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View Full Version : When does the end appear? When do the trumpets cheer? SPOILERS FOR THE REST OF SEASON



Wolfie Gilmore
22-05-08, 09:53 PM
Something Michael said in another thread got me thinking. Where is this season leading us? What will become of Buffy and co? What's the endgame?

In this season, there's a big bad masked bad guy... but as with many seasons, there's also tensions and cracks within the good guys. Giles is off with Faith... Willow doesn't trust Buffy not to get her girlfriend killed... someone's going to betray Buffy (or something tricksy that's related to betrayal that might not involve a actual traitor, given that the words were spoken in a wacky demonic wibbly wobbly timey wimey place.)

I'm wondering if the seeds of Buffy's almost-destruction-before-clawing-her-shit-together-then-beating-the-bad-guy-in-the end might lie in the Scooby organisation. Or lack thereof.

Michael said:



I can't see where Buffy's present course will lead, only that the position is not remotely stable.

As I said in another thread (the one about the latest issue I think... though it might've been the "She's the General" thread), there is an ad-hoc feeling to Buffy's organisation, as if they never sat down and thought through what they were trying to do or what they even were - a collective, an army, what?

Not that I'm all mrs anal-planning person, but the lack of a coherent set of ground rules could lead to serious trouble down the line, and it's certainly making the audience uncomfortable (in sleeping with Satsu, is Buffy sleeping with a subordinate? What do Buffy's orders mean - are they actually orders, or something to discuss? What's with all this stealing, huh?).

I'm not sure Buffy has a real sense of what the mission is now, and what the goals are - of what counts as right in the new world order (killing humans is a "cross that bridge when we come to it" deal for Buffy in the No Future for You arc).

The last song in OMWF comes to mind here. Thinking about the lyrics, they apply rather well, imo, to the end of season 7 and to season 8:

here do we go from here?
Where do we go from here?
The battle's done, and we kind of won,
So we sound our victory che -er.
Where do we go from here?


They won the battle against the first evil in a way that felt absolute at the time. But in changing the world, they made it "all different", and didn't necessarily set the necessary strong foundations in place in order to stop that all running away from them. Buffy, being an impulsive sort, did something "bloody brilliant" but also rather leapt in the pre-looking period. This is what makes her great, but it's also her greatest weakness as a leader.

So... where do you think this season will lead? Do you think Buffy and co will be able to pull together in the end? I think so. I'm not sure how, but I feel that she will find new ways to improvise her way out of a sticky situation. I'm having a go at her here for not thinking things through enough, for doing slightly stupid things (diamond thieving, sleeping with young slayers)... and yet, the more I think about it, the more I believe in her, and in her friends. I think they can pull this out of the bag, and not just by whomping the bad guy over the head. I think Buffy's got that inspirational fire. I don't know HOW she'll save the day, and i'm sure she doesn't either... but I know she will (and not just because that's what happens every season ;))

But what lies ahead? We've got the betrayal to come...and there's something mentioned in Anywhere but here about saving a prince. Who's the prince? And, at some point, the confrontation with Twilight, a final fight.

Does anyone know how many more issues there are in season 8? How far are we in? How do you see things playing out? How will the stuff with the scythe and Fray play in to the endgame? Will we see the end of magic this season??

Nina
22-05-08, 10:37 PM
My biggest problem with this season is that I don't know what I can expect from the writers. Normally I would say that the arc of this season is about Buffy finding a way to recover from the last seasons and to learn of her mistakes. But I've the feeling that there is no big plan, not only in the story ... but also outside the story. It seems to me that every writer has his/her own 'good' idea and that the big plan about the development of the characters is missing. I'm going to do the evil, and compare it to the Angel comics; which are written by one writer, the stories of the characters feel more like one big story, the characters have their own stories and developments, and those stories melt together into the big story. Where Buffy feels like a bunch of little stories. Brian Lynch knows what he wants with the characters, and I'm not sure if the arc-writers know what will happen to the characters as persons in issue 20 or 25.

I'm not a big interview reader, but I saw some quotes from Joss and others and those gave me a bad feeling. It felt like the whole Buffy sleeping with Satsu wasn't about Buffy's story, but about creating a shock and to show how openminded Buffy and BtVS are.

I see a lot of reactions on the internet of people who think that Buffy is regressed (I'm one of them), she has the Spordelia attitude back ... it's about Buffy and her slayers, rules aren't for Buffy and her Slayers etc. And I'm not sure if this is the plan of the writers. Again, if this is the plan ... than I think that Buffy will see the light in the end. But if this view on her behavior is unintentional, I don't know what we can expect.

Back to the story;

I always liked the idea that Buffy was her own betrayer, because of her behavior ... and that she will learn of it and make a come back.

I'm also curious how they deal with Twilight, who is obvious a bad guy ... but with some very valid points. Are they saving Buffy with a writersfiat and forgetting the valid arguments of Twilight ... or are we finally in the grey area where Buffy isn't the one who is 100% good and right in the end.

And for me the most important point about BtVS, the friendship between the core 4 or at least the W/B/X friendship. It can go two ways, or they accept the fact that friendships end sometimes, or they are going to try to really fix it. And I'm voting for the last option. Right now; Willow and Buffy disagree about breaking laws and they don't talk about it, they ignore their issues and go on to a point where Willow says that Buffy is different from the others, more important and above them.
This has to be fixed in this season, 3 seasons without really good scooby moments ... I don't know if I can take that.

And my own personal issue; the girls who play the role of Buffy and die instead of Buffy. Why? Because Buffy is the leader, other girls should die instead of her? It sounds like a great plan for an army and they needed to retcon the scene in TGIQ ... but I think it's disgusting ... I don't know what I want them to do with this, but I want it to stop.

I hope that it made sense ... at least a little. :D

Michael
22-05-08, 10:52 PM
Good idea, and I will give it more thought over the next few days. Yet this might not be a bad place to share a rather vague and not fully formed idea about Buffy's ultimate destiny which seems to be resonating in my mind.

I saw a German film version of Wagner's Parsifal in which the hero turns into a woman for a time, and as I remember she looked something like SMG as Buffy.

And somehow it does not seem wrong to me to imagine Buffy as a Grail Knight seeking the Holy Spear to heal the wounded king, and so bring life and energy back into the stricken land. It would mean Buffy developing from a vampire slayer into another role and persona, but one that does not contradict her earlier vocation. Moreover it would be a truly mythic role of a kind which has a central place in our culture. Wagner's music , by the way, is well known for its ability to speak to emotionally isolated people, and it would be plausible for Buffy to be attracted to it.

However, anything like this could only happen beyond our present event horizon. It would mean Buffy giving up the business of commanding slayer battalions etc. She would have to undergo some ritual purification before setting off on a personal quest. It does excite me though.

Wolfie Gilmore
23-05-08, 08:28 AM
My biggest problem with this season is that I don't know what I can expect from the writers. Normally I would say that the arc of this season is about Buffy finding a way to recover from the last seasons and to learn of her mistakes. But I've the feeling that there is no big plan, not only in the story ... but also outside the story.

I have my fears and suspicions about that, but I also have hopes. My sense of the unfolding arcs so far is that the season works like the jigsaw puzzle on one of the covers... that they're slowly building up the bigger picture, not necessarily in the more linear way that you get with the TV seasons. Because this is a smaller canvas - each issue being so short - I feel that the writers are giving us lots of little insights, and that we're not necessarily going to get a sense of everything until the battle's done and they've kinda won. There are so many things that they're leaving unexplained (we still don't really know why Dawn's a giant, or where Willow went when she was on her mystical journey, or how Kennedy died). I'm not entirely sure we'll ever hear about those... but perhaps we might? I don't feel a solid guarantee that all will be revealed this season.... but I feel we are moving towards some kind of a bigger picture.

Also, if they don't show who the prince is, I'll be narked off. I've got a bee in my bonnet about that now :)



It seems to me that every writer has his/her own 'good' idea and that the big plan about the development of the characters is missing.

There's certainly a sense of a few different sandboxes - Brian K Vaughn getting to play with the Faith and Giles dollies, for example. He does it very well, but I agree that it does give a slightly more disjointed feeling than previous seasons, as we're zooming in on a couple of characters who then don't have much (or anything?) to do in the story that follows. Though I have a feeling we'll see Giles at least again this season. Surely we must?



I'm going to do the evil, and compare it to the Angel comics; which are written by one writer, the stories of the characters feel more like one big story, the characters have their own stories and developments, and those stories melt together into the big story.

There's certainly more flow to the Angel comics. For me, the two seasons are playing to different strengths. This season of Angel reminds me of season 4 - but without the annoying Cordelia character destruction. It's a romp of a season, with plenty of action and sizzling gypsies (ok, no gypsies, just reminds me of that Blackadder episode where he writes a book full of sizzling gypsies...it's become shorthand in my head for a romp type picaresque). I'm less likely to think about the Angel comics once I've put them down, but they do have a "through draft", as it were. They're moving on, on on.

The movement and flow of the Buffy comics isn't as linear, and in some ways it's less satisfying, but I'm finding it intriguiging. If Joss does pull off the jigsaw structure, and ends up putting all the pieces together so that if you read all the trades once they're out you go .... oooh, so that's what the picture's of... Well, I will be impressed and glad. But even if the structure's not entirely sound, there's an awful lot of interesting growth and questions and ideas in the mix.

I don't agree that there's no character development. I feel that Buffy and Xander and Willow are on more interesting journeys than they were all through season 7, and I'm getting more of a sense of who they're becoming as people, and how they're responding to their new situations in life. But...



Where Buffy feels like a buch of little stories. Brian Lynch knows what he wants with the characters, and I'm not sure if the arc-writers know what will happen to the characters as persons in issue 20 or 25.

I wonder how much detail they've planned the issues in, and how much freedom each writer gets. Does anyone know? Did they talk about that in the interviews that you read, Nina?



I see a lot of reactions on the internet of people who think that Buffy is regressed (I'm one of them), she has the Spordelia attitude back ... it's about Buffy and her slayers, rules aren't for Buffy and her Slayers etc.

I don't agree on that front. I don't think Buffy's acting particularly well, but it is a step forward for me in terms of character development - she's in a whole new place, that's not the depression of season 6, it's not the "isolationist slayer crap" brittle bossiness of season 7... she's a more cheerful character than she's been in a while, though still with her inner demons... she's trying to navigate complex questions, and she's making mistakes along the way. But it does feel like somewhere she hasn't been before, and she's in a new situation in her life that nothing could've prepared her for.



I always liked the idea that Buffy was her own betrayer, because of her behavior ... and that she will learn of it and make a come back.

I remember that from another thread where you were talking about it - was it you that originally suggested it? I find that idea very interesting. I'm not leaning towards it as likely at the moment, because of the "unexpected" angle. Unless Buffy could do something that she wasn't aware of, I'm not quite sure how she could be her own ruination without realising it. Though... it's not at all impossible, given how little we often know ourselves.

Learning and growing and changing and adapting are the things that Buffy needs to do this season. She's making many mistakes, but I do believe she'll come to a good place in the end. I hope so!



I'm also curious how they deal with Twilight, who is obvious a bad guy ... but with some very valid points. Are they saving Buffy with a writersfiat and forgetting the valid arguments of Twilight ... or are we finally in the grey area where Buffy isn't the one who is 100% good and right in the end.


Interesting... what do you think are Twilight's valid arguments?



And for me the most important point about BtVS, the friendship between the core 4 or at least the W/B/X friendship.

I'm enjoying the Buffy/Xander friend(ship?) at the moment, as well as the tense and difficult thing she's got going with Willow. I want them to take that further and explore the complexities of it. When you're working with someone, when you have so much history... can you simply be friends? The Dawn/Xander and Willow/Dawn stuff is interesting... perhaps Dawn could be a way to bring them all together?


Willow and Buffy disagree about breaking laws and they don't talk about it, they ignore their issues and go on to a point where Willow says that Buffy is different from the others, more important and above them.

I definitely want this to come to a head and have some strong Buffy and Willow character stuff. I want them to find a way of forging an adult friendship. They can't go back to how things were... but they can go somewhere else. there's still love and closeness there (in Anywhere but here, before the revelations for example) but there's also questions and fears (about the whole Kennedy/tara situation, about the doing crime thing).





And somehow it does not seem wrong to me to imagine Buffy as a Grail Knight seeking the Holy Spear to heal the wounded king, and so bring life and energy back into the stricken land. It would mean Buffy developing from a vampire slayer into another role and persona, but one that does not contradict her earlier vocation. Moreover it would be a truly mythic role of a kind which has a central place in our culture.

Buffy as myth is something that plays into the story in interesting ways. She's a legend in her own lifetime, as her rep spreads. She resists mythologising on one level - we'd be mythtaken if we ignored the Buffy Summersness of her, her quiddity, and turned her into a symbol. But at the same time, she has symbolic resonances with past and present heroes in other stories, yes.


