• Thank you for visiting Buffy-Boards. You obviously have exceptional taste. We just want you to know that:
    1. You really should register so you can chat with us!
    2. Twelve thousand people can't be wrong.
    3. Buffy-Boards loves you.
    4. See 1 through 3.
    Come on, register already!

Why did Giles get assigned to Buffy?

Buffy Summers

Yataro
Staff member
Joined
Nov 20, 2001
Messages
30,401
Likes
4,591
Location
The City of Angels
Sineya
#1
In the midst of our book club novel reading, it occurred to me that it's not like Giles was the Council's golden boy or anything. He's kind of portrayed from their point of view as a hack. So why would Giles be assigned to THE Slayer? Anyone have any theories?
 

Athena

Belinda
Staff member
Joined
Feb 2, 2016
Messages
6,007
Likes
6,083
Location
UK
Black Thorn
#2
I figured he was the council's golden boy, til he met Buffy and formed an attachment to her. At the start of the show he did try to be very formal with her and do things by the book, as the council would've wanted.
 
Joined
Jan 25, 2016
Messages
6,093
Likes
6,938
Location
UK
#3
From the Watchers Councils pov the slayer isn't the most important thing in their world. She is just a teenage girl who, for centuries, has always just done their bidding. She's the muscle who's only power is physical, and therefore to the Council, her power is of minimal importance. To these men it's about intellectualism, studying the demon realms, and actually killing anything is of less importance. Plus these girls don't seem to last very long, so slayers could be seen as disposable. The Councils mindset goes back to original slayer who was a slave, chained to her watchers, a thing rather than a person, who simply carries out their wishes.

There are probably some in the Watchers Council who hope that they never get to watch the actual slayer, they don't want to leave their intellectual life to become involved in the life of a teenage girl. perhaps Giles was chosen because of his Ripper past, perhaps the Council thought he'd be best equipped to deal with a teenager
 

GwenRaiden

AKA Apology Girl
Joined
Aug 26, 2008
Messages
6,908
Likes
6,228
Age
31
Location
Ecosse
Black Thorn
#4
Maybe he had the best cover of being a librarian to be placed in the highschool environment? Not sure.
 

Guy

Scooby
Joined
Jul 7, 2016
Messages
1,334
Likes
1,693
Age
27
Location
Israel
Black Thorn
#5
I think being the active Slayer's watcher is NOT a position of honor. I mean, it's a ton of messy work, and it's dangerous, and it's incredibly routine-y (slayer's die all the time, after all), and it's just not the kind of thing that I'd see fancy british people like Quentin Travers aspiring to be. I think being the active slayer's watcher is kinda like being the guy who replaces and oils tank parts in the army - it's a dirty, un-appreciated job. Just look at who got chosen to be active watchers in the show - Giles, who was a "bad boy" (by, err, english standards), and Wesley, who was a total loser. It's clearly not a position of respect.
 

Fuffy Baith

2017 (and 2016) Cutest BB member
Joined
Mar 14, 2014
Messages
3,856
Likes
2,999
Age
30
Location
CA
Sineya
#6
I think there might be several reasons. Giles never wanted to be a watcher, so it makes sense that the council don't view him in high regard. And like others said, maybe being the watcher to the slayer is not a high position. It does make me curious if watchers get assigned to more than one slayer. It seems that Buffy is Giles first slayer, but then he asks Gwendolyn Post if Faith was her first slayer. So it would seem that watchers can have more than one slayer. Also, Giles is Buffy's second watcher. So maybe the council chose Giles because of his Ripper past, they knew he could handle himself, and is most likely to not die. Also the council probably didn't think Buffy would last past season 1. I wonder if they knew about the Master's prophecy? They definitely didn't expect her to come back to life and continue to be the slayer. So I assume it was to be a temporary watcher position.

But this makes me wonder what other positions are in the Watcher's Council. There's a watcher to the active slayer, and then there are watchers assigned to potentials. And then (from Checkpoint) there are watchers that are researchers and evaluators. And then there's Quentin Travers. lol.
 

Taake

Bella
Staff member
Joined
Jan 1, 2010
Messages
13,939
Likes
9,594
Age
32
Location
Stockholm, Swe
Black Thorn
#8
Just look at who got chosen to be active watchers in the show - Giles, who was a "bad boy" (by, err, english standards), and Wesley, who was a total loser. It's clearly not a position of respect.
Lol, really good point! They just picked the guys they wanted to get out of the country :D
 

Carrie Hopewell

Little girl lost in the woods
Joined
Jun 5, 2016
Messages
2,615
Likes
3,803
Age
21
Location
Lisbon, Portugal
Sineya
#9
Maybe Giles was head boy at the Watcher's Academy, like Wesley? Think about it...



(He only became the Ripper after dropping out of college, being head boy is very stressful :p)
 

white avenger

white avenger
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
14,840
Likes
3,628
Age
70
Location
rome, georgia
#10
A lot of people are probably going to jump all over me for saying this, but here it is, anyway. I think that it's quite possible that Giles being Buffy's Watcher was just a case of him being at the right place at the right time. As has been pointed out, Giles most likely wasn't the most popular Watcher, and it stands to reason that being assigned to monitor the goings on around an active Hellmouth would be a sure way to get him out from underfoot. Counting vampires in Sunnydale is probably the Watchers' equivalent of counting penguins at the North Pole (yes, I know, penguins are at the South Pole. That's my point) Sending him there, under cover as a high school librarian was nothing more than gruel and unusual punishment.

