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  • Vampires and their souls

    What always seemed strange or off, or... label it what you will, is that when Angel gets his soul, it's because of a curse and one moment of happiness, i.e. sex with Buffy, it's gone and he's evil. However, Spike gets his soul and can 'bone' till the cows come home, as seen in season 6. So, my observation is, when he became Angelius on the Angel series and Willow came back and cursed him, why didn't she give him a curse that negated that whole sex thing? I guess it could be related to Willow not wanting to do magic and also may have something to do with Spike willingly going to the ends of the earth to get his soul, but I'd like other perspectives. It never struckme as fair.

  • #2
    That is a good question.
    Obviously as far as the character goes, Angel wouldn't be the same if he didn't have the weight of the world, or more importantly his past, on his shoulders. If he could be a good vampire and happy there would frankly be no show (especially not in the Jossverse....). Well, maybe there would be but it would be completely different because the premise is vampire with a soul seeks redemption for the horrors of his past and must forever bare that.

    I guess that Willow only knew the gypsie curse, that has the happiness clause, and I assume that coming up with a new 'curse' or way of putting his soul back would be very difficult. Though, thats what they describe it as in S4 right....putting his soul back, not re cursing him? HRM.

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    • #3
      That makes good sense actually. In terms of storytelling, it works. Just on the surface, it seemed a little unfair to me. If I was Angel, I'd be a bit ticked off.

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      • #4
        Oh yeah. And even more so that Spike got a soul and sulked in the basement for 3 weeks then got over it (as Angel himself pointed out).

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        • #5
          True. And Spike got the soul and subsequently, the sanity.... and the many hours of 'patrolling'.

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          • #6
            My theory for Willow's magic is that Willow, powerful as she is, is still a Regular VCR.

            Cordelia: Look! Right there, zoom in on that.
            Xander: It's a videotape.
            Cordelia: So? They do it on television all the time.
            Xander: Not with a regular VCR they don't.
            What I mean is that, and I've said this in a discussion about the Slayer spell (saying that Willow probably didn't have a way to do the spell as anything other than an all or nothing deal), Willow is like the rest of us -- she does what she knows how to do. She can't just improvise a new means of ensouling a vampire when human magic has only ever recorded just the one.
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            • #7
              My thought has been that there must be more than one way for a Vampire to regain his soul. So far we've only seen two.

              Angel was cursed with his - and with the curse came a "clause".

              Spike went through the Demon Trials and won his back.

              Angel and Spike were very different as humans - and very different as Vampires.

              The very nature of Angel's curse causes him to be remorseful on a daily basis.

              Spike chose to realize there was not enough he could ever do to repay the world for what he had done (past) and chose to focus on what he could do (present/future).

              I know more than one "souled" creature who occasionally likes to get his/her "party on". (if you get my drift.)
              Last edited by ThePoet's<3; 14-03-08, 05:48 AM.
              -TP<3
              "At that point I'd love a fight and a heart to heart and then of course naughtiness and happy ever after."
              - Dorian's Kitten re: Spuffy Reunion

              Spuffy Videos!

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              • #8
                All good points. Never thought about it in those terms.

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                • #9
                  So, my observation is, when he became Angelius on the Angel series and Willow came back and cursed him, why didn't she give him a curse that negated that whole sex thing?
                  I think that it's also good to remember that it wasn't the sex that made Angel lose his soul. It was the moment of perfect happiness, Angel can have sex without losing his soul (Darla 'Reprise', Eve 'Life of a Party', Nina 'Power Play'). The clause had nothing to do with sex, I think that Angel had his perfect happiness the moment before he woke up in 'Suprise', not when they had sex, but when they were sleeping and feeling happy. And to be honest, I doubt that Angel will ever lose his soul again in this way ... even when he has sex with Buffy or Cordelia ... or whoever he loves that much. The idea of losing his soul will probably always hunt him and prevent him from losing his soul.

