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Characters / Babylon Five The Shadows

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

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The Shadows

    Shadows in general 

What do you want?

  • Abusive Precursors: They promote wars between the younger races, attack them directly and even go so far as to wipe some out completely. They view the conflict they bring as ensuring the surviving races are made stronger and better through their struggles.
  • Armour-Piercing Question: "Who are you?" At best you'll get an evasive non-answer to this question. At worst...
    • The reason for this is ultimately revealed to be that they don't know who they are. They've lost their way and are no longer fit to serve the role of mentor they appointed themselves to.
    • Also, "What Do You Want?" Like the Vorlons, they don't know how to answer that question. They have no idea what they want, they just exist to perpetuate an endless cycle.
  • Artifact of Doom: It is extremely unwise to mess with Shadow technology.
  • Big Bad: Subverted, at least insofar as the Vorlons turn out to be almost as bad.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The Shadows resemble human-sized, inky-black praying mantises.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: The Passing of the Techno-Mages trilogy reveals that the Shadows don't actually have a word for "good". Techno-mage runes are derived from the Shadow alphabet, and the rune that the techno-mages use to mean "good" literally means "useful".
  • By the Eyes of the Blind: When cloaked they can only be detected by telepaths and other First Ones.
  • Catchphrase: "What do you want?"
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Almost all of the early battles involving The Shadows have them dish this out.
  • Deal with the Devil: They send representatives, such as Mr. Morden, to make deals with prominent members of younger races, offering them "what they want" in exchange for helping the Shadows further their own interests.
  • Eldritch Abomination: It's unclear if they fully qualify for this, but they certainly like to present themselves this way.
  • Eldritch Starship: Jet black, powered by living beings, leaves you a broken wreck if you're ever pulled out of one? Definitely qualifies. The fact that they're shaped like a nightmare spider from Hell and let out an ungodly shriek as they fly by is just icing on the evil cake.
  • Energy Being: According to the Passing of the Techno-Mages trilogy (which JMS has stated is canon), the Shadows evolved into "beings of light", like the Vorlons. However, they usually prefer to assume material form.
  • Evil Mentor: They honestly believe in helping and nurturing the younger races by turning them against each other and making them kill each other so that the 'strongest' survive.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The Shadows believe that conflict is key to helping younger races evolve. They are indirectly responsible for Sheridan so evolving, due in part to his decision to kick the Shadows out of the galaxy.
    • The Shadows and the Vorlons are having this entire conflict over whose way to groom the younger races is the best. Ultimately it's something closer to the Vorlons' method that triumphs - races working together for advancements, with the Interstellar Alliance born out of the Rangers guiding the galaxies for millennia to come. The Rangers even infiltrate a more primitive world to uplift them and slowly manipulate them to join the greater cosmic unity (as they do to a post-apocalyptic Earth that regressed to medieval technology out of fear of science), mirroring how the Vorlons shaped the younger races. This was only possible because of the Shadows' actions bringing all those races together to form the Alliance. The Shadows' own plans led to the Vorlons' way actually working.
  • Higher-Tech Species/Sufficiently Advanced Aliens: Borderline. Unlike Vorlons, Shadows need ships.
  • Human Resources: They plug living sentients into their starships to act essentially as computer cores.
  • Hypocrite: Despite terming themselves "liberators" (per the novels) and claiming to represent Chaos, they take it poorly when people decide they want to be free themselves and don't want their "help". They also created the Keeper, a Puppeteer Parasite, and subjected those who resisted collaborating with them to Death of Personality to get them to comply.
    • The Shadows' Question is "What Do You Want?". Sheridan eventually points out that like the Vorlons they have no answer to this question. They do not know what they want for themselves anymore.
  • Immortal Apathy ties into their Hypocrite trope: The Shadows like the Vorlons, manipulate the younger races but don't seem to care for their fates. They have sold themselves to their human collaborators and the younger races as providing strength or "releasing their potential". In reality it's a Deal with the Devil and the Shadows will do as they please without regard to the fates of the younger races.
  • Insectoid Aliens: They resemble a mix of ant, mantis and scorpion.
  • Invisibility Cloak: Individual Shadows and their Battlecrabs can make themselves invisible to the naked eye and most scanners.
  • The Juggernaut: Prior to their ships turning out to not be so unbeatable they were this. Their Laser Blade weapon is a One-Hit KO for anything unlucky enough to get hit by it. A group of Narn dreadnoughts had to converge their firepower just to damage one Shadow Vessel, and even then it failed stop it. The only times the one was destroyed was by luring it into the gravity of Jupiter or destroying a jump gate as it was passing through it. The first time one was destroyed it took the White Star diverting most of its power to its main gun (including taking energy away from its engines), and even then it still needed aid from a Narn heavy cruiser.
  • Laser Blade: Their unique space combat tactics, where their large battleships extrude an Energy Weapon beam and slash other ships with it like a sword, instead of just shooting them.
  • Manipulative Bastard: How they spread conflict, by offering younger races "what they want."
  • Order Versus Chaos: They represent the Chaos opposed to the Vorlons' Order; or at least they claim to - see Hypocrite above.
  • Shadow Archetype: They're an embodiment of this trope, even being named after one of the components of a person's unconscious according to Carl Jung — the unrecognised and repressed parts of one's identity such as repressed desires, uncivilised impulses, childish fantasies, etc.
  • Social Darwinist: In contrast to the Vorlons, who believe that strength lies in lawfulness, structure and obedience, the Shadows believe that the younger races can only become stronger through conflict, so the Shadows promote conflict to "help" the younger races grow. If some of the younger races are wiped out in the conflict, then they consider it an acceptable loss.
  • Starfish Alien: In design, they're among the most alien of races, resembling gigantic, shadowy bugs instead of anything humanoid.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: If Justin's regret over some races getting "lost along the way" is any indication, they see their methods as the unfortunate consequence of making their better world.


