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Thread: Did Angel love Darla?

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    Default Did Angel love Darla?

    I am still on my first watch of season 1 of Angel and Darla ander her relationship will be focused on later in the series. But I'd like to hear if you think Angel loved Darla or not. If you think he did, what makes you think so?If you think he didn't, what makes you think he didn't?

    It down't matter if his love is twisted or warped because he was (at times) soulless. It might not be a selfless, comitting love. Just some kind of love is enough. Like Dru said - "We can love quite well ... if not wisely". And if you say he loved Darla, I'd also like to know if he only loved her while he was soulless or only loved her while he was ensouled or if he loved her soulless and ensouledalthough his loved might have changed due to the soul.

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    I think Angelus loved Darla, and that she was his soul (unsoul?) mate. I also think Angel and Angelus are the same person. So I'm guessing I gave some fringe opinions on this. I think it explains why Angel could not hurt Spike or Dru in S2 Buffy. The whirlwind is a family. A disfunctional vampire family but a family nonetheless.

    I like the chemistry between the two actors, that always seems to be a factor.


    I like who I am when Im with him. I like who we are together.

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    In a sick, twisted way, sure. I see no reason to doubt Darla in Angel. I don't think soulless vampires really have an idea of it as both Angel and Spike have said but love itself is arguably just a personalized construct anyway, even in humans.

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    Angel put his life on the line to save Darla more than once and he obviously felt very deeply about her. Even when he had a soul he wanted to stay with her, though she was still soulless. I think he loved her, but he would never admit to that because he refused to believe he could feel love without a soul.

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    Agreed with everyone so far. I do think Angel/Angelus loved Darla, in his own way.

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    I believe it was an unselfish love in so many ways. He adored her, he catered to her whims, and he praised her often. Darla, OTH, took his adoration and love in stride and hit him over the head with a shovel so she could steal the only horse and get away from the rampaging mob.

    I also believe that Angel and Angelus are the same person. This might make a good thread. Angelus liked power. He like to be in charge. Her loved nice clothes, beautiful objects and screwing with people's minds. Not much change in AtS.
    Can we agree that the writers made everyone do and say everything with a thought to getting good ratings and being renewed. This includes everything we love as well as everything we hate.

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    No. Neither Angel nor Angelus loves Darla.

    I won't tell you exactly why I think that, because it would be spoilery, but I will ask you to look out for this: During Angelus's first year as a vampire, they are quite loving and Angelus personality is quite like Spike. However, that quickly changes.

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    I don't think he loved her with or without a soul and that's part of what I find interesting about their relationship. They're like a divorced couple who where with each other for ages, who know each other better than anyone, and who have a really complex relationship, but they're not in love.

    Darla says in "Angel" that she loved Angel but when she's ensouled (by Connor being inside of her) she states that she'd never loved before. Whatever she thought she felt as a soulless vampire seemingly paled in comparison to the true love she felt for her unborn child. Likewise, Angel has always maintained that without a soul he was incapable of love. I tend to take them both at their word as they have the experience of being both ensouled and soulless and obviously would know.

    I think Angel cared deeply for Darla and that they had a really, really important relationship but I don't think it was love. Even at the height of what he felt for her, which IMO was "The Trial", the promise he made to her was that he'd be there for her until her inevitable end (from sickness). I don't think he'd ever had much such promises of commitment had she not been terminally ill. And it always strikes me as important that Angel does not mourn Darla's death in Season 3 at all. He moves on straight away and then quickly develops feelings for Cordelia. His reaction, or lack thereof, to Darla's death is a stark contrast to his grief over Buffy's death or the anger and hurt he feels over Cordy's death.

    I find them fascinating and part of that is because I don't think they went the predictable route and had them fall in love.
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    Spike has also echoed Darla and Angel's sentiments. In Sleeper, he says that whatever he felt then only cuts deeper with a soul.

