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  • Character Progression

    The one thing I love above all about the Jossverse the in depth characters and how much they grow.

    So I have devised this poll as a way to start a dialogue on this. What character do you think evolved the most? Or the best? Vote for the person who's progression intrigues you the most.

    I wanted to give props to the Reoccurring small character "Anne" She however is not important enough to make the list. But I think she is a small character that really personifies this aspect of Joss's work. Sorry If I missed your pick. I think I may have gotten all possible choices.

    I put Harmony up there because of her longevity. If anyone is crazy enough to pick her. I would love to see their reasoning.




    My answer is Wesley.
    I am convinced that if Wesley from Angel season 5, met Wesley from Buffy season 3 met. Older Wes would shoot the other on shear principle.
    52
    Angel
    3.85%
    2
    Buffy
    3.85%
    2
    Wesley
    28.85%
    15
    Willow
    3.85%
    2
    Xander
    0.00%
    0
    Giles
    0.00%
    0
    Cordelia
    15.38%
    8
    Gun
    0.00%
    0
    Fred
    0.00%
    0
    Lindsay
    0.00%
    0
    Spike
    36.54%
    19
    Faith
    5.77%
    3
    Harmony
    0.00%
    0
    Anya
    1.92%
    1
    Lorne
    0.00%
    0
    Conner
    0.00%
    0
    Joyce
    0.00%
    0
    Bloody Billy
    Hellmouth Tourist
    Last edited by Bloody Billy; 09-12-08, 07:03 AM.
    ===Quote of the day===
    "To read makes our speaking English good"

    Xander

  • #2
    In the end it comes down to Wes, Cordelia, Spike, or Willow.

    I almost chose Wes, but, really, his change was more about gaining confidence in himself rather than changing as a person. He shed some parts of himself, and gained some capability, but never absolutely transformed. Remember that episode in Season 3 where Willow got captured, and the Mayor wanted to trade her for that Box thing? Wes was the only one who was willing to sacrifice Willow for the greater good. That's a move that his latter day self totally would have made, the only difference is that he wouldn't have backed down so quickly.

    Spike changed mystically, but remained basically unchanged in personality. His transformation from Human to Vampire brought out the passions that ran wild in his heart, but which he never felt able to express. It made him more himself than he had ever been, and he was probably the most human vampire to ever exist. His transformation from Vampire to Souled Vampire again was because of his humanity. He did it for love, for which he's done pretty much everything in his life and un-life.

    Willow has changed in major ways both personality-wise and in regards to her mystical power. But, at the same time, in many ways she remains unchanged. She's another case of gaining oodles and oodles of confidence, which brought out what was already within.

    In the end I voted for Cordelia, who has undergone a complete transformation in nearly every aspect you can imagine. From rich to dirt poor, from selfish to saintly, from bitchy to...slightly less bitchy. She underwent a huge transformation from Season 1 to Season 3 of Buffy, via her exposure to the supernatural and her relationship with Xander. She cared for people for the first time, disregarded her social status for the first time, made real friends for the first time, etc. Then she lost everything and had to transform completely again. Season 1 of Angel saw her grow from an immature young adult to a compassionate warrior for good. This also saw her first mystical change, from Human to Seer. The trend continued through Season 3, with her growing more and more saintly. Season 3 saw her second and third mystical transformations, from Human Seer to Half-Demon Seer, and from Half-Demon Seer to Higher Power. Then Seasons 4 and 5 and Jasmine and Pregnancy and Coma and Death. Now she's a legitimate Higher Power (or at least an agent for the Powers That Be). So, from bitchy, mean-hearted, selfish Cheerleader to Saint/Higher Power.

    Comment


    • #3
      I think that Wesley evolved the most and Angel evolved the best.

      Wesley became almost a complete new person, even Cordelia and Willow are in the end still a lot like the girls we met in season 1. The last time we saw Cordelia she had class, was snarky and knew her fashion. Yes, she grew up but it was still Cordelia. The same for Willow.

