Amy Pond

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Character
Name: Amelia Jessica Pond
Amy Pond
Occupation: Kissogram, Companion, Model, Journalist
Relationships: Rory Williams - Husband
Melody Pond - Daughter
Eleventh Doctor - Son-in-law
Anthony Williams - Son
Fandom: Doctor Who
Other: played by Karen Gillan (with Caitlin Blackwood portraying her as a child)
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Amy Pond, also known as Amelia as a child and given the moniker The Girl Who Waited by The Doctor, is a character in Doctor Who, and the companion of the Eleventh Doctor. She first meets him as a little girl and goes travelling with him as an adult, leaving on the night before her wedding to Rory Williams.

Fans of her character often emphasise her mental health issues, and the intense trauma she went through during her time on the TARDIS, this often being a point of relatability for some of those fans. Fanworks, fandom discussions, and memes often explore or take into account this, and angst and hurt/comfort are fairly common as a result.

She's a member of The Ponds, a term used to refer to the companion family unit of Amy, Rory, often River, and occasionally the Eleventh Doctor himself. Fanworks focusing on this unit are common, though post-canon fics, sometimes involving their son Anthony Williams, will occasionally also be explored.

She'll also often be in fanworks meeting other characters in the Whoniverse, such as other companions, and will often show up as a minor or secondary character in fics focused on a different, unrelated ship, especially in AUs.

Canon

Amelia Pond is known as The Girl Who Waited. As a little girl, Amelia meets a newly regenerated Doctor when he crash lands in her back garden. She is frightened by a crack in her wall, which the Doctor investigates. The Doctor leaves in his Tardis promising to return in five minutes. She sits in her garden waiting for him to return, but it is 12 years before he does.

The Doctor and a grown up Amy Pond help the Atraxi recapture the escaped Prisoner Zero, an alien that has been living undetected in her house for the past twelve years. The Doctor, who Amy has given the moniker Raggedy Man or Raggedy Doctor, leaves again, but returns two years later. Amy then becomes the companion to the Doctor. They were joined in the Tardis by her fiance (later, her husband) Rory Williams, with River Song occasionally making an appearance.

It was later revealed that Amy and Rory were the parents of River Song, named Melody Pond by Amy as a newborn. After River and The Doctor marry, Amy realises this also makes her The Doctor's mother in-law. After a Weeping Angel sends Rory back in time, Amy chooses to join him; knowing that she can never see the Doctor or River again, as neither can ever go back for them without causing a paradox. Amy and Rory adopted a son, Anthony Brian Williams, and lived out their lives in New York City.

Alternate Timelines

In The Girl Who Waited, Amy gets left for 36 years in a quarantine facility after The Doctor fails to land early enough in her timestream to rescue her. He manages to maintain a paradox long enough to save younger!Amy, but older!Amy has to stay and seemingly dies. However, it's heavily implied that she becomes the character Wade in the Faction Paradox short story A Farewell to Arms.

Fandom

Fan Reactions

Amy has a relatively positive reception from the fandom overall, though this will differ depending on the fan and is often linked with their preferred eras of the show. Moffat fans generally tend to be the most positive, often viewing her as a character suffering from abandonment issues largely caused by the Doctor's delayed return to her, who slowly learns she's loved by those around her. For many, her character is an inspiration.

Fans also often love her because of her flaws, admiring that a fictional woman is allowed to be problematic in the same way fictional men are allowed to be. Her violent and self-destructive nature is part of her appeal, alongside her more positive traits

There were early discussions and wank following Amy's first appearance in DW's fifth season, as it was revealed she worked as a kissogram: a job in which you deliver messages along with a kiss. Amy was also more sexualized than former companions, kissing the Doctor when he came to take her away as his traveling companion. Much early wank related to whether or not kissogram was been used to imply Amy was a sex worker.[1] In later years, this appears to have been largely put to rest, likely influenced by a push towards encouraging sex positivity and pro-sex work attitudes in fandom.

As the fifth season developed, some fans who were initially more positive about Amy began to feel that Amy's character was being sidelined. Some fans felt that Amy's strength was being downplayed in order to make Rory appear stronger.

This episode is everything I hate about this season wrapped up in a neat little package. Fuck this shit, fuck it. This is not what I signed on for. Misogyny both casual and structural. Stories about men masquerading as stories about women. Who the fuck cares about Rory. Who the fuck cares about the Doctor. Who the fuck cares about Amy if the only version of her worth anything is the helpless, pretty, UNCONSCIOUS version with no agency.[2]

The Doctor calling Amy "Amy Williams" drew a strong reaction from many fans at the time, though doesn't seem to be mentioned much as the years have gone on.

The one word I didn't like: "Williams." I could see where they were going, that Amy is to some extent in a state of arrested development and, even after her marriage, has been unable or unwilling to see herself as a truly adult person. She's still little Amelia Pond (UNEXPECTED CAITLIN BLACKWOOD!). But using her husband's name to signify growing up didn't work for me.[3]

Though not as strong an association as her husband Rory, Amy is also known in fandom for having 'died' multiple times:

  • Died twice in the dream worlds of Amy's Choice
  • Was fatally shot by Auton!Rory
  • Faked her death in 1969 USA
  • Her Ganger self was dissolved
  • An alternate Older!Amy is killed so Younger!Amy can live
  • She and Rory jump off a roof to create a paradox
  • Her actual death at age 87

Due to Faction Paradox's relative obscurity, Older!Amy being involved with them isn't common knowledge in most spaces in the fandom.

