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The Presposterous and Inscrutable Lineage of Dawn Summers

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  • The Presposterous and Inscrutable Lineage of Dawn Summers

    So, I've been thinking about Dawn recently. Buffy says "she's me... the monks made her out of me", and that Dawn's blood is "Summers blood, the same as (hers)".

    Dawn is a human woman now, she has arms, eyes, a cute nose, and (long, attractive) legs. *Ahem, topic*. That means she also has DNA, alleles, chromosomes, base pairs, etc. There is a genetic make-up that is Dawn.

    So... what is that make-up?

    If Buffy is right, and Dawn is made out of "her", then, while, as a term of art, Dawn may be Buffy's sister, the biological reality is that Dawn must be either A) Buffy's clone, or B) Buffy's *daughter*.

    We know she's not a clone because, hello, not a clone. They would be identical twins if theirs was the exact same DNA.

    So, really, we're talking about Buffy as her *mother*. Joyce and Hank are her grandparents. And what I'm wondering is... who else is in the mix? Who is her "father" and/or other genetic contributer?

    I read a lovely little fic, called "Critical" by Fia Reynne that raises and explores the idea that Xander is Dawn's "father" -- that the monks spell, in molding Dawn's flesh, appropriated the genetic material from the most readily available and/or appropriate male handy and couple it with Buffy's own.

    It's a theory that makes sense to me. Other eligible candidates along those lines would be Riley or Giles, of course, but I could see reasoning for the monk's spell (if it actually could make a determination) to choose Xander out of the lot. Michelle Trachtenberg certainly looks more plausibly like the genetic offspring of Nick Brendan than of Marc Bluces or Tony Head to me.

    But, the thread about Dawn clues got me thinking... could *Faith* be the other contributor? I'm pretty shady about the biology of two women's DNA merging to form another, but, again, we've got the dark hair. We've got Buffy and Faith *both* having dreams about Dawn's arrival. Could it be that the monks spell was just to set Dawn with "the Slayer", not knowing that there were two of them, and that Dawn ended up with the one with whom she would be safest?

    What do people think? What's the story on Dawn? Is she the "daughter" of Hank and Joyce? Of Buffy? If Buffy's daughter, would she be the daughter of one of the other scoobies, biologically? Faith through the Slayer thing?
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  • #2
    I just had a nasty idea involving the notion that Hank Summers isn't living in Spain with his secretary....the monks killed him and used his genetic material to create Dawn from the keystuff...cos, the blood thing would still work...summers blood...just. Ew. Serious theories later when I've scrubbed my brain.


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    • #3
      I never thought about it, let's see.

      Dawn is made out of Buffy, my first thought would be; 'Clone!'
      But she isn't, so there is other DNA involved indeed.

      I like the idea that Dawn is a combination of Faith's and Buffy's DNA. It would make sense (well, ofcourse it doesn't really make sense but you know the deal.). But on the other side, if Dawn would have the DNA of two slayers, wouldn't there be some kind of potential to be a potential slayer in Dawn?
      And the personality of Dawn isn't like Buffy or Faith at all. I know environment is an influence of the personality, but so are the genes.

      Maybe Dawn has DNA of three people? That she is like the second child of Joyce and Hank, so she has their DNA ... but also a little Buffy DNA?

      I don't know, it doesn't really make sense, the whole 'She is me' thing is a little weird. And I'm not sure if the writers thought about it that well. I can see them making Buffy say that Dawn is made out of her so Buffy can jump in 'The Gift'. Because to make it a little correct, Dawn should be mini-Buffy. Because DNA is unique and the only way Buffy can take Dawn's place is when their DNA are identical I guess.
      Last edited by Nina; 28-11-07, 06:39 PM.

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      • #4
        I assumed that her DNA was that of a second sibling, since they had gone to so much effort of rewriting memories and getting everything perfectly believable.