     Mr Morden (Ed Wasser) 

Yes. I think he's ready...perfect for our needs... He suspects nothing. When the time is right, Ambassador Mollari will do exactly as we wish. Destiny is on our side.

  • Back from the Dead: For a single night, anyway. He came back on the Brakiri Day of the Dead, to warn Lennier that he would soon betray the Rangers and die shortly thereafter. His warnings fell on deaf ears, and so Morden spent much of his brief resurrection reading a newspaper.
  • Big "NO!": He screams one of these when Londo blows up the whole island of Selini, including the Shadow base (and all the Shadows in it).
  • Cast the Runner-Up: In a sense. According to JMS on his Patreon commentaries, Wasser wasn't originally intended to be Morden's actor. He was a script reader who read as Morden for auditions during Season One (and had already appeared as a CIC tech in the pilot movie). However, JMS liked Wasser's readings as Morden more than the actual actors who were auditioning for Morden. So Wasser got the role. invoked
  • The Corrupter: If he decides you're a suitable target, he'll do favors for you... which will slowly move you in the direction he wants for you.
  • Decapitation Presentation: As Morden's final want fulfillment for Vir, courtesy of Londo.
  • Deal with the Devil: NEVER let him know what you want.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Only a few people aboard the station recognize Morden for the type of person he is the first time around. Basically only Kosh, who can presumably see his Shadow bodyguards, Delenn, who senses something very wrong about him (apparently due to Vorlon meddling), and. . . Vir, who's just good-hearted enough to realize no one knows what Mr. Morden wants.
  • Did Not See That Coming: He was clearly shocked when Londo had him surrounded with his personal guards and blasted the Shadow bodyguards to atoms before taking him away to be executed, and presented as "a gift" to Vir, in revenge for killing his Love Interest.
  • Enigmatic Minion: Whether it's shared belief in their ideology, self-interest or self-preservation, his exact reasons for joining the Shadows are never revealed in the show.
    • The novels establish that Morden is actually a Tragic Villain. His wife and his daughter Sarah were frozen in a time bubble in hyperspace at the moment of their deaths when terrorists bombed a jumpgate. He joined the Shadows because they promised to allow them to finally pass on, and he has an implant that prevents him from feeling guilty about what he does for them.
  • Faking Amnesia: He pretends not to remember what happened aboard the Icarus.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He may act charming and well-mannered but there's an ever-present smug, oily demeanor that shows just how "genuine" his affability really is.
  • The Handler: To Londo, whom he tries to corrupt into a suitable pawn for the Shadows.
  • Healing Factor: At the beginning of Season 4, his body is covered in horrific burns due to his proximity to Sheridan's nuclear attack against Z'Ha'Dum, and he's flaking bits of charred skin everywhere. However, just a few episodes later, he's shown to be completely healed, with no signs of scarring or even a hair out of place. Presumably this is courtesy of the Shadows, since he was originally just a normal human. However, as demonstrated later in the same episode, it doesn't work on beheading.
  • The Heavy: Morden doesn't control the Shadows, nor is he even the highest ranked in the hierarchy of their agents. He is, however, the most frequently appearing agent of the Shadows and the one who shows up the most to further the plot along, particularly with regards to Londo's story arc.
  • Insistent Terminology: He rarely refers to the Shadows by name, preferring to call them "my associates".
  • Laser-Guided Karma: He killed a woman Londo loved; it took a while, but Londo got even.
  • Manipulative Bastard: To the point he's able to outwit Londo on several occasions.
  • Mouth of Sauron: Employed by the Shadows are their emmisary and mouthpiece.
  • Mysterious Past: Relatively little is known about Morden other than he was aboard the Icarus, unless you read the canon novel The Shadow Within.
  • No Name Given: We never learn his first name.
