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VampWillow

by Saladin and Kaz


Many Science Fiction and Fantasy shows will film an episode where special make-up effects are used, or an Alternative Universe is presented. Examples include Babylon 5's final episode, set 20 years later, the Deep Space Nine Alternate Universe episodes and of course, the Wishverse of Buffy. In fact the Wishverse combines both an Alternate Universe with special effects make-up. At some point in the series, all the major human characters have been made up into either vampires or demons, but it seems that everyone's favourite is Vamp Willow. Vamp Willow is a mysterious character, however, the little we know about her has captured the imaginations of countless fans. Only appearing in two episode, 
Vamp Willow, Willow Rosenberg's fate in the Wishverse, is as bad as Willow is (or at least was) good. It almost appears that such a sweet and fundamentally decent character was cursed by a particularly vicious and powerful demon. Vamp Willow was created by the Master, and although it's not explicitly stated, the implication is that it occurred at, or shortly after "The Harvest". Being the direct spawn of The Master, there are also indications that she is an exceedingly powerful vampire for one not yet three years 'old', as is also true for her friend and paramour, Vamp Xander. The ease with which she renders helpless two of Mayor Wilkin's vampire employees is solid supporting evidence for this, as is the fact that, very quickly, she is able to attract a small cabal of vampires as followers. 

There are continual implications, within the canon storylines, that Vampires are sexually promiscuous and in general, bisexual. This is never suggested as openly, however, as with Vamp Willow. Her attempt to seduce Willow during "Doppleganger" combine aspects of homo-eroticism and auto-eroticism in a bizarre blend of the arousing and the amusing. It is in fact during this episode, when Willow refers to her alternate self, that Angel accidentally reveals that the human personality remains in the Vampire after 'death'. 

The authors specific interpretations of Vamp Willow's personality are somewhat different, and thus both are presented here as counterpoints to each other. 

Saladin's Interpretation 

Vamp Willow is a decidedly unstable and probably insane vampire. I strongly suspect that her turning was not easy. Perhaps she saw both Jesse and Xander turned before she was, and it made her unstable. Perhaps the demon itself is unstable. Certainly some aspects of Willow have altered radically. Most notable is her lack of concentration and application to detail. 'Bored Now' has been a catch phrase for Buffy fans since the episode was first screened. This is in many respects the most radical change we see in Willow, and I would suggest that her lack of concentration and sociopathy bespeak a profound mental and emotional instability. 

Willow's irrationality is not like Drusilla's. It is far more self contained, and far more lethal. Her desires seem to drive her to the exclusion of all else, and she will choose to effect the environment around her in whatever way it takes to make herself comfortable. 

Kaz's Interpretation 

I agree that her turning probably wasn't the most pleasant. However, I don't think she is particularly insane. VampWillow has a peculiar speech pattern that makes her different from Willow. She has adopted a childlike, detached way of speaking. It is quite calm and collected and sounds entirely reasonable (until you hear what she's saying). I don't think this is a result of insanity, but rather of the demon eradicating the insecure and inferior feelings human Willow had. 

I wouldn't say she has a lack of concentration, but rather a lack of concentration on the things we associate with Willow. VampWillow seemed quite happy to concentrate on burning Angel in "The Wish". Also, during "Doppelgangland" she is concentrating on her goal of being returned to her universe. I think it is more of an impatience with human notions of proper that she is bored with. She wants to get to the action, the bloodshed as quickly as possible. She is, after all, a predator, and impatience to get to the "good stuff" is evident in other vampires (e.g. Spike on a number of occasions). 


Regardless of one's views on Vamp Willow, it is clear she is a very dangerous vampire. She is ruthless, sadistic and very intelligent. One of the Willow characteristics retained is her ability to at least attempt long term planning, as seen in "Doppelgangland" where she begins to establish a group of vampires to 'correct' the problems of the 'normal' Sunnydale. 

It should be noted that Willow is not what one would consider a "typical" vampire. She is considerably more ruthless and detached than most. In some ways, she is rather like the pre-chip Spike but with, potentially, considerably more patience. 

If you decide that you believe she is insane, then please keep in mind one vital point (excuse the puns): Vamp Willow is not Drusilla. Too often, people pattern Vamp Willow's speech after Drusilla's. Drusilla is delusional and suffers either visions or hallucinations. The insane interpretation of Vamp Willow is sociopathic and, within her own definitions, coldly logical; something Drusilla has *never* been accused of. Also, Drusilla has apparently reverted to her childhood -- Miss Edith is an example. Vamp Willow seemingly has also gained maturity with her vamp status. 

Vamp Willow is a dynamic, fascinating character. Her addition to the series brought aspects of human Willow's personality the audience never would have considered to the fore, many of which are shown in later seasons.