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  • Canon, Consistency and of course, Inconsistencies!!!!!!!

    The question I'm addressing here is how do we determine canon and how to address inconsistencies and reconcile them with canon and also when do we look outside of the 'Verse for clarification if ever?

    Now I'm probably going to be hammered for this thread for many reasons.

    1) There was a thread about canon not long ago.

    2) I think Vampire In Rug was going to create a similar thread, but, well, I got there first

    Seriously though, what is canon? Well rather than simply trying to define it, I'll attempt to talk about it's importance in the fandom.

    The main purpose, at I believe for determining canon is consistency. When we are discussing characters, morality, relationships etc, it becomes a difficult conversation if we disagree on what actually happened in 'Verse. This is really the crux of the matter really, or at least as I see it. For me, canon is event based more than anything else. That is to say "This happened, or this didn't happen etc"

    Let's look at several ways to approach this beast we call "canon".

    Canon in terms of works

    This is what I'd call determining canon in 'basic terms'. So we'd have to agree which works are canon and which aren't. Most fans consider Seasons 1 through to 9 as canon in terms of Btvs whatever the medium. As far as I'm aware, Angel and Faith is also canon, as is Tales of the Vampires, Origin etc.

    Death of an Author

    So there are several levels to this. One is where we completely ignore everything that Joss and the other writers say. In other words we analyze the works with our own eyes and even determine what works we consider canon. Only a small number of fans do this and if we talk about the purpose of canon then it makes for a difficult conversation or debate.

    The second level to this is that we accept that Joss Whedon determines which works are canon but we ignore what he and other writers say in interviews and such and only regard their works to see the so called canonical truth.

    Joss vs The Other Writers

    Anyone who frequents tvtropes.org will most likely know the 'Word of God' trope. Now this can actually refer not only the creator of the show but also staff writers. The rational is that if we take notice of what Joss says in interviews we can also look at what the other writers say as they shape part of the story, especially if that writer actually wrote the episode. So unless Joss contradicts what a writer says we can talk meaningfully about character intent and use what the other writers say as a basis or at least it can give us a strong indication of character intent and how it impacts the story.

    An example of this is that Tim Minear said that Holtz wasn't technically lying to Connor in Benediction, but completely deceived him. This can used for character analysis seen as Minear wrote the episode. Tim, in this case, is 'God' unless Joss contradicts this.

    Inconsistencies????

    This is where the problem starts. The two methods for analysis is the Doylist and Watsonian approach. The problem is, with a TV show with multiple writers, one will see inconsistencies. Joss has actually admitted this, so how can we have a meaningful discussion knowing that fanwanking is inevitable? Again hopefully in this debate we'll look at that.

    Such subjects that have come up on this forum are:

    1)Strength, fighting skills of characters etc

    2)The Buffyverse metaphysics

    So to summarize: How do you define canon? In terms of consistency can one reconcile "production reasons" with "In the 'Verse reasons"? How much do we take notice of what Joss says and should we take into account what other writers say, especially if they actually wrote the episode? If we cannot agree with these prioris should we just agree to disagree?

  • #2
    I consider canon to be an objective, authorially defined status of narrative determinism. I mean, the word "canon" can correctly be applied to any cohesive narrative whole, as defined by... anything, really -- people cherrypicking their favorite fic, for instance, or watching one show but not another, etc. They are all the canon of whoever asserts it; they are just not binding on anyone else.

    Canon is both more and less than we make of it. For instance, Joss Whedon's canon for the Buffyverse covers whatever Joss expressly or constructively (i.e. subject to reasonable interpretation) says it is. And Joss' canon matters most to the most people because, after all, he came up with it. But, for instance, I have no problem with their being competing canons, such as what we would have had had the Warner Bros. backed Kuzui-optioned sequel/reboot of the '92 flick come off. It's what fans of comic book movies have had forever, alternate canon between film, TV, comic; between different comic eras.
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    • #3
      In general I would say 'canon' is anything that is made official by Joss Whedon; tv series, movies, comics, novels etc. I'm not a gigantic fan of using interviews with writers as canon. Show, not tell. Although in case of facts shared in interviews I find it grey area stuff and do understand that others use it as canon.

