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Was Spike a Vampire Anomaly?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by vampmogs View Post

    I definitely think that Darla was ignored by the history books due to sexism but I'm basing this off not just what other characters have said but even Darla too. From Dear Boy;

    DARLA
    Angel! Before you got neutered you weren't just any vampire, you were a legend! Nobody could keep up with you - not even me. You don't learn that kind of darkness. It's innate.
    But that doesn't make him an anomaly (unlike the stuff about him having no humanity). They have very different styles, based on their skills, life and personality. And Darla adores Angelus' way of doing things. It's why she feeds him young girls and then watches him torturing them. She is just as sadistic, but seems to lack Angelus' talent/skill.

    Angelus is the hedonist who doesn't care all that much about the bigger picture and who direspects authority. Which can be traced back to Liam's behaviour in The Prodigal. Darla made her own fortune, she had to. She played the game of those with power and money in order to gain her own fortune and independence. As a vampire she is not that different. She stays close to the power (The Master) and plays by his rules in order to get what she wants and doesn't have time for nonsense. But as we see when The Master and Angelus meet, she can't help but love Angelus' impertinence (while being scandalized by it as well).

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Stoney View Post
      See I don't agree that Spike knows what getting a soul means for him. He thought he could walk the line without one and didn't really see why it mattered, felt he could choose to be what Buffy needed. He went to get a soul because that is what he feels differentiates him from Angel and what meant Angel was accepted. It's what he has been told for years is wrong with him as a soulless thing. And yes, he didn't have a clue what the implications would be in terms of what difference it would make to him. Beyond his belief that he might not get things wrong, fail to see the lines again and so would become more acceptable to Buffy.

      I suppose this idea of trace of humanity, what is meant by it, is probably where we are failing to understand each other because what you are talking about I see as the contributions of the personality he was created from, the motivations and focus of William and his strengths and weaknesses influencing and affecting the demon that is sired from him. Because this...
      ...to me is entirely something that Spike would do if he didn't think it would make a great deal of difference to him but he would become acceptable to Buffy and get what he wants. An anomaly free Spike is still a creature that's self image and wants are driven by desiring love and acceptance. I don't think doing that is subverting his nature if he doesn't see it as suicide of self, which I don't think he does and that is the key point I think where we differ.

      On the soul, I can see it as not having identity attached. I do tend to think of it in terms of moral and emotional breadth, a conscience rather than a personality as you do. And of course it wouldn't stand out if personality was within a soul because a vampire is made from the human personality in the first place. You wouldn't see it added. This doesn't mean that the soul as a spiritual essence isn't still in some way person specific, even if it didn't have the personality attached. It's an imagined distinctive thing after all. And I think there is consistency in the show that ensouling is referenced in a way that makes it clear it is a specific soul for each person, whether personality is in there or not and it's just their original essence as conceived I don't know. But the references to restoration don't contradict it being specific and then there are outright examples that state it, such as S4 and 5 of AtS and S10.

      We'll just have to agree to disagree on this one I think.
      Again, we're talking a little about two different things....you're speaking towards Spike's consciousness (what he has the ability to self-reflect on/be aware of), whereas I'm talking about inherent instincts and abilities he's not conscious of. I think in the same instinctual way Spike feeds from humans, his demon would instinctively signal/warn "Soul bad! Danger, Danger! You Cannot Get a Soul!"

      Darla is an excellent example of this. A vampire's never had a soul before. And Darla's gut reaction to learning Angel has a soul is pure revulsion. The demon/vampire instinctively knows how wrong it is, and how unnatural it is. How it's an affront to the demon's very nature/existence. As self-serving beings, a vampire should not be able to override its deepest instincts/nature, and betray itself, by allowing it to be ensouled. A soul is not only a threat to it's self, it's an execution of self. Spike's selfish motivations for wanting a soul, and fighting for a soul, would have to stop short at actually allowing himself to be ensouled, if he was truly an anomaly-free, self-serving being. Strengths of William's personality cannot override Spike's base nature/his very existence as a soulless being, in my opinion. Not on its own.
      Last edited by SpikeRocks; 31-07-20, 09:54 PM.

