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The Master, The Seed of Wonder, and Some Connections between Seasons 1 and 8

Discussion in 'Season 8' started by danajsparks, Jun 19, 2014.

  1. danajsparks

    danajsparks Townie

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    My initial reaction to the Seed of Wonder and the resurrected Master showing up in Season 8 was that it was a total deux ex machina. But after rewatching Season 1, I've been rethinking that. None of this stuff may be new to you guys, but here are some things I noticed....

    The Master's Mystical Prison
    We learn in 1.02 that the Master came to Sunnydale in 1937 and attempted to open the hellmouth. Given prophecy that Luke, the vampire, reads at the end of 1.01, it would seem that the Master was hoping to bring back the Old Ones.
    But, for some reason, the Master failed in this endeavor and somehow got himself trapped.
    The Master was unable to leave the house of worship, where he was trapped, because he was blocked by some kind of magical barrier.

    At about 20:30 of 1.01, we are shown the Master's lair/prison. In the middle is a pool of glowing red... something. (Screencap 1) Luke is chanting:
    At 34:30 we are given a closer view of the red pool, which is now bubbling. (Screencap 2) As Luke watches, the Master rises out of the pool. (Screencap 3). This glowing red pool is still present in 1.02 (Screencap 4).

    Is this glowing red "pool" actually the Seed of Wonder? Maybe the Seed is what trapped him when he attempted to open the hellmouth? I think it's interesting that Giles's description of the Master being stuck "like a cork in a bottle" is the same metaphor that Spike uses to explain how the Seed works in 8.37.

    We learn in 8.37 that the Master is the Seed's protector, but the Master isn't necessarily protecting the Seed willingly. Spike says in 8.38 that the Seed enslaved a powerful vampire 800 years ago. This means that the Master's desire to open the hellmouth in S1 may not be incongruous with his desire to protect the Seed in S8, for the Seed may be possessing him in S8.

    The Harvest
    In Season 1, the Master's followers attempt to free him during a centennial event called the Harvest. Luke reads a prophecy at the end of 1.01:
    The vampires, obviously, believe that this "Harvest" refers to an event in 1997, but Buffy manages to thwart their ritual, and the Master remains trapped. So, are the vampires correct, or could this Harvest be a later event. Like, maybe the prophecy is talking about the Master's resurrection in S8; the "newest light" is Twilight; the blood of men flowing refers to the killing of the slayers, and the return of the Old Ones and Hell refers to the apocalypse in S8. Prophecies are tricky things.

    The Order of Aurelius
    The Master was the head of the Order of Aurelius. Aurelius was a vampire who prophesied in the 12th century. Perhaps it isn't coincidence that this was around the same time that the Seed enslaved the Master.

    "Aurelius" was the name of a powerful gens (family, clan) during the Roman Empire. Wikipedia says:
    I think what this means is that name may be related to either the Latin word for gold, "aurum," or possibly the Latin word for dawn, "aurora."

    The symbol of the Order of Aurelius is a golden sun surrounded by three stars. (screencap 5) We see the stars and the sun together in the sky both at dawn and at twilight, which are the names of Buffy's two magical "offspring."

    Aurelius's prophecy is enigmatic. It may be about events in Season 1, but I think it's possible that it may be about later events.
    I don't believe that "Septus" is a real word. Perhaps it's based on the Latin word for seven, "septem," but another possibility is that it's derived from the Latin "seaptus," which means "surrounded, enclosed, fenced in." From "seaptus," we get the English "septum," which is a word used in biology for various types of partitions and barriers. So... could the "Advent of Septus" possibly be related to the event of destroying the seed and closing off access to other dimensions?

    Other Prophecies
    In "Prophecy Girl," Giles finds out the Master shall rise and the slayer shall die. Maybe this prophecy could be about the slayer line ending when Buffy destroys the Seed.

    Later in the episode, one of Jenny's online friends sends a message about Isaiah 11:6:
    I think it's worth considering this verse within the full context of Isaiah 11. The first part of Isaiah 11 is about how somebody will come who will bring paradise to the people of Israel (God's chosen people). And the second part of talks about how the other surrounding nations will be attacked and/or destroyed. Perhaps, in the Buffyverse, the "little child" in 11:6 is actually Twilight, the baby universe.
     

