BSV Forum - General - The Bloodshedpub

Why Xander is No Good

Dec 29 2006 06:28 pm   #1Spikez_tart

Obviously, we need to grasp the horns of the dilemma that is Xander.  Is he a good guy or a louse or both?

Good guy - Helps Buffy patrol (without superpowers), Brave (he goes after Bad Angel when Buffy has the flu and protects her in the hospital when Angelus comes visiting), he babysits Dawn, he goes to the Hellmouth to help Buffy, he tries to rescue his friend Jesse when he knows nothing about fighting or vampires, he does research which is boring, he drives Buffy places so she won't endanger the general populace with her driving skills.

Bad guy - Lusts after Buffy even when he's involved with other women, is jealous of Buffy and makes decisions based on his unadmitted jealousy, hates all of Buffy's vampire boyfriends no matter what they're up to at any given moment (okay, he's consistent), cheats on Cordelia with Willow, is too blockheaded to see Willow's crush on him, leaves Anya at the altar, although he claims it's for good reasons when it's really just because he refuses to grow up and take responsibility for not becoming like his parents, tries to kill Spike for sleeping with Anya, who he just dumped, thinks he has the right to monitor Buffy's romantic relationships and many other aspects of her life,  rarely wants to forgive anyone else's mistakes and won't even admit to his own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Dec 29 2006 06:50 pm   #2GoldenBuffy

I want to say Xander is evil and bad and just plan worng,lol. But I got a soft spot for him. He's human and makes mistakes, and needs help. He may be a bigot to all things demon, but again I think the Councl plays a huge roll in molding his views just like Buffy's.

I see major openings for him to become evil, which he never had. But you never know. The badness that was him trying to rape Buffy when he went all pack loving hayena was a no no, and Giles not fessing up to Buffy to what Xander tried. Like he had room to talk about what Spike almost done. At least with Spike he stoped, granted Buffy kicked him, but still.

I would love to see another fic (BHNM) where Xander goes to the Dark Side, its great.

And in the air the fireflies
Our only light in paradise
We'll show the world they were wrong
And teach them all to sing along
Dec 29 2006 08:25 pm   #3DreamsofSpike

I agree that there was lots of darkness in Xander that the show never really explored....

I think that he really tried to be a good friend, most of the time, but that even he did not recognize his own motives sometimes -- and they weren't always good. His lie to Buffy at the end of season 2, in my opinion, set her on a painful path (sending Angel to hell) which affected every relationship in her life from that point on....

Xander's the kind of character that I think could go either way...he *wanted* to do the right thing usually, but his history of family abuse and trauma *is* the sort of thing that could lead to his being the abuser instead of the victim...I saw disturbing hints of that with Anya, even in the show...he was always talking down to her and ordering her around and yelling at her -- and as my mom told one of her engaged friends recently "if he's treating you like this *before* the wedding -- how do you think he'll act once he's got you well and truly hooked?"

Honestly, I enjoy Xander when he's written as a golden-hearted, good friend type...and also on the rare occasions that i see him as a dark, violent character...but i think he's one of those characters that kind of rides the line....

Dec 29 2006 09:13 pm   #4Dihcar

I'm conflicted about Xander.  I see him and Angel very much as equals, except Xander's got the excuse of still growing up and finding one's place in the world.  I definitely like season7 Xander the most, he didn't judge Buffy for her choices concerning Spike as much,  and was overall a lot more helpful.

I don't consider being human an excuse for his behaviour since many characters had an abundance of human-behaviour. Trying to rape Buffy, the first time he has superpowers, his most primal urges come forth, he tries to rape her.   Nor is coming from a broken familly a real excuse, he had real friends that cared for him.  He had a mother figure in Joyce and a father figure in Giles.  .

Spike/Fray=The future
Dec 30 2006 02:43 am   #5The Space Between

I look at Xander like this...he is still young yet and has had a lot of crappy experiences in his life that has moulded him into what he is now.

