This is a listing for characters associated with the Narn Regime that appear in the ScienceFiction series Babylon 5. Visit here for the main character index.
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The Narn Regime
Narn in general
Though it take a thousand years, we will be free.
- Arms Dealer: Narns will sell to anyone who can afford it and isn't an enemy of theirs, including to pirates. When events turn against them after the first season they lack the resources to continue the practice.
- Asskicking Equals Authority
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: This is their default maneuver in any fight. While they do seem to understand and at times appreciate the concept of strategy, when their blood is up they tend to fly into berserker rages. This is best demonstrated in the episode "Severed Dreams." Garibaldi and his security force, working with a group of Narns who had just joined as an auxiliary force, prepare to dig in to repel a boarding party. At least, the humans do. As the script puts it, "But the Narns, being Narns, keep going."
- Be Careful What You Wish For: The Narn from the very start make it clear that they want revenge on the Centauri, and continually push them in the hopes of provoking a war that the now supposedly militarily superior Narn would win. They eventually get their war... but the Centauri prove to be stronger than anticipated, and because fear of the Narn pushed the Centauri into the arms of the Shadows, the Narn are brutally crushed.
- Though, as noted elsewhere, the Shadows only directly intervened (attacking Narn targets on behalf of the Centauri) twice in the entire war (the battle that started the war and the battle that ended it). If the Shadows had never been involved, the war would likely have gone just as badly for the Narn, it just would have lasted longer — the second season makes it very clear that the Narn Regime was always a Paper Tiger in practice, and part of G'Kar's growth comes from grappling with this fact and coming to terms with the fact that a military solution for the conflict will never favor his people.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: As mentioned below, the Narn are actually marsupials. And it's the men who carry their young children in pouches.
- Bullying a Dragon: The Narn spend the first season antagonizing the Centauri and testing their resolve. When the Centauri finally get pushed too far and strike back, the Narn don't stand a chance even without Shadow intervention.
- Cycle of Revenge: The Narn homeworld was once occupied brutally by the Centauri. The Narns drove them off in a war of attrition. The Narns spend most of Season 1 mentioning how they wish to exterminate the Centauri, make them pay for the occupation of their homeworld, and kill them all. This comes to bite them in the ass when their revenge-fueled aggression ends up inspiring Londo to use Mr Morden to strike at them, starting the Narn-Centauri War, a war which they lose (partly because the Centauri have Mr. Morden's "associates" on their side). Even the other races, as explained by Delenn and foreshadowed by Sinclair, are unwilling to involve themselves in the war on the Narn's behalf, because they know that should the Narn win, they will go right back to attempting to kill all the Centauri, and no race wants to be accessory to that genocide.Sinclair: "In order to be free you had to learn to fight. No one questions that. But you've overcompensated. You are like abused children who have grown big enough to do the same thing to someone else as if it would somehow balance the scales. It won't. If you let the anger cloud your judgment, it will destroy you."
- He Who Fights Monsters: The Narn were once a peaceful and spiritual race, and their status as conquering villains at the start of the series comes from their desire to ensure they'll never be again at the mercy of the Centauri.
- Irony: The Centauri share the same exact backstory of being a peaceful race turned into conquerors after being attacked by two enslaving and genocidal races and using the technology of the latter to reach the stars in the attempt to never be hurt again.
- Imported Alien Phlebotinum: Pretty much all of their technology is based on captured Centauri tech. Like the Centauri, they've taken to sell it to establish a technological and economical stranglehold on the buyers.
- Mirroring Factions: With the Centauri: both were once peaceful races turned into conquerors by being suddenly invaded, both took the stars to make sure nobody will ever be at the mercy of their original invaders and to exterminate them before forgetting they wanted to be protectors, and both obtained their first pieces of advanced technology from their invaders. In the end, the main difference is that the Centauri did kill off their original invadersnote while the Narn failed in the attempt.
- Never Be Hurt Again: In the early seasons. Their motivation, which prompts their bullying, their expansion, their desire to crush the Centauri, is largely about ensuring that they'll never again be at the mercy of the Centauri.
- Non-Mammal Mammaries: Averted. When we do see female Narn characters, they cast small-breasted actresses and had them wear puffy shirts. Narns are essentially reptiles, though with the marsupial trait that they have pouches.
