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Thread: Giles: A Retrospective

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    Default Giles: A Retrospective

    Hey

    I thought we could talk about Giles because after #33 his story is in a whole new light. I thought we could maybe look back on past issues and see how it all ties together. I’ve incorporated some ideas from other members here and have tried to quote their relevant posts so I hope that is ok. I left out appearances by Giles that I don't find relevant but thankfully the majority do.

    (I added in visuals because I had some free time and thought it would be fun! Also because I always like looking at past issues so now everyone can )


    The Long Way Home Issue #2


    The first time we see Giles in S8 he's in St Petersburg training a large group of slayers. He states,

    "I see some superior fighting out there. Technique and power that might just give Buffy Summers herself a run for her money. Impressive force."

    What could he be doing here? This isn't his squad because he doesn't have one and he mentions how he's observed that some of the slayers displayed techniques that could match Buffy. I have two theories here and one of them is very close to Maggies so I’ll quote her;

    He has known there's something dark coming *through* Buffy. His opening scene was talking about whether all the slayers together would be able to take on Buffy herself.
    It’s possible Giles was trying to prepare for a force, should the slayers have to turn on Buffy and take her on themselves. My other theory is that he was trying to see if any slayer was a standout because he's hoping, perhaps naively, that the prophecy isn't about Buffy but some other girl -- "Technique and power that might just give Buffy Summers herself a run for her money."

    Giles then goes on to state,

    "It is, of course, useless. You’re all fighting alone. Getting in each other’s way, not protecting each other’s flanks… failing to use your single most valuable asset…"

    Which leads into Buffy's training montage with her slayers,

    "… each other. One Slayer fighting alone is formidable. Two is formidabler. Or… three? Mega-formidable. And after mega, it goes to mondo, then super, hyper, beaucoup d’crazy, stupid… it gets *exponentially* prefixy."


    Emmie notes how this was Whedon's way to foreshadow Buffy's power boost and how she gained strength by sucking the energy out of the other slayers;

    Remember that line from Long Way Home about two Slayers being powerful, then three then four and "exponentially prefixy"? Well, looks like Buffy is now "exponentially prefixy." And it really calls back to the whole Slayers don't work well together--well, if Buffy's the only one left, then they don't have to work together anymore.
    I think she's spot on. This clearly was foreshadowing Buffy's boost later in the season which means the Giles scene has to be about the prophecy/power boost because Joss connects both scenes with the overlapping dialogue. They are, by extension, about the same idea. So what was Giles doing? Training these girls incase they have to take on Buffy? Or looking out for any possible standouts? I get into that idea more when we come to #6.

    The Long Way Home #3


    I'm not sure there's anything terribly important here but it does suggest that Giles doesn't know everything about Twilight. He enlists the help of the demons from #1 who were led into a conflict with Buffy's Alpha Team and asks them to research Twilight's symbol,

    DEMON: They were lured out there!

    GILES: I think they were, yes. Someone engineered that conflict – and sacrificed two young men in the process. I think we need to know who.

    DEMON: This symbol is meaningless to us. And we are not convinced this is not some Slayer trick. We have ever been enemies.

    GILES: And ever shall be. We’ll come to grips one day, but on a day we choose. We’ll not be led there like cattle. Right now, information benefits us both. If you learn anything…


    It's unclear right now if the symbol relates to this prophecy but if it does Giles doesn't know it yet, or needs to know more, so whilst he's trying to work out who engineered the conflict he may be trying to learn more about the prophecy as well.

    The Chain Issue #5


    Giles doesn't appear much in this issue but it looks like he has a gig to come around and talk to new slayers. Again, I have to wonder if he's trying to sniff out any girl with the potential to be 'the one' and if this job is a cover for that. He also mentions the 'chain' between all slayers, which ties in nicely to #2 and Buffy sucking power from them later in the season. The image above shows the link between all slayers with the scythe next to them. We should pay attention to this as Allie told us the scythe will be significant and pop up again before S8 ends.

    No Future For You Issue #6


    Buffy and Xander discuss how Giles has been distant for some time,

    BUFFY: Sorry, I’m in full-on fret mode about this whole “Twilight” gimmick. We still don’t know what this thing has to do with uncle Sam declaring shock and awe on us, right? You heard anything more from our friend in the library?

