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  • Harmonizing Canon

    This is my entry for the Buffyverse metathon, which will be posted on LJ come the 28th.

    Warning--contains heavy religious discussion and potentially controversial ideas about souls in the Jossverse.

    I Don't Know But I've Been Told
    (Vampire Woman Ain't Got No Soul)


    The longest-running character in the Buffyverse can't get no respect. Harmony Kendall--who made it all the way from Buffy's unaired pilot to the series finale of Angel--is frequently an object of fan derision. Some claim that her ambiguous character is the result of creative exhaustion--that the writers were unable to translate her effectively into an evil vampire. Others insist that her slow and easily-reversible moral progress is simply a validation of the original concept of vampirism in the Jossverse; no matter how hard she tries, Harmony cannot escape her nature. Who's right? Maybe, just maybe, neither.

    If Angelus' evil is that of a true believer, and Spike's that of a brawler who believes only in the thrill of the fight, Harmony seems to represent evil-as-addiction. Repeatedly, she realizes that evil is not in her self-interest and--being evilly selfish--tries to break away from that status. But, like a smoker, Harmony finds that quitting is easy; she can do it as many times as she wants. Still, this level of self-awareness seems peculiar in a character as frequently clueless as Harmony. Of all the vampires on the shows, only Spike clearly attained it without some kind of supernatural assistance, and he required technological aid instead.

    In an article now lost to the collapse of Buffyworld Forums, I argued that Harmony's self-awareness is the result of her inability to fit into traditional vampire society. Harmony's ambition (clearly translated from her social-climbing days as a human) drives her repeatedly to attempt to fill the role of "master vampire", as we see both in her short-lived Sunnydale gang and her brief membership in the pyramid-scheme cult. However, she lacks the skills not only to be a master, but even to be an effective minion. This does not necessarily make her a hopeless case, but unlike nerdy, poetic "Willy" (much later to be known as Spike), she has no one willing to help her make something of her unlife. Harmony cannot even maintain the demeaning role of helpless girlfriend, as she cannot hold the interest of anyone intelligent enough to take care of her. Her only natural status would appear to be that of the vampire trulls who effectively prostitute themselves to thrill-seekers. (Perhaps that should come as no surprise; Harmony is one of the least-liberated women in the Buffyverse--though at least she knows and learns to resent it.) But her ambitions will not allow her to fall into that role. Harmony, as a vampire, is at a literal dead end in her existence, and gradually realizes as much.

    Spike's imposed incompetence drives him into the circles of the Scooby Gang and, eventually, to recover his soul. Harmony's natural incompetence drives her...well, to become a secretary at an evil law firm. This is a step upward, but a very small one. (Is it a step further into the darkness? If so, I suggest that it too is small. Does anyone believe that every secretary, mail carrier, and janitor who works for Wolfram & Hart is a conscious, willing, and significant servant of evil?) Though Harmony apparently survives the destruction of the Wolfram & Hart building, her future does not appear bright. She seems unlikely ever to become competent at evil. Her odds of surviving the cave demon's challenges are, to say the least, extraordinarily small. And even if someone were persuaded to curse her with a soul, how long would she be able to keep it? (I have half-jokingly suggested that Harmony would achieve perfect happiness any time someone gave her a unicorn.)

    Is Harmony doomed to an unlife of eternal ineffectuality and unhappiness? That depends very much on what it means to have a soul. Unfortunately, that question is one on which Joss has repeatedly punted. Although he maintains that Spike was never good until he obtained one, he has never defined precisely what a soul is. So we will have to turn there next.

    A Horse Is A Horse

    The nature of souls in the Jossverse is well-trodden discussion territory, so much that it's difficult to imagine a theory that has not been advanced at some point. Some people have gone well afield into modern psychological theories or Eastern religions. Yet it would appear that Joss originally borrowed the idea from the loose Christianity embedded in popular American culture, adjusting it first to suit the needs of the story and later, perhaps, to consciously deconstruct it. It might prove worthwhile to try and re-cover that journey from a fresh perspective.

    As it happens, I belong to a religious tradition that covered that territory on its own. In the early 19th century, the Restoration (or Stone-Campbell) movement attempted to discard a great deal of theological baggage accumulated over two millennia in the hope of achieving common ground among Christian believers. (In all fairness, it didn't work out all that well, which is another story entirely.) In the process, we greatly simplified the concept of the soul and then had to redevelop it largely from scratch. Which is to say--been there, done that.

