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  • What is the Slayer?

    Is the Slayer something that is "part-demon"? As in, is Buffy "part-demon"?

    Put another way, does the Slayer power and lineage make someone "part demon" or "human infused with demonic energy/power"? Is there a difference?
    51
    The Slayers are part-demon
    11.76%
    6
    The Slayers are fully human, just with demonic power
    80.39%
    41
    Something else (if so, what)
    7.84%
    4
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  • #2
    If you mean, is the Slayer part demon the way, say Doyle or (later) Cordelia are, then no. Slayers are clearly superhuman, but nothing in the description of the way they were made suggests that they're only part human like Doyle or Cordelia.

    'Human infused with demonic power' is a better description of what the Shadow Men did. Hence, they could give her more. If she was already part demon, making her more part demon wouldn't make much sense. But another shot of power does.

    As to whether there's a difference, I suppose that depends on one's POV. Gio wouldn't think so, but we're not really supposed to see things his way, now are we?
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    • #3
      She's 100% human with supernatural powers. I don't believe she's in any way part demon, if she were Spike's chip would have detected it.

      I think she's just like Cordy pre- 'Birthday' and Willow. Cordy was 100% human with Doyle's demonic visions, but she was still completely human, if she weren't they wouldn't have been killing her and there'd be no point in her having to become part demon in 'Birthday.' She's a perfect example of someone who can be completely human and still have extra abilities stemming from demonic sources. As is Willow, she's also completely human but has all this magic in her and extra abilities but it doesn't make her part demon.

      But as I stated in another thread, the chip pretty much proves she was human, as it did Tara in 'Family.'

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      • #4
        Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
        She's 100% human with supernatural powers. I don't believe she's in any way part demon, if she were Spike's chip would have detected it.

        I think she's just like Cordy pre- 'Birthday' and Willow. Cordy was 100% human with Doyle's demonic visions, but she was still completely human, if she weren't they wouldn't have been killing her and there'd be no point in her having to become part demon in 'Birthday.' She's a perfect example of someone who can be completely human and still have extra abilities stemming from demonic sources. As is Willow, she's also completely human but has all this magic in her and extra abilities but it doesn't make her part demon.

        But as I stated in another thread, the chip pretty much proves she was human, as it did Tara in 'Family.'

        I feel like I'm following you around to agree with you, but....I agree and this was well said.

        Agree completely that they are 100% human with supernatural powers.

        -Luc
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        • #5
          Is there a way to be fully human but physically changed by demonic power? If she were just human, she wouldn't heal the way she does nor be as strong. It seems a contradiction in terms because she physically can do things that humans cannot. As for Willow and her dark magic power, throughout the show they keep saying that the magic changes you. Look at Future Dark Willow - the magic transformed her into a being that lived for two centuries. The magic changed her so much that she carried its stink on her even when she was playing cold turkey during Season 7.

          I think it's oversimplifying the situation to say 'yeah she's 100% human'.

          I don't think she's demonic like Doyle or Cordy post-Birthday, but isn't it just as possible that the chip just wouldn't recognize her as having a demon essence inside her? The real test of the chip would be to have S4 Spike have attacked Oz during Wild at Heart. Would the chip still recognize him as human when there wasn't a full moon even though he still has the heightened senses of the wolf? Traditionally, werewolves don't view themselves as human in mythology. They view themselves as transformed, an other.

          Isn't the slayer similarly transformed when she's called? From a normal human girl to a mystical, superpowered warrior? How is a superpowered warrior fully human?

          The demon essence gives her urges that she didn't have before as well as altering her physically. "Kicking ass is comfort food" - Buffy didn't seem like much of a fighter pre-slayerhood. So added aggression there in the way she's teased for resorting to violence to solve her problems. The demon essence has clearly changed her. To say she's fully human is to deny these physical and emotional changes.

