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What is Giles' connection to the Scoobies?

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  • What is Giles' connection to the Scoobies?

    There's no question how Giles feels about Buffy... like a surrogate father, no question.

    But how closely invested did he ever feel in the rest of the gang?

    I'm rewatching "Revelations" right now, and what brings this up is Giles walking up on Willow and Xander making out. Now, I don't think for an instant that he didn't notice what he'd walked in on, even if he didn't acknowledge it or look at them. His pointed "I looked" answer to Willow wanting to know how he found out about the glove supports that -- he knew they *weren't* looking.

    So, what's up? He knows they are both in other relationships, but he doesn't seem to take any active interest in what they are doing. It seems to me if he had a paternal investment in them like he does in Buffy, he'd have said something to one or both of them about their actions.

    And, in Season 6, he doesn't come to the wedding (granted, Tony wasn't available, but that's no reason not to cover in dialogue -- him paying for the wedding or sending a present or something simple like a one-sided phone call).

    How do you think Giles really felt about the whole group of Scoobies, besides Buffy?
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  • #2
    I think he admired Willow. She was the perfect student a teacher could have. To Giles, Willow was really helpful: she likes to research, she's good at computers, she's intelligent. Then there's Willow's opposite: Xander. I don't think Giles thought much of Xander. He was Buffy's annoying friend, who helped occasionally. I could name only three moments where Giles was affectionate toward Xander. On the other hand, Xander seemed very affectionate toward Giles. Looking at his dream in Restless, he seemed to think of Giles as a father, but knew that Giles didn't see their relationship that way.

    The rest of the Scoobs. I don't think any was that close to Giles, perhaps only Anya who was his partner. And Dawn, who was Buffy's sister, so naturally he had to feel a bit fatherly toward her.
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    • #3
      And, in Season 6, he doesn't come to the wedding (granted, Tony wasn't available, but that's no reason not to cover in dialogue -- him paying for the wedding or sending a present or something simple like a one-sided phone call).
      Actually, they filmed a scene that addressed that, but they had to cut it due to time constraints. Here's the shooting script:

      INT. BISON'S LODGE - MAIN ROOM - DAY

      Willow is wrestling with a veil-like length of white tulle, swathing it around some UNSEEN HEAD.

      WILLOW
      There we go...tuck that there and let's see, maybe one little flower here...

      She inserts a pretty flower into the meringue of tulle.

      WILLOW (cont'd)
      And voila! Loveliness ensues.

      PULL BACK TO REVEAL

      A TAXIDERMIED BISON'S HEAD mounted on the wall is now dressed in a makeshift bridal veil.

      Willow climbs down from a step ladder, to admire her artistry. She stands next to DAWN, who is also dressed in a acid-green bridesmaid dress. Dawn is looking down at her dress with dismay. She's mid teenage sulk.

      WILLOW (cont'd)
      What d'ya think?

      DAWN
      (re: dress color)
      Asparagus.
      (re. bison)
      Oh. Um, it's sweet. In sort of a macabre, dressing up dead animals in funny costumes way. But sweet.

      WILLOW
      (proud)
      Yeah.

      Willow sets the step ladder aside. She is beaming.

      WILLOW (cont'd)
      Isn't it pretty here? I didn't know a Bison's Lodge could be so swelegant.

      She puts her arm around Dawnie and they walk through the main room of the lodge. Chairs are already set up for the guests.

      A STRING QUARTET is setting up near the front. And the whole place is decorated with BEAUTIFUL FLOWERS.

      DAWN
      I thought Xander and Anya couldn't afford flowers.

      WILLOW
      Giles sent 'em. Aren't they gorgeous?

      DAWN
      Yeah.

      They stop to smell the flowers.

      DAWN (cont'd)
      I wish Giles was here.

      WILLOW
      Me too. And I'm sure he'd much rather be here than fighting that nasty demon--

      DAWN
      Da-e-mon. In England it's daemon.

      WILLOW
      Daemon, too right. But Giles' got responsibilities. And so Anya and Xander have flowers. And flowers. And more flowers. Ooh, it's going to be so pretty!

      DAWN
      Yeah, except for the amazing girl asparagus.

      As they walk off:

      WILLOW
      Oh, Dawnie you look beautiful.
      (off Dawn's look)
      Well, okay, but as good as anyone could, considering.

      DAWN
      It's the color of snot.

      (set made by Francy for me)

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      • #4
        I think that Giles did harbour paternal feelings to all his scoobies but that he just showed it more with Buffy and Willow. I think this tracks fairly well with his general character and i certainly think he would be more comfortable showing his caring, protective side to the girls.

        I realise that there is much speculation that Giles may, in his Ripper days have experimented sexually and i see no reason to rule this out but he is still a great example of British stiff upper lipiness and would probably see it as much more appropriate to show this kind of affection for his female charges.