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      • #33
        I don't think of the demon essence within a vampire in a way that has separate instinctual reactions that would kick in and aren't just part and parcel of the overall being who is Spike, demon within included, and so present for the choices that he is making. If the vampire Spike is feels that being souled won't make too much difference to him, but just allow him to not misjudge things and make him acceptable to Buffy, if he genuinely doesn't see it as destroying himself but just something he's willing to put himself through to get what he wants, then there is nothing to override and no anomaly needed. He clearly always struggled to see why it was an issue he wasn't souled and really didn't know what a difference it would actually make. The latter is clear in what he says in BY I think and so no, I don't think he thought he would be effectively destroying himself at all. This is without even digging into whether deciding his personal motivations might include a self interest in achieving specific wants above his self preservation anyway and him still fit the overall vampire mythology and just be unusual rather than an anomaly.

        I think we're at another agree to disagree point.

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        • #34
          All said regarding writers, producers, actors, directors, viewers, readers, etc. are what I remember, my opinions, etc.

          What’s said in this post/comment is what I remember, my opinions, etc.




          Q. 5. I would like to get a more in-depth, coherent explanation of your concept of the soul. It seems to be the crucial thing that separates good and evil in the Buffyverse, yet at times it is treated like a commodity -- if you survive torture or know the right kind of magic you, too, can get a soul. Is it one particular soul per customer, as the white fog in the glass jar, identified as "Angel's soul" would indicate? Or is the soul merely the conscience? Why was Spike able to be "good" even without a soul?





          A. I would love to give you a more in-depth coherent explanation of my view of the soul, and if I had one I would. The soul and my concept of it are as ephemeral as anybody’s, and possibly more so. And in terms of the show, it is something that exists to meet the needs of convenience; the truth is sometimes you can trap it in a jar; the truth is sometimes someone without one seems more interesting than someone with one. I don’t think Clem has a soul, but he’s certainly a sweet guy. Spike was definitely kind of a soulful character before he had a soul, but we made it clear that there was a level on which he could not operate. Although Spike could feel love, it was the possessive and selfish kind of love that most people feel. The concept of real altruism didn’t exist for him. And although he did love Buffy and was moved by her emotionally, ultimately his desire to possess her led him to try and rape her because he couldn’t make the connection —- the difference between their dominance games and actual rape.

          With a soul comes a more adult understanding. That is again, a little vague, but... can I say that I believe in the soul? I don’t know that I can. It’s a beautiful concept, as is resurrection and a lot of other things we have on the show that I’m not really sure I can explain and I certainly don’t believe in. It does fall prey to convenience, but at the same time it has consistently marked the real difference between somebody with a complex moral structure and someone who may be affable and even likable, but ultimately eats kittens.

          * Spike and Drusilla are unique because they can love and because of how powerful they are.

          Even if another or other vampires in the past have wanted to be re-ensouled without being Cursed, Spike apparently was the only vampire in history actually both capable of wanting to be re-ensouled and having the ability to be re-ensouled.


          * Angel was Cursed and the soul is part of that curse. 'Angelus' is who 'Angel' really is. Spike got William Pratt's soul 'back'. Spike and Angel aren't comparable.


          * A vampire like Harmony Kendall also seems relatively 'good' for a vampire. I've always considered Spike sired her. She seems still a relatively new vampire when we see her in "The Harsh Light Day" (B 4.03).

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Stoney View Post
            I've always tended to see Harmony's actions as driven by self interest which then tends to lead her to turn on them when she eventually wants something else. I'm not sure that she should be given credit for the times she abides by what others want just because it fits what she wants too.
            The same can pretty much be said for Spike, though. He only became an ally because of his pursuit and interest in Buffy and before that, because killing demons satisfied his bloodlust when chipped. If soulless Spike had fallen out of love with Buffy in S5-S6 he would have lost all inclination to do the "right" thing. His morality was entirely dependant on Buffy's morality.