    Among the concepts excised as hopelessly speculative was the great bulk of Calvinist soteriology--original sin, depravity, predestination, and so forth--as well as the Aristotelian divisions of different kinds of souls: vegetable, animal, and human. In most cases, no official effort was made to develop replacements; what emerged instead was a broad, loose consensus based on individual study. (In religion, this is called "folk theology"; in fandom--"fanon".) One of the more influential works was that of T. W. Brents, whose Gospel Plan of Salvation I'll be quoting rather extensively from. Don't let the title put you off--Brents' book is an accessible one that inevitably ends up discussing the nature of the soul.

    The most basic concept of the soul in popular Christian thought is that of one's personal identity. In first- and perhaps second-season Buffy, this concept might seem to be applicable to vampires. Early Angelus bears no obvious relation to Angel, and the Order of Aurelius is not much affected if we imagine the personalities of its members to be purely demonic. Yet as the idea of the soul evolved in the later Jossverse, Whedon went out of his way to keep most of the important vampires in line with it. Even Angelus eventually is revealed as a natural evolution of Liam's original self, albeit one unusually separate from Angel's better side. As a result, this original version of the soul no longer seems to be in step with canon "reality" as early as Buffy Season 3, when Angel hastily covers up his near-admission that the human's personality gives rise to the vampiric one. In order to get any further, we'll need to step away from what goes by the name of "soul" and look at the way the soul functions.

    Before Brents could get to his ideas on how a person achieved salvation, he had to spend five whole chapters taking apart the then-popular Calvinist concept of what it was to have a soul, to be a sinner, or to hope for salvation in the first place. Ironically enough, it's those early chapters that the meat of this meta comes from. Brents begins his discussion of human nature in fairly modern-sounding terms, by dividing the mental faculties into two broad categories--"animal faculties" which "in lower animals...are called instincts" and "intellectual facilities", in which he includes "moral sentiments". The former category takes the place of what evangelicals still call the "sin nature"; "Paul calls them 'the carnal mind,' and tells us 'it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.'" Brents explains this inability not in the moral terms of his contemporaries, but in terms of intellect and consciousness. "It would do but little good to read the Ten Commandments to a horse, as he would not be subject to them--neither, indeed, could he be; and it would do about as little good to read them to the purely carnal mind of man (if it were possible to do so), composed of similar constituents, which knows no law but animal gratification." These instinctual drives are necessary for human survival--but when indulged without restraint, the result is what we call "evil".

    Can a vampire consciousness be mapped onto "the purely carnal mind of man"? Unfortunately, Brents' construction doesn't allow this. A vampire does indeed have an intellect of its own; except possibly for the Turok-Han, vampires are not purely instinctual creatures. Brents, writing well before Freud, distinguishes something that might be thought of as the id, but he thoroughly mingles the ego and superego. A century and a half later, Restorationist churches still do not clearly separate moral and intellectual abilities; people are considered to restrain themselves from evil as much by their intellectual awareness of consequences as by conscience, which is thought of as a mostly-learned faculty. Current Restorationist thought designates humans (and, by extension, any other sapient beings that might exist) as "free moral agents"; there is no concept to explain an "unfree moral agent" that can make intelligent choices, but only if they are evil ones.

    Yet, strangely, we can see echoes of this notion in the division between Angel and Angelus. Angelus, while as intelligent as Angel, is thoroughly ruled by his "carnal mind", pursuing his violent self-gratification at every turn. And in his less-guarded moments, Angel admits that Angelus is always present within him, struggling futilely to get out and wreak havoc; when Angel says this, he invariably ends up blurring the line between Angelus and his own darker urges, no matter how much he insists that Angelus is a separate being. "Then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me," as Brents quotes from Paul's letter to the Romans. At the same time, even Angelus can, on rare occasions, be persuaded to do good deeds if doing so is in his own interests--as when he kills the Beast, after discovering that a world dominated by vampires is not so much fun as he expects. (And Brents would no doubt agree that that would be true; an evil world is, in terms of his ideas, ruled by stupidity.) Other vampires can be seen to do the same on more frequent occasions--Spike being the most obvious case.

    Anatta

    Does this mean Brents is of no use in explaining the soul? Perhaps not. Brents ends his discussion by defining free will in terms of the tension between the different components of the mind. A human without both animal and intellectual faculties in his nature, he suggests, would be either "nothing more than a brute" or "a mere machine"--in either case, lacking the freedom to choose that a soul implies. Moreover, remember the initial point that these faculties are not unitary themselves--they are composed of many different capabilities, each pulling in its own direction.

