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I think I've figured out why I have such a big problem with what happens to Donna Noble: it's because of Dawn Summers.

I love Dawn. (This should be fairly obvious by now.) She's fun, snarky, intelligent, resourceful, compassionate, and occasionally a brat.

But the thing which makes me love her, no matter what, is the fact that she found out she wasn't real - and then decided she was anyway.

Dawn knows her memories didn't happen. She knows her life is a lie. But she puts that aside and decides to be a real person.

And every day, every time she thinks back to another thing that happened in her childhood, she will once again be hit by the fact that it didn't happen at all. And it will always hurt her.

That's why I wrote Up Late - because it's not just "my life didn't happen"; it's "me teasing Buffy didn't happen", and "my first day of school didn't happen", and "that time when I had a horrible cold and spent the day watching cartoons didn't happen", and on and on...

Every one of those memories is precious to her, because every one of them helps make her who she is. And Dawn decides that she is the person her memories made her; even if they never did.

A few weeks ago, on Whedonesque, I saw someone say that Dawn "isn't a real person, she's just a thing". And I had to shut down my computer and back away, because I got RAGEY BEYOND ALL REASON.

Dawn has always had to fight for her identity, and get hurt over and over by people (her mother, her sister, her friends) telling her that no, she's not real. She doesn't exist.

And nothing makes me more angry than people denying her reality - because they are hurting her. (Even if she is a fictional character, dammit! *is stubborn*)

She is, in fact, a person composed entirely of memory. And I love her to bits.

So... Donna.

She has a whole massive portion of her memory erased by the Doctor.

This leaves us with two possibilities. Either:
- Donna as a person no longer exists (because her memories don't either)
- Donna being a person has nothing to do with what memories she has

The first way, the Doctor has just killed Donna (and erased her soul - see: far too much meta on Fred Burkle and Illyria).

The second way, he's just said Dawn Summers isn't really real.

*fumes for a while*

*realises I still haven't finished this post*

*fumes some more anyway*

If you take away part of Donna's memories, you are taking away part of what makes her her - the part of identity that Dawn has fought for every day since she found out she needed to. You are saying that memories do not make Donna a person; so memories don't make anyone the person they are; so memories can't make Dawn who she is...

It squicks me. Horribly.

(Interestingly, I don't have the same problem with Connor - largely because of what happens when he gets all his memories back, and then decides which set of memories define him, which I see as very Dawnish. Or with Dollhouse - because Caroline without her memories isn't Caroline: she's Echo, who is someone else entirely.)

Questions? Comments?

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October 2010


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