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If you were in charge, how would you have wrote Dawn differently?

S Rou

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A lot of people complain heavily about how childish and whiney she acts. Would you have made her more grown up and mature?

Would you even have made her buffys "sister" at all? Some have suggested that instead of being born as a sibling, it would have been better to have had the key sealed in a random human child who Buffy somehow ends up meeting and bonds with. Would this have made more sense than making her Buffy's "sister" and essentially rewriting everyone's memories to something they never were?

If she would have survived into season 7 in your version, would you have made her a potential?
 
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Sorry about the spelling error. My spell check on my phone is egregious.
 
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Nix

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Sineya
I would have written her the same but yes I like the idea here..

it would have been better to have had the key sealed in a random human child who Buffy somehow ends up meeting and bonds with.

but no I would have pretty much written the rest as the same.
 

Riderofapocalypse

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I'd leave Dawn the same, but make her train in magic. perhaps under Willow. And later, be a potential Slayer.

She did a great job being the bratty little sister, who eventually matures. And, she is a mix of mystical portal opening energy and Slayer-ness. So she has to be more than just a teenager in my opinion.
 

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I would have left her pretty much the same but would have adjusted her character actions & speech to reflect Michelle's age at the time........
 

thrasherpix

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My mind is approaching this from two directions: how could I, as a member of the audience, appreciate the character more, and how could've the monks did a better job (as opposed to instilling Dawn with many counterproductive characteristics that should not have been part of her character if they didn't want her to get herself killed). I'll try to remember to come back to this.
 

DeadlyDuo

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If we had to write Dawn played by MT then I would agree with @Anyanka Bunny Killer and have Dawn actually act her age. I would write her as quite shy who spends a lot of time in her room (which would also "explain" her lack of presence in the first 4 seasons "She was in her room and off-screen"). After Joyce's death, we'd see Buffy try and emotionally connect with Dawn more (which Buffy never saw the need to do in the first 4 seasons).

If we were just writing Dawn as a character without MT, then I would have Dawn be Buffy's daughter who was the result of Buffy's one night stand with Parker. Parker wouldn't be interested and a pregnant Buffy would struggle over deciding whether to keep the baby or not given her lifestyle as a slayer. She'd seek advice from her friends and Giles (which is the perfect opportunity for Giles to mention Nikki Wood and Robin, it would also involve Spike into the story as he was the one who killed Nikki). Buffy decides to keep the baby and gives birth to Dawn. When the monks make Dawn the key and Glory is after her, Buffy's protective mother instinct kicks in and she goes to all lengths to protect Dawn. She won't sacrifice Dawn to save the world but because they share the same blood (Summers blood), Buffy sacrifices herself to save Dawn.
 

Anyanka Bunny Slayer

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I'm still sticking with Dawn being Joyce and Ripper's daughter. Tony and Michelle both have such gorgeous eyes....better yet, Dawn could be Tara and Giles' kid. Amber/Michelle actually look very similar. :D

Have you guys ever noticed how Tony, Amber, and Michelle have the most BEAUTIFUL, sparkly eyes? ♡♡♡
 

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The one problem I've always had with the writers and what they did with Dawn was that, if the Monks created the memories to ensure that Buffy would protect the Key, why in the hell did those same memories make Buffy and Dawn out to have such an argumentative relationship? I never understood why the two sisters weren't closer, not that Buffy would protect Dawn any less just because they argue and get into fights, but it still doesn't make sense to me.

Suffice it to say, my change would make them closer, despite the age difference.
 

Mylie

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The one problem I've always had with the writers and what they did with Dawn was that, if the Monks created the memories to ensure that Buffy would protect the Key, why in the hell did those same memories make Buffy and Dawn out to have such an argumentative relationship? I never understood why the two sisters weren't closer, not that Buffy would protect Dawn any less just because they argue and get into fights, but it still doesn't make sense to me.

Suffice it to say, my change would make them closer, despite the age difference.
I think it never bothered me because my sister and I had a very similar relationship and it didn't prevent her being the most important person in my life, even back then. So, to me, that felt real and relatable. But I understand how someone who's never had that kind of relationship with their sibling can have problems making sense of it.
 

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I think it never bothered me because my sister and I had a very similar relationship and it didn't prevent her being the most important person in my life, even back then. So, to me, that felt real and relatable. But I understand how someone who's never had that kind of relationship with their sibling can have problems making sense of it.
No offense, but don't make assumptions. I'm very close with my sister, but not so close that I don't understand that dynamic. I just meant that, from the monks perspective, it might have made more sense to create memories that made them closer. Buffy and Dawn definitely have a believable sibling relationship, no doubt there, I was mostly questioning the decision of the monks.
 

Mylie

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No offense, but don't make assumptions. I'm very close with my sister, but not so close that I don't understand that dynamic. I just meant that, from the monks perspective, it might have made more sense to create memories that made them closer. Buffy and Dawn definitely have a believable sibling relationship, no doubt there, I was mostly questioning the decision of the monks.
Sorry, never meant to imply that you didn't know what it's like to have a close relationship with a sibling. I meant the «annoying little sister who wants to spend time with you and your friends, etc. and who you'd die for anyways»

Damn, everyone is so damn sensitive these days (including me) and I'm exhausted so I'll take a break.
 

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Sorry, never meant to imply that you didn't know what it's like to have a close relationship with a sibling. I meant the «annoying little sister who wants to spend time with you and your friends, etc. and who you'd die for anyways»

Damn, everyone is so damn sensitive these days (including me) and I'm exhausted so I'll take a break.
Okay, I understand it better now. I can be a bit sensitive right now, lol, I blame it on binging my way through the boards because I'm still new, even if that's the lamest excuse ever :)
 

Athena

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I would have maybe written her to be less childish and more teenagerish. Honestly some of the things they made her do were what a nine year old would do, not a 14 year old.....:rolleyes:

I definitely wouldn't rewrite her to be a random kid, I like the sisterly dynamic, it's one of the few things that I think does make sense (ignoring the whole Summers' blood debacle and who they made Dawn from etc etc) - Buffy would never have sacrificed herself for some random kid; there had to be a connection there. :)
 

RomanticSoul

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I would have done the whole set-up differently. It also brings choice back into the decisions Buffy and others have made. As it was, Dawn was 'forced adoption' on both Joyce (and once she died) and then Buffy. Which is bad enough as it is. And of course done to them by male monks who didn't care for consent and who couldn't even bother to pay child support, go figure. And to achieve it memories had to be changed in order to force a connection that wasn't even real. But not just with Joyce and Buffy but probably thousands of people between L.A. and Sunnydale. We will never know if Buffy didn't want to sacrifice Dawn because she couldn't lose her as a sister or because she was programmed to protect Dawn above all else.

I would have scrapped BvD (and it would have the added bonus of never having to see emo vampire high on drugs who fell in a white powder tank and who is about as intimidating as a hamster). I actually would have had the first shot of S5 being a door and we hear the doorbell ring, then Joyce coming into frame so we realize whose house it is. Then have her open the door and there is a little baby on her front porch. So Joyce brings the baby inside but before she can call the officials there are some things off about the baby. For example the baby goes through a growth spurt in a few seconds. So Joyce calls Buffy and the gang over. They of course can't hand the baby over to the authorities so they start to actually care for her and about her.

Through the episodes you then always see a new Dawn that's older than the one in the previous episodes. It continues until she becomes a teenager but her behavior is always a little behind through these growth spurts. Hence it's fine to write a 14 year old as if she was 9. Of course you still have Buffy find a monk and explain it to her. And you scrap Glory's useless ass from the first half the Season and use that time for family bonding between the Summer's women and Dawn. Also with Buffy knowing the truth from the monks could have bonded with Dawn over the whole 'destiny' thing. Basically having a destiny that means 'death'.

They can still do Joyce's death and it having just as much of an impact on both Buffy and Dawn without the forced 'love and relationship'. Because they chose by themselves to care for each other and be a family, instead of having a relationship entirely based on false memories. And then instead of threatening to kill friends and letting the world be destroyed because she is programmed to put Dawn above everybody else, Buffy simply makes the choice based on their shared destiny of having to die to protect people, she sacrifices herself in place of Dawn so that Dawn can live.
 

Bite-me

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Nicely put @RomanticSoul, though I feel everything you stress about a natural bonding progression already works for me in original . We don't want 8 episodes only devoted to Dawn it would be to much to put into one, Dawn was unraveled thought out the season, this requires to much of a info dump over a course of a few episodes, besides IT reminds me to much of "Baby Geniuses or Honey I shrunk the kids" Buffy does have a fraught ambivalent relationship when we meet Dawn at first, She asks herself why Dawn is such a burden she has to deal with. She grows into accepting the protective big sister role. Yes, the monks inform her of her "duty" to protect this newly created human but she accepts it, it's not one or the other, it works on both levels, as a metaphor for taking on real life responsibilities.

People questioning if Dawn even has the right to exist arouses my protective feelings for her, which is how Buffy responds feeling protective of her. "It doesn't matter where you came from, or-or how you got here. You are my sister." Tara's family the Maclays, Xanders disquiet home life and the adopted Scooby gang, all of S5 with echoes in past seasons, addresses what is family and it's not blood ( history ) its is the people who are gonna be there for you when you need them.

But if I was pressed to change something, I would choose a actress that looks a little more like SMG or go the other direction with a raven haired actress, I just find it funny we would question "natural blond" Buffy or have a cheeky wink at Dawns "adoptedness"
 
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WillowFromBuffy

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The one problem I've always had with the writers and what they did with Dawn was that, if the Monks created the memories to ensure that Buffy would protect the Key, why in the hell did those same memories make Buffy and Dawn out to have such an argumentative relationship? I never understood why the two sisters weren't closer, not that Buffy would protect Dawn any less just because they argue and get into fights, but it still doesn't make sense to me.

Suffice it to say, my change would make them closer, despite the age difference.

We gave you the perfect sister, but you rejected the program. I now believe siblings define their relationship through arguing and petty jealousy.
 

RomanticSoul

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Nicely put @RomanticSoul, though I feel everything you stress about a natural bonding progression already works for me in original . We don't want 8 episodes only devoted to Dawn it would be to much to put into one, Dawn was unraveled thought out the season, this requires to much of a info dump over a course of a few episodes, besides IT reminds me to much of "Baby Geniuses or Honey I shrunk the kids" Buffy does have a fraught ambivalent relationship when we meet Dawn at first, She asks herself why Dawn is such a burden she has to deal with. She grows into accepting the protective big sister role. Yes, the monks inform her of her "duty" to protect this newly created human but she accepts it, it's not one or the other, it works on both levels, as a metaphor for taking on real life responsibilities.
The natural bonding was never there, hence it doesn't work for me. Buffy, Joyce and the rest care for/love Dawn because of false memories, not natural bonding. They are literally programmed to. There is no choice involved which is one reason why the Dawn thing is such an issue for me. And while Buffy may have an ambivalent relationship with her, that could very well be because of the Dawn favoritism displayed by Joyce.

My example was just one of many where you avoid 'forced adoption' complete with 'programming people and erasing their memories' and where there is no choice. People have to keep their memories because it's what makes them them. That is my biggest issue with the way Whedon did the story. Memory wipe/replacement wasn't treated with the severity it should have. Instead it was just a convenient excuse for when canon was retconned and people were acting wildly OOC.

People questioning if Dawn even has the right to exist arouses my protective feelings for her, which is how Buffy responds feeling protective of her. "It doesn't matter where you came from, or-or how you got here. You are my sister." Tara's family the Maclays, Xanders disquiet home life and the adopted Scooby gang, all of S5 with echoes in past seasons, addresses what is family and it's not blood ( history ) its is the people who are gonna be there for you when you need them.
What you quoted from Buffy, wasn't that after she said 'This is Summer's BLOOD'? My favorite aspect of the show was the chosen family of the scoobies, a highly dysfunctional family mind you, but a family that came together by choice. Dawn's arrival effectively torpedoed it out of existence as it was. The Buffy/Willow friendship barely exists in this new world because Willow was replaced with Dawn. Which automatically reduces Xander as well. There was NOT one scene in S5 that was just Buffy/Willow/Xander that lasted longer than a few seconds and without any of their significant others also being there. That was unthinkable in previous Seasons. Dawn's arrival split the show right down the middle, the Summers family(+Spike) and the scoobies+girlfriends.

Whether Dawn has the right to exist and all the changes her existence brought with it, if she is a real person then maybe. But Dawn's human form is still only an illusion aka it's not real. She can be turned back into a glowy ball via magic just as she would cease to exist if you took magic out of the world. Dawn's existence is completely dependent on magic, hence she is not even real. A real human being exists whether magic is in the world or not.

But if I was pressed to change something, I would choose a actress that looks a little more like SMG or go the other direction with a raven haired actress, I just find it funny we would question "natural blond" Buffy or have a cheeky wink at Dawns "adoptedness"
Technically SMG should have played Dawn. As Buffy was the only DNA source for Dawn's looks, Dawn should be a copy of Buffy. But magic was apparently at work, hence it's ok that Dawn looks nothing like Buffy. :rolleyes:
 
crazysoulless
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I think it was supposed to be like that s4 episode of Doctor Who. His DNA was used without consent to create a daughter. DW writers said she was a Buffy homage; blonde, soldier, named Jenny, etc.

Bite-me

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This raises some interesting questions, I did not intuit people having issues with the false memories premise the same way I feel uncomfortble about Angels convenient magical memory replacement for Connor. In that case, similar to a "We needed to be sure you would protect it with your life" justification, Angel felt he was giving a innocent boy a life he deserved. He did it out of love for Connor, not simply "toying with his memory" in a self serving fashion like Willow was doing to Tara.

Which begs the questions, lots of people turn out crappy or suffer because of their bad childhoods, do they deserve a memory swipe? would they appreciate it? or do they need to sign off on it first in order for it to be justified ? these are not the most pertinent questions at hand in regards to plot but suppose we ask them any ways? it reminds me of how Angel and Spike get this second shot at conscience but why them specifically and not others? Harmony was victim of a attack, Harmony has residual humanity that makes her Harmony and not Darla or Drusilla, and what of poor Sam Lawson from why we fight? this is a major digression from the thread, I'll just say I am sure there is exploration of this spirit in the comics and one offs, that is what the comic universe are for.

Back to your questions, in my perspective Dawn is another family member just like Joyce, I did not feel the central role of the Scoobies were displaced in Buffy's eyes, by necessity they love Dawn and Joyce like they love Buffy, why would it make their adopted family weaker? that sounds more in the vein of isolate someone to have them to yourself, which is not love. Dawn's story line complements "You choose your family theme" and really authorial intent takes precedence sometimes, that is the way it is meant to be taken.

Some still find Dawn annoying even after all these years, that to me is the success of the writing in a admittedly weird way. I can't imagine anyone actually "hates" Dawn, that would make them no friend to or lover of Buffy. I completely understand the point about false memories equaling affection and the duty to protect the word, I guess I just imagine, after Buffy initially found out the truth and rejected Dawn "You stay away from my mother!" she did have a choice, not to reject her duty to protect Dawn/the world per se (Although, she did say, if Dawn dies then I quite, so there is free will there) but to reject her as a real sister. For the question o erasing Dawn by magical means like Willow threatened, technically if it is by magic Willow or any one else could blink any person out of existence or fiddle with memories.

In regards to Dawn two wrongs don't make a right. Does that mean Dawn was a wrong? well it is ambiguous, they were trying to protect the world from Glory but now that Dawn herself exists, that is not up for debate anymore "It doesn't matter how you come into the world"

"If Magic never existed or if it didn't exist anymore" is a moot question. Buffy doesn't live in the "Normal Again" world, she lives in a world with magic and with demons.
Wishing for magic to disappear would, well, take magic and have consequences like we saw in "The Wish" or like the false upraising like in "Gingerbread" demons are apart of the world. (magic disappears in comics correct? I don't know what happens to Dawn, it is a nonsequitur, anyways, magic exists and Dawn exists, taking Dawn out of existence by way of magic is akin to murder as putting into existence could be akin to rape, but to muddle with peoples life's without their consent is plainly wrong and two wrongs will not make something right again)

Regardless if it i your favorite season five is brilliant, it is not shoddily written as something like Connors existence and written off the show arguably is, on the show season five addresses every question that is raised.
 
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As has been discussed between me and other fanfic authors in the past, maybe make Dawn the product of Hank and a mistress. She shows up on Joyce's doorstep in S5 as a half-sister whom they have no memories of, but is still family to Buffy. Problem solved ;)
 
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Lol, Joyce would slam the door so hard in Dawns face :-)
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