• Thank you for visiting Buffy-Boards. You obviously have exceptional taste. We just want you to know that:
    1. You really should register so you can chat with us!
    2. Twelve thousand people can't be wrong.
    3. Buffy-Boards loves you.
    4. See 1 through 3.
    Come on, register already!

Dawn

GraceK

Grr Arrg
Joined
Nov 3, 2016
Messages
1,278
Age
34
Never really been a fan of Dawn. Seriously, from the beginning she was the most annoying 14 year old ever...I was around 10 when season 2 aired, so technically was maybe only a year older than Dawn when she made her appearance. No one I knew acted like she did...she was more like a whiney kid then a teenage girl. Which makes sense when you realize she was originally written as an 8 year old. Pure laziness on the writers part not to fix that...I only started to like her in season 7, when she was an actual character and not a caricature of a bratty sister. In all honesty, I would have preferred she was never introduced.

That being said however, I feel I need to defend Buffy for sacrificing her life and loving Dawn. I've seen a lot of posts saying that Dawn wasn't real, she should have died, Buffy defending her was selfish, and that they should have tried to erase the fake memories. And really...wtf? That's not how empathy works. Rewatching season 5 it's truly heartbreaking to see how devastated Dawn is to find out the truth. We, as the audience are allowed to want her gone...she inserted herself into the lives of characters we have grown with and loved, and drastically changed the landscape. However, if you put yourself in her shoes, ( which I'm pretty sure Joss intended us too) it's horrible! To have your whole life be a lie, to have no real memories , to only exist to open a hell dimension. All things considered I think she handled it pretty well...because she had people who loved her. Having a son, if I found out tomorrow that he isn't really mine....that he was given to me to protect but all my memories are fake...it would make no difference. Nothing could take away my love for him. And hell would freeze over before I let anyone hurt him . Why then do we expect Buffy to no longer love Dawn? To just say " hey she's not real! **** it" Memories are a big part of what shapes us as people...hence why Amnesia is so devastating to families.

Don't get me wrong I'm not saying everyone feels that way...I'm just defending the idea to those that feel it would have been better for Buffy to let her die. It's easy for us to take such a position, it's a much different thing to actually do it if it came to one of our own. And I think that was entirely Joss"s intention. Anyway just a thought I was having during my rewatch ☺
 
brittles
brittles
[No message]
Puppet
Puppet
I had no idea that some fans thought Buffy should just sacrifice Dawn and move on, that's horrible! :O

Mylie

Scooby
Joined
Dec 1, 2016
Messages
2,098
Age
33
Honestly, I never hated Dawn when I was younger and it was the cool thing. She wasn't a favorite but I didn't hate her though I did find her a bit annoying at times.

My latest rewatch (after not watching any btvs episode for at least 10 years) has made me fall in love with her character. She's, in my opinion, the best portrayal of what a teenager actually is. I realized that part of my annoyance with her when I was younger came from me seeing myself in her and not liking what I was seeing. When we first see Dawn, she still has no identity of her own, she's trying to build it, she's looking for love and acceptance from her family and anyone really but mostly her big sister which she admires a lot but would never admit it. My relationship with my sister was a bit like that when I was young. To this day, she's still my favorite person in the whole world and the one person I consider to be family. So you can all guess how much I relate to Dawn.

I agree her arc in season 5 is so sad. She has this big identity crisis where she has to deal with the fact that not only none of her memories are real but she was brought on this earth to cause suffering and destruction. Buffy's empathy and love for Dawn (even if some people argue it's based on lies) is honestly one of the most beautiful things that ever came out of this show. And I think in the end, it doesn't matter if the memories were fake. She still had those memories and the feelings coming from them were real. And even if Dawn was created for supernatural reasons, she is a real human being with real emotions. To me that's more important than truth.

My favorite thing about Buffy Summers will always be how much empathy she has despite what she's been through and what is asked of her on a daily basis. So, for me, the introduction of Dawn and the Buffy/Dawn relationship is one of the best things the show has done.
 

Priceless

Scooby
Joined
Jan 25, 2016
Messages
8,027
Location
UK
Like most people I didn't like Dawn at first, but I admired the absolute balls it must have taken the writers to insert a new fully-realised character into the show at this stage. Can you imagine the writers room when it was first suggested? I imagine half the crew thought Joss had lost his mind :) (And half the audience)

I've heard people criticise the story as anti-feminist and 'forced-adoption' which I find strange. As caring loving people there is no way Joyce, Buffy or any of the Scoobies would turn their back on Dawn when they found out the truth. You've put it very well @GraceK when you say you'd never turn your back on your child even if you found out he wasn't yours. I can't imagine anyone doing that.

Now Dawn is one of my favourite characters. She matured so much by S7, and in the comics she's brilliant. There is a story in the comics about her fading away and people forgetting her, and it's heartbreaking. Reading that made me realise how much I'd actually come to love Dawn and how integeral she is to the Buffyverse
 

Guy

Scooby
Joined
Jul 7, 2016
Messages
1,361
Age
30
Location
Israel
Black Thorn


I'm sorry, I can't hear you all over the sound of Dawn's adorableness.

Dawn is wonderful. Of course she's annoying TO BUFFY when we first meet her, but she never annoyed me. She's just the classic younger sibling, and as someone who has a younger brother and an older sister, I find Dawn to be incredibly relatable and loveable. I've done everything she did to annoy Buffy, and my little brother did it to me too. I might have found it annoying when I was younger, but I was 23 years old when I started watching 'Buffy', and by that point it was just nostalgic and adorable to me. Dawn is a big part of why season 5 is my favorite season. Dawn is awesome.



!
 

Slayerofslayers

We're going to destroy the world. Want to come?
Joined
Oct 10, 2016
Messages
353
Age
27
Location
Southern California
I like Dawn. I also really enjoyed her story line in season five and think it made for a powerful story with Buffy and the others choosing to overlook the fact that she isn't really Buffy's sister and that she wasn't a part of their lives before season five but they continued their love for her anyways. Buffy willing to sacrifice herself for Dawn and the world is one of the most emotional and powerful moments in the series (and her quote to Dawn about the hardest thing in life is to live it but to be brave and live). The sisterly bond between Buffy and Dawn is very powerful and moving.
 

GraceK

Grr Arrg
Joined
Nov 3, 2016
Messages
1,278
Age
34
Don't get wrong Dawn started to grow on me. I liked her story in season 5, ...but season 6 she was , in my opinion just awful. Your sister, who literally gave her life for yours and has come back from the dead..and your screaming about how no one pays you any attention and are basically being a brat. Then as I got older I realized that's an really accurate portrayal of s teen girl lol:. She nailed it. But I loved her in season 7...she really grew up and I thought she was pretty badass.
 
E

EffyStonem

Guest
Don't get wrong Dawn started to grow on me. I liked her story in season 5, ...but season 6 she was , in my opinion just awful. Your sister, who literally gave her life for yours and has come back from the dead..and your screaming about how no one pays you any attention and are basically being a brat.
I feel like this vastly undermines everything Dawn went through in Season 6. In the previous months, Dawn lost both her mother and her sister, and her father barely bothered to check in. She essentially lost her entire family at the age of fifteen. The scene where she lies next to the Buffybot beautifully illustrates Dawn's pain and loss, the fact that a robot is the closest thing she had to family left (yes, I know Willow and Tara took care of her, but her mother and sister are both gone, leaving holes in her life that Willow and Tara just can't fill). Then, miraculously, her sister is returned to her, and she is thrilled ... until she realises that Buffy actually doesn't want to be there.

Now, we as the audience can see and understand that pain and struggle Buffy is going through, but Dawn is a child. She doesn't understand or grasp exactly what is going on with her sister (or with any of the adult Scoobies, really). All she knows is that her sister is avoiding her, and everyone else in her life is neglecting her which, harsh as it sounds, is actually true. Giles abandons both her and Buffy, Tara leaves Willow and the house and by extension Dawn, Xander and Anya are too wrapped up in their wedding to care much about Dawn, Willow is slowly descending into addiction, and Buffy is depressed and PTSDing and too busy trying to hold herself together to really notice or care about Dawn. Honestly, the social worker in Gone probably should have removed Dawn from Buffy's care, the girl is being so seriously neglected at that point. So, of course she's going to be in pain and, being a teenager, that pain comes out as what's perceived as "brattiness", when it's actually just Dawn trying to get someone - anyone - to care about and look after her.
 

