All Things Illyria

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All Things Illyria

Postby Mariah » Sat Aug 14, 2010 3:22 pm

Since the new mini will be coming out in November, I wanted to ask you guys what it is that interests you most about the character. She's kind of unique in the Angelverse, a demon so old she might as well be an alien. Not to mention the tragedy that allowed her back into the world.

Personally, I find her really fascinating. She's this strange, almost androgynous creature. We know very little about her. She relates to the world unlike anyone else. And she's now "infected" with the memories of not only Fred, but those who loved her. A creature with no previous frame of reference for emotions, let alone guilt.

So, what interests you about her? What are some of your favorite moments with her? What relationships do you think should be explored more with her?
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Re: All Things Illyria

Postby Buffyversefantic » Sat Aug 14, 2010 4:25 pm

I think this is what is interesting me most about Illyria right now.

She relates to the world unlike anyone else. And she's now "infected" with the memories of not only Fred, but those who loved her. A creature with no previous frame of reference for emotions, let alone guilt.


One of my favorite moments was her noting that Connor was lusting for her in,"Origin."The current Willingham arc sort of pays that off a bit.

I loved the Wes/Illyria stuff in the latter part of season 5 and After The Fall.

As for what relationships should be explored more.Well I love the dynamic between Illyria & Spike and Illyria & Gunn.So I would like to see both continued to be explored and part of the stories.

I would like to see more development though with Illyira & Angel.

Plus it might be fun to see some development between Illyria and a female character.Maybe Kate or Gwen.Gwen would be interesting since Gwen is Connors ex and Illyira just recently tried to mate with him.

Actually I would love to see some face time between Illyria & Willow or a meeting between Illyria and Faith.Don't know how likely either is of ever happening but I think Willow might have a better shot since both characters will be appearing in Spike's book and more likely to cross paths in that way.Willow was good friends with Fred from what we saw in Angel season 4.I always wanted to learn Willow's reaction to Fred's death especially since Angel tried to get her help to save Fred and was refused by Giles.I think Willow/Illyria interaction would be very interesting.Again,I don't know how likely that is though.
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Postby DanielW » Sat Aug 14, 2010 4:38 pm

I'd like to take this juncture to point out ... she's also hot.
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Postby Darth Bombshell » Sat Aug 14, 2010 6:03 pm

DanielW wrote:I'd like to take this juncture to point out ... she's also hot.


Indeed.
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Re: All Things Illyria

Postby fender_love » Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:09 pm

Mariah wrote:She's this strange, almost androgynous creature.

I always assumed that Illyria was meant to be sorta intersexed or gender neutral. It didn't seem like the most of the Old Ones, like Lohesh and Olvikan (the one the Mayor Ascends as), necessarily have a gender. I always assumed Illyria is called "she" because she's in Fred's body, but "she'd" be a he if "she" went into a male's body. Has it ever been specifically stated that the God-King Illyria was female and would always be female no matter what body he/she/it was in? Like, if Gunn had been Illyria's host, instead of trying to seduce Connor in Willingham's arc, would Illyria have found a female to try and seduce or would a male still be preferable?

I guess insofar as what I'd like to see explored is if any other followers like Knox exist in the world and might seek out Illyria and if they'd try to influence Illyria's decision-making or if they'd abuse the former Old One's powers.
Last edited by fender_love on Sat Aug 14, 2010 11:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby raith » Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:48 pm

I agree with Fender-love about how Illyria's other followers are still out there and would want her to reign as the supreme being as she once was. I also agree with Buffyversefantic about Illyria observing and communicating with other femals such as Kate, Gwen and Laura.

What I would like to see is her powers of being able to sense power being utilized more. James was so powerful that even she could not even detect him. Also the whereabouts of her sarcophagus could be answered. The gems that were attached to it were/ are connected to her, so perhaps Angel still has them or a villain that could take advantage of Illyria.

