elisi: (Chess)
[personal profile] elisi
Welcome to the meta café! Help yourselves to tea and scones! (No really. This is epic and vast. It’s taken me days to write. You’re going to be here a while. It's just over 8500 words long. And image heavy.)

Before we begin, I shall just point out a Moffat joke. Because I think there are a lot of jokes we’ll only really get now. From Time of Angels:

DOCTOR: The writing, the graffiti - Old High Gallifreyan. The lost language of the Time Lords. There were days, there were many days, these words could burn stars and raise up empires, and topple Gods.
AMY: What does it say?
DOCTOR: Hello, Sweetie.

In conclusion: FUCK YEAH, RIVER SONG!

Also, Moffat - you are a genius. Now I’ll admit that when I first watched this episode, my feelings were pretty perfectly captured by this gif (I have never actually SEEN MLP, but that did sum up my reaction. There were also RL issues wrapped up in this, but mostly I think the crack was just obscuring my vision. Mmm crack.) However, I am now in this frame of mind. It is, without a doubt, my favourite episode ever. Because it is the most beautiful. And this post is, basically, an attempt at conveying all the things I see. (I love it so much it’s almost embarrassing. Good thing I’ve got no shame left when it comes to TV shows...)

I shall start us off with the whole story summed up in only two images. Yes two. And you can marvel at how clever Moffat’s metaphors are. (I’ll get to how clever his plotting is later on.) Also I make no real distinction between River-the-character and River-as-metaphor. Because that would be impossible.

The Doctor’s Final Lesson, courtesy of River Song

The King and Queen of all the Worlds

The live chess... Has there ever been a better metaphor for how the Doctor lives his life, and how he defeats his opponents? Of course that game is at its most basic an analogy for how the Doctor wins throughout the episode: By conceding the game, he gets what he wants.

But here’s what I missed initially - River is the Queen. As everyone has noticed (and complained about at great length), River has throughout her life been treated like a pawn, been used (and mis-used and hurt and abused and exploited) for other people’s ends and moved across the board over and over. But River isn’t anybody. The result of all the maneuvering is that by now she (metaphorically) has 40,000 volts running through her, and the next person who touches her is going to burn. And that is the River at Lake Silencio. Someone who has been moved one time too many and will rather let universes collapse than be forced against her will again.

For most of the episode the Doctor tries to reason with her, tries to move her the way he’s moving and manipulating everyone else around him, but all he gets in return are deadly sparks - even with all of creation hanging in the balance.

The key turns out to be just the same as in the real match - concede the game. Stop trying to force her, stop using her, and instead acknowledge her for what she is - his equal, his partner, his Queen, his wife. And so they play the game together.

All For Love

So River... How did she become this?

DOCTOR: River - River! Why do you have to be... this? Melody Pond! Your daughter. I hope you’re both proud!

They should be. Because the thing is that River is a Pond with a timehead. She is 100% her parents daughter, and her parents have an epic, epic, epic lovestory, spanning millennia, and one with a singluar, deeply romantic, focus. Here, let me illustrate:

Now River - as surely as her father - declares her love more important than the whole universe. And - like her mother - readily defies destiny, causality and the nexus of time itself ‘for a boy’. The difference being that added to this mindset, River was born with the abilities and traits of a Timelord, and she can actually follow through.

Because Timelords are inherently arrogant and forceful. (See Mels/River breezing her way through Berlin, the world nothing more than her plaything, to do with as she pleases... “Never shoot a girl while she is regenerating!”) There were reasons Gallifrey had a strict policy of non-interference, because otherwise renegades would begin to do stuff like... this:

River has the power and the drive to force her will onto the world. And that will is very much shaped by who she is and what she wants and who her role models are (the Doctor, her parents).

This was the first thing I made once I began thinking about the episode:

In [livejournal.com profile] owlsie’s words:

"PFFT. CAUSALITY." I LOVE HER. I LOVE HER SMUG LITTLE FACE. "Well you said time was not the boss of me, so fuck it!"

And really, is it any wonder that - starting out as the Timelady Victorious - she ends up here:

I’ve always found Ten refusing Wilf’s gun to be the absolute height of selfishness. Now I don’t mind selfishness per se, but what I can’t forgive is that he’s not honest about it.

“Don’t you dare put [the Master] above the world!” says Wilf, but Ten doesn’t just dare - he dares to justify! But he doesn’t say ‘The Master is more important to me than the whole of the human race’ - which, whilst kinda worrying, is at least understandable, and straightforward. No, he tries to use his moral code as justification. (I know that he goes on to talk about how he’s no innocent, but it’s still unbelievably arrogant. I’ve never liked him less and I genuinely think it’s his lowest moment, far moreso than Mars.)

Now in contrast, River, here, is deadly earnest and honest - killing him is killing her. She does not want to murder the man she loves - a man beloved by the whole universe - by being used as a pawn in someone else’s game.

We even have Rose parallels...

THE DOCTOR: No one’s ever mean to have that power. If a Time Lord did that, he’d become a god, a vengeful god. But she was human. Everything she did was so human. She brought you back to life but she couldn’t control it. She brought you back forever. That’s something, I suppose. The final act of the Time War was life.

River does not want to impose her will on the universe. Doesn’t seek power, or to save her own life. Like Rose, she acts out of love. A young, selfish kind of love, it’s true, but love nonetheless.

Really, just look at Amy in Amy’s Choice, for more of those Pond traits:

DOCTOR: Are you very sure? This could be the real world.
AMY: If this is real life, then I don't want it, I don't want it!

The Doctor has acted as enabler quite a few times when it comes to the Ponds, so he shouldn’t be surprised that it comes back manifold in their daughter. In almost the exact same words.

River is caught between two terrible choices. And she follows her heart, rather than cold logic. Which brings me to... Buffy! (Stop looking at me like that. You must have known it was coming.)

River is Buffy

Now, Buffy. For those not familiar with the show, very basically during S5 the Bad Guys wanted to sacrifice her little sister Dawn (who was really an interdimensional key - but also very much a real girl, even though she’d been created by magic), and over the course of S5 Buffy’s whole mission narrowed down to Protect Dawn. Nothing else mattered. Of course the Bad Guys managed to get hold of Dawn (or there’d not have been much story), and Buffy and Giles (her Watcher) ended up having the following conversation:

GILES: If the ritual starts, then every living creature in this and every other dimension imaginable will suffer unbearable torment and death... including Dawn.
BUFFY: Then the last thing she'll see is me protecting her.

