Robin Wood (Buffyverse)
|Relationships:||Nikki Wood (mother); Faith Lehane (love interest)|
|Fandom:||Buffy the Vampire Slayer|
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Robin Wood is a character from Buffy the Vampire Slayer fandom. His introduction led to the creation of Deadbrowalking: the people of color deathwatch and continued the debate around characters of color in the Whedonverse
Robin Wood is introduced in the final season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He is the Principal at the newly reopened Sunnydale High School. It is later revealed that he is the son of a former slayer, Nikki Wood, who was murdered by Spike.
Robin's introduction led to the creation of the Deadbrowalking comm, as fans of color expected the character to die before the finale. Principal Wood did survive the season finale, much to the surprise of many fans.
After Wood's introduction, there were many discussions about whether or not Wood was a bad guy, as early episodes presented him as a mysterious and possibly evil character. Many observers at Deadbrowalking also pointed to his obvious chemistry with Buffy as evidence the character was either evil or marked for death. Later in the season, Wood's sexual relationship with the other white Slayer, Faith Lehane, heightened fans fears that the character would die before the series finale. 
In the episode (7x14) First Date, Woods was revealed to be the son of Nikki Wood, and a demon fighter who was willing to help the Scoobies. He attempted to kill, Spike, the vampire who murdered his mother in the episode (7x17) Lies My Parents Told Me. There has been much debate about this episode in the years since it aired. Originally much of the discussion focused on Spike's redemption, following Robin's failure to kill the vampire. There was also some discussion around whether or not Nikki Wood was a good mother.
In 2008, wider discussion around racism in fandom led to several essays reexamining Robin's role in the Buffyverse. Around the same time Thuvia Ptarth commissioned a fanvid, Origin Stories by Gianduja Kiss, and in her commentary it is very clear that Thuvia envisioned this vid as a critique of LMPTM and the framing of that narrative.
So what I see linking Robin to the female Slayers, and especially the female Slayers of color, and especially the *black* female Slayers, isn't just that Nikki is his mother, but that his story, like Nikki's story, gets swept under by the master narrative of Spike's reformation. And I want the story to be uncovered and reconstructed again.
There are not a lot of fics featuring Robin Wood, and most of the fics that do appear are gen. He was only introduced in the last season of the series and didn't appear much in the comics. So there was not a lot of canon material for shippers, who may have been more invested in an established pairing.
- The Front Lines by Rebcake, Robin Wood thinks about all the varieties of monster he knows, a couple of years before he comes to Sunnydale.
- It's Nikki Wood's Fucking Coat: An Essay About Race In the Buffyverse by saeva (2008)
- Of Holtz and Wood: A Story Twice Told by selenak (2008)
Archives & LInks
- Deadbrowalkings first LJ post (archived link), Oct 29 2002.
- And the results are in, deadbrowalking reacts to the season finale in which Robin Wood survives, 2003-05-20.
- Chemistry between Woods and Buff (archived link) posted 30 Oct 2002.
- last night's buffy, woods is MARKED FOR DEATH now, for sure!!! posted by ayodele at deadbrowalking, 2003-05-01.
- http://www.atpobtvs.com/existentialscoobies/archives/apr03_p1.html, discussion about LMPTM, April 2003.
- Three Origin Stories, Thuvia Ptarth's commentary on Origin Stories, 2008