    Prior to Connor's birth, the Fang Gang discovers a prophecy of something called the Tro-Clon, which appears to be a single entity or event--the salvation or ruination of humanity, depending on one's perspective. But the more deeply they study the Tro-Clon, the more obvious it becomes that they have been deceived by a language barrier; what the Nyazian authors described as something singular proves, in modern English, to be a confluence of many different factors. Singularity and multiplicity turn out to be dependant on perspective as well.

    The word "soul" appears to describe an individual entity. And indeed, the Buffyverse contains spells to manipulate souls as if that were the case. Yet at the same time it seems clear that no one, not even Willow, is entirely certain what a soul is, or therefore of what these spells are really doing. It could very well be the case that a "soul" is no more a singular object than the Tro-Clon was, while at the same time the word still depicts something real, as certainly as the Tro-Clon was real.

    This would explain a number of puzzling factors that occasionally crop up in the 'Verse. Traditionally, souls are thought of as immortal and indestructible. However, we find repeated references in canon to souls being destroyed--a "four-winged soul-killer", D'Hoffryn taking the "life and soul of a vengeance demon", and of course, most prominently, Fred's soul being "consumed by the fires of resurrection" that revive Illyria. If a soul is not as singular an entity as it seems to be, it would be much clearer how one could be destroyed. It would also make sense of Joss' never-realized plan to reawaken Fred from within Illyria even though her soul no longer exists--for if a soul can be destroyed, presumably one can also be created, or recreated.

    Perhaps this is Harmony's best hope. If a soul is a confluence of different faculties of mind, and those faculties can be learned, then Harmony may be further on her way to having one than even she realizes. Of course, she still would have a long way to go; she ends the series backsliding yet again. Nonetheless, Harmony always seems to land on her feet, both in terms of her survival and of getting back on the moral wagon. It might indeed make a difference if Angel had confidence in her; certainly no soulless vampire has yet been treated with the consideration that Anya was given, even while she continued to brag about her life as a vengeance demon.

    But isn't that unfair to Spike and Angel? Well...the world is not necessarily a fair place, after all. Or maybe it is fair. Angel never intended to obtain a soul at all; it was forced on him by a gypsy curse. Spike's trials to gain his, while intensely unpleasant, actually played to his strengths; quite possibly they cut short a process that could have gone on for much longer. Harmony would be the one having to go about getting a soul the hard way--through the business of living in a world that fears her kind and treats her as less than human. Maybe she hasn't reached the end of that path Lorne said she was on just yet.

    And y'know, that Shanshu thing is still out there. Wouldn't a woman coming away with the prize be the Jossian thing to do?
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  • #2
    Originally posted by Mabus View Post
    This is my entry for the Buffyverse metathon, which will be posted on LJ come the 28th.

    Warning--contains heavy religious discussion and potentially controversial ideas about souls in the Jossverse.

    I Don't Know But I've Been Told
    (Vampire Woman Ain't Got No Soul)


    The longest-running character in the Buffyverse can't get no respect. Harmony Kendall--who made it all the way from Buffy's unaired pilot to the series finale of Angel--is frequently an object of fan derision. Some claim that her ambiguous character is the result of creative exhaustion--that the writers were unable to translate her effectively into an evil vampire. Others insist that her slow and easily-reversible moral progress is simply a validation of the original concept of vampirism in the Jossverse; no matter how hard she tries, Harmony cannot escape her nature. Who's right? Maybe, just maybe, neither.

    If Angelus' evil is that of a true believer, and Spike's that of a brawler who believes only in the thrill of the fight, Harmony seems to represent evil-as-addiction. Repeatedly, she realizes that evil is not in her self-interest and--being evilly selfish--tries to break away from that status. But, like a smoker, Harmony finds that quitting is easy; she can do it as many times as she wants. Still, this level of self-awareness seems peculiar in a character as frequently clueless as Harmony. Of all the vampires on the shows, only Spike clearly attained it without some kind of supernatural assistance, and he required technological aid instead.

    In an article now lost to the collapse of Buffyworld Forums, I argued that Harmony's self-awareness is the result of her inability to fit into traditional vampire society. Harmony's ambition (clearly translated from her social-climbing days as a human) drives her repeatedly to attempt to fill the role of "master vampire", as we see both in her short-lived Sunnydale gang and her brief membership in the pyramid-scheme cult. However, she lacks the skills not only to be a master, but even to be an effective minion. This does not necessarily make her a hopeless case, but unlike nerdy, poetic "Willy" (much later to be known as Spike), she has no one willing to help her make something of her unlife. Harmony cannot even maintain the demeaning role of helpless girlfriend, as she cannot hold the interest of anyone intelligent enough to take care of her. Her only natural status would appear to be that of the vampire trulls who effectively prostitute themselves to thrill-seekers. (Perhaps that should come as no surprise; Harmony is one of the least-liberated women in the Buffyverse--though at least she knows and learns to resent it.) But her ambitions will not allow her to fall into that role. Harmony, as a vampire, is at a literal dead end in her existence, and gradually realizes as much.

