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Buffy killing the Knights of Byzantium (or did she?)

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  • Buffy killing the Knights of Byzantium (or did she?)

    During discussions of the show, some people often point out that Buffy values a human life above anything. However, there is also a counterargument being made that states she does in fact kill humans throughout the show.

    The most common examples are the zookeeper, the swim coach, Faith (attempted), and the Knights of Byzantium.

    However, I am not convinced Buffy did ever kill a single Knight of Byzantium at all, let alone several.

    Buffy and the Scoobies are being attacked by the Knights while they are on the run from Glory in a stolen Winnebago. I have rewatched the scene several times for this post. There are eight, maybe nine Knights on horses coming after them. The first counterattack is made by Giles who swerves the Winnebago towards two or three Knights on horses. We don't get a good view of how this worked but in the following shots, there are still at least eight Knights chasing after the Winnebago. Gile's attack seemed to have had little to no effect. And it was, of course, Giles who drove the Winnebago, not Buffy.

    Buffy then goes up onto the roof and fights four Knights. She throws three of them off the rooftop. They fall down from a height of about 2,5 meters from a moving vehicle. They land on soft, sandy ground. Does that kill a human? It certainly does not kill Buffy. She falls off the roof herself a moment later and is fine.

    The fourth knight is a different story. Buffy throws an axe into his chest and he falls backward off the ladder. Now, a battle axe sticking out of someone's chest does look deadly. But it isn't. Those knights were all wearing chain mail. This is an armor that was designed to withstand sharp blades. Usually, a padded lining was worn underneath. What an axe usually did was break a bone or ribs by the sheer amount of force with which it hit. It did not kill by actually hitting and injuring the heart or any major blood vessels. And I think we can assume that the blade got stuck in the chainmail and the padded lining, not in the ribcage of the knight in question.

    There is a fifth knight whom Anya hits with a pan. To me, it does not look like a killing strike at all.

    Later in the gas station, Buffy fights another knight. She flips him over her shoulder and he could be either unconscious or dead. We don't get any information about this but if he had cracked his skull there should be blood (and brain) spiling everywhere and if he had broken his neck we should have heard a respective sound.

    In the following discussion with the second-in-command of the knights, the latter says ten of his men are dead. Well, that might be the case (he killed one himself only a minute ago) but surely Buffy did not kill ten guys. She didn't even meet or fight ten of them. There were at the most four on the Winnebago and one inside the gas station plus Anya's knight. And none of them were in deadly danger. So, either second-in-command was exaggerating or lying or maybe he referred to deaths that happened along the way while they were chasing Glory. Maybe the hobbits killed ten of his men.

    Do you think Buffy killed one or more of the Knights of Byzantium and if so whom and how?

    flow

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  • #2
    I always just assumed the attack on the Winnebago would have resulted in some deaths and Gregor's later comment was connected.

    But I did rewatch the scene following reading your thoughts. The first knight she fights on the roof we definitely don't know died, and the one Anya knocks off too. The three Buffy then fights on the top, two are thrown off, and the third is hit by the axe as you say. I find it hard to think the axe wouldn't have killed the third to be honest. I think the point of the chain mail is to prevent the blows being deadly but they show the thrown axe as looking embedded in the chest and so I think it has broken through the protection. Surely it is possible the force could be hard enough.

    At first I thought the fact that the ones that are thrown off stop coming might have suggested that they also died, but then the one who threw the spear that got Giles stopped coming too. So they may have just been regathering. But I think the potential one was killed with the axe is very high, the possibility others were is there too but unconfirmed (unless we relate Gregor's comment).

    I think that Buffy killing humans is about context more than anything else. When she kills the assassin at the ice rink I don't think we question if she should be restraining them and getting the police because it's life or death. It's the same with Caleb too. Although he's arguably human+ anyway. With the knights they were attacking with weapons that were designed to kill those in their way getting to the key. So I think lethal force is justified.

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    • #3
      I always assumed she killed some knights but they were still gathering and their numbers increased faster than she could kill them.