He's borderline, meaning he could fall either way. Either he will find the strength of character to overcome everything his life has dealt him thus far or he will give in and fall to the darkside.

He's pretty much human. He's like a male version of Faith...he's stumbled quite a bit and done/said a lot of stupid things, but he's just not as jaded. Like both of them, I think they both hide behind other emotions because leaving yourself vulnerable just gets you kicked in the teeth sometimes. With Faith, she hides behind this hardass uncaring bitch exterior and has disassociative tendencies and Xander hides behind his sarcasm and black/white vision and has a serious inferiority complex. Always though, in most cases his heart in not really bad. I really do believe he has a good heart and most of the stupid shit he has done has been out of fear and his idea of preservarance of himself.

~*~ The Powers offer no sympathy for the way things are...Human deeds are left in human hands. It's what one does with what's left that makes any difference ~*~ Jenny Calander as created by HollyDB
Dec 30 2006 06:36 pm   #6Coquine

Okay.  This is probably going to turn into one of those instances where I should've kept my mouth shut, and I've been trying to for the past few days, but I guess I just can't help myself, and I have to ask:

Doesn't anyone get tired of all the Xander bashing?  Is the Spuffy community so comprised of Xander-haters that nobody stops to ask, "Can't we think of something else to use as conflict?"

Now, I'm not saying I don't understand it.  Hell, I'm not even saying I would never do it.  In canon, Xander didn't like Spike all that much.  Therefore, he is a logical, and, well, easy literary tool to use to give a story some conflict.  That's fine.  But I have to say I've seen it taken, imho, too far.

It also seems to me that a lot of authors/readers have confused canon-Xander with fanon-Xander.  On the show, Xander made some mistakes.  He had some issues.  But, if one were to take a look at the circumstances surrounding those mistakes and issues from an objective point of view, they were understandable.  Not necessarily right, but understandable.

Now, in many fanfic stories, Xander has done some things that went way, way beyond what we saw on the show.  In some instances, I felt that he was taken wildly out of character in order to fit him into the 'villain' role.  But, as I said before, I can understand the use of Xander for conflict, and as long as it's a good story regardless, I don't really mind.

But, I have to admit that everytime a story that I'm reading comes to the point where it's clear that Xander is meant to be the enemy of the Spuffy, I can't help but sigh and think to myself, "well, it's gonna be another one of those stories."  Again, it's nothing I find fault with the author for, and would never flame or criticize an author for doing, but it seems that it's just become such an integral part of the Spuffy formula that you see it all the time.  Almost constantly.

And seeing Xander portrayed as the villain so constantly is what I think has made a lot of people dislike him more than he deserved to be disliked for his actions in canon.

I don't know.  Maybe I'm just blowing smoke, and I'm certainly in the minority, but I just had to get this off my chest.  And just to reiterate, this is all strictly my opinion, and if I've offended anyone, that wasn't my intent.

Dec 30 2006 07:34 pm   #7Shadow

Let me start off by saying... Xander is only human. A human male at that.  As such he is prone to making mistakes, and often letting his hormones rule  over his common sense.

 

Now, as to why I think Xander is a jackass who needs his head bashed in?  Simple.

Issue 1 - His hyena-possesed attempted rape of Buffy.  He denies all memory of the event, talked Giles into telling his victim that he wasnt responsible for his actions and cant remember them.  He expects his victim to forget that her friend attacked her. (What message does this send to young girls?  If someone sexually assaults you, he can deny all knowledge and expect you to act like it never happened.)

 

Issue 2 - His constant verbal and emotional abuse of his female associates, specifically Buffy and Anya, and to a lesser degree Willow, Dawn and Tara.

Telling Anya to shut up, do this, do that, act like this, dont act like that, its your fault... etc etc  (classic abuser signs)

Trying to tell Buffy who she can and can not have a relationship with, and if he doesnt agree, verbally ridiculing her decisions to the point of constant harrassment.