  • No One Could Survive That!: After Sheridan nukes the Shadows' capital city, hope is expressed that Mr. Morden will never be seen again. He shows up in the very next scene, shrouded in a dark robe, burnt to a crisp (and flaking), but still very much alive and ambulatory.
    Morden: Flesh is transitory. Flesh is a prison. Flesh instrument. Flesh can be replaced. And flesh does as it's told...or [the Shadows] become most annoyed.
  • Off with His Head!: Londo's "present" to Vir.
  • Prophecy Twist : All the people who express a wish to him get what they want. Londo gets the rise of the Centauri (which turns out to be temporary), G'Kar gets revenge on the Centauri (which by that point he no longer truly wants), and Vir gets to see Morden executed and mock his severed head. Only Vir is pleased with his wish in the long run.
  • Red Filter of Doom: The lights and surrounding ambience would darken and redden around him during some of his more adversarial encounters with characters (such as with Londo when their relations were strained, in "Interludes and Examinations"). That's the Shadows getting agitated.
  • Smug Smiler: By default—one of several signs of his innate confidence, backed by his 'associates'.
  • Smug Snake: Word of God is that Morden is completely secure in the knowledge that he can say whatever he wants to anyone he wants, because he has "an 800-pound gorilla" (at least two actual Shadows) standing right behind him. invoked
  • That Man Is Dead
  • Unexplained Recovery: Somehow he survives the nuke Sheridan dropped on the main city of Z'ha'dum.
  • Villainous Breakdown: His smugness is utterly shattered when Londo refuses to kneel before him, kills his Shadow bodyguards, blows up Selini and has him beheaded.
  • We Used to Be Friends: With Anna Sheridan in the novel The Shadow Within, until he betrayed her on Z'ha'dum.

    Justin (Jeff Correy) 

  • Affably Evil: When he meets with Sheridan, he acts like a kindly grandfather-esque figure who tries to convince Sheridan of the righteousness of the Shadows' cause.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: When Sheridan asks Justin the Vorlon question "Who are you?", he is deliberately evasive and gives a very prosaic Non-Answer about being part of the group that secretly controls the world.
  • The Corrupter: Though he fails in his attempt to corrupt Sheridan.
  • Evil Counterpart: Sheridan's "equal and opposite" since he does all his work - mainly coordinating the human agents of the Shadows - behind the scenes while Sheridan is one of the leaders of the Army of Light and acts in the frontlines and under the spotlight.
  • Evil Old Folks: He's an old man working for the Shadows and helping them in their goal of creating galactic conflict.
  • Hypocrite: He goes through lengths about the Shadows and the Vorlons' philosophy, but when Sheridan reveals he knows what was done to Anna and he drops the friendly facade, he shouts that Sheridan (and Anna) "will do as they are told". Ironically the attitude he accused the Vorlons of demanding of the younger races.
    • In the same discussion, he goes on about how the Vorlons have manipulated entire races to espouse their point of view, and react favorably to them - yet he's completely unable to see that the Shadows have done the same thing to Anna, re-writing her entire mind so she'd support them and deliver Sheridan to them.
  • Join or Die: After dropping the Cool Old Guy We Can Rule Together speech he pretty much threatens Sheridan directly.
  • Mouth of Sauron: He's another mouthpiece of the Shadows, like Morden but higher in the hierarchy.
  • Mysterious Past: Justin's background is unknown. According to Word of God he was not part of the IPX expedition with Morden and Anna and arrived to Z'ha'dum at a later time.
  • No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine: Offers tea to Sheridan.
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: A Deal with the Devil delivered from what looks like somebody's grandfather? Yikes.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: He believes Earth will come out stronger from an alliance with the Shadows, emerging on top of the heap of the warring species.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: He gets a nuke dropped on him in his first and only appearance. While Morden shows up again, scarred but alive, Justin is never seen again.

