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February 14 2008

Tragic And Doomed Relationships. SyFy Portal has a special Valentine's Day list: Ten tragic and doomed relationships.

Wesley and Fred, Xander and Anya, Wash and Zoe make the list among others.

Willow and -sob- Tara ...?
Also Giles and Jenny.

Willow and Tara is a bit of a startling omission. Well, and Buffy and Angel. And Buffy and Spike. And Willow and Oz. And Gunn and Fred. And Mal and Inara. And....
I feel like we're fighting a war on three fronts.
And Willow and Xander.
The Author kind of mentions that she wanted to feature some romances other than those found in Whedonesque stories. Hard to do, considering how many good ones there are in the Whedonverse.
You know, I first read that as "I feel like we are fighting a war on three fonts." Then I thought what fonts would they be?
Dear scifi writers,

Thank you for not writing romantic comedies.

-- internet curmudgeon
Crazygolfa, have you not heard of the long heated feud between Times New Roman, Arial, and Courier New? There has been much bloodshed.

Anyways, it is tough not to populate one of these lists with all Wehedonverse characters. He does so enjoy ripping couples apart. But I mean where else are you going go, really? You can only have a couple be so happy and perfect and well developed for so long before somebody HAS to die in a violent horrific way. It's just fate...sorry, words from a cynic on Valentines day. I'm done now.
I'd say that Wash and Zoe don't really belong on the list. One half of a happy couple getting killed tragically doesn't make the relationship itself doomed and/or tragis. Jenny and Giles are a much better choice--one that was "almost... but not quite" like Fred and Wesley. To a lesser extent, W&T are in the same boat--had there been no "Tabula Rasa," "Seeing Red" would not have been a *relationship* tragedy. Even Angel and Cordelia, a relationship that I was never that enthusiastic about, seems more tragic than Wash and Zoe.

I'm sure someone will differ. :-)

[ETA: should have read the article first, rather than relying on the summary...]

[ edited by jclemens on 2008-02-14 20:39 ]
Where, oh where, is the Willow Tara love. Am I repeating myself? My gosh, I am! :-)
I give the author huge props for actually not using the word "tragic". As a classicalist, I prefer the original meaning. A story is a tragedy when someone's fatal flaw causes the death.
Lioness, I give huge props to you for chipping open a little-used part of my memory.

And, Dana5140,I would expect nothing less from an honorary lesbian. (Did you get that toaster-oven yet)? ;)
Inevitable Traitor, Sunfire; well a writer could always do what Edgar Rice Burroughs did poorly and Chris Stasheff brilliantly, and switch the protaginization of the stories to the children, or to friends as Kenneth Bulmer did a couple times.

m'cookies; I guess a person doesn't qualify for honorary status if said person votes Republican, right :-)?
howdthathappen?

[ edited by DaddyCatALSO on 2008-02-14 21:46 ]
DaddyCatALSO, in my plan, we are beltless. And there is room for one and all.
It's mine, m'cookies. All mine. Mwah hah hah. :-)
No Buffy and Angel? They're tragic love story is iconic in the Jossverse.
Well, ESG, just because it's painful, doesn't mean it was doomed. Buffy and Angel both survived and went their separate ways. Not so with 5 of the other 8 Jossverse people listed in the linked article.
Eh, Lioness, sorry, but what I remember of my school days "tragic" means not so much a fatal flaw, (characterwise or other) rather than a choice between two alternatives that are both "bad". Some greek heroines come to mind that had to choose between the parent and the husband , or the god's love (their soul) and their people's welfare or accidentally marrying theit mother and murdering their father. I think relationshipwise that would mean hurting people you care about THROUGH NO FAULT OF YOUR OWN.

ETA;: I just looked it up: Classically tragic is defined as "guiltlessly guilty"

[ edited by Harpy on 2008-02-14 23:24 ]
In terms of the classical definition of tragic, the term could apply to BSG's Starbuck and Apollo, and while Anya's death was not due to a fatal flaw she had, the demise of her relationship with Xander was rooted largely in his self-doubt and misgivings about making a lifetime commitment - even though it was he who proposed to her.
Tragic And Doomed Relationships.


Forget the characters. At the end of the day, it's gives us a nice little debate but distracts us from the big picture.

The two most important doomed relationships in the Jossverse were Mutant Enemy and The WB and Mutant Enemy and Fox. Can you imagine what it would have been like had the networks tried to make it work properly with Joss?
Some greek heroines come to mind

I read this as "some geek heroines come to mind."

My work week is too long.
Can you imagine what it would have been like had the networks tried to make it work properly with Joss?

Joss would become a mutant Walt Disney?

