|“||Don't worry, Stiles. I'm not gonna kill you. I'm just gonna eat your legs!||”|
Donovan Donati was a minor antagonist and character in Season 5 of Teen Wolf. He was first introduced as a young criminal who had been arrested countless times for breaking and entering, unlawful possession of a weapon, and other such crimes. When Sheriff Stilinski reminded him that the judge told him one more arrest would lead to jail time, Donovan became so enraged that he threatened to kill him on numerous occasions. In time, it was revealed that he had been turned into a Chimera by the Dread Doctors, specifically a hybrid between a Wendigo and a Lamprey, giving him double rows of sharp fangs in his human mouth and an ability to create round, fanged lamprey mouths on any part of his skin.
After learning of his new powers and getting advice from fellow Chimera Theo Raeken, Donovan decided to get revenge the Sheriff by attacking his son, Stiles Stilinski. However, when Donovan came close to eating Stiles' leg while he desperately tried to get away by climbing a construction scaffolding, he was impaled through the chest with a length of metal that had been dumped on him by Stiles when he attempted to get away, unintentionally killing him. Before Stiles could even come up with a plan for how to deal with Donovan's death, his body was stolen by a mysterious being who was later revealed to be Jordan Parrish, who was possessed by a Hellhound, also known as a guardian of the supernatural whose duty is to protect the secret of their world. Donovan's body was then brought to the Nemeton with the other failed Chimeras, where it was laid near the stump and partially burned.
Very little of Donovan's history prior to his introduction has been revealed. However, what is known is that his father was Sheriff Stilinski's partner when the latter was still a deputy. One night, when the two were on shift, they were sent to a house where a violent altercation was in progress. Sheriff insisted on calling for backup, but Donovan's father went into the house instead of waiting on them. He was then shot by the criminals inside, with the bullet tearing through his T9 vertebra and paralyzing him from the chest-down. ("A Novel Approach")
Donovan, worried about his father's condition, rushed to the hospital on his motorcycle, where he got in an accident that led to him being taken to the hospital in an ambulance as well. Both men needed surgery, and Donovan received a skin graft to help with his wounds, which ultimately gave him genetic chimerism and led the Dread Doctors to choose him as a test subject to turn into a pseudo-supernatural Chimera. ("Strange Frequencies")
At some point after he graduated high school, he applied for the police academy so he could become a deputy at the Beacon County Sheriff's Station, but between the results of his Anger Expression Inventory and those of the other psychological tests he took, it was determined that he wasn't a suitable choice for law enforcement. It's likely that what happened to his father in conjunction with the realization that he would never follow in his father's footsteps by becoming a police officer was what ultimately led him to a life of crime, and also caused him to develop a grudge against Sheriff Stilinski, and, by extension, his son Stiles. ("Condition Terminal")
Throughout Teen Wolf
From the short amount of time Donovan appeared in the series, his personality was shown to be aggressive and impulsive, with an easily triggered temper and very little ability to control his anger and the behavior it caused. According to what Theo Raeken read in the psychological profile that was done on Donovan when he applied to become a police officer, he had a high score on his Anger Expression Inventory, and his evaluation indicated that he was a borderline psychopath. He showed an intense resentment toward Sheriff Stilinski, whom he believed was a coward for calling for backup rather than going into the suspect's house with his father, and who he blamed for his father being shot and paralyzed. This resentment ultimately made him easily manipulated, as Theo was able to convince him that the best way to get back at the Sheriff was to go after the thing he loves most-- in this case, Sheriff's son, Stiles Stilinski.
Donovan also appeared to be someone who was at least passively interested in gaining more power, as evidenced by the fact that, though he feared the Dread Doctors and was traumatized by what they did to him, he still managed to embrace his new powers and had no problem with using them against Stiles, even despite the fact that Stiles had never done anything to him personally, which demonstrated the intensity with which Donovan hated the Sheriff.
Donovan was a tall, lean man of medium stature with pale white skin, dark brown eyes, and wavy dark brown hair. He seemed to dress casually, usually choosing sneakers, grungy jeans, tshirts, and hoodies as his outfit of choice.
