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Shanshu: Angel and Spike

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The thing about it being Angel that was tapped by the powers and therefore he is the one who is in the shanshu doesn't necessarily hold up because at the very first introduction of The Powers' role in his life, we find out that they can't actually see that much of what will come to pass.

Whistler is sent to tap Angel because the powers think Angel will stop Acathla. Now I suppose, technically he does in that it is his blood that closes the portal - but of course Acathla is only waking up because of Angel. Whistler even admits his mistake to Buffy. "It wasn't supposed to go down like this - nobody saw you coming. I figured this for Angel's big day. But I thought he was here to stop Acathla, not bring him forth".
This proves one thing we already knew -prophecies are tricky things and never tell the full story and also introduces us to the idea that even the PTB can get things wrong and fall foul of a prophecy. Yes, Angel might stop Acathla - but if they hadn't meddled in the first place, Acathla would not have woken up (Like Buffy goes to the Master to stop him rising, but if she hadn't gone to him he wouldn't have been set free).

So the PTB know about the shanshu - and they know about Angel. Well, it's a one horse race isn't it? This is the vampire with the soul, he will avert the coming apocalypse and receive his reward. So they manoeuvre their chess piece into place: send Whistler to him, bring him back from hell, send Doyle to him. They are putting all their eggs in this basket not because the shanshu is about Angel but because the shanshu is about the vampire with a soul. Angel is the vampire with a soul. Therefore Angel is the one and only basket, and there they place their eggs.

But a bit like with Acathla and Buffy, they didn't see Spike coming.

And now there's two vampires with a soul, both bearing the champion mantle.

Lindsey's plan in duping Spike into being a hero is to get The Senior Partners thinking they bet on the wrong horse in Angel. Which again suggests that higher powers don't actually know and see all, they don't have full clarification on prophecy and they are simply trying to tweak their chess pieces into place so that their plans come to fruition. As far as The PTB and The Senior Partners are concerned, either of them will do as the central figure in the prophecy (to avert or cause the apocalypse) but up until s5 they only had one option so that is where they have put their efforts so far. But their minds could be changed - and that is what Lindsey is banking on.

Now with prophecies being tricky, the PTB might be hoping for a bit of self fulfilment: they pluck Angel out of obscurity and turn him into a champion because they know about the prophecy, therefore Angel is a champion and able to fulfil the prophecy... but also it could be tricky in that while the forces of good and evil are battling over Angel trying to bend him to their will (because they assume he is the one because he was the first and he is where they put their effort) - Spike averts the apocalypse and snatches up the shanshu.
And as we've seen with the mistake over Acathla, neither side actually know which way things will turn out - and there's a good chance they don't even care. Holland Manners tells us The Senior Partners have no interest in doing anything as prosaic as winning, it's all just an endless game to them. They're meddling to try and get what they want out of the game. But like with Acathla, that could result in unforeseen consequences - so their meddling might actually be a hinderance to Angel's chances not a boon.

The shanshu could be about either of them - that's why there is a tear in the universe after Destiny. It isn't about which one deserves it or which one thematically is better suited to it, it comes down to whichever of them happens to get it. And that isn't predicated on what we have already seen of them. The higher powers on both sides are trying to manipulate Angel as to where they want him for the final showdown, but he - as yet - has done anything one way or the other to confirm his place in the prophecy. The way it is described at the end of s1 is 'years off after the coming battles' and that he has to 'survive the coming darkness, the apocalyptic battles, a few plagues and some - uh several - not that many - fiends that will be unleashed.' 'The vampire with a soul, once he fulfils his destiny, will shanshu.'

In other words, the deciding factor hasn't happened yet and won't for years, so what we've seen and already know doesn't come into it. But if you headcanon that Angel can't actually sign away his place in the prophecy then it's still all to play for.

It's one of those timey wimey, mind bending things; where the central figure of the prophecy won't be confirmed until they have shanshued - at that point the prophecy will have always been about them, but until that day it could be either of them. And both them and the higher powers will have to wait and see.
 

