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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Oh, bugger off, you brolly."
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September 21 2010

Who will Joss Whedon kill in The Avengers movie? Probably no one. Worth reading if only to find out why showrunners wouldn't read Buffy specs.

Interesting. Seems kinda weird to me to mention the deaths of Anya and Wesley in the context of to-be-contrary fan favorite deaths, given that they died at what was, at the time, assumed to be the end of their respective series. Also, was Simon pretty widely unliked? I feel out of the loop on that one.
I liked Simon... I've never seen Simon hate. Anywhere... interesting comment.
Never understood the Riley hate, either.

A character doesn't have to be major to be liked and missed. I think, though, because everyone expects at least one character to be killed off, in this movie it won't happen. All character deaths on Joss's shows were unexpected. Now, if it is expected, then it is no longer unexpected, right?
Who will he kill? Well this movie will have to be on a global scale with all these heroes, so if I were a betting man, I'd have to go with Joss wiping out Kentucky. Or if he wants a real shocker, the whole North American continent.
He didn't kill anyone on The Office OR Glee, either!

And I always loved Riley. He's my favorite Buffy boyfriend. I hate Spike. I liked Angel and Buffy together, but I always felt Angel and Cordy should end up together. Riley was strong, normal, and not a homicidal vampire.
Wait wait WAIT. Since when has Simon been nails-on-chalkboard? I mean, really...can we take any of this article seriously with that kind of statement?

Oh and Jesse, I also liked Riley. Not in a plot way so much, but as a good guy that I would theoretically want Buffy to end up with.
Honestly I'm so outraged that I have to post another comment about this. SIMON?!? Who DOESN'T love Simon? Sacrificed all he had for his sister! Brilliant! Handsome! Did I mention, Sacrificed his entire freakin' life for his (sorta) disabled sister? The man was a breath of fresh air, a saint, albeit one born into privilege and who happened to be played by Zac Efron for a very short time...

But really, how can you hate Zac Efron?
So, when it as announced Joss was doing The Avengers, did *anyone* think "who is he going to kill"? Because this guy seems to think he speaks for all his fans, when this is the first time I've heard anyone ask that question.
I don't hate any character, myself, but I *am* tired of the Joss-kill thing.

People die. A lot. Often. With great frequency and inevitability.

Joss writes about people and since they aren't Tales Written For People That Can't know About This Death Thing, characters die.

Joss (et al.) actually showed this - in main or supporting characters, as opposed to Guy Brought On to Be Killed This Week - so he got to wear the Mantle of Death-bringer, I guess.

*sigh*

I hope in 100 years or so when Joss is *gulp* gone, his headstone doesn't say, "He Killed People. A Lot."

'Cause that would be of the suck.
QuoterGal:: Again, I applaud the awesomeness of the Whedonesque fanbase. Death? It sucks. Does it happen? Yes. Especially during potential apocalypses. Or apocalypsii.

Not a death was without reason on these shows. And yes, I include Tara, though her relationship with Will was the single greatest driving force to me telling my family I am gay. And I'm a man. Did I mention "Buffy" changed my life? I think I'm one of thousands...
*Pops head into Whedonesque to agree on the Simon issue* I have never heard ANY form of Simon-hate. Ever.

Also QuoterGal - Joss. Gone. You meant in 100 years, by which time he'll have cloned himself but that his original body might, possible be gone right, RIGHT!?
I don't love Simon. I thought he was written to be irritating, especially in the first half of the movie. I also didn't find him at all sexually appealing. I didn't hate the character but I wouldn't have missed him either.
I was never crazy about Simon myself, but I didn't hate the guy. That said, I would rather he died than anyone else...like a certain brilliant pilot with excellent comedic timing. Or a tough-as-nails preacher with a sketchy past that we never really learned anything about.
The only one on the list that I could not stand was Dawn, GET OUT, GET OUT, GET OUT. Usually it was Buffy I did not like in her treatment of Riley and Spike and I did like Angel better with Cordy. Spike is the only man in Buffy's life that would not leave her.
BEWARE BSG SPOILERS BELOW :

Okay. Seriously. Joss is right when he says he's not the grim reaper. The only reason everyone says Joss kills his characters is because, in the famous cases, PEOPLE REALLY CARED.

Has anyone ever watched 24? Now that's a show that kills off its characters. What about BSG, Billy, Dualla, Gaeta, Cally..

In fact, every show that comes to my mind has oft killed its main cast. The Sopranos. Dexter (recently more than once :p). Six Feet Under.

