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Date Posted: 17:28:04 07/25/05 Mon
Author: Rosie
Author Host/IP:
Subject: Spike's Not That Sharp?

From zap2it.com - "For all the things vampire Spike was on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel," one thing he typically was not was the sharpest stake in the drawer.
That's about to change for the man who played him, James Marsters."

So, is the writer of this article saying is that Spike wasn't very bright?

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[> Spike knew about demons but alas he wasn't very bright. -- Christian, 19:14:32 07/25/05 Mon [1] (

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[> [> I disagree, he was pretty smart but usually too impulsive -- Chani, 06:27:04 07/26/05 Tue [1] (

which ruined everything he had planned/worked out.

He figured things out quickly ("Something Blue"), he fooled Angelus in "Becoming" while keeping Giles alive, and in "The Yoko Factor" he knew to play the Scoobies.

Actually Spike was the most intelligent vampire we have seen on screen. He usually pointed out that the vampires around had no brain (except Dalton!). He managed to escape from Glory's torture (she wasn't that bright for a goddess)thanks to his intelligence.

Spike embodied what The greek called METIS and that we could translate as "the tricks of intelligence" (Ulysses was a perfect example of that).

It's a shame they showed him in the early episodes of Ats s 5 as if he were a stupid brat. But I guess it was a question of perspective then.

William was educated and Spike had a good working brain, but he was passionate and impatient.

I don't think a vampire would have killed 2 Slayers and survived that long, while always seeking the creatures meant to destroy him, if he were not bright...

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[> [> [> I think there is a difference between "dumb" and "not bright" -- Christian, 15:44:35 07/26/05 Tue [1] (

But remember if he was that intelligent as everyone claims then why did he continue to pursue Buffy in eason 6? Forget mattersof the heart here. Not beating.

And the Slayers he killed as Spike says they had a "death wish".

No one says he's stupid just not one with the highest IQ. I put him in the category with Faith in the "brains" department.

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[> [> [> [> Re: I think there is a difference between "dumb" and "not bright" -- Chani, 17:21:30 07/26/05 Tue [1] (

why did he continue to pursue Buffy in eason 6?


I don't understand...He didn't pursue her at the beginning of the season...then she kissed him twice and jumped his bones. He knew she wanted him and he was in love. He let her mistreat him but very intellingent people are sometimes in abusing relationships.

As for the Slayers he killed I could reply that he was intelligent enough to see that they had a "death wish", soemthing that maybe none else had figured out...

As for not being bright well I gave you examples of him being bright enough sometimes.

As for Faith, well I'm sorry but I can't think of any example of her being bright actually. Hey don't hit me, you're the one who brought her on!

I would have brought Buffy myself because Willow said precisely that she wasn't that bright. I do think that Buffy was intelligent though. She seemed to be a brainless Valley Girl, but it was like her stupid name, pure red herring.

Now Harmony, she was not bright indeed.

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[> [> [> [> [> Spike fans never cease to amaze me. But I luv ya anyway. -- Christian, 18:10:26 07/26/05 Tue [1] (

And you said "Spike let Buffy abuse him" that's not bright hunny. No bright at all.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> Le coeur a des raisons que la raison ignore! -- Chani, 18:17:49 07/26/05 Tue [1] (

;- )

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[> He made the most of what he had. -- truelove, 20:57:24 07/25/05 Mon [1] (

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[> He wasn't dumb. -- exoticmushroom, 06:20:19 07/26/05 Tue [1] (

He started off very smart. They only started dumbing him down in S6 when he was with Buffy, and then the first half of S5 of Ats.

How can the guy who:-

* Discovered the DuLac cross and cured his sire
* Found the Gem of Amarra despite others believing it a myth
* Can read people so easily and press their buttons
* Can see past logic to the heart of the problem, example in TCTONC when he told everyone how to stop that demon by going for the heart
* He speaks demon languages
* He reads Latin or Greek, whatever was on that wall
* He doesn't read German but does speak Italian, just pretends he doesn't

Nope, not seeing the dumb here.

He's impulsive which always lets his plans down. But he's not dumb.