 

I know Xander was portrayed on the show as coming from an abusive homelife, but this in no way permits him to be abusive to people he calls friends.  He needs (needed) to get his act together and seek some help, instead of acting like he was the be-all and end-all of authority for his friends.

 

Shadow

Tahlmorra lujhalla mei wiccan, cheysu.
Dec 30 2006 07:54 pm   #8

Okay I'm only going to say one thing I'm pretty sure if you looked up Xander in a dictonary it would say ~ ~ ~ Xander : Homo sapien male is always a complete and utter pillock and bastard thinks he knows what best when it comes to the vampire slayer Buffy Anne Summers relationships with her vampire lovers......Even though he knows F*** all about anything except carpentry and building.... Always forgets trying to rape said vampire slayer , while under a spell as a Hyena demon and eating Principal Flutie.The fact he to has had realtions with demons in the past....Mummy girl ,Giant Praying Mantis Lady and not forgetting former Vengence demon Anyannka..... And you could now add Cordelia to that list too she's part Demon and Willow too Witch....So over all Xander = .......oh just don't forget he lies to remember him telling Buffy  that Willow said to kick Angels arse when she said no such thing

Dec 30 2006 07:55 pm   #9GoldenBuffy

*nods* agrees with Shadow. I mean, don't get me wrong I love Xander, I think I stated that before. But the boy has serious issues, and just become he comes from a broken home doesn't mean he has to act in such a manner. He was exposed to way more different life styles than just his going to public school, etc. If we use the excuse that Xander's home life was less than steller therefore we should give him some lead way, then the same would have to be made for all who had horrid lives at home.

I don't mind fics were Xander is the villin, as long as its believable, well for me that is. But I also love fics were he is best friend Xander, even if he's all for Spuffy. Again, as long as I believe it. I mean sometimes I think people use Angel to much as a villin as well. But if the fic is good I don't mind, and I'll still read. I guess it's up to the reader and what they are looking for or want. But at least we all can come here and share our views and not get into a cat fight about it.

And in the air the fireflies
Our only light in paradise
We'll show the world they were wrong
And teach them all to sing along
Dec 30 2006 08:24 pm   #10Guest

I agree, Coquine, that fanon-Xander has probably colored at least the Spuffy community's view of canon-Xander. I had read very little fanfic before the show(s) ended, so seeing how some characters are used a lot as villains, even over-the-top villians, surprised me.

Season 7 Xander, after a while, did make up for a lot of his previous actions. He was finally decent to Anya, he worked with Spike to save the girls, and after losing his eye, was honest with Buffy about his viewpoint but didn't get overly judgey on her. I think after Anya's death, as he's traveling the world finding Slayers, we would see a fairly grown up guy.

Does he have issues, that steadily got worse, and definitely need to be dealt with before his next serious relationship? Hell, yes.

CM

Dec 30 2006 09:50 pm   #11The Space Between

I like Xander, I really do. Like I said, to me he is borderline.

Honestly, we have to admit that our upbringing affects us all greatly in the type of person we become. It takes an awful lot of strength (and help) to be able to overcome certian things.

Its easy for us all to sit there and point fingers and say "Oh boo-hoo he had a crappy life time to get over it." Its not always so simple or so easy.

I mean take these things into consideration:

1) Abusive, alcoholic father, avoidant, alcoholic mother. Constant criticism - being told you are worthless repeatedly as a kid will sit with you waaaay into adulthood. Betrayal from the two people who are supposed to love him more than anything else in the world.

2) Not only losing his best friend Jesse, he has to deal with his best friend coming back to 'life' and trying to kill him only to have to be the one to 'kill' him again in the end.

3) He was constantly picked on growing up by other kids. He was put down and beat up and humilated on a regular basis, Willow being the only one he could turn to. I mean come on...he had a hero's worship of her - he thought she caused the fire or something like that so he could have a real firetruck on his birthday when he was like 5 or 7 or something. (Dont want to go look it up right now).