      "I like who I am when I'm with him. I like who we are together."

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      • #4
        I think she certainly killed the one Knight and practically speaking probably a small handful. I would have, too.

        What's really important and a point I've made for years - Buffy has never taken a human life in any context or circumstance in which she wouldn't have been justified and within her rights to do so even if she were not the Slayer.

        That alone covers ever example cited, none more clearly than the Knights. They attacked her and her friends with lethal force. She was reasonably afraid the attack would result in the imminent death or grievous bodily injury to herself or one of them; that's a circumstance when Larry or Joyce or Snyder would have been on solid ground to blow them away, so it's completely fine that Buffy lob axes into their chest. She's not exerting some heightened moral authority in her role as a Slayer; she's defending her life in a situation when any human has the human right to do so.

        Incidentally, there's no real need to split hairs on the knights individually; they are all part of the attack, and any reasonable person in that situation would have the same fear of lethal force at any of them that happened to be in striking distance.
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        • #5
          The one guy says they lost 10 men. If indirect deaths like the zookeeper or coach are added to the tally, then a claim can be made they are responsible for all of them whether they be axed or run over by the RV. I think it's a stretch to include these, tbh. Both the zookeep and the coach were attacking, got rolled, ended up on the wrong side and got killed by their creations. Buffy tried to help them in both cases but couldn't.

          I've only ever seen this kind of thing brought up when trying to suggest a false equivalence between the Scoobs and the anti-hero characters. They leave out the self-defense part, naturally. So what if Faith killed a professor; let's not forget Buffy murdered Gwen Post.

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          • #6
            Buffy almost certainly killed a knight and probably killed more (like others like Caleb, Gwen Post, etc. in situations of life-death fight). The ideal "doesn't kill humans" is also a little stretched because BTVS was a teen show and writers couldn't show something too crude/the harsh reality.
            Realistically speaking, Buffy certainly would have killed some knights, it would be irrealistic the opposite. It is a life and death situation like wars; fight and kill for self-defense (consciously or accidentally). This is what happens and always happened in the past centuries during war times, sometimes also "innocent victims" die (voluntarily or accidentally) during these situations.
            It isn't like Faith that initially killed a man for accident and after started to kill consciously for herself without the necessity.
            So unless someone follows a non-violent philosophy that instead kills is ready to get killed (and I respect it) and let all his loved/cared people die; there isn't another solution. Obviously, if someone follows coherently ideals of martyrs and saints that followed for example Jesus (according to theology and religion) that let himself got martyrized and killed for his non-violence doctrine and instructed his apostles and followers to do the same (that also got martyrized and killed), don't agree to kill also for self-defense.

            The problem for me is the anthropocentric view of the show (like other movies and tv shows) and in general, that is flawed, in short:
            Buffy is a fantasy tv show based on a religious/mythological world with demons, vampires, heaven, hell, etc. so we can divide 2 perspectives of thinking:

            Religious/mythological/fantasy point of view
            -What's make humans' life more valuable than anything (demons, vampires, gods, aliens etc..)?
            -Would human's life be more valuable than angels' or divine beings' life?


            Scientific and philosophical point of view
            Scientifically and philosophically speaking the centrality of human life is expressed byanthropocentrism
            Anthropocentrism is a philosophical viewpoint arguing that humans are the central or most significant entities in the world. This is a basic belief embedded in many Western religions and philosophies. Anthropocentrism regards humans as separate from and superior to nature and holds that human life has intrinsic value while other entities (including animals, plants, mineral resources, and so on) are resources that may justifiably be exploited for the benefit of humankind.
            However, scientific discoveries and the increase of environmental awareness about many problems of nature: pollution, global warming, ozone layer depletion, acid rain, natural resource depletion, overpopulation, waste disposal, deforestation, and loss of biodiversity challenged this viewpoint
            This caused a shift from an anthropocentric view to an ecocentric view of life and the world/universe in our time (similar to the passage from geocentrism to heliocentrism) because from a scientific point of view humans are animals and part of the ecosystem and biomes of nature. As a matter of fact, Humans are apex predators that predate the environments (animals and plants included). Humans or early modern humans are taxonomically a sub-species of homo; the history of human evolution is a part of the history of primates that lead to the emergence of Homo Sapiens. As a matter of fact, humans are primates and more generally mammals. It is estimated that over 99.9% of all species that ever lived are extinct. The average lifespan of species is 1–10 million years. Scientifically, human extinction isn't really a problem from a planetary point of view, it can also be helpful to the planet and other species.

