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(Meta) Ten reasons why Amy stayed in Sunnydale

27th June 2007 (11:52)

Inspired by beer_good_foamy's drabble on the subject, I offer ten possible reasons why Amy Madison stayed behind in Sunnydale after the Hellmouth collapsed. Some, admittedly, are more believable than others, but I don't think any of them are totally incredible. My own favourite is the last one.

Incidentally, some of these are mutually incompatible - #6 and #7 particularly - so they can't all be the real reason. :)


1. The shock of losing her home, her family and everything she'd ever known drove her insane. Like a rat in a wheel, she just kept going round and round in the same old circles she'd followed before Sunnydale collapsed, unable to even consider changing - until something new shook her out of her depression.

2. She'd tried escaping, just after the Collapse. Her spell backfired badly for some reason, leaving her burned out and helpless for months. Warren had to take care of her, which didn't help matters very much: for food, all he could find were dead bodies. She ate the flesh, he ate the braaaiiinnnsssss.

3. Teleporting somewhere successfully requires a clear mental image of your destination. (Looking at a satellite image is fine, if it's detailed enough). Unfortunately for Amy, every single place she could remember clearly enough was sucked into the Hellmouth and destroyed. She had vague memories of trips to Los Angeles in her childhood, but three years as a rat and one year as a strung-out magic junkie meant that she daren't trust her life to them.

4. It's not possible to teleport through too much solid matter. A few brick walls are fine; sixty feet of rock and compressed rubble is not.

5. The collapse of the Hellmouth created a negative energy vortex that trapped her like a cork in a bottle - just like the Master before her - until an outside force could free her.

6. The collapse of the Hellmouth created a negative energy vortex that sucked in all magical energy in its vicinity, creating a mystical dead zone. That's why the Twilight exploration team couldn't pick up any magical readings - and it's why Amy's magic didn't start working again until she got more than a mile from the Sunnydale Crater. Once she did, she just couldn't stop casting spells again, even in her cell...

7. The activation of Lilah's amulet and the destruction of the Hellmouth created a powerful standing wave of mystical energy in the area. Amy was just bathing in it, soaking up the power, hoping it would make her even stronger than Willow. Only when she'd absorbed all the energy - leaving not even a trace reading for Twilight to pick up - was she ready to announce herself to the outside world again.

8. After seeing what Buffy did to The First's army, Amy was terrified. She wasn't ready to face the world again until she'd honed her skills and built up her power to the maximum. The collapsed Hellmouth was the ideal hiding place, because Buffy and Willow would never want to go near it again, and would never think of looking for her there.

9. She was looking for something buried under the ruins of Sunnydale. Something really powerful; something brought there by one of the countless demons, warlocks, vampires, Mayors, hellgods, minions of The First and other assorted supernatural denizens drawn to the Hellmouth over the centuries. Her search took over a year, but now she's ready...

10. Hiding in the rubble, scampering through hidden underground tunnels. Eating corpses. Planning revenge. Isn't that the perfect life for a rat? Why would Amy ever want to leave?

(Just to be clear: Warren stayed with Amy because he had no choice. All she has to do is say "Let the spell be ended" just once, and he dies a horrible screaming death. Again.)

Comments

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 27th June 2007 12:21 (UTC)
OTP of evil by buttersideup

But why didn't she get out *before* - back around the time of 'Empty Places' when everyone else skedaddled? Unless she was a minion of The First and hung around to bask in all the lovely evil that was going to be unleashed? In which case why did Caleb not know about her?

(I still think that the image of Amy at the end of issue 1 is one of the most anti-climatic moments ever.)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 27th June 2007 12:40 (UTC)

Unless she was a minion of The First

It's this one. :)

Alternatively, maybe she wasn't so much a minion of The First, as somebody who expected Buffy and Willow to fail horribly and die fighting The First. At which point Amy wanted to be real close by so she could come and gloat.

She must have been awfully disappointed by what happened instead. Maybe the shock unhinged her even more?

Posted by: aycheb (aycheb)
Posted at: 27th June 2007 15:12 (UTC)

But why didn't she get out *before*

Because Warren couldn't travel in his condition. It's love I tell you. And she couldn't teleport out either because either teleportation follows Anya's model and she couldn't take Warren with her (aww) or it's like what Willow and Tara did in Blood Ties and too risky for those lacking a god's physique.

I like 10) best too. They finally lured her out with promises of cheese.

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 27th June 2007 15:45 (UTC)
Stopwatch by indiefairy

But... they teleport (or *something*) in issue 4. Maybe it's a portal.

Sorry... it's just a ship that doesn't work for me. A whole situation actually. But then I love Jack/Ianto, and I know a lot of people can't fathom that. Guess we'll just have to disagree.

Posted by: aycheb (aycheb)
Posted at: 27th June 2007 16:05 (UTC)

Amy got digitally enhanced powers at the Not!Initiaitve.

Torchwood is my equivalent of Jeanty's art. It's lit so like a kid's show I get cognitive dissonance from the bad naughty storylines.

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 27th June 2007 16:14 (UTC)
Buffy - Best Show Ever by touristrgirl

Amy got digitally enhanced powers at the Not!Initiaitve.
Of course!

It's lit so like a kid's show I get cognitive dissonance from the bad naughty storylines.
Heh. I know what you mean... I have a big soft spot for it, but it really is rather terrible. It has potential though, so I'm praying that come S2 the writers will have learned subtlety. It's not likely, but...