AlphaFoxtrot

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I am with club Angel. This is my reasoning;

  • The Powers went out of their way to recruit Angel. (I’m working with the show canon on this one, I know the Post-Season 8 Canon “resolved” a lot of these issues, but frankly, not very well. So, if you prefer that Archeus sired the Master to keep Twilight from consuming the Seed of Wonder and Whistler was in on it, fine.) Whistler was sent to recruit Angel, someone let him out of hell, and it was either the First or the Powers, either way works, really. The Oracles took an interest in him, the Senior Partners also took that interest seriously enough. Finally, Jasmine claimed to have taken an interest in his life. So, the Cosmic Players, The Powers that Be, The First Evil, The Wolf, Ram & Hart, all major players in the dual of the fates, think Angel is our guy.
  • Disinterest in Spike: Jasmine claims she has been manipulating the lives of Angel Investigations for the last four hundred years. Spike is never involved in any of her machinations. The only party even remotely interested in Spike is the First, and that has more to do with wanting him to sire an Army of Darkness… Really, that was her cause was? I wonder if the Vampires that Spike made while he had a soul had the same problem as Lawson? Off topic, anyways. The only people who said Spike may cause an issue was that one episode of Angel with the Mountain Dew, and that was Lindsay’s trick.
Blind Spots: We really don’t know the full story behind the Shanshu prophecy. We also don’t know if it’s a prediction or a promise, or for that matter, how prophecy works in the Buffyverse? So, I cannot say anything with full confidence on this one. I also think the cosmic powers like to hedge their bets, so having a backup impossible vampire might be something they would do. So, ultimately, I would say that Spike’s ensoulment was outside of fate, not unlike how Angel becoming human after the Mohra Demon blood was. A Vampire with a soul, but not The Vampire with a Soul.
 
Myheadsgonenumb
Myheadsgonenumb
But Angel's soul is a curse put on him by gypsy's - how is that inside fate, whereas Spike fighting for his soul is outside fate? I see first and second but I don't see fate and cosmic whoopsie ... if anything, the gypsy curse is that.
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The only people who said Spike may cause an issue was that one episode of Angel with the Mountain Dew, and that was Lindsay’s trick.
The conduit vanished leaving a screaming black void and separating this plane from The Senior Partners. I don't think Lindsey's 'trick' managed that - that was a real consequence of a prophecy being sent into flux. The cup of mountain dew was a trick.
 

katmobile

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Once again here is that thing about the soul again. As far as I'm concerned people do not have a soul, when 'he' lets you into his heaven, the gift he gives you is a soul.
If you front up at the Pearly gates with a soul he has not given you - look down.
How many people are in prison around the world for having killed a person, did they have a soul?
When you die and are buried in a graveyard at a church, the body stays in the grave so does the spirit go to heaven and if so is the soul part of the spirit?
So there you have it, if the ShanShu is for the vampire with a soul, by my reckoning the ShanShu is a trap.
That's a pretty invidudualistic interpretation of the Bible and it's not relevant to how soul works in the Buffyverse.
 

katmobile

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The thing about it being Angel that was tapped by the powers and therefore he is the one who is in the shanshu doesn't necessarily hold up because at the very first introduction of The Powers' role in his life, we find out that they can't actually see that much of what will come to pass.

Whistler is sent to tap Angel because the powers think Angel will stop Acathla. Now I suppose, technically he does in that it is his blood that closes the portal - but of course Acathla is only waking up because of Angel. Whistler even admits his mistake to Buffy. "It wasn't supposed to go down like this - nobody saw you coming. I figured this for Angel's big day. But I thought he was here to stop Acathla, not bring him forth".
This proves one thing we already knew -prophecies are tricky things and never tell the full story and also introduces us to the idea that even the PTB can get things wrong and fall foul of a prophecy. Yes, Angel might stop Acathla - but if they hadn't meddled in the first place, Acathla would not have woken up (Like Buffy goes to the Master to stop him rising, but if she hadn't gone to him he wouldn't have been set free).

So the PTB know about the shanshu - and they know about Angel. Well, it's a one horse race isn't it? This is the vampire with the soul, he will avert the coming apocalypse and receive his reward. So they manoeuvre their chess piece into place: send Whistler to him, bring him back from hell, send Doyle to him. They are putting all their eggs in this basket not because the shanshu is about Angel but because the shanshu is about the vampire with a soul. Angel is the vampire with a soul. Therefore Angel is the one and only basket, and there they place their eggs.

But a bit like with Acathla and Buffy, they didn't see Spike coming.

And now there's two vampires with a soul, both bearing the champion mantle.

