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Day 9: Most horrible death


That’s a hard one. There are so many deaths of beloved characters, and they are all horrible. There’s Jenny, there’s Angel (temporary), there’s Joyce, and of course there’s Spike, and as far as horrible deaths are concerned, I have to count even Warren. But ultimately the one that got to me the most was probably Tara’s death.




I had known that Spike would sacrifice himself at the end of s7 before it happened, and I had known about him showing up at AtS. (Of course, I still bawled my eyes out, and still do every time I watch it.) But I had not the slightest clue that Tara would die. I had heard of Willow going dark, but had no idea what would bring this on, hadn’t thought about it too hard either.

I was still in the middle of a happy dance much like Dawn’s about the joy on my screen of Tara and Willow finally being together again when the shot happened. And it left me completely shocked.
If ever a character doesn’t deserve to die, it’s Tara. She is so purely good and, very rare in BtVS, almost flawless that she could come across as annoying and boring, but she never does. Her kindness toward everybody is always heartwarming to watch. She manages to tell the truth without being blunt or offending. She has a very healthy stance on magic and on life in general. She takes on the role of a parent for Dawn with so much love and warmth, and she continues to care for her even after moving out.

 I can’t imagine anyone not loving her for her reaction to Buffy’s meltdown in Dead Things, when she’s not only there for her, isn’t afraid to ask questions and listens to her, but gives support in a way that is unexpected - she’s understanding, encouraging even, instead of condemning when she thinks Buffy loves Spike, but also when she realizes that’s not the case, and offers Buffy the possibility to deal with what she did without feeling so guilty.



Her development from an overly shy girl to a self-assured young woman is beautiful. I admire her strength to leave Willow - the woman that had awakened the self-confidence in Tara - when it becomes necessary despite still loving her so much. I love how naturally she stands up for Willow in Older and Far Away, and how easily she puts Spike in his place in the same episode, being hilarious without hurting him. This all clearly shows that she really came into her own – she doesn’t need Willow for being self-confident.



That she still loves Willow, independent as she is then, is a huge part of why Willow finds the strength on her own to withstand the lure of magic – and it all falls apart with the shot that kills Tara. It’s not only Tara who gets killed there, but also the very thing that keeps Willow together.

What makes it even more shocking – in a show that is all about the supernatural as main source of evil that is constantly threatening to kill beloved characters, it’s a death that isn’t caused supernaturally;  she doesn’t die for the cause, in a fight where she knows she risks her life. It befalls her at home where she deems herself safe, it’s an ordinary murder by a human, and the bullet wasn’t even intended for her. With additionally it happening right at the moment she had wished for so long, when she is finally reunited with the woman she loves and happy, it’s the epitome of a tragic death, and ultimately almost destroys the world.

But while Willow’s pain and despair are hurtful to watch – it’s usually only when Dawn stays with Tara’s dead body because she doesn’t want her to be alone that I realize how horribly the death of the gentle witch really hits me.



It’s then that I always start to cry.

Date: Apr. 20th, 2016 10:19 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] feliciacraft.livejournal.com
Yeah, I don't think I will ever get over Tara's death. *sniffles*

(As a side note, I no longer trust Joss. If ever you see a happy couple in one of his stories, you know something horrible's going to happen. DO NOT LIKE.)

Date: Apr. 21st, 2016 02:54 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] freecat15.livejournal.com
I didn't know anything from Joss before, so it caught me totally unprepared! Now I know better.
I must admit, though, I think he's kinda right. Happy couples in RL? Yay! On my screen? Sweet, but ultimately boring. Though I could've done with boring, but alive Tara/Willow or Xander/Anya just fine. There was drama enough with Buffy.
And just like you, I don't think I will ever...*sniffles along*

Date: Apr. 20th, 2016 11:25 pm (UTC)From: [personal profile] double_dutchess
double_dutchess: (Tara)
Good choice. What made this horrible is that it was so needless and random.

In the strict sense of the word, the most horrible death (or at least most horrible way of dying) was Warren's. Ugh.

But for the death that made me feel most horrible, it's a toss up between Joyce and Anya.

Date: Apr. 21st, 2016 03:30 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] freecat15.livejournal.com
Huh, I totally forgot about Anya! That's testament of how many horrible deaths there were if I even forget one of the moost horrible! I guess it happened because it didn't have the same inmpact as the others due to it happening so late and at the same time as so many other losses. And - I think I kind of saw it as the end of her journey of redemption much like Spike's, only on a smaller scale.
And Joyce came pretty close, but in the end it's been just life interfering; tragic, sad, terrible for those left behind, but 'normal'. For Buffy though the most horrible is certainly Joyce's death!

