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(Poll) What's next for Ethan Rayne?

14th August 2007 (19:30)

Since my recently upgraded account now lets me post polls, I thought I should give it a try (and see if I can get it to work...). Also I'm curious to know where people think this Season 8 story-line is likely to go next.

So, my question is: what - if anything - is next for Ethan Rayne? 

Poll #1039141 NextForEthan

Ethan Rayne...

...is dead. RIP.
...is dead, but will still make ongoing appearances in Buffy's dreamspace.
...is dead, but will be resurrected somehow.
...is NOT dead. What we saw was some sort of trick or illusion.
...is NOT dead. It was a flesh wound. The bullet hit a non-vital area.
...I'm not listening. La la la la la!
..."Season 8"? I reject Joss's reality and substitute my own.
Hold on. What's all this about Ethan being dead?
Ethan who?


Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: 14th August 2007 18:51 (UTC)
Comic book Giles

I chose the same option as you because it seems most Jossian but I'm not happy about it.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 14th August 2007 19:24 (UTC)

If I'd thought about it, I might have split the first answer into "Is dead. Waahh!!" and "Is dead. *Shrug*" and "Is dead. Grrr... Joss, you bastard!"

Posted by: Mrs Darcy (elisi)
Posted at: 14th August 2007 19:32 (UTC)
Buffy's real father by tis_nat

In which case I'd have gone for the third one. And why is there not an option for Ethan making appearances in Giles's dreamspace?

I hope that's something they'll address in the Ripper movie...

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 14th August 2007 22:53 (UTC)

I hope that's something they'll address in the Ripper movie...

Do we know when that'll be set? (assuming the BBC have got that far yet) I've heard people talk about it as though it would be an early-life preview, although something set simultanously with Buffy season 6 would work too. I'm not sure it would work being tied too closely to season 8, especially if that was still ongoing when it was made; the TV show would need to stand alone.

Posted by: Shapinglight (shapinglight)
Posted at: 15th August 2007 07:03 (UTC)

I'd have picked the third one too (not that I haven't thought the very same thing before many times, of course, when the shows were still on air).

However, I'm pretty sure what we've chosen is what Joss will go with and like beer_good_foamy below, I'd actually rather Ethan stayed dead than ended up inhabiting Buffy's brain for no discernible reason.

I'm much more interested in Giles's reaction to his death and having him in inhabit Giles's brain would make an awful lot more sense.

:Crosses fingers that Joss realises this too:

Posted by: leseparatist (novin_ha)
Posted at: 5th January 2008 19:20 (UTC)
[buffy] giles on tweed

I'd vote for the third one then. I always loved that character!

Posted by: tessarin (tessarin)
Posted at: 14th August 2007 19:15 (UTC)

I plumped for the obvious one since it's joss.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 14th August 2007 19:25 (UTC)

After spending nearly two issues talking about Ethan and dreamspace, it does seem a little unlikely that it will never come up again, doesn't it?

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 14th August 2007 19:42 (UTC)

I'll gladly admit that my answer is based more on wishing than calculating. As much as I like Ethan, I'd rather see Giles' reaction to his death than Buffy's reaction to his continued pseudo-existence. Ethan's death works precisely because there's a shock effect to it; we've been lead to expect that he'll be back, and then BAM. If that's not the end of him, it's going to feel cheap.

(Besides, as far as we've ever been told, Ethan is just human. A human of some magic proficiency, sure, but still: human. Which means that a bullet through the head will KILL him. Which means he won't be able to magic his way into Buffy's head again. And we've had enough mucking about with "oh, but he's not REALLY dead" for a while, thank you very much, Joss.)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 14th August 2007 22:42 (UTC)

Honestly, I think they're building up for a dreamspace reappearance. Ethan clearly Knows Something, and Voll killed him so he couldn't talk. So I think at some point down the line, Buffy (or Willow, or Giles - perhaps most poignant if it's Giles) will realise that by tying himself into Buffy's dreamspace, Ethan left a permanent record of his own subconscious there, which Buffy can access. So he won't actually be back, but Buffy will be able to talk to him and ask him questions about everything he knew at the point of his death.

And Giles won't be able to talk to him again, even though Buffy can. Bittersweet...

