coffee

A confusing thing

Been jumping through my link collection, and speed-re-reading stories to build these recommendation lists. And I have come to a few realizations:

- Giles/Oz creeps me out. This even though some of the stories are very well-written, the Giles/Oz pairing having attracted some skilled authors. I haven't figured this one out. It's not the age difference-- Giles/Xander is a relationship I love, and of course Giles/Buffy works for me. I enjoy Oz as a character plenty. It doesn't help that some of the writers set the stories after season 1. Or that often Oz is so broken, or Giles is so broken, in many of them. Hmm, perhaps that's getting at the problem.

- Giles/Willow doesn't work for me either, but I understand why not, and believe a good writer could talk me out of it. Willow isn't strong enough for Giles: not feisty enough, not playful enough, not resilient enough. I think he likes his partners a little bit wicked. Consider what Ethan and Jenny have in common. Olivia we don't see enough of, but we do see her being fairly strong-willed about "enough small talk" in "Hush".

- There needs to be more Core Four genfic, set during the series and after it. I will take this as a goal in life after the NaNo project.
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Woah. You just picked out two of my least fave giles pairings ever. Altho' I don't like Oz in fic. I just don't think he translates well in written form. I mean, Seth Green made that character, and I love him, but he just can't be written well (in my opinion).

As for Willow, I just...if she's not paired with Tara, I have a really hard time seeing her in a sexual relationship. Again, one of my crazy quirks.

~e!
Love you muchly! But Giles/Oz and Giles/Willow are two of my OTPs. They make sense to me, in a way that Giles/Buffy (for example) never does.

This is what I love about LJ...we're all so different, but we can all come together and chat here ;)
Zap me some recs! I can be convinced! I mean, I thought Giles/Anya was just batshit loonball until I read ljs and had an OMG universe realignment moment.
I can deal with G/W pretty easily, but do understand what you're saying. The idea of G/Oz does not squick me the way G/Angel does.
I have to completely agree about G/Oz and G/W pairings. Part of this is, as someone else pointed out, how dependent the character of Oz is on Seth Green's carefully understated presentation of him, and that is exceptionally difficult to write. Willow fit so well with Tara, and had such deep self-absorbtion and ego issues [going right over into true narcissism by the end] issues that I cannot see Giles being in any way attracted to that. Buffy was certainly self-absorbed, but in a normal teenaged way, and yet she never, ever shirked her duty, even when she desperately wanted to. The episode "Anne" is a telling one that way. Far from the Hellmouth, she knows it is her fundamental nature to be a warrior against the dark.

Yet every time it seemed like she might be given space to mature, they threw something outrageous at her - "they" in this case being a certain writer/producer who seemed obsessed with keeping her heroine isolated emotionally [to the point of abject cruelty] when early on it had been so well established that Buffy's strength as a Slayer lay in her emotional and social connections. Grr.

This really got started after S3. It was unreasonable and inconsistant that the Scobies disintegrated like that, and certainly no reason for Giles to get shoved to the back burner. They were now able to act with a degree of independence they could not have in high school, but I think this should have brought them closer, not further, apart. I wish someone would rewrite S4 the way Koala did such a good job on S5. That would be an excellent place for some strong Core Four genfic, wouldn't it?

For me, the most successful B/G has Buffy coming to Giles after growing into herself emotionally and intellectually. Hers isn't the biblio-based intelligence that Giles has, but I felt that we got very contradictory messages about just how bright she really is during the series. And I have this fundamental need to see Giles paired with a person with a brain as agile -- even if differently gifted -- as his own. He deserves it, and I think it's an essential ingredient [necessary though not sufficient, as I know from experience] to a long term relationship.

And as for the age difference: one of my close friends whom I introduced to BtVS married at 19 a man 28 years her senior. They had a wonderful marriage, though she was widowed in early middle age. Another dear Tweedy friend is married to a man 25 years her senior, and it's the same thing: a delightful pairing of co-conspirators who adore each other. I just finished Lois McMaster Bujold's latest novel ["The Sharing Knife: Beguilement"] in which her protagonists fall hard and truly for one another, although she is 18 and he is 55 and it works extremely well. In none of these pairings is their the faintest whiff of Freudian anything, an excuse that I find extremely wearing because it just doesn't ring true. A good relationship should be woven of many strands, and written well, I think B/G can be quite wonderful. Unfortunately, too often it is written poorly and fails to convince.

I am learning that there is something satisfying about G/X, too, although only in the hands of writers who can clearly develop Xander's mind -- like Buffy's differently gifted than Giles's -- so that he becomes a worthy companion. There is certainly some excellent G/Wes out there, but I think it only seems possible after Wesley has had some of the brittleness broken away from him and has grown into himself. He certainly has an intellect to match Giles, but he has a very significant kind of emotional maturing to do before he can be a realistic companion. He is so very damaged; Giles was damaged, but grew beyond it, where I get the sense that Wes's heart is still an open wound, which is not a good basis for any relationship.

shutting up now...
I whole heartedly agree with you here. Giles/OZ, just something that never seemed to click in my mind. I'm sure there are wonderful stories out there, I just can't seem to wrap my mind around the pairing. And with G/Willow, I've honestly tried to read them and couldn't. I think you hit upon why. And that's what lead to me having such trouble writing their scene for the Core Four sequel.

And I have made a contribution to the Core Four genre, although I'm not sure you'd call them genfics. I may have to give that a go too, soonish. Maybe after CYA.