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Christian symbols and vampires

Discussion in 'Season 1' started by bespangeled, Jul 22, 2014.

  1. bespangeled

    bespangeled Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    The myth has existed in every culture in some form from earliest civilization from what I know - so I assume it fulfills some sort of basic human need. Each culture has some way of repelling them but a lot of them seem practical rather than religious.

    Maybe vamps were seen as predators rather than evil.....and doesn't that put a new twist on the redemption search. Spike's first inclination was to think that was true - until Damage, at least.

    The only Christian country I know of would be Vatican city - that's why I said European, because certain historical evens tie Europe to the development of the more common mythos. Pandemics were one of them - bodies put out for burial returning a day later because they weren't dead would be one thing.

    ---------- Post added at 02:48 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:40 AM ----------

    I can see where christian country can be triggery. That's why I said Christian dominant - as opposed to Muslim dominant or Hindu dominant. And yes, the symbols are concrete and not abstract.

    ---------- Post added at 02:51 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:48 AM ----------

    Yeah, but no. If the cross was the only symbol to work what happened before Nicea and Constantine it left most of civilization without choices. Even now, in some parts of the world, having and brandishing a cross will get you killed in a slow painful way.
     
  2. fresley93

    fresley93 Potential

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    I still think history in the Buffyverse is different from our own, because of the presence of demons and the like. So it's entirely possible that the cross was earlier than recorded, or that something else had the power before the cross.

    How sad is that, you're right of course, there are some areas of the world, if you carry a cross, and if the people around think you believe what it represents, that you will be killed.

    That actually fits with an idea that I am going to use in one of my stories, the fall of Constantinople in 1453 opened the city to the ravages of vampires, where before they had been largely absent. A Byzantine soldier is turned that night. He's seen the barbarism of both man and demon, and feels that man doesn't deserve his place in the sun, that vampires should not have to hide, that they should rule, and the human' should know their place, as pets, slaves, or food.
     
    bespangeled: Awesome story idea!
  3. JCoatsworth

    JCoatsworth UP THE IRONS!

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    Black Thorn
    Wait, you mean you believe vampires are real?
     
    ILLYRIAN: I'm out on that one, but do you have proof they are not, and when was the last vampire killing?
  4. Mr. Pole

    Mr. Pole My lines are mostly filler

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    Black Thorn
    Just thought I would throw in my two cents.. the cross in NOT simply a Christian symbol. You have history of the cross (in modern form, not the ankh) dating back 3K years before modern christian era.

    Additionally and this is purely speculation but I would assume holy water is universal.. just as Rabbis bless the food to make it 'safe' to eat, any religious figure should have the ability to bless water, thus making it blessed, or holy, water.

    For me the bigger debate is not if vampires are/were real but is if Scholomance was real or not, and to what degree.
     
    ILLYRIAN: Ye Gods, is that all? Just two cents?
  5. white avenger

    white avenger white avenger

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    This brings up the question to me of why, if water can be blessed, can't any weapon be blessed as well, making it more effective in killing demons and vampires. Other fictions exist concerning either "holy" or "magic" weapons, but, with the possible exception of the Scythe, we've never seen anything like that in the Buffyverse.

    Of course, for that matter, we've never seen silver bullets kill vampires, either, though Blade seems to do quite well with them in his world. I guess the bottom line is, Joss sust doesn't want to use stuff like that in his stories.
     
  6. Mr. Pole

    Mr. Pole My lines are mostly filler

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    Black Thorn
    One would assume because of the purity and the symbiotic connection to life that water has in regards to humanity. You could bless a banana but unless its a baboon vampire I doubt it would do much good.
     
    cryptwarmer likes this.
  7. JCoatsworth

    JCoatsworth UP THE IRONS!

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    Black Thorn
    [MENTION=7336]ILLYRIAN[/MENTION] agrees:
    Well, no, I don't have any proof they're not real. But neither do I have proof that unicorns and goblins aren't real. I just don't think it's reasonable to believe in something because there's no evidence for its non-existence. On the other hand, in a heartbeat I'd believe in vampires if there was definite, undeniable evidence that they're real.

    Do you mean the last murder committed by a vampire or the last time a human was executed for allegedly being a vampire, similar to a burning of a witch in the middle ages?
    Either way, I don't know the answer, but I'd definitely be interested to know.
     
