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Seeing Into the Fire 100th time

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  • Seeing Into the Fire 100th time

    I'm wathing through season 4. In Into the Fire when Sheridan and Delenn talk to the Vorlons and the Shadows. The Vorlon image disturbs me. Why is the the lady in the ice? What's the reason for that particular image? And who is it in the Vorlon hierarchy who Sheridan is talking to ?

    I'm betting that Jan can solve this one to me, she's never let me down yet )

    -Dip

  • #2
    The Vorlon female is frozen in ice. The Vorlon are into order and obedience. The problem with too much order is that you stop changing i.e. get frozen. Amongst other things Sheridan and Delenn unfreeze the Vorlons.
    Andrew Swallow

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    • #3
      I don't think that they have a hierarchy,unlike other science fiction films,the Vorlons and the Shadows don't have an Alien queen or an Emperor,they are moving as one.

      To bring order (in case of the Vorlon).
      To bring chaos (in the case of the Shadows).

      "we are all Kosh"
      Sleeping in Light-----Darnit! Shut the Window.

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      • #4
        The lady in ice is just a metaphor, although it is a little confusing. The ice figure represents the unchanging inflexibility of the Vorlons, whereas the Shadows are so chaotic that their representation changes from moment to moment in the form of different characters.
        Only a fool fights in a burning house.

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        • #5
          I see the Shadow changing people bit to be not the changing exactly but that part of the Shadow's work is to do so through other people and having them manipulate the people around you that you know to do what they want. Kinda like what Major Ryan says in "Severed Dreams," "That's what makes this war so different: we know everyone we kill."

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          • #6
            You didn't need me, Dip. I agree with the others. What JMS said on Lurker's Guide is:

            The woman was in ice as a symbol of their ridigity, their inflexibility, "frozen in time," as the shadows say.
            I checked the script to be thorough and there's no other explanation for the image.

            As for the hierarchy of the Vorlons, I'm not sure they have one but I don't really remember what might have been explained about that in the novels. Anyone?

            Isn't it cool when the ice shatters?

            Jan
            "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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            • #7
              Thanks for the replies ) For some reason it still strikes me as odd for that Vorlon image to be a woman. Although Vorlons do not have gender (that we know of anyway), they've always seemed quite bulky and masculine.

              About the hierarchy thingie. If I recall correctly, Kosh did consult his government at somepoint, which would suggest there is some official body that makes the decisions. And for Vorlon to be one, their opinions should be coherent. But it came clear that there are individuals who even hate each other (Kosh and Ulkesh), so it seems quite unlikely for there to be no-one to make decisions.


              -Dip

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              • #8
                I always thought that the Vorlon's governed themselves and acted in paired couples. (the obvious explanation for why we only ever see the gold or Black enconter suits is they only ever made two but...read on) In "In The Beginning" we saw Ulkesh and Kosh largely working as a unit. When Sinclair left to go to Minbar Ulkesh is his Vorlon contact and when Kosh is killed it is Ulkesh who takes over his role. Kosh also says to Sheridan something along the lines of 'it is not yet time, there aren't enough of us." I took that as enough members of theArmy of light but maybe the Vorlon's also hybernated like the Shadows and needed to wait for enough paired Vorlon's to come out of their long sleep. It also struck me that Mr Sebastian was only satified that Delenn and Sheridan were right for their shared role when they declared their acceptence to die for each other. They had formed a bonded couple. When we see the telepath experiment flashback in series five. Once again we see a Kosh style Vorlon and an Ulkesh one. Valen is also greeted by a pair of vorlons though mysteriously both in Ulkesh style encounter suits. At one time I thought maybe their was only two at a time and the entire Vorlon fleet was either remote controlled , Piloted by allies or (as their ships are alive and aware) opperating under it's own steam. Just my over active imagination I suppose.
                Last edited by Shr'eshhhhhh; 12-14-2004, 03:19 AM.
                I have the wings for Bingo.

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                • #9
                  Shr'eshhhhhh I think your thoughts/theory on the vorlons coming in twos is interesting. I never thought of it that way. One thing though is that I feel Kosh made a sacrifice as an individual when he brought the Vorlons into the fight for Sheridan. In the way JMS has always said that B5 is about individuals making choices and facing the consequences, I always felt that Kosh exerted his influence back home in a similar way Delenn did (in Defending B5). Of course the consequence for Kosh was death, but he made the choice and went along with it.

                  So I guess I always saw him as an individual acting within some kind of government with some kind of hierarchy to it. And since they were so concerned with order I thought they must have some really rigid system in place.


