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Was It Moral to Kill Illyria During S5's Time Bomb?

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  • Was It Moral to Kill Illyria During S5's Time Bomb?

    This is from the S5 thread. Do you think it was moral of Angel to propose killing Illyria in Time Bomb, given the information that he knew then?
    11
    Yes
    63.64%
    7
    No
    9.09%
    1
    Killing Illyria there is neutral- the arguments for and against have equal merit.
    18.18%
    2
    I have another answer.
    9.09%
    1

  • #2
    I think Illyria at the point of Time Bomb is essentially Glory without a plan. She is super-superpowered but doesn't have followers and is using Wes' connection to her 'shell' to provide her with an intelligent guide who will help her find her footing in the modern world whilst she tries to work out a way to dominate it again. Her display of power and might in finding Gunn wasn't done because they wanted Gunn back. She does become affected by the whispers of Fred and does feel a loss when Wes dies but I think at the point of Time Bomb it would have been fair if her power had not been reduced, possibly even so, to see her as an active and legitimate threat to humanity.

    It is difficult to pinpoint where someone shouldn't be given the space to prove themselves in their actions for good/bad anymore before they are taken out. As I have said several times my biggest issue with AtS is that Angel has no limitations put on him. Anything that he does is ultimately ignored because he has been labelled a champion and keeping him > whatever cost. So it is somewhat arbitrary when weighing up intentions/risks within the verse.

    Illyria's actions and intentions when she took over Fred's form were thwarted but there was no reason to believe that her point of view changed and everything she says really confirms it hasn't. If she had been easy to kill then she wouldn't have survived the fight with Spike/Angel when she went to raise her army. The incredible threat she proved she could be in her defensive obliteration of the team in this episode before she was somewhat depowered shows how innately destructive and insular she is. That she came to have fondness and play ball is very surprising considering how void she is of morality and how callous she is towards anything that is outside of her own ambitions.

    So with everything that had passed I don't think Angel was morally wrong to be suggesting they needed to look to take her out. It is interesting though that Spike's initial response was to ask if they were talking pasture or slaughterhouse and Angel didn't discuss the idea of 'pasture' even though that was in effect what Wesley opted for and which bought her the opportunity to reevaluate. I think that conversation should have been had and not just been ignored/closed down, but her danger was real enough that I don't judge Angel for not looking down that route. I don't think it was OK for Wes to decide to just try to make her somewhat safer without discussing it with the team though, particularly as Spike raised the very point there and then. But with Wes' mental state, his emotional turmoil over Illyria's presence, his obliterated trust with Angel and Angel's slightly intimidating pressure on whether Wes was going to question him on it I feel a degree of understanding to why he didn't.

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    • #3
      I really can't see why it wouldn't be -- unless one is willing to collaterally undermine the moral basis for dealing with every other Big Bad. Illyria never really stopped being shy about seizing any eventual opportunity at greater glory or prestige, she just didn't foresee when she would have the opportunity. All her powers being unstable represent is the also common trope of the out of control doomsday weapon.

      I also find her 10 second roflstomp of Team Angel to be pretty damn funny on most viewings, I won't lie. But that it too place only testifies to how dangerous she really is, how calculating.
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      • #4
        I mostly agree with Stoney but I have enough disagreements to put me out of the "yes" category and more in the "I don't know. Killing Illyria makes sense but it feels hinky at this time" category.

        Originally posted by Stoney View Post
        I think Illyria at the point of Time Bomb is essentially Glory without a plan. She is super-superpowered but doesn't have followers and is using Wes' connection to her 'shell' to provide her with an intelligent guide who will help her find her footing in the modern world whilst she tries to work out a way to dominate it again.
        Glory needed to suck brains. There was no way that she could exist and not be a threat to people. Illyria doesn't need to eat people in any way- no brain sucking, not even a temptation to suck their blood. Once Wesley powered her energy down so she doesn't explode, Illyria could choose to exist and not be a threat to humanity. Glory was insane. Illyria is quite sane. Glory had been continuously torturing and doing hellish things since she was created. Illyria lay dormant and this is her first acquaintance with modern times and rights.

        I also think that Illyria mostly rescued Gunn to indebt the AI gang to her but also a bit because of her left-over affection for him and Wesley. In , Illyria asks Gunn not to die because his form is very pleasing to her indicating that she inherited Fred's attraction to him.

        It is difficult to pinpoint where someone shouldn't be given the space to prove themselves in their actions for good/bad anymore before they are taken out. As I have said several times my biggest issue with AtS is that Angel has no limitations put on him. Anything that he does is ultimately ignored because he has been labelled a champion and keeping him > whatever cost. So it is somewhat arbitrary when weighing up intentions/risks within the verse.
        True. Normally, I'd like to at least see a real vile and non-self-defense and unrepentant murder of a human being on record before I consider giving up on someone. Illyria hasn't murdered anyone since she's been resurrected- other than her unconscious infection of Fred. However, yes, Illyria is so strong and pre-power down can manipulate time that she does feel like a special case. But then, it feels harsh to go straight to kill Illyria without giving her any chances because she's powerful. But then, it feels foolhardy to ignore how quickly she can overcome AI if she twists against them.

        I don't think it was OK for Wes to decide to just try to make her somewhat safer without discussing it with the team though, particularly as Spike raised the very point there and then. But with Wes' mental state, his emotional turmoil over Illyria's presence, his obliterated trust with Angel and Angel's slightly intimidating pressure on whether Wes was going to question him on it I feel a degree of understanding to why he didn't.
        In addition, Angel has disproportionate power as CEO of W&H and Senior Partner's Vampire of Interest. If Wesley tipped Angel off that he doesn't intend to kill Illyria, Angel has the power and the inclination to just put some of his other army of employees on it starting with the other ex-Watcher, Sirk, or cooperate with the Senior Partners to end Illyria together. Ironically if Knox/Sparrow unleashed Illyria in S1-4, apparently Holland Manners/Lindwood/Lilah would be spearheading the project to end Illyria at the Senior Partners' directive.

        In order for Wesley to be assured that Angel won't work to kill Illyria himself, Wesley needs to lie so he remains the point person on Operation: Kill Illyria. I actually think Wesley thought Angel could learn to accept a power-down in lieu of killing Illyria- but Wesley would need to make the power-down work in order to have a chance of Angel accepting it. Wesley really does play with fire here given that Wesley now remembers that Angel would try to murder him for a betrayal. Angel is trying to avert Illyria's in between undeclared and somewhat dormant threat to people. Wesley is trying to avert the active threat that Illyria's explosive energies pose to people and the active and declared threat that Angel poses to Illyria.

        Of course, Wesley could have told someone else but Wesley doesn't trust Gunn anymore either and Lorne is just ignored in all AI intrigue. IMO, Wesley was testing Spike out as a confidante and ally in this ep by working with him about Illyria's explosive threat but he didn't feel comfortable enough with Spike to let him in on the fact that Wesley is manipulating Angel. Interestingly, I think there's been a bit of a switch in Spike and Wesley not trusting each other. In early S5, Spike didn't trust Wesley with the details of his ghosthood because Spike thought Wesley was entirely in Angel's corner. IMO, Wesley remains dubious about Spike because Spike is increasingly in Angel's corner.

        Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
        I really can't see why it wouldn't be -- unless one is willing to collaterally undermine the moral basis for dealing with every other Big Bad.
        If you use a pre-condition for Big Baddom like "Must have unrepentantly and vilely with no self-defense motive murdered or was directly conspired to murder a human being in the last few years", it covers most Big Bads. The Master by WTTH at least, The Mayor by providing babies to Larconis to feed on, Adam by killing the little boy in No In Team, Darla/Dru when Darla vamped in AtS S2 and Dru since her first appearance, Glory by her first appearance murdering the Monks of Mindf*ck, the First since the first Potential died, Jasmine since the Beast emerged, Twangel since the first murder of a slayer, I think Severin and Simone. Angel and Willow were eventually repentant after their murders/Big Bad stints but not when they were in their Big Bad states of mind. Hotlz is the only one who somewhat doesn't mesh with my pre-conditions because Holtz doesn't get around to his murderous directives against Connor and Wesley until near the end of his story and by some miracle, Connor and Wesley both survived. But Holtz *is* that odd a duck for a Big Bad.

        I can agree that probably Illyria can be judged by a harsher standard because she's so powerful and because even if her history is soooo remote, it's sure bloody. However, Angel actually isn't judging Illyria by typical Big Bad standards where the team uncovers some horrible murder or crime that the Big Bad recently committed and THEN figures out the Big Bad to stop them from doing their present course of evil.
        Last edited by Dipstick; 20-02-14, 08:21 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Dipstick View Post
          Glory needed to suck brains. There was no way that she could exist and not be a threat to people. Illyria doesn't need to eat people in any way- no brain sucking, not even a temptation to suck their blood. Once Wesley powered her energy down so she doesn't explode, Illyria could choose to exist and not be a threat to humanity. Glory was insane. Illyria is quite sane. Glory had been continuously torturing and doing hellish things since she was created. Illyria lay dormant and this is her first acquaintance with modern times and rights.
          Sure there are differences between Glory/Illyria but I was merely meaning that they are super strength+ Gods who pose a threat. Illyria doesn't just take over Fred and sit around startled looking for information and reassurance. She makes deliberate and direct moves to raise her army - Shells
          ILLYRIA
          Your breed is fragile. How is they came to control this world?

          KNOX
          Opposable thumbs. Um, fire. Television. What they lack in strength, they make up for in extraordinary sneakiness.

          ILLYRIA
          You are deceivers.

          KNOX
          Yes, all of them. They deserve to be punished.

          ILLYRIA
          They? You don't consider yourself part of your race?
          (stops walking)

          KNOX
          Not anymore. I'm with the king.
          (rubbing his hands excitedly)
          Open the gateway. Raise your army. Wash humanity from the face of the Earth and reclaim what was lost to you so many millennia ago, when the world was ruled by-

          ILLYRIA
          Be silent.

          ____

          ILLYRIA
          You're too late. My army will rise. This world will be mine once again.
          (arrives at the nave of the temple, only to see her statue has been toppled and her army is dead)
          No.

          I also think that Illyria mostly rescued Gunn to indebt the AI gang to her but also a bit because of her left-over affection for him and Wesley. In , Illyria asks Gunn not to die because his form is very pleasing to her indicating that she inherited Fred's attraction to him.
          Exactly, it had a point to it which served her overall inclination to dominate and gain power/control. Perhaps there is some 'Fred' affection in the mix but it didn't hamper her lifting Gunn by this throat to make the point that his life was in her hands, the debt theirs.

          True. Normally, I'd like to at least see a real vile and non-self-defense and unrepentant murder of a human being on record before I consider giving up on someone. Illyria hasn't murdered anyone since she's been resurrected- other than her unconscious infection of Fred. However, yes, Illyria is so strong and pre-power down can manipulate time that she does feel like a special case. But then, it feels harsh to go straight to kill Illyria without giving her any chances because she's powerful. But then, it feels foolhardy to ignore how quickly she can overcome AI if she twists against them.
          I honestly believe Illyria's lack of body count is because she doesn't kill for pleasure but she would for purpose. She sounds a pretty full on threat here, disregarding any collateral damage and I can't believe whether they were good/bad mattered to her, just that she has decided she has a goal and a means to execute it...
          HAMILTON
          (walks into the conference room unannounced)
          Not anymore. Let me ask you something, Angel.
          (walks to stand at the opposite end of the table, across from Angel)
          Have you ever heard the term "surgical strike"?

          ANGEL
          Ever heard the term "appointment"?
          (walks back to his chair, sits)

          HAMILTON
          Illyria destroyed 11 torture units before she found your man. 2 troop carriers, an ice cream truck, and 8 beautifully maintained lawns. Not to mention dozens of employees rendered useless to the company.

          In addition, Angel has disproportionate power as CEO of W&H and Senior Partner's Vampire of Interest. If Wesley tipped Angel off that he doesn't intend to kill Illyria, Angel has the power and the inclination to just put some of his other army of employees on it starting with the other ex-Watcher, Sirk, or cooperate with the Senior Partners to end Illyria together. Ironically if Knox/Sparrow unleashed Illyria in S1-4, apparently Holland Manners/Lindwood/Lilah would be spearheading the project to end Illyria at the Senior Partners' directive.

          In order for Wesley to be assured that Angel won't work to kill Illyria himself, Wesley needs to lie so he remains the point person on Operation: Kill Illyria. I actually think Wesley thought Angel could learn to accept a power-down in lieu of killing Illyria- but Wesley would need to make the power-down work in order to have a chance of Angel accepting it. Wesley really does play with fire here given that Wesley now remembers that Angel would try to murder him for a betrayal. Angel is trying to avert Illyria's in between undeclared and somewhat dormant threat to people. Wesley is trying to avert the active threat that Illyria's explosive energies pose to people and the active and declared threat that Angel poses to Illyria.
          I don't think it is fair to say that Angel will try to kill Wesley for a betrayal, that sounds as if the specifics weren't relevant to what happened before. I do agree that Wes is purposely avoiding having to share/discuss but I think that it is because he is wanting to avoid the killing option and doesn't want to discuss it. Spike raised the question of not killing and although Angel shut that down Wes could have debated/questioned it. He could even have then still gone ahead and not killed her, but he didn't want to discuss it at all, his decision is already made. I think this is very much S4 captain of his own ship Wes in force. Personally I have to say that as that Wes is part product of what went on between him/Angel in S3 I don't feel much sympathy with Angel that following the mindwipe this is how Wes is acting. But I do feel that Wes is simply trying to avoid killing the remnant he feels is there, his last connection to Fred. For this Wes is ignoring the active threat Illyria's actions/words show she can choose to be if inclined.

          Wesley was testing Spike out as a confidante and ally in this ep by working with him about Illyria's explosive threat but he didn't feel comfortable enough with Spike to let him in on the fact that Wesley is manipulating Angel.
          I think they played this scene simply to underline that Wes isn't all about Angel anymore. He was blinkered to Spike's legitimate champion creds somewhat earlier in the season and stood firmly behind Angel. Choosing to work on something with Spike shows this just simply isn't the status quo anymore.

          I can agree that probably Illyria can be judged by a harsher standard because she's so powerful and because even if her history is soooo remote, it's sure bloody. However, Angel actually isn't judging Illyria by typical Big Bad standards where the team uncovers some horrible murder or crime that the Big Bad recently committed and THEN figures out the Big Bad to stop them from doing their present course of evil.
          As I said, she hasn't failed to pose any threat whatsoever so far, far from it. The combination of what she says and what she has done give legitimacy to believing she is looking for opportunity/assessing options. This could mean she could opt to not do any further negative actions of course which is why I raised the point of when that leniency is gone. With Illyria it is difficult because it does feel that she is far from neutralised as a risk for any reason other than she has patience and not the current circumstances/resources to make any drastic moves that have no definable benefit. But she is intelligent enough to see that assessing/learning about the current world can only benefit her at this point.

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          • #6
            I see Illyria a lot like I see soulless Spike. It never makes sense to me when fans say that the Scoobies should have killed Spike at various points in S4-S6 because, ultimately, Spike becomes a Champion and saves the world in Chosen. How can you say the character should have been killed knowing he eventually becomes a hero and saves the lives of all the other characters + 6 billion other people? Knowing what we know, it would have been a tragedy to have staked Spike before he got a chance to redeem himself and become not only a good person but a worthwhile fighter for good. However, this doesn't mean I would have blamed the characters if they had, say, staked Spike in The Initiative, or had Buffy killed him during their fight in Out of My Mind etc.

            Same goes for Illyria. In hindsight, I'm glad that Angel didn't kill Illyria in Time Bomb because I think she evolves into a complex character who can be good and who does have positive human affections and who does fight side-by-side with the gang against evil. However, I don't feel most of this is reasonably foreseeable so I don't think Angel was immoral to want her dead back when she was a legitimate threat. In this episode she hurts Gunn, she acts violent towards Wes, she kills the entire gang with a smirk on her face and then attempts to do so again. In A Hole In the World/Shells she murdered Fred, attacked the gang, and tried to unleash her army on earth to wipe out humanity. I do think she's more complex than your average demon in the sense that I'm not sure she killed Fred with any real malice and she does tentatively agree to refrain from killing humans, but demons have died for a lot less. Illyria was an apocalyptic threat to the world and she only lost those ambitions when she realized her armies were no more. She was certainly a threat to the gang and made sure they knew it. She was, as the episode suggests in more ways than one, a walking time bomb.

            ~ Banner by Nina ~

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            • #7
              Illyria was more potentially dangerous than Spike though because not only was she stronger and seemingly indestructible but she also had the time phasing power and was essentially biding her time and assessing the situation at this point. Not staking Spike did of course prove to be for the greater good but the chip gave him an unique situation that gave them pause. Illyria is the same in the sense of being no longer in the position of power that she had been in and is being forced to reevaluate her situation but she is a far bigger active threat to be given that space and if it wasn't for Wes' attachment to her because of Fred it is unrealistic I think that she would have been given that opportunity.

              She is a truly fascinating character and her inclusion saves S5 being pretty weak imo, but I think there has to be a degree of 'couldn't' about killing her for it to work. It is that which makes it more of a unique situation like Spike was privileged to. It is why I severely dislike the vampires/demons in society bit because I think it makes the moral position of the default to preemptively kill demons questionable. If such a large portion can be shown to choose to live alongside and are suddenly seemingly trusted to do so then kill on sight becomes an issue for me. They changed the status quo in the comics and failed to deal with the repercussions. It stops Spike/Illyria being two powerful beings in unique situations and just becomes the two that were lucky enough to get the chance not to be killed to prove that the default is dubious.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Stoney View Post
                Illyria was more potentially dangerous than Spike though because not only was she stronger and seemingly indestructible but she also had the time phasing power and was essentially biding her time and assessing the situation at this point.
                I agree. Although, we don't really know the nature of Illyria and whether it's inherent for her to be evil the way it was for a soulless Spike. Obviously Illyria holds viewpoints I don't agree with such as her distaste for humanity and disregard for human life but is that genuine evilness or simply egotism? A vampire lacks a moral compass and, according to Holden, feels instantly connected to an "all consuming evil that's going to suck the world into a fiery oblivion." Is this true of Illyria or is she simply a product of her time? One could argue that she evolves far more in a short space of time in comparison to Spike's journey and ultimately she's a more trustworthy ally in NFA than Harmony turns out to be.

                I definitely agree that Illyria is more dangerous in the sense of being more powerful than soulless Spike and being in a position where she can use that power, unlike Spike who was chipped. But for Illyria I'm not sure if it was necessarily evil she had to overcome or simply her prejudices. And losing a chunk of her power certainly helped deflate her ego which was a main obstacle in being able to reach her. I don't know, I certainly wouldn't say I consider Illyria "good" but I think she's closer to Vengeance Demon Anya in terms of her morality than vampires.

                Illyria is the same in the sense of being no longer in the position of power that she had been in and is being forced to reevaluate her situation but she is a far bigger active threat to be given that space and if it wasn't for Wes' attachment to her because of Fred it is unrealistic I think that she would have been given that opportunity.
                I agree with this. Wesley's attachment is the main reason Illyria was tolerated as long as she was. At the end of Shells Angel already says that "she has enough juice to still be a threat" and that they'll "regroup and take care of it" so it was simply a matter of biding his team for Angel. Had it not been for Illyria approaching Wes to be her guide I think Angel would have made an offensive strike against her long before Time Bomb.

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                • #9
                  I see your point on evil vs prejudice but this is where my ? over where the line is drawn sits. We know that to get Gunn she created a lot of collateral damage. It is easy to dismiss it when it is Hamilton reporting it and includes the damage to 11 torture units. But are all of the 'dozens of employees rendered useless' evil people? Do we shrug and place it alongside Wes shooting the guy's knee? But 'rendered useless' doesn't have to mean just incapacitated, it could include having killed some. I would expect that phrase to be used that dismissively by Hamilton, seeing the employees as disposable assets. Was the ice cream van W&H's and it's worker evil? Possibly in the suburban hell I suppose. But then we saw with Numero Cinco and with AI that they like to trap disillusioned champions. I really don't think Illyria would have cared what/who was in her way because of the alarming extreme level that her prejudice goes to. I think you are totally right that we see that it does work out and that losing some of her power has a very distinct effect on pulling down her ego but I'm unconvinced she wouldn't have just started trying to gain followers if she had continued to see herself as so far above everyone once she felt she had a handle on the new world. So if that were true then it is circumstantial chance that led her to change.

                  I am not sure I see the difference with vengeance demon Anya. I do think that she classes as 'as bad' as a soulless vampire. Like Spike she merely gained an opportunity. The affect it had on her meant that she did in the end want to take back what she did to the college guys when she regained her powers briefly but she had a thousand years of committing vile forms of 'justice' (didn't some relate to wars too?). Was Hitler prejudiced or evil? Does Warren count as 'evil'. I think being prejudice is something that is, as you say, something that people can overcome. But what they do whilst feeling prejudiced, those actions surely can be classed as 'evil' I think.

