Angel the Vampire

Maybe responsibility isn’t the sexiest trait to kick off our month of hero worship, but when you’ve been married twenty-four years, well, it’s damned sexy. Nothing like a man who splits the work with you, who takes initiative, and who deals with the results when it goes wrong.

 

Angel the vampire’s soul was returned to him by the gypsies after he killed one of their own, so that he could feel remorse for his sins for the remainder of his days.

They couldn’t have found a more fitting punishment. Angel wallows for years, living in alleys and eating rats as he comes to grips with the havoc he wrought while soulless.

Now, in the present day, he’s determined to fight on the side of good, from fighting nests of vampires to fighting Wolfram and Hart to helping Buffy save the world. Always a loner, he reluctantly becomes a father figure to a strange group, first with the Scoobies, then with Doyle and Cordelia, then Wesley, Fred and Gunn. The decisions he makes have to impact all of them, just like a father.

This is a huge adjustment for Angel, who would rather be alone so he can lick his wounds when a choice goes wrong. But his rag-tag family doesn’t allow him to do that.

Because of his strong sense of responsibility, he sacrifices a lot. He knows if he stops being the protector he is, so much can go wrong. He learns that when he’s given mortality, and Buffy’s life is in danger. Whose heart doesn’t break during that episode, where they share ice cream in bed and make love with no consequences, only for him to discover he can’t protect her as a mortal man? His sense of responsibility is so great, he walks away from the love of his life so he can continue to help those who need it.

This doesn’t mean he lives alone (though I never loved Angel and Cordelia together) but I don’t believe he’s ever as happy.

Responsibility can be a bitch, can’t it?

What do you think about Angel’s embodiment of this trait? Which character—movie, television or book—embodies it for you?

 

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Natalie J. Damschroder
    Feb 28, 2011 @ 07:36:37

    Like many heroes who take on responsibility like it’s a birthright, Angel’s belief that he didn’t deserve happiness was so frustrating! I wanted him to find happiness, and I actually came to like him and Cordelia together. Even in the comics, though, his happiness apparently wasn’t meant to be… 🙂

    Reply

  2. Norah Wilson
    Feb 28, 2011 @ 07:37:03

    Oh, what a great way to kick of your month of heroes. Angel is one of my favorite all time heroes.

    Reply

  3. MicheleKS
    Feb 28, 2011 @ 08:02:22

    I fell for Angel the moment I saw him- poor lost soul. And for me it was that ability to feel so much that made him heroic. It was like you knew how much he loved Buffy but he also knew that Fate was not going to be kind to them (see episode of ‘Angel’ you mentioned- I cried my eyes out watching that even as I was cursing Joss Whedon for his brillance).

    Reply

  4. Leslie Garcia
    Feb 28, 2011 @ 10:17:14

    You made me wish I’d watched Buffy, MJ! I agree that responsibility can be an important trait. I’ve also seen it become the crux of a problem (as you describe here) in at least one of my favorite romances. Look forward to reading up on more of these traits!

    Reply

  5. Trish Milburn
    Feb 28, 2011 @ 10:20:33

    Oh, how I love Angel. 🙂 I absolutely bawled during that episode of Angel, “I Will Remember You.” Yes, he was broody, but it had to be hard to live with the knowledge of everything he did while soulless. And I never liked the Angel/Cordelia thing. Bleh.

    Reply

  6. Susanna Fraser
    Mar 01, 2011 @ 19:55:43

    Angel was one of the few Jossverse men I *didn’t* crush on–I was all about Spike, Giles, Wesley once he got gritty and badass, Gunn, and of COURSE Mal Reynolds–but responsibility is one of the keys to being a good romance hero AFAIC.

    Reply

  7. MJ
    Mar 03, 2011 @ 06:54:28

    Susanna, you and your bad boys 🙂 I admit, I thought Angel was a lot more interesting as Angelus, but I still preferred Angel to Spike 🙂

    Reply

  8. angel sasuke (@hallseet)
    Aug 08, 2012 @ 11:30:12

    i will tarin me angel

    Reply

  9. angel sasuke (@hallseet)
    Aug 08, 2012 @ 12:15:30

    look babes age 21 61 17 18 19 20 30 31 23 24 34 35 24 14 15 and girls

    Reply

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