What Do Buffy and Angel Mean? Really

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Title: What Do Buffy and Angel Mean? Really
Creator: Margot Le Faye
Date(s): early 2000s?
Medium: online
Fandom: Buffy & Angel
External Links: B/A Means, Archived version
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What Do Buffy and Angel Mean? Really is an essay by Margot Le Faye.

It is one of many essays at Octaves, a Buffy and Angel website.

It was originally posted at the Babble Board.


It was everything happening between Buffy and Angel that, to my mind, took the show out of the realm of TV entertainment and put it up there with the best that classic literature has to offer. S/I made me realize just how mythopoeic the story unfolding on BtVS each week truly was. For me, at that time, and still in the B/A story, Joss Whedon is nothing less than a mythmaker extraordinaire and the B/A saga is every bit as mythic, epic and timeless as Romeo and Juliet or Achilles and Penthesilea or anyone else you please.

The B/A saga unfolds like the best Greek tragedy, with a gorgeous inevitability: his destiny is to help her in her fight against evil, to be redeemed by her; and yet, he cannot do so without falling in love with her; and he cannot fall in love with her without wanting to make love to her; and he cannot make love to her without destroying himself in the process, reverting to the monster within him which he has tried to subvert to his own will. He sees her, falls in love, and they must inevitably make love. And that love is both his salvation and damnation and of course, it is his love for her that redeems him again, calling him back from hell with the sacrifice of her claddagh and restoring him to sanity after subjective centuries of torture. And how in the freaking hell do you get more mythic than that his salvation and damnation and triumph over his damnation are all the same thing, his love for Buffy?

Romeo and Juliet were enemies because of their families. But, as Juliet said, what's in a name? Jack and Rose were barred from being lovers by social class. Achilles and Penthesilea were fighting on opposite sides of the Trojan war. Most tales of such star-crossed love involve feuding families, countries, religions. But, with Buffy and Angel, it was their intrinsic natures, the very essence of what they were, that made them enemies. She wasn't just someone brought up to hate vampires, she is uniquely qualified to hunt and kill them, called forth for that very purpose, and designed to be stronger than they, as quick, as deadly. And, she is built to be able to sense them, internally, recognizing when one is near. Angel is designed to be a predator to humans. He can smell their blood, their fear, their mortality. The Slayer is his greatest enemy and truest danger. And yet, despite their own flesh and blood screaming at them that they must be enemies, their souls triumph over this nature, and demand that they love. Does it get any more mythic or epic than that? “Love isn’t brains children, it’s blood, blood screamin’ inside you to work its will.” What could be more true of Buffy and Angel? Show me any other ship that has come close to overcoming what they have overcome in order to love each other.

They can feel each other. And it is never over.