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  • "Ya know he chose to have a soul."

    After reading this interview, I had to start again about one of the worst retcons the series ever had. Not to talk about what happened and what everybody believed when they saw that moment .... but about the mythology of the show and how this fits.

    If you read the interview Joss seems to go for the 'Spike wanted to be good' angle in the form of learning of his mistakes. And my question is; is that possible in the mythology of the show? Do we have to blame Angel or Darla for not fighting for their soul, are they less good than Spike? Or is Spike an error in the mythology.


  • #2
    Spike's always been anomalous, that's what makes him such a great character. He stands outside all the established rules of whatever he's into, and he's still able to triumph most of the time. So, yeah, he's an error in the mythology, but a good one.

    Although, now that the Spike Anomaly has become present in vampirism, it has begun to spread. Harmony is another example of a vampire whose humanity overrode their demon. I've said before that Vampire!Harmony was actually lots more human than she was when she was actually human. Which makes her a very interesting character in her own right. Gunn is like this as well, in a way. His demon is completely committed to regaining his humanity.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Nina View Post

      If you read the interview Joss seems to go for the 'Spike wanted to be good' angle in the form of learning of his mistakes. And my question is; is that possible in the mythology of the show? Do we have to blame Angel or Darla for not fighting for their soul, are they less good than Spike? Or is Spike an error in the mythology.
      *you'll have to forgive me cos my minds a bit fuzzy at the moment*

      I saw Spike and Angel on the same level. Angel knew what he done in the past was wrong. And he knew that he'll never acheive redemption for all the people he had killed and hurt. He didn't go as far to want to get his soul back, but he understood what he had done was wrong and tried to make amends.

      Spike took it one step further though. He went and got himself a soul because he wanted to 'feel again'. The pain that he went through was nothing to him because I felt like he would have fought to the death to get his soul back. Angel and Spike both had different perceptions on what a soul is, and what it done/ meant for them.

      I don't see why Angel and Darla are to blame for not wanting/ fighting for their soul back. The way I see it, is that Angel wanted to make amends and try and live a better life, but Spike knew that he had caused so much pain and thought that a soul is the only way he'll ever be forgiven.
      BUFFY - Please come back. We have a Vampire we need you to kill... His name is Edward Cullen.

      *wicked_visions*

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      • #4
        The idea is that Spike is a 'better person' because he asked for his soul while other vampires don't do that. Angel was forced to have a soul, the same for Darla. And in both cases they didn't want it back the moment they lost it. Are they bad people? Or is it Spike who is the error in the mythology by doing something that isn't really possible (a vampire who wants redemption/be good). I mean, what if every vampire wants to be 'good' ... Buffy would be a massmurderer. I think that this is the reason why Harmony ended up with Hamilton in bed, she wasn't really a good girl nor had she the desire to be one. She just wanted to be seen (and her money of course). Many vampires showed humanity (even Angelus at times) but only one went this far, I doubt that Harmony has the desire to get her soul back.

        Of course, many fans believe that Spike wasn't really searching for redemption or being good. But to get Buffy back, and if you see it that way ... it fits into the mythology of vampires. Only Joss seems to go for the former explaination, Spike learned his lesson and wanted to be 'good', he sees Spike seeking his soul as a reason to believe that Spike is 'better' than Angel. And in that case, he would go for the error in his own mythology.
        Last edited by Nina; 03-12-08, 01:18 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Nina View Post
          The idea is that Spike is a 'better person' because he asked for his soul while other vampires don't do that. Angel was forced to have a soul, the same for Darla. And in both cases they didn't want it back the moment they lost it. Are they bad people? Or is it Spike who is the error in the mythology by doing something that isn't really possible (a vampire who wants redemption/be good). I mean, what if every vampire wants to be 'good' ... Buffy would be a massmurderer. I think that this is the reason why Harmony ended up with Hamilton in bed, she wasn't really a good girl nor had she the desire to be one. She just wanted to be seen (and her money of course). Many vampires showed humanity (even Angelus at times) but only one went this far, I doubt that Harmony has the desire to get her soul back.