Lindsey's plan in duping Spike into being a hero is to get The Senior Partners thinking they bet on the wrong horse in Angel. Which again suggests that higher powers don't actually know and see all, they don't have full clarification on prophecy and they are simply trying to tweak their chess pieces into place so that their plans come to fruition. As far as The PTB and The Senior Partners are concerned, either of them will do as the central figure in the prophecy (to avert or cause the apocalypse) but up until s5 they only had one option so that is where they have put their efforts so far. But their minds could be changed - and that is what Lindsey is banking on.

Now with prophecies being tricky, the PTB might be hoping for a bit of self fulfilment: they pluck Angel out of obscurity and turn him into a champion because they know about the prophecy, therefore Angel is a champion and able to fulfil the prophecy... but also it could be tricky in that while the forces of good and evil are battling over Angel trying to bend him to their will (because they assume he is the one because he was the first and he is where they put their effort) - Spike averts the apocalypse and snatches up the shanshu.
And as we've seen with the mistake over Acathla, neither side actually know which way things will turn out - and there's a good chance they don't even care. Holland Manners tells us The Senior Partners have no interest in doing anything as prosaic as winning, it's all just an endless game to them. They're meddling to try and get what they want out of the game. But like with Acathla, that could result in unforeseen consequences - so their meddling might actually be a hinderance to Angel's chances not a boon.

The shanshu could be about either of them - that's why there is a tear in the universe after Destiny. It isn't about which one deserves it or which one thematically is better suited to it, it comes down to whichever of them happens to get it. And that isn't predicated on what we have already seen of them. The higher powers on both sides are trying to manipulate Angel as to where they want him for the final showdown, but he - as yet - has done anything one way or the other to confirm his place in the prophecy. The way it is described at the end of s1 is 'years off after the coming battles' and that he has to 'survive the coming darkness, the apocalyptic battles, a few plagues and some - uh several - not that many - fiends that will be unleashed.' 'The vampire with a soul, once he fulfils his destiny, will shanshu.'

In other words, the deciding factor hasn't happened yet and won't for years, so what we've seen and already know doesn't come into it. But if you headcanon that Angel can't actually sign away his place in the prophecy then it's still all to play for.

It's one of those timey wimey, mind bending things; where the central figure of the prophecy won't be confirmed until they have shanshued - at that point the prophecy will have always been about them, but until that day it could be either of them. And both them and the higher powers will have to wait and see.
Question - isn't the two ensouled vampires anamoly actually a trick set up Lindsay and Eve to get the two ensouled vampires to fight? That was my interpretation of it.
 

thetopher

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Sineya
My point is that there were other ways to help, yet he chose the exact way that was likely to do damage to Buffy.
If Angel hadn't been there he wouldn't have been able to save Buffy's life. One of the many ways he's trying to make her miserable I guess.

Lol, that's the very definition of deliberately interfering. How can you interfere with what you don't know?
With all due respect that doesn't make any sense, if Angel is constantly interfering in Buffy's life and making her unhappy then he would probably check in on her more often. You are reaching by saying 'always interfering' means twice in 4 years.

I disagree wholeheartedly. His entire attitude is less than generous with Riley, and there were better ways to mediate the situation with the new boyfriend He wanted to have an excuse to rough up the new guy.
Are you forgetting than Riley attacked Angel first? Angel has every right to defend himself from white-knighting jackassery.

Yeah, it does still count, because it wasn't like he was killing innocent people at Lindsey's behest.
But we don't know that, do we? And neither does Spike. Lindsey's motives were murky and so we cannot be confident that he missions were good. Spike ended up attacking Cordelia for example.

Again, see the above. I've already pointed out times he did good without Buffy being around, even post-soul,
What does 'post-soul' even mean? The shanshu prophecy refers to a souled vampire so, pre-soul never even factors in, it doesn't matter if Spike looked after Dawn or whatever. It's irrelevant.

even if Angel was always around while Spike was doing good, how was that any different than Buffy always being around when Angel did good in seasons 1-3?
What are you even talking about? I'm talking about Angel away from Buffy and I always have been.
I mean, from Angel's perspective Angel was in Sunnydale at the behest of higher powers but his relationship with Buffy colours his motives, but part of the reason he leaves is because he wonders if he was brought back from hell for something more.

But I've always stipulated that 'post-Sunnydale' Angel is doing good and saving lives whilst Spike is hanging around strip clubs and drinking. That's the difference.
 

