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Characters / Babylon Five Minbari Federation

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This is a listing for characters associated with the Minbari Federation that appear in the ScienceFiction series Babylon 5. Visit here for the main character index.

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The Minbari Federation

    Minbari in general 

"We are at our best when we move together. And we are at our worst when we move together."

  • Ape Shall Never Kill Ape: "Minbari do not kill Minbari", the reason why they surrender at the Battle of the Line after discovering Sinclair is the reincarnation of Valen: Minbari souls are reincarnating as humans.
    • And then the civil war broke out and the Warrior Caste, in particular, dumped that rule pretty fast.
    • Before that, there was the right of denn'Sha, a duel to the death in which invoking or accepting the challenge is considered to be accepting responsibility for one's own death, absolving their opponent of the murder.
  • Berserk Button: Don't kill one of their leaders, don't win a battle against them in a dishonorable manner (whatever they're deciding to define that as), don't accuse them of lying, don't... well, just don't.
  • Can't Argue with Elves: Because the elves are more than capable of blowing your navy out of space and tossing you personally across the room. And aren't reluctant to do so.
  • The Clan: Several in fact; Delenn is from the family of Mir (itself part of the Tenth Fane of Elleya), Lennier is from the Third Fane of Chudomo, and Neroon from the Star Riders. We also have the hawkish Wind Swords. Clans predate the caste system but are part of it, as each clan belongs to a particular caste, yet each Minbari is free to follow their calling, as demonstrated by Neroon's dying conversion from warrior to religious. There All the Honor Lies had two members of Lennier's clan, and between the three of them they represented all three castes.
  • Combat Aestheticist
  • Crown-Shaped Head: They have a non-human feature which is a large bony crest on the back of their heads, which often looks like a crown or tiara.
  • Crystal Spires and Togas: The spires are literally crystal. They don't quite wear togas, but long, flowing robes are a popular fashion choice.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: For a case of Poor Communication Kills, their reaction is "total genocide of the offending species". Other lines from Delenn indicate that the Minbari responses often tend to be swift and violent, such as when accused of lying by a member of another race. It's not for nothing that even the Centauri at the peak of their expansionist glory went out of their way to avoid angering (or encountering, really) the Minbari.
  • Fantastic Caste System: Religious, Worker, Warrior
  • Higher-Tech Species: One of the most technologically advanced of the "younger" races.
  • Honor Before Reason: All Minbari at least think they are this. Some are more honorable than others. It doesn't help that their honor code is completely incomprehensible to outsiders.
  • Hufflepuff House: The Worker Caste are largely relegated to the background, with almost all in-focus characters being either Religious or Warrior Caste. This also applies in-universe. Workers are mostly ignored by the other castes, with it being noted that Workers have to know the different Minbari languages for all three castes because most Religious or Warrior Caste Minbari would never speak the Worker Caste language, even if they understand it.
    • In the canon novel To Dream in the City of Sorrows, when Sinclair is given command of the Rangers, he's told that they will be opening membership to the Religious Caste when previously it had been exclusively Warrior Caste. When he insists that members of the Worker Caste be allowed to join as well, the other Minbari are incredulous.
  • Hypocrite: They hold Sheridan as a monster and a butcher for destroying the Black Star. In what had been so far a one-sided war of extermination that the Minbari had absolutely no problem justifying. Using an ambush... while the Black Star was coming to finish off the wounded from an earlier assault where they ambushed the human fleet. Essentially they consider Sheridan a monster because in a war he dared to win a battle, using tactics that were almost as underhanded as what the Minbari did. In Sheridan's first episode, the Minbari hold him accountable for the self-destruction of another cruiser, because he refused to fire on them and kill them himself.
  • Moral Myopia: See the entry at Hypocrite.
  • Rubber-Forehead Aliens: The Minbari look completely human, except that they have bony crests at the back of their heads instead of hair. Also, their ears are smaller and located behind their lower jaw
  • Rules Lawyer: "Minbari Do Not Lie" & "Minbari Do Not Kill Minbari". Except when they can find loopholes or justify it some different ways. For example, the Warrior Caste conquering a polar Religious Caste city, and forcing the residents to leave on foot, dying of cold and exposure isn't murder. The weather killed them! Not a Minbari!
    • A Minbari who dies as a result of a Duel to the Death is said to have essentially committed suicide by the very act of participating in the duel.
    • One wonders how often they resorted to this before Valen came along, given that Valen, aka Jeffrey Sinclair, was very much a Rules Lawyer as a human.
    • It doesn't help that their honor system makes no sense to humans, seeming to be elements of internal honor codes and external honor interacting at apparent random. Lying is hugely dishonorable to the point that an accusation of it could easily lead to a fatal response... unless it helps someone else save face, in which case it's a highly honorable practice even if caught. Public disgrace can be effectively countered by covering up the fact you're innocent.
  • Sore Loser: Many of the Warrior Caste seems to be. Even other Minbari sometimes acknowledge it.