    Spike's imposed incompetence drives him into the circles of the Scooby Gang and, eventually, to recover his soul. Harmony's natural incompetence drives her...well, to become a secretary at an evil law firm. This is a step upward, but a very small one. (Is it a step further into the darkness? If so, I suggest that it too is small. Does anyone believe that every secretary, mail carrier, and janitor who works for Wolfram & Hart is a conscious, willing, and significant servant of evil?) Though Harmony apparently survives the destruction of the Wolfram & Hart building, her future does not appear bright. She seems unlikely ever to become competent at evil. Her odds of surviving the cave demon's challenges are, to say the least, extraordinarily small. And even if someone were persuaded to curse her with a soul, how long would she be able to keep it? (I have half-jokingly suggested that Harmony would achieve perfect happiness any time someone gave her a unicorn.)

    Is Harmony doomed to an unlife of eternal ineffectuality and unhappiness? That depends very much on what it means to have a soul. Unfortunately, that question is one on which Joss has repeatedly punted. Although he maintains that Spike was never good until he obtained one, he has never defined precisely what a soul is. So we will have to turn there next.
    Very good post, I like it. I think I remember some of the points you made about Harmony on my 'How Should We Judge Vampires?' thread. I've always found Harmony perplexing for that very reason that her actions are not all that different from when she was human. Angel argues that he anticipated that she would betray him because she has no soul. Angel was an insensitive boss, sure, but can she justify her betrayal? Harmony walks that thankless line at W&H but we have no clear evidence that she values right and wrong beyond that. She certainly is not loyal to Angel's mission and when she gets what she wants and is spared she likes 'OK'. The real question is, would Harmony do that as a human? I wouldn't say it's an impossibility which is why judging her is so difficult. I don't however think this is particular to Harmony. Every vampire will be a product of what they were and based upon circumstance it will lead them whichever direction it may, but more on that later.

    A Horse Is A Horse

    The nature of souls in the Jossverse is well-trodden discussion territory, so much that it's difficult to imagine a theory that has not been advanced at some point. Some people have gone well afield into modern psychological theories or Eastern religions. Yet it would appear that Joss originally borrowed the idea from the loose Christianity embedded in popular American culture, adjusting it first to suit the needs of the story and later, perhaps, to consciously deconstruct it. It might prove worthwhile to try and re-cover that journey from a fresh perspective.

    As it happens, I belong to a religious tradition that covered that territory on its own. In the early 19th century, the Restoration (or Stone-Campbell) movement attempted to discard a great deal of theological baggage accumulated over two millennia in the hope of achieving common ground among Christian believers. (In all fairness, it didn't work out all that well, which is another story entirely.) In the process, we greatly simplified the concept of the soul and then had to redevelop it largely from scratch. Which is to say--been there, done that.

    Among the concepts excised as hopelessly speculative was the great bulk of Calvinist soteriology--original sin, depravity, predestination, and so forth--as well as the Aristotelian divisions of different kinds of souls: vegetable, animal, and human. In most cases, no official effort was made to develop replacements; what emerged instead was a broad, loose consensus based on individual study. (In religion, this is called "folk theology"; in fandom--"fanon".) One of the more influential works was that of T. W. Brents, whose Gospel Plan of Salvation I'll be quoting rather extensively from. Don't let the title put you off--Brents' book is an accessible one that inevitably ends up discussing the nature of the soul
    .

