Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Vampire Week: Guest Blog - Luisa Plaja on Why She Loves Spike

Why I Love Spike
by Luisa Plaja

The first run of Buffy the Vampire Slayer finished in 2003, but the Buffy phenomenon lives on in re-runs, DVD box sets and graphic novels. (And in small references in my novels Split by a Kiss and Swapped by a Kiss!) The Buffyverse has everything - life, death, love, monsters, love for monsters, death of love for monsters...

I love Buffy because it's about my favourite fictional themes: growing up; finding out who you are and where you fit into the world; overcoming adversity, internal and external, real and imagined. I also always look for humour in fiction - I've never understood the kinds of stories where the end of the world is nigh and no one's cracking jokes about it. I mean, you would, wouldn't you? I seriously admire Joss Whedon and his team of writers for the wit and word-play in every episode of Buffy. *awe* (By the way, I recommend Slayer Slang: A Buffy the Vampire Slayer Lexicon by Michael Adams for a fascinating account of Buffy-ish.)

But it's Vampire Week on Wondrous Reads, so Buffy and our Joss need to move aside and make way for my favourite vampire himself... Yes, it's Spike, aka William the Bloody (played by James Marsters). Here follows a summary of why I love him. (Though please note that I mean 'love' more in a 'wow, what a completely fascinating character to view from afar' way than a 'hey, Spikey, wanna spend the rest of your unlife making cups of tea for me?' kind of way.)

So. *clears throat* Why I Love Spike.
WARNING: this contains Buffy spoilers

- Spike is human. OK, he's not, of course, he's an undead creature. I mean that he's fallible. Very.

Spike: "I had a plan."
Angel: "You, a plan?"
Spike: "Yeah, a good plan. Smart. Carefully laid out. But I got bored." (Angel Season 1, Episode 3, "In the Dark")

- Spike's look was borrowed by Billy Idol

Bouncer: (asked if he has seen Spike) "Yeah, yeah, I know the guy. Billy Idol wannabe?
Buffy: Actually, Billy Idol stole his look from - never mind." (Season 7, Episode 8, "Sleeper")

- Spike speaks his mind

Spike: "No. I'm a rebel. You're an idiot." (Season 6, Episode 6, "All the Way")

- In life, Spike was a misfit and a poet. A bad one.

Woman in 1880: "They call him 'William the Bloody' because of his bloody awful poetry." (Season 5, Episode 7, "Fool For Love")

Spike in 1880: "I'm the very spirit of vexation. What's another word for 'gleaming'? It's a perfectly perfect word as many words go but the bother is nothing rhymes, you see." (Season 5, Episode 7, "Fool For Love")

- And yet Spike can often cut right to the heart of the matter - especially in matters of the heart.

Spike: "Now, you listen to me. I've been alive a bit longer than you. And dead a lot longer than that. I've seen things you couldn't imagine - done things I'd prefer you didn't. I don't exactly have a reputation for being a thinker. I follow my blood. Which doesn't exactly rush in the direction of my brain. I've made a lot of mistakes. A lot of wrong bloody calls. A hundred plus years and there's only one thing I've ever been sure of. You." (Season 7, Episode 20, "Touched")

- Spike loves the world - in his own way.

Spike: "We like to talk big. Vampires do. 'I'm going to destroy the world.' That's just tough-guy talk. Strutting around with your friends over a pint of blood. The truth is, I like this world. You've got... dog racing, Manchester United. And you've got people. Billions of people walking around like Happy Meals with legs. It's all right here. But then someone comes along with a vision. With a real... passion for destruction. Angel could pull it off. Good-bye, Piccadilly. Farewell, Leicester-bloody-Square." (Season 2, Episode 22, "Becoming: Part Two")

- Spike truly loved (and lost) Dru

Spike: "She wouldn't even kill me. She just left. She didn't even care enough to cut off my head, or set me on fire. I mean, is that too much to ask? You know? Some little sign that she cared?" (Season 3, Episode 8, "Lovers Walk")

Spike: "I gave her everything - beautiful jewels, beautiful dresses, with beautiful girls in them, but nothing made her happy. And she would flirt! I caught her on a park bench, making out with a chaos demon! Have you ever seen a chaos demon? They're all slime and antlers. They're disgusting. She only did it to hurt me. So I said, 'I'm not putting up with this any more.' And she said, 'Fine!' And I said, 'Yeah, I've got an unlife, you know!' And then she said... she said we could still be friends. God, I'm so unhappy!" (Season 3, Episode 8, "Lovers Walk")

- Spike is passionate

Spike: "You're not friends. You'll never be friends. You'll be in love till it kills you both... Love isn't brains, children, it's blood - blood screaming inside you to work its will." (Season 3, Episode 8, "Lovers Walk")

- Spike is bad, as vampires should be

Spike: "And I'm just supposed to help you out of the evilness of my heart?" (Season 4, Episode 12, "A New Man")

Spike: "You won. All right? You came in, and you killed them and you took their land. That's what conquering nations do. It's what Caesar did, and he's not going around saying, 'I came, I conquered, I felt really bad about it.'" (Season 4, Episode 8, "Pangs")

Spike: "What's this? Sitting around watching the telly while there's evil still afoot? It's not very industrious of you. I say, we go out there, and kick a little demon ass. What, can't go without your Buffy? Is that it? Too chicken? Let's find her. She is the Chosen One, after all. Come on! Vampires! Grrr! Nasty. Let's annihilate them. For justice, and for the safety of puppies and Christmas, right? Let's fight that evil. Let's kill something. Oh, come on!" (Season 4, Episode 11, "Doomed")

- Spike cares deeply. He's the only one who truly understands Buffy.