GraceK

Grr Arrg
Joined
Nov 3, 2016
Messages
1,278
Age
34
I feel like this vastly undermines everything Dawn went through in Season 6. In the previous months, Dawn lost both her mother and her sister, and her father barely bothered to check in. She essentially lost her entire family at the age of fifteen. The scene where she lies next to the Buffybot beautifully illustrates Dawn's pain and loss, the fact that a robot is the closest thing she had to family left (yes, I know Willow and Tara took care of her, but her mother and sister are both gone, leaving holes in her life that Willow and Tara just can't fill). Then, miraculously, her sister is returned to her, and she is thrilled ... until she realises that Buffy actually doesn't want to be there.

Now, we as the audience can see and understand that pain and struggle Buffy is going through, but Dawn is a child. She doesn't understand or grasp exactly what is going on with her sister (or with any of the adult Scoobies, really). All she knows is that her sister is avoiding her, and everyone else in her life is neglecting her which, harsh as it sounds, is actually true. Giles abandons both her and Buffy, Tara leaves Willow and the house and by extension Dawn, Xander and Anya are too wrapped up in their wedding to care much about Dawn, Willow is slowly descending into addiction, and Buffy is depressed and PTSDing and too busy trying to hold herself together to really notice or care about Dawn. Honestly, the social worker in Gone probably should have removed Dawn from Buffy's care, the girl is being so seriously neglected at that point. So, of course she's going to be in pain and, being a teenager, that pain comes out as what's perceived as "brattiness", when it's actually just Dawn trying to get someone - anyone - to care about and look after her.
I see your point and I don't disagree at all. She's still bratty though. She's going through a lot, yes...doesn't mean she isn't self centered and prone to scream . And I'm not saying that to demean her pain or struggles, in fact I think she nailed a teenager perfectly, especially an emotionally disturbed one...I remember being her age and not having half the stuff to deal with that she did, but I was still obnoxious.
:) she's 100% relatable, doesn't mean I have to like her every second. And I love her in season 7, cause she despite all of her struggles and "brattiness", and pain she developed into a wonderfully strong , mature woman.
 

GraceK

Grr Arrg
Joined
Nov 3, 2016
Messages
1,278
Age
34
I have a question on a slightly different topic. During my rewatch, I wondered if the monks spell had an effect on the scoobies friendship. Do you think the insertion of fake memories affected the core fours relationship? I feel like there was a change after season 4 once Dawn hit the scene. I'm really curious about everyone's perspective :)
 

thrasherpix

Scooby
Joined
Mar 13, 2016
Messages
3,412
Age
38
Gods, that possibility that opens up for me! Maybe the monks manipulated to get Riley out of the picture because they wanted Buffy focused on Dawn rather than a romantic interest. Perhaps they also created some seeds to distance Buffy from the rest, not only so they wouldn't divert her from protecting Dawn, but to keep them from discovering Dawn is the Key. Perhaps they'd have done more if they had the time (I expect the more they changed the harder and more unstable the spell was and they didn't have time to do as much rearranging to Buffy's life as they wanted), or perhaps they did want Buffy to still be able to call on them for help (but avoid being too close to Dawn). It would really suck if Buffy's feelings of isolation and coldness were because of magical manipulations designed to have her put distance between herself and everyone else (but not actually alienating allies she may need).

It seems Willow and Tara were still close to her, which could be they saw the value of having 2 witches there, or maybe they feared manipulating them too much would be the surest way for them to become aware something was wrong (as witches might "see signs" that they could explore or some such--even Buffy accidentally saw through the illusion when she used her spell, and I don't recall that she was specifically suspicious of Dawn until then, imagine what witches could do if they suspected tampering with their minds, it's kinda like how hard it is to fool vampires when it comes to blood, or vengeance demons when it comes to obsessive rage). Using a metaphor, it takes a lot more effort to tamper with the security system set up by a professional security consultant than it is from someone who buys the basics and wouldn't recognize the signs of some minor thefts and tampering save for an uneasy feeling (by which I mean the monks would have to work more delicately in reshaping the minds of Witches than everyone else so they don't "feel a disturbance in the force" as Tara did when Faith stole Buffy's body, and figure it out).

I'll try to keep this possibility in mind the next time I watch s5. :cool:
 

DeadlyDuo

Scooby
Joined
Jul 29, 2016
Messages
8,981
Age
30
I have a question on a slightly different topic. During my rewatch, I wondered if the monks spell had an effect on the scoobies friendship. Do you think the insertion of fake memories affected the core fours relationship? I feel like there was a change after season 4 once Dawn hit the scene. I'm really curious about everyone's perspective :)
I think that's an interesting question. It's also possible that when the fake memories were inserted, real ones were taken away eg a memory of the scoobies fighting a demon together could've been replaced with Buffy having to babysit Dawn on that evening then defeating the demon later on her own. With all those Scooby bonding memories taken away, it could explain why it seems there is more distance between the friends than there was in earlier seasons.
 

GraceK

Grr Arrg
Joined
Nov 3, 2016
Messages
1,278
Age
34
I think that's an interesting question. It's also possible that when the fake memories were inserted, real ones were taken away eg a memory of the scoobies fighting a demon together could've been replaced with Buffy having to babysit Dawn on that evening then defeating the demon later on her own. With all those Scooby bonding memories taken away, it could explain why it seems there is more distance between the friends than there was in earlier seasons.
Wow that blows my mind. It makes sense though if you think about it. A lot of ,in my opinion, of the closeness between Buffy and Willow also stems from being only children, and a sister like relationship. Add Dawn into the equation, and I wonder how much was altered.
 

white avenger

white avenger
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
16,036
Age
73
Location
rome, georgia
I've always thought that Buffy's single minded, one might even say, obsessive, determination to protect Dawn from Glory in Season 5 was actually a part of the spell that the monks used to create her in the first place. Certainly, she would love her sibling, especially since she is, for all effects and purposes, the only real family that Buffy has left, she would want to protect her, but to take that to the extreme of doing so at the expense of the destruction of all of humanity, was excessive in the extreme (Either Dawn dies to save the world, or Dawn is, in effect, killed when Glory utilizes her as the key, in the process destroying this world and untold others when the inter-dimensional walls are destroyed. That's the reality if it came to the point where Glory's victory became imminent) and that's what Giles suggested, not, "Well, let's wring the little brat's neck right here and now, and settle the whole thing."

I think that it is significant that, in Season 7, when the protection spell would have no longer been needed, Buffy said that, if it came down to it, she would, indeed, sacrifice Dawn if no other option was available (and before anyone points out the inconsistency about Spike, remember, Buffy did, in effect, sacrifice him, or, at least, allow him to sacrifice himself, in the end.
 

GraceK

Grr Arrg
Joined
Nov 3, 2016
Messages
1,278
Age
34
Maybe the monks manipulated to get Riley out of the picture because they wanted Buffy focused on Dawn rather than a romantic interest
This would make a lot of things add up. I also thought how she treated Riley in season 5 was a seriously strong departure from how she treated him in season 4. She was all about him in season 4, rescuing him, supporting him, declaring her love for him. Then in 5 she's distant and doesn't seem to feel the same. Just my opinion...how I saw it. The monks spell could have possibly had something to do with it...I wish lol it was canon it would make so much sense for me
 

AnthonyCordova

Earth Invasion Taskforce Unlimited
Joined
Feb 18, 2014
Messages
2,140
Location
Denver, Colorado
Sineya
Count me among the Dawn supporters; more for what she represents for the show and for Buffy's growth (which would have been impossible without Dawn existing). Buffy learned things from having a sister that she wouldn't have learned any other way. I think dislike for her tantrums gets in the way of people appreciating the quality of her impact on Buffy's development. And also, I don't find her annoying at all, but adorable in some moments, exacerbating in others, a test of my patience in some, and sweet in others...the way most young people are really. And this I love about her also. The inability to give her character any direction in later seasons was not her fault.
 

Last Watcher

Tweed Icon
Joined
Dec 26, 2016
Messages
2,704
Age
58
Location
Teabag Central
Sineya
Always though you could have loads of fun with this as a writer. The Monks were all killed by Glory before Dawn had even met most of the
Scoobies. so the spell would have to be dynamic & adapt as situations changed.
What memories of Dawn does Angel have?
When Faith returns in S7, what memories does she get of Dawn from when she was in SunnyD in s3, & do they just pop into her head as she walks in the door
in 'Dirty Girls'?
It could really mess with your mind suddenly picking up all these memories in one hit?
 

Slayrunt

Oh ho! Aren’t you Mr. Dicey Semantics?
Joined
Jan 11, 2017
Messages
192
Age
28
Location
Australia
Dawn grew on me for sure. Somebody once said something along the lines of.. dawn was there to have something for buffy to fight for once her relationship with angel and Riley were over. And I love this cause it takes the importance out of romantic love and moves it to family and sisterhood. Instead of fighting for dramatic and at times dangerous love she can fight for her family.
I think the message of fighting for love that isn't romantic is important. The show always had a family element to it anyway with the scoobies and Joyce so it fits.
 

MarieVampSlayer

Bloody hell, Sodding, blimey, shagging, knickers..
Joined
Sep 7, 2017
Messages
1,515
Age
33
Location
Québec, Canada
Sineya
Wow that blows my mind. It makes sense though if you think about it. A lot of ,in my opinion, of the closeness between Buffy and Willow also stems from being only children, and a sister like relationship. Add Dawn into the equation, and I wonder how much was altered.
I think it is innevitable that the monk's new memory would change the relationship of Buffy with the scoobies. If Buffy is no longer an only child, she wouldn't have the same needs with her friends as she would already have a family. I think you can see it in S5 and further that the scoobies are less of a family then they were before. Also, I always found it weird that she was so invested in Riley in S4 and then boom she doesn't really care for him much. I always thought it was the writers who just found a way to get rid of his character but I like the idea that she had to be more focused on Dawn for the mission.

As for Dawn, she isn't my favorite because I always identified with Buffy so I never related to her even as a teenager. As I grew older and rewatched the show I understood her pain and saw that she was a very intelligent (book smart), brave and great addition to the show. I remember JW saying that she was a way to give Buffy a "child" without being pregnant. If you think about it that way, she would sacrifice herself for Dawn if she were her child like any good mother would!
 

ChaseRules

When it comes to dating I the Slayer.
Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Messages
7,252
Sineya
Always though you could have loads of fun with this as a writer. The Monks were all killed by Glory before Dawn had even met most of the
Scoobies. so the spell would have to be dynamic & adapt as situations changed.
What memories of Dawn does Angel have?
When Faith returns in S7, what memories does she get of Dawn from when she was in SunnyD in s3, & do they just pop into her head as she walks in the door
in 'Dirty Girls'?
It could really mess with your mind suddenly picking up all these memories in one hit?
Agreed . Remember the scene where Faith is telling Joyce that they were both left alone because Buffy left them . Wonder how the scene would have been if Dawn had been around & I think the spell dynamic since she a living person . Also I wonder if Cordy ever babysat for Buffy while she was slaying ?

And lastly I thought Dawn was a bit bratly but I liked that better then having her act like a adult myself . Plus I thought the one scene where she finds out she wasn't real was so sad . Not only is she not real but they were hiding it from her ie. lying to Dawn . I for one feel for her when you see she had cut her self to see if she would bleed since she was not real .
 

spikenbuffy

"Why can't I stay"
Staff member
Joined
Jul 31, 2018
Messages
2,055
Age
26
Location
France
I like/love her in S5, S5 is my second favorite season and she's a part of why, with her sweet sister relationship with Buffy but she's just a little annoying in moments like in the episode No Place Like Home. In S6 I' m a little sad for Dawn but not that much, it is the same with Anya, Dawn & Anya don't really have big problems compared to Willow's loss of Tara (and Willow's addiction-abuse of magic) and Buffy's depression though I love her in Grave when she fights with her sister side by side. In S7 Dawn is good but I would have loved to see more Buffy & Dawn moments, after the episode Him there is not much scenes between them when the potentials come in, that will have in the last couple of episodes in the end of S7.
 
Top Bottom