Of Pre-Release Anticipation And Who The Hell Is River Song

When you become a member of a fandom, you become emotionally attached to everything. You become obsessive in the lead up to a big episode, or the next book in a series. What will happen? you find yourself compulsively thinking. You contemplate just what will come next. What will happen to your favourite characters. How everything will work out. 


Back in the good old days when there were still Harry Potter books being released, the anticipation would almost kill me. I remember being so nervous in the weeks leading up to their release, frightened about what the fates of my favourite characters would be, and then forcing my mum to drive me up to four hours return to get a copy of my book as soon as it was physically possible. In the weeks leading up to the release of The Deathly Hallows I read so many theories and spoilers, it wasn’t even funny. As much as it pains me to admit, I was much the same in the lead up to the release of Breaking Dawn. The day before it came out, all I thought about was who Bella would pick. 


And now I’m the same for Doctor Who. As a fairly new member of the fandom, this is my first season where I’ve actually had to wait for episodes. Although I did watch episodes of season five on tv, I wasn’t emotionally invested in them. After really getting into it, I then went back and watched all of the seasons, but because I had them on my laptop, there was no waiting for cliffhangers. No year long gaps between seasons. Everything was right there, and if I was desperate to know something I was yet to see, there were friends to ask or websites containing all the spoilers I could ever want. This season, however, is different. This season I’m painfully waiting the week long gaps between each episode. I have to endure not knowing what will happen next, and it’s killing me. This is possibly the worst season for it too, with more than just the regular ‘two-parters’ of seasons gone by. This season there’s a whole big storyline and more cliffhangers than you could poke a stick at. 


The first episode of Doctor Who I ever saw had River Song in it. I had no idea what was going on in the episode, so I texted Quack asking for answers. My biggest question was “Who is River Song?”. Quack couldn’t answer, because you don’t know who River Song is. She is just there and plays some big part in The Doctor’s life and is constantly saying “spoilers, sweetie”, but apart from being an archaeologist in jail for murder, with a time-line running in reverse to The Doctor, we know nothing of her identity. Until tomorrow, that is. I do not like River Song as a character at all. She’s annoying and frustrating and just makes me want to slap her, and yet, here I am, desperate to know who she is. Over the last few weeks, I’ve spent more time than I care to admit googling theories and spoilers and information, trying to piece together what is going on in this season. River’s story is a mystery that has driven the fandom crazy for three years (I guess my one year wait is nothing to complain about!), and in just a few hours, it will be solved. Well, it will be as solved as much as a massive cliffhanger (with the next episode not being until Spring Australian time) written by Steven Moffat could possibly explain/solve anything. It is said that in the final few moments of the episode, we will learn her identity and then, BAM, three month wait. There is so much speculation about who she is, some of which makes me sad, some of which makes me happy, and some of which just disappoints me. I’m sure whatever Moffat has install for us tomorrow will be completely insane and what none of us were expecting, though he does say once we watch the episode, we’ll realise that we’ve known who she is from the beginning. Whatever that means.


Whenever the episode you’ve been waiting for airs, or the book is released, and you watch or read it, you sometimes feel empty. The build up has been there for months. You’ve devoted hours and hours and hours of your life to theories and thoughts and head-canon, and then suddenly it’s all over. You’re left with canon, and we all know canon can often leave a dirty taste in your mouth. You’ve spent so much time speculating, then suddenly there’s nothing left to do anymore because the truth is out there. You sit there, and ponder what to do with your life now that it’s all over. After The Deathly Hallows was released, I actually took around a year off from Harry Potter in general, as I suddenly knew everything that would ever be canon, and it saddened me. There was no more “I wonder if this will happen”, because all was out there. I think that’s why I love fan-fiction so much, because it allows the stories to live on in different ways, and people to keep rejected theories alive with wonderful tales of what might have been.


I often wonder what non-fangirls do with their lives, without theories and character speculation to spend weeks on. It must be weird. Surely they must feel like they have a hole in their lives. No amount of social interaction could fill the gaps in my life created by fandoms. You just become such a part of it, it becomes a major section of your life. But that’s another point for another day, so for now, I’m going to sleep, with the child-like belief from Christmas Eve and birthdays that going to sleep early(ish for a Saturday) will make morning come faster. With morning comes River Song’s identity, and though part of me doesn’t want it to arrive as what will I do with my life once I know who she is, I’m really just dying from the anticipation of it all. 


frangipani princess xoxo
ps. By the time most of you read this the episode will have aired. Can we please keep her identity out of comments, as it won’t air in a lot of places for a week or so, and nobody wants spoilers, sweetie. 

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One thought on “Of Pre-Release Anticipation And Who The Hell Is River Song

  1. Yet the speculation hasn't ended with juts knowing that. There's still a million things we don't know, like who she murdered and whatnot. Ah fangirling, how I love thee.

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