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Question Is Giles more insecure than we thought?

Amber Bunny Slippers

Power in the ecstasy of death
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Black Thorn
#1
He appeared to be much friendlier with females who didn't threaten his sense of superiority....and he didn't like other guys (Xander, Wesley, Spike, etc) being around.

1. He practically wet himself over Kendra's subservient manner.

2. He treated Willow like a servant...fetch this, catalogue that...and I actually think he was more threatened than concerned after she resurrected Buffy.

3. He was FAR too upset over a woman (Maggie Walsh) being brusque with him.

4. He was okay with Buffy, as long as she did her Slayer thing and didn't exhibit too much independent thinking.

5. Under the influence of band candy, his true nature revealed itself...domineering, chauvinistic, and kind of a dick.

6. After discovering "everything" about Riley, he acted like a jilted boyfriend...

7. The way he reacted to Wesley's arrival was seriously immature; dude, you're in your 40's. Set an example!

Thoughts?

(I'm sure there's more, but I need to take a shower right now. :p)
 
Give Us A Kiss
Give Us A Kiss
You have some good points there...

Fool for Buffy

I'm just being a big nerd again
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Sineya
#2
I agree with all this but I thought he was insecure from the beginning so I wouldn't say more than I thought. I always thought that was his biggest flaw. Most of his tragic plummet in season 4 is him feeling sorry for himself and assuming no one cares about him.
 

jls

a big cat
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#4
I'm gonna argue for fun and because I love Giles :p

Xander, Wesley and Spike all exhibited immature and occasionally idiotic behaviour - good enough reason for an intelligent, sensible, private and prudish Giles to be frustrated with them.

1. I think he was really excited by Kendra's A+ slayer knowledge. Also, before he met Buffy, he was Council boy, he had different expectations for a slayer/watcher dynamic. They may not have been appealing expectations to us, but you can't blame him too much for that. I think Kendra played into the dynamic he would've expected at first, there may have been a bit of it still lurking and so it pleased that part of him.

2. He treated Willow like a student, and him the teacher/librarian! Also, she was eager to be his research assistant, so he treated her like one of those too. Also - big age gap, pretty normal behaviour for the much older person to assume more authority.
Not up to my college days rewatch yet - but when I am I'll be back here with a report, haha!

3. With Maggie Walsh, again, I think he swanned in with some expectations, i.e he was more important to Buffy, closer to her, was an academic too. Maggie Walsh didn't give a crap about him or his expectations, he got all ruffled about it.

4. The Buffy and Giles dynamic is super good! She gets her way a lot of the time, and as she gets older and they have some serious fights, I think Giles fighting her is the mark of seeing her as an independent equal. He doesn't condescend, if he disagrees, he doesn't hold back.
(again, rewatching high-school years right now, speaking from memory of the college years)

5. In band candy he was his adolescent self. He was ridiculous! But, look at the other Sunnydale boy teens (ahem, Xander) - they're not perfect either.

6. I actually don't remember what happened with Riley, but hey, I'll take a punt. He loves Buffy like a father, fathers can get weird about daughter's boyfriends.

7. In BtVS (haven't seen Angel), Wesley was a real poncey fool, + Giles was bitter over being fired.

I think the key is seeing him through the lens of father, school teachery-type, bitter about having his calling (Watcher) taken away. He is not only those things, but they're aspects of him. We all have difficulties with dads, school authority figures - his faux pas (or only apparent faux pas) fall into those categories a lot.
 
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#5
He didn't have issues with all men. Just the ones who seemed silly and immature (i.e Spike, Xander, and Wesley).
Giles had no issues with Angel until the Angelus phase (and I mean who wouldn't have issues then, right?). Angel presented himself as more level-head and mature, which is why I think Giles was fond of him and was not against a slayer/vampire relationship until of course the Angelus period, once again.

And come on, Maggie Walsh was a grade A bitch. Of course, Giles didn't like her lol.
 

jls

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#7
@WillowFromBuffy I need to rewatch that episode, but from memory, don't you think he was scared by imagining what could've gone wrong, surprised to learn that Willow had that power, and concerned about what being able to handle that power meant for Willow - especially considering it was on the darker side?
I think it really comes down to fears or intuitions about the amount and darkness of power that Willow is capable of wielding. Those are well founded fears/intuitions ultimately, and I think they could explain Giles coming across as threatened.
 

WillowFromBuffy

Extra flamy candles!
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#8
@WillowFromBuffy I need to rewatch that episode, but from memory, don't you think he was scared by imagining what could've gone wrong, surprised to learn that Willow had that power, and concerned about what being able to handle that power meant for Willow - especially considering it was on the darker side?
I think it really comes down to fears or intuitions about the amount and darkness of power that Willow is capable of wielding. Those are well founded fears/intuitions ultimately, and I think they could explain Giles coming across as threatened.
I am just happy someone took Willow's side. Giles lashes out at Willow. Willow lashes back, but Willow is the only one who apologies.

The relationship between Giles and Willow bothers me a lot. Giles either treats Willow with indifference or disdain.
 