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  2. Black Eye Guy

    Black Eye Guy Taking over the World!

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    Black Thorn
    Very interesting bit about The Harvest actually being in season 9.

    I'm not sure every prophecy is connected, like I still think the one on Prophecy Girl is about that episode.

    I agree I don't think The Master knew he was protecting the seed, but rather was bound to it and if it needed a protector it could call on him.

    The seed may have had something to do with how he got stuck, it could be that the seed just being in that place is what created a Hellmouth that large,not why Sunnydale was so magic/demon heavy just the presence of the seed would be a lot if concentrated magic in one place.


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  3. The Bronze

    The Bronze Rogue Demon Hunter

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    Black Thorn
    Thanks for posting this. It's a good read and some of it does seem to tie in quite nicely. Some of it is obviously stretching a bit but it's still interesting. I especially like the idea of the seed being something to do with the red pool because that never made a lot of sense to me.
     
  4. Buffyverse Fan

    Buffyverse Fan * The 28th *

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    Sineya
    INteresting. Regarding his worship of the Old Ones, do you think the Master would have served Mayor Wilkins (Graduation Day) or Illyria, if given the opportunity?
     
  5. danajsparks

    danajsparks Townie

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    Yeah, I think you're probably right. But it was fun to explore possible connections to later events. Plus, maybe it's possible for a prophecy to be fulfilled more than once?
    Thanks! The connection between the Seed and the red pool was my favorite part, as well. I originally felt like the Seed came out of nowhere, so it was nice to see that the writers seem to have made some effort to tie it into the already established mythos of the 'verse. I'm guessing that they came up with the idea of the Seed long after Season 1 was written, but they tried to develop the concept so that it connected to some of the elements of S1.
    Good question.... We learn in later seasons that the "Old Ones" were far from a unified bunch, so my guess is that he was trying to bring back a particular group or individual, but who knows?


    Some additional general thoughts....

    I'm especially interested in the Aurelian prophecy because it doesn't really fit the events of Season 1 all that well. Collin, the kid vampire, isn't a "great warrior," and Buffy knows who he is when he leads her to the Master (which isn't exactly the same as leading her into hell). "Five will die" is never shown/explained, leaving it open to interpretation who the five are. And the worlds have hung in the balance multiple times in the Buffyverse.

    And I think the possible dawn/twilight symbol is also really interesting.

    And it might be significant that they give us more exposition about the Order 4 years later in AtS 2.07, "Darla," like it could be a clue that the Order matters beyond BtVS S1. AFAIK, we aren't explicitly told until this episode that the Master was the head of the Order or that they worship the Old Ones.
    On the other hand, I'm not sure if the Aurelian prophecy fits any later events any better. But I'm having fun speculating.

    "Anointed one" is the literal meaning of the word "Messiah," an originally Hebrew word that holds many and varied connotations, depending upon one's religious beliefs. Very generally, "Messiah" is a title given to a prophesied VIP, a great leader who will change and/or save the world (or at least save certain people).

    I've been pondering whether either Spike or Angel might fit the prophecy. Spike walked into the hellmouth with Buffy in "Chosen" and died to save the world, so plenty of messianic symbolism there.

    Angel was "anointed" by Twilight, and Twangel's actions in S8 resemble the events prophesied in Isaiah 11 (referenced in Prophecy Girl), which many (at least Christians) believe to be a prophecy about the Messiah. And I've seen some commentary that the Twilight arc is a satire of popular Christian beliefs about the rapture. Stormwreath on LJ, in particular, discusses this.
     
  6. Gachnar

    Gachnar Townie

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    I re-read the end of season 8 as a result of this thread and I think the observations are very astute.

    On first read I was a bit concerned about the convenience of The Master suddenly being alive again, but with the addition of a purpose I can go with it more. Like with anything it isn't a seamless link back to all those years ago but it does a very good job as The Master seems more self aware and less of the slightly more juvenile threat he was in Season 1.

    Thank you for the thoughts, very interesting!
     
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