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Rupert Giles, Ripper of hearts and loins

Contributed by
May 7, 2019

Into every generation, a bae is born. He alone will wield the strength and skill to give thirst, heart flutters, and light to moderate panting; to stop the spread of parchedness and induce the swell of, well, you know (*points downward*). He is the Ripper.

It's time to face very real facts: Every man on Buffy the Vampire Slayer was toxic trash. Every single male figure who enters Buffy Summers' life is some varying degree of assclown, demon, robot, a fish that one time, and/or general garbage, the whole lot of them. Her father was a deadbeat douche, Angel got a mean case of the post-coital evils, all her human boyfriends were complete d*cks, don't even get me started on Spike, and Xander Harris, one of her best friends in the whole world was a "nice guy" whiny entitled twat baby and probably the worst man in the entire series, which is a very, very high bar, because again, and I cannot overstate this, every man on that show was a trashfire.

Every man, that is, except for one perfect shining beacon of bae: Rupert Giles. 

When we meet Rupert Edmund "Ripper" Giles, played by Anthony Stewart Head, he is every bit the blessed English librarian type he appears to be. He loves books and history and cleaning his glasses (so that he doesn't have to see the f*ckeries of his charges). He is a hot nerd, but a respectful hot nerd who takes his calling as both Watcher and father figure, friend and mentor very seriously. He genuinely loves Buffy and her friends, even his adopted demon bathtub son Randy, and risks life and limb for them and all of humanity on a regular basis. He is good. He is hot. He is Giles.

But along the way, we learn he is also Ripper. Hot library glasses man would have been fine enough, but add in reformed bad boy Oxford dropout? Holy cats. He can hotwire a car, for heaven's sake — who knows what he could hotwire on you? And it's not merely relegated to backstory. We got one precious dip into the teen Ripper pool that time he and the other Sunnydale adults ate chocolate bars that turned them into horny teenagers. Honestly, we're so thankful that Joyce got a chance to take a trip to band candy poundtown before her untimely demise. We all die, but how many of us truly live?

Also? Also? He sings. And plays guitar. 

Even the lesbians are like YES PLEASE. Xander is unmoved because, again, Xander is terrible.

It's not all leather, tweed, and band candy though. Throughout the series, we see Giles experience unbearable pain and torment. The devastation of Season 2's "Passion" gave us a new side to Giles, one where his killer instincts seep out — his kindness and gentle demeanor cracking to show the seething, bubbling rage just beneath.

And, sh*t. It was super hot.

I am often reminded of a line from my favorite movie, Say Anything. "The world is full of guys. Be a man." I say the world is full of Xanders, Spikes, Rileys, and Parkers. Be a Giles.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author's, and do not necessarily reflect those of SYFY WIRE, SYFY, or NBC Universal.

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