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Does anyone here like Giles and Ethan as a couple?


"Tact is not saying true stuff. I'll pass."
Aug 30, 2018
United States
I don't necessarily like them as a couple but I enjoy their flirting.

Robin Sachs played a lot of incidental characters on TV who were usually fairly stoic and dull, but he went quite camp and big with Ethan and I loved it.
Ethan seemed to like being around Giles for some reason.
Sep 2, 2020
I don't tend to look for ships when I'm watching shows but the bar scene even seemed to me to be very shippy. I hadn't realised about the intercutting with other scenes mentioned above but I had heard that Jane Espenson said that.

Specifically for me it's the bit where Ethan is chatting up the waitress. Not only the 'hmm?' line but also after Giles realises Ethan is referring to the waitress being attractive it really does seem like Giles is disappointed. I've tried to think of other reasons for that look but I haven't been able to come up with one that is better than 'oh, I thought he was talking about me'.

I've never looked for shippiness between them and I actually get a bit frustrated that every friendship gets turned in to romance in everything (so I understand the posts above expressing that) but there are too many things pointing to a past relationship for me to be able to ignore it. Public school (the only public school boy I knew well enough told me he'd experimented), Ethan turning up all the time to get a rise out of Giles, mention of orgies but only one woman, their interactions generally (though I admit there could be more hate than love there), the bar scene...

I don't think it's current though (although maybe Ethan would like it to be), I think it was definitely only back in their 20's.
Oct 23, 2018
The thing with Ethan Rayne is that Robin Sachs wasn't acting when he played him - he didn't go big and flamboyant as someone said, that was just who he was. There' a clip of him on youtube saying he loved playing Ethan because he didn't have to do anything - just say some lines someone else wrote and then was himself. And Robin Sachs wasn't gay. I think he just belongs to that certain class of quite posh Englishmen who are either rugger bugger types or theatrical luvvies and not much in between and he happened to be a theatrical luvvie.
I've never read Ethan as being remotely sexually attracted to men, I know far too many straight men who are just like him to assume he would be. Ethan is English being played by an actual English man (unlike Spike or Wes) and he is just a certain type of English man. I think British ideas of masculinity and how elastic they can be are more different from American ideas of the same thing than most people realise and everything British - whether we realise it or not - is going to be seen through the prism of class. So where Americans see queer coding, we just see posh. Yep - some posh boys are like that.
And whereas Ethan does have that sort of flair and campness (campness not actually being a measure of gayness - sooo many straight men are quite camp (Robin Sachs included), lots of gay men aren't camp at all) that could be interpreted as a link to his sexuality - if you are the sort of person desperate to link every raised eyebrow to proof of queerness - Giles has ... absolutely nothing. At all. Not a hint of camp or flamboyance, clearly attracted to women, never shows any interest in men (these 2 being the big indicators), is both fatherly and authoritarian and able to get stuck in in his 'ripper' persona. So even if - and this is a big if - Ethan were gay or bi, the fact that Giles is straight would preclude any kind of romantic or sexual relationship. Ethan isn't going to turn Giles gay. Gay men and straight men can be friends without there being any underlying will they/ won't they tension because the answer is 'no they won't, the straight man isn't into it and the gay man respects that'. And any other supposition comes from a place of unacknowledged homophobia.

