GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

What does each Firefly character represent?

POSTED BY: THEREALME
UPDATED: Monday, May 9, 2022 22:06
SHORT URL:
VIEWED: 7205
PAGE 1 of 1

Saturday, June 19, 2004 5:23 AM

THEREALME


Hi,

In the recent Zoe thread, I commented that I thought Kaylee represented the Soul of Serenity, while Zoe represented its Strength. I thought that this idea might be deserving of its own thread.

So, what aspects of the human condition match which characters? Of course, you cannot really sumarize such well written characters in one or two words, but... well, try anyway.

My ideas (quickly, because I'm late and have to get ready for today):

Kaylee: Soul and Innocence

Zoe: Strength and Determination

Book: Conscience and Patience

Simon: Loyalty and Compassion

Wash: Sense of Humor

Inara: Sexuality and Insight

Jayne: Aggression

River: Maddness

Mal: Protective of Loved Ones, Seeking a Purpose




The Real Me

Got Mudder's Milk?

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Saturday, June 19, 2004 5:45 AM

HEB


This fits in well with Nathan Fillion saying that he liked to think of the other crew members as representing aspects of Mal that he lost in Serenity valley. Especially the following:

Quote:



Kaylee: Soul and Innocence

Book: Conscience and Patience

Simon: Loyalty and Compassion

Wash: Sense of Humor

.



Although I think, as Joss was forced to make the show lighter and Mal less dark, that this was less true than it might have been (although we got glimpses of the darker Mal in the pilot).

Well, my sister's a ship... we had a
complicated childhood

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Saturday, June 19, 2004 6:19 AM

PURPLEBELLY


I've said this elsewhere, but I just love Whedon's subversion of archetypes. So we have:
vigin - Kaylee, who isn't exactly chaste;
mother - Zoe, who hasn't born a child;
whore - Inara, who is respectable;
hag - River, who is cute.

I'll stop there, because I'm not really interested in male archetypes; they all look like the Clown to me. Simon is cute, though

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Saturday, June 19, 2004 6:42 AM

DARKSKY


While on the whole, I agree with TheRealMe, I think this is a bit too simple. For example, Wash also shows a lot of devotion, especially when it comes to Zoe, and determination when it comes to flying. Jayne shows caring in the scene in 'Serenity' when Kaylee is shot. Also, Inara is quite a strong character in her own way.
I think the complexity of the characters is what makes this show so interesting to watch.

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Saturday, June 19, 2004 7:26 AM

THEREALME


Yes, as I said, the characters are terribly complex. I was just looking for ideas you could paint in large, wide brush strokes.

Oh, does River have lots of Trickster aspects?



The Real Me

Got Mudder's Milk?

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Saturday, June 19, 2004 9:47 AM

TALVIN


Mal Dark?

I would say not. Rather...he is *ruthless*. He is a man who, once he sees a goal, a purpose, a need, a mission--he *focuses* on it, and he does what he has to do to accomplish that.

But this is tempered by a compassion and spirituality that he takes pains to repress in himself, because he got hurt that way too many times.

That, and a quirky sense of humor that is very much in keeping with a former military man. You may have noticed that Hollywood tends to push the stereotype of the Special Ops man as a tall, humorless, cold-blooded sort. Well, thanks to fate, relatives, and an interest in all things military, I have known more than my share. They are with one exception shorter than me (and I am 5'10"), they tend toward a lively and *low* sense of humor, and they are a bunch of smartasses. I would trust them with my life, but I look behind me before I bend over and check under the cushion before I sit down.... That's just the ones I have known in my day.

Static? Spider? Care to back me up on this? I suspect you have known more of them than I have!

Malcolm Reynolds has seen the Darkness, but he is not himself Dark. There's a difference.


"I give up. I admit it. I'm a Browncoat."

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Saturday, June 19, 2004 10:12 AM

HEB


I don't think that was the way they eventually played him but I think it was the way the character was originally intended to be.

There's a deleted scene from the pilot on the DVD that says something like he left trust, compassion, hope back in Serenity valley. That obviously turned out to not be true but I think we saw glimpses of what they'd like to have done with the character had Fox allowed them. For example in the scene when Book asks to say grace, when he kicks the man into the engine, and when he stresses at Zoe in Serenity about their luck and at Inara for telling him what to do.