            So, theoretically speaking:
            • if a new specie evolves, not from primate/mammals like humans? What happens? How must they behave in relation to humanity? Is their life less valuable than humans? If they are apex-predators that must predate humans, are they "evil"?
            • if an alien specie arrives on our planet (a new apex predator) and we become the prey and colonized? Why should they cooperate with us? Must they follow humans' ethics and morality? of our time: 21 century? (because in the evolution of human history morality and ethics changed with the changes of society and scientific discoveries etc.)

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            • #7
              "Aim for the horsies!"

              She killed them it was a "righteous" kill as cops would say. They were trying to kill her and her sister. They actually ran them off the road and all could have been seriously injured.

              The show is pretty bloodless for a vampire show. Even when the mayor has his head cleaved open and also when Giles stabs him, there is little blood. Buffy pulls a heart/powersource out of Adam and there is no blood.

              Buffy's first deliberate human kill is the two German brothers when she tricks them into shooting each other. This is thus both deliberate killing and self-defense.

              She does not misuse her power to hurt humans, but when the fish boy assaults her, she smashes his face. Again kind of bloodless. BUT She is a woman who does the necessary.

              I think Giles killing Ben is actually the aberation - and it is romantic BS and bad writing. Buffy kills human looking people for 8+ years, some of whom she knew. She has the big brass ones. She kills the person she loves most in the world when it was necessary - does not matter if he is a demon. He is a PERSON. Maybe the writers had Giles kill Ben because they thought it was possibly the last ep? It is far less shocking than her killing Angel.

              She also "killed" Ted. If he had been human, that fight would likely have been fatal. When he comes back, she probably suspects something supernatural even before his face rips open but that fight is very violent.

              Bottom line: the things she did against the knights *should* have resulted in fatalities. We just were not shown the gore porn, which is fine IMO. Were the show on now, i think we would see more violent violence.

              Streaming has changed what we are used to seeing

              We did not see blood or gore in principal flutie's office either.

              Buffy killed knights with forethought and malice. And it was good.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by DeepBlueJoy View Post

                I think Giles killing Ben is actually the aberation - and it is romantic BS and bad writing. Buffy kills human looking people for 8+ years, some of whom she knew. She has the big brass ones. She kills the person she loves most in the world when it was necessary - does not matter if he is a demon. He is a PERSON. Maybe the writers had Giles kill Ben because they thought it was possibly the last ep? It is far less shocking than her killing Angel.
                She killed Angel because there was no other way. She didn't kill Ben because she knew there was another way. Gregor told them all they had to do was stop the ritual and Glory would fade away. She wouldn't have been a problem if they did that, either by stalling or by killing Dawn.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by HardlyThere View Post

                  She killed Angel because there was no other way. She didn't kill Ben because she knew there was another way. Gregor told them all they had to do was stop the ritual and Glory would fade away. She wouldn't have been a problem if they did that, either by stalling or by killing Dawn.
                  She kills vampires who have killed fewer people than Ben did. The fresh raised vampires only crime is being bitten, bit she knows their danger is serious. Ben shared a body with a HELL GOD.

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                  • #10

                    KingofCretins retins
                    I think she certainly killed the one Knight and practically speaking probably a small handful. I would have, too.
                    Okay, I am probably putting too much thought into this -lol. But I don't see why I should take the word of someone with a tattoo on his forehead for granted when Buffy never even met ten of his men. He either lied or exaggerated or ten of his men were killed from the day they started their quest. Maybe some got run over by a truck because they weren't accustomed to modern traffic. Maybe Glory killed some of his men. Maybe Glory's minions killed some of his men. And he definitely killed one too.