Wagner's music , by the way, is well known for its ability to speak to emotionally isolated people, and it would be plausible for Buffy to be attracted to it.

Plus, Xander's probably forced her to watch Apocalypse Now so many times, she probably knows the ride of the Valkyries off by heart by now :)



However, anything like this could only happen beyond our present event horizon. It would mean Buffy giving up the business of commanding slayer battalions etc. She would have to undergo some ritual purification before setting off on a personal quest. It does excite me though.

Una Questa! Buffy does have her questy moments, when she leaves the group in order to learn more about her mission - whether it's jumping into a magic lantern to get chained up by some proto watchers, or whether it's some panthered up dream vision hokey cokey thing.

I find it interesting that the dream visions so far have not been solo efforts. Ok, one of her companions on the road to self discovery was Ethan... but still, company's company. And in Anywhere but here, she's with Willow when secrets are revealed about the future. Perhaps her vision quest roads aren't solitary any more? Or perhaps there's still a need for Buffy to do the the hokey pokey and shake her gourd in a more solo context later on?

KingofCretins
23-05-08, 11:22 AM
Wolfie, your thread sort of dethunderifies a thread idea I had, which was to revisit the entire musical in the same predictive light with which people analyze "Restless", but instead to pick it apart for insight into the characters and whether its still valid in Season 8. I'll still make it, but it was *really* creepy to think of such a thread while driving yesterday, listening to the "Once More, With Feeling" CD and thinking of what points would need revisiting, and then coming to the site and seeing *this thread*. Wierd, yo.

As for where this is all going...

Twilight

I think there will be a "Tough Love"-esque preliminary throwdown between he and Willow. Morpheus had a crack at Agent Smith, Rufio dueled Captain Hook, and so must flying, super-powered Willow take a shot at flying, super-powered Twilight. A merry Human-Torch-chasing-Silver-Surfer-ish chase across continents? Willow doing the super-strength pump up for mid-air fisticuffs? Gotta have it all. Need it. Wants the precious. And, as must follow, Twilight does win after a fine showing by Willow.

I also think that Buffy vs. Twilight will have a "Two To Go" quality to it, in that... frankly, I don't think Buffy will actually ever defeat him in single combat. No Hammer of Retcon to get her over. She'll face him, essentially lose, and the solution will come from some other direction.

Family Tension

Things must come to a head with Willow and Buffy, but I think, long term, more importantly between Giles and Buffy. It's obviously a dynamic that still matters a lot to Joss if he's damaged it intentionally in such ways. As a subcategory of this is betrayal. I think it's a little too wishy-washy of Joss to actually go for some high-concept Buffy betrays herself thing -- this is *literal*. Satsu, Xander, and Dawn seem to be the ones most in play. Hopefully its Satsu -- it would be painful enough, and not too horrible to contemplate like one of the Scoobies.

'Shipping

The elephant in the room of Season 8 and 'shipping is Buffy/Xander. The subtext has underlined most of the first 14 issues, even with both pursuing other interests -- the constant flirty remarks, the 8.02 dream, the way in which they've mostly been attached at the hip. If *anything* 'shippy is going to happen for Buffy on a "has real long term ramifications and isn't just a single-season arc", it's going to be a love story between her and Xander. Obviously I hope they go for it, and almost insist that it get *addressed* at some point. Even if Joss isn't going to do it, then it needs a definitive statement of non-interest made in text, even to a third party (consider Spike/Fred being defused in Angel Season 5 when Fred points out to Angel that she knows Spike is full of it). But enough has been teased in favor of the 'ship this season that it needs addressed head on.

Buffy/Satsu can't be the play unless Joss wants to be a LYING LIAR who LIES. There was no need for him to go volunteer that Buffy isn't "gay now" if he really is going to stick her in a relationship with a woman. As the classic exchange goes from "The 40 Year Old Virgin"...
"You know how I know you're gay?
"How?"
"You just told me you aren't sleeping with women anymore."

Joss, in so stating, basically establishes that Buffy/Satsu is ultimately going to be a plot device, a la Buffy/Parker, and not a substantial relationship that's going to direct Buffy's romantic arc for a significant amount of time.

Willow/Kennedy sounds like Joss is making a stand in its favor -- we'll know more in "Time of Your Life", seeing as Kennedy is in it and all.

Other 'shippy possibilities exist, but only vaguely -- mild Xander/Dawn warmth from 8.10, for instance.

Wolfie Gilmore
23-05-08, 11:42 AM
Wolfie, your thread sort of dethunderifies a thread idea I had, which was to revisit the entire musical in the same predictive light with which people analyze "Restless", but instead to pick it apart for insight into the characters and whether its still valid in Season 8. I'll still make it, but it was *really* creepy to think of such a thread while driving yesterday, listening to the "Once More, With Feeling" CD and thinking of what points would need revisiting, and then coming to the site and seeing *this thread*. Wierd, yo.

As Andrew once so succinctly put it... "GEt out of my braaaaaaaaaaaaaaain!"

I wonder if there's a collective Buffyfan unconscious? I'm not sure what made me think of OMWF in that moment... but perhaps it was the Buffy!Id :D

More on the rest shortly :)

stormwreath
23-05-08, 02:40 PM
Joss already had the season's overall storyline worked out when he approached Scott Allie with the idea for the comics. It did take a while for it to be firmly pinned down to an exact number of issues, instead of a vague "Well, it might take 30, or 40, or even 50". It's now 40 exactly, and we're on 14, which is the equivalent of Episode 8 of a TV season.

As for the plot: the impression I get is that Joss has half-a-dozen or so things he knows need to happen in each 4-issue arc to keep the main plot and character development moving along, but otherwise he gives the guest writer a free hand to come up with their own story. In other words, it's pretty much the same relationship between him as Executive Producer and the writers as on the TV show.

As a specific example: it was always the plan that Buffy would sleep with Satsu at some point in Season 8. However, Drew Goddard came to Joss and said "Instead of leading up to this slowly over several issues, why don't I just go "Bam!" and have them in bed together on the fourth page of the first issue of my arc? Then we can spend more time dealing with the repercussions, instead of the 'will-they, won't they' side of it." And Joss agreed this would be a better way to do it.

I have to say I much prefer this approach to 'Angel:After the Fall' There's nothing wrong with that as a story, but everything is so clearly laid out and explained, that there's nothing to think about or get your teeth into speculating. It's just "Here's a surprise at the end of issue x; here's the explanation at the start of issue x+1", again and again.

jimjam-06
23-05-08, 03:07 PM
As a subcategory of this is betrayal. I think it's a little too wishy-washy of Joss to actually go for some high-concept Buffy betrays herself thing -- this is *literal*. Satsu, Xander, and Dawn seem to be the ones most in play. Hopefully its Satsu -- it would be painful enough, and not too horrible to contemplate like one of the Scoobies.


However, a thought just occured to me. Maybe Buffy's betrayel can be literal, it doesn't have to be an inner betrayel but her betrayering someone else or maybe the whole slayer organisation. The panel in 'Anywhere But Here' of Buffy crying could be her upset because of how guilty and conflicted she feels. It would be an interesting surprise and not directly obvious to the reader. Everyone has just assumed someone had betrayed Buffy, including herself, but that is never said.

Michael
23-05-08, 05:05 PM
Wolfie,
Re Buffy and Wagner. I think Tristan und Isolde ought to be Buffy's favorite opera, because it is the true story of her emotional life. Now that I think of it, the love theme connected with Angel sounds like a pastiche of Tristan. This cannot be a coincidence.
Tannhäuser might make her think too much about Spike, so to get back into a good mood Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg would do the trick, or send her to sleep, whatever.

King,

I earnestly and respectfully hope your forecast is wrong on this occasion. I know that Hitchcock used to say "always torture your heroine" and there is good dramatic mileage in that idea.

But I believe Buffy "hath need of a victory." And I mean a resounding, legendary, big time victory like Graduation Day Part Two. I never want to see another finale like that of Season 6, though I admire most of that Season. The true Buffy lovers who have kept the faith deserve Agincourt.

Wolfie Gilmore
23-05-08, 06:57 PM
Wolfie,
Re Buffy and Wagner. I think Tristan und Isolde ought to be Buffy's favorite opera, because it is the true story of her emotional life. Now that I think of it, the love theme connected with Angel sounds like a pastiche of Tristan. This cannot be a coincidence.


I'm not quite sure Buffy could hack the bum-squishing five hours you need for T&I, even with the intervals. But I can see how it'd resonate. That's interesting about the B/A theme, I'll have to listen to that again. I tend to internally shout "nonce" whenever watching Bangel scenes. With honourable exceptions (I only have eyes for you is brilliant and very moving in terms of its Buffy and Angel stuff).



The true Buffy lovers who have kept the faith deserve Agincourt.

Not the French Buffy lovers, I'd imagine :)


Stormwreath said:


Joss already had the season's overall storyline worked out when he approached Scott Allie with the idea for the comics. It did take a while for it to be firmly pinned down to an exact number of issues, instead of a vague "Well, it might take 30, or 40, or even 50". It's now 40 exactly, and we're on 14, which is the equivalent of Episode 8 of a TV season.

Thanks mate! Good knowledge :D

And with you on Angel...as I said, it's all very enjoyable and pacey, but I don't necessarily want to bite bits off the story and chew them over afterwards.

Michael
24-05-08, 02:22 PM
I have some more question.

Is not Willow altogether too powerful? Is a super-witch supposed to be a super-warrior as well, as the King implies when he foresees Willow going one- to -one against Twilight?

If Willow is superwoman then surely the series should be about her, with Buffy relegated to the role of Commissioner Gordon or Perry White?

I cannot help asking whether Joss's mind has wandered, or perhaps he has joined the anti-Buffy faction having become irritated with his own creation.

What would work for me ,however, would be for Willow without consulting Buffy to try it on with Twilight, and lose-- but survive with Buffy's last minute rescue, as happened with Glory in Season Five.

Together they could figure out Twilight's weak point and make a plan---a plan that will work only with Buffy's warrior power,and boldness, and tactical skill in alliance with the scoobies and others. This would offer a context in which Giles and Faith could come back into the fold.

Another, and perhaps contradictory point seems important.Twilight does not want to kill Buffy. He had a clear opportunity but did not take it. His excuse--"she has died before without it making much difference"-- was perfunctory and not plausible. He has another reason.

Is he in love with Buffy? Are his super powers based on technology which could be removed or screwed up? He is certainly a more interesting and mysterious Big Bad than any of the others since the late and lamented Mayor Wilkins
I wish we could have had him for Season 7.

tangent
24-05-08, 06:16 PM
My grand (and most probably wrong in every way) theory is that the whole 'end of magic' schtick that Twilight has going is a mislead.

It looks at first glance that Twilight has the beating of Buffy in a one on one situation but he doesn't want her dead. Instead just about every move Twilight has made seems to be playing with her on a psychological level, pulling her this way and that and making her question herself and what she stands for. Twilight also seems to have succeeded in driving a wedge between some of the scoobies by exploiting some of the tensions that already existed. Buffy and Giles are certainly as far apart as they have ever been and who knows what Xanders reaction to Renee's death will be. If Twilight is behind the Japanese vamps on some level as I think we can probably safely assume then perhaps she was targeted deliberately, perhaps not.

The point is that Twilights attack seem to be targeted specifically at Buffy. (You could even make an arguement for the initial attack on the demons in TLWH as just bring ing Twilight to Buffy's attention.) This coupled with the fact that he specifically wears a mask to keep his identitiy secret hint's to me at a much more personal agenda, one aime at destroying Buffy completely, taking away from her all the things that matter; her self belief, her values and her friends.

Therefore I can see the arc diving buffy into isolation, seemingly betrayed and abandoned by those closest to her but then the scoobs somehow reversing their actions and coming back as a stronger and even tighter knit team in order to take Twilight down.

As I say i'm almost certainly wrong but it would be an interesting way to go, first escalating and then reversing the isolationism that cropped up in the last two seasons, and perhaps you shouldn't alway take a bad guys self stated motives as gospel. What do we think?


If Willow is superwoman then surely the series should be about her, with Buffy relegated to the role of Commissioner Gordon or Perry White?

Not necessarily. Merlin was probably a hell of a lot more powerful than Arthur but it's still Arthurs story. I can't really see Buffy behind a desk either.

Michael
24-05-08, 11:00 PM
Thank you tangent. I enjoyed reading that.

On Willow as superwoman I don't quite agree with you. We would soon get fed up with a story about a police officer if somebody more powerful and exciting kept coming in and out of the story who was also fighting the same enemy. It would not make storytelling sense.

As I recall the Arthur story, Merlin was not on the whole more powerful than Arthur. He had prophetic gifts and magical knowledge that Arthur did not have, and which according to ancient tradition would not have been appropriate for a King.

Merlin could not do the work of a warrior or a battle leader , but he might advise on what would be a good day to fight and a good day to stay at home. He might conjure a storm or something, and I am happy about Willow playing this kind of role.