I could go on.
You want to try being a Spooks fan. Oy.
Simon? In the same category as Riley or Connor? That is certainly a new one.
Okay, checking my mystical crystal ball. Ahh, I see no deaths in this Joss outing. Hmm, that's different!
Bewildered by the Simon hate.

Enraged by the dismissal of Buffy as "girly".

Enraged more by the dismissal of "girly", just on principle.

Have a quote.

"Whom will I kill? When will that go away? Is death really the only thing I'm known for? I'd hope not. You know how many people in the world actually die? ALL OF THEM. You know how many I've killed? Statistically, somewhat fewer."
-Joss (http://whedonesque.com/comments/22073#345272)-
Spooks? (AKA MI-5 in the states) hahahahaha... Yep. If you think Joss kills too many characters, watch Spooks. The hard thing isn't counting the characters who've cracked and resigned, been forced to flee the country, or met a violent end... it's listing those who haven't.
Why do so many writers think that Marvel would give Whedon the power to kill off any of their major characters? Knowing Whedon, he'd probably want to kill off Iron Man (he's kind of the Wash of the group - wisecracker, fan favorite), but Iron Man is a huge cash cow for Hollywood.

And, FWIW, I never hated Simon (or, really, any of the "good guys" in any of Joss's shows), but he was by far the least interesting character on the ship. I feel the same way about Riley, in fact. I didn't hate him because I really had no feelings about the guy whatsoever. He was just...there. (And Dawn? Well, she's a teen. She's supposed to be whiny and annoying! Same with Connor, really.)
Sigh, every time I hear about how much someone hates Dawn, a little part of me dies inside. Fortunately it usually regenerates. But people don't like Simon?

I like Riley and Connor also.
add my voice to the chorus of SIMON?! He's possibly my favourite character (it changes) and I can't see how anyone could put Simon in the same pile as Dawn,Riley and Connor.
Dawn and Connor I mostly liked. Riley kinda annoyed me a bit.
Regardless of his own preference, Joss has developed a reputation as the "fan's grim reaper." Sure, everyone dies, but not onscreen. Joss likes to use the death to punctuate his stories, to really make them hit home. As such, he has a knack for making you love a character and then senselessly dispatching her... er, um... bringing the character's arc to a close. In spite of his foible, we don't hate Joss for killing Tara... er, um... craftily plotting his terminal plots. Instead, we wait patiently to see if he'll listen to his own narrative, and bring her back... er, um... realize what the audience wants is sometimes what we really need, too.
I didn't hate any of those characters either, but this is the first time I've heard Simon mentioned in that context. Don't get that one at all.
I didn't get the comment about Simon, either. Simon has so much strength and courage in his own quiet way that I can't help admire him.

I've never been a hater of any of Joss's characters. Dawn & Connor were both teen-agers who behaved completely in character with their history (brief as it was, especially in Dawn's case). Riley was an ordinary guy whose values started off being black and white. He changed and grew on the show, but he was never going to be a challenge to Buffy, which is what she needed.
property of Mr Gordo: Also QuoterGal - Joss. Gone. You meant in 100 years, by which time he'll have cloned himself but that his original body might, possible be gone right, RIGHT!?

That is exactly what I meant, property of Mr Gordo, and if ever that, in fact, happens. And nifty finding that quote, Xantastic1316 - that is 'zackly the one I was gonna look for.

A note regarding character-"hate": it usually says waaay more about the hater than the character themselves - it's usually pretty revealing to hear. I'm just saying. Finding that you "hate" a character - unless they're an out-and-out soulless killer demon of the moment - presents an awesome opportunity to examine the nature of your Shadow.

Re: Dawn hate (in addition to the fact that she probably represents everyone's clingy inner child-y type aspect) I've found two excellent quotes. One is from Joss on WHEDONesque regarding a 2007 OMWF singalong he and Marty attended:

"Marty and I had a crazy good time, even if we felt bad for poor defenseless Dawnie. (Every time you tell her to shut up, remember who wrote what sheís saying.) (Thatís right. The kidís with me.)"

And one is from catherine, WHEDONesque's own poet-in-residence, from 2008 (she noted at the time that she meant it in good fun, and meaning to cause no offense):

Dawn Speaks out at the Singalong

Try to remember how it felt to be
a kid in high school--it sucked, right? I mean
who's selfless and mature at age fifteen?
And then try to imagine: Suddenly
you find out in those harsh, hormonal years
that you aren't human. You aren't even real.
You are a toy for some bitch-god--you'd feel
all messed up too, and when you dry your tears
and try to deal, your mother dies, and all
your memories of her are false. What then?
Your sister dies to save the world (again)
and it's your fault--for you she took the fall.
So pardon me for whining. Why don't you
Shut up yourselves 'til you've been through it too.