      Wesley is the only character who changed so much that you sometimes wouldn't say that it was the same person as the character in season 3. And props to the writers and Alexis for making it believable and interesting.


      I think that Angel evolved the best. Yes, he didn't complete change like some other characters but Angel's journey goes step for step and sometimes so slow you don't even notice it. But if you compare the Angel from season 1 to the Angel in ATF you can't deny the amazing growth and development. Of course from all the characters, Angel got the most time and story to develop. He never had to get through character killing seasons like season 7. And his own show is really about him which gives him a lot of space to fall and learn. Thanks to this all, we saw him grow every season which is in my eyes the best way of developing a character. Yes, some characters got one big happening which changed their lives (Spike getting his soul, Connor losing his memories, Wesley failing big time and getting kicked out the group) and their change is more noticable because it's really clear. But I think that the writing is less impressive if a character really changes like that. Xander went through the same kind of change like Angel only he was a bit forgotten and a lot in the background after a while and that's why I think that Angel went through a more impressive change.
      Nina
      and her haircut.
      Last edited by Nina; 09-12-08, 09:30 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by XavierZane View Post
        Remember that episode in Season 3 where Willow got captured, and the Mayor wanted to trade her for that Box thing? Wes was the only one who was willing to sacrifice Willow for the greater good. That's a move that his latter day self totally would have made, the only difference is that he wouldn't have backed down so quickly.
        I have given this allot of thought also. The one thing that stays constant through the series is that Wes is willing to do anything for the greater good.

        By the end he would have turned his back on the fight for Fred. So there is a bot of a change even on that front.

        In the end he had "given in to the grumpy side of the force" and that changed him very much.
        Bloody Billy
        Hellmouth Tourist
        Last edited by Bloody Billy; 09-12-08, 06:21 PM.
        ===Quote of the day===
        "To read makes our speaking English good"

        Xander

        Comment


        • #5
          It was hard to choose since most characters are dynamic really and there are several who change more tha just a little, but I settled with Spike in the end, because the "progress" from villain to hero, involving all that lies in the middle, is the most noticeable and obvious to me. He starts out as antagonist, then goes through various degrees of reluctant ally, gradually becomes less reluctant... and in the end we have another Champion to rival Angel, and even one who more or less chose this burden of his own free will.
          Sin is what I feast upon
          I'm forging my crematorium
          Your tomb is waiting here for you
          Welcome to my ritual

          -Judas Priest, Death

          Comment


          • #6
            I chose Buffy, then it has to be Spike, Willow and Wesley.

            Buffy: She started the series wanting to rid herself of the Slayer gig, she wanted a normal life. Throughout the seasons, she will learn how to embrace and accept that side of hers, learn to make hard decisions, essentially learn to live as a human being and a Slayer. And the ending just makes her journey beautiful.

            Comment


            • #7
              Wes, Cordelia, Spike are the main candidates. I chose Spike because he started out not only evil, but very selfish and self-centered, concerned only with his (and Drusilla's) immediate wants and desires. Then, in the end, he was willing to sacrifice himself with a smile on his face to save the world.

              Cordelia underwent a similar transformation, but she wasn't actually evil to start with so she didn't have to travel as far. Likewise, Wes changed a lot, but he didn't have to switch sides to do it.
              Cordially,
              Amuk

              I didn't jump. I took a tiny step, and there conclusions were.
              Addicted to Buffy

              Comment


              • #8
                Well, I can't say some of those did not changed at all. But I voted Willow, to remember those grade-grubler in a High School and compare with Dark Willow, or Willow in Chosen-the most powerful witch ever, who at last believed in herself...But of course it'll also be Spike and matured Buffy, Wes definitely among pacemakers too.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Spike to me would be in about 4th place. All the characters evolved and certainly spike changed, but not sure that he out does; Wes, Cordy, or Willow.

                  But will not argue as the op does state the change that intrigues you the most. And all 4 offer allot of change.

                  Originally posted by buffyholic View Post
                  I chose Buffy, then it has to be Spike, Willow and Wesley.