    The most basic concept of the soul in popular Christian thought is that of one's personal identity. In first- and perhaps second-season Buffy, this concept might seem to be applicable to vampires. Early Angelus bears no obvious relation to Angel, and the Order of Aurelius is not much affected if we imagine the personalities of its members to be purely demonic. Yet as the idea of the soul evolved in the later Jossverse, Whedon went out of his way to keep most of the important vampires in line with it. Even Angelus eventually is revealed as a natural evolution of Liam's original self, albeit one unusually separate from Angel's better side. As a result, this original version of the soul no longer seems to be in step with canon "reality" as early as Buffy Season 3, when Angel hastily covers up his near-admission that the human's personality gives rise to the vampiric one. In order to get any further, we'll need to step away from what goes by the name of "soul" and look at the way the soul functions.
    Well this is one of the largest debates we've had on the other forum. It is now generally accepted that the under what I called 'Theory 1' the vampire's personality was based upon who they were. To keep Season 1 vamps in line with that we could simply say that we knew little about those vampires especially as human aside from Darla who actually seemed consistent with her human self or wat we've seen of her past vamp days. Toying with, and corrupting innocence etc, but the other theme in Season 1 of Angel presents or strengthens the idea of Angel and Angelus being quantively the same person, so presenting the idea of the soul as a conscience only...


    Before Brents could get to his ideas on how a person achieved salvation, he had to spend five whole chapters taking apart the then-popular Calvinist concept of what it was to have a soul, to be a sinner, or to hope for salvation in the first place. Ironically enough, it's those early chapters that the meat of this meta comes from. Brents begins his discussion of human nature in fairly modern-sounding terms, by dividing the mental faculties into two broad categories--"animal faculties" which "in lower animals...are called instincts" and "intellectual facilities", in which he includes "moral sentiments". The former category takes the place of what evangelicals still call the "sin nature"; "Paul calls them 'the carnal mind,' and tells us 'it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.'" Brents explains this inability not in the moral terms of his contemporaries, but in terms of intellect and consciousness. "It would do but little good to read the Ten Commandments to a horse, as he would not be subject to them--neither, indeed, could he be; and it would do about as little good to read them to the purely carnal mind of man (if it were possible to do so), composed of similar constituents, which knows no law but animal gratification." These instinctual drives are necessary for human survival--but when indulged without restraint, the result is what we call "evil".

    Can a vampire consciousness be mapped onto "the purely carnal mind of man"? Unfortunately, Brents' construction doesn't allow this. A vampire does indeed have an intellect of its own; except possibly for the Turok-Han, vampires are not purely instinctual creatures. Brents, writing well before Freud, distinguishes something that might be thought of as the id, but he thoroughly mingles the ego and superego. A century and a half later, Restorationist churches still do not clearly separate moral and intellectual abilities; people are considered to restrain themselves from evil as much by their intellectual awareness of consequences as by conscience, which is thought of as a mostly-learned faculty. Current Restorationist thought designates humans (and, by extension, any other sapient beings that might exist) as "free moral agents"; there is no concept to explain an "unfree moral agent" that can make intelligent choices, but only if they are evil ones.
    Well this also calls into the question of free will, i.e. can a vampire choose good for it's own sake. The only way I could even get close to trying to explain this was to talk about vampires having certain psychological constraints over their actions (added) that human also have psychological constraints and it's based upon perspective who is more free. The spiny demon from TSOR and Adam viewed humanity an hinderance, viewing their emotional faculties rather as shackles, limiting what they may view as greater potential. To reconcile that with human religion, perhaps it's construct is based upon this limitation but does this make both humans and vampires unfree agents or even partially free agents based upon what we are.

    Yet, strangely, we can see echoes of this notion in the division between Angel and Angelus. Angelus, while as intelligent as Angel, is thoroughly ruled by his "carnal mind", pursuing his violent self-gratification at every turn. And in his less-guarded moments, Angel admits that Angelus is always present within him, struggling futilely to get out and wreak havoc; when Angel says this, he invariably ends up blurring the line between Angelus and his own darker urges, no matter how much he insists that Angelus is a separate being.
    And this is where I find myself wondering if the demon of Angelus is truly the metaphor or whether he actually exists seperately and it's played out as metaphoric demon from within. Under Theory 1, even if Angelus houses Liam's darker potential, he is still seperate but the lines are blurred in Angel's mind. When he says I did this, he meant him. When he said, I enjoyed that, he meant the demon inside me. However under theory 2 (soul as conscience) Angel's darker urges are always present within him as a person, so rather than Angelus evil being an unfortunate 'side effect' of mixing Liam's urges with bloodlust, all the sadism, rage, heroics, bravery, are all part of his psyche.

    "Then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me," as Brents quotes from Paul's letter to the Romans. At the same time, even Angelus can, on rare occasions, be persuaded to do good deeds if doing so is in his own interests--as when he kills the Beast, after discovering that a world dominated by vampires is not so much fun as he expects. (And Brents would no doubt agree that that would be true; an evil world is, in terms of his ideas, ruled by stupidity.) Other vampires can be seen to do the same on more frequent occasions--Spike being the most obvious case.
    But of course we have the old 'good for good's own sake argument' (which gets murky if taken to it's full conclusion if indeed there is one). That is to say are Angelus' and Spike's actions truly good if their intention is not truly good? Are they merely favourable but selfishly motivated? Under this ruling Angelus killing the beast out of rebellion is not good. Angel killing the Beast (hypothetically) to save people, is good.