    XANDER: That’s a nugatory. Giles has been incommunicado for a few weeks now. But I’m sure he’s got too many *new books* that need shelving to worry about a classic that’s already been checked out, you know?


    Xander believes that it’s because he’s so focused on the new slayers to concentrate on Buffy, whereas the irony is he’s concentrated on nobody but Buffy. He’s searching the world for clues about this prophecy, trying to prove it is or isn’t her. This was “always about her.”


    Giles comes to Faith asking her to take out Genevieve because his sources claim she’ll bring on an apocalypse if she’s not assassinated,

    GILES: If the girl in question were merely guilty of the same mistakes you once made – considerable though they may have been – I would opt for rehabilitation. But according to every augur in my employ, including the Great Bearded Wizard of Northampton, unless this young lady is terminated before fall’s end, she will usher in –

    FAITH: – the end of the world, right? You’ve got apocalypse written all over your face.


    This doesn’t come up again throughout the entire arc but I think it’s still important. What if Giles fears Gigi was the one the prophecy spoke about? What if he eliminated her not just because she was gunning for Buffy, but because he was trying to prevent her from getting the power boost? Is this what his ‘sources’ meant? Buffy and Faith may have outmatched her in a fight but she showed potential, she killed a slayer with one punch, after all. If this is true then Buffy and Gigi battling for ‘queen’ holds even greater significance. In #33 Angel says that Giles was in *England* searching for something related to the prophecy, this is the only time in S8 he’s shown in the UK. Gigi may indeed be that something.

    No Future For You Issue #9


    In this issue Giles and Buffy have a falling out over his plan, not so much because he planned to kill Gigi, but because he left Buffy out. But he left her out because this is all to do with the mysterious prophecy. This explains why Giles didn’t want Buffy to have any part in this. Giles wants Buffy as far removed from all of this as possible because deep down he fears Buffy is the one the prophecy is about.

    Vampire in Rug notes that Roden claims Gigi was supposed to be the "slayer who ends all slayers" and adds;

    Roden was instructed to train the Slayer who will end all Slayers. First he thought it was Gigi, then when he saw how deadly Faith was, he realized he'd been backing the wrong girl and thought that Faith was a much better candidate. I've been suspecting for a while now that there might be something more to that, and the Slayer that will end all Slayers is Buffy.
    It’s a great catch and shows that it isn’t only Giles who’s fixated on the prophecy in this arc. If we’re right NFFY plays an integral part in the overall arc of S8, which is nice as it’s often people’s favourite but seemed a little removed from the big picture. This brings it all back in a major way and makes me love Brian K Vaughn even more for planting so many seeds. Whedon and Vaughn really should collaborate more for S9, they’re a wonderful team.

    Safe Issue #24


    Giles hasn’t heard of the ‘Slayer Sanctuary’ but is very interested in it. Is it just natural curiosity or does he want to find more possible candidates? Note that in #33 Angel mentions that Giles was in *Germany* looking for something. On the train he tries to entice Faith to get these girls back into the fight,

    "If these girls are hiding here, seeing you might get them back in the fight"

    Does he want more slayers ready to take on Buffy, perhaps?


    The Hanslestadt demon sucks the energy from people in the town to become stronger. Sound familiar? It’s exponentially prefixy!


    Retreat Issue #26


    Nothing of great significance here but Giles still deeply cares for Buffy. It proves that his distance isn’t because he dislikes her, but because he’s busy doing something else.

    Retreat Issue #28


    We all observed how haggard and shady Giles looked in this issue. He’s stewing in his room for the entire issue and seems gravely concerned about something. The solicitation says that Giles is unhappy with the slayers giving up their power, is it about the prophecy? Is Giles witnessing all the puzzle pieces slowly piecing together? Can he foresee what’s about to happen next?

    Which brings us to….

    Twilight Issue #33


    Angel states that Giles has known about the prophecy all along and this appears to be true. He also states that "every Watcher wonders if his girl is the one." He states that Giles went looking in England and Germany for something related to the prophecy and I believe he was referring to Gigi and quite possibly the slayer sanctuary. I believe he's been either preparing slayers to fight Buffy if they have to (Issue #2), trying to spot any potential candidates (Issue #2, Issue #5, NFFY), or both. I believe he wanted Gigi eliminated because his sources stated that she was the one and believe he's been distant from Buffy and the organisation because he's been hiding this secret. It all leads back to the prophecy and whatever Buffy has become...