    So while Darla, Spike and Dru all claim vamps can love, they seem to change their mind when they get a soul. Their perspective changes. Feelings of guilt seem to go the same way. I'm sure they'd say'd say they knew what it was pre-soul, but they really had no concept of it.

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    The relationship between Darla and Angel was clearly important to them both as they stayed together even if they weren't always caring/loving towards each other in ways that we'd recognise. There was a meaningful connection between them unsouled. How affected Angel is by Darla's return, his failure to save her and how much he builds himself up towards facing her again all clearly show that she isn't insignificant to him by any stretch. Even if he had previously been able to kill her when Buffy was in direct threat, preparing to do so again wasn't something he found an easy prospect. But I don't think he had romantic love for her, even when souled. It was messy and complicated for him I think, for them both. They had shared a lot of experiences and years but a great deal of that is tied up with things that Angel feels terrible about and was a 'him' that he also feels distant from as well as connected to. The continuity of self and separation is complicated enough before you factor in the sense of family and also that he was a victim of Darla's too. The many sides of this are there in how he responds to her in S2 I think and is a great part of what makes it a fascinating dynamic to watch.

    Spike also tells Buffy in S10 that what he felt for her unsouled was a selfish bastardisation of love. Again, as he's also literally experienced both states and knows how he felt and the limitations of what he was able to feel unsouled I take him at his word that it was a shadow of what he was able to feel souled. Their perspectives and emotional capacities clearly change with the soul.
    Last edited by Stoney; 12-06-19 at 03:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vampmogs View Post
    I don't think he loved her with or without a soul and that's part of what I find interesting about their relationship. They're like a divorced couple who where with each other for ages, who know each other better than anyone, and who have a really complex relationship, but they're not in love.

    Darla says in "Angel" that she loved Angel but when she's ensouled (by Connor being inside of her) she states that she'd never loved before. Whatever she thought she felt as a soulless vampire seemingly paled in comparison to the true love she felt for her unborn child. Likewise, Angel has always maintained that without a soul he was incapable of love. I tend to take them both at their word as they have the experience of being both ensouled and soulless and obviously would know.

    I think Angel cared deeply for Darla and that they had a really, really important relationship but I don't think it was love. Even at the height of what he felt for her, which IMO was "The Trial", the promise he made to her was that he'd be there for her until her inevitable end (from sickness). I don't think he'd ever had much such promises of commitment had she not been terminally ill. And it always strikes me as important that Angel does not mourn Darla's death in Season 3 at all. He moves on straight away and then quickly develops feelings for Cordelia. His reaction, or lack thereof, to Darla's death is a stark contrast to his grief over Buffy's death or the anger and hurt he feels over Cordy's death.

    I find them fascinating and part of that is because I don't think they went the predictable route and had them fall in love.
    Angel seemed to "mourn", or, at the very least, be affected a lot more when souled human Darla died in The Trial. Even though he still found it impossible to stake her, hes seemed to be hurt by the loss of the Darla who had a soul and had a potential to be good and spent the rest of her days like that, but once she was a soulless vampire again, his feelings were complicated, but he never treated her the same way again. Which is in character for someone who sees soul as so important as Angel does and despises his soulless self as much as Angel does.

