Doctor Who: why does Rory keep on dying?

News Simon Brew
25 May 2011 - 06:10

Rory Williams is either the most luckless companion in Doctor Who history, or he’s pivotal to the current plot. Or both. Let our speculation begin…

Anyone who's followed Doctor Who with any interest over the past two years will quickly appreciate what's been an increasingly regular occurrence on the show.

For, having started off as the fiancé of Amy Pond, the character of Rory, as played by Arthur Darvill, has taken on increasing importance. And, more to the point, he seems to keep dying. To the point where he's becoming Doctor Who's equivalent of South Park's Kenny.

Let's quickly surmise just when and where Rory has met his maker...


The episode that may yet prove to be the utterly pivotal one in the relationship between Amy and Rory. Cast your mind back. In this one, the dream-Rory is married to Amy, who happens to be pregnant. He then dies.


This is the episode where Rory gets shot, and disappears through a crack in time. At this point, he is wiped from Amy's memory altogether.


Along with the other key characters at the start of the episode, Rory is hunted down, and in his case, shot by Canton. This facilitated his transportation to the secure prison, where he was reunited with the others.


Rory is thrown out into the ocean and heads off for his latest meeting with his maker, and it's only the touch of The Siren that brings him back this time around.


Lost in the corridors of the TARDIS, Rory keeps getting older each time he and Amy are united. Until, inevitably, Amy rounds the corner to be met by a skeleton, and lots of scrawlings of unpleasantries about her on the wall.

So then, the inevitable question: what's going on?

First and foremost, we've met nobody who thinks the many killings of Rory are accidental. As Steven Moffat has proven in Doctor Who time after time, everything seems to happen for a reason, and the deaths of Rory must be included in that.

With our pure speculation hats on, we're going to suggest that Rory is, actually, dead, or will be for good by the time the series is finished.

Matthew Graham told us that Steven Moffat wanted a story in this series of Doctor Who with avatars in it, and Graham duly delivered with The Rebel Flesh/The Almost People two-parter. This does, in turn, open up the possibility that The Flesh are making versions of Rory. But we're not sure that's what's going on here.

More likely, Rory has died legitimately at some point along the line. And then, in Final Destination style, the universe is trying to right the wrong of him still being alive (something new Who covered to a point before with Father's Day). That'd explain why he keeps dying, and it would also, in turn, potentially explain Amy's pregnancy. After all, if Rory isn't supposed to be alive, then surely Amy couldn't be pregnant.

But with the continued doubt over whether he's alive or not, there's sufficient doubt to send the Tardis' on-board pregnancy scanner (never leave home without it) into overdrive. Unless that turns out to be something to do with Amy herself.

Or, let's factor in The Pandorica Opens, which throws a different complexion on everything again. Here, it's a copy version of Rory that we see. Might there be more copies? Who is making them? Is there an army of Rorys out there? Is Rory, in some way, a weapon, perhaps controlled by someone like the Dream Lord? Or the mysterious character from The Lodger?

Okay, the speculation is going into some odd places here, but we do know this: Steven Moffat has promised a "game-changing cliffhanger" to come at the end of episode seven, when the show disappears for its mid-season break. That's likely to be River Song-related, but don't rule out Rory having major importance.

As Steven Moffat said, before the series started, "You will gasp in astonishment at the true nature of the Doctor's relationship with Amy and you will cry out in horror as Rory tumbles into a tragic mistake."

Make of that what you will. And you can read our River Song theories, which tie into where Amy fits into the current world of Doctor Who, through the link below.

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