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What does Gwen Raiden bring to S4?

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  • What does Gwen Raiden bring to S4?

    Gwen Raiden is one of the characters from the verse that I often hear people suggest could have been used more. But she is more than a single episode character already. So, as she specifically appears in a few episodes dotted through S4, connecting with Angel and then Gunn, do you see a reoccurring theme or purpose to her appearances in the season?

  • #2
    People seem to love Gwen Raiden, and wish she were in the show more. I'm honestly not sure what her purpose is, maybe to add sex appeal to the show. She seemed to have chemistry with both Angel and Gunn. Other than that, she was feisty, a little aggressive, but with a tragic back story.

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    • #3
      Gwen feels like the Angel writer's wanted to bring a super heroish type character into the Angelverse. She's basically X-Men's Rogue with the whole "being unable to touch people" thing, and her electric powers, and last name are a reference to the Mortal Kombat character Raiden.

      She's an ok character. I could pretty much take her or leave her.

      Comic spoilers.
      Spoiler:
      I did like her role in Angel After the Fall as a double agent for Vampire Gunn.
      My deviantart: http://vampfox.deviantart.com/

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      • #4
        I think she was obviously presented as a series potential - a special guest star who could potentially become a main character if lightning struck. Much like Wesley or Spike or Anya or Lorne or Tara who were not originally introduced as series regulars, but were given numerous stand out scenes and episodes to see if they clicked with the other characters before signing them on.

        Actually, if you consider the original opening script of BtVS based on the film - in which Angel is missing - you could even see Angel himself as a test character who electrified the show immediately.

        But as interesting as Gwen was, she never really clicked with the cast for me - or at least, not in the way that Lorne clicked.
        Last edited by American Aurora; 28-04-21, 12:05 AM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by American Aurora View Post
          I think she was obviously presented as a series potential - a special guest star who could potentially become a main character if lightning struck. Much like Wesley or Spike or Anya or Lorne or Tara who were not originally introduced as series regulars, but were given numerous stand out scenes and episodes to see if they clicked with the other characters before signing them on.

          Actually, if you consider the original opening script of BtVS based on the film - in which Angel is missing - you could even see Angel himself as a test character who electrified the show immediately.

          But as interesting as Gwen was, she never really clicked with the cast for me - or at least, not in the way that Lorne clicked.
          Angel was in the pilot script. He stakes a vampire, which is more than what he does for most of S1.

          I think Gwen was brought in to give guys something to look at if you want the truth.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by HardlyThere View Post

            Angel was in the pilot script. He stakes a vampire, which is more than what he does for most of S1.

            I think Gwen was brought in to give guys something to look at if you want the truth.
            Sheesh, picky, picky. My fault for writing so fast between work. I meant the shortened pilot Whedon shot for the networks - Angel wasn’t even considered an important enough character to make an appearance. He and the Master were cut out, which shows how little Whedon thought of the character of Angel or realized what a breakthrough role it would be.

            Regardless of whether Gwen was there to be hot, she was still probably used a few times to see if she clicked as a recurring character and possibly a main one in the future. Maybe at least turn into another Faith. But ‘twas not to be.
            Last edited by American Aurora; 28-04-21, 01:45 PM.

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            • #7
              Yeah, I don't think Joss cared about Angel even after the show picked up. Angel was always more Greenwalt's baby and network push.

              As for Gwen, I don't think not clicking mattered much. It didn't stop them with Riley or Kennedy. I think Gwen not sticking around was probably due to all the jostling they had to do when reworking the Cordy arc.

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              • #8
                It felt quite purposeful to me with Gwen, more than just for male gaze (although there's no doubt that this plays a part, I'm sure). That she appeared at points staggered through the season and if they were testing the potential of working her in more, that makes sense.

                I think thematically, Gwen works well against Connor in the season as someone that has been separated from society and is actually quite vulnerable in their desire for a connection. And, as Pricey says, she's feisty and a little aggressive. Her background having meaningfully impacted her character and that works well against the tragedy of what has happened to Connor. Comic spoiler... (I don't think we tend to spoiler tag these anymore, but it's good to flag a reference so it can be avoided). That she was eventually paired with Connor, as I recall (it has been a long time since I read AtF), I think works better than Angel or Gunn.

                Considering her also as a heroic action figure, with the comparison to Rogue is also an interesting factor. Beyond the distancing mirroring, the experience of finding people that they can fit in with and a team to join. They could easily have used her to attract Connor, as they did with Faith, but I don't think it would have worked as well.

                Gwen also perhaps gives another example of using power in a corrupted way, but changing and reconsidering. And that somewhat comes back to being positively affected by people around her and the notion of influence, which pulls through the season.

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