Alien: Covenant

Is David capable of love?

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FacehuggerMember269 XPMar-04-2017 5:57 PM

Just spitballing here...

We seem to be led to believe that more of David's traits are moving humanistic in nature, is it too much of a stretch that he has fallen in love with Shaw?

Stay with me here -

If the "Alien Rulebook" includes lasting cancer-like illness after specimen removal (like much of the books/games/comics), is it then possible that Shaw is altered/"sick" from the trilobite removal?

Could it then be posited that David sought out another engineer site to study further the contagion, in a bid to save Shaw? 

And maybe when this failed (or he ran out of subjects), he pulled the old "distress signal trick" so he could get more subjects in an increasing obsession to save Shaw?

From Prometheus we already have some hints that Shaw fascinates David, maybe that he is even obsessed with her.  Is it a stretch that he actually loves her?  How far would one go to save the one you love?


20 Responses to Is David capable of love?


PraetorianAdmin4321 XPMar-05-2017 12:11 AM

I think so, i've always assumed David might have a crush on Shaw. I also think Shaw might have some residual DNA damage/alteration from contact with infected Charlie Holloway. Good points.


TrilobiteMember8212 XPMar-05-2017 12:16 AM

Well, if love is more about demonstration than feelings/sentiment, absolutely.


OvomorphMember13 XPMar-05-2017 12:25 AM

He can show it yes, but as in the film Ex Machina "A chess computer can play chess but not know what chess is" So he may not know what love is but can simulate the action. 


TrilobiteMember8212 XPMar-05-2017 12:27 AM

To paraphrase the Matrix- No one can tell you whether or not you are in love- you just know it.


ChestbursterMember935 XPMar-05-2017 12:45 AM

Well, as a synthetic David lacks emotions such as empathy and sympathy (and love) but he can intellectually understand human emotions (but not feel them).


TrilobiteMember8212 XPMar-05-2017 12:55 AM


Maybe the OP should have clarified being able to feel or demonstrate love. Arguably, one may not feel anything in particular to some one else's situation but might understand and know the appropriate actions or words to give comfort? This could be a pretty complex thread.


ChestbursterMember935 XPMar-05-2017 1:01 AM

Yes, being such a sophisticated synthetic David could simulate love without a human being able to tell the difference . . .


TrilobiteMember8212 XPMar-05-2017 1:10 AM


Interesting topic- I hope to see others weigh in. +1!


TrilobiteMember8212 XPMar-05-2017 1:19 AM

So which is more important- feeling or demonstrating and to whom it matters most? Lots of real world situations where people just do stuff or say it is just their job, but the recipient sees it differently. Food for thought.


ChestbursterMember935 XPMar-05-2017 3:24 AM

Yes, it's interesting, dk, and all we have, whether human or synthetic, is what people say and do. We can't really know about their inner thoughts and feelings. There are serial killers who have fooled everybody by looking normal and behaving normally, except at certain times . . .

For Close Encounters

OvomorphMember53 XPMar-05-2017 9:06 AM

David can not love.   He has data of a programmer's perception of an emotion.  So. If someone cries in pain, he could possibly duplicate the reaction (tears) of pain, but not actually feel it.   He can duplicate some actions, gestures, sentiments of love....but not ever possess the real carnal emotion of love.


ChestbursterMember739 XPMar-05-2017 9:24 AM

After the latest trailer, I find it hard to believe that David understands our definitions of "love" in the usual sense.

His work on the planet is a bit.....morbid (to say the least) 


FacehuggerMember269 XPMar-05-2017 10:11 AM

"So which is more important- feeling or demonstrating and to whom it matters most?"

Depending on how close his humanity was programmed, with years of not receiving any maintenance (and assuming he has a self improving/learning AI); would it really be a huge leap to see the repetitious demonstrations turn into a learned trait/behavior/feeling? -

Similar to the humanity he is so closely programmed toward?

I guess, if this route was taken then it would have to be presented in a way as to not put off the audience (See Vader Debacle in E-III).

I will honestly say that David and whatever shena****ns he is up to is a huge point of interest for myself.  I am really looking forward to see how all this plays out.

(Full Disclosure:  I am brand new to these forums and have become hopelessly addicted to reading everyone's thoughts and predictions.  Really giving my brain a workout wrapping my head around all of the raw and refined ideas everyone here come up with.  Glad I found you guys and gals...The wife even more so, haha!)


