Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Glory's ritual and Buffy's sacrifice

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Glory's ritual and Buffy's sacrifice

    I have some problems fully understanding the concept of how closing the portal works in The Gift.

    This is what Giles has researched:

    The key was ... living energy. It needed to be channeled, poured into a specific place at a specific time. The energy ... would flow into that spot, the walls between the dimensions break down. It stops, the energy's used up, the walls come back up. Glory uses that time to get back into her own dimension, not caring that all manner of hell will be unleashed on earth in the meantime.
    And furthermore:

    "The blood flows, the gates will open. The gates will close when it flows no more."
    He continues with his own conclusion:
    When Dawn is dead.
    So, the key basically used to be a - let's say - liter of energy and you poured that liter into a keyhole. With the first drop, the key turns and the door opens. With the last drop the key locks the door. The energy is not gone. It is still somewhere and since it is living energy it might even be able to move to any place it chooses to move to.

    Anya correctly assumes that the ritual will not only open the portal but also close it once the energy has been spent.

    ANYA: Um, but only for a little while, right? The walls come back up, uh, n-no more hell?
    The downside of this is, as Willow says that instead of pouring a whole liter of energy into the keyhole you now have to pour the whole Dawn into it, or at least all of her blood to close the portal.

    This means if you simply put a band-aid over Dawn's shallow wounds it would stop her blood from spilling but it would not close the portal. The portal needs more blood. It specifically needs all of Dawn's blood. At least that's how I understand it.

    Along comes Buffy and says, "My blood and Dawn's blood are basically the same blood. The portal won't make any difference between my blood and Dawn's blood. I can pour my blood into the keyhole and thus close the portal."

    Again, that's how I understand Buffy's POV. I might be wrong. If you think there is a different explanation for the ritual, please let me know.

    There are a few things I don't get. First of all, the whole point of Dawn being the key was that Dawn IS the living key-energy in humanoid form. If however she has been made entirely from Buffy or from Buffy's blood, where is the key energy now? was it in Buffy's blood before the monks started to create Dawn?

    Secondly - I have just established, that all of the key-energy-turned-into-human-blood needs to be poured into the keyhole. The whole energy has to be used up. The whole blood needs to stop flowing. That's what everything depends upon. But Buffy only poured half the energy/blood into the keyhole because the other half - the one that runs in Dawn's veins - is still there, is still flowing, and has not been used up.

    Giles said specifically that the gates will only close when the blood flows no more. But that's what it still does. If Dawn's blood and Buffy's blood are exactly the same and Dawn's blood is still flowing in her veins the portal shouldn't close. Unless I missed something.

    There is another minor issue. Buffy's blood is not being spilled at all. She has no wounds or cuts. She simply jumps, dies and the portal closes. You could say the blood didn't need to spill, it was sufficient for the blood - Buffy's blood - to stop flowing through her veins. But I am not sure if that's the correct explanation.

    Final question - do you think Buffy died while jumping/entering the light or did she die from the impact of hitting the ground?

    flow

    Banner by Brendan

  • #2
    First of all, the whole point of Dawn being the key was that Dawn IS the living key-energy in humanoid form. If however she has been made entirely from Buffy or from Buffy's blood, where is the key energy now? was it in Buffy's blood before the monks started to create Dawn?
    I think that Dawn is definitely distinctly the key. The fact that some can see her as green light suggests she is in herself always it. The way she starts to fade away in the comics with the loss of magic supports that her form is manipulated but the essence it is built around is the key-energy.

    Secondly - I have just established, that all of the key-energy-turned-into-human-blood needs to be poured into the keyhole. The whole energy has to be used up. The whole blood needs to stop flowing. That's what everything depends upon. But Buffy only poured half the energy/blood into the keyhole because the other half - the one that runs in Dawn's veins - is still there, is still flowing, and has not been used up.