Moggin

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If Angel hadn't been there he wouldn't have been able to save Buffy's life. One of the many ways he's trying to make her miserable I guess.
I am not making the case that Angel is completely useless, a poor choice for the Shanshu prophecy, or a bad character. I am merely offering a counterpoint to your assertion that Spike is discredited as a champion, because all of his good deeds are marred by making Buffy's life miserable. I merely point out that Angel could be accused of the same. He does often make Buffy's life miserable, and how he handled this episode was to her emotional detriment. I suggest you watch the subsequent Angel episode after this to hear Buffy make the case herself. As a side note, Angel may have been a helpful warrior, but Buffy ultimately saved herself.

With all due respect that doesn't make any sense, if Angel is constantly interfering in Buffy's life and making her unhappy then he would probably check in on her more often. You are reaching by saying 'always interfering' means twice in 4 years.
So, your issue is with the frequency, rather than percentages. So, if I miss a target 2 out of 2 times, I guess I can't count that as constantly missing it. Besides, I only gave two references because they were the most obvious. There are other ways Angel keeps popping up at bad times over the entire series, not just seasons 5-7.

Are you forgetting than Riley attacked Angel first? Angel has every right to defend himself from white-knighting jackassery.
Angel did nothing to mediate that situation at all, as Buffy knew very good and well. Again, she makes her own case best.

But we don't know that, do we? And neither does Spike. Lindsey's motives were murky and so we cannot be confident that he missions were good. Spike ended up attacking Cordelia for example.
Spike taste tested Cordelia, as he explained, and he didn't kill any humans on those missions. What more do you want? He saves humans, doesn't kill humans, and figures out he's being played as soon as possible. How evil is all of that? Answer: It's not evil at all.

What does 'post-soul' even mean?
I didn't make up the concept of post-soul vs pre-soul. It's a concept made by the writers that we all agree to play by. Since you seem to be hung up on taking only Spike's deeds performed after he got a soul, then you don't seem to be as mystified by the concept as you claim here.

The shanshu prophecy refers to a souled vampire so, pre-soul never even factors in, it doesn't matter if Spike looked after Dawn or whatever. It's irrelevant.
See, clearly you do understand what post-soul means.

As for why I keep mentioning Spike's deeds before getting a soul, it is only because you have been trying to discredit Spike for the Shanshu based on him being, of the two, less likely to do good deeds. Clearly that's not true, because if he is capable of good deeds without a soul, then with a soul this is doubly true. There is something inherently good about him to overcome the evilness of not having a soul. That sounds like the beginnings of a champion to me.


What are you even talking about?
Baby, if you haven't got it by now, no amount of me re-explaining is going to help. I'm not bothering addressing the rest of this, as I've already detailed this all before. You are cherry picking what parts of my previous responses you want to respond to, and are trying to discredit the rest by pretending not to understand them. Healthy debates are enjoyable, but endless cyclical debates are not. My debate with you is officially at an end.
 

thetopher

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Sineya
am not making the case that Angel is completely useless, a poor choice for the Shanshu prophecy, or a bad character. I am merely offering a counterpoint to your assertion that Spike is discredited as a champion, because all of his good deeds are marred by making Buffy's life miserable. I merely point out that Angel could be accused of the same.
And I have maintained from the start that the shanshu has nothing to do with Buffy. It was introduced on another show entirely. She is not the motivation for the shanshu, the shanshu IS the motivation.

He does often make Buffy's life miserable, and how he handled this episode was to her emotional detriment. I suggest you watch the subsequent Angel episode after this to hear Buffy make the case herself. As a side note, Angel may have been a helpful warrior, but Buffy ultimately saved herself.
As we have discussed 'often' for you is a very loose term. In fact when he leaves Sunnydale it could be said that Angel has barely any contact with Buffy and so doesn't make her miserable.
On the other hand the ever-present Spike conspires with others to hurt Buffy (Adam, Harmony, Dru) starts a campaign to undermine her relationship with Riley, taunts her about being alone, interferes with her life many times over, abuses her and assaults her in attempts to 'make' her love him. His final act is to breeze out of town, leaving Buffy wondering if her would-be rapist will every return to try again.

So, your issue is with the frequency, rather than percentages. So, if I miss a target 2 out of 2 times, I guess I can't count that as constantly missing it.
It all depends of parameters we use, doesn't it, if I'm measuring it in terms of time rather than cherry-picking instances then the percentages are rather low. If I miss a target 2 out of twenty and then just count those two for arbitrary reasons then whatever.

I mean, you don't count 'Forever' now do you? Y'know that time Angel breezes into town and makes Buffy's life miserable right in the middle of her Mom's funeral.
...oh, wait.
Or what about that time he heard she returned from the dead and rushed to meet her in an attempt to mess her life up even more.
Nope, struck out again I guess.

Angel did nothing to mediate that situation at all, as Buffy knew very good and well.
I never said that Angel's actions were perfect, but I do take motivation into account. Motivation is key.

Spike taste tested Cordelia, as he explained, and he didn't kill any humans on those missions. What more do you want? He saves humans, doesn't kill humans, and figures out he's being played as soon as possible. How evil is all of that? Answer: It's not evil at all.
I would like somebody who is to be called a champion not to be such a sap.
To me Spike only 'tested' Cordelia (by biting her, what the hell!? surely there are easier ways) because he knew her and Lindsey probably didn't know that fact. We don't know what else Lindsey told Spike to do and we don't know it was good for sure because Lindsey is really shady.

I didn't make up the concept of post-soul vs pre-soul. It's a concept made by the writers that we all agree to play by.
Nope. The pre/post soul is only one of the ways to go about playing, another is 'the soul makes a brand new character irrespective of previous actions'. That's another entirely legitimate way of looking at things.
The Shanshu doesn't refer to Angelus, but the vampire with a soul. A different guy entirely.

As for why I keep mentioning Spike's deeds before getting a soul, it is only because you have been trying to discredit Spike for the Shanshu based on him being, of the two, less likely to do good deeds. Clearly that's not true, because if he is capable of good deeds without a soul, then with a soul this is doubly true.
Oh dear.
No, doing good to get in a girl's pants does not make a demon a champion, it just makes him obsessive. An evil demon has no concept of good, can have no concept of good. Spike had to wonder to himself why he didn't rape Buffy. He had to ask himself this question! He is not good.

Whats more if that demon DID have some concept of good then he had it in him from when he was first turned...and he then still chose to ignore that tiny, heroic desire to do good and instead committed atrocity after atrocity. Not a champion, something far, far worse.

Anyway, away from Buffy Spike (with a soul) had little desire or motivation to do any good deeds for the sake of the deed itself, he just unknowingly worked for a bad guy. Ironically it was an actual champions example that set him on the path (that would be Angel, who had been doing it from episode 1 of his own damn show).

Bleeagh.


I honestly find this whole comparison thing bizarre; I don't get the obsession with making out that Spike has some kind of grand destiny comparable with Angel's. He's never been the grand destiny guy.
Tbh I always thought that was his appeal; the underdog that no-one saw coming, the brash, fun anti-hero. To say that he's champion material in, say, S5 Destiny is laughable. That's part of the point of the episode.

@katmobile Yes, Angel doesn't shower himself with glory in 'Destiny' and has been/can be a jackass many times over. But he has done many, many selfless heroic acts and goes up against the big badguys, which is champion-material.
The shanshu says nothing about being a 'good bloke' but about a champion who beats, many, many huge evils. Angel has history of doing that.
 
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katmobile
Angel doesn't behave any better in Destiny - just saying. They're both dicks to each other. Anyone who says Angel isn't capable of pettiness just ain't paying attention.

BuffyBot22

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I think a lot of people on here have been talking about who deserves the Shanshu more or who qualifies for it more. I am not going to get into that because others have eloquently explained their sides. I am going to answer the OP's original question.

So, I think Spike would be more likely to give up vampirism.

I know Angel has been working hard for the Shanshu prophecy, but this prophecy could take 1000s of years. We don't actually know. Let's not forget Angel was turned human once in IWRY and he gave it up (for noble reasons to protect Buffy and other innocent lives, but still he gave it up). I think Angel knows he can do more good in the world by being a vampire with a soul than just being a human. He is basically a super hero who lives forever unless he gets staked. He could do a lot of good for so many people for many years to come.

Spike however, doesn't seem as keen on doing the everyday hero type stuff. He has done heroic things, but it's not his end all be all. Spike is inherently very selfish ,and I think if he knew for a fact he would have a future with Buffy he would become a human for her because he would want to have her. I think he may end up regretting this decision because he does love being a vampire but I think he would do it.

At the end of the day Angel loves Buffy, but he loves the world more. He would sacrifice their relationship for the greater good as I think she would do the same in return.
Spike wants what Spike wants. Spike knows to get to be with Buffy long term- she has to be a vampire or he has to be human. So I think Spike would become human if he was guaranteed his prize (Buffy) in the end.
 