    As for the question... it depends on what one's definition of "love" is. I think he certainly was in love with her when he didn't have a soul, in the sense that most people would use that word. And he never fully stopped having those feelings, even though they changed in many ways. But if one defines LOVE is an unselfish feeling that puts the happiness of that person first over your desire to possess them or your other personal needs and desires - then no, neither of them was able to love that way when they didn't have a soul. (That's why Darla was so surprised that Angel was willing to give his unlife for her in The Trial.)
    Instead, you can call what they had a romantic/erotic obsession, and strong a long-time bond.
    But. as Joss Whedon said when talking about a soul, the kind of love Spike had for Buffy without a soul was the "selfish kind that most people feel". Because the truth is that, usually, people refer to themselves and others being in love and loving but most of the time, it's the selfish kind Joss refers to - with cases of people killing out of jealousy, abusing their loved ones, being bitter and nasty and treating them badly out of jealousy etc. - or you have parents similarly abusing their children and treating them terribly because they fail to fulfil their expectations, because they are trying to live out some of their old dreams vicariously through their kids instead of finding out what the kids want, etc.
    The noble, unselfish love that is the only kind that is worthy of being called love, according to Buffyverse, isn't really that common and widespread with humans.
    Last edited by TimeTravellingBunny; 12-06-19 at 03:58 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimeTravellingBunny View Post
    Angel seemed to "mourn", or, at the very least, be affected a lot more when souled human Darla died in The Trial. Even though he still found it impossible to stake her, hes seemed to be hurt by the loss of the Darla who had a soul and had a potential to be good and spent the rest of her days like that, but once she was a soulless vampire again, his feelings were complicated, but he never treated her the same way again. Which is in character for someone who sees soul as so important as Angel does and despises his soulless self as much as Angel does.

    As for the question... it depends on what one's definition of "love" is. I think he certainly was in love with her when he didn't have a soul, in the sense that most people would use that word. And he never fully stopped having those feelings, even though they changed in many ways. But if one defines LOVE is an unselfish feeling that puts the happiness of that person first over your desire to possess them or your other personal needs and desires - then no, neither of them was able to love that way when they didn't have a soul. (That's why Darla was so surprised that Angel was willing to give his unlife for her in The Trial.)
    Instead, you can call what they had a romantic/erotic obsession, and strong a long-time bond.
    But. as Joss Whedon said when talking about a soul, the kind of love Spike had for Buffy without a soul was the "selfish kind that most people feel". Because the truth is that, usually, people refer to themselves and others being in love and loving but most of the time, it's the selfish kind Joss refers to - with cases of people killing out of jealousy, abusing their loved ones, being bitter and nasty and treating them badly out of jealousy etc. - or you have parents similarly abusing their children and treating them terribly because they fail to fulfil their expectations, because they are trying to live out some of their old dreams vicariously through their kids instead of finding out what the kids want, etc.
    The noble, unselfish love that is the only kind that is worthy of being called love, according to Buffyverse, isn't really that common and widespread with humans.
    It's a case where the author has the ability to overrule things because if we're talking about love in the Buffyverse, it's Joss's definition that applies, not ours.

    In that respect, it's summed up succinctly in Angel:
    WESLEY
    And how does your kind define love?
    MONSTER
    Same as all bodies. Same as everywheres. Love is sacrifice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimeTravellingBunny View Post
    Angel seemed to "mourn", or, at the very least, be affected a lot more when souled human Darla died in The Trial. Even though he still found it impossible to stake her, hes seemed to be hurt by the loss of the Darla who had a soul and had a potential to be good and spent the rest of her days like that, but once she was a soulless vampire again, his feelings were complicated, but he never treated her the same way again. Which is in character for someone who sees soul as so important as Angel does and despises his soulless self as much as Angel does.