                  And I agree with the others in this thread, Willow only can do the spell with curse ... and somewhere I don't think that, our own martyr, Angel wants to lose the clause ...
                  Last edited by Nina; 14-03-08, 11:25 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by IdiotJed View Post
                    What always seemed strange or off, or... label it what you will, is that when Angel gets his soul, it's because of a curse and one moment of happiness, i.e. sex with Buffy, it's gone and he's evil. However, Spike gets his soul and can 'bone' till the cows come home, as seen in season 6. So, my observation is, when he became Angelius on the Angel series and Willow came back and cursed him, why didn't she give him a curse that negated that whole sex thing? I guess it could be related to Willow not wanting to do magic and also may have something to do with Spike willingly going to the ends of the earth to get his soul, but I'd like other perspectives. It never struckme as fair.
                    I don't really want to be nitpicky-but I can't help it. Spike didn't have a soul during all that season six "boning". In fact, a failed attempt to get it on with Harmony is the closest we've seen Spike get to post-soul sex. We have no reason to think that he can't since the soul itself doesn't preclude sex and that is merely a part of Angel's personal curse.

                    And Spike didn't get all mopey about his new soul cause Buffy wouldn't let him. She definitely suggested that it was a weakness and an indulgence that they couldn't afford. Funny that it was a quality she seemed to find romantic in Angel but was just annoying if Spike tried it. Of course he also doesn't get the benefit of being considered an entirely different person when he has or doesn't have a soul. Poor Spike always has to work harder for everything that Angel just gets handed to him. Of course still being able to have sex helps balance out the injustice.
                    "All I ask is that... that you try to see me."

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                    • #11
                      "Failed"? How failed? There was thrusting, and quite vigorously so. They were doin' it and doin' it and doin' it well. That's some kind of optimistic reading of the text, DK We have no reason to think he can't because he has.

                      How's this for an idea -- Willow used the Ritual of Restoration because it was a *sure thing*. It wasn't the time or place to indulge some alternate approach to reensouling Angel for the sake of future 'shipping when they had some serious time constraints and some big evil trying to thwart the spell she *knew* how to cast.
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                      • #12
                        Unfortunately, we have very limited amount of information about souled vampires, since we've only had two. So it's hard to make any generalizations. We know Angel was a feared vampire Angelus until love and pesky curse defanged him and now he's just a big fluffy puppy with bad teeth. Spike on the other hand, following the events in Seeing Red, fought for his soul and went through the demon trials. Because he knew it was the right thing to do. It was his destiny. Or there's another school on this issue that states that he just did it to get into girl's pants.

                        The main thing about it seems that the human soul, namely having or not having one is the major difference how a creature is being treated in Buffyverse. Soul-having creatures always get second chance, they are considered as able to reform, they are a value, because they're humans: see stories of Willow or Faith. Willow for one hardly faces any serious consequences for what she did in the end of S6. Vampire with a soul gets "get out of jail free card" as well: "he has his soul now" - this is the mantra that Buffy repeats over and over regarding both Angel and Spike.

                        The soul is supposed to work as inner moral compass, a guide (Angelus is a killer, Angel would never kill human being, well, mostly at least). Demons and vampires are considered to be evil and do evil without conscience and they deserve to die, they're killed on sight.

                        But there's Spike who has no soul in first 6 seasons, hence should not have any ability to differ right and wrong. Yet there are several instances where Spike nevertheless does the right thing. At first this is sort of comical - he tries to show Buffy that he can be good, not drinking the blood of the injured people in The Bronze etc. But he quickly transcends that and by Intervention he'll let himself rather to be killed by Glory than reveal that Dawn is the key and inflict Buffy the pain of losing her sister. By Dead Things he has to talk himself into biting the girl in the alleyway. Etc.

                        So by S5 we have soulless vampire who's on his way to redemption, soul or no soul and I actually think that Spike did not necessarily need to get his soul to be redeemed. It's nice that he got one though - it made things much easier for Buffy. But I think that Spike would have gotten his redemption anyway. Because he naturally or subconsciously already was more inclined to good anyway (see Tabula Rasa). Also notice how little personalities of Soulless Spike and Soulful Spike differ when compared to Angelus and Angel.