- Paper Tiger: What they ultimately turn out to be in the early seasons — at the very start of the show, the Narns seem ascendant and a rising power (and are portrayed fairly villanously as a result), and the first proper episode is even their outright conquest of a Centauri agri-colony. Once the proper war between the Narn and Centauri starts in season 2, however, it becomes clear that the Narn had badly overestimated their own strength (which mirrors Earth's own increasing overconfidence about possibly fighting the Minbari again) and that their ascendency is actually largely due to the morality, restraint and desire to repent for past crimes of people like Emperor Turhan and Prime Minister Malachai; even in parts of the conflict where the Shadows don't help the Centauri, we discover that the Narn go one-for-seven in the early battles of the war, and by S2 E20, G'Sten admits outright that if fought conventionally, the war is unwinnable, as in "the Centauri will be able to re-conquer everything" unwinnable. With Refa's faction driving the Centauri, it becomes clear the Narn never had any hope. Coming to terms with this drives a good deal of G'Kar's later development in particular.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: It's implied and sometimes shown that this isn't the sole basis of their culture, but being brutally occupied by the Centauri and violently winning their freedom led to their most violent and aggressive aspects becoming dominant.
- Schizo Tech: Their ships are a combination of stuff reverse-engineered from the Centauri (mostly weapons) and their own designs. The Centauri are second only to the Minbari among the younger races in terms of technology, while the Narn are one of the least advanced races. The result is a mishmash that punches above their nominal weight, but not as far as the Narn think it does.
Played by: Andreas Katsulas
It is said that the future is always born in pain. The history of war is the history of pain. If we are wise, what is born of that pain matures into the promise of a better world, because we learn that we can no longer afford the mistakes of the past.
- Armour-Piercing Question: "What have you endured?", when asked by a Narn who wants to install G'Kar as the Narn monarch instead of restoring the previous political system at the end of the second Centauri occupation has to count. For the record, at the time G'Kar was asked this question, he was missing an eye, and that's just one of dozens of injuries his body, spirit and pride had to endure. G'Kar can only respond with hysterical laughter.
- Ambadassador: Make no mistake, getting on G'Kar's bad side is a very, very bad idea. He has torn apart an entire security force with his bare hands, endured incredible torture and still managed to find the strength to free himself from his bonds, and - in the history of the show - has only been seen to lose a single fight. And, keep in mind, he has done most of this barehanded.
- "Ass" in Ambassador: Especially in the first season, where he spends almost the entire time acting like a jackass and causing problems for the station either because of his hatred of the Centauri, or just to be a dick. His out-of-(this)-character moments in season one become, in hindsight, hints at his true character, when he's not being consumed by his hatred of the Centauri and jockeying desperately for more power and territory for his people so they can never be enslaved again.
- Cassandra Truth: He discovers that a very old, very powerful race has returned, and attempts to bring proof to the Babylon 5 Security Council in order to rally the other races together and fight the new threat. Nobody listens to him. It is later revealed that the Narn Regime may have been the last to learn of the Shadows' return, as the Vorlons and Minbari were already putting their own secret plans in motion, and the Shadows had already begun to gain influence amongst the Centauri and Human governments. note When he finds out he says that he may someday be able to forgive them, but not today.
- Character Development: While he is always something of a Warrior Poet, he started out as a part-time Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain, later becoming more The Philosopher by the time the show ends. He endured several fires to get there, seeing his homeworld decimated and occupied by his sworn enemies, learning that Sheridan and Delenn let it happen to keep the Shadows complacent, and finally being personally tortured by Emperor Cartagia who orders one of his eyes gouged out and nearly executes him. And along the way he went on a Vorlon-influenced Vision Quest.
- Chivalrous Pervert: He develops into this after some Character Development mellows him out and makes him less of a Jerkass.
- Covert Pervert: By season 4 he has an artificial eye that transmits an image even while it's not in his head and what does he do with it? He spies on Sheridan and Delenn on their wedding night.
- Enemy Mine: With Londo, on two separate occasions.
- Eye Scream: Courtesy of Cartagia.
- Government in Exile: Ends up the last free member of the Kha'Ri after the Centauri invade Narn again, and has to lead his people from the sanctuary of Babylon 5.
- HeelFace Turn: His initial appearances are antagonistic, albeit with occasional Pet the Dog moments. As the seasons go on, he becomes one of the most important allies to the main characters.
- Klingons Love Shakespeare: In addition to having a taste for human women, he is also a great admirer of our poetry, and feels that we, as a species are "wiser than anyone suspected."
- Kung-Fu Jesus: In the Bible, Samson is blinded, chained to pillars, and heckled by the non-Israelites. With supernatural strength, he brings down the temple walls and crushes the Philistines. This informs what happens to G'Kar during the assassination of Cartagia.
