It's quite clear from Buffy and Angel that vampires with souls are vanishingly rare. The Shanshu Prophecy refers to the vampire with a soul, and the appearance of Spike as a second such causes great consternation. (Beyond the general consternation Spike commonly causes.) Now, Angel was first re-ensouled forcibly by a gypsy tribe when he ate their favorite child. He's since been re-ensouled twice more by Willow. Apparently a different set of gypsies tried the ritual on a different vampire, and failed.

Is any explanation ever provided as to why this ritual is not at least attempted any other times? Forcibly re-ensouling a vampire against his will should greatly reduce its threat potential, as was seen in Angelus/Angel. And it can apparently be done remotely! What a great weapon, if you can pull it off. And Willow did it with almost zero magical training. Why aren't Slayers and allies casting this all the time on every standing vampire threat?

  • 1
    It would kind of kill the need for a Vampire Slayer, so I'm thinking that is the primary reason. See also Darla's resurrection as an human by the sacrifice of a number (5?) of other vampires and uttering of magic words. Trade 5 soulless creatures for the restoration of one who had more value as a human (e.g. a righteous person who was 'innocent' when turned - Drusilla pops to mind)? I'm in! But it leads to 'end of (vampire) story'. – Andrew Thompson Mar 9 '13 at 3:51
  • 2
    Maybe the Orb of Thesulah is fairly rare, or hard to make. – John C Mar 9 '13 at 13:06

A couple quick points:(Many spoilers ahead)

The great consternation about two vampires with a soul turned out to be a trick by Lindsey. It was explained at the end of the episode Destiny when Spike realizes that the cup they have been fighting for contains Mountain Dew.

As John C mentions in his comment, the Orb of Thesulah is described as a rare object in the episode Passions. It is also a magical object of use to only a small sect of people. It is also a one time use magic item, which can get quite costly over time.

Even without magical training, Willow is a rare and powerful talent. That is something that that is discussed multiple times through out the show. Mostly after one of her spells has gone awry or was implemented too strongly.

Perhaps most telling, the interaction of soul and vampire is extremely unstable. Angel spent decades living in the gutter, destroyed by the magnitude of the evil he had done. Spike spent two weeks living in the school basement, jumping at voices, before he was combat ready again. It is entirely possible that the vast majority of people would just continue to be evil, with a soul. Don't forget that both Angel and Spike are uncommon people to say the least. I find it hard to believe that somebody like Harmony would do as well ensouled.

Additionally, that ritual definitely took more time and preparation than Buffy strolling down to the cemetery and sticking the pointy end of the stake into the heart of newest vampire menace.

  • 6
    Expanding on that, perhaps it's considered cruel to the departed soul to force them into the body of a vampire. Sure, the vampire isn't a threat any more, but now you've condemned a real person to a lifetime of torment... – Stephen Collings Mar 10 '13 at 19:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.