The last thing ( I can think of for now) I have to say is that knowing Illyria is older than most things in this world, yet is living in it as if she just began her life always fascinates me. She was so used to being waited on and worshipped that that's pretty much all she knew how to interact with others. It would be interesting to see her tap into other emotions such as being so entertained she succumbs to the point of laughter, guilt, and maybe even the love a parent has for their child. Illryia has lived for so long that we don't know if she had any offspring. Since she's acknowledged some of the different types of love from her memories of Fred (Gunn, Wesley,Angel, her parents and Spike), experiencing something that is natural as a mother's love would be a radical take to the way she views humanity and the world.
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Postby Allycat » Sat Aug 14, 2010 11:45 pm

I agree with almost anything suggested in this thread, but mostly:

  • The relationship between Illyria and Angel should be explored more. She was once a God-King that ruled her own domain, and Angel sort of rules L.A. at this point. I think there's something they have in common there.
  • What happened to Illyria's followers. Knox probably wasn't the only one. Where are they? Why haven't they come to her side? Even if it's just them flocking to her side and pledging allegiance to her (and Angel). Would be fun to see how Angel deals with that.
  • We haven't really seen Illyria connecting with any other females, but to be honest, I don't really see how that would work. If you do try to explore that, I hope you use either Kate or Laura, cause we should get to see more of those two anyway!
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Postby Mariah » Sun Aug 15, 2010 4:53 am

Loving the exploration of Illyria here. I agree that there's a lot to this character we simply don't know yet.

I've always taken the"God King" line to be less about gender in any sense as we understand it, and more just a matter of "her" supremacy. We don't have any gender neutral term for what "she" was. When you see Illyria's full form, there's no gender marking there. It's just...what it is. Immense and if anything, like an immortal amoeba.

I do think being in Fred's body "genders" other characters initial reaction to her. And as such, somewhat colors Illyria's experience of the world through a human shell. Although obviously her experience is nothing like an actual human woman's. Her perspective/frame of reference is entirely alien, for one thing. And we really don't know what her demon essence has done to the insides of Fred's body, other than the whole organ liquifying thing. Illyria can still bleed via Season 5, so, some kind of system must be working in there.

All of this is why the character is so interesting to me. She has her own motives and reasons...and is now kind of literally haunted from the inside. Which is a poetic juxtaposition, since her resembling Fred is haunting for those who knew her, too.

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Postby fender_love » Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:19 am

Mariah wrote:I do think being in Fred's body "genders" other characters initial reaction to her. And as such, somewhat colors Illyria's experience of the world through a human shell.

I am now imagining Wesley as Henry Higgins, throwing a dress over her leathery hide jumpsuit and trying to make a "proper lady" out of her, which is both horrifyingly hilarious and hilariously horrifying.

Maybe Illyria could visit a support group. There are transgender support groups, and some people who are transgendered might be the only people who could relate to Illyria's predicament, i.e. feeling like the body you were put into is not your own and finding ways to cope with societal expectations put onto you not because of who you are, but what your body looks like. It'd be interesting to confront gender stereotypes with a character that really has no vested interest in either gender having superiority over the other.
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Postby JohnQRotten76 » Sun Aug 15, 2010 6:42 pm

On the topic of Ilyria relating to other females: I think there is some ripe potential for a fun, interesting story. Maybe the writers of the main series should do a "Girl's Night Out" stand-alone or two-parter where the ladies of Angel Investigations go out on a case together. Personally, I imagine that there is the potential for some humour there too. I think it could play out like the BtVS episode where Anya and Willow clashed and later bonded fighting Anya's troll ex-bf, in fact- Anya is probably one of the few characters that might've been able to relate to Ilyria on some level- too bad she's dead!
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Postby Shade of Pale » Mon Aug 16, 2010 1:07 am

