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Thread: The future of Jenny and Giles

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    Default The future of Jenny and Giles

    If Angel had not killed Jenny do you think she and Giles would have stayed together? Giles had already shown he would choose Buffy over Jenny if necessary. And Jenny lied to Giles about why she was in Sunnyvale. I think Olivia proves Giles wanted to be in a relationship and perhaps Restless even shows he was interested in having a family. I like to think they could have overcome their obstacles and had a future together.

    Here's a little reminder of how good they were together:

    https://youtu.be/-lQzpVViwUs


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

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    To be honest I was never a huge fan of Jenny, she seemed to be trying to hard to be cool-girl and trying to puncture Giles's bubble of pomposity. I know we saw a lot less of her and didn't know much about her, but I preferred Olivia. But I do think Jenny and Giles would have tried to make it work, at least for a while.

    Imagine how Jenny would have reacted to Giles's actions in Helpless. I don't think she would have been happy, and Giles's early season adherence to the teachings of the Watchers Council would have been difficult for her. Maybe she would have insisted Faith be cared for better than she was and forced Giles into taking her in.

    Personally I think they were two very different people who cared about each other, but their differences would have driven them apart.

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    I have enjoyed reading this fic: Bravery by The_Eclectic_Bookworm.

    It's about what the show would be like had Jenny lived past Passion.
    Made by Trickyboxes
    Halfrek gives Spike the curse that will change his entire life. Teenage Dirtbag

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    Personally I think they were two very different people who cared about each other, but their differences would have driven them apart.
    I think I see their "differences" in a different light than you. Personally, while I think Giles can "love" women and idealise them, I'm not sure how much he "likes" them. I haven't really thought this through but my gut instinct is that Giles' "other" is Ethan.

    Giles's early season adherence to the teachings of the Watchers Council would have been difficult for her.
    I agree that the WC has less of an effect on him in later seasons but he remains a patriarch (just less of a severe father). I wonder about the symbolism of S12 and the final scene of Andrew/Giles together. Andrew, we know, is gay but there's a way of thinking of patriarchy as homo-sexual (as men "loving" men) without actually making it physically sexual.

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    I think I see their "differences" in a different light than you. Personally, while I think Giles can "love" women and idealise them, I'm not sure how much he "likes" them. I haven't really thought this through but my gut instinct is that Giles' "other" is Ethan.
    Yes I'm pretty much there with you. In my head Giles only loved once, in his past, with Ethan and the friends he betrayed by putting his own needs before the group and raising Eyghon. I don't see him now being able to share his life or be romantic with anyone else. I think, as with slayers, watchers are meant to be alone and give their lives to the cause. I agree that I don't think he does like women. He loves some but trusts very few.

    I agree that the WC has less of an effect on him in later seasons but he remains a patriarch (just less of a severe father). I wonder about the symbolism of S12 and the final scene of Andrew/Giles together. Andrew, we know, is gay but there's a way of thinking of patriarchy as homo-sexual (as men "loving" men) without actually making it physically sexual.
    I could agree with this. Giles takes Andrew under his wing, both share their secrets/powers with each other, not with the women . . . Andrew has some of Ethan's talent for trouble, for not being completely honest or open.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TriBel View Post
    I think I see their "differences" in a different light than you. Personally, while I think Giles can "love" women and idealise them, I'm not sure how much he "likes" them. I haven't really thought this through but my gut instinct is that Giles' "other" is Ethan.

    I agree that the WC has less of an effect on him in later seasons but he remains a patriarch (just less of a severe father). I wonder about the symbolism of S12 and the final scene of Andrew/Giles together. Andrew, we know, is gay but there's a way of thinking of patriarchy as homo-sexual (as men "loving" men) without actually making it physically sexual.
    I like this very much, although I would describe the WC as
    homosocial as opposed to homosexual (via Sedgewick)—

    This is why it can include masculinized women within
    its economy...

