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Why was Giles in Sunnydale?

Last Watcher

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This is something that has been bugging me recently. Just why was Giles in Sunnydale?

After all, he doesn't seem to be that well liked by Quentin Travers & his cronies, so why did they station him at the active Hellmouth? Why not a fact finding mission to Greenland or something?

As it is hinted that Joyce didn't just randomly relocate the current Slayer to fun central & that the Council may have had something (or a lot) to do with it, that makes it all the more odd.

Why give the top Watcher job to someone who wasn't very popular? Why wasn't the plum role given to a jobsworth like s/3 Wesley?
A 'Yes man' who would do what Travers commanded without question & was so 'By the book' you could hear the pages rustle when he walked.

I know the Slayer/Watcher combo was considered expendable & not expected to live very long, but there must have been a queue a mile long of 'Wesleys' who would have jumped at the chance to be the Watcher of the active Slayer?

Your thoughts........
 

thrasherpix

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I figured they hoped he died. They didn't warn him of rogue Watchers, and had a good excuse not to invite him to the special retreats. Doesn't look like being a Watcher to a Slayer is a fun experience, even if they survive, it's often painful to remember their Slayer (which they could then torment him over even more to make him feel inadequate).

Wesley didn't seem popular among them either, but I can see his over eagerness to prove himself to the Council (and his father) making him a natural replacement for Giles.


That aside, my impression is that they have many irons in the fire. The Slayer is considered important, but their bureaucracy, international connections, massive resources (at least to themselves, and I presume they made the connection to the Wiccans that Giles contacts in season 6) makes me think they were involved in a lot more than the Slayer. It doesn't matter if they truly believed in the cause at the highest levels or were just bored dilettantes, they'd have other projects they were working on, though likely many of them are mundane (they need to get that wealth somehow).
 

thetopher

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I'm guessing that the Council knew where Buffy- the active slayer- was moving to and so stationed Giles there just a little ahead of time to get things set-up. Willow calls him 'the brand new librarian' so he wasn't there that long.

As for why Giles specifically? I think all the 'talented' jobsworths or brown-nosers Watchers get a nice plum Potential gig; some docile and obedient girl that they can shape into the ideal slayer (Kendra is a good example).

But if the situation is something a bit trickier- like an obstinate mid-teen (and an American no less) who wasn't 'prepared' beforehand and will probably be trouble/pain in the buttmore independant...then send somebody you don't really care for.

...Or maybe (as it was in Giles case) somebody who was a good prospect at one point in the past but who screwed up when they became too independently minded; give them the 'punishment detail' and when their slayer inevitably dies they'll sober up properly, get a bit of perspective and re-join the ranks of the council to be groomed for 'more important things'.
 

Stake fodder

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Not sure there would have been a queue of other watchers desperate to pair up with a barely trained slayer whose first watcher was killed in action.
But if the situation is something a bit trickier- like an obstinate mid-teen (and an American no less) who wasn't 'prepared' beforehand and will probably be trouble/pain in the buttmore independant...then send somebody you don't really care for.
I was thinking along these lines, too. Not only did Buffy's first Watcher get killed, but she burned down the school gym. She may have already been pegged as a problematic and less-desirable Slayer. Perhaps other, better-regarded Watchers refused to oversee her.
 

Dora

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I think he was already there because the council wanted someone at the hell mouth , how did Buffy and her mum end up at the hell mouth when they could have gone anywhere in the states ?
 

Faded90

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I was thinking along these lines, too. Not only did Buffy's first Watcher get killed, but she burned down the school gym. She may have already been pegged as a problematic and less-desirable Slayer. Perhaps other, better-regarded Watchers refused to oversee her.
Honestly I suspect the ‘favourite’ Watchers were the ones at HQ doing nothing much of use but believing they were the most important of all
 

Cohen

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As it is hinted that Joyce didn't just randomly relocate the current Slayer to fun central & that the Council may have had something (or a lot) to do with it, that makes it all the more odd.
Wait.. I missed this somewhere. Where is is suggested that the Council had a hand in moving the Summers to Sunnydale? Good catch!
 
T
thrasherpix
Fannon, where the job Joyce got, an unlikely one, was too good to turn down, and the Watchers were behind her getting it. And where goes Joyce goes the Slayer, right where they want her.

nmcil12

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It seems that the CoW could manipulate events to serve their agenda and needs - an example being the librarian position. Perhaps the council also intervened with the career of Joyce as well. Regarding Giles - the Watcher at such an important location as the Hellmouth would have /should have been given to one of their most capable or experienced Watchers.
 

ILLYRIAN

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Why shouldn't Mr Rupert Giles have got the job as Buffy's watcher? Quentin had a core group in charge of the Watchers Council (or the WC if you want to insult them, tee hee) Mr Giles was just a run of the mill, lowly watcher. It was only Willow who thought him better than he was. As far as I understood it Wesley was still being trained, did the WC move Joyce then forget to mention that fact to their watcher?
And no one knew the Hellmouth was in Sunnydale until Angel told them it was. Does that give you an idea of how dumb the WC was a creature they were dead set against told them about the Hellmouth, Angel told them where to look to learn about Spike.
 

