Heptapods, Gallafriyans and Tralfamadorians (Guest Article)

spoiler alert

Includes themes from Stories of your life and Doctor Who

Today was short on any meaningful accomplishments and yet bigger on the inside, interspersed with a string of little epiphanies. Here’s one that lead to an obnoxiously loud “Eureka!” moment. So if you have read Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang I bet you’ve been as intrigued as me. Picturing the Heptapod B language was way beyond my skillset. Now here is where I get to the good part (the epiphanic one). Gallifreyan is an excellent example of Heptapod B, one composite sigil which progressively increases in complexity as the sentences grow longer.

Furthermore, Timelords see time as a sphere rather than a linear progression. Every point in time exists simultaneously which are distributed along the lines of the space-time continuum, a bit like how Kurt Vonnegut’s Tralfamadorians saw it. That’s how the Doctor detects timelines in flux as well as the unchangeable focal points of important events. This is in perfect accordance with what we know of the Heptapodical view of time.


And here, my dear Watsons, the deductions reach their grand finale. Heptapods were Timelords with a perception field around them which made them look like seven limbed cylinders to the unsuspecting human populace. And for the last act; Dr. Louise Banks, after learning Heptapod B, was Chiang’s version of Dr. Donna. I know I know. Thank you “10th” for letting me get this off my chest in your fantastic blog.


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