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Question After Season 4, does Anya seem to get dumber?

VaderSpike24

Potential
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May 12, 2012
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Carolina Beach
After Season 4, does Anya seem to get dumber?
In Seasons 3 and 4, she seemed inexperienced about life and straight upfront, like a robot.
Then in Seasons 5-7, she seemed to have the pesonality of a little kid and seemed to become more juvinile as the series went on. Am I the only one who noticed that?
And on a similar but unrelated topic, if Anya had been human before becoming a Vengenace Demon, how could she not know about human emotions and feelings having expeienced them before becoming a demon (Unless it was so long ago, that she can't remember being human)?
 

HisMrs

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Sineya
Yes, I have noticed this and it was a pet peeve of mind about Anya. The writers dumbed her down for comedic relief, and it made Anya seem like an idiot, even though in Season 3 when we first met her she was definitely very intelligent about the human world and how people feel things and experience emotion. Joss saw how funny Emma could be and decided he wanted Anya to be silly, so he made her act differently than when we first met her; she was like a whole new character, and it didn't really make sense.
 

FaithsFollower

Thank Goodness It's Buffy
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Sineya
You know, I never really noticed but now that you guys have mentioned it, it'sactually kind of true. Anya seemed to be VERY intelligent in S3...but that slowly dwindled with the later seasons.

Question: do any of you think that it was because at the time of S3, she was still sort of a veangence demon but once she got out of that, the longer she lived and breathed and played as a human, the human mindset set itself inside of her mind instead of the demonic mindset? I seem to recall that in "Selfless", she was pretty darn bold and 'smart' again [because she got a second chance at being a demon]. I was even like, 'where did THAT Anya come from?' :) What do you guys think?
 

dexeded

Scooby
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Black Thorn
In her original human life, she acted pretty much the same as she did when she was forced to be human again. I think it's because she knows our customs and behaviour, so she exploits that as a demon to grant wishes, but when she no longer has her powers, she has no need to deceive people anymore, so it's fine if she goes back to her original personality. That's my fanwank, anyway.
 

Aimee

Scooby
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I love Anya and for some reason I'd never really noticed this but yeah, you're right. It probably was just to make use of her acting strengths but here's my other theory: Anya made a pretty naive and immature human back in her dating Olaf days. When she was a vengeance demon she had purpose and really knew her stuff. When she became human again at first she treated life like she would as a demon, pragmatic & looking out for herself. Then she gradually learned that she needed to interact with other humans and that she needed things that required being considerate and doing things for others to get things in return (she'd not had to think of others or be helpful for many years), clearly she found that VERY hard.
So, in season 3 she was intelligent because she was still functioning on the principals of a vengeance demon. From season 4 onwards she was in unknown territory.
 

funsmiley

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yeah, i think she does but i think its because she falls head over heels for xander and because she's still getting used to being human she doesn't really understand the feelings.

or she really just did get dumber, but i love her that way it makes her well........anya!!!
 

Abbeycat

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Sineya
I didn't really notice Anya 'becoming dumber' after S4. I guess I didn't care or it really didn't bother me if she was.
 

Taake

I do doodle. You too. You do doodle, too.
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Yes, like HisMrs it's one of my pet peeves about Anya. For comic relief they didn't let her grow very much in her role as a human but though her 'strangely literal' quotes can be funny it grew tired pretty soon.
 

Gum Gnome33

"Well, yeah..."
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Sineya
Yes I definitely agree with you, [MENTION=11943]VaderSpike24[/MENTION]. I actually chalk it up to the phenomenon of characters changing noticeably after they are fleshed out more by the writers and it's decided exactly who they will be, based on where the story is going.
I can think of a lot of examples of this in other tv shows, and I'd actually say that Btvs and Angel are usually not guilty of it, with Anya as the exception. I'm trying to think of examples but am sort of drawing a blank. I think maybe Joey from "Friends" is a good one. In earlier seasons he isn't so helplessly clueless--just sort of a player with a heart of gold who just doesn't happen to be the brightest bulb. By later seasons he is basically painted as a 4 year old.

