking in literal terms when he calls Angel his "sire" unless vampires use that term refer to their vampiric lineage. I think Spike was using the term to describe Angel as his mentor and teacher which we saw in "Destiny." Someone who made him, if you will ("Drusilla sired me. But you - you made me a monster!").

I used to think that Spike's "clawing his way out of a grave" was inconsistent and odd. He was sired in an alleyway and his mother says he's been missing for days when he returns to her in "Lies My Parents Told Me." So this would suggest he didn't have a funeral as organised by his family. However, then I remembered that in "Reunion" Drusilla is a stickler for the old classics and had to bury Darla after siring her. She didn't bury Darla in a coffin but she did bury her underneath the earth and Angel said that Drusilla was big on tradition. So, IMO, it's therefore completely plausible that Drusilla buried Spike in a coffin and waited for him to rise.

There's still some inconsistencies, mind you. I have no idea why it takes some vampires possibly days to rise after being buried and others just a mere few hours. Angel had to claw his way out of his grave, Darla was 'dead' for at least 24 hours, and we repeatedly see vampires rising from their graves in Sunnydale cemeteries. Yet, in episodes like "Helpless" the Watcher flunky that Kralik kills is sired and awoken as a vampire in the space of what can't be more than a few hours at best. So it's inconsistent but the shows lean more towards it taking at least a day or two (or several when you take into consideration how long it takes to plan a funeral and bury someone) for vampires to turn. More than enough time for Drusilla to bury Spike in a coffin and have him missing for days.

I think we can rule out Angelus or Darla having any part in the ritual. In "Destiny" we see Angelus and Spike meet for the first time and not only is it established that Darla had run off to meet The Master but Angelus says "so you went and turned this 'Willy' into one of us, did you?" which suggests this was the first time he was aware of it. If he'd already seen William and helped Dru bury him this dialogue wouldn't make much sense.

And although I do believe that Spike is an unreliable narrator in "Fool For Love" I have always maintained that the flashbacks we see are impartial to whatever story he is telling Buffy. So I have no reason to doubt that Drusilla really did sire him. After all, in "Destiny" Angelus says that Drusilla turned Spike and Drusilla claims responsibility for siring him as well. In "Lies My Parents Told Me" Drusilla and Spike also both state that Drusilla made him. And in "Crush" Spike credits Drusilla with making him who he was and lifting him out of mediocrity, presumably, by making him a vampire.

As for how we define things happening offscreen as canon - it's tricky. I think it's a given that characters eat, sleep, and bathe off screen and that even if it's not explicitly stated we can reasonably assume that it takes place. Nevertheless, Buffy claims to bathe so often she's "known for it" in "The Pack" when Hyena!Xander can tell she's had a bath, we know that Buffy in particular eats because "she's such a pig after she kills things" and "she likes cheese", and we've seen her sleep on multiple occasions ;) I can't recall Buffy ever being shown coming out of the toilet or being on the toilet but Xander "needs to pee" in "Restless" and Andrew wet himself in "Never Leave Me" so we can safely say that humans in the Buffyverse have to relieve themselves :roll: Whether or not the characters masterbate is actually a little more ambiguous for me. We know Xander does because we saw him doing it in "Dirty Girls." But Buffy and Willow? Hard to say. Granted, I'll defer to women on this subject, but I have read studies that say many women have never tried masterbation before which blew my mind because I'd think you would struggle to find a man who did not (especially in their youth anyway). So, even without "Dirty Girls", I'd be the first to admit that I take it as a given that Xander would masterbate often whereas I don't feel qualified to make those assumptions about Buffy or Willow. Anyone have any insight into this?

