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Morality: Vampire "brothel" in Into the Woods

vampmogs

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Hi,

I've just rewatched Into the Woods and it got me thinking about the morality of the vampire brothel and whether Buffy was right to burn it down.

Pros: As stated by Giles, the vampires were feeding off "willing victims" as opposed to killing innocents which in turn stopped them from being hunted. Vampires who "played by the rules" would let the payee live so they weren't killing anyone either. A positive of the brothel was that it took several would-be-killer vampires off the streets which arguably in turn made Sunnydale safer for ordinary citizens.

Cons: There's a danger that vampires participate who "only pretend to play by the rules" and kill their customers anyway. This wasn't stated to be happening in Sunnydale but was a hypothetical raised by Giles and could well happen in Sunnydale too. Another con is that the vampire brothel was encouraging seedy, self-destructive and dangerous behaviour for humans seeking a rush or high. And the last con would be, well, vampires.

I can see both sides of it. The fact that the vampires try and ambush and kill Buffy in retaliation demonstrates that they're as evil as any other and an argument can be made that even 1 less vampire in the world is a job well done by Buffy. However, on the flip side they weren't actively killing anyone and were deliberately engaging in behaviour that would avoid them from killing (even if it's self-serving and about preservation) so it could be deemed hypocritical to target them whilst simultaneously letting Spike and Harmony live (on the account of the chip or Harmony playing by Angel's new rules at W&H).

Was Buffy morally justified to hunt the vampires? Should she have allowed them to continue their practices in Sunnydale? Or was she correct to burn the establishment down?

Side note: If we could avoid derailing the thread about Buffy/Riley and Riley in particular that would be great. I understand that it may come up a little as it's part of Buffy's motivation for going after the vamps but I'd appreciate it if we don't focus on whether Riley was cheating etc.

Mogs
 

Priceless

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Although there is an emotional component to Buffy's decision in burning down the brothel, it's also her job to hunt and kill vampires, no matter what those vampires are doing. She has allowed non-threatening vampires a free pass before, and will do in the future, but here she finds vampires actively biting humans, so she has to slay them.

The lone vampire in the alley (Sandy?) had attacked her, so I don't see any reason for Buffy to spare her, just because she's running away. Once again, there might be an emotional motivation to what Buffy does, but I don't have a problem with that.
 
D
Dora
Spike ???

WillowFromBuffy

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This is a tough one.

Personally, I am not a big fan of sex work to being with. I don't think it is unequivocally unethical, but there are certain issues associated with such activity.

The vampire brothel seems to connote two activities, namely sex work and heavy drugs. The fangs piercing the arm is reminiscent of a needle of heroin and the place looks like a drug den.

This place makes me wish the Buffyverse used venereal disease to make vampires more creepy. Like Darla carried syphilis bacteria in her body, even though her sores and other damage healed after she became a vampire. It would make sense that she passed that off to Angel. Wait, maybe Buffy didn't have the flu in "Killed by Death" at all. Anyway, vampires drink untested blood daily, so they should be picking up diseases, and if they start practicing catch and release, those diseases would spread to living humans.

As mentioned, Buffy has a personal stake in wanting to destroy this place, but I think Giles has a reason for being reluctant. He says he last heard of such places in his "Ripper days", but Ripper didn't hunt demons, he had sex with them. It seems likely that Giles once frequented such places.

Anyway, in the Buffyverse vampires are irredeemably evil. We are shown again and again that vampires can't be trusted. The one who came the furthest was Harmony, though she had to be blood tested and threatened with death. With that in mind, it is obvious that this will not work out long term.
Riley is the one to kill Willow's child.

As for Buffy killing that girl ... I think it is an interesting question. Buffy kills the woman whom her boyfriend cheated on her with, which is bad, but she is justified, as the woman is one of the unholy creatures that she needs to protect humanity from. It is probably not good to have to feed that desire for revenge.
 
D
Dora
Vampires cannot get a disease as they are already dead

WillowFromBuffy

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@Dora A corpse cannot have a disease, though microorganisms that cause disease are perfectly capable of surviving inside a corpse. On BtVS, Darla's syphilis returns after she is restored to life, so she must have carried the bacteria as a vampire and should logically be capable of spreading them. After centuries of drinking blood, she should have picked up several more infections.

Why are we getting corona? Vampire sex workers, that's why.
 