                    After rewatching the scene over and over again I can see only one knight qualifying as a candidate for death-by-Buffy and that's the one with an axe in his chest.

                    This is the axe Buffy yields at him:



                    And this is the axe embedded in his chest.



                    You can see him wearing a metal chain. He also wears a leather cover and if he is dressed historically accurate he should wear padded lining underneath the metal chain.

                    I checked out YouTube for a video that explains the impact an axe has on a metal chain and found this one:



                    The interesting part with regard to Buffy starts at about 10:20 minutes. What I conclude from this video is that an axe thrown by an ordinary human might have broken the metal chain but got stuck in the padded lining underneath. It might have caused bruises, maybe scratched the skin and at the utmost broke a rib but probably not the sternum.

                    The problem is that Buffy is not an ordinary human. She has supernatural strength and that means an axe thrown by her might actually break through the metal chain, cut open the padded lining, and split the sternum. This would very likely damage either the heart or a lung or one of the large blood vessels around there. Death would probably, however not necessarily, be the result of it.

                    So, yeah. If Buffy ever killed one of the Knights of Byzantium it was this guy.

                    KingofCretins
                    What's really important and a point I've made for years - Buffy has never taken a human life in any context or circumstance in which she wouldn't have been justified and within her rights to do so even if she were not the Slayer.
                    I agree that she acted in self-defense and was totally justified to do so. Since she is the Slayer there is always the impending issue of excessive self-defense. A punch or a kick that might not be fatal if it comes from an ordinary human is more likely to be fatal coming from her. But right now she is in the middle of a fight, one woman against three knights with weapons and she throws the axe. That#s pure self-defense, not excessive self-defense.

                    However, there is another issue altogether. When Faith kills Allan Finch she acted in putative self-defense. He did not pose a threat but she assumed he did and she had reasons to assume as much. Therefore Faith was justified too. Yet Buffy is shocked at how little Faith cares about his death. So, if Buffy did kill ten Knights of Byzantium (or maybe only one) why does she not struggle to come to terms with it at all?


                    @HardlyThere:
                    They leave out the self-defense part, naturally. So what if Faith killed a professor; let's not forget Buffy murdered Gwen Post
                    I agree with your point about the coach and the zookeeper. I think Gwendoly Post falls into the same category. Buffy did not kill her. She was killed by a flash. There was nothing Buffy could have done to save her. Technically the wound to her arm inflicted by Buffy could have been fatal too because of the impending blood loss. But we never get there. Gwendolyn Post is dead before that.

                    @DeepBlueJoy:
                    "Aim for the horsies!"
                    Yes, she told Giles to aim for the horses instead of the humans! Anyway, Giles actually hit neither man nor horsie. He just scared them off the road and not even very effectively:



                    Buffy's first deliberate human kill is the two German brothers when she tricks them into shooting each other. This is thus both deliberate killing and self-defense.
                    In my opinion, this is another example of Buffy actually not killing her opponents. They shoot each other. They are mistaken about whom they shoot. But Buffy is not obliged to correct them. I agree that it would be self-defense if she had caused their deaths, but I simply don't see it. If two gunmen come at me from opposite directions and I duck and they, therefore, shoot each other I am by no means responsible for their deaths. It's an interesting question though and certainly a greyer area than the case of the zookeeper, the coach, or Gwendoly Post.

