… or why I think Moffat set up the perfect scenario to save River from the Library in the series finale.
I really, really like this idea, but I don’t want it to happen in canon.
I don’t want any Library fix-it to happen in canon, unless it’s a fix-it that reveals The Doctor’s data ghost was uploaded to The Library after his tomb was erected at Trenzalore.
Because if we save River from The Library in canon, then she has to die again at some point. And I can’t. Nope. I don’t think The Doctor could either. Just look at their goodbye in TNOTD. River had to come up with a way of allowing him to say goodbye without saying goodbye. It’s just too much. We can’t have Alex/River forever. Narratively speaking, what Moffat did with River was gorgeous. In a fictional universe where ghosts and the afterlife don’t exist, Moffat made it possible for River and The Doctor to still have a Happily Ever Afterlife. (And no, I don’t think that was retconned by TNOTD. Until we see The Library or River’s file destroyed, River will always be inside CAL. And TNOTD proves that The Doctor doesn’t live forever, but as to how long he’ll live it’s totally open ended. So, there’s nothing to say that in the far distant future, he won’t have someone upload his data ghost to CAL, but that would still be in Data Ghost!River’s future.)
The thing about that is, even though he never forgets and the sting of loss always hurts him, he has such a long history with loss that he knows how long it takes before someone’s “echo” fades for him.
And River didn’t. For, what? Centuries? She didn’t fade. Which means the loss of River Song is far above and beyond. She means THAT much to him.
He literally loved her so much that he couldn’t bring himself to speak to her because it killed him inside! For a person who’s been faced with the choice to put down a pet or to continue/take off a loved one’s life support, that scene resonates to the point where I’m shaking at the accusation that he didn’t care and just wanted to get rid of her!
He knew that both of them were suffering and he didn’t know how to help them both. The longer he hung onto her, the more she hurt, and if he let her go, the more he hurt. It’s an impossible position to be in. Holding on is selfish and ignoring the situation is selfish—I happen to know that firsthand—but if you procrastinate the situation and trick yourself into focusing on other things, it gets you through another minute or another hour or day or week.
River was the one begging The Doctor for closure, he was the one who refused to let go of her because endings, especially hers, cut him too deeply. She was basically saying, “Please end my suffering; let me off life support,” and he was fighting that, because how do you say goodbye? And so she came up with a way for him to give her what she needed, without him having to do the thing he couldn’t. It was one of the most simultaneously majestic and tragic scenes I’ve ever seen!
And all too real.
The Doctor: *can’t tell if begging or if screaming name*
Anonymous: Just realised- River's 'last kiss' with the Doctor in Day of the Moon turned out to be her second-to-last kiss with him :)
I’m gonna have to disagree.
I can’t imagine he doesn’t kiss her the night he takes her to the Singing Towers (the last time she sees him pre-Library). Plus, there are so many dates and adventures we don’t see, so there could’ve been any number of other kisses.