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  • Vampire Against Vampire

    A question raised in another place, but we very rarely see vampires fighting other vampires on this show. They direct all their anger and violence towards humans or other demons. What do you think that says about vampires and vampires societies and 'socialisation'.

  • #2
    We've seen a few vampire vs vampire fights. In Schoolhard Spike is attacked by one of the Anointed One's minions, in Real Me Mort tries to kill Harmony, in Harms Way Harmony and Tamika try and kill each other etc. The main pattern appears to be that vampires will fight each other when vying for leadership or to move up in their ranks.

    Any other cases of vamp on vamp violence is usually the leader asserting their dominance over their minions like when the Master plucks out Collin's eye in The Harvest, or hurls the vampire across the room in NKABOTFD, or has Darla kill The Three in Angel, or batters Angelus around in Darla. Spike also beats Dalton in What's My Line and Drusilla threatens him with violence in Surprise. In Dopplegangland Angel says that the vampires in The Bronze have remained in a holding pattern and "this is good. It means they really must be afraid [of Vamp Willow]" and earlier in the episode VampWillow forced the Mayor's henchmen into switching sides and working for her by torturing them ("who do you work for?" *breaks fingers*). It seems consistent that vampires keep their lackeys in check through intimidation or physical submission. On the flip side, in Lovers Walk the vampires come after Spike via orders from The Mayor and they're led by Lenny who used to work for Spike but now sees Spike as having "gone soft" and thus attacks him accordingly.

    The Master does say in Angel that "the taking of a life... I don't mean human of course... is a serious matter and not to be taken lightly" but a) The Master still kills The Three anyway and, b) The Master leads the Order of Aurelius which seems to follow it's own set of very traditional rules anyway, including living underground ("We are the select, the elite. We lurk below, giving tribute to the Old Ones awaiting that promised day when we will arise") when most vampires we see after S1 live above ground amongst the human population. Nevertheless, this could possibly suggest that there are some "rules" about vampire's killing each other but I doubt they're followed all that much and may be specific to The Master's order.

    Based on all this I would say that vampires have little interest in killing each other unless it's a power move. There doesn't seem to be much evidence in the way of suggesting that there are "vampire wars" and I do get the impression that vampires are mostly united in their distaste for demons (and vice versa) as stated in Where the Wild Things Are. I don't think vampires are opposed to killing one another if they piss each other off as Darla is certainly up for killing the vampire cult in Quickening ("I think I should stay. Show these youngsters a thing or two about real carnage"), James says he'd kill Angelus where he laid if he didn't have to find Elizabeth in Heartthrob, and no vampire takes umbrage with Angelus casually killing Losaria in Release for merely finding her annoying, but it doesn't appear to be an epidemic or an overly common occurrence within the vampire community.
    "The earth is doomed!" - Banner by Nina

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    • #3
      There is also the anger that the demon community show towards Spike when he starts killing their kind with Buffy after Doomed. When he gets thrown out of the bar in Goodbye Iowa the demon tells him it is because they view him as making war on the demon world, "With the slayer. You kill other demons and the rest of us don't hold with that." It isn't specific to vampires of course, but it does support the idea that repeatedly killing without cause would have you stand out in the wider community.

      When the vamp in All the Way that Spike fights asks him "What is your malfunction, man?!", I assumed that to be because he was fighting against them. That might have been something that happened at other times too, but nothing specific is jumping to mind at the mo.

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      • #4
        Oh if we're talking about Spike then in Real Me Mort and the other vampires also show hostility towards Spike and ask Harmony why she's talking to him because "he kills our kind." I'd left him out of my equation because, as you say, in Goodbye Iowa Spike had a reputation of making war against them "with the Slayer" so I saw it as a little more unique. I'd imagine that the vampire community would see things differently between two vampires just getting into a beef and trying to kill each other and a vampire working alongside their sworn enemy to actively hunt them down. In Buffy VS Dracula Spike has a crossbow at the ready because "he has a lot of demons after him these days."

        Angel has a similar reputation as stated in Heartthrob - "Yeah one of our own hunting us down. It's sick! He's not the same. Gypsies cursed him with a soul a hundred years ago or so. He's got a business here in LA. He kills us for money."

        Though, come to think of it, S4 Spike may offer us a different insight into how vampires perceive things. At this point in time Spike was choosing to kill other vampires to satisfy his own bloodlust and violent urges. He'd normally direct this towards humans but seeing as how he can't, he has no guilt whatsoever about attacking his own kind instead and this is long before he had any affection for Buffy. This may suggest that Spike is just particularly bloodthirsty as the vampire in Heartthrob thought it was "sick" to be hunting their own kind and appears to have some loyalty to other vampires, or it could just suggest that other vampires would do the same should their ability to kill humans be taken away from them.
        "The earth is doomed!" - Banner by Nina

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        • #5
          Yes Spike and Angel are in specific 'out of the norm' situations, but I was thinking it suggested regular/casual dusting of their own kind was seen as distinct. But it could equally be that their company and/or reasons were what was offending other vamps the most, or that the desire for violence was unusual. There's quite a lot of factors possibly affecting things in their cases I agree.