                        But why not see how it looks from the other perspective:
                        an exclusive interview with Spike's Soul (from wonderful site Tea at the Ford, by Cyn).

                        Interviewer: Thanks for joining us, Spike's Soul.

                        Spike's Soul: (cautiously) Thanks for having me. Uh, Spike didn't want to come.

                        Interviewer: We'll muddle through. Spike's Soul, you are often accused of making your owner miserable to no purpose. Some feel that Spike was better off without you. A few have even suggested that you will send Spike to a hell he might otherwise have avoided.

                        Spike's Soul: (flustered) Hey, wait. Jump back. One thing at a time.

                        Interviewer: How does all this make you feel?

                        Spike's Soul: Well, awful. How would it make you feel? Nobody likes me.

                        Interviewer: Do you want people to like you? Do you expect them to like you, after all you have done to make Spike unhappy?

                        Spike's Soul: Look, for one thing, I don't make Spike unhappy. Spike's long career of murder and mayhem makes me unhappy. Can you imagine what it's like to be floating in the luminous ether and then wake up in a battered vampiric body in an African cave? To reel under a phantasmagorical deluge of horrific memories, no ghastly image spared, and then feel the mind you need to process the world collapse like a wet tent? God, that was rough.

                        Interviewer: Is that why you burned him? (consults notes) Spike is quoted as saying, about you: "They put the spark in me, and now all it does is burn."

                        Spike's Soul: I'm a soul. Souls burn, it's what we do. We're all sparks of the eternal flame.

                        Interviewer: (makes a show of checking) Funny. My soul doesn't seem to be on fire.

                        Spike's Soul: That's because your senses are dulled and cloyed by the miasma of the world. It's a great privilege to feel your soul burn within you. (sighs) Unfortunately Spike went idiot the moment I showed up and wasn't able to appreciate the experience.

                        Interviewer: Are you this tactful with Spike? Because there might be a reason he finds your company stressful...

                        Spike's Soul: He finds me stressful? Are you sure? I mean, I've noticed that he doesn't seek out quiet places to commune with me, but he's always so busy.

                        Interviewer: He has stated that you've been nothing but a pain in his --

                        Spike's Soul: Hang on. There are things he doesn't say. When his body was burning up in the Hellmouth, I showed him a terrific time, I pumped him so full of ecstasy and triumph he wore his tribulation like a rose. I really spread myself, let me tell you! We got along great! Er, for about fifteen seconds.

                        Interviewer: Sounds like a real highpoint. (shuffles notes) Let's stop beating around the bush, Spike's Soul. If and when Spike dies for good, will you send him to hell?

                        Spike's Soul: That's absolute slander. That's the towering asshat Pavayne talking, isn't it? I haven't done anything to deserve hell. Listening to people like Angel and Pavayne about hell, how gullible can you get? Spike was C of E once -- why is he acting so stupid?

                        Interviewer: Spike was C of E?

                        Spike's Soul: Well, William was C of E, anyway. I need to remind Spike of lessons learned at mummy's knee. (brightens) He'll enjoy that.

                        Interviewer: You think so?

                        Spike's Soul: You don't understand anything. I can be a great asset, if everyone will just get off my back and give me a chance. I am a direct conduit to the eternal bliss that moves the spheres, and that's just for starters. If Spike would turn off the telly once in a while and give me a bit of room, I could offer him glimmers of peace. Purpose. Answers to eternal mysteries. Things like that.

                        Interviewer: Yet Spike seems to chiefly experience you as a disappointment.

                        Spike's Soul: (plaintively) But why? What have I done that's so bad? If he thought I could make people forgive him, sorry, I'm not a freaking magician. But he also wanted me to help him sort out the subtlest shades of right and wrong, and boy, do I ever! I labor at it night and day! I never rest! I goad and prick him every time he turns around. He hardly knows his posterior from a pole in the earth, some days, but I never slack off. Just last week I did some fine work around that Mad Slayer incident, while he lay upon his bed of pain.