          Of course, many fans believe that Spike wasn't really searching for redemption or being good. But to get Buffy back, and if you see it that way ... it fits into the mythology of vampires. Only Joss seems to go for the former explaination, Spike learned his lesson and wanted to be 'good', he sees Spike seeking his soul as a reason to believe that Spike is 'better' than Angel. And in that case, he would go for the error in his own mythology.
          Harmony may have ended up in bed with Hamilton, but before that she had given up on trying to be a typical vampire. She was planning on getting a day job! And she adapted to the 'no human blood' rule very easily. She showed sympathy to Gunn when he was in the hospital and to Wes when he was grieving. Ending up in bed with Hamilton would have been something Harmony would have done when she was human; getting a job, trying to make other people feel better, being the person they cry with...those are all things she never would have done.

          And, to answer your question more directly, I don't think that Spike is a 'better person' exactly, just that he is more atypical.

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          • #6
            Being with humans make vampires more human, at least that was the idea in 'City of ...' when Angel had to team up with Cordelia to keep in touch with the humans. In both cases (Harmony & Spike) they were living between the humans. Maybe that plays a role?

            Harmony will always be a mystery to me, how is it possible that a soulless vampire is more human than her former human self? I think that Harmony is a sponge, she fits in with the people who are around her. That and Harmony choose to live as a human instead as a vampire. She has a job, a normal appartment and she wears the latest fashion. We know that she isn't the only one, many vampires have a job and (probably) normal life (W&H employees, the vampires who work for the senator but also the vampire in the first episode.) I guess that this is a choice a vampire makes in life.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Nina View Post
              If you read the interview Joss seems to go for the 'Spike wanted to be good' angle in the form of learning of his mistakes.
              I think the "learning from his mistakes" bit was mainly a reference to the bathroom scene, and to the interpretation that Spike got his soul back so as to avoid hurting Buffy like that again.

              I that interview. Thank you, Joss, and Jeff.

              (set made by Francy for me)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Nina View Post
                After reading this interview, I had to start again about one of the worst retcons the series ever had. Not to talk about what happened and what everybody believed when they saw that moment .... but about the mythology of the show and how this fits.

                If you read the interview Joss seems to go for the 'Spike wanted to be good' angle in the form of learning of his mistakes. And my question is; is that possible in the mythology of the show? Do we have to blame Angel or Darla for not fighting for their soul, are they less good than Spike? Or is Spike an error in the mythology.
                Spike didn't just wake up and think "I'm gonna get myself a soul." He went through a lot of changes, getting chipped helped him interact more with the Scoobies, get to know them and work with them, it also helped him interact more with Buffy, get to know her and fall in love with her. Falling in love with Buffy made him want to do good to impress her until he grew to care for Dawn, Joyce and the other Scoobies... so all these changes as well as Spike's desire to have Buffy be in love with him. After the AR, Buffy said, "Tell me again why I could never love you?" implying that without a soul, he's a monster who can't control his evil actions, so to get Buffy to love him, he had to get a soul....

                What helped Spike to change is the remaining humanity inside him... Drusilla could have also changed if she went through what Spike went through, though the "insane" part could've stood in the way.
                Made by Trickyboxes
                Halfrek gives Spike the curse that will change his entire life. Teenage Dirtbag

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                • #9
                  I don't think it's really against any vampire that didn't try to get a soul. As Harmony said, they have to try a lot harder to be good.

                  Originally posted by Sosa lola View Post
                  After the AR, Buffy said, "Tell me again why I could never love you?" implying that without a soul, he's a monster who can't control his evil actions, so to get Buffy to love him, he had to get a soul....
                  Did it really imply *that*, or do you just take it that way because that's what he did next? I don't think Buffy could mean to imply that; she had no concept for there being such a thing as a world where Spike had a soul.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Nina View Post
                    Of course, many fans believe that Spike wasn't really searching for redemption or being good. But to get Buffy back, and if you see it that way ... it fits into the mythology of vampires. Only Joss seems to go for the former explaination, Spike learned his lesson and wanted to be 'good', he sees Spike seeking his soul as a reason to believe that Spike is 'better' than Angel. And in that case, he would go for the error in his own mythology.