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[> [> They dumbed him down before that -- Eurydice, 08:38:43 07/26/05 Tue [1] (

It started with losing the Gem of Amarra and getting chipped. As soon as he became the tame vamp "comic relief" he lost half his IQ points. You can't have a bad guy hanging around and plotting against you every day without having him fail all the time - and you can't fail all the time without looking stupid. The writers compensated by giving him emotional intelligence, something none of the other characters had on either show, but they never painted him as a towering intellect.

But I don't think the point of this comment (which was taken out of context) is to take a swipe at Spike as a person, it's just to contrast the role of Spike with JM's new role as Brainiac. With a name like Brainiac, it's all about brains. With a name like Spike...well, it's not.

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[> [> [> Spike or Buffy ! ;- P -- Chani, 09:09:19 07/26/05 Tue [1] (

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[> [> The wall inscription is important evidence. -- Clairel, 00:31:36 07/27/05 Wed [1] (

You wrote, "He reads Latin or Greek, whatever was on that wall."

In fact it was a Latin-language inscription written in the Greek alphabet.

I'm a classicist by profession, and the inscription gave me pause for a moment. I wasn't expecting Greek letters and Latin language. But Spike translated the inscription instantaneously, without a moment's hesitation.

Since *I* had to think about it for a few seconds, I scarcely think that *anyone* on this board could have accomplished what Spike did as quickly as he did.

To make the inscription so tricky was a very deliberate decision by ME. They had to go to a lot of bother to get the wording and the lettering just right. They must have consulted a classicist in order to do so.

This deliberate effort shows that ME is making a statement. The statement is that William received a classical education 120+ years ago, that because of his native intelligence he was able to absorb a great deal of knowledge from the education he received, and that Spike hasn't forgotten that knowledge.

Clearly, when Spike got Dalton to translate Latin for him in season 2, he was just putting on a pose of not being able to do it by himself. Evidently a knowledge of classical languages isn't sufficiently "macho" for the leader of a vampire gang.

I will also concede that Spike's emotions can sometimes lead him to act unwisely; EQ isn't the same as IQ. But I've never doubted that Spike has a very high IQ. Even before the wall inscription episode, there was plenty of other evidence for his cleverness and mental agility. What about all that snappy verbal repartee over the years, for instance?

I could never admire a dullard, and as an ardent admirer of Spike's I have always been more than satisfied with the high intelligence he displayed.


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[> Losing His IQ? -- Rosie, 10:38:52 07/26/05 Tue [1] (

"It started with losing the Gem of Amarra and getting chipped. As soon as he became the tame vamp "comic relief" he lost half his IQ points."

I don't buy this. At all. Spike's IQ didn't suddenly drop after being chipped. He remained intelligent, as ever. Yes, some of his decisions had been dumb, but I can say the same for other so-called "intelligent" characters.

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[> [> Well, dumb decisions make people look dumb. -- Eurydice, 11:18:43 07/26/05 Tue [1] (

Before the writers decided to make Spike a regular character, he could cloak himself in his Big Bad reputation. He could seem fearless and ruthless and he could talk a good story about all of his plots and exploits - but even then, his exploits weren't based on brainpower, they were about letting his inhibitions run wild.

Once he was defanged and had to play nice around the kiddies, the writers started piling on the "weaknesses", which included making dumb decisions, pratfalls, "non-intellectual" tastes in food and entertainment, the spectacular failure of his "cunning plans", and getting his nose punched regularly by the Scoobys. These don't paint the picture of a man of competence and intellectual achievement. So maybe his IQ didn't actually drop by 50 points, but the removal of his Big Bad mask and the character decisions the writers made developed Spike into a guy who wasn't an intellectual force. That didn't make him inferior to the other characters, he just had different talents.

Those of us who love Spike are willing to see through all this and look for the gold underneath, but those who aren't so taken with him are going to stick to the surface. And the surface says "not the sharpest stake in the drawer" cuz that's what the writers put there - it's not an unreasonable conclusion.

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[> [> [> Oh, and let's not forget Hawaiian shirts and demon eggs -- Eurydice, 12:00:04 07/26/05 Tue [1] (

Those don't spell Brain of the Century, either. Not only did Buffy think Spike was too stupid to be an international mastermind, but his fans used that excuse, too. And we can all howl "But that was the writers!! Spike isn't really like that!!!" Except that he's a product of the writers.