PraetorianMember3420 XPMar-05-2017 1:06 PM

Mentioned many times in the above thread, David 8 is capable of showing love to "dutifully persevere until reaching his final goal."

Project Prometheus David 8 Introduction


FacehuggerMember152 XPMar-06-2017 12:34 PM

In Prometheus, Shaw is introduced as being barren and unable to create life. After intercourse with an infected Holloway, she becomes pregnant. If we are to assume that Holloway just passed the trilobite into her, then she may be safe from infection. But...considering Holloway continued to morph, it's safe to assume his genetic material was infected, leading to an infection in Shaw's reproductive system.

Now instead of producing normal human eggs, her reproductive system now generates trilobites? Just a guess at this point, but it would serve the purpose of explaining what may or may not happen to her in AC.

Onto the question, I think David is incapable of truly loving someone. He can understand the concepts of it, but I don't think he can fully love someone. The closest he may come is with Shaw. He watched her dreams, had deep conversations with her, and ultimately respects her for surviving her ordeal. As to whether or not he wants to save her (if that's the case), I don't know. One thing is for sure, David 8 is a curious boy with no restraints now. He may just be willing to keep experimenting to just SEE what happens.


NeomorphMember1675 XPMar-08-2017 10:40 AM

I am sure that there was a video about David before Prometheus was released that said that David could understand and simulate human emotions but doesn’t have them the way humans do. Maybe he can fake love but it seems to me that he isn’t capable of that.


Yeah there it is, look at 1:30-1:40.


He has an advanced programing but he hasn’t got the emotional part. This makes me draw the conclusion that he can intellectually understand love (it is like he has a programming for that but it is more like putting together a mathematical task and then solve it) but can’t feel it.


FacehuggerMember152 XPMar-08-2017 11:08 AM


He has dialogue with Holloway where he says they made you guys as close to us as possible and David responds with "Not too close I hope."

David has basic understandings and as you said can mimic and understand emotions, though I doubt he actually feels them.


FacehuggerMember425 XPMar-08-2017 11:56 AM

For the purposes of this discussion, let's more clearly define our terms

Affection: the feelings associated with love.

Love: the actions taken to express affection or reinforce the relationship.

Is he capable of actual affection? probably not unless he has an epiphany of self awareness. Is he capable of actions humans would interpret as "loving?" Without question. He is clearly capable of interest and fixation, but that is not the same as affection to me.

Safe? Of course he isn't safe, but he's good!


FacehuggerMember152 XPMar-08-2017 12:10 PM

Myrddin - To an extent.

I'll quote Bishop from Aliens where he explains why he'll realign the dish: "  I'll go. I mean, I'm the only one qualified to remote-pilot the ship anyway. Believe me, I'd prefer not to. I may be synthetic, but I'm not stupid."

I think as synthetics go, they KNOW, fear, curiosity...but are incapable of expressing them as humans do. Can David love? Maybe, but not the way humans do. I'd compare it to how humans say they love and inanimate object like their car or their phone. "I love my phone." Well no, you're not "in love" with it, you are just fascinated with it and what it can do for you. David's "love" is just that, a fascination with humans and what they can do for him.


FacehuggerMember425 XPMar-08-2017 12:20 PM

We agree. David's "loving" actions would most likely have different motivations than a human.

Safe? Of course he isn't safe, but he's good!

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Alien: Covenant is a sequel to 2012's Prometheus as well as a prequel to 1979's ALIEN. Alien fans looking to know more about Alien: Covenant should check back often. is an information resource for film enthusiasts looking to learn more about the upcoming blockbuster Alien: Covenant. Providing the latest official and accurate information on Alien: Covenant, this website contains links to every set video, viral video, commercial, trailer, poster, movie still and screenshot available. This site is an extension of the Alien & Predator Fandom on Scified - a central hub for fans of Alien and Prometheus looking to stay up-to-date on the latest news. Images used are property of their respective owners. Alien: Covenant, Prometheus and its associated names, logos and images are property of 20th Century Fox and are in no way owned by Scified and its related entities. This is a fan-created website for the purpose of informing and exciting fans for Alien: Covenant's release. If you have any questions about this site, its content or the Scified Network in general, feel free to contact Scified directly.

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