    Which is not to say that I do not agree that Ethan does
    not play, on a certain level, Giles' true partner...

    I would agree, too, that the WC seeks to impose upon Watchers,
    as it does upon Slayers, a certain bar on all affective relationality—

    Even the Watcher-Slayer relation is meant to be affectless, governed
    by the telos of the Council's mission, as the firing of Giles in
    Helpless proves—

    And I would agree that Giles deep as his bond to Buffy becomes, remains—
    up through her death in S5—he still holds to the WC norms otherwise: we
    see this in his dream in Restless, where, while torn, he abandons
    Olivia and the child they might have had for his obligations to Buffy—

    And even after his abandonment of Buffy in S6, after his supposed search
    for a "life'—something that presumably would include a new relationship—
    we find him returning at the end of the season, still immersed, if indirectly,
    in the matters to which he was sworn as a Watcher; find him returning, once
    more, in S7, continuing the work of the Council itself, doing what they
    could not have done, given their blind adherence to certain norms—norms
    from which Buffy, in her own refusal to adhere, helped Giles break, at
    least up to a certain point—a breakage that kept him alive but never fully
    set him free...

    (We can discuss the limits there when we enter into the S7 rewatch... )

    Thus while I think Giles loves Jenny, desires to explore where that love
    might take him, I think he would have hit, as he did with Buffy, a certain
    limit, hit it far before he did with Buffy, for with Buffy love was entangled
    with his deeply engrained sense of obligation, an obligation at once
    homosocial and structured to delimit all affective bonds—

    No happy ending there, only scission, pain, falling...



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    I liked Jenny/Giles but did often feel her jibes edged into mockery in an unkind way and Giles' manner was far less certain and assured than he became. I think their dynamic would have shifted somewhat if she had lived and Giles' greater sense of self that emerged when he pushed from the Council in Helpless and stopped conforming as much to the teachings of his role, started making it his own, had happened with her around. My instant feeling is that she'd have liked it and supported him though, helped him in deciding who he wanted to be. Her independence I think could have had the relationship function alongside his focus on the mission, that I agree he never steps away from.

    The problem with Giles/Ethan I think is whether Ethan would have ever wanted to step more towards the middle. If he had remained as he was then I don't think it could have worked. I can't for the life of me remember what his stance/role was in S8 at the moment. Mind block. Anyway, with Jenny and Giles I could see it working because I don't think she would have had issue with being with Giles alongside the work he was doing and would have had her own projects/focus that she would expect him to respect too. I could see them lasting.

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    While I think they had real feelings for each other, I'm not sure that that would ever be enough for a Buffyverse couple. (Can Joss write a healthy relationship? I mean, has he ever even tried it?) In Giles and Jenny's case, they were both far too prone to keeping secrets. Jenny had a year in which to come clean about her mission; Giles wound up learning about it from Buffy's vision instead. Giles hid his magic usage from Jenny until Ethan it got Jenny possessed in "The Dark Age," even though Jenny probably could've exploited his skills to help the gang in "I Robot, You Jane." Even if they had both survived all the secrets secrets, I don't see the relationship surviving their ingrained trust issues.

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    I can see your point but I think that fits into the kind of things that people can come to change in their dynamic as they themselves start to see their roles, selves and relationship differently.

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    I think they were still at a stage of their relationship where there was no relationship yet. They were only starting to fall for each other. Had they even kissed? Been out on more than one date? I think they were very different people from very different backgrounds. Sometimes this works but I am not sure it would have with Giles and Jenny.

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    They'd definitely kissed at least once in "Dark Ages" in the school hallway. They'd also went on at least two dates in "Some Assembly Required" and "Lie to Me." I was under the impression that they were also hanging out more often offscreen.