Antho

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The shanshu talks about a vampire with a soul who will become human ( after battles, sacrifices and...).. and apparently there are now two candidates. I have the solutions : both vampires have to kill a mohra demons, mix the blood of the demon with theirs and boom... without to have delivers big battle or make great sacrifice... they are humans ! I’m sure there are enough mohra demons for both of them. Same gift, less torments ! Isn’t that fabulous ? 😜
 

Moggin

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The shanshu talks about a vampire with a soul who will become human ( after battles, sacrifices and...).. and apparently there are now two candidates. I have the solutions : both vampires have to kill a mohra demons, mix the blood of the demon with theirs and boom... without to have delivers big battle or make great sacrifice... they are humans ! I’m sure there are enough mohra demons for both of them. Same gift, less torments ! Isn’t that fabulous ? 😜
Boom Shanshu...It would be hilarious, if after all of the squabbling Angel and Spike did, and after all of the build up, it was resolved this way. Kind of reminds me of D'Hoffryn when he offered Willow a a chance to be a vengeance demon. "You don't want vengeance? Oh well, here's my card, in case you change your mind." Alt: "Oh well, here's my card, in case you'd like some pain and torment with your Shanshu."😆
 

Antho

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Boom Shanshu...It would be hilarious, if after all of the squabbling Angel and Spike did, and after all of the build up, it was resolved this way. Kind of reminds me of D'Hoffryn when he offered Willow a a chance to be a vengeance demon. "You don't want vengeance? Oh well, here's my card, in case you change your mind." Alt: "Oh well, here's my card, in case you'd like some pain and torment with your Shanshu."😆
In all seriously, just think about it : why the shanshu is so important when you can have the reward to be human by others way : the mohra’s blood like I said, and no one will convince that there isn’t a spell for that and that Willow wouldn’t be able to cast it. From that perspective who gets the shanshu is not so important because it doesn’t mean that the other vampire will stay vampire for eternity.
 

TriBel

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I'm gonna regret posting this but regarding Shanshu:

I think it's based on two things one the use of the definitive article - the - that implies singular one. Prophecy literally didn't see an ensouled Spike coming.

The second is the reason behind that - is that there is a kind of inevitability about the circumstances behind Angel's ensoulement - Romany tribe in the vicinity of Dracula have a powerful spell to ensure vampires leave them alone or else they use, foreign vampire has no awareness of it and screws with them big time, so they use it.....boom!
Spike's circumstances and personality traits that led to his were far less predictable and much further in the future. It seems more plausible to me prophecy wouldn't see an ensouled version of him coming.
“Shanshu has roots in so many different languages. The most ancient source is the Proto-Bantu and they consider life and death the same thing, part of a cycle — only a thing that's not alive never dies. It says that you get to live until you die. It says the vampire with a soul, once he fulfills his destiny, will shanshu. Become human. It's his reward.”

See above: The writers made a conscious decision to name Proto-Bantu as the oldest source. As far as I can ascertain, there's no written example of Proto Bantu in existence. Proto-Bantu is a reconstruction inferred from present day languages and Bantu has no definite and indefinite articles. From what I've read I presume any distinction is tonal (and also to do with verb endings - I dunno. I'm not a linguist). If it's the case the writers are proposing an opposition between speech/writing in terms of authenticity then they're entering the whole "metaphysics of presence" argument. Enter that and you're opening a whole can of worms to do with Being and Time* (which is kinda explored in A11 and in S7 of Buffy. In both cases we "go back to the beginning". Similarly, in S12 we "start again" but I'm not sure S12 is as optimistic as the other seasons. The earlier seasons generate "messianic moments" - I'm not sure S12 does - unless it's in the stasis of the end).

Do the writers know about the lack of a definite/indefinite article? I'm guessing so because in the IDW comics they have Gunn remark he could be the recipient of the prophecy because he's a vampire with soul.

I can't see the point is arguing about redemption because it has different meanings "an act of redeeming or atoning for a fault or mistake, or the state of being redeemed. deliverance; rescue. Theology. deliverance from sin; salvation. atonement for guilt". In Angel's case, he atones and is then redeemed; Spike is redeemed and then atones. Spike's redeemed through Buffy forgiving his sins. It's alluded to in the Sarah McLachlan song, St Francis Prayer, that plays out at the very end of Grave. (Damn...I'm now stuck with Lucifer saying "It's all very biblical Johnny" in Earth 666, which is annoying but true. I'm guessing it might be something to do with Old Testament/New Testament understandings of God but, like S6 Buffy, I don't know much about theology).

