The Forest and River

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Another episode, another mystery to add to the list. The Doctor’s Wife left us with yet another unanswered question from Series 6, as if there wasn’t enough already!

Before Idris’ body died, she told Rory an important message, which he later relayed to the Doctor.

Rory: The only water in the forest is the river… She said we’d need to know that someday. It doesn’t make sense, does it.
Doctor: No, not yet.

As some of you will be aware, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard this. The phrase cropped up last September as one of the 41 teasers from Brilliant Book. So clearly it has big significance to this year’s Doctor Who story arc.

So what does it mean? Once again, trying to answer that is very tricky, if not impossible, as there’s so little to go on at this point. However, there’s a couple of potential connections that can be drawn.

The first and most obvious is that the “river” refers to River Song and this is something to do with her. Further strengthening this is that writer Neil Gaiman previously said his episode was “almost River free.”

So if the “river” is River Song, could the “forest” be referring to the episode Forest of the Dead, the conclusion of the story where we first met River and also where she dies? Maybe.

Of course, it’s still possible this has nothing to do with River Song and it’s a red herring. With Steven Moffat, the answers are rarely obvious.