                    Why can't it work on both levels? Spike was different from other vampires because he had that chip in his head. The chip, of course, only stopping him from killing and did nothing to assuage his desire for it. However, over time is gently conditioned him. And it forced him into more interaction with humans, i.e. Buffy. He began to think a little differently than other vamps. When he thought the chip was malfunctioning in Smashed, yes, he did attempt to kill someone. But the question is why? Is it really so simple as because he is evil? Or does it have more to do with the fact that Buffy rejected him and told him he was no more than a monster? I think it's more the latter than the former.

                    Bottom line, Spike got his soul to win back Buffy and prove he was good enough. But he also got it because he recognized a malady within himself that he wanted to get rid of. That's why I say it works on both levels.
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                    • #11
                      Bottom line, Spike got his soul to win back Buffy and prove he was good enough. But he also got it because he recognized a malady within himself that he wanted to get rid of. That's why I say it works on both levels.
                      Very well put. I've always thought it was a case of "A little from pile A and a little from pile B" too.

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                      • #12
                        I think that Spike presented a problem to the mythology of the show, because if we start to think that every vampire is capable of taking the same decision he made and go get a soul to try and be a better man, we'll have to think seriously about what's Buffy role really, 'cause that could make her, like someone before put it a "massmurderer".

                        So I believe that for every rule there's an exception, for evil vampires Spike proved to be just that. I'm not saying he was all good without a soul, but obviously he had potential. Just like Buffy had something inside of her that made her so different from other previous slayers, Spike had something in him that made him different from other vampires, I mean, even when he was evil and all grrr... he was still capable of taking such good care and stay for 100 years with Dru (that's something right?).

                        And then, circumstance happened. He was forced to face with circumstances that no other vampire had to deal before, with the chip in his head he was forced to "play with his food", he had to learn to relate to humans and see them differently, not no much as happy meals with legs anymore. That gave him the chance to develop the potential maybe, he developed true feelings and when the time came, he choose the good side.

                        I think of him no like an "error" but the exception that proves the rule.
                        Last edited by lara; 03-12-08, 06:04 PM.
                        avatar credit: me!!

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                        • #13
                          It always seemed to me that Spike didn't want his soul to redeem himself, or because he wanted to be good. He wanted it because he was in love with buffy (or maybe was just trying to get in her pants again). He wanted to prove something to her. I don't think that makes him a better person than Angel or Darla. And even if he did want the soul to be good, that doesn't mean Angel and Darla were bad.
                          They were vampires, they couldn't control it.
                          What? You?ve taught a psycho killer demon how to be human by making him watch Sex and the City?

                          1.02 Never been kissed OUT NOW/ 1.03 Damned by the bell COMING SOON

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                          • #14
                            I stand by my previous post but it's worth to mention that in S7 Spike tells Buffy "I went to see a demon about a girl." His choice was motivated my his affections for Buffy, no doubt. However, that reason is only complicated by his realization that he would have to be ensouled and "good" in order to be worthy of her. So while his motives were purely selfish in an attempt to sway Buffy's perception of him, he also recognized he would need to travel a lighter path to do so. Season six is full of all kinds of examples on Spike's good/evilness. You could come up with plenty of good things he had done, i.e. protecting Dawn and plenty of bad, i.e. the attempted rape. There is no easy answer to this discussion, imo. It's why Spike has always been a controversial character. He has many facets to explore.
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                            • #15
                              *jumps on soapbox* Spike did not seek the return of his soul. From "Villans" - "Do your worst. But when I win, I want what I came here for. (darkly) Bitch is gonna see a change." "Bitch thinks she's better than me. Ever since I got this bleeding chip in my head, things aint been right. Everything's gone to hell- " From "Grave" - "Bloody right I have. So, you give me what I want. Make me what I was... so Buffy can get what she deserves. "

                              These are not the loving words of a vamp that wants to be a better man for the woman he loves. These are the words of a pissed off demon that's been castrated and doesn't like it at all.