    I really loved them. Their dynamic is so different from the usual ships in BtVS and I thought Jenny was a really cool character. I mean, she was totally progressive and ahead of her time when she called out the patriarchy/old white men in "IRYJ" and I really dug her mentorship and nurturing vibe with Willow as she helped foster her development. I also liked her protectiveness towards Buffy in "Surprise" when she she puts a stop to Xander's inappropriate comments ("Buffy I feel a pre-birthday spanking coming on!" "I'd curb that impulse if I were you, Xander") given that Giles let it slide. I also kind of loved that she wasn't pigeonholed as a stereotype; she loved attending alternative festivals with naked mud dancing and drums *and* loved American football. She was into spell casting and the black arts *and* was technologically savvy and progressive. She loved reading Giles' old volumes *and* attending monster cars etc. Given that she was, after all, just a side character, they really made her pretty nuanced when most show's would kind of just go one way or the other.

    I also thought she had a pretty wicked sense of humour. I can understand that some found her barbs towards Giles to be a little *too* mean-spirited at times, but she could also be really self-deprecating and cutting towards herself too. This moment in "Ted" never fails to make me laugh;

    XT. PARK - NIGHT

    Giles waits for a sign of trouble. Someone appears near him and he spins, holds up a cross.

    Jenny looks at it, smiles wryly.

    JENNY
    I get that reaction from
    men all the time.
    I was also really sympathetic towards Jenny and her secrecy. She'd been raised to be loyal to her people and raised to hate Angel specifically. She may have loved Giles but it's not easy to just disavow your family and people over someone you've just met. It's also not as if her reason for being in Sunnydale didn't align with the Scoobies or that it caused her to undercut or betray them in any way. Even when she does step up her interference (with prior to "Surprise" is pretty minimal if not non-existent) and encourages Angel to leave Sunnydale with the box, it's actually in line with what Angel feels himself is right and necessary. I understand that Buffy and Giles were hurt but I'm not all that angry with her at all. I was also pretty impressed with her cutting assessment of Enyos and the Roma clan -- "Uncle this is insanity! People are going to die!" "It's not justice that we serve. It is vengeance." "You're a fool. We're all fools." For some reason it's really powerful to me that she even calls herself a fool for allowing herself to perpetuate this nonsense and play a part in it.

    I honestly don't know if she and Giles could've worked long term. I think there's a perfectly good chance they could have, though. Whilst she was initially repelled by Giles' dark past I actually think she was quite attracted to Giles' "Ripper" side. A lot of her poking fun at him, IMO, had a lot to do with the fact that Jenny saw that there was a side of Giles he was keeping repressed under his stuffy, fuddy-duddy exterior. I think that they complimented each other well and had they been given the chance to enter into a relationship and grow with one another I think that Giles would have been really happy. It certainly would have been nice for him to have a companion and to have someone his own age. I also like to imagine what Jenny's relationship with Buffy and Willow could have been. I think Jenny would have done a better job than Giles did at mentoring Willow through her witchcraft (assuming that Willow still explored it had Jenny survived) and fostering Willow's growth in a positive and responsible way. I also can imagine that as Buffy and Giles continued to grow closer that Jenny could have acted as a really positive female role model in Buffy's life.

    The one thing I am undecided on is how Jenny would cope with the events of "Helpless" or other times when Giles exhibited the more unpleasant tendencies of a Watcher (like Season 7). We already know what she thinks of stuffy old white guys who guard and harbour knowledge so I imagine her reaction to "Checkpoint" would've been deliciously snarky when the Council try to hold their knowledge over Buffy's head at ransom. If Giles had still gone through with his betrayal in "Helpless" I'm really not sure if that wouldn't have ended things between him and Jenny, if not permanently then at the very least temporarily, as I actually think she'd be less forgiving than Buffy was. That said, had Jenny still been alive, I'm also not certain that Giles would've still done what he did in "Helpless" in the first place.

