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Creatures you wish you'd seen

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  • Creatures you wish you'd seen

    So we had vampires, werewolves, witches, trolls, mummies, hellhounds, dragons, zombies, zompires(!), ghosts, demons of various descriptions and more. But were there any mythological or supernatural creatures that you wish you had seen Buffy or Angel face? Or ones that you would have loved to have been part of the verse more?

    I was looking at a list of creatures from folklore that are connected to being in/around the home. As the house is a repeated feature as a place of security, a threat from within could have easily been a thematic link. I could see a MOTW episode where a traditional Bogeyman (or Boggart in a non HP shape shifting version) was responsible for abducting children. Perhaps something Angel Investigations would have been called to help with and definitely something Wes or Giles could have consulted their books and pontificated about.

  • #2
    I would love to see more Slavic mythology, maybe Domovoy or Rusalka or even Baba Yaga, but that would be crazy. I think BtVS doesn't rely heavily on any actual mythology most of the time. I noticed some is based on Abrahamic religions and Native American mythology, but mostly they made the demons up.

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    • #3
      We read The Castle of Tangled Magic with our son recently and that was my first introduction to the Slavic mythical creatures you mentioned.

      The traditional supernatural creatures, obviously vampires, witches, ghosts, werewolves etc are easier ones to draw into the verse in a more ongoing way generally. But I always loved the odd times fairy tales and folklore sprang up too. It gave a great sense of breadth and the connection to stories you may have heard was fun for motw episodes. The side stepping too where original creatures were revealed as the truth behind the story, like in Gingerbread was great.

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      • #4
        Stoney
        a traditional Bogeyman (or Boggart in a non HP shape shifting version) was responsible for abducting children.
        To me, that's a great description of the entire Watchers Council. I don't think Giles and Wes would want to think too hard about it.
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        • Stoney
          Stoney commented
          Editing a comment
          See, interesting parallels could have been drawn too.

      • #5
        @Stoney
        See, interesting parallels could have been drawn too.
        One of my many shortcomings* is I don't pay much attention to the actual creatures/monsters (of the week) in BtVS - mostly because I tend to prefer the socio-aesthetic of the later seasons but, from what I can remember, isn't that - in a sense - their function: they're metaphor or analogy? Would you be as interested in them if they weren't? Genuine question. Can you read them simply as stories rather than as parallels in some form? I wouldn't/couldn't - but then I can't read for story.

        My starting point for mythology is always its function as a way of people making sense of the world (TBH, I find Chris Hemsworth's Thor a much more attractive - in every sense of the word - response to thunder/lighting than (mumble, mumble, kinda boring) electricity but maybe that's just me ). Related to this "sense-making" is Adorno and Horkheimer's “myth is already enlightenment, and enlightenment reverts to mythology (I think S5-7 unpack this)” and Barthes' overlapping understanding that "Myth [today] Is Depoliticized Speech...myth has the task of giving a historical intention a natural justification, and making contingency appear eternal" (again it's why I like 5-7). I can't shake this off.

        I know of Baba Yaga but very little about her except she's usually portrayed as an old woman. From Wiki: Andreas Johns identifies Baba Yaga as "one of the most memorable and distinctive figures in eastern European folklore", and observes that she is "enigmatic" and often exhibits "striking ambiguity". Johns summarizes Baba Yaga as "a many-faceted figure, capable of inspiring researchers to see her as a Cloud, Moon, Death, Winter, Snake, Bird, Pelican or Earth Goddess, totemic matriarchal ancestress, female initiator, phallic mother, or archetypal image".

        I think she'd be a great addition but I also think what she represents is already encoded in Tara/Joyce/Sineya and perhaps Buffy herself so either she'd cloud the water or, conversely, help clarify it. I'd go with the latter. As far as I know, Baba is a Slavic word for Grandmother and I always think Dawn drawing a parallel between the Slayer's bag and her (unnamed) Gran's closet is interesting. So yeah... to Baba Yaga.

        In answer to the OP, I'd have liked Chris Hemsworth in BtVS...and maybe Hiddleston's Loki (although I think Spike has chaos/mischief/trickster sewn up). Less self-indulgent, I'd have liked more African (-American) references - I always presumed Mr Trick was a nod towards African (perhaps Ghanaian?) myths of the Trickster. I'm pretty sure the Giles mini in S11 draws on African vampire myth rather than European (I hate saying "African" but I'm not knowledgeable enough to locate the specific country of origin). I've always presumed there's a universal element to myth.