O Divine master grant that I may
Not so much seek to be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand.
To be loved. as to love
For it's in giving that we receive
And it's in pardoning that we are pardoned

And it's in dying that we are born...
To eternal life.

(I think those last lines might just unravel Shanshu). There's another form of redemption being played out whereby Angel forgives and is forgiven by his father; Spike forgives and is forgiven by his mother and Buffy is forgiven and forgives Joyce and Hank and Giles (ditto the other characters) but because of what each of these parental figures represents in the individual and collective unconscious I'm not sure they can be reconciled without society grinding to a halt. There are brief moments when it happens in S7/A11 (and possibly elsewhere) but it's far too complex to even attempt to explain. I've been thinking about it for 20+ years and I'm not sure I fully understand it)

It's one of those timey wimey, mind bending things; where the central figure of the prophecy won't be confirmed until they have shanshued - at that point the prophecy will have always been about them, but until that day it could be either of them.
...and this. The "timey wimey, mind bending thing" is more or less as you describe it. It's the logic of future anterior. Lacan puts it like this: “I identify myself in language, but only by losing myself in it like an object. What is realised in my history is not the past definite of what was, since it is no more, or even the present perfect of what has been in what I am, but the future anterior of what I shall have been for what I am in the process of becoming.”

"Timey wimey" is probably as clear a description as Lacan's. As I understand it, future anterior is the logic of desire: probably of language (from a post-structuralist perspective); certain Western models of time/history/religion. It's also central to the theraputic journey and - I suspect - Catholic confession but with a major flaw (@Priceless - this is why I became obsessed with Lucifer).

Going back to the original post:

All things been equal and with no outside influences, would Angel or Spike have given up vampirism to live a human life with Buffy ( marriage, children etc). I know we got that glimpse of Angel being human in IWRY. I could see Angel giving up vampirism to live a human life quicker than Spike, I think Spike even though he loves Buffy just as much as Angel, likes being a vampire too much.
TBH, I don't think either of them would give it up. My reading of A11/S12 is Angel's journey to the past partly resolved the perfect happiness clause but Frillyria is the person he's "meant" to be with at that time. He needs his vampire capabilities to rescue Illyria/Fred. Similarly, Spike needs to be a vampire to hang around forever (or at least in time) until Buffy makes her bloody mind up. I don't think Spike would change for himself but he probably would if Buffy asked him to...I'm less sure Angel would. I think he'd shake his head ruefully and walk away. At the end of S12, Angel is still doing what his father tells him to do; Spike is still waiting around to see if his mother needs him.

@Taake Boring stuff Death by a 1000 paper-cuts- nope - not read Heidegger (couple of pages then gave up). Have read some Bachelard (at least, I have a copy of The Poetics of Space with a bookmark in it...on p6), some Derrida and some Levi-Strauss. I don't claim to understand a bloody word. I rely on you and @AnthonyCordova having read them while I make pictures in my head. I also might/might not have made the theology bits up...blame Walter Benjamin, Fredric Jameson and Alasdair Gray (who I have read) 😄
 

Taake

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At the end of S12, Angel is still doing what his father tells him to do; Spike is still waiting around to see if his mother needs him.
Lol, oh Lord, does that sound kind of tragic or is it just me? I love me some tragic characters though, so I kind of love it.

I can't see the point is arguing about redemption because it has different meanings "an act of redeeming or atoning for a fault or mistake, or the state of being redeemed. deliverance; rescue. Theology. deliverance from sin; salvation. atonement for guilt". In Angel's case, he atones and is then redeemed; Spike is redeemed and then atones. Spike's redeemed through Buffy forgiving his sins. It's alluded to in the Sarah McLachlan song, St Francis Prayer, that plays out at the very end of Grave. (Damn...I'm now stuck with Lucifer saying "It's all very biblical Johnny" in Earth 666, which is annoying but true. I'm guessing it might be something to do with Old Testament/New Testament understandings of God but, like S6 Buffy, I don't know much about theology).



