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Who Did Xander Love?

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  • Who Did Xander Love?

    Who do you think Xander loved? This isn't a poll about who Xander liked or felt camaraderie towards. This is a poll on who Xander loved.
    136
    Buffy
    18.38%
    25
    Willow
    17.65%
    24
    Giles
    10.29%
    14
    Dawn
    16.18%
    22
    Mrs. Harris
    5.15%
    7
    Mr. Harris
    2.21%
    3
    Cordelia
    6.62%
    9
    Anya
    19.12%
    26
    Oz
    0.74%
    1
    Tara
    2.21%
    3
    Riley
    0.74%
    1
    Faith
    0.74%
    1
    Angel
    0.00%
    0
    Spike
    0.00%
    0
    Jenny
    0.00%
    0

  • #2
    Like with Willow, I'm not going to just assume that someone loves their parents just because they're their parents, rather than feel incredibly intense and strong but very complicated feelings for them. The verdict, as with Willow, is "maybe".

    I voted for Willow, Buffy, Dawn, Anya and Giles, and I would add Jesse.

    In the other thread, Max or Dipstick (or both?) said that Xander loved Anya more than Willow but less than Buffy, which I found surprising, since I think there are several instances in the early seasons that suggested that Xander may even love Willow more than Buffy (she seemed to be the person about whose safety he cared about the most), even when he had a crush on Buffy but did not have romantic feelings for Willow. Although I guess if one looks at the entire show and the comics, Xander and Willow seem to have grown apart, so I suppose one can argue that his friendship with Buffy became stronger than the one with Willow. It's really difficult to tell since his feelings for those two women are different, but I would certainly not say that he loves Willow less than Buffy.
    Last edited by TimeTravellingBunny; 31-01-13, 12:32 AM.
    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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    • #3
      It was Dipstick. I generally think Xander loved Willow the most, though Dawn might be higher now. I also think that as of season eight, the relationship with Buffy has been prioritized over the one with Xander for a while so it's harder to say.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think Xander has enough reasons to not love his parents personally, I'm not sure where the limits of unconditional come but I imagine his childhood as being pretty miserable if sleeping outside is a tradition. Anyway, I think that Xander loved Willow far more than Buffy in the early years when his crush was in force but then as the years went on, into S8 he became closer to Buffy and probably cares about them equally now. I think he didn't treat Anya respectfully most of the time but I do think that he loved her. I meant to vote for Dawn but didn't click it, oops.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by TimeTravellingBunny View Post
          Like with Willow, I'm not going to just assume that someone loves their parents just because they're their parents, rather than feel incredibly intense and strong but very complicated feelings for them. The verdict, as with Willow, is "maybe".
          I don't think Xander loved his parents. There was enough indications that Willow loved her parents. However, I get the impression that Xander's parents were just so awful that he hardened his heart to them pretty early on. Based on what I saw of Tony Harris, only a masochist wouldn't distrust him and dislike him. Willow's parents were bad but they provided for her, they set rules with some good intentions, they didn't hurt her, they didn't deliberately tear down her confidence and sense of self. The divide between Willow's bad parents and her lasting caring for them and Xander's awful no-good, suck-beyond-the-telling-of-it parents and his total fed-upness with them is pictured in Forever:

          XANDER: You going home?
          WILLOW: I'm gonna stop by my mom's first. Been doing that a lot lately.
          XANDER: Yeah. I actually might stop by your mom's too. (she looks at him) Well, I'm not going to *my* place. Those people are scary.
          In the other thread, Max or Dipstick (or both?) said that Xander loved Anya more than Willow but less than Buffy, which I found surprising, since I think there are several instances in the early seasons that suggested that Xander may even love Willow more than Buffy (she seemed to be the person about whose safety he cared about the most), even when he had a crush on Buffy but did not have romantic feelings for Willow. Although I guess if one looks at the entire show and the comics, Xander and Willow seem to have grown apart, so I suppose one can argue that his friendship with Buffy became stronger than the one with Willow. It's really difficult to tell since his feelings for those two women are different, but I would certainly not say that he loves Willow less than Buffy.
          In S1-2, it's hard to say who Xander loves more. Xander appears to love Willow so much as a friend, and he frequently prioritizes Willow. However, Buffy is the one that he wants to dance with, the one who won't give him a boring summer but instead brings fun and excitement, the one who's always interesting. It's two different kinds of love.

          S3 is an odd transitional season where Xander has let go of a lot of his active crush on Buffy, falls in lust for Willow quickly and loses it more quickly, and is ultimately, pretty emotionally isolated from both of them at the end of the season.