                  Buffy: She started the series wanting to rid herself of the Slayer gig, she wanted a normal life. Throughout the seasons, she will learn how to embrace and accept that side of hers, learn to make hard decisions, essentially learn to live as a human being and a Slayer. And the ending just makes her journey beautiful.
                  I am not sure I follow.
                  At the end of season one Buffy is willing to sacrifice her self for the gig. And her Solution for the biggest of bads in season 7 is to free her self from the loneliness.

                  I think if anything it is the consistency of Buffys character that is the Anchor for the show.
                  ===Quote of the day===
                  "To read makes our speaking English good"

                  Xander

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Who changed the most as a person, as a character? Definitely Spike. If someone would watch School Hard and after that, say, Touched with the speech, he or she wouldn't probably even believe that these two are actually the same character. Also Spike's change was so gradual and felt so right, think how at the start he and Dru were basically the big bads of the season and then at some point you are watching After Life with Spike holding resurrected Buffy's hands and it is so right!
                    Spike's change from a villain (with a little streak of humanity in him) to a souled hero (who still had his trademark snark) is most fascinating journey of these two TV-shows (actually of ANY TV-show) for me.
                    sigpic
                    banner by litzie avatar by diane

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      This is really hard... Everyone has gone through so much. I agree that Wesley and Angel have progressed the most, there is such a difference between season 1 Angel/season 3 Wesley and then their final apperances in Angel season 5

                      But I am not going to go into detail for them, personlly I think Anya has made best progression.

                      She started out in season 3 as a demon with no care for the human world. She had a job and did it. After she lost her powers and became human she had to learn and she grew from this one shot demon to a fullfledge character who truly loved Xander (and I think at a time she really cared for Buffy, Willow, Giles and Dawn.)

                      It is most clear in "Hell's Bells". When she does her vows it is so emotional that she really understands the world and actually cares. Though my favorite moment is near the end of season 7 when her and Andrew are at the hospital. She has that amazing revolution about humankind and how strong they are - it was just so touching and really just proved that she was an entirly different person.

                      I also think Faith had an interesting progression, I just wish we had more of her in jail too SEE her evolution more clear. They should do a comic for that, it would be alot more interesting then season eight...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DigitalLeonardo View Post
                        This is really hard... Everyone has gone through so much. I agree that Wesley and Angel have progressed the most, there is such a difference between season 1 Angel/season 3 Wesley and then their final apperances in Angel season 5

                        But I am not going to go into detail for them, personlly I think Anya has made best progression.

                        She started out in season 3 as a demon with no care for the human world. She had a job and did it. After she lost her powers and became human she had to learn and she grew from this one shot demon to a fullfledge character who truly loved Xander (and I think at a time she really cared for Buffy, Willow, Giles and Dawn.)

                        It is most clear in "Hell's Bells". When she does her vows it is so emotional that she really understands the world and actually cares. Though my favorite moment is near the end of season 7 when her and Andrew are at the hospital. She has that amazing revolution about humankind and how strong they are - it was just so touching and really just proved that she was an entirly different person.

                        I also think Faith had an interesting progression, I just wish we had more of her in jail too SEE her evolution more clear. They should do a comic for that, it would be alot more interesting then season eight...

                        I agree this is hard. And it seems that everyone has a great case for their own choice.

                        Anya's progression is very noteworthy. And The scene where she delivers her vows almost makes me well up every time I see it. And agree with the your insight on the hospital scene as well.

                        You can track her progress really well just via apocalypses.
                        Season 3 She ran
                        Season 4 she stayed home
                        Season 5 She added allot the Dyson sphere, Troll hammer, and buffy bot Ideas.
                        Season 6 She was a Demon again and did allot of wooshing around. She really got in to that one. And staying with Giles and showing real emotion for him.
                        Season 7 She Died fighting. She made that speech and gave herself completely to the cause.


                        No doubt she is indeed a great example of the character progression Joss and Co are so good at.
                        ===Quote of the day===
                        "To read makes our speaking English good"

                        Xander

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Maybe it's also interesting to look at the people who didn't progress so much?