- Mars Needs Women: And more or less every other sexually-compatible species, it would seem, although humans are obviously abundant on a human space station.Na'Toth (after G'kar finds an assassin's calling card in his bed): "It is not my place to speculate upon how anything gets into your bed. Your reputed fascination with Earth women, for example..."
- In a straighter (no pun intended) example, in the pilot movie he wants to mate with Lyta Alexander, not because he finds her attractive (though he almost certainly does), but because she's a telepath and the Narn have no telepaths. Re-introducing the telepath gene to the Narn people is one of his longer-term goals, and of course he'd like to have some fun doing it.
- Messianic Archetype
- Moral Myopia: He seems perfectly fine with Narn being The Bully in the first season. Rather less so when Narn are being bullied. He does admit that this hasn't helped him when requesting aid from others. He gets over it.
- My Country, Right or Wrong
- Odd Friendship: With Londo.
- Patriotic Fervor
- Rebel Leader: During the second Centauri occupation. He no longer has any official position, but he organises support for the resistance from Babylon 5, and by the time a new, Centauri-approved ambassador shows up, the other Narns aboard the station will accept no other leader.
- Revenge Before Reason: Played with; he is often dominated by the desire for revenge, to a degree that would be unwholesome for a real diplomat. However, he can put reason before revenge when needed (as in "Deathwalker"). And he gets over it in later seasons.
- Scars are Forever
- Smug Snake: Initially, G'Kar is both extremely smug and far less competent than he thinks, usually failing in his numerous schemes.
- Stop Worshipping Me: G'Kar writes a book, initially just his memoirs, which accidentally sees circulation after he goes with Londo to Centauri Prime and quickly becomes a new Narn holy text (similar to the Book of G'Quan, to which G'Kar is an adherent). Eventually, to escape becoming a new prophet/messiah to his people, G'Kar leaves Babylon 5 and known space entirely to go exploring with Lyta. For the most part, though, G'kar is simply annoyed that his people now look to him as a holy figure, though he does his best to impart his hard-won wisdom to them (see Unwanted False Faith).
- Tragic Bigot
- Tranquil Fury: During a very awkward elevator ride with Vir after the fall of the Narn homeworld. G'Kar is giving Vir a horrible death glare the entire ride, eventually prompting Vir to apologise for what happened in the war. G'Kar's barely contained rage is obvious and a lesser man may have just torn Vir apart where he stood. Instead, he pulled a knife, sliced his own palm open and simply repeats the word "dead" as each drop of blood hits the deck.G'Kar: How do you apologise to them?Vir: I... I can'tG'Kar: Then I cannot forgive
- There is also the moment when Delenn finally reveals that she already knew about the coming of the Shadows, and allowed them to aid the Centauri in obliterating his home world. Again he's obviously furious but manages to remain calm. Whilst he admits that logically what they did was the correct move he can't yet forgive them.
- Unwanted False Faith: In the fifth season, when he unwillingly becomes a famed Narn spiritual leader. He is particularly annoyed by those who worship him and repeatedly misinterpret what he is trying to teach them.
- With Friends Like These...: When he finds out that Delenn allowed the slaughter of his people at the Shadows' hands to avoid revealing that the Shadows' return was known, G'Kar tearfully, painfully, admits she was correct to do so. And that he might eventually forgive her for it—but not that day.
- Advertised Extra: Caitlin Brown and Mary Kay Adams receive star billing throughout the first two seasons, but Na'Toth appears in only seven episodes in this time.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Subverted. While she quietly disappeared from the series early in season 2, she reappeared in a season 5 episode. And before that, a season 3 episode established what had happened to her.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Delivered to Jha'Dur in "Deathwalker".
Played by: Marshall Teague
- Ambadassador: Becomes G'Kar's replacement as ambassador to Babylon 5
- Badass Boast: Sheridan expresses concern of what his superiors will think if he accepts Ta'Lon as a bodyguard. Ta'Lon replies that they'd think Sheridan would live to be a hundred.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: During his time as a prisoner of the Streib
- Les Collaborateurs: Briefly became the bodyguard of Centauri collaborator Na'Far
- Katanas Are Just Better: Rarely seen without K'tok, the Narn version of the earth katana
- I Owe You My Life: Towards Sheridan. At one point he considers becoming Sheridan's bodyguard, where Sheridan wants it or not.
- Number Two: Becomes G'Kar closest confidant after joining him
- Replacement Goldfish: Becomes one of sorts to Na'toth, who is imprisoned during the Second Occupation of Narn. By the end of the series he becomes one for G'Kar.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Abandons Na'Far to join G'Kar