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  • If Willow really is that powerful...

    ... why didn't she heal Xander's eye?!

    This thought occurred to me yesterday. I mean, she resurrected Buffy for Pete's sake, and she healed her own fleshwounds after being almost eaten alive by the Gnarl, she almost completely destroyed the world. It has been hinted at several times that she is the most powerful witch in the world. Healing Xander's eye should be no match for her. Why didn't she do it? Did the writers just **** up?

    Thoughts?
    "Get your favorite blade and be ready for anything and the mother of anything." - Buffy

  • #2
    Things like this are a problem when there are no clear boundries of what Willow can and can't do. I think healing herself from a lobotomy was one of the stupidest things that's happened so far in the book. I really hope that there's going to be a payoff for that, like when Warren was operating maybe he placed something in her brain.

    As for Xander's eye, my theory is that she han help people heal, but she can't actuall regenerate new body parts. So if Buffy gets her arm cut off, Willow might be able to make the stump heal over quickly and painlessly, but she couldn't grow Buffy a new arm. That's my fanwank theory anyway.

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    • #3
      I think the true answer lies in the simple fact that they wanted to portray a character we were strongly invested in carry a permanent injury from the war. Xander losing his eye in such a horrific way only to get it back would've made the reasoning behind giving him the injury in the first place completely pointless.

      That's more of a production reasoning than a reasoning within the mythology, but its my belief that's the real reason.

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      • #4
        Sacred Knight I believe you're absolutly correct. Regenerating his eye would diminish the tragety of him losing it in the first place, just like how brining a dead character back diminsihes the tragety of thier death. Plus Xander looks cool with an eyepatch.

        However I think that Breathless is looking for an answer within the context of the mythology. And there really isn't one. That's where you have to fanwank.

        By the way, was having Xander wear an eyepatch when he dressed up as a pirate forshadowing season 7, or was the idea for him to lose his eye added later?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Sacred Knight View Post
          Xander losing his eye in such a horrific way only to get it back would've made the reasoning behind giving him the injury in the first place completely pointless.
          Well, this is I think this is easily turned into character-based reasoning, by Xander not wanting Willow to restore his eye for this reason. I also think that Xander had been thinking about his image. Especially since he got into a leadership position. Remember that he likes to identify himself with Lt. Fury. He can't do that when Willow would restore his eye. It's a kind of mixture between reminding the girls that the battle is a nasty battle, a reminder of the mistake they made and his own image. Third and most important reason: why would Xander want to? The most important lesson that he has learned in the first 7 season, his never-stopping arc, is that he needs to be confident with who he is and what he can do. He realizes that he isn't any less because he has one eye. He realizes the benefits of it and he's showing this. The confidence that he can show with it, is more important to him than having two eyes.

          There's also an another theory. Xander has 'traded' (somehow) his left-eye for wisdom, like Odin has. He's the one who sees gets this meaning. And Willow can't restore it for this reason. And considering that S8 has more Greek mythology analogy stuff in it, it's not unlikely to think so. I think that the above theory is the realistic reason to feed this mystical reason; like always in Buffy the supernatural and real life stuff are intertwined.

          I don't believe that the reason is simply because Willow can't. Willow would try, try and try again. We would have known it. She would be bothered by it. It is really something that Xander doesn't want it and tells Willow.

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          • #6
            If Xander were to gain a power, I'd rather it be less... abstract. Besides, he doesn't need a magical trade for his Season 8 character to be realistic -- this is who he has always been.

            I have my own idea for how to give Xander a very minor "superpower" related to his eye that would be very cool (spoilered for possibly boring and off-topic).
            Spoiler:
            I'd love for them to either use a spell or the method Vanessa Brewer did in "Blind Date" to give him a new 'eye' that provides some sort of astral sight. The only tangible benefit of this would be that he could go back to being a wiz with a compound bow like they were showing him as in Season 7, or maybe even a Wesley-style marksman. There's no narrative reason for this, just for the convention of comic book environments where there is a "Green Arrow" type figure, the ranged fighter. It would let Xander have something tangible to bring if/when all this big fighting goes down without making him Connor or Season 4 Riley. More like Season 4 Wes.


            But regardless, I agree that they like the battle-scar idea. But I also think that the unspoken idea here is that Willow either can't fix it or Xander wouldn't let her because she'd have had to do the black-haired girl thing.
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            • #7
              I go with a menstrual life force blah blah power thing - that is, to give him back his eye would be to upset the balance of the universe, because you'd be recreating something that shouldn't exist any more. It's ok to knit broken bones, but to create a whole organ is problematic perhaps, in terms of good magic as opposed to the black-eyed stuff.

              Plus, yeah, in story terms, works better if the sacrifice stays sacrificed.


              -- Robofrakkinawesome BANNER BY FRANCY --

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              • #8
                Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
                If Xander were to gain a power, I'd rather it be less... abstract. Besides, he doesn't need a magical trade for his Season 8 character to be realistic -- this is who he has always been.
                Xander has definitely not been this confident himself, since ever.

                If Xander gains a less abstract power than I would lose my interest in him. He's the only character who's still normal, that should stay that way. The gain of power that I meant is metaphorical, definitely not literal.

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                • #9
                  The theory I've gone with before is the 'she can't create new organs from scratch' one: or, to quote a fic I wrote:

                  She'd drawn Buffy aside to explain that privately, her eyes haunted and miserable and full of self-blame. She'd explained how the power could restore health, knit bones, seal wounds; how it could fight off infection and disease. But it couldn't replace an organ that had been completely destroyed - or well, it could, in theory, but the new replacement would be a thing of enchantments; it would be completely permeated by magic, and it might, you know, develop a will of its own and become an evil hand that attacked its owner, or it might turn into an icky tentacle or something overnight, and she didn't want to take the risk, even though she knew there ought to be a way to make the spell work, but she wasn't good enough yet, and --


                  I do have another theory, though: ever hear of the "Golden Hour"? It's the theory that if someone suffers traumatic injury but can be treated within 60 minutes, then they're quite likely to make a full recovery. If treatment is delayed longer, though, then even if modern medicine keeps them alive they'll never make a full recovery. The same principle could apply to magic: a powerful witch might have healed Xander's eye if she'd been there at the time, but an hour later was too late.


                  And the third theory is this: Willow has spent the last year and a half going on mystical walkabouts and learning secrets from sexy snake demons. It's a no-brainer assumption that she's a lot more magically powerful and knowledgeable now than she was at the end of season 7; in particular, her healing powers seem to be a lot more advanced. Mind you, if she said "Xan, I've been studying advanced healing magic and I think there might be a way to bring back your eye. Only, there is a small chance of the spell going horribly wrong..." how do you think he'd reply?

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                  • #10
                    I'm thinking that it's because it wasn't a mystical injury. Caleb just popped it out manually I remember hearing somewhere that she can only change things that have happened mystically. That's why she couldn't bring back Tara, so it would make sense with the eye thing.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BlasterBoy View Post
                      I'm thinking that it's because it wasn't a mystical injury. Caleb just popped it out manually I remember hearing somewhere that she can only change things that have happened mystically. That's why she couldn't bring back Tara, so it would make sense with the eye thing.
                      Warren wasn't using a magical scalpel, though... and the soldiers she was going to heal were punched, kicked and stabbed in the usual way. I think it was specifically and only the magical ritual to being people back from the dead that requires them to have died in a mystical way.

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                      • #12
                        I also remember Nick in the commentary for Dirty Girls telling Goddard that he didn't want his eye to be somehow magically healed if there was a reunion movie or other future Buffy projects.. this probably played a big part of the decision so far to keep him one eye'd I'd say.

                        Plus he's kinda sexy with the eye patch.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Vampire in Rug View Post
                          By the way, was having Xander wear an eyepatch when he dressed up as a pirate forshadowing season 7, or was the idea for him to lose his eye added later?

                          No.

                          Dirty Girl commentary transcription by frontyardninja http://frontyardninja.livejournal.com/59494.html

                          DG: Yeah, yeah. Well, what can happen to Buffy, can happen to this group - what's the worst thing that could happen to this group - and the thing that we landed on: If you take Xander down, the house falls down - he's the one that keeps everything together and if villain can take Xander out then the house crumbles and the episode right after this, once Xander falls [Nick: yeah] the whole house falls apart and Buffy gets kicked out.

                          NB: Well and it's funny, too, cause when I went to talk to Joss about the eye situation, which we're gonna see later on, there were apparently some ideas they were kicking around that they were just gonna kill me.

                          DG: There was actually a point where there was talk of killing you and having you come back just as the First.

                          NB: Yeah, and be evil.

