julpups

Who would Giles save?

Who would Giles save?  

5 members have voted

  1. 1. Who would Giles save? Willow? Or Buffy?

    • Willow
      1
    • Buffy
      4


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Hey there,

I need a little input from you guys about Giles' character.

Think in the timeline around S02-S04. Giles is already to both, Willow and Buffy, emotionally attached. Willow hasn't developed her super-witchy status yet, so she's to Giles mainly a normal girl, if not a damn smart one, and not a reckoned force against the darkness.

The figurative picture of Willow and Buffy, both unconscious, hanging off a cliff only held by Giles, one girl in each of his hands. He has to release one to save the other. He can't save both and there's no help. Who would he let fall down?

I'm a bit torn about it, but I might have a similar scenario in a future story. Would he rather argue rationally and drop Buffy, because she's the Slayer and most likely won't have a long life anyway, where Willow has great potential to become a genius and be happy? Or would he drop Willow because, when it comes down to it, he simply loves Buffy more and is absolute loyal to her? They're both unconscious, so they can't influence his decision.

The vote suffices but I'd be thrilled to read your thoughts about it as well.

Thanks. :)

Edited by julpups

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I think he'd drop Buffy because a) Slayer toughness could mean she survives anyway b) She'd died already and it didn't stop her and c) Willow's magic had already shown enough potential that he'd possibly consider being able to use her growing abilities to find a way to go back and save Buffy anyway, or otherwise bring her back somehow no matter what magic rules might normally say.

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Okay, let's make it a really deep fall then. :P Death would be the guaranteed result for either girl. The cliff thing is just a metaphor. It's about the decision Giles has to make, sacrifice one to save the other.

For clarification: It occurs at some point during S02-S04. Buffy died once, but she 'just' drowned in Prophesy Girl and was revived by Xander using CPR. A pretty normal human thing, not extraordinary slayerish. Willow's shown already big potential in magic but at that point it's just flowing pencils and misfired spells. Giles doesn't see her as a reckoned force which might make him prefer her over Buffy in regards of power (if he tries to make a rationally decision, not emotionally). By the way, when it came to Willow and her magic, Giles was pretty ignorant. "... you don't see anything." Willow said to Giles in Something Blue and the phrase holds much truth in this regard.

I disagree about the resurrection issue. Giles expressed his disapproval pretty clear in Flooded.

The point is: It's permanent death (from Giles' POV) for one of the girls. Giles has to decide. What would he do?

Thanks for your thoughts, JayDee. :)

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I did vote on this. I think Giles would save Buffy. He's still very much a Watcher in these seasons, and his care of the slayer comes first, regardless of whatever his emotions may be. He takes duty very seriously. He would save Buffy. He might go on to regret it. After all, there is always another slayer, while there isn't another Willow. But... I still don't see him letting his slayer fall.

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I, too, think that Giles would save Buffy rather than Willow, for several reasons:

--As dafdes pointed out, Giles, being a Watcher, has a commitment to Buffy that he doesn't have to Willow.

--Giles is a rational guy. To his knowledge in S2-4, saving Willow means saving one person; saving Buffy, on the other hand, means saving everyone whom she will save in the future. And NOT saving her doesn't mean the coming of another Slayer, because Buffy's already had her replacement (Kendra).

--Giles believes that Buffy is an especially gifted Slayer. (From Nightmares: " I've failed... in my duty to protect you. I should have been more... cautious. Taken more time to train you. But you were so gifted. And the evil was so great.") Even if Buffy would be replaced by another Slayer after she dies, that Slayer probably wouldn't be as capable as Buffy. So saving Buffy still means saving additional lives.

--Giles is emotionally closer to Buffy than to Willow, so if it came to a split-second judgment, he might save Buffy for that reason alone.

--Buffy's name is in the title of the show. :)

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Thanks for your thoughts, dafdes and GeorgeGlass.

I slightly disagree with the commitment to Buffy though. His official duty as a Watcher is to humanity, the Council and its secretiveness. Buffy is to be trained and used in the most effective manner ("The Slayer is the instrument by which we fight." /Quentin Travers). But this "sense of duty" wouldn't influence is decision since he never really acted on it.

But I agree with the rest. From an emotional viewpoint, Giles is devotional and loyal to Buffy to a degree that he often fails to notice what else is going on with the others. He is also known for keeping his rational thought in stressful situations. So the argument to save further lives by saving Buffy makes sense. He'd drop Willow.

I do believe Buffy wouldn't forgive him though. Can't see her bearing the knowledge about Willow's death so she can live very well.

Anyone else's opinions? In Willow's favor maybe, since it's 3:1 for Buffy? :)

Edited by julpups

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I believe Giles would save Buffy.

1. As her Watcher, it's his duty to watch out for her. If you look at his duty as serving humanity, Buffy still wins because she's a great Slayer and has/will save more people and protect humanity. Remember, Buffy's role as the Chosen One means she has a responsibility to destroy monsters but Willow, as the magic user with potential (and only potential) for great power has no such responsibility -- Giles cannot even know that she will be interested in using her witchy powers in the future, and it's not Willow's job to protect humanity.

2. At that point, I don't think Giles really had much experience with "good" witches -- and surely Buffy's remit to destroy monsters included witches (I'm thinking of that evil cheerleader, the one that ended up trapped as a trophy *oops, spoiler warning* wasn't she a witch?), so Giles might weigh the possibility that he'd be saving a potentially evil witch. (Willow go evil? Never happen, amirite LOL) Willow had potential, but potential to do what?

3. As a Watcher, would Giles later go to the Council and say, "Yeah, I let my Slayer die (screw that, actually -- if he drops her he kills her!) because I decided to save this human chick who can use magic." I don't think that would fly.

So, another vote for Buffy Anne Summers!

Edited by LizzyBathory

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Thank you, but you forgot to vote in the poll. :P

I agree to Nr. 1.

Buffy has the potential to save many lives. Willow doesn't. Pro Buffy-lives point.

To Nr. 2:

I don't think Giles would even consider Willow's witchyness at all. In this regard he was irresponsible and grossly negligent until Dark!Willow had finally opened his eyes (quite forcefully, I might add). Then he took her to England and started to be her mentor.

A more human argument:

Buffy is a great Slayer but her time is limited and most of it will be spent fighting. Giles doesn't know that later Willow will activate all Slayers at once. A long happy life is very unlikely and the short one she's currently having is filled with sadness and suffering. An act of mercy?

Willow on the other hand can have a long happy life. Her brainpower might even contribute to humanity's welfare when she's grown up.

Would he come to such lines of thoughts?

To Nr. 3:

The last thing Giles would do in such a situation is thinking about what the Council might say. However, the Council sees the Slayer as a tool. When she dies the next one is called. Buffy isn't exceedingly special in their eyes until later in S05.

Their reaction was quite all-out after Faith had accidentally killed Finch. I believe what counts for Slayers, applies to their Watchers too. Giles would have to face Council's justice for killing Willow, an innocent human.

That would be their reaction in my opinion, at least to the point when Faith went rogue. As long as they have their tool (they don't care about the person who is behind the Slayer) everything is dandy.

Edited by julpups

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Straight to the point. Thanks DemonGoddess061.

All your replies helped me to determine my opinion. Buffy lives, Willow dies.

Further points are welcome and if you have ideas about the outcome, reaction of the others, be my guest.

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If you remember, there have been points where he's had to do things that she COULDN'T do, to protect his Slayer. Killing Ben comes to mind for this. Even though she'd defeated Ben/Glory, staying alive AS Ben, meant that Glory could again become a threat, so he had to die. Slayers don't kill humans.

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Yeah I remember the scene in The Gift. He killed Ben because Buffy was morally unable to, not because she would've faced Council's wrath or any repercussions. There's no Council law which proscribes the killing of humans by a Slayer under any circumstances. For instance, Billy Ford comes to mind or the zookeeper in 'The Pack'. Both were directly or indirectly killed by Buffy because they presented a supernatural threat to her, her friends or humanity. Later in the comics, she killed future Dark!Willow in the Fray arc. Willow is human, regardless how much dark magic she's sucked up.

In this regard, Buffy was a bit inconsistent with her morals. I couldn't follow her arguing about Willow killing Warren in all aspects. Sure, Willow flaying him alive out of revenge and grief was wrong, obviously. But her statement that he should have been dealt with by human authorities didn't make sense since Warren certainly didn't play by human rules. Technically, Buffy was ought to kill Warren after this super-strength and invincibility giving magic-balls incident. He became a serious threat to her and other humans and he verifiably didn't shy away from murder.

It was certainly a good trait for Buffy the human. But for Buffy the Slayer it was a weakness. The same applies to not killing Dawn even if it would've meant world's end. Giles realized this. You could say he protected her morals and innocence but not her personal safety or her Council "criminal record".

Edited by julpups

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