I’m sure I don’t need to point out the parallels much? This is River, exactly.

Because she killed him once, already, don’t forget that, and brought him back at huge personal cost.

From another conversation with Giles, earlier in the episode:

BUFFY: I sacrificed Angel to save the world. I loved him so much. But I knew ... what was right. I don't have that any more. I don't understand. I don't know how to live in this world if these are the choices. If everything just gets stripped away. I don't see the point.

And here are River and the Doctor:

DOCTOR: River, there isn't any other way!
RIVER: I didn't say there was, Sweetie.

Now Slayers... Slayers are born with innate abilities, and - if they’re called, and those abilities activated - with a mission. During S5 Buffy starts to delve deeper into her Slayer side, trying to work out what it is, and she later (S7) discovers that the original Watchers - the Shadowmen - took a girl and put the spirit of a demon into her, so she could be a weapon to protect humanity. Re. the S5 storyline, then here is the rest of the above conversation:

BUFFY: The spirit guide told me ... that death is my gift. Guess that means a Slayer really is just a killer after all.
GILES: I think you're wrong about that.
BUFFY: It doesn't matter. If Dawn dies, I'm done with it. I'm quitting.

Oh Buffy. Oh River.

They flat refuse to be nothing but a weapon, forced to destroy those they love. Even if it means the end of the world.

(On the other hand - sacrificing themselves in their loved one’s stead? Done in a heartbeat.)

And actually, here is Buffy’s conversation with her Spirit Guide, because it’s relevant to everything, ever:

FIRST SLAYER: You're afraid that being the Slayer means losing your humanity.
BUFFY: Does it?
FIRST SLAYER: You are full of love. You love with all of your soul. It's brighter than the fire ... blinding. That's why you pull away from it.
BUFFY: (surprised) I'm full of love? I'm not losing it?
FIRST SLAYER: Only if you reject it. Love is pain, and the Slayer forges strength from pain. Love ... give ... forgive. Risk the pain. It is your nature. Love will bring you to your gift.
BUFFY: (pause) What? I-I'm sorry, I, I'm just a little confused. I'm full of love, which is nice, and ... love will lead me to my gift?
BUFFY: I'm getting a gift? Or, or do you mean that, that I have a gift to give to someone else?
FIRST SLAYER: Death is your gift.
BUFFY: Death ...
FIRST SLAYER: Is your gift.

I could go on forever, but I’m pretty sure that ‘Love will bring you to your gift’ and ‘Death is your gift’ are utterly self-explanatory. (Have been down this road many times. Although the ways in which they apply to River are impossibly perfect. I am incredibly grateful that Moffat has never watched Buffy, since otherwise I’d accuse him of just stealing armfuls of stuff.) However. Onwards. Back to the Buffy S5 finale, and different parallels:

BUFFY: Come on. Say it. We're bloody well talking about this. Tell me to kill my sister.
GILES: (whispers) She's not your sister.
BUFFY: (pause) No. She's not. She's more than that. She's me. The monks made her out of me. I hold her ... and I feel closer to her than ... (looks down, sighs) It's not just the memories they built. It's physical. Dawn ... is a part of me. The only part that I-

River is the Child of the TARDIS. She is, physically, a part of the Doctor’s world, and, through that, the Doctor himself. Having understood, and accepted, this, killing him is way beyond just murder. It’s killing her family, and in some ways part of herself. It really, truly, cuts right to the heart of her, and everything she is.

Mels didn’t know who she was - all she knew was Kovarian and Amy. But then the Doctor told her who she really was, and this changed her view of herself fundamentally.

I can even bring back Rose, and the TARDIS speaking through her, because this is River:

ROSE: (suddenly looking at him) I want you safe. My Doctor. Protected from the false God.

Can you imagine the TARDIS killing the Doctor? Can you really? We even have Amy killing Kovarian, metaphorically destroying that deadly link, leaving River as the daughter of Amy and the TARDIS. And that woman? Would never kill the Doctor.

So oh, she just stands there, head held high...

Unstoppable force, meet unmovable object.

(And the King has to concede...)

Because the role River’s assigned herself (and it took me an embarrassingly long time to really work this out), is the Doctor’s Protector. The Doctor keeps saving the universe, and she keeps saving him. Look at how she freaks out when the Dalek kills him in The Big Bang, and how she even shoots at herself in TIA. She carries a gun so she can kill stuff that threatens the Doctor.

And this is one reason why she’s fine with him gallivanting through space, picking up an endless succession of pretty girls. They’re not a threat (plus, you know - he married her):

ROSE: Queen must have loved her... [Madame de Pompadour]
THE DOCTOR: Oh, she did. They get on very well.

Heh. Her focus isn’t so much him, as keeping him safe: Try to hurt him, and she will end you.

Yes, she's completely centered around him, but it's not a traditional female role at all. (Told you she was Buffy, see?)

Except she’s not just Buffy. If River is anything, she’s the Slayer who becomes a Watcher. She studies the Doctor. She wants to know as much about him, and his world, as she possibly can, because knowledge is power. And the more knowledge she has, the better she can keep him safe. She’s... a Warrior Watcher? Does that make sense?

Anyway, going back to the episode... Asking her to kill the Doctor, is like asking the Doctor to destroy the world.

Does. Not. Compute.

For those who know their Buffy, they’ll remember that when The Bad Guys captured Dawn, Buffy went catatonic. Retreated into her own world inside her head, and Willow had to go deep into that dream space in order to confront Buffy, help her to sort out her issues and bring her back to save the day.

Which is pretty much the perfect lead-in to the next section.

Greenworld (or: Through the looking glass)

How many mirrors did we have this season? I’m sure it came as no surprise to anyone that eventually we actually ended up in a different world, a world of pure myth and symbolism.

I shall start off with quoting [livejournal.com profile] promethia_tenk:

The Doctor is a Trickster character. He lives in a greenworld full of chaos and magic and the subconscious, where the primal forces of life are given unchecked reign in a way they are not in the real world. People from the real world of Order and Civilization who have problems that cannot be solved by the rules of that world are whisked away by him to the greenworld to wrestle with the forces underlying their ordered world and to find the solutions there that they cannot in their regular lives. Then they go back to the real world and order is restored and life goes on (often with a wedding).

