Character Crush: Spike

 

Spike is dreamy.

He’s also evil, dangerous, and undead. The platinum-haired crush of many Buffy fans is a twisted mess of emotions, poetry, death, and destruction. He’s also dreamy. *ahem*

I’ll not defend William the Bloody (Spike). He’s done some horrific things in his 100+ years on this earth. But I will say that, for a bloke without a soul, he’s pretty sweet.

Spike is a vampire. He has no conscience, yet he manages to have morals. Sometimes. When he feels like it. Not killing people for starters.

Okay… He’s got a chip in his head, courtesy of the demented Professor Maggie Walsh with her underground government agency, group of scientists, and soldier boys. As long as that chip’s nestled in Spike’s brain, he can’t hurt a human. There is that.

But there is so much more. Choices he makes when the chip stops working. When it’s removed. When he’s on his own, has free will, without technology interfering. He helps. Again and again. He helps. There is a bit of the meek poet he used to be in the 1800s still hanging out inside this demon leaving a delicious mixture of sentimental and homicidal. Like the time he swishes off in his black trench coat to kill Buffy with a shotgun and winds up sitting on the back porch consoling her. Because. Spike. Buffy’s crying and he wants to know if there’s anything he can do. When there isn’t, he sits with her. Who has empathy as a soulless demon? He’s a bit of a marshmallow. With fangs.

I’ll just throw in here that he nearly gets himself killed, going through “trials” that really should have killed him, to get his soul back. He chose to do this. He didn’t die, but did get majorly beaten and driven insane in the process.

Not to mention (yet I will) the comic relief he adds to the show. He’s dry. Deadpan. My favorite kind of humor. Though, in the Buffyverse, almost everyone has a side of humor with their evil-doing or evil-fighting. But Spike’s delivery is just…brilliant.

We can’t get too comfy around him. He can’t be trusted. Not entirely. And yet characters do trust him (with their lives and the lives of their loved ones). He offers help when the Scooby Gang needs it. He is deadly, yes. He is also affectionate, sensitive, and loyal.

Alas, at the end of the day (and well into the night), this lovely lad is still a vampire. One who saved the world. Just saying. ❤

 

 

I saw this blogathon forever ago. It’s about crushes. It can’t be an actor or actress, it must be the character. (Big shout-out to James Marsters, though, for his portrayal of Spike.) These movie blogathons are so fun. But then I saw television and book characters were fair game. I mean. Seriously? Awesome! Then…I thought. And thought. And, honestly, I was overwhelmed.

My mind was suddenly flooded with ALL OF THE PEOPLE. How could anyone choose one character from all the books, televisions shows, and movies out there. It’s impossible. So I picked one and created a running list that I plan to explore in the future. A blog series of amazing characters (and what makes them so damn lovable).

 

Television

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: I’m pretty much crushing on, like, half the characters in Joss Whedon’s Buffyverse. My favs are: Spike (James Marsters), Giles (Anthony Stewart Head), and my girl crush, Willow (Alyson Hannigan).

Gilmore Girls: Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham)

Northern Exposure: Chris Stevens (John Corbett)

Xena, Warrior Princess: Xena (Lucy Lawless)

And many more…

Film

LOTR: Strider/Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Legolas (Orlando Bloom)

 

Harry Potter: Sirius Black (Gary Oldman), Severus Snape (Alan Rickman)

Good Will Hunting: Will Hunting (Matt Damon)

Ocean’s Eleven: Erm…everyone. Okay, Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt), if I had to choose.

Princess Bride: Westley/Dread Pirate Roberts (Cary Elwes)

The Avengers: Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.)

Blazing Saddles: Jim (Gene Wilder), Lili Von Shtupp (Madeline Kahn)

Divine Secrets of the YaYa Sisterhood: Viv Abbott Walker (Young: Ashley Judd / Older: Ellen Burstyn)

Grosse Pointe Blank: Martin Blank (John Cusack)

 

Dead Again: Gray Baker (Andy Garcia)

Hunger Games: Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence)

And many, many more…

Books

I can’t even. My brain hurts just thinking about this.

