Dawn and Princess Salvia- What does this mean for Pearlshipping?
Salvia plays a very interesting role in the DP series. As some of you might know there are a few characters in the Poké universe that have doppelgängers: Ash/Arnold/Travis, Max/Max, Serena/Mirror Serena, and May/Harley's classmate. Besides serving a comedic purpose, the use of these brief characters show the juxtaposition of the main characters of the story. Misty and Iris did not receive their “twins”, and we are not counting characters that are shown in the background that look like one of the main characters. Back to the topic at hand, it’s interesting how, out of all the Pokégirls, Dawn is the one who has a doppelgänger that is a princess. Out of all the people that Dawn’s “twin” could have been, the writers chose a princess. The great thing about this is it alludes to Dawn herself being a princess, and that only Dawn is somehow linked to Royalty just makes it all the more special.
Now, one can point out that Dawn is not a princess- her parents are not of noble birth- but the key here is that it alludes, Dawn isn’t an actual princess, but the fact her doppelgänger is, naturally associates Dawn with royalty. Later on, we will see how Dawn and Salvia are not opposites of one another, thereby demising the purpose of a doppelgänger. So if we can somehow agree that Dawn is like a quasi princess for the sake of argument, who is the person that usually marries the princess? The knight in shining armor of course! Who is the one person we know without a doubt, when the world is in trouble or some god like Pokémon shows up to wreak havoc, comes and saves the day? Ash Ketchum of course! The boy is still ten (technically 14 as mentioned by the writers but before that) but he has still saved the world countless times. Now some will bring up the argument that a princess only marries one of high birth such as a prince. Ash is even distinguished amongst his peers for his ability of Aura giving him the possibly of being an Aura Guardian. Aura Guardians are so rare, that they too become apart of a class that mirrors an aristocracy in terms of prestige. See how this is a parallel? Lady Dawn is linked through Royalty albeit because of Salvia, and Sir Ash is linked to a higher status as an Aura Guardian through Aura. It makes them special not only as characters in the story but also as a couple.
We must point out that the role of a doppelgänger in a story is used to highlight a character’s trait and nature by behaving as the complete opposite of him, which serves either comedic or dramatic purposes depending on the severity and trait at hand. Now if we go through the other doppelgängers of the show, May was mentioned as looking like Harley’s classmate who was a bully to him, showing a complete opposite of who May is as a person: kind and sweet.
Max is the same as Big Max, the comedy here being that while they are both fighting each other, their basically fighting themselves.
Team Rocket in the form of Team Righteous, serve as true doppelgängers they have the complete viewpoint in life: fighting for good not evil. This serves as their foil, giving us the audience comedic relief; they same can be said of Ash’s doppelgängers.
Mirror Serena takes after Team Righteous as she too has a complete change in her personality. She is much more aggressive and assertive than Serena, and likes to determine fights through battles.
Salvia and Dawn have an interesting dynamic however. Salvia is different as she is politer and well mannered than Dawn, but that is to be expected because she is a princess, Dawn of course stood out because she was not taught to act that way (Princess Diaries anyone?); however, Salvia and Dawn are not complete opposites as they held up the same values of charity and kindness. Salvia gave Jessie her ribbon despite winning the contest.
Don’t you think Dawn would have done the same if she were in a similar situation? As Pearlshippers, we can definitely think of countless times Dawn acted in a heroic and generous manner, such as delaying her journey to save Pikachu from Team Rocket or risking her safety to save her Pokémon from a ship.
Like May, her doppelgänger had a way of staying with her afterward. With May she had Hurley, who served as her rival, and for Dawn she received a Togekiss, who unlike a rival is apart of Dawn’s team. Togekiss is the medium through which Dawn and Salvia’s relationship is continued. Togekiss is always with Dawn and apart of her because Dawn’s Pokémon mean the world to her.
In return, Togekiss became a huge asset in Dawn’s arsenal through aerial attack. Salvia’s contribution to Dawn’s success allows Salvia to live out her dream of competing in contests through Togekiss. So you see Dawn’s doppelgänger adds to the development and success of Dawn as a coordinator and the fact Salvia looks like Dawn adds the royal element to her that is unique among the Pokégirls.