But if she is also going to be a stronger warrior than Buffy on top of everything else, then I think the whole conceptual development of the story has gone wrong and things are out of balance. Do you see my drift?


Twilight is a fascinating mystery. However, I still think that if he really wanted to destroy Buffy he would have done it when it could have been done easily. That is the way serious people deal with their enemies. Not like James Bond villains who insist on talking on and on until 007 has figured out a plan.

No I wonder whether Twilight wants to win Buffy over to his side because he needs her, and perhaps wants her for other reasons. The way he looks and moves suggests to me that his power is technological, and he may otherwise be a normal man. I think the King suggested it might be Riley.

KingofCretins
25-05-08, 01:11 AM
You'll notice I referred to this matchup as "preliminary" and even provided examples of other such penultimate faceoffs. In no way would it make Buffy a secondary hero. And, besides, Willow has been more powerful than Buffy since Season 5, and Buffy's known it. Didn't stop Buffy from being the hero before.

I wouldn't mistake Twilight's concern for actual empathy for the time being. He has insight, but so far his methods and ambitions still establish that he's liquid evil. He attacked Buffy capriciously and decided not to kill her just as capriciously. He didn't actually show her mercy; he simply returned to his original plan for that day, which was not killing her. He could have killed her at his discretion and made sure she knew it.

vampmogs
25-05-08, 09:28 AM
If Willow is superwoman then surely the series should be about her, with Buffy relegated to the role of Commissioner Gordon or Perry White?

Huh? Why does Buffy have to be the most powerful to remain the lead in the series? Buffy told Willow she was the strongest person in 'The Gift' and Willow's power was too much for Buffy in 'Two to Go.' Willow also could destroy the world in 'Grave' which Buffy could never have done and Willow was easily portrayed as the most powerful in season seven. As Kennedy states, Buffy wasn't the strongest person in the room with Willow there "she's not even close."

But that changes nothing, just because Buffy isn't the strongest doesn't mean she can't be the lead. Angel is still the lead of his show even if Illyria is stronger than him and the show never had to become "Buffy and Faith the Vampire Slayers" when Faith was a regular in season 3 when basically she was Buffy's match.

Bubblecat
25-05-08, 01:05 PM
I suppose from my point of view there was always a pay off between the ending of season 7 and what could happen next in terms of Buffy's own personal story.

Whilst the metaphore of giving your own (woman) power to everyone provided BtVS with a satisfying ending in the most part to me, series seven suffered from placing Buffy into the role of "General", which was never a good position for her own personal development, imho.

I honestly want the story to return to it's roots somewhat in terms of intimacy of the few core characters. But then, how do you entangle the power-scythe giving message without taking away from that message?

From reading things from here and there Joss appears to be still focusing very much of Buffy's development. It's about dealing with power, being in charge - I suppose a metaphore for early adult life? I just think that the landscape is now too unfamiliar for myself to truely identify with where she is and where she's going.....

Twlight....could it be a sane Drusilla? I know she's due to come back into the comics, Juliet was sitting for Georges in February so that he could get her features right.

Oh, and KoC - I always thought there was a strong Buffy/Xander shipping vibe in Season Seven. They were almost parent-like with Dawn.

Have I rambled enough now?

Koos
25-05-08, 01:05 PM
As I recall the Arthur story, Merlin was not on the whole more powerful than Arthur. He had prophetic gifts and magical knowledge that Arthur did not have, and which according to ancient tradition would not have been appropriate for a King.

Doesn't matter. Point is that Merlin could still be much more powerful than Arthur.


Merlin could not do the work of a warrior or a battle leader

There are many Arthur stories where Merlin was a battle leader as well. He was also good with the sword. But Merlin is not a showrunner by personality. He won't intervere with Arthur being the leader even if he could.


But if she is also going to be a stronger warrior than Buffy on top of everything else, then I think the whole conceptual development of the story has gone wrong and things are out of balance. Do you see my drift?

Many fans complain about this possibility. I tend to disagree, though I see the dangers. But I see the dangers more to the story in general than to Buffy in particular. She could become someone who solves the problem with her snap of finger every single time. But I disagree with the problem in the end, because a good storyteller won't let it become a problem. It's a challenge for the writers. And if they do this good, than IMO the story becomes much better. The same hold true for the risk of Willow taking over Buffy. I don't see it necessarily becoming a problem. Currently Buffy is clearly the leader. The Slayers follow her and Willow follows her as well. If Willow would become more powerful and more of a leader in her own right, than it's the challenge for Buffy (and the writers) to keep Buffy the leader. That's an interesting arc in itself. And for the writers to keep the story about Buffy as well.


Personaly I see more of an arc for Willow in sense that when she becomes more powerful, her motivation for earthly things and fighting demons, etc, becomes less interesting. She will be more and more in higher planes of excistence and becoming more of a goddess. The challenge is than to keep the bond between her and her friends alive. That's an idea that I find personally very interesting and my guess is that Joss will work this out.

vampmogs
25-05-08, 01:20 PM
I agree with Koos. The story can just as easily still be about Buffy no matter what the circumstances. As for example, if Willow became the leader the writers would just explore what effect this had on Buffy and take a look at how Buffy deals with this. She doesn't have to be the leader to be the star of the series.

The same way when she was dead at the start of season six, though she wasn't there, the story was clearly still centered around her. We saw how everyone was dealing without *Buffy* how Sunnydale would be effected without *Buffy* how Giles left because *Buffy* was dead and the lead up to the spell to bring back *Buffy.* Was still all about Buffy. :D

tangent
25-05-08, 01:22 PM
If the Melin/Arthur analogy doesn't work Michael what about a Gandalf/Frodo analogy? Clearly the more powerful character is Gandalf but the story is about Frodo because Tolkein makes it about Frodo.

Leadership and heroism are different than all out power and as powerful as Willow is she still defers to Buffy. she is without doubt Buffy's big gun her special weapons team if you like but she is not looking for a role of leadership (cf her Ms Rosenberg comment).

It does need careful handling for Wilow not to become Buffy's sonic screwdriver (I.e an all purpose get out clause) But I think this shouldn't cause too much of a problem if the writers keep it in mind.

Koos is on a distinguished road

Default
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post
As I recall the Arthur story, Merlin was not on the whole more powerful than Arthur. He had prophetic gifts and magical knowledge that Arthur did not have, and which according to ancient tradition would not have been appropriate for a King.
Doesn't matter. Point is that Merlin could still be much more powerful than Arthur.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Merlin could not do the work of a warrior or a battle leader
There are many Arthur stories where Merlin was a battle leader as well. He was also good with the sword. But Merlin is not a showrunner by personality. He won't intervere with Arthur being the leader even if he could.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael View Post
But if she is also going to be a stronger warrior than Buffy on top of everything else, then I think the whole conceptual development of the story has gone wrong and things are out of balance. Do you see my drift?
Many fans complain about this possibility. I tend to disagree, though I see the dangers. But I see the dangers more to the story in general than to Buffy in particular. She could become someone who solves the problem with her snap of finger every single time. But I disagree with the problem in the end, because a good storyteller won't let it become a problem. It's a challenge for the writers. And if they do this good, than IMO the story becomes much better. The same hold true for the risk of Willow taking over Buffy. I don't see it necessarily becoming a problem. Currently Buffy is clearly the leader. The Slayers follow her and Willow follows her as well. If Willow would become more powerful and more of a leader in her own right, than it's the challenge for Buffy (and the writers) to keep Buffy the leader. That's an interesting arc in itself. And for the writers to keep the story about Buffy as well.



Personaly I see more of an arc for Willow in sense that when she becomes more powerful, her motivation for earthly things and fighting demons, etc, becomes less interesting. She will be more and more in higher planes of excistence and becoming more of a goddess. The challenge is than to keep the bond between her and her friends alive. That's an idea that I find personally very interesting and my guess is that Joss will work this out.

That's a valid point. Keeping willow grounded is going to be something that Joss and co will definitely have to keep an eye on.

Koos
25-05-08, 01:46 PM
If the Melin/Arthur analogy doesn't work Michael what about a Gandalf/Frodo analogy? Clearly the more powerful character is Gandalf but the story is about Frodo because Tolkein makes it about Frodo.


Exactly.

Or another example. If you in Batman Begin you focus your story on the policeofficer, you would still get an interesting and good story.

Wolfie Gilmore
25-05-08, 05:20 PM
If the Melin/Arthur analogy doesn't work Michael what about a Gandalf/Frodo analogy? Clearly the more powerful character is Gandalf but the story is about Frodo because Tolkein makes it about Frodo.

That just sparked a random thought. I think I might have to turn it into a fic. Or maybe a thread. The question being...what would LOTR have been like if Joss had written it...

Re Buffy and Willow and their relative power - in Judge Dredd, Cassandra Anderson is technically more powerful than Dredd, having psychic powers, while he's just got higher-than-average-but-still-not-super badassness. But in most of the stories they appear in together, he's still the "hero", and that's partly about how the characters see themselves. Although Dark Willow claimed she was ready to be centre stage, Willow in her less dark rootsy moods still, imo, sees herself as the "side man", while Buffy's the "General". It's not just about what you're capable of, it's about how you see yourself in the narrative of life.

Michael
25-05-08, 05:59 PM
I agree with Koos that you could could get a good and interesting story about the police officer in a Batman story. It might make an interesting comic sketch, or a bizarre pastiche of Arthur Miller.Gore Vidal might write something like that to amuse himself, and I would read anything by Gore Vidal.

But if that were done to Buffy the resulting story would no longer be the romantic epic of Buffy the Vampire Slayer that I love, and watch on dvd about twice a week. Buffy is a super-hero. She is not a subordinate or supporting player.

Does Koos seriously want to see Buffy downgraded and the whole series changed into a completely different type of story? I would be surprised. And I am certain the fans would not buy it---at least there is one fan I know who wouldn't.

In the original Arthurian mythos, as I remember it, Merlin and Arthur had different powers and needed each other. Merlin would never have taken so much trouble to find Arthur, and sustain Arthur, if he could have done the job himself. I imagine that the inspiration of the Arthurian legend was the story of the prophet Samuel and David in the Old Testament.

But over the years many branches have been added to the main trunk of the legend with no firm editorial hand in charge since death of Sir Thomas Malory around 1471. I have only read a few of them, but a friend has just given me a copy of The Mists of Avalon, which has a marvelous premise.

(I regret to say that I cannot get on with Tolkien,though I have tried several times.)

Of course the hero does not have to be the most powerful girl around. I would go further and say the it is vital that the hero should not be the most powerful. No one would be interested in David vs Goliath ,if Goliath had been a three foot midget. Vampmogs misunderstands me,or I might not have been as clear as I should have been.

All heroic mythology is about a courageous young man , or a girl, going up against a mighty demon or horde of demons, or the Minotaur or the Kraken.

If Willow the super-witch and super- warrior was actually the enemy whom Buffy had to face and somehow overcome, then I would understand and applaud.That kind of thing floats my boat.

But if Willow remains a friend who can do everything Buffy can do better than Buffy does, and also has awesome supernatural powers, then what is the point of Buffy? What is her unique selling proposition?

Why would we want to read about Buffy? Is it because she is better looking? Is it because she tells funnier jokes? Is she a female Jimmy Olsen? I am all ears, as the Ferengi said to Captain Picard.

I remarked earlier in this thread that my dearest wish for Buffy is that she should grow out of her role as a Slayer and become in time a Grail Knight and a kind of pagan messiah. I still hope for something like that. If I had the talent I would love to write it.

But if the worst comes to the worst, and the anti-Buffy faction have their way , then please let Buffy go out with honor. Let he not be degraded, demoted, humiliated and broken. Let her go out like Joan at the stake or Travis at The Alamo. Let her have a funeral with the Death March by Wagner.

KingofCretins
25-05-08, 06:06 PM
Michael, I'm still not sure I see your point. Willow has been able to do almost everything more effectively since Buffy since the start of Season 5. Was this a crisis for you in those 60+ episodes?

And it was interesting with Willow as an adversary -- but rather for Buffy to overcome, she stomped a mudhole in Buffy and then walked it dry.

And still Buffy is the hero, has been, and is in no danger of not continuing to be.

Is all this seriously just because I pointed to my hope that the time honored convention of the trusted lieutenant getting a shot at the Big Bad continues? It's just an obligatory clash of titans -- it's like Illyria vs. the Dragon.

Nina
25-05-08, 06:10 PM
It's about Buffy, because that is a choice Joss made more than 10 years ago. This is Buffy's story ... and Willow can be very powerful ... as long Buffy is the focus, it doesn't matter. We've to see Buffy as a human being and not as a warrior, her not being the strongest doesn't mean that she can't be the leader or the focus of the show. Buffy leads and Willow follows.

After all the great analogies here, I want to mention another one. Angel in After the Fall.