Cohen

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And no one knew the Hellmouth was in Sunnydale until Angel told them it was. Does that give you an idea of how dumb the WC was a creature they were dead set against told them about the Hellmouth, Angel told them where to look to learn about Spike.
Actually, with the amount of information the Council keeps to their chest, I wouldn't be surprised if they DID send him, knowing it was a hell mouth. And when we meet Giles in Season 1, he is a traditional watcher, with traditional roles. He had outgrown his "Ripper" days, and was quite conservative. It wasn't until Buffy and the Scoobies began building a relationship with him (and his trauma from his torture by Angelus) that Giles became more of a loose cannon. Giles seemed to be a very capable traditional watcher. I kind of think he was more "in the loop" in seasons 1 & 2, and it wasn't until Buffy left post-Acathla that the Council began icing him out, because at that point not only had he allowed his slayer to die, be resurrected (changing the slayer line), but he also LOST his slayer. The Council would see these as weaknesses. That is why the Cruciamentum was just as much of a test for him, as it was for Buffy, and by their accounts, he failed.
 

Joan the Vampire Slayer

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I think he was already there because the council wanted someone at the hell mouth , how did Buffy and her mum end up at the hell mouth when they could have gone anywhere in the states ?
Doesn't Joyce mention that's where she found a job? At the gallery?
 
D
Dora
But why Sunningdale chances are there were lots of job through in lots of places

ILLYRIAN

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Good excuse Cohen, saying the WC knew Sunnydale was on a Hellmouth but didn't tell any relevent person, makes them out to be even more useless than I thought.
In Welcome To The Harvest Rupert Giles knew nothing at all about the Harvest or the Mouth of Hell until Buffy told him about it, and that was after Angel had told her about them.
Good old WC not telling their Slayer what situation she was in. But if you want to believe the WC knew about the situation and told no one that is your prerogative as long as you know the canon of the tale.
 

Cohen

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Good excuse Cohen, saying the WC knew Sunnydale was on a Hellmouth but didn't tell any relevent person, makes them out to be even more useless than I thought.
In Welcome To The Harvest Rupert Giles knew nothing at all about the Harvest or the Mouth of Hell until Buffy told him about it, and that was after Angel had told her about them.
Good old WC not telling their Slayer what situation she was in. But if you want to believe the WC knew about the situation and told no one that is your prerogative as long as you know the canon of the tale.
Not exactly true. After Buffy examines the body that fell out of the locker, she goes to Giles to ask what is up, and Giles explains his theory about Sunnydale being a "center of mystical convergence". It's quite likely that the Council knew about the Hellmouth, and sent Giles there. Maybe they didn't name it a hell mouth, but they knew there was something going on in Sunnydale. It's also quite possible that they had a hand in getting Joyce the position at Sunnydale. After reflection, I did realize that Joyce mentions in "The Witch" that they "had to move here to find a decent school that would take (Buffy)". So, while no school in LA or surrounding areas would touch Buffy with a ten-foot pole after her arson at the Hemery gym, Sunnydale and Principal Flutie were coaxed into accepting her. I can definitely see a scenario where the Council manipulated this, and also manipulated the Gallery into getting Joyce a job there. You are right in that Angel divulged the information about the Harvest. I don't think Giles knew that the Master was trapped below Sunnydale. They had to do a lot of research over the course of the season about the Master's history.
 

ILLYRIAN

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Yes Rupert did say Sunnydale is, 'a centre of mystical convergence' he did not say Sunnydale is on a Hellmouth. Angel told Buffy about the Mouth of Hell, a vampire told those who operated for the WC what was, then Buffy told that to Rupert Giles and presumably the WC. Did the WC know about the Hellmouth prior to that, NO, or if they did they kept it quiet which defeats the object of them as they are meant to inform people what is.
In the Bronze Rupert Giles knew nothing about the harvest nor the mouth of hell. Then Mr. Giles only discovered about the harvest and the Hellmouth through his books, NOT the WC. Use as many I Think's or Maybe's as you like but in was not in the series. That way leads to the WC being incompetent, the show depicts Darla as a bit of a ditzy bit not as the all powerful vampire she was with Angel. Buffy's fighting technique was pitiful and dangerous to herself, did the Watcher at her previous school teach her how to fight. It wasn't stated but to make guesses is not recommended.

And the WC are the same folk as in Checkpoint?

Can you explain to me why the so powerful WC couldn't get Buffy into any other school in LA? But they 'settled' with Sunnydale? That is what you said isn't it?
 
Cohen
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Half the time I can’t tell if you’re being serious or facetious.

ILLYRIAN

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Oh, okay which half of my post are you not going to answer, or was that a rhetorical statement, tee hee.

When I'm trying to be funny I'll add the tee hee so that you'll know not to think I'm being serious.
 

Cohen

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Oh, okay which half of my post are you not going to answer, or was that a rhetorical statement, tee hee.

When I'm trying to be funny I'll add the tee hee so that you'll know not to think I'm being serious.
I think we view these scenes differently. I see Giles as understanding that Sunnydale is some form of “Hellmouth” without actually calling it that. He might not know it’s a gateway to hell, but he has put enough together that he knows Sunnydale is a unique place. I think the WC also knew this.
 

nmcil12

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In general - it is totally nonsensical that the CoW would not know the Hellmouth existed in Sunnydale or that they would have sent a Watcher there without that information. If Giles knew that Buffy was destined to die there how the heck would they have not known about that being the Hellmouth and surely they would have known the Master's history. They wrote these episodes based on Buffy having to end up trusting Angel so Giles had to take secondary status to this plot.
 

thrasherpix

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Giles didn't know Buffy was supposed to die there until Angel got him a book. Buffy caught them arguing over it in I think the last episode.

But he did seem to know the place was mystical. And 90s cheese aside (borrowing heavily from previous decades), they wouldn't stock just any library with such rare and expensive volumes.

I vaguely recall that Giles seemed to know that someone had been exiled to Sunnydale, kicking himself for having forgotten it (it was in the episode where that assassin group is hired to take out Buffy while Spike tries to heal Dru).
 
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