      Of course there are some exceptions to this 'rule';

      *Other writers are worth listening to as well.
      If we do accept interviews, footnotes and other stuff by writers as (semi-)canon, I think it's only reasonable to include the opinions of other writers. Especially when we're talking Marty Nixon, Tim Minear, Jeffrey Bell and of course David Greenwalt. Even if Joss Whedon is the 'God' who picks out what is official and what is not. By example if we're talking Ats season 2 or 3, I find the opinions of Minear and Greenwalt equally important or perhaps even more since they were the showrunners of Ats at the time.

      *What is said and done in the episodes, comics etc. is not holy.
      I don't mean this as an "ignore everything you don't like" option, but more as a way to ignore small bits that don't make sense. By example the "Executive decision." line in 'Home'. When you think about the line, it doesn't make sense. Angel is legally dead, so nothing can be on his name. He has nothing to sign away or transfer. And since employees at W&H sell their souls when they start working there (And thanks to ATF we saw that the gang did this as well), Angel's line would mean that a dead guy, who owns nothing concerning his team, sold the souls of four other people. In cases like this I take the line for what it is (a way to tell the viewers that all their favorite characters will return next season) and ignore the actual meaning.

      This is for me in rough lines what I consider official canon and how I treat it in discussions with others.

      -----------------------------

      But if I'm allowed to be slightly more subjective;
      For me the one and only true canon are the two tv shows. I know that officially all the other official stuff is canon as well and accept all those extra stories and facts in discussions. But in the end the tv shows are the real deal for me. When people talk about Buffy or Angel, they talk about the tv shows, that's the part everybody knows. That's when the characters were played by actors who knew their characters and the characters became slightly like the actors who played them for years. The big writingstaff (often with people who wrote these characters for years) and the crew... all with their input to make Ats and BtVS what they became. Ats and BtVS isn't just Whedon, it's a whole team and that team was only together during the tv years.
      Last edited by Nina; 09-01-13, 11:00 AM.

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      • #4
        Thank you for your responses!

        Originally posted by Nina
        I don't mean this as an "ignore everything you don't like" option, but more as a way to ignore small bits that don't make sense.
        I'd be inclined to agree. The smaller details that don't really impact the story aren't really all that important to me. However, I've often discussed the meaning the soul, mainly because it's something that hasn't had a consistent definition and it makes a huge impact in the story. When Joss admitted it wasn't much more than a plot point, I was forced to at least come up with a few theories that reconcile what has been said on the show. It also led me to refrain from judging vampires morally, especially when it's implied that the soul could either be a conscience or the very spirit of the preceeding human.


        But if I'm allowed to be slightly more subjective;
        For me the one and only true canon are the two tv shows. I know that officially all the other official stuff is canon as well and accept all those extra stories and facts in discussions. But in the end the tv shows are the real deal for me. When people talk about Buffy or Angel, they talk about the tv shows, that's the part everybody knows. That's when the characters were played by actors who knew their characters and the characters became slightly like the actors who played them for years. The big writingstaff (often with people who wrote these characters for years) and the crew... all with their input to make Ats and BtVS what they became. Ats and BtVS isn't just Whedon, it's a whole team and that team was only together during the tv years.
        Well there are two routes here one can take. One can either dismiss certain works from the realm of canon altogether or admit that they are not invested in certain works, but still do not dismiss their canon status.

        Admittedly, I'm similar to you. I prefer the televised series to the comic book continuation, but I don't deny Season 8 and 9 etc as canon.

        Moving on, how do people account for certain inconsistencies? I mean the Angel>Connor>Sahjhan>Angel, inconsistency was something the received a few complaints from fans. If Angel is more powerful than Connor and Connor can kill Sahjhan, why wasn't Angel able to kill Sahjhan? Does fate play a bigger role in the Verse than we thought or can we use some other explanation?

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        • #5
          There are quite some inconsistant moments featuring Connor and his strength. Not sure if we can make sense of that.
          Although there are some things that can be explained/fanwanked. By example; Connor had the advantage of Sahjan not noticing that Connor got his memories back. The first part of the fight was one-sided; Sahjan kicked Connor around like it was nothing. Sahjan seriously underestimated Connor (not strange after the first part of their fight).

