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Dawn's creation was too much

AngelBuffy

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Although buffy is a supernatural show, I think giving Buffy a sister was a little bit too much. maybe a better way to understand it is, the show became overpowered with the magic. its one thing to have your boyfriend with a curse turn evil after you make love or for a person to cast a love spell or turn into a hyena, however creating a brand new human being and making them a sibling took things too far where it became too unrealistic.

dawn's creation reminded me of anakin skywalker/darth vader from star wars but much worse. anakin basically had virgin birth (no dad) and i remember fans and critics hating that, but i think dawn is worse because she was not even born, she was created as a 14 year old girl and the monks brainwashed the world to think she was always there. that is much worse than star wars virgin births. at least with anakin, although the Midichlorians created him, he was still born from a womb and grew as a child. the force is not overpowered like the monks were to bend reality, just to accommodate teenage dawn.

also like i always have said, the monks displayed more supernatural abilities than buffy, so why didn't they just protect dawn themselves.

also what becomes more jarring is when you realise dawn was an unnecessary character because Buffy all along had always been a key too. I think i already made a thread about this massive plot hole



While I appreciate some aspect of dawn, she us undoubted the worst character concept and most outlandish unbelievable story arc in the whole of the series
 

Priceless

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I understand how a lot of people feel about Dawn, but like all the characters, she is a metaphor. No text can be considered feminist if the role of mother isn't investigated, and that's partly Dawn's purpose, to be Buffy's child, metaphorically. Some would argue that Buffy should have just had a baby, which is valid, but for tv babies aren't interesting. They do nothing and have to be constantly cared for.

I thought Dawn's creation was a really bold step for the writers to take, and I think she fits perfectly in with their brand of unpredictable storytelling. I also liked her as a character and I think she added layers to Buffy's character that we otherwise wouldn't have seen.

But I do agree, The Gift is a poor finale. I personally hated Buffy's sacrificing herself like that. My reading is probably a bit harsh, but I see her as mother sacrificing for child, which we see all the time, and actually come to expect a mother to do. We'd spent five seasons saying how different Buffy was from every other slayer, how much better she was because of her friends and family, and yet here we see her sacrificing herself at 20/21 years of age, just like every other Slayer before her. For me, if the show had ended there, it would have been a disappointment.
 

Btvs fan

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Never a fan of Dawn. Inserting her into the character stories and history just doesn't work and it fundamentally changes the character of Buffy, a single child whose slightly self involved (Joss admitted there was truth to this) is retroactively changed to a character caring for a sister.

It didn't help that they got an older actress for a younger character and changed the character age to the actress age, WHILE STILL WRITING Dawn as an 11 year old !
They also had no story ideas for her post S5, so for S6 and S7 (slightly better written though) she existed for no other reason than to give Michelle Tractenberg a paycheck and as a plot device for Buffy to rescue. Which the writers themselves acknowledge "Dawn's in trouble, it must be Tuesday" Here's the thing acknowledging something then carrying on with it doesn't make you cool or edgy. It just makes you lazy and cynical.
 

AstridDante

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Although buffy is a supernatural show, I think giving Buffy a sister was a little bit too much. maybe a better way to understand it is, the show became overpowered with the magic. its one thing to have your boyfriend with a curse turn evil after you make love or for a person to cast a love spell or turn into a hyena, however creating a brand new human being and making them a sibling took things too far where it became too unrealistic.

dawn's creation reminded me of anakin skywalker/darth vader from star wars but much worse. anakin basically had virgin birth (no dad) and i remember fans and critics hating that, but i think dawn is worse because she was not even born, she was created as a 14 year old girl and the monks brainwashed the world to think she was always there. that is much worse than star wars virgin births. at least with anakin, although the Midichlorians created him, he was still born from a womb and grew as a child. the force is not overpowered like the monks were to bend reality, just to accommodate teenage dawn.

also like i always have said, the monks displayed more supernatural abilities than buffy, so why didn't they just protect dawn themselves.