        We read The Castle of Tangled Magic with our son recently and that was my first introduction to the Slavic mythical creatures you mentioned.
        I missed the opportunity for shared knowledge. I kinda stopped reading to mine at Thomas the Tank Engine and shoved them in front of a video.

        How does Harmony's love of unicorns impact mythological creatures...does it delegitimize or is it saying more? Is it a reference to fetishization? To commodification?

        *sigh...another shortcoming is my overreliance on brackets and dashes.
        Last edited by TriBel; 03-09-21, 12:02 PM.
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        • #6
          Originally posted by TriBel View Post
          One of my many shortcomings* is I don't pay much attention to the actual creatures/monsters (of the week) in BtVS - mostly because I tend to prefer the socio-aesthetic of the later seasons but, from what I can remember, isn't that - in a sense - their function: they're metaphor or analogy? Would you be as interested in them if they weren't? Genuine question. Can you read them simply as stories rather than as parallels in some form? I wouldn't/couldn't - but then I can't read for story.
          Definitely, I agree there's more to them than just being monsters of the week, hence my suggestion of ones that linked to challenge the theme of the house as a point of security. Sorry, I had misread your comment about Wes and Giles not wanting to look into it, as being lighthearted or dismissive, rather than making the point that it could be a challenging parallel. Which was what I then was saying. So, really, as it turns out, I was agreeing with you.

          I completely agree that mythology, fairytales and folklore, function for making sense of the world. Baba Yaga in the Castle of Tangled Magic is a guide for spirits to cross worlds. I think another of Sophie Anderson's books features a character travelling with her grandmother who is a Baba Yaga, but I haven't read that. The one in the Castle of Tangled Magic was only briefly introduced. The writer may have adapted the usual portrayals or just leant into a different element with the sense of connection. There could definitely have been a thematic tie used with such a character and I'm happy to feel the writers could have found a good story to pin it all around.

          Less self-indulgent, I'd have liked more African (-American) references - I always presumed Mr Trick was a nod towards African (perhaps Ghanaian?) myths of the Trickster. I'm pretty sure the Giles mini in S11 draws on African vampire myth rather than European (I hate saying "African" but I'm not knowledgeable enough to locate the specific country of origin). I've always presumed there's a universal element to myth.
          I think you're probably right about the universal quality that comes with myths. You often hear of different versions of essentially the same characters/meaning from different cultures. I agree a broader sense of other cultures in this way would be great.

          I missed the opportunity for shared knowledge. I kinda stopped reading to mine at Thomas the Tank Engine and shoved them in front of a video.
          I rarely make time to read but love it. Continuing to read with the kids stops me missing it entirely. So it is as much for myself as them.

          How does Harmony's love of unicorns impact mythological creatures...does it delegitimize or is it saying more? Is it a reference to fetishization? To commodification?
          Fetishization? In what way?

          Harmony's unicorn obsession I had considered more for the visual contrast of an element against the dark/vampire/crypt of a commercialised version of what was seen as positive, 'pretty' mythology.

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          • #7
            Originally posted by redtent View Post
            I would love to see more Slavic mythology, maybe Domovoy or Rusalka or even Baba Yaga, but that would be crazy. I think BtVS doesn't rely heavily on any actual mythology most of the time. I noticed some is based on Abrahamic religions and Native American mythology, but mostly they made the demons up.
            Baba Yaga would have been amazing. Buffy dealing with the adze - a kind of African vampire demon that can turn into a flying insect and suck your blood/life essence - would have been fascinating as well. They could have really branched out in terms of mythology and it's a pity that they stayed for the most part within a European tradition.

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            • #8
              Originally posted by American Aurora View Post
              Buffy dealing with the adze - a kind of African vampire demon that can turn into a flying insect and suck your blood/life essence - would have been fascinating as well. They could have really branched out in terms of mythology and it's a pity that they stayed for the most part within a European tradition.
              I like this. The vampiric/blood link has really obvious melds with the show and I can picture them creating a MOTW with them figuring out what they were dealing with after a series of deaths.

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              • #9
                Originally posted by Stoney View Post

                I like this. The vampiric/blood link has really obvious melds with the show and I can picture them creating a MOTW with them figuring out what they were dealing with after a series of deaths.
                Yeah, and it also revolves around the idea of contagion through a flying insect - something that’s pretty frightening even today. Malaria alone is one of the leading causes of death around the world.

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                • #10
                  I have to agree that a trickster character whether it be from European mythology (Loki / Puck), African mythology (Anasi) or Indigenous mythologies would have been an interesting addition to the show’s bestiary. Spike might be a trickster in some ways, but I’m surprised they didn’t do more with it.

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