ETA: and what samatwitch said, too...
I never cared for Simon all that much, but cannot say I hated him. But this article is in one way spot on: one of the tropes Joss uses is the death of a character, to the point where the entire reason this article was written is because so many people recognize that fact. Now, it may be he will zig where he might zag, but you have to agree that it will be hard to kill off characters with movies yet to come, with a billion dollars at stake. I still believe we will see a death (or even two) since Joss seems to be unable to not use it as a means of manipulating audience feelings, but it will be a lesser character without an upcoming movie.
Maybe for a change he'll give a beloved character a traumatic crippling injury.
Joss is going to be 93 and the media will still be using that picture. Then after waiting a few decades longer, "they" can turn it into a virtual avatar in a cringeful commercial for the latest in dental prosthetics.

Also this:
...Whedon reveled in death.


I think that's just a wee bit strong. Reveled? He took... *looks up in dictionary* ..."great pleasure and delight" in death? Really? Gee, I was under the impression that from watching BtVS that death sucked and was hard on all the other people who still lived in one way or another. Joss just tells stories where the reality of death actually effects his characters. You know, just like in life. But with vampires and government funded bio-engineered experiments accidentally gone amok.
janef, Xander did in fact suffer a permanent injury that affected his ability to work in his chosen profession (carpenters need depth perception). Something I never see mentioned about Riley - I liked the character as a person, but I was really worried about what his plot function meant for the direction of "Buffy" for awhile. One of the things that attracted me to the show was that it let the freak flag fly, and pairing Buffy with a regular human guy to me seemed to be hoisting the "Normalcy Uber Alles" banner. I was rooting for Buffy to accept being a Slayer and living in the world that she was in, not to try to be "normal."
Like many, I myself have never met a Simon-hater. He wasn't exactly my favorite but I do give him his props for being a good character with a good heart! And does it count at all that he ALMOST died in the movie?... Guess not but ah well!

And honestly I like when Joss kills characters! So obviously I don't really have a feud with the idea that he killed some of my faves or if he does in Avengers if he decides to or not! I always found that when characters die I find the depth of my love for them was deeper than I thought or that I really did like them when I thought I hadn't. Kinda like in real life.... Oh, not to mention that I love how Joss uses the deaths of those loved by characters(and us) to help somebody grow or reach understanding at some point afterwards. You know, as if death almost brings some sort of life...

Did I really just suddenly get philosophical?...weird. But my point was made nonetheless!
Simon, what is this web site's beef with you? Did you piss in his wheaties?

I could not let this day pass without a name confusion joke.
... nails-on-chalkboard characters like Riley, Dawn, Connor, and Simon not only survived but thrived.

Wow. I don't think I've talked effusively at all about Sean Maher here, but it's a kind of on the down low love for him I have. Simon to me, was similar to, and evolved at least to some extent like, starchy, priggish Wesley on Buffy. I often imagine him opening up more and more after the end of Serenity, much as Wesley did on Angel. Except Simon got to live the dream with Kaylee. Heart of gold, wonderful human being, as already pointed out. Easy to love. And not dead. Go, Simon.
And a moment of silence for Fred. I also think a lot of people would choose to be green. I really do, Fred. (Really, I just watched AWITW and still have wet-dog face. I simultaneously loathe and adore that episode.)
Add me to the list of those who have never "hated" any whedonverse character.I guess I only dislike characters who are boring, and IMO, Joss just doesn't create boring characters.
And thanks for that link Quoter Gal (the 'shadow' one). Hate is such a strong word, and over-used to the point of ..... well, overuse. :_)

I still believe we will see a death (or even two) since Joss seems to be unable to not use it as a means of manipulating audience feelings.
Dana5140 | September 21, 19:27 CET


I have to say once again that I absolutely don't believe that Joss uses character deaths to manipulate audience feelings. Any more than he (or any other good writer) uses any particular dramatic device to elicit the desired audience response, whether that desired response is laughter, fear, awe, and so on and on.

Manipulating audience feelings is pretty much a prerequisite for being an effective storyteller, and the ones who shy away from anything controversial, don't even make that cut, IMO.

Killing off characters in a drama with a setting that isn't inherently uber-dangerous, would be manipulative in a not-believable way.
Not killing off major characters in shows like Joss makes, where everyone lives with the threat of eminent death every day, would be a major cop-out.

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