In Angel after the Fall, he is human ... Connor, Illyria, Groo, Spike, Gunn and Gwen are more powerful than Angel ... but Angel is still the most important character in the story ... because it's his story. The enemies fear him, the others follow him ... not because he is the strongest warrior, but because he is the leader. His fight is what inspires his team, his plans and ideas are dangerous for the big powers.

That doesn't change my opinion about the fact that Willow is too powerful, it gives me the Mary Sue vibe.

edit, too late:
Or what KoC said.

Koos
25-05-08, 06:39 PM
Does Koos seriously want to see Buffy downgraded and the whole series changed into a completely different type of story? I would be surprised. And I am certain the fans would not buy it---at least there is one fan I know who wouldn't.

Well, there you are. I never saw Buffy as a superhero. I saw her as a teenage girl, somewhat spoiled by her mother, popular and someone who wanted to be on the cheerleading squat. A girl who wanted to marry and have a stereotype family. A girl who's life has been turn up side down when others forced her on the role of superhero. And a girl who has been coping with that responsibility ever since. I see her as a person who just happens to have superpowers and matching responsibilty. Not a superhero.

stormwreath
25-05-08, 07:16 PM
I see her as a person who just happens to have superpowers and matching responsibilty. Not a superhero.While I agree with your general argument, I'm not sure this is all there is to say. Buffy isn't "a superhero", true... but when she was given superpowers, she rose to accept that responsibility.

Willow is a very intelligent woman with a tendency towards insecurity, and to overcompensating for that insecurity. Like Merlin, she can do a lot of useful things.

Buffy is a hero. She can inspire people to follow her into the mouth of Hell itself - quite literally: see 'Chosen'. She's capable of making the tough decisions, whether it's killing her own lover to save the world, or jumping off a tower and dying herself to do the same thing. Buffy often asks Willow for advice, but she's the one who decides, and Willow's the one who does what she says. Like Arthur, Buffy is a leader, a person of action whom other people want to follow.

Buffy isn't a superhero: she's a hero.

Koos
25-05-08, 07:43 PM
While I agree with your general argument, I'm not sure this is all there is to say. Buffy isn't "a superhero", true... but when she was given superpowers, she rose to accept that responsibility.

She rose to accept that responsibility time and time again, when it is needed. But that doesn't mean that she accepted it as being a part of her life. The struggle kept. It changed in time, depending on the issues and responsibilities she had to face.


She's capable of making the tough decisions, whether it's killing her own lover to save the world,

That was on a point when there was no choice to be made. If she was a true hero, she would have klled Angelus already in Innocence. Or she would defnitely not have waited for so long.

Michael
25-05-08, 08:32 PM
King,
I agree with your idea of Willow having a crack at Twilight and I am sorry if I failed to be clear on that point. If we were in a writers conference I would back you all the way.

However, I would then want Buffy to go against Twilight and win, having discovered Twilight's weakness from Willow's painful but non fatal experience. Buffy is the hero and that should be her privilege. She should come out of the battle bloodied, shattered, and only half alive--but victorious. On this basic point we appear to differ. You want her to lose.

I cannot agree with you when you say that Willow has been able to do almost everything better than Buffy since Season 5. Nor could the series have possibly worked on that basis.

Can you imagine the introductory voice over?

"This is the story of Buffy who slays vampires and demons. Actually Willow the witch can do everything better than Buffy but she lets Buffy get on with it because it is good for Buffy's self-esteem, or something. This is her story anyway."

No, Willow could not do everything better than Buffy. Willow could not have led the gang in Season 5 in the battle against Glory,although her contribution was essential. Only Buffy , with all her flaws and failings, could master the world crisis in Season 7--again with vital help of Willow, not forgetting Faith and the others. If Buffy had not been there Willow could not simply have taken over, and I sure you cannot seriously think so.

Season 6 was a dogs breakfast in some ways, brilliant in others. I followed your argument with another member about the fight between Buffy and Willow and it is clear to me,after several viewings, that Buffy held back--but that is by the way. I truly and sincerely hated the finale with Buffy being marginalized, and I will always hold it against Joss Whedon.

I think the Willow/Buffy discussion would be better if we accepted some distinctions between "strength"and "force" and "power" and "character."

Will you entertain a theory?

Strength without the character = force

Character without strength =raw courage

Strength with character = power

Power with noble ideals = heroic virtue.

I think Willow has the strength without the power because she does not have the type of character,or temperament,for the role. She is noble ,however.

Anyway, when it all ends I want to see my Buffy standing tall. Whether it on the field of Marathon in 490 BCE or Agincourt or whether she is riding a horse among the cheering people of Orleans in 1429 she personifies a romantic hero whose eventual victory is a moral necessity,and who warms and cheers all our hearts.

She's five foot two and and she's six foot four
[I]She's only seventeen and she's all of forty four [/
I]She fights with rockets and she fights with spears
[I]She's been fighting now for a thousand years.

I forget the title of the song.

Koos,
Your are right.You are a realist,whereas I am a romantic.

Koos
25-05-08, 09:15 PM
Will you entertain a theory?

Strength without the character = force

Character without strength =raw courage

Strength with character = power

Power with noble ideals = heroic virtue.

I think Willow has the strength without the power because she does not have the type of character,or temperament,for the role. She is noble ,however.

You haven't defined strength without the power. If you mean without the character, than I have to disagree completely. Willow is the person who has the temperament for the role. She is the spirit. She a driving force. It allows her to become so strong as she is. It is Buffy who misses the drive and Buffy also misses the noble ideas: she does it because she has to.


Koos,
Your are right.You are a realist,whereas I am a romantic.

Oh, I can be a romantic. It's just that the character of Buffy have to much realistic stuff around her. But then again, I think that's the only way we can have a focus around her for so long. And still have characterization.

Michael
25-05-08, 11:21 PM
Koos,
I'm afraid I could not follow the second part of your post.Maybe you were in a hurry. Or maybe I am tired.

My point is that Willow has strength but not the same kind of power as Buffy because she does not have the temperament for it. I do not say that this is a flaw in her nature by the way. Willow , in her normal state simply does not have the ruthlessness and brutality that a leader like Buffy has to show at certain crucial times. She is too nice for the job,is one way of putting it.

I have indicated that I would like Buffy to develop a more mystical vocation on the other side of the present event horizon. I take it that you are more interested in Willow.What future would you like for her? Should she and Buffy stay together? Or split up? I would like to see them both in the land of the Grail.

Koos
26-05-08, 08:11 AM
My point is that Willow has strength but not the same kind of power as Buffy because she does not have the temperament for it. I do not say that this is a flaw in her nature by the way. Willow , in her normal state simply does not have the ruthlessness and brutality that a leader like Buffy has to show at certain crucial times. She is too nice for the job,is one way of putting it.

Well, that depends on which Willow. BlackveinyWillow definitely had the ruthlessness. However, I entirely agree with you on normalWillow. But I disagree that Buffy has the guts to do what is necessary at times. IMO that is her weakest point. It took her months before she could kill Angelus and only after she had no choice. She could not kill Dawn. Apparently in S7 she has grown to a character who could have, but that wasn't shown. In s8 we finally see a tougher woman in her. But the real tests haven't been there yet.

IMO there's only one character in the show who truely has the natural ruthlessness, brutality and guts to do what is necessary: Xander. Though this has been weakened somewhat during the seasons. Probably under the influence of Buffy.



I have indicated that I would like Buffy to develop a more mystical vocation on the other side of the present event horizon.

That would be nice.



I take it that you are more interested in Willow.What future would you like for her? Should she and Buffy stay together? Or split up? I would like to see them both in the land of the Grail.

I'm not that interested in Willow. I like her. But what I am interested in is her arc throughout the entire show so far. She grew from a geeky, nervously, girl who hardly had anything to contribute (except hacking) to a woman who is enormously powerful. This was done by talent, intelligence and drive. I would love to see this arc continue to the point where she leaves the entire earthly plane all together. (ind of what happened to Wesley in Star Trek) And only visits once a while without interfering. Something like in Stargate with the higher beings.

My ulitmate vision would be her leaving her friends in a white light when she becomes a true Godess.

vampmogs
26-05-08, 09:32 AM
Willow showed very strong leadership abilites throughout the series. She ordered Xander and Cordy around in Buffy's absence during 'Dark Ages' and ordered the Scoobies around in 'Earshot.' She was also picked as boss when Buffy was dead, and was the leader of the Scoobies then. She's always been fairly capable, and in fact has had problems with the idea she's Buffy's "sidekick." As she angrily snaps in 'Fear Itself' "I'm not your sidekick!" and she also says "being the slayer doesn't automatically make you boss, your as lost as the rest of us." They've always come to blows because Willow was capable of leadership. And there was times when it was evident Willow wanted to give the leadership thing a go, in 'Two to Go' she states "Six years as a side man, now I get to be the slayer."

And I also think Willow does have that ruthless you need to be a leader. As she states, "sometimes I'm callous and strange." And we saw Vamp Willow take charge and command in 'Dopplegangland.' Angel says the other vampires are doing what she says because they're scared of her, she got respect from all of them. She also lost her temper in 'Dark Ages' angrily screaming "get the hell out of my library!"

stormwreath
26-05-08, 10:10 AM
Willow showed very strong leadership abilites throughout the series. She ordered Xander and Cordy around in Buffy's absence during 'Dark Ages' and ordered the Scoobies around in 'Earshot.' "Ordering people around" and "leadership" are two completely separate things. Leadership is about inspiring people to follow you willingly because they trust you. Most of the time, Buffy had this... in fact, it was a big theme of Season 7 that she tried to order the Potentials around (Willow-style) instead of taking the time to win their loyalty and trust first... and that blew up in her face.

Willow, on the other hand, is more about handing out orders, not inspirational leadership. When she was young and insecure, it just seemed cute when she suddenly started telling people what to do. When she became powerful herself, it was threatening and unpleasant. (See Xander and Anya's reaction in 'Bargaining'). In Season 7, Willow seems to have been scared away from the whole 'taking charge' thing because she's uncertain of herself again. How she'll react if pushed into a leadership situation in S8 is an open question.

vampmogs
26-05-08, 10:13 AM
"Ordering people around" and "leadership" are two completely separate things.

Yeah but I'm inclined to think she must have inspired them somehow as they voted for her to be boss, not the other way around.


Willow, on the other hand, is more about handing out orders, not inspirational leadership. When she was young and insecure, it just seemed cute when she suddenly started telling people what to do.

She inspired confidence in 'The Dark Ages.' Xander and Cordelia grin and Xander says "she's good." They had faith in her.

stormwreath
26-05-08, 10:52 AM
Yeah but I'm inclined to think she must have inspired them somehow as they voted for her to be boss, not the other way around.Who else were they going to choose, though? Xander tends to defer to Willow's intelligence, and Anya, Tara or Dawn were not really in the running. Nor was Spike...

vampmogs
26-05-08, 11:37 AM
Who else were they going to choose, though? Xander tends to defer to Willow's intelligence, and Anya, Tara or Dawn were not really in the running. Nor was Spike...

Giles seems like the most obvious choice to me? They all commented on how he wasn't leaving any time soon and you'd think at least for the time being they'd turn to him?

tangent
26-05-08, 11:39 AM
The defering thing is important though.

It doesn't really matter to me who has the most physical or mystical power, who can layeth the smack down the hardest. If that person is willing to defer that power to another then they automatically give them the leadership role. This might be because it is in their nature to allow others to lead and be content with a 'lesser' role or it could just be force of habit or a recognition that someone else is more readily or more naturally able to act as a focal point for others, more able to inspire others to follow.

As regards Willow I think it's clear that she is a more powerful person than Buffy. she is 'the most powerful Wiccan in the western hemisphere' and is now much more in control of that power. However whenever Buffy is around (And willow isn't evil) it seems to be natural for her to defer leadership to Buffy. True she has voiced unhappiness with her role as sideman but she has never done anything to reverse this relationship whilst Buffy was around. I just don't think Willow really wants the responsibility of overall leadership. she'll take it if she has to but as long as Buffy is there to take on that role I think she's happy enough to deferto Buffy and follow her lead. It will be interesting to see how far this is stretched in season 8 though. (An intersting thought that's just occured to me is a replay of the battle in 'Two to Go' with the roles switched. That would be intriguing.)

vampmogs
26-05-08, 11:48 AM
The defering thing is important though.

It doesn't really matter to me who has the most physical or mystical power, who can layeth the smack down the hardest. If that person is willing to defer that power to another then they automatically give them the leadership role. This might be because it is in their nature to allow others to lead and be content with a 'lesser' role or it could just be force of habit or a recognition that someone else is more readily or more naturally able to act as a focal point for others, more able to inspire others to follow.

