Tess was a very polarizing character on the show, making some people instantly hate her and some grow to love her. These wildly differing opinons were discussed online, sometimes rather violently, often resulting in bashing of the character Tess and sometimes of the actress who played her, Emilie de Ravin. Then, of course, the fans of Tess fought back, and some really nasty arguements took place.
These disagreements became known as the Tess wars.
Below are some Tess fan items I saved from various sites. I'm sure there were many more, so send them in if you have them.
Sorry, I couldn't help adding some snarky comments to some of the more delusional opinions
You will find them in parenthesis and starting with *** like this (*** )
My Opinion of Tess & the Rebels
I have been asked what my opinion of Tess is, since I am a huge dreamer, so here it is if anyone is interested.
I also have a Tess Haters
page if you are interested.
In response to the Tess haters, there sprung up some Tess supporters groups -
- The TPA (Tess Protection Agents)
- Tess Supporters Association
- We Love Tess fanclub
- Tess Believers Society
Of course there were still the Hussies (Tess fans) and the Rebels or Rebel Alliance (fans of Max/Tess).
Here are some support Tess banners I saved. Sorry, I don't remember where these banners are from.
You will notice some of the say "I still support Tess" or "I believe in Tess' remorse". Those started to pop up after
it was revealed that Tess killed Alex and betrayed her family. But some fans were obviously very loyal to her.
Tess Believers Society
The Tess Believers Society was a page from the Home of the Czechoslovakians site that included the following -
This is a ALL Tess/Emilie page. Just for those of you out there who think Tess is a good character and might help the show.
We know your out there, so why don't you come take a look.
We Love Tess Fan Club
The We Love Tess Fan Club was a small Tess fan site.
This is not necessarily a fan club but more of a clique. It's for the few of us out there who love Tess Harding on Roswell and thinks that she needs to be more appreciated. So this isn't a page for Tess bashing it's one for Tess lovin'. So wheather you are a Tess and Kyle fan like I am, or a Rebel Alliance shipper, or a fan of any shipper with Tess your welcome to join and show your support.
Rule 1: You have to support Tess no Tess bashing what so ever.
Rule 2: Take a Member plaque and support banner and paste it somewhere on your site.
Rule 3: By all means as a Tess fan you need to defend her. Especially when she's looked down up by Liz fans. You may want to say something like, "Hey, she saved Maria." or " Look at how happy she made Mr.Valenti on the Christmas Eppy."
A couple of banners from the club
One of the biggest Tess lovers sites around was Forgotten Princess - which quickly changed to fans of Tess pre-Departure when she was revealed as a villain.
Here is a statement from them. (*** a bit delusional and anti-dreamer, but interesting to see Tess from a real fan's POV.)
For a long time now, Tess has been an enigma, something for the dreamers to fear, abuse and ridicule, the rebels to rejoice about and the other roswell fans to sit back and watch a ridiculous war wage across the net while scratching their heads and saying "Huh?"
Even before our dear old Tess even emerged on our screens, she was at the centre of a controversy. A controversy that got so out of hand that I lost my lust for roswell for a while. I remember being a part of a lot of roswell lists and message boards around mid- season one of roswell. There had been an article in dreamwatch, about six pages long that was all about Roswell. While that was interesting what was even more interesting was an interview with J's Katims and Behr in which they mentioned the last six episodes. I can't remember the exact quote but it was something like "The last six episodes change the whole arc of the series." Interesting, I mused. Perhaps something that tells them about their origins, maybe the elusive nasedo will make an appearance. Oooh Juicy. So I got on my newly acquired internet and started searching.
I found a few groups and such and joined them immediately and got stuck into the whole thing. I distinctly remember a post by a certain dreamer that was really ridiculous, It went along the lines of...
"I just heard about this stupid bitch who is supposed to take Max away from Liz. I can't believe this!!!!! Why oh why??? They are soo right for each other. I read that her name was Tess and she's the fourth alien and is supposed to be Max's love or something like that and she wants to get him. Like that will ever happen!" (Side note: Yeah honey cos you have control of the writers pens. Maybe she does and that's why we have that god awful episode departure ahhh shock!!) It goes on like this for a while and then she says "I don't care who she is or what she is like, I hate her already and will never like her!!!"
Then came replies of people brainwashed by her saying "Oh yeah, like totally!! I like you know like totally agree with what you're saying you know like!" I left the list about two eps into the last six because as soon as Tess came onto our screens, the hate just got too much.