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 14th August 2007 23:27 (UTC)

Either that, or Ethan was just a misdirect to a) get Buffy to talk to Voll, and b) establish Buffy's dreamscape which, of course, can exist without Ethan and offers some interesting insights into where she's at, mentally. And his death is used to show us how serious this is. Leaving a core dump of one's entire subconscious in someone else's head is... quite the spell. A little bigger than it would make sense for Ethan to pull off from a Guantanamo-style prison cell, perhaps... (assuming, of course, that Buffyverse magic makes sense, which it doesn't really, but hey.)

Also, if this is indeed the end of Ethan's role in s8, then it's almost an exact reprise of his appearance in s4: he shows them where and who the real bad guys are (ie Voll, Amy and the Slayer's subconscious), acts as a plot device to show us how one of the major characters is feeling, and then goes away again. Only this time permanently.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 14th August 2007 23:56 (UTC)

Oh, I don't think Ethan downloaded his consciousness into Buffy's brain deliberately. We already know that Amy linked her dreamspace to Buffy's by accident; I'm thinking it would be the same sort of deal here.

Digital immortality. Transhumanism FTW!

(Unless you're right, and Ethan really is dead just to tell us how serious this is. But from what little I know of comics, they're even worse than Joss Whedon shows at bringing back supposedly-dead characters...)

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 15th August 2007 11:33 (UTC)

Now, if this were, say, the DC fandom I wouldn't have a problem with that. It just seems like a pretty big thing to introduce into the Buffyverse at this point in the story. Then again, s8 and continuity... *hrm*

Posted by: hobgoblinn (hobgoblinn)
Posted at: 15th August 2007 17:24 (UTC)

ummm.... But didn't Giles have to go "dig up" his sources before the final Battle in Sunnydale? "Quite literally, acutally; some of them are dead." It was a throw away line, but it implies Giles can contact some of the dead at need.

I don't believe this, you understand, any more than I could believe the line at the time. But you never know.

Posted by: Estepheia (estepheia)
Posted at: 14th August 2007 21:30 (UTC)
Joss Says

Petzipellepingo pointed me this way.

I think Ethan's dead. RIP. I'm thinking cameo rather than recurring role. I doubt that Joss wants him to reappear. Unless Jane Espenson writes for the comic books there will be no more Ethan.

Anyway, I gritted my teeth and wrote a ficlet in which Ethan gets away. *sticks tongue out in Joss's direction*

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 14th August 2007 22:46 (UTC)

Hi! I've read your ficlet; it was good! I certainly think Ethan could have done something tricky like that to escape; like you say, it comes down to whether Joss wanted him to.

Oh, and I thought Jane Espenson was scheduled as one of the Season 8 writers? Or did I remember that wrong?

Posted by: spikeNdru (spikendru)
Posted at: 14th August 2007 22:04 (UTC)
Ethan - Chaos Mage

I voted for the fourth option. C'mon! The Trickster of the Buffyverse, Master of Chaos, the person who tattooed Buffy with Eyghon's mark and burned his own off - with acid and no painkillers - can't be just dead!

La la la, I'm not listening! EthanisnotdeadEthanisnotdeadEthanisnotdead!

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 14th August 2007 22:48 (UTC)

Sounds like you're alternating between options 4 and 6... ;-)

(And I see we've already had one reply to the "he was shot through the head, but the bullet missed all vital organs" option...) *evil grin*

Posted by: Elena (moscow_watcher)
Posted at: 22nd August 2007 19:24 (UTC)

I voted for #2. Joss needs a character who could move forward the plot and connect the dots when the writer is out of ideas and concrete plot twists. In season 1 Joss used Angel in this capacity - he was a mysterious stranger who provided the information. Then Angel became a love interest and since that moment Joss used Slayer's dreams, Whistler, Spike, sometimes Giles' old connections to tie up the loose ends. On AtS, it was Doyle, PTB, clues in prophecies etc. But somebody's dreamspace is the best tool: easiest in execution and most effective when a writer has to build tension. It's a direct access to any useful information that can be switched on at the exact moment when a writer needs it.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 22nd August 2007 22:45 (UTC)

That's a good point; and ironically it could mean that by dying, Ethan becomes a regular character in the story...

The only downside is that I'm not sure how he could interact with anybody other than Buffy (specifically Giles), though I'm sure a plot justification could be found if it ever seemed important to the story.

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