There was only one person he could count on for most of his life and that was Willow. He didn't meet Giles until he was about 14 years old and then it wasn't anything special until the following year when Buffy came to Sunnydale and then they became the Scooby gang. Even then throughout High School, everything he learned about Demons was explained in limited terms...black & white if you will, because Giles himself, learned everything he did from a bigoted, deceptive, manipulative teachers in the Watcher's Council.

The girl he falls for his a mean-spirited bitch who turns doubly vicious after she catches him kissing Willow. (I only think she was so hard because as much as she tried to play it off that Xander was a temporary thing, she really did have feelings for him because if she hadn't, it wouldnt have hurt her so much to find him kissing Willow and that pissed her off)

He loses his virginity to a girl who then kicks him out immediately afterwards and then later rubs his face in it.

He is constantly feeling inadequate because his two best friends and his father-figure type as well as his other friend all have special and unique abilities to fight the forces of darkness while he is simply Xander.

Does all of this excuse the things he's done? No. But it does give reasons for it; to shows they are not done out of malice but more out of ignorance.

Should he be held accountable? Of course. That is part of becoming a better person. You gotta look at all the bad crap, sift through years of abuse and neglect and confront it. Only after you confront that crap then you can look at all the crap you've done since and admit to your wrongdoings and try to make amends.

Its not been an easy life for the kid. He's not been allowed to grow and mature in normal and healthy ways so obviously his views and his reactions are gonna be skewered. He's human and human beings are by nature, are flawed in design.

Again, he is borderline. With the right help, he could overcome everything he's had to deal with and become a more solid and stable person because I really do believe he has a good heart. Its just been broken a number of times so he keeps it pretty hidden and hides behind his sarcasm and bigotry.

~*~ The Powers offer no sympathy for the way things are...Human deeds are left in human hands. It's what one does with what's left that makes any difference ~*~ Jenny Calander as created by HollyDB
Dec 30 2006 10:38 pm   #12Guest

Well said!

I hope Joss doesn't revert Xander in the Season 8 comics. He was really starting to get somewhere.....

CM

Dec 30 2006 11:20 pm   #13GoldenBuffy

I hope Joss doesn't either. It seems when someone takes steps foward Joss comes in and knocks them back a few pegs. But maybe traveling the wrold has changed the Xan-man, and he is a better man. One can only hope.

And in the air the fireflies
Our only light in paradise
We'll show the world they were wrong
And teach them all to sing along
Dec 31 2006 01:08 am   #14Guest

I am pro-Xander, and totally agree with Coquine. He has made mistakes, but so do the other characters in the show. And he does make some pretty hypocritical comments.

e.g. I've made mistakes, but last time i checked slaughtering half of europe wasn't one of them.

No, that was his girlfriend. But I understand why Xander is such an ass to Spike and Angel. He killed his best friend, and the only way for him to accept that was to believe that it wasn't him, and would never be him. It was only the thing that killed Jesse.

If Xander had let himself believe that there was redemption for all and any vamp, or anything inside Jesse that was remotely Jesse, he wouldn't have been able to deal. And I wholeheartedly agree that Xander was dealing with his vampire "issues" in season 7. I think the fact that he did not pester Buffy about Spike in anyway during s7, although he knew about the attempted rape, shows that he matured and trusted Buffy to make the right decision.

Dec 31 2006 01:42 am   #15Spikez_tart

Coquine - I think you have a good point about Xander being made a deep died villain in fan fic that didn't seem to be indicated in the show, but you'll remember in the show where Xander finds out that Spike and Anya had sex, his first reaction was to pick up a stake and go after Spike to kill him, knowing that Spike has no real way to defend himself other than running, which Spike would never do. 

This is not the act of a mature person but the act of a deeply disturbed individual who is looking to blame someone else for the problems he created.  Since that aspect of his character exists, it's not too far to push Xander into the role of a villain as Dreams has done in BHNM.  I can usually accept Xander going dark if there's proper motivation. 

