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Buffy. And it's always going to be me.


The vampires in Buffyverse are an expression of fears and doubts. Whedon wanted to make adolescence problems almost real, physical and give the hero a chance to fight and destroy them. (I'm expressing this concept in a horrid way. My apologies.) But basically, BtVS wasn't a tale of vampires like, for example, Anne Rice's books. BtVS was a tale about growing up and dealing with school and college and, later, job. And, yes, there are incredibly interesting vampire characters (Like Spike or Darla or Angel), but for most of the time the vampires aren't the important part of the story. Vampires are a tool to express a concept = growing up is hard and you must be prepared to fight against your insicurieties and doubts.
And actually we see a main character in her vampire!version, Willow Rosemberg. Her vampire copy is, maybe, an expression of her sexual desires and her crave for power. Vamp!Willow is "kinda gay" and very sadistic. 
That's because the main problems of young Rosemberg were sexuality and power, right?
And here's my big question: do you think that, giving the chance to vamp a later (say Season Seven) Willow, the vampire-self would be similar to S3 vamp!Willow? Or it would change?
The vampire-self is connected to the individual (and that's a classic question) but, what I want to know is: giving the time and the changes in the living person the vampire-self can be different?
For example= major issues of young Rosemberg are sexuality and power; the result is S3 vampire dopplegangland (sadistic and kinda bisex).
But in season 4 Willow breaks some barriers and give herself the possibility to live an homosexual and happy relationship and in S7 she doesn't fight with her sexual desires and embraces her attraction for Kennedy ---> Can vampire!Willow would be different?
Other example= young Liam has daddy issues --> the result is a vampire, Angelus, with a major daddykink. (He's a father figure for Penn and Drusilla and he likes to be the patriarch in the Fanged four, teaching lessons to William and everything)
Let's suppose that Liam doesn't die so young. Let's give him the chance to work around his daddy issue as living person: the vampire-self would change? Angelus would mantain his daddykink?
Bonus question: human beings can change during life (They can, right?) but a vampire is fixed in the moment of death. He doesn't get an older, like Angel said in Chosen, he doesn't physically change, so ... the same thing goes also for his personality? 
Discuss


Comments

( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
rahirah
Feb. 1st, 2013 05:32 pm (UTC)
I think the vampire's personality depends partly on the basic personality of the human (do they have a bad temper, etc?) and partly on what the human learns over the years (did they ever learn how to control that temper?) Once you're a vampire, you have far less incentive to change. I don't believe vampires are incapable of changing, but the vast majority of them have no reason or desire to do so.
kikimay
Feb. 1st, 2013 05:59 pm (UTC)
I have kinda the same opinion. I think that it's far more difficult for a vampire to change because he stands still in a death condition. (Like, he doesn't become a father - so change - or he doesn't marry - so change - o lose his job) I don't know if my opinion is clear. Basically I think that you learn by living some situations.
kikimay
Feb. 1st, 2013 06:05 pm (UTC)
What did I just wrote? XDDD
My point is ... dead person.
itsnotmymind
Feb. 1st, 2013 05:53 pm (UTC)
I think a vampire would probably different depending on what point in a human's life they were turned. Vampires seem to change more slowly than humans. Maybe that has something to do with how long they live.
kikimay
Feb. 1st, 2013 06:01 pm (UTC)
I could be. Maybe because they are immortal. I remember Anya saying that when she met Dracula she was "a young silly thing". Except that she was already 700 or so!
spuffy_luvr
Feb. 2nd, 2013 09:17 am (UTC)
We get to see vamp!Xander too.

I suspect that it's quite rare for a person to overcome their basic fears and insecurities that are formed in youth. They might learn not to over-react or allow them to rule their lives, but the same fears are always there deep down. So, no matter at what age they were turned, those same fears would form the basis for their vamp personality, since it draws the worst out of them.

Once turned, I think it would be even less likely for a vampire to change. The exception - as always - is Spike, but in a sense, he never changed. He did whatever he could to make the woman he loved happy. In Dru's case, that was being evil; in Buffy's, it was being good. His basic personality is to please the woman in his life and that doesn't change, even though he drastically changes in behaviour.

But I could be convinced otherwise. :)
kikimay
Feb. 2nd, 2013 11:02 am (UTC)
Yes, there is this big continuity line about Spike that consist, essentially, in being "the love's bitch". He's always moved by passion or desire to be loved.
red_satin_doll
Feb. 3rd, 2013 10:50 pm (UTC)
They might learn not to over-react or allow them to rule their lives, but the same fears are always there deep down.

I honestly have to say that I agree with this quite a bit. After all, we can be as mature and accomplished as we please, but the minute we're in the same room with our parents....