          I didn't vote yet because again I think this is an over-simplification. But if push came to shove, I'd choose option 1 "the Slayer is part demon". Even if that part is only 1% of 1%. She has a demon essence inside her = part demon. She doesn't have a demon essence inside her = not part demon.
          Last edited by Emmie; 08-01-09, 07:10 AM.
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          • #6
            I voted for #2 - I think being part demon is something different entirely. I think she would still retain some of the demon's characteristics if she were. And I think the "demon part" would be diminished over a certain amount of time making them weaker and more human.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Emmie View Post
              Is there a way to be fully human but physically changed by demonic power? If she were just human, she wouldn't heal the way she does nor be as strong. It seems a contradiction in terms because she physically can do things that humans cannot.
              The same could be said for Cordy though? How many humans receive mind bottling visions from a higher power that help them see the future, the past or what's going on in the present? It didn't make her any less human though, in fact it was killing her because she was 100% human.

              I don't think she's demonic like Doyle or Cordy post-Birthday, but isn't it just as possible that the chip just wouldn't recognize her as having a demon essence inside her?
              Sure it's possible, but there's nothing canon to prove such a thing. Everything we've seen and heard says otherwise, it was the very thing used to out the Maclays as a bunch of liars after Spike hits her confirming, "there's no demon in there."

              The real test of the chip would be to have S4 Spike have attacked Oz during Wild at Heart. Would the chip still recognize him as human when there wasn't a full moon even though he still has the heightened senses of the wolf? Traditionally, werewolves don't view themselves as human in mythology. They view themselves as transformed, an other.
              Interesting concept, but again, it was never really raised in the show, thus I'm not able to be swayed by it one way or another. I can only base my personal opinion on what was actually shown and said, and whilst alternative scenarios could open up a whole other can of worms, we'll never know the answer, only speculate on them. I can't base my opinion on that.

              Isn't the slayer similarly transformed when she's called? From a normal human girl to a mystical, superpowered warrior? How is a superpowered warrior fully human?
              That's why I keep calling back to Cordy. She's the poster girl for this sort of thing, proof that you can obtain demonic power passed onto you and still remain human. It changed the way her body functioned, it changed what she was capable of, but it never changed what she was, only what she could do.

              The demon essence gives her urges that she didn't have before as well as altering her physically. "Kicking ass is comfort food" - Buffy didn't seem like much of a fighter pre-slayerhood. So added aggression there in the way she's teased for resorting to violence to solve her problems. The demon essence has clearly changed her. To say she's fully human is to deny these physical and emotional changes.
              I never saw any of Buffy's character traits as something she inherited thanks to the slayer. I saw them as very human responses come about because of the situations she was put in. As for example, her dislike of being touched and striking out as a response to that. I'd say that stemmed from being at the receiving end of a violent assault on an almost nightly basis, it effected her, but that's all to do with her human psyche and nothing to do with her superpowers. I'm sure anyone who's faced with a daily routine of being physically attacked would create barriers up that would make them easily testy when it came to being touched in any undesirable way.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                The same could be said for Cordy though? How many humans receive mind bottling visions from a higher power that help them see the future, the past or what's going on in the present? It didn't make her any less human though, in fact it was killing her because she was 100% human.
                Or was it that Cordy wasn't demon enough to handle it? Maybe she was that 1% of 1% like Buffy, but it wasn't enough. She gained the mental powers of the visions without the necessary demonic physical power to bear them.

                What's the official textual basis for saying that Cordy was 100% human? I haven't watched Birthday in a while. Is it stated in that episode?

                Okay here's the textual evidence:

                Skip: "Didn't love it. The fact remains that humans are not strong enough to harbor the visions! Period. Even the Powers That Be can't change that...The only way *you* get to keep the visions is by becoming - part demon."

                Just wondering though, how are visions identified as purely demonic powers? Because there are other avenues of supernatural powers shown in AtS. The girl who had telekinesis or even Gwen. Humans aren't strong enough to bear them, they weren't meant to - but does that make visions demonic powers? And consequently, are we saying that the Powers that Be are demons because that's where the visions come from.

                The difference between Gwen (fully human with supernatural powers) and Buffy (slayer with supernatural powers that come from a demonic source) are that Gwen's powers are a fluke. Buffy's powers are from being infused with a demonic essence. Gwen is physically altered by lightening. Buffy is physically altered by a demonic essence. I'm not as reactive to this because not all demons are bad - look at Lorne. And clearly Buffy channels that power for good. But the source of her power comes from a dark place. She channels that darkness to fight darkness. Fire with fire.
                Last edited by Emmie; 08-01-09, 07:58 AM.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Emmie View Post
                  Or was it that Cordy wasn't demon enough to handle it? Maybe she was that 1% of 1% like Buffy, but it wasn't enough. She gained the mental powers of the visions without the necessary demonic physical power to bear them.