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          • #6
            We might also add Spike going after Angelus in Becoming 2

            But here, too, his animus involves a struggle for power, a desire
            to get Dru "back," to have "things the way they were before, before
            he came back," implying resentment of the current Angelus-Dru
            relation and the one, prior to Angelus' resouling, that always kept
            Spike on the outside, relegated him to a lower rank as gang
            member and lover...

            Hence, too, in the fight, Spike goes after Angelus first and, when
            he has beaten this primary foe, concentrates solely upon Drusilla,
            pays no attention to Buffy's larger struggle: "My god—he's going
            to kill her" (shrugs)....


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            • #7
              I discount anything between Spike and Angel as there is a lot of history between them that makes their fights more personal than because they are vampires.

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              • #8
                A vamp group attacks Spike in Lovers Walk, don't they? I think it definitely happens. But it's not a show about vampires and their lifestyles so there isn't much focus on it.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by HardlyThere View Post
                  A vamp group attacks Spike in Lovers Walk, don't they? I think it definitely happens. But it's not a show about vampires and their lifestyles so there isn't much focus on it.
                  That's true, because he owes money to Shark. There are far more vamp on vamp fights then I remember, but as you say, the focus isn't on the vampires but on the humans.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Priceless View Post

                    That's true, because he owes money to Shark. There are far more vamp on vamp fights then I remember, but as you say, the focus isn't on the vampires but on the humans.
                    That's Tabula Rasa. In Lovers Walk an old rival shows up and Spike, Buffy and Angel team up to fight them.

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                    • #11
                      Vampires are often depicted as animalistic and predatory, and are shown to fight amongst themselves for territory, to assert dominance, but also for petty reasons, like drunk sailors on the docks.
                      Given that they're humans with broken down to their baser extincts, it makes sense that they would be violent towards each other, especially since they thrive on it.
                      That said, they also seem to have some spoken and unspoken rules and code of conduit, and have a sense of community (for lack of a better word), hence why they shun Spike when he starts aligning with Buffy.
                      What a challenge, honesty
                      What a struggle to learn to speak
                      Who would've thought that pretending was easier

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Priceless View Post
                        A question raised in another place, but we very rarely see vampires fighting other vampires on this show. They direct all their anger and violence towards humans or other demons. What do you think that says about vampires and vampires societies and 'socialisation'.
                        I think it says we should be thankful they're not as civilized as humans. As things stand, there's very little chance of them starting a World War; dropping an atom bomb; building an Empire or initiating a bloody revolution for ideological purposes. If they ain't got borders, there's no borders to "protect". If they have no land, there's no need for expansion. They don't trade so no need for colonisation. Wait until one of them decides to emulate Capra and they start producing propaganda films like "Why we fight".
                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by HardlyThere View Post

                          That's Tabula Rasa. In Lovers Walk an old rival shows up and Spike, Buffy and Angel team up to fight them.
                          They're ordered to attack Spike by The Mayor (Allan: "Should I send a team to deal with the problem?") but Lenny (the leader) does get some personal satisfaction out of getting to kill his old boss.
                          "The earth is doomed!" - Banner by Nina

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by vampmogs View Post

                            They're ordered to attack Spike by The Mayor (Allan: "Should I send a team to deal with the problem?") but Lenny (the leader) does get some personal satisfaction out of getting to kill his old boss.
                            Yeah, I was only giving another instance. It sounded rather personal for Lenny, though.

                            If we're looking for examples of 'non-business' stuff, you have Angel and Spike about to go at in FFL. Neither Dru nor Darla thought it uncommon for them to fight. The shows depict vamps for the most part as having nearly all human interactions and habits. They drink, they read, the watch TV. That they'd fight over petty things seems a rather safe assumption.

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                            • #15
                              I took the code of conduct as being a rule for the Aurelians whom the Master led. Imposing some degree of structure in the undead community is necessary for any vamp with ambition, and that's the most structured group that we see. Apparently Aurelious had ambition. Given the logistics of vampire feeding, it seems to me that vamps have to kill other vamps or their territories would be overrun.

                              That's probably where a House fits in. They can kill off the riff raff to keep the food supply safe. They can enforce specific rules as to who can be killed - when, by whom and for what reason. The house probably also serves as a constant in the flow of time. Everything dies, everything changes - and in a theoretically immortal life it's nice to have familiar faces, security and structure sometimes.

                              Vampires nest. Those who want top be left alone float under the radar or function as minions. Anyone else is fair game to kill. There are those who rent movies and cook Jiffy Pop. There are those who are represented by Wolfram and Hart - and you know that guy has the best and the brightest minions. He might well have a house behind him, or be the head of a modern House. They have to start somewhere.

                              I always wanted to write a story where the Aurelians declare Angel as the head of their house when he takes over Wolfram & Hart. He may have a soul but he also has some clout, great contacts, and he's now okay negotiating with evil. Darla was turned by the Master - so Angel would be next in line. Or he could let Dru take the reins. It's a fun premise but I have never gotten it to grow beyond that.
                              Can we agree that the writers made everyone do and say everything with a thought to getting good ratings and being renewed. This includes everything we love as well as everything we hate.

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