BSV Forum - Writing - Canon

How old is Spike?

Apr 24 2008 05:46 pm   #1Monty
So... in episode "The Initiative" he says he's only 126, and the year was 1999, which would mean he was born in 1873. But then, in Fool For Love we see that he was sired in 1880, and that would mean he was 7 years old?! Was this ever explained outside the show? Perhaps he meant to say he was only 146?
''I felt love for him. That tired, hopeless love which asks for nothing, which is satisfied only with a look and presence of her lover, love pointless and blind which drips from the inside with every beat of a heart. Love which doesn't ask for a touch, nor existence. Love which is here and now and which will be for forever. I wished that I could fall asleep in this moment. I would dream of him.'' Viktoria Faust

Apr 24 2008 05:52 pm   #2Blood Faerie
One of the many flubs in the show, like how in School Hard Spike called Angel his Sire. I also choose to believe maybe he was guestimating how many years he was a vampire and not adding in his mortal years *shrugs*
Unfortunately, we had big vampires in the next room, and I didn't think they'd wait while we had hot monkey sex. ~Cerulean Sins :: (Anita to Jean-Claude)“Is there anything your bloodline does that doesn’t involve getting naked?" ~Danse Macabre :: I’m dating three men, living with two more, and having occasional sex with two others. That’s seven men. I’m like a pornographic Snow White. I think seven is plenty. ~Danse Macabre
Apr 24 2008 06:37 pm   #3Scarlet Ibis
I heard somewhere it was revealed he was turned at age 26 or 28.  Starting from year 1880 to figure out his vamp years is correct, and who knows about "The Initiative" ep--maybe he was just doing that thing that guys do and adding a few extra...by then, he was only 119, and that just doesn't sound as good.
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
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Apr 24 2008 06:59 pm   #4FetchingMadScientist
I always assumed that Spike was counting his years as a vampire in "The Initiative."  That would make him about 130 by Buffy's end.  By now he would be 135--counting just the vampire years.  And, who says the Council's records were ever correct?
"Never a fetching mad scientist about when you need one." -Spike
Apr 24 2008 07:47 pm   #5Eowyn315
I think they just didn't remember that line from The Initiative when they picked 1880 in Fool For Love.

And, who says the Council's records were ever correct?
Oh, they're definitely not, since they thought he was around 200 in 1998. Even with human years, that doesn't add up, unless he was very spry 80 when he was turned....
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Apr 24 2008 08:05 pm   #6Monty
So what do you guys take for canon when you're writing a fic that addresses his age?
''I felt love for him. That tired, hopeless love which asks for nothing, which is satisfied only with a look and presence of her lover, love pointless and blind which drips from the inside with every beat of a heart. Love which doesn't ask for a touch, nor existence. Love which is here and now and which will be for forever. I wished that I could fall asleep in this moment. I would dream of him.'' Viktoria Faust

Apr 24 2008 08:39 pm   #7Scarlet Ibis
That he was turned in 1880, about age 27, and I personally feel he's a Scorpio, but turned sometime in the Spring (someone pointed out the light colors the characters were wearing the night of his turning, signifying spring.  I think it was UB).
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Apr 24 2008 11:16 pm   #8goldenusagi
I always wondered if they originally intended Angel to be Spike's sire, and then just changed their minds, despite the fact that Spike calls Angel his sire twice.  School Hard, of course, the Yoda line, and on Angel, "In the Dark," he says, "Look, I want my ring back!  If I don’t get it pretty soon, I’m going to stake me old sire right here and now."
Apr 24 2008 11:55 pm   #9slaymesoftly
Hee! You can make yourself crazy trying to make sense out of the continuity (or lack of same) in the Jossverse.  I've always assumed that Spike was referring to how many years he'd been a vampire because he is responding to his exhange with Willow in which she sympathizes that "it probably happens to all vampires" and he replies "not to me!"  And then follows up with the remark about being only 126.  I've always just added his probably turning age to that to come up with his actual age.  The council records were obviously wrong - not an uncommon thing, I"m sure.  Granted, that doesn't jibe with his being turned in 1880 - but then, neither does anything else. LOL  I think, as long as the figures you use don't fly in the face of all references to his age within canon, you can work with whatever version you need or want.  But that might be just me - I just can't get all that wound up over being accurate on stuff that can't be pinned down in canon.  If it doesn't make me go "Huh? That's not possible!" it doesn't bother me.
I am not a minion of Evil...
I am upper management.
Apr 25 2008 12:03 am   #10LindsayH
Really, Scarlet?  I always figured Spike to be a Sagittarius.  Fascinating!
"Do you like my mask?  Isn't it pretty?  It raises the dead!"--Giles, "Dead Man's Party'
Apr 25 2008 12:11 am   #11Scarlet Ibis
I just figured he meant Angelus "sired" him in the sense that he actually taught him stuff about being a vampire, whereas Drusilla was completely incapable of doing so.  In that sense, Angelus is his sire, and his actual grandsire, so that never bothered me.

And yes Lindsay--here's a snippet of Scorpios: are intense, passionate and filled with desire. They're also complex and secretive, so don't expect to get much out of them, lest they become suspicious and exit stage left. It's best not to bet against Scorpios, either, since these folks are surprisingly resourceful. Traditional traits are:
Determined and forceful
Emotional and intuitive
Powerful and passionate
Exciting and magnetic
Jealous and resentful
Compulsive and obsessive
Secretive and obstinate

I have no idea about Sagittarius, or what they're about...
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Apr 25 2008 12:24 am   #12Eowyn315
So what do you guys take for canon when you're writing a fic that addresses his age?
I would go with his turning at 1880, since that's given as fact. It's a lot easier to explain Spike messing up his age (he miscounted - once you hit the century mark, do you really keep close track? - or he was padding his age by a few years to make it more impressive) than it is to explain why a flashback we have no reason to believe is not true would be wrong.