 

 

After I wrote my list of crushes, I thought, “Geez, Sarah, here’s something to look into, no? I mean, you’re crushing on some pretty unpleasant people.” Indeed. It’s a very interesting list. People who are crass, wicked, dangerous, manipulative… Criminals, demons, hit men…

Shiny, happy people aren’t my thing. Flaws are intriguing. That said, I don’t go for the truly evil. They’re not my thing, either. I find them disturbing. I love the reformed, conflicted, confused (or confusing) ones. For example, the sexist, womanizing, jackass billionaire Tony Stark (Iron Man) who, in The Avengers, consistently risks his own life to help innocents and, at the end, is the one who goes on a suicide flight to save the world. Or the hit man, Martin Blank, who has killed his share (and more) but is having a bit of a crisis and winds up saving a girl, her father, and some random folks along the way.

I think it’s safe to say I like my characters a little rough around the edges.

 

 

Character crushes. They are difficult to narrow down. At least for me. Who’s your crush? (Or crushes?)

 

This post is part of the Reel Infatuation Blogathon hosted by Silver Screenings and Font and Frock#ReelInfatuation

 

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Is There a Cloudcuckoolander in Your Book?

 

 

I just read a post about lesser-known character archetypes on the Writers Helping Writers site. One of the types was a cloudcuckoolander. The example of Dory, the forgetful fish from Finding Nemo (say that three times fast), is a great one.

But, in reading the description of a cloudcuckoolander, the first character that leapt to mind was Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter.

Quirky, living in their own unrealistic world of rainbows and unicorns (Unikitty from Cloud Cuckoo Land ring any Lego Movie bells?), making absurd comments (often in the midst of a dire situation), providing unique perspectives (that no one else sees)… But not your average oddball. And not an airhead by any means.

No. A cloudcuckoolander is an all-around peculiar person who, frequently, rescues the other characters by means of an idea so outlandish that it takes everyone aback before they give it a thought and realize it’s actually going to work. “Thinking outside the box” doesn’t quite cut it for me here so I’ll say this type of character is “Living outside the box”.

It takes a special set of characters (like Harry, Hermione, and Ron, among others) to give the cloudcuckoolander his or her due. To accept, acknowledge, listen to, and recognize the potential of someone who is off in her own world while they are firmly set in theirs. It might, understandably, be difficult to tolerate someone talking about Nargles while you’re being attacked by DeathEaters.

Despite her wacky, kooky ways (I daresay because of them), Luna helped the Hogwarts trio numerous times throughout the seven-book series.

She is smart (she was in Ravenclaw, after all) but it was her belief in the strange and unusual that led her to an invisible, paralyzed, bloodied-up Harry on the Hogwarts Express. Remember that? (Though, being the geek that I am, I must mention Luna saved him in the film version, not the book. Point still stands.)

They’re those “funny” characters that have to say things like “That was a joke” because they’re always saying bizarre things with straight faces and the other characters have no frame of reference for the cloudcuckoolander’s sense of humor.

Yes, I’m a Potterhead (and in good company, I’m sure). But what I want to know is if you have used this particular archetype or think that, perhaps, you could add one to your WIP to improve the plot.

Personally, I don’t introduce characters to the plot, they introduce themselves to the me. But I’m thinking I actually have a cloudcuckoolander in one of the books I’m working on and I am having a great deal of fun with that.

 

Have you ever heard of the cloudcuckoolander? Do you have any of these characters in your story?

Do you know any cloudcuckoolanders from books/TV/movies?

 

Hi! I am Princess Unikitty, and I welcome you all to Cloud Cuckoo Land!

 

Please do check out the Lesser-Known Character Archetypes post on Writers Helping Writers site (from the brilliant Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi).