No, seriously. If you’ve never watched the David Tennant and Matt Smith years of Doctor Who and plan to, scroll down to the bottom to get your pattern. It’s nearly impossible to talk about River Song without discussing epic spoilers. I mean, it’s her catchphrase for a reason! You’ve been warned.
It’s rare to find a Whovian that doesn’t have strong feelings regarding Professor River Song. Her relationship with the Doctor is both the most beautiful and most heart-breakingly sad story ever written. Romeo and Juliet don’t hold a tragedy candle to River and the Doctor. As I write this post, Megan-Anne and I are watching The Forest of The Dead and I’m crying, which makes typing difficult. It doesn’t matter how many times I watch Tennant lay River’s screwdriver reverently on top of her diary, I’ll cry every time I see it. Some shows do that to you. I’ll cry every time Joyce dies in Buffy, each time Rory the Roman waits 2000 years for Amy Pond, and every time Starbuck leaves Apollo in the night to marry Anders.
The thing about River Song is that her character is so perfectly flawed, every episode she’s in ends with me having a serious case of the feels. There are whole websites dedicated to her story line, and that’s no small task since she’s happening in reverse order of the show we’re watching. In BBC’s Dr. Who Confidential, Alex Kingston (the actress who plays adult River) broke down her timeline from her own point of view. io9 put together a really nifty graphic, which you can see here.
I was born in battle, on an asteroid called Demon’s Run. I was the daughter of Amy Pond and Rory Williams. They named me Melody Pond. I was kidnapped, taken by Kovarian, a servant of the Silence, to an orphanage on Earth.
I was raised with only one purpose: to kill the Doctor.
I escaped the spacesuit and lived on the streets. Homeless, alone and dying. Until I regenerated.
And became the best friend of young Amy and Rory. Growing up with my parents. Waiting for the arrival of the Doctor. And then I regenerated into a new form. I was the woman who would become River Song. Although I didn’t know that at the time.
I was born to kill the Doctor. And I did so with a kiss. A kiss poisoned by the Judas tree. But I was shown who River Song would be, and I saw just how much I would love him. And I so I gave all my remaining lives to restore his. Because I knew the Doctor was worth it.
And in return, he left me the most wonderful gift. I knew that some day I would find the Doctor. But the spacesuit was waiting for me.
But I just couldn’t bring myself to kill him. And so, all of time collapsed. And only the Doctor could save the universe.
Rule one: the Doctor lies. He escaped his own death. A secret I knew I had to keep. Even though it meant imprisonment. But I’ve always been good at escaping.
From this point on, I realized I knew more than him.
From that moment on, we were living our lives in the wrong order, the Doctor and me. And in all our future meetings, I would know him more, and he would know me less.
Until one day the Doctor would invite me to watch me kill him. Once again I found myself at Lake Silencio, folding back on my own timeline. This time a witness to the Doctor’s shooting, knowing everything but unable to tell those who cared the most that the Doctor would survive.
River spent her life running from her “destiny” to kill the Doctor, and at the same time, running towards him. She became a doctor of Archaeology to better track him across the universe, and ultimately became a professor. She knew how to fly the TARDIS and could speak old Galifreyan.
For this square, we went with the message River left on a airplane’s black box for the Doctor. In Galifreyan, it says “Hello Sweetie,” her usual greeting to the Doctor. It’s the perfect example of what River was all about: pulling the Doctor into danger, making him reconsider his own superiority, and of course, saving lives.
Whether you’re knitting, crocheting, or cross stitching this square, you can download the River Song pattern here. Instructions for both knit and crochet are listed in the pattern. When you’re finished making it, don’t forget to tweet or instagram your squares at me @jac_attacking or Megan-Anne @Doctor_Llama with the hashtag #geekalong!
If you’re having trouble with double-sided knitting, we have a how-to video here and a tutorial on crochet here. Want to hang out with other people making the blanket? You can find moral support in the Geek-A-Long group on Ravelry here.
“When you run with the Doctor, it feels like it’ll never end. But however hard you try you can’t run forever. Everybody knows that everybody dies and nobody knows it like the Doctor. But I do think that all the skies of all the worlds might just turn dark if he ever for one moment, accepts it. Everybody knows that everybody dies. But not every day. Not today. Some days are special. Some days are so, so blessed. Some days, nobody dies at all.”
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