We're never given an exact human age when he was turned, but I think the consensus is 26-28ish.

I always wondered if they originally intended Angel to be Spike's sire, and then just changed their minds, despite the fact that Spike calls Angel his sire twice.
Joss claims that this isn't the case - he meant "sire" in a more general "family" sense, rather than "the specific vampire who turned me." Like how I call certain relatives my cousins, even though they're actually my second cousins once removed or something... it's just simpler to say "cousins." Personally, I think he's retconning, and they did change their minds, but it's not like it really matters, since what we actually saw trumps something Spike says.

Given that he calls him both sire and Yoda in the same breath, I think it's easy to take Scarlet's interpretation - that he sees Angelus as a mentor, and thus calls him sire because of that relationship, even if he didn't do the actual turning.
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Apr 25 2008 12:56 am   #13Izzy
At Spike's first appearance, Giles reads that he is barely two hundred, meaning he would have been turned late 1700s or early 1800s. We get past this with the idea that the Watchers' Council really knows nothing about William the Bloody. Then Spike calls Angel his sire and Yoda. We hadn't really dealt with all a sire could mean on the show, not even for Darla, so I believe the almighty Joss when he says he thought of it more like a family member, but with overtones of teacher. I have no idea why Spike would pad his age while talking about how young he is, - "I'm only a hundred and twenty-six!" - so I think it's only an oversight. Basically, I don't listen to any dialogue or comments probably made up on the spot while Spike's character was still being worked out, and only take the flashbacks we see and the dates from "Fool For Love" as fact.

Personally I don't care for when people call him 158 or something. William's life was very different from Spike's, and he tries to make himself a different person, and lumping the years and experience from situations in those years together seems unfair. Then again, I loved the idea that Spike is so immature and reckless and impatient instead of the calm, wise immortal being who has survived so much and seen the world change. The fact that he took down a Slayer only twenty years out of the grave and is now the famous, fierce Slayer of Slayers at a very young age for vampires appeals to me simply because of bragging rights, and that it separates him more from the older, quieter, more mature, brooding Angel who has seen so much life and suffering and yada yada yada...


Apr 25 2008 02:24 am   #14Caro Mio
James was hired for a vampire turned around the age of 28, and with the flashback to 1880 firmly giving us his turning year, that puts his human birth in the early 1850s. I.E. 1852 - 2002 would be 150, etc.

And I'm also in the camp of "sire" is just as much about mentoring as turning, and Angelus would definitely want to be referred to with respect by some fledge Dru just brought home.
What If I'm Not the Slayer? now updated with chapters 22 and 23.
Apr 25 2008 03:04 am   #15Immortal Beloved
I know that Spike's supposed to have been turned around 26-28, but I always thought him to be a bit older, more like 30-31.  Obviously, he'd still look fairly young for his age, but he always struck me as older.

The continuity on the show(s) is not very stellar.  I just chalk it up to the fact that the writers were not nearly as obsessed with the show as we are

Spike's astrological sign: I started studying astrology when I was about 14.  Spike is the very epitome of Scorpio, for all of the traits that Scarlet pointed out, as well as others.  The part of the body ruled by Scorpio is the genitalia: "I follow my blood, which doesn't always run in the direction of my brain."  Historically, a few "animals" have been used to symbolize Scorpio.  The first, obviously, is the scorpion.  There's the old myth that a scorpion will sting itself, causing it's own death.  How many times have we seen Spike fail because of his own doing?  And the fact that scorpions are photosensitive and try to avoid the sunlight is just a hilarious coincidence (Well, it's funny to me, at least   )  Also, a lesser known symbol of Scorpio is the phoenix.  The mythological creatures are known for going down in flames and rising again from the ashes.  Scorpios can have a remarkable ability to remake themselves for the better after hitting rock bottom.  This could go along with Spike's soul seeking.  Also, Scorpios are associated with the colors black and red (i.e., Spike's wardrobe).  As for relationships Scorpios and Capricorns (Buffy) are one of astrology's great matches.  The relationships are usually full of passion and understanding of eachother.  However, they usually either stay together forever, or everything blows up in the respective parties' faces.  Spike and Buffy (and my parents   ) are prime examples.

Okay, I just regaled you with waaaaaay too much information.  I'm done now *sheepish grin*
Give me Spuffy, or give me death.
Apr 25 2008 03:19 am   #16Scarlet Ibis
Ooh, ooh!!  Tell me more!  I'm a Scorpio and found all of that interesting
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Apr 25 2008 04:51 am   #17Blood Faerie
Haha, I'm Scorpio too and wasn't sure if I should be insulted by some of that description *pouts* I'm not secretive!! I swear!!
Unfortunately, we had big vampires in the next room, and I didn't think they'd wait while we had hot monkey sex. ~Cerulean Sins :: (Anita to Jean-Claude)“Is there anything your bloodline does that doesn’t involve getting naked?" ~Danse Macabre :: I’m dating three men, living with two more, and having occasional sex with two others. That’s seven men. I’m like a pornographic Snow White. I think seven is plenty. ~Danse Macabre