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StephenT [userpic]

(Meta) The fate of Dawn

12th October 2009 (18:03)

Just some idle musing. In 'Fray', we're told that "all demons, all magics, were banished from this earthly dimension" at some point in the 21st century. In Season 8, Twilight's plan is "the final triumph of humans over demons, the death of magic". What a coincidence...

So if Twilight succeeds and brings about Fray's world, where there is no magic, and all magical or demonic creatures are banished from the Earth... what happens to Dawn?

Poll #1469944 The fate of Dawn

What happens to Dawn?

Nothing. She's human now.
28(36.4%)
All the fake memories of her childhood fade, but she remains.
12(15.6%)
She turns back into glowing green energy.
4(5.2%)
She's banished from this dimension too.
16(20.8%)
Something else which I'll explain in comments.
11(14.3%)
Dawn? Dawn who?
6(7.8%)

Comments

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Posted by: curiouswombat (curiouswombat)
Posted at: 12th October 2009 17:35 (UTC)
Tindómë

Well, of course, personally I think she ends up in Middle Earth...

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 12th October 2009 18:23 (UTC)
lassilantar

Well, if she's banished from this dimension who knows where she'll turn up next? :-)

(And look! I've got a LotR icon now!)

Posted by: curiouswombat (curiouswombat)
Posted at: 12th October 2009 18:39 (UTC)

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 12th October 2009 18:25 (UTC)

That's what she says, but how would she actually know?

And I think that comment was more a meta-thing by Joss, telling the audience not to expect Dawn to turn into a mysterious key-based superhero in Season 6. Doesn't mean her origins are now gone forever.

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Barb (rahirah)
Posted at: 12th October 2009 20:41 (UTC)

Posted by: Episkopos Rev. Alixtii O'Krul V, TRL (alixtii)
Posted at: 15th October 2009 17:02 (UTC)

Posted by: harsens_rob (harsens_rob)
Posted at: 12th October 2009 17:58 (UTC)
I went with 'something else'

And here's my reasoning (giving this all of 5 seconds of thought) -

Dawn's Key energy is banished along with all other sources of magic, where it roams ... elsewhere ... with no consciousness.

Dawn's body remains behind, with no artificially induced memories, but everyone else also lose her insertion in their memories as well. She suddenly only has memories from the time that she appeared in her new room through to present. The others suddenly have memories of the exact moment she actually appeared.

She lives a normal mortal life.

Or... her very personality was also a mystic construct and she becomes a mindless blank slate and has to be retaught everything from babyhood to adulthood, which Buffy is in no way capable of. Dawn is institutionalized and never really recovers anything approaching normal development.

Third option: Her very life force was mystical in nature, not just her body-built-from-Summers-blood. She instantly drops over dead.

Oh, wait... fourth: In the event of her mystic energy leaving, but the rest of her remaining functional, her soul stand in is no longer available. She becomes a soulless, empty sociopath. And god help the now powerless Buffy the next time she ignores her or otherwise irritates her.

I guess the question is, how dark do you wanna go?

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 12th October 2009 18:30 (UTC)
Re: I went with 'something else'

I like the fourth option. :-) No wait, 'like' is the wrong word...

I think the monks used magic to create Dawn, but that was a one-off spell; her body and brain are mundane human, not magical. But did they give her a human soul too? Or like you suggest, is the Key her "soul" instead? Or even, is she sharing Buffy's soul, and they only have one between them?

