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Alyson Hannigan Solves the Spike/Angel Question: Buffy Should Have Dated Willow

We can see it

Buffy and Willow should have dated

The ship wars, they will never end. And maybe that’s good. Anything that keeps us coming back to the shows we love and the characters we wanted to smooch is fun. That’s especially true for Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Earlier this week, voting rights hero Stacey Abrams revived a very old and storied debate in geekdom: who was the right paramour for Buffy Summers? Abrams maintained that both Angel and Spike were good for Buffy in different ways.

As a Spike fan myself, I definitely agree with this and it actually helped me to accept Angel a bit more. But that was of course just one moment in the discourse and eventually, it had to evolve. And like most fandom things, it evolved in a queer direction when Willow Rosenberg herself, actress Alyson Hannigan, weighed in on the debate with the best, most galaxy brain take on it.

And you know what? This is worth considering.

First off, yes, in the series Buffy was only shown as romantically interested in men. But she did experiment with a woman in the comic books that followed the series, and although that incident came off as an “I kissed a girl just to try it” fling, it was something that happened. But this is fandom so, really, anyone can date anyone. And, as many fans pointed out, Buffy had serious sexual tension throughout the series with another lady: Faith.

But just because Buffy and Faith should totally have been a thing, doesn’t mean Buffy and Willow couldn’t also work. Willow is sort of the perfect balance of all the things in Buffy’s other love interests: powerful, dorky, and occasionally evil. For one, Buffy clearly has a thing for the bad guys, whether it was Angel with all his broodiness before he went full-on homicidal, or Spike and his snark and history of murder that gave way to a man trying to be good. Indeed, on the show, after Willow went dark and went on her own murder rampage, Buffy still loved and cared for her.

But Willow is also powerful, a total nerd, and knows all of Buffy’s bad sides. That makes her just a good a match for Buffy as Angel or Spike. But how would Buffy be for Willow? Well, Willow doesn’t seem to mind dating slayers (ugh, Kennedy) or people that have, let’s say, complicated relationships to the supernatural. I mean, once you date a werewolf you can take pretty much anything. And Willow certainly needs a person who can stand up and challenge her at times.

Hannigan also had answers for some of the other questions this brings up.

(In case you didn’t know, in real life Willow married Wesley Wyndham-Price (Alexis Denisof) and they are very cute).

When you think about it, no one can understand the loss and darkness the other has seen quite like Buffy and Willow can.  So, yes, if we’re trying to find a more functional and stable relationship for Buffy, I can totally accept this. So can a lot of Twitter, apparently.

(Yes, that’s Hannibal mastermind and all-around king Bryan Fuller weighing in).

Whether you ship Buffy and Angel or Buffy and Spike, you have to admit, Willow is a pretty good candidate and it’s just plain awesome to have Hannigan herself captaining this ship.

But as always, there’s one thing we can agree on in this fandom … anyone is better than Riley.

(image: 20th Century Television)

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Jessica Mason (she/her) is a writer based in Portland, Oregon with a focus on fandom, queer representation, and amazing women in film and television. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author.