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The Great Season 8 Re-read

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  • My fanwank (which I think has been informed partly/mostly from discussion during the comic releases as well as idle dwelling since) is that the expectations on Giles as a child that he would be a watcher had him stem a natural magical ability, one that came out a little rebelliously later with all the Eyghon magical play with Ethan et al. But that rebellious experimentation meant it was also something he viewed himself to be a negative interest he shouldn't have given in to (which partially informs his avoidance of helping Willow, possibly as well as the damning responses to her too). So, anyway, when he was returned to being a child one of the ways that he embraced the new opportunity that gave was to use magic more freely. His perspective fresh/changed.

    I have to say though, I didn't love the child Giles storyline but often because I think it was under explored. Re-ageing him off screen as a conclusion to it all was disappointing. Why he came to that decision and how hard it was, or not, should have had some page time. At least with the Spike and Buffy break up there was a lot of time through the season looking at the fallout in their ongoing responses to each other and even nudging at the potential continuation that could feasibly follow in the future. All of that was on the page to help bridge the gap from where they were before to where they ended up and how it might (or might not) move onwards. With Giles it was basically done off screen and dropped there.

    I really do need to reread S8 but I do remember Xander's development in it was one of my favourite aspects and made me reconsider his character. And whilst I wasn't enamoured with the execution of the writing in the comics at varying points, I was always interested in the general direction that Joss was happy that the varying character paths could take. I think some of the overall development for them worked really well in continuation from the show, particularly for Xander and Spike. What I am really looking forward to reconsidering now the twelve seasons have completed when I reread S8 next is Dawn's journey and the start of her romantic relationship with Xander, which I really wasn't on board with at first but came to really appreciate by the end of the canon continuation.

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    • My fanwank (which I think has been informed partly/mostly from discussion during the comic releases as well as idle dwelling since) is that the expectations on Giles as a child that he would be a watcher had him stem a natural magical ability, one that came out a little rebelliously later with all the Eyghon magical play with Ethan et al. But that rebellious experimentation meant it was also something he viewed himself to be a negative interest he shouldn't have given in to (which partially informs his avoidance of helping Willow, possibly as well as the damning responses to her too). So, anyway, when he was returned to being a child one of the ways that he embraced the new opportunity that gave was to use magic more freely. His perspective fresh/changed.
      I can see that coming back to life as a child would have given Giles a new perspective and maybe openess. He perhaps regretted his relationship to magic he had in his previous life, and wanted a more healthy and stronger relationship now. It's similar to his relationship with Roux opening himself up to new ideas and experiences with/about vampires which also gave him a different perspective on Buffy and her relationship with Spike.

      I have to say though, I didn't love the child Giles storyline but often because I think it was under explored. Re-ageing him off screen as a conclusion to it all was disappointing. Why he came to that decision and how hard it was, or not, should have had some page time. At least with the Spike and Buffy break up there was a lot of time through the season looking at the fallout in their ongoing responses to each other and even nudging at the potential continuation that could feasibly follow in the future. All of that was on the page to help bridge the gap from where they were before to where they ended up and how it might (or might not) move onwards. With Giles it was basically done off screen and dropped there.
      Re-aging Giles off page was an awful decision. We spent 3 season with him as a child and it was pretty worthless because it was so easy to turn him back into an adult. I'd have loved to have seen the lead up to it, Willow researching, perhaps a new character finding just the right spell - maybe the aunts coming up with it. Whatever happened to them?

      Of course I'd have liked to see Spike and Buffy's break up on page - like perhaps not the right word, but to do it off page was a horrible decision. Same with Dawn finding out she was pegnant. Rushing S12 didn't help it one little bit.

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      • Ugh I still haven't read the Giles mini with Roux, I'd completely forgotten about it, but I do have it. Isn't there a question left hanging around her being somehow different because of her sire or some such? I'm not sure how it would change his perspective on Buffy's relationship with Spike, I got the impression he had become quite accepting of it since his return as a kid, if a little jealous at points (because of his feelings of having limitations for romance).

        What was lost in the time jump from S11 to 12 was frustrating but Gage did say they were left with the limited timeframe because of the sale. I think Giles' reaging was the only aspect that really didn't get any specific time put to it in S12, although knowing/seeing more about all of the shifted dynamics and situations would obviously have been better.

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        • Priceless
          Priceless commented
          Editing a comment
          You should really read the Giles mini, it's very good.

      • Stoney "Ugh I still haven't read the Giles mini with Roux, I'd completely forgotten about it, but I do have it. Isn't there a question left hanging around her being somehow different because of her sire or some such?"

        Yes - but not just because of her sire but because of being a slave. If Priceless is to be believed (I asked her the question because I forgot) her sire can enthrall - "thrall" means "slave". Her origin story makes Angel's and Spike's look petty and her history questions the eurocentric beliefs and teachings of the Watcher's Council. She does change Giles for the better, which is one reason I can't see his re-aging as a positive. I'm sorry - I can't be persuaded to think anything good of S12 unless I read against the grain and between the lines - in which case, it's truly deserving of the term "horror story". And not knowing about Dawn's pregnancy (about the choices she had to make etc) in a text that professes to be a feminist text is just an abomination. Carrying a child is something a man can never experience (in the same way a man can't know what it is to be a slayer) and it's glided over? That's bollocks. I can't help thinking it's made significant by its absence.
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