Agency

A fairly common criticism of Amy's arc in the show concerns her loss of agency in Series 6, in which she is unknowingly taken and swapped out for a Ganger so her baby can be used as a weapon against The Doctor. As a counter-point, many fans have argued that Amy's arc allowed the show to have a character deal with the aftermath of that loss of agency, and explore Amy regaining that agency and autonomy after going through a traumatic ordeal.

Within Doctor Who (and Sherlock fandom), the term Moffat Women has become a shorthand for Moffat's perceived to be problematic writing of female characters. Some view Amy as an early example of this phenomenon; she was the first female companion written by Moffat after he became showrunner. Comparisons with earlier female companions are common. Some fans point to Amy's season 6 arc as an example of a female character's pain being used to progress the narrative of a male character.

Amy Pond is the only female companion we’ve had so far under Moffat’s era. To juxtapose the plot (in which she is the victim of bad things happening) that she is involved in with RTD era companions, let’s remember what Rose and Martha and Donna went through.

[...]

The difference between all of these women and Amy Pond is that Amy Pond is a passive character. She has things done to her rather than progressing the plot on her own. She’s a blank slate for Moffat to get pregnant, torture, make lose all of her memories, and rewrite her entire life. Moffat is taking away her agency by giving the Doctor and Rory more control over her own life than she does.

She’s the girl who waited. Waited for who? The Doctor. Literally every choice she makes is directly related to the Doctor.

dave-bowman (see meta below)

Other fans disagree. Many point to the fact that Amy regained her agency in later episodes or seasons.

The Wedding of River Song sees her brutally punishing the woman who kidnapped her and took her child, standing as the victor over those who took her agency from her during series 6. A flawed, pensieve, terrifying victor, but a victor nonetheless.


But that scene in The Big Bang, when Amy remembers the Doctor back into existence during her wedding to Rory, her parents in attendence... that is her first major triumph. Because she claimed back what was stolen, because she proved the magical to be real, because she demanded the universe to give her what she wanted and the universe did just that.

tillthenexttimedoctor[4]

Amy isn’t insufficiently emancipated or a weak character or only dependent on the men in her life. She is someone who was played and abused by several forces, who trusted the wrong people and who ended up with a long history of mental illness. She is also someone who eventually found the stability she needed with Rory and it’s absolutely fine to undergo the healing process by resting upon the strength of a relationship and the help of someone who loves you.

alljustletters [5]

The episode A Good Man Goes to War is especially considered a good subversion of the trope in which a woman is violated and an angry man subsequently desires for revenge. Instead, the plan backfires, and River calls the Doctor out on it.[4]

I’d like to take this moment to sing the praises of “A Good Man Goes to War”– in any other narrative the Doctor and Rory would be the protagonists, heroically saving mother and child from the villains. Instead they lose Melody and River berates the Doctor because that display of traditional masculinity was just that, a display, and all it did was make him enemies. River eventually saves herself and Amy avenges the loss of her baby and the hurt done to her person herself

madqueenalanna [6]

Before River even brings up the question of who the Doctor is and what all this war is about, after all, she addresses Amy. “ I know you’re not all right. But hold tight,” she says, “because you’re going to be.” It is the first time in the episode, in fact, that anyone meaningfully tries to comfort Amy.

[...]

Amy is not all right, but she will be. The horrible things that have happened to her cannot be undone. Not with a magic wand, and not with an army. But she can heal. She can have her daughter, and love her.

That is the message of A Good Man Goes to War. Not that the Doctor should not go to war, but rather that, in the face of the ugly and horrible cultural narrative of sexual violence, the Doctor’s place is as an entirely different sort of hero. And so the entire narrative of the epic season finale is looked at and rejected in favor of a story about a woman who suffers a trauma that the luckiest of us are unable to imagine, and that the rest of us can never forget, and who survives, and heals, and gets better.

Eruditorum Press[7]

Mental Illnesses

There's a prevailing subtext in Amy's time on the show that she suffers from unspecified mental illnesses. In canon, she has had four psychiatrists (after she kept biting them) as a result of waiting 12 years for The Doctor's promised return. Many fans have interpreted her as having abandonment issues as a result, and that this affected her relationship with Rory, such as with her lack of communication in their brief divorce shown in Asylum of the Daleks. What's more, it's implied in Victory of the Daleks that Amy had experienced suicidal thoughts, and in Amy's Choice she does kill herself in one of the dream worlds, though without knowing for absolute certain whether it was reality or not.

In Series 6, Amy has her baby daughter Melody stolen from her, and though Amy knows who she becomes, and even grew up with Melody as best friends, Amy lost the chance to raise Melody as her own. She also almost fails to successfully do life-saving CPR on her husband, and witnesses what she thinks is her best friend dying in front of her. Overall, this series was a lot for her, and fans have acknowledged this.