    So that's my theory all laid out. I'll probably get Jossed next issue but it was worth a try

    Any thoughts? Opinions?

    Vamps
    Last edited by vampmogs; 09-03-10 at 02:09 PM.


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    Moderator Sosa lola's Avatar
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    I wanna rep you for this! I can't! (The pictures made this post even more beautiful, so great touch )

    I really love your point about Giles asking Faith to kill Gigi in fear she was the Slayer in question. Giles' arc is shaping nicely. I'm really happy to see that.

    (I'm gonna spread this around, and maybe come back later to discuss!)
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    Bronze Party-Goer bonnaleah's Avatar
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    Vampmogs, your theory is very impressive and makes so much sense. If you're correct about Giles reasons for trying to have Gigi killed, then it stands to reason that Giles would now feel that he had no choice but to kill Buffy. He would have been agonizing about this possibility all along. Your theory also fits in with the solicitation for #35.... the Slayer army’s entire mission has been altered and the true nature of the threat they face has been revealed. Killing Buffy to prevent an apocalypse could be the new mission if Buffy is the true threat. I also think Meltzer's words, that when you think about it Angel was the only person who could be Twilight make more sense if everyone from Buffy's organization have have made it their mission to take her out. So fantastic theory! It'll be interesting to see if it plays out this way.
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    Dedicated Spike Fan Maggie's Avatar
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    Fantastic post, Mogs, and alas, I only have virtual rep to give.

    I've speculated on my LJ that Giles might have known even earlier -- and that'd give us an extra retcon reason for why he tried to take Spike out, and why he kept Buffy away from LA in Damage and why he put in a decoy in Rome and why he got Andrew to lie to the vampires. (Assuming the ascension has something to do with a vampire as well -- something I think because seeing Angel powered up was supposed to tell Giles exacty what was going on).

    The one bit I can add is that in ToYL, Harth has dreamt of Buffy as the slayer of slayers. I thought that meant preeminant slayer. But your post would make that a much more literal term.

    Allie has hinted that Giles was looking for something not someone, but I'll have to think about it more, because you are right that his trips to England and Germany were about looking for someone.

    Back when we got #10, I had speculated that Giles distance was because he was afraid of Buffy's looming darkness. And it's nice to see I was partly right about that. That thought faded away when Buffy's grayness didn't seem to be escalating to anything more serious, and that had always bugged me because that was the only way I'd been able to see NFFY as part of the larger arc. *So* glad it fits now. And I'll add that it's super cool that Giles finds Faith in a hovel, and has to My Fair Lady her. Faith is NOT the queen, and can only masquerade as one, and that's good.

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    Slayer hayes62's Avatar
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    Your points about exponential prefixyness, the chain and the hanselstadt monster both seem to depend on Willow's theory of where Buffy's new powers were coming from (ie from the dead Slayers), which is currently in doubt.

    I'd already speculated that Giles saw Gigi as potentially being the Slayer to end all Slayers in my review of #33:
    Giles talks as if that destiny is something to be averted rather than hastened. Possibly that something he tried to get Faith to prevent by taking out Gigi, who would have blown her entire inheritance on the chance of being 'that girl.' More on what that’s all about in next issue’s true history of the universe but if GiD made the Shadowmen look bad for violating a girl so she could fight demons for them, making it about some kind of Bene Gesserit breeding programmme for a world-ending super-being is even more disturbing.
    What's unclear to me is whether the watchers wondering if their slayer could be the one saw the one as something to aim for or to avoid. Giles implies that her rising is a bad thing but he was never fully on board with the Council's ideology. Angel in his current state describes it as both unholy and implies his union with Buffy is a good thing. I guess there's always been opposing views about whether the end of the world would be the end or a bright new beginning. Twilight is both sunset and sunrise.