Spike: "That's not your world. You belong in the shadows... with me." (Season 6, Episode 17, "Normal Again")

"Death is on your heels, baby. And sooner or later, it's gonna catch you. And part of you wants it. Not only to stop the fear and uncertainty, but because you're just a little bit in love with it." (Season 5, Episode 7, "Fool For Love")

- In fact, Spike is hopelessly, body-and-no-soul devoted to Buffy

Spike: "I have come to redefine the words pain and suffering since I fell in love with you." (Season 7, Episode 9, "Never Leave Me")

Spike: "I was just trying to keep up. The things you do... the way you make it hurt in all the wrong places... I've never been with such an animal." ( Season 6, Episode 13, "Dead Things")

- Though always remember... Spike is a monster . He's a vampire - a proper vampire.

Spike: "Creature of the night here, yeah? Some people forget that." (Season 6, Episode 9, "Smashed")

And those are just some of the reasons why I love Spike.


Kate Evangelista said...

I love Spike too! More than Angel.

Book Chick City said...

Oh I *love* Spike too! I enjoyed reading your post Luisa and agree with every bit of it. The only thing is I did like Spike in the "'hey, Spikey, wanna spend the rest of your unlife making cups of tea for me?" kind of way ;) But it's funny as I never thought the actor was dishy, just the way he played Spike :)

SusanKMann said...

I have to disagree sorry, I liked Spike but loved Angel more :) He was a very cool vamp, with a great attitude. xx

Gillian Philip said...

Darn it, I use that line 'I've been alive a bit longer than you' in an upcoming Rebel Angels book! (Haven't got to Buffy Season 7 yet!) It'll just have to be a homage...
Oh yes, I love Spike. Because, as you so rightly say, Luisa, he's Proper Bad.

Jesse Owen said...

Woohoo for Spike, one of my favourite Buffy characters too.

Nina said...

OMG, I now realise how much I miss Spike! :)

So Many Books, So Little Time said...

Okay, I'm convinced. I am going to watch Buffy. :)

Jennys mum said...

Louisa,I'm reassured, I now know somebody as buffymad as Jenny!

Jo said...

I loved your post, Luisa! I also really like Spike, he was just hilarious! And he's English! English vamps rock just a bit! :)

Shweta said...

Loved Spike..He was the zing factor of the show..Awesome post ..

Jo Treggiari said...

Loved him best too. And he got most of the great lines.

Luisa Plaja said...

Thank you for having me on your wondrous site, Jenny, and I love the pics you used! (Sigh - that last one!)
I love all these comments, too.
Jo, how could I forget to mention that he's English?! Thank you.
Jenny's mum, hello! I think Jenny still has me beaten in the Buffy, er, stakes, though. :)
Gillian, it's a fab line and will be a great homage!
I'll try to get back and reply to more later. Thank you so much, everyone!

Luisa Plaja said...

P.S. I'm really enjoying Vampire Week!

Sarah said...

Great post! I love Spike & you picked some fab quotes :o)

YA Vampire Books said...

Awesome post! I löööööööve Spike! I love all quotes you posted, so good!

Iffath♥Ahmed said...

LOL! This post is great, Luisa and Jenny! :)

I Want To Read That said...

Awesome post! Love Spike, Love Angel. Cant choose!

Susie Day said...

Hee, and you didn't even need to use the word 'effulgent.' I need no persuading, truly: in the immortal words of Buffybot, 'Angel's lame. His hair goes straight up, and he's bloody stupid!'

I kid, I kid: they are both my very favourite vampires. Am so glad you quoted 'You'll never be friends', anyway: that was my OMG SPIKE IS AWESOME!!1! moment. :)

Hooray for Vampire Week!

Lauren said...

Spike is my very favourite vampire of all time! I never really got the whole Angel thing, but Spike with Buffy was just dark and complex and fascinating to watch.

Awesome post. I feel a Buffy marathon approaching. :D

SarwatC said...

I went through a fairly intense Buffy period a few years ago and Spike was the best thing about it (I started with Season 4, no idea why).
James Marster did a great English accent and Jo's right, English vamps do rock just a little bit.
Plus he even sang in an English accent!
Yeah, where is that boxed set?

Kelly said...

Very funny post Luisa - love it! But i have to say i secretly ♥ed Angel!

Vampire Girl said...

Spike esta tan buenorro!!
He's very hot!!
Le quiero!!
Saludos desde España

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