          Starting in S4, I strongly feel that Buffy is absolutely Xander's favorite. Xander still loves Willow. A lot. However, I just constantly got the impression that Xander wasn't as into Willow's life as he was into Buffy's and then, Anya's. Xander constantly gives off a vibe that he mainly comes to Sunnydale campus to visit Buffy more than Willow. Xander is the least interested in being a shoulder for Willow after Oz leaves. Xander is more ardently supportive of Buffy after *Parker* hurt her with extreme Xander-supportiveness in throughout Fear Itself and Beer Bad.

          Both Buffy and Xander were painfully uninterested in getting to know Tara and making her feel at home in late S4/early S5, even after Willow made it clear that it was important to her. However after Family, Buffy makes much more of an effort to befriend and make her feel comfortable, for Tara's and Willow's sakes. Xander plays a miniscule comfortador role in Tara's brainsuck, compared to Buffy and even Anya and Dawn.

          Xander supporting Anya that Willow should just try random spells even after Willow made a decision to stop doing magic in Older and Far Away is as much evidence that Xander cares more about Anya than Willow in S6 as Xander threatening to kill Buffy if Willow got hurt in When Was Bad can be taken as evidence that Xander loved Willow more than Buffy in S2. However, there's other instances in S2 that indicate that Willow has more of Xander's protectiveness while Buffy has more of his admiration and interest. Which splits Xander's love.

          Meanwhile, the Older and Far Away seems to be settled point of comparison in S6 because I just don't get on what scale Willow means more to Anya in S5-6 other than Willow has longevity on her side. Xander does seem to regard Willow's vengeance spree as more of an anomaly than Anya getting her old vengeance demon gig- but that's not indicate of love. That's fact.

          Mind you all, I'm not saying that Xander didn't love Willow in S4-8 and heck, maybe in S9 despite having no scenes where they were in each other's presence. Xander does love Willow. Just watch Bargaining, Grave, Empty Places, Hells Bells for proof. Just if S4-7 Xander is Earth, Buffy is his sun, Anya is his Proxima Centuriari system and Willow is the third closest star, Barnard's Star.
          Last edited by Dipstick; 31-01-13, 04:04 AM.

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          • #6
            It looks hokey after I filled it out, that I picked him as loving every woman in nominal dating age range, but... that's who I think he is. Not the lothario of it, but rather the chivalrous guy, this protective instinct guy. They are the people I think he would kill and die for.
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            • #7
              Again, I'm going to break the characters down into categories and elaborate on those that seem more controversial;

              The Most:

              Buffy

              Willow

              A Lot:

              Anya -- I nearly put her up with Buffy and Willow but then I thought about his scene with Buffy in Seeing Red ("I don't know what I'd do without you and Will") and I realised that he just wouldn't include Anya in that. He *can* (and has) lived without Anya. He still loved her a great deal in S7 but I also think he was ready to move on.

              Giles -- Surprised there's so few votes! Again, with these two I really think it's obvious, even more so from Xander's end. I think he wanted Giles as a father figure given his own is such a disappointment.

              Dawn -- A somewhat controversial love as it develops from "little kid sister" to romantic but it's very strong in both forms.

              Has Loving Feelings For:


              Mrs Harris -- I did not include Mr Harris but I do think he loved his mother. He finds her embarrassing but there's a big difference in how he views his parents. I think he feels sorry for his mother and how his father treats her and in Restless his father guilt’s him by saying she's "crying her guts out."

              I didn't vote for Cordy but I'm having second thoughts about that. I don't think he was in love with her but it feels odd to say he didn't at least having loving feels for her that are similair to the level he cares for his mother.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                Giles -- Surprised there's so few votes!
                Me too. I've always thought it was obvious how much Xander loved Giles. That moment when he forgot all about killing Angel with Faith the second he spotted Giles unconscious, it wasn't really that moment, 'cause then Xander risked his life to save Spike as well, but I'm talking about the tender way he'd touched his face with such care. He really loves him and wished he'd be a father figure to him even though Giles wasn't interested.

                "I was into that for a while" Xander responding to Giles' "Spike is like a son to me" in his dream in Restless - unconsciously believing that Giles would rather be Spike's father over his which helped him to finally move on and consider Giles as nothing more than a friend.


                I really and truly believe that Xander loves Anya tremendously. But she's not the only person in his life like he is to Anya - probably why it appears that she loves him more. He's all she's got while with Xander, he has Buffy, Willow, Giles and Dawn - people he loves so dearly, something Anya resented for a while or probably didn't understand.

                Xander's strong love for Buffy and Willow is the result of having a lousy family growing up. They are his family. They are the people who will still be there for him until the end. Buffy had a loving mother, Willow's relationship with her parents seemed to have improved with the years - visiting her mom so often in S5. With Xander, Buffy and Willow are his only family - he's also closer to their families than his own. That's probably why he values them so much and probably why it isn't healthy when it comes to his relationship with his girlfriends.
                Made by Trickyboxes
                Halfrek gives Spike the curse that will change his entire life. Teenage Dirtbag

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                • #9
                  I'll get through the thread posts later.


                  This one was the most difficult for me.


                  * He's always loved Buffy, though in
                  Spoiler:
                  BtVS S9 it's possibly lessened.



                  * Willow's his best friend and he obviously loves her.


                  * Dawn is only because of
                  Spoiler:
                  BtVS S8 and BtVS S9
                  but that's actually premature. But I didn't want to not choose it.


                  * Cordelia: he loves Buffy and Willow, not her.


                  * Anya: he didn't marry her. I don't know how that's reconciled with him actually loving her.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Sosa lola View Post
                    "I was into that for a while" Xander responding to Giles' "Spike is like a son to me" in his dream in Restless - unconsciously believing that Giles would rather be Spike's father over his which helped him to finally move on and consider Giles as nothing more than a friend.
                    I love 'Restless', but that moment actually rings pretty false to me. When exactly has Xander been shown to be 'into that for a while'? I don't recall any scenes where Xander was eager for Giles' tutelage or advice. And having crappy parents can just as well translate to ambivalence or antipathy towards authority figures. Of course, Xander could love Giles without seeing him as a (potential) father figure.


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                    • #11
                      I'm as sure that Xander loved Giles as I am that Giles didn't love Xander.

                      Originally posted by Artea View Post
                      I love 'Restless', but that moment actually rings pretty false to me. When exactly has Xander been shown to be 'into that for a while'? I don't recall any scenes where Xander was eager for Giles' tutelage or advice. And having crappy parents can just as well translate to ambivalence or antipathy towards authority figures. Of course, Xander could love Giles without seeing him as a (potential) father figure.
                      Xander saw Giles as an authority figure that he sought approval and appreciation from. Xander was utterly crushed during Giles's harshest moments with him- Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered, Beauty and the Beasts, What's My Line Part II. And Xander isn't in thrall to authority figures- his omnipresent eye-roll when Snyder is rude or when a teacher takes him to task (see Graduation Day). Xander does drudge work for Giles like organizing his books- IMO, in a wish to be a student of Giles. He really believes in the position of Watcher (his triumphantly awkward observation that Giles is back on the clock as a Watcher in Dead Man's Party).

                      IMO, Xander didn't really know how to ask Giles to be a teacher or how to ask him to mentor Xander to Watcherness. But Xander did respond to Giles as an authority figure with great wisdom who's opinion was incredibly important with a good and important job....who unfortunately, "knew" Xander's worthlessness and wisely didn't want to take the time to be the mentor. It's very sad.

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                      • #12
                        I also think that Xander's affection for and admiration of Giles has a role in the way he attempts to shape himself and insert himself into Buffy's slaying, in s2 and early s3 especially. He holds back on the anti-Angel venom in Innocence through BB&B, even going as far as to tell Buffy in Phases that Angel isn't the guy she knew, and it only explodes in Passion when Jenny dies. The same episode has Xander complaining not-all-that-idly about Giles giving Buffy preferential treatment ("watcher's pet"); as Maggie once pointed out, it's Xander who knows that Giles keeps his good weapons at home, which is something like a personal detail. His focus is on Giles' feelings and Giles' rights when he says that Giles should go after Angel more so than on Jenny's death (which is not to say he doesn't care that Jenny dies -- only that it's the impact of Jenny's death on Giles which hits harder). He does something similar in DMP by intuiting how much Buffy's departure hurt Giles. In both cases he is projecting his own emotions to an extent -- more so in DMP, since he also does that there with Joyce in particular, whom I don't think Xander loves. Still, it's there. In Revelations he is really, really concerned about Giles' injury. The fact that Xander often, in the early eps, brings up the fact that Giles doesn't seem to like or respect him suggests that he longs for Giles' respect -- especially since he never uses the opportunity to throw serious barbs back at Giles, even in code like his wish to Snyder that he can be honest with him one day.

                        Meanwhile, I think that Xander's "I was into that for a while" in Restless is not just about wanting to be like Giles but also wanting to be an extremely central figure in Buffy's slaying life. I think that the admiration for the Watcher role is not just about being a Council-approved authority figure but also about the idea of a companion to the slayer who is either co-equal or maybe even in charge. I think some of that is influenced by Giles and some of that is just general, "how can I fit into the life of this awesome woman/slayer if I'm not going to be her boyfriend?" stuff that happens in season two and somewhat in early season three. In s1 Xander wants to be Buffy's partner and lover, but post-Prophecy Girl accepts that romantic partner probably isn't going to happen, at least not right away, but some kind of slaying partner, proto-watcher type role where he is almost as involved in the decision making as Buffy is is something that he seems to be trying to position himself into. IMHO, he sees it as his responsibility to help Buffy on patrol and to protect her (e.g. from Angel in the hospital in Killed by Death) and to give Buffy moral instructions on how she should use her slayer powers, particularly re: how she should be slaying Angel. Those all seem like proto-Watcher behaviours to me. And the dedication to Buffy has a tinge of not just support guy but protector guy. When he's yelling at her on why she should kill Angel, he is reacting emotionally, of course, but the tone speaks more of someone who sees himself as having some responsibility in trying to get Buffy to do what she should do rather than as Concerned Citizen the way, e.g., Cordy does so well in Revelations.* He reads to me as someone who wants to have a Watcher-type role rather than a Scooby support type role, which is the one he eventually goes into. (Until season eight!) I think this is also part of the reason his mind jumps to controlling the flow of information by lying in Becoming, which is a kind of Watcher-y move, and arguably giving Faith just enough information to get her riled up to go kill Angel fits there as well, though there it's a different situation in that his initial intent was not at all to get Faith riled up -- he was just really, really happy to seize the opportunity when it presented itself.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Dipstick View Post

                          Starting in S4, I strongly feel that Buffy is absolutely Xander's favorite. Xander still loves Willow. A lot. However, I just constantly got the impression that Xander wasn't as into Willow's life as he was into Buffy's and then, Anya's. Xander constantly gives off a vibe that he mainly comes to Sunnydale campus to visit Buffy more than Willow. Xander is the least interested in being a shoulder for Willow after Oz leaves. Xander is more ardently supportive of Buffy after *Parker* hurt her with extreme Xander-supportiveness in throughout Fear Itself and Beer Bad.

                          Both Buffy and Xander were painfully uninterested in getting to know Tara and making her feel at home in late S4/early S5, even after Willow made it clear that it was important to her. However after Family, Buffy makes much more of an effort to befriend and make her feel comfortable, for Tara's and Willow's sakes. Xander plays a miniscule comfortador role in Tara's brainsuck, compared to Buffy and even Anya and Dawn.

                          Xander supporting Anya that Willow should just try random spells even after Willow made a decision to stop doing magic in Older and Far Away is as much evidence that Xander cares more about Anya than Willow in S6 as Xander threatening to kill Buffy if Willow got hurt in When Was Bad can be taken as evidence that Xander loved Willow more than Buffy in S2. However, there's other instances in S2 that indicate that Willow has more of Xander's protectiveness while Buffy has more of his admiration and interest. Which splits Xander's love.

                          Meanwhile, the Older and Far Away seems to be settled point of comparison in S6 because I just don't get on what scale Willow means more to Anya in S5-6 other than Willow has longevity on her side. Xander does seem to regard Willow's vengeance spree as more of an anomaly than Anya getting her old vengeance demon gig- but that's not indicate of love. That's fact.

                          Mind you all, I'm not saying that Xander didn't love Willow in S4-8 and heck, maybe in S9 despite having no scenes where they were in each other's presence. Xander does love Willow. Just watch Bargaining, Grave, Empty Places, Hells Bells for proof. Just if S4-7 Xander is Earth, Buffy is his sun, Anya is his Proxima Centuriari system and Willow is the third closest star, Barnard's Star.
                          This is very interesting and I find myself nodding along. Xander and Willow seem to have really grown apart in the later seasons and especially in the comics. He's completely part of the Summers' family now and seems more of a member of that family ever since S7 - with Willow becoming some sort of an outsider. He loves her but I don't think he's so interested in spending time with her like the high school years, unlike Buffy. He enjoys Buffy's company.
                          Made by Trickyboxes
                          Halfrek gives Spike the curse that will change his entire life. Teenage Dirtbag

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                          • #14
                            * My earlier post so I don’t repeat myself: http://www.buffyforums.net/forums/sh...58&postcount=9


                            * My choices are my choices and are self-evident.


                            * The way he talks about them and regards them, it doesn’t seem Xander loves his parents.


                            * There isn’t much indication that Xander loves Giles.


                            * With Jesse, he didn’t mourn Jesse for like more than hours.


                            * In some ways, it’s ambiguous whether in the early BtVS Seasons Xander loved Willow or Buffy more. In “When She Was Bad” (2.01), Buffy’s attitude resulted in Willow being in mortal danger. But before that, Xander was about ignoring Willow when Buffy came back.


                            * Xander ‘got past’ his love for Buffy at-earliest in
                            Spoiler:
                            late BtVS S8.



                            * There is like no indication that Xander loved Tara or that he loved/s Faith.


                            * Xander being against Angel is largely because Buffy got with Angel instead of getting with him. It has nothing to do with Xander thinking he is somehow a ‘Watcher’ of Buffy – which he only at-earliest would have thought this in
                            Spoiler:
                            BtVS S8.

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