On a similar topic, I'm really not a fan of writer's telling us things that happened in the story in interviews and fans taking it as canon. I don't blame fans but I find it highly ambiguous. I know that J.K Rowling does this all the time with "Harry Potter" and that it's started to irritate their fandom. For instance, Marti Noxon once stated that we should just assume that Spike and Dawn regularly see each other or have a close relationship in Season 6 despite them never showing this or referencing it at all. Noxon was asked this question as many fans noticed that Spike appeared to have lost interest in Dawn in comparison to late Season 5 - Early Season 6. Now, despite me finding it interesting that this was supposedly unintentional, is there any particular reason why I should take Noxon's words in an interview as fact when it's never shown in the show or even referenced in the show? It's hard for me to do so. Likewise, whilst I personally believe Angel and Spike have slept together at least once based on things that I have *seen* or *have been said* in the show, I don't put much stock in Whedon claiming in an interview that they'd have been sleeping together because "they were all kinds of deviant." It's interesting to know that was what he imagined but can Joss literally dictate canon in this way or speak of canon events in interviews that we've never seen but are meant to think are as canonical as actual events in the episodes? That's very debatable.

And where does it end? If Joss turned around tomorrow and said that "Reptile Boy" never happened and it was all just a dream in Buffy's head, would people no longer consider "Reptile Boy" canon? I don't think I would.

a thing of evil
09-01-19, 01:04 PM
I was surprised that people were so butthurt about Willow flying in the comics. Like, she flies in the TV series, what are you so mad about? :confused:

Stoney
09-01-19, 01:08 PM
That's a really interesting point about the interviews because I do come from the pov of writer intentions mattering, but I have to say that this is in regards to the text that occurs and interpreting what is given (such as Joss/David/Jane emphasising that Spike's quest was always for his soul, if people are inclined to question the reveal and if he was tricked etc). But if it was about something that was absent it might be a little different. I think I would still need it to work with the text to accept it, but would probably try to fully or somewhat realign my understanding if it didn't sit against what I had believed. I don't mind the idea that Marti thinks that Spike and Dawn saw each other off screen but I think it is hard to see it as regular with no evidence of that. I don't think it is hard to think they could have stayed close off screen, even if it had become infrequent. I don't have to believe that Dawn suddenly didn't matter to him because we don't see them interact (which is what I feel the comment was probably trying to counter, without knowing the context of the original question/answer obviously). I actually think it works fine that Spike would somewhat drop Dawn when Buffy is showing an interest in developing a new dynamic with him (and I mean before they sleep together within that too). I think it works within the season with reacting to being kept out of the resurrection that he withdrew from the group somewhat too, so wasn't around as much generally and even with the idea of not being asked to contribute as often as he had been doing because everyone wanted to revert to 'what was before' when Buffy returned. Perhaps even feeling with Buffy returned his promise to guard over Dawn wasn't the same any longer and so it didn't present as it had been doing. The change from S5 isn't problematic to me as I think the context explains why there would be shifts. But I think I can also work in a few visits off screen and it not meaningfully change the wider points of why I think his distancing from Dawn worked. I can see them remaining close even if they don't appear to see each other as often. I don't think it works against the text to say that the time they spent together didn't change at all with Buffy's return though. I think if that is what I'm meant to accept from what Marti said (without having read it) I'd struggle. We don't see it and the reasons it would change make a lot of sense, but a little and their general closeness remaining in tact I don't find too problematic to take.

I think Joss' comment about Spike/Angel was, if I recall correctly, almost a point of disbelief if people were reacting to the reveal that Spike said to Illyria because they were travelling together for soooo many years and were open minded etc., so why would people think they would never have gone there at all. I don't think that the point confirms anything that makes me believe it must have been more than the one time that canon references though. Of course if anything greater was revealed to have happened over the years what Joss said would work with that too. I just don't think it is difficult to believe more could have happened in their past, so I wouldn't have any issues with taking the canon change if it was unambiguously stated in an interview rather than seeing it added to canon. I don't think expanding their past that way would contradict the text in a way that can't be made to understand.


And where does it end? If Joss turned around tomorrow and said that "Reptile Boy" never happened and it was all just a dream in Buffy's head, would people no longer consider "Reptile Boy" canon? I don't think I would.

