"Mist... cemetery... Halloween. Should end well."
- Apr 12, 2019
In the Buffyverse, is the soul a necessary condition for loving? If so, how? If not, why? And should it be?
I agree.I think you can love without a soul, but it's a more selfish love than if you have a soul.
Now, I really don’t know how Spike’s and Drusilla’s love fits in this interpretation of mine. But I agree with you broadly speaking. If “Lover’s Walk” is taken at face value, then their love was selfish, he wants to cast a spell to get her back or to torture her until she loves him again. Once more, there’s no moral compass outside the love interest.As the great Dru said
" Oh, we can you know. We can love quite well... if not wisely."
This is an interesting thought. Gotta think more about it.But I’ve often thought that there’s another element to the idea of needing a soul for “really” being able to love. It comes from Angel. Ensouled!Angel loves Buffy in a selfless way. However, soulless!Angel does not love Buffy, he wants to torture her and ultimately to kill her. So, if Buffy accepts that love can be felt without a soul, she needs to reconcile this behavior. In order to avoid questioning this dichotomy of Angel’s love, she rejects the idea that soulless demons can love. Or at the very least, that they can fully love in the same way that souled demons/people do (she does accept in CWDP that Spike loved her, but she qualifies his love as twisted).
I disagree on Drusilla leaving Spike. Depending on whether you consider Lovers Walk canon or the Spuffy retcon in Fool For Love, Drusilla either broke up with Spike because of the truce with Buffy (which would seem like a betrayal of trust) or she saw he was in love with Buffy (which would also seem like a betrayal of trust). Dru didn't leave Spike because it was "inconvenient" otherwise she wouldn't have stayed with him when he was stuck in a wheelchair. It is a common misconception that Dru ditched Spike as soon as Angelus was back on the scene, but the truth is she didn't, she was sleeping with BOTH men as Angelus refers to her as giving Spike "pity-access".All the vampires had left their partners when it was inconvenient for them such as Darla rejecting Angel and Drusilla leaving Spike.
Yeah, I broadly agree, but I still think that @nightshade was spot on. It boils down to selfless vs selfish love. Probably the question phrased that way would be easier to discuss, starting from how do we define love in BtVS? @genghiskhan made a good distinction in that sense.I feel like Joss made a soul a prerequisite for loving, but I disagree lol. I think Spike loved Buffy without a soul. I think Spike & Dru loved each other without souls.
I disagree to an extent. I think what soulless vampires feel as love is real to them, even if it doesn't match up to what a souled person considers as love. Therefore they can love in their own way and it is a genuine love to them so shouldn't be dismissed as "you can't love without a soul!"They can say they can 'love 'quite well' or that 'this is real' to their dead hearts content, but its from a place of ignorance.
I mean, other vampires love or at least show a need for companionship or favoritism among their kind; The Master had affection for Darla, soulless/witless Harmony shows affection for Spike and warmth with Cordelia and later on compassion for Gunn even if, in the end, it all seems like hollow affection.
I kind of disagree. First of all, what Darla feels for Connor is a "mother's love" which is a very powerful kind of love and something which Darla never would've felt before. Perception wise, it would make her feelings for Angel/Angelus feel insignificant, especially since their relationship was quite tumultuous. They would fall out, betray each other leave, come back, etc. It was full of ups and downs whereas Darla feels her love for Connor is unconditional.But really the very best arbiter we have for the difference between soulled and soulless is pregnant Darla, who proclaims that the only thing she ever loved in her long life was the child, the soul, inside her. She shares that soul and knows instinctively the difference in emotion between one state and the other.
And she states that without a soul she couldn't love it properly. Nor fully.
That's the basic difference.
Yes, but by definition a soulless being is 'missing' a key part of themselves. Humans are supposed to have souls, vampires are a demonic infection that strips the human of its soul, kills it and resurrects it and gives it cool superpowers.I think what soulless vampires feel as love is real to them, even if it doesn't match up to what a souled person considers as love.
But I never said that vampires can't love, they just can't love as well as a souled person.Therefore they can love in their own way and it is a genuine love to them so shouldn't be dismissed as "you can't love without a soul!"
But Darla loved Angelus for almost 200 years or so, and her child's soul effected her in the span of one night. I think that shows that soulled love trumps demon love fairly conclusively.First of all, what Darla feels for Connor is a "mother's love" which is a very powerful kind of love and something which Darla never would've felt before. Perception wise, it would make her feelings for Angel/Angelus feel insignificant, especially since their relationship was quite tumultuous. They would fall out, betray each other leave, come back, etc. It was full of ups and downs whereas Darla feels her love for Connor is unconditional.
Darla has eaten children. She ate Holtz baby. She wanted Angel to eat a little missionary baby in front of her. Vampires are monsters and Darla was pretty up there as vampire evil goes.Darla fears she wouldn't be able to love her child without a soul (and she'd rather not chance it) but it's never confirmed if that would've actually been the case. There have been no pregnant vampires before or after Darla so it is really unchartered territory.
I don't think she would. Connor ties Angel to her forever, he can't just kick her out of his life completely because they share a son. The fact that Angel can't have kids with anyone else, including Buffy, means that Darla has leverage over him. She's not going to give that up easily.Wouldn't Darla want to hurt Angel's child once it was out of her? As a sort of revenge on Angel 'inflicting it' on her in the first place?
She tried to abort it several times because the pregnancy wasn't supposed to be possible. You can't count this one against Darla since lots of women abort their unwanted pregnancies.Did she not try and kill it multiple times but was prevented only by its mystical nature?
You think Darla would've kept the baby because she wanted to be with Angel?I don't think she would. Connor ties Angel to her forever, he can't just kick her out of his life completely because they share a son. The fact that Angel can't have kids with anyone else, including Buffy, means that Darla has leverage over him. She's not going to give that up easily.
Yes, soulless Darla didn't want the baby and soulled Darla knew that. I don't see any logic in saying that soulless Darla would suddenly want the baby once she'd given birth it. It's far more likely, given what we know of Darla, that she would've killed it. The only person who knows for sure is soulled Darla herself.She tried to abort it several times because the pregnancy wasn't supposed to be possible.
Anya had a soul as a demon according to Selfless:When I originally thought of this question, I had in mind vampires, but thinking more about it, are there other demons that have shown the capacity of loving? I can't think of any. Am I right?
I partially agree. Feeling love might be easier as you say, you have no restrains. But actually loving someone might imply living in torture. We've seen it with Spike. He desperately loves Buffy, but he misses the mark so badly without understanding why to the point that he's consumed by his desire of establishing a real emotional connection with Buffy. He experiences emotional pain and doesn't understand why he cannot make her love him.If you think about it, the absence of a soul might actually make loving someone easier. The soul is used as pretty much the equivalent of a conscience or moral code within the Buffyverse. No soul, no feelings of guilt, no inhibition against loving the "wrong" person (age, gender, siblings, parents, children, etc, or even species) If it feels good, do it. You wouldn't have to worry about what others would think, whether you were breaking any laws, or whether you were betraying any previous relationship. No inhibitions whatsoever.