I understand gay and bi people wanting to see representation of themselves and being so used to being ignored that they will take whatever they can get, and stretch a point to breaking. That's fair.
But when it's heterosexual people doing it it makes me very uncomfortable. I know they think they're being very progressive and accepting in pointing out that these two men might have had something in the past and they don't have a problem with it ... but actually they're being very regressive. Regressive because it is so deeply regressive and harmful to take any male/male relationship and make it gay - because it is buying into this late Victorian (strictly post Oscar Wilde's arrest) view (and fear) that any men who've spent a lot of time together, have a long history, have a complicated relationship or maybe just a caring one must have sexual undertones to it. Men suffer so much from poor mental health, they really struggle to open up and talk about how they feel, they don't feel comfortable doing that with their mates the way female friendships just take for granted - they don't get that emotional support from each other that women do. And the same people spotting queerness round every corner would be the first to say that this is terrible and men should get support and open up. They can't because every positive or lengthy male relationship is twisted into a gay one by people feeling smugly progressive. The people so desperate to read gay in between every male interaction that is more than just grunts are the very people who are stopping men from feeling comfortable making deeper connections with other men. Leave them the hell alone!
To me it even feels a little bit homophobic when straight people desperately read gayness into interactions between two characters whereby a romance or sex is not actually part of their story together and has no bearing. It just feels a bit othering, rather than accepting. A desperate need to show progressive acceptance whilst at the same time managing to make someone other based on ... that they were young together? They've known each other a long time? Ethan calls Giles Ripper? Add in the fact that the 'proof' is what they got up to when they were summoning demons and - yeah that is homophobic. It equates gay sex and relationships with demon worship and things getting out of control and someone dying. If the writers were trying to imply anything (and I really doubt back in The Dark Age they were - even if they have altered their own narrative since then to fit in with their own desperate need to be progressive and appeal to other progressives) then they managed to be completely homophobic in representation of a gay relationship as a demon cult. This wouldn't have happened, Rupert, if you'd just stayed at Oxford and kissed girls.

And added on top of this it is actually deeply rude to speculate on and suppose someone's sexuality beyond what they are happy to tell you. I know they're only fictional, but accepting what you see on T.V and not desperately hunting out clues for something else is probably good practice for keeping your nose out of real world people's business. The sheer amount of real people fanfic that exists tells me there is a hefty proportion of the population who could do with some more practice in that. I know Harry and whichever other member of one direction he was so avidly shipped with found their whole supposed relationship and the furore around it upsetting and embarrassing and it quite seriously damaged their friendship because they didn't want to be around each other any more. Looking for a romantic or sexual relationship between people just getting on with their lives is bad behaviour and as we get reality t.v and youtubers and have contact with celebrities via twitter and instagram, the line between reality and fiction is being blurred for a troubling amount of people. Maybe if we didn't have people insisting they can read things into fictional relationships that are not there and have no bearing on the story, we wouldn't have people hounding Harry and ... I wanna say Louis and destroying a real life friendship through their 'love and support and acceptance'.
Giles only ever shows interest in women. Therefore the face he is presenting to the world is straight, therefore to assume anything else is rude. The only time Ethan shows any interest in anyone sexually it is to a woman (the waitress) so supposing his sexuality based on how you interpret his personality and mannerisms (which we know were very close to Robin Sach's own mannerisms) is deeply rude. (I'm also dubious on the 'joke' of Giles thinking Ethan was hitting on him as being one to hint at a previous relationship as claimed and not yet another gay panic joke - how Buffy loves those. It was actually a bit of a homophobic joke now being claimed to be something else because the gay jokes are one of the things that no longer stand up about Buffy. After all - if Giles and Ethan used to have sex, why on earth would Giles be remotely surprised and confused by Ethan telling him he thought he was attractive? He would already know! Ethan coming onto him would be part of their relationship ... he's confused because it isn't.) Ethan and Giles are not admitting to or referencing a relationship beyond their old friendship which has turned sour - that's either because there is nothing to admit to, or it isn't anything they want bringing up or people knowing, or it is so inconsequential it's not worth mentioning ... whichever it is they're not opening it up to discussion so discussing it is rude.
(side note - serious discussion of whether or not there was really feelings there or something deeper only ever seems to come about over slash relationships. No one really speculates on Cordelia and Gunn or whether Spike ever had a thing with Darla or whether there was a little something something when Angel turned up in Willow's room. Did she like it? Is she jealous of Buffy? was Angel into her fluffy slippers? It's never mentioned as romantic or sexual, so we accept it didn't happen and accept the terms of their relationship exactly as we are shown them to be. But Faith/ Buffy Spike/ Angel Spike/ Xander Giles/ Ethan ... no, no - we must look further and deeper and ignore all their heterosexual relationships and assume they must be secretly bi. It's not progressive, it's othering. They are literally being treated differently because their (non- sexual) relationship is same sex - therefore there must be something more than we are being told. But cross sex friendships with no hint of attraction - yeah that's fine.)
Very regressive people try to encourage lesbian women and gay men into being straight and try to force heteronormatvitity on them. Most liberal leaning people can see this is wrong. But trying to encourage gay relationships and enforce queerness on straight people is not progressive. It's not being accepting. It's exactly the same behaviour just flipped the other way. So much of what is part of the 'progressive left' these days is actually deeply regressive and authoritarian and has very little difference between the actions of the fundamentalist right which they hate so loudly and vociferously.