I would consider it still canon because in that scenario it still happened in her mind. But, yeah, I probably would in looking to accept that it was a dream find myself thinking through whether doing so caused any unworkable problems within canon. :s I think there is a bit of a difference between finding out what the writers intended at the time things were produced and the idea of an interview presenting something as changed because 20 years later the writer decided they didn't want it to be what they had originally written it to be anymore. :confused3:

I'd be interested to hear something a writer has stated in interview which greatly contradicts my understanding/reading of a character and that I can't just fit alongside and see how I would respond to that. My gut feeling is that I think I'd try to accept it and realign my pov, particularly if it came around the time the show was written. I've had to do that for things the characters have done/said in canon whilst watching through the series, and as I do care about authorial intent I think I would realign. But that's easy to say when I don't know what 'it' is and what it would be changing of my interpretation of the show/characters as it stands from and into. :lol:

Dipstick
09-01-19, 02:11 PM
On a similar topic, I'm really not a fan of writer's telling us things that happened in the story in interviews and fans taking it as canon. I don't blame fans but I find it highly ambiguous. I know that J.K Rowling does this all the time with "Harry Potter" and that it's started to irritate their fandom. For instance, Marti Noxon once stated that we should just assume that Spike and Dawn regularly see each other or have a close relationship in Season 6 despite them never showing this or referencing it at all. Noxon was asked this question as many fans noticed that Spike appeared to have lost interest in Dawn in comparison to late Season 5 - Early Season 6. Now, despite me finding it interesting that this was supposedly unintentional, is there any particular reason why I should take Noxon's words in an interview as fact when it's never shown in the show or even referenced in the show? It's hard for me to do so. Likewise, whilst I personally believe Angel and Spike have slept together at least once based on things that I have *seen* or *have been said* in the show, I don't put much stock in Whedon claiming in an interview that they'd have been sleeping together because "they were all kinds of deviant." It's interesting to know that was what he imagined but can Joss literally dictate canon in this way or speak of canon events in interviews that we've never seen but are meant to think are as canonical as actual events in the episodes? That's very debatable.

And where does it end? If Joss turned around tomorrow and said that "Reptile Boy" never happened and it was all just a dream in Buffy's head, would people no longer consider "Reptile Boy" canon? I don't think I would.

I'm not a fan of it either. It's considerably less annoying with JK Rowling than the ME crew because JK Rowling is known for having written entire volumes of details about the Harry Potter universe which is why that world is so consistent and fully imagined. She supposedly wrote entire backstories for minor characters but her books are already incredibly long for children's books or really any popular book. A book can only have so many pages. When JK Rowling tells extra canon in interviews, it feels like she's pulling from those extra volumes. I don't believe I've heard that Joss Whedon or Marti Noxon had entire "bibles" with extra details about the Buffyverse- and I wouldn't believe that they had them because the Buffyverse world is quite inconsistent and the mechanics of Buffyverse magic and demon civilizations is nowhere near as complex and detailed as the Potterverse. Marti Noxon saying that Spike saw Dawn off-screen feels like damage control because they didn't bother to write that relationship in S6 rather than an earnest desire to share factoids from ME's own "show bibles."

SpuffyGlitz
11-01-19, 02:49 PM
Which version of events to accept when canon contradicts itself (e.g., do werewolves turn into human form when they die)
Whether and why you prefer to use BtVS and Angel to inform one another or treat each as separate


Not sure if this fits the thread topic -- but I've never been able to reconcile how Spike can go from making drawings of Buffy like this in S5:

https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/buffy/images/b/b4/Buffy_Shrine.png/revision/latest?cb=20120408012822

to drawing Angel like this in S7:
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/b3/26/a8/b326a8b04ca9ed6ec81ff25060c19093.jpg

I know there's a difference in feeling. :p But it does seem like a bit of a contradiction. Can Spike draw?

Klaus Kartoffel
11-01-19, 02:55 PM
Not sure if this fits the thread topic -- but I've never been able to reconcile how Spike can go from making drawings of Buffy like this in S5:

https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/buffy/images/b/b4/Buffy_Shrine.png/revision/latest?cb=20120408012822

to drawing Angel like this in S7:
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/b3/26/a8/b326a8b04ca9ed6ec81ff25060c19093.jpg

I know there's a difference in feeling. :p But it does seem like a bit of a contradiction. Can Spike draw?