As regards Willow I think it's clear that she is a more powerful person than Buffy. she is 'the most powerful Wiccan in the western hemisphere' and is now much more in control of that power. However whenever Buffy is around (And willow isn't evil) it seems to be natural for her to defer leadership to Buffy. True she has voiced unhappiness with her role as sideman but she has never done anything to reverse this relationship whilst Buffy was around. I just don't think Willow really wants the responsibility of overall leadership. she'll take it if she has to but as long as Buffy is there to take on that role I think she's happy enough to deferto Buffy and follow her lead. It will be interesting to see how far this is stretched in season 8 though. (An intersting thought that's just occured to me is a replay of the battle in 'Two to Go' with the roles switched. That would be intriguing.)

Yeah I agree with that. I'll debate for Willow that she can lead, but she hasn't made any big moves to take that leadership from Buffy. Perhaps it's complacency, who knows? We did see in 'Two To Go' her deep desire to be the one in control and not the "side man" but she had never really done anything about it. Perhaps it's a case of Willow thinking that Buffy does a good job leading but at the same time it irritates her a little because she thinks she has what it takes as well. And it can also be chalked up with her desire for power, which she associates with the slayer in this episode.

And the idea about a reverse on 'Two to Go' is interesting, that'd be very cool :)

Michael
26-05-08, 02:09 PM
Willow is not more powerful than Buffy. If she were then the series would be called Willow, and Buffy would be the sidekick--except that she wouldn't. Indeed the idea has only to be stated for its absurdity to become obvious.

Power is as power does.Willow can do sidekick, even if she gets annoyed at times. Buffy might be a pain in your ass but she will never be your sidekick.

Her in-your-face cockle -doodle -loo self confidence would make make the devil think twice before giving her orders. Giles discovered this early on, and this discovery gave birth to a quiet , understated resentment.

She is nobody's follower--which is the answer to Faith's question in Empty Places.Where was Willow during the crisis of Empty Places? Willow supported the mutiny, and otherwise kept her head down. Powerful people don't hide in these circumstances. They embrace their destiny.

When Buffy returned to take back command, she did not ask for permission.She started giving orders, and people just did what she said.If you understand that scene I believe you understand everything.

Power resides in the psyche. I would like tangent to consider that Willow has strength more than power. In a nightclub the guy with the big muscles is not usually the manager, he is the bouncer. And in the boxing world any fan will tell you than the champ is not necessarily the fighter with the strongest muscles: fights are won and lost in the mind. You can tell the champion from the way he looks at you.

I agree with Stormwreath about leadership. There is a lot more to it--though not less-- than giving orders, and losing your temper never inspires respect. Who do people obey,and why?

Speaking to the French troops before Orleans, Buffy--I am sorry I mean Joan--convinced them that they were not just a bunch of ratbag peasants drafted into the army. Each one of them was a child of God, beloved of God, and now they were going to fight God's battle. So it came to pass that a bunch of losers was turned into an invincible fighting machine.

Turning losers into winners is what leaders are for. Buffy is the leader.

tangent
26-05-08, 02:46 PM
I'm sorry Michael but your arguement seems to be based on semantics. Willow does have more Power than Buffy if she chooses to use it. she has the power to fly, to control armies of zombies to shoot powerful blasts from her arms, to make herself equally as strong as Buffy and to fly. You can call this strength or power or whatever you want but if i had the choice of just one character from the series to fight one on one against twilight for my life right now then i'm going to take Willow as the one with the most power.

However be that as it may (and i'm sure you'll disagree) it isn't raw power that is needed for leadership. It is in fact some of the other things that you yourself mention; courage, self belief (an area imo that Willow sometimes is weak in) and also charisma the ability to get others to follow you. In these areas Buffy excels and because of this and because she is prepared to bear the burden of being the one in charge people who on the face of it might be stronger/more powerful are happy to defer to her leadership. Look at it this way: is there any way in which Buffy could force Willow to do as she want's. the answer is no. She can only do this because Willow is for the most part happy to follow her lead. Empty Places show's that the mandate to lead is something that is granted by others and that if others don't want to be led you can only then lead by force , which makes you into a tyrant. (I don't see how blindly agreeing with Buffy, despite having grave reservations about a potentially dangerous plan is hiding form her destiny really either. She stepped up and embraced her destiny with the slayer spell. No hiding then.)

the idea that a Series or a book or whatever should only focus on the most powerful character makes no sense to me. There are plenty of very good books that don't do this (Top of my head, Oliver Twist). Buffy is a hero because of her bravery, because of her strength in the face of adversity, because she refuses to give in and because she doesn't allow herself to be bound into the role that was preordained for her but chooses to surpass it. she is a leader because she makes the hard decisions (although not always the right ones), because she has the courage of her convictions, because she has charisma and because she leads by example. None of this has anything to do with her strength as the slayer and none of this has to do with Willow's power as a wiccan.

If the question is if Willow has the qualities to be a leader then I would say she probably does if she can be convinced of this. Her own sense of self worth would need to be addressed first and she would need to willingly accept the mantle but i could see her doing a good job. Not as good as Buffy perhaps but a good job nonetheless.

Michael
26-05-08, 05:59 PM
tangent,
Forgive me, but my distinction between strength and power is not semantic.IMO is goes to the heart of everything we are arguing about, or trying to clarify as I would prefer to say.

Goliath had the strength, but who won the fight?

How often is the leader the strongest warrior, as such, in the army? A lot of guys were bigger and stronger and just as brave as Napoleon. Nelson with one eye and one arm was not the toughest sailor in the Navy. Yet big strong men cried like babies when Nelson died.

This is what leadership is about. It is about the power that comes from within the person, and it has nothing directly to do with muscles or guns or the ability to work fantastic spells.

Muscles and guns and spells represent strength, which of course Willow has. There is no argument here. Strength is the wood and the coal. Power is the fire. Buffy has the fire, and Willow knows this. Willow in her normal state of mind does not have the fire.

Buffy would not force Willow to follow her orders even if she could. Buffy learned how to be a good leader rather than a bad boss the hard way--in the face of mutiny and treason. Willow is,usually, glad to follow Buffy and would not be happy in the leader role herself.

Yet Willow is a person of strong and independent mind, the kind of follower/partner that a wise leader prays for. Buffy draws on the strength of Willow, and Xander and others to deliver the biggest possible punch, as in Graduation Day Part Two, and in Chosen I suppose though I don't like it so much.

The will to power is a vital ingredient and I would like to emphasis the point. It is the most important single factor separating power from strength. It has a demonic element. There is no use denying the dark aspect, and it is to the credit of BtVS that the truth is made explicit.

By the way I did emphasize in an earlier post on this thread that IMO the hero should [U]not[U] be the most powerful girl around. She should face up to enemies much more powerful. If they do not have the power to kick her ass--which they ought to do at least once--it will not work as a mythic drama. (I wish Sunday had not been dispatched in one episode. I thought she was much sexier than Adam)

In a James Bond novel Bond has to face a super powerful Mr Big, and he follows the orders of M. But if we were given to understand that 006 was a much better agent, better than 007 at everything, then it would undermine the hero.Such a story could only work as a parody.

Comparing genre heroes like Buffy or 007 with a literary protagonist like Oliver Twist is a bridge too far for me.

There we are for now. We differ, but I don't think we are on different planets shouting across interplanetary space. You are not trying to undermine or disparage Buffy and I do appreciate that.

tangent
26-05-08, 06:59 PM
There we are for now. We differ, but I don't think we are on different planets shouting across interplanetary space. You are not trying to undermine or disparage Buffy and I do appreciate that.

No i don't think we're many miles away at all.


How often is the leader the strongest warrior, as such, in the army? A lot of guys were bigger and stronger and just as brave as Napoleon. Nelson with one eye and one arm was not the toughest sailor in the Navy. Yet big strong men cried like babies when Nelson died.

Nelson was a great leader and a master tactician able to inspire his troops in battle it was only these traits and the rank that they earned him that gave him any power and that power was dependent on the respect of his troops for that ability and the rank he held. It only works as long as the troops under him are happy to defer their power to him. I'm not sure you can yet say that Buffy is as capable a leader as Nelson however.


Muscles and guns and spells represent strength, which of course Willow has. There is no argument here. Strength is the wood and the coal. Power is the fire. Buffy has the fire, and Willow knows this. Willow in her normal state of mind does not have the fire.

And here I think is where we get to the root of our misunderstanding. Willow has no physical powers as buffy does she has no Slayer strength. she does however have magical powers. this is not enough to give her the skills to lead but then neither is Buffy's strength. It is Buffy's ability to inspire by reputation and by example that makes others defer to her authority. What nelson had though that Buffy doesn't is the military structure and title behind her that will cause others to follow her orders.


Buffy would not force Willow to follow her orders even if she could. Buffy learned how to be a good leader rather than a bad boss the hard way--in the face of mutiny and treason. Willow is,usually, glad to follow Buffy and would not be happy in the leader role herself.

mutiny and treason are legal and military definitions and as mentioned Buffy doesn't have that authority. At it's worse that particular scene is a betrayal. I agree with your main point here though (scary isn't it) Willow wouldn't be happy to take on the leadership role. I think partly because she has issues of self worth (Even more than Buffy) and partly because I don't think she could handle the responsibility.


Yet Willow is a person of strong and independent mind, the kind of follower/partner that a wise leader prays for. Buffy draws on the strength of Willow, and Xander and others to deliver the biggest possible punch, as in Graduation Day Part Two, and in Chosen I suppose though I don't like it so much.

Agreed though I'm not sure why you don't like her doing this in Chosen. Splainy?


The will to power is a vital ingredient and I would like to emphasis the point. It is the most important single factor separating power from strength. It has a demonic element. There is no use denying the dark aspect, and it is to the credit of BtVS that the truth is made explicit.

Ah, Neitsche; wondered when he would raise his head. However although I agree that the will to power is important has this really been shown by Buffy. I would say that one thing that Buffy has consistently shown throughout the seasons is that she wears the mantle of the slayer with a degree of reluctance and that she handles leadership roles with a degree of awkwardness until the heat of battle is on her.

The second part of this comment is interesting though because despite what you have stated earlier, in invoking the fact that Buffy's slayer status is demonically based you seem to be inferring that this is where she derives her leadership from. I might be wrong here but are you saying the fact that Buffy is the Slayer is what drives her to seek power? That it gives her the will to power?


By the way I did emphasize in an earlier post on this thread that IMO the hero should [u]not[u] be the most powerful girl around. She should face up to enemies much more powerful. If they do not have the power to kick her ass--which they ought to do at least once--it will not work as a mythic drama. (I wish Sunday had not been dispatched in one episode. I thought she was much sexier than Adam)

You did but again you seem to mean power here in the sense of the person who will win in a one on one confrontation as opposed to someone who has the ability to lead others. The two are different things. In a one on one confrontation Willow would win out against just about any single opponent that is out there. I would doubt though that she would make as good a leader. I don't see a problem with a leader having other more powerful people under their leadership. By having wiccans, werewolves, Old ones and other such beings deferring their personal power to you they are allowing you to use that power.


In a James Bond novel Bond has to face a super powerful Mr Big, and he follows the orders of M. But if we were given to understand that 006 was a much better agent, better than 007 than at everything, then it would undermine the hero.Such a story could only work as a parody.

Yes but i never said that Willow was better at everything than Buffy merely that she was a more powerful person, which i still contend she is. She chooses to defer this power to Buffy and therefore allows buffy to lead her. In your scenario a 006 that had access to better weaponary than James but still took his lead would be a character that had the power to do things that James couldn't but would still look to James to direct this force.


Comparing genre heroes like Buffy or 007 with a literary protagonist like Oliver Twist is a bridge too far for me.

Whereas comparing Buffy to Joan of Arc, Nelson, The Ring Cycle, Parsival and god knows who else is all right is it. Give a guy a break. I only wanted to show that their are stories in all genres where the main protaganist is not the most powerful or the strongest or even the best equipped to lead. There are stories about ordinary people put into extraordinary circumstances, struggling though, finding things out about themselves and reluctantly embracing their part in the grand scheme of things. Buffy fits the bill for me.

Wolfie Gilmore
26-05-08, 09:10 PM
In a James Bond novel Bond has to face a super powerful Mr Big, and he follows the orders of M. But if we were given to understand that 006 was a much better agent, better than 007 at everything, then it would undermine the hero.Such a story could only work as a parody.

It certainly worked very well as a parody in Superstar - seeing Buffy as always slightly lamer than Jonathan was very disturbing, but also funny (because we knew she'd be the winner in the end).

But, as many people have been saying (and since there are more of us that makes us right because that's democracy, innit? ;)) it's not quite the same situation. Willow has more power in terms of her ability to make stuff happen. But her personality is a factor too: Willow is often cautious about taking centre stage (literally when it comes to opera). Buffy is partly the hero because that's how she sees herself, and Willow is not because of how she sees herself, as the "side man". Willow has more power, but she doesn't see herself as having authority - she still sees Buffy as somehow inalienably the chosen one, however many more get chosen. She's the general, that's how it's going to stay (in Willow's eyes...so far, anyway).




Comparing genre heroes like Buffy or 007 with a literary protagonist like Oliver Twist is a bridge too far for me.