 

If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Dec 31 2006 05:30 am   #16Guest

One of the things that is great about canon is that none of the main characters is either purely a hero or purely a villain.  They all intend (more or less) to be good.  They all fall short.  True, some fall more short than others.  All three of the original Scoobies show their darkest selves in B6; and much as I love him Spike also has serious lapses in B6 (even leaving out SR).  But in B7 they are all working toward being better people.  That's what makes BtVS such truly great television -- the heroes aren't pristine white; and the villains aren't pristine black (at least not all of them).  

But most of us like more black and white scenarios, and so most fanfiction villainizes some characters and fluffs up others.  And since all the characters are portrayed with such nuance, it means that they are all available to be nudged more toward the black or more to the white -- as you will.  (Except maybe Tara -- has anybody seen a fic with Tara as the black hat?)  For me, as long as the shading is based on recognizable character traits, I'm willing to roll with it. 

'Maggie'

Dec 31 2006 06:14 pm   #17The Space Between

Man, I don't ever want to read a fic with Tara as a bad guy.

Its just.... not right....

~*~ The Powers offer no sympathy for the way things are...Human deeds are left in human hands. It's what one does with what's left that makes any difference ~*~ Jenny Calander as created by HollyDB
Dec 31 2006 06:36 pm   #18GoldenBuffy

*nods* i could never see tara going evil. it's not in her nature.

And in the air the fireflies
Our only light in paradise
We'll show the world they were wrong
And teach them all to sing along
Dec 31 2006 06:51 pm   #19Spikez_tart

Precisely because you could never see Tara being black hat would make it really good.  It'd take something really awe inspiringly awful to make it happen, too.  Or, you'd have to have her made into a vampire or under a wicked spell or a demonic possession (I think that's the thing she would be most afraid of considering her past when she thought she might be a demon.)

If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Dec 31 2006 07:33 pm   #20DreamsofSpike

oooooh, now you've got the rabid plot bunnies running around in my head trying to think of a way to make tara evil!!! lol...and i just might come up with something ... hehe


Dec 31 2006 07:48 pm   #21

I'm pretty sure I did start reading a fic where Tara was Evil but it was so badly Written I gave it up after the first couple of chapters and now I can't even remember where it was....If I remember I'll post a link....

 

I found the reason why we should all hate Xander I was bored and trying to find that evil tara link....But I found this instead... Distrubing not a word to describe it.....http://www.geocities.com/btvsslash8/wz/xanderslut.html

 

Dec 31 2006 08:20 pm   #22Spikez_tart

Dreams - we need an evil Tara challenge.  I'm working on it.

If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Dec 31 2006 08:27 pm   #23Dihcar

Actually Tara was an evil vamp(in the First's created universe) in the second Buffy game.  Pretty much the same vamp like Xander and Willow in the episode "The wish"verse, vamps that think they are tough but really aren't.

On the issue of Xander, the reason why he can be used,turned evil in fanfics is simply because he is borderline, especially in the earlier seasons.  He looks at the world with simple views, this can be a good thing but can also be a bad thing.  It's very much a double-edged sword. 

Spike/Fray=The future
Jan 01 2007 01:47 am   #24GoldenBuffy

ooooo, evil tara challenge sounds lovely.

And in the air the fireflies
Our only light in paradise
We'll show the world they were wrong
And teach them all to sing along
Jan 01 2007 07:15 am   #25Guest

I read part of a fic on FF.net where Willow made Spike turn Tara when Tara got shot, so she wouldn't lose her. Tara was a pretty evil vampire, who immediately turned Willow, and Spike ends up really regretting starting the whole mess.

Jan 01 2007 08:41 pm   #26anaunthe

For me, that's what made the series (and the fanfic) so interesting.  Most characters can go either way quite easily.  We don't tend to see evil Xander quite so often - but I can understand it.  Evil Tara would be harder without a whole lot of changes. 

The story on ff sounds like a hoot.  If you find it, let us know what its called.

Cas
Jan 02 2007 06:16 am   #27Guest

It actually wasn't very good, and Spike ended up kind of out of character, which is where I stopped reading.