Maybe they're old drawings from Angelus? :D

SpuffyGlitz
11-01-19, 03:00 PM
That's what I thought too! :p We know Angelus can draw. So Spike left Sunny-D all the way to steal these from him? :err: How did he even know Angel made these drawings? :headscratch: :lol:

Klaus Kartoffel
11-01-19, 03:04 PM
That's what I thought too! :p We know Angelus can draw. So Spike left Sunny-D all the way to steal these from him? :err: How did he even know Angel made these drawings? :headscratch: :lol:

Hmmm, maybe Angel(us) left them at the manson and Spike found and took them? Or they're from Angel. He gave them to Buffy and Spike found them between her underwear. :D

SpuffyGlitz
11-01-19, 03:10 PM
Hmmm, maybe Angel(us) left them at the manson and Spike found and took them? Or they're from Angel which he gave to Buffy which Spike found between her underwear. :D

:roll: I'm gonna have to come up with some other head canon for this, your version scares me in case it's the truth.. damn it, joss! :p

eta: Wait, the mansion theory works. :thumbup:

a thing of evil
11-01-19, 04:13 PM
Better question - how did he get those photos? Who even took them? :headscratch:

flow
11-01-19, 04:25 PM
Wow, I never saw succh a close screencap of Spike`s shrine.

I guess he simply stole they photos from Buffy`s house. Maybe they stored spare pictures in the basement. Or he simply took them out of her cupboard. We saw him in the basment as well as in her room and on both occasions he admitted to be there to steal something.

As for the drawings - at least the drawing in the middle on the bottom of the screencap is - I think - not a season 2 Buffy. She Looks older than her 17year old self, which would rule out that it was a drawing Angelus did, or Angel did before he lost his soul.

I don`t think Angel would have left any drawing lying around in the mansion, when he left for L.A. in season 3. He would have either taken them with him as a reminder or given them to Buffy to keep them or destroyed them.

Now that I think of it - why did Spike never move into the mansion, when he was homeless in season 4?

flow

SpuffyGlitz
11-01-19, 04:44 PM
The more I think of it, the more it raises questions. :headscratch:

a) Why would Angel gift Buffy all his surreptitious drawings of her back from when he was evil?
It isn't likely to stir up positive memories, Angel might not want a reminder of his actions as Angelus.
b) If Spike found them lying around - he wouldn't know Angelus drew them. Wouldn't that make him wonder who else is drawing pictures of Buffy?
c) If Spike does realise Angelus drew them, I think it would make him jealous. He wouldn't want Angelus' drawings of her.
Come to think of it, if he'd be OK with Angelus' drawings, that's like two layers of stalking from two vamps! Puts a whole new spin on TGIQ. :thud:
d) flow, you're right - the bottom one looks more like a season 5 Buffy. And yup, Spike admitted he was lurking around in the basement stealing photos.

So maybe Spike can draw after all, but in season 7 he was just so cheesed off about the Angel thing he just drew a stick figure in anger?

flow
11-01-19, 05:24 PM
Maybe he cannot draw from memory but only from model or picture. At the end of season 7 it was a while since he had seen Angel and he probably didn`t have a picture of him.

flow

SpuffyGlitz
11-01-19, 05:34 PM
Hmm..I dunno. I think if you can draw, you don't lose the ability. I mean, I draw and paint and even if I haven't done it for a while or seen a person for a while...I don't forget how. But yes, photographs do help, good point. But I still think he might have drawn Angel like that out of spite.:p

TriBel
11-01-19, 06:37 PM
I think I'm losing the plot (in mitigation - I've got a head cold) and I can't remember whether I've posted this or not.


IIRC, Whedon says yes. Then again, I lean toward “death of the author” and the idea that it’s only canon if it shows up in the finished text.

ghoststar

But isn't DoA more complicated than that. In fact, it's possibly the inverse (or possibly I've misunderstood you or it). The work can have a final full-stop applied but the text is never finished: "the modern writer (scriptor) is born simultaneously with his text; he is in no way supplied with a being which precedes or transcends his writing, he is in no way the subject of which his book is the predicate; there is no other time than that of the utterance, and every text is eternally written here and now".

