ever_neutral (ever_neutral) wrote,
ever_neutral
ever_neutral

vampire slayers and, unrelated, vampires (ramble month: ch. 6-7)

Doubling up again today because yesterday was devoted to watching Catching Fire and then being emotionally dead inside. With no further ado:


[faith/wesley; for superkappa]
I have, ahem, summed up my Faith/Wesley feelings in times past, but for the sake of this meme let us expound.

So, Faith/Wesley appeal to me because they are mirrors. (Mirror ships are the best ships, &c. &c.) Ironically, of all Wesley's relationships with women it turns out to be the most functional. This is because he learns how to forgive the parts of himself he sees in Faith by forgiving Faith. (Compare to: villifying Lilah because he wants to punish the symbol of his losing everything; idealising Fred because she is essentially a better version of himself). Much is made of the Angel-Faith duo of redemption (and understandably so, it is a compelling dynamic) but to me the idea of Wesley as Faith's mirror is more resonant by sheer virtue of Wesley not being a centuries-old mass murderer. So.

The greatest moment (objectively speaking, obviously) of S4 is Wesley enlisting Faith's help in restoring Angel's soul. Faith Lehane, i..e. Wesley's former torturer, she whom Wes once called a "rabid animal" incapable of being rehabilitated. But at this point, Wesley knows what it's like to be someone unworthy of being forgiven.

From Salvage:





FAITH: Angel's the only one in my life who's never given up on me. There's no way I'm giving up on—
WESLEY: I know. That's why it had to be you.






(I'd also like to point out that this entire arc indicates the way in which Angel is the patriarch from which "bad children" Faith and Wes long for validation.)

By seeking Faith's help here, by giving her the opportunity to help save the day and make ground on her path to redemption, Wesley is implicitly acknowledging that she is one in a long line of people he himself has failed. And I think at this point he has recognised they are kindred spirits, which is probably best encapsulated by this moment:












/clutches empty ribcage

Wesley also later uses their mutually terrible self-image to spur her into the fight. From Release:





You haven't changed. You can't... Because you're sick. You've always been sick. It goes right down to the roots rotting your soul. That's why your friends turned on you in Sunnydale, why the Watchers' Council tried to kill you. No one trusts you, Faith. You're a rabid dog who should've been put down years ago!






Of course, this is totally cold and ruthless. That's Wesley for you. But the point is to encourage her to prove those words wrong? The point is: You are better than the terrible way you see yourself. You can be better. (Maybe I can, too.)

And then they team up and bring Angelus back and save the day and my heart expands, 'tis grown a bulge in it, etc. etc. It's the Watcher/Slayer duo they should have been from the start. A second chance can be a beautiful thing, friends.


TL;DR OTP that should have been, the end.


----------------------------



[the vampire chronicles; for scorp]
lol The Vampire Chronicles. I am not entirely ashamed to admit I've read virtually all of them. Except for Merrick, which I somehow missed, and will probably not be rushing out to catch up on considering the series totally deteriorates after book 5. Oh, and I don't think I've read The Vampire Armand, only I actually do want to get around to that some day because Armand's backstory intrigues me.


My rundown of each book is basically:

  1. Interview with the Vampire: GREAT

  2. The Vampire Lestat: Objectively probably not as good as Interview, but GREAT in my eyes. I think it was kind of genius to shift the POV to the character who was basically the antagonist of the first book and reveal that the series is really ALL ABOUT LESTAT. AS IT SHOULD BE TBQH.

  3. The Queen of the Damned: Shamelessly melodramatic and cracktastic and all the more enjoyable for it tbh. I mean, you really can't argue with the premise of a brat prince vampire deciding to become a rockstar.

  4. The Tale of the Body Thief: The zany hijinks continue as Lestat switches bodies with some dude. I say, carry on.

  5. Memnoch the Devil: I LOVE THIS BOOK TBH. The depiction of Satan (lol) totally fascinated me at the time and since then it has been my headcanon (of hell, obviously).

  6. -

  7. -

  8. Blood & Gold: ider this book tbh, except that it's about Marius.

  9. Blackwood Farm: idek

  10. Blood Canticle: No. (THERE WAS SOME DEMONIC BABY? IDK.)



So, yeah, basically, should have ended with Memnoch.


Scorp also asked me for character/ship thoughts so let me contemplate.

Well, Lestat was a bro, obviously. (Though, even he became considerably less enjoyable as the series wore on. But we don't talk about that.) I mean, if we're going to talk about formative assholes, as far as I'm concerned he is the character upon which all characters of the archetype should be judged. Like I said, I think it was a really smart choice to make the series ABOUT him insofar as it kind of meant that all bets were off? iirc Rice didn't encourage us to debate about his morality or lack thereof. He was basically just presented as an amoral hooligan, the end. And the premise of his POV books was "Lestat gets up to zany hijinks, fun for everyone". I ACCEPT.

After Lestat my memory of other characters gets fuzzy tbh. I liked Louis okay but no strong feels. Claudia was GREAT. Armand was intriguing. Everyone else was okay, I guess?

As far as group dynamics go, nothing can beat the Claudia/Lestat/Louis triumvirate of erotic angst. I had some wrong!shippy feels about Claudia/Louis despite (... BECAUSE????) of the age difference (which makes no difference after centuries anyway lbr). And ofc Louis and Lestat's man love will go on. I always found Louis's incredibly unreliable narration in Interview compelling for this reason. It was totally understandable that both he and Claudia would resent Lestat for what he did to them, but the way Louis villified Lestat and made out as though he was not secretly madly in love with him was both deeply fascinating and hilarious tbh.

Aside from Louis, I always had a deep inability to ship Lestat with anyone. Except maybe his mother. I am profoundly nocurr for all his het flings (Akasha, Rowan, blah blah). I felt like Lestat fell madly in love with everyone so much that I did not actually buy any of it... ? LOL. And I had zero interest in seeing him in a romance, so ehhhhh.


NOW LET US DISCUSS THE FILMS.

Well, Interview with the Vampire is fabulous (and on my top 15 fave movies, obvs). One would not picture Tom Cruise/Brad Pitt/Kirsten Dunst in such roles, and there is some awkwardness, but IMO they all did the characters justice. Brad Pitt is fine. Kirsten Dunst is FABULOUS. And it makes me sad that Tom Cruise went psycho after this film because you can tell he made an effort to understand Lestat and it is basically the only time I've found him to deliver a nuanced performance.

I have some nitpicks about the script, which can be anvilly and slow in parts. But tonally the film is on point and iirc gets all the important things about the book, so it can stay.

lol, and then we have Queen of the Damned... So, let it be known that I first watched this at the age of 15, at 2am on a stormy night, while intoxicated. Ergo, the first experience I had of it was... kind of amazing????? I'm not proud, friends. But lbr it is probably on my top 10 list of all-time terriblemazing movies. Also, I am easily susceptible to the soundtrack, which is objectively gr8. (The Deftones' contribution remains a jam tbqh.) I am also easily susceptible to Stuart Townsend's wardrobe in that movie, which was a gift from Satan tbh.


Okay, that's enough about horrific formative influences. COMMENTS/QUESTIONS?
Tags: approved by satan, i stan therefore i am, meme: okay ramblers let's get rambling, my love is an ugly love, relationship-dysfunctionitis: yay, word-vomit, ■ angel: the series, ✦ the vampire chronicles
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