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The Representation of Hell as a concept (SPOILERS)

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  • The Representation of Hell as a concept (SPOILERS)

    I was thinking about how Hell has been presented in After The Fall, in relation to the rest of the Buffyverse episodes. We know that time moves differently, but I'm also sure that there is an indication that hell represents your worse nightmares being repeated on you constantly i.e. taking an impossible maths exam over and over again for eternity.

    This lead me to think about Angel being human now (something he really wanted) and becoming this at a time when he really needed to still be a vampire. That could be taken as Angel's worst nightmare - not being able to help correct a mistake he made. He has already shown that he has issues with not being as strong and able to heal as easily as a human when needed to fight evil as far back as the S1 ep "I Will Remember You", resulting in him being asked to be turned back.

    This in turn made me then think about Wesley. Being incorporeal and being unable to affect anything, unable to help Angel due to being bound to doing W&H's bidding, and I can see that could be a nightmare for him too.

    Other examples:-
    Nina being wolflike all the time
    Gunn being a vampire
    Gwen fighting for a good cause, living in a hell-hole and surrounded by people she probably doesn't like
    Illyria turning more human/into Fred

    (I'm trying to think of examples for Lorne and Spike)

    So is it possible that in this Hell, everything that is happening is a product of living your worst nightmare? That in a way the main characters have created this for themselves, (in the same way that Buffy, Xander, Giles and Willow lived through it in the BTVS ep "Nightmares") and in order to get themselves out of hell is to face their fears and conquer them?

    In doing so they will return LA to normal, no time will have passed, everything will be as it was (i.e. Wes stil dead, Gunn not a vamp, Angel is still a vamp) but they've all learnt an important lesson about themselves in the process.

    Peter Capaldi is the 12th Doctor

  • #2
    I wanted to reply here for a while, but I forget it everytime. But I made it.

    I was also thinking that their worst nightmares came out in this hell. But my assumtion was always that this was the work of W&H. The punishment for what they did in NFA, and than only for the ones who signed a contract in 'Home'.

    Angel, he was ready to sacrifice everything for humanity. And now the innocents he used to save are slaves and they took his powers so he can't save them. Besides, he has to watch his best friend being used as a puppet.

    Wesley is not only incorporeal, he also lost the control in his head. I don't think that there are worse things for Wesley than losing the ability to think for himself.

    Gunn became the thing that he hates the most, a vampire.

    Illyria and Fred make it eachother very difficult. Fred's biggest fear was becoming a shell and Illyria's biggest fear is losing control and having human emotions. By giving Fred power in that body, W&H made them eachothers hell.

    Lorne is back in a hell, and he knows that he lives in a lie when he is in his town. This is clearly less bad than the others, but maybe do W&H not take him serious or Lorne's biggest fear is a hell where he isn't aloud to sing and where his friends are in danger.

    Nina, Spike, Connor, Gwen and others are also in hell, some of them have trouble with the sun & moon thing, but they aren't punished like the others. Not the best time of their life, but also not their nightmare.

    I don't know if this will have consequences or that they come back like there was no time in hell at all, I hope the first. But yes, I agree that W&H created a hell full of nightmares.


    • #3
      But didn't Spike officially join Wolfram and Hart, too? In Underneath? I think he was a legal member of Angel's team, which means that he would have to have his "own personal hell" too. I'm kind of hoping that he does and we just don't realize it yet, or it will be revealed later. But since his FN story already happened, I kind of doubt it.
      The story's kinda bland. It's about this guy named Dumbledore Calrissian who needs to return the ring back to Mordor.


      • #4
        But did he also sign a contract? The others sold their souls to W&H ... Spike was the whole time kind of sceptic about that ... but you are probably right.

        Maybe they don't 'count' Spike because he wasn't part of the orginal team, they weren't really interested in him in the first place ... Wesley, Angel and Gunn were their main interests. Or he is in his personal hell as well, maybe it has to do with Fred? We will probably see it in his mini series.


        • #5
          Hmmm...well, I looked at it, and Spike calls himself "a very loosely affiliated member" in the beginning of Underneath. Then at the end of the episode, after Hamilton talks to him, Spike says, "The guy with the pen said, 'welcome to the team'. Must've meant something." So I guess there's no mention of a contract or anything, but from the way Spike acts I would guess that his 'membership' would have to consist of something more than just his say-so.

          *Waits eagerly for Spike: After the Fall*
          The story's kinda bland. It's about this guy named Dumbledore Calrissian who needs to return the ring back to Mordor.


          • #6
            Spike's "Hell" could well have something to do with Fred/Illyria, under these circumstances. He's always been greatly affected by seeing his loved ones in pain. ("What's wrong? Is there something I can do?" ... "I just don't like to see Summers women take it so hard on the chin, is all." ... "I couldn't live, her being in that much pain. I'd let Glory kill me first. Nearly bloody did.") Would say something about Spike if the Spider & co. "perks" were part of his personal Hell, though, wouldn't it? I remember speculations along those lines when Issue 2 first came out.

            (set made by Francy for me)


            • #7
              i think spike's personal hell could very well be being used sexually, or being nothing but flesh to service (something he brought up in beneath you).

              and i still argue that spider is clearly gray to evil at best--the comments about killing angel, in particular.

              and seeing as though one of the spike: atf covers is spider with a flail and spike locked up--that might hint at spike being somewhat trapped with spider and her girls being flat-out examples of exploitation of flesh... something that did bother spike, as he always wanted the emotional relationship too, but took what he could get. with the soul, the emotional connection mattered even more to him--the one exception being with harmony, whom he never really thought counted anyway.

              the one piece that does stand out is when spike doesn't want any of the girls to go near angel. either spike knows angel is human and doesn't want them to know, he doesn't want the girls to go gaga over angel or he doesn't trust any of spider's girls. in the same scene that spider is making comments about "i want it" greed and killing angel, spike also seems to be hiding crazy illyria from view.

              i get the vibe that spike doesn't trust spider and her girls with angel and fred/illyria; and his hell is being used as a sexually exploited thing again, even if it looks like he enjoys it on the surface. it would be interesting to see how much he is cooperating and how much he is a prisoner.

              the greed and killing angel comments couldn't have been done for no reason at all. if spider is an ally, she's deeply power hungry (notice how many times she kept saying she wanted that staff thing) and morally wrong--spike even defends angel.

              i think that place is a very personal hell for spike, in the sense that it mirrors how he felt during his physical relationship with buffy.

              "If there is no great glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do."
              "Nothing in the world is the way it ought to be. It's harsh and cruel. But that's why there's us. Champions."