Of Blood and Tea Parties

{An Essay on Drusilla and Her Relationship with Miss Edith}

by claudia6913 & alltherealice

When writing Drusilla you must always take into consideration her quirks, the way she was brought to 'life' by being mentally tortured. Her family was slaughtered by a monster all the while she was plagued with visions that, in her and her family's mind, made her a 'monster'. She is considered insane (a fact I would argue but that is not what this essay is about).

Canon-wise Miss Edith has only been mentioned/shown a few times. If you are writing and trying to stay in Canon, then Miss Edith will not be a huge part of your fic. It seems to me from looking at some of the transcripts that Miss Edith has only been shown while Drusilla was either torturing, or threatening to torture someone. Take for example this excerpt from Season two's "School Hard":

Drusilla: (turns Sheila to the dolls) "You see, Miss Edith? (cut to the doll facing away) If you'd been good you could (cut to Drusilla in her game face) watch with the rest."

Now, we are not told why Miss Edith was bad, just that she was and therefore is not allowed to watch Drusilla turn Sheila. You can take this to mean many different things…it is your fic after all.

Another example is from Season 2 "Becoming Part 1":

Drusilla: "You don't want to kill her, do you? (pokes Miss Edith's eyes) You want to hurt her. (smiles up at Angelus) Just like you hurt me."

What does this say about Miss Edith? It suggests, to me at least, that Miss Edith is a stable fixture in Drusilla's life. While Drusilla is very childlike in nature, the doll just adds to that aspect of her. However, when we go back through the seasons, the only doll we ever see mentioned with a name is Miss Edith. Why is that? Do the other dolls not mean anything? These questions lead you to believe that Miss Edith has something to do with Drusilla's life, possibly before she was tortured and turned by Angelus.

Likewise, since her return to strength in BtVS we only saw Miss Edith in Drusilla's arms one or twice. And whenever she went over to AtS Miss Edith was not mentioned; however, Drusilla was carrying a doll. Was that Miss Edith? There is a chance that Miss Edith was something Drusilla just brought out when she was feeling weak and needed something to boss around, in a sense, and when she changed Darla, she had someone new to take care of so Miss Edith was no longer of any use.

If you look at the other side of the coin, Fanon, you see Miss Edith plays a more prevalent part in Drusilla's character. This is where you can take Drusilla's relationship with Miss Edith to a new level. Where you take her is up to you. There are many different possibilities and each of them has its own tantalizing ideas. Here are a few thoughts I've run across. (I cheated and polled on the NHA forums =) These are the opinions of not only myself but Kaz, Gabrielle, alltherealice, linaluv, and Malea.)

  1. Miss Edith is a doll that represents her childhood and previous life that was subsequently ripped from her by Angelus. In this scenario Miss Edith acts as a companion through the years, letting Drusilla hold on to something that is now lost to her. This also allows her to use Miss Edith as a kind of scapegoat for her visions, making it easier for her to accept that she has them. She can say that Miss Edith told her…insert vision…and everything is ok. Remember that when she was human her having the visions was considered a mark of the devil, and she didn't want to be evil. She had begged Angelus, who was acting as a priest, to bless her and forgive her.
  2. Miss Edith is a constant in Drusilla's unusually long life. She is something that has always been there and will always continue to be there. Something like a security blanket.
  3. Miss Edith gives her a link to her past, or a link to older times. Even now in the modern age Drusilla is still a Victorian girl at heart, and Miss Edith can remind her of that.

No matter what role you have Miss Edith play in your fic, she really should be there in some capacity. How can you have a tea party without your favorite doll? However, if you do choose to use Miss Edith, just remember to be consistent in her role. Don't switch from #1 to #2, or whatever. Try to keep it all together, otherwise it won't make sense.

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