    Giles said specifically that the gates will only close when the blood flows no more. But that's what it still does. If Dawn's blood and Buffy's blood are exactly the same and Dawn's blood is still flowing in her veins the portal shouldn't close. Unless I missed something.
    I think, and this is just how I've thought about it now in response to your questions, that there is a mystical tie to Buffy as Dawn was created to be her sister so the magic biologically joins them and Buffy's assumption is that as a blood relative she will have enough of a connection through their blood that the ritual/magic will happily exchange one set of Summer's blood for another. It is no longer about Dawn being the key that will open the portal once it is open and is about the blood ritual being completed to shut it again. So a full quantity of blood, or the symbolic act of submitting the blood works. A person's worth in this case.

    There is another minor issue. Buffy's blood is not being spilled at all. She has no wounds or cuts. She simply jumps, dies and the portal closes. You could say the blood didn't need to spill, it was sufficient for the blood - Buffy's blood - to stop flowing through her veins. But I am not sure if that's the correct explanation.
    You could see it as the blood stopping flowing in her veins as completing the ritual, I think that works. I feel that there is often wriggle room when it comes to magic and mystical processes and the sacrifice alone would do it. Perhaps the blood passing through the portal is enough for it to 'take' it and then the death meets the stop flowing element, even if the act of passing through didn't.

    Final question - do you think Buffy died while jumping/entering the light or did she die from the impact of hitting the ground?
    I think her death has to be connected to the ritual, so in paying the price of the blood she had died as soon as she exited the portal, before falling to the ground.

    Comment


    • #3
      I don’t think it’s a matter of how many pints of blood are needed to close it. I think it’s the act of sacrifice, giving one’s life. While Dawn’s key energy was needed to start the ritual, yes, I think Buffy’s blood is close enough to Dawn’s to substitute. In a way, you could say that Buffy sacrificing herself is like the ram appearing and taking the sacrificial place of Isaac.

      It makes mythic sense to me, but I’m viewing it with magical “logic” rather than Star Trek scientific logic.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by flow View Post

        Final question - do you think Buffy died while jumping/entering the light or did she die from the impact of hitting the ground?
        Giving that we have seen Buffy fall from high places before I'd say that the energy from the portal is what killed her.

        What I've always wonder is, if Buffy, and Dawn share the same blood than couldn't Glory have just kidnapped Buffy, and bleed her instead of Dawn?
        Last edited by Lostsoul666; 06-10-21, 12:39 AM.
        My deviantart: http://vampfox.deviantart.com/

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Lostsoul666 View Post
          Giving that we have seen Buffy fall from high places before I'd say that the energy from the portal is what killed her.

          What I've always wonder is, if Buffy, and Dawn share the same blood than couldn't Glory have just kidnapped Buffy, and bleed her instead of Dawn?
          I don't think Buffy's blood would have opened the portal as she doesn't have the key element in there too. The key isn't needed to close the portal, that's all about the ritual completing (someone slamming the door shut with blood), but the key had to be present to unlock it initially.

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm actually far more bothered by the "the monks made her out of me" speech than the logistics of the blood flowing etc. Where did that come from? In No Place Like Home the monks never claimed that they made Dawn out of Buffy and it's not stated in any episode leading up to The Gift either. It's pulled completely out of thin air at the last moment to help justify why Buffy can close the portal. It's a bit of a shame really as overall S5 did a pretty great job of setting up the Key mystery/mythology and as far as plotting goes reaches a higher standard than Whedon normally manages. However, this moment, and Olaf suddenly being a "troll god", are total retcons.

            ~ Banner by Nina ~

            Comment


            • #7
              The season 7 episode Potential brings back the whole sharing blood thing.

              Originally posted by Potential
              WILLOW: A slayer. Makes sense, I guess. Remember that thing about they share the same blood or whatever?
              ANYA: Yeah, I never got that.
              It sounds like even the writers don't understand the sharing blood thing.
              Last edited by Lostsoul666; 13-10-21, 12:52 AM.
              My deviantart: http://vampfox.deviantart.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Lostsoul666 View Post
                The season 7 episode Potential brings back the whole sharing blood thing.


