kaffyr: The Doctor, his wife, her mother and father (Wedding)
[personal profile] kaffyr

Before the Angels Come

I’ve been refusing to think about the end of Amy and Rory, the end of River. I don’t know whether it’s going to be an end, or a disappearance, a transformation or transmutation, a fall or an ascendency. I don’t know if I’ll cry or if I’ll be dry-eyed, but I am already aching. Which is probably why I’m not thinking about it, because I’ll only ache more.

(Why on earth does a story do this to me? Actors, typed words on dog-eared scripts, hours of painstakingly layered binary codes turning green screen and nothing into something else … oh, I know. [personal profile] promethia_tenk  and [personal profile] elisi  and [personal profile] lonewytch  and others far brighter than I am have said it so much better than I do, so many times. I wish I’d had more time and attention span recently to read more of their amazing metas. But I digress.)

The point is, I haven’t been thinking of them going because, as we all know, if we don’t think about it, it won’t happen. And I know, I know it’s going to happen, and I’m a Who fan and I’ve seen companions come and go, and some of them I’ve missed terribly, and I’ve still gotten over their various passings and learned to love whoever comes next. I know Who is all about change and I have loved the show for more than half my life, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to me. But I have loved the Ponds - River and Rory and Amy - more than I ever expected to. Why is that, do you suppose?

Let’s wait on that, shall we? I want to talk about other things so that I don’t have to think about goodbyes.  So I’ll go back to the things I believe.

I believe that River Song’s story never got less interesting as it went along. That’s what I’ve read all over, that’s the common wisdom. But common wisdom’s  a language  in which I am largely illiterate.

For me, River’s story only become richer, sadder, more joyful, more terrible and full of laughter, more awful in the old and new sense. Her personality only became clearer and deeper, stronger and more admirable with each new ill done to her, each victory she gained over herself and those who strove to malform her.  She became River Song; not the Doctor’s shadow, nor his assassin, nor his mirror, nor his puppet. She escaped victimhood (and certainly was no psychopath, but I’ve ranted about that before.) She became herself and no other. She regained honor, regained her mother and father, relearned love and trust. She regained herself against unimaginable odds. She was broken, but became whole, and lived her life, finally, for herself. And the Doctor loved her for it.  People snip and snark, saying the Doctor couldn’t love her, trotting out a myriad of reasons. When they say those things, their words are like babel to me. I don’t understand them.

I have no idea what is coming - what many of you have already seen - but for me … now and forever, River is marvelous, glorious, tragic, and transcendent.

I know there are people out there who say she is a Moffat caricature of a real woman (which presupposes what the hell a real woman is and presupposes even more about River’s creator), who say she’s uninteresting, or that she’s arrogant, smug or annoying merely for doing things Our Hero does, merely for … well, as I said, there are people who speak about River Song in common wisdom. I don’t speak that. I honestly don’t understand people when they make these comments. I fear that they don’t understand me when I talk about how much I love River, though, so we talk past each other.

I shall miss her very much. And I shall miss her mother, too.

How can I understand people who call Amy cardboard, who say she is shallow, or selfish or just a caricature of a woman, written by someone who doesn’t understand women? (They say it about her daughter, too … ah, there’s the family resemblance.) How can I parse those who judge or damn her with faint praise, saying “She’s OK, when she’s with Rory.”

I can’t.  What I do understand is the way Amy drew people into her orbit, and the way she never stopped fighting, never stopped living. She may have been the girl who waited, but that simply meant that she refused to give up. I’ll remember her fearlessness and her cheek, her intuition, the way she tilted her head to look at people with eyes as curious and unforgiving as a bird’s, the kindness that she held inside her, a little to her own surprise.

I understand too that, kindness aside, she is incredibly Old Testament. Amy speaks vengeance. If you hurt someone dear to her, if you take someone away from her who she loves, you may not survive.

After she’s gone, I’m going to remember Amy’s voice and the way she looked at people when she spoke to them. You really couldn’t look away from Amy when she spoke to you - perhaps because you could never be sure of whether looking away would hurt her, or make her hurt you. She was that fierce and that damaged. It always seemed a half-hiccup away from tears, even when she was happy. And it was always moments from a growl, as attractive as her Scottish burr could make that. Anger and hurt, fight and flight, all wrapped around the kernel of someone who, as a child, was placid, practical, yet completely at home with wonder. (She cooked the fish fingers, cleaned up, thought the Doctor was silly, and packed her bags.)

Do you suppose that part of the reason Rory loves Amy so much is that he and Amelia-who-was, who still sits in the heart of Amy-who-is, have so much in common? I wonder. No matter; I shall miss Amy very much, because of those things at the very least.


I’ll miss Rory, who was smart and observant, brave, resilient, flexible but with a backbone to match Amy’s. Who loved Amelia and Amy, who loved River, who both took care of people and cared for them. He was honorable - possibly the most honorable person the Doctor has had in his life recently. Even when we were supposed to laugh at him, in those first days, he silenced laughter because he always spoke the truth; irritable, angry truth sometimes, but always the truth.  Oh, and there it is, the heart of Rory - honor, and truth-telling and unswerving love.

I - and this truly isn't me going off on a tangent, bear with me here - love S6 even more than I loved S5. That's because I think S6, for me, braided family, and time, and myth, and faith, and family again, and circular paths and the way past them, and love, and hate, and reaching out, and holding back, and still more family, revelation and deliberate obliteration, all together. Watching the strands weave about each other, dizzied and intoxicated me even as it nourished me.

