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Date Posted: 06:20:19 07/26/05 Tue
Author: exoticmushroom
Author Host/IP:
Subject: He wasn't dumb.
In reply to: Rosie 's message, "Spike's Not That Sharp?" on 17:28:04 07/25/05 Mon

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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