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Giles - when he was bad (or when WAS he bad?)

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  • Giles - when he was bad (or when WAS he bad?)

    I was discussing Giles and his various bad and good boy developments the other day and I was wondering how people saw his "off-screen" arc based on what we know.

    We know that he was told his watcher destiny when he was a littel boy. We know from Band Candy* that he was "black magic hates the world guy" at 16. We know that he went to Oxford, presumably at around 18, though I don't think that's ever made plain. We know he dropped out. We know he was in London in the 70s with Ethan and the others, doing bad magic and probably a lot of bad magic groupies. We know at some point after that but before the late 90s he returned to the watcher fold.

    How do you see his development? Why do you think he went off he rails? Do you think he was a good boy before he became the 16 year old tearaway? Do you think he went to Oxford as part of his watcher training, or in rebellion from it? After the stuff in london with the demon summoning, do you think that shocked him straightaway into getting back with the watcher programme, or do you think it took him longer to get himself sorted out?

    This is all speculation, obviously, but just want to see what people think, in view of how they see Giles and what might motivate him to be bad/good/both?


    *Though I was speculating, perhaps he was never quite as bad as he was in Band Candy, cause I'm wondering if the spell somewhat exaggerated people's naughty teen tendencies...do you think Joyce was really such a bad girl that she'd let her boyfriend steal for her, then shag him on the bonnet of a car? Well, maybe...but still. I do wonder if the spell made people extra irresponsble. As Buffy and Willow say...

    "They're acting like a bunch of us"
    "We don't act like that"

    (or words to that effect)

    IE they're much badder than usual teenagers.


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  • #2
    I think Giles probably went off the rails because those rails were so straight. His life was basically all mapped out from him from a very early age wether he wanted it to be or not so it's probably natural that he rebelled against this during the traditional rebellious years. Before that? Probably in his formative years he would have believed what he was told about the great destiny in front of him and maybe have actually wanted to be like his parents.

    As for Oxford, i just always thought that was where he went to uni and, as it was probably the first time away from the family, came under the influence of others for the first time. After Eyghon I can probably see him not wanting anything to do with magic or slayers or anything supernatural for a fair old while (and he would have need some time to become head curator of a/the british museum). I could probably see some council influence in bringing him back to the fold or perhaps a second brush with the paranormal. As Buffy says in Helpless it's harder to ignore what's out there if you know what's out there.

    Perhaps there's even a prophecy that earmarks Giles as the man who is destined to be Buffy's watcher. That would be interesting.
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    • #3
      I think that he was a rebel. His destiny was planned and he couldn't do what he wanted ... he start to do the opposite of what people expected of him. After a couple of years with his 'friends', they went too far and Giles scared himself off, and went back to the safe destiny he had. I think Giles went back almost straightaway.

      We know Wesley went to a prep-school to become a watcher ... we never knew if Wesley went to an university. I don't know if Giles' Oxford periode was because of the rebelling of because that was expected. I think the last. We know Wesley's family is rich, I think all the watchers are upper-class. So Giles attending Oxford sounds like something rich kids do, so his parents must have paid it I guess. I think Oxford was expected for his watcher training.
      Last edited by Nina; 21-11-07, 11:31 AM. Reason: all still have 2 l's.

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      • #4
        I've just had a thought about Oxford. Perhaps there's a college entirely for Watchers? That would be COOL. One of the private halls perhaps (there are a number of religious-type not-exactly-colleges eg Greyfriars, which has a bunch of monks plus some undegrads and grad students). Perhaps one of these is secretly run by watchers?

        Or perhaps every college has a tutor who's a watcher. Oooh, there was this guy called Dr Hart at my college who everyone said was recruiting for M15...but perhaps he was actually tutoring future-watchers in his mysterious late night boozing with student sessions...?

        I do think that Oxford was part of the "destiny"...and perhaps he went off the rails a little at 16, but still kept on doing the bare minimum required of him, including going to university in a slightly half-hearted, dropping-out way. Probably spent a few terms getting drunk and not doing any work, then left.

        I wonder where he met Ethan? In London? At Oxford?


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        • #5
          The way I see it Ethan and Giles probably met at oxford. I can see them being similarly rebellious and interested in the dark side of magic. I'm thinking Willow/Tara but in a bad way and with less true love type stuff (although the gay sex; who knows?).

          The tutor thoing is interseting. Like Nina i originally thought that oxbridge would be a C.V necessity for potential watchers but the idea that the council take special care of certain bloodlines or promising individuals would make sense given the type of organisation they are.

          As for band candy badness. Well having been 16 year old male a long time ago I could see Giles over playing his badness where Joyce is concerned. As for Joyce, she has been single a long time by then but maybe she really was a bad girl once upon a time.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by tangent View Post
            The way I see it Ethan and Giles probably met at oxford. I can see them being similarly rebellious and interested in the dark side of magic. I'm thinking Willow/Tara but in a bad way and with less true love type stuff...
            Well, I'm sure Ethan had true love for himself! The ultimate narcissist, old Ethan is.