Re: Spike, the chip really has to be taken into account. It forced him out of the demon world (no minion is going to follow a vamp who made a deal with the Slayer, or who hangs around white hats and kills other demons); it forced him to rely on Buffy's reluctant mercy (and Giles' money); etc. Without the chip, he wouldn't have been hanging around the Scoobies, been allowed to live, and probably wouldn't have fallen in love with Buffy. The demon couldn't kill her, so the impulse and energy to do so got re-directed, so to speak. (i.e. Matter/energy cannot be destroyed, it can only be transformed.) It provided a "false conscience, or at least stayed his hand. It didn't provide altruism or true conscience; he had to stop hurting people in order to prevent his head from exploding. But this was change of a sort. Even the soul-getting is perfectly in character: the one big dramatic gesture he thinks is going to solve everything on it's own, and doesn't. (Just like, kidnapping Dru and getting her away from Angelus was supposed to restore their relationship.)

And why do i spend so much time talking her about Spike? Not like enough people don't and haven't already. I haven't watched AtS so there's a lot about the history of the Fanged Four I'm missing - or rather of Angel, Dru and Darla, so I can't really talk about them.
kikimay
Feb. 3rd, 2013 11:00 pm (UTC)
Because Spike is pretty. And interesting! :D
I agree. I also think that, in Spike demonic pre-souled mind, love and violence were all the same. He showed his affection for Dru with torture. I don't think his affection wasn't sincere. I just believe he didn't knew the difference. Everyone needs a moral compass to make choices.
I also think that everyone has his own issues (About power, about love and so on) and Spike has these incredible love/being accepted issues. I agree with the point: being in a room with your parents ... In a way I think that power will be always the main issue for Willow, like abandonement for Buffy, but I guess that growing up allows to understand things better. It does that, right? *hopeful*
red_satin_doll
Feb. 4th, 2013 02:42 pm (UTC)
Ah, but I'm a daughter of Sappho and thus immune to the "cheekbones o' sexiness" - but not the terrific acting. And yes, interesting.

Again, I'm trying to remember "something I read on the internet somewhere" that Joss said (and probably tongue in cheek) about Spike/JM "messing up" his story? Someone help me out here, please. So speaking on from a Doylist perspective, I think what was meant was that the show began with a relatively simple, black and white view of vampires and demons, the explanation we hear from Giles in S1, and the presence of Spike complicated things immensely. I'm not sure if this was going to happen anyway, or if it just evolved organically; it certainly echoes the evolution of Buffy's understanding over the seven seasons. But there's this terrific cycle here, where the writers create an interesting character, JM's performance turns it into something more, his acting challenges the writers to give Spike more attention, and so forth - they up each other's game. It's nice when writers/creators can see when they have a gem and are able to shift their plans; I wish they had done that more often. Rigid obedience to a plotpoint can close off other options IMO.

I also think that, in Spike demonic pre-souled mind, love and violence were all the same.

I do agree with pretty much everything in this comment. It gets back to a variation of "want, take, have", to the pleasure principle.

Everyone needs a moral compass to make choices.

That compass needs to be working right, of course, and then there's the other half of that - you need to actually use it. That's clear with all of the characters, even Buffy and the Scoobies, but esp in Faith, Willow and Warren. (I'm not sure if I'd describe Faith's compass as already broken the minute she comes in the door, but she doesn't seem to really have had role models.) Then a lot of characters, including Spike, look to Buffy to be their compass on their behalf, just as they look to her to be a warrior and a leader, but that only goes so far; as with addiction, etc, other people can be role models but no one else can be your moral compass. And I think they all get there, eventually. (Except Warren of course; Willow killing him shuts off that possibility, that a "bad" person can chose to become "good" the option that he might eventually rehabilitate himself, which is the option Faith and Spike are offered and eventually choose for themselves.)

Maybe this is why I side with Buffy's decision to remove the chip in S7 - even though I can argue against it and see Giles' side of things, re: the danger Spike still presents. It's been part of what got Spike to a certain point (see my comments upthread) but it is still an artificial insert that contravenes his free will.)

kikimay
Feb. 4th, 2013 02:54 pm (UTC)
Writing stories (And, you know, I'm not a real author, I'm just a girl who likes to write) it often happens to me that a character just become important. Like, I create this character X and he's supposed to die, but then he becomes important and his interaction with other characters are interesting so I decide to give him more space. I think this is natural storytelling. And Spike, to me, is the greatest example of natural storytelling. He just creates himself over and over giving the story a different flavour. I believe that this is the true essence of writing: giving the characters their space. And I believe that Joss also realized this when he said that a story isn't a puppy, is a child. Your son eventually will grow up and he will express his own opinion.
Big metaphors time, but I hope my point is clear. :D

And yes to everything above. I believe in the necessity of a soul for Spike because he can't use Buffy as his moral compass. Buffy is a human being and she makes mistakes even if she's the hero. I think that S6 proves this point.

red_satin_doll
Feb. 4th, 2013 09:52 pm (UTC)
And, you know, I'm not a real author, I'm just a girl who likes to write

Ok, I know "do what I say not what I do" is wrong and I'm a hypocrite, but DON"T say stuff like that about yourself! (Unless you're just kidding me.) You are a writer and the proof? You write stories. Period, end of sentence. (Does that phrase make sense in Italian?)

I believe in the necessity of a soul for Spike because he can't use Buffy as his moral compass. Buffy is a human being and she makes mistakes even if she's the hero. I think that S6 proves this point.

