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Xander Harris and Bangel

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#1
Some characters get the flashy, in-your-face character development (Willow, Wesley, Spike, Cordelia) and there are those characters whose character development is so subtle that you barely notice it, but it’s there.

Xander Harris and Bangel

Xander was a jerk to Buffy and her feelings for Angel on many occasions, like this:


and this:


and this:



But…

Later on Xander will:

1) Admit that he was an ass about Angel and will help Buffy save him in Amends:


2) Witness a lover’s quarrel between Buffy and Angel and genuinely asks if he can help in The Zeppo:



3) When Angel falls ill due to Faith’s poisonous arrow in Graduation Part 1, Xander is there to help Buffy save him. Not only that, but when Oz and Willow are hesitant to reveal the cure, he’ll say:


4) Graduation Part 2, after the battle, Xander reassures Buffy that Angel survived the fight and gently tells her that he might have left after:


Xander Harris DOES learn from his mistakes. He DOES grow up and change. His character development isn’t as flashy as the other characters, but Xander was never meant to be a larger than life character. He’s a simple human being like the rest of us and changes accordingly.

Originally posted in Tumblr
 

Taake

Not a witch
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Black Thorn
#2
Xander was a jerk to Buffy and her feelings for Angel on many occasions, like this:


and this:


and this:

You know, I'll admit to - especially first time I watched these scenes - feeling like Xander was being a jerk to Buffy and hating him a bit for it. And in a way he is. But he is in the way that family can be. They're the ones who can tell you the thing you least of all want to hear, when you least of all want to hear it... doesn't mean you shouldn't hear it however.

Basically, it might be a jerk move but Buffy needs to hear it. Is it harsh, maybe, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have a point in there. Xander gives Buffy perspective. Could the delivery be better, sure, but I think we've all said things in heated moments that we mean, but wish we would've phrased differently.

So yay Xander, for saying the things no one else did.
 
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#3
You know, I'll admit to - especially first time I watched these scenes - feeling like Xander was being a jerk to Buffy and hating him a bit for it. And in a way he is. But he is in the way that family can be. They're the ones who can tell you the thing you least of all want to hear, when you least of all want to hear it... doesn't mean you shouldn't hear it however.

Basically, it might be a jerk move but Buffy needs to hear it. Is it harsh, maybe, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have a point in there. Xander gives Buffy perspective. Could the delivery be better, sure, but I think we've all said things in heated moments that we mean, but wish we would've phrased differently.

So yay Xander, for saying the things no one else did.
I always saw Xander as the person giving the other point of view. The audience and the characters are all siding with Buffy to save Angel and the writers needed a different take on the events. I feel that Xander's argument is valid but the way he delivered it was extremely harsh and out of line, which goes to how he was raised. He came from a house where you have to yell to be heard, his role models at arguments are his parents and he's just doing it the way he sees it at home.

As he grows up, he will learn to calm down more - seen by how he argues with Anya, he's usually the calmer one, and by S7, Xander is extremely mellowed. I like how his hot-temper and angry attitude is dealt with in S9 and S10, even though I wish we'd see at least one session with Dr. Mike.
 
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#4
I don't really have a problem with what Xander says, but how he says it. The tone NB often uses borders on verbal abuse. That it's limited to Buffy is in a way understandable since Xander doesn't see her as a human being first and foremost, but as a superhero. Her judgement, morals, choices etc. should be better than the average human being's. If she fails his percieved superhero standart it gets nasty. Which is also why it's ok for him to date Anya but Buffy shouldn't be dating Angel/Spike. She's supposed to be better than this.

It's also about controlling events he is powerless to control in the only way he can, verbally. But that's for another topic.
 
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#5
I don't really have a problem with what Xander says, but how he says it. The tone NB often uses borders on verbal abuse.
That's what I meant by delivery. The way he argues mirrors the way his parents argue - nasty and loud.


That it's limited to Buffy is in a way understandable since Xander doesn't see her as a human being first and foremost, but as a superhero. Her judgement, morals, choices etc. should be better than the average human being's. If she fails his percieved superhero standart it gets nasty. Which is also why it's ok for him to date Anya but Buffy shouldn't be dating Angel/Spike. She's supposed to be better than this.
Interesting prospective.


It's also about controlling events he is powerless to control in the only way he can, verbally. But that's for another topic.
Xander's mouth is his superpower, he can use it for good ( Grave, I Was Made to Love You, The Freshman .... etc ) or evil ( Becoming Part 1, Revelations ... etc )
 
Which is also why it's ok for him to date Anya but Buffy shouldn't be dating Angel/Spike.
I think Xander's objection to Buffy dating Angel was mostly because of his own feelings for her. He doesn't seem to be against it when they start dating again in S3. As shown in the pictures up there, he asked them if they needed his help to solve whatever it was they were arguing about. If he was such a nasty person, he'd have brought popcorn and sat there watching.

With Spike, he was a soulless vampire, which is different than a newly human Anya with no powers of her own. I think the episode Selfless opens Xander's eyes to how he behaved - hence bringing up Kick His Ass, which now I think it's more about Xander's character growth and not about Xander being "busted" - because after that episode, Xander will open his home to Spike again and later take a quiet accepting approach to Buffy/Spike. He's actually the only character among the Scoobies to never object or say a negative thing about Spike after Sleeper.
 
Last edited:

Give Us A Kiss

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Sineya
#6
It's safe to say that Xander was not a fan of Bangel, but he shouldn't have gotten angry everytime his name would come up.

I think part of the reason he openly disliked Angel was because he thought that Buffy deserves someone better than a vampire with a soul.
 
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#7
It's safe to say that Xander was not a fan of Bangel, but he shouldn't have gotten angry everytime his name would come up.

I think part of the reason he openly disliked Angel was because he thought that Buffy deserves someone better than a vampire with a soul.
I think the main reason Xander hated Angel was because Angel was a vampire and Xander's main experience with vampires was that they were trying to kill you. Of course the season 2 Angelus drama happened and I think that was too much for Xander to properly forgive.
 

Guy

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Black Thorn
#8
My own 2 cents: I think a lot of Xander's attitude toward Angel and Spike came because of the fact that his first encounter with vampires (In 'Welcome to the Hellmouth') led to the death of his best friend, Jesse (And Xander had to kill vampire-Jesse himself, at the age of 16). This is a surprisingly defining moment for Xander:

 
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#9
My own 2 cents: I think a lot of Xander's attitude toward Angel and Spike came because of the fact that his first encounter with vampires (In 'Welcome to the Hellmouth') led to the death of his best friend, Jesse (And Xander had to kill vampire-Jesse himself, at the age of 16). This is a surprisingly defining moment for Xander:

I would say that is pretty spot on. Xander doesn't dislike Angel and Spike for who they but what they are. In a way that kind of makes Xander a racist since Angel and Spike can't help the fact that they're vampires. To be fair to Xander though, since his first interactions with Spike consisted of Spike trying to kill Buffy, he probably dislikes him for that most of all.
 
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#10
I wouldn't call Xander a racist for disliking creatures who live on his blood. Humans and vampires are not the same species. I also think Xander's dislike of both vampires is rooted in many reason. Angel: jealousy, the fact that he lost his soul and terrorized them for month not to mention killed one of them. Spike: the fact that he spent years trying to kill them, betrayed them and is generally not a friendly person towards Xander.
 
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#11
I wouldn't call Xander a racist for disliking creatures who live on his blood. Humans and vampires are not the same species. I also think Xander's dislike of both vampires is rooted in many reason. Angel: jealousy, the fact that he lost his soul and terrorized them for month not to mention killed one of them. Spike: the fact that he spent years trying to kill them, betrayed them and is generally not a friendly person towards Xander.
Whilst you're right in that there is loads of reasons that Xander dislikes Spike and Angel, I think them being vampires is still one of them despite the fact that they can't help being vampires.

It's difficult because it's not wrong to not be pals with something that would drink your blood given the opportunity, but Xander is kind of lumping all vampires together rather than judging them as individuals.
 

Blair

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#13
I thought Xander hated Angel so much because of the on going crush he had on Buffy (which of course he got over, but let's face it the first two seasons he wanted her pretty bad) I had it pinned down to jealously.
 