But the Doctor has his own problems. What is humanity's green world is his real world ("Make all of time and space your backyard and what do you have? A backyard!") with its own rules and order and its own set of repressed forces underlying it that he doesn't necessarily have the tools to deal with on his own. So how is he to escape the rules he sets for himself in his own little civilization and sort out his deeper problems? He needs his own trickster figure (River) to transport him to his own greenworld (the AU in which time stopped) which, perforce, must be that much more chaotic and magical and insane and governed by all the primal forces even he tries to ignore. And there he can confront those conflicts within himself and find resolution to them before returning, fixed, to his real world. And order was restored with a wedding!

And it's a funny thing, because Moffat has truly buried The Lonely God, but has he (/they) ever been more god-like than here? The Doctor and River create their own universe just for sorting out their lives (on which hinges the fate of the cosmos), and the world is reborn from their kiss... I just. It's so beautiful. The two of them are, unquestionably, the Masters of Creation:

DOCTOR: And wife, I have a request. This world is dying, and it's my fault and I can't bear it another day. Please. Help me. There isn't another way.
RIVER: Then you may kiss the bride.

And in both LKH and TWORS, it’s a kiss which kills and saves. In the latter case it’s even the same kiss. The symbolism and mirroring is off the scale.

Plus, they’re on top of a pyramid. Just sayin’. :)

But here’s the thing - the solution to the Doctor’s preordained death hinged on something terribly simple: Straight up subterfuge. Rather than using any kind of great *power*, the Doctor quite simply lived up to his Trickster-nature and, well, tricked everyone. River didn’t have a problem with this at all, she just needed to be instated as co-conspirator, since she was created to belong in his greenworld.

The Trickster and his wife...

”There were days, there were many days, these words could burn stars and raise up empires, and topple Gods...”

And those days are not yet over, Doctor. Because your wife is The Woman Whose Love Stopped Time.

(How does this episode manage to be so incredibly beautiful? The language keeps stopping me in my tracks.)

Anyway, before I move on, I feel obliged to point out how - as many of us suspected - ‘The Curse of the Black Spot’ turned out to be a big metaphor from start to finish...

There was the mark of Certain Death (/fixed point), which turned out to be something else. There was the Siren/Mermaid who rose from the water, who turned out to be a doctor. (And she sang.) There was the fact that everyone had to go to a parallel world in order to sort things out. There was the necessity of confirming a marriage in order to save the man who was dying (I swear to you, by the higher power of your choice, that when the Doctor and River got married this image sprang into my head). And finally there were continued adventures, with everything different and yet the same, and the pirates thought dead in their old world...


Before the episode aired I almost made this, but didn’t, for fear of jinxing everything. However, I am very pleased that it now holds true, especially since I know that this was Moffat’s intention right from the start. Oh that clever, clever man.

Mostly this episode just makes me go PONDS! PONDS! PONDS! GLORIOUS, MAGNIFICENT PONDS! I loved Amy as James Bond, and Rory as Captain Williams and the whole way that played out, with Amy as The Girl Who Remembered, but also as The Girl Who Did Something About It.

I loved that she shot the Silents, saving Rory, and killed Kovarian, and generally just the way she HBIC’d her way through the episode.

But most of all, I think I loved that scene at the end. She really is an adult now. Compare and contrast the distraught Amy in TIA, and the woman here, having a quiet glass of wine with her daughter.

The Doctor’s dead, and she accepts it, which I think is the major reason River decides to share the secret. Plus, to quote the Tesalecter:

”If she’s family, she has privileges.”

And they are family. Upside down and back to front and timey-wimey, but they’re family. The Doctor is a Pond. \o/ \o/ \o/

Mr and Mrs Song


Ahem. I’ve been doing that a lot these last few days. Because, well, my OTPs don’t get married. They just don’t. My OTPs are problematic and difficult and try to kill each other and can’t voice their feelings and often just die. (Out of 5 OTPs I’ve only got one mutual ‘I love you’, and that was in a radio play, two years after one half of the OTP died. And he was still dead.) I am used to living off throwaway lines and stolen glances and UST. Here's the perfect example:

SPIKE: Just ... give me something ... a crumb ... a barest smidgen ... tell me ... maybe, someday, there's a chance.

I am really, really good at living off crumbs. So, basically:


Except it did, and nothing, ever, will stop it being the most magical and wonderful and incredible thing.

*deep breath*

Now with that out of the way, let’s go back to the beginning of the story - the story that the Doctor is telling Churchill. Because how does our dear Doctor introduce the main characters? Well...

I would say something about ‘a match made in heaven’, but that somehow doesn’t seem fitting...

Anyway, just the way he says ‘Hell. In High Heels.’ He has it bad. And he knows it.

Plus, it doesn’t get any better once they actually meet face-to-face again. She is channeling a combination of Ten, the Master and Rose, which means that basically the Doctor is a) Freaking out because she's JUST LIKE HIM, and b) Utterly enchanted because she hits ALL HIS KINKS.

As I’ve said about a hundred times already probably, the whole thing centres around trust. The Doctor wants River to trust him to have a way out (see that wink), and River plain refuses.

Which is where things get interesting. Because once I thought about it, why would River trust him to save himself? Her personal experience so far boils down to a) He couldn’t save her (not when she was tiny, nor when Kovarian came for her again), and b) He’s useless at saving himself. She killed him without breaking a sweat. Now she has obviously also done a lot of research in the meantime, which will have shown her that he is very good at sacrificing himself/getting people killed/getting himself killed.

So when he tries to intimate that she should trust him (I’ve got this! Stop being difficult!), her response is basically: ‘Well why? I love you, and you are the best man I’ve ever known, but you are also clearly a moron who’s useless at looking after himself. So I’m very sorry, but I’m going to stick with my plan, because that’s the only way I can be SURE that you don’t die.’

Because don’t forget - she invested everything in him, and for those who think her sacrifice in bringing him back to life was too great, you can see some of the consequences here.

Remember in my last post, how I used Ten’s rant against fate? Well my my, I feel rather prescient for bringing him up, because River is channeling him something fierce in this episode. Here, let me rephrase that speech a little:

Did she bring him back for nothing? Did she sacrifice all her lives only to be brought back right where she was, and see him die, at her hand, again?