@Taake Boring stuff Death by a 1000 paper-cuts- nope - not read Heidegger (couple of pages then gave up). Have read some Bachelard (at least, I have a copy of The Poetics of Space with a bookmark in it...on p6), some Derrida and some Levi-Strauss. I don't claim to understand a bloody word. I rely on you and @AnthonyCordova having read them while I make pictures in my head. I also might/might not have made the theology bits up...blame Walter Benjamin, Fredric Jameson and Alasdair Gray (who I have read) 😄
From a theological perspective, my one gripe here would be the idea that Spike is redeemed by Buffy forgiving his sins, I would argue that she can't (she can only forgive the personal sins he's committed against her). But that her personal forgiveness can however set him on a path to atonement and redemption, similar to Angel. As The St Francis Prayer begins "Lord make me an instrument of thy peace", Spike is on a trajectory of atonement and doing good, but it is not a path that necessarily includes Buffy. She can set him on the path to seek the good on his own, with or without her (as he goes on to do), but she can't redeem him as such.

But, as mentioned, it kind of depends on what the word 'redemption' signifies to you.

As for Heidegger, you're missing out ;)


In the interest of the Shanshu discussion I would argue that Angel and Spike are essentially the same and that, as mentioned, whomever Shanshu's will be the one the prophecy was always about, but that as it stands, both are set on a path of redemption and those paths are rather similar and not particularly smooth. In both cases an external factor is the impetus of change (the curse, Buffy).

Angel didn't choose to be curse. Spike didn't choose to fall in love with Buffy.

Angel doesn't intend to be set on a path to redemption, it is a consequence to his actions, but he does intend to seek atonement after meeting Buffy. His story is obviously complicated by later seasons showing us that he did try to atone earlier, but it does not seem to have been consistent. It would seem that the PTB were not all that interested in him until Buffy, and then essentially chose him as their champion. But as he was the only horse in town at that point, it doesn't necessarily prove that he is the vampire.

Spike intends his path, however, his intentions have a flawed telos (worthiness and possession), which is altered primarily after s7 after he begins to seek atonement without Buffy. As in, not that it is a problem that he is in love with Buffy, but that it is during a period of separation that Spike becomes a champion not just for Buffy, but a champion whose actions are not contingent on another person. That doesn't hinder him from being with Buffy again, as the comics show, but there was a necessary period of differentation.

As for the original question, I feel like my hope for both characters would be (though it'd be kind of a rip off of the Vampire Diaries books if I remember them correctly) that the one who least wants it, gets it. Essentially, as long as the Shanshu is a "reward" or "goal" it taints the process, if you will (as Angel noted in s2). But I also don't think that the Shanshu would be a choice, it would be something that happened, out of their immediate control.

So... it's anyone's game.
(Now I'm rooting for Gunn, if that was an option)

But if the question if which vampire would willingly give up vampirism... I honestly think both would struggle for the same reason that Angel did in IWRY - the evil won't stop, won't ever stop. When you're a superbeing using your powers for good and have a moral center that steers you towards helping people - how do you walk away from that? I don't think Angel or Spike would, in actuality, find that choice all that easy to make.

However, if Joss Whedon was writing it, I feel like whichever one it would be it would go something like Chosen - i.e. - "Yay, champion. Oh, dead." But it be... "Yay, finally human. Oh, dead due to tragic yet heroic sacrifice."
 

TriBel

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However, if Joss Whedon was writing it, I feel like whichever one it would be it would go something like Chosen - i.e. - "Yay, champion. Oh, dead." But it be... "Yay, finally human. Oh, dead due to tragic yet heroic sacrifice."
🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣 I choked on my coffee! 🤣 Plus...I think you're a nicer person than me!
I have two rules in life. Don't read anyone who overdoes hyphens (irrespective of whether the hyphen is in-and-of-itself) and don't read anything by a Phenomenologist because that will inevitably involve having to spell Phenomenologist. There's a reason I like Marx...😄
 
Taake
Taake
Lol, good strategy on the second part, but the dislike of hyphens is oddly provocative :p They clarify things so well!

Moggin

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In all seriously, just think about it : why the shanshu is so important when you can have the reward to be human by others way : the mohra’s blood like I said, and no one will convince that there isn’t a spell for that and that Willow wouldn’t be able to cast it. From that perspective who gets the shanshu is not so important because it doesn’t mean that the other vampire will stay vampire for eternity.
I think it serves one purpose, to be normal for Buffy, but it doesn't resolve the question of wiping the vampire's slate clean. Presumably, if everything went swimmingly, after living a full life with Buffy, that vampire (now human) would still eventually go to hell after he died. Only the Shanshu Prophecy gives the potential for everlasting peace. That is something I think both Angel and Spike are eager for. Both have been to hell. They both know they don't want to go back.
 
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