Well, yes, because Oliver Twist is lame and his hair sticks straight up. But aside from that, what is it that makes Oliver and Buffy and Bond different?

I wouldn't say the difference lies in being "literary" or not. Or perhaps we should say popular culture or high culture, given that we're talking across media (screen/page). Dickens was every bit as much of a as pop cultural phenomenon in his day - people gagging to find out about whether little Nell died, much like people trawling for spoilers on the net now. And Buffy is a complex, sophisticated "text" that does all kinds of unexpected things with storytelling and characterisation. And anyone who says otherwise can meet me outside the Dog and Duck at chucking out time. I'll bring my knuckledusters. You bring your arse in order to subsequently have it handed to you ;)

A story can have some of the markers of "genre" fiction and still be clever clogs stuff.
For example, literariness (or artistry, or some similar word that works across media boundaries) and superpowers are not mutually exclusive.Hello Beowulf, strength of however many men it is...can't be bothered to look it up. Or Northanger Abbey, which uses genre conventions in ways that rather remind me of Buffy - using parody and twisting our expectations to deflate old tropes (Buffy vs Dracula, for example, with its "You think I don't watch your movies? You always come back...").

I mentioned having markers of genre fiction rather than being genre fiction... because I wouldn't say that Buffy IS "genre" - its genres are legion, for it is many. :) Perhaps you could say it's like Buffy herself is re her sexuality - heteroflexible. It spills out over genre boundaries, so you can't say exactly that it's horror, or supernatural fantasy, or sci fi (though it has aspects of all those), plus teen drama, plus comedy, plus musical, with a bit of the old bildungsroman, a dash of dream vision narrative... oh, and Westerns. And satire, and etc!

The show isn't entirely without conventions however - so far, Buffy's always won against her enemies in the end. But then again, Oliver Twist draws on the convention of the happy-ending-involving-social-advancement that's a staple of the Victorian novel.

The question of how you think BtvS will end eventually - or this season at least - does depend on what kind of a story you think it is. Is it a hero journey story? Is it a modern fable about what it means to be a young woman? Is it a sentimental story, in which all the friends must be reunited in the end? Is it a tragedy (let's hope not, eh?)? Is it a realist narrative, at least in terms of the emotions, even if it has fantasy trappings? Is it larger-than-life? Or...add your own or.

I'm interested, how do people see the show and the comics overall, in terms of genre - and the rules that come with genre? Do you think BtvS makes up the rules as it goes along, like Buffy herself, or do you see conventions/tropes at work that are consistent over the years? Do you feel the move to comics will make it more genre bound? I'm thinking of things like Giant Dawn, and the tendency of comics to go for the slightly more over the top side of things...

Michael
27-05-08, 12:20 AM
tangent, Wolfie

Thank you for reading and responding to me so thoughtfully. I do appreciate it.

Nelson had "power" before he gained rank and authority. They confirmed what was already there in his character, and he was given jobs to do way beyond his official rank. His personal magnetism was the most obvious manifestation of this personal power, and we see it clearly in Buffy almost from the start.

Buffy never has any real rank at all and all the people who fight beside her do so voluntarily. I think I love her most as a quasi-anarchic leader of a small band of outsiders and eccentrics.

I have said that I think Buffy is more powerful than Willow and I have given my reasons, with illustrations. I will not go over the whole ground again. It would be tedious.

Just this. If Willow cannot use her power because of personality factors then she does not really have the power.If you have the ability to run fast ,but psychological factors inhibit you, then you do not really have the ability.

How can you be said to have power if you cannot use it? What is the difference between that state, and the state of having no power at all? How would people notice?

On the difference between power and strength in a one-to one contest, will you forgive a crude illustration? Some years ago Frank Bruno fought Mike Tyson for the heavyweight championship. Bruno was bigger and heavier than Tyson, and his biceps were bigger, but everybody thought that Tyson would win easily. And he did. Bruno had the strength but Tyson had the power. Bruno was beaten before the first punch.

Now I don't want to see anything like that between Buffy and Willow. They need each other, they love each other,and they belong together.

I did not mean to bring Nietzsche into this. All I meant was that power,as opposed to strength, always has the will at the root of it, and there is darkness there. I was not thinking about Buffy's Slayer nature particularly.

You are right to reprove me for my clumsy reference to Oliver Twist. I meant that Buffy was a mythic hero who can be compared with other mythic heroes, and even those historical figures like Joan or Nelson who have a somewhat mythical character. You can tell such characters by the large and continuing number of books published about them. Mythic heroes overlap with genre figures like Bond, whereas Oliver Twist belongs in a different category,or so I imagine.

I admire and love BtVS more than any other TV series that I have seen, and I regret that it is not on TV still. The comics format gives too much freedom to Joss, and this can actually be a handicap. (Apart from the fact that I find the comics hard to get on with.)

I think BtVS gained from being set in Sunnydale,because the contrast between the mundane world of an ordinary town and the supernatural events around the Hellmouth created great dramatic tension and gave the ordinary viewer a way into the story. Chris Carter had the same insight with The X-Files, setting them in the bureaucratic world of the FBI. This tension has been lost I am afraid. The fantastic factor seems to me to have grown at the expense of the mundane, and unbalanced things to a degree that worries me.

I want Buffy to win a resounding victory--after much tribulation--and then move on to the next phase of her life, which I hope will be that of a Grail Knight.

Let us continue this discussion along the broader lines suggested by Wolfie.

I must now go out on patrol before going to bed.

stormwreath
27-05-08, 01:02 AM
I'm surprised we've got this far without quoting Buffy's own opinion on the subject, when Kennedy claims that Willow is more powerful than she is:

You're new here. And you're wrong, because I use the power I've got.In other words, she agrees with... pretty much everyone here, I think. I get the impression we've all been in violent agreement.



The question of how you think BtvS will end eventually - or this season at least - does depend on what kind of a story you think it is. Is it a hero journey story? Is it a modern fable about what it means to be a young woman? Is it a sentimental story, in which all the friends must be reunited in the end? Is it a tragedy (let's hope not, eh?)? Is it a realist narrative, at least in terms of the emotions, even if it has fantasy trappings? Is it larger-than-life?Yes, yes, no, no, yes, yes. Although sentiment occasionally creeps in, such as Joss's decision not to kill Xander and to keep Willow and Kennedy together at the end of the show. And there are elements of tragedy, in the sense of a character's virtues (inquisitiveness, desire to be helpful) turning into flaws (pride, hubris, desire to fix everything to her own liking) and therefore leading to her tragic fall (into black roots and veininess). But that wasn't the end of the story, because 'Buffy' is also about redemption.

If you want me to sum it up in a sentence, it's "A show which takes standard storytelling tropes from the fantasy horror genre, and attempts to show what would happen if they took place in a more realistic environment with consequences and real-life emotional reactions."



Also, I'm in awe of anyone who can use the phrases "clever clogs stuff" and "Bildungsroman" in the same post with a straight face. :2party: :worthy:

Skippcomet
27-05-08, 04:55 AM
...What's a Grail Knight, and why on earth would Buffy's story suddenly become a direct continuation of (I assume) Arthurian lore?

Wolfie Gilmore
27-05-08, 11:45 AM
tangent, Wolfie

Thank you for reading and responding to me so thoughtfully. I do appreciate it.

My pleasure. Thanks for posting stuff that’s worth thinking about. :D I’m going to skip about a bit because there was one thing that caught my eye in particular that both you and Stormwreath were talking about…

Michael said:

I think BtVS gained from being set in Sunnydale,because the contrast between the mundane world of an ordinary town and the supernatural events around the Hellmouth created great dramatic tension and gave the ordinary viewer a way into the story.

And Stormwreath said:


If you want me to sum it up in a sentence, it's "A show which takes standard storytelling tropes from the fantasy horror genre, and attempts to show what would happen if they took place in a more realistic environment with consequences and real-life emotional reactions."

The contrast between the mundane and the fantastical is very important in Buffy, absolutely. Then there’s the complication; that the metaphors that straddle the two strands. As well as showing realistic emotional reactions to fantastical events, the fantastical events are metaphors for realistic things such as boys being poop heads after sex… but then, you also have non-metaphorical poop heads such as Parker. BtVS operates at various levels of narrative reality because of this, and I’m trying to work out which level season 8 is tending towards.

In another thread, we were discussing whether season 8 is operating at the metaphorical level at all, or whether the story has moved away from that. I’d say yes and no…though with an option of a more full on yes when Twilight’s true nature/identity is revealed.

Dawn’s giganticism is in that metaphor territory (though I’m not quite sure what the metaphor is exactly… a metaphor for the out of control feeling you get connected with sex as a teenager? Or for public shame? Or for feeling awkward, like she doesn’t fit in somehow?) though I can’t help feeling there was a little “wouldn’t it be cool if…” in the decision making process about that.

But in terms of the main storyline, perhaps Twilight will fit into a more metaphorical structure? Depending on who/what he is? The idea of the end of magic could be seen as a metaphor for Buffy being fully grown up – if high school = hell and the demons of adolescence are what Buffy slays, then perhaps her growing up will be complete when magic ends and there are no more metaphors to slay?

In the comic, we don’t get the same level of MOTWs, but you still get things like the demon in Anywhere but Here who serves to unearth guilty secrets. He’s not a metaphor in the straightforward sense of, say, Him – in which a boy has a magic coat to represent the unfair advantages jocks have when it comes to getting some, or the classic giant snake metaphor for Why Frat Houses Are Bad Places For Young Girls. However, he does offer a metaphor for schitzophrenia that reaches outside the story to the real Robin, and a very touching metaphor for how BtVS helped her, when Willow and Buffy give her a respite for a while by killing the demon.

The metaphorical level and the literal level are still interwoven this season, but sometimes it’s hard to tell what’s dominant, or whether we’re dealing with a metaphor at all. Do we need to see the consequences of the slayerisation spell – which is a rather problematic feminist metaphor – as part of that metaphor? Or are we just now dealing with women (and Xander and Andrew) in a fantasy situation with real consequences that’s got nothing to do with metaphor…. Ie, has the “surface” narrative taken over from the metaphorical undercurrent?


Also, re the way in which BtVS takes fantasy stuff and mixes it with realism…got me thinking that Buffy is a Marvel comic. Or rather, this has been the Marvel approach to superheroes for quite a while – Spiderman, for example, tends to go for the messy stuff of everyday life alongside the springy high flying fun. It also uses the metaphorical approach to a degree – Peter Parker goes through what many teenage boys go through, only fuelled by a radioactive spider (or whatever canon you’re going with – JMS’s slightly more mythical approach perhaps?). But also BtVS has plenty in common with classics like Watchmen - Super-problems (such as…what if your boyfriend is potentially radioactive due to the nature of his superhuman powers) with real emotional reactions (it places strain on the relationship, to say the least… and that’s before we even get into the question of whether or not he lives in linear time any more). Hmmm…I wonder if Illyria (not buffy I know) was pinched from Doc Manhattan…? Or if anyone’s written a crossover in which they hook up. They’d have the cutest little blue babies ;)

Illyria's PNB*?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._Manhattan

*Potential New Boyfriend...not quite sure where that came from?

EDIT:

Back to Buffy. Michael said, following on from the topic of Buffy being a mix of the fantastical and the realistic..


Chris Carter had the same insight with The X-Files, setting them in the bureaucratic world of the FBI. This tension has been lost I am afraid. The fantastic factor seems to me to have grown at the expense of the mundane, and unbalanced things to a degree that worries me.

I agree that the loss of the Sunnydale setting, without putting the Scoobies et al in a context that makes them brush up against other “normal” people or situations (since they live in a castle now) does mean we’re missing out on some potentially great stuff. I’d love to see, say, some of the Scoobies take a trip to a local Scottish pub, and to find out how they fit in to the local community. When everything’s within the realm of demons and fancy helicopters, I think we do miss out on some of the stuff that has been great about Buffy in the past.

However, we do still have the “mundane” in the form of normal social tensions, jealousies and romantic embarrassments. While the focus remains on the people and how they’re dealing with their strange situation, we haven’t moved entirely away from that tension you’re talking about.

vampmogs
27-05-08, 11:59 AM
Willow is not more powerful than Buffy. If she were then the series would be called Willow, and Buffy would be the sidekick--except that she wouldn't. Indeed the idea has only to be stated for its absurdity to become obvious.

In the series it has been stated numerous times Willow *is* more powerful than Buffy. And it's thundering obvious she is, when Willow stopped Anya's protection spell she could have finished Buffy off if Giles didn't show up. She has the power to destroy the world, to and I quote "wave her arms and make someone dead" to give herself a strength boost, she was the only one to ever hurt Glory without the troll hammer as stated by Buffy, she could make all the slayers, command the zombie army in 'The Long Way Home' and heal herself againt Warren's torture and an axe to the back in 'Villians.' She's more powerful than Buffy.


When Buffy returned to take back command, she did not ask for permission.She started giving orders, and people just did what she said.If you understand that scene I believe you understand everything.