I think that I've come pretty late to really liking Illyria. Throughout most of Ats 5, I was really resentful that we had lost the beautiful Fred and only gained this cold, emotionally sterile fantasy creature. It didn't seem a fair swap and even now, I'd rather have Fred back, but it's not going to happen. In the meantime, though, I've gained a new appreciation of Illyria due to the After the Fall comics story arc that she had which has now made her a more sympathetic character to me. The fact that she tried so hard to end her existance and bring Fred back and felt remorse about her, has rehabilitated her with me and I'm now quite keen to see further steps on her journey. I don't know how it will all work out, because she is such an alien creature. The coming to terms with humanity stories of characters like Seven, Data, The Doctor and even T'Pol and Spock in Star Trek fascinated me, but Illyria is much more alien and strange than any of them. I suppose I'd like to see Illyria forming relationships with her co-workers. There's a dangling thread from AtF which is Spike and Illyria avoiding each other. Illyria's realtionship with Gunn would also seem to be interesting. I'd like an exploration of why she would choose to stay with the gang, what keeps her with them, insecurities maybe, what she feels they give her ? I think that at some point she may challenge Angel a little more, the rival rulers angle that they started to skirt round in Ats 5. I don't think that she would ever be content to merely be a member of Angel's team.
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Postby Deborahmm » Mon Aug 16, 2010 2:19 am

Illyria is a difficult character to me. I find her fascinating, but unfortunately a lot of that fascination was bound up with the fact that Fred still lived through her.

Now we know that Fred is definitively gone (and I don't know if it's generally known, but in his speech to the American Secular Society Joss Whedon apologised for expunging the character. He said he hadn't thought it would upset so many people), I am less interested in her. To paraphrase Giles from season 1 of Buffy, she's not Angel and the others' friend, she's the thing that killed her.

Rather than reconciling me to Fred's loss, I'm afraid Angel: After the Fall only re-opened old wounds. As a consequence, I'm less interested in Illyria than I was, and my interest is more bound up with how alien she is. I'm not really interested in seeing her striving for humanity, given that she isn't human. I would like more exploration of how much she differs and the gender question is definitely part of that. I would also like some clue as to how the other characters feel about her now. I didn't get much sense of that even in the Gunn/Illyria mini series. They're used to having her around, of course, but surely deep down, they must still harbour great resentment towards her.

Someone above mentioned her relationship with Spike, and it's true that thanks to A: AtF and S: AtF, he has the closest relationship with her of any of the characters still alive, but that relationship seemed to be based on the false premise of him thinking part of Fred - the real, genuine Fred - was still in there. I would like to know how he feels about her now. What we've seen in Bill Willingham's arc has shown him as completely indifferent to her. But since he seems indifferent to everyone, it can't be said to be anything to do with Illyria specifically.
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Postby Allycat » Mon Aug 16, 2010 3:08 am

Deborahmm wrote:I'm not really interested in seeing her striving for humanity, given that she isn't human. I would like more exploration of how much she differs and the gender question is definitely part of that.


I agree. For Illyria to be interesting, she need not strive for humanity. Her alien perspective allows her to call humanity on its flaws. If she became more human, she would lose that advantage. I would like to see how her set of moral principles works instead of how she adopts ours.
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Postby Double Dutchess » Mon Aug 16, 2010 1:26 pm

What fascinates me most about Illyria is her utter displacement. She is from another time, another race, stuck in a world of humans in a body that's not hers and robbed of much of her powers... She came to this world expecting to be worshipped, but the raw reality was much different. Then she lost the only person who was really important to her. How does she cope with all that? She must be incredibly lonely, and I think that's the main reason she sticks around the Angel crew. She has no connection to anything or anyone else. I'd like to know more about what is going on in her head. That's what I missed in Only Human, which was strictly from Gunn's POV. I hope that in the upcoming Illyria mini-series we will get (more than) a glimpse of the "inner Illyria".
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Postby Mariah » Mon Aug 16, 2010 2:28 pm

Double Dutchess wrote:What fascinates me most about Illyria is her utter displacement. She is from another time, another race, stuck in a world of humans in a body that's not hers and robbed of much of her powers... She came to this world expecting to be worshipped, but the raw reality was much different. Then she lost the only person who was really important to her. How does she cope with all that? She must be incredibly lonely, and I think that's the main reason she sticks around the Angel crew. She has no connection to anything or anyone else. I'd like to know more about what is going on in her head. That's what I missed in Only Human, which was strictly from Gunn's POV. I hope that in the upcoming Illyria mini-series we will get (more than) a glimpse of the "inner Illyria".


I don't think it's too spoilery if I say that this particular mini is all from Illyria's perspective. We get into her head a lot, so, the focus is definitely on all the things you listed. So, definitely more than a glimpse. :}
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