aworldenchanted: (Default)
Tara Maclay ([personal profile] aworldenchanted) wrote2010-02-19 11:10 am
Entry tags:

OOC: Application

Your name/crazy internet handle/whatever: Amy
Personal journal: skaryma @ LJ
AIM: theatricAL03
Characters in Taxon (if applicable): This would be, if approved, my first.

Character name: Tara Maclay
Genre (TV/books/etc): TV
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Canon point: mid season six (circa "Dead Things" or so)

Why this Character and Canon point?: Tara has always been one of my favorite characters, and when I saw she was on the "wanted" list, I jumped at the chance to play her.  I wanted to take her from season six, because I really enjoy the dynamic with Dawn that solidified between seasons five and six (as a sort of parental figure).  I definitely wanted to take her pre-death, and I thought, on reflection, it would be interesting to take her from the period in which she'd left Willow, before they get back together.  Though I love the canon pairing, I also enjoyed the period of getting to know Tara on her own, and it seemed a good jumping off point for an RP.  I feel that the character in canon is going through the process of discovering who she is away from Williow; it will be interesting to put this under more stress by placing her in Taxon.  She also struck me as a likely character because, even beyond the Buffyverse characters around, she is empathetic and friendly enough to try and build a new life, despite the distress her dramatic uprooting will cause.

Programmed Possession:  The Doll's Eye Crystal she inherited from her grandmother.  It's never explicitly stated in the show, but it is presumably among the magical possessions Willow is packing up and trying to distance herself from.  It seems likely, given its value, that she'd return it to Tara rather than just donating it to the Magic Box.  The crystal is therefore both a reminder of Willow and Tara's own magical heritage, and so has strong sentimental as well as practical value.

Abilities/Weaknesses:  Tara is a wiccan (witch) in her canon, with various moderate magical abilities.  These include making light, finding lost things or people (to a point), defensive shields, occasional offensive spells such as fire, and telekinesis.  She also has "the Sight," which is the ability to see people's auras and thus tell when they are out of whack, enchanted, etc. (Probably, with mod approval, this would allow her to notice if someone else was glitched.)

Psychology/Personality:  Tara is, by this point in her canon, first and foremost a nurturer.  Her friends serve as a surrogate family, and this makes her incredibly loyal to all of them.  On first meeting, Tara will come across as quiet, perhaps almost shy; she used to be truly shy and retiring, and is still more used to listening than talking.  However, this quietness now belies a much greater confidence underneath; through her relationship with Willow and her friendships with the Scooby-gang, Tara has come into her own as a young woman.

Her protectiveness is probably strongest with Willow and Dawn, as they are her two closest loved ones.  After Buffy and Joyce's deaths in season five, Tara and Willow moved in with Dawn and became her de facto guardians.  The series makes it clear that Tara remains close to Dawn even during her breakup with Willow.  And, tellingly, the first time the audience sees Tara fighting with a weapon, it is directly to defend Willow from a demon.  Though she's not a fighter by nature, Tara will not hesitate to defend those she loves with vigor.

In many ways, despite her shyness, Tara has always had a strength to her that isn't initially obvious to an outside observer.  She came out as a lesbian in (presumably) the mid-90s, to a family who already abused and feared her because of her potential for magical talent.  Despite this, her magical and sexual identities have never been the source of angst or confusion they might have been.  She doesn't feel the need to prove anything on either front, though both aspects of her identity are important to her. 

On the whole, Tara is observant, empathetic, and protective.  These qualities make her a very good friend, and though she doesn't tend to be on the front lines of battling evil, they also drive her to help defend those who can't defend themselves.

History:  Tara is, at this point in her life, about 22 years old.  She grew up with one brother and both parents, somewhere relatively near Sunnydale, California.  Her mother had magical talent and died somewhat suddenly when Tara was 17.  Tara was devastated, going through a rebellious period of grief.  This time could not have been made easier by the verbal (and perhaps even mild physical) abuse she suffered at the hands of her father, brother and extended family.  They informed Tara her mother had demon blood, and that Tara herself was cursed to be twisted by the same demonic heritage.  It is also fair to assume they did not take it well when she came out as a lesbian.  She did, however, have at least one girlfriend in high school; she also took solace in magic and horseback riding.  Even so, it is fair to assume that Tara was glad enough to move out when she started college at UC Sunnydale.

In her freshman year, Tara joined the UC Sunnydale Wiccans, but was not popular and didn't quite fit in with them.  When Willow Rosenberg joins and expresses frustration with their lack of practical action, and is immediately drawn to her.  Willow also helps defend her against the Gentlemen shortly after their first meeting; it is the beginning of a friendship that eventually blooms into romance.  Though Willow is at first reluctant to tell her friends about Tara, eventually she does, and Tara becomes friends with Xander Harris, Buffy Summers, Anya Jenkins and Riley Finn.

For her 20th birthday, Tara's family makes a surprise visit to Sunnydale; this visit eventually proves both her friends' love for her and that her family's earlier lie about demon blood was completely untrue.  After the incident, Tara cuts ties with her family more or less completely, but shows a greater bond of trust and friendship with all her friends, rather than just Willow. 

Later that year, Tara loses her mind as a result of an encounter with Glory; though Willow restores it at the end of the season, it leaves both young women profoundly shaken.  In fighting Glory, Buffy gives her life to save the world and her sister Dawn.  Tara and Willow move in, becoming Dawn's guardians until Willow finally finds a way to bring Buffy back to life.  Tara is one of the first to see that Buffy is not thrilled to be back; later that season, she is also the first to know Buffy is sleeping with Spike.  She, however, believes Spike really loves Buffy, and though she's worried by Buffy's distress, doesn't overreact to the news. 

During the year after Buffy's return, Willow's relationship to magic grows more and more excessive and troubled.  Tara expresses worry and concern on the topic, which leads to a fight.  She later discovers that Willow has cast a spell to alter her memory so that the fight never happened.  When Willow alters the entire Scooby gang's memory soon after, despite promising to deal with her addiction to magic, Tara finally moves out.  Though she tells Dawn she still cares about Willow, she explains that she can't stay under the circumstances.  At this point, Tara is around the Scooby gang less, but remains friends with all of them, especially Buffy.

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