Posted by: ms_scarletibis (ms_scarletibis)
Posted at: 12th October 2009 18:43 (UTC)
Re: I went with 'something else'

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 12th October 2009 19:00 (UTC)
Re: I went with 'something else'

Posted by: ms_scarletibis (ms_scarletibis)
Posted at: 12th October 2009 20:24 (UTC)
Re: I went with 'something else'

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 12th October 2009 20:38 (UTC)
Re: I went with 'something else'

Posted by: harsens_rob (harsens_rob)
Posted at: 13th October 2009 05:16 (UTC)
Re: I went with 'something else'

Posted by: ms_scarletibis (ms_scarletibis)
Posted at: 13th October 2009 17:19 (UTC)
Re: I went with 'something else'

Posted by: Episkopos Rev. Alixtii O'Krul V, TRL (alixtii)
Posted at: 15th October 2009 16:38 (UTC)
Re: I went with 'something else'

Posted by: Murielle (murielle)
Posted at: 12th October 2009 18:19 (UTC)

Well, we all know Dawnie. With all memories of her "created" childhood-family-friends-experiences suddenly gone we know we're in for some door slamming. Yup, it's all about Dawn part three hundred sixty-two. And if everyone around her lose their recollections of her entry into their lives Scoobie mayhem will ensue, with one small caveat: they must all still love her. They may not know, or even, remember why, but Scoobie-love for Dawnie must continue uninterrupted through all door-slamming, high-pitched-nasal screaming, uncontrolled sobbing and journal-destroying (Giles, beware!) tantrums. The love for Dawnie must go one, abundantly.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 12th October 2009 18:34 (UTC)

Well... if there is some magical compulsion on everybody to Love Dawn, that would vanish, true. But Buffy will have had at least five real-world years of knowing Dawn and loving her like a sister as of the end of Season 8, and those memories aren't created by a spell. Ditto for Xander, Willow and the others. And Dawn will have the brain and maturity of a 19-year old, not a 5-year old, I would hope think. So it won't be that bad...

Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 12th October 2009 18:25 (UTC)

Well, I don't think she'll live long enough for it to matter. But actually, since I think it does I guess I'll have to lower my estimate of the chances that Dawn gets kerpowed in the next issue.

Dawn's keyness totally matters. I think that's what Living Doll was all about. Read all the stuff about Dawn doll and see how well it fits Dawn-as-key. I posted a speculation about this quite some time ago.

Just in case we forgot, Dawn's keyness got mentioned in this last issue.

Although I suspect it's not relevant it's worth noting that the lion that Buffy has recurrent dreams about is depicted with green flames surrounding its face.

Maybe the two forecasts come together in that Dawn gets "killed" by the goddesses but that her keyness explodes out and makes a big difference somehow. We'll see.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 12th October 2009 18:38 (UTC)

It was speculation on your last point that got me thinking and inspired this poll, actually. Dawn's "I used to be a Key" does seem like a rather pointed reminder, and the whole business of summoning Wrath Goddesses and/or banishing magic does sound very reminiscent of the Season 5 plotline.

It would be nice if the Dawn's transformation arc turns out to be utterly essential to the main season storyline and its final resolution. :-)

Posted by: 2maggie2 (2maggie2)
Posted at: 12th October 2009 19:13 (UTC)

Posted by: ms_scarletibis (ms_scarletibis)
Posted at: 12th October 2009 18:39 (UTC)
James music aura

Dawn was made from magic, but she herself isn't magical. I suppose her blood was once upon a time, but...but the fake memories--that's still something tied up in magic. I think that would fade, and that no one would remember her (except for probably Buffy, who saw the veil lifted that one time, and therefore, knows of both realities).

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 12th October 2009 18:47 (UTC)

I agree on the first part, more or less. Dawn's body is ordinary flesh and blood.

I'm really not sure on the memories part. I'm sure everyone would retain their memories of her from the start of Season 5 onwards, because they were real, not magical. Whether they'd still remember her childhood - whether she'd remember it herself - is another question entirely. If people "remember" Dawn because the monks modified the brains of millions of people simultaneously to repattern their neurons to put her into their memories, then they'd keep them. But if the magic was more of an ongoing, extempore thing affecting people's thoughts of her as they only encountered her, it would stop working.

Or there's harsens_rob's idee above, that the magical Key energy is Dawn's equivalent of a soul, and with that gone, she becomes a soulless animated monster...