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    *gives virtual rep*

    Great analysis, Mogs. And what was so wonderful about it (in addition to your thorough and thoughtful conclusions) was the quotes from other members as you laid it all out. It showed how the discussion had grown and how you'd started putting all the pieces together. Not only did you lay your case for Giles' arc, but you so clearly demonstrated how it all came together. Wonderful.

    Someone engineered that conflict – and sacrificed two young men in the process. I think we need to know who.
    This line is like Twilight in microcosm. Engineering conflicts and sacrificing people for the larger goal. Of course, such a line would be written by Whedon. He does so much with so few words.


    Regarding whether Buffy's power comes from Slayers or from something else as Angel suggests, the thing that struck me was how Buffy with her heightened superpowers could feel Faith's pain. This seems to suggest that she's even more connected to the Slayers than she was before if she can feel them from a distance (even Slayers without their powers like Faith).


    I'm particularly enjoying the fairytale imagery that Maggie sparked by showing Faith as being a Cinderella of sorts. Meanwhile, Buffy is becoming the Dark Queen. It's wonderful to imagine it this way. Dark fairytales make for incredible imagery. Continuing with the imagery that Buffy is the Queen and Angel is the King (both wearing the crown and holding the sceptors of power), it really reaffirms my belief that Spike is the Prince. The Prince has the potential for power (Spike is also a vampire with a soul and maybe he could've been powered up like Angel), but he doesn't possess the full power of the two in charge. And it makes for wonderful imagery to imagine Angel and Spike fighting over a crown.
    Last edited by Emmie; 10-03-10 at 01:11 AM.

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    Slayer cheryl4ba's Avatar
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    That's an awesome theory, Vamp but it makes me feel very scared for Giles. With this theory is it your thought that it is Giles who delivers the closest most unexpected betrayal?

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    Slayer Supporter vampmogs's Avatar
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    Thanks for reading guys!

    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie View Post
    I've speculated on my LJ that Giles might have known even earlier -- and that'd give us an extra retcon reason for why he tried to take Spike out, and why he kept Buffy away from LA in Damage and why he put in a decoy in Rome and why he got Andrew to lie to the vampires. (Assuming the ascension has something to do with a vampire as well -- something I think because seeing Angel powered up was supposed to tell Giles exactly what was going on).
    Yeah I think you’re spot on about a vampire playing a part in this prophecy because you’re right that it isn’t until Giles works out who Twilight is (and realises his new powers) that he realises the prophecy is in play. I think they have to be careful with retcons as it can all get a bit tacky but I do like your idea, I just hope they don’t try and say it was his *sole motivation* all along, or anything like that. I’d prefer it if Giles was always aware of this dark legend and it was on his mind when he tried to keep Buffy away from the vampires, but that it was also about wanting better for her ect. I think it wasn’t until S8 that Giles realised that the legend may quickly become a reality and he decided to try and figure out what it meant.

    I’m not against retcons at all though, they just have to be handled delicately. I’ll be eternally grateful that The Girl In Question was retconned in the first couple of pages of S8


    The one bit I can add is that in ToYL, Harth has dreamt of Buffy as the slayer of slayers. I thought that meant preeminant slayer. But your post would make that a much more literal term.
    Oh damn, I saw that mentioned elsewhere but forgot to include it! I also thought it meant the preeminent slayer but now I think it holds more significance. It’s so dark and poignant if Buffy ends up destroying the slayer-line as when she came to that future she was literally sobbing over how bleak it was. It’d be devastating if it turns out she’s responsible.

    Back when we got #10, I had speculated that Giles distance was because he was afraid of Buffy's looming darkness. And it's nice to see I was partly right about that. That thought faded away when Buffy's grayness didn't seem to be escalating to anything more serious, and that had always bugged me because that was the only way I'd been able to see NFFY as part of the larger arc. *So* glad it fits now. And I'll add that it's super cool that Giles finds Faith in a hovel, and has to My Fair Lady her. Faith is NOT the queen, and can only masquerade as one, and that's good.
    Well I have to say that I never thought there needed to be a reason and thought it was just a natural progression of their relationship in S7, but I admit I was wrong now. And great point about Faith, I like how they're using her as a MirrorBuffy again this season, I always thought she was best for it and it’s why I love their relationship so much.