But as you can see the girl never had a chance, she was just there to be hated. And I'll admit, having half-listened to what the dreamers were saying, I didn't like Tess all that much either. Not so much because of the whole Liz/Max/Tess destiny sucks triangle thing but because her character didn't seem all that worthwhile. It seemed (at the time) that Tess was simply eye-candy brought into to piss people off and to give Jason Behr fresh saliva to swap with. (sorry for the crudeness) However I was saved when season two came about. We saw a cute playful and above all HUMAN side to Tess. She was a girl, a teenage girl, with all the usual insecurities that we all have at that age, hiding it under false bravado but we saw it all. I still harbored some resentment left over from season one but from the episodes Ask not and Surprise on I fell for the girl. (not in a lesbian sense you gutter heads) She quickly became a fave character, let's not forget that she really gave Kyle some good storylines too and proved to us that yes he has his uses. While everyone else cheered at Tess getting the crap kicked out of her by whittaker (bitch) I sympathised.
The series went quite well from then on. While I didn't like the whole overload on the sci-fi angle (I watch enough of them as it is) I liked the way the series was developing. Tess was developing too. No-one could forget the look of desperation on her face as she longed to be included in a family Christmas and wished the men would tear their eyes away from the TV. The friendship angle between herself and kyle of course stands out, but even the others seemed to be accepting Tess. I distinctly remember a hug between Tess and Liz when Kyle and Alex were freed from their crystal prison. The dupes episodes also brought us the lovely Ava and we saw that both girls although brought up differently were both craving human contact and love. (can i just add that the whole ava metioning that Zan was waiting for someone else to come along just sucked. It reeked of the whole "Liz is the one for Max" crap) We also saw in season two, Tess's willingness to risk her life for her friends. Her pain and anger spilling over into hate for anyone who would touch her beloved and her friends.
Any rebel or Tess lover will remember a warm feeling as they finally saw Tess and Max kiss at the prom. I have to say I thought it was one of the best of the season. So tender, full of love, and remembrance. And who could forget saying "Ahh" as a tear rolled down Tess's cheek when Max said he remembered her when he healed Brody. Those two eps inspired me to write "Demons" because it was soo cool to see a bit of the love that Zan and Ava had for each other and how it spilled over to the present.
Nobody whether you are a rebel or a dreamer can dispute the importance of Tess. Let's list the times she came in useful :
They needed her help to save Max from the White room, They needed her to help power the orbs so they could "call home", Michael would have never made as much progress in focusing his power if Tess hadn't guided him, Max wouldn't remember his home planet if Tess hadn't shown him. Maria could be dead by now if Tess hadn't killed that Skin. The Skins would have known where to find the granolith if Tess hadn't killed them. If Tess left Roswell the world would have come to an end. Brody would have gone to prison if she hadn't mindwarped Amy. And of course there was lots more.
What about the relationship between Tess and the Valenti's? If cannot be denyed that Tess brought a real sense of family into the household, made Kyle and the sherrif bond more and Kyle to feel a hole filled that had been left by the absense of his mom. So much so that when he demanded that Max leave his family alone, Tess was included in that.
Now I already mentioned this in my welcome piece on the main page but let's go back to it. The day Alex died and the time after leading up to Departure. Every one remembers the horror when Sherrif Valenti walked through the Crashdown back door and announced that Alex was dead. Everyone also remembers the look of shock and grief on everyone's faces including Tess. I'm very sorry to all the Tess haters but I find it completely implausible that Tess killed Alex and was only pretending to miss Alex or was in shock from having murdered an innocent.
It just doesn't fit right. Call me in denial fine but I just won't accept it. It's just too unlikely. It really doesn't seem to be just a directorial trick " Let's just pretend everything is fine with her and not have any scenes with her behaving all evil and heinous. Instead let's just wait till the finale and blow everyone's heads off" Sorry katim's all you did was make a lot of people wanna puke. It doesn't seem to me that Nasedo would give up people he swore to protect. I mean he was killed by an enemy, it doesn't make sense to be friends and allies with people who wanna kill you does it? And Tess? What she was waiting ten years to find her kin so she could betray them all to hell. I don't think so! It's not like she needed them at all if that was the case. She knew where the pod chamber was and if so knew about the granolith. She could just as easily look for the key thing by herself then enlist a 17 year old human to do it for her. I mean AHHH, just thinking about it all seems so stupid. I'm sorry, but Tess doesn't seem like the betrayer type. Like she would get herself pregnant for someone other than herself and her love, or that she would risk putting her baby's life in danger by getting pregnant in a poisonous atmosphere. No, sorry will not accept it.
That's why I keep saying to everyone "Keep the Dream alive"
The dream of Tess the alien in love with Max not murderous bitch who will stop at nothing to make lives miserable. After all the evidence is presented, I think that Tess is not a killer. Is not someone who would associate with dictators, but someone who is kind, gentle, with a human side that wants to be loved. Tess killer? NO!, Tess nice person? Yes!
