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In Seasons 1-3, who is the more important/handy Scooby: Xander or Willow?

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  • In Seasons 1-3, who is the more important/handy Scooby: Xander or Willow?

    This discussion was going on here: http://www.buffyforums.net/forums/sh...=17509&page=19, but since it's not really part of that thread I decided to give it its own thread. But it is interesting on its own.

    Willow's hacking is important. Through Oz getting with her they were able to stop The Judge. Willow restores Angel's curse. Willow comforts Buffy and helps with Buffy's schoolwork.

    Xander saves Buffy a few times. Xander helps save Buffy's life in "Prophecy Girl" (1.12). Xander putting on that Halloween costume ends up being useful in "Halloween" (2.06), "Innocence" (2.14), and "Graduation Day Part II" (3.22).
    58
    Xander
    13.79%
    8
    Willow
    31.03%
    18
    they are about equal or they are equal
    55.17%
    32

  • #2
    Originally posted by MikeB View Post
    This discussion was going on here: [url]
    Willow comforts Buffy and helps with Buffy's schoolwork.
    Xander comforts Buffy too. I went with "They're both equal". Willow fills a more specific niche with her hacking/science/tutoring/later magic help. However, Xander saved Buffy's life more often than Willow (at least in S1-3) and is stronger in a fight.

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    • #3
      Also, I love talking skill sets and Willow and Xander are my favorite characters. However this conversation of "useful" seems a little fruitless. Neither of them are "earning their keep", especially when housing and working in an organized army, wasn't even an issue in S1-3. They are high schoolers giving their time to volunteer. All I care about is that they try their best. I'll give superlatives for effort whether it's Xander fighting till the end even though he's getting knocked around cemeteries or Willow teaching herself magic and languages. However, it feels mean-spirited to hand out demerits because Xander isn't a powerful he-witch or because Willow is a "meek little girly girl" (see Phases) without preternatural strength.

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      • #4
        At the climax of Prophecy Girl Xander gave Buffy the kiss of life, which Angel was not able to do. It was especially moving since Xander was a rejected lover.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Michael View Post
          At the climax of Prophecy Girl Xander gave Buffy the kiss of life, which Angel was not able to do. It was especially moving since Xander was a rejected lover.
          Well, I don't know about anyone else, but I sure think that giving a CPR to someone to save their life isn't something one should or shouldn't do depending on whether the person has been willing to date them. Call me crazy, but I think it's the kind of thing that people should do to save another's life if they are in position to do so, period. The idea that someone "owes" romantic love & sex to someone else because they saved their life is a really offensive one. (I'm not saying that you've said that, but I've seen fans resentful of Buffy for not falling in love with Xander as she "should" have, according to them.) Xander only got to be a hero and save Buffy when he put behind the ridiculous dreams of being the white knight to her damsel.

          The really great thing Xander did in Prophecy Girl was decide to go underground to the Master's lair to save Buffy (and drag Angel to go down there), because it was really brave and showed he was a real friend to Buffy and was willing to risk his life to save her. Where he gains more points than Angel is that he wasn't fatalistic like Angel, who needed to be told by someone else to do something about it, instead of just accepting that "destiny" cannot be beaten. So, pro-activeness and courage were the traits that made Xander a hero in Prophecy Girl. Not the fact that he was the one who could perform the CPR, since that was just the consequence of him being human (and conversely, not being human wasn't Angel's fault).
          You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

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          • #6
            I voted for Xander because my original argument in the other thread was which of the two was more vital for the survival of the Scooby gang. Emotional support from Willow and Xander was extremely important for Buffy, no doubt, but that wasn't really what I was talking about, plus it's tough to quantify it. Who is Buffy's best friend is a completely different argument, one that I don't want to get in because I can't decide which friendship I love more.
            Xander: "Willow, you are the best human ever! I adore you! Well, that's the cookies talking, but you rock!"

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            • #7
              The fact that Xander brought Buffy back from death automatically makes him important. Of course, in Season 6 Willow brings Buffy back, after a longer period, by the use of forbidden magic ,with results that were ambigous at best.The point has nothing to do with dating. The rejected lover aspect makes the scene more operatic. One can imagine what a meal Verdi would have made of it.
              Last edited by Michael; 30-11-11, 04:34 AM. Reason: Addition.

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              • #8
                I vote for Xander, too. In the first 3 seasones Willow still wasn`t good in magic, so her real power was useful somewhere after S 4.

                Xander don`t has a special abilities but he wasn`t a coward and helps Buffy all the time. In the " Harvest " he goes down with Buffy and helps her to save Jessie, even when Buffy told him to stay away. I can`t rememeber exactly his answer , but he said something that ... he has a biology class ... so he`ll go with her insted ... I always like this side of his character - very brave and loyal friend. Rememebr " Reptile boy " - how many humiliations he has to stand because of Buffy .
                Last edited by _Buffy_; 01-12-11, 06:49 AM.
                sigpic
                maked by plamivasi

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by _Buffy_ View Post
                  I vote for Xander, too. In the first 3 seasones Willow still wasn`t good in magic, so her real power was useful somewhere after S 4.