          "You know...I went through a lot of trouble to get rid of you. What a colossal waste of time that turned out to be."

          And when Connor gets his memories back and manages to make a move against Sahjan. Sahjan isn't alarmed.

          "(chuckling) Lucky shot."

          And after that Connor chops Sahjan's head off. So I'm not sure if Sahjan saw it coming. It was hardly a fight where Connor was portrayed as an unbeatable warrior but more as a very smart and effective one with a gigantic advantage because he got his memories back during the fight. Without those, Sahjan would've killed Connor without any difficulty.


          Also, do we know enough about Connor's powers to state that Angel has more power? Is it possible that Connor's powers increase faster because he is mortal? Do they have the same powers? Or is Connor perhaps faster and more flexible and Angel stronger? We don't know. Usually the plot tells us who wins which fights.

          I think Gunn (In NFA) finishing off vampires in a way we rarely see Buffy or Angel do, is a bigger problem than Connor defeating somebody who did defeat Angel in the past.
          Last edited by Nina; 09-01-13, 07:24 PM.

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          • #6
            To me canon indeed is consistency. But more then that to me canon is the fact that the created world makes sense. So that’s why I view the two shows as canon. That world makes sense to me and I haven’t read a lot of the comics but the comics don’t make sense to me as sad as it makes me so I find it hard to consider them canon.

            As for mistakes or inconsistencies I can forgive a lot. Because it is the world of the writer(s) and if they introduce something new or the story takes an unexpected turn I tend to first try to go along with it. As long as it makes sense to me or I can understand the writers reasons behind it. This is the reason I love the introduction of Dawn. I don’t like Dawn particularly as a character but I do appreciate the idea that Joss as a writer can do things like this. It’s his creation after all.

            Something similar goes for mistakes it’s a show made by people and people will make mistakes and some will place their imagination in front of their logic and sometimes that makes for good storylines. As long as it fits within the created world and doesn't bother me because the inconsistency is right there in my face every episode I am pretty all right with a lot.
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            • #7
              I define canon as anything that Whedon endorses as part of the official story. Simple as that really. I don't include writers opinions, even Whedon's, as "canon" because even Joss promotes 'the author is dead' and likes for people to make up their own minds. Although, I find it pointless when people insist the writers intended one thing when they're on record as stating what their intentions were. And I don't just dismiss any opinion that doesn't come from Joss as even though everything has to stay true to his vision, obviously their opinion counts if they wrote the episode. And he'd probably be the first to tell you that if his interviews are anything to go by.

              The only time it ever gets murky for me is in After the Fall. I call AtF "luke warm canon" because I do think the writers of S8/S9 acknowledge the broad outline of what happened but not the specific details. And I think the reason for that is, is that Whedon only had input in the first 12 issues and then the book was expanded and Lynch made up his own stuff. Usually that wouldn't bother me but when Lynch did things that contradicted what Joss wanted (have Cordy appear etc) it became more 'Lynchverse' than 'Whedonverse.' It's hard for me to consider it fully-fledged canon for that reason.

              I think canon is very much about the *facts* and not one's interpretation of the facts. For example, if you want to have a discussion about a character's fighting abilities the only thing that's "canon" is what they did in each episode. How you make sense of that is down to personal interpretation.

              And I'm very sympathetic and understanding of people who say "for me the story ended in [insert season]" as long as they aren't deluded enough to try and argue with other people that whatever seasons they don't like aren't really canon. If the show ended for you in S5, that's fine. If it ended for you in S7, that's fine too. As long as you don't go around insisting to people that anything beyond that isn't really canon because your opinion is worth more than the guy who creates and writes the story. I don't see what's hard about simply saying "I acknowledge that the story continued in an official capacity beyond this season but for me, I choose to end the story here." It's no different than when a person likes to close a book a couple of chapters before the final chapter or, for instance, when Willow used to end the Moulin Rogue DVD at Chapter 32
              Last edited by vampmogs; 09-01-13, 07:22 PM.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by Nina View Post
                There are quite some inconsistant moments featuring Connor and his strength. Not sure if we can make sense of that.
                Although there are some things that can be explained/fanwanked. By example; Connor had the advantage of Sahjan not noticing that Connor got his memories back. The first part of the fight was one-sided; Sahjan kicked Connor around like it was nothing. Sahjan seriously underestimated Connor (not strange after the first part of their fight).