Posted by: ms_scarletibis (ms_scarletibis)
Posted at: 12th October 2009 20:21 (UTC)

Posted by: harsens_rob (harsens_rob)
Posted at: 13th October 2009 05:35 (UTC)

Posted by: ms_scarletibis (ms_scarletibis)
Posted at: 13th October 2009 16:30 (UTC)

Posted by: eowyn_315 (eowyn_315)
Posted at: 12th October 2009 18:40 (UTC)

This post has my brain flailing, lol.

I think, at the very least, all the fake memories would disappear, but I think it's likely it could be even worse for her - it depends on how this "banishment of magic" treats people who are part human and part not (Slayers would also fall into that category).

I never read Fray, so maybe it's explained - would Slayers simply be stripped of their (demonic) powers and remain in this dimension fully human, or would they be banished completely, because part of them is supernatural?

I don't think Dawn is just mundane human - she's made up of mystical energy. I think that energy would also be banished along with magic. Whether that takes Dawn's whole body with it is something I'm not sure of, but I kind of suspect that, without the energy, she'd cease to exist.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 12th October 2009 18:54 (UTC)
fray

In Fray, we're told that "the line continued" and 'Slayers' continued to be born, but none of them were ever Called until the magic came back. (Joss wrote 'Fray' before Season 7; I assume he'd have written 'Potentials' instead of 'Slayers' if he'd thought of that distinction at the time. *g*)

That implies that Slayers would just become ordinary humans, and lose their supernatural abilities. Ditto for witches. However, it might also mean that the Slayers were banished from the world entirely, but new Potentials continued to be born thereafter.

My assumption is that the magic brought Dawn's body into existence, but it was a one-off thing; her body itself isn't magical. But her soul? Her memories? That's another question entirely...

Posted by: eowyn_315 (eowyn_315)
Posted at: 12th October 2009 19:15 (UTC)

Posted by: harsens_rob (harsens_rob)
Posted at: 13th October 2009 05:52 (UTC)

Posted by: eowyn_315 (eowyn_315)
Posted at: 13th October 2009 14:03 (UTC)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 13th October 2009 16:06 (UTC)

Posted by: eowyn_315 (eowyn_315)
Posted at: 13th October 2009 19:31 (UTC)

Posted by: harsens_rob (harsens_rob)
Posted at: 15th October 2009 06:03 (UTC)

Posted by: kerkevik (kerkevik)
Posted at: 12th October 2009 18:52 (UTC)

Hi,

I believe, despite being a huge fan of Jet Wolf's 'The Chosen', where she has given Dawn magical powers within that canon, that Dawn is just an ordinary girl now.

There's Xander's wonderful lines at the end of 'Potential', that rank amongst the most magical in the entire run of the show for me,

"Seven years, Dawn. Working with the Slayer, watching my friends become more and more powerful... a witch, a
demon, hell, I could fit Oz in my shaving kit but come the full moon he had wolfy mojo not to be messed with.
Powerful, all of them. And I'm the
guy fixing the windows.

... Thought you were all special. Miss Sunnydale, 2003. And the minute you found out you weren't, you handed the crown over to Amanda without a moment's pause. You gave her your
power.

... They'll never know how tough it is, Dawnie. To be the one who isn't chosen; to live so near the spotlight and never step in it. But I know. I see more than anybody realizes, 'cause nobody's watching me. I saw you last night, I see you working here today... You're not special.
You're extraordinary."

Thinking of those lines now, makes me realise that that was the moment when I actually began to like Dawn, despite my delight at her reaction to her 'two gay moms' getting back together. I also gained a huge respect for Xander. Probably also why I'm willing to accept their togetherness in the comics.

Still under Willow & Tara's spell,
Ray.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 12th October 2009 18:56 (UTC)

From a storytelling and emotional point of view, Dawn as a representative of Everywoman works well in a show about supernatural superheroes. But just because she has no fancy magical powers doesn't mean that her very existence isn't linked to the supernatural...