    As for the question... it depends on what one's definition of "love" is. I think he certainly was in love with her when he didn't have a soul, in the sense that most people would use that word. And he never fully stopped having those feelings, even though they changed in many ways. But if one defines LOVE is an unselfish feeling that puts the happiness of that person first over your desire to possess them or your other personal needs and desires - then no, neither of them was able to love that way when they didn't have a soul. (That's why Darla was so surprised that Angel was willing to give his unlife for her in The Trial.)
    Instead, you can call what they had a romantic/erotic obsession, and strong a long-time bond.
    But. as Joss Whedon said when talking about a soul, the kind of love Spike had for Buffy without a soul was the "selfish kind that most people feel". Because the truth is that, usually, people refer to themselves and others being in love and loving but most of the time, it's the selfish kind Joss refers to - with cases of people killing out of jealousy, abusing their loved ones, being bitter and nasty and treating them badly out of jealousy etc. - or you have parents similarly abusing their children and treating them terribly because they fail to fulfil their expectations, because they are trying to live out some of their old dreams vicariously through their kids instead of finding out what the kids want, etc.
    The noble, unselfish love that is the only kind that is worthy of being called love, according to Buffyverse, isn't really that common and widespread with humans.
    Thank you! It is the definition of love that changes once a vampire gets a soul. It isn't the nature of love. Imperfect love is still love. I would imagine pretty much all perceptions change at that point provoking a lot of different emotions.
    Can we agree that the writers made everyone do and say everything with a thought to getting good ratings and being renewed. This includes everything we love as well as everything we hate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimeTravellingBunny View Post
    But. as Joss Whedon said when talking about a soul, the kind of love Spike had for Buffy without a soul was the "selfish kind that most people feel". Because the truth is that, usually, people refer to themselves and others being in love and loving but most of the time, it's the selfish kind Joss refers to - with cases of people killing out of jealousy, abusing their loved ones, being bitter and nasty and treating them badly out of jealousy etc. - or you have parents similarly abusing their children and treating them terribly because they fail to fulfil their expectations, because they are trying to live out some of their old dreams vicariously through their kids instead of finding out what the kids want, etc.
    The noble, unselfish love that is the only kind that is worthy of being called love, according to Buffyverse, isn't really that common and widespread with humans.
    I can see that the aspect of self figures in most relationships and so the love people feel. It doesn't alter in the case of Spike though, as with Angel too, that having become souled he's able to feel the distinction of his emotions between souled/unsouled, the capacity/depth. He doesn't see how he feels, the love he has, as unaltered with the soul. So even if he loved selfishly without a soul as many people do, it could be better, possibly less selfish even if somewhat still or more balanced by greater emotional capacities and morality too perhaps. Even if he's still flawed and selfish, what he offers and gives from loving change meaningfully. Sure humans do awful things too and the show gives us examples of the viciousness of people through parental abuse/neglect, violent jealousy, attempts to control and dominate etc, but this runs alongside the soul as making choices possible in a different way. It doesn't make emotions like love suddenly perfect or selfless though of course, but does change the capacity and so potentially the wider perspective.

    I don't see this as contradicting what you are quoting from Joss btw, just that the soul's distinction in the mythology and the effect of it when vamps become souled in verse does make a meaningful difference to the capacity for love. But, just as with humans, capacity doesn't bring guarantees.
    Last edited by Stoney; 13-06-19 at 12:22 PM.

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    HardlyThere:
    In that respect, it's summed up succinctly in Angel:




    WESLEY
    And how does your kind define love?
    MONSTER
    Same as all bodies. Same as everywheres. Love is sacrifice.

    Hmmm. This makes me wonder. I don't think I would sacrifice myself for my hubby, whom I love deeply and hopefully not too selfishly. I care about his well being. I do. But would I really sacrifice myself for him? I would do it in a heartbeat and without thinking twice for each of my sons. But that`s a whole different vibe. I don't even know if it has to do with love or if it's more about instincts - hardwired into me because evolution always keeps the cirlce of life going on and on and on.

    Would any of you sacrifice yourself for anyone you love who is not your child?

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    Quote Originally Posted by vampmogs View Post
    I think Angel cared deeply for Darla and that they had a really, really important relationship but I don't think it was love. Even at the height of what he felt for her, which IMO was "The Trial", the promise he made to her was that he'd be there for her until her inevitable end (from sickness). I don't think he'd ever had much such promises of commitment had she not been terminally ill.
    The reason why I don't see this as love is because Darla is that Darla at the end of the episode is a completely different person from who she is at the start of the episode, and then she dies and looses her soul again. How can you love someone you do not know? Did he love the person Darla could have become?

    There are two Angel-lines that stand out to me concerning Darla. One is when he says: "She never had a chance." The other is in Epiphany where he says something like: "You made me. I thought I could save myself by saving you."