    Quote Originally Posted by hayes62 View Post
    Your points about exponential prefixyness, the chain and the hanselstadt monster both seem to depend on Willow's theory of where Buffy's new powers were coming from (ie from the dead Slayers), which is currently in doubt.
    Yeah I did think about that but then Angel doesn't necessarily rule it out, he just says that Willow "isn't looking far enough." I still think she's probably gaining her power from the other slayers, or that it's connected to the 'chain' between them somehow. And Emmie makes a great point that Buffy can feel Faith's pain, which means she must be linked to them in a major way.

    I'd already speculated that Giles saw Gigi as potentially being the Slayer to end all Slayers in my review of #33:
    Oops sorry! If I had remembered that I would have credited you too!

    What's unclear to me is whether the watchers wondering if their slayer could be the one saw the one as something to aim for or to avoid. Giles implies that her rising is a bad thing but he was never fully on board with the Council's ideology. Angel in his current state describes it as both unholy and implies his union with Buffy is a good thing. I guess there's always been opposing views about whether the end of the world would be the end or a bright new beginning. Twilight is both sunset and sunrise.
    Hm, I hadn't thought of it like that but I guess you're right. I was working under the assumption it was something they were trying to avoid. I definitely think it's something Giles is fearful of, anyway. We can be sure of that given how worried he looked in #33 and he probably never told Buffy because he didn't want to believe it himself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Emmie View Post
    Regarding whether Buffy's power comes from Slayers or from something else as Angel suggests, the thing that struck me was how Buffy with her heightened superpowers could feel Faith's pain. This seems to suggest that she's even more connected to the Slayers than she was before if she can feel them from a distance (even Slayers without their powers like Faith).
    As I said above, great catch! I totally forgot about that line but it shows they're still connected. And since we know the scythe is still in play (and it was shown running alongside the chain in #5) I have to think her power is still because of the other slayers in some way.

    Continuing with the imagery that Buffy is the Queen and Angel is the King (both wearing the crown and holding the sceptors of power), it really reaffirms my belief that Spike is the Prince. The Prince has the potential for power (Spike is also a vampire with a soul and maybe he could've been powered up like Angel), but he doesn't possess the full power of the two in charge. And it makes for wonderful imagery to imagine Angel and Spike fighting over a crown.
    I had long thought Xander may be the prince but I do like your theory on Spike and it would make sense. Though if Buffy has to 'save him' then it makes you wonder what's going on with him right now? Maybe Angel really is holding him prisoner somewhere?


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    Evil Twin PointMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vampmogs View Post
    I had long thought Xander may be the prince but I do like your theory on Spike and it would make sense. Though if Buffy has to 'save him' then it makes you wonder what's going on with him right now? Maybe Angel really is holding him prisoner somewhere?

    Didn't Allie say that they may never actually get around to dealing with the whole 'prince' thing? It sounds to me like its something that was either scrapped or was never meant to be seen as a big deal in the first place. Who knows though. I used to think Xander was the prince but now I'm not sure anyone is.

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    I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm really hoping Giles (and other Slayers) will have to turn on Buffy, maybe because Buffy turns bad or Giles does. Either way, epic

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    Slayer ubi4soft's Avatar
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    Great post Vampmogs.

    Was interesting to see Giles talking to a demon (if needed watchers were open to alliances with enemies ? ). Giles and Twilight were obviously looking for the strongest slayer, other demons were eliminating slayers by numbers (the one with the Sanctuary) and if Twangel is right and he didn't killed the 206, then other demons are still eliminating slayers without looking for the strongest.

    Maybe this was mentioned before but take a look at Dawn's words in GiD cast shadows story:
    First, there is the Earth.Then, there came the demons. After demons, there came men.Men found a girl.And the men took the girl to fight the demon—all demons. They—they chained her to the Earth.And then—and I—I can't read this. Something about darkness.
    The slayer fought all demons before being chained to the Earth: was she so powerful that they were afraid of her? Chaining her to the Earth could mean spreading slayer's power through numerous potential girls or containing most of the said power in that little wooden box or both. And it's odd that The Shadow-men were offering Buffy power when she was fighting the First Evil. She refused then thinking she'll loose her humanity.

    Watchers were always doing tests on their slayers. In Helpless we were told that they wanted to see if the girl is able to survive without the power, but they were also testing the complete suppression of slayer powers. And that could go both ways (do they have means to boost it?)

