I just want to say that people who complain that River Song started out as an independent woman who challenged the Doctor and became a woman tragically defined by the Doctor forget that River Song’s story is told backwards.
As a child she was brainwashed, manipulated, and conditioned to be something others wanted her to be. As a woman, she broke free of the conditioning, the expectations, the obsession, and became an independent woman with a life of her own apart from the TARDIS—someone who loves the Doctor but is not at all dependent on him.
Isn’t that something hopeful, beautiful, meaningful?
You are not defined by the things that have happened to you. You are not defined by the things you have done. You are not defined by the way you used to think. You are not defined by what others want you to be.
It doesn’t matter how you started. It doesn’t matter what path others forced you down. It doesn’t matter if you’re broken or screwed up or flawed.
You can be strong. You can be brave. You can make your own way. You can be confident. You can be independent. You can live a life that’s wild and wonderful in spite of it all.
River Song should inspire us all.