also what becomes more jarring is when you realise dawn was an unnecessary character because Buffy all along had always been a key too. I think i already made a thread about this massive plot hole



While I appreciate some aspect of dawn, she us undoubted the worst character concept and most outlandish unbelievable story arc in the whole of the series
Agreed. I thought that was where the show started to lose its way a bit with introduction of Dawn. Saying that I got used to and accepted the character eventually. I really enjoyed the Glory/Ben plot point too
 

Ethan Reigns

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It could have been more believable if Dawn had ordinary origins and a family and the Summers family had been Godparents to Dawn and Dawn's parents had died. The death could be ordinary like a car crash or supernatural like a vampire attack but it would not require retconning everybody's life.

I also thought the idea that Dawn was created from the slayer and therefore the sacrifice of the slayer would close the interdimensional portals was tenuous at best. It may have made for a dramatic ending but my reaction was, "Huh? How did she get from 'Dawn was made from the slayer' to 'the sacrifice of the slayer is going to do the same thing as the sacrifice of Dawn'?"
 

AngelBuffy

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I understand how a lot of people feel about Dawn, but like all the characters, she is a metaphor. No text can be considered feminist if the role of mother isn't investigated, and that's partly Dawn's purpose, to be Buffy's child, metaphorically. Some would argue that Buffy should have just had a baby, which is valid, but for tv babies aren't interesting. They do nothing and have to be constantly cared for.

I thought Dawn's creation was a really bold step for the writers to take, and I think she fits perfectly in with their brand of unpredictable storytelling. I also liked her as a character and I think she added layers to Buffy's character that we otherwise wouldn't have seen.

But I do agree, The Gift is a poor finale. I personally hated Buffy's sacrificing herself like that. My reading is probably a bit harsh, but I see her as mother sacrificing for child, which we see all the time, and actually come to expect a mother to do. We'd spent five seasons saying how different Buffy was from every other slayer, how much better she was because of her friends and family, and yet here we see her sacrificing herself at 20/21 years of age, just like every other Slayer before her. For me, if the show had ended there, it would have been a disappointment.
i guess us fans can look at things from different points of view. you call it unpredictable story telling. I call it outlandish. unpredictable story telling is what I will use for

ben/glory
jenny calender's past
Angel becoming angel again before buffy kills him
the arrival of the second slayer
the wish episode


Those were unpredictable. dawn's story arc is way to too wacky. also not necessary, since buffy too was a key, this is the one plot point that was the real killer to this story.
 
Priceless
Priceless
Not every story works for every fan.

AngelBuffy

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It could have been more believable if Dawn had ordinary origins and a family and the Summers family had been Godparents to Dawn and Dawn's parents had died. The death could be ordinary like a car crash or supernatural like a vampire attack but it would not require retconning everybody's life.

I also thought the idea that Dawn was created from the slayer and therefore the sacrifice of the slayer would close the interdimensional portals was tenuous at best. It may have made for a dramatic ending but my reaction was, "Huh? How did she get from 'Dawn was made from the slayer' to 'the sacrifice of the slayer is going to do the same thing as the sacrifice of Dawn'?"

yes, and this is the main problem with dawn and the key. buffy's sacrifice should not have closed the interdimensional portals because what closes it was this green energy that was made into human with buffy essence as the model but buffy herself is not a green energy, dawn is.

willow even says this in the gift.
WILLOW: That's only if the energy is stopped. And now the key is human ... (looks over her shoulder at Buffy) ...is Dawn.


So dawn is the key who can close the portal. its not buffy.

infact, what dawn was like was another version of the Buffybot. only this time instead of wires and metal scrap to create something that looks like buffy. the monks used energy for their creation.
 