                              I know what Joss has said - that Spike intentionally sought the return of his soul. I maintain it is the worst retcon in all seasons of either series. There is nothing in S6 to indicate Spike *ever* wished to have his soul back. There is no evidence of the knowledge this was even *possible*! This is not a legitimate plot twist - this is Joss saying we should have read his mind - and with Joss reconciling what had *already* happened with what was *about* to happen (It went all the way to the wire whether BtVS would be renewed for S7 at all). It's insulting to the fans and a cheap way out, IMHO, of course.

                              *off soapbox*

                              Re-ensouled Spike wrote a new rule in the mythology. Spike, the trail blazer. Previous to Spike, we saw the "vamp with a soul" through Angel's eyes - as being CURSED! In Spike, we see the human soul as EMPOWERING, not RESTRICTING as we've always seen it in Angel. In all previous mythology, Angel was always referred to in the singular - a Chosen One. No beings existed with Spike's circumstances - we didn't know it was possible.

                              I don't understand how it can be both ways. If vamps *know* they can have their human soul returned if they *want* it returned, then how can they not be blamed for choosing to remain demon (thus suffering the consequences of remaining a demon)? Isn't that *choosing* to be bad VS being good? Again, we have no evidence this knowledge is generally known among vamps. From Harmony, with no soul, we hear that she just has to *try* to be good.

                              I love Spike and think he's better for Buffy than Angel in a number of ways - but this whole crappy retcon makes me

                              Originally posted by Jenni Lou View Post
                              I stand by my previous post but it's worth to mention that in S7 Spike tells Buffy "I went to see a demon about a girl." His choice was motivated my his affections for Buffy, no doubt. However, that reason is only complicated by his realization that he would have to be ensouled and "good" in order to be worthy of her. So while his motives were purely selfish in an attempt to sway Buffy's perception of him, he also recognized he would need to travel a lighter path to do so. Season six is full of all kinds of examples on Spike's good/evilness. You could come up with plenty of good things he had done, i.e. protecting Dawn and plenty of bad, i.e. the attempted rape. There is no easy answer to this discussion, imo. It's why Spike has always been a controversial character. He has many facets to explore.
                              Bravo! Spike controversial character is why he's so interesting! He's so "in the moment" and impulsive - capable of great things, both good and evil!
                              Last edited by Cinderela; 03-12-08, 09:38 PM. Reason: Oops, I spammed - fixed it!
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                              • #16
                                Spike wanted to be good for selfish reasons.
                                He had no Idea really what was in store. HE got his soul so Buffy would be able to love him.

                                It was never about championing right above wrong. Not until after.

                                It was always about her, to be hers, to be the kind of man she could love.

                                If Spike had not had a chip he would never have had to make the choice. He could not be evil anymore. He felt the soul could make him a 'whole something' rather then just a guy, stuck between two worlds.
                                Last edited by Bloody Billy; 03-12-08, 10:08 PM.
                                ===Quote of the day===
                                "To read makes our speaking English good"

                                Xander

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Cinderela View Post
                                  *jumps on soapbox* Spike did not seek the return of his soul. From "Villans" - "Do your worst. But when I win, I want what I came here for. (darkly) Bitch is gonna see a change." "Bitch thinks she's better than me. Ever since I got this bleeding chip in my head, things aint been right. Everything's gone to hell- " From "Grave" - "Bloody right I have. So, you give me what I want. Make me what I was... so Buffy can get what she deserves. "

                                  These are not the loving words of a vamp that wants to be a better man for the woman he loves. These are the words of a pissed off demon that's been castrated and doesn't like it at all.

