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

RomanticSoul

Frell Me
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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.
They don't love Dawn by necessity through their association with Buffy. They love her because they have false memories of Dawn always being there. They literally just met Dawn in S5 but that's not their reality, that's ours the viewers because our memories weren't rewritten. Buffy declaring 'We are family' to Tara's family was much better because it involved choice. Dawn's situation didn't involve choice. All these people were literally re-programmed to care about her. That's the problem and why your way of looking at it doesn't work for me. You can only chose your family if you are given a choice. Which Buffy & Co. weren't where Dawn is concerned.

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.
Dawn doesn't work as a concept for me. In any way, shape or form. But I don't care one way or the other about her character. And I'm confused as to what hating Dawn has to do with loving Buffy, either the show or the character. A viewer doesn't have swallow every cool aid a show wants them to drink. I know plenty of people who are like me for example (no they aren't on this board), they draw the line in the show between S4 and S5 and view it as two separate things. Precisely because the concept of Dawn simply doesn't work for them.

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.
Buffy choosing someone who she knows is a fake over not just her own friends (by threatening to KILL them) and chosen family but billions of humans on the planet, doesn't sound like Buffy to me. Buffy was still choosing Dawn even when Dawn was ready to sacrifice herself. Which was nuts because Dawn is in the world, so if Buffy doesn't let Dawn jump then the world goes bye bye and Dawn does too. No world, no Dawn. That's why I'm sure Buffy is programmed to protect Dawn (whether she truly loves/accepts her as her sister or not) above everything else. Even when it's insane in that Dawn not jumping also kills Dawn.

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"
When Jonathon changed the world in S4 we were told it was wrong. Because it's wrong to change the world to accommodate one person. It doesn't matter that Jonathon did it for selfish reasons, it's wrong period. The monks shouldn't have turned the key into something that bleeds if blood is needed for the ritual. They should have used their power to toss Gory through a portal themselves. Instead they changed the world and forced a child on an unsuspecting family and put that child, the family and anyone close to them in mortal danger.

"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)
If Dawn was a real human, Willow wouldn't be able to turn her back into her original form. And for the record (depending on where you stand regarding them being canon), magic was destroyed in the comics, yes. And what do you know...Dawn actually fades out of existence. And not only does she forget her own memories while fading, all the false memories others have of her also go bye bye. A 100% real, flesh and blood human exists in the world whether magic is there or not. Therefore Dawn was never real so it's not murder or whatever else you insinuate. Dawn's human appearance is a magical construct that only stays in place if magic exists.

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.
I see it differently. Not only is S5 booooring and filled with retcons and OOC nonsense. But the whole story arc for that Season is nonsensical, stupid, riddled with holes so big you can drive a truck through and 2 people we know and love die for someone we barely even know. Talk about unsatisfying.
 
T
thrasherpix
While I accepted season 5 (though thought they should've thought it out a bit more), you give a very understandable (to me) reason for rejecting it.

Bite-me

Scooby
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I can say rather confidently that Buffy being programmed via via like Westworld or something to love Dawn is not how it is meant to be interpreted and that counts for something. You raise the point about the logical flaw of Buffy having a real choice in the matter and I understand that, I just understood those points to be a part of the drama and angst of the season/decision and having Buffy say things like "You are my sister, its summer blood" and other examples demonstrate a choice to put aside how she came into the world and not just protect but accept her. Making Dawn a step-sister, half sister or magical left at the doorstep sister doesn't change the primary metaphor for family. The show addresses it when Dawn says "You care about me because its your job" and "I'm not real, Am I anything" and the bond grows and matures over time, not fake magical memories but real time "Thank you, for everything, it's the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me"

Yes, Dawn came into existence in a problematic way, without consent in a major violation of many people, it is comparable to rape in that way but Dawn herself is innocent. Remember the monks did not say "We turned the key into a magical construct with a human appearance" they turned her into a human being. I assume the magical consequences in the comics are used for dramatic intent and purposes and big sadz, not to imply illegitimacy of Dawn as a person and sister. If it turns out they 100% did so, I wouldn't care for the arc, that would be a retcon to me. So lets leave the comics aside as they have influences of multiple creators.

Fair enough not everybody is going to favor the same seasons, the questions you raise are very existential and angsty to me as I see it they were intended to be, Buffy loving Dawn was not simple and easy and meant to be rainbows and sunshine and washing the questions you raise right under the rug, that how is how I see it and why I am ok with the way they executed it.
 
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ChaseRules

When it comes to dating I the Slayer.
Joined
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Messages
7,311
Sineya
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).
I think that a good plan there . You could also have Buffy feeling quilty over not spending time with Buffy & Dawn mad at Buffy for never paying attaction to her before & how she acting toward her now . Hence Dawn being a brat & everything.
 

Brian Runyon

Townie
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I either would've made her Buffy's actual sister, or as a child Buffy bonds with who is the kay. Either case, I would've given more abilities in later seasons, training and so on.combat
 

ChaseRules

When it comes to dating I the Slayer.
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Sineya
Sounds good. That one thing I would have liked. Plus I would have had Dawn in more scenes with her friends to show how she was when she wasn't around the Scobies myself.
 

fauxindigo

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I've always hated how Dawn became a kleptomaniac in Season 6. I think it was lame. Instead of that, I would have made Dawn rebel by trying to be like Buffy; have her sneaking out on her own to patrol and slay or have her following/spying on Buffy to take notes and/or try to get in on the action. She could get into some real trouble and it would make sense in the series more than her being a klepto.

One of my favorite Buffy/Dawn moments is in Lessons when Buffy is teaching Dawn how to fight the vamp in the cemetery. I would've liked more of this to make Dawn a stronger fighter, a more interesting character and to make her bond with Buffy stronger. Even if she wasn't a potential, her sister was the slayer- she could have and should have been a better fighter. Plus Willow & Tara could've imbued her with some extra strength.
 

ChaseRules

When it comes to dating I the Slayer.
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Sineya
1331166 said:
I've always hated how Dawn became a kleptomaniac in Season 6. I think it was lame. Instead of that, I would have made Dawn rebel by trying to be like Buffy; have her sneaking out on her own to patrol and slay or have her following/spying on Buffy to take notes and/or try to get in on the action. She could get into some real trouble and it would make sense in the series more than her being a klepto.

One of my favorite Buffy/Dawn moments is in Lessons when Buffy is teaching Dawn how to fight the vamp in the cemetery. I would've liked more of this to make Dawn a stronger fighter, a more interesting character and to make her bond with Buffy stronger. Even if she wasn't a potential, her sister was the slayer- she could have and should have been a better fighter. Plus Willow & Tara could've imbued her with some extra strength.
I second those great ideas :D
 

PaulParmar1

Spuffy Forever
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Sineya
I wouldn't change Dawn.
I think people give her too hard a time. I love Dawn & I hate the idea of her being a random stranger. Imo Buffy & Dawn's relationship wouldn't have been as plausible & I love the sister/family dynamic they have.
A lot of people say that Dawn acts a lot younger then her age & sometimes she does but also I find a lot of her actions reasonable and justified considering how much she went through especially during Season 5, she lost her mom, realized she was a key, almost bled out & lost her sister for a few months
I'd say cut Dawn some slack.
 
DeepBlueJoy
DeepBlueJoy
Exactly. she's a kid. she's gone through hell, lived on the mouth of it. actually. She's been faced with the fate of the world in her hands (choice to jump). I say she's pretty good, considering!

ChaseRules

When it comes to dating I the Slayer.
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Sineya
I wouldn't change Dawn.
I think people give her too hard a time. I love Dawn & I hate the idea of her being a random stranger. Imo Buffy & Dawn's relationship wouldn't have been as plausible & I love the sister/family dynamic they have.
A lot of people say that Dawn acts a lot younger then her age & sometimes she does but also I find a lot of her actions reasonable and justified considering how much she went through especially during Season 5, she lost her mom, realized she was a key, almost bled out & lost her sister for a few months
I'd say cut Dawn some slack.
Same here . But i also say she needs more to do myself .
 
W

WillowFromBuffy

Guest
I would never make Dawn into a great fighter or sorceress. BtVS teaches that your worth isn't measured by your ability for violence. Dawn is great character in her own right, just like Xander and Tara.
 

ChaseRules

When it comes to dating I the Slayer.
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Sineya
I was thinking she could have gone into research which would led to the nickname "Mini Giles " :D
 

DeepBlueJoy

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I don't get the drama about Dawn. I can only think people don't like change. I think that is a large part of the issue with Dawn... that and maybe Dawn reminds them of their own sibling dynamics. I think Dawn was actually pretty reasonable. She wasn't stupid. She wasn't saccharine. She wasn't an easy fix to any problem. She was annoying at times, but so was every other major character in the show, and many of the minor ones; and little kids are supposed to be little kids. I think Michelle Trachtenberg did a good job, and fit into the show so seamlessly, I really stopped being able to imagine the show without Dawn.

What would I change? The lynch mob that pretty much forced Buffy out of her own house, and Dawn's part in it. Buffy DIED for her, so I thought that was a pretty unreasonable, ungrateful move, EVEN IF Buffy had been wrong. Why? Because Buffy leaving the house alone was life-threatening. Even if she was 120% wrong, she should not have been pushed out. Yes, some people say Buffy could have chosen not to go, but I don't see that. If she'd stayed, it could have ended up violent. It certainly would have boiled over in some even uglier way. The people who dragged her from heaven, whose life she'd saved repeatedly, and who she had never let down -- they gave her no alternative but to leave her own home.

Yeah, I may have some anger about that... but Dawn is the child in the situation, and the others are all adults. They ganged up on Buffy and Dawn was a sheep. Giles, at minimum, should have put a stop to it.

That event seemed utterly out of character for all of them, in spite of the complete betrayal of her that they did by dragging her out of heaven. They didn't deserve her forgiveness for that. They inadvertently, but directly were the cause of the impending apocalypse... therefore, they needed to sit down, shut up and do as they were told, even if they didn't like what Buffy had in mind... because if they'd left her alone (dead), there would have been no chance for the First to do anything, no screeching potentials dumped on Buffy to care for, protect, feed, and train (and take over her house and bedroom so she couldn't even rest). So, they owed it to her to give her many benefits of the doubt. She was trying to fix THEIR mistake.

Anyway, other than that one situation, even though Dawn behaves like a teenager (and not well) at times, I am glad because it made her real. If she'd been 'non annoying' and 'perfect' she would have been a Mary Sue. Teenagers are supposed to have issues, especially those who knew they would be called upon to jump to save the world if their sister's sacrifice didn't work.

The fate of the world was potentially in Dawn's hands, and she was going to jump.
It NEVER occurred to her to weasel out of it when she thought that it was her time to sacrifice herself. THAT makes me respect her a great deal.

I might have changed some of Buffy's behavior toward Dawn... but Buffy had been through way more than too much, so I cut her a lot of slack.

Blue
 

Light

Townie
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I would've utilized Dawn's mystical energy. Dawn being mystical light energy was such a huge part of her character in season 5, and it was just so randomly & lazily dropped in season 6. I get that her mystical energy had the ability to open portals to other dimensions, but c'mon, surely she could've (and should've) been able to do so much more than just that. I would've made Dawn realize that she has the power to heal. Having a very powerful mystical healer amongst the Scoobies would've really came in handy during season 7 during the war with the First.

I also would've made it so that Dawn could use her mystical light to purify anything & anyone too as well. Dawn also could've been a great way of bringing in the Powers that Be onto Buffy's series.
 

Brian Runyon

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I would've utilized Dawn's mystical energy. Dawn being mystical light energy was such a huge part of her character in season 5, and it was just so randomly & lazily dropped in season 6. I get that her mystical energy had the ability to open portals to other dimensions, but c'mon, surely she could've (and should've) been able to do so much more than just that. I would've made Dawn realize that she has the power to heal. Having a very powerful mystical healer amongst the Scoobies would've really came in handy during season 7 during the war with the First.

I also would've made it so that Dawn could use her mystical light to purify anything & anyone too as well. Dawn also could've been a great way of bringing in the Powers that Be onto Buffy's series.
Not a bad idea.
 

Anyanka Bunny Slayer

Auf'm Bahnhof Zoo im Damenklo
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Black Thorn
I wanted to see her do something MAGICAL. She was the Key, at least we could've seen SOMETHING of that. :rolleyes:
 

MarieVampSlayer

Bloody hell, Sodding, blimey, shagging, knickers..
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Sineya
Simple: Have her grown-up faster because she has too like the rest of the scoobies. Make her S7 Dawn earlier. Oh and like a lot of people say here give her something meaningful to do after S5. Have her train as a watcher. Give her some fun powers. Have her fight with Buffy. Really anything would have been better than S6 Dawn.
 
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