Not a chance. Not if she can help it. (And she can. Help it, that is.) You can argue that it is unhealthy, but her life centres around keeping him alive. He is her, literally, she re-created him, gave him new life.

To quote [livejournal.com profile] cinderbella333

Really, one of the themes in River's life is that the Doctor does something and River is the one to step-up and take the consequences of it. The Doctor keeps saving other people. River keeps saving the Doctor. (Which is one of the reasons I see River as the Library and the Library as River. She spends all this time gathering all the information on the Doctor. She learns everything she can about him. Even the things he doesn't know yet. Even the bits of his story he never hears. Not to keep him safe, but to keep him saved.

Now going all Biblical, then Eve was created as a helpmate for Adam. And what is the key moment in both LKH and here?

DOCTOR: Please. Help me!

He can’t do it alone. But both times she has to force his hand to make him see this, and she does it in the only way he will listen to: By literally killing time.

In LKH it was his own time that was running out, forcing him to ask for help.

In TWORS it is the universe’s time that is being killed, and it is not until he asks her for her help as an equal that she consents to save it:

DOCTOR: And wife, I have a request. This world is dying, and it's my fault and I can't bear it another day. Please. Help me.

The thing is that she is his helpmate. As he discovered in the Byzantium (when she fixed the teleport he’d written off), anything he can do, she can do better! (Oh for a vid of the two of them to that song... Sung by Ruthie Henshall and John Barrowman of course! )

And here she builds a timey-wimey distress signal, and my goodness, look at his face.

Oh he tries to cut her down (brutally so), for her reasons for sending the signal. But - the fact that she built the thing! That she can’t just speak in his level, but understand and use his kind of technology... He is so damn impressed.

And a little later, he says: “River! You and I, we know what this means!”

To be able to say that, and to know you are understood... Really, who else was he going to marry?

(I keep flashing back to The Doctor’s Wife and the Doctor trying to explain how the whole 'bubble universe outside the actual universe' works to people who can’t grasp it - and to him and Idris creating a TARDIS out of kettles and bits of string. Hello foreshadowing!)

I know some people have complained that River is ‘young’ and barely knows him, but - if we say that Kovarian brought her back to 1963 (because that’s a nice year to start from), she’d be 48 by LKH, and in her fifties now. Plus, she’s studied him - she doesn’t have any illusions.

From the Doctor’s side, then well... He’s known her for 200 years, and even for a Timelord, that seems a rather long courtship. There comes a point when you really need to just step up to the plate. Plus, I think he was rather keen on the marriage thing, to be honest. He certainly didn’t seem very unhappy afterwards... (I’ll get to that.) Mostly he just dislikes being pushed around, but hey - what can you do? She needed to know that she wasn’t the woman who killed him, and he... well, he always knew he’d end up marrying her.

However it’s interesting that this is the point where he learns that without trusting others, he can’t ask them to trust him.

And this is his final lesson.

”Trust me, I’m the Doctor.” Over and over and over again he says this, and whilst he believes in humanity he doesn’t trust anyone but himself completely. (He numbered the envelopes...) Until this point.

River is his rock, River stands up for him, River’s faith in him is absolute - and this is where it comes from. This moment, when he puts his faith in her.

And he does it by binding himself to her.

With his bowtie...

Now, cast your mind back to the end of DotM:

DOCTOR: You could come with us.
RIVER: I escape often enough, thank you. And I have a promise to live up to. You'll understand, soon enough.

I have no idea whether that’s deliberate, or just the most incredible co-incidence in the history of television, but... the bowtie! I will never look at it the same again!

And, going with the same scene...

DOCTOR: OK, up to you. (walks to the TARDIS) See you next time. Call me.
RIVER: What, that's it? What's the matter with you?
DOCTOR: Have I forgotten something?
RIVER: Oh, shut up.

Now when this first aired, I was all a-flail over the fact that River was the-woman-the-Doctor-kissed-on-a-regular-basis. Never in a million years did I guess we’d get this:

To which I can only add this:

(48 years of ‘asexual’ - never mind the grand-daughter, I can hear people shouting ‘LOOMS!’ from over here - gone up in smoke. *insert never-ending glee* And I say that as a former adherent to the asexual club. Not that I think the Doctor is a particularly sexual creature - he’s not human, doesn’t have the same urges or physical imperatives, and he would NEVER go there with a companion - but I like it as yet another thing which drags him down off the The Lonely God cloud where RTD liked to park him.)

Death of the Doctor

I think my initial problem with the episode came from his cheating of death. I was so sure that it was really him, and that he really died (Moffat is a LYING LIAR WHO LIES! Just so you know), that the sudden cheat (no matter that I didn’t see it coming), felt like... a cheat.

However, I always knew that’d he’d get out of it somehow, and as a matter of fact the whole season has been killing the Doctor. They’ve just been doing it in stages:

1. A Good Man Goes To War. The Doctor’s self image dies:

RIVER: Doctor? The word for healer and wise man, throughout the universe. We get that word from you, you know. But if you carry on the way you are, what might that word come to mean? To the people of the Gamma Forests, the word "Doctor" means mighty warrior. How far you've come.

This loops back to The Beast Below, of course:

DOCTOR: ...Three: I murder a beautiful, innocent creature as painlessly as I can. And then I find a new name, cos I won't be the Doctor any more.

Also, we saw the beginning of this in S5, with the Pandorica being constructed for the Doctor, something he never saw coming. After AGMGTW? Oh he understands.

2. Let’s Kill Hitler. The Doctor physically dies.

This is one reason why his cheat works at the end, because killing him outright twice? Well, that’s a little much.

3. The God Complex. The Doctor kills Amy’s faith in him, and vice versa.

It’s all about seeing each other for who they really are, and not hiding anymore.

4. The Wedding of River Song. The death of his reputation.

DORIUM: So you’re going to do this? Make them all think you’re dead?
DOCTOR: It’s the only way - then they can all forget me. I got to big, Dorium, too
noisy. Time to step back into the shadows.

Now going back to the beach, the other thing that makes me OK with it is the Abraham parallels. Kierkegaard has a whole chapter on this - the testing of Abraham’s faith, by God asking him to sacrifice his son. And it is only at the last minute, when knowing that Abraham will go through with it, that God sends an angel to stop him and point out a substitute sacrifice.