            But it wasn't in Harmony's self-interest to comfort a weeping Gunn as he sobs over Fred's death (the hospital scene where she tenderly places a hand on his shoulder as he cries in bed) or to try and bring some solace to Wesley in Fred's lab. It also wasn't in her self-interest to sit quietly at her desk mourning Fred's passing (she's included in the end montage of the characters grieving in Shells). All I'm saying is that Spike's affection for Dawn, and specifically his urge to reach out and comfort her in Tough Love (although he actually flinches and pulls his hand back), is regularly cited by fandom as what makes him different. Whereas Harmony doing the same thing is pretty much always ignored.

            But I don't really remember the moment in Underneath that Mogs mentioned so I'll look out for that when my rewatch gets to AtS 5.
            Harmony, Lorne and Eve are sitting at W&H when Hamilton first appears. He's hunting Eve and all 3 of them scream in terror as he punches a hole through a security guard's chest with his fist. The scene cuts away at that moment and then we later return to Hamilton walking into Angel's office looking for them. The camera pans from Hamilton to Eve and Lorne trying to flee in Angel's personal elevator. Suddenly Harmony leaps into frame, in vamp face, and tries to put Hamilton into a headlock. She screams for Lorne and Eve to "Run!" and tries to hold Hamilton off. Hamilton easily hurls her across the room and into Angel's desk and she's knocked out cold.

            Now, Harmony was as terrified of Hamilton as Eve and Lorne were at this point. Yet she displayed some genuine heroism and selflessness in putting herself in harms way to give Lorne and Eve the chance to escape. It was easily her most heroic moment of either series.
            "The earth is doomed!" - Banner by Nina

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            • #36
              Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
              The same can pretty much be said for Spike, though. He only became an ally because of his pursuit and interest in Buffy and before that, because killing demons satisfied his bloodlust when chipped. If soulless Spike had fallen out of love with Buffy in S5-S6 he would have lost all inclination to do the "right" thing. His morality was entirely dependant on Buffy's morality.

              But it wasn't in Harmony's self-interest to comfort a weeping Gunn as he sobs over Fred's death (the hospital scene where she tenderly places a hand on his shoulder as he cries in bed) or to try and bring some solace to Wesley in Fred's lab. It also wasn't in her self-interest to sit quietly at her desk mourning Fred's passing (she's included in the end montage of the characters grieving in Shells). All I'm saying is that Spike's affection for Dawn, and specifically his urge to reach out and comfort her in Tough Love (although he actually flinches and pulls his hand back), is regularly cited by fandom as what makes him different. Whereas Harmony doing the same thing is pretty much always ignored.
              I actually don't disagree and believe that Spike's self interest drives his choices all the way through to getting his soul and it's only when he's souled that this has the possibility of not being the case. I don't remember AtS 5 so well because I haven't rewatched it yet but I'll look for these Harmony moments. The only thing that I would say is possibly different between Harmony's empathy and interest in integrating and Spike's is that they are more temporary interests from Harmony (in a wider picture sense) and she tends to turn on a whim when her interest eventually diverts to something else. In contrast Spike's more fixed on proving himself and remaining loyal, his interest in his own image being such a strong motivator means his self interest can fixate on behaving a certain way. Such as fulfilling his promise to Buffy to protect Dawn being enough to keep him with the scoobies even when Buffy has gone. There's a negative drive in there too though as its obsessive and that tendency when unsouled can certainly lead to other very problematic behaviour too.

              Now, Harmony was as terrified of Hamilton as Eve and Lorne were at this point. Yet she displayed some genuine heroism and selflessness in putting herself in harms way to give Lorne and Eve the chance to escape. It was easily her most heroic moment of either series.
              See I don't remember that at all, I'll look out for it specifically.