                                  I know what Joss has said - that Spike intentionally sought the return of his soul. I maintain it is the worst retcon in all seasons of either series. There is nothing in S6 to indicate Spike *ever* wished to have his soul back.
                                  I have to disagree. Spike clearly went through the trials for the specific purpose of getting his soul back. Those quotations are the writers disguising the big reveal as what he's really after - trying to make it seem like he's there to have the chip nullified, rather than the other way around. Perhaps they were a trifle too clever for their own good with the use of the word "bitch," but that sort of projection does fit Spike's (pre-soul) personality.

                                  Say what you will about the way they handled the details, but it's pretty hard to argue that Spike was taken by surprise when the demon gave him back his soul.
                                  Cordially,
                                  Amuk

                                  I didn't jump. I took a tiny step, and there conclusions were.
                                  Addicted to Buffy

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Amuk View Post
                                    I have to disagree. Spike clearly went through the trials for the specific purpose of getting his soul back. Those quotations are the writers disguising the big reveal as what he's really after - trying to make it seem like he's there to have the chip nullified, rather than the other way around. Perhaps they were a trifle too clever for their own good with the use of the word "bitch," but that sort of projection does fit Spike's (pre-soul) personality.

                                    Say what you will about the way they handled the details, but it's pretty hard to argue that Spike was taken by surprise when the demon gave him back his soul.
                                    Exactly it is called a "Plot Twist"

                                    Buffy did see a change.
                                    The chip is partially responsible for his choice.

                                    As I said in my last post. He was caught between two worlds. And chose the one closest to Buffy.
                                    Last edited by Bloody Billy; 03-12-08, 10:08 PM.
                                    ===Quote of the day===
                                    "To read makes our speaking English good"

                                    Xander

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Cinderela View Post
                                      These are not the loving words of a vamp that wants to be a better man for the woman he loves. These are the words of a pissed off demon that's been castrated and doesn't like it at all.
                                      Hmm. I think rather a pissed-off demon who wants to prove that she isn't "better than him", that he'll live up to her expectations and then some.

                                      Also, it's not just Joss, David and Jane that state Spike was after his soul post-Seeing Red; it's all over the dialogue in Season 7.

                                      I don't understand how it can be both ways. If vamps *know* they can have their human soul returned if they *want* it returned, then how can they not be blamed for choosing to remain demon (thus suffering the consequences of remaining a demon)? Isn't that *choosing* to be bad VS being good? Again, we have no evidence this knowledge is generally known among vamps. From Harmony, with no soul, we hear that she just has to *try* to be good.
                                      They're not really "choosing" to be bad, they are bad. Even Spike's decision to seek his soul out had nothing to do with a moral compass, as I see it; it was mostly just a visceral reaction to seeing Buffy in pain (like in Intervention: "I couldn't live, her bein' in that much pain... I'd let Glory kill me first. Nearly bloody did.") and secondarily a result of his entrapment between two worlds (the chip and his feelings for Buffy "wouldn't let him be a monster", and "he couldn't be a man").

                                      Re: Harmony, it's a moot point. She would never sign up for an eternity of regret just so she could fit in better with the humans.

                                      (set made by Francy for me)

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Amuk View Post
                                        I have to disagree. Spike clearly went through the trials for the specific purpose of getting his soul back. Those quotations are the writers disguising the big reveal as what he's really after - trying to make it seem like he's there to have the chip nullified, rather than the other way around. Perhaps they were a trifle too clever for their own good with the use of the word "bitch," but that sort of projection does fit Spike's (pre-soul) personality.

                                        Say what you will about the way they handled the details, but it's pretty hard to argue that Spike was taken by surprise when the demon gave him back his soul.
                                        He looked pretty surprised! And all we can know is what the writers have shown us - Spike endlessly whining about (and in some cases taking extreme action regarding) getting the chip removed. And never a whisper regarding getting his soul back. No evidence that it was even possible. Spike riding off in a huff (I'll show her) and doing something extreme with no thought to how it might turn out is *exactly* characteristic of Spike! (And one reason I him!)

                                        And who hasn't heard "be careful what you wish for"? It's not hard at all for me to argue that *Spike* was as surprised as the fans when his soul was returned! *That* is a plot twist - not the lame "he was after his soul all along" line we've been handed.
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