    Darla is incredibly important to Angel, but they are not in love. They are strangers who know each other better than anybody. Their whole relationship is filled with paradox. They are each other's damnation/salvation.

    Quote Originally Posted by vampmogs View Post
    I don't think he loved her with or without a soul and that's part of what I find interesting about their relationship. They're like a divorced couple who where with each other for ages, who know each other better than anyone, and who have a really complex relationship, but they're not in love.
    Yes, I like that.

    https://youtu.be/AZwnSSY2Ofw
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    Quote Originally Posted by flow View Post
    HardlyThere:

    Hmmm. This makes me wonder. I don't think I would sacrifice myself for my hubby, whom I love deeply and hopefully not too selfishly. I care about his well being. I do. But would I really sacrifice myself for him? I would do it in a heartbeat and without thinking twice for each of my sons. But that`s a whole different vibe. I don't even know if it has to do with love or if it's more about instincts - hardwired into me because evolution always keeps the cirlce of life going on and on and on.

    Would any of you sacrifice yourself for anyone you love who is not your child?

    flow
    I don't agree with it all that much as it seems to be a bit of a glorification. Just going by Joss's apparent definition of it. Throughout the show love is nearly always demonstrated by some kind of sacrifice, whether it be Angel or Oz leaving or Darla staking herself so Connor can be born.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flow View Post
    HardlyThere:

    Hmmm. This makes me wonder. I don't think I would sacrifice myself for my hubby, whom I love deeply and hopefully not too selfishly. I care about his well being. I do. But would I really sacrifice myself for him? I would do it in a heartbeat and without thinking twice for each of my sons. But that`s a whole different vibe. I don't even know if it has to do with love or if it's more about instincts - hardwired into me because evolution always keeps the cirlce of life going on and on and on.

    Would any of you sacrifice yourself for anyone you love who is not your child?

    flow
    I would do it for any child in danger. I think that it's instinct as well.
    Can we agree that the writers made everyone do and say everything with a thought to getting good ratings and being renewed. This includes everything we love as well as everything we hate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flow View Post
    HardlyThere:

    Hmmm. This makes me wonder. I don't think I would sacrifice myself for my hubby, whom I love deeply and hopefully not too selfishly. I care about his well being. I do. But would I really sacrifice myself for him? I would do it in a heartbeat and without thinking twice for each of my sons. But that`s a whole different vibe. I don't even know if it has to do with love or if it's more about instincts - hardwired into me because evolution always keeps the cirlce of life going on and on and on.

    Would any of you sacrifice yourself for anyone you love who is not your child?

    flow
    I wouldn't hesitate if it were my dog, Piglet. I'm not sure it'd even feel like a choice, instead of the obvious thing to do. I'd die for my sister if she told me the reason was worthwhile, although I doubt she'd want me to do it just to save her.

    That ties into the big problem with sacrifice in the Buffyverse. It's one thing if destiny or a spirit guide or whatever can vouch that you were "meant" to take the fall. Maybe then the person you replaced can sleep soundly in the knowledge that what happened was right. But. In real life, I wouldn't necessarily want someone to take my place in a fight, car crash, or other deadly event. (Note: I'm assuming here that we're talking about one person taking one other person's place; if one person, but not the other, can save a multiple people, or something intangible, then the moral math becomes a lot harder.) Depending on the circumstances, I might even feel betrayed that they'd put me in the position of causing their death. A domino effect of people trying to die (or thinking that they should have tried to die) sounds a lot less healthy than letting one person die and get it over with. Or than one person feeling that they're "called" to save others. "Sacrifice" originally meant something offered to a god, something that became holy by its offering. To die for someone who would rather you not sounds similar to glorifying oneself at the expense of another's free will.

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    I would die for someone I loved without hesitation. I would hope I'd do the same for any child. But that said I've never even put myself on a living donor list so I guess I'm a hypocrite but with good intentions.


    I like who I am when Im with him. I like who we are together.

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    Priceless (15-06-19)

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