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              • #37


                I do think “the rules” regarding souls and the nature of “non existence” aka death and what happens to all that “electrical energy” within the brain that supports the notion of the” complexity of being” (unique and obliquely, that is often called love/god that is referenced as “mind”)—often defined or argued, within the narrative, as “conscience” and “soul,” is something, therefore that is the “culmination” of individual identity, yet is ‘same’ in some outlooks, as if “apart from”/most essential of all that is space/time or within it. Of course the “rules” on souls are depending on the descriptive driving some point of difference between vampires, homo sapiens, between characters’ learning and expressions.

                Of course, that is because the nature of defining exactly what is life, yet the “isolation” of death—the great proof that “soul-having,” shared by all homo sapiens is itself a myth, in having to “separate” from the person AND ALL LIFE to the state of absolute “no proof possible” that defines “faith”—for “then what happens” has to be Joss’s greatest fascination. Besides the required “graying up” of everything possible to deal with his own idealism.

                If one always, and I mean always insists that “I don’t know” is the only answer you can have, then, as an atheist, one also has to question if anything like a soul or god has any possibility. After all look at the word: atheist.

                I believe that ‘idealism’ and innocence are very different things and that is why the entire “first fang family” of Darla, Druscilla, hold up so much light to William and Liam, Spike and Angelus, Spike-William and Angel—even in the little bits shown.

                To me, a hint of ‘aberration’ was shown in a (surprising) vampire, who was utterly “harmless” as some bookish character. That character, as small an appearance as it was gave me the concrete “proof” WE ALL KILL TO LIVE. Even a Jain, as I understand, forever humbling himself for this paradoxical problem (of body and descriptive of what is existence) and yet also aware to be humble and not “disrespect/disappear his own existence.”

                However, because Spike IS the poet, and therefore, is an idealist—actually a painful outlook because one can never possibly achieve its satisfaction for lack of imagination or will—is why “innocent William” was NOT an innocent, but an idealist. He saw himself as a worthy man to love and be loved fully.

                All rebuked him, especially Cecily, who, as a woman of her day was interested only in ‘power’ of “position,” “standing,” and “wealth”—that positioned her as “seen” despite the social norms on gender; after all, Europe had queens. Cecily’s ‘power rebuke’ was of William’s idealism, not merely him as a “positioned suitor.’ THAT is why Druscilla truly SEEING him, made him accept her, eyes wide open to her vampire face. In his transition to death, the relief and yet the pain of “ideal” gave him “the satisfaction that is never bored.” THAT is why he laughed as he began to burn at the end of the series—he was the poem—not Buffy. The ignorant made innocent: he knew and was all new: the achievement of truly being seen and seeing himself—the forever moment—even within the paradox of the motion of “transition to….” ( I say human being).

                That is why the ‘intellectual versus the emotional’ tack to get relief from the pain of “POV” or “state of being” explains Liam/Angelus/Angel. He, was always rebuked for ‘imagination’ as lazy, not “romantic” or even ‘childish.’ All things “father” were “rebuke” and therefore, his relief was not merely women, but “power.” He felt that with Buffy. He may not have been ignorant, but he was ‘innocent’ and that is why his “forever moment” was in forever loving Buffy and that singular “seeing and being seen”/ and yet also ‘being god.’ The writers chose for him to pursue this ‘aspect’ of a paradox regarding “souls” and “power” since both Buffy and Angel were not “childish” or “remembering some “puppy love” first love”—that would be parents, siblings, and later driving formation of families and the complexities of faith, family, friends, ideals which have pain, no final satisfaction, but offer directions, shape, creativity. I thought it interesting that a counterpart to “sister” was Cordelia and she stated Angel’s feelings regarding Buffy, just as Buffy declared her own feelings to her “brother” figure in season seven. Each declared that such ‘love’ was and will be never again repeated. To know and be new, ignorance made innocence, fully seeing and being seen, satisfaction that is never bored, the forever moment.