By Miss Dani
(*** Riiiiiiight. Tess didn't kill Alex and betray her family. Obviously, being the kind and gentle soul that she is, she was set up. She just confessed to it anyway.)
Tess Vital Stats
Age: 18 approx
Family: None but her acting father was Nacedo and she became close to The Valentis.
Formerly known as: Ava
Status: Currently MIA or dead.
Children: Son called Zan...snigger.
Alien: Antarian married to the King Zan
Human: mixed up teenager angsting over her former husband
Friends: The other pod squad members, Her best friend would be regarded as Kyle Valenti.
Powers: Mind control, mind warping, Healing Powers, can manipulate mollecular structures, Can Kill with her mind. The Alien with the most developed and potentially dangerous powers.
Best Moment: Saving the others loads of times, showing the others their past, getting max to fall into her arms, burning the skins to a crisp.
Worst Moment: Killing Alex 'nuff said.
Facts on Tess
Tess Harding first appeared on Roswell in the episode "Crazy" Max Evans found himself strangely drawn to her from the start, having fairly steamy dreams about her. It was revealed that Tess was the fourth alien and was raised by the shapeshifter Nacedo. Tess has the power of mind warp, controlling peoples minds and letting them see what she wants them to. She proved invaluble in the rescue of max from the white room and against the skins.
However tess was always an outsider, she was not trusted by the humans and had come too late to break into the tight friendships of the other podsters. When Naceo was killed, she moved into the Valenti household and became very close to Kyle and Jim.
In "Max in the city" she was kidnapped by Rath and Lonnie and was found dazed in a subway tunnel. What happened to her or the dupes has never been solved. Max and Tess continued to get closer as Liz pushed Max away. Their friendship culminated in a kiss at the prom and they eventually consumated their relationship which resulted in Tess getting pregnant. At the same time, a friend Alex was killed.
An investigation by liz and Maria was initiated and it was found that Alex had found a way home for the podsters. Just as they were about to leave, Liz discovered Tess had killed Alex and Max confronted her. She admitted it was true and her betrayal would result in the other aliens being turned into Khivar if they returned home. Max let Tess return home and the last we've seen of her is her ship speeding away into space.
Until approximately a year later Tess zooms back into our lives with child. Naturally Angst ensues but the majority of the the squad choose to help Tess and her child. Tess runs off and apparently kills herself. BORING! Can you tell it's 3am and I'm cranky.
Also mentioned on the site is a song the Rebel's adopted as a great Rebel (Max and Tess) song -
You were Meant for Me by Jewel.
(*** Ok, I just have to make a note here - Apparently the Rebels who choose the song never really listened to the lyrics. It is not a love song. It is about a woman whose boyfriend broke up with her and kicked her out. She is listing all of the things she used to do that he obviously complained to her about, so she is careful not to do them anymore so she can be worthy of him. And she keeps saying that she knows that one day he will realize that they should be together because they were
"meant to be".
Yeah, he broke up with you because you keep leaving the toothpaste lid off, not because he doesn't really love you or want to be with you.
It is really quite delusional and pathetic. Oh wait, it is perfect for Tess.
The only thing the song doesn't mention is destiny.)
(*** The site also had a kind of bossy section on how to write Tess in fanfics)
Okay I thought I should write a little section on fanfiction involving Tess.
Know your character. Watch all eps from Crazy to departure at least twice. Analyse Tess, how she speaks, walks, little characteristics that make her who she is.
There are three types of Tess writers, the dreamer who writes that Tess is an evil bitch and continuously bashes her, writing her as a vacuous tramp who does nothing but causes trouble. Then you have the hyped up hussy who writes Tess as a saint, denies all the things she has done and believes her to be a warm and wonderful little angel who plays with puppies and wears fluffy jumpers. Oh and forever bashes Liz. Don't do this, it's pathetic and you really shouldn't write if you don't make even the slightest attempt to stick to canon. The third type of writer is my favourite a balance of the two extremes. This writer has a clear or at least semi-clear sense of the person they are writing about. They have looked at Tess as a whole and taking her good bits and never denying her bad bits have woven Tess into a story clearly and concisely. This is the best type of Tess writer.
Don't blow Tess's relationships with the other characters out of proportion. Refer to the episodes. Tess and Liz were never great friends, but they were always on speaking terms and never bitched viciously about each other...at least until the end. The same goes for Maria and Alex.