                  What's the official textual basis for saying that Cordy was 100% human? I haven't watched Birthday in a while. Is it stated in that episode?
                  Here's the related text in question;


                  Skip: We made a deal. You gave up the visions, not to mention the certain death that goes with them, and you get to live out your dream. Call me crazy, but I thought that was a pretty fair trade.

                  Cordy: Sure it's fair. But it wasn't me.

                  Skip: We've been over this. I respect what you're trying to do. It's noble and heroic, and all that other Russle Crowe 'Gladiator' crap.

                  Cordy: You've seen...

                  Skip: Didn't love it. The fact remains that humans are not strong enough to harbor the visions! Period. Even the Powers That Be can't change that.

                  Cordy steps closer: Then find a loop hole, Skip. I know my purpose in this world and it includes the visions. And if the Powers That Be aren't complete dumb-asses, they know it, too.

                  Skip: There maybe a - tiny - loophole.

                  Cordy: I'll take it.

                  Skip: You may wanna think about that. The only way *you* get to keep the visions is by becoming - part demon. (Cordy looks down) The process isn't easy. It'll make your vision pain feel like a stroll through candyland. And even after the pain subsides the effects of the transition will be numerous and unpredictable. You may never be able to lead a human life again.

                  Cordy looks over at Angel (who appears to be frozen in time), then back at Skip.

                  Cordy: So - demonize me already.


                  I bolded, what I believe to be the most important parts of the dialogue. There's plenty of words there that make a clear distinction between what Cordy was and what she would be then- "transition" "no *human*" "demonize me already." They all suggest pretty clearly IMO, that Cordy was human and then she was only part human, there was no discussion anywhere about her having some demon in her already, so there's really no textual evidence to suggest she did. I'm sure if she did have some demon in her already, it'd have been mentioned at some point. I think Skip would have phrased things differently, he'd have certainly said something along the lines of "no human with such a minimal amount of demon in them can harbour the visions. Period" if that's what she did in fact have.

                  Another thing worth considering is that there was never any apparent abnormalities in Buffy's blood work when she was in hospital during 'Killed By Death." Whereas, on Ats I'm fairly sure there's been a couple of references to demon blood work when Fred's doing her experiments, demon viruses ect. If Buffy's humanity had been changed in any way it would have created abnormalities doctors would have picked up on.

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                  • #10
                    Sorry Mogs, I edited my post to include those points earlier and continued my argument above.

                    Regarding the bloodwork, is there a difference between being mystically/spiritually demonic? Are we saying that being part-demon means that her aura/spirit/what-have-you isn't altered within her body? Clearly there's some physical differences going on there, maybe things that would be unnoticed by doctors, because Buffy needs a special muscle relaxant formula from the Council to neutralize her powers in Helpless. She's physically different from a human and requires a different physical medication to weaken her. There's enough evidence in that to show that she is physically changed at a molecular level. The Council would know best how to look for it, something the Sunnydale doctors who subscribe to denial wouldn't.

                    There is a part inside her that is demonic. I can't escape that wording. So the question is - what do you guys mean when you say someone is part-demon?
                    Last edited by Emmie; 08-01-09, 08:05 AM.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Emmie View Post
                      There is a part inside her that is demonic. I can't escape that wording. So the question is - what do you guys mean when you say someone is part-demon?
                      I dunno about anyone else, but I always harken back to "Earshot" when Buffy became infused with the "aspect of demon". It gave her different powers, unrelated to her slayer powers that were not human and were described as being specifically demonic power and yet it didn't make her less fully human AND the effects and the power itself could be removed. It didn't alter her physically, just gave her a new tool - one which, as a human, she was not strong enough to control.

                      Because if that aspect of the demon hadn't been removed, she would have gone insane. Why is that?