                Harmony is the greatest “rule breaker”/aberration because she was the most driven to “fit in”—whatever the personal cost to do so. This is pain and she showed that, too.

                Because her sense of survival was so dependent on “the group,” , and therefore extremely painful, as groups are fluid and the individuals within them can be even more feckless or arrogant, her actual power and drive to do so was utterly rewarded (in the comics) that she was finally “SEEN.” She was shown to be a “great leader.” It’s expression was written as the great driver of “fashion” and ‘how to be and behave.’ She even explained how painful to HER it is to try and be ‘good,’ to Angel, while soulless, (while she chomps on your neck).

                I agree with “fanon” that Spike turned her because even Angel tended not to kill his family—other than Darla as both sister and mother figure to show he psychololgically he had “advanced” in his own psychic “separation” from family as both a man/human and vampire. And to show ‘sacrifice’ on behalf of saving Buffy’s life. With family, after Buffy, not so much—including the AR--for iAngel with a soul had to believe in "redemption" for them, (why Darla 'just had to" be redeemed) for Angel to "keep faith" in his own, for he was (proud once) the worst of the very worst, except maaaybe Grandpa: the Master, who was "pure" in his evil.

                I also think that Angel’s absence and his idea of ‘picking up where we left off’ had exhausted Buffy because there was no help/comfort in seeing him at their spot, after her resurrection, not to mention being treated to his ‘been there, done that’ “boredom.” I think that opened the door to depression as EVERYONE had ‘moved on’—been there, done that’ in all the pain of transitions destroyed in her own ‘lack of presence’ and miraculously sudden “being” (stuck in her and their “before.”). Vampires are “stuck” in a forever condition and that is why Spike could comprehend Buffy’s own sense of “stuckness” in both time and change/restoration to condition whose * circumstances * had all transitioned and changed around her ‘knowing.’

                So, bottom line; How do we know what we know when “everything is always changing?” (THE forever moment and, believe me, a five year old “gets it” in the miracle of earth, sky, water and air in the blue and yellow make green of the grass, but rare when is “being god” in the forever moment (and you are an atheist). Hee.

                The chameleon. And, yes, they may hide well, but they are predators.

                Be well and stay that way
                HUGS!
                sybil

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                • #38
                  .Now, Harmony was as terrified of Hamilton as Eve and Lorne were at this point. Yet she displayed some genuine heroism and selflessness in putting herself in harms way to give Lorne and Eve the chance to escape. It was easily her most heroic moment of either series.
                  Which imo was completely undercut by her huge betrayal of Angel at the series final. A betrayal that was even expected by him too, which doesn't exactly say much for her loyalty. Not a lot of development between her appearance in 'Disharmony' and this really. She learn't nothing.

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                  • #39
                    We did see Harmony get turned, and it was by some random vampire. Besides, Spike wasn't in Sunnydale in season three.

                    I think the main proof of Spike going beyond what most vampires would do - beyond what Harmony would do - was his willingness to accept torture and possible death in order to not betray Buffy and Dawn.He had no reason to believe there would be any sort of rescue, and had the Buffy not arrived just then he would have been dust, after more torture. Spike had enough determination to withstand torture without any realistic thought of reward.

                    It was also the fact that he spent 147 days watching over Dawn, and was willing to watch over her for the rest of her life. Again, it's the long term commitment to both Dawn and his own sense of self, his own personal standards. He was certain he was able to see this commitment through as a deeply personal reparation for not being able to save both Buffy and Dawn.

                    Harmony showed some impulses to be within the social norms. She was willing to comfort Gunn, to try to delay Hamilton, to mildly mourn Fred. But she had no problem betraying them to the enemy knowing they would be killed painfully. She wasn't able to commit to anything more than impulse.

