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Anya Jenkins

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“It’s an omen! It’s a higher power trying to tell me through bunnies that we’re all gonna die! Oh god!” – Anya Jenkins

Anya is one of the most hilarious characters on Buffy, in my opinion the only person who truly rivals her wit and humor is Andrew at the end of Season 7. As i mentioned previously, Willow and Anya are with out doubt my two favorite BTVS characters. Ever since Buffy, Emma Caulfield has been one of my favorite actresses. I am pretty sure i have seen everything she has been in. Granted that isn’t a whole lot of other things, but still. Its the thought, right? I don’t really think that Anya would have worked well with anyone else besides Emma. She just IS Anya. She has that witty and sardonic sense to her, that is the purest essence of Anya. So in order to properly understand Anya, we have to start at the WAY beginning, in 88O AD.

Aud.

Its weird to ever see Anya holding a bunny and looking happy, but apparently before she was Anya, before she was Anyanka, she actually loved bunnies. Her bunny fear, as far as we know, is really quite irrational. Joss never gives us a true solid reason why a girl who used to love bunnies, now is deathly afraid of them, but something happened in her thousands of years, something happened that turned her off of bunnies. Back when Aud was in existence, she was dating an awful boorish man named Olaf. He ended up cheating on her with one of the bar matrons in their small pre-civilized village. Aud was so upset and tourn up, that she conducted a strong curse that turned him into a troll, and he wrecked havoc onto their village. Loving her unique way to punish men, D’Hoffryn, a demon lord, came to her and offered her a position as a vengeance demon. She would be avenging all heartbroken women out there, and she would be living forever, with certain powers and abilities. Aud took the job and became Anyanka: Patron Saint of the Women Scorned.

Anyanka.

From 880 to 1998 Anyanka teleported around the world, causing untold pains to evil scumbags that betrayed girls. Although Anya brings up many of her previous ‘successes’, the only one that was really was important to her character or the plot of the show is in 1199, when she traveled to some strangely obscure land to curse some unknowing guy, when she saw a sorcerer’s ascension. This made her the only living person to know anything about ascensions when The Mayor planned to ascend in season 3. Anyanka lost her powers in the episode ‘The Wish’, where she came to Sunnydale to avenge Cordelia’s heartbreak when she caught Xander and Willow kissing. Giles ended up defeating her by smashing her power source, which was a necklace with a huge green pendant. After her power source was destroyed, her vengeance powers were gone, and she was stuck as a high school student.

Anya.

The two main loves of Anya’s life, are Xander and money. Not in that particular order. 🙂 Now that i have officially announced the launch of me blogging BTVS episode by episode, i don’t want to get into to many specifics with these character blogs because i feel as i might almost run out of things when i get to certain episodes, (but lets be honest, i doubt i could ever run out of things to say about BTVS). So lets just talk about the key elements that make up the true essence of ANYA JENKINS.

Her many names

1. Aud

2. Anyanka

3. Anya Emerson

4. Anya Jenkins

5. Anya Christina Emmanuella Jenkins

(Just a hopeful thought) 6. Anya Christina Emmanuella Jenkins Harris

Anya and Xander.

As i have mentioned in the Willow post, although i truly love Anya and Xander, Willow and Oz v Willow and Tara for the best BTVS couples, in my opinion. However, much like Willow and unlike Xander, Anya’s relationship drastically changed her characters personality. Xander and Anya are linked together since her very first appearance as Anyanka. She came to Sunnydale to get Cordelia to wish some sort of gruesome pain upon Xander. (As tempting as it is, I’m not going to get into ‘The Wish’ just yet, but holy guacamole will it be a super fun episode to blog about!) Anya is just a reoccurring character up until season 4, where she joins the cast officially. Anya’s relationship with Xander is what really ended up making her, ever so slightly, human. Now you might be saying, that when her power source was destroyed, that’s when she became human. But, you my friend, would be wrong. When her power source was destroyed, it made her mortal. There is a vast gap of difference between being mortal and being human. (In my opinion at least) Being Human is having emotions, and feeling compassion. Knowing something is stupid and reckless, but doing it anyway to save a friend. Being mortal is just being able to be bruised, broken and killed. I can’t exactly pin-point the exact moment that Anya became human, but as the series progressed, she became more and more human. Joyce’s death is a prime example of this, as it was the first death of someone she cared about that she had ever had to deal with in her 2000+ years.

Being with the Scoobies, saving the world, being exposed to humanity, all of that is what makes Anya’s humor come out. One of my all time favorite Anya lines is in Season 7, in the midst of all things evily and The Firsty; Anya, Dawn and Xander decide to play ‘The Game of Life’, (some of you are finally putting the pieces together (; ) and Anya just goes, “Can I trade the children for more money.” That line cracks me up every time. I just can’t get enough of it! Anya’s money-loving nature is part of where her whit and humor come from, she’s always just so straight forward about things, saying “Thank you for your money, now please leave.” to customers at The Magic Box. She is so remarkably un-knowing about how what she says can affect people, its hilarious. I think it was a fantastic idea to add her into the show, for starters, Xander needed a non-Cordelia girlfriend, and the show really needed that extra layer of humor to keep the show a little bit lighter.

Hells Bells. Such a sad episode. It angers me greatly, but *deep calming breath* we will get to that another day. In the mean time, lets talk about how Xander’s duchy decisions effected Anya as a person. First thing, it convinced her to no longer be a person, and go back to her vengeance days as Anyanka. This time, her reign as a demon of terror to all men is short lived, especially compared to her previous reign. Of course this horrible decision by Xander, triggered a chain reaction of shit-faced decisions. For example….

This makes me so angry because of how it made Buffy feel. I mean, i know her and Spike weren’t really together, despite the fact that i really wish they were. But Spike was mad at Buffy, slept with Anya in the Magic Box, in front of The Trio’s secret hidden cameras. Buffy and the gang saw, and pretty much cast them to semi-group exile. I hated it. Made me so mad. It shouldn’t have happened.

———-

As sad as i am that Anya dies, i’m glad that she died when she did. It was the end of the very final episode. She maybe missed like 5 minutes of screen time. For the longest time i absolutely hated the way Anya died, it drove me crazy how meaningless and almost insignificant it was. However, when i was doing some research for this blog, i came across a quote from Emma Caulfield, the actress who plays Anya. She said this, “She didn’t get a big, maudlin send-off, it was very quick and to the point – very Anya in that respect.” And i realized just how right she was. The way Anya died was so very Anya. It was sort of perfect in that sense, and that made me cope with the way Joss hacked her in half with a Bringers sword.

Anya Jenkins, our favorite vengeance demon. Lover of money and capitalism, brilliantly hilarious, perfectly cynical.

“Google.” Google. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Sept. 2012. <https://www.google.com/search?num=10&gt;.

Whedon, Joss, and Marti Noxon. Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. Los Angles, California, 1997-2003. Television.

Faith Lehane

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“I didn’t come here to take anything away from you, but I’m not gonna be your little lapdog, either” – Faith Lehane

Faith, oh Faithy Faithy Faith. Some people dislike this bad girl gone evil, then gone good. But me? Oh good golly i love her. Part of me knows that i love Faith SO much because i love Eliza Dushku SO much. As a whedonite i have (of course) watched Dollhouse (like 20,000,000 times) and i love it. It almost rivals the wit and creativity of BTVS. Almost. I was once in the same room as Eliza at New York Comic Con 2011. I never actually met her, but i did however make eye contact with her boyfriend Rick Fox. It was a little bit epic. He was soooooo tall! And all i kept thinking was “Holy crap, Eliza Dushku has sex with this man.” Then i watched where he walked, and he went behind this tenty thing and BOOM there was Eliza. She looked so beautiful, i totally fangirled out. So now lets talk about Eliza’s character Faith in the much beloved show Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

Faith comes into play in Season 3’s episode Faith, Hope and Trick. Faith’s slayer powers were bestowed upon her after Kendra the Vampire Slayer was killed by Drucilla in Season 2’s final episodes. (And as we all know Kendra came into play when Buffy died briefly with her fight against the Master in season 1’s final episode.) Faith is one of those people who just captivates your attention. She is confident in herself and she is hella hot. She looks at life as a game, and is fairly care free about 99% of things going on. Faith is a breath of fresh air for Buffy. She shows Buffy a slightly more fun life style, she opens Buffy’s eyes to the power they have and influences her negatively. (You know, convincing her to ditch school and go clubbing. Just your normal crap). And as we all know, this is where things begin to go down hill, in the episode Bad Girls.

The thing that angers me the most about this episode is… no, let me build up to this. Okay, so yeah, Faith has always been reckless, and yes she doesn’t really ever make the best choices, but that is who she is. Although we never get a definitive look into her past and her family life, we do know that she lives alone, she craves attention and she refuses to admit to any type of emotions. There is another show i watch, and there was a quote on it that i really liked, “As long as we treat [her] like a criminal, [she] will always believe that [she] is one.” (For all of you who are wondering, this is a revised quote from the show White Collar, which ironically enough, Eliza Dushku guest stared in an episode of). When Buffy confronted Faith at the end of this episode about the innocent human she accidentally killed, it set off a trigger in Faith. The way Buffy was treating Faith made her feel like she was bad, and on top of that it caused her defensive trait to kick into overdrive, and she said things just to get Buffy off her back. I FIRMLY believe that Faith killed that man, and felt bad about it, knowing her horrible mistake. Buffy and Faith were in a dark alley, late at night, and had just had an intense fight with a bunch of vamps. This guy, Allan, came out of no where and startled a girl with super fast reflexes and a pointy piece of wood in her hand. Im sorry, in what world does this scenario end well? Further proof of it being an accident that she felt bad about is after her and Buffy split off in different ways, Faith came back to the body, and just stared at it. A PERSON WITH NO GUILT WOULD NOT HAVE DONE THAT. UGH, okay that rant is over.

So now, because of stupid stupidity, Faith has turned from a rebellious slayer to a dark slayer. While everybody she (sorta) made friends with in Sunnydale had turned against her, leaving her all alone at a time when she probably needed them the most, The Big Bad of Season 3 comes waltzing in and makes her feel appreciated, makes her feel important, makes her feel powerful. Despite her hard exterior, i always saw Faith as the most vulnerable character (only in the earlier seasons, later on she just becomes fucking awesome) she is so emotionally unstable, and she allowed herself to change into a horrible person, because that was the only way she got any slice of respect. {|| Let me just take a slight moment to admit to my biasness. When i re-watch these episodes, i see season 7 Faith, and i see Echo and i just feel so bad for her. I know the end outcome, and that makes me feel sympathetic towards Faith opposed to sympathetic towards Buffy and the Scoobies.||} As much as i HATED The Mayor, (you know for being evil and ascending)  out of all of the Big Bads he is one of my favorites. He is the only one who we see a sympathetic side to. We see seemingly human qualities in him. His attachment to Faith, no matter how it started, was a very Giles and Buffy-esque relationship, but the evil version of Giles and Buffy. Mayor Wilkins was an evil father-figure for evil-Faith. He taught her his evil trade, he made her feel important with his evil missions, and he made her feel loved with his evil presents.

Granted in a Buffy Universe, we know all evil things must come to an end. Faith goes too far when she poisons Angel, and Buffy is dead-set on revenge. So she sets out to bring Faith to Angel so Angel can suck Faith’s blood, and the poison will be gone. Good plan, until Buffy accidentally throws Faith off the roof of a building and onto a moving truck during their fight. So Angel drinks Buffy’s blood instead, and Faith slips into a coma. Causing the Mayor to have real, actual human emotions. (i.e. Sadness) Faith’s coma puts her out of the picture for, a good year or so. Resurfacing in the episode ‘This Year’s Girl’ in Season 4.

Faith has just gotten out of her Coma in this episode, and is extremely displeased when she discovers that Buffy and her gang had stopped the Mayors ascension, leaving Faith nothing to go back to. So she beats up some random girl, steals her clothes and sneaks out in the middle of the night. Causing a scare for Buffy and the gang, because well, Faith is kinda evil and psycho at the moment. And if i just woke up from a year long coma to find that my entire world had fallen apart while i slept, i would totally want to put the person who put me into a coma into their own coma. (Point: They know Faith will come after Buffy as revenge). So Faith goes to the Mayor’s old office-y place and finds a VHS recording waiting for her, with a really sentimental message from the Mayor on it, and he leaves her one last evil present, with very vague instructions on how to use it. So Faith shows up to Buffy’s house, where she finds Buffy’s mom, and no one else. (Dawnie isn’t in existence as of yet) As Faith threatens Joyce, taunting her about how Buffy had left her, how Buffy wasn’t gonna show up and save the day because Buffy didn’t care anymore, Buffy jumps through the window and tackles Faith. They duke it out, obviously equally matched, and Faith finally whips out her new toy and KAZOWIE! BODY SWITCH!

I love this episode, because i think it very clearly illustrates to both Buffy and Faith how the others life really is. At first, Faith has fun in Buffy’s body, she pretends be Buffy in a mocking way, and treats Buffy’s life like a joke. She is carefree, she is mean and she is  manipulative. She is like this until the scene with Riley. Faith-Buffy decides to get all sexy with Riley and proceeds to have sex with him, and while there doing it, Riley looks into her eyes and tells her her loves her. Needless to say, Riley thinks that he is talking to real Buffy, not Faith-Buffy. This makes Faith realize that Buffy has a good life. Buffy had built herself a life worth living, she has people who actually care about her, and this scares Faith. I don’t know if it is jealousy, or if it is guilt, but either way that moment with Riley changed Faith. Thats the moment when she started to realize that being good has its rewards. Being good makes people look up to you, and makes people want to spend time with you, and i think that is something Faith craves.

Meanwhile, Buffy is trapped in Faith’s body, and she has been captured by the Watchers Council and is in the process of being shipped off to England for some sort of Watcher-y Slayer trial type of a thingy. (That part was always kinda vague in my opinion) I don’t think that Buffy-Faith has as big of a revelation as Faith-Buffy has, but i think she does understand Faith’s struggle a little bit. Once she escaped, she goes to Giles and blah blah blah blah blah (this is not important to the Faith aspect of this blog, so we don’t care. I’ll be blogging episode by episode after i finish Character analysis’) Long story short, Buffy and Faith team up to kill a bunch of Vamps who are holding hostages inside of a church, they have a bondy moment before they switch back into their respective bodies.

We do not see Faith (in BTVS) again until Episode 18 of Season 7. Where she comes back from L.A. with Willow to help train the Potential Slayers as well as help in the battle against The First Evil. We know that Faith has served time in jail, and despite not seeing her actual transformation, we can almost immediately tell that she is back to her old self. She is the Faith we knew in the beginning of Season 3, but she is more mature, she is more like Buffy, yet she still has her good ol’ Faith charm and humor. She is not exactly welcome back with open arms, but everyone knew that they could use all the help they could get. So Faith steps in where she is needed and helps save the day.

Now, lets take an uber short moment to talk about Faith’s relationships. 1. One night Stand with Xander. 2. Chemistry with Robin Wood. Oh, and thats it. Faith gets the least amount of action out of all of the characters. Even Giles had a girlfriend! I wish we got to see more of Faith and Robin, i feel like they could have been super cute together, and i do feel like the way it ended opened a door up for them, and (although not depicted in Season 8 of Buffy) I like to imagine that Faith and Robin got together and he helped her transform into an even better person.

I feel like Faith’s hook up with Xander was really awkward. They were both kinda vulnerable, and i feel like she used him just to prove to herself that she could use him. Even though i LOVE Joss and i accept and agree with every decision he has made with all of his projects, deep down i wish that after the Buffy-Faith body switch thing that Faith stayed in Sunnydale, got good and became part of the Scoobies again. This way we could watch her character progress and maybe even see her in a real relationship. Who knows, either way, i love Faith.

Faith Lehane: Emotional Mess, former evil murderous person, witty and funny as hell.

“Google.” Google. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Sept. 2012. <https://www.google.com/search?num=10&gt;.

Whedon, Joss, and Marti Noxon. Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. Los Angles, California, 1997-2003. Television.

Xander Harris

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 “Whoa! Giles has a TV! Everybody… Giles has a TV, he’s shallow like us!” – Xander Harris

There is so much to say about the marvelous Xander Harris. He’s such an important part of BTVS. Not only does he provided much needed comic relief through out the series, but he is the heart of the Scoobie Gang. He, (along with Dawn & Principal Wood) are the only members of the gang that do not ever develop any kind of special or supernatural talent. Yet, Xander proves to always be an important member to the gang.

Xander never really goes through a huge dramatic plot. Nothing nearly as intense as Willow, Buffy or even Spike, but he is always involved with every thing. In my mind Xander is the glue that holds everyone and their sanity together. He is the guy who is always there for his friends, no matter what the situation. He has a unique insite to the group because he is often on the outside even though he is on the inside also.

Xander: They’ll never know how tough it is, Dawnie, to be the one who isn’t chosen. To live so near to the spotlight and never step in it. But I know. I see more than anybody realizes because nobody’s watching me. I saw you last night. I see you working here today. You’re not special. You’re extraordinary.

Dawn: Maybe that’s your power.

Xander: What?

Dawn: Seeing, knowing.

Xander: Maybe it is… Maybe I should get a cape.

Xander’s relationships are also key points to his plot in the show. Beginning with his relationship with Cordelia Chase. The significance of their relationship was that it broke down some social boundaries, making it remotely acceptable for a social nerd (Xander) to date a queen bee (Cordelia). Their relationship also began to soffen up Cordy, which is more promptly shown in later episodes, but mostly in the spin-off series Angel.

 This relationship didn’t really alter Xander’s personality, the only thing that could be argued is that he developed a little more confidence and jumped slightly in social ranking. Compared to Xander’s next relationship with Anya, his short time with Cordy is really unimportant. 

   Xander and Anya are the longest lasting couple on BTVS. With their first date (Prom) in season 3, lasting all the way until the very end of the series, only truly ending because Anya died. Yes, although one may argue that their relationship ended when their wedding was called off in Hell’s Bells towards the end of season 6. But they do get back together towards the middle-end of season 7.  Without question, Anya and Xander’s relationship is very abnormal, mainly on Anya’s part. Neither of Xander’s relationships truly changed his character. That is not to say that Xander has not changed, but rather that he did it on his own, by helping others and observing their reactions. 

Xander’s costume choices in various Halloween episodes show the audience his desire for macho credence: he comes, variously, as a cowboy, a soldier and as James Bond. As a soldier, he was in fact magically turned into his costume, and got to retain his macho status along with the useful military knowledge. Following this incident, his choice of costume represents explicitly whom he would like to actually become. Various episodes highlight Xander’s intense bravery; for example, he faces down evil Angelus at Buffy’s hospital door in the episode “Killed By Death”, and he offers his life in place of Willow’s in “Inca Mummy Girl”. When Buffy prepares to face Angelus in the season two finale, he arrives with a rock in hand saying “Cavalry’s here. Cavalry’s a frightened guy with a rock, but it’s here.” Stephens argues that this makes up the essence of Xander’s character; though powerless, he is always both loyal and brave. As his relationship with Dawn in “Potential” and his support of Buffy show, Xander finds that his real calling seems to be in his role as the “eternal supporter”. One journalist describes the character as a modern-day Greek Chorus, always an outsider looking in, and a version of Joss Whedon himself. One author writes that the focus of Xander’s character development has always been his quest for maturity. Joss Whedon has often commented that many aspects of Xander were based upon himself. Nicholas Brendon (who plays Xander) often jokes that that is why Xander ‘always got the best lines’.

With Buffy and Willow i have mentioned how important casting was. As fantastic as Nicholas Brendon was, i don’t believe casting was as important. Believe it or not, Ryan Reynolds was originally offered the job, but later turned it down for another project. Danny Strong (Jonathan) also had auditioned for the role. Joss Whedon loved his enthusiasm, and when he was casting for Jonathan, he called Danny for the role.

In the DVD commentary for the episode “Dirty Girls”, writer Goddard mentions there was talk of killing off Xander towards the end of Season Seven and having the First assume Xander’s appearance when conversing with Buffy for the remainder of the season. This was ultimately rejected since Xander was thought to be too important to the series, and his death occurring so late in the season would leave little time to deal with it correctly, and that throughout the series’ run, Xander was the one character who never wavered, and to punish that characteristic with death would send a message the staff wasn’t trying to convey. Instead of killing Xander, he was blinded in one eye.

Which one is Nicholas Brendon? 😉

For the episode ‘The Replacement’ Nicholas’ identical twin brother, Kelly Donovan (Brendon and Donovan are the twins’ middle names, Schultz is their real last name.) played the other half of Xander. Donovan played the clean-cut Xander, while Brendon played the sloppy, ill-mannered Xander. Donovan is also his brothers stunt double, whenever needed. (Not that Xander gets involved with many fights.)

Xander Harris; Funny, observational; (kinda hot 😉 )

“Google.” Google. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Sept. 2012. <https://www.google.com/search?num=10&gt;.

Whedon, Joss, and Marti Noxon. Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. Los Angles, California, 1997-2003. Television.