                      I think of part demon, I think it's literally a part of that person. Not just the powers they have, but physically a part of them, altering them in some physical way. Like a human who becomes a vampire or Doyle with his demon face, Cordy with her glowing, Lorne with his horns and green skin....

                      Mabye I'm not even explaining it well...

                      -Luc
                      Last edited by lmblack21; 08-01-09, 08:35 AM.
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                      • #12
                        Yet, if the "aspect of the demon" had been horns or a tail, would you still say she was fully human? If she had demonic horns, wouldn't she physically be part demon?

                        The demonic powers she acquired were something her human mind wasn't equipped to deal with, but the power she held was demonic. I'm viewing this as holistic definition of what a person is - mind, body and spirit. Her mind had demonic powers at that time.

                        I guess I'm viewing this like Wolverine in X-Men. He had adamantium welded to his exo-skeleton and is now part-adamantium. Buffy had a demon essence added to her body and spirit and is part demon. And Cordy being part demon could theoretically be as easily removed as Buffy's "aspect of the demon" power.
                        Last edited by Emmie; 08-01-09, 08:38 AM.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Emmie View Post
                          Yet, if the "aspect of the demon" had been horns or a tail, would you still say she was fully human? If she had demonic horns, wouldn't she physically be part demon?

                          The demonic powers she acquired were something her human mind wasn't equipped to deal with, but the power she held was demonic. I'm viewing this as holistic definition of what a person is - mind, body and spirit. Her mind had demonic powers at that time.

                          I guess I'm viewing this like Wolverine in X-Men. He had adamantium welded to his exo-skeleton and is now part-adamantium. Buffy had a demon essence added to her body and spirit and is part demon. And Cordy being part demon could theoretically be as easily removed as Buffy's "aspect of the demon" power.
                          But then, as vamps mentions, how do we "classify" (for lack of a better term) what Cordy is when she's all visioned up (with visions passed on by a half demon) and yet is clearly considered not at all "part" demon?

                          And what of Willow with her powers that can't be undone? And is Dawn always more than just fully human because she was the key? A ball of energy and great power?

                          Buffy has powers and abilities greater than most humans but is still susceptible to the same problems as humans. She can still be killed by a bullet, taken down by the flu. Is it not possible that she is fully human and it is her powers alone that have demony essence to them?

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                          • #14
                            I really think it's that we have a different definition of the issue. I see Buffy having a demon essence within her that animates her and gives her powers as making her part demon. That's where the darkness within her comes from. What Dracula called kindred though he misunderstood her nature in thinking she'd welcome him. The Slayer is almost like the exact opposite of a souled vampire. A demonic essence that imbues the human with power, except with vampires the human body is dead where as with Slayers the human body is still alive.

                            Vampires and Slayers powers are kindred, it's why she's the perfect hunter.
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                            • #15
                              My "part demon" definition is that she would have half the genetic makeup of a demon and half a human - as in a demon and a human reproducing a child.

                              When that child became an adult and reproduced with another - let's say human - the strength of the genetic makeup of the demon would weaken - it would continue as long as human DNA was introduced into the genetic mix.

                              In the Slayer's case it seems the "powers" of the demon were extracted and introduced into a human lineage. It was also done mystically - and we all know "mystical" is different from "physical" - so the Slayer will stay human but contain demon powers (strength, speed, healing, etc.)
                              Last edited by ThePoet's<3; 08-01-09, 08:59 AM.
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                              • #16
                                But what about vampires? They're a human/demon hybrid created from a demonic animating spirit that inhabits the human body. It's a situation so similar to how a Slayer is created, how can one ignore the ramifications of it.

                                Look at Connor as an example. He's a living hybrid, part-demon and part-human, born of two vampires. Where does his human DNA come from? When doctors examined him in Season 3 they saw nothing to differentiate him from any other babies. So perhaps it's something that the human world is unable to fully understand. Connor is the closest example we have to what a Slayer is in terms of power and abilities (though slayers are physically stronger and have prophetic visions). But they both share the same weaknesses. The Sanctuary Spell recognized Connor as part demon, where as before that everyone thought of him as mostly human but with extraordinary powers. They never saw him as a vampire though both his parents were.