Faith asks her if she's the slayer in charge and Buffy says she doesn't know.

Buffy may be more capable as a leader but that does not mean she's more powerful than Willow. Physically Willow is far superior. And that doesn't mean whatsoever it'd be Willow's series, the series was never called Buffy because Buffy was the strongest, and if that was the case it would have stopped being called Buffy in 'The Gift' when Buffy flat out says Willow's the strongest person here.

Michael
27-05-08, 12:45 PM
One or two points I forgot to mention last night. I agree with Wolfie that Superstar (Season4) was a fine parody, and it worked because it was such an acute insight into the sort of day dreams Buffy fans, including me, are wont to have.

I wish we had more parodies and send-ups of BtVS.It would be great to have a Buffy sketch done in the style of Tarantino, or a "Buffy" episode of The Simpsons, or a Martin Scorsese version with Robert De Niro : "You looking at me? What kind of f-----g broad are you?"

One can only dream about the Monty Python version--though some actual episodes of BtVS come quite close.

There were a couple of questions by tangent that I did not answer properly. I did not like Chosen so much as Graduation Day Part Two because the latter was such a slam dung classic with the Buffster and the scoobies ending in a state of unequivocal triumph.Of course I realize that such moments would be devalued if they happened too often or too easily.

Chosen, to be candid, I thought was a bit of let down. Actually there was a lack of imagination in having just a punch up with hundreds of Turok Hans whom the newly empowered potentials seemed to dispatch very easily, when you think of all the trouble Buffy had in Showtime.

I am not sure it was good to create thousands of Slayers.It devalues the Chosen One or Two. (That sounds like a Monty Python title.)

The most moving moment came in the episode before, when Buffy, the rejected leader, comes back and takes over: "Pick up the wounded.We are moving out." That's my girl, I thought. I'll take her any day.

Buffy must be understood as a female hero,rather than a heroine. It is a woman doing the hero's journey without ever being anything other than a woman, and showing that traditional virtues of courage and leadership are not necessarily male and not "unwomanly" in any way.

Equally a man can be sympathetic and tender and caring and supportive without being "unmanly." Dirty Harry is not a bad fellow at heart but he needs to go back to school.

I have been thinking about Buffy in connection with Xena and noticing how superior Buffy is in every department. Xena could have been a popular classic, but they threw it away.

They showed no respect for history. In one episode Xena was helping Helen to get out of Troy. The following week she is having an affair with Julius Caesar, jumping forward more than a thousand years without batting an eyelid. A little bit of work could have taken care of this. They could have had a Time Gate, presided over by a goddess with whom Xena might have had a problematical relationship.

Xena is way too invincible so that there is little tension in the fights,usually. They tried to make Callisto into a nemesis, but until she was given supernormal powers she was not allowed to be a full and equal match for Xena in a fight. Of course supernatural power puts Callisto in a different league entirely.

In one good episode, Crusader, Xena fights a warrior woman and gets her ass kicked big time. Which means that in the second fight, when Xena must rescue her friend, there is some real nail biting tension--for once.

Buffy,on the other hand, can be beaten and even killed, and still she comes back.

Stormwreath is right. I was so used to arguing against the anti-our Buffy faction that I failed to realize that they had gone home.

Wolfie Gilmore
27-05-08, 12:51 PM
About the question of Willow’s power vs Buffy’s:


Goliath had the strength, but who won the fight?

That’s easy. God did. David didn’t have the power to beat Goliath on his own, but by putting his faith in God, he was able to draw on the greatest source of power in the universe (according to the Bibleverse, anyway).

Which is actually perhaps a useful point when it comes to exploring Buffy and Willow’s relative power. Buffy feels very much that she owns her own power – her slayerness belongs to her, it’s a part of her. But I’m not sure Willow sees her power as belonging to her at this stage. It’s more something she’s borrowing from the universe.


I'm surprised we've got this far without quoting Buffy's own opinion on the subject, when Kennedy claims that Willow is more powerful than she is: In other words, she agrees with... pretty much everyone here, I think. I get the impression we've all been in violent agreement.

Has Willow changed from season 7 do you think, in this regard? Is she keener to use her powers? She certainly seems to use them more casually – eg with all the flying.



If Willow cannot use her power because of personality factors then she does not really have the power.If you have the ability to run fast ,but psychological factors inhibit you, then you do not really have the ability.

Willow has the ability to use her power when she needs to… but she’s less gung ho than Buffy about using it, and less likely to take the initiative, which does make her less leader-shaped. And perhaps less protagonist-like, because plucky heroines who leap into danger without a thought for the consequences tend to be the norm, rather than hesitant ones (Lizzie Bennett is the one everyone loves. Fanny Price, poor girl, not so much). It’s not the power issue that makes Buffy the heroine, imo, it’s the fact that she’s the bolshie, sassy, charismatic one who draws other people to her :D Also, the fact that she gets more narrative focus, which isn’t about her personality, just about the way the story’s shaped.

On the topic of what kind of story is this and what that means about the kind of hero Buffy is…



You are right to reprove me for my clumsy reference to Oliver Twist.

Slap on the wrist for you and no second helpings of gruel :D


I meant that Buffy was a mythic hero who can be compared with other mythic heroes, and even those historical figures like Joan or Nelson who have a somewhat mythical character.

Gotcha. Buffy certainly can be compared with other heroes of myth and legend. Her life is littered with mythical tropes, from death and rebirth to mystical weapons, not to mention love affairs that impact on the safety of the world. But there are lots of things about Buffy that pull her away from mythiness.

Buffy herself jokey-rhymes her way away from mythical status: “I thought you were a myth.” “You were mythtaken”

Ok, jokey rhyming does not stop something from being true, as Willow rightly points out, but the notion of Buffy as a mythical heroine that’s often undermined by the comedy of the story. Her cycle of death and rebirth does have mythical resonances, but it’s also something that’s absorbed into the mundane fabric of Buffy’s life, such as catching up with ex boyfriends. Riley telling her he’s got some stories is met by her response:

BUFFY: “Did you die?”

RILEY: “No”

BUFFY: “Then I’m gonna win”

Buffy’s personality, and the way the stories unfold, keep pulling her back into the role of “just a girl” – or rather, a human being who can’t be purely mapped on to a set of tropes. She’s not just an embodiment of a mythic role, she’s also Buffy Summers, who has friends and sisters and terrible taste in men (and, I would argue, for many of the seasons, clothes).

Which is probably why I disagree with this:


I want Buffy to win a resounding victory--after much tribulation--and then move on to the next phase of her life, which I hope will be that of a Grail Knight.

I’m on board the victory train, but the idea of some kind of transcendence to a higher/more mythical plane for Buffy, I wouldn’t want that. I’d say that Buffy works best as a character when she’s got one stylish yet affordable in the world of the everyday, and one in the world of myth. She’s a hybrid character who would lose out by being translated into merely one narrative language, imo. She’s a bit of a mutt like that, and I like her as a mutt. It’s what gives her her essential Buffyness.


I admire and love BtVS more than any other TV series that I have seen, and I regret that it is not on TV still. The comics format gives too much freedom to Joss, and this can actually be a handicap. (Apart from the fact that I find the comics hard to get on with.)

I’m torn about the comics incarnation. So far this season has done some very interesting things, both formally and in terms of themes and characters. I loved things like the dreamscape, and the intercutting effects used in certain places (though I think it took them a while to really get into the swing of that, and some of the earlier issues were too choppy). Anywhere but here had some great stuff in that way in the fantasy scenarios. (Tina Fey fantasy for the WIN.).

I do agree that the lack of limits sometimes doesn’t bring out the best in Joss and co – though sometimes it works. Godzilla (or whatever you wanna call him ;)) Dawn is worth the OTT (“Hi, I mean…roar”, adorable!). But I think the full on helicopters and flying does sometimes detract from the intimacy and the ragtag anarchistic goodness.


EDIT: Michael, right with you there on wishing for more Buffy parodies! Simpsons one would be excellent. I suppose it's not topical enough now though? Sadness. :(

stormwreath
27-05-08, 02:34 PM
In another thread, we were discussing whether season 8 is operating at the metaphorical level at all, or whether the story has moved away from that.The thing is, 'Buffy' was already moving away from the whole "monsters as metaphors for real teenage problems" concept by season 3. It never went away entirely, of course, but it was a lot less literal. More 'Buffy & Co encounter fantastical problems but react to them as real people would.' Buffy's depression in S6 was something a lot of people go through in real life, but I don't think you can call "being dragged back from heaven" a metaphor for anything specific.

I've always held that Season 8 is exploring the nature of power: how it's used, how other people regard those who have it. Especially in situations where there are no traditions or rules to guide you, and powr is not something you've had before. 'Chosen' ended with the mass empowerment and liberation of, if not all women, then at least a representative sample of them; S8 is about what happens next. It's a post-feminist work. :)


Dawn’s giganticism is in that metaphor territory (though I’m not quite sure what the metaphor is exactly… My theory is that Dawn is a deliberate non-metaphor, put there to poke fun at people who try and find metaphors in everything about the show. I mean, even Buffy and Xander were trying to explain her condition in terms of being a metaphor for something, back in 'The Long Way Home'.



Has Willow changed from season 7 do you think, in this regard? Is she keener to use her powers? She certainly seems to use them more casually – eg with all the flying.Definitely. In S7 Willow was afraid that if she used her powers again, she'd inevitably turn evil and destroy the world. 'Chosen' showed her that she could use them safely... and I think she's spent the last year testing the limits of that and learning more about what she's capable of. She's even relatively casual now about going black-haired and veiny - "It'll fade", she says to Dawn - although whether that's because she knows her capabilities and limits, or because she's slipping back into dangerous over-confidence, is an open question.

Does this mean Willow could step up into a leadership role now? She's certainly a lot more self-confident. However, I think not... because all her development seems to be inward. She's trying to master herself, not learn how to inspire or lead others. I predict that she's more likely to ascend to a higher plane as a goddess than to try and take over leadership of Team Slayer from Buffy.



I’m on board the victory train, but the idea of some kind of transcendence to a higher/more mythical plane for Buffy, I wouldn’t want that. True, that's more Willow's role (see above). While Willow transcends, I see Buffy dying at the age of 94, peacefully in bed (having beaten every enemy that came against her), and surrounded by her friends and family and fat grandchildren.

Though I wouldn't object if Willow returns from her higher plane to Buffy's deathbed and escorts her to Avalon, there to rest until the world needs her again. :) Interfectrix quondam interfectrix futuraque.

Wolfie Gilmore
27-05-08, 03:53 PM
The thing is, 'Buffy' was already moving away from the whole "monsters as metaphors for real teenage problems" concept by season 3. It never went away entirely, of course, but it was a lot less literal..

The metaphors certainly became less of a one-to-one correspondence of monster/supernatural scenario = representation of something that’s crap in real life. But even from the outset, there was a muddling and merging of the representation (ie the monster/supernatural thing…or the signifier) and the represented thing (the “real life” stuff…or the signified).

Even in the early seasons, the metaphors often operated side by side with in-story examples of what was being represented. EG in Beauty and the Beasts, the Jekyll and Hyde nature of the boyfriend is a metaphor for an abusive relationship… but it’s still an abusive relationship on a literal level. The girl has a black eye.

Or in season 2…Angelus, after turning post coitally evil, is also petty and mean and insulting like a teenage boy might be in the same being a shit after sex way. He doesn’t turn evil and bite her… he turns evil and tells her she’s a slut who’s bad in bed. IE the metaphor of turning evil is also layered with the “evil” of calling a girl bad words after seeing her nekkid.



More 'Buffy & Co encounter fantastical problems but react to them as real people would.' Buffy's depression in S6 was something a lot of people go through in real life, but I don't think you can call "being dragged back from heaven" a metaphor for anything specific.

To me, the back from heaven/depression storyline operates on two levels, along the same lines of the Beauty and the Beasts and Angelus examples. There’s the literal “Buffy is depressed because she lost something very real in her (after)life…ie heaven”. Buffy’s life involves such strange things as coming back from the dead, and on the non-metaphorical level, being sucked out of heaven is something big to be depressed about (if there is an “about” with depression exactly).

But there’s also the metaphorical element of being back from heaven… which, to me, is the perfect metaphor for becoming depressed (for someone who has been happy before). Becoming depressed is losing that sense of a spark, of connection, of energy and goodness in the world – it’s having the “heaven” sucked out of you.

The way I’d frame the difference between that and the earlier seasons examples is that the line between where the metaphor starts and ends is blurrier… and perhaps more open to interpretation. Perhaps we could say that the metaphors become more fluid over time, rather than that they go away? They just…mutate.

Metaphors are slippery beasts at the best of times (unpick THAT one for starters). They’re often ambiguous, and can nearly always be read in various different ways. The Jekyll and Hyde/abusive relationship metaphor of Beauty and the Beasts is relatively crass, and doesn’t really have much wider applicability – To pinch Tolkien’s alternative to allegory, applicability, which he used to mean the ways in which stories can be mapped onto the real world but that don’t involve the author forcing the reader to interpret the story in a particular way. There is an obvious meaning to the metaphor in that case, but in various later instances of the Supernatural having real-life meanings, it’s often more of a moveable feast.