Last edited:

AlphaFoxtrot

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Well, that's a good question. The Slayer has made deals with Vamps before, being willing to overlook ones who aren't actively warring against mankind in order to devote her attention to greater threats seems sensible. But, I could see why a Hero like Buffy would despise doing so.
 

katmobile

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Vampires would be unlikely to carry as STDs as the reasons they're STDs is they need to go directly between warm bodies. It's possible if a vamp fed often enough to keep their bodies warm enough maybe but these viruses need living bodies probably no and certainly Angel or Spike are not carrying Darla's sythlis. The could carry any numbers of other blood borne diseases though or drugs that entered the bloodstream (Spike went on a trip through feeding on a hippie at Woodstock for example) - they could have in the past carried bubonic plague possibly for example.
 

Btvs fan

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Hi,

I've just rewatched Into the Woods and it got me thinking about the morality of the vampire brothel and whether Buffy was right to burn it down.

Pros: As stated by Giles, the vampires were feeding off "willing victims" as opposed to killing innocents which in turn stopped them from being hunted. Vampires who "played by the rules" would let the payee live so they weren't killing anyone either. A positive of the brothel was that it took several would-be-killer vampires off the streets which arguably in turn made Sunnydale safer for ordinary citizens.

Cons: There's a danger that vampires participate who "only pretend to play by the rules" and kill their customers anyway. This wasn't stated to be happening in Sunnydale but was a hypothetical raised by Giles and could well happen in Sunnydale too. Another con is that the vampire brothel was encouraging seedy, self-destructive and dangerous behaviour for humans seeking a rush or high. And the last con would be, well, vampires.

I can see both sides of it. The fact that the vampires try and ambush and kill Buffy in retaliation demonstrates that they're as evil as any other and an argument can be made that even 1 less vampire in the world is a job well done by Buffy. However, on the flip side they weren't actively killing anyone and were deliberately engaging in behaviour that would avoid them from killing (even if it's self-serving and about preservation) so it could be deemed hypocritical to target them whilst simultaneously letting Spike and Harmony live (on the account of the chip or Harmony playing by Angel's new rules at W&H).

Was Buffy morally justified to hunt the vampires? Should she have allowed them to continue their practices in Sunnydale? Or was she correct to burn the establishment down?

Side note: If we could avoid derailing the thread about Buffy/Riley and Riley in particular that would be great. I understand that it may come up a little as it's part of Buffy's motivation for going after the vamps but I'd appreciate it if we don't focus on whether Riley was cheating etc.

Mogs
Still not sure why the Vamps were angry with Riley rather than Spike as it was Spike who brought the Slayer there but ok.

In Angel S4 they've set up shop in LA and Wesley knows about (he tortures a druggie for information) it. So it seems more common than Giles thinks.

Still not sure why the Vampires simply set up shop in another abandoned building rather than confront a Slayer but again ok.

From a morality standpoint, Buffy was ok with what she did though cruel with how she toyed with the clearly terrified Vampire Girl imo
 

Priceless

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Still not sure why the Vamps were angry with Riley rather than Spike as it was Spike who brought the Slayer there but ok.
I don't think we ever see vampire against vampire on this show do we? Except for Spike and Angel, but the souls play a part in that I think. Soulless vampires don't tend to fight against one another and direct their anger against humans mostly.
 

Btvs fan

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I don't think we ever see vampire against vampire on this show do we? Except for Spike and Angel, but the souls play a part in that I think. Soulless vampires don't tend to fight against one another and direct their anger against humans mostly.
In the Angel episode War Games a Vampire kills his friend for being ambushed by Gunn and his gang
 

DeadlyDuo

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I don't think we ever see vampire against vampire on this show do we? Except for Spike and Angel, but the souls play a part in that I think. Soulless vampires don't tend to fight against one another and direct their anger against humans mostly.
In School Hard, Spike killed the annoying one, fended off the bearded vamp that tried to stop him with a well aimed kick, and then took over the group. In my mind, that's vampire hierarchy at play. You have an alpha vampire in a group, and from time to time you get challengers for the position. The alpha either has to defend their position or relinquish it, a bit like in the wild really.

In Real Me, Mort garnered the support of the rest of the group and was willing to kill Harmony for leadership.

Over on Angel, James was willing to kill Angel for killing Elizabeth.

I think the vampires were angry at Riley because he was the reason that Buffy was there. If Riley hadn't shown up, then Buffy would've had no reason to be there.

The whores were the ones feeding off the customers, it's not clear whether the pimps did too or if they got their meals elsewhere.

I think Buffy was angry that Riley basically cheated on her which is why she had the reaction she did to the vampire whore he cheated on her with. The fact that she was a vampire was an excuse for Buffy to react as she did. Of course Riley then tried to blame her for him going to the vampire whorehouse in the first place, I think Buffy took out her anger on the wrong people.
 