     Anna Sheridan (Beth Toussant, Melissa Gilbert) 

  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Once they realized that Anna was the wife of their biggest enemy, they removed her from the Shadow vessel she was integrated in. Unfortunately, joining with a Shadow's ship leaves a person never whole again, and her original personality was left destroyed. The Shadows replaced it with a new one that was completely subservient to their cause.
  • Chekhov M.I.A.: Her body wasn't recovered and she was presumed dead after she refused to join with the Shadows. She returns in the final two episodes of season three to bring John to Z'ha'dum.
  • A Fate Worse Than Death: Forcibly placed in a Shadow vessel. Her personality was completely erased and replaced with one subservient to the Shadows. The novels show that she doesn't actually remember much of her original life and had to be coached into how to interact with people, with that whole speech she gave Sheridan to lure him to Z'ha'dum being something she learned to repeat rote.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: She's a redhead who was the wife of John Sheridan.
  • Hot Scientist: She's a very attractive scientist.
  • Human Resources: Shadows have a habit of integrating people into their ships, which is unfortunately what they did to Anna when she refused to join them.
  • The Lost Lenore: She's Sheridan's deceased wife, who died under mysterious circumstances and whom Sheridan continues to mourn over his lack of closure with her.
  • The Other Darrin: Beth Toussant played her in "Revelations" and was the usual depiction of Anna in season 2. Melissa Gilbert played Anna in late season 3.
  • Posthumous Character: She died before the events of the series. The last two episodes of season three shows that she survived. Physically, at least, since her original personality was completely destroyed by the Shadows.
  • Real-Life Relative: When Beth Toussant was unavailable to return as Sheridan's wife, they decided to hire Bruce Boxleitner's real-life wife to play the part. Their real wedding photo was even used in one scene.
  • Tragic Villain: She works for the Shadows but not voluntarily. The Anna the audience meets in season three is a version that's been brainwashed by the Shadows, with her original personality completely erased and replaced with a more subservient one.
  • We Can Rule Together: Approaches Sheridan to try to recruit him to the Shadows' side. Even after she admits she's not the Anna he knew, she tells him that she can still love him like the original did.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Not only was she believed dead before the series started, but when she does show up alive in season three, it's revealed her original personality's been completely destroyed. Then this new personality is destroyed too when Sheridan drops a nuke on her while she's on Z'ha'dum.


The Drakh Entire

     The Drakh in general 

  • Dragon Ascendant: After the Shadows leave the Milky Way, the Drakh step up to carry on their philosophy.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: They were a little-known species commonly considered a legend by the Centauri and who largely sat out the Shadow War. Once the Shadows leave, they become The Man Behind the Man of the Centauri and nearly wipe out all life on Earth.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: They use a species of one, called "Keepers," as part of their modus operandi. They use them to control the Centauri Republic from behind the scenes.
  • The Remnant: They're one of the last notable Shadow allies left in the galaxy after their masters and the Vorlons leave.

     Shiv'kala (Wayne Alexander) 

  • Big Bad: Of the Legions of Fire trilogy
  • The Man Behind the Man: Ruled the Centauri Republic via Regent Milo Virini and later through Emperor Londo himself.
  • Mouth of Sauron: For the Drakh government.
  • You Look Familiar: Wayne Alexander also portrayed Sebastian (aka Jack the Ripper), G'Dan of the Narn Resistance, Lorien, and the Drazi prisoner in "Intersections in Real Time". invoked