                    Stoney
                    When she kills the assassin at the ice rink I don't think we question if she should be restraining them and getting the police because it's life or death.
                    I never thought of the guy at the ice rink as a human. I always assumed he was a human-looking demon. I just didn't think it possible a human could and would be a member of an order that operates within the supernatural world. It also seems nonsensical to send a human without supernatural strength after a slayer with supernatural strength (unless the human is a sniper and has a gun, like the woman disguised as a police officer did). I actually always thought the policewoman was a human-shaped demon too, mostly because the worm guy who was also sent by the order clearly was a demon.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by flow View Post
                      KingofCretins retins

                      Okay, I am probably putting too much thought into this -lol. But I don't see why I should take the word of someone with a tattoo on his forehead for granted when Buffy never even met ten of his men. He either lied or exaggerated or ten of his men were killed from the day they started their quest. Maybe some got run over by a truck because they weren't accustomed to modern traffic. Maybe Glory killed some of his men. Maybe Glory's minions killed some of his men. And he definitely killed one too.
                      I'm not taking his accounting for anything, just my own recollection of the scene. It's pretty easy for someone to do being thrown off a moving vehicle, though, so I do infer some loss of life other than that climactic axe throw. Totally plausible she killed the two guys before him, for instance, both of them going to ground from the roof. Certainly, and I think this is the material point to discussing the moral component, she acted with lethal force and didn't care in the least if they did die. They were fair game; she didn't cross some moral event horizon specifically deciding to kill that one dude because she didn't like his face.

                      Although as an aside, in my head I had remembered that last beat as her breaking the guy's neck and hurling his axe into the other one. Think I'm conflating that with a move Angel's done.
                      KingofCretins

                      I agree that she acted in self-defense and was totally justified to do so. Since she is the Slayer there is always the impending issue of excessive self-defense. A punch or a kick that might not be fatal if it comes from an ordinary human is more likely to be fatal coming from her. But right now she is in the middle of a fight, one woman against three knights with weapons and she throws the axe. That#s pure self-defense, not excessive self-defense.

                      However, there is another issue altogether. When Faith kills Allan Finch she acted in putative self-defense. He did not pose a threat but she assumed he did and she had reasons to assume as much. Therefore Faith was justified too. Yet Buffy is shocked at how little Faith cares about his death. So, if Buffy did kill ten Knights of Byzantium (or maybe only one) why does she not struggle to come to terms with it at all?
                      Oh, absolutely Faith was justified. I've complained as often as its come up that "Bad Girls" fundamentally misunderstands that moment. In fact, Season 3 in general does. Faith doesn't really murder a human until 3.21. There might have been a cool opportunity to have her being gaslit prior to that that she was already a murderer, but I'm glad they didn't because I quite enjoyed the earnest father/daughter relationship between the Mayor and Faith. But it has always pissed me off that they genuinely didn't do anything "wrong" under the circumstances, they'd had things jumping out at them to kill them for a little bit there.
                      Last edited by KingofCretins; 19-07-21, 11:31 PM.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by HardlyThere View Post

                        Gregor told them all they had to do was stop the ritual and Glory would fade away. She wouldn't have been a problem if they did that, either by stalling or by killing Dawn.
                        I don't think that we are meant to take what Gregor says about Glory fading away literally. Most likely Glory would have just become more human. She was already starting to feel human emotions such as guilt in the final two episodes of the season.


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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by DeepBlueJoy View Post

                          She kills vampires who have killed fewer people than Ben did. The fresh raised vampires only crime is being bitten, bit she knows their danger is serious. Ben shared a body with a HELL GOD.
                          And Angel shares the body of Angelus, who could lose his soul with the click of fingers. Buffy sees Ben as an innocent, as does Giles.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by flow View Post
                            I checked out YouTube for a video that explains the impact an axe has on a metal chain and found this one:
                            I watched the video up to around 5-6mins when he's first trying to swing the axe and then the later point which you mentioned. I think in both you can see that the chainmail repels the axe from properly piercing/embedding. Whereas when Buffy throws it, with her slayer strength as you say, it does look like it breaks through the chainmail and pierces the body, lodges in it. So I really do think she kills that guy.
                            However, there is another issue altogether. When Faith kills Allan Finch she acted in putative self-defense. He did not pose a threat but she assumed he did and she had reasons to assume as much. Therefore Faith was justified too. Yet Buffy is shocked at how little Faith cares about his death. So, if Buffy did kill ten Knights of Byzantium (or maybe only one) why does she not struggle to come to terms with it at all?
                            I think the straightforward difference is that Finch wasn't actually attacking them. It is the fact Faith doesn't care that she killed an innocent man accidentally. She hadn't intended to and the actual death shouldn't be treated as a morally questionable thing for Faith. It was her response of closing off about it and not caring about the accident that Buffy was shocked by. So it's an inherently different situation to killing a human who was trying to kill her.