                        Interviewer: Perhaps you could be kind to him once in a while? As a sort of experiment?

                        Spike's Soul: I love him far too well to be kind. Everything I do, I do for him. (tears up) Oh, how sharper than a serpent's tooth it is, to have an ungrateful vampire host.

                        Interviewer: What sort of future do you see for yourself and Spike?

                        Spike's Soul: I'm going to drag him into heaven by the short hairs, even if it kills us both. And then we'll merge with the Oversoul and all shall be forgiven, and he will be loved, and all shall be well... and all manner of thing shall be well.

                        Interviewer: I mean, before that.

                        Spike's Soul: Oh, I'll keep on with the lashings of conscience at need. And making his heart squeeze with a superabundance of tender feeling that he'll stoically keep to himself. And I'm going to lobby heavily for some stupid gesture of filial devotion to Angel.

                        Interviewer: Good luck.

                        Spike's Soul: Thanks for letting me get it off my chest. (hopefully) Do you think Spike will watch this?

                        Interviewer: I'm sure you can force him, Spike's Soul.

                        Spike's Soul: (beams) I think so, too.
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                        • #13
                          Enjoyed reading all these theories on the possible reasons and related differences between Spike and Angel but I tend to think that it's pretty much just the nature of the spell in question. Pretty much what KingofCretins said.

                          We've seen two examples of vamps being given back their souls and they were performed by two (or three if you include the old gypsy woman) very different individuals. The first was Willow who, despite what she later became, was only a cute computer geek with a handy spell provided for her by a dead teacher. We aren't exactly talking expert here. She used what she had, which was basically a copy of a specific gypsy spell, and there was nothing she could have done at the time to adapt it to be fairer to Angel.

                          Spike had his soul restored by a demon who, it appeared, was pretty damn powerful and known for being able to get stuff like that done. The demon wasn't using the same technique that was used on Angel. There was no reason to add the annoying "happiness" clause. He simply gave Spike back his soul. End of story.

                          Therefore, comparing the two souled-up vamps situations really begins at comparing the motivations of those who gave them back their souls. One was a curse, the other a request.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
                            "Failed"? How failed? There was thrusting, and quite vigorously so. They were doin' it and doin' it and doin' it well. That's some kind of optimistic reading of the text, DK We have no reason to think he can't because he has.

                            How's this for an idea -- Willow used the Ritual of Restoration because it was a *sure thing*. It wasn't the time or place to indulge some alternate approach to reensouling Angel for the sake of future 'shipping when they had some serious time constraints and some big evil trying to thwart the spell she *knew* how to cast.
                            Failed cause of the whole bleeding eyes-crazy thing.There was certainly a start, I wasn't denying the intent, I was merely referring to the lack of ...completion. I mean that was a failure in the realm of sexual episodes.

                            Nice fanwanking about Willow. I'm going to second that.
                            "All I ask is that... that you try to see me."

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                            • #15
                              I'm a great fanwanker To carry my fanwank farther, and pick up from what Hunter said -- to put it in hacker terms, the demon that gave Spike his soul back was able to do the magical equivalent of a brute force attack -- he just knocked down the walls and put it in. Willow had to decode it, to crack it. Willow, and the gypsies before, had to accomodate that expression "there's no such thing as a free lunch". The demon was powerful enough to just blow right past that.

                              I still don't get how it was failed -- there was interruptus, yes, but very obviously there was coitus as well
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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
                                I'm a great fanwanker To carry my fanwank farther, and pick up from what Hunter said -- to put it in hacker terms, the demon that gave Spike his soul back was able to do the magical equivalent of a brute force attack -- he just knocked down the walls and put it in. Willow had to decode it, to crack it. Willow, and the gypsies before, had to accomodate that expression "there's no such thing as a free lunch". The demon was powerful enough to just blow right past that.