    Satai Delenn
Played by: Mira Furlan

"We are star stuff. We are the universe made manifest, trying to figure itself out."

  • Ambadassador: The Ambassador has commanded fleets of warships, flown single-pilot fighters, and generally proved she's not someone to annoy.
  • Artificial Hybrid: At the end of the first season, she transforms herself into a Human-Minbari hybrid to help act as a bridge between the two species.
  • The Atoner: For the Earth-Minbari war.
  • Badass Boast: "If you value your lives, be somewhere else."
  • Badass Preacher: The religious caste are often called upon to be war leaders. Delenn has the credentials to back it up.
  • Bearer of Bad News: Has a habit of playing up the impact of the messages she's about to deliver
    Delenn: But be warned. Once you know his secret, once you know what we have known the last three years, you'll never sleep well again. Come, Captain, the greatest nightmare of our time is waiting for you
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Like Minbari in general, Delenn is polite and well-behaved until she leaves you wondering how you abruptly ended up in Medlab.
    • When Dukhat was killed during First Contact with humans, even Delenn called for Earth's destruction. In fact, she cast the deciding vote (four voted in favour of war, four against) that led to the near genocide of the human race. In fact, it was Delenn who declared that all humans must pay for killing Dukat, pushing a retaliatory war into a full on Holy Crusade.
  • The Chosen One: The One Who Is
  • Constantly Curious: Despite her wise nature, she is curious about many different things, with the darndest gaps in her vocabulary. Or, she just likes pretending not to understand things. She's definitely intensely curious, especially about humans. She makes an honest effort to comprehend Garibaldi's old Daffy Duck cartoons, and even if the humor (and popcorn) is completely lost on her, she clearly responds to how much he enjoys it.
  • Cultured Badass
  • Deadpan Snarker: Looooves getting in little quips with a bright smile on her face.
  • Death Glare: The only person to consistently employ this in the show, Delenn is quite good at it too.
  • Ermine Cape Effect
  • Fatal Flaw: Delenn aboslutely cannot bring herself to trust others with information they deserve to know, if she has justified to herself that it would hurt or endanger them to find out. For this reason, they feel deeply betrayed when they do finally find out what she's been keeping from them. Sheridan and G'kar are two major cases; Sheridan nearly abandons her for hiding the truth about his wife, and G'kar says he would've killed her if he'd discovered she hid the truth about the Shadows aiding the Centauri before he went through his awakening instead of after.
  • Good Old Ways: Zigzagged. She's willing to break with tradition for the greater good, but also invokes tradition—current or old—when it serves her purposes. The Starfire Wheel is one case of using older tradition to further her cause.
  • The Heart: The closest thing to an unambiguously kind, good-hearted character this series has. Surprisingly, this makes her scenes on the bridge of a warship even better, as well as her backstory even more tragic.
  • Heroic Lineage: Descended from Valen which is borderline Divine Parentage from the Minbari point of view and is awesome enough from any other when you hear that Valen is Sinclair gone back in time.
  • The High Ambassador
  • High Priestess : One of the three top leaders of the religious caste.
  • Honor Before Reason: Well she prefers putting Honor Before Reason, and indeed often does. She is however a stateswoman with all that comes with that.
  • Intrigued by Humanity: Even as a young apprentice to Dukhat, and she keeps this quality throughout the show.
  • Iron Lady
  • Jeanne d'Archétype: I do not think they would die for me. But they would die for you... Entil'Zha!
  • Lady of War: Delenn, as mentioned above and below, commands war fleets and generally lays the smackdown several times in the series. While maintaining proper decorum.
  • Malaproper: She's mostly fluent in English, but she occasionally shows gaps in her vocabulary.
  • Mama Bear: Threatening anyone she feels protective toward can cause her to go into a royal rage. You really do not want to be the target of her wrath.
  • Martial Pacifist: She is usually peaceful and compassionate. But when her Berserk Button is pushed, especially when someone she cares about is threatend, she will become something else.
  • The McCoy
  • Messianic Archetype
  • Minored in Ass-Kicking: Majored in diplomacy and mysticism. But fair at asskicking and even better at encouraging other people to kick ass.
  • The Mourning After: Sheridan was the love of her life, and she never loved anyone else.
  • My Greatest Failure: Giving the tie-breaking vote to attack humanity in retaliation for the death of Dukhat.
  • The Mystic
  • Never Mess with Granny: In "Deconstruction of Falling Stars" an elderly Delenn comes out of seclusion after 80 years specifically to tell off a panel of academics who are running down Sheridan's reputation and casting him as a power-hungry megalomaniac.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: While breaking the Grey Council was necessary to win the Shadow War, almost immediately after the war was won the Warrior Caste began trying to seize power for themselves.
Delenn: And I wonder, "Did I do this, when I broke the Grey Council?"