DoA displaces the idea that language is a stable medium, that words convey a single meaning. Because of this, it's difficult to go along with authorial intent (either before or after the event). "We know that a text does not consist of a line of words, releasing a single “theological” meaning (the “message” of the Author-God), but is a space of many dimensions, in which are wedded and contested various kinds of writing, no one of which is original: the text is a tissue of citations, resulting from the thousand sources of culture".

Moreover, I'm fairly sure the writers know this. From the Killer in Me:

BUFFY
Well, we'll fix it. We'll hit serious research mode—

SPIKE
Good. Try Behavioral Modification Software Throughout the Ages.

BUFFY
(sighs) OK. You're right. Not a book thing. It's a phone thing.

SPIKE
Who you gonna call? (Buffy looks at him funny) God, that phrase is never gonna be useable again, is it?

BUFFY
Doubt it.

It's probably not coincidence that this conversation references two forms of communication/knowledge sources - writing/speaking - all of which are shown to be incredibly unstable, unreliable and often incomplete and inadequate. S7 abounds with moments when the "author" of a message has little control over what he/she conveys: Spike's mad tirades; Buffy's Freudian slips involving Spike; Xander's text to Willow that could mean one thing or the opposite; Giles' incomplete library; Buffy/Spike deferring meaning; the misreading of the locator spell in Potential. And that's aside from the messages that come from "authors" who are actually dead (Joyce, Jonathon etc). In fact, it's there in Lessons:

SPIKE: Buffy, duck.

BUFFY: What? Duck? There's a duck?

The word itself carries at least three meanings a) a colloquial endearment b) a bird c) a command to get out of the way. Spike's intonation and actions suggest the first; Buffy understands it as the second and the context calls for the third. In many, but not all cases, it's context that matters (as it does with The Ghost Busters quote). In actual fact, I could make all these meanings of "Duck" applicable at some level (story/discourse/symbolic) and I could construct an argument that's not only sustainable throughout S7

So...would I be justified in claiming that really S7 is about The Death of the Author, is that canon? Does it need Whedon to confirm it? S7 is a tissue of citations (although it might not have a thousand sources) - often it cites itself (Spike's speech in Touched for example), the repetition of key moments in other episodes. It also cites other texts that add to its meaning: the reference to Twilight Zone (To Serve Man is a Cookbook); Buffy's Chaka Khan malapropism (CK - "I'm every woman, It's all in me. Anything you want done, baby, I'll do it naturally" fits quite nicely with the themes of the season. Particularly a season when I've been told "everything connects").

Is this fanon? I still don't understand canon/fanon. :sadwalk:

SpuffyGlitz & flow


So maybe Spike can draw after all, but in season 7 he was just so cheesed off about the Angel thing he just drew a stick figure in anger?

I'd go with that. Moreover, (IMO - always IMO :)) S7 is not just about content it's about form. It's not just about what's represented but the way it's represented (I think there's a reason Get it Done alludes to Plato's Cave). It's partly about framing. It's not really a stick figure - it's a caricature (Angel's worst features are exaggerated). Do the earlier drawings idealize Buffy - is it her BEST features that shown? Does this relate to "I've seen the best and the worst of you"? Spike was idealizing her in S5 - going through his "courtly love stage". In Him, Spike turns the ceramic angels towards the wall. In Potentials the stone angels in the churchyard have their backs to the action. In End of Days, Spike sees Angel - Angel doesn't see him. In Chosen, the drawing Angel has no eyes. This is a season that's about "seeing/knowing". It's also a season heavy on psychoanalysis (eyes/loss of eyes/castration/Oedipal Complex). Is Angel "blind"?