Because the Doctor was going to go and be killed. We saw him running, we saw him argue, we saw him stopped dead in his tracks when hearing of the Brigadier’s death. And it’s only then - when he has arranged for the letters to be sent out and resigned himself to his fate - that a way out presents itself.

But, why did the Doctor have to die? Why was this story devised in the first place?

I’ll get to the Watsonian reasons in a minute, but in Doylist terms then this sums it up rather perfectly:

RIVER: When you began, all those years ago, sailing off to see the universe, did you ever think you'd become this? The man who can turn an army around at the mention of his name?

With the destruction of Gallifrey there was no one to keep the Doctor in check, and he grew year on year, until his reputation alone was enough to make armies flee. And really, what kind of story can you tell about a man like that? Because the Doctor isn’t a warrior, even though he’ll always step into the breach. To drag out one of my favourite Moffat quotes:

"...[The Doctor is] just a lunatic who’s capering around trying to have lunch somewhere nice, and all these people think that he’s this massive, mighty foe... I think that’s a fun thing to play with. Because we know he isn’t. We know he hasn’t even got a plan. He can’t even drive the box. We know that’s not true. So I think that makes it a fun thing to play with. It’s a dangerous card for the Doctor to play because the more he makes his enemies fear him, the more powerful they will become in response to what is, in fact, an unarmed man who can’t drive."

By killing off his reputation, Moffat can now allow the Doctor to have more fun. Which I’m all for. :)

Now about the Teselecta, specifically. I rather love it. When it was introduced, the Doctor made no bones about his opinion, but what made me terribly happy was the fact that the Teselecta, in this episode, spelled out the fact that what it did wasn’t so different from the Doctor’s mission - refusing to apologise, or somehow see the Doctor as morally superior - and that the Doctor didn’t argue with this - as a matter of fact he took the mirroring all the way, by putting on the Teselecta.

And hey, me being me, here are a few examples of the Doctor ‘giving people hell’:

I am reminded of the Girl in the Fireplace...

”We are the same.”

Oh the mirrors this season. *happy sigh* A Doctor in a Doctor suit... Nothing is black and white, and the Doctor is not a moral absolute.

Plus, there’s this. The resolution was a Deus Ex Machina. LITERALLY! (Can’t say that with out thinking of this song btw. LITERALLY!)

Which brings me to the Silence. I like the Silence. I like the idea behind it. I like that it’s a ‘bad guy’ which has evolved, and whose purpose - as it’s slowly being unravelled - changes from season to season. (To be a tiny bit unfair - because nothing is ever simple, and the bad guys were only ever the backdrop for the actual character drama - then the run-through of the Big Bads for RTD’s finales goes as follows: S1 - Daleks. S2 - Daleks and Cybermen. S3 - Evil Timelord (the Master). S4 - Daleks. EoT - Evil Timelords (the Master & Rassilon). All of them Evil with a capital E.)

So I like the nuances of the Silence. Let me explain.

During S5 all we knew was that there was a crack in the skin of the world, and that ‘Silence would fall’. How and why were never explained, but the Doctor dealt with it, and rebooted the universe. The danger was unknown, an intangible evil. Mysterious.

Now in S6 we’ve discovered that ‘the Silence’ is not a species, or a person, or an event, but a religious order. And - despite some of their servants, such as the Silents and Kovarian, being pretty awful - the Silence itself cannot be condemned as ‘evil’. What they did this season was to try to avert The Falling of Silence (= the universe blowing up), by killing the Doctor (making his Silence fall) so he would never get to Trenzelor, and the Question would never be answered. Their intentions were good although their methods weren’t. Why must Silence fall when the Question is answered? Well, I’m sure we’ll find out some day. Maybe there’s still a Bad Guy hiding somewhere behind everything. (Oh let it be Omega, pretty pleeeeeease! The signs are all there, and he’s mad enough to do it.)


*has RIDICULOUSLY large light bulb moment*

OK, first things first. Some people have asked: Why go to all the bother of stealing and conditioning River? Especially since the astronaut suit worked on its own? Well... They were trying to create a Fixed Point. Fixed Points contain narrative. Fixed Points are pivotal to time. So they very, very carefully constructed a story that the Doctor could not escape, one deeply intervowen with his own story and those around him. He can’t break, or avoid, this Fixed Point, not just because it’s fixed, but also because he would in addition to that be breaking his own personal timeline. (And we all saw what happened.)

Now to my light bulb! Who or whatever causes Silence to fall obviously knows who River is (The Woman Who Kills the Doctor), and knows that the Silence uses her to kill the Doctor before he can get to Trenzelor. And this is why the end of The Pandorica Opens is (apart from Silence Falling as the universe is unravelled) also one long sustained attack on River (which... was puzzling at the time, to say the least):

1. Her husband gets locked up in the Ultimate Prison, so he can’t save her.

2. Her father kills her mother.

3. The universe blows up on the day she was conceived.

4. River herself is trapped in the exploding TARDIS.

All of it to ensure that River can never get to Lake Silencio and kill the Doctor, and thus avert Silence Falling.

Holy CRAP that is good.

*is in awe*

ANYWAY. The Doctor cleverly managed to cheat his way out, but he kept the narrative in place, which is what matters. As we saw on Mars, the narrative is... flexible. It can’t be broken, but it can be bent.

Of course, this leaves us with Trenzelor and the Question Which Must Be Answered (and this will be when River learns his name, or I’ll eat my cat). Because the thing is... ‘The Fall of the Eleventh’ might cause the Doctor to tremble in his boots, but Silence Falling? Been there, done that. One universe already re-booted. As a matter of fact he needs to survive Utah in order to keep time intact...

(Although - knowing that it is his name which will cause Silence to Fall? Well, the Alliance weren't wrong when accusing him of being the one to destroy the universe. Oooooh, this could get fascinating.)

Plus: ‘The only time I could...’ He does seem to know what’s coming. Not in detail, but what kind of event could force him to speak his name. Which again ties in with River’s demeanour when she tells him:

RIVER: Doctor... one day I'm going to be someone that you trust completely, but I can't wait for you to find that out. So I'm going to prove it to you. And I'm sorry. I'm really very sorry.

And of course he can tell her/have her with him/however it works, because he already trusts her completely.

Putting the Doctor back together

Who is the Doctor? Well the episode handily gave us both sides of him within seconds of each other:

Oh the duality. But the problem is that he’s been getting more and more Stormy, and he needs to be more Alfie... (Heee! Literally just now thought of that little joke!)