                Also, do we know enough about Connor's powers to state that Angel has more power? Is it possible that Connor's powers increase faster because he is mortal? Do they have the same powers? Or is Connor perhaps faster and more flexible and Angel stronger? We don't know. Usually the plot tells us who wins which fights.
                This is a good point. There is much more to a fight than just strength and sometimes dumb luck can come into the equation. This is why I never trust the whole theory which dictates: If "Character X" defeats "Character Y" and "Character Y" defeats "Character Z" then "Character X" must be able to defeat "Character Z". It's rarely as simple as that.

                Also, if memory serves correctly, Angel (rather foolishly) thought he would take on Sahjhan, the demon who flipped a truck like a toy, without any weapons.




                I think Gunn (In NFA) finishing off vampires in a way we rarely see Buffy or Angel do, is a bigger problem than Connor defeating somebody who did defeat Angel in the past.
                It's difficult to tell. We don't always know the individual strengths of vampires. We've seen human take on multiple vamps, but then we see Buffy struggle with just one vampire.

                Originally posted by Mara
                As for mistakes or inconsistencies I can forgive a lot
                I can forgive these inconsistencies insofar as how much they impact the story. For me, characterization and morality is more important, so as long as I can reconcile canon with my interpretation of these matters, I'm not too bothered. Most of the time I don't sweat the small stuff.

                I define canon as anything that Whedon endorses as part of the official story. Simple as that really.
                In terms of the works written or anything 'event based', I'd be inclined to agree.

                I don't include writers opinions, even Whedon's, as "canon" because even Joss promotes 'the author is dead' and likes for people to make up their own minds.
                I suppose now you're talking about scene/panel interpretation. I'd definitely agree.

                When talking about Xander's lie, he actually said, he's on the fence and he seemed to imply he encouraged people to make up their own mind.

                Originally posted by Joss Whedon
                The Xander betrayal issue... hasn't come up with us, and here's why. Xander made a decision. Like a general going into battle, he had to keep Buffy's fighting spirit strong and he felt telling her the truth would blunt it. And Angel needed to be stopped. It was a tough decision, and an unpopular one, but I'm not sure it wasn't the right one. I'm on the fence, and that's what makes it FUN! So there!
                That doesn't sound like someone saying "My word is God".


                I think canon is very much about the *facts* and not one's interpretation of the facts. For example, if you want to have a discussion about a character's fighting abilities the only thing that's "canon" is what they did in each episode. How you make sense of that is down to personal interpretation.
                Exactly. I had this issue with MikeB. Apparently, Dru being in love with Spike is canon, even though a) this isn't something that is 'event based' b) even if one takes Joss is word as gospel, I don't remember him saying anything on the matter.

                As for fighting abilities, even in real life, it's difficult to know who unambiguously a better fighter from little scraps here and there, especially when the fight doesn't have a clear conclusion. Even if someone wins a fight, so what? We have no idea of the state of mind of each fighter etc. There are so many variables in a fight, so when dealing with fighters such as Spike, Angel, Buffy etc, I don't think there is that much in it. Could Spike kill Buffy, I believe so. Would he always win, not necessarily.

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                • #9
                  I'm pretty much with vamps though I possibly put more weight on Joss' thoughts/interviews. Joss is the only one who can definitively say what is canon for me and I also only consider Angel AtF as semi-canon because it was toyed with by Lynch. Otherwise I would normally consider Joss' putting his name to something as confirmation of his happiness with it. This is why I only consider the bug ship stuff and Willow text in the Spike Lynch mini as semi-canon because it is well accepted that Joss was involved on some level with those aspects but his name is not on the cover of the series overall. His name is also not on the cover of Spike AtF either so that I lump that in with the Lynch side of AtF even though I quite like it generally (some parts I hate).

