Post by vandergraafk on Feb 22, 2007 19:05:15 GMT -5
Ljones, among others, began a discussion in the Charmed Cafe regarding powers. Are powers inherently good or evil? Or, is it the application of powers that should concern us? Red Owl got us started with this enlightening comment.
I...actually agree with ljones this time.
Powers do not make one evil, at least not at first. Yes, fireballs and energy balls seem evil, but what about Cole? He did good (most of the time) with his powers at the beginning of Season Five. It was only when he let his urge to get Phoebe back at all costs that his powers turned evil.
Having those powers may make you predisposed to turning evil, because you may have a power that is most likely assumed to be evil. Powers that are "evil" are known, and even if the person may use them for good at the beginning, just one comment or act (in the case of Phoebe and Cole, in the beginning of Season Five) could turn the power evil.
About the fire-starting thing: I think it's one of those rare powers that can be good or evil. It's sort of a neutral power.
For example, in Lost and Bound, the little boy's powers were, at the beginning, evil, but they turned good at the end, because of the Charmed One's guidance.
But with Christy, she had the firestarting ability, too, but she was evil, because the Triad's minions turned her that way, by manipulating her.
So, in conclusion, I agree with ljones. Powers can be good or evil. Half of it depends on the person and power in question, but the other half depends on how the power is perceived by others.
Does that make any sense---I hope so...
Post by vandergraafk on Feb 22, 2007 19:06:10 GMT -5
vandergraafk took an initial stab at this issue and offered the following assessment:
Red owl, let me take a slightly different approach to this. I just had to watch Lost and Bound last night - for obvious reasons. Two things leaped out at me. First, firestarters were described in the Book of Shadows. Usually, only demons and warlocks appear in the book. (Okay, I now have to go back to Season 2 and watch the episode with Tuwatha to see whether sword boy is in the book. I don't think he was!)
Second, the entry in the Book of Shadows mentions that firestarters have frequently been enlisted to serve the Source. Tyler, of course, was being recruited by Ludlow for precisely that reason. Christy, on the other hand, was kidnapped to serve the TRIAD. In both instances, their unique (and extremely rare) abilities were highly coveted.
From the perspective of Good (through the Charmed Ones' eyes), we learn that apparently it is the demonic side that highly covets these powers: for obvious reasons. One might legitimately ask, however, how a firestarter would benefit Good since there seems no obvious reason why Good would need to spontaneously combust objects, warlocks or demons.
There is an answer and I believe it is the one that Piper tried to provide in Lost and Bound. Powers are not inherently good or evil, though it may be true that some powers may uniquely reside with good or evil. (Energy balls and fireballs seem to be uniquely in the purview of evil and seem to be a sign of demonic status.) It is the use of those powers not uniquely good or evil that determine whether they have become a tool of good or evil. Witches who abuse their powers repeatedly (Richard) risk becoming warlocks or having them suspended or stripped by the Tribunal. An explosive or combustive power such as one possessed by Piper (explosive) or Tyler (combustive) need to be used sparingly and only to protect the Innocent and defend a witch against demons, lest the repeated (ab)use of these dangerous powers corrupt the (ab)user.
Piper understood this at least implicitly. When confiding in Tyler, Piper confessed that she needed to learn to control her powers to blast demons, warlocks and objects by first learning to control her anger (unless directed at Leo!). Tyler, too, would have to learn to control his anger.
Given the relative youth of Tyler and the vast (demonic) interest in his unique ability, binding his powers must surely have been the best solution to the constant threats emanating from the Underworld. Piper was a Charmed One and could at least count on her sisters to keep her in check.