So I was rewatching The Rings of Akhaten, with the captions on this time because I wanted to make sure that I caught everything that was said.
And after the Doctor’s brilliant speech that everyone loves, and the star seems to have collapsed but starts expanding again and he falls to his knee, he says something that I missed the first time and it seems to me that everyone else missed too.
“I won’t feed you.”
Its very quiet, almost lost in the background music, but its still there. This is right before Clara comes on the moped space bike and saves him. “I won’t feed you.” Not, “I have nothing left to give” or “You took everything” or even “I’m sorry”
He said “I won’t feed you.”
This is a very important part of the episode, I feel, and I’m surprised that it was allowed to be so easily lost on the audience. Before, when trying to pay for the moped, Clara tries to get him to pay but he says the only thing of value he has is the screwdriver, which comes in handy. Now I can’t believe that this is true. A quick trip to the TARDIS would prove that he has something else of sentimental value there. Of course, it might not be something he wants to give up.
There are plenty of things that he’d like to forget. All the pain and suffering he causes, the things that he regrets with every fiber of his being, things that weigh down his soul. But when he has the chance to get rid of all of them, of forgetting all these things that torture him day by day, he doesn’t.
He gave some of his memories, sure. That’s why the star seemed to collapse in the first place. But it wasn’t enough, whatever he gave. The star was hungry for more. Hungry for something that he wasn’t willing to give.
“I won’t feed you.”
He could’ve stopped the star right then and there, I feel. He had enough memories to stop it. But there were things that he wasn’t willing to give, memories he didn’t want to lose. Because, after all, isn’t that all the soul is? Memories and stories? And to lose all of those the Doctor would’ve lost himself.