If you are writing an AU, don't automatically make Liz and Tess the bestest of friends. If you are going to do that at least make it a gradual process. Make it believeable. Have them first develop a respect for each other and then take it from there. A better story it makes. (sorry channelling yoda there)
There is one type of story that I have read over and over again that really is just the worst and should be outlawed as a crime against fanfiction. It's the Max/Tess story where they are married, then all of sudden out of the blue Max bumps into Liz, falls madly in love with her and runs off leaving Tess holding the baby/mortgage/gun etc. Just don't.
Get into a Tess writing mood. For a happy Tess fic (not that I write many of those) I listen to upbeat type music, Nelly Furtado, Chart Music, those really cheesy music compilation CD's. For the angsty Tess fics/Romance fics, I listen to what I affectionately refer to as my WB music, that american/dawson's creek type music that no matter what depresses you or makes you muse at the very least. For example for the Tess fic I am writing at the mo', its Michelle Branch, Remy Zero, The Calling and Vanessa Carlton (yeah sad i know)
Get comfy. I write at my computer with the heater on, chocolate and tea beside me and the curtains closed. It helps the whole process.
Tess Supporters Association
The Tess Supporters Association was another small Tess website. Here is some info from the site.
Why everyone has something against Tess, I don't know. But for those of us who actually LIKE Tess, I have started this section. Theres not much in this section yet but I will be adding more whenever I get a chance. Read below for more info about the Tess Supporters Association. Also a little note that's very important: please, please, PLEASE, do not send any mean comments to me about Tess or that I have a section of my site supporting her because I've been getting a lot of those types of emails. Thanks!
What IS the Tess Supporters Association?
The Tess Supporters Association is one of the first ever Tess fan clubs. Everywhere I've looked I have found Tess hating clubs but none that actually support her. By joining you will get listed on the supporters/keeperships page and you will get a keepership (visit the join TSA page for more details). Eventually this section will get built up even more and maybe even become it's own site if enough people like it.
(Below is a statement that the Tess Supporters Assoc put out to defend Tess.
Although, I notice they take a few liberties with the facts, and didn't update their statement after Tess was proven evil)
All right, that's it. I've had enough of all these Tess haters. What the hell did she do wrong? Most Tess haters usually say that she destroyed the Max/Liz relationship, and ruined Liz's life.
How, may I ask, did she do that?
By believing in the ways she had been taught since she was a child?
By trying to do what her father figure, the only person who even slightly cared about her, told her to do?
Tess is not the other woman in Max's life.
Liz made Max fall in love with her, therefore destroying the ready-made plans for the pod squad. As Future Max said (more or less), "The whole world ends if you stay with me, Liz."
Tess arrived in Roswell looking for her soulmate. She found him- taken.
Okay, I know, Tess is sneaky. She made Max see visions of her and him together. But she has an excuse. She believed that it had to be done, so that their destinies can come true. After the destinies were revealed, she discovered that Max was still willing to sacrifice the world for Liz.
But Tess never gives up.
Why do you like Tess? Email me with your reason, and one day Tess lovers will take over the world.
Ravin Hussy Absolution
There was also a group called the Ravin Hussy Absolution who were former Tess haters who changed their ways and became Tess fans. They had a thread on the Roswell Fanforum board where you could go to reform.
Here is what they had to say -
If you were a former Tess hater and have grown to love the character, drop by the Ravin' Hussy Absolution thread and follow these steps into entering the Hussy fold
Welcome all ye former Tess bashers - this is the place for you to seek your absolution. Come on all and confess so you and your inner Hussy (Tess fan) can live in peace - learn, love and live by the 12-step program created by one of our Queen Hussies (one of the orig hussies), Jazz. Besides, all that bashing can give you nothing but heartburn and gas. Let it all go!
Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over Tess - that our lives had become unmanageable until we accepted her.
Step 2: We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore our sanity and become a Tess lover.
Step 3: We made a decision to turn our will and our attention over to the care of Tess as we now understand the character
Step 4: We have finally decided that calling Tess, T***, and snake is wrong and punishable by Tess law.
Step 5: We admitted to everyone on Fan Forum how wrong we were about Tess
Step 6: We humbly accept Tess as a member of the Roswell family
Step 7: We humbly ask for forgiveness to Tess lovers for bashing her
Step 8: We will make a list of all the wrongdoings of bashing Tess and make sure we never do them again.
Step 9: We will make amends with those we have hurt during our Tess bashing days.
Step 10: We will continue to keep our emotions in check and be a Tess fan for as long as we shall live
Step 11: We will try to find Buddha so that we might understand the change we have gone through
Step 12: We shall announce ourselves as being hussies and get officially smacked by the Hussy Queens.