                    Obviously this is the result of operand conditioning. Unchipped Spike was a killer who took great joy in violence and chaos. He was a predator hunting for the biggest challenge, putting it all on the line. But it's who Spike became once he was chipped that's unusual. Had Angelus been chipped he would never have reduced himself to depending on humans. He would gather enough vamps to make sure he was getting a regular diet of human blood. Harmony would settle for animal blood, but even as a human she wasn't a very good or reliable person. She turned on Cordelia at the first opportunity.

                    Yes, Spike relied on Buffy's moral sense to try to find his own. I don't think he was capable of falling out of love. William viewed himself as both a Romantic and a romantic. He wrote bad poetry to the girl. Dru created Spike to be her knight and to take care of his princess as one of the central tenets of his core. Buffy became his holy grail, and he was determined to change into someone she could love.

                    I agree that getting a soul is suicide for a demon, a long and painful one. It's like having the most obnoxious critic you have ever know inside your head, pointing out everything you have ever done wrong incessantly. As a demon, the only way to retain your sanity is to become less demonic. It's a noose that keeps constricting until the critic can take over and eclipse the demon.





                    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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                    • #40
                      I don't think getting a soul was suicide for Spike - once he received forgiveness and she pointed out how far he'd come in doing that and it was also revealed to him his 'insanity' was at least partially the result of gaslighting by The First he was able to work on trying to balance the man and demon within him to find a mix that suited the strengths of both. He found he could learn from the critic but then dismiss it saying 'ok I get it but it won't help me now'. In a way it became self actualisation - he'd always been different or at least there was a line of people telling him he wasn't a 'proper' example of what he supposed to be as both man and demon but in becoming a hybrid 'more or less unique' and the only self created example he gets to discover who he is on his own terms.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Vampadvo View Post
                        I don't think getting a soul was suicide for Spike - once he received forgiveness and she pointed out how far he'd come in doing that and it was also revealed to him his 'insanity' was at least partially the result of gaslighting by The First he was able to work on trying to balance the man and demon within him to find a mix that suited the strengths of both. He found he could learn from the critic but then dismiss it saying 'ok I get it but it won't help me now'. In a way it became self actualisation - he'd always been different or at least there was a line of people telling him he wasn't a 'proper' example of what he supposed to be as both man and demon but in becoming a hybrid 'more or less unique' and the only self created example he gets to discover who he is on his own terms.
                        I completely agree as far as souled Spike is concerned. I was just talking about how the purely demonic entity, Spike, would view the soul. The predicted process of the soul being able to eclipse the demon is the change that Spike had to make to become whole. He was nearly there, having had is more predatory leanings hampered for several years. He had stopped seeing all humans as food.

                        He had a life coach in Buffy, literally. She helped him become the integrated Spike we see emerging in season 7. And in season 5 AtS he began to 'think about the victims." to see what Dana had gone through and empathize, finally beginning to realize what he had done

                        Spike is a demonic entity. There are no forces keeping his body alive other than the demonic. The soul now regulates the demonic urges, which is what I described as the death of the demon, as seen by an unsouled demon.
                        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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                        • #42
                          I really don't think Spike thought it would make that much difference to him that he would have thought it was suicidal. He didn't truly understand the difference the soul would make but probably just thought of it as another sacrifice that he was willing to make for love and so still meeting his image of himself and what he'd do for love. Those are the choices of the demon he is, so it isn't suicide as he was still expecting to be himself and get what he wanted within it. He knew being souled would make a difference to Buffy and had come to perhaps see that it would help him to see things as she did, to see the lines she wanted him to meet. But the general difference was what he didn't really understand. He'd previously felt he could walk the line by free will alone, and I do think that was in great part because the chip already stopped him being able to act on his demonic urges. I agree there is some conditioning involved in the journey that Spike walked which eventually led to him becoming souled. But again that's not being a literal anomaly which is about the mythology of how he was sired/created, it is about the experiences and situation of the individual all combining together.

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