scooby gang

Oh noes! the personal canon question

Name a character and I'll tell you three (or more) facts about them from my own personal pseudo-canon.

If you want more facts about somebody mentioned previously, go right ahead and mention him/her/it again. Gakked from the entire universe.
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Xander! The Scoobie I identify with most, if I must confess this.

- Is secretly smart, but hampered by undiagnosed dyslexia. Or some other learning disability that has nothing to do with what truly goes on inside his head-- perhaps it's just that nobody ever in his life taught him how to study. (Willow was too much of a natural at it to understand what she did that was so effective.) Later on, when he figured this out and studying was no longer agony for him, he buckled down and taught himself a whole ton of stuff. But he spent his life a little insecure about being self-taught.

- Has the most reliable moral compass of all of them. He doesn't always pay attention to it when his hormones get in the way (particuarly when he was young) but if you ask Xander if some action is good or evil, he'll be able to tell you.

- Is the next Head of the Council, after Giles retires. And does a very good job of it. And looks stunning in a tailored suit, though since he took the desk job he's had a constant struggle with his weight.
Buffy! How I love her. And am terribly disappointed by her.

- Reliably identifies evil entities when she pays attention. If she says somebody is a demon, she's right and you'd be silly not to listen. Because she has consistently skimped on her training through her entire life, she can't explain why she knows this. So she's not so articulate about telling you why the new guy is wigging her. And she does tend to swing the sword first and ask questions later.

- (A reference to a topic earlier this week.) Suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. Shell shock. The emotional trauma that all combat veterans suffer. The humor is a way to cope with the fact that every night of her life, she sees people she failed to save from vampires. Either she finds their bodies, or she has to stake them. She's cruelly fated to spend her life surrounded by death, death, and more death. When she finally found an honorable way to commit suicide in "The Gift", it was a relief to her. Spike was not lying when he told her about the Slayer death wish.

- Is at her best when she's close to her Watcher. For a long time she was spooked by Merrick's death, however, and scared to get close to Giles. He might die on her. When he nearly killed himself in "Passion", she freaked. But he's the only one who has a prayer of understanding her and the pressures she's under. He spent decades training to help her, after all. Unfortunately, he's also the closest thing to somebody she can blame for the fate that made her a Slayer, so she wasted a lot of time blaming him.

- Was not resurrected in season 6. That was something else. Somebody else in a Buffy costume. At least as aired on television.
Dawn. I haven't written her much, but I have a few theories.

- Is the genetic daughter of Buffy and Giles. The monks did some weird things to make a human shell for the key. They wanted to tie her as closely to Buffy as possible, and parthenogensis offended their monkish sensibilities. Giles was the obvious candidate. Neither Buffy nor Giles is likely ever to ask the right questions to figure this out, however.

- If you killed Dawn, she would turn into a ball of green energy that would dissipate before you. And then the memory spell, which required enormous power to sustain and took that power from the key, would fade, and your first set of memories, from before Sept 2000, would reassert themselves. And how you react to that depends on how you feel about having your memories manipulated. But you'd also have memories of interacting with Dawn the real human being, because she was a real human being.

- Being a teenager is hard enough without also finding out you're not really a human being. Or maybe you're not a human being. You were constructed, not born the way everybody else was. Dawn did not cope gracefully. But she is very smart, and of the turn of mind that analyzes what's around her and reasons clearly, and by the time she went to college she'd recovered herself. She never really got along with Buffy, though, not until they were both in their thirties and had put some distance between them.

- Is not stupid. NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT. This is why I cannot like the Beekeeper's Apprentice books. Watson is a medical doctor, and a writer of no mean skill, and a keen observer of the people around him. If he suffers in comparison with his genius friend, it is in the manner that we would all suffer when compared with Holmes.

- Has all the warmth and empathy that his detective friend cannot have. He is, like Giles, a hero's companion, someone who supports the person who makes the terrible sacrifices to achieve some great aim. Holmes would be lost without his Boswell, but also lost without his tether to sanity, to sobriety, to the comfort of friendship.

- Was only married once, to Mary Morstan, but deliberately obscured the fact in his stories. He played games with dates and names to blur the identities of some of the more famous people involved in Holmes' cases. (The Prince of Bohemia was so the Prince of Wales, yes.) The marriage didn't last long because she died young. He was back living with Holmes within a couple of months, to Holmes' relief.
Rupert Giles, personal canon, version 2!

- His preferred swordsmanship style is to use a light sword in his left hand and a dagger in his left. If he chooses a wooden dagger, it doubles as a handy stake. He works hard at keeping his skills at a high pitch. He faked incompetence early on with Buffy because he felt her confidence was low. But like any Watcher candidate, he spent his teenaged years studying martial arts of many kinds with the aim of eventually teaching them to a Slayer. So he's good. And he's brave. The way a slightly suicidal man can be brave.

- He swore an oath to protect this sorry world, and an oath to protect and serve the Slayer. The world comes first, but only barely. The world, then Buffy, then everything else is an also-ran. Including himself. He still has a bad case of survivor's guilt from the incident with Eyghon and Randall, and there's a little part of him that secretly thinks he deserved to die instead of Randall. Buffy is slowly curing him of this feeling.

- Angelus changed him. Both the experience of losing Jenny and the night of torture. It burned away some layers of disguise he'd wrapped around himself in the years after Eyghon (Ethan was right and Giles was right about who he was, both of them at once). People are complex, and men in their forties will never truly roll back to who they were at twenty: there's a violent thug inside him, but that's not all he is. Giles is more bitter now than he was, more guarded.
Rupert Giles, personal canon, version 3!

