Is River Song considered a timelord?

Or is she considered a "fancy" human that can regenerate?

Do we know anything of her physiology to let us know if she is a timelord (eg. two hearts), or (again) just plain ol' "fancier" human?


2 Answers 2


No. River Song is not a Time Lord. The title and distinction belongs solely to those beings from the world of Gallifrey who have been indoctrinated, trained and introduced to the Time Vortex via a particular set of rituals, instruction and guidance.

River Song is a human who has, via her conception onboard the Tardis in flight, been exposed to the unshielded energies of the Time Vortex and the DNA of the Doctor. With that exposure she seems to have gained before her death:

  • River appeared to be moving against the arrow of time in relationship to the Doctor. It was never made clear if this was due to her exposure to the vortex or due to her being used as a weapon against the Doctor.
  • What it did mean was every time she met the Doctor, he would know less and less about her and she would know more and more about him. (An excellent position to be in if you are attemtping to take on an enemy who uses knowledge as a weapon and moves through time with relative ease.)
  • an awareness of time, superior to most human understanding of it. Her confidence and awareness of her position in time may have come from her interaction with the Time Vortex, which has unpredictable effects on human beings. (see Rose Tyler, Donna Noble)
  • Equipped with the right time travelling technology, she appears comfortable moving through time, suffering no ill effects or lack of understanding of the mechanics. She was even able to pilot the TARDIS, effectively, a feat reserved for Time Lords.
  • a potential for regeneration (though apparently spent on saving the Doctor's life after she poisoned him.) With the transfer of her regeneration energy she appears to be a normal human again.

As far as physically, her physiology appeared to be that of a human female with only one heart. She did possesses exceptional fighting capabilities and was highly intelligent. She dies saving the Doctor on the Library planet and is living a digitized and immortal existence in the library's virtuality. (DW: Forest of the Dead)

(DW: The Time of Angels, Day of the Moon, A Good Man Goes to War, The Wedding of River Song)

  • 1
    I don't think she is moving "against" time, so much as both her and The Doctor are time travelling and they just happen to encounter each other in short bursts that arrive in reverse order for each other; while they are together they are certainly moving in the same direction.
    – KutuluMike
    Jun 1, 2012 at 22:52
  • I'm not quite sure, but isn't the Time Vortex something different than the Heart of the TARDIS? Time Lords are known to look into the Time Vortex (a fixed gate-like structure on Gallifrey), while the Heart of the TARDIS transformed Rose Tylor into Bad Wolf, nearly killing her.
    – bitmask
    Jun 2, 2012 at 0:08
  • 1
    The Time Vortex and the Heart of the TARDIS are two different things/forces. But Heart of the TARDIS is affected by and can be used to access the Time Vortex energy. Indeed, the Heart is how the passengers of the TARDIS are able to withstand the destructive energies of the Time Vortex. The Time Vortex is not just a fixed structure, it is the field in which time travel is done. Rose was transformed by the Vortex Energy she was fed by the Heart of the TARDIS. Jun 2, 2012 at 0:30
  • Ah, I see. +1, then
    – bitmask
    Jun 2, 2012 at 1:11
  • Thanks @Thaddeus ^_^ I just posted a new question based on your answer scifi.stackexchange.com/q/17679/3383
    – Naftali
    Jun 3, 2012 at 12:33

She is half-human, half-timelord (her DNA contains both strands) as indicated by her biological scan on Demon's Run. The show has not confirmed whether she has two hearts or not.

Source: Season 6 Episode 7: A Good Man Goes to War (31 minute mark)

  • Downvote because "Time Lord" - despite its usage in the new series - is not a species, but a title granted to graduates of the Time Lord Academy on Gallifrey, as mentioned in the accepted answer.
    – Darael
    Dec 30, 2013 at 11:44

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