    ILLYRIAN: Who would you believe on his sighting of a unicorn? Julius Ceaser, Pliny, Ghenghis Khan? About vampires it was removing the heart of an alleged vampire? Runs to find details of those times, also when the unicorn was seen last and in what country.
  8. ILLYRIAN

    ILLYRIAN Druish Pervonian Wizard

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    Black Thorn
    Scobro,
    the thought of a Rabbi blessing food brought up some lovely images for me, of a Rabbi chucking holy water on my Salada crackers, hmm soggy crackers.. ..
    Also umpteen years ago when I was working as a chef in a 4 star hotel, a Rabbi blessed the kitchen and the 'containers' that the food was too be cooked in, (it was for a 250 seat banquet). He didn't bless the food though.
     
    Scobro: he didnt actually bless the kitchen did he? more like inspect it? for the whole kosher thing?
  9. JCoatsworth

    JCoatsworth UP THE IRONS!

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    Black Thorn
    [MENTION=7336]ILLYRIAN[/MENTION] agrees:
    I would believe a person who can show me actual evidence for a unicorn, like some hairs or the horn, and could prove they belong to a unicorn. I would not believe a person who has only a story of what they saw.
    I'm sure there's enough evidence that Julius Caesar, Pliny (the Elder) and Genghis Khan existed, but I'm no historian. However, there's no evidence that Noah, for example, existed, and many people still believe Noah's flood happened.

    I'm not sure I entirely understand what you mean.
    People, who were accused of being vampires, got their hearts removed? Wow, that's horrible!
     
  10. ILLYRIAN

    ILLYRIAN Druish Pervonian Wizard

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    Black Thorn
    Apart from written accounts by people unicorns never existed, nor did Julius Caesar, Pliny or Genghis Khan. I doubt that Noah's ark existed, although there is circumstantial evidence of a great flood.
    About the vampire thing, a woman had her coffin opened and she had her heart removed. That was late last century.
    Why, because her living family was getting a bad name because the dead woman kept being seen after she had died. And people died on the nights she was seen.
     
  11. bespangeled

    bespangeled Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    I believe it was last seen on Supernatural - goring someone and then running off, farting a rainbow. :D

    ---------- Post added at 08:42 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:38 PM ----------

    Silver bullets are for werewolves - I think they cover that when Oz changes.

    ---------- Post added at 08:53 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:42 PM ----------

    An open mind is also critical for science. I was a Montessori teacher, and taught early human history to 4th graders. I have to say that the facts about early humans have completely changed in the last decade. Homo habilis and homo erectus coexisted, possibly with other branches of Australopithicus. Neanderthals had red hair, could speak, and married into the human population. Then there's Homo floresiensis - and wasn't that a pisser. Turns out hobbits were real, along with pygmy elephants.

    New techniques, such as DNA, have really opened doors. Understanding the brain has taken huge leaps with technology like the MRI. When I was young, autism was completely the fault of a bad mother. Now there's a spectrum and brain differences.

    So, unicorns, maybe not real - but what was the origin of the concept? Just like Noah's Ark, as you said, almost every civilization has a flood story. Could it have been a quick transition from an ice age, an instability in tectonic plates under water resulting in tsunamis? Who knows. The only thing I'm sure of is that the first answer will probably be wrong.
     
  12. ILLYRIAN

    ILLYRIAN Druish Pervonian Wizard

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    Black Thorn
    bespageled, hi, in your post you say you're a Montessori teacher of 4th graders. So how about being a bit more informative. When you say that Neanderthals married humans, do you mean married in the modern belief or married as in living together?


    And about the 'vampire' killed last century, I got it wrong. It was this century Jan 2004 in Rumania. His grave was opened and his heart removed.

    One thing I've found is that vampires seem to become vampires when they are in the grave. It seems to be that living people being turned into vampires is a hollywood idea. But that old vampire thing of a vampire sleeping in a coffin on earth may have factual reasonings.
    Could it be that a vampire bites the person, it is buried and becomes a vampire in its grave, in the dark, in an airless environment. Importantly it is buried in consecrated ground, it sleeps on consecrated ground. Does it follow that other christian symbols don't work either?
     