I agree with you as he was played he has only seen the darkness but I think Mal was originally intended to follow his own psychological theory:

"The darkness. Kinda darkness you can't even
imagine. Blacker than the space it moves in.

A man comes up
against that kind of will, only way to deal with
it, I suspect... is to become it."


Well, my sister's a ship... we had a
complicated childhood

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Saturday, June 19, 2004 10:54 AM

PURPLEBELLY


Quote:

Originally posted by DarkSky:
Jayne shows caring in the scene in 'Serenity' when Kaylee is shot.


I like the way Jayne ducks back into the hatch when Kaylee has been shot, and makes his move when Dobson is disarmed and unconscious.

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Saturday, June 19, 2004 11:13 AM

ANKHAGOGO


Quote:

Originally posted by Talvin:
Mal Dark?
I would say not. Rather...he is *ruthless*. He is a man who, once he sees a goal, a purpose, a need, a mission--he *focuses* on it, and he does what he has to do to accomplish that.
But this is tempered by a compassion and spirituality that he takes pains to repress in himself, because he got hurt that way too many times.



I wouldn't call Mal "ruthless", because that word, to me, has a connotation of cruelty to it that I don't see in Mal. "Focused", yes. "Unwavering" or "determined" might be better.
I do think that he's dark, and frankly, I like it, but it's not like Angel broody-angsty-dark.
It's more as if his hope has been darkened, because of the things he's been through. Mal doesn't seem to allow himself to hope any more, not after Serenity Valley, and that is a very dark way to go through life. He does have a sense of humour, which I also love for its dryness & wryness, but I think his view of the future is very dark. Apparently nothing's happened in the past six years in order to make Mal think that he has any reason to expect anything beyond living day-to-day, trying to keep just beyond the arm of the Alliance, and that's gotta only reinforce the idea that there's no reason to hope things will change.
Or it could be that he's just a hard-headed, bloody-minded realist, which can come across as a very dark attitude.

"Well personally, I kinda want to slay the dragon."

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Saturday, June 19, 2004 11:21 AM

TALVIN


Quote:

Originally posted by Ankhagogo:

Or it could be that he's just a hard-headed, bloody-minded realist, which can come across as a very dark attitude.




Mal as an Existentialist Hero?

Sounds like a whole new thread.

"I give up. I admit it. I'm a Browncoat."

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Saturday, June 19, 2004 11:33 AM

ANKHAGOGO


Quote:

Originally posted by THEREALME:

My ideas (quickly, because I'm late and have to get ready for today):

Kaylee: Soul and Innocence

Zoe: Strength and Determination

Book: Conscience and Patience

Simon: Loyalty and Compassion

Wash: Sense of Humor

Inara: Sexuality and Insight

Jayne: Aggression

River: Maddness

Mal: Protective of Loved Ones, Seeking a Purpose



Well, I'll argue, big shock to no-one. :)
I don't think Kaylee is the soul of Serenity - I think she's the heart.
I would have to say that I think Mal is the soul.
I think I'd call Simon Love before I'd call him anything else, because that is his motivating factor. His love for his sister comes first. But you're right; he does have the compassion thing pretty much tied up. I'd like to see what he'd do with a full-blown, fatally wounded Reaver.
I think River would be insight, which can be mistaken for madness, or at least eccentricity, but they're not the same thing. I'd also be willing to argue that River's the real strength, while Zoe is the loyalty.
Inara ofetn seems insightful, but I've always thought that the little bits of wisdom she comes up with are Academy-learned responses. They just sound so much like proverbs that it's hard for me to buy it as real insight. She is definitely the sexuality, but she is also usually the restraint, or, if you prefer, the cautiousness, something that's often in perilious short supply. She also might be the civilization, because I suspect that without Inara on board, things might be a bit rougher than they currently are. She reminds them that life isn't all ducking the law and gunfights.



They did something like this on that season 4 next to last episode of Buffy, when she fought Adam, but I don't know how many people caught it. Each of the Scoobies had a tarot card: Buffy was the Hand, Xander the Heart, Willow the Soul, and Giles the Mind (or Head), I believe(I may have swtiched two of those around). Now in the episode, it was meant to channel each of their strengths into Buffy so she could kill Adam, but each card also coincided with the person's place in the group/show.

