Buffy the Vampire Slayer: How Death Gave Giles a New Lease on Life
From Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight to Angel & Faith, Giles undergoes a death-defying transformation that takes him from teacher to student.
In the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, life as a Watcher was never easy, but Giles was content to take a more passive role as others rushed into danger. The death and rebirth of Giles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight changed all that, proving Giles was far stronger than anyone truly realized. In the final arc of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight, “Last Gleaming,” Giles’ transformation begins with his death at the hands of Twilight.
Twilight is three separate things in the Buffyverse. First Twilight is a covert government organization. Second, it’s the name of a dark entity that Buffy gave “birth” to in a different dimension. And third, Twilight was a masked, mysterious figure intent on getting magic out of the world, later revealed to be a manipulation Angel. With this dark turn, Twilight wants to both unify the anti-Slayer movement and get Angel back together with Buffy.
In the last arc of the story, Spike arrives with information about the Seed of Wonder, a mystical seed burried somewhere in Sunnydale which is the source of both Twilight’s power and magic in the universe. Giles plans to destroy the seed thus killing Twilight and magic in the world. A manipulated Angel, as Twilight, gets wind of this plan and snaps Giles’ neck, killing him in 2010’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer #39, by Joss Whedon, Scott Allie, Georges Jeanty, Andy Owens and Michelle Madsen.
With magic gone, Angel is restored to his former vampire self, Overwhelmed with grief over having killed Giles, Angel enlists the help of Faith, and they become a new duo who star in their own series, where they discover that Giles was not buried in his grave. As they later learned, his body had been possessed by the demon Eyghon.
As a teenager, Giles had sold his soul to the demon, which is why his soul can’t move on. His soul was fractured, with the little pieces attaching themselves to different artifacts, including Angel himself. Angel and Faith then make it their mission — over several story arcs spanning more than a year — to find and reunite different pieces of Giles’ soul. We’re also introduced to two new characters in Giles’ life: his aunts Lavinia and Sophronia Fairweather, now two witches without power.
Enlisting the help of Giles’ old colleague Alasdair Coames, a now-magicless archmage and collector of mystical items, the group seeks to transfer Giles’ soul into a magical artifact. With Coames’ help, along with Giles’ aunts, Angel and Faith try a resurrection spell in 2013’s Angel & Faith #22, by Christos Gage, Rebekah Issacs and Dan Jackson. The spell brings Giles back with his soul and memories intact, but not in his current form — he is resurrected into the body of his 12-year-old self. This error falls on the aunts, who were thinking of Giles as a boy during the ritual.
While Giles is grateful to be alive, he is outraged. He has a moment with Faiyh, remarking on how she’s changed and how she seems to have grown up, but that no one really needs him anymore, at least not like they used to. It’s not all bad though, as Giles discovers he can use natural magic talent, which makes him more invaluable then ever to the team. Giles returns to where he’s happiest: Sunnydale. But he’s nothing if not adaptable, and Giles soon discovers his 12-year-old body can wield magic much more powerfully — blasting concentrated bursts of energy, creating force shields, using telekinesis, casting spells and astral projecting.
After his first battle in his new body, Giles adjusts to life and a second adolescence in San Francisco. As strange as having a new body is, he wouldn’t have been able to save the world and humanity from magical ruination without his new powers.
Original article at CBR.
This article has been reproduced for archive purposes.