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  • Question about Delenn's Real Knowledge

    I seem to consider myself a "plotline nazi" for lack of a better term. Simply meaning, I pay VERY careful attention to plotlines and details and I can't stand when writers get out of sync or leave loose threads. I must say Babylon 5 has impressed me the most out of any television program, rightly so as JMS made this show a one of kind novel for television. However one piece of continuity or thread has disturbed me a bit and hopefully others can shed light on this for me; SPOILERS BELOW!!!!





    As stated when the show was progressing, JMS commented on the fact that by the end of season 3, us along with Sheridan, would find out finally what it was the Shadows were doing and what they were trying to accomplish. He also stated that Delenn knew and was holding back and there would be an obvious price for this as was seen. We see this in Delenn during "Interludes and Examinations" when Sheridan is asking her what the Shadows could possibly want and she turns away, her face clearly showing she knows something......yet, what would be the harm in telling Sheridan the shadows motives? It wouldn't deter him any more from fighting them he obviously didn't agree when he found them out at Z'ha'Dum. ALSO, at the end of "The Summoning" when he is talking to everyone in his office he explains the Shadows and Vorlons motives....and Delenn seems genuinely surprised at this like everyone else she even asks a question about the whole situation further expressing her ignorance of the Shadows true motives...but didn't she already know this? Wasn't this her big secret along with knowing that Anna Sheridan might still be alive? That whole part, while not really taking anything away from the story at all, seemed kind of inconsistent with Delenn's character for me. Just food for thought I suppose.....

  • #2
    Your analyasis is a bit off. Delenn dosen't know any of the reason for the Shadows motivies. She *is* generally surprised when she finds out what they are.

    The reason she turns away isn't because she knows something, it's because she's been trained to shun that question. Remember Minbari culture is *heavily* influenced by the Vorlons, especially since their contact 1000 years ago and the stress on the group, not the individual, that has come since the days of Valen. The Vorlons, primairly, taught them not to ask this question, and as Minbari were raised they were trained that to ask what one person wanted was irrelevant, because it's not what you want that matters, but what is good for the society of a whole. A good Minbari dedicates their life mostly to the service of their people. She turns away not because she knows anything, but because she is uncomfortable with this question.

    Same thing can be seen in "And the Rock Called Out, No Hiding Place". The reason she's a bit disturbed with John when he's trying to think like them is because to her, they are an ancient enemy of unspeakable evil, and to try to "think" like they do is sacreligious on several levels.

    All she was holding back was that most vessles the Shadows encountered early on didn't kill off all of their crew, but used some for parts to a ship. If Sheridan knew that, he'd try to go looking for her, and she couldn't allow that...

    Hope this clarifies some things.

    Comment


    • #3
      Not much to add, except the acknowledgement that Delenn was thoroughly inoctrinated in the "Shdows are evil" POV, which we find out isn't true - they are no more "evil" than the Vorlons, and simply want to manipulate for a different reason.

      Delenn pays a price for her credulity, not her "knowledge."
      I believe that when we leave a place, part of it goes with us and part of us remains. Go anywhere in the station, when it is quiet, and just listen. After a while, you will hear the echoes of all our conversations, every thought and word we've exchanged. Long after we are gone .. our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit .. that the part of me that is going .. will very much miss the part of you that is staying.

      Comment


      • #4
        Some good discussion here, which leads to another. We seem to be discussing "knowledge", and this applies...although not to Delenn.

        I am speaking of the Vorlons. In various scenes throughout the series, we are led to believe that the Vorlons know much more than they reveal...on practically everything. Just how far does this extend?

        For example, in To Dream in the City of Sorrows we are told that when Sinclair/Valen takes B4 back 1000 years, he, along with a previously unknown race presents it to the Minbari for use in the war effort. This "unknown" race is of course the Vorlons. Now, how did the Vorlons know B4 was coming from the future? They aren't depicted as particularly outgoing or friendly, so how exactly did S/V hook up with them? It was as if they "knew" he and B4 were coming.

        Next, how did Kosh know that Sheridan would go to Z'ha'Dum? Kosh says to Sheridan: "There will be a price. I will not be there to help you when you go to Z'ha'dum." Kosh does not say IF you go, he says WHEN. Since he dies before Sheridan goes to Z, how does he know Sheridan will actually go? I suppose one could argue that Kosh doesn't really know, he is assuming. Still, it puzzles me.

        My point is, sometimes it seems like the Vorlons know what is coming. The degree to which this "knowledge" extends is not at all clear or consistant. It may even be a figment of my twisted imagination! (In fact it probably is) But even throughout my latest viewing of the series, I still get a sense that the Vorlons have (some) foreknowlegde of the future.

        And then I'm completely confused when Lyta is able to "fool" the dark Vorlon into following her!