"Well personally, I kinda want to slay the dragon."

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Saturday, June 19, 2004 12:16 PM

TERRIBLETINK


I love these kinds of discussions. Great thread!

I've used the analogy before that the characters are more like parts of a person's psyche, and the person needs all of these components in order to function properly. It's not 100% worked out -- I've never mapped all 9 before and had it come out neatly. But here's my general theory:

Zoe: emotional strength, pragmatism

Wash: humor

Jayne: aggression/self-preservation

Kaylee: compassion

Inara: interaction with society (I am having trouble describing this due to a Friday night bash hangover but I mean that she represents that veneer that lies between the inner person and what society sees.)

Simon: self-sacrifice/knowledge (I'm torn here so I listed both)

River: neurosis/the part of us that is wild or flawed

Book: spirituality

Mal: nerve center/soul, whatever you want to call it. My crazy theory (OK, I've been reading too much Jung) is that Mal represents the individual that all these other characters represent parts of. Without Mal, the others do not function as well and they no longer make up the parts of a whole, but are instead scattered pieces. Mal holds it together and allows the others to perform their functions.

Man, that was fun! It's very oversimplified, but if I was going to turn this into an essay for one of my Lit or Psych classes, this would be the outline I'd start with.




-------------------------------------
"I'll be in my bunk."

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Saturday, June 19, 2004 12:20 PM

TERRIBLETINK


Can I add one more thing? I also think River represents our unrealized potential. I forgot to add that even though I wanted to. (Gorram raspberry martinis did me in last night. My brain = )




------------------------------------------
"I'll be in my bunk."

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Saturday, June 19, 2004 8:57 PM

THEREALME


Thanks for the comments, everyone.

Yes, of course Zoe is Loyalty above all else. I should have seen that from the start. I could also very much agree with Kaylee = Heart, Mal = Soul change as well.



The Real Me

Got Mudder's Milk?

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, June 20, 2004 6:34 AM

EMBERS


well, I agree in part with all of you...and disagree as well...

Wash represents Joss himself, and is usually the comic observer

Jayne (I think you are all WAY too hard on him) is the Cordelia character, selfish and superficial but capable of growth

Mal is the hero who will under go the greatest pain and growth, we can expect him to suffer continuously I think

Zoe is the strong independent woman Joss can't leave out of any story

Kayley is the vulnerable girl we are all suppose to care about and want to protect

Book is an enigma, filled with secrets, WAY too obscure for the high-minded adjectives y'all have put on him!

River is like a force of nature, causing a lot of the themes of the story, she needs to be hidden and protected (even tho she is the strongest in some ways), and she is a danger to everyone...

Simon is always going to be the straight man, stuck with difficult exposition, luckily he looks very cute w/his shirt off

and frankly I find Inara a little dull....(but she does get to wear all the pretty clothes)

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, June 20, 2004 10:59 AM

INSIGHT SPINNER


This is a great thread, The Real Me -- thanks!

Like Embers, I agree with some of what you all say, but not with everything. Like others, I'll stick with the archetypal virtues to make my main descriptions.

Mal -- yes, he's the soul of Serenity. But he embodies determination even more. It is because of his determination in the face of the loss of all things that there is a soul for Serenity to have.

Zoe -- loyalty is a good call, but I feel she is better designed to represent steadfastnest and reliability, for her loyalty is not blind, but her gun hand is sure.

Kaylee -- joyfulness and enthusiasm, for she has innocence without being innocent. That is why she becomes our ship's heart.

Inara -- nope, not sexuality -- that's her job. She represents dignity and respectability -- which of course is ironic, 'cuz she's a whore. So I like that bit about her providing the social face for Serenity. She also has grace aplenty and brings that to Serenity as well, but I think it is her caring and compassion that is possibly her strongest role.

Wash -- yeah, he's the funny one. But he represents more than humor. He is the rational voice that challenges risk, and disbelief at the captain's plans (although after War Stories, he is beginning to get it more)so it's our voice of "WTF are you gonna do that for?". He's got a lot of playfulness and, ironically, more than abit of childlike wonder -- but there is more than enough humor among all folks in Serenity.

Simon -- I like love, as described above.

