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Best Developed Characters

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  • Best Developed Characters

    Who do you think they did the best job developing throughout the series? I honestly don't know if I'd go with Buffy on this one, despite the show being about her.

    At first, I would have gone with Willow, hands down...but there were moments when I almost felt like she was overdeveloped--if that's even possible--to a point where some of who she had been was almost canceled out. (Hey, when it comes to character development, though, how many shows are guilty of THAT? It's still awesome.)

    I'm actually very tempted to say Xander. Don't get me wrong, all of the characters were well developed, but I think that Xander--in a show largely about a good many unbelievable things--was the most believable in his growth throughout the show. He always maintains a certain character essence, but somehow, he really matures.

    So what do you guys think?

  • #2
    I went with Anya on this one. I mean we went from seeing her as this demon that came to Sunny D on some business to all of a sudden being turned into a highschool student that has to live and go to school on the hellmouth. We saw her run away in season 3's apocalypse and then went completely full circle to her sticking around in season 7's apocalypse because she has decided to embrace being human and sacrificing as humans do. Her development was happening from her first appearance up until her last which I think is pretty amazing. She didn't really revert back to anything. Yes she became a vengeance demon again but we knew why she did it and found out in Selfless exactly what she was feeling. So in short, Anya!
    T _A _T _E _R _S'____ W _O _R _L _D

    Proud recipient of the "Vagenis Award of Excellence"


    • #3
      I voted for "Other", because I think Cordelia had the best development. Anya would have been next, but I don't think hers was as consistent or gradual as Cordy's. She makes huge steps in Selfless and End of Days, and small ones in The Prom and The Harsh Light of Day, but I think Cordy wins because hers was a long series of small gradual changes that made GD2 Cordy light years ahead of WttH Cordy while still maintaining the essence of the character.

      Buffy's development was eliminated from the running in Season Seven, Willow's in Season Six, Xander's in Season Five, and Giles's in Season Seven. Spike underwent the most changes to his character, but I think it was very inconsistent (especially in Season Six). Angel did change, and he's the third person that I considered, but ultimately I feel he wasn't developed enough on BtVS to win.

      When we first meet Cordelia, she's a bitca. Mean, self-centered, not afraid to put someone down, and ultimately very selfish. But as Season One continues, she gradually grows interested in the Scoobies and monsters until Prophecy Girl, when she risks her life to try to help them. By School Hard, she's willingly staying after school with them to help Buffy, even as she questions why she's doing it. I think her gradual realization of her feelings for Xander are very well-done in the beginning of Season Two, and her initial reluctance to accept the relationship is very much in-character. But who didn't cheer at the end of BB&B? "No matter how lame he is!" is the very epitome of high-school Cordelia. After this, she's definitely one of the Scoobies (although technically, the first time the term is ever used is when she and Xander are together, which IMO makes her one of the originals) until the break-up in Lover's Walk.

      Cordy tries to go back to who she was and rejoin her old friends, probably because she's embarrassed how hard she fell for Xander and also because she's angry with him. I mean, her outfit in The Wish just shows how much she's trying to leave both Xander and her old Scooby life behind. But somehow, she just keeps coming back to these people. She's in the library all the time and while it may be partly just to be around Wesley, she does attempt to contribute and help. Being one of the Scoobs, seeing the things she's seen, living on the Hellmouth--it's taught her that things other than clothes and cars are important, so by GD2, she's there in the thick of things, fighting it out and staking vampires and hugging Jonathan. But she's still the same girl-- brutally honest and self-centered (although not as much). Every single thing she does makes sense to me, and I understand why she developed the way she did*. And she's the only character I can say that for.

      *Of course, we're not counting AtS in this poll.
      The story's kinda bland. It's about this guy named Dumbledore Calrissian who needs to return the ring back to Mordor.


      • #4
        1) Angel (both btvs and ats)
        2) Wesley (more so on ats--but there actually are signs of who he'd become in episodes like consequences and graduation day, pt. 1)
        3) Spike (both btvs and ats)
        4) Darla (more so on ats)
        5) Faith (season 3, but more so on ats after that)
        6) Connor (ats)
        7) Fred/Illyria (ats)
        8) Lilah (ats)
        9) Holtz (ats)
        10) Anya (btvs)

        by far, the first three. but on btvs only... definitely angel. from welcome to the hellmouth to graduation day, pt. 2., he not only drove the first 3 seasons forward, he also was the introduction of the very stuff that made btvs work outside of high school and monster-of-the-week stuff. angel was the character that introduced epic, deep and arc-worthy material. he raised the stakes. he was possibly both the greatest selfless hero and greatest villain in the entire jossverse. characters changed into who they became because of him, he brought out other characters' strengths and flaws or he catalyzed their journeys (including buffy, willow, xander, giles, faith, wesley, cordelia and spike). he single-handedly introduced the gray area into the jossverse.

        on btvs alone, he went from useless bum, to an afraid and unsure mysterious helper, to coming out of his shell and being accepted, to the worst and most emotionally harmful villain, to dealing with what his alter-ego had done to people he cared about, to a wise kick-ass fighter with brains and a destiny for something greater beyond sunnydale... and that was before ats, which added a lot more--especially the holtz/connor arc.

        angel was also a great study of multiple personality disorder. and whereas spike blurs the lines more (though the two beings are there), angel showed his different sides quite prominently (liam, angelus and angel = liam + angelus' memories and prodding). he was at war with himself always. he was also the most selfless person as well as the most gray-area (and unlike anya, it wasn't made a joke of until selfless--and unlike willow, owned up to and paid for all of his faults and victims).
        Last edited by NileQT87; 30-05-08, 06:27 AM.