                  With Illyria, and most certainly from what we are told/see of Anya, within their morality they act violently and dismiss the emotions/pain of whoever they see as 'lower' or deserving within their prejudices. Actually with Illyria it is less 'evil' because that collateral damage is dismissed as being relevant (taking the Gunn rescue as our example) so it is more that it doesn't even register. Whereas Anya specifically intended to hurt and took pleasure in it and whether she felt it was done 'well'. She might not be connected to evil in a demonic way or perhaps be as unreliable as Harmony, but she was committing vast, vast amounts of death/pain which is certainly evil enough in her actions for me. I think that is at least on the same level as vampires and it stemmed from her original self rather than because she was 'born' a demon, her acting like that in the first place gained D'Hoffryn's attention. Willow's Will Be Done spell was never intended to 'punish' others but Anya did so deliberately and when she became a souled human she also very deliberately tried to regain her power source and return to that life. I think without the experience/time connecting to humanity she ended up having before she did become a demon again there is no reason to presume she would have changed her mind if successful originally and not have just been relieved to have returned to her life of vengeance fulfilment.

                  So from what we see I probably would go with you on Illyria having an extreme case of an attitude problem(!) but whether she would have gone well past the ? line, or already really had but it was let pass, before she was depowered and had the chance to reevaluate we won't know. As I remember from AtF she certainly became a very big risk again, having power only remains as stable as the person. But then that is true of humans too so I don't have an issue with her having gotten to a point where she is given a chance, but I do think she was lucky that her inherent strength protected them dealing with her more easily at first and then having Wes as her sponsor bolstered that so that those around her back down when she does.

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                  • #10
                    I had a hunch that the "employees" that Hamilton referred to in hell were evil demons masquerading as residents of surburbia. There was something inhuman about Lindsey's faux wife and *little boy* suddenly pulling out the bazooka and opening fire. We'll never know. However, I got the impression that they were inhuman and that if AI could rescue Gunn from hell, they'd also incur the destruction of property and end those employees.

                    Originally posted by Stoney View Post
                    As I said, she hasn't failed to pose any threat whatsoever so far, far from it. The combination of what she says and what she has done give legitimacy to believing she is looking for opportunity/assessing options. This could mean she could opt to not do any further negative actions of course which is why I raised the point of when that leniency is gone. With Illyria it is difficult because it does feel that she is far from neutralised as a risk for any reason other than she has patience and not the current circumstances/resources to make any drastic moves that have no definable benefit. But she is intelligent enough to see that assessing/learning about the current world can only benefit her at this point.
                    I agree that Illyria is still assessing options and learning how to take over the world and that's why she hasn't murdered yet. And that, in combination, with her HUUGE power is why I fell on "Moral to kill her in Time Bomb but it feels uncomfortable and hinky". However, I will say that Illyria's desire to further study the world from Wesley cuts both ways. It's scary because it indicates that she's smart and focused on learning how to conquer intelligently instead of just stomp on people with brute force. However, IMO, a person who truly learns about the world is a person less likely to do evil. Wesley says that he's discussed world history and local customs with Illyria. A discussion of world history is a cautionary tale of people and demons that tried to take over the world but were ended. If Illyria learns about customs around the world, she's getting exposed to other ways of dealing with people beyond her pre-historic mores that she came in with. Make no mistake, I think it was moral to kill Illyria in Time Bomb and I think Anya was pretty damn evil until maybe Selfless, but their interest in learning about the world is a big point in their favor.

                    Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                    I agree. Although, we don't really know the nature of Illyria and whether it's inherent for her to be evil the way it was for a soulless Spike. Obviously Illyria holds viewpoints I don't agree with such as her distaste for humanity and disregard for human life but is that genuine evilness or simply egotism? A vampire lacks a moral compass and, according to Holden, feels instantly connected to an "all consuming evil that's going to suck the world into a fiery oblivion." Is this true of Illyria or is she simply a product of her time? One could argue that she evolves far more in a short space of time in comparison to Spike's journey and ultimately she's a more trustworthy ally in NFA than Harmony turns out to be.

                    I definitely agree that Illyria is more dangerous in the sense of being more powerful than soulless Spike and being in a position where she can use that power, unlike Spike who was chipped. But for Illyria I'm not sure if it was necessarily evil she had to overcome or simply her prejudices. And losing a chunk of her power certainly helped deflate her ego which was a main obstacle in being able to reach her. I don't know, I certainly wouldn't say I consider Illyria "good" but I think she's closer to Vengeance Demon Anya in terms of her morality than vampires.
                    I also see Illyria like soulless!Spike and I share a bunch of your points of comparison. Also, soulless!Spike betrayed the Scoobies' trust in him *a lot*- in The Yoko Factor/Primeval, telling Giles and Xander that he was going to look for Faith to share their location so she can kill them, shielding Harmony after Harmony kidnapped Dawn, his attempts to get his chip out, his actions towards Buffy and Bronze innocents in Crush, being The Doctor and trading in demonic eggs, etc. Illyria doesn't really do anything like that in S5.

