|Occupation:||assistant, media spokesperson, First Lady's Chief of Staff|
|Relationships:||canon: with Josh Lyman|
|Fandom:||The West Wing|
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Never intended to be a main character, Donnatella (Donna) Moss was the assistant to Deputy Chief of Staff, Josh Lyman on The West Wing. After audiences noticed the chemistry between them, she was promoted to a regular in the second season, a state she maintained until the final season and end of the series.
Although principally existing as a love-interest, Donna Moss went through intense personal development over the course of the show (much of it occurring in the seasons not written by Aaron Sorkin). The early seasons see Donna act as the voice for the audience, with Josh or another character explaining the intricacies of policy to her. The later seasons see Donna use that knowledge to grow into a formidable campaign staffer of her own.
Donna Moss was born in Warrick, Minnesota on the border between the United States and Canada. This led to a brief mix-up in which she was Canadian for an episode. Her parents later moved to Madison, Wisconsin. As an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin, she had five majors and two minors in two years before she dropped out to support her med student boyfriend (a relationship implied to be abusive). Breaking up with him, she left in her car for New Hampshire to volunteer for President Bartlet's first campaign.
Although she lied her way into Josh Lyman's office, Josh was amused and impressed - enough to hire her as his assistant. At first a challenging job, Donna gradually grows out of her assistant work but is reluctant to quit due to her personal feelings for Josh. They remain in stasis, with Josh giving her roles outside her duties as assistant to keep her near him and Donna unwilling to leave for many seasons until he sends her on a fact-finding mission to the Gaza Strip which is attacked by terrorists.
Critically injured, she survives with a changed outlook and shortly after physically recovering quits to join the Russell for President campaign as campaign spokeswoman. After Russell's defeat, she attempts to get hired on the Santos campaign but is declined by a still-angry Josh. Lou Thornton, running campaign communications, later hires her as media spokeswoman for the Midwest behind his back. Josh and Donna rekindle their relationship and end up sleeping together. After Santos wins, she realizes that they can't have a relationship and work together, so she takes a job as the First Lady's Chief of Staff - a title that comes with an office several times larger than the cubicle she started out in.
Over the course of seven seasons, Donnatella Moss had a number of canonical love interests, but her main relationship was canonically with Josh Lyman. As her boss, they were prevented from getting together for fear of political scandal - this resulted in a UST situation that become very popular with the fans. Josh/Donna is a huge and popular ship for the fandom.
As a close friend of Sam Seaborn and due to the popularity of Josh/Sam she is also frequently shipped with Sam or both in an OT3. She is also paired with Amy Gardner and CJ Cregg in femmeslash; and with many others.
Communities and Archives
- The Donna Moss Ficathon at livejournal
- Donna Moss character tag at AO3