    I don't know if Giles is afraid of Buffy becoming the unchained one. I think he's more afraid of what's to come. And honestly things probably are described as worst than hell if the time has come for the strongest slayer to break her chains to the Earth and gain all the strength she can (link to wooden box in GiD) she's superpowered after all.

    ~~~

    * superpowers - breaking all the connections with Earth/humanity ?
    * connection with the rest of the slayers - like a chain, pull one end the rest will follow ?
    * connection with Twangel - either anchor (for safety) or the ball (as in ball and chain)
    Last edited by ubi4soft; 12-03-10 at 03:28 AM.
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    Slayer Koos's Avatar
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    You talk about a prophecy. What prophecy do you mean, exactly?

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    I am so loving these kinds of posts from you, vamps, from Emmie, from Maggie, that make the whole of the tale have coherence, especially for those new to the comic book medium that may come here—even though the expertise posts e.g. “divine right” as law and others elsewhere are mucho brilliant and muchly appreciated. I should rep each of you on the board for many reasons. Big, virtual reps!

    Because I see several symbols representing “the same thing,” to give every reader a sense of connection to meaning and in furthering great hints, the following isn’t huge at all or remotely brilliant or attributable specifically to “prophecy” or to Willow or Buffy herself or the whole dual reality I think is in play—I don’t know where to post it and it bugs me.

    Is anyone noticing the Source Wall and that egg? Does anyone else think of Humpty Dumpty as a big foreshadowing?

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    Slayer Supporter vampmogs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheryl4ba View Post
    That's an awesome theory, Vamp but it makes me feel very scared for Giles. With this theory is it your thought that it is Giles who delivers the closest most unexpected betrayal?
    Nah, probably Buffy actually. Giles really isn't the most "unexpected" and if turns out Buffy is a danger to the world or the "slayer of slayers" then she's probably the betrayer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Koos View Post
    You talk about a prophecy. What prophecy do you mean, exactly?
    The prophecy Giles and Angel are talking about in #33, "every Watcher wonders if his girl is going to be the one." Granted, the word 'prophecy' hasn't been used yet but it sure sounds like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by PointMan View Post
    Didn't Allie say that they may never actually get around to dealing with the whole 'prince' thing? It sounds to me like its something that was either scrapped or was never meant to be seen as a big deal in the first place. Who knows though. I used to think Xander was the prince but now I'm not sure anyone is.
    This is what he had to say in the Q/A;

    44. wenxina: Thanks for being frank regarding my question about the Prince. As a follow-up question, because you said that it won't be spelled out explicitly, will we at least be able to draw some logical conclusions as to who was meant, from the rest of the story being told? Because I don't necessarily need/want one of the characters to be like "Hey, remember that Prince... that's him!". Or hey, there's always another MDHP short to give a condensed version of the exposition you speak off... or a one-shot...

    Scott Allie: What I meant to say is that some parts of it might not be spelled out, because we might not have room. The last few scripts aren't written yet, so exact details remain to be seen, about what exactly gets onto the page. But yeah, I think by the end it will be easy enough for people to go back and interpret all that stuff, although as in everything else, there'll be room for debate.
    So the prince is still in play he's just not sure how much detail they're going to go into about it. Personally I'm fine with it if they don't literally have to spell it out to us. There's nothing worse than being talked down to by a story and it's good that the writers have more faith in their audience. As long as it's still part of the season and Allie says we'll be able to work out who it is, then I'm happy
    Last edited by vampmogs; 12-03-10 at 04:36 AM.


    "If witches don't fight, we burn"

  15. #15
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    There's nothing worse than being talked down to by a story and it's good that the writers have more faith in their audience
    Or faith in that they've all got very short memories more like. I hate it when they throw stuff out there and only some of it ends up sticking. I just hope this 'Prince' business is something they'll flesh out, because otherwise it'll just reeks of weak writing to me.

  16. #16
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    For a long time I wanted Giles to be Twilight just so there would be an explanation for his bizarre behavior. I am glad Angel is Twilight and that Giles seems to have been given a reason *Slayer/vampire prophecy* for acting differently towards Buffy.

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