HowiMetdaSlayer

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Dawn is a cousin oliver. I don't think she was always part of the plan, no matter how anyone (creators included) try to retcon her in. Yeah, I know they foreshadowed her in late season 4, but I'll never buy that whole little miss muffet season 3 nonsense. The network wanted younger viewers, period. Peeps can try to say that he subverted the whole trope, or whatever, but the truth is, when push came to shove, Joss caved like a little bitca. 😏
 

Btvs fan

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Dawn is a cousin oliver. I don't think she was always part of the plan, no matter how anyone (creators included) try to retcon her in. Yeah, I know they foreshadowed her in late season 4, but I'll never buy that whole little miss muffet season 3 nonsense. The network wanted younger viewers, period. Peeps can try to say that he subverted the whole trope, or whatever, but the truth is, when push came to shove, Joss caved like a little bitca. 😏
Actually I think Joss was pushing for it. Between S5 and S6 he was asked by Ain't it cool about Dawn the Vampire Slayer and his response "I'd watch it"

With Sarah getting bored and wanting to move on (her we should stay with the WB interview being a big sign) he had a readymade potential spin off with an actress that fit the age.
 
HowiMetdaSlayer
HowiMetdaSlayer
still talking bout post entrance to show

The Bronze

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I like Dawn the character but not the scenario. First time round it was great for the mystery but once you know the secret you're left with them retconning the characters. I have to put it to the back of mind. I wish they'd have introduced Dawn organically in a way that Buffy could grow into her role as sister and guardian. Estranged half sister or something.
 

Athene

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I think they did a lot right with Dawn she is given personality and depth which a character like that probably wouldn't have in other shows and I like that the writers didn't pull her out of thin air (they planned for her in season 3 and at least 4). But...I do wish that they had the characters talk about how their memories are fake and what it means for them because it's kind of dropped after the initial reveal for Buffy in No Place Like Home. I wouldn't need them to change anything just a bit more of an acknowledgement that it did rewrite what we'd watched for 4 seasons.
 

HowiMetdaSlayer

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They could've made her a unknown half sister. Maybe Hank had an affair years ago. Maybe the monks could join the energy ball/key into already existing person?
Would still be a cousin oliver, but less immaculate conceptional. ;)
 

AlphaFoxtrot

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I agree that Season 5's arc plot is far too fantastical to fit the tone of the series, and moves the series from urban fantasy to secondary world, a genre that requires a lot more worldbuilding to work. If you already believe in Angels and Demons as part of your religious beliefs, there's nothing in season 1 to 4 that excedes that. But Season 5, instead of being one or two hells, there's an infinite number of them, instead of rare magic, it's really easy to learn and procure ingredients, demons exist in great numbers, so much you wonder where they have been, there are multiple secret societies running around, regarding an unknown key they don't even try to include in human history. Glory is a god, whatever that means, and has a cult running around, do try to keep up. It's like, an entire new setting is just dropped on, like Buffy is like the Sims and has Expansion packs, Season 4 was College, Season 5 was Demon World, season 6 was Adulting or something. I don't really begrudge Dawn's mystery, sometimes little sisters appear out of nowhere, but it does seem like it belongs to another show.
 

DeadlyDuo

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Dawn was the start of Buffy's life going to crap. She eats ice cream like a moron, she did nothing to help contribute to the household bills when Buffy was struggling to keep a roof over their heads (would it have killed her to get a paper round?) and Season 5 would've been an awful way to end the entire series, not because of Buffy's death, but because of the reason she died. You don't introduce a brand new character in the final season that has never been seen, heard or talked about before and then kill off your main character because this brand new character is sooooo important to them.

Seasons 1-4 are the true canon of the show, Seasons 5-7 are the Dawnverse.
 
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Puppet
Hard disagree.

BuffyBot22

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Dawn was the start of Buffy's life going to crap. She eats ice cream like a moron, she did nothing to help contribute to the household bills when Buffy was struggling to keep a roof over their heads (would it have killed her to get a paper round?) and Season 5 would've been an awful way to end the entire series, not because of Buffy's death, but because of the reason she died. You don't introduce a brand new character in the final season that has never been seen, heard or talked about before and then kill off your main character because this brand new character is sooooo important to them.

Seasons 1-4 are the true canon of the show, Seasons 5-7 are the Dawnverse.
I think the s5 arc could have worked better if they made the key one of the scoobies (Giles, Xander, or Willow). It doesn't mean they have always been the key, but maybe the monks put the key energy into one of them at the beginning of the season and the writers could either write it as the audience knows who they key is or we could be figuring out the mystery along with Buffy and the gang. Buffy could still die (say she only needs the person's blood who is the key on her). This to me makes for a much more satisfying sacrifice because she is trying to save someone who has been there from the beginning.
 

Btvs fan

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Dawn was the start of Buffy's life going to crap. She eats ice cream like a moron, she did nothing to help contribute to the household bills when Buffy was struggling to keep a roof over their heads (would it have killed her to get a paper round?) and Season 5 would've been an awful way to end the entire series, not because of Buffy's death, but because of the reason she died. You don't introduce a brand new character in the final season that has never been seen, heard or talked about before and then kill off your main character because this brand new character is sooooo important to them.

Seasons 1-4 are the true canon of the show, Seasons 5-7 are the Dawnverse.
What's ironic though is that in 6 and 7 she was completely irrelevant . Its obvious that post S5 they had no idea what to do with her. Looking back, she should've died in the Gift, which would've been the catalyst for Buffy depression in S6 or at the very least the characters should've gotten there real memories back.
 

AngelBuffy

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I think the s5 arc could have worked better if they made the key one of the scoobies (Giles, Xander, or Willow). It doesn't mean they have always been the key, but maybe the monks put the key energy into one of them at the beginning of the season and the writers could either write it as the audience knows who they key is or we could be figuring out the mystery along with Buffy and the gang. Buffy could still die (say she only needs the person's blood who is the key on her). This to me makes for a much more satisfying sacrifice because she is trying to save someone who has been there from the beginning.
yes this could have been brillant if one of the scoobys was the key
 

thrasherpix

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If it helps...

My head canon is that magic is like a tide in the Buffyverse. It ebbs and flows, and sometimes the tide gets really low and high (and if you want to use a tsunami example, sometimes it recedes A LOT before rushing in and sometimes reducing an entire town to splinters with almost no warning, especially if there are no instruments to measure it).

To me this explains a lot: why did the Mayor wait so long before trying to ascend? Why was the Master sure he could finally break free? How was Glory finally able to start breaking out of her mortal prison? And how did the "wanna-blessed-bes" of season 4 turn into an actual witch group in season 7? How could the Beast finally "swallow the sun" when he's been around for centuries?

Because the magic was rising, and it was finally POSSIBLE for these things to happen (while one can point out prophecies, it's interesting so many converge on the same point of time), while lesser magicks happen much more easily as well. (I'd also say the absolute "high tide" was season 5, at which point the magic began to recede, but not all at once).

And though season 5 is one of those seasons that are less awesome with repeated viewings, I can still work with that the monks were a bit overwhelmed with the magic they had to work with and not sure of their capabilities, especially under pressure as a hell god is beating down their wards and doors. In short, they panicked. (I also blame a lot of Dawn's weirder or more unpleasant aspects as "programmed" by how ascetic monks envision teenage girls to be like, tweaked to try to keep her close to Buffy whereas most teens don't actively try to be part of their older sibling's social group, but as Dawn was also given a soul--all too easy in the Buffyverse--she was able to learn and move beyond her programming, to become a "real girl" so to speak.)

I actually see a lot of the comic book gadgets as a type of magic, that is without the magic they won't function. And the robots even being a bit of Pinocchio figures, that is, in high tides of previous centuries, puppets with glamours could do the same thing (perhaps giving rise to the doppelganger lore). Granted, Ted had been around awhile, but I think he had to remain in the vicinity of the Hellmouth or shut down.

