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Suddenly it's all grey area: demons, half-demons, werewolves and souls

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  • Suddenly it's all grey area: demons, half-demons, werewolves and souls

    This came out of another thread, but, question: do werewolves have souls? Do part-demons (eg Doyle)? Do creatures from another dimension (eg Lorne)? And does the question mark over these things affect the place of the soul in the ethics or the ontology of the Buffyverse? For example, does Oz's soul leave his body when he brings on the doggie stylings? So, killing him in that moment (leaving aside self defence questions), is it like killing a demon? Is Oz culpable of murder for killing Verrucca? Not that we necessarily have an answer to those questions, but what do you think? And what would it mean if, say, Lorne doesn't have a soul, or Doyle doesn't, or Oz doesn't?

    -- Robofrakkinawesome BANNER BY FRANCY --

  • #2
    I think that Lorne has a soul. The same for Doyle and Groo. Demons can have a soul, but there are also demons who haven't. I have no idea why some demons do have a soul and why others don't. And if the good demons don't have a soul, they have something else to replace the human soul, because Groo and Lorne are good persons ... maybe better than the most humans. We know Lorne's people, and those are not nice but I think it's the culture.

    Doyle is a half-demon, I think that he has a human soul. Just like Connor, one soulled parent is enough to get a soulled kid.

    But I do believe that some demons who aren't evil, can be soulless. But they just don't care about being evil or prefer a save life. Those demons are the difficult ones ... I don't know if those should be killed.

    And about werewolves: I think that you can say that a werewolf is like a hungry, wild animal. I doubt that their soul leaves the body, the animal instincts just take over I guess. Killing a werewolf is bad because it's a soulled creature, but I think that if you have to, you should kill it because you can't argue with the werewolf ... it will be self defence.
    Last edited by Nina; 06-03-08, 05:17 PM.


    • #3
      As far as I can tell, werewolves still have souls but if you think of Angel when he had taken his happy pill he no longer felt the weight of it. As Nina says many werewolves are not in a coherent state. Oz states it's like a black out and the wolf takes over. I would say that Werewolves are mostly innocent in their acts as some do not even know they are werewolves. Killing them out of punishment doesn't seem right because they are not killing out of free will and werewolf can only be judged if they know about his or her condition and are deliberately embracing it or doing nothing about it (Veruca).

      It depends what you mean by a soul however. Demons tend to have spirits but it does not equate to a conscience, necessarily. Lorne doesn't hve a human soul but I'd say Dolye does. Lorne's spirit however contains a conscience or mabye (as a I discussed with Nina) different souls have different functions or inherent natures and coupled with the intelligence and experience etc(i.e. nuture) then we have varying forms of behaviour, some pro some anti human life but not necssarily evil in itself.


      I'll get back to you on that. It can be murky though, it's certainly can be for Buffy.
      Last edited by kana; 06-03-08, 04:39 PM.


      • #4
        I think maybe the distinction between 'human soul' and spirit is a good one. Vampires begin as humans, so when someone is vamped their human soul is lost or destroyed. I think it was in Buffy that someone kind of described it as a demon/human hybrid, so the main thing making them un-human is the presence of some demon and the lack of soul. Its about the transformation from human to demon for me.
        But with demons, they are born/hatched/whatever as they are. I don't think they need a soul to be good or lack of to be evil, because they are a different species for lack of a better word, so their way of defining 'right' would be based on different aspects that may be more metaphoric. I think in the shows the soul is rather literal, as in it can be taken away and given back, but it isn't the root for all sense of good. That comes from something else.

        As for warewolves, I think Kana is right, its a human turning into something animal with basic primeval instincts but not real congnative abilities. I don't think the soul goes away, I think they just turn into a beast.


        • #5
          the master actually refers to demons/vampires having souls, but they aren't HUMAN souls. which brings us to the theory that a soul is actually a being rather than a conscience.

          under this theory, demons have souls of their own, but they aren't human. i'd say doyle, who is not only of a human mother and demon father--that demon father was probably of a race that isn't pure demon either (like the demons in hero)--in fact, we know so. i'd say doyle probably has an almost all-human soul, with a touch of demon dna in there mostly-physically.

          i would say that a werewolf under this theory is two beings... another one getting born through the bite, as a vampire's exchange of blood would also do, but without killing the human. the werewolf demon or demon soul only emerges naturally for 3 days a month--perhaps it is such a weak demon that it doesn't have the power to overtake the human soul except for when it is at its most powerful (those three days). then, whatever oz did, made it so that extreme anger can make the demon more powerful even outside those days, while blocking it when it normally is at its peak of power.

          and of course, this is the theory that says that angel is actually liam and that william is ensouled-spike (though the spike demon is more at peace with his human counterpart than angelus). it seems that newborn vampires are actually blank slates--demon souls who have no personalities of their own but their base needs (the need to feed, which leads to killing for food). these demon souls are as savage and base as the ?bervamps--a complete inability for intelligence or reason. however, the human imprints memories shared by the same brain, and the demon takes these memories and the memories create the new being's personality--but perverts it because of its base needs for hunger and power. any major insecurities or personality traits are exploited... and at other times an emotionally weak or mentally unstable human will also limit the vampire's potential power of corruption. the demon can only work within the brain and memories its been given. it has no awareness of itself except for its needs. it's not a distinctly separate consciousness. it still relies on the human's personality and memories.

          which may account for much of angel's confusion over whether he's liam or angelus... though in later seasons he definitely leans towards liam. spike doesn't so much lament his wrongs as spike, but the faults of william when he's down in the basement. he actually struggles at first to add in spike's new memories--which creates a third persona. angel does the same when he is first ensouled by the gypsies--"killed? i don't..." "you don't remember..." it is because these are both william and liam when they haven't fully worked in their new memories. william seemed to focus on the pressing memories of spike (buffy)--which is in william's nature--the poet and love's bitch. he doesn't really spend too much time until much later on the things that spike had done in the past, though a little of that seeps in, but he chooses to focus mostly on the 'now', whereas liam/angel is much more haunted by angelus' past than william is by spike.

          "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."


          • #6
            Yes werewolves do have souls. Spike says so regarding Nina in an episode. I'd say that when a person becomes a werewolf, the wolf is added to the person, but the soul isn't taken away. Sort of like a vengance demon I suppose. A demon has been added to the equation, but unlike a vampire, the soul hasn't been lost.

            Different demons would have different instincts. Vampire demons instinctually download the host's personality and traits but twists them in an evil way. Demons like Clem's on the other hand are instinctually just mellow dudes with a touch of self-preservation.

            I'd say the Fyarl demon is a pretty savage demon, and even with the pressence of a soul (Giles's) the natural instincts of the demon will still win out over time. Notice how Giles was getting more and more savage? I guess the vampire demon is easier to suppress with a soul than a Fyarl demon.

            As for a werewolf, during a full moon the natural urges of the wolf are all but impossible to suppress even with a soul.

            So yeah, I think that the werewolf does have a soul, but due to the nature of the monster, the soul does very little to influence to wolf's behavior, unlike say, an ensouled vampire.