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#9
Yes

expecting
Yes

He treated Willow like a servant
Yes

okay with Buffy, as long as she did her Slayer thing and didn'tdidn't exhibit too much independent
Yes

domineering, chauvinistic, and kind of a dick.
Yes

I don`t see any insecurity here. Giles is a hard-core Watcher. He is a Quentin Travers, with the same self-righteous, patriarchal, anti-democratic, authoritarian attitude. Unlike Quentin Travers though, he has this cute habit of constantly cleaning his glasses, he can play the guitar and we probably all have a soft spot for him, because we saw his grief about Jennys death. But take all that away and what is left ? No insecurity at all but a watcher who believes himself to be above the law.

flow
 
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#10
He showed concern as well, and was upset when he thought Willow was a vampire. And even when Buffy did something wrong and she knew it he was not as harsh as he could've been. He also defied Travers over Buffy which isn't something someone insecure would do.

But later on, he did come to feel irrelevant (which had a lot to do with his reactions to Walsh and Riley), a fear that haunted him until in season 6 when all the characters changed without warning to fit the story they had in mind of making Buffy depressed by not giving her any breaks, etc.
 

jls

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#11
The relationship between Giles and Willow bothers me a lot. Giles either treats Willow with indifference or disdain.
Just watched Doppelgangland and Giles is really upset when Willow is apparently turned into a vampire, and extremely relieved when she is still actually human. He does boss her to do some research (that moment in the script is really only there for comedy), but Willow very happily goes off to research. She doesn't feel oppressed or belittled by him, in that moment it's really like he's the researcher and she the researcher's assistant. I don't see that as problematic.

Anyway, just thought I'd provide that as an example for why I think they have a good relationship.
 

caitaintdead

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Black Thorn
#13
He appeared to be much friendlier with females who didn't threaten his sense of superiority....and he didn't like other guys (Xander, Wesley, Spike, etc) being around.

1. He practically wet himself over Kendra's subservient manner.
Giles was excited to be working with someone that had a similar interest and knowledge to himself. The fact that he was excited that someone might be able to keep up with him, rather than being intimidated by them, says a lot. He was not in charge of her, and showed zero indication of wanting to be in charge of her.

Giles didn't dislike all men. He disliked people that were stupid, evil, gutless, and a threat to the slayer and the world.

2. He treated Willow like a servant...fetch this, catalogue that...and I actually think he was more threatened than concerned after she resurrected Buffy.
He treated Willow as if he were a teacher. He wanted to keep her safe. He wanted to keep the world safe. He knew, due to his experience, that magic had the ability to corrupt. He was right. Willow MURDERED people, and then went on to attempt to murder Buffy, Xander, Dawn, Anya etc etc etc.

3. He was FAR too upset over a woman (Maggie Walsh) being brusque with him.
Are you saying Maggie's treatment of Giles - intentionally using her skills as a reader of peoples insecurities - was something underserving of poor treatment. She went out of her way to hurt Giles. She went on to then try and KILL Buffy. Once again. Giles was right.

4. He was okay with Buffy, as long as she did her Slayer thing and didn't exhibit too much independent thinking.
Please see Buffy's face in my current profile picture.

5. Under the influence of band candy, his true nature revealed itself...domineering, chauvinistic, and kind of a dick.
Please see Buffy's face in my current profile picture.

6. After discovering "everything" about Riley, he acted like a jilted boyfriend...
You have very clearly not jilted many boyfriends. How you could compare these two situations is beyond me. Giles has spent sleepness nights attempting to discover any tiny bit of information about the commandos. He is then told that all that time has been wasted. This would be like doing a full days worth of volunteer work (Giles aint getting paid), for what you think is a worthwhile cause, only to find out that the weeds you've been pulling out were just planted to encourage the growth of native fauna.

7. The way he reacted to Wesley's arrival was seriously immature; dude, you're in your 40's. Set an example!
Wesley is one of my favourite characters, but even I can admit that he was a dick in these early episodes.

tl;dr
huh?
 
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#14
I think most of these can be explained away by noting his fatherly relationship with Buffy and his role as her Watcher and, thus, everyone else's superior as well. And he doesn't squelch her -- she gets away with a LOT, sometimes even punching him unconscious so she can do what she thinks she needs to do. More than once, Giles is asked why he let her go, and he responds with something like "as the bump on my forehead shows, I did not let her go." He loves her and he concedes to her ideas and plans a lot of the time. I would say she's in control much of the time, especially as the seasons go on. She may still value his opinion, but in the end the actual decision is hers.

His relationship with Willow is one of the most special in the whole show, I think. He's coached her and worked with her alongside Buffy, just with different material, and they have a great bond. If you watch the goodbye scene in Tabula Rasa, you'll see that he hugs her last and obviously feels the most sad/sorry about leaving her. She's almost like a daughter to him the way Buffy is.

Wesley is kind of the town idiot until he arrives at AtS, and there his growth really starts. It's not fair to criticize Giles for acting superior around Wesley. This kid has taken his job and acts like he knows more than Giles, just because he's the "official" watcher and Giles is not. He could easily have used Giles' knowledge to help him out, especially at first, but he really doesn't. He thinks he knows more and is entitled to boss Buffy around however he sees fit. Plus, he's just so... stuffy. I love how Giles is allowed to relax a little when Wesley arrives to show the distinction between the two.

It's also not really fair to blame current Giles for his behavior as teenage Giles. Many teenagers are troublemakers, and most are angsty. He was a kid, he knew about magic, he liked the power and liked girls. If you look at the other "teenagers" they're all acting insane. Snyder, all the dancing guys on stage, the lady who takes over study hall, and especially Joyce. They're just immature. They're kids.

Sorry about the ramble!
 
caitaintdead
caitaintdead
YES YES YES