Note that this head canon also explains why magic isn't a utility complete with magazine articles on spells. Until very recently, demons weren't tearing up entire towns, college kids weren't forming genuine magical groups (as if that wouldn't revolutionize the world--and imagine multiple people casting the same spell as Jonathan did at the same time!), and I could go on. The Initiative may have been in part to panicked funding itself (probably speeding up projects really fast). The supernatural was present but easily explained away and covered up until the "high tide" hit at which point the world went mad...and no, we wouldn't figure out what was going on, and handle it a lot less well than those in the Buffyverse did (we'd probably have mass end times cults, and then 20 years later it all get dismissed as hysteria who had hallucinogens in our bread, as if we needed that to be psychotic, and they'd laugh at us while the Watchers and many other groups prepare for the next high tide).
 
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TriBel

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yes, and this is the main problem with dawn and the key. buffy's sacrifice should not have closed the interdimensional portals because what closes it was this green energy that was made into human with buffy essence as the model but buffy herself is not a green energy, dawn is.

willow even says this in the gift.
WILLOW: That's only if the energy is stopped. And now the key is human ... (looks over her shoulder at Buffy) ...is Dawn.
I'm not a physicist but I don't think it's that simple. Only 30% of the universe is matter (and 80% of that is dark matter). The rest is energy. I'm not sure what percentage of a human is energy - I'm guessing a lot. This article here claims 99.9999999% of the body is empty space (which is interesting in itself because Dawn is drawing negative space in The Body).

So it's probable that Dawn and Buffy are made of the same stuff - the monks didn't create Dawn - they just "re-organised her energy". I'm not sure whether the spell in Afterlife and the Law of
Thaumogenesis is linked to the first law of thermodynamics.

This is quite nice (below) and explains some of it (it also makes me think twice about the Buffybot). It's kinda fun to think Buffy was still floating around Sunnydale.

"You want a physicist to speak at your funeral. You want the physicist to talk to your grieving family about the conservation of energy, so they will understand that your energy has not died. You want the physicist to remind your sobbing mother about the first law of thermodynamics; that no energy gets created in the universe, and none is destroyed.

You want your mother to know that all your energy, every vibration, every Btu of heat, every wave of every particle that was her beloved child remains with her in this world. You want the physicist to tell your weeping father that amid energies of the cosmos, you gave as good as you got.

And at one point you’d hope that the physicist would step down from the pulpit and walk to your brokenhearted spouse there in the pew and tell him that all the photons that ever bounced off your face, all the particles whose paths were interrupted by your smile, by the touch of your hair, hundreds of trillions of particles, have raced off like children, their ways forever changed by you.

And as your widow rocks in the arms of a loving family, may the physicist let her know that all the photons that bounced from you were gathered in the particle detectors that are her eyes, that those photons created within her constellations of electromagnetically charged neurons whose energy will go on forever.

You can hope your family will examine the evidence and satisfy themselves that the science is sound and that they’ll be comforted to know your energy’s still around. According to the law of the conservation of energy, not a bit of you is gone; you’re just less orderly."

But...I do wish that they had the characters talk about how their memories are fake
The problem with this is our real memories are often "fake", in the sense they aren't truthful representations of an event. Memory is notoriously unreliable. We unintentionally create "false" memory all the time. What's more interesting is whether the photos in Revello Drive are of a young Dawn or show the family together (perhaps with baby Dawn). Unless a photo's been doctored, it testifies to the fact that the thing in the photo did indeed exist. According to Roland Barthes, it's the only thing it does testifies to. The "photo" of the dead Scoobies in After Life (Barthes said death was in every photo) suggests some familiarity with his last work (Camera Lucida).

On topic, I don't have a problem with Dawn. Personally I think she's an interesting addition.

@Btvs fan - No - I think it's all coincidence and Whedon's as thick as a brick. He obviously learned nothing while doing his Film Studies degree and therefore Lavery is wrong to call him a "film studies auteur". Moreover, he has no familiarity with Barthes (despite Camera Lucida being a key text in Visual Arts and despite getting very excited about a paper given by Robin Wood on Barthes). Please don't leave comments if you expect me to answer them.
 
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Priceless
Priceless
That was lovely, I definitely want a physicist at my funeral :)
B
Btvs fan
Do you really think Joss consulted any of that, when he was writing the Dawn character and The Gift ?
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