            (although the gay sex; who knows?).
            That which we cannot speak of we must pass over in silence. And now I'm imagining them reading Wittgenstein together before sex...

            Though perhaps they were just "study buddies".

            The tutor thoing is interseting. Like Nina i originally thought that oxbridge would be a C.V necessity for potential watchers but the idea that the council take special care of certain bloodlines or promising individuals would make sense given the type of organisation they are.
            It would be, I'm thinking, a matter of the university knowing and not knowing. That is, it's never spoken of, but it's relatively well known that there are watchers in the mix...but, since no one talks about it officially, it's never going to be a big deal. Like the M15 thing. In fact, I think there are probably a lot of similarities between the two organisations...at least, what M15 would have been in the 70s.

            As for band candy badness. Well having been 16 year old male a long time ago I could see Giles over playing his badness where Joyce is concerned.
            Hell yeah! There were always boys at the boys school of my girls school who thought they were sooooo bad. But really, mummy still did their laundry and all they ever did was a bit of drugs and no other crime.

            As for Joyce, she has been single a long time by then but maybe she really was a bad girl once upon a time.
            Maybe! Though I do find it hard to imagine somehow...then again, Band Candy Giles was probably hot enough to make a lot of people act a bit out of character


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            • #7
              Perhaps Giles went to oxford early? Perhaps in the special college for watchers, you went when you were 16? So all his rebellion happened at the same time?

              This is me trying to rationalize my long held assumption that Giles was a goody two shoes, then went off the rails (love your turn of phrase there Tangent), then was scared back onto his earlier path.

              I definitely think Ethan was a part of his fall...I can see goody-two-shoes (but possibly trying for the cool tough guy attitude at this point?) Giles being really attracted to a 16 year old devil-may-care Ethan.
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              • #8
                I'm actually not sure how Giles went back onto te straight and narrow but it's a possibility that he sort of grew up. All watchers take a sacred oath to protect the innocent and the world (both Wes and Giles respectively make references to that) it's possible that Giles got past himself and realised there is a world that needs saving.

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                • #9
                  Other than Buffy declaring that Oxford is "where they make Gileses", did he ever actually say he went there? Or is it all but a given anyway?
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
                    Other than Buffy declaring that Oxford is "where they make Gileses", did he ever actually say he went there? Or is it all but a given anyway?
                    Yeah he did say he dropped out of Oxford when telling his life story in "The Dark Age", unless I'm sorely mistaken.

                    Originally posted by Wolfie Gilmore

                    *Though I was speculating, perhaps he was never quite as bad as he was in Band Candy, cause I'm wondering if the spell somewhat exaggerated people's naughty teen tendencies...do you think Joyce was really such a bad girl that she'd let her boyfriend steal for her, then shag him on the bonnet of a car? Well, maybe...but still. I do wonder if the spell made people extra irresponsble. As Buffy and Willow say...

                    "They're acting like a bunch of us"
                    "We don't act like that"

                    (or words to that effect)

                    IE they're much badder than usual teenagers.
                    I do agree with that... I saw Giles as a slightly more repressed rebel, one who unleashed the anger in hidden Ethan magics before being so affected by it that he just didn't care for Oxford anymore. Not saying that I think he was a goodie-two-shoes young boy, I think he had a great deal of innate rebellion against his father. Children never want to be what their parents try to force them to be, and Giles may have went to Oxford as his father wished (I assume), but actively rebelled there.

                    And Joyce, well, I just don't see it. I know that Giles went through the grand rebellion and darkest magics and guilt and doom and gloom on the way to accepting the "right thing" and becoming a Watcher, but I think Joyce was always just the right amount of respectable to have never been "that girl". For instance, not controlling and too upright like Giles, but never a bad influence.

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                    • #11
                      He turned into a rebel because of how planned his life was. He was meant to be a Watcher, like his father and his grandmother. He didn?t have any choice in that. But he was still a "good boy" at heart because as soon as things started to fall apart, he abandoned those ways and became what he was meant to be. But I also have to say that I love Ripper. So much fun that the same Rupert.

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                      • #12
                        Another interesting twist is the idea that Giles was probably going to be the head of the council at some point. This comes a bit from the 'Tales of the Vampires' stuff by Joss & Co. But in that series it was implied that Giles' grandmother had been selected to be the head of the watchers since before puberty. If it is a bloodline thing, then that adds a whole new spin to his rebellion. Basically he threw away his destiny to head the watchers by his actions.

                        Going by more established canon, Giles was probably raised in a boarding high-school just for watchers, much like Wesley (probably the same one), and he probably rebelled either there, or soon afterwards. I'm guessing he towed the line as little as he could get away with until he made it to college, then said ***** it".

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