                  As for the female icon I always found that interesting because order in many mythologies. In particular Babylonian myth has order being created from the suppression of the feminine. I always saw it as a symbol of such an idea. instead of cutting her up and making the sky out of her like Tiamat, they froze her in a box, and put a little box on her throat instead of letting her speak with her own mouth.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Andoryu
                    As for the female icon I always found that interesting because order in many mythologies. In particular Babylonian myth has order being created from the suppression of the feminine. I always saw it as a symbol of such an idea. instead of cutting her up and making the sky out of her like Tiamat, they froze her in a box, and put a little box on her throat instead of letting her speak with her own mouth.
                    Wow. Great observation. And it fits with the way JMS slides things in from the side.

                    Jan
                    "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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                    • #11
                      Now that I started to think more about the ep. Why does the Vorlon have the encounter suit on, when they appear in the White Star and the Shadow lets them see as he/she/it is?


                      And why on God's green Earth does the Shadow speak in Morden's voice ? It's always bothered me a lot


                      -Dip

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dipper
                        Now that I started to think more about the ep. Why does the Vorlon have the encounter suit on, when they appear in the White Star and the Shadow lets them see as he/she/it is?


                        And why on God's green Earth does the Shadow speak in Morden's voice ? It's always bothered me a lot
                        Well, Morden had always been the voice of the shadows, so who better?

                        As for why the Vorlon was in an encounter suit, JMS ansered that -- purely pragmatic reasons.

                        http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-2384
                        "That was the law, as set down by Valen. Three castes: worker, religious, warrior."

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                        • #13
                          About the Vorlon "hierarchy" http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-1338
                          > Since Kosh and Ulkesh seem to have the authority to dictate > Vorlon policy from what you've said, can we assume that they were > near the top of the Vorlon heirarchy (whatever THAT may be)?

                          It's not a hierarchy as you or I would understand it...and the weird thing is, though I kinda know how it functions, I'll be damned if I can figure out how to explain it in words.

                          jms
                          From reading some JMS posts about Ulkesh I doubt he and Kosh were "paired" as you suggest. The "we all are Kosh" statement was completely metaphorical, not implying a close association for Ulkesh. Vorlon's ain't wired like us. Here's an interesting comment from a search for "ulkesh" on the archive: http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-1333
                          > Were they friends?

                          No, I wouldn't call them friends. They had a certain respect for one another, but Ulkesh always thought Kosh was soft, and Kosh always worried that Ulkesh was dangerous. In their own ways, both were right.
                          I see Kosh and Ulkesh simply as the two Vorlons that were designated to interact more closely with the younger races. Sort of parallel ambassadors. I don't have a quote to back me up but I'm almost sure the pair of Vorlons near the Valenized Sinclair were those two. I also suspect that if Vorlons had to be paired Ulkesh would have been affected by Kosh's death differently than what (little) was shown.

                          BTW, for all we know the "true shape" of the Shadows we saw might have been an encounter suit.
                          Such... is the respect paid to science that the most absurd opinions may become current, provided they are expressed in language, the sound of which recalls some well-known scientific phrase
                          James Clerk Maxwell (1831-79)

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                          • #14
                            I can't remember where, but in one of the books there's a Kosh POV section, in which he mentions that the Shadows are beings of light like them, and those bodies are encounter suits like a Vorlons.

                            It's probably in the TM trilogy, since I don't think Kosh has POVs anywhere else.
                            They'll let anyone use a modem these days, won't they?-jms

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Spidy
                              I can't remember where, but in one of the books there's a Kosh POV section, in which he mentions that the Shadows are beings of light like them, and those bodies are encounter suits like a Vorlons.

                              It's probably in the TM trilogy, since I don't think Kosh has POVs anywhere else.
                              Yes, it is there, and I think it makes sense. Physical beings would not be able to battle energy beings on anything like even terms, and kosh knew he would die in the encounter outnumbered by 3 or 4 to 1.

                              What i have always found striking about Kosh's sacrifice is that HE was showing that he believed in the lesson Sebastian was trying to make in "Comes the Inquisitor": that some must be sacrificed if all are to be saved. Kosh died quietly, alone, with no one to help him or know (beyond what he told Sheridan) why he died. HE, rather than Sheridan or Delenn, died the death Sebastian threatened Delenn and Sheridan with, to test their loyalty. It was when I realized (a coupla days after Interludes and Examinations aired) that Kosh himself wasn't looking for their answers to satisfy himself about them, but rather to satisfy questions he had about himself and his role, that I realized just how deep JMS could write.

                              I don't see the Ulkesh link Shr'eshhhhhh does, but think it is a very interesting speculation. I have to think about that one....
                              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.

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