                          Like Giles, the first seasons he progressed (not much) but in the last seasons he totally regressed. Or Lorne who never changed much at all.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            What is your opinion on Xander's progress? Personally I think he did not change much, apart from growing more mature (well, duh - he starts out as a 16-year-old boy and at the end of the series he is a grown man), but he remained pretty much the same apart from that. What do you think?
                            Sin is what I feast upon
                            I'm forging my crematorium
                            Your tomb is waiting here for you
                            Welcome to my ritual

                            -Judas Priest, Death

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I think that Xander maturing is a pretty good development. Especially if you see that Buffy, Giles and Willow became less mature after a while. But I think that Xander was a nobody in the background for too long and I really blame the writers more than I praise them for Xander's development. They had (well made) no time for Xander so he became more quiet and gave him a pretty quiet normal life which made him very mature. I'm on the fence about it, after the seasons 6 and 7 I think that it was a good thing for the character Xander that he wasn't a prominent member which at least kept him likable. But in the end it's just awful how the writers dealed with Xander and I refuse to say that the writers did good work with his character even when he turned out okay. You could say the same about Gunn in a lesser degree. At least in his case the writers kept him on the site because they wanted to do something with him and they did in season 5. But in his first 3 seasons it wasn't much. He became more mature but there was not much development.



                              Other question;

                              I see in this thread so many times that Spike changed from a bad guy into a hero. But isn't that much more due his soul than to real evolving? Just like Connor, who was the most depressed kid in the world and ended up as a happy strawberry while loving to be a hero. Is that evolvement or just the mind-wipe? Personally I make a big difference between a difference between evolving as a person and changing the situation (soul, mindwipe) which changed the character.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Well, yes, the soul played a great part in it, but he had to change in order to want that soul, so I think it still counts.
                                Sin is what I feast upon
                                I'm forging my crematorium
                                Your tomb is waiting here for you
                                Welcome to my ritual

                                -Judas Priest, Death

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I didn't try to say that Spike didn't evolve at all, just that him becoming a hero wasn't just evolving but also a soul matter. (Or you can say that the lack of soul changed him into a bad guy, which is probably the case with almost all the vampires.)

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Well, the problem with Spike I think isn't in his soul. I don't think he was a REAL bad guy ever, even firstly he was "avampireinlove" which says much..With the time his good human's streaks just show up more. In FFL and protecting Dawn he had no soul by the way

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Spike killed, tortured and raped for more than a century, he is one of the most cruel vampires of all time. I doubt that you can say that he was never a bad guy.

                                      Spike helping the scoobies had a lot to do with pleasing Buffy (because Spike was in love with her) and keeping his own life secure. The scoobies gave him food/blood and some people to talk to. He enjoyed talking with Dawn and Joyce so it was in his advantage to help them. He showed his human side at times, but he isn't unique in that matter; James & Elizabeth, Harmony and even Dru did that as well. They were never in the situation Spike was in (chip in is head with only humans to talk to/in love with a slayer), but all these vampires are evil and I think that the moment you stop with the 'soulless vampires are evil' rule, the whole mythology will be destroyed.
                                      Nina
                                      and her haircut.
                                      Last edited by Nina; 10-12-08, 11:10 AM.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Agreed, Nina. He was a very bad guy, in fact. And this is just why I picked him for "personally most noteworthy progress". When he seeks shelter with the Scoobies at first, he is a complete jerk to them (although this might cause him to get thrown out or even killed), but this gradually changes as his attitude towards them (or at least some of them) changes. And at the beginning of Season 6 it is quite clear: nothing binds him to the Scoobies anymore, Dawn is no longer the Key and he could consider the promise he made to Buffy no longer binding because he helped to bring that about... and yet here he is, patrolling with them and watching over Dawn. His nature as a soulless creature has not changed, but his attitude and behaviour has, and very much so.
                                        Sin is what I feast upon
                                        I'm forging my crematorium
                                        Your tomb is waiting here for you
                                        Welcome to my ritual

                                        -Judas Priest, Death

                                        Comment

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