(Sorry about the redundancy.)
Can you imagine what it would have been like had the networks tried to make it work properly with Joss?

Question for people who know more of the business side of things: who makes great tv and has a good relationship with the networks?

Also, how was UPN in comparison? Nice honeymoon, nasty breakup?
Joss would become a mutant Walt Disney?


Joss would become normal? NO WANT!
To me, "tragic and doomed relationships" means that the relationship was what was doomed, not the people. With that in mind, I would not consider Willow/Tara to qualify because there was,IMO, nothing wrong in the relationship that could not be fixed. The same would go for Wesley/Fred and especially Zoe/Wash. Xander and Anna, probably was doomed from the start. Any of Buffy's relationships, or Angel's were also pretty much doomed from the start as far as I'm concerned. Ah well, definitions, they'll get you arguing everytime. ;-)
How could you get any more doomed than a vampire and a vampire slayer? Oh I know, said vampire is cursed so that a moment of true happiness would cost him his soul. But really, just being on a Whedon show automatically dooms a relationship.
m'cookies; I'll assume "beltless" is anice thing to say toa person, since I don't know what it emans.

From what i udnertsand of tragedy (Greek and Sh'speare) it involves one thing which encourages an aotherwise good eprson to make a single wrong choice from which consequences flow.

Unmerited suffering of good people is a type of melodrama instead.
No Buffy and Angel?


I'd be tempted to leave them off of a list because their relationship isn't necessarily over.
Wikipedia on "Tragedy":

According to Aristotle, "the structure of the best tragedy should be not simple but complex and one that represents incidents arousing fear and pity--for that is peculiar to this form of art." This reversal of fortune must be caused by the tragic hero's hamartia, which is often mistranslated as a character flaw, but is more correctly translated as a mistake (since the original Greek etymology traces back to hamartanein, a sporting term that refers to an archer or spear-thrower missing his target). According to Aristotle, "The change to bad fortune which he undergoes is not due to any moral defect or flaw, but a mistake of some kind." It is also a misconception that this reversal can be brought about by a higher power (e.g. the law, the gods, fate, or society), but if a character’s downfall is brought about by an external cause, Aristotle describes this as a "misadventure" and not a tragedy.


I love the classics.
div>
No Buffy and Angel?

I'd be tempted to leave them off of a list because their relationship isn't necessarily over.

dispatch | February 15, 05:11 CET


Well damn, I guess that disqualifies Buffy and Spike as well.

As for Starbuck and Appolo, I still have hope for my second favorite tragic TV couple. I guess we'll have to wait and see.
Well damn, I guess that disqualifies Buffy and Spike as well.


Well, on the shows, they'd both pretty much acknowledged it was over by the end. With Angel on the other hand, it was all cookie dough and she's not done baking. And we know he has an appearance in the comics coming up. I doubt she'll be done baking by then, but, the implication is always there that some day, she will be.
I TOLD you Shey and dispatch, Buffy, Angel and Spike have all been sent to live together on a beautiful farm, with lovely green pastures and plenty of room to run around. No, really.

Now, I agree that the Wes and Fred relationship was TRULY tragic. There's nothing worse that the abrupt end of a grand love that could have been, but never was. Most other pairings we saw in the Whedon-erse at least had a chance to be together before the inevitable DOOM, yet those two never did. Sigh.

Think I'll have to watch 'Waiting in The Wings' tonight- with out-takes!
Well, on the shows, they'd both pretty much acknowledged it was over by the end. With Angel on the other hand, it was all cookie dough and she's not done baking. And we know he has an appearance in the comics coming up. I doubt she'll be done baking by then, but, the implication is always there that some day, she will be.
dispatch | February 15, 07:54 CET


A totally subjective interpretation, which can be argued until the next apocalypse is upon us. But since arguing it any further would push it way over the "no shipper debates" line, I'll leave it at that.

I TOLD you Shey and dispatch, Buffy, Angel and Spike have all been sent to live together on a beautiful farm, with lovely green pastures and plenty of room to run around. No, really.


missb, that is a really disturbing image, gotta go and wash my brain now. ;-)
Buffy and Angel for me, love the episode of Angel where he gets his soul back and they're together, and when he leaves at the end of series 3.

Pass the tissues...
A totally subjective interpretation, which can be argued until the next apocalypse is upon us. But since arguing it any further would push it way over the "no shipper debates" line, I'll leave it at that.


I'm not sure what a "shipper debate" is. But the fact that Buffy and Spike aren't an item by the end isn't something I made up, it's a plotline from 3 seasons worth of TV, extending into Angel. On the other hand, the writers/producers purposefully left the relationship with Angel open, and still romantic after all those years, at the end.