                It sounds like even the writers don't understand the sharing blood thing.
                I'm sure they didn't but they're jobs to follow orders. Jane Espenson in a 2001 interview out right states her job is to just agree with Joss.

                I doubt Whedon looked beyond his moment of Buffy dying to save the world to look at the actual particulars of his mcguffin cop out with regard to the blood. Its the same how Olaf hammer which was smacking Buffy around in Triangle is now able to physically hurt Glory.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Lostsoul666 View Post
                  The season 7 episode Potential brings back the whole sharing blood thing.

                  It sounds like even the writers don't understand the sharing blood thing.
                  S7 has all the trappings of metafiction (there's a reason we see a copy of Slaughterhouse 5 in Help). In fact, S5-7 are full-blown critical postmodernism - as opposed to the playful postmodernism of the earlier seasons. That sort of self-reflexivity, self-awareness is common practice. S5 begins with Dracula - an intertext, perhaps the Ur-text for most vampire stories before moving on to Real Me. Inserting a fictional character into an immersive fantasy world (and vice versus - introducing a real person into a fictional one) is a common device in this type of writing. BtVS is blurring the boundaries between "fact" and fiction; positing different realities/alternative worlds and breaking the 4th wall long before Life Serial and Normal Again. If you look at Dirty Girls (the basement scene with Spike and Faith), they don't just break the 4th wall - they remove it completely.

                  That said, Anya's remark can be explained by the story.

                  flow
                  This is what Giles has researched:
                  Lessons (and we're all supposed to learn things from Lessons) begins with this:

                  GILES That's the flora kua alaya. A native of Paraguay, if my botany serves.
                  A simpering Willow replies "Is there anything you don't know everything about?

                  Why should botany serve him? Botany is a science that comes about in the long 18th century and effectively replaces the herbalism associated with wise women and witches (it takes power away from women and gives it to men). Botany is a form of plant taxonomy or classification. It's the science of naming organisms and placing them in a hierarchical structure. It serves Giles by creating structures that place people like him (white, middle-class, straight men) at the top - and science legitimates his authority (just as myth and the bible legitimised previous forms of patriarchy. God gave Adam the power to name). S7 goes on to explore the limitations of Enlightenment thought (partly by questioning sight and the mind/body dichotomy). How far back we go all depends on where we place The Master's "true beginning" (the Master functions as an intrusive author/narrator. There's a similar device in S12). In Chosen, he acknowledges his fall: "Could it possibly get uglier? I used to be a highly respected watcher, and now I'm a wounded dwarf with the mystical strength of a doily. I just wish I could sleep".

                  Put bluntly, it's possible that Giles was wrong in S5. Maybe not totally wrong but there were alternatives he hadn't considered. Not because he's evil or bad but because, as in S7, he couldn't imagine them. His response to Willow's question (above) is: "Synchronized swimming. Complete mystery to me". I like this and, in the real world, I agree with him but at the same time what he doesn't understand is a) associated with women; b) a hybrid (sport? dance?) so outside easy classification and c) is an example of female teamwork.



                  sigpic

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TriBel View Post

                    S7 has all the trappings of metafiction (there's a reason we see a copy of Slaughterhouse 5 in Help). In fact, S5-7 are full-blown critical postmodernism - as opposed to the playful postmodernism of the earlier seasons. That sort of self-reflexivity, self-awareness is common practice. S5 begins with Dracula - an intertext, perhaps the Ur-text for most vampire stories before moving on to Real Me. Inserting a fictional character into an immersive fantasy world (and vice versus - introducing a real person into a fictional one) is a common device in this type of writing. BtVS is blurring the boundaries between "fact" and fiction; positing different realities/alternative worlds and breaking the 4th wall long before Life Serial and Normal Again. If you look at Dirty Girls (the basement scene with Spike and Faith), they don't just break the 4th wall - they remove it completely.