Her mental health issues are often explored in fanworks, and are a popular topic of discussion in fandom spaces. Headcanons of depression and PTSD[8] seem to be the most common. Many of her fans relate to her struggles with mental health issues.

I know it’s never exactly defined, and I wish it had been. But those of us who are mentally ill clearly see ourselves in Amy, and this is one of the reasons why. She’s catastrophizing. She’s looked at a situation, seen the worst possible way it could go (Rory permanently unhappy) and then taken steps to mitigate the catastrophe that has only happened in her mind.[9]

We see how she covers her stress with a quick wit and overconfidence, how even when she knows Rory loves her she’s afraid to commit to him because everything might fall apart (and she can’t set herself up for more sadness when everyone in her life just leaves her). She finds power in the things she can control, and overcompensates for what she perceives as personal weakness so no one has to know. Except, that isn’t weakness, that’s serious and real despair stemming from real abandonment issues, and it really makes me uncomfortable when the fandom calls all of this out as weakness, because I guarantee that anything the fandom says about Amy Pond, she’s probably thought worse about herself. You don’t go through this experience with your self-image unscathed, and she’s condemning herself for being stupid to believe in the Doctor and find hope in the hopeless, literally fighting herself to keep moving on, and she thinks she’s weak for it, which is so so wrong.[10]

Sexuality

Heterosexual appears to be the most common headcanon for her sexuality, however a couple of short Comic Relief specials in 2011, entitled Space and Time, include Amy flirting with herself. As a result, bi!Amy will occasionally show up in fandom.

Shipping

Amy is most commonly paired with her canon husband Rory Williams. There is also a small following for Amy/Eleven, and the OT3 Amy/Rory/Eleven. Most ships involving her are overwhelmingly het, with femslash being much rarer. Amy/Clara appears to be one of the more popular of her f/f ships. Occasionally she'll be shipped with herself.

Common Tropes & Themes

  • Trauma/PTSD - Often dealing with the aftermath of both her perceived abandonment by The Doctor as a child and the loss of Melody as an adult. Often angsty or hurt/comfort.
  • AUs - Various kinds: AUs and canon divergences in which Melody isn't taken by the Silence/Madame Kovarian, and she and Rory are able to raise her, AUs in which the events of The Angels Take Manhatten don't occur etc.
  • The Ponds - Many of the fanworks featuring Amy also feature her relationships within the Pond family dynamic: her romance with Rory, her friendship with The Doctor, and her familial relationship with River.

Notable Fandom Events

  • The Amy Pond MILF Incident - On 2nd August 2022, the Official Doctor Who Twitter page uploaded a tweet about Amy. The replies are awash with fans simply replying with 'milf' (acronym for Mother I'd Like to Fuck).[11] Fans have pointed out it was a bit of a slow day for Doctor Who news at the time.
[hysterical homicidal homosexual hitman @conanssouffle]
bbcdoctorwho let amelia pond be a milf challenge[12]
[steph misses gaga ☾ @katesosgood]
scottish ginger milf you will always be famous[13]

Example Fanworks

Fanfic

Fanvids

Meta

Fanart

Example Art Gallery

Archives & Fannish Links

Livejournal Communities

References

  1. ^ Discussion?, Archived version at doctorwho comm at LJ, 2011
  2. ^ "nice". (password protected)
  3. ^ lizbee. "Doctor Who: "The God Complex"". Dreamwidth. Archived from the original on 2016-07-08.
  4. ^ a b "I always thought that Amy's reclaim of agency took place in Angels Take Manhatten…". Tumblr. 24 December 2014. Archived from the original on 11 October 2022.
  5. ^ "This post makes me so angry". Tumblr. 10 October 2013. Archived from the original on 11 October 2022.
  6. ^ "Countdown to Moffat Appreciation Day, #1: Favorite Character Arc/Development". Tumblr. 11 November 2014. Archived from the original on 11 October 2022.
  7. ^ Eruditorum Press (28 April 2014). "Make Me a Warrior Now (A Good Man Goes to War)]". Tumblr. Archived from the original on 19 May 2022.
  8. ^ Amy Pond + symptoms of ptsd, Archived version. Gifset posted to Tumblr by evilqueenofgallifrey 19 May 2017. Archived 7 October 2022.
  9. ^ Tumblr Post, Archived version by watson-emma - Extract by lyricwritesprose from 14 August 2019. Archived 07 October 2022.
  10. ^ Amy Pond meta, Archived version - Tumblr post by bisexualamy. Posted 6 March 2014. Archived 28 June 2015.
  11. ^ BBC Doctor Who Twitter tweet about Amy, Archived version. Posted 2 August 2022. Archived 7 October 2022.
  12. ^ Tweet reply (via Nitter.net), Archived version. Posted 2 August 2022. Archived 7 October 2022
  13. ^ Tweet Reply 2 (via Nitter.net), Archived version. Posted 2 August 2022. Archived 7 October 2022.
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