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[> [> [> Intelligence and Stupidity -- Rosie, 12:49:58 07/26/05 Tue [1] (

Even intelligent people have committed their share of stupid decisions and acts. Wesley Wyndham-Price, anyone? Or even Tara in "Family"? And I'm talking about characters who are considered as more intelligent than others. I have also seen plenty of examples of Spike's sharp intelligence during his post-chip era. Perhaps your fondness for S2-early S4 Spike has made you forget this.

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[> [> [> [> I never forget anything -- Eurydice, 20:14:07 07/26/05 Tue [1] (

I don't have a particular fondness for Early Spike, I much prefer the later version, and I haven't forgotten that Spike is a fictional character whose development is at the hands of a group of writers trying to write a story that's not predominantly about him. I've especially not forgotten my points in this whole thread, which is the writers chose to portray Spike in a way that was not super-intelligent, specifically when compared with JM's upcoming role as Brainiac, who really is a super-intelligent, criminal mastermind - and that in BtVs and AtS Spike showed a different kind of intelligence than traditional kind we associate with "smart."

The fact is that Spike didn't just have occasional lapses of judgement as did some of the other characters you've mentioned did - the writers had him making mistakes all the time, the same way they put Xander in embarassing situations all the time - they had fun doing it. It may not have been the true heart of the character, but repetition creates the reputation, just as Xander became labelled as "demon magnet" and hopeless with women.

So I guess I don't see what the big fat furry deal is. We Spike fans complained all through BtVS seasons 6 & 7 and all though AtS season 5 about how the writers were making Spike look stupid (as if Spike actually existed apart from what the writers choose to say) - if we could see it, why wouldn't some guy writing an article for zap2it see it?

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[> [> [> May I ask a question? In order to "love" a character are we supposed to be blind? -- Christian, 15:52:53 07/26/05 Tue [1] (

I LOVE FAITH like crazy! To me she's the only character that really matters to me and is really interesting but if I read "Faith wasn't very bright" am I supposed to get pissed of and say "death to ALL!" just becaue I love Faith? She wasn't very bright. She's tough. She's hot. But alas not very bright.

So why is it people get upset because someone said "Spike wasn't very bright"? I mean it is kind of the truth.

I think it's time I jumped ship.

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[> [> [> [> LoL! The more I come to this board the less stupid I feel. -- Christian, 15:56:09 07/26/05 Tue [1] (

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[> [> [> [> May I ask a question? In order to "love" a character are we supposed to be blind? -- Chani, 17:29:08 07/26/05 Tue [1] (

No of course!

Willow is my favourite female character and I can say that she's quite weak and remains weak. In terms of moral development she didn't progress much. Xander grew up more than Willow at the end of the day.

I LOVE Ethan Rayne but I wouldn't say he's sensitive or good at heart.

The thing with Spike is that basically I don't think that "he isn't bright" is an accurate statement.

Now I didn't say he was smarter than Giles...

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[> [> [> [> [> Some fans may disagree with you for saying "Giles is smarter than Spike" -- Christian, 18:16:56 07/26/05 Tue [1] (

Now watch the flaming begin.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> Also -- Chani, 18:22:36 07/26/05 Tue [1] (

Spike was VERY immature until he got his soul!

I've always wanted to marry Giles anyway...

Now I need to get some rest but I feel an insomnia coming in...I'm too excited by my upcoming travel.

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[> [> [> [> Re: May I ask a question? In order to "love" a character are we supposed to be blind? -- Rosie, 10:55:05 07/27/05 Wed [1] (

"So why is it people get upset because someone said "Spike wasn't very bright"? I mean it is kind of the truth.

I think it's time I jumped ship."

As much as Spike is my favorite character, I am not blind to his flaws. In fact, I once wrote a long post on another forum about one of his flaws that still tick me off to this day.

But Spike was not a stupid character. Was he capable of stupid acts? Yes. But he was not alone. Other "intelligent" characters like Wesley, Giles, Tara, Willow, etc., have proven that they are capable of stupid acts.

Was Spike immature? Of course he was! So was Buffy, Willow, Angel, Wesley, Xander, Dawn, Fred, etc. Even Giles was capable of bouts of immaturity.

