- Character: Dawn Summers
- Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- Reason for Being Hated: Suddenly appears as the main character’s sister in the fifth season, annoying, bratty, obnoxious, changed family dynamic between Buffy and her mom
Dawn suddenly appeared in season five, you say? Why yes, yes she did. As she was intended to. Dawn was made in season five. And really, she wasn’t sudden at all. In the finale of season three, Buffy’s shared dream with Faith has hints more of Buffy’s death than of Dawn. “Seven three oh,” is supposed to be 730 days, two years. That was when SMG’s contract was up, and something big was bound to happen that season, as it was supposed to be the finale. Later, in another dream, Buffy and Faith are making a bed in what will be Dawn’s room. Faith even states outright, “little sis coming,” to which Buffy replies, “So much to do before she gets here.” Finally, in a third dream, the first slayer ever tells Buffy to “be back before Dawn.” As a side note, the clock in the dream that read 7:30. Tara said the clock was wrong. If they kept with the pattern, it would have read 3:65, or one year before Buffy died.
Dawn Summers is often viewed as a bratty, annoying girl. To be quite honest, I agree to a slight degree. However, a lot of her in the fifth season was supposed to be from Buffy’s eyes. If you have a little sibling, they are automatically obnoxious, bratty, and annoying. It’s just how little siblings are. If the season was told from Dawn’s point of view, Buffy would appear rude, abrasive, and bossy. As for later in the series, of course Dawn would be bratty and whiny. As Joss Whedon himself said, “She’s been abandoned by, like, six parental figures. [Her attitude] is not surprising.”
As for changing the dynamic between Buffy and her mom, you are absolutely right. However, it was a change for the better. Buffy relied more on herself in the fifth season, something she would need once Joyce died. Without Dawn taking up more of Joyce’s attention, Buffy would have been broken once she died.
Additionally, Dawn taught Buffy to be more responsible. While she had already grown up a great deal through the series, having to take care of Dawn truly made her an adult. Having Dawn around taught Buffy skills she never would have learned without her. Besides, when has Joss Whedon not screwed with the traditional dynamic of a show?