Like I said before, RTD spent 4+ years breaking the Doctor (and, like you know, I'm all for holding people over volcanoes and see what they're made of), but Moffat has fixed him in 2!

Now during S6, specifically, he’s been taking him apart, and addressed every single issue. We started off with The Lonely God (so very lonely, so very broken, at the end of End of Time *pets him* I loved you very much indeed my poor, darling Ten), and Moffat tackled the God part first. To re-cap:

AGMGTW was the big changing point, as River showed him exactly what he was, and what he was becoming.

Then came the fact that he couldn’t save Melody... Nor could he actually save himself.

Followed by his fatal mistake with Amy, having to close the door on older!Amy and facing Rory’s harsh criticism about how he turned them into him.

Which led to The God Complex, and he was forced to destroy Amy’s faith in him, and his own in her.

“I really am just a mad man with a box...”

And after this, he spent 200 years running. With the mindset we saw in Closing Time. 200 years of knowing that he put people in danger, that he couldn’t help turning others into mirrors of himself, that he wanted adoration, but didn’t deserve it. Ten was indeed youthful indulgence - the Doctor has now spent fifty times longer, post-Time War, with a very, very clear picture of who he is, and without any selfpity. Travelling for all that time on his own, not picking up Companions, not going mad, just knowing that he was going to die (and that this was probably quite just - see Minotaur). Oh he clearly had a lot of fun on the way (just see the montage at the beginning of TIA, plus his adventures with River), but he no longer indulged in any illusions. Look on it as purgatory, or atonement, or penance. Because all that time what he wanted was this:

I think he initially saw death as the final sacrifice, the thing that would put him to right with the universe. But then there was River. River River River. Wonderful, beautiful, incredible River, who did this:

Remember Let’s Kill Hitler?

DOCTOR: Find her. Find River Song and tell her something from me.

Now it is quite clear that the message was “I love you, River”. It was what allowed River step out from the shadow she had lived in - stop being The Woman Who Kills the Doctor, because she knew what she could be The Woman The Doctor Loves. (And it's the reason she can stand so firm here. She would not be so ready to demand marriage if she didn't know that he loved her.)

And forgiveness alone could not have done this, although we see that he, later, gives it to her:

DOCTOR: And you are forgiven. Always, and completely, forgiven.

I think it’s meant for Berlin, not here - belated forgiveness for her actual killing of him. And yet... He uses the words always and completely. It means that there is nothing she can do, which will make him reject her. Remember how much I’ve talked about the theme of acceptance this season? Specifically fathers? Well this is where we were going.

Forgiveness is something central to the Doctor, and what it means is that he loves her unconditionally.

Which brings us back to the Doctor and his issues. Now the Doctor, quite obviously, can’t be forgiven by those millions upon millions he has killed. But River gives him what he needs to step out from the shadow of guilt he has lived in - she lets him know that he is loved by millions. And it is only after this revelation that he marries her. It’s what helps him believe that he is worthy of love (which I don’t think he ever thought he was during any of New Who).

So, with this impossibly beautiful moment, we can finally bury the Time War and its ghosts. The Doctor is free. Free to love and to be loved.

No longer a god, and most certainly not lonely.

He is just a man - a clever, mad and wonderful man - with a wife (although she’s in prison, so it never gets too domestic), a daughter (which he currently thinks is dead) and in-laws (this one never gets old! But - he has family on Earth!).

Contrast the man at the beginning of this episode (lonely, in pain, dying, a long way from home), with the man at the end. Gallifrey, his old life - that's all gone and dead. But... now he has been given everything anew (ooooh he is Job. Nice), and is back at the beginning.

And the boy and his blue box are sailing off to see the universe.

The Doctor’s Wife

Now, who had that title first? The TARDIS. And this is where the show gets so clever that it takes my breath away. It’s all about the boxes, you see...

Let’s go back to my first quote:

AMY: What's a Home Box?
DOCTOR: Like a black box on a plane, except it homes. Anything happens to the ship, the Home Box flies home, with all the flight data.
AMY: So?
DOCTOR: The writing, the graffiti - Old High Gallifreyan. The lost language of the Time Lords. There were days, there were many days, these words could burn stars and raise up empires, and topple Gods.
AMY: What does it say?
DOCTOR: Hello, Sweetie.

A home box. Now can you think of a better description of the TARDIS than that? She is the Doctor’s Home Box. And so is River.

Pay attention very carefully. The TARDIS is disguised as a Police Box - a prison. Her Chameleon circuit burnt out, and she’s stuck like that. Yet it’s a good disguise, and no one suspects what dwells within, what that box really holds: The Doctor’s wife.

And River... River is in her own prison box, Storm Cage, hiding who she really is. You could say that her choices burnt out, narrowed down to two, and she chose this box as a disguise. And no one suspects what dwells within, what that box really holds: The Doctor’s Wife.

Now there was a line re. the TARDIS that truly leapt out at me with hindsight:

DOCTOR: You took her from her home. But now she's back in the box again and she's free!

It’s not so much that a box brings freedom, but to give the person in question the freedom to choose their box. And River, like the TARDIS, should not be taken from her box. They tried, and it was killing her, and through her, killing time itself.

Which brings me to this.

AMY: Are you going to make her talk again?
DOCTOR: Can't.

He couldn't. But the TARDIS had already helped create someone to speak for her (The only water in the forest is the river...). Someone to talk and run around and bring home strays alongside him. Someone to meet him over and over and over again, throughout the time and space, saying the one thing the TARDIS always wanted to say:

And finally... There is a lot of talk about how unhealthy River’s life is - how her whole existence centres around the Doctor (as does the Master’s by the way - and he gets a far worse deal, because his only purpose is to be a dark mirror.). What people fail to take into account, I think, is the way mirrors work. It is because River gives the Doctor everything that he gives everything back. Her language is quite possessive - My Love, My Doctor - but it is so because he is hers. Literally. Completely. And because all of history was happening at the same time when they got married, they are married forever, across all of time and space.

Really, the episode was terribly simple: It was a wedding, and two became one.

And it was the most beautiful thing ever.