As for them having orgies - that is not what the show says, that is fans twisting what the shows says to provide proof for a queer narrative they are so desperate to cling to. This is what the show actually says:
Willow: Eyghon... can only exist in this reality by possessing an unconscious host. Temporary possession embues the host with a euphoric feeling of power.
Buffy: I still don't get what this has to do with Giles.
Willow: Well, I don't know about Giles but ancient sects used to induce possession for bacchanals and orgies.
Xander: Okay! Giles and orgies in the same sentence. i could have lived without that one.

It is Willow who brings up orgies, not Ethan or Giles - and even Willow herself says: possession of Eyghon brings about a euphoric feeling of power ... not sex feelings. What the mention of orgies is is the script writers being unable to stop themselves including a silly sex joke - not actually trying to claim that sex was part of what happened. Not least because this is what Giles has to say about the ritual:

Giles: Yes, one of us would go into a deep sleep and the others would summon him. It was an extraordinary high.

That tallies with what we actually see in the flashbacks - a fully clothed group of people sitting around a fully clothed person going to sleep and then summoning the demon. Only the possessed person would be feeling the high, the others just facilitated it. So they weren't all high at once and then doing whatever in a demon possessed state or euphoria. They took it in turns - one person getting high at a time. It's the mystical equivalent of very very slowly passing a bong - waiting until you;d sobered up before you handed it on. The feelings they got were euphoria and power. Not horny. And even if they were horny - the others weren't in the same state.

So assuming there were orgies because they were getting high together is ignoring the canonical fact they got high one at a time and the rest were responsible for making sure things didn't go wrong. And it's ignoring the canonically stated feelings possession of Eyghon in particular created. It's clinging to a silly sex joke put in by the writers, and made by characters who were not only not there but not even born at the time. If there was any serious intention to make us think there were orgies involved, it would come from Ethan not Willow. It is exactly the same as Willow saying there will be orgies at the frat party and Xander wanting to go. It's the same joke! From the same people! But there wasn't an orgy at the frat party so why would you assume there would be an orgy at this ritual - when we see it in flashback form and see no orgy?
If anything, these repeated mentions of orgies from Willow tell us more about Willow and what she wants to be happening than it does about the people she is claiming are having orgies.

I actually find the mention of them both going to public school a bit distasteful. Yes, horrendous abuse does (or did) take place in public schools - but it was precisely that, abuse. Older boys preying in younger boys who in turn became the older boys and preyed on the younger boys. And as with all abuse, it would be about power not sex.
And whilst Giles and Ethan might have both gone to public school and might both have been abused and done some abusing in their time (though by no means would every boy in a public school go through this - they're not all psychopaths, just the ones who go on to become tory politicians) the fact is they didn't go to the same school. Giles met Ethan in London once he had dropped out of Oxford. So whatever may or may not have happened to them at school has no bearing on whether or not they fooled around with each other a decade or so later.
Again - if Espenson (was it Espenson?) said that horrible thing about public school it just shows that ME writers are still making silly and inappropriate sex jokes, have the same boundary issues they always had but are now trying to change the narrative to fit in with what the terminally woke want to hear ... but are doing so by making silly and inappropriate sex jokes, because they're not woke themselves they're just pretending to be so they don't get cancelled.
Ethan Reigns
Ethan Reigns
I read the whole post because it was worth it. The condescension and othering of the woke / PC crowd becomes more evident the more you have to deal with it.
I don't agree with everything you say, but you make some really good points.


Jul 29, 2016
@Myheadsgonenumb I think you make some very good and valid points, particularly the part about male characters that have any form of relationship with each other being gay shipped regardless of what their actual relationship may be eg platonic, familial, enemies, co-workers, strangers, etc. You see this on so many shows from fans.


When it comes to dating I the Slayer.
Apr 23, 2012
@Ethan Reigns - agree re: the woke crowd. I agreed with everything you said on this thread. I nearly did just post 'I agree with Ethan'.
You made some very good points here . I never saw them as sexual with each other . I can see them, going after girls at the same time .
Ans Ethen was probably missing his close friend is all & England being different then the US we see things different.
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