I think, in addition to all of this, the fact that Anya was originally supposed to be sort of a "monster of the week" but ended up joining the scooby gang sort of facilitated the change, based on the direction the writers were going. They decided they needed a character in the group to take on that "clueless to humanity" for a laugh role--we had it with Spike but he was desperately trying to figure it out while Anya happily resisted it which lead to some humorous moments.

"Triangle" is a great example of this contrast: throughout the episode we have Spike trying to get on Buffy's good side after he realizes that she might be upset at him for outing Riley. But what do human beings like and expect from others? Not feeding off a disaster victim, to him, is a huge deal but of course Buffy is less than impressed. "What's it take?" he asks. Then we have Anya: "Giles! She's pretending to me be! Make her stop." "I couldn't know if I couldn't drive until I tried, could I?" "Oh! I know that this is! It's peer pressure! Soon you'll make me have drugs..." "She's referencing literature I couldn't possibly know," etc. She's shamelessly separated herself from human culture and humanistic interactions and instead of trying to blend herself in or question why she is such an outsider, she gets upset and offended by the fact that they don't understand her. I think that, for whatever reason, the writers decided that they needed this contrast among the two demons who had worked their way into the scobby gang--in effect it created sort of a neat balance. On one hand we had the demon who was accepted by the others more readily because she was human by composition, but who resisted the idea of humanity until the very end of the series. On the other hand we had the demon who was rejected by most members of the group because he was not human by composition but was desperately trying to be accepted and attempting to change himself despite his composition, eventually resulting in him going to get his soul.

Sorry for that ramble but to sum it up: Anya acts differently because in later seasons the writers needed her to. ;)
 

Ripper666

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I didn't liked her in season 7. She lost this funny and innocent side of her. Instead she got dumb and she seemed full of hate. She was a bit too cynical. Anyway I liked her in the other seasons.
 

Robb Stark

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I thought she went downhill in S7. It's a bigger cast that season, and the focus shifts from the core group to Buffy leading the Potentials a bit, and because of that I thought Anya became much more one-dimensional. For the most part she was strictly comedy relief until the writers decided they wanted to use her to make a point.

The episode "Empty Places" is a good example of this. The entire season she's done virtually nothing significant and really, her role on the show seemed to be running pretty thin, then all of a sudden she comes out of nowhere to read Buffy the riot act for thinking she's better than everyone. That bugged me. I just re-watched it yesterday actually, and I realize I'm naturally inclined to side with Buffy on most things, I couldn't help thinking "why are you even here" when Anya speaks up. Coming from someone who murdered a frat house of college students earlier in the season, her opinion is worth virtually nothing. She never helps, whines constantly and really just gets in the way. Her only real redeeming factor in S7 is that she's funny (which, granted, she is).

If she had just acted as a funny character with a few cool character moments, like Andrew, I wouldn't have had a problem with her at all. But when she goes from being pure comedy to the voice of the Scoobies moral superiority and distrust of Buffy, I didn't like that. It wasn't credible. That isn't even mentioning that Buffy was totally, one hundred percent right in that situation and the Potentials were screwed without her.
 

prophecygrrl

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I don't think she was ever dumb. She becomes a driven and successful businesswoman and she's one of the actual adults in the Scoobies. I think you mean ignorant.

Yes, there's a marked difference between her few appearances in Season 3 and her character throughout the rest of the series, and there's definitely a technical reason to that because of the writers and changing their plans to bring Emma Caulfield in as a regular. But in the show, it makes sense to me that she could actually just be very ignorant of the human world. Playing a human and being a human are totally different. Even if she was adept at manipulating humans and judging some emotions, she was still a vengeance demon at the end of the day and she could really only judge hatred, envy, anger, and such. I think the kind of distinction between her demon life and her human life is most clear in The Body, when she very plainly says that she doesn't understand mortality. She's been around for over a thousand years, brought death to thousands of people. There's probably very few who are better to understand the mechanics of death than Anyanka. But then she's faced with a very basic human circumstance in her life and her friends' lives and has to deal with it, as a human. Here, it makes sense to me that Anya could be very ignorant about certain things, because the entire position of her being and her life changes, and she has to reinterpret the world.
 
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