I'd also go with the memory thing but the problem with photos and memory is while the referent in them is true - memory itself can often counter memorize. Personally, I think S7 deliberately folds back on the previous seasons in order to re-member them. I wouldn't (personally) dismiss yours and flow's "fanon", it's simply that I'd want to tie it in to bigger themes. And I still don't understand the discontinuity thing...it's the cold (or I'm thick)! :sadwalk:

I think Whedon claimed he'd drawn the picture (I'm sure Beavis and Butthead was mentioned?).

SpuffyGlitz
11-01-19, 07:42 PM
This is a season that's about "seeing/knowing". It's also a season heavy on psychoanalysis

Huge yes to this, so completely agree! You're right it's a caricature, not merely a stick figure, my bad. Agree Spike idealised her in S5 but I actually don't think the sketches make her look prettier than she does in reality...but that could just be me fan-girling Buffy of course. Love reading your thoughts on S7! S7 is so heavily symbolic.

Yes, Joss drew that caricature of Angel...hence my 'damn it joss'! :p

Stoney
11-01-19, 07:58 PM
Hmm..I dunno. I think if you can draw, you don't lose the ability. I mean, I draw and paint and even if I haven't done it for a while or seen a person for a while...I don't forget how. But yes, photographs do help, good point. But I still think he might have drawn Angel like that out of spite.:p

I'm not sure they ever really cover the idea of Spike being able to draw other than the shrine implying it. I don't see a problem with the two vastly differing capabilities shown though because of the very deliberate cartoon/caricature of the punchbag Angel. He went back and scribbled it in irritation/jealousy. If he had come home and got out a set of sketching pencils and sat down to create a realistic depiction it would have been very bizarre behaviour in context. :)

TriBel
11-01-19, 08:11 PM
SpuffyGlitz


Yes, Joss drew that caricature of Angel...hence my 'damn it joss'!

Sorry - See - streaming head cold. I've sneezed my IQ away! :sadwalk:

bespangled
11-01-19, 10:39 PM
Maybe he cannot draw from memory but only from model or picture. At the end of season 7 it was a while since he had seen Angel and he probably didn`t have a picture of him.

flow

I think it was about 15 minutes since he had seen Ang3l actually. :p

Double Dutchess
12-01-19, 12:39 AM
I always assumed that the drawings of Buffy in Spike's shrine were drawings by Angelus that had been left behind in the mansion. Spike would know about them, because he had been there when Angel drew them. We know that Angel could draw and that he did make drawings of Buffy when he stalked her while soulless, whereas we never saw Spike do any drawing until the very last episode (and that was a very different kind of drawing, as Tribel pointed out -- a caricature, not a portrait). Also, the style and medium (charcoal) of the drawings in Spike's shrine are the same as Angelus' drawing of Buffy from Passion; see the images below. So the Angelus theory always seemed more likely to me than that Spike had made the drawings in his shrine himself.

https://k.nickpic.host/BO86JY.png

https://k.nickpic.host/BO8tEW.png

TriBel
12-01-19, 09:16 AM
Yes - I'd go along with Double Dutchess. Everything else on the shrine was stolen or salvaged - it makes sense that the drawings/photo were. Also (and I'm going off topic), there's quite a nice parallel with Riley and the plastic stake. Like the stake, the drawings - but particularly the photos - look like the real thing but they aren't - they're standing in for the thing itself. Similarly the Bot has the appearance of a real person but isn't (the same can be said of April and the mannequin on the shrine). I've said elsewhere that Joyce's body is uncanny because it looks alive but is dead (actually - it looks like a waxwork). S5 has both the Real Me and the Replacement. It has Dracula who is real - despite the fact that Buffy thinks he might be a copy. It also has "Ben is Glory". I hadn't thought about S5 as uncanny (possibly because so much of takes place in sunlight) but it has many of the features. Is looking like the real thing but not being the real thing a comment on Buffy's love for Riley (or even Briley) :noidea:? What I do know is The Real erupts into the season in the form of Joyce's death. Bringing it full circle, is it coincidence that Dawn finds out about it in a drawing class (particularly a class where they're drawing "negative space")?

Sigh...I've still got a cold. :sadwalk: