Tag Archives: Xander Harris

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.

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.