        As for the scene that KoC points out: well to be honest i have never really thought about it in the context of Giles realising what Xander and Willow were up to but it does make a lot of sense. Giles has never really been one to interfere with the Scoobies personal lives though unless it was going to directly interfere with Buffy's duties, so i could well see him averting his eyes from the teenage hormones, metaphorically taking of his glasses so he doesn't have to see what they're doing as it were.
        JUST ENOUGH KILL

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        • #5
          You see I always thought of his involvement the same way as my father views my friends. He's interested in their lives because I'm interested in them. He only worries about their faults if it affects something to do with me. As I got older, my father treated my friends more as equals and became less protective over their possible faults

          Giles didn't get involved with most of the scoobies lives because it was nothing to do with him - unless it started to affect Buffy in a negative way (or a possible negative way).

          Think of his reaction to Willow bringing Buffy back. It was really nothing to do with Giles whether Willow was getting into anything that was potentially dangerous to her, but it was potentially dangerous to his slayer so he was rightly ticked off with her (and surprisingly intuitive about it too). This attitude shows that his fatherly bond was extending to Buffy's friends, but only because of the repercussions for Buffy.

          If you compare the way he was with Willow, Xander and Cordelia to how he was with Angel, he seemed to treat Angel much more as an adult from the outset. He realised that Angel, as a centuries old vampire, didn't need any kind of fathering, he was never shown affection, but treated much more as an equal.

          As the years rolled on Giles became more of a friend to Xander and Willow, but he would always have the distance of age and experience. He could see them as adults, needing to make their own mistakes and only stepped in when things were dire.
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          • #6
            I though Giles' position in the group was best expressed in "Primeval." He is the mind of the group, whereas Xander is the heart, Willow is the spirit, and Buffy is the hand. Giles' knowledge -- about life and the occult -- is why he is needed in the group. It's not until season 6 when he realizes he's taught all the kids about, again I say, life and the occult, does he leave.

            And I wish they kept that scene in "Hell's Bells." It sets up the veil that Buffy will use to defeat the demon. Instead we had Buffy go 'McGyver' which goes against the show, I find. The scene also explains why Giles wasn't there and Spike was. I'd rather have that scene put back in, and omit some of Spike's scenes -- if episode length was the issue.
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            • #7
              Spike didn't have all that many scenes, and I'd definitely keep the one written by Joss. They could've cut some of the more unfunny comedy, though.

              (set made by Francy for me)

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              • #8
                It was Anya and Xander's episode -- the Spuffy content did not advance the plot in the least bit and deprived the fans of an explanation for something that struck everyone as jarring. It was the wrong call.
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                • #9
                  I agree that it was the wrong call, and I don't think for a moment that Giles didn't care deeply about all three, and then Dawn, and he and Anya certainly had a connection as well.

                  I do think, however, that we see a certain distance between Giles and Xander and Willow, which I think is also related to the problems with being too close to Buffy- he's fired in Helpless for this very reason, and since the slayer isn't really supposed to have any friends, I would have to imagine there is a part of Giles that hesitates to become to closely involved with the other two.

                  I don't think I'm expressing myself very clearly.

                  I think Giles see the dangers of Buffy's path, and understands she needs her friends, but hesitates for the others to be part of it, in a way. Sure they help, he doesn't stop them, but he's not all for Willow delving into the magics, possibly because of his very human interaction with Buffy; he gets that people are expendable, he'll say 'this sorry world', but doesn't want to encourage the others to step into the fight if they don't have to.

                  I think Giles does have a closer connection to Willow than Xander, for sure, which I think is a pity; Xander could use a father figure too. Then again, why should Giles play this role? He's the school librarian, for many intents and purposes, and Buffy's watcher on the other hand.

                  At the end of the day though, I think Giles was (understandably) not super keen to hang with a bunch of sixteen year olds. The relationships he has with both Xander and more noticeably Willow grow as they grow up.

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                  • #10
                    The Giles/Scooby relationship. What a thought provoking thread. I don't think the relationship between Giles and the Scoobies is anywhere near what it is to Buffy. Giles was the closest thing Buffy was getting to a father that was there for her. As the Watcher's Council pointed out, he had a father's love for her.
                    His relationship with each scooby is different in certain degrees. He tolerated Anya and probably respected her due to her uncanny knack for business. He most likely has strong fatherly feelings towards Xander and Willow, but there are clearly traits about each of them that he shows disdain for. He shows annoyance towards Xander's never ending comments and jokes. Giles also shows disapproval in Willow's interest in magic.
                    I think Giles watches out for them all because he feels it is his responsibility as an adult and kinda like their watcher. They may not be slayers but they take orders from him just as Buffy does. He is sending them into harm and allowing them to face horrors tht noone would want to know about. I see Giles as not only the brain of the group but as the ever present member of a family who protects, guides and teaches.

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