William /Spike and thoughts on the nature of soul and demon in the Buffyverses...(by various contributors)
(stories and thoughts along these lines are welcome and will be listed with credit, please send them or links via the email link at bottom, thanks...)
I and my friends think that Spike is William's dark side but no worse than others, including Buffy's. There may be something in William that prefers loving someone like Buffy or Dru to performing great, heroic deeds and that may be why souled Spike would still rather be with Buffy than saving the world. That doesn't make him or Angel bad, it's just what he as William, valued most as compared to Liam.
William was a weak man. Spike is an evil beast. He will always be evil, soul or no soul and simply manipulates Buffy. Buffy can't love him. End of story, outside your own fantasies.
[Should I add, unfairly, perhaps... "Angel forever" to this one?-regertz]
FWIW you can make an argument that in the Buffyverse, there are really three human components: the body, the soul and the personality. When a human dies, the soul and the personality both go "elsewhere" for their just rewards while the body remains behind to decay. When a human is vamped, only the soul departs; the personality remains with the body to determine what type of vampire will emerge.
There's probably a few bugs in this theory also but I daresay less than the screen version Joss has given us. I was thinking of the difference between Buffy's soul, which knew she had been to heaven, and Angel's soul, which has no memory of where it was when out of Angelus' body. Joss never addressed that discrepancy. But in my quick-&-dirty theory, if the departed soul of the deceased had some component (I chose "personality" for convenience) that the departed soul of a vampire did not, that could account for the memory differences. Joss just talks about soul and no-soul when clearly the picture he presented is more complicated than the onscreen explanation presented.
I think you paint William (the soul, I mean) a little more noble and heroic in your tales than he is in the series. [I don't deny that...Regertz] (Not a bad thing, cause I love your stuff but he's a little different-though I'm willing to admit William/Spike or both have been noble at times these last two years). As to William and Spike they seem about the same, so I believe the difference has to be in William having a conscience. Maybe for Joss Whedon, "soul" is a code word for conscience.
Meaning that Warren Mears has no soul, which we can all agree on I'm sure. At least in the case of the TV series Warren.
Well, I think he did... but not in big letters and directly. I think when a person is sired, the soul is wrenched loose from the personality, which is anchored in the body for the vampire. The soul then becomes usable to whoever has the capacity to harness it. Buffy died without being turned, hence soul and personality were not seperated and still within reach, able to be pulled back together. The soul remembered nothing. Only the personality has memory in Whedon's universe. When Darla was pulled back from the ether as a human being, her soul and personality were reunited naturally, with no vampire present, only the memories. Angelus' soul was forcibly reunited with him, but the vampire was equally there. Hence it took him decades to develop the personality that could deal marginally with his situation, Angel. Spike had two years of being unable to attack human beings physically, and then falling in love with Buffy, and TRYING to act human. Thus when he got his soul back, it basically entered a body with a half-tame vampire, so to speak. Some of the restraints Angelus had to deal with, Spike had already adapted to.
I'm not sure. We've seen very few vampires before and after their turning and only two have gotten a soul. Angel. The original human was pretty much a disappointment, drinking in taverns and going after women. The vampire was vicious and cruel while the souled version is a brooder and champion. The souled and unsouled versions of Angel are like two different people, neither like the original human. However, there was a long period after Angel got his soul where he was unsure what to do and he even went back to Darla for a while. So, perhaps it wasn't that souled Angel originally differed from his other versions but that he gradually grew and changed.
Willow. Vamp Willow and regular Willow seemed not at all alike in Dopplerganger, but as later events proved, all the characteristics in Vamp Willow were also in regular Willow.
Spike. Again, Spike and the Bloody Awful Poet may seem completely different and they are. But the episode that showed how William became a vampire showed that at first the vampire William was just like regular William in his caring for his mother. He clearly adopted/created the personna of Spike. There was little difference between Souled Spike (after he stopped being crazy) and Reformed Spike but all we've seen is Spike after a year of being ensouled.
My current theory is that Angel has MPD that just expresses itself through the soul/nosoul thing.
I think Spike and Angelus are like every other vamp, just more screen time and sometimes better lines.
In "Dracula" and other vampire tales the souls of the tormented are still aware of what their bodies are being used to do and have to be saved/released via either stake to the heart or sword to the head. It wouldn't be hard to imagine that the Council lies to its Slayers and makes them believe there is no chance to recover the souls (or at least is clueless about what happens to the souls but doesn't care in any case).
Ren the BugMan
I think you may be right that Buffy was turning against Slaying before she died and afterwards partly because of meeting Angel and Spike. Angel with a soul, Spike trying to be a man must have shaken her faith that Slaying without a second thought was the way to go. It's too bad the series had to end before they could explore that path much, although "Angel" does in a way.
Either William must have been quite a soul to have Spike as he was, or Spike was quite a demon. We'll have to see how William turns out on "Angel". I do like the William versus Spike thing in "Romance Palace", I hope you do more of that.
I like Spike or William because he focuses on the one he loves-Buffy is his redemption, and that seems very human and believable, maybe even a bit less than heroic, but human. With Angel or Angelus, the issues are atonement and redemption on a noble scale, winning Buffy or somebody (Darla, Cordelia, whoever's next) being secondary-which is nice and noble, but seems a little empty and even vain-you can see Liam in there, patting himself on the back for doing such a noble job. And equally happy when he's Angelus-just so long as he's the star.
Neither guy changes much with losing the soul, just their worst side takes control.
Undead Fred (Fred Soong)
I like to believe that Will's soul has always hung around or been in some contact, allowing a tad more Humanity to slip in but been helpless and pushed aside by Spike until the demon was restrained by the chip and later driven down when the demon god "restored" (which can be taken to mean restored to control, William's soul). I've never "liked" Spike outside of his being humorous and a cut above other villains and would always be able to see him destroyed...but I do like the William that has always barely shined through-Only a strong soul could manage to give Spike the trace of saving humanity he's always displayed, in my opinion. I know a lot of folks won't and don't like that view but it works for me and it and Buffy's (and her counterparts') efforts to rescue the good man within are central themes of many of my tales.
Of course I take this view to its limits in the Cicelyverse tales, which for me are a retelling of the old fairy tale, "the Snow Queen" about the young girl who undergoes a quest to save her trapped playmate/lover...But you could think of them as Buffy, with a good reason, seeking to save William the good man and lover from a horrible and undeserved fate. Which, frankly is true for many of the vampiral characters on the TV show...William sorta stands in for them all and gives Buffy the chance to carry on themes the show skirts and skirted round in S5-Is it wrong for Buffy to content herself with killing these creatures or should she be seeking something higher...And, is she by becoming a Slayer in the more traditional mold, risking losing that special something (which I choose to call compassion) that set her apart from past Slayers?
And of course there's always my own one line description of William:
The colonel glances over each, fixing on William...
"So..." he consults his report on the "special team"... "You are William the Broody...?"
What!?...William chokes...The others staring...Buffy looks narrowly at Riley who represses a smile...
"Bloody, mate..." Catching Finn's little smile, he now glares at Riley as well...
Musta been a typo in the report...Riley grins...Looking innocently at the wall...
-"Two Weeks at Saddy's"