DeadlyDuo

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Buffy burnt it down because Riley was cheating. The vampires weren't killing anyone, and I believe in any other situation, she might've given them a pass.
Agreed. Riley had been going there on the regular, Spike just so happened to catch him which is why he showed Buffy what was going on. Even though his motivation were slightly selfish, at the same time Buffy had the right to know that Riley was cheating on her. It annoys me how Riley then tried to blame his cheating on Buffy and then the writers use Xander to describe Riley as "the one that comes along once in a life time". Buffy had a lucky escape in my opinion because Riley was so obsessed with having her "need" him. He kept going to the vampires because they "needed" him.

Season 6 Buffy would've been Riley's perfect Buffy because of how she was that season, either that or she would've felt even worse because of how stifled he would make her feel. I can't remember which episode it was, but it's clear that Buffy had gone to the graveyard because she wanted some time to herself and yet Riley won't leave her alone even though Spike points out that "looks like neither boy is welcome". Riley just has that completely ignorant "yeah go away Spike, Buffy doesn't want you here" attitude even though it's clear Buffy doesn't want Riley there either.

Though I don't think Riley is a horrible person in general, and Sam seems pretty happy to be married to him (though that was a pretty quick marriage proposal since it occurred within the year), I think he needs a particular type of woman to keep him happy and Buffy wasn't it. She was too independent for him and rather than calling it quits, he bacame obsessed with her needing him then cheated on her instead because she wasn't playing ball.
 

Dora

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@Dora A corpse cannot have a disease, though microorganisms that cause disease are perfectly capable of surviving inside a corpse. On BtVS, Darla's syphilis returns after she is restored to life, so she must have carried the bacteria as a vampire and should logically be capable of spreading them. After centuries of drinking blood, she should have picked up several more infections.

Why are we getting corona? Vampire sex workers, that's why.
Interesting..... so after blood drinking ,raping and having sex for a 100 years , Spike he could easily be carrying STDs , Aids etc so S6 gets even worse , as role models it shows Buffy and Spike having lots of unprotected sex ? now I always known that Buffy could not get pregnant because Spikes Sperm was dead but never thought of the fact she could get a disease from his bodily fluids
 

katmobile

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Interesting..... so after blood drinking ,raping and having sex for a 100 years , Spike he could easily be carrying STDs , Aids etc so S6 gets even worse , as role models it shows Buffy and Spike having lots of unprotected sex ? now I always known that Buffy could not get pregnant because Spikes Sperm was dead but never thought of the fact she could get a disease from his bodily fluids
Read my comments on STDs and you'll see that isn't true.
 

Dora

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So Willow from Buffy is wrong? deceases do not live in dead bodies is that correct ? I don't know , if they do and there is is every possibility that Buffy could contract STD / Aids from Spike especially as there is no foreplay protection or lubrication certainly with anal sex at like the bronze or the sadomasochism sex in smashed
 

The Bronze

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Buffy should be killing vampires in all but the most exceptional circumstances. Buffy doesn't know what happens to the souls of the vampire victims so should be killing the demons so they can't do more damage with the body they inhabit.

Where the soul is present that's a different matter and there's a case to be made for not killing those that provide a strategic advantage while she keeps the world safe. The brothel isn't exceptional and she's right to kill them.
 

katmobile

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So Willow from Buffy is wrong? deceases do not live in dead bodies is that correct ? I don't know , if they do and there is is every possibility that Buffy could contract STD / Aids from Spike especially as there is no foreplay protection or lubrication certainly with anal sex at like the bronze or the sadomasochism sex in smashed
Willow from Buffy hasn't thought about what makes an STD an STD and interesting you condemn Spike and not Angel.
 

AlphaFoxtrot

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I would agree it would have been an interesting concept for Season 2, but, clearly the show made money on the forbidden romance angle, and dealing with blood borne diseases would have made the vamps seem less sexy and more alien. It would be like an anime were you get zoonoses from your cat waifu. Or if "The Lovers" ended with the astronaut succumbing to space sleeping sickness. It's only hot if you don't follow all the premises of an 200 year old walking corspe fueled by unholy energies to their logical conclusion.
 

Dora

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Willow from Buffy hasn't thought about what makes an STD an STD and interesting you condemn Spike and not Angel.
In Buffy you will find Angel only had sex once with Buffy and not the graphic multiple violent sex we see with Spike
 
DeadlyDuo
DeadlyDuo
Once is all it would take to pass on an STD.
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