        Has anyone else had the same inclination? I checked with a few friends who have seen the series, and one out of five said they had the same idea. The other four didn't notice anything related to the Vorlon's "foreknowledge".

        Talking about "rampant speculation"...this is it! No need to inform me of just how FAR OUT this thought is...
        "The cat is not evil for killing the rat, nor is the rat evil for stealing the grain. Each acts according to its nature." Master Po - Kung Fu:TOS

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Ben-Thayer Dunnthaedt
          Some good discussion here, which leads to another. We seem to be discussing "knowledge", and this applies...although not to Delenn.

          I am speaking of the Vorlons. In various scenes throughout the series, we are led to believe that the Vorlons know much more than they reveal...on practically everything. Just how far does this extend?

          For example, in To Dream in the City of Sorrows we are told that when Sinclair/Valen takes B4 back 1000 years, he, along with a previously unknown race presents it to the Minbari for use in the war effort. This "unknown" race is of course the Vorlons. Now, how did the Vorlons know B4 was coming from the future? They aren't depicted as particularly outgoing or friendly, so how exactly did S/V hook up with them? It was as if they "knew" he and B4 were coming.
          JMS answered this on 09/02/1996:
          < Bruce Probst [email protected] asks:
          > Except - where did the Vorlons come from?
          > In which case, the question is - why are they there?
          > What can they possibly know about B4 since, by their reckoning,
          > it's the first time it's ever made an appearance? How did they
          > know when and where it would turn up? If they can do it, what's
          > stopping the Shadows from doing it? Where does it all end?

          Well, the other obvious solution, since the Vorlons were then
          out and running around and actively involved in the war of that time period, he just sent out a signal, and they got there first.

          jms
          I don't recall that TDitCoS mentions the Vorlons as "unknown" to the Minbari when B4 arrives. If it did, then someone wasn't paying attention!


          Next, how did Kosh know that Sheridan would go to Z'ha'Dum? Kosh says to Sheridan: "There will be a price. I will not be there to help you when you go to Z'ha'dum." Kosh does not say IF you go, he says WHEN. Since he dies before Sheridan goes to Z, how does he know Sheridan will actually go? I suppose one could argue that Kosh doesn't really know, he is assuming. Still, it puzzles me.
          Sheridan told him he was going in SoZ.

          My point is, sometimes it seems like the Vorlons know what is coming. The degree to which this "knowledge" extends is not at all clear or consistant. It may even be a figment of my twisted imagination! (In fact it probably is) But even throughout my latest viewing of the series, I still get a sense that the Vorlons have (some) foreknowlegde of the future.

          And then I'm completely confused when Lyta is able to "fool" the dark Vorlon into following her!

          Has anyone else had the same inclination? I checked with a few friends who have seen the series, and one out of five said they had the same idea. The other four didn't notice anything related to the Vorlon's "foreknowledge".

          Talking about "rampant speculation"...this is it! No need to inform me of just how FAR OUT this thought is... [/B]
          I don't think the Vorlons had much "special knowledge" other than what they learned from Sinclair. They liked to PRETEND a lot of special knowledge, but even the insights they offered were more along the lines of telling people what they already knew, as I argued about in another thread. Examples of this abound, from ItB to DtD.

          They seemed to be better than most at grasping the "nub" iof things, as it were. Their actions had ENORMOUS leverage.

          For instance, the plot against Sinclair in The Gathering. Clearly they were plotting for something, else why would they communicate through G'Kar, of all people, their intentions to the council? Why not through Delenn, who unlike G'Kar had acess to a Vorlon ambassador? Indeed, why did Delenn abstain in the vote to send Sinclair to the Vorlon homeworld?

          The answer is that this entire plot gave the Vorlons a chance to "show themselves" in a way that was credible and wouldn't alarm the Shadows. The Vorlons, remember, sent a huge fleet to B5 when a single ship would have done the trick.

          The answer to all of this is that they WANTED a reason to send a huge fleet into the one place where it would be most visible, and they used the excuse of wanting Sinclair to do it. Remember that no one else had ever even SEEN a Vorlon fleet other than the Minbari, and many of the alien governments might not have considered the Vorlons (still pretending, remember, to be a Younger Race) with much respect, given that there was no evidence at all that the Vorlons amounted to anything.

          Thus, for little effort or risk the Vorlons got the excuse they needed to organize a massive show of force. From then on, they knew, their ambassador would be listened to and maybe even feared.