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 27th June 2007 14:11 (UTC)

Heh. Again, some good ideas on how a bad idea can be explained. ;-) Few comments:

3. Teleporting somewhere successfully requires a clear mental image of your destination.

When was Anya ever locked up in Sunnydale's jail, or 20 feet underground in the graveyard? And has Amy never watched television?

4. It's not possible to teleport through too much solid matter. A few brick walls are fine; sixty feet of rock and compressed rubble is not.

So she blasts her way out instead.

6. Amy's magic didn't start working again until she got more than a mile from the Sunnydale Crater.

And without magic, she kept Warren alive how?

7. The activation of Lilah's amulet and the destruction of the Hellmouth created a powerful standing wave of mystical energy in the area. Amy was just bathing in it, soaking up the power, hoping it would make her even stronger than Willow. Only when she'd absorbed all the energy - leaving not even a trace reading for Twilight to pick up - was she ready to announce herself to the outside world again.

For 18 months?!? That's not bathing in it, that's... aging. 18 months more and she could be bottled and sold as Pure Malt Evil.

8. The collapsed Hellmouth was the ideal hiding place, because Buffy and Willow would never want to go near it again, and would never think of looking for her there.

Or she could have just gone to Cleveland. (Besides, if she could live alongside them in Sunnydale...)

10. Hiding in the rubble, scampering through hidden underground tunnels. Eating corpses. Planning revenge. Isn't that the perfect life for a rat? Why would Amy ever want to leave?

Because Sunnydale Electric cut the power before they left town, which means that all the cheese she might have found down there was already ruined by the time the town collapsed. And Amy, being a red-blooded American girl, hates moldy French cheese.

Warren stayed with Amy because he had no choice. All she has to do is say "Let the spell be ended" just once, and he dies a horrible screaming death. Again.

Actually, as a zombie movie veteran, I'd offer two more credible ideas:
1) He would be driven insane with pain. He'd still go on unliving (he says Amy's magic is his skin, not his life) since he's already been reanimated and pain alone doesn't kill zombies.
- Why do you eat people?
- Not people. Brains.
- Brains only?
- Yes.
- Why?
- The PAIN!
- What about the pain?
- The pain of being DEAD!
- It hurts... to be dead?
("Return of the Living Dead")


2) He'd fall lifeless to the floor since all of Amy's magic leaves him at once.

Of course, depending on how evil Amy is at the moment, she might WANT to make him die screaming, but...

Posted by: none of the above (frogfarm)
Posted at: 27th June 2007 14:28 (UTC)
willow wesley fetal pigs

("Return of the Living Dead")

Which I just want to take this opportunity to interject is my favorite zombie movie ever. One of the best horror-comedy blends.

Pure Malt Evil

Beer bad? *cough* Scotch, better...

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 27th June 2007 14:52 (UTC)

Heh, that movie ticks so many boxes on my masterpiece checklist it's ridiculous.

- Zombies? Check.
- Great soundtrack? Check.
- Original song by The Cramps on the soundtrack? Check.
- Clever dialogue? Check.
- Smart post-modern spoof on movie clichés? Check.
Burt: I thought you said that if we destroyed the brain, it would die.
Frank: Well, it worked in the movie.
Burt: Well, it ain't working now.
Freddy: You mean the movie LIED?

- Gore? Check.
- Evil ending? Check.
- Linnea Quigley getting naked for no discernible reason whatsoever? Check.

"Send... more... cops."

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 27th June 2007 15:24 (UTC)
TLWH-monsters

the cheese she might have found down there was already ruined by the time the town collapsed. And Amy, being a red-blooded American girlrat, hates moldy French cheese.

Which is why she was so desperate for more cheese when she was rescued! See? It all fits!

As for Warren, I'm assuming that Amy started his life processes working again, but they run autonomically now (just as a vampire doesn't need to keep on drinking their Sire's blood - once is enough). In other words, I don't think he's an actual zombie - more of a magical animated construct, a golem. However, if Amy's magic taking the place of his skin was ever cancelled, he'd die in agony the same way he did in 'Villains'.

depending on how evil Amy is at the moment, she might WANT to make him die screaming

As I've occasionally hinted already, I'm pretty sure Amy is just using Warren. She doesn't love him. She's never loved him!! (*ahem*) He's a walking demonstration of her power. Of course, he may be deluding himself that she does love him... almost makes you feel sorry for him, doesn't it? :)

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 27th June 2007 15:38 (UTC)

Hmmm, I haven't read up on my golemology in ages, but surely a golem is *less* autonomous than a zombie, at least a post-George Romero zombie? A golem is made of mud and can only do his master's bidding, and there's something about letters on his forehead and a torah roll... Basically, they're to Adam what vampires are to Jesus.

I really need to write that Willow-makes-a-golem story I had an idea for a while back.

Posted by: spikeNdru (spikendru)
Posted at: 27th June 2007 20:01 (UTC)
Giles hobbies

She doesn't love him. She's never loved him!! (*ahem*)

You must leave now, Amy Madison, while it's still possible. We are about to beam the entire hellmouth back to the planet Transexual in the galaxy of Transylvania. Go. Now.

Sorry. Couldn't resist.

And I like #5 and #6 best, personally.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 27th June 2007 23:57 (UTC)

And the prize for "Correctly identifying the most obscure reference of the day" goes to...
:)

Posted by: spikeNdru (spikendru)
Posted at: 28th June 2007 03:09 (UTC)
sNd as Frank-N-Furter

\o/





*headdesk* Of course I accidentially clicked on the wrong icon. Fixed now. Tell me again why we can't edit comments?

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