Jayne -- I think he represents redemption more than aggression -- but we needed more to see it. He's pretty dispicable, but in a funny and, when viewed through his mother's eyes, warm/fuzzy kinda way. He represents the capacity to move from disloyalty to trustworthiness, but he's still got a ways to go.

River represents insight and teh grand potential of the human mind which, despite the fact that they live on a spaceship, dear, is the reason Firefly ranks as science fiction in my mind. As a fan of Le Guin, I love a good psychologically based SF tale that, while in an exotic and fantastic setting, really looks at how we can stretch the bounds of human capacity. And then there is that soup thing.

Book, he doesn't represent spirituality at all to me. He represents conscience in an albeit very christian framework. But when it comes down to it, his devotion hasn't penetrated to his heart, maybe because of his mysteries. So his faith is both rock solid and shaky. It informs his actions, but in a clutch, faith and surety evade him. Those things grow out of a solid spirituality. And, instinct, which in Booklooks a lot like Zoe, goes to the warrior over the shepherd every time, which is why Early knew him to be "no shepherd".

Whew. I haven't been so poetical about fiction since I used to quote the Left Hand of Darkness in letters.

Back to work!!

inspin




insight spinner
__________

Just an object. It doesn't mean what you think....

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, June 20, 2004 11:55 AM

DAVEUKFAN


Ok I'm going to try make my view origional even I only had time to quickly flick look though the others.

Mal: Blinding hope, pure and simple. The part of you that never gives up no matter how dark it gets.

Zoe: Duty, to her captain and husband and the problem of these two conflicting. She will do what ever it takes to satisfy her roles as husband and crew member.

Wash: Insecurity, he's the small weak man in surrounded by soldiers. He uses his humour to hide this but deep down he knows he'll never be able to relate to Zoe the way Mal or even Jayne can.

Jayne: Honesty, with one or two notable acceptions he'll always say exactly what he thinks of you right to your face without fear. Good, bad, ugly it's all there like it or not.

Book: Faith, that he is not in control of his destiny but someone he trusts is. This is a predictable responce given he's a preacher but still the right one.

Simon: Devotion, he sees only his goal anything in the way is just longer step on the road.

River: Imagination, the wild crazy ideas that bounce inside your head wisper in your head, you mind at it's most creative acted out by a girl.

Inara: Pride, she's a slave to society and the desires of others. But despite this she has unbeliefable self-respect. She sees her place in life and the people around her and feels nothing but joy beacuse none of this can break for spirit.

Kaylee: Love, for all around her in everything she does no matter what pain it brings.

Well those are my ideas.... what do you think?

Everybody dies alone

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, June 20, 2004 1:22 PM

ANKHAGOGO


Quote:

Originally posted by embers:
Jayne (I think you are all WAY too hard on him) is the Cordelia character, selfish and superficial but capable of growth

Zoe is the strong independent woman Joss can't leave out of any story



What's ironic about this is that Cordelia is the selfish & superficial one on Buffy, but on Angel, she's the strong woman. I'm not sure how independent I'd call Angel-Cordy, but then again, I'm not sure how independent I'd call any of them on that show.

And you're right, at least with me. I am
[i/way hard on Jayne, but I was much harder on Buffy-Cordelia. And Jayne has actually already changed a smidge.

"Well personally, I kinda want to slay the dragon."

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, June 20, 2004 1:26 PM

ANKHAGOGO


Quote:

Originally posted by terribletink:
Mal: nerve center/soul, whatever you want to call it. My crazy theory (OK, I've been reading too much Jung) is that Mal represents the individual that all these other characters represent parts of.



Somewhere I heard it theorized that the other members of the crew are all some part of Mal that he can't (or won't) let himself be anymore,which I really liked. I wanna say it was on the commentary for Serenity, and that Nathan Fillion said it, but I don't know if that's right. Anyone else know what I'm talking about?

"Well personally, I kinda want to slay the dragon."

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, June 27, 2004 11:56 AM

THEREALME


This thread has died down. Since it's my thread, I'm going to try to revive it.

Let's put in a twist. What Western Character Archetype does each character represent?


Mal: Our Hero, the strong silent type, perhaps the new town sheriff up against impossible odds.

Zoe: The loyal deputy.