  13. Mr. Pole

    Mr. Pole My lines are mostly filler

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    Black Thorn
    Dont know about the whole marriage thing but it sure looks like they got it on
    [​IMG]
     
    ILLYRIAN: Do you know why men in those day had thick beards? In case the woman a bloke chose was a slayer who'd hit the bloke with a club; the beard hid the blood running down his head.
    bespangeled: I am laughing my butt off! I want one of those posters for my wall!
  14. JCoatsworth

    JCoatsworth UP THE IRONS!

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    Black Thorn
    But in this case the person was already dead, and they removed the heart as a kind of superstitious safety precaution, right? They didn't kill the person for being a vampire?
     
  15. ILLYRIAN

    ILLYRIAN Druish Pervonian Wizard

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    Black Thorn
    JCoatsworth,
    the body in the grave had its heart cut out because the people believed he was a vampire. And yes the person had died before they thought he was a vampire. That was what got me on to thinking the demon only takes the dead person's body, and if you think about it, it explains a lot:
    the vampire doesn't breath
    the vampires body is cold.
    Also in the series, Buffy used to patrol the graveyards, so
    who buried the vampire
    how long does it take from a person dying until they are buried.

    And what a 'new' addition to the creep factor. A dead person becomes a vampire only after they are dead, how do you protect a new dead relative?
     
  16. bespangeled

    bespangeled Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    Actually it Upper Elementary - 4th through 6th grade. We covered human history to the Age of Exploration. And yes, it definitely should be mated with, interbred, not married. :rolleyes:

    Actually death is pretty difficult to prove in some cases. We generally rely on brain death but historically people had to use other symptoms. So it wasn't all that unusual for a person who died to come back, particularly in times of plague. The whole modern idea of coffins is definitely not universal - usually a winding sheet is enough. Makes it a lot easier to come back from the grave.

    ---------- Post added at 03:56 AM ---------- Previous post was at 03:51 AM ----------

    Isn't becoming a vampire what kills off the human? Death and rebirth are in the nature of the process.
     
  17. Mr Trick

    Mr Trick Scooby

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    Well this is a little heavy guys:eek:

    Don't think I am in the best position to answer many of the questions, but I just tend to think that because Buffy is a supernatural show and that as far as MOST of us;) are concened Vampires do not really exist then that gives the show free reign to reinvent the rules, and play around with the standard conventions of the genre.
     
  18. VisionBoy

    VisionBoy Scooby

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    Sineya
    Well looking at other vampire-centric media... I've recently been rewatching "Being Human" (UK original) and one of the characters, George, wears a star of David necklace which he can use to repel vamps the same way one would use a crucifix.
     
    bespangeled likes this.
  19. AlphaFoxtrot

    AlphaFoxtrot Potential

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    It’s not very well explained. Provided that Angel was burned by a Bible once, there’s not a simple answer, like Vampires have always hated crosses. The real-world explanation is that Items like Bibles, Crosses, Holy Water, Bread, Wine et, are as some point blessed by a Priest, which is where they get their holy power from in cultures with an Catholic, Anglican or Orthodox foundation (which would include Bram Stroker’s Dracula). They hurt vampires because Vampires fear and hate God and all of his works. Who is God in the context of the Buffyverse? Do holy men of other religions have this power as well? Does the existence of the Christian Conception of the Deity affect the references to other gods throughout the series? Those are questions I can’t answer.
     
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  20. TriBel

    TriBel Scooby

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    I've got crosses and bibles in the house that have never been blessed by a priest (surprisingly - I have very few vampires - perhaps they work:)). Also - despite many religions sharing symbols they don't (to the best of my knowledge) all have the same theological understanding (for instance, transubstantiation). I'm not sure that religious symbols have the same impact on the Turok-Han as they do on the more advanced vamps. Perhaps it's less to do with what the demon believes and more to do with what the original owner of the body believed? Crosses seem to have a far greater impact on Angel than on Spike. Again - difficult to talk about a "Christian" conception. Are they all the same - do all denominations invest in the Trinity to the same degree? As far as I know there are arguments relating to monotheism between the major real world religions. That the 'verse "gods" are referred to as The Powers that Be suggests a pantheon. What about Holy Women - Angelus kills nuns; Spike seems to have an affinity with Mariology. TBH, I find secular arguments much easier to engage with:)!

    I don't think Stoker himself was Irish-Catholic. I think he was a member of the Free Church.

    Possibly qualifies as "understatement of the year"! :D
     
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