- He's good at sex, the way he's good at everything he puts his mind to. There's a reason why Joyce was still thinking about him, months after the candy. Why every time she saw him she had a little flash. There's also a reason that he and Joyce were the ones having sex while around them the other adults got drunk and sang "Louie Louie" instead: Giles has a strong drive. He's got a bit of an oral fixation. Loves using his mouth in whatever ways come to mind.

- "Ripper" on Band Candy night was not who Giles was at age 16. At age 16 he was a nice well-behaved buttoned-down repressed schoolboy with a posh accent. Band Candy Ripper was the hot free-wheeling careless sexy bastard he wished he'd been. Wishes he could be instead of the tied-up man he is. It isn't even the man he was when he ran away from his destiny to raise demons and take drugs with Ethan. Though that man is a bit scary: imagine Giles with his skills and mind and abilities, deliberately ignoring his moral compass. There's a reason he still feels guilty about his behavior, twenty years later.

- He's lonely in America.
Oh-ho! Willow Rosenberg!

- Secretly insecure, about her sexuality, about her abilities, about her brainpower, about the way she looks, about anything you can name. A little power was a dangerous thing with our Willow, because she started using it. She never understood, as Buffy did, that power meant responsibility. It's Marvel-idiocy-trite, yes, but it's true. And Buffy got it.

- She's bisexual, the big silly. She loved Oz and enjoyed being with him, as much as she enjoyed and loved Tara.

- She broke up with Kennedy pretty quickly. Kennedy isn't as bad as people think.
Rupert Giles, personal canon, version 4!

- He plays the guitar well. He's been playing for thirty years. That's enough time to get good, though not rock-god good. He can play the Beatles, the Who, Clapton before he got boring, a bunch of Zep, Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd. And then he digressed into the English folk scene as he slowed down a bit. He's got a Gibson dreadnaught acoustic and a Les Paul.

- He hasn't played much poker, because he hasn't got much patience for card games. In some of my stories, though, he's got a box full of chess books because he spent his youth swotting away at that. He let it slide until he spent that year unemployed. At his best he earned an Expert rating. (Some of my universes feature a non-chess-playing Giles, however.) Fear him at Scrabble. He lacks the popcult breadth to do well on Jeopardy, though he has the right turn of mind.

- He likes riding horses and motorcycles for the same reason: they take him out of his mind and force him to be in his body for a while, to use his whole body. And riding is a thrill. Giles is secretly an adrenaline junkie. This secret is much better kept than his secret sweet tooth, which Willow was feeding back when they were juniors in high school.
I can't explain why, but your meta here is making me downright squeeful. I'm all bouncy.

Anyway, I want your take on Tara. Do you do Angel characters?
I've slowly started watching Angel, but I'm like 3 episodes into season 1. So I can't do those characters justice. I'm watching for the Wesley character arc, by the way. Angel doesn't make my heart beat a single thump faster than it's already beating.

Tara Clay!

- Oh, Tara. Please stop defining yourself in terms of Willow. You're such an interesting person on your own. You'll do great things as you learn to be confident and to believe in yourself. Leaving Willow was a great first step for you-- don't go back! She'll consume you, because she is insecure and selfish and deeply unstable right now. She'll sort herself out eventually, and when you're both done growing up and out a little bit you can see if you want to get together again. But for now, please, figure out who you are, on your own.

- Wise woman archetype, is our Tara. The maternal figure the group lost when Joyce died. She's not ready for that role yet, but she will be eventually. Her magic is inherently different from Willow's and Giles': theirs is the magic of sorcery, for all that Willow mislabels herself a "Wicca" (whatever that's supposed to mean). Tara is earth magic to their mind magic. She can read auras and they can't.

- Tara has never allowed herself to consider being attracted to men. She might find that she enjoys it now and then, as variety, but she's probably a Kinsey 5. Unlike Willow, who's shamming for political reasons and is completely unaware of what she really wants. Though she probably knows that what she really wants is to get all the attention that people give Buffy. Oh, there I go ranting about Willow when I should be writing about Tara. C'mon, Tara! Step out into the light!

(No Tara icons. Urk!)
Wesley Wyndam-Pryce!

- Better at his demonology than Giles is. He knows his stuff, has the usual Watcher facility for trivia, and is less averse to modern technology than Giles is. You will hear no Romantic speeches about knowledge should be "smelly" from Wesley. He wouldn't have the self-confidence to deliver a speech like that, anyway.

- Lacks physical confidence as well. He'd have been picked last in gym if he'd gone to American schools. There was nothing wrong with him physically. It's just that he'd been taught to fear by his father early. To fear pain, to fear attempting something lest he fail, to fear humiliation. All of his daddy issues are well-earned. (But that's real canon.) Eventually he found a martial arts trainer who worked this out of him.

- Gay, gay, gay. But closeted. Even so, he truly was in love with Fred. People are complex.
I'm loving this! Can I sit at your feet and learn?

How about Ethan Rayne?
I'm just makin' stuff up, ya know :)

Ahhhh, Ethan Rayne. My personal canon about him, as shown in the "Breaking Glass" verse, which really needs a better name:

- Met Rupert at Oxford. He read economics, and had some opinions about what ought to be done about the economic injustice he saw around him. Particularly as it affected him. He was a bright lad who went to modern, progressive schools and learned early on that everything can be bought, or sold.

- Has never had a real job in his life, and intends to keep it that way. Which is not to say that he's lazy, because he isn't. He'll do a little contract work here and there if the task amuses him and he's not occupied with his own projects at the time.

- Did his best by Rupert, by his own lights. Which were limited at that age.

- Is well-read and well-educated, and enjoys flaunting the fact.

- Was married for a little while in the late 80s. It ended amicably.