                  Xanred don`t has a special abilities but he wasn`t a coward and helps Buffy all the time. In the " Harvest " he goes down with Buffy and helps her to save Jessie, even when Buffy told him to stay away. I can`t rememeber exactly his answer , but he said something that ... he has a biology class ... so he`ll go with her insted ... I always like this side of his character - very brave and loyal friend. Rememebr " Reptile boy " - how many humiliations he has to stand because of Buffy .
                  However on the Willow side, they all would have been dead in the water on a bunch of Monster of The Week cases if they didn't have her research and hacking skills. Especially stuff like finding a given student's medical records or plans for the city's sewer system or an address. In S1-3, these smaller cases are kind of the lifeblood of the series and I honestly don't know how the Scoobies could have solved the cases in a timely manner without Willow unless they just got another hacker/researcher to replace her. It's an indispensable niche that Willow was filling WITHOUT MAGIC.

                  Like, we don't know how deeply stupid the police of Sunnydale are but it's a distinct possibility that Buffy could have gone to prison if Willow hadn't figured out the cookies were laced with Demoatorin and hacked into records to get marriage certificates and his address. Where Xander found the dead bodies of his other wives. It's not as dramatic as say, Willow resurrecting Buffy, but it's a quiet, key moment that seems pretty damn indispensable to me. This is why I find it so impossible to pick between the two for "useful".

                  ETA: I guess Ted, independently, coming back for Joyce could have gotten Buffy out of legal trouble. However, I do think that the thrust of my point remains.
                  Last edited by Dipstick; 30-11-11, 02:03 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Its hard to say who is more "important" scooby. I'd say Xander and Willow are both very important, especially to Buffy.

                    I think it took such courage and bravery and of course friendship to stand by Buffy and help as much as they did knowing what danger they were about to face everyday.

                    I sort of lean towards Xander because he was the one that was always there to put Buffy inline if she was acting crazy or making a rash decision.I feel he kept her grounded, for example in When she was bad being a "bitca." He tends to act like her second pair of eyes in a way. As dawn says in season 7 his gift / talent is seeing and knowing.

                    Yes Willow is great with the computer stuff and getting the information when they needed it but I think more importantly she was always there to listen when It came to Buffy being upset, especially with Angel..Xander wasn't as supportive in that area. so Willow helped Buffy through a lot of her personal problems, Buffy might not have coped as well without a friend like Willow to comfort her.

                    But overall I think they wouldn't have got as far as they did without Willows Magic. That was quite handy
                    Last edited by x-Jo-x; 30-11-11, 11:45 PM.
                    B R U T A L A F F E C T I O N

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                    • #11
                      I've been rewatching the series -- my last run was in 2005 or something like that -- and in Season 1 Xander does pretty much what Oz did in "Innocence" (2.14). In "The Harvest" (1.02), Xander's the one who suggested they go to the Bronze because the vampires would most likely be there. And in "I Robot, You Jane" (1.08), he's the one to suggest to Buffy that Moloch is most likely at CDR.

                      But at others have said, Willow's hacking is extremely important in Seasons 1-3. Willow's magic is also important.
                      Last edited by MikeB; 04-01-12, 10:26 AM. Reason: changed the "was's" to "is's"

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                      • #12
                        I find them both equally important and that without one of them, Buffy wouldn't have made it this far. Xander was stronger physically and braver. But Willow was stronger intellectually and more sympathetic to Buffy than Xander. Buffy needed them both.
                        Made by Trickyboxes
                        Halfrek gives Spike the curse that will change his entire life. Teenage Dirtbag

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                        • #13
                          Willow helps with research and her magic, and Xander, even if sometimes is a bit harsh on her, still helps her. Not only did he save her life in "Prophecy girl", he also was there for her in tough moments like in "Killed by Death" and "Phases".

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                          • #14
                            I started a thread a while back about whether the Scoobies are more a fighting team or a friendship group (surrogate family). If it's mainly a fighting team, then it seems Willow was more important that Xander, who is brave but doesn't seem to get much done. If it's mainly a friendship group, then you'd probably say Xander and Willow are equal. The view that Xander is more important, I don't quite see. I know a good slice of us love his character intensely, which I've never been able to do. If you're in that camp, you might say that he contributes by being there, being himself.

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                            • #15
                              If I had to differentiate simplistically, I'd say that Xander is better (or more to the point, has less ambiguous results) than Willow during the Big Moments (TM Whistler) like Prophecy Girl or Grave or The Zeppo where it may be one moment but if you're not a person of outstanding character at the helm like Xander, than things are pretty well nigh. Meanwhile, Willow is better in that she's handier than a Swiss Army Knife in a way that Xander isn't and that produces great results on a day to day basis.

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