                  A lot of what people end up debating, fighting skills being a good example, have canonical facts that can be quoted and looked at but interpretive conclusions are drawn from them. The fact that there are inconsistencies quite often is more often than not reasonably and realistically explained by plot armour, protagonist privilege and simply because that was what fitted the story they wanted to tell on that occasion. I think you have to be willing to accept that those things happen and interpret around them to get any meaningful discussion. So, for me, Spike's hand instantly lighting in the sun but him surviving Angel soaring him into the sky and falling away to the bug ship are not proof of anything, they just fitted the scenes. I conclude this because his ability or inability to survive sunlight never plays a plot point and has no significance outside of the scenes that require setting. It is viewed only in context so as an overall proof it has no relevancy. Mostly, I think fans can over analyse and over interpret, I know I do, so we have to accept on occasion that to try and make canonical reason and fact that proves to be a truth across the seasons is a farce!!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Stoney View Post

                    A lot of what people end up debating, fighting skills being a good example, have canonical facts that can be quoted and looked at but interpretive conclusions are drawn from them.
                    Exactly! I mean, the way I look at it is that canon is the world I see with my eyes. So for example, it's canon that Angel and Spike fought in Destiny. It's interpretation however if one says that Spike only won because Angel was depressed etc. Or it's canon that Angel managed to disarm Buffy and had her down on the ground in 'Becoming Part 2' but it's interpretation to say that Buffy was or wasn't fighting with her whole heart throughout the fight.

                    The fact that there are inconsistencies quite often is more often than not reasonably and realistically explained by plot armour, protagonist privilege and simply because that was what fitted the story they wanted to tell on that occasion.
                    Sometimes these can be explained away, sometimes not. Maybe on this thread we can see how we explain inconsistencies, although it may bleed into Mogs thread about personal canon.

                    I think you have to be willing to accept that those things happen and interpret around them to get any meaningful discussion.
                    With certain things, we have to fanwank. I mean Joss admitted dates sometimes don't add up because he 'sucks at math'. So in these instances we have to 'kill the author' or simply say '"it's an inconsistency". Personally I don't mind doing a bit of both. I can give an Watsonian and Dolyist perspective. As long as one states they are doing this, it doesn't render a debate totally meaningless.


                    So, for me, Spike's hand instantly lighting in the sun but him surviving Angel soaring him into the sky and falling away to the bug ship are not proof of anything, they just fitted the scenes.
                    Well if we know that Joss and the writers actually admit they are sometimes inconsistent, then we don't get so obsessed with the answer. This is where a little bit of common sense comes in. If were important to the plot, the writers would find a way to make it clear. The idea that Spike is somehow metaphysically special without any explanation irks me. Speculation that raises even more questions is pointless.

                    I conclude this because his ability or inability to survive sunlight never plays a plot point and has no significance outside of the scenes that require setting.
                    Exactly!!!

                    It is viewed only in context so as an overall proof it has no relevancy. Mostly, I think fans can over analyse and over interpret, I know I do, so we have to accept on occasion that to try and make canonical reason and fact that proves to be a truth across the seasons is a farce!!
                    Absolutely. I mean, I obsess over the whole 'soul/no soul' issue because it is important to plot. So even though Joss admitted it's a plot device, it's a huge deal in the vampire metaphysics so and impacts the story massively. So seen as Joss hasn't bothered to make anything concrete, here is a perfect opportunity to 'kill the author' or at least 'severely injure him, so he's out of action'

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                    • #11
                      About the difference between canon and interpretation, I don't know if there is a real difference. I mean if they show a 1 and another 1, can't we conclude 2 because it's obvious? Do the writers have to spell it all out before we can call it 'canon'? I find it strange to exclude "the writer's intent" from canon. If it's a logical conclusion that isn't inconsistant with anything else and it's obvious what the writers tried to tell, shouldn't it be canon?