                            In contrast take Ted as someone who Buffy thought was human and believed she had killed him. I think what Buffy feels terrible about there is that she used her strength on him and he wasn't a threat to her physical life, but her emotional one. She didn't think she was justified in using her strength on him as she did. So we see her very emotionally affected by it, even though it was an accident. Faith killing Finch was even more understandable as it was within the heat of a fight where they were facing multiple opponents who were trying to kill them.

                            I never thought of the guy at the ice rink as a human. I always assumed he was a human-looking demon. I just didn't think it possible a human could and would be a member of an order that operates within the supernatural world. It also seems nonsensical to send a human without supernatural strength after a slayer with supernatural strength (unless the human is a sniper and has a gun, like the woman disguised as a police officer did). I actually always thought the policewoman was a human-shaped demon too, mostly because the worm guy who was also sent by the order clearly was a demon.
                            I don't think it is ever stated. In the Buffy wiki he is listed as human but it is acknowledged that he might not be. Patrice is also listed as human. I don't think that a group of assassins would have to be all demon, but we don't know for sure. If they were, it would definitely hit in the justification of a life or death fight though.

                            In most of the cases of humans being killed, the swim coach, Gwendolyn Post, the zookeeper, I don't think Buffy herself kills them and I agree with you that the German brothers shoot each other (EDIT: although Blue is right that she does set that up to happen), but she would have been justified if it had come to it, as they were threatening her life.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by flow View Post
                              KingofCretins retins

                              Okay, I am probably putting too much thought into this -lol. But I don't see why I should take the word of someone with a tattoo on his forehead for granted when Buffy never even met ten of his men. He either lied or exaggerated or ten of his men were killed from the day they started their quest. Maybe some got run over by a truck because they weren't accustomed to modern traffic. Maybe Glory killed some of his men. Maybe Glory's minions killed some of his men. And he definitely killed one too.

                              After rewatching the scene over and over again I can see only one knight qualifying as a candidate for death-by-Buffy and that's the one with an axe in his chest.

                              This is the axe Buffy yields at him:



                              And this is the axe embedded in his chest.



                              You can see him wearing a metal chain. He also wears a leather cover and if he is dressed historically accurate he should wear padded lining underneath the metal chain.

                              I checked out YouTube for a video that explains the impact an axe has on a metal chain and found this one:



                              The interesting part with regard to Buffy starts at about 10:20 minutes. What I conclude from this video is that an axe thrown by an ordinary human might have broken the metal chain but got stuck in the padded lining underneath. It might have caused bruises, maybe scratched the skin and at the utmost broke a rib but probably not the sternum.

                              The problem is that Buffy is not an ordinary human. She has supernatural strength and that means an axe thrown by her might actually break through the metal chain, cut open the padded lining, and split the sternum. This would very likely damage either the heart or a lung or one of the large blood vessels around there. Death would probably, however not necessarily, be the result of it.

                              So, yeah. If Buffy ever killed one of the Knights of Byzantium it was this guy.

                              KingofCretins

                              I agree that she acted in self-defense and was totally justified to do so. Since she is the Slayer there is always the impending issue of excessive self-defense. A punch or a kick that might not be fatal if it comes from an ordinary human is more likely to be fatal coming from her. But right now she is in the middle of a fight, one woman against three knights with weapons and she throws the axe. That#s pure self-defense, not excessive self-defense.