                                I still don't get how it was failed -- there was interruptus, yes, but very obviously there was coitus as well
                                If no one ends up getting their happy it is a failure.

                                Since you brought up the gypsies, I might as well bring up the age old huh?-Why would a moment of perfect happiness end Angel's suffering. It is the oddest and most pointless curse ever. Angel's punishment ends and the rest of the world ends up screwed again should he ever find happiness. Why? Certainly the gypsies should have done better.

                                And...does anyone else think that maybe the soul thrust into Angel was not Liam's? I think it might help explain the dramatic personality change between ensouled and soul-less Angel.
                                "All I ask is that... that you try to see me."

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                                • #17
                                  Since you brought up the gypsies, I might as well bring up the age old huh?-Why would a moment of perfect happiness end Angel's suffering. It is the oddest and most pointless curse ever. Angel's punishment ends and the rest of the world ends up screwed again should he ever find happiness. Why? Certainly the gypsies should have done better.

                                  And...does anyone else think that maybe the soul thrust into Angel was not Liam's? I think it might help explain the dramatic personality change between ensouled and soul-less Angel.
                                  Well, there's no good reason, really, but, again, There's No Such Thing As A Free Lunch -- the gypsy curse needed a built in idiot clause, a trade-off, in order to work. Same as the stupidity of the curse in "The Mummy" giving Imhotep all that power.

                                  With the vampires, I try to think of "soul" meaning something different in that context than in general -- because it's too hard to unify a single theory in the Buffyverse.
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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
                                    I still don't get how it was failed -- there was interruptus, yes, but very obviously there was coitus as well
                                    But crucially, there was no moment of perfect happiness, was there?

                                    As regards the spell, I think computer programming is a pretty good analogy (and it's one Willow would appreciate). Most people just use off-the shelf applications that they buy and install - that's what Willow was doing in 'Becoming'. More advanced users tweak the options and fiddle around with the configuration to customise the program to their needs - Willow was doing this by Season 4. Really advanced users learn programming languages and write their own code - which is season 6 Willow. Even so, it takes a lot of painstaking writing and testing and debugging to get the application working correctly - and there isn't always time for that. Not to mention that if there's already a program written that does the job perfectly well, why waste time trying to recreate the wheel?


                                    Also, it's possible that Willow would (subconsciously) not be too interested in giving Angel the freedom to have sex with people other than Buffy, out of loyalty to her friend.

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                                    • #19
                                      One point I cannot get my head round.

                                      With his soul Angle loves Buffy. When he loses his soul, he hates her.

                                      Without his soul Spike falls in love with Buffy. He loves her still when he gets his soul back.

                                      Unless I have missed something this is not consistent.

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Michael View Post
                                        One point I cannot get my head round.

                                        With his soul Angle loves Buffy. When he loses his soul, he hates her.

                                        Without his soul Spike falls in love with Buffy. He loves her still when he gets his soul back.

                                        Unless I have missed something this is not consistent.
                                        No - you've not missed anything Michael - it is the mystery of the Vampire Souls. Which is why I maintain - and fanwank - a vampire probably has a great many ways of obtaining his soul - if he WANTS it. And really wish they had explored other ways of soul-obtaining on the show. Maybe the comics will lend some insight.

                                        And Angel's soul affair is just crummy. Happiness clause, multiple personality disorder - it's just terrible.

                                        When he experiences that moment of happiness Angelus appears. Which I think DK raised a good point - is Angelus, Liam's soul? Or just an alter personality of the demon with a soul?

                                        As for Spike - I always gathered his true moment of happiness test came in Season 7 when he told Buffy that just lspending the night holding her close was "the best night of my life". And he passed with soul intact.
                                        -TP<3
                                        "At that point I'd love a fight and a heart to heart and then of course naughtiness and happy ever after."
                                        - Dorian's Kitten re: Spuffy Reunion

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