One of TV's most enduring questions is which vampire was better suited for Buffy Summers in Buffy the Vampire Slayer — Angel or Spike? Ship wars were waged, cookie dough analogies were made, but there was no ultimate answer. Now, Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator Joss Whedon has finally weighed in on the ship debate to end all ship debates. In an interview with Complex, Whedon revealed he ships Buffy/Spike. The Scooby Gang would probably be appalled, but Whedon just made a huge portion of the fanbase happy.
"I’m a Buffy/Spike shipper," Whedon admitted to Complex's Frazier Tharpe. "I always felt like he was a more evolved person, but that’s like saying Juliet’s going to be so happy with Benvolio and everyone will love it. Buffy/Angel is for the ages; Buffy/Spike is maybe for me."
Spike and Buffy's romance was far more adult than the relationship Buffy shared with her first love Angel, and not always in a good way. It was more complex, with the bulk of their love story taking place during Season 6 when Buffy was on a path of self destruction and Spike veered toward losing control. Still, it was hard not to fall for Spike and Buffy, especially when Spike had his soul restored in hopes of being a man who deserved Buffy. They were far from the perfect couple, but the messiness of Spike and Buffy was a huge part of the appeal — this is a couple that literally brought a house down when they were having sex, after all.
Just because Whedon has declared himself for Spike and Buffy does not mean fans are required to agree though. As Whedon himself added, Buffy and Angel are "for the ages." Their epic story of first love and first heartbreak resonated with many fans far beyond any other Buffy relationship. From their prom dance to The Sunday's Rolling Stones cover, "Wild Horses," to Angel showing up after Buffy lost her mom, he never stopped being there for Buffy even if that pesky curse kept them from staying together forever. Only the threat of an apocalypse could cause Buffy and Angel to let each other go. Look up star-crossed lovers in the dictionary and you will see they have replaced Romeo and Juliet in the canon of doomed loves.
No matter which side of this ship debate you are on, you have to admit it is remarkable that fans are still discussing the merits of Spike and Angel more than a decade after Buffy the Vampire Slayer went off the air. Their devotion to giving Buffy a happy ending is a testament to just how much the slayer touched the lives of her fans. In the series finale, Buffy chose herself, which always felt like the perfect ending, but whether you are a Spike/Buffy shipper or not, it is nice having a little insight into Whedon's preferences.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer will always be Whedon's most enduring contribution to pop culture. The characters are his children — granted they are children who he often tortured and left eternally heartbroken, but they are like his children none the less. Knowing he has a soft spot for Spike and Buffy only adds to Buffy the Vampire Slayer's rich history, and it could even give viewers a new perspective on the Spike chapter of Buffy's life the next time they embark on a rewatch.
Buffy and Angel fans should not lose heart though. Whedon may be a Buffy and Spike shipper, but Claddagh rings are forever.
Images: 20th Century Fox TV; Giphy (2)