I understand there are some rabid fans of both, but I'm neither-- they're both entertaining storylines and actors. But that's just how the story was, at the end of the TV shows. Maybe the comics will show differently.
I think the subjective part comes in because in 'Chosen' (i.e. approx. 10 minutes from the end of the entire series at that time) Buffy says "I love you" to Spike. To some this indicates they still had a relationship, to others his "No, you don't but thanks for saying it" is closer to the truth (so it's open to interpretation in that sense).

I'd agree that by 'Angel' S5 there's not much going on but then, that's true of Angel himself too (by 'The Girl in Question' certainly, the point of which IMO was them both trying to accept the fact they weren't going to be with Buffy). As with most 'ships though, folk see what they want to see (usually pretty emphatically ;).
I'm not sure what a "shipper debate" is. But the fact that Buffy and Spike aren't an item by the end isn't something I made up, it's a plotline from 3 seasons worth of TV, extending into Angel. On the other hand, the writers/producers purposefully left the relationship with Angel open, and still romantic after all those years, at the end.


A shipper debate is exactly what you're doing right now and I find it hard to believe that as long as you've been posting here, you don't know the rules. (See under "About", top of page):

"No shipping. (What is shipping?) Any post or comment that is aggressively focused on any particular 'ship' and/or actively supports fan factions and feuds is subject to deletion. Its author will receive a warning, or, in case of severe or repeated transgressions, will face a time out and/or will ultimately be banned from this site."

I totally disagree with your interpretation, and it's extremely frustrating to be put in a position where if I start explaining my reasons for disagreeing, I will be as guilty of breaking the rules as you. IMO, your last two posts fall well under the "subject to deletion" clause, but I'm not a mod.

And to state the following, after you previous posts, is absurd. ....

I understand there are some rabid fans of both, but I'm neither-- they're both entertaining storylines and actors. But that's just how the story was, at the end of the TV shows.


Your absolutist statements are an insult to the intelligence of anyone who disagrees with you, and I'm in no mood to have my intelligence insulted.

Poor Saje, your peacemaking efforts got caught in the crossfire. ;-)
It's a new experience for me, normally when i'm caught in the crossfire it's because i've pissed off both sides ;).
I think you could just add 'every Whedon-created relationship, ever' to that list and have done with it. Perhaps not always tragic, but certainly always doomed.
Perhaps not always tragic, but certainly always doomed.

No one's mentioned Willow and Kennedy. I'm not surprised, but even though they're unpopular, thus far they have not been tragic or doomed, despite Willow's fears about Kennedy getting killed. They were sort of deliberately not-doomed, after all.
Late on this one (hey, it's early here), but . . .

dispatch, there are things, most especially the status of a relationship, that are too open to interpretation/debate to be labeled a "fact." (Example of "fact": the color of the dress Buffy wears in Episode X, or the name of character Y; example of "opinion": Willow is the best character ever, Xander loves Giles to pieces). This is Joss we're talking about.

So, even though your intent may be neutral, the effect of your comment is going to be to wind large numbers of people up. Best practice (and more accurate) is to call it an "opinion," for reasons already given above. Otherwise, this will tumble into a full-scale shipper debate, and many people will be very sorry. That's all.
Ah, SNT, the voice of reason :) Hey, I liked Riley.
Even though this post is off the front page now and no one will ever read it, I wanted to ring in after I'd read the definition of "shipper":

It's a new term to me, and I really didn't think that talking about the end of Buffy season 7 would have that much of a response. I am, honestly, not a fan of either vampire, and definitely not supporting Angel in some kind of debate between them (if anything, I think Marsters is the more flambouyant actor, and I like watching his stuff even more for it).

That's just how I saw the story end, and it's always open in the future.

Also, I haven't been posting here that long-- I came in in the last wave of registrants. I honestly didn't know what this "shipper debate" was all about... but I think I've got a pretty good feel for it now.
Yeah, in the 'shipper region of the fandom map it just says "Here be Monsters" - dangerous waters for the unaware ;).
dispatch I clicked on your name before responding to your post. Seeing that you've been a member since December 2006, I assumed you knew what you were doing.


Ah, SNT, the voice of reason :) Hey, I liked Riley.
Harmalicious | February 16, 07:49 CET


Yes .... SNT I see why when you reappeared, everyone was commenting on how much you'd been missed. ('tho I didn't miss you myself, since you were MIA at the time I joined & for a while thereafter) ;-)
Yeah, in the 'shipper region of the fandom map it just says "Here be Monsters" - dangerous waters for the unaware ;).

Saje | February 16, 14:01 CET


Or the disingenuous. (I know, I'm bad).

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