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        • #5
          buffy is half of both joyce and hank. so, dawn must have been made out of joyce and hank... but the monks used buffy... maybe creating her out of buffy with parts that are in buffy, but were from joyce and hank.

          essentially making her out of all the parts of buffy that are human--her parents.

          "If there is no great glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do."
          "Nothing in the world is the way it ought to be. It's harsh and cruel. But that's why there's us. Champions."

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          • #6
            I think Dawn is a character without a "well-thought-out" explanation for her existance.

            Perhaps she's part Buffy with a twist of the Key? Buffy + "Key Energy" = Dawn.

            As Nile said - the human part of her is Buffy but the rest of her is whatever mystical being she is.

            I'll stick with my first thought - "they will wear their little minds out trying to figure out what she is so I will never have to explain..." LOL!!
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            • #7
              I think the monk was pretty clear that Dawn was fully converted energy to matter -- that mystical key energy had been made into her blood and tissue, which is why her blood was the catalyst.

              So, she is a human being without qualification -- even more clearly *after* Season 5, when she commonly refers to herself, and is referred to by others as "not the key anymore" or "former key".

              I've also given some thought to Buffy and Joyce's comments about her. Buffy's "she's me" is so certain that it felt to me like she actually *knew* it on an intuitive level, that she's "made... out of (Buffy)".

              Joyce, in her lucidity, realized that Dawn isn't "hers", but that she does "belong to (them)".

              To me, it still comes back to the idea that Dawn is, in biological terms, closer to being Buffy's daughter than sister. Your sister isn't "made... out of (you)", but your children *are*.
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              • #8
                I still think they chopped up Hank and replaced him with an evil, Ted-style Bad Dadbot.


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                • #9
                  I must admit the idea that dawn is made up of equal part Buffy and Xander does tickle me, and makes sense. It does explain why she see's Xander as almost a father figure and the whole relationship between the three mimics Buffy's relationship with her parents (Mother single, dad dating other woman, both still talk to each other (Though Buffy's parent's do that less and less as the series went on))
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                  • #10
                    Great creativity!
                    Ive never thought of Faith&Buffy, as the parents of Dawn, but in some ways, it makes sense;
                    -Like you've metioned, they both see dreams including Dawn.
                    -Also the monks created Dawn of Buffy, because she's the slayer and she had the power to protect her. Faith is also a slayer so the most protective way is to be created of the wo slayers!
                    -In Normal Again, Dawn isn't seen as Buffy's sister, soo there's a chance for her to be the daughter
                    Actually, this is completely fiction, but interesting, isnt it?
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                    • #11
                      i see it as buffy was split by the monks... her humanity and her slayerness was made into dawn and post-season 4 buffy. the basis for this theory is that dawn, in many ways, represented who buffy had once been and buffy, more and more, lost her humanity and got more acquainted with her slayer/demon side (even finding out more about it). this later buffy kind of stopped wanting to be a normal girl (or at least being able to live in both worlds, not just the supernatural side) like she did in the first 4 seasons. after this, she seems to give up on her human side in many ways.

                      also, instead of the buffy that sacrificed angel selflessly for the world... you had a buffy who kind of wanted out of her life in season 5 and a buffy who would have sacrificed dawn rather than herself in season 7. this wasn't the same buffy as the one in season 2.

                      it is a very real possibility that the part of buffy that dawn was made out of was her humanity. and also a reason for her slight character shift towards the slayer/demon.

                      that would suggest that buffy and dawn together are one person split apart: early-buffy.

                      as for soul business... that would explain how dawn appears to have a soul. like how ghost-darla appears to still be sharing connor's soul rather than human-darla's. dawn and buffy are co-sharing a soul. both are a monkey wrench in the 'soul is a being' thing, but in some ways not. perhaps the soul connects to whatever memories it recognizes as its actions. if dawn is buffy, it doesn't have buffy's memories/brain... it has a magically created history to latch onto, instead... but dawn might, in fact, be early-buffy's human half. which would make it that liam is angel and angelus is the co-inhabiting demon resident--but the soul outside of its proper body in another person makes it that a soul can be shared, but in its proper body is able to function as a complete being. the soul in a different being only has the ability to work with the memories in that brain.
                      Last edited by NileQT87; 30-11-07, 03:03 PM.