When Merrick was killed, there most likely wasn't anyone else qualified to supervise a Slayer on short notice (those who were so qualified probably already had Potentials who they were training) so either the Council somehow manipulated Joyce into coming to the town where the closest thing to a "real" Watcher was available, by offering a job managing an art gallery (most likely) or just sheer dumb luck landed Buffy and her mom there.

Whichever the case, I seriously doubt that it was originally intended for Merrick to take Buffy to the Hellmouth, because, as far as we have ever seen, she's the only one who we've ever seen doing anything like that.
 
Joined
Apr 24, 2009
Messages
1,774
Likes
197
Location
America
Sineya
#11
There is this bit from season 9 of Angel & Faith between young Giles and his Gran:

Giles: Yes, yes. I know the story by heart. I am not you, Gran. Not nearly as strong or clever. People have died. Horribly. Because of me. Because I was stupid and selfish.

Gran: You were a young fool who felt immortal, did a remarkably ill-advised things, and it cost people their lives, eh? You bloody idiot. That doesn't disqualify you from being a watcher. It makes you perfectly suited to mentor a slayer. They're young girls granted tremendous power. Who can relate to them better? A man like your father, who's done the right and proper thing his entire life? Or you?

Giles: What I've got goes well beyond misspent youth.


So. Given that, the only thing is that he's seemed to have forgotten this little bit in the first season of Buffy and is trying to be a bit more like his father then?
 

Taake

Bella
Staff member
Joined
Jan 1, 2010
Messages
13,939
Likes
9,594
Age
32
Location
Stockholm, Swe
Black Thorn
#12
so either the Council somehow manipulated Joyce into coming to the town where the closest thing to a "real" Watcher was available, by offering a job managing an art gallery (most likely) or just sheer dumb luck landed Buffy and her mom there.
But that makes it sound as if Giles was already there. In season one Willow says that he has just started as the librarian there, indicating that he's new, if not to the town then at least to the job. Do you really think Giles was just hanging around in Sunnydale doing... well, who knows what, before Buffy was called/got there.
 

white avenger

white avenger
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
14,840
Likes
3,628
Age
70
Location
rome, georgia
#13
Do you really think Giles was just hanging around in Sunnydale doing... well, who knows what, before Buffy was called/got there.
Not just hanging around. Why wouldn't the Watchers' Council want to have an observer around a Hellmouth, the same as a volcanologist would be "hanging around" a volcano, or a meteorologist would be "hanging around" the North Pole? Given the opportunity for research in such an area, I would think that there would actually have been more than just a single Watcher assigned there, if there had been all that many available. As for Giles having just arrived, he could have been replacing a previous Watcher who either rotated off that assignment, retired, or was killed in the line of duty. For that matter, Merrick, himself, might have been the last Watcher assigned to Hellmouth duty, and Giles was his replacement. The Hellmouth had been in Sunnydale for centuries, long before the town, itself, was established, and it only stands to reason that it would be under some form of surveillance on a more or less permanent basis for at least some of that time, prior to Buffy's arrival.
 

Taake

Bella
Staff member
Joined
Jan 1, 2010
Messages
13,939
Likes
9,594
Age
32
Location
Stockholm, Swe
Black Thorn
#14
Fair enough, judging by "The Wish" I'd guess there was a Watcher of sorts hanging out in Cleveland as well, keeping watch, and who was there when Buffy showed up. So it is probable it was just by chance that they went to Sunnydale and got Giles.
 
Joined
Sep 11, 2017
Messages
503
Likes
268
Age
37
#15
Obviously, he's bound to a cycle of reincarnation. :) To be fair, The Watcher's Council was never really very well developed beyond what was needed for the plot. My guess is that watcher is not a full time position, that most of the watcher's have day jobs in academia, museums or as clergy. They are also bound to England, so, not fond of leaving the country. Both Giles and Wes are mobile and were willing to move? In any case, both Hellmouth Patrol and next in line to replace Merrick seems plausible.
 
Joined
Nov 3, 2017
Messages
17
Likes
33
Age
23
Sineya
#16
I FEEL LIKE I HAVE A PERFECT ANSWER FOR THIS.
Since Rupert Giles had a terrible reputation and Buffy Summers never had a watcher because the watchers council didn't know about her, they probably gave Buffy to Giles because they figured that she was going to die right away because she had not been properly trained (like Kendra from birth). They probably put them together thinking that they were both going to be complete failures and move onto the next trained slayer.

But the ultimate twist was that they are the best Watcher and Slayer of all time. They were different from other slayers and watchers because they were in touch with the world and disconnected from the watchers council. (unlike previous watchers and slayers that are disconnected from the world and in touch with the watchers council.)
 

MarieVampSlayer

Bloody hell, Sodding, blimey, shagging, knickers..
Joined
Sep 7, 2017
Messages
1,323
Likes
1,724
Age
30
Location
Québec, Canada
Sineya
#17
I FEEL LIKE I HAVE A PERFECT ANSWER FOR THIS.
Since Rupert Giles had a terrible reputation and Buffy Summers never had a watcher because the watchers council didn't know about her, they probably gave Buffy to Giles because they figured that she was going to die right away because she had not been properly trained (like Kendra from birth). They probably put them together thinking that they were both going to be complete failures and move onto the next trained slayer.

But the ultimate twist was that they are the best Watcher and Slayer of all time. They were different from other slayers and watchers because they were in touch with the world and disconnected from the watchers council. (unlike previous watchers and slayers that are disconnected from the world and in touch with the watchers council.)
I like your idea but wasn't Merrick Buffy's first watcher? Maybe they just chose Giles in a rush because the other one died?
 
Top Bottom