Powers and Abilities
Donovan was a Chimera, a human with two sets of DNA who was scientifically given the powers of two supernatural species without becoming truly supernatural himself. Like all Chimeras, regardless of species, Donovan gained super strength, speed, agility/reflexes, senses (enhanced sight, hearing, and smell) and accelerated healing, along with an immunity to Mountain Ash due to the fact that he is technically not supernatural. Unfortunately, these powers are generally still inferior to that of a true shapeshifter, including the Wendigo species from which half of his powers were derived, and he seemed to be weaker than most Chimeras, as Stiles was able to stun him two times during their fight, though he recovered quickly both times.
However, in addition to these enhanced physical attributes, Donovan also gained several powers that resulted from his specific hybrid nature-- part-Wendigo and part-Lamprey. He had the shapeshifting powers of a Wendigo that allowed him to reveal glowing white eyes and double-rowed fangs, and also possessed their hunger for human flesh. Donovan could seemingly create round, fanged Lamprey mouths on any part of his skin, such as the palm of his hand or the side of his neck. He also had a silver nictitious membrane over his eyes, but it is unknown which species from which this attribute came; it may have simply been a side-effect of the Modified Mercury that caused his transformation. It is possible that he possessed even more powers than those listed above and simply did not have the time to learn how to use them or demonstrate their use before he died.
Aside from his supernatural powers, Donovan also possessed several skills and abilities from even before he was transformed into a Chimera. As a criminal who had been arrested numerous times for crimes spanning from breaking and entering to unlawful possession of a firearm, it is likely that Donovan had at least some proficiency in skills such as lock-picking and hand-to-hand combat. Additionally, since his father was a police officer, it seems very likely that he has a general understanding of firearms and how they work, especially considering the fact that he was in possession of a .38 pistol the last time he was arrested.
Because of how little is known about Wendigos and the supernatural Lamprey species from which Donovan gained his powers, a complete list of his weaknesses remains unknown. It's possible that his appetite he gained from being part-Wendigo could be considered a weakness due to the risk of exposure if his hunger became out of control.
- Donovan: Donovan is a masculine English given name and family name that is derived from the Irish surname Ó Donndubháin, meaning "descendant of Donndubhán." Donndubhán itself is an ancient Irish given name composed of the Gaelic elements donn, meaning "brown," and dubh, meaning "dark," a fitting name for the character Donovan, due to both his dark brown hair and eyes and his dark personality.
- Donati: Donati is a surname with numerous spellings (including Danet, Donat, Donnet, Donativo, and Donatelli) whose origins are English, Scottish, French, and Italian. It is most likely derived from the Latin donatus, meaning "to give." Interestingly enough, the name could also be a nickname for someone with dark hair or a dark complexion, as the variant spelling Dunnett could be derived from the Gaelic dunn, meaning "dark colored" and the suffix -ett, from petit, meaning "small," just like the given name Donovan. This makes the name Donovan Donati a double-reference to someone with dark hair or demeanor. Additionally, it could be an Italian patronymic surname referring to "son of Donato."
- Cody Christian confirmed that Donovan was part-Lamprey on behalf of the writers at San Diego Comic-Con in 2015.
- Donovan is the fourth Chimera to appear in the series after Theo Raeken, Belasko, and Tracy Stewart.
- Donovan is the third Wendigo to be appear in the series, and the only one of the three who is only part-Wendigo through his Chimerism. The first two were Sean Walcott and Patrick Clark.
- This excludes the rest of the Walcott Family, who were only shown on-camera after they were killed.
- Like Tracy Stewart, Donovan became a genetic chimera because he received an allogeneic skin graft from an outside donor.
- The Sluagh in Eichen House took Donovan's form when Stiles looked at him. According to Gabriel Valack, the Sluagh can take the form of departed souls who have inextricably become bound to it, which suggests that Donovan's soul has a bond with the Sluagh somehow.