                      "If there is no great glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do."
                      "Nothing in the world is the way it ought to be. It's harsh and cruel. But that's why there's us. Champions."

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                      • #12
                        Very interesting topic!

                        I can't really get on board with the idea that buffy was split and Dawn got her human side - I think buffy's progression to the buffy of season 7 is explainable within the context of the character herself, it doesn't need magic to explain it. She always had a weakness for escapism...ie the end of season 2...and that manifested itself in season five with her coma bit and in season 6with using sex as an escape (sorta)...anyway. Side point.

                        Main point: I like the idea that dawn came from buffy and faith...and it does really make a certain kind of sense. I think I always assumed before that dawn was buffy's sister, but that she was made out of the same genetic material as buffy...kind of the idea that within every person there's the potential for multiple different people...recessive genes and all that? ok, my genetics is shakey...
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ThePoet's<3 View Post
                          I think Dawn is a character without a "well-thought-out" explanation for her existance.

                          Perhaps she's part Buffy with a twist of the Key? Buffy + "Key Energy" = Dawn.

                          As Nile said - the human part of her is Buffy but the rest of her is whatever mystical being she is.

                          I'll stick with my first thought - "they will wear their little minds out trying to figure out what she is so I will never have to explain..." LOL!!
                          And not explaining is very common in the Jossverse.

                          Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
                          I think the monk was pretty clear that Dawn was fully converted energy to matter -- that mystical key energy had been made into her blood and tissue, which is why her blood was the catalyst.

                          So, she is a human being without qualification -- even more clearly *after* Season 5, when she commonly refers to herself, and is referred to by others as "not the key anymore" or "former key".

                          I've also given some thought to Buffy and Joyce's comments about her. Buffy's "she's me" is so certain that it felt to me like she actually *knew* it on an intuitive level, that she's "made... out of (Buffy)".

                          Joyce, in her lucidity, realized that Dawn isn't "hers", but that she does "belong to (them)".

                          To me, it still comes back to the idea that Dawn is, in biological terms, closer to being Buffy's daughter than sister. Your sister isn't "made... out of (you)", but your children *are*.
                          The monks were very clear they converted energy into matter and sent "it" to the slayer for safekeeping. There are many instances of magical and/or mystical things happening that don't have any human-type logic to them. We don't really know, one way or the other that Dawn is actually human....as we understand human-ness, she wasn't born or cloned....so I can't see DNA or biology playing any major role here. She was conjured, by magic, from "key energy". Buffy has no real reason for believing the whole "she is me" theory, her memories now tell her it's true, so Dawn must be real.

                          Originally posted by Wolfie Gilmore View Post
                          I still think they chopped up Hank and replaced him with an evil, Ted-style Bad Dadbot.
                          And I like this explanation a lot better than my, "it's magic" theory, Lou!
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by litzie View Post
                            I can't really get on board with the idea that buffy was split and Dawn got her human side - I think buffy's progression to the buffy of season 7 is explainable within the context of the character herself, it doesn't need magic to explain it.
                            I prefer to think of Dawn as being the child that Buffy was forced to leave behind when she became the slayer.

                            I like the idea that dawn came from buffy and faith...and it does really make a certain kind of sense. I think I always assumed before that dawn was buffy's sister, but that she was made out of the same genetic material as buffy...kind of the idea that within every person there's the potential for multiple different people...recessive genes and all that? ok, my genetics is shakey...
                            Well, we know that Dawn envied Buffy when she first came into being so she does seem to have shared at least one of Faith's traits. That plus they're both brunettes.
                            Last edited by Anon; 01-12-07, 12:14 PM.

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                            • #15
                              I found an interesting thing while I was looking through the shooting script for "The Gift", that really has interesting substance to this conversation.

                              GILES (cont'd)
                              If Glory begins the ritual... If we
                              can't stop her ...


                              BUFFY
                              Say it. Come on, we're bloody well
                              talking about this, tell me to kill my sister!


                              GILES
                              (quietly)
                              She's not your sister.


                              BUFFY
                              No. She's not. She's more than that.
                              (trying to articulate it... )
                              More than family... my sister, my daughter...


                              XANDER
                              She's your sister and your daughter?


                              BUFFY
                              She's me. The Monks made her out of
                              me. I hold her and I feel closer to her
                              than... It's more than just the memories
                              they built, it's physical, it's... Dawn is a
                              part of me. The only part that I...
                              To which I say... I rule And am now all but convinced that, in strictly biological terms, Dawn probably *is* her daughter.
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                              • #16
                                that doesn't say that she's a sister or daughter. it says that dawn IS buffy. which actually supports the idea that dawn is the human part of buffy.

                                "If there is no great glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do."
                                "Nothing in the world is the way it ought to be. It's harsh and cruel. But that's why there's us. Champions."

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                                • #17
                                  I can't figure how to read it that way. I've very hesitant to come up with whole new phlebotenous concepts that were never introduced on the show when I fanwank. Here, the idea of a "human part" of Buffy is something invented for the purpose of explaining something else. That Buffy has DNA to be shared or duplicated is a given. That she has a "human part" and a "Slayer part" that can be replicated in that way is an inference.

                                  The only episode that even implies such a dichotomy is "The Replacement", and it was still only theoretical there. We don't actually *know* what effect the Ferula-gemina would have even had on her -- Giles was theorizing that it would divide human from Slayer, but that's hardly definitive.

                                  It's a whacky kind of discussion, really. I'd almost love some more Dawn-exposition. But my particularly curiousity is still Dawn's genetic make-up and not her magical origin. She may have been made out of the 'human part of Buffy', but that, on its own, doesn't address my question which is still... who *are* her parents?
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                                  • #18
                                    in a sense, buffy is half joyce and half hank. thus she is them. in the same way that dawn is both the child of joyce and hank, buffy's sister and buffy's daughter. perhaps the monks used buffy's dna to create something with the joyce/hank dna that makes up buffy. hence, the human part of buffy. instead of being made from joyce and hank separately... it was made from them combined (human-buffy).

                                    "If there is no great glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do."
                                    "Nothing in the world is the way it ought to be. It's harsh and cruel. But that's why there's us. Champions."

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                                    • #19
                                      Heck, icky as it sounds, she could be Buffy and *Hank's* daughter. Which... heh. And kinda eww. But, there's a certain internal logic to it. For one thing, it makes Buffy's (omitted) line literal as well as figurative -- she is sister and daughter, made out of Buffy in multiple senses. And, in a brutally practical sense, Hank's genetic make-up is part of Buffy already.

                                      Put that way, it's making the Buffy and Xander parent theory much more welcome
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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by NileQT87 View Post
                                        that doesn't say that she's a sister or daughter. it says that dawn IS buffy. which actually supports the idea that dawn is the human part of buffy.
                                        Like KoC, I'm not sure you can actually make the distinction of Buffy being part 'human' and part 'slayer'. Besides, Buffy still has and uses her humanity so that can't be entirely true. I think you could safely say, however, that there was a child within Buffy that she had to abandon when she became the slayer. Dawn could very easily be that part of her since it was no longer in use at the time when she came into being.

                                        As for genetics, well blond hair is recessive to brown so I don't think you could claim that Dawn came entirely from Buffy's DNA (although I won't claim to be a genetics expert), but the spell might have taken Joyce and Hank's DNA and used Buffy as a template for combining them.

                                        P.S. What does 'phlebotenous' mean anyway? It isn't in any dictionary I've encountered and I can't find the definition on-line.
                                        Last edited by Anon; 04-12-07, 10:03 AM.

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