Coran: Yes. It’s terribly simple. The good guys are always stalwart and true. The bad guys are easily distinguished by their pointy horns or black hats, and, uh, we always defeat them and save the day. No one ever dies and… everybody lives happily ever after.
do you think Dark Willow could have happened without Tara dying?
In fact I think the perfect way to have handled it all would’ve been to have Xander die instead. They could’ve had the exact same set-up if they wanted, too. (And I don’t think they should have, Season Six was a fucking disaster, but you know, for the sake of a narrowed focus here.) Have Willow go way the fuck out of line, have Tara leave her, have Willow turn to magic, have her fucking up everything all the time every way. Totally same deal. But have Xander there for her.
They’re both miserable, they’ve both fucked up with the loves of their life. Willow’s a bit too far gone to really help Xander out much, but Xander has that white knight deal about him, and he’d bury his grief (and self-examination) in helping Willow instead. You can even have the whole yellow crayon speech! (Which is a really good fucking speech.) Point being, Willow sees and is reminded how, throughout their lives (except for some kind of wonky and inconsistent Season One stuff), Xander has been a constant for her. Whatever else she is, whatever else she does, Xander is her friend and he loves her.
And then he’s dead, victim of the same random violence that took Tara.
Imagine how much more weight the conflict between Buffy and Willow would have carried if Xander’s death hung between them. Both grieving, both guilty. Just as had been thematically building all season, both of them hurt so utterly but unable to find common ground in that pain, only able to keep hurting each other with it.
Tara being the one that comes to Willow, Tara being the one to stand in front of her and refuse to back away, Tara being the love that saves the world.
Imagine a Season Seven where Willow and Tara have to actually work through the shit Willow did, both before Xander’s death and after. (Because as much as I love “can we just skip it?”, it solved NOTHING.) Imagine XANDER as the face of The First Evil, haunting Buffy with how he died instead of her, coaxing Willow back to the magic to try and save him, guilting her for not being there for him like he was her, for not trying as hard to bring him back as she did Buffy. And not just affecting them, but Dawnie, Tara, Giles, ANYA. Think of how much more of a mindfuck would The First be with Xander’s face? How delicious every single second of that pain and torment for everyone?
So yeah. Thematically, character focused on all parts, even in the potential (NO PUN INTENDED) offered in the following season. In every possible way, I think it should’ve been Xander that was killed at the end of Season Six and not Tara.
“And they have no purpose that unites them, so they just drift around, blundering through life until they die, which they-they know is coming, yet every single one of them is surprised when it happens to them. They’re incapable of thinking about what they want beyond the moment. They kill each other, which is clearly insane…and yet here’s the thing. When it’s something that really matters, they fight. I mean, they’re lame morons for fighting, but they do! They never…they never quit. So I guess I’ll keep fighting too.”
I’m not saying Buffy is like a perfect feminist text or anything but I will say as a 13-year-old, nothing was as important to me as seeing Buffy’s reaction to her evil boyfriend trying to kill her in the season 2 finale.
Angel’s like: No weapons… no friends… no hope…. Take all of that away, and what’s left?
Buffy (stops Angel’s sword in front of her face with her bare hands): Me.
And yeah that does it for me… how many times, as a young girl, do you hear another girl say that she’s all she needs? Not only will she fight back, she will fucking murder her boyfriend if that’s what she needs to do to save the world. Nice job Buffy, nice job.
I still wanna hang! a chronological willow & xander friendship mix — > WE ARE GOING TO BE FRIENDS, the white stripes — > MY BEST FRIEND’S HOT, the dollyrots — > UMBRELLA, train — > I’LL ALWAYS BE RIGHT THERE, michelle branch — > TIME AFTER TIME, p!nk — > THIS DECEMBER, ricky montgomery — > LOOSE LIPS, kimya dawson — > THERE’S A PLACE, the all-american rejects
What’s the most important book in Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s personal library? The Slayer’s handbook, of course. This large leather-bound volume simply titled Vampyr was given to Buffy by her “Watcher,” Rupert Giles, and serves as her instruction manual as she battles malevolent vampires, demons, and the forces of darkness. In this new poster illustrated by Steve Morris, Buffy and one of her most famous foes, Dracula, appear from between the pages of this most magical book to illustrate the power of reading in the fight to slay ignorance. Special thanks to Dark Horse Comics.