                              However, there is another issue altogether. When Faith kills Allan Finch she acted in putative self-defense. He did not pose a threat but she assumed he did and she had reasons to assume as much. Therefore Faith was justified too. Yet Buffy is shocked at how little Faith cares about his death. So, if Buffy did kill ten Knights of Byzantium (or maybe only one) why does she not struggle to come to terms with it at all?


                              @HardlyThere:

                              I agree with your point about the coach and the zookeeper. I think Gwendoly Post falls into the same category. Buffy did not kill her. She was killed by a flash. There was nothing Buffy could have done to save her. Technically the wound to her arm inflicted by Buffy could have been fatal too because of the impending blood loss. But we never get there. Gwendolyn Post is dead before that.

                              @DeepBlueJoy:

                              Yes, she told Giles to aim for the horses instead of the humans! Anyway, Giles actually hit neither man nor horsie. He just scared them off the road and not even very effectively:





                              In my opinion, this is another example of Buffy actually not killing her opponents. They shoot each other. They are mistaken about whom they shoot. But Buffy is not obliged to correct them. I agree that it would be self-defense if she had caused their deaths, but I simply don't see it. If two gunmen come at me from opposite directions and I duck and they, therefore, shoot each other I am by no means responsible for their deaths. It's an interesting question though and certainly a greyer area than the case of the zookeeper, the coach, or Gwendoly Post.

                              Stoney

                              I never thought of the guy at the ice rink as a human. I always assumed he was a human-looking demon. I just didn't think it possible a human could and would be a member of an order that operates within the supernatural world. It also seems nonsensical to send a human without supernatural strength after a slayer with supernatural strength (unless the human is a sniper and has a gun, like the woman disguised as a police officer did). I actually always thought the policewoman was a human-shaped demon too, mostly because the worm guy who was also sent by the order clearly was a demon.

                              flow





                              Saying Buffy did not kill the germans is the same as saying the person who tricked someone into setting off a bomb did not kill them because the hand of the victim activated the bomb. She set them on each other. It was deliberate and she was the one who placed the bugs on them. She did it, and she was right to do so or they would have killed her.

                              I do not get the sturm and drang about her justifiably defending herself and others.

                              Ben was far from innocent. He could have helped Buffy or killed himself. Heck, he might have been able to stop the whole mess by taking strong drugs that rendered him unconcious on the day before the portal ceremony. He cooperated. He also killed a bunch of mental patients and his comment suggested it was not a one time thing. Buffy did not know who did that, however.

                              Liam was an innocent trapped in Angelus and killing someone you love is enormous even if it means saving the world.

                              Buffy wanted to save her sister and that became her focus. I don't think that she could not kill Ben if he represented a danger and I think he (Glory) would have.

                              I think they did not want to show her, a teenager, killing Ben in cold blood. But Buffy the character could have killed Ben and probably should have hit glory and had her die as she turned int Ben. That would have haunted her. But the writers wanted her to die and for us to grieve her cleanly, so no innocent blood.
                              Last edited by DeepBlueJoy; 20-07-21, 05:13 AM.

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by DeepBlueJoy View Post



                                Ben was far from innocent. He could have helped Buffy or killed himself.
                                You make it sound so simple. If you were in Ben's shoes would you kill yourself?
                                Heck, he might have been able to stop the whole mess by taking strong drugs that rendered him unconcious on the day before the portal ceremony
                                .One of Glory's minions says that Glory's too powerful for drugs to work.
                                He also killed a bunch of mental patients and his comment suggested it was not a one time thing.
                                I always saw Ben killing the crazy people as a form of mercy killing. As far as Ben knew they couldn't be restored. Also Ben was also skeptical about their family members being able to look after them 24/7.[/QUOTE]

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                                • Stoney
                                  Stoney commented
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                                  I think Ben's innocence vs culpability is an interesting side discussion. Do you mind me creating a thread from your posts DeepBlueJoy and Lostsoul666 , for the discussion to continue about Ben elsewhere?

                                • Lostsoul666
                                  Lostsoul666 commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  I don't mind. I personally think that it could make for an interesting discussion.