                      I count "Dru being in love with Spike" and "Angel lost the fight because his mental state wasn't all that in Destiny" as canon. Sure there is space for us to ignore the obvious and come up with some ungrounded theories because it's not set in stone, but we all know what the writers wanted to tell. And if it makes sense what the writers want to tell, I see little reason to dismiss it.

                      I can see your side as a true purist, but I don't think I am.

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                      • #12
                        You see I think they make it clear that it is Angel reasoning why he lost. Mental strength is part of being the strongest fighter, I would argue in almost equal parts to skill and physical strength. On that occasion Angel lost, it is straight forward. He has, accepting what is stated, always 'won' previously but this time he didn't so that could have been one occasion or it could mean that things have changed in their balance. Perhaps Spike is mentally stronger now that he is souled and the fights will be more even, perhaps not. I struggle so much when people are talking about fighting strengths because either it is a fight where either party feasibly are possible winners or it isn't. There are too many variables which could go for or against either party on each occasion where there is a reasonable competition on the cards. As for Dru loving Spike, hmmm, as she is able will always be my conclusion to that one but personal determinations of love always effect on such topics I feel. The general principle of a logical conclusion of what they are telling providing canon I kind of agree with, it is just funny that my logical conclusions to both your examples I think differ from yours.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Nina View Post
                          About the difference between canon and interpretation, I don't know if there is a real difference. I mean if they show a 1 and another 1, can't we conclude 2 because it's obvious? Do the writers have to spell it all out before we can call it 'canon'? I find it strange to exclude "the writer's intent" from canon. If it's a logical conclusion that isn't inconsistant with anything else and it's obvious what the writers tried to tell, shouldn't it be canon?
                          Well the first thing to say is that there are no hard and fast rules. We can literally use whatever framework we like, but of course it becomes problematic when different people have different ideas on what is open to interpretation and what isn't.

                          If anything I'm flexible, but I prefer a Watsonian perspective, because if the writers have to explain themselves then, well, have they done their job properly?

                          Luckily, in interviews many writers actually confirm what I believe anyway, but I certainly don't ignore what the writer say, especially if it's consistent and make sense.

                          I count "Dru being in love with Spike" and "Angel lost the fight because his mental state wasn't all that in Destiny" as canon. Sure there is space for us to ignore the obvious and come up with some ungrounded theories because it's not set in stone, but we all know what the writers wanted to tell. And if it makes sense what the writers want to tell, I see little reason to dismiss it.
                          But either way we look at it, it's not that obvious. Without any writers insight or apparent inconsistency, then I'd default to a Watsonian perspective. In those scenarios, even if I were to see them in real life, I wouldn't take them as fact. As Stoney said, there are so many variables in a fight, so seen as it was only one fight that Spike won, we cannot simply conclude anything one way or the other. It's not as if Spike or Angel ever 'curb stomped' each other apart from when William was a very inexperienced vampire. This is why I don't see the need to try and prove who is the best fighter because you can make whatever assumptions you like, but it doesn't make it fact. So who would win the rematch? Who knows. I don't take anything for granted.

                          As for Dru loving Spike? Well for me, love is subjective. Even on the show, different characters had different views on love. So I simply take it as canon that different characters had different views on love.

                          I've always found it somewhat strange when people try to force their idea of love onto me. I always question two things:

                          1) Who makes one person the authority of love over another?

                          2) How can one truly know that the feelings they associate with love correspond to the feelings someone else associates with love?

                          See? It's not that easy. Even Joss and the writers aren't the authority of what determines true love.

                          However if in the 'Verse' true love is a discovered as an objective metaphysical force, not unlike...

                          Spoiler:

                          ...how it's depicted in 'Once Upon A Time'....