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[> Please don't bring demon egss into this. *shudders* -- exoticmushroom, 15:53:44 07/26/05 Tue [1] (

Sorry but that episode was such a steaming pile of donkey doo. You could drive a juggernaut through the plot holes. Only an idiot, and I'm talking on the show here not posters, would believe Spike was the Doctor.

After he was chipped he still Yoko Factored them. He's smart. The writers screwed up and then used Spike to get them out of a hole. This made Spike look a little bit daft. It annoyed me.

He's not Einstein, no-one is saying he is. But he is so far from being a dummy.

I love Spike and the fact that I do is the reason that his dumbing down on some occasions really p*ssed me off.

It's the implication that he's a dumb blonde that irritates the most.


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[> [> It wasn't a plothole.The writers were trying to say he needed a "SOUL" -- Christian, 15:58:58 07/26/05 Tue [1] (

I think it's some fans who hated this episode trying to say "it wasn't in Spike's character" but in the end it was. So say the writers who created him.

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[> [> [> I don't think it's the problem, Christian -- Chani, 17:35:11 07/26/05 Tue [1] (

and the AR scene in SR showed that he needed a soul.

The problem with the Eggs is...well if you think of all the times Buffy used to go into his crypt without asking, keeping those eggs in his bedroom (which she knew so well since they were still lovers at the time) would have been EXTREMELY STUPID! Buffy was there all the time, shagging him. That didn't make any sense!

Now I think that Spike was totally capable of being involved in such deal to make easy money. But the eggs in his crypt was one of the few examples of bad writing.

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[> [> [> [> LoL! See Spike isn't so bright! I rest my case! ;) -- Christian, 18:12:47 07/26/05 Tue [1] (

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[> [> [> [> [> Re: LoL! See Spike isn't so bright! I rest my case! ;) -- Rosie, 18:22:41 07/26/05 Tue [1] (

Based upon one incident, you have judged Spike completly stupid. Have you done the same with the other "bright" characters who have committed stupid acts? Like Giles?

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[> [> [> [> [> [> I think that Christian was kidding -- Chani, 18:25:32 07/26/05 Tue [1] (

Because seriously even Harmony wouldn't have kept demon eggs in the very place where the Slayer came to...exercise (in Gone and Dead Things the shag session occured precisely in the basement of the crypt).

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> As far as the hiding place is concerned... -- Michael, 19:20:23 07/26/05 Tue [1] (

Spike probably figured Buffy could do her ... exercising on the main floor until he got rid of the eggs.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Unlikely -- Chani, 04:49:26 07/27/05 Wed [1] (

Buffy was the one who chose when, how and where...

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Except... -- Michael, 07:23:32 07/27/05 Wed [1] (

If Spike stays on the main floor when Buffy is around, she doesn't have any particular reason to enter the basement.

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> He was on the main floor in "Gone" when she arrived -- Chani, 10:17:38 07/27/05 Wed [1] (

but they ended up downstairs!

I know I'm so stubborn...Mwahahhaaa

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Yeah, that's usually what the smiley, winky thing means :-) -- Eurydice, 20:17:22 07/26/05 Tue [1] (

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> I was only kidding, -- Christian, 18:43:15 07/31/05 Sun [1] (

I am sorry if it come off as offensive.

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[> [> [> Re: It wasn't a plothole.The writers were trying to say he needed a "SOUL" -- exoticmushroom, 18:11:03 07/26/05 Tue [1] (

Not denying he was involved with the eggs. He was holding them. But there is no way on God's green Earth that he was the Doctor, International Demon Egg Smuggler - from a dank crypt with no phone and stolen electricity. Please. Really. *rolleyes*

He didn't have the means. He didn't have the connections either as what with him killing demons they weren't too fond of him anymore. It just simply is not a logic or believable plot. Plus, in an official book, granted not canonical but definitely approved, Cursed it states that Spike was not the Doctor.


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[> [> [> [> He didn't have "connections"? Are you serious? -- Christian, 20:05:27 08/03/05 Wed [1] (

Funny since he made the "connection" to get a "soul".

Sometimes I scare even myself when I make the connection. LoL!

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