Many thanks to everyone who’s helped inspire this, and whose ideas I’ve thieved, including [livejournal.com profile] promethia_tenk (who owns at least half, since we share a brain), [livejournal.com profile] owlsie, [livejournal.com profile] cinderbella333 and [livejournal.com profile] humansrsuperior, as well as this post by [livejournal.com profile] bystander_3, this thread on [livejournal.com profile] doctoreleven and EVERYONE ELSE. Brain fried, can’t remember you all.

Plus, of course, endless gratitude to RTD for bringing the show back (so no RTD - or Ten - bashing, thank you, I am very fond of both!), and to Moffat for being amazing. <3

ETA: Also hello to anyone new dropping by! *waves* Plus thank you to those who've linked to this, I'm all overwhelmed. ♥ Oh and all the pictures are by me, but none of the gifs.
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Date: 6 October 2011 03:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eve11.livejournal.com
Aw, this was just gorgeous. I too felt like initially the escape from death was a cheat, but actually this post (and Moffat's tweet!) makes me feel so much better about it :D

One thing though:

avert the Falling of Silence, by killing the Doctor so he would never get to Trenzelor,

I think that's backwards: remember it's the Doctor's silence that they are actually trying to ensure. Because the alternative is too horrible to think about. "I never realized it was my silence. My death." The Silence is not trying to avert "Silence falling" they are trying to ensure it. As Dorium says, "Silence must fall when the Question is asked", as in, the Doctor had better already be dead because if he's there, he'll answer and then apparently, Bad Shit Will Happen. :D

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Date: 6 October 2011 03:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] janie-aire.livejournal.com
Damn you!

You made me cry.

And thank you, because while I truly loved this episode, there was so much I just didn't see -- and so I didn't cry at all during this episode, not once in the five times I've already seen it.

And now I see, and it *is* beautiful, and so much better than I ever dreamed.

(no subject)

Date: 6 October 2011 03:31 pm (UTC)
promethia_tenk: (the big bang)
From: [personal profile] promethia_tenk
Oh, it is a thing of BEAUTY!

Excuse me while I clutch at you and make sputtering noises . . .

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Date: 6 October 2011 04:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bendingwind.livejournal.com
You have this wonderful and also extremely irritating but mostly just wonderful tendency to put everything I'm thinking into words. I have trouble writing explicit meta--I usually can only explore my thoughts about the show directly through fic. This is just... so perfect. On every level (and the one point I didn't agree with has already been addressed in another comment, I see, so that's nice).


(no subject)

Date: 6 October 2011 04:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] stargatecrazy.livejournal.com
This is too beautiful for words.

Thank you so much for this :D

(no subject)

Date: 6 October 2011 06:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jeymien.livejournal.com
This is just lovely. I've been arguing about how River is like Rose/Bad Wolf, incredibly young still (I mean, really, surem she's in her 40's-50's by that point atleast, but in her actual own life, free of the Silence manipulation and discovering who she is without it, she's still so young.) - and this is first love. The love that makes you and him the only things in the universe of possible importance. And you don't let that end, you don't let it die. OTP and all. (I also have made the Buffy/Angel comparisons - both women are passionatately in love and that love leaves to the end of the universe because they can't let their lover die.)

But I do love this meta more than that thought. They could work together too though?

(no subject)

Date: 6 October 2011 06:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dqbunny.livejournal.com
Yes, which drives me nuts when I hear several Rose fans arguing against Doctor/River going on about how selfish River was in her actions -- yet Bad Wolf and blasting holes through the universe was a completely unselfish move on Rose's part.

And this doesn't make sense because I think out of all of the companions, Rose and River would be the ones to go have tea and scones and completely get each other's motivations about the Doctor. This comes to me from the POV of being a fan of both companions and both pairings.

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Date: 6 October 2011 06:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gabrielleabelle.livejournal.com
This is nifty.

(no subject)

Date: 6 October 2011 06:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dqbunny.livejournal.com
This was completely gorgeous, and I happen to agree with everything you wrote here. When the episode aired, ironically enough, I happened to compare it (http://dqbunny.livejournal.com/509740.html) to my version of Slayers (the anime/light novel, not Buffy, of which I'm still watching), but the same situation where when push came to shove, the kickass heroine chose love over the universe. In this case, Lina Inverse had been known to shy away and deny any attraction she had toward her protector, but for once, instead of he protecting her, she protects him. Really, just how Doctor/River they are when it comes to protection like that, looping back into your analysis, would take ages to write.

I'm wondering, since Moffat has been working to deconstruct the Lonely God that RTD's Doctor had become if the answer to the question just isn't the Doctor's name, but that unlocks the Time Lock that the Time Lords are stuck in. It's a theory that's been bandied about, though I bet it would need to be said in a particular setting since River said the Doctor's name in SITL and the universe didn't go kablooey then.

Honestly, you're an inspiration here. I've been wanting to sketch out a longform Doctor/River adventure, but couldn't figure out where to start. I think I know now.

As I originally heard on Twitter and have adopted for series 6: "Everything's canon, and nothing hurts."

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Date: 6 October 2011 07:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jay-kateel.livejournal.com

What if the Doctor used his name to seal the Time War? O_o;

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Date: 6 October 2011 08:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] duh-i-read.livejournal.com
You honestly had me at the chess metaphor, then you throw in some perfect buffy parallels on top of a sublime breakdown of why River remains awesome and powerful in light of a pretty messed up personal timeline (or timecurve or time wibbly wobbly) and frankly, all I can do is flail my arms about and bask in how brilliant this is.

(no subject)

Date: 6 October 2011 08:34 pm (UTC)
owlboy: (Eleven/River - lover or killer?)
From: [personal profile] owlboy
Epic. Epic. Epic. And you used the bowtie thing! I'm STILL squeeing over that ever since it hit me yesterday, it's really quite ridic. I want to go back and find ALL the little moments like that.

I am not one for love stories. At all. They usually either make me want to laugh or throw up. But River/Doctor is so wonderful and perfect and romantic [their love CREATES THE UNIVERSE KJGHDKdfdf!!!] I actually get a little teary over it. ;____;!

(no subject)

Date: 6 October 2011 08:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dramaturgy.livejournal.com
Speaking of weddings, I'm getting married to this post, just so you know.

(no subject)

Date: 6 October 2011 09:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cassi0pei4.livejournal.com
I'm gonna go in the corner and happily cry for a bit.

*points and gestures wildly*

You. Genius. Just. Woah.


I may try to put this awesome into icon form...but I don't know if I can capture the brilliance of your meta in only a measly 100x100 pixels.

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Date: 6 October 2011 09:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yoshimi.livejournal.com
love your review. love the show. best show since buffy, no doubt.
buuuuut ... i thought you said river was spike! ;0

(no subject)

Date: 6 October 2011 09:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yoshimi.livejournal.com
PS. river/doctor, buffy/spike, who are your three other OTPs?

(no subject)

Date: 6 October 2011 09:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fuzzyboo03.livejournal.com
This helps me to love the episode again.

I had all these detailed reasons why I both loved and hated the episode at the same time, and in the end, what I realized it came down to was that it wasn't technically the Doctor who kissed River in their wedding. Which is just a sort of reflexive "that's not right."

But the rest of it's brilliant, just like your meta.

(no subject)

Date: 6 October 2011 09:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] purplefringe.livejournal.com
Ok. So. I've read ALL your DW meta but I don't think I've ever commented before....but this time I just had to, because THIS. IS. PERFECT. I love all the meta and symbolism and parallels (BOWTIE OMG) almost as much as I love the squee and flailiness of Moffat's Doctor Who, (seriously, ask such_heights, as she's the unwitting recipient of my 4am emails in which I ramble really incoherently and at length about whatever shiny meta thought has just struck me....) and I wanted to thank you for this. Every time I sit down to try and write my own meta analysis of Doctor Who, I get overwhelmed by the HUGENESS of it all and I give up because I don't even know where to start. So thank you for being able so say so coherently everything that I could not, and MORE. The chess metaphor in particular blew my mind. I'd already had my own thoughts about the symbolism of the Doctor's chess piece, but I NEVER would have called River as the electric queen, or the chess game as a metaphor in itself. The bits about exactly what River gets from her parents were amazing as well, and the parallels with the COTBS and TDW and the bit about their kiss creating the universe and and and ACTUALLY ALL OF IT.

Um. So. Thank you!

(no subject)

Date: 6 October 2011 10:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] darling-ashes.livejournal.com
This is beautiful and perfect and amazing! Seriously, there isn't enough positive adjectives to describe just how amazing this is.
From: [identity profile] aareavis.livejournal.com
On the last section, The Doctor's Wife. Amy mirrors the TARDIS SOOOO MUCH. It makes sense because they are both River's mothers.

The short version:
Amy dresses up as a policewoman, likes to kiss and bite people, thinks Rory is pretty.

The TARDIS dresses up as a policebox, likes to kiss and bite people, thinks Rory is pretty.

A house/head that has too many rooms. A house/head that doesn't make sense. When The Doctor used to tell Amy that her house had too many rooms, I used to think, "What about your house, Doctor? What makes you so special?"

On on unrelated note: I found it funny that early in the episode, The Doctor was reading a knitting magazine and, later on, there's a hand-fasting. I had just got a book on symbols the day before and saw an entry for knots. Knitting is just a fancy way of knotting thread/yarn. I don't know what you would do with that information but I found it interesting.

And now a really random thing, I found myself reminded of that movie Beetlejuice which also involved weddings and dead people and portals into alternate dimensions and sacred books. Also, Dorium's "Doctor who? Doctor, who! DOC. TOR. WHO!" I haven't seen that movie in ages though so I could be picking up really weird and random things.
promethia_tenk: (bigger on the inside)
From: [personal profile] promethia_tenk
That TARDIS/Amy comparison is fascinating. Plus, they both have extraordinary abilities of memory: Amy can remember things that never happened, and the TARID can archive things that haven't happened yet : )

Your point about knitting is forcing me to remember when it first came up in TIA, when the Doctor was trying to run away from the "mysterious summons" to investigate the astronaut girl (his future). He, all unwittingly, tried to send them off to their already-determined fates. Amy and Rory were "off you pop and make babies." River was "back to prison," symbol of her status as his wife and killer. And for himself? He proposed "knitting or biplane lessons."

(no subject)

Date: 6 October 2011 10:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] c-carol.livejournal.com
This is fantastic! A great piece of analysis, and it actually makes me feel better about the parts of the episode I didn't like. So, thanks.

(no subject)

Date: 6 October 2011 10:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] invicta.livejournal.com
YOU WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL PERSON. This is a thing of beauty and an absolute pleasure to read.

My initial reaction after watching the finale was this weird, amorphous sense of something not being quite right, but reading this has completely restored my trust in the Moff and I'm so glad I chanced upon it, because it would've been a sad, sad thing had I gone on making this face :| at the episode. I realize now that there was a lot more going on than I first picked up on!

(no subject)

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(no subject)

Date: 6 October 2011 11:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] artemis-ephesus.livejournal.com
THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS time infinity. There's aren't enough words in the universe to explain how brilliant this is. And how it made me sniffle all over again, because the whole episode is just so, so perfect. *sigh* Brilliant work, really amazing.

(no subject)

Date: 6 October 2011 11:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] turil.livejournal.com
Thank you so much for this... It made the story 1000 times better for me. Especially the part about the Doctor finally knowing that he was loved and wanted, and that he loved River unconditionally. That's a big thing for me in my own life (and very complicated and mentally fucked up marriage). So it hits me right where it both hurts and feels beautifully right.

So yeah, thanks.

Also, you didn't mention the Doctor's room in the God Complex. I tend to think he saw himself and River on their real wedding night (a future wedding on Trenzalor, where he does indeed get asked his name and has to answer honestly, but only says it to River, who he can trust to keep it a secret, thus saving all of reality!). His biggest fear up until now is falling in love and actually making a commitment. I think he sees himself in love and letting himself go with her in ecstasy, and that's why he quietly closes the door and puts the do not disturb sign on it. :-)

(no subject)

Date: 6 October 2011 11:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tiredmomof2.livejournal.com
Amazing, you did an excellent job. Completely agree with you.....

(no subject)

Date: 7 October 2011 12:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] the-nightsky.livejournal.com
Greatly enjoyed reading this, although I'm still thinking about it. I may have to go back and read it again. Thanks for the deep thoughts which help me understand what's what.

(no subject)

Date: 7 October 2011 12:11 am (UTC)
endeni: (Imperatrix!Romana)
From: [personal profile] endeni
As always, your sharp thoughts render me pretty speechless...
Boy, just... the chess metaphor! *_*
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elisi: (Default)elisi
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