    Does this mean Brents is of no use in explaining the soul? Perhaps not. Brents ends his discussion by defining free will in terms of the tension between the different components of the mind. A human without both animal and intellectual faculties in his nature, he suggests, would be either "nothing more than a brute" or "a mere machine"--in either case, lacking the freedom to choose that a soul implies. Moreover, remember the initial point that these faculties are not unitary themselves--they are composed of many different capabilities, each pulling in its own direction.
    And indeed what faculties reside inside the vampire? Do the separate the drive to survive (perhaps based upon the intellectual) and the demonic drive presented say in Pylea. For Angel he has that further drive but is Angel comprised of these drives or is the soul the one that does the choosing? This would make the soul the meness so what is doing the choosing in a soulless vampire? What is this thing that is doing the choosing (say for example a vamp the 'chooses to play by the House rules' in a biting den)? If these vampires have their own meness that chooses then if fac Angel under theory 1 would have 2 choosers between drives, unless there are drives inside the soul the a part of soul chooses ad fin.




    This would explain a number of puzzling factors that occasionally crop up in the 'Verse. Traditionally, souls are thought of as immortal and indestructible. However, we find repeated references in canon to souls being destroyed--a "four-winged soul-killer", D'Hoffryn taking the "life and soul of a vengeance demon", and of course, most prominently, Fred's soul being "consumed by the fires of resurrection" that revive Illyria
    .

    Which I suppose could be comparable to vampirism, immortal but not invincible.



    Perhaps this is Harmony's best hope. If a soul is a confluence of different faculties of mind, and those faculties can be learned, then Harmony may be further on her way to having one than even she realizes. Of course, she still would have a long way to go; she ends the series backsliding yet again. Nonetheless, Harmony always seems to land on her feet, both in terms of her survival and of getting back on the moral wagon. It might indeed make a difference if Angel had confidence in her; certainly no soulless vampire has yet been treated with the consideration that Anya was given, even while she continued to brag about her life as a vengeance demon.
    It may or may not make a difference but Angel cannot give Harmony that 'Soul Purpose' (lol) if you will. If Harmony can't find that for herself or work it out for herself (which was implied in NFA) then there is no hope. And of course we have the case of Anya whom I judge (if at all) entirely differently. I'm not actually clear on the metaphysics, soul or no soul of a vengeance demon but it's fair to say human Anya had a soul. so her treatment may be based upon that alone but indeed vampires are rarely reasoned with but perhaps that's more down to fact that if you tried, they would eat you.

    But isn't that unfair to Spike and Angel? Well...the world is not necessarily a fair place, after all. Or maybe it is fair. Angel never intended to obtain a soul at all; it was forced on him by a gypsy curse. Spike's trials to gain his, while intensely unpleasant, actually played to his strengths; quite possibly they cut short a process that could have gone on for much longer. Harmony would be the one having to go about getting a soul the hard way--through the business of living in a world that fears her kind and treats her as less than human. Maybe she hasn't reached the end of that path Lorne said she was on just yet.
    Perhaps and it is up to her. I suppose the question is what would motivate her? Spike wanted a soul for a specific reason, for the girl so perhaps as, you said circumstance pushed them into the place they reside now. I suppose the question is if Harmony got a soul, what would she do with it? (as you asked) but considering Angel's curse was specific so if Harmony was given a soul via a new spell. Maybe there are many ways to ensoul a vampire. Perhaps all you need is a powerful wizard or witch who only requires Harmony to pay cash. In the metaphoric sense I'm not sure. I suppose all situations are bound to circumstance and what drives you, so I honestly don't think Harmony is special in that way. I honestly think that Lawson suffered a similar thing not because of Angel's soul but for lack of purpose and needing to find meaning. That desire was so strong it followed him into vampirism. He's different again because at least Spike, Harm and Angelus enjoyed the kill, so maybe the permuations to the condition are endless and comparable to studying unique cases in human psychology.

    And y'know, that Shanshu thing is still out there. Wouldn't a woman coming away with the prize be the Jossian thing to do?
    Very possibly.
    Last edited by kana; 21-07-07, 11:14 AM.

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