          There are plenty of actions (like modifying a handful of humans early nough to produce the many telepaths needed when the crisis came) that the Vorlons saw the nub of things early and acted in time to make the results all out of proportion to the effort. No signs and portents needed for the Vorlons - in fact, I don't recall any prophecies that INVOLVED the Vorlons, let alone any directed to them.
          I believe that when we leave a place, part of it goes with us and part of us remains. Go anywhere in the station, when it is quiet, and just listen. After a while, you will hear the echoes of all our conversations, every thought and word we've exchanged. Long after we are gone .. our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit .. that the part of me that is going .. will very much miss the part of you that is staying.

          Comment


          • #6
            Valen had prophesied that the Vorlons would show themselves to the Minbari in time for the next Shadow War; see "In the Beginning".
            Andrew Swallow

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Ben-Thayer Dunnthaedt

              And then I'm completely confused when Lyta is able to "fool" the dark Vorlon into following her!
              The Vorlons main sources of information are:
              a. What Sinclair/Valen told them.
              b. Remembering what the Shadows had done each time in a war that has lasted over a million years.
              c. Logic. For instance if you walk into the camp of an enemy, that does not take prisoners, you will be killed when he catchers you.

              As for Lyta fooling the dark Vorlon. The Vorlon had no reason to believe that his obedient servant was going to betray him. It is only during the trip that he start asking wondering, and then it was too late.
              Andrew Swallow

              Comment


              • #8
                Vorlons on B4

                Correct me if I am wrong, but the two Vorlon encounter suits are the ones normally worn by Kosh and Ulkesh. Could they have gone back in time with Sinclair (Great Machine stopping the travelling station to pick up a pair of Galactic Hitchikers, thank goodness they weren't picked up by the Vogons, we all know how awful their poetry is)? Could Kosh and Ulkesh/Kosh Vader have known what they did BECAUSE they had once been there? And had seen the events leading up to it again? It would answer a lot of the questions as to the Vorlon's omniscience.

                (Of course, the real reason for that is that they were the only two Vorlon suits designed)
                "Ivanova is God!"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Spoo-

                  Exactly what I was thinking!!! Could the Vorlons be an active part of the temporal loop? It may offer some small explanation as to why they seem to have some knowledge as to what is coming.

                  I know this is a far-fetched topic, and thanks to everyone for not tearing me to pieces on this one. It's just that I can't help but get this impression about the Vorlons as I watch and rewatch the series, and right here seems to be the location of choice to consult with the ultra-learned.

                  I love getting new points of view, then rewatching the series with said PoV in mind. JMS has provided quite a few in his DVD commentaries, little pieces of info that can completely change the way I look at things in the series. If you feel inclined (and are more than a little open minded), keep this discussion in mind as you rewatch the series. You may see things in a slightly different way...or you may find the evidence to completely shoot down this idea! Either way, it's a lot of fun to speculate about the many mysteries of our beloved series.

                  And what's this funny little fish doing in my ear...?
                  "The cat is not evil for killing the rat, nor is the rat evil for stealing the grain. Each acts according to its nature." Master Po - Kung Fu:TOS

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Question about Delenn's Real Knowledge

                    Originally posted by Qsilver
                    Sheridan is asking her what the Shadows could possibly want and she turns away, her face clearly showing she knows something......yet, what would be the harm in telling Sheridan the shadows motives? .
                    Delenn was NOT hiding the Shadows' motives, because she did not know. She was hiding that Anna Sheridan was still alive...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Vorlons on B4

                      Originally posted by SpooRancher
                      Correct me if I am wrong, but the two Vorlon encounter suits are the ones normally worn by Kosh and Ulkesh. Could they have gone back in time with Sinclair...
                      JMS says otherwise. An interesting idea, especially as there would then have been two duplicate Vorlons for 1,000 years. However, it runs aground on the fact that JMS says that the Vorlons were "called in" by Valen after he got to the past. However, I think that the Vorlon in Kosh's suit WAS Kosh, as JMS noted on 01/01/1998 that Kosh knew Valen.
                      That's a good question, and one of the things I'd like to do (but which I can't see any way to do in the series) is the whole story of who Kosh was, how he got to be who and what he was, why he felt the way he did toward humans (part of it was knowing Valen)...maybe this will have to go into one of the novels.

                      jms
                      I believe that when we leave a place, part of it goes with us and part of us remains. Go anywhere in the station, when it is quiet, and just listen. After a while, you will hear the echoes of all our conversations, every thought and word we've exchanged. Long after we are gone .. our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit .. that the part of me that is going .. will very much miss the part of you that is staying.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by grumbler
                        I don't recall that TDitCoS mentions the Vorlons as "unknown" to the Minbari when B4 arrives. If it did, then someone wasn't paying attention!
                        I walked out and left the book home this morning (so my quote isn't exact), but on page 71 of To Dream in the City of Sorrows, Jehnmer (sp?) the Chosen One is speaking to Sinclair about Valen:

                        "He appeared with members of a race new to us, the Vorlons." (as I said, not the exact quote, but very close)

                        Also on page 286, it is stated that the temporal rift is a NATURAL PHENOMENON, and that the Vorlons along with some Minbari were ensuring it would not be misused.