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#14
Xander was a jerk to Buffy and her feelings for Angel on many occasions, like this:


and this:


and this:


But…
Later on Xander will:

1) Admit that he was an ass about Angel and will help Buffy save him in Amends:


2) Witness a lover’s quarrel between Buffy and Angel and genuinely asks if he can help in The Zeppo:



3) When Angel falls ill due to Faith’s poisonous arrow in Graduation Part 1, Xander is there to help Buffy save him. Not only that, but when Oz and Willow are hesitant to reveal the cure, he’ll say:


4) Graduation Part 2, after the battle, Xander reassures Buffy that Angel survived the fight and gently tells her that he might have left after:


Xander Harris DOES learn from his mistakes. He DOES grow up and change. I’m sorry if his character development isn’t as flashy as the other characters, but Xander was never meant to be a larger than life character. He’s a simple human being like the rest of us and changes accordingly.
 

thetopher

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#15
Whilst it's true that- by the end of S3- Xander didn't wish Angel ill-intent, its still fair to say that he didn't like him at all. In GD part 2: 'Man, I'm really gonna miss that guy when he leaves town.' *sarcasm* springs to mind. He had grown and matured but y'know, only so far.

But...that's a good thing.
I mean, not good as in 'this is the 'correct' feeling to have' but good as in interesting and dramatic.
Who wants a group dynamic where everyone is super-nice and loved everyone else all the time? That's not good drama (or that realistic really; lots of groups of friends have particular pairings that don't really get along, but still kinda function within a group dynamic).

Xander didn't like Angel. He didn't want him dead- which is a big improvement- but still they just didn't get along. Angel didn't really like Xander right back; that's fair I guess. It adds another nice layer to their interactions.

And not for nothing but Willow and Anya didn't get along for a long time- seasons, neither did Spike and Xander (or Giles and Spike for that matter). All rational reasoning aside this led to some fun interactions between characters. Not everyone should be best buds.
 
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#16
I'm not saying that Xander liked Angel, just that he became a better friend to Buffy when it came to Angel as shown here. They don't need to be best friends, but if Angel is in danger, Xander will save or help save him for Buffy's sake.
 

GraceK

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#17
I love Xander. He's also one of the last characters by season 7 who hasn't been assassinated character wise. I also don't think it's fair to call Xander a racist for not liking vampires. They may not be able to help being vampires, but they can clearly help whether they rip you to shreds or torture you. Let's not pretend they are fluffy little victims of circumstance. They are soulless demons. Angel and Spike seem to be the exception to this rule on the show, and Spike still tried to kill them for years.

Also, trying to see vampires as individuals kind of makes Buffy less of a hero to mankind and more of a bully , which throws off the whole
Mythology of the show and I don't want to start questioning whether she has a moral right to kill vampires. :) that's a whole other can of worms.
 
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Sineya
#19
Let's not forget "School Hard" where Xander is sent to get Angel, who puts him in a headlock and offers him to Spike. When the fight is over, we get this exchange:

XANDER
So when you were giving him my neck
to chew on, how come you didn't clock
him before he clocked you?

ANGEL
I told you, I couldn't make the first move.
I had to see if he was buying it or not.

XANDER
And if he bit me, then what?

ANGEL
(can't resist)
We would have known he bought it.

This would be a source of PTSD for anyone and it is not an isolated incident. Angel always does what he thinks is best, making decisions for other people even when it becomes a problem for other people, a characteristic he never outgrows, as it is still the main part of "Not Fade Away". Xander has seen the death toll that follows from Buffy being unwilling to do her job and eliminate Angel after he morphs into Angelus. Once Angel is re-souled and begins to do good things, his opinion softens about Bangel even though he is aware of the danger. Having seen what has happened, Xander represents a prudent opinion and he waits until Angel is proven to be on the scoobie's side. He then changes his opinion in view of the changes that have happened. I don't see Xander as being vindictive towards Bangel, just aware that at any moment, Angel may see a strategic advantage in sacrificing other people to his plans and will not hesitate to do so. I have the same opinion as him, so he seems to be following a logical path that I concur with.
 
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