The season 7 encounter with the Shadow men, for example, explores metaphors that are more diffuse and that spark debate more than a simple “it represents x, end of story” sort of interpretation. The image of the shadowy demon ooze that they try to stuff up Buffy’s skirt (well, I think she’s wearing trousers actually, but you know what I mean) is multivalent (just to use a chemistry metaphor, cos I’m thinkng about science at work…and because it’s fun to use metaphors to describe metaphors…).

You could read it as “evil men abusing defenceless women”. Or “women in a patriarchal society can only gain power by colluding with the patriarchy, unless they defy that system and create their own power structure”. But that’s hardly operating in the same way as “Boys go evil after sex”. Also, the Shadowmen stuff throws up questions about slayerness – about the “surface” rather than the metaphorical “depth” of the story. Not that surface and depth are indicators of how valuable/central the meaning is. Both are important, and both are hard to think about separately.



I've always held that Season 8 is exploring the nature of power: how it's used, how other people regard those who have it. Especially in situations where there are no traditions or rules to guide you, and powr is not something you've had before. 'Chosen' ended with the mass empowerment and liberation of, if not all women, then at least a representative sample of them; S8 is about what happens next. It's a post-feminist work. :)

Nicely put :)

The supernatural setting of the story in one way becomes less important, the more fluid the metaphors – because if monsters are no longer representations of things in the “real” world, the Buffyverse becomes the real world more than ever (perhaps you could see Normal Again as a turning point for this…? The Buffyverse starts to operate even more on its own terms once Buffy has rejected “our” reality…?). So the monsters etc of the Buffyverse are no longer supernatural – they’re just what life has to offer.

However, for the reader (or this reader), the symbolic and metaphorical lives on. But it is more abstract now – and more open to interpretation than ever.

Which fills me with geeker joy :D


My theory is that Dawn is a deliberate non-metaphor, put there to poke fun at people who try and find metaphors in everything about the show. I mean, even Buffy and Xander were trying to explain her condition in terms of being a metaphor for something, back in 'The Long Way Home'.

Yes, I think that’s very astute – the meta-metaphorical level of discussing metaphors does distance us from the direct metaphors of earlier seasons. Though, they have had that sort of chat before – Buffy and Xander in Gone relate her condition to a previous metaphor: “It’s not a Marcie deal”, she’s not “feeling ignored” and therefore going invisible. Or blinvisible. But that fits with the idea of a flight from metaphor.

Hmm, I should probably link to that metaphor thread…



Definitely. In S7 Willow was afraid that if she used her powers again, she'd inevitably turn evil and destroy the world. 'Chosen' showed her that she could use them safely... and I think she's spent the last year testing the limits of that and learning more about what she's capable of. She's even relatively casual now about going black-haired and veiny - "It'll fade", she says to Dawn - although whether that's because she knows her capabilities and limits, or because she's slipping back into dangerous over-confidence, is an open question.

I like to think that she’s not going to go back to the overconfident place and that she knows she’s been a rank arrogant amateur in the past and that leads to bad. I wouldn’t put it past her as a character to slip back… but I don’t feel like the story will take her in that direction. However… perhaps if Buffy gets way out of line, she may up her game to stop her, in a way that has dangerous consequences?


Does this mean Willow could step up into a leadership role now? She's certainly a lot more self-confident. However, I think not... because all her development seems to be inward. She's trying to master herself, not learn how to inspire or lead others. I predict that she's more likely to ascend to a higher plane as a goddess than to try and take over leadership of Team Slayer from Buffy.

I think Willow is always going to be the substitute teacher rather than the form tutor. She often steps in when people need instructions, when chaos is kicking in or things are falling apart – get the hell outta my library…or when Jenny dies – but I don’t think she wants to lead, really, whether or not she can. I agree with Stormwreath, that she’s more about the inner journey than the heroic yomping across the landscape Harry V-ing a band of buggered to victory.



True, that's more Willow's role (see above). While Willow transcends, I see Buffy dying at the age of 94, peacefully in bed (having beaten every enemy that came against her), and surrounded by her friends and family and fat grandchildren.

That reminds me so much of Clare from Six Feet Under :D


Though I wouldn't object if Willow returns from her higher plane to Buffy's deathbed and escorts her to Avalon, there to rest until the world needs her again. :) Interfectrix quondam interfectrix futuraque.

I’d rather she’d escort her to a high-end shoe store in the afterlife though.

WILLOW: Buffy. This is your reward.

BUFFY: Wait…I’ve been here before.

WILLOW: Huh?

BUFFY: THIS is what you dragged me out of! This is the heavenly dimension I was in.

WILLOW: A shoe store?

BUFFY: Not just any shoe store. This place has Jimmy Choos…Manolos…and ALL of them are in my size, and none of them give me blisters.

WILLOW: I thought you said heaven was knowing all your friends were safe and stuff?

BUFFY: Oh, come on, I lied. I didn’t want to sound shallow as well as ungrateful for being brought back from the dead.

Michael
27-05-08, 05:07 PM
Stormwreath's vision of the end of Buffy's life, and the transition to Avalon, is so beautiful and compelling that it deserves an Emmy. If Joss Whedon takes one idea from our forum I hope it will be this one. "Cut,print." There is no more to say.

Except this : Save it for a TV movie or mini-series with SMG.

Just a few other notes.

Agreed about the "buffyness" of Buffy. It is what makes her loved as well as feared and respected. She is funny.

Yet there is the darker aspect. I did not properly and fully answer tangent about "the will to power." I said it is rooted in darkness, meaning egotism. Buffy does have this in her make up, alongside all the nicer stuff. You can see it when people try to push her around. It came out a bit in When She Was Bad. Her dance with Xander is the sexiest moment in BtVS for my money. And it would not have been sexy if there was no chemistry at all between them.

Quentin Travis saw it in her cold blue eyes when she made him an offer he could not refuse in Checkpoint. Giles has seen it...but I don't want to start banging on about Giles again.

I think the narrative is structured the way it is because of the gravitational force of her personality.

Actually there is a plausible, secular , account of David v Goliath that I saw given on TV by an ancient historian. The way he told it, the fight was so one sided Goliath did not stand a chance. He was too big for his strength, he was weighed down by body armor, and sweating like a pig in the Middle Eastern sun.

David, who carried no armor and who was light and fast footed, rang rings around Goliath, keeping out of his range, forcing Goliath to run around until he was ready to collapse through heat exhaustion. Then David reached for his sling to finish the job. It sounds somewhat like a bull fight.

stormwreath
28-05-08, 03:36 PM
Stormwreath's vision of the end of Buffy's life, and the transition to Avalon, is so beautiful and compelling that it deserves an Emmy. If Joss Whedon takes one idea from our forum I hope it will be this one. "Cut,print." There is no more to say. Glad you liked it, although I must say I loved Wolfie's alternative vision too.

I've been inspired to write a longer version (http://stormwreath.livejournal.com/48792.html) too.

About the darkness inherent in power: I think that Joss acknowledges this, but argues that it's something you have to accept if you want to change things either for worse or for better. You can't build a better world if you're afraid of getting your hands dirty. That was the lesson of 'Get It Done' and it seems to be a theme of S8 too.

Michael
28-05-08, 06:25 PM
Stormwreath,
I have read your longer version, and I strongly urge you to develop some of your own fictional ideas and write them down. You have the ability to write narrative, which is not common, and your stuff belongs on pages between the covers of books. Go for it.

More thoughts on the future of Season 8.

I want to see Faith and Buffy together again, and preferably without another fight. Looking back to Season 3, and Faith ,Hope, and Trick, it seems that Buffy was the aggressive one right from the start. It may be that she had feelings that she was rejecting in a violent way, or she just preferred to be the Chosen One.

I am sure that if there was one friendly world from Buffy, Faith would be off to Scotland like a greyhound after the starter's pistol has fired. Buffy really represents what Faith would like to be, and no one but Buffy can give her the validation that she needs. Of course we need a dramatic context to make their reunion plausible, and it is not difficult to see the value of Faith in a showdown with Twilight.

I am inclined to think that Twilight's power is technological rather than supernatural. If so, he has a power source ,and Willow and Buffy can figure out a way to cut off his power.
Then Buffy and Faith could kick his ass from the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli.

And the Age of Magic would not be over just yet.

LATE EDIT
Reading Stormwreath's Morte D'Buffy caused me to dig up my VHS copy of John Boorman's film Excalibur. Looking at the fascinating and tricky relationship between Arthur and Merlin in the film made me realize that our discussion about the "power" relationship between Willow and Buffy was so ludicrously crude and oversimple as to be hopelessly misleading. I blame myself for not thinking more before writing. I hope we can come back to it in a collegiate way, because properly understood it is marvelously complex, and subtle, and happens on several different levels at once. For example,Buffy's slaying is not a "job" that Willow or anybody else could do: it is a sacred vocation, and you do not choose the "job" . It chooses you.

some spykie ship
06-06-08, 03:47 PM
someone's going to betray Buffy (or something tricksy that's related to betrayal that might not involve a actual traitor, given that the words were spoken in a wacky demonic wibbly wobbly timey wimey place.)


I speculated about this for some time. In the end, there was sort of an insinuation that Willow knew more about this betrayal than she was telling Buffy. She told Buffy that she had already betrayed her, and then went into old stuff and a conversation with Kennedy, but the question I've asked myself is, Is there more to Willow's betrayal than she admitted?

My first thought goes to the damage to Buffy through the resurrection. Scientifically, while she's still Buffy, something's off enough for her not to be completely human. The betrayal is supposed to be the closest and most personal, so I wonder, is there more damage than Joss has shown us so far? When Willow went dark and was pulling the bullet out of Buffy, machinery indicated that Buffy was dying while Willow insisted that she wouldn't. Then Willow was on to Buffy being with Spike "just to feel." Did she know that because her telepathy was so much stronger, or was she more aware of what had physically happened to Buffy, since Buffy wasn't sharing a whole lot about it?

I think there's more to Willow's betrayal than she's admitted, and she might be just afraid to tell Buffy about it as Buffy was afraid to talk about Spike's chip not working on her. Xander said something in S7 that insinuated that he might have been told, but Buffy's silence after his comment made me think that she never did tell anyone what caused the malfunction.

As far as I'm aware, what's closest and most personal has to do with the body and/or the soul. If that image of Willow's reaction to Buffy's comment about "demons playing games" is relevant, the betrayal might be something that already happened but has yet to be discovered.

Michael
06-06-08, 08:00 PM
some sykie ship,

I support your speculation. It fits in with an idea I saw mentioned in another forum that Buffy loses her Slayer powers.

Such a loss would consistent with the visionary picture we were given of Buffy lying on the ground, obviously battered, and weeping in despair.

When Buffy asked how this happened she was told "betrayal" by some one very close. Who could do such thing? Giles is not close now, and probably will never be again. That leaves Willow, who might have or obtain the magical knowledge to do it. Willow's remarks on the vision were enigmatic, and they would have been written deliberately to have that effect.

Motive? Did Willow make a deal with the Devil? To put it less crudely did she make arrangements with the dark powers in order to facilitate the growth of her own power?
Always a price has to be paid, and it maybe Buffy that the dark power wants.

I always thought that Willow's ballooning powers were suspicious. Economics cannot be abolished even by magic.There is a price.

vampmogs
07-06-08, 04:53 AM
I support your speculation. It fits in with an idea I saw mentioned in another forum that Buffy loses her Slayer powers.

It seems very likely. 'Wolves At The Gate' gave us one very important piece of information, and that is that the slayers can indeed loose their powers. The only thing that might make it different for Buffy is that she didn't become the slayer through Willow's spell, which was what the Japanese vamps hoped to reverse, so perhaps she's immune?

some spykie ship
07-06-08, 05:37 AM
I think this might also go back to how Buffy couldn't feel a "connection" with the other Slayers. I don't think Xander was right about the reason for it. There's no denying that Buffy still has Slayer power, since she felt the connection to the scythe, but maybe a lack of connection to other Slayers has to do with her power being drawn from a different source as well. Maybe Willow's spell being messed up by the Hellions caused some kind of perversion, for lack of a better word, that would cause Buffy to identify more with the undead than with the living. I'm not saying that Buffy is immortal and she's certainly not a vampire, but maybe her power is coming from something else along with the demonic energy loaded into the Primitive.

When I saw that image of Buffy on the ground bleeding and crying, I started to wonder if maybe she was upset about surviving too much even by Slayer standards. That's why I brought up Willow being able to pull the bullet out of her despite strong indications that she was dying. Perhaps Buffy's physical endurance is now beyond what it should be. Alteration like that could be seen as betrayal by whoever, or whatever, caused it.