                          ...then that's a different animal all together, but as far as I'm aware, that hasn't happened in the Buffyverse and certainly hasn't been proven with some kind of measure other than "Awww look at them together"


                          I can see your side as a true purist, but I don't think I am.
                          I can go either way depending on the situation. I prefer to look inside the 'Verse', but if I need to, I'll look at the writers intent,

                          You see I think they make it clear that it is Angel reasoning why he lost. Mental strength is part of being the strongest fighter, I would argue in almost equal parts to skill and physical strength. On that occasion Angel lost, it is straight forward. He has, accepting what is stated, always 'won' previously but this time he didn't so that could have been one occasion or it could mean that things have changed in their balance.
                          Absolutely! I mean Angel himself didn't see it as a fluke, otherwise he wouldn't have seriously doubted himself. For me the only canon is that he lost. Whether he would win the rematch, or if he only lost because he was feeling down, is open to debate.
                          Last edited by kana; 11-01-13, 07:29 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by kana View Post
                            As for Dru loving Spike? Well for me, love is subjective. Even on the show, different characters had different views on love. So I simply take it as canon that different characters had different views on love.
                            I think this is a good way of looking at it and goes reasonably well with my sense of 'as she is able to', although of course there is an implied judgement within my perspective that I just can't shake fully. I certainly can't personally equate love with such repetitive infidelity and the disregard that Dru showed for Spike's feelings when crippled. But I do think that there is supposed to be 'love' there from her perspective, it just doesn't look like it to me personally.

                            Equally, I struggle with Joyce's character quite often because the way she treats Buffy and speaks to her jars for me as not being the actions of a good mum. It is similar notion as my impressions of her ability as a mother are based on my personal judgements of what constitutes one and she falls incredibly short sometimes.

                            So whilst I see that characters can work within their own boundaries of what matters to them and how well they meet their own expectations of themselves I often draw from the responses of the other characters around them to inform my canon and this, I suppose, is led from what the writers want us to see. Does Spike think that Dru loves him? Yes, I believe he does, although I do think he feels that she doesn't value him as he wishes she did. Do the other characters behave as if Dru and Spike were a loving couple? Definitely that is how their reactions are portrayed to us even if they don't 'get' their relationship. So I accept that Dru loved Spike (not sure about now), even though to me personally it is a love that falls incredibly short of what he should expect for himself. If I take the second example and look to Joyce's ability as I mum I see Buffy feeling let down by her on occasions but feeling weaker without her love and presence. I also see Spike's admiration of her as a motherly figure. So I am left feeling that Joyce is an imperfect person, aren't we all(!), who does throw some huge clangers with Buffy that really bother me but she always comes back to try again and overall Buffy values her love and support.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by kana View Post
                              But either way we look at it, it's not that obvious. Without any writers insight or apparent inconsistency, then I'd default to a Watsonian perspective. In those scenarios, even if I were to see them in real life, I wouldn't take them as fact. As Stoney said, there are so many variables in a fight, so seen as it was only one fight that Spike won, we cannot simply conclude anything one way or the other. It's not as if Spike or Angel ever 'curb stomped' each other apart from when William was a very inexperienced vampire. This is why I don't see the need to try and prove who is the best fighter because you can make whatever assumptions you like, but it doesn't make it fact. So who would win the rematch? Who knows. I don't take anything for granted.
                              That wasn't the point of the episode. The point was to show that Angel was depressed, that was his arc in season 5 until You're Welcome. And this was one of the ways to show it.

                              It's not about who wins the rematch and nobody can say that. But if you have to put your money on somebody it's Angel because the odds are in his favor; he is older and thus stronger and more experienced, he won all the matches before and after Destiny etc. And that's why I think it's only reasonable to search for the reason of his failing with Angel himself. And depression (which was not a one episode thing) is the reason the writers/character gave us and I find that enough.

                              Does that mean that non-depressed Angel will always beat Spike, no and you won't hear me say that. I just say that I accept the character's (and indirectly the writer's) reasoning why he lost this one as canon.

                              As for Dru loving Spike? Well for me, love is subjective. Even on the show, different characters had different views on love. So I simply take it as canon that different characters had different views on love.
                              I don't disagree with you here, but you kind of changed the subject. Somehow you went from 'in love' to 'true love', no idea why? I see quite a difference. Hell I'm not even sure if vampires can feel true love. But what I do know is that Drusilla was in a romantic relationship with Spike for over a century out of free will and she seems quite happy in it. It's not so much about forcing your view on love upon a character as concluding the most obvious thing.


                              I truly don't see the reason of going against the very obvious stories the writers tried to tell and which they told well.

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