This is cut for length and a little spoilage that you've probably heard about even if you don't do spoilers. Still, you've been warned, so don't come crying to me if you find out something you didn't want to know. :P
A few nights ago, I had some serious Buffy thinking time. This is one of the theories that popped into my head, and it's one that I haven't really heard before (not like this anyway). I decided to post it to see what others might say.
It appears that Buffy, Faith, and the SITs aren't safe. They have all been attacked. Or will be in the somewhat near future. This says, to me anyway, that the FE is no longer worried about the Slayer line. I'm thinking the reason for this has to do with the exploding of the Council. If Faith were to die, who would pass that knowledge on to someone who could obtain the new slayer? For all we know, or the characters know even, the next in line hasn't even been found. So taking out any of the slayers, present or future, really wouldn't matter in the end.
Okay, it would of course. But I'm just saying that maybe that's not what's important anymore. Buffy got her ass handed to her by the Ubervamp twice before she beat him. However, we only heard the "kill them all except her" line before the last fight, which could possibly indicate that the FE doesn't care if Buffy dies. There was no warning, that we saw, previously, and you have to believe the FE is smart enough to know that a slayer and such a powerful vampire will wind up meeting fairly quickly.
So. Who's the her? Not Buffy or the other SITs. Faith isn't in the picture yet. That would leave Willow, Anya, and Dawn. Anya hasn't gotten much time or attention, so I'll just assume it isn't her. Willow has been attacked by the FE, when it took control of her during that spell. Dawn has been attacked as well, but it's been by association only. She was with the others, and the others got attacked. Right.
This brings back "Conversations With Dead People" and the conversation Dawn had with Joyce. I've always believed that it was the FE talking to her. Make Dawn believe she's in danger. Make the girl believe she's strong and can fend for herself. Make her believe she's being helpful and that she conquered whatever bad thing was hurting her mother. And then feed her things to doubt and worry over. I'm thinking Dawn is going to be very important this season. Obviously later on, though, since nothing very important has happened with her yet.
"When it's bad, Buffy won't choose you. She'll be against you." If it was the FE, he has plans for Dawn, and he certainly wouldn't want her dead. Yet. If it wasn't the FE, it sounds like it's something he would definitely want to manipulate for his advantage.
Either way, at this very moment, I think it's Dawn the FE doesn't want dead.
If this is all true, and I'd be surprised if it is, how would you want the First Evil to use/torture/trick/abuse/mentaly kick around/maim/taunt Dawn? What would he do? What would you like to see happen? Buffy forced to kill the girl? Have the Bringers kill Dawn and then the FE assume her form? Or something far worse?
Come on, guys, use your heads and obliterate Dawn's head, spirit, and/or body. Make the girl suffer. This is the First Evil, so it has to be bad. Be the First Evil. Be him.