                          DG: And just be the voice of the First and we just felt like, y'know what, we're going out end of the season and Xander's just too important to the show. Uh, though, we wanna see, it's important that he's injured so this group can fracture, at the end we want the group to come back together, because frankly --
                          Legend of the Seeker
                          http://www.dadt.com/lots/

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by alexa View Post
                            I also remember Nick in the commentary for Dirty Girls telling Goddard that he didn't want his eye to be somehow magically healed if there was a reunion movie or other future Buffy projects..
                            From an in-verse standpoint, it also seems like a decision Xander would make. He might want to keep it as a reminder (I don't really know of what), or just to not enter into the magic-dependent mentality of "Let Willow do it!" A virtual fanmade continuation called "The Chosen" explored this possibility in a couple of episodes, with the same result of one eye.

                            (The eye wasn't really destroyed; no doubt that pool of blood and whatever else is still in the basement of that vineyard, except now it's covered in debris.)
                            Buffy: It sounds like it's difficult for you. Maybe your sister makes it hard for you to establish your own identity. You said she's controlling, she doesn't let you make your own decisions -
                            Dawn: Yeah, and she borrows my clothes without asking.

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                            • #15
                              The thing is, there's really no reason why Xander shouldn't want his eye back. He's lost his depth of perception -it's a disability. And underneath the cool looking patch there are no doubt some gross looking scars. Xander not wanting his eye back just because he knows he can be confident without it just seems a little far fetched to me. I'd rather have Willow simply be unable to regenerate an eye than to have her offer it to Xander, and have him refuse.

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                              • #16
                                You're forgetting something. Xander having any issues with his missing eye would require Joss to 1) spend time getting inside Xander's head and deal with him as a 3-D character, and 2) revisit one of the many things in Season 7 that should have had longer lasting emotional resonance for our characters but was tossed aside as soon as the writers were done with it. Neither of which are things Joss seems remotely interested in doing.

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                                • #17
                                  Chances are its not too badly scarred. If the eyelid wasn't badly damaged, which is plauisble considering Caleb directly gouged the eyeball, he could look fairly normal without the eyepatch. I've seen someone before who'd taken their glass eye out, and from a distance all it looked like was that they were in a semi-permanent wink. You could tell something was wrong but it wasn't horribly deformed. Looking more closely and seeing the empty space was a little surreal but yeah...I actually found it quite easy to get used to. Maybe its just me though.

                                  Not to say that just because he wouldn't look bad doesn't mean he wouldn't want his eye back, I agree he would if he could, so I too rather just imagine that for some reason Willow can't regenerate his eye. I could accept an explanation that its much easier to heal herself than others. Lindsey getting a new hand wasn't the easiest thing to accomplish, after all. Granted I know Willow's the most powerful witch in existence, but considering Wolfram & Hart, they had access to the next closest rung on the ladder.
                                  Sacred Knight
                                  Hellmouth Tourist
                                  Last edited by Sacred Knight; 19-03-08, 03:34 AM.

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Sacred Knight View Post
                                    Granted I know Willow's the most powerful witch in existence, but considering Wolfram & Hart, they had access to the next closest rung on the ladder.
                                    Even though I'm a raving Willow fanboy, I'd qualify that sentence. Willow is the most powerful non-evil, sane witch in existence. In 'Flooded' Giles comments that there are a few other people who could do what she did, but you wouldn't want to meet them...

                                    (But then again, Willow still seems to be learning and increasing her power.)

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Vampire in Rug View Post
                                      Things like this are a problem when there are no clear boundries of what Willow can and can't do. I think healing herself from a lobotomy was one of the stupidest things that's happened so far in the book.
                                      I 110% agree, someone who is really really powerful is just rather uninteresting to me, especially when there are no boundaries so she could potentially do anything, and will only continue to get stronger *yawn*.
                                      I don't think they will ever deal with the 'eye' thing again except for using it for stupid jokes from Xander. As Scared Knight pointed out the act of getting his eye gouged out served its purpose, and now the writers have moved on, so that is probably why Willo hasn't fixed it.

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Skippcomet View Post
                                        You're forgetting something. Xander having any issues with his missing eye would require Joss to 1) spend time getting inside Xander's head and deal with him as a 3-D character, and 2) revisit one of the many things in Season 7 that should have had longer lasting emotional resonance for our characters but was tossed aside as soon as the writers were done with it. Neither of which are things Joss seems remotely interested in doing.
                                        I always am somewhat careful with the notion that Joss has no interest in Xander, but with this argument I agree. It feels rather ridiculous that we have no idea why Willow can't restore Xander's eye. I'm not say that we don't know how Xander feels about it at all though. We have him making a lot of eyepatch jokes. Be the interpretation of it is up to the readers own interpretation. All the speculation in this thread indicates this and is born out the lack of dealing with it.

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