Posted by: kerkevik (kerkevik)
Posted at: 12th October 2009 19:18 (UTC)

Posted by: erimthar (erimthar)
Posted at: 12th October 2009 19:05 (UTC)
pic#89543843

I gave my answer to this question here, a while back. :-)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 12th October 2009 19:51 (UTC)

Very deep. (I feel like I should add "man" to the end of that sentence) :-)

Posted by: Emmie (angearia)
Posted at: 12th October 2009 19:28 (UTC)
Buffy Smashes Scythe

I believe the fate of Dawn will be determined by the mood of Joss on the day he decides it. If he's feeling sentimental, Dawn will live and people will remember her. If he's desiring to bring on the pain, well, brace yourself.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 12th October 2009 19:52 (UTC)

Bringing in the author's quirks is cheating! Even though I'm sure you're right...

Posted by: flake_sake (flake_sake)
Posted at: 12th October 2009 19:59 (UTC)

My current theory is she'll die and her energy will somehow explain Twilight.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 12th October 2009 20:42 (UTC)

I do think she'll turn out to have a big role in Twilight's plan, or possibly in defeating his plans. I'm not sure she's actually Twilight's creator, though. :-)

Posted by: harsens_rob (harsens_rob)
Posted at: 13th October 2009 06:08 (UTC)

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 12th October 2009 20:43 (UTC)

I'm pretty firmly in the "Dawn's human now" camp if we go by what's been shown, both in the TV series and in the comics. Though obviously, that may change to fit the plot Joss wants to tell. And if Dawn gets killed in the comics before Twilight fails to get rid of all magic, her keyness would be an obvious way to bring her back into the story somehow.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 13th October 2009 15:40 (UTC)

Well, what we've been shown is that Dawn (and her friends and family) all think that she's human now. Doesn't automatically mean they're right, just as they weren't right about her back in 'Real Me'.

But I am currently leaning towards the idea that there'll be some sort of consequence or revelation about her in S8.

Posted by: Martzin (martzin)
Posted at: 12th October 2009 20:53 (UTC)

Dawn has a bond with her sister. The monks used the Key with some Buffy blood additive to create Dawn, and the Gift has shown Buffy's blood getting key-like properties, so there seems to be a link going both ways.

When magic gets dispelled, I imagine Dawn —being 90% magical— disappears, along with the slayer's slayerness, but the Buffy/Dawn entanglement remains. That allows Dawn's keyness to hop back home, bringing some magic back and letting a few demons slip through.

(Yes, it's a jumble of metaphors. But dramatically speaking it could work!)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 13th October 2009 15:44 (UTC)

Coul be why the spell in 'Fray' eventually stops working...

Though I'm leaning to the idea that Dawn herself is mundane human - they "gave [the Key] flesh" rather than turning it into flesh. Dawn the human is the carrier or embodiment of the mystical Key energy, rather than being the Key itself in solid form.

Posted by: erimthar (erimthar)
Posted at: 12th October 2009 21:18 (UTC)
pic#89543843

I don't think Dawn can ever stop being the Key. It's what she is. The Key is her soul; she doesn't have any other. It works just like a regular soul, until it needs to be something else.

Dawn thinks she doesn't open anything anymore, and she apparently thinks she's no longer a Key (she said "I was a Key" in the lastest comic), but I think she's wrong. She never knew she was a Key in the first place until someone convinced her she was, so how would she know?

Her Keyness might not play a part in the story coming up, or it might play a big part. She might be what saves Buffy from Hell in the Fraypocalypse.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 13th October 2009 15:45 (UTC)

I tend to agree with most of your thoughts; I'm simply not sure if the Key is actually her soul or if she has a normal human soul from somewhere else.

Posted by: Lily (lavastar)
Posted at: 12th October 2009 23:16 (UTC)

Eh. To be honest, I find all of the ideas equally compelling, and if the fanfic writer/Joss can make it convincing, I'm there. :D

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 13th October 2009 15:45 (UTC)

Cop-out.
;-)

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