                              • #17
                                I think they did not want to show her, a teenager, killing Ben in cold blood. But Buffy the character could have killed Ben and probably should have hit glory and had her die as she turned int Ben. That would have haunted her. But the writers wanted her to die and for us to grieve her cleanly, so no innocent blood.
                                I agree. This is the point and problem of the show for me: writers created these situations (the death of the swim coach, Gwendolyn Post, the zookeeper, Greman Brothers killed indirectly or by accident by Buffy) in order to avoid the emotional impact on audience in relation to see Buffy kills humans directly and question about the difference between human life and demon life because they couldn't show the harsh reality in a teen show

                                For example in the Order of Taraka:
                                -Patrice and Norman Pfister (the worm), in a hypothetical situation where both attack Buffy and Buffy kills them in self-defense, what makes Patrice human's life more valuable than Norman demon's life? killing Patrice (an assassin/killer human) generates numerous moral and philosophical questions but killing Norman (an assassin/killer demon) doesn't?
                                -Clem's life (a good demon) is less valuable than Caleb's life before he was possessed by the First (a human misogynist serial killer)? or Gwendolyn Post, the zookeeper, Greman Brothers?

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                                • #18
                                  I'd argue that the show isn't really inconsistent in it being contextual. When Buffy is fighting humans and might/does take human life it is when her own/that of others is threatened and she isn't able to subdue and hand over those people. At what points the slayer could/should be the judge/jury to humans who are stepping into supernatural crimes is often pressed by their power and the level of threat. Demons that aren't a danger like Clem Buffy doesn't kill. In most non-vampire cases the actions of the human/demon either gets them on the radar or keeps them under it.

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                                  • #19
                                    Originally posted by Lostsoul666 View Post
                                    You make it sound so simple. If you were in Ben's shoes would you kill yourself?
                                    .One of Glory's minions says that Glory's too powerful for drugs to work.

                                    I always saw Ben killing the crazy people as a form of mercy killing. As far as Ben knew they couldn't be restored. Also Ben was also skeptical about their family members being able to look after them 24/7.
                                    [/QUOTE]

                                    It's always interesting to consider who is expendable for the greater good and how that changes. The irony of Giles killing Ben is that if Buffy used his logic, she'd have never called Ben to save him and the entire thing could have been avoided.

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                                    • flow
                                      flow commented
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                                      Never thought about it that way ...

                                  • #20
                                    Nothing13
                                    -Patrice and Norman Pfister (the worm), in a hypothetical situation where both attack Buffy and Buffy kills them in self-defense, what makes Patrice human's life more valuable than Norman demon's life? killing Patrice (an assassin/killer human) generates numerous moral and philosophical questions but killing Norman (an assassin/killer demon) doesn't?
                                    I am not sure Patrice is human (just like the ice rink guy I always assumed she was a demon) but apart from that, there is an inconsistency that's difficult to explain in a plausible or convincing way. I usually go with "The lore of the show tells us it's okay to kill or slay (evil) demons." However, I am not too happy with that explanation myself.

                                    -Clem's life (a good demon) is less valuable than Caleb's life before he was possessed by the First (a human misogynist serial killer)? or Gwendolyn Post, the zookeeper, Greman Brothers?
                                    We often see Buffy slay newly risen vampires. it is my understanding that vampires - unless they have a soul - don't actually have a choice between good and evil. They are drawn to evil or maybe you could say they are inherently evil. However, I don't think we ever see her slay a demon who hasn't attacked her first, meaning unlike with vampires she usually kills demons in self-defense. That means Clem - and every other demon who does not attack her or other humans - is save.

                                    I also think humans who are possessed by a demon have to be treated as if they were demons, not humans. After all, vampires are humans who are possessed by a demon too. That means the zookeeper counts as a demon and so does Caleb. But compared to Gwendolyn Post or the German brothers my answer would in fact be yes, their life is more valuable than that of an evil demon.

                                    flow

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