Warning contents of post may travel forwards and ƨbɿɒwʞɔɒd at the same time, due to River/The Doctor's timeline.

Post Lake silencio, where does River stand?

After the events of Lake Silencio where the doctors !died, it seems as though River was never arrested for murdering him.

She should never have been in Prison, should never have been in the Library, and should never have met the Doctor... Or have I got this all wrong?

And most importantly, the question we all want to know, will they ever meet Jim The Fish?

  • Why do you think that? She did go to prison!
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Oct 27, 2012 at 13:12
  • And yes, they did meet Jim the Fish. All the events in the series happened. Only the last episode The wedding of River Song was rolled back, or unhappened. And that does imply that the wedding itself unhappened, but I'm not sure if that's canon.
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Oct 27, 2012 at 13:13
  • @MrLister we've not seen her in prison post-silencio...I can't find the quote but she mentions something like this in one of the latest (as of october 2012) episodes.
    – AncientSwordRage
    Commented Oct 27, 2012 at 13:17
  • At the end of Wedding, the universe does think she, ehm, she did what you said she did (sorry, I don't get spoiler blocks in a comment), so the consequences have to be played out. Otherwise, time would, well, you know what it would do, you've seen Wedding. But I don't remember if she said anything about it in Manhattan; I'd have to rewatch that.
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Oct 27, 2012 at 13:22

1 Answer 1


River absolutely did spend time in prison. Every time we saw her breaking into/out of prison occurred somewhere between Wedding and Manhatten.

The reason she was still in prison is explained in a few of the subsequent episodes, though I suspect there's probably some plot holes introduced by the whole Wedding stunt.

River was arrested for the murder of "a great man; the greatest man". Knowing River, I think we all immediately figured out that she was arrested

for murdering The Doctor at Lake Silencio.

We also know that

The Doctor isn't actually going to die during the course of the show,

so clearly she didn't actually do what she was accused of.

The reason she went to prison anyway was to maintain the illusion that her victim was actually dead.

By the time that Wedding happened, The Doctor had realized (through events like Demon's Run, etc.) that he had gotten too "noisy" and made too many people angry. So he decided to go into hiding, and River plays along by taking the fall for murdering him, even though she didn't. Everyone has to think he is dead, so she cannot use his still-being-alive as a defense against his murder.

She stays in prison for that murder for a long time, which she accepts because The Doctor routinely comes along to break her out of prison again.

When we later saw her in Manhatten, she tells The Doctor that she had "been pardoned", meaning she was definitely in prison for something, but wasn't any longer. Note that she doesn't say she has served her time, nor been paroled, meaning somewhere along the line the truth must have come out, but I don't know when/how that happened.

(Note: from her perspective, this puts Manhatten sometime after Flesh and Stone, where she was on "work release", but well before Library, where she was a Professor.)

  • She says it is because "The man I was accused of killing never existed. It's almost as if someone has been going around erasing his name from every database in the universe." Which he has been doing because he got so big.
    – shachna
    Commented Dec 27, 2012 at 17:15

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