Ianto Jones. You all knew I was going to say that anyway. But why do I love him so much that I am willing to put so much energy and emotional effort into making sure we see him again?
He was so flawed, so unperfect that I found it easy to identify with him. In the first instance he was the quiet, unassuming type, left out and barely noticed by those people he did so much for. I understand that completely. And then it was revealed that there was so much more to him than meets the eye; he had an ability to love that verged an obsession, he followed the rules but was willing to break them if his passions dictated otherwise. He stood up for what his heart told him, he fought for that which he loved even when others would tell him not to. He was fiercely protective and loyal; once you had his love, it never went away and he would stand in front of an army of machine guns in order to protect it. This is all part of what made him so multi-layered, so unique; even though these aspects of his character were often dangerous, illogical and could sometimes push him to madness, you couldn't help but envy him his conviction and respect him for his love.
The character showed me that you can get through a terrible time, an earth-shattering time, and come out on the other side as a different, yet stronger, human being. The character went through some of the most horrible things imaginable when he survived the Battle of Canary Wharf, when he lost Lisa, when he was forced to fight for his life amongst the cannibals, and yet at the end of the day he was still willing to fight for humanity. He was a such a relatable character, and yet he brought so much optimism into my life, a sense of "yes, I can get through this". I first became attached to his character when I re-watched Series 1 and then moved onto 2 during the final year of my GCSE's, a time when I slipped into anxiety and depression and could find no support amongst those who claimed to be my friends. This character seemed to reflect me in so many ways it was scary; I followed his journey and moulded my own upon it. He instilled hope in me, and no other character has ever done that before. He supported me when no one else would, and so, in my mind, he became almost like a confidant, a real person; he was what I needed, and I will always be eternally grateful to the character, and to Gareth David Lloyd for his stunning portrayal, as I don't know how far I would have sunk if I hadn't have found him at the right time.
Before I watched Torchwood, I had no idea that the word "bisexual" existed. It is just something that was never touched on where I live. I'd known for a while that I was attracted to both men and women, and yet I had no words or examples with which top find any sort of comfort. I didn't want a label, I wanted reassurance that I wasn't "wrong". Ianto Jones offered me that; offered me the perfect example of a bisexual person, probably in denial or slightly confused by his sexuality, who then finds someone to love who just happens to be a man and...what do you know...he's actually fine with who he is. It was amazing and wonderful to watch him - he was normal, unnassuming, flawed, and yet so bloody brave and brilliant and inspirational because he just made it so damned normal. It was never an issue, never something that he appeared bothered by in anyway, not after he realised that he loved Jack and that, in itself, was justification enough. That changed my life. It truly did.
Ianto gave me back my confidence, my ability to be happy, my creativity (I have often called him my muse). The character became both my role model and my bedrock, my support structure and my inspiration. There is so much I could not have done without him. And that's why I continue to fight - because he had so much more to give, and as much as he allowed me to be who I am, to be strong, I still need him. In a personal sense, for me, at least, his work is not yet done.