    What we did get of Giles/Jenny I really, really loved. And I think it's pretty amazing that for a fairly short-lived and 'new' relationship that "Passion" is still so utterly heartbreaking and iconic amongst BtVS fans. The score "Jenny's Song" by Christophe Beck is still, honestly, probably my favourite score in all of BtVS. Every time I hear that piece my mind instantly goes back to "Passion" (Willow wailing and sobbing on the phone, Buffy and Giles a crumpled mess outside the burning factory etc) and I get emotional. It's so beautiful.
    Last edited by vampmogs; 21-06-19 at 01:13 PM.
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    StateOfSiege:

    I like this very much, although I would describe the WC as homosocial as opposed to homosexual (via Sedgewick)—
    Yup...on a better day I'd have gone with EK-S!

    vampmogs:

    The one thing I am undecided on is how Jenny would cope with the events of "Helpless" or other times when Giles exhibited the more unpleasant tendencies of a Watcher (like Season 7).
    That's a nice summary but it's S7 that makes me question the potential of the relationship.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TriBel View Post
    That's a nice summary but it's S7 that makes me question the potential of the relationship.
    It's pretty hard for me to factor Season 7 into their relationship because who even knows what kind of person Giles would be by that point if he'd remained in a relationship with Jenny since Season 2. I'd imagine things would've played out so, so differently throughout the course of Giles' life that I doubt he'd even be the same person. Not to mention that I think that Jenny's death, and Buffy's inability to stop Angelus when she first had the chance, is a source of real tension between Buffy/Giles in Season 7, so I think things would be really different.
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    Yes, vampmogs if butterfly wings in china can cause a hurricane in Brazil, jenny could have had a huge impact had she lived on S7


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

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoSpuffy View Post
    Yes, vampmogs if butterfly wings in china can cause a hurricane in Brazil, jenny could have had a huge impact had she lived on S7
    Yeah it's really kind of mind-boggling to imagine how many things may have changed. For thing, I imagine Season 4 would've been quite different as both Giles *and* Jenny would be without a job seeing as how Jenny also worked at Sunnydale High. It's also entirely possible that Giles wouldn't have even left Sunnydale in Season 6 had he still been with Jenny and she wanted to remain there. Of course, after she lost her job at the high school, it's entirely possible that Jenny would have persuaded Giles to leave Sunnydale sooner. With Angel no longer in Sunnydale, Jenny's original reason for being there was no longer, and without her job at the high school it's entirely possible that Jenny would set her sights beyond the small Californian town. Jenny had yet to really express a desire in her own right to fight evil so who knows if she'd felt compelled to stay there.

    I imagine that episodes like "Band Candy" would've played out very differently as either we'd get both young Giles and young Jenny, Giles/Joyce may have never had happened, or, if it had, Jenny may have found out and had been devastated. I imagine that the Giles/Joyce dynamic would've also been very different with Jenny in the mix. Hey, who knows, maybe Jenny and Joyce could've struck up a friendship? That'd be nice.

    I'm also thinking that if Jenny hadn't died then they'd have inevitably tried to re-curse Angel much sooner than "Becoming I" which means all the events that transpired would've played out very differently. It's still entirely possible that Angelus would launch an attack on the gang to prevent the spell (assuming that Drusilla foresaw it) but seeing as the vampires actually just stumbled upon the spell on their way to kidnap Giles, it's entirely possible that they'd have been able to perform the spell and re-ensoul Angel well before Acathla. This would mean no expulsion for Buffy, no torture for Giles, and Kendra wouldn't have come to Sunnydale and died in the raid. The ripple effects of that would mean no Faith (at least not anytime soon assuming Kendra went on to live for a while) and no Faith/Mayor in Season 3. It'd also mean that Buffy wouldn't have run off to LA and shut down Ken's slavery ring which means poor Anne/Lilly probably would have died. And then you have to consider what the ripple effects of that meant for characters like Gunn and even Angel in LA.

    It's truly pretty bewildering. There's so many "what ifs" and different ways the story could develop!
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    I think there would be much conflict in their relationship, so the question is whether they could overcome that and grow together from it. How would Jenny react to Giles drugging Buffy for the test in "Helpless" or wanting to kill Dawn in S5?

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