Date: Apr. 21st, 2016 05:50 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] nmcil12.livejournal.com
Tara's death is also the most terrible to me - with the death of Joyce, while it was so terrible her death was about the natural order that all people must experience. Tara's death was all about the chaos and unpredictably of life and random tragedy. Even worse, her death came about from the evil doings and free will choice of Warren to take his vengeance and hatred out on Buffy.

Her death and Willow's response only added more to the tragedy and chaos of life element since Willow takes a path that was in complete contrast to Tara's vision and choice for how to live her life. I can never imagine Tara going off on the vengeance and evil tangent that Willow chose to take.

I'm so glad that circumstances did not work out and that Amber Benson was unable to return to the series as a Dark Tara character - I would have hated to see this lovely, good, shy and strong woman become one of the evil dark characters in the series.

Excellent commentary on the character and deaths of the others.

Date: Apr. 21st, 2016 04:02 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] freecat15.livejournal.com
Thank you! And excellently put - the contrast of Willow's path of vengeance and Tara's vision. I'm sure Tara would've been horrified about what her death did to the love of her life!
And I'm so with you - I wouldn't have wanted to see Tara impersonated by the First! Also, I loved the reappearance of Cassie, and she did a great job! I thought it had so much more impact to only refer to Tara instead of having Willow actually see her - so close and yet so far!

Date: Apr. 22nd, 2016 12:25 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] chasingdemons.livejournal.com
Her death was shocking. And more so because it was caused by a gun.

Date: Apr. 22nd, 2016 01:36 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] freecat15.livejournal.com
It's weird, but it kinda shocks me every time anew when I rewatch it.

What's so shocking about the gun is that it kind of connects the metaphorical monsters with the evil in real life humanity and thus only showcases the true evil in the world - shocking to the core in a show where the audience feels safe in the knowledge of 'monsters (= evil) aren't real'.

The same goes for Joyce's death, only that even in real life it's 'normal' to die of the consequences of a brain tumor, whereas being shot isn't. What makes her death so shocking is that we were fully prepared to watch her die, until she didn't. And when we just felt safe again - she did.

The true evil is Joss.

Date: Apr. 22nd, 2016 09:48 am (UTC)From: [identity profile] nmcil12.livejournal.com
Of all the deaths Tara's had such an emotional impact because she had nothing at all connected to the evil events. Jonathan is another character who had a horrible death but he chose to follow Warren. Jenny Calendar was one of the most dramatic and powerfully crafted in the series - the staging that Angel/Angelus did for Giles to find was one of the most horrendous of the series. Warren, like double dutchess states was probably the worst in relation to how he died. Anya's was a lot easier to accept because she made her choice to finally commit entirely to serving a greater good plus it was the end of the series. Of all the potentials Amanda's death was hard to take.

Regarding Willow - it's easy to forget that Buffy was actually about to die until she is saved by Willow.

Tara and Buffy are the two most difficult deaths for me. Tara's was completely out of her control and random. Buffy tried so hard to save Dawn, all their combined efforts failed and Buffy was forced to die in her place.

Date: Apr. 22nd, 2016 06:35 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] freecat15.livejournal.com
Oh man, sooo many deaths...

Jenny's death hit me hard only in how hard it hit Giles. I liked her, but didn't much care for her. But it was, as you said, so powerfully done that I was in awe of the episode's highlight rather than in shock (even though it's the very first event (and one of the few at all) in the whole show that makes me cry each time when I watch it, paired powerfully with the following brilliant telephone scene), except that it showed that nobody is truly safe in this show.

Buffy dying just didn't shock me as it would have hadn't I binge-watched it. I knew she'd die, and I knew she'd come back, and in a way her death was kinda satisfying (omg, that sounds way weird - bear with me, please...) as in the perfect ending for a perfect season. It was what the whole season, maybe even the whole show was working towards all the year/s, so - beyond sad? Yes, of course. Shocking? No.

I couldn't just have gone to sleep after that, though...

Date: Apr. 22nd, 2016 06:52 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] thenewbuzwuzz.livejournal.com
Ugh, yeah. If anyone deserved a long and happy life, it was Tara. But a ton of fix-it fic sort of works, too!

Date: Apr. 23rd, 2016 06:14 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] freecat15.livejournal.com
Thank God for fanfiction! Actually I'm not so much for fixing the deaths of the show, since I'm more of a canon buff, but Tara is the one exception. Her I like seeing saved...:)

Date: Apr. 22nd, 2016 11:58 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] nmcil12.livejournal.com
Thank Goodness for Fanfiction and all those wonderful writers that allow for alternatives to the series - even if some of the stories get wildly fantastical with how the "fix things" or voice the characters and go off canon.

Date: Apr. 23rd, 2016 06:17 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] freecat15.livejournal.com
The great thing about that is that this way there's something to like for everyone and every taste, which keeps the fandom going and fresh!

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