“All right, I-I’ll just jump in my time machine, go back to the twelfth century and ask the vampires to postpone their ancient prophecy for a few days while you take in dinner and a show.” -Rupert Giles
Rupert Giles is obviously an extremely important part of the Buffy series. In the beginning, he serves partly as an informant, and honestly does for the rest of the show. He informs the viewers on the slayer and watcher dynamics, the legacy of the slayer and of course the various demons, witches, vampires and other tragedies that pop up in Sunnydale, of couse including the Hellmouth and the demonic force behind it.
Rupert Giles is portrayed by Anthony Stuart Head, and he is in fact from England so for the most part, his British accent is real (unlike counterpart Spike played by James Marsters). In interviews, Anthony clearly has a different British accent then Giles does, because the accents in England vary on regions, and Giles and Anthony are from different parts of England. Rupert more of a sophisticated accent while Anthony’s is more like Spike’s fake accent. (For those of you who can’t understand my jibber-jabber, which is most of you, heres the jist. The guy who plays Giles is really from England! ) I think the actor chosen for Giles was absolutely, 100% perfect. Honestly i don’t think i could imagine anybody else fitting into his incredibly British shoes.
Giles is often eluted to being a father-figure to Buffy Summers, which is definitely true, as proven in his song ‘Standing’ durring the ‘Once More, With Feeling’ episode in season 6. Giles is without a doubt a dynamic character, he goes from a nerdy anti-social librarian to a much more suave and liberal man. And through back-stories being told, we learn that Giles was quite the rebellious bad-boy in his ‘Ripper’ days in college. I wouldn’t say that there is really anyone who helps Giles change, but it could be argued that he wouldn’t have evolved into what he is today if it wasn’t for Buffy, Willow and Xander. The Scoobies mixed in with the everlasting stress that comes with both trying to save the world and deal with unwilling, unappreciative (for some parts) young adults would honestly cause anyone to change.
The only real relationship Giles has had is with Jenny Calendar, who we know is later found out to be a Gypsy Spy (that sounds like a good movie, haha) and later killed by Angelus. Unlike almost every other relationship the show has held, I really don’t think that Giles and Jenny benefited from each other in a drastic way, or in a way that altered the story. Yes, we saw a slightly vengeful side to Giles that we hadn’t before after Angelus killed Jenny, but it isn’t any where near as spectacular as how Oz changed Willow, for example. Never the less, I really loved Giles and Jenny. Most of the time Joss Whedon had really valid reasons to kill off his characters. He has a tendency to kill off his characters when they are finally perfectly happy, or have gotten what they truly wanted deep inside. (Tara; a solid non-witchcraft with Willow. Spike; an accepting and emotional relationship with Buffy…etc.) But (i mean correct me if im wrong) neither Jenny or Giles had reached that point in their lives when she was murdured.
Okay, im obviously very well aware of the ‘Band Candy’ fling between Giles and Joyce Summers, but i honestly don’t really think that it really counts as much. Yeah it made Joyce’s death more touching and sentimental to Giles, but other then that it just caused really awkward moments between Giles, Joyce and Buffy. Entertaining, and remotely endearing. Yes, of course. But it was irrelevant, in the long run, to the development of Giles’ character.
Of course it goes without saying (almost) that Buffy Summers is the most important person in Giles’ life throughout the entire series. I have already mentioned how he acts as a father-figure to her, and it is both mutually beneficial and mutually deteriorating. It is difficult to pin point the exact moment where their relationship turned from watcher-slayer towards a more father-daughter light. But my best presumption is around the time of the Angelus terror. (AKA mid-to end of season 2) That is when i feel it begins, because at this point Buffy has already died once and come back, beaten the Master, and multiple other horrific demons, and she is still a relatively normal teenager. (Relatively being the operative word.) The dynamics of their attachment go through various ups and downs from that point on, and just when their bond is at it’s strongest, in the true light of all things Joss Whedon, it begins to go downhill. Very obviously when Buffy leans on him tremendously following her mother’s death. Causing him to wonder/fear that she cannot do anything on her own anymore, which is what originally sparks his want to move back to England until he sees fit. But as we know, the death of Buffy at the end of Season 5 is really what sent him away, he couldn’t handle it, and used the excuse that he was now ‘un-needed’ as he had been truly ‘relieved of his watcher duties.’
When Season 6 picks up, Giles is off in England and he doesn’t return until he is summoned back by Willow after the successful resurrection of Buffy. Giles, like many other people, were upset and almost disturbed with the fact that Buffy has been brought back from the dead, yet he also feels the need to help things get back to the way they were. Because everyone can clearly see how unhappy Buffy is. (But thats because they think she had been in an untold hell dimension, not heaven) From that point on, i would definitely say that Giles’ and Buffy’s relationship becomes very strained, and tense in progression towards Buffy not needing Giles there to lean on so much.
All in all, Rupert Giles is an extremely importnat part of the entire Buffyverse. He makes the show what it is in my opinion. He definitely adds an unintentional witty and humorous feel to the show, and i absolutely love him.
Rupert Giles. Intelligent. British. The rock that holds the Scoobie’s together.
“Google.” Google. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Sept. 2012. <https://www.google.com/search?num=10>.
Whedon, Joss, and Marti Noxon. Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. Los Angles, California, 1997-2003. Television.