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.