                    That said, Anya's remark can be explained by the story.

                    flow

                    Lessons (and we're all supposed to learn things from Lessons) begins with this:

                    GILES That's the flora kua alaya. A native of Paraguay, if my botany serves.
                    A simpering Willow replies "Is there anything you don't know everything about?

                    Why should botany serve him? Botany is a science that comes about in the long 18th century and effectively replaces the herbalism associated with wise women and witches (it takes power away from women and gives it to men). Botany is a form of plant taxonomy or classification. It's the science of naming organisms and placing them in a hierarchical structure. It serves Giles by creating structures that place people like him (white, middle-class, straight men) at the top - and science legitimates his authority (just as myth and the bible legitimised previous forms of patriarchy. God gave Adam the power to name). S7 goes on to explore the limitations of Enlightenment thought (partly by questioning sight and the mind/body dichotomy). How far back we go all depends on where we place The Master's "true beginning" (the Master functions as an intrusive author/narrator. There's a similar device in S12). In Chosen, he acknowledges his fall: "Could it possibly get uglier? I used to be a highly respected watcher, and now I'm a wounded dwarf with the mystical strength of a doily. I just wish I could sleep".

                    Put bluntly, it's possible that Giles was wrong in S5. Maybe not totally wrong but there were alternatives he hadn't considered. Not because he's evil or bad but because, as in S7, he couldn't imagine them. His response to Willow's question (above) is: "Synchronized swimming. Complete mystery to me". I like this and, in the real world, I agree with him but at the same time what he doesn't understand is a) associated with women; b) a hybrid (sport? dance?) so outside easy classification and c) is an example of female teamwork.


                    I'm not sure how Help examines the elements within BtVS itself ?
                    Also the idea that a guy who used curtains in Restless to represent a vagina because he thought it was funny, is not as clever as you like to pretend I think

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      BtVS fan
                      I'm not sure how Help examines the elements within BtVS itself ?
                      You think fate/destiny and whether you can stop fate/destiny is nothing to do with a series that culminates in a young girl changing her fate/destiny (and that of other women)? That a character called Cassandra, a prophet cursed by Apollo so that her prophecies, though true, were fated never to be believed has no bearing on the series? Plus, her name means “helper of men.” Have you read Vonnegut's novel? The very idea of being "unstuck in time" is relevant. Ask debbicles - she did a lot of work on it. I could argue its relevance but I've neither the time nor the inclination to write a 10,000-word essay.

                      BtVS fan
                      Also the idea that a guy who used curtains in Restless to represent a vagina because he thought it was funny, is not as clever as you like to pretend I think


                      a) Beef Curtains is slang for vagina so it's nothing new. He didn't invent it - he's simply repeating a metaphor (whether it's funny or not. Besides, jokes are one route through to the unconscious). It's common enough in dream symbolism. b) Curtains are a veil - they hide things. Olympia (Manet) cups/curtains her own pubes and hides them (unless you're prepared to pay for access) and she looks the viewer in the eye while she does it. The metaphor (voyeurism/shame attached to female sexuality - see S6) and symbolism makes sense to me. Read Graham Clarke's essay on Olympia.

                      Why on earth would I want to pretend BtVS is clever? I don't even like it that much and I've no vested interest in Whedon (I think he's a dick). The general consensus is - it is clever. I could throw that question back at you and ask why you want it to be crap?
                      sigpic

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Let's keep things on topic and address what it is that you agree or disagree with and explain your own perspective rather than letting disagreements begin to take a personal edge. Don't opt for a sarcastic or dismissive response to others ideas and points of view but keep replies to a discussion format focussing on the subject of the threads. Thanks.

                        Comment

                        Working...
                        X