Ultimately (and here's where we veer back to today, which I'm trying to ignore for a few minutes more) for me, this has all been about love, and how love is the right thing to choose.  It doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt and it doesn’t mean love always wins out, but if love’s one choice and lack of love is the other? Choose the hurt and find your family.

And what a family. They all waited, didn’t they? Amy for the Doctor, Rory for Amy, River for the Doctor, the Doctor for all of them - look at how often he stayed in one place for them, when his nature told him to go, how very much he loved them when he chose to do that.

Amy and Rory and River all waited, but then … then they all stopped waiting and went forward.

Each of them rejected stasis. River broke her programming, Rory became human despite his plastic prison, Amy broke time to find her family not once, but twice.

And the Doctor helped them travel forward and back. He may have taken them down into the dark places, into loneliness, anger, horror and grief, but never because he wanted to. And he always lifted them up again, every time, because they were his family. And they flew together; into laughter and adventure, companionship, belonging and becoming so much more than they were at the start.

 

Such stories they told, and made, and were; Amy, Rory, River and the Doctor. And how my heart aches, even before I see their last adventure.


Date: Sunday, 30 September 2012 12:24 am (UTC)

Date: Sunday, 30 September 2012 02:09 am (UTC)
promethia_tenk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] promethia_tenk
*eyebrow waggle*

Also: I like it when you say things. Really, a lot. I always want to wrap myself up in your meta.

Date: Sunday, 30 September 2012 03:48 am (UTC)
kerravonsen: Rory the faithful centurion: "faithful" (Rory-faithful)
From: [personal profile] kerravonsen
Ah. So true, this.

Heh, if the Doctor can't love River, he can't love anybody!
Yes, I have found River smug and annoying at times, but I think I should some day re-watch all her episodes in River-chronological order and I think I would come to a larger understanding of her.

For example... I initially thought that River's death/afterlife inside the Library computer was a cop-out, turning her from an independent woman to someone chained inside a cookie-cutter fantasy world.
But now that we know her past, the whole thing with her becoming a mother to those motherless unreal children is something poignant, that she would be giving something that she was never able to receive herself.

Date: Sunday, 30 September 2012 12:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladymercury-10.livejournal.com
Do you suppose that part of the reason Rory loves Amy so much is that he and Amelia-who-was, who still sits in the heart of Amy-who-is, have so much in common? I wonder.
That's a lovely thought. I wouldn't have said that, but I think you might be right.

It doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt and it doesn’t mean love always wins out, but if love’s one choice and lack of love is the other? Choose the hurt and find your family.
I was really annoyed with S6 for a long time, but I think that the way that S5 was about how you could grow up without giving up your sense of wonder, S6 was about how growing up would mean exposing yourself to a lot of ways to get hurt, and how that wasn't the end either--that it was still worth loving people, and that good things could still come of that pain. And then I think we've seen that promise fulfilled so far this season.

It sounds really stupid, but watching the Ponds on the journey has gotten me through a lot of things on my own. I think I had started losing faith in a lot of things, and seeing Amy learn to believe in magic again and get more and better than she could have ever thought to ask for when it seemed like the world was ending reminded me not to lose hope myself. And watching Rory go on when he was afraid and worn down and when everything he wanted had been taken from him, and still love the people around him and still try so hard to be good, reminded me that sometimes we keep going even after we're broken. I was the same age as Amy when she came on the show, and so watching her and Rory grow up has been a big part of growing up for me, and it's really sad to think about not having them around anymore.

But--and no spoilers here--the finale was rather lovely, and I think a fitting end for them. The very last few minutes in particular were quite special. And I did cry, but I think although I was sad, it was as much that I was happy to have been here, and relieved, and proud of Amy and Rory and all that they had done, if that makes sense.

Date: Sunday, 30 September 2012 06:45 am (UTC)
elisi: (All for love (Rory) by rx_generation)
From: [personal profile] elisi
Ultimately (and here's where we veer back to today, which I'm trying to ignore for a few minutes more) for me, this has all been about love, and how love is the right thing to choose. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt and it doesn’t mean love always wins out, but if love’s one choice and lack of love is the other? Choose the hurt and find your family.
This is beautiful and perfect and I might quote it. <3

Date: Sunday, 30 September 2012 07:28 am (UTC)
lost_spook: (dw - eleven)
From: [personal profile] lost_spook
Ditto.

Date: Sunday, 30 September 2012 07:30 am (UTC)
lost_spook: (dw - Eleven reading knitting book)
From: [personal profile] lost_spook
Aw, this is lovely - and thanks for writing it. It's so refreshing when so much of my flist is taken up with, well, not hate (my flist are mainly pretty nice) but grumbles and apathy as regards Eleven-era Who which, overall, I've loved. And I do agree with you here quite a bit.



(Hope you didn't find the farewell to the Ponds too heartbreaking; it felt very right to me, anyway.)

Date: Sunday, 30 September 2012 07:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] a-phoenixdragon.livejournal.com
I love you. For all of this. All of it...better than the best meta, darling. Truth always sings sweetly (even if sadly) and your truth has flowed into my heart and made me FEEL it.

*HUGS YOU HARD*

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