Wesley Wyndam-Pryce

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Name: Wesley Wyndam-Pryce
Occupation: Watcher, Rogue Demon Hunter, Helping the Hopeless
Title/Rank:
Location: LA
Status: dead/ghost
Relationships:
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel
Other:
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Contents

Wesley Wyndam-Pryce is a minor character in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and a major character in Angel. He was played by Alexis Denisof. The character also appears in the comics.

In Canon

I've seen a darkness in myself. I'm not sure you'd even begin to understand.
I flayed a guy alive and tried to destroy the world.
Oh... so...
Darkness. Been there.
Yeah. Well I never flayed... I had a woman chained in a closet.

-Wesley & Willow ('Orpheus')

Wesley plays a comedic role in BtVS season 3, anti-cool incarnate, but the character is slowly reinvented after he's fired as a Watcher and joins Angel Investigations. A spot of torture at the hands of Faith kick-starts a downwards spiral that just keeps on heading downwards -- domestic abuse, child kidnapping, women chained in closets, sleeping with the enemy, daddy issues culminating in attempted patricide, and lots and lots of sexy stubble...

His relationships with Fred and Lilah both end tragically, and his friendships with Angel, Cordelia, Gunn and Illyria don't fare a whole lot better.

Fannish Perspectives

Princess Bunny writes: Wesley tackled death, killing, magic, love, sex, and betraying everyone you love. Pretty heady stuff for someone who could barely manage a stake when we first saw him. Out of most the characters I've seen, I think Wesley underwent the best evolution from a one-dimensional character to an almost flesh and blood ideal. He had flaws and a dark side, but it was all for one purpose. For the side of Good to win, no matter what he had to become, give up, do, he would, in order to defeat the Darkness that reached for the World. ... I like that he went dark, it gave him more depth and most importantly: the Wesley type of characters tend to be abused, so I cheer when they fight back.[1]

Sheila writes: ...Wesley ... is, largely, a reflective character. If he's surrounded by people who think he's capable, then that's exactly what he is. Put him with Virginia Bryce or Gunn, put him by himself, and Wesley is capable of some pretty remarkable things. Put him with Faith and suddenly you have Wesley the ruthless crazy guy. Put him with Cordelia and you have Wesley, the Gay Best Friend. / And dude, I have to admit? Wesley the Badass Competent Wonderboy is a whole 'nother game of hotness.[2]

Sockkpuppett writes: ...I adore Wes. ... No other character in the Jossverse, with the exception of Spike, has evolved to the extent that Wes has. When I first saw Wes in 'Bad Girls', I was taken aback by the arrival of such a one-dimensional, priggish buffoon on a show where every character, from Anya to Oz, was nuanced and complex. That was what I was supposed to think. Wes's refusal to get with the program pissed me off, and in retrospect, it was supposed to. Around 'Graduation Day', layers started to appear. By the time Wes showed up in LA, holding a crossbow to Angel's throat, I was seeing lots of layers. Never mind that Angel disarmed him immediately. Sunnydale Wes would never have had the nerve to do it in the first place.[3]

In Fanfiction

Wesley rarely appears in BtVS works, but he's a popular character in AtS fanfiction, particularly pre-'Not Fade Away'. His arc from clown to mini-Giles to dark warrior provides fan writers with plenty of scope, and the various injuries he suffers in canon give fodder by the bucketload for angst and hurt/comfort.

Many fans read the character as gay from his introduction, and the most frequent pairings featuring him are slash. The popular buddy pairing Wesley/Gunn probably just has the edge over the darker-tinged Angel(us)/Wesley, but he's also commonly slashed with most of the Buffyverse men, notably Wesley/Connor, Wesley/Giles and Spike/Wesley. In het, the canonical Wesley/Lilah found favour with fans and Faith/Wesley is also popular; other minor pairings include Buffy/Wesley, Fred/Wesley and Wesley/Illyria.

Authors particularly associated with the character include Glossolalia, Gunbunny, James Walkswithwind, Jane St Clair, Jennifer-Oksana, JustHuman, Karabair/Likeadeuce, Minim Calibre, Sheila Perez, Shrift, Te and Wesley's Girl.

Notable Examples

Gen

Het

Angel/Wesley is a popular pairing

Slash

In Fan Art

A selection of fan art featuring Wesley:

In Vids

Vids featuring Wesley include:

In Meta

Essays from The Shipper's Manifesto, Idol Reflection and elsewhere:

Character

Shipper

Archives, Fansites

Character

Shipper

Communities, Mailing Lists

Livejournal

Yahoo Groups, Other Mailing Lists

References

  1. Idol Reflection: How to Win my Love in Six Acts (accessed 20 April 2012)
  2. Ship Manifesto: Shoulder to Shoulder, An Introduction to Wesley/Gunn (accessed 20 April 2012)
  3. Angel's Repressed, and Wes Has a Bucket (accessed 22 April 2012
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