Wednesday, 5 April 2017

D is for Dawn

This month I'm participating in A to Z Challenge, where 100's of bloggers around the world challenge themselves to write every day for the month of April, working their way through the alphabet.  I'm stitching the Buffy The Vampire Slayer alphabet cross stitch pattern (available from my Etsy store).  Each day I will share that letter's stitching, as well as a bit about the relevant character.
D is for Dawn Summers

For the first 4 seasons (and one episode) of the show, Buffy was an only child.  At the end of the first episode of season 5 we are introduced to this young, brown haired girl standing in Buffy’s room.

Joyce: Buffy, if you’re going out, why don’t you take your sister?
Buffy & Dawn: Mum!

All of a sudden, there was Dawn, the kid sister we never knew Buffy had.  Everyone else on the show seemed to know that Buffy had a little sister.  They had relationships and fully developed story lines with this child and the audience was left going “who? What?  What did we miss?  When did this happen?”

Dawn was originally a mystical ball of energy known as “The Key” which could be used to open the doorways between hell dimensions.  In order to hide The Key from a goddess called Glorificous, a group of monks transformed The Key into a person and sent her to Buffy for protection. 
Monk: For centuries it had no form at all.  We had to hide the key.  Gave it form, molded it flesh, make it human and sent it to you.  We knew the Slayer would protect. [Memories] we built them. [She’s] now human.  And helpless.  She’s an innocent in this.  She needs you.
Buffy: She’s not my sister?
Monk: She doesn’t know that.



After defeating Glorificus (and Buffy dying for the second time) Dawn becomes an ordinary teenager, with all the usual angst and problems that entails when you’re going to school on a hellmouth.

Dawn is a character who garnered a lot of mixed opinions and reactions over her time on the show.  Some people loved her, some people couldn’t stand her, some people just couldn’t understand the point of her.  I always liked Dawn.  She was different from the others, being younger and therefore more innocent.  She was probably the most flawed of any of the main human characters – she was a kleptomaniac and she self-harmed and stuffed up beyond belief (she was in her early teens).  She opened the way for new relationships and interactions from other characters – here was a person they could be protective of without seeming condescending.  And as an older sister, I loved seeing the relationship between Dawn and Buffy – they irritated each other, they teased each other, they snapped and yelled at each other, they had fun together, they laughed and had their own private jokes, they protected each other, and at the end of the day, they loved each other.


Happy Stitching!

15 comments:

  1. Yes, that's how it often is between sisters. Best friends in the end. Are you making these as you go? Nice work!

    #AtoZChallenge
    "Female Scientists Before Our Time"
    http://shells-tales-sails.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks Sharon. I spent most of March stitching them up so they were good to go for this month. Last year I pre-stitched one pattern, and stitched another as I went and it was really hard work! Decided I'd have to pre-stitch it completely this year so I didn't lose my sanity.

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  2. I never loved the character - but I came around to what she did for the show as far as story development and letting us see the other main characters in a new light. She also let the show play to a younger audience as the main characters grew up which was a clever angle as well. I think my favourite episode with her was in the last season - the one where she thinks she has been tagged a slayer and realizes she hasn't been - so dealing with the issue of not being chosen. There was a maturity there by that stage that was admirable. - Louise

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    1. That was a good episode - particularly her reaction and conversation with Xander at the end of it.

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  3. There are times when I liked the character and others where I thought she didn't fit in. She certainly changed the group dynamic.

    https://susanleighnoble.wordpress.com

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  4. I can see how it would be confusing to throw a sister in during the fourth season! DId you ever rewatch the first first few seasons just to see if she was mentioned and if they had been building in the character before the fourth season?

    With Love,
    Mandy

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    1. Hi Mandy. There's a couple of moments of foreshadowing in earlier seasons in Buffy's dreams. In one dream she's told "Lil sis coming, so much to do" and in another she's told "Be back before Dawn." Random comments for the audience at the time, but ones you could rewatch later and go "ohhhhh." I always wanted to see some of the episodes re-shot to include Dawn in them - just to see how they would have played out.

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  5. I wasn't that keen on Dawn, I think it was because she did just appear one day, she grew on me but I still feel like I would have warmed to her better if there had been a little more backstory :)

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    1. She really mixed things up when she appeared. There were a few earlier episodes I wanted them to re-shoot to show how Dawn would have fitted in - particularly ones when Angel went bad

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  6. Loving your posts Roslyn.

    Linda

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  7. At first I thought she was an annoying little brat (but like you said, early teens so that would be normal), but she definitely grew on me. I loved her relationship with Spike. He was clearly in love with Buffy, and wasn't fooling anyone, least of all Dawn, but he was always so protective of her it was sweet. This is not a side of Spike you saw often, usually because everyone else he dealt with was so badass in their own way they didn't need that protection. Of course Dawn had this quality as well (Summers blood, after all), and Spike was usually the first one to speak up for her and tell everyone basically to sod off, she was perfectly capable of taking care of herself and didn't always need someone to step in and save her. There were times when it *was* necessary, of course, I think everyone needed saving at least once by someone else, and when that happened Spike would be one of her defenders, sometimes first on the scene. He taught her how to defend herself, and was always ready to let her fight unless he knew doing so would be too dangerous for her. If Buffy told her "No, Dawn, it's too dangerous, you stay here where it's safe" Dawn would have told her to go to hell and then gone off to fight anyway, feeling that Buffy was just being Overprotective Big Sister. But if Big Bad told her it was too dangerous, she may protest but she would believe him and stay put unless staying where she was also became too dangerous and she needed to run, because she knew he would let her fight if it wouldn't get her killed. He could play Overprotective Big Brother all she liked and it didn't bother her, but Buffy never got away with the same attitude. Gotta love Dawn. :P

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    1. Yeah, her relationship with Spike was certainly something special. Even though he was a vampire and meant to be evil and all that (although to be honest, he wasn't really good at all that once he got the chip), he did have a soft spot for Dawn, and looked out for her.

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