See? S6 in a nutshell. You just distilled my overly-long ramblings into a few sentences, an ability I admire a lot.

(If you were just kidding, then of course ignore me and carry on.)

I believe that this is the true essence of writing: giving the characters their space

Again, very well-said, and 100% agreement. Of course "plot" has to be fit in there somewhere (why I'm not a fiction writer: "Plot? What the hell is that?" ). But the times as a fiction writer I've been most excited/moved are when the character demands to go off in another direction and all I can do is follow - it's then the writing feels most alive to me. (But then again that plot thing comes back into view before I crash into the guardrails.)

And I believe that Joss also realized this when he said that a story isn't a puppy, is a child.

Ummm....It sounds nice metaphorically, but considering how puppies grow up into dogs and have their own distinct personalities (and some are genuinely regarded as beloved children/family members), I'd like to rephrase that a bit: I'd say that a story is a child, NOT an inanimate doll to be manipulated however you like.
kikimay
Feb. 4th, 2013 10:27 pm (UTC)
First of all: thank you very much, you're really kind! <3
Also, yes, I supposed that Joss was a bit rude in the metaphor, but basically the concept was really that: it's really a child or something that grows and you can't control.
londonkds
Feb. 2nd, 2013 10:08 am (UTC)
I've had a theory for a long time that the vampire Willow we see in "The Wish" is Season One Willow after vampirisation. If she'd been turned later, I think she'd have been much less about whimsical fun and more an even more evil undead Maggie Walsh, trying to make more powerful vampires and having most vampires terrified that she'd decide to experiment on them.
kikimay
Feb. 2nd, 2013 11:00 am (UTC)
Nice theory! It would also explain why she was so connected to the Master.
red_satin_doll
Feb. 3rd, 2013 10:39 pm (UTC)
If she'd been turned later, I think she'd have been much less about whimsical fun and more an even more evil undead Maggie Walsh, trying to make more powerful vampires and having most vampires terrified that she'd decide to experiment on them.

Oh I like that idea - plot Bunny, anyone? Actually, I have read some fanfic that suggests this, mostly by people who were unsatisfied with the "magic as addiction" storyline. Ok, so that includes nearly everyone in the fandom but you get the idea.
kikimay
Feb. 3rd, 2013 10:54 pm (UTC)
I also think that magic as addiction was lame, while the main problem really was hybris and crave for power. I'm kinda fascinated by the concept of dark desires and insicurities in the vampire version. (I read in other forums that vamps were just the "true self" like, I don't know, William was shy but inside he had all these ragey feelings, which I guess it's true, but I don't think that vamps are the true self in anyway, because otherwise the heroes should be transformed in vamps too and never grow old, which is very immature and childish as concept. I'm talking too much, you get the idea)

Edited at 2013-02-03 10:54 pm (UTC)
red_satin_doll
Feb. 4th, 2013 02:18 pm (UTC)
The ONE person I've seen who has stated (online) that the addiction storyline worked for them (and was able to place it in the context of a "misdirect" of cause/effect by Buffy and Willow) was coracle_33:
http://coracle33.livejournal.com/1175.html?view=8599

Her fanwank makes sense - I wish it were true, and maybe that was the original intention of the writers that got waylaid? (I read in an AV Club convo that Joss was basically copying the Dark Phoenix storyline from the X-men comics, and read additionally that AH didn't want Willow to go as evil as was originally planned, although I don't know if she had enough pull. PLEASE don't ask me to prove this; it's probably hearsay. ) Anyhoo...
red_satin_doll
Feb. 4th, 2013 02:47 pm (UTC)
while the main problem really was hybris

In case that wasn't a typo, it's "hubris" btw.
kikimay
Feb. 4th, 2013 02:57 pm (UTC)
You know, I read the word in ancient greek and the vocal "u" sometimes it's traslated with our "u" and sometimes with "y" (Because in Greek is kinda the middle way between these two letters) but I guess that with English, "u" is just fine. (Because you guys speak different)
red_satin_doll
Feb. 4th, 2013 08:25 pm (UTC)
Is it? I stand corrected, sweetie; I had never seen it that way.

Speaking of ancient Greek, I once read someone claim that the word "clitoris" was originally "kleitoris" and is the only word from the Greek in which the hard K sound of the first letterwas replaced by a much softer sound when translated into English. (Ok, I did have a point, and then lost it somewhere along the way *checks under couch cushions*)
kikimay
Feb. 4th, 2013 08:34 pm (UTC)
Yes, you are correct. Thank you! Otherwise I wouldn't noticed and I would make the same mistake.
And also yes, kleitoris starts with K and in Italian we translate it with C and I think you do too because of the Latin word. (I mean, you translate from the Latin instead of the original Greek.) It's just a theory and I'm not an expert, but I think that this is the reason.
metanewsmods
Feb. 3rd, 2013 05:15 pm (UTC)
This is a great post! Mind if we link it in metanews newsletter?
kikimay
Feb. 3rd, 2013 05:28 pm (UTC)
Go ahead.
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

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Buffy. And it&#39;s always going to be me.
kikimay
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