                        Wasn't there more discussion in a couple of the novels about Kosh and his interest with humans, observing them over the millenia?
                        "The cat is not evil for killing the rat, nor is the rat evil for stealing the grain. Each acts according to its nature." Master Po - Kung Fu:TOS

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          wow thats a bit of a headf**k thinking about it - an eternal loop of knowledge.....

                          so if it is the same kosh (as a younger hairier vorlon ) who goes to 'Valen' on B4. Then this is Kosh's first encounter with Sinclair (and any human?) but Sinclair already knows Kosh from B5 ofc and could give kosh foreknowedge about his future (perhaps influencing some of his (kosh's) decisions in the future...Mwha.. Human manipulation of Vorlons? ) so when Valen dies, kosh lives on through the 1000 yrs until he meets him again as sinclair - only this time its Sinclairs first meeting with kosh. Kosh could theoretically know the entirtety of of Sinclairs life and guide him thus, until he goes back in time again to remeet kosh....

                          arrrghgghg too much for the old head

                          It must be strange that at each first meeting, one party knows the other entiely and the other is completely oblivious.... do you think they told each other, as we know Sinclair got dragged off to Minbar for training - maybe he had some private tuition with the Vorlons - he certainly seemed to know his destiny when he arrived to command the theft of B4.



                          Sinclar and Kosh: spokes on the Wheel of time??? more like the bloody Axel
                          Last edited by LytaaaarGh; 04-12-2004, 08:57 AM.
                          One up for the angry Teep

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            But don't forget at the beginning of WWE on Minbar, the letter Sinclair received from over 900 years in the past, from himself. This tells him what's coming, as he tells Delenn in those exact words (I know what's coming).

                            He also states that all his life he had questions about who he was, what his purpose was. He then says "now I am like the arrow springing from the bow, no hesitation" Thus his knowledge came from the letter.
                            Kosh could theoretically know the entirtety of of Sinclairs life and guide him thus
                            Exactly. In To Dream in the City of Sorrows, Sinclair interacts with both Kosh and Ulkesh on Minbar. The Vorlons obviously know that he is (will be) Valen, and he is repeatedly reminded "you have a destiny" and "stay on the path". Of course, Ulkesh - being a much darker entity - is more concerned with "distractions", such as Catherine Sakai. Basically in the same way he did with Lyta, with his orders to empty her room of all distractions.

                            But I would never have known that Sinclair's first message to Garibaldi (Hello old friend) contained a warning about the Vorlons, had I not read the book. He wanted to warn Garibaldi that he didn't fully trust the Vorlon's motives, but was concerned that any warning would be obvious. He knew Garibaldi frequently used the phrase "keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer"...so he told Michael to "stay close to the Vorlon".
                            "The cat is not evil for killing the rat, nor is the rat evil for stealing the grain. Each acts according to its nature." Master Po - Kung Fu:TOS

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by LytaaaarGh
                              wow thats a bit of a headf**k thinking about it - an eternal loop of knowledge.....

                              so if it is the same kosh (as a younger hairier vorlon ) who goes to 'Valen' on B4. Then this is Kosh's first encounter with Sinclair (and any human?) but Sinclair already knows Kosh from B5 ofc and could give kosh foreknowedge about his future (perhaps influencing some of his (kosh's) decisions in the future...Mwha.. Human manipulation of Vorlons? )
                              I am sure that Sinclair was careful to be so cryptic that he bugged Kosh to distraction! I am sure I would have been, in his place. In fact, he could reply to all of Kosh's questions in Koshisms!

                              so when Valen dies, kosh lives on through the 1000 yrs until he meets him again as sinclair - only this time its Sinclairs first meeting with kosh. Kosh could theoretically know the entirtety of of Sinclairs life and guide him thus, until he goes back in time again to remeet kosh....
                              Yes, that is why Kosh greeted Sinclair as he did when he stepped aboard the station.

                              ... Sinclair got dragged off to Minbar for training - maybe he had some private tuition with the Vorlons - he certainly seemed to know his destiny when he arrived to command the theft of B4.
                              Yes, he got a letter from himself -900 years at the beginning of the ep, remember? He knew he had to steal it because he told himself he remembered doing it!
                              I believe that when we leave a place, part of it goes with us and part of us remains. Go anywhere in the station, when it is quiet, and just listen. After a while, you will hear the echoes of all our conversations, every thought and word we've exchanged. Long after we are gone .. our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit .. that the part of me that is going .. will very much miss the part of you that is staying.

                              Comment

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