                    Originally posted by Stoney View Post
                    With Illyria, and most certainly from what we are told/see of Anya, within their morality they act violently and dismiss the emotions/pain of whoever they see as 'lower' or deserving within their prejudices. Actually with Illyria it is less 'evil' because that collateral damage is dismissed as being relevant (taking the Gunn rescue as our example) so it is more that it doesn't even register. Whereas Anya specifically intended to hurt and took pleasure in it and whether she felt it was done 'well'. She might not be connected to evil in a demonic way or perhaps be as unreliable as Harmony, but she was committing vast, vast amounts of death/pain which is certainly evil enough in her actions for me. I think that is at least on the same level as vampires and it stemmed from her original self rather than because she was 'born' a demon, her acting like that in the first place gained D'Hoffryn's attention. Willow's Will Be Done spell was never intended to 'punish' others but Anya did so deliberately and when she became a souled human she also very deliberately tried to regain her power source and return to that life. I think without the experience/time connecting to humanity she ended up having before she did become a demon again there is no reason to presume she would have changed her mind if successful originally and not have just been relieved to have returned to her life of vengeance fulfilment.
                    I mostly agree. However, I do emphasize that Anya and the soulless vamps really take pleasure in the sadism and the destruction of humans. Illyria likes violence and even in NFA, Illyria pledges to fight with AI from her feelings of humiliation at the Hamilton beatdown and she wishes to do even more with violence because she feels grief over Wesley. However, Illyria doesn't seem to take pleasure from a human's pain the way that Anya or even Lilah did- even though shared ambition and disregard for human life is common to all three of them.

                    Moreover, everyone else that you describe from Hitler to Anya got to live in times where humans dominated the earth and humans developed the best and least destructive philosophy in existence that human right to life must be respected from the strongest to the weakest. Humans developed their rights to self-determination and families and societies that can feel pain when even just one among them dies. Illyria just remembers primitive humans who also embraced and lived a "might makes right" system with no respect for individual humans rights to life and self-determination. Illyria remembers primitive humans who worshiped and submitted to her or other Old Ones. This is Illyria's first experience with a changed world with a new system of values.

                    Moreover, vamps, Anya, Hitler, the evil W&H employees all have a commonality that they know what it's like to be human and love and live in a family and they likely knew lots of humans but they violently turned away from their humanity because they were infected with an overpowering demon (vamps) or they saw a system where they could be mean and profit off of it (Anya, the W&H employees). This is Illyria's first experience feeling bits of humanity left over Fred. There's something really *doubly* human about the fact that Illyria both turned into Fred and *wanted* to experiment with that some more but *refrained* because Wesley told her to stop.

                    Again, I still fall on the side that it would be moral to not even give Illyria a chance because she's just so powerful that AI can only stop her from turning on them preferably early while they at least have an element of surprise on their side. However, Illyria really is just getting her crack at the modern world and humanity and that makes her different from the other evil beings that we've seen so far.

                    Also of note: Drogyn said that Illyria was the one of the most feared and beloved Old Ones. As opposed to General Gregor saying that Glory was one of the most violent and hated gods in her hell dimension. We don't know how Illyria got her reputation. After all, Anya was the "patron saint" of scorned women and Anya showed in The Wish and Selfless that she'd happily grant a wish of a scorned woman that puts that woman in lethal danger. However, I wonder if the values that Illyria later shows she has in S5 (loyalty to her army, a lack of sadism so much as intelligently applied violence for a purpose, adaptability) were uniquely present in her reign in ancient times and it meant that she'd be more open to adapting to humanity than another Old One who was just feared. It's in the contrast to the merely feared and hated Glory having a crack at sharing her body with a human and spending months in Sunnydale shopping and seeing the sights and sampling off the human minds to the point that she can make statements on their value but it had no impact other than some fleeting and ultimately meaningless sentimentality on the final yardline of sacrificing Dawn.
                    Last edited by Dipstick; 21-02-14, 02:39 PM.

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                    • #11
                      At the time of this episode, she was overloading and she was being a threat to the team. And I agree that she was looking for Wes to be her guide perhaps as a way to regain her footing in this world and regain her power.

                      I think Illyria is not to be underestimated.

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