                                Would Spike's chip have recognized Connor as demonic? Clearly it's imperfect. Smashed taught us that. Humanity doesn't understand the metaphysical state of the demon world. They only understand the physical elements and as seen with Connor, part demons can be similar enough to be seen as human.
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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Emmie View Post
                                  But what about vampires? They're a human/demon hybrid created from a demonic animating spirit that inhabits the human body. It's a situation so similar to how a Slayer is created, how can one ignore the ramifications of it.
                                  I'm not sure I see it as hugely similar. With vampires I don't believe them to be a human/demon hybrid other than the fact they walk in what appears to be, human form. I see vampires as more like a possession, though of an empty corpse. They obtain the memories of the person's body it effects, but how I've interpreted what both Giles, Wes and Angel told us, there's no human left in there. That's a demon entity just being forced into an empty shell, which is fairly different to Buffy being given demonic supernatural abilities to help her fight.

                                  I still view Buffy’s most similar comparison to be that of Cordy, or more closer to home, Willow. Spike could also not hurt her even though she was becoming quite the witch in season four and that’s with supernatural powers inside her. Magic seems to demonic of nature, it's certainly not human, but I'd find it a pretty hard case to argue that it somehow makes Willow less human.

                                  Concering Connor; yes IMO I think Spike's chip would have detected it. It detects mystical readings, that's why it was so confused about Buffy in 'Smashed' in the first place. She had a "mystical sunburn" as she travelled back into our dimension, and it read that as something other than human, it was right to. So I don't see why it wouldn't pick up on Connor, which the Sanctuary spell instantly picked up on. It'd be an interesting fan fic actually
                                  Last edited by vampmogs; 08-01-09, 09:54 AM.

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                                  • #18
                                    I see Buffy as essentially human - with a soul and no other self/demon soul sharing her body. When Buffy dies and goes to IthinkIwasinheaven (whatever heavenly dimension that was), I see that as a human soul and nothing else. I don't really have anything firm to go on mind you, but I don't see any evidence to the contrary either.

                                    However, the demon power she possesses, imo, goes beyond just being a tool she can call on, it is a part of her on some level. Perhaps spiritually or mystically, I'm not sure how you'd define it, but she has attributes and experiences that no other non-slayer humans have.

                                    It's not just physical, she has dreams that link her to other slayers and to mystical/future truths. She's tapped into the universe in ways other humans aren't. Perhaps it doesn't matter in the end that her power has demonic essence in it? Or perhaps it affects her subtly? I don't think her "demonic" power necessarily has a darkness to it - it comes from darkness, but who knows how it was transformed in the slayerisation process, and through all the various slayers?

                                    All in all, I don't think we have enough to go on to say exactly how the slayer power works, and whether the way the first slayer was created was paralleled by all subsequent slayer. Perhaps the first slayer got demon juice, but in her, that juice was transformed into a unique slayer formula that's then passed down. A kind of alchemy that translates the demon ooze into something else entirely?


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                                    • #19
                                      I personally don't think you can have your 'cake and eat it' by saying they can be seen to have had their origins in being 'merged' with a Demon, have their power derive from that merging, and yet still be fully human.

                                      It just doesn't work for me at all like that.

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                                      • #20
                                        I'm saying she's 100% human. Her powers may be demonic in origin, but her body (sans the mystical sunburn), mind and soul are human. She was born a human. She has to eat drink and breathe like a human. She can be killed the same way any other human can.

                                        Her extra strength, reflexes and durability are her "powers" but I don't see that making her any less human. Others have used Willow, Cordelia and Gwen as examples of humans who possess extra powers.

                                        The total, undeniable proof for me is that Spike's chip fired up if he tried to attack Buffy. It was used as proof Tara wasn't part demon and the same can be said for Buffy. Of course this is before she was resurected and given a mystical tan on a cellular level but that's besides the point.

                                        I don't think she's demonic like Doyle or Cordy post-Birthday, but isn't it just as possible that the chip just wouldn't recognize her as having a demon essence inside her?
                                        But the chip does recognize demon essences. Chipped-Spike was able to fight vampires, Bringers and Vengance Demons all of whom have a "human" body with a demon essence inside. Vengance Demons appear to have the human soul still there as well, yet the chip can still recognize them as demons. The same cannot be said for Slayers.

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