        "If there is no great glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do."
        "Nothing in the world is the way it ought to be. It's harsh and cruel. But that's why there's us. Champions."


        • #5
          Spike. I feel he has an amazing journey. He starts as a villain, but throughout season 4 and 5, he starts changing his way. Season 4 because of the chip and season 5 because of his love for Buffy but it?s not until he gets a soul that he really starts understanding things better. Like he tells Buffy in "Never Leave Me" he understands self-loathing and in Chosen he finally understand sacrifice as well.

          Second runner up, Buffy and I think this poll should have Faith. She also has an amazing development.


          • #6
            I only took the developments in the tv seasons, I'm not sure yet what to think about the characters in the comics. But I did use the Ats developments as well, because those can't be denied and are for the most characters very important (Cordelia, Angel, Spike, Faith and Wesley made their biggest changes in Ats ... even Harmony changed the most in Ats.)

            Angel is the most developed.

            I don't think that there is one character who grew up that much and Angel is still growing. Other characters started late in the series (Dawn, Connor, Spike), were forgotten (Xander, Gunn, Riley and Lorne) or went after some seasons down hill (Willow, Giles, Buffy).

            Angel has a beautiful and good journey since season 1 of BtVS. He started as a man who had no self-respect, faith in the people, goal in life etc to an inspiring leader who never gives up and tries to learn of his mistakes. What I love the most about Angel is that he still makes stupid mistakes, falls back into old behavior and has already for 8 seasons the same blend of virtues and vices. But the writers manage to give you every season again, the feeling that he progressed as a person.

            Angel didn't had the big change in his story like Spike getting his soul or Connor and the mindwipe ... not a drastic change as a person like Wesley ... but I don't think that this means that Spike, Wesley and Connor had better developments, just different. And in my eyes, Angel developed the most as a person without changing who he is as a person; he still loves Mandy, big cars, art, is still petty, still jealous, still selfless and still searching.

            The second place is for Wesley ... the dorky watcher became one of the most feared warriors. He is still Wesley; sometimes geeky, always looking for the good and pure, no lies etc. But he is changed as a person, and I've never met anybody who wasn't buying it ... it's a fantastic written journey and personally; I loved watching every minute of it.

            I want to give also credit for the developments of Spike in Ats season 5, Cordelia in Ats season 1-3 and her beautiful moment in season 5 and Faith in Ats.

            If we only count BtVS, I'm agreeing with LaJaula's post.
            Last edited by Nina; 30-05-08, 12:54 PM.


            • #7
              For me it's Willow, Buffy, Wesley and Spike.

              First it's definetely Willow cause what a change! From shy insecured school girl to powerful confident woman. One of the best character evolution, close with Miranda Hobbes (Sex And The City).


              • #8
                I like this poll, I was just thinking about this a couple of days ago!

                For me it's Spike, I mean look at his journey he went from villain to champion in 5 years. That's a lot of change, he developed a lot.

                In second place is Wesley. He went from geeky watcher to one hell of a fighter (may I add sexy too).

                And the third place is Willow.
                avatar credit: me!!


                • #9
                  I want to say That Spike went thru the Most Devolopment during the course of the series. I mean Look at him, He went from Villians to Champion in under 3 seasons and so much happened to him in that time that I think he qualifies as the winner here.My second choice wouldve been Willow Though


                  • #10
                    I'd say Anya for the pure fact that she was a demon and terrorized people for centuries, just because it was her job. And then she was expected to live as a human, who never really showed remorse for her actions until she realised she did enjoy being human and would lose the people she cared about.
                    however, i do think she's a rather under appreciated character, in that the writers didn't really take advantage of her as much as they could have done.

                    "Blue in the face with a choking regret."


                    • #11
                      I think that one of my FAVORITE things about Joss Whedon is the way his characters always grow. They're so much more real to me, for that reason, and easier to relate to. I am very character centered when it comes to narratives of most kinds. If the characters are not interesting, then to me, the story seldom is.

                      Also, while I chose Xander, I think a case could really be made for most any of the characters on the show.

                      Also, sorry I forgot to put Faith on the poll. I put "Other" knowing that I would forget someone important. It was my fail-safe.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by lara View Post
                        I like this poll, I was just thinking about this a couple of days ago!

                        For me it's Spike, I mean look at his journey he went from villain to champion in 5 years. That's a lot of change, he developed a lot.

                        In second place is Wesley. He went from geeky watcher to one hell of a fighter (may I add sexy too).

                        And the third place is Willow.
                        Oh I seconded! I think Wesley and Spike went through the most amazing development in their time. Both had the most superb story arcs that really pushed their development as character very nicely indeed.


                        • #13
                          This is a tough one.
                          But at a push I'm going to go for Willow and Spike.