Wash: The town drunk (okay, he's not often drunk, but he does have the same wacky comic relief role).

Jayne: The thug, usually on the side opposing Our Hero.

Kaylee: The pretty innocent girl-next-door. Or the young school marm.

Inara: The distinguished town lady. Possibly the hooker with the heart of gold.

Book: The retired gunfighter trying in vain to lead a simple or religious life.

Simon: The rich outsider from back east. A banker, or DOCTOR.

River: ?



The Real Me

Got Mudder's Milk?

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, June 27, 2004 3:31 PM

CARDIE


I know Joss was influenced a lot by John Ford's Stagecoach, so here are some inexact parallels to that cast. First the easy ones:

Mal=Ringo, marginalized by injustice, willing to kill to avenge wrongs against him, but an instinctive gentleman and man of honor.

Inara=Dallas, the prostitute with a heart of gold.

Then some mix and match:

Zoe=the marshal, Curly, who knew Ringo's family and wants to protect him (even though they are on opposite sides of the law.)

Wash=Doc Boone (even though Wash is not a drunk or a doctor), the self-deprecating humanist who always comes through in a pinch. (He and Curly are together having a drink at the end of the film.)

Jayne=Buck, the not-so-bright driver of the coach, mixed in with the motivations of the crooked banker and the marksmanship of the ex-Confederate gambler Hatfield.

Book=the part of Hatfield that is concealing his past and true identity along with the nurturing aspects of Doc Boone.

Kaylee=the sweetness and vulnerability of Lucy Mallory, but not her total helplessness.

Simon=the clueless side of Lucy, the woman from the East, but he's the actual doctor. He also resembles Peacock, the prissy whiskey salesman whose heart is in the right place by the end.

River=There ain't no Rivers in John Ford movies.

And as, the fearsome Apache menace, unseen but lurking through most of the film--the Reavers.

Cardie

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Sunday, May 8, 2022 4:21 AM

JAYNEZTOWN


The universe was interesting

the overall characters, not very deep?

Firefly: The Board Game review
https://www.tabletopgaming.co.uk/reviews/firefly-the-board-game-review

NOTIFY: N   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

Monday, May 9, 2022 10:06 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK


Quote:

Originally posted by JAYNEZTOWN:
The universe was interesting

the overall characters, not very deep?



I think they were. They certainly would have been had they been given the proper time to develop that they were robbed of.

Meanwhile, in Dystopia, Batwoman on the CW got 3 full seasons before finally being cancelled. They couldn't even bring in 400,000 viewers for the finale.

I want to live in the timeline where Firefly is still going strong after 21 years.

That probably happened in a lot more than one universe.

--------------------------------------------------

Me: "Remember Covid?"

Useless Idiots: "What's Covid, durr? Russia, Ukraine, Putin, NATO *drool*. DURRRR!!!!"

NOTIFY: Y   |  REPLY  |  REPLY WITH QUOTE  |  TOP  |  HOME  

YOUR OPTIONS

NEW POSTS TODAY

USERPOST DATE

OTHER TOPICS

DISCUSSIONS
Where are the Extraterrestrial Civilizations
Sat, July 2, 2022 10:47 - 42 posts
Testing.
Wed, June 22, 2022 19:26 - 46 posts
Anyone gotten to the end of season 3 of The Expanse?
Mon, June 13, 2022 11:53 - 32 posts
American Humor
Mon, June 13, 2022 11:22 - 9 posts
TV's Most Shocking Deaths
Sun, June 12, 2022 21:07 - 42 posts
We British need to clean ourselves. Reality TV is our fault.
Wed, June 8, 2022 11:41 - 15 posts
CSTS 2021 Redemption Art Contest winner! All 124 cities listed.
Sun, June 5, 2022 05:48 - 3 posts
Brenda? Are You Watching FBI: Most Wanted?
Wed, May 25, 2022 00:01 - 134 posts
What does each Firefly character represent?
Mon, May 9, 2022 22:06 - 23 posts
Genetic Detective TV Show
Sat, May 7, 2022 00:11 - 6 posts
Just curious who is still here
Thu, March 24, 2022 00:46 - 37 posts
Anybody I used to know still post around here??????
Mon, March 21, 2022 19:03 - 313 posts

FFF.NET SOCIAL