In which I blog about writing, YA fiction and the occasional sparkly unicorn.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Too Many Feelings

I have a new goal in my life: I want to be a "Successful Manipulator of Feelings".

Saturday night was the premier of one of the most anticipated Doctor Who episodes in a long time. It featured two of the Doctor's friends (or companions) leaving the show. And it was heartbreaking.

I don't mean the kind of hearbreaking where a single manly tear slides down your cheek, or the kind of heartbreaking where you sniffle a bit and make some hot chocolate so you'll feel better. No, this is the kind of heartbreak that immobilizes you to the point where you can't even get out of your chair to go make that hot chocolate. This is the kind of sadness that resonates so deep within your soul that you end up a blibbering mess on the floor, crying into the carpet while your relatives look on in shame and disgust.

It's the episode that makes you look like this:

Yes, this is just a television show, and these are just fictional people. But that's the power of a good story, isn't it? Making you feel something so strong that it might as well be real? Isn't that the whole point of stories in the first place?

And what's one way for a storyteller to do that? Powerful characterization.

Now, I am not going to go on and make this a deep post on Steven Moffat's characterization in Doctor Who, because that's a can of worms I don't want to open. I am simply going to talk about one single character arc, the one that was responsible for most of my feels: That of Amy Pond, the Girl Who Waited.

Now, since this is a post about Amy Pond leaving the Doctor, it is inevetible that there will be spoilers. This is your one and only warning. If you don't want to be spoiled, stop reading now.

It is arguable that one of the main character traits of Amy Pond is that her life revolves around the Doctor. She's the little girl who waited all night in her garden, who ran off in the TARDIS on the night before her wedding.  And in this episode, she finally stopped waiting. 

Amy's husband, Rory Williams, gets zapped back in time. She chooses to go back with him, leaving the Doctor behind.

Amy Pond finally became Amelia Williams. She stopped waiting for the Doctor and chose to live her life with the one person she truly needed: Rory. She grew up. It took three seasons and heaps of painful character development to get her to that point. And it was wonderful. Because she finally got to be her own person and live her own story, and I think she became a better person for it.

But, you may ask, if I am so happy for Amy's character development, why all the gross sobbing? And I shall sigh and simply say, "Because of the Doctor."

While Amy was able to let go and stop waiting, the Doctor was not. The Doctor is constantly potrayed as someone strong and unbreakable. He is bound by his morals and he does the right thing. But Amy is his best friend, and he cannot let go of her. For the first time he wasn't able to give up a companion -- he loved them too much instead of the other way around. He needed his Amy Pond, but in the end she did not need him. And that is what hurts.
So it is those two character arcs that made this story so particularly sob-inducing. All good stories need their characters to change, and this episode delivered on that front. And I am glad, because it was a change that needed to happen. But I am also still dead inside, because now the Doctor is alone and I will never get to laugh at Rory's face again. 

So now I'm gonna go cry some more.

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