Played by: Bill Mumy

"Where you will walk, I will walk. I have sworn myself to your side."

    Alyt Neroon 
Played by:John Vickery

"You talk like a Minbari, Commander. Perhaps there was some small wisdom in letting your species survive."

  • The Bully
  • Fantastic Racism: He really hates humans, to the point of openly advocating genocide against them. He makes occasional, grudging, exceptions.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: In just about every episode he appears, Neroon acts as an antagonist initially, before being made to see reason - only to act as an antagonist again the next time he appears (the example given under Heel Realization is just one of many). Due to his Heroic Sacrifice, it can be said that Neroon dies as a Face.
  • Heel Realization: He intended to challenge Delenn for the position of Entil'zha (Ranger One). He changed his mind after Marcus Cole fought him in a denn'sha duel, then invoked Valen's name as he was about to die—this made Neroon realize that A) Marcus, a human, was actually acting more like a Minbari than he was, and B) Delenn really was the better one for the position, as she already had the respect of the Rangers, whereas he did not.
    Neroon: "I do not think they would die for me. But they would die for you... Entil'zha."
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Sacrifices himself in place of Delenn at the Starfire Wheel.
    Neroon: "I was born warrior caste, but I see now that the calling of my heart is religious! The war is over! Listen to her!"
  • Incendiary Exponent
  • Proud Warrior Caste Guy
  • Redemption Equals Death: Making his Heel–Face Turn permanent in the process by stepping into the Starfire Wheel in Delenn's place when he realized she was going to immolate herself in it to invoke martyrdom, despite having already won the challenge.
  • Warrior Poet: He has a way with words, especially when speaking with Marcus after their duel.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist
  • Worthy Opponent: Views the few humans he respects (Sinclair and Marcus) as these. And views Delenn as a worthy opponent politically rather than in personal combat.

Played by: Louis Turenne (first appearance), John Schuck (all other appearances)

"I am never alone: my thoughts are always among the stars."

Delenn's old mentor and teacher. He takes over as the heart of the Great Machine on Epsilon III.

  • Astral Projection: After he enters the Machine, most of his interaction with others is through holographic projections that he's capable of sending seemingly anywhere (at least near Epsilon III). Played for Laughs when his projection has a conversation with Susan Ivanova while they're standing right in front of the apparatus his body is currently plugged into. He invites her to step into it temporarily, but she notes it's currently "occupied".
    Draal: (does a Double Take at seeing his own body still in the Machine) Oh! Yes, of course, my mistake. I spend so much time out of my body, I sometimes forget where it is.
    • As Draal returns to his body and removes himself from the Machine, he also notes that "I must remember to dust myself once in a while."
  • Cool Old Guy: Much more jovial than seems to be typical of Minbari.
  • Large Ham: Not as much in his first appearance, but definitely in every appearance played by Schuck.
  • Man in the Machine: Willingly so, and he is capable of stepping out of it for brief periods.
  • Secret Keeper: Is aware of Sheridan's "Army of Light" and supports it. He also points out that anyone who attempts to find out what he knows by force "would never survive the attempt".
  • The Other Darrin: Explained in-universe as the machine restoring some of his youth and vitality.
  • Wetware CPU: A living person has to serve as the "heart" of the Great Machine, otherwise it will destroy itself, the planet it's on, and everything nearby (including things in orbit, such as Babylon 5).

     Shai Alyt Shakiri 
Played by:Bart Mc Carthy

"Now we rebuild the Grey Council into a Warrior's Council."

The leader of the Warrior Caste. Sought to place the Minbari Federation under the sole rule of the Warrior Caste.


Played by: Reiner Schone

"Authority should never be used as a club, Delenn."

He was the Chosen One, the leader of the Grey Council. His death by humans hands lead to the Earth-Minbari War.

  • Call-Forward: One of the first things Delenn told Lennier, "I cannot have an aide who will not look up," was said to her by Dukhat a decade prior.
  • Can't Argue with Elves: He is not this trope. He finds himself in this situation when the isolationist Nine refuse to open any level of communication with Humans. He calls them out, makes them look like crotchety, small minded fools. However, he won't use his power as the One to overrule them because they wouldn't learn anything and just dig into their spots deeper.
  • Posthumous Character: He was dead before the series started.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: He is a kind, but stern man who would call out people when they make a mistake.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one, using a young Delenn as a contrasting example at that, to call out the Nine for their lack of curiosity and interest to examine the mystery the universe presented them called Humanity.


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