Friday, June 17, 2011

Why River Song's Life Sucks

River has had such a terrible life. She’s kidnapped as a baby, we see her dying (and regenerating!) as a child, she spends the majority of her life in prison (even though she can break out whenever she wants)—but mostly her life is terrible because she hasn’t known her family and when she did, they didn’t know her.

When Rory shows up at the prison, she knows exactly who he is, but she doesn’t recognize him. I don’t think she’d met him yet, but here he was—her dad!—coming to get her…and he hasn’t the foggiest who she really is. All her life River has known about Rory, the Last Centurian, her father. All her life she’s been told that he would go to the end of the universe and stop at nothing to save her. And here he is, right in front of her, on her birthday.

For a split second, she’s excited: her dad is here! He came all this way to be with her on her birthday! But he didn’t; he’s not there to celebrate, he’s not even there for her, he’s there for the Doctor. It’s this crushing reminder that no matter how much she learns about her family or how much they will eventually know about her, she’s not a part of their lives and she lives out of order with those closest to her. Every day of her life she knows a little more, but everyone around her knows less: knows less of her. Slowly she watches everyone fall out of love with her, even her own father, even on her birthday.

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