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Delenn's vision in the temple as a child

I've been reading Artifacts from Beyond the Rim, a book from B5 Books that I got as part of the thing with Claudia Christian and is signed by her, and after reading in interview with JMS from 1995 talking about various things, like the episode Confessions and Lamentations, I decided to watch that one again since it was a really good episode and it's been a long time since I've seen it. A part that I forgot about was when Delenn talks to that Markab girl about when she was young, getting lost and separated from her parents, and going into a temple where she felt she would be safe. Delenn says she fell asleep and that when she woke up, a man was standing over her "bright against the darkness". I've wondered about this before, but this is something I've never been able to figure out, and so I started checking some of the information about this again.

I've found some quotes from JMS talking to people on UseNet who brought this scene up:

"Well, it's about TIME somebody noticed that little exchange in "Confessions and Lamentations." Sometimes I stick stuff so obviously in the foreground that I'm afraid it's going to be too blatant, and then nobody seems to notice it, looking instead at the tiny stuff in the background.

Unfortunately, all I can say for now is that it is significant to Delenn's character and growth, and her sense of being special, and called into the religious caste. "

"What Delenn says, if we all go back to the episode in question,
that a Minbari appeared to her, when she was a child lost in the city
and wandered into the temple; a vision, telling her that "I will not
allow harm to come to my little ones here in my great house." (Note:
"my little ones" being a coy bit of foreshadowing to her being a child
of Valen, but never mind that for now.)

Obviously there were many drawings and pictures and records of
Valen, but most were destroyed in the Great War. And those that
survived have been, over a thousand years, idealized and distorted by
whichever caste is currently claiming him as theirs. (Valen refused to
belong to any one caste.)

Which, btw, is also what Delenn referred to in season one, when
she was lost and in fear of death, and she looked to Sinclair with
reverence and said, "I knew you would come for me."

Also, in book 5 of the B5 script books, there are notes from JMS wrote just before starting work on season 3, and there's something very interesting about this, mentioned after a summary of the final part of War Without End, when Valen appears to the Minbari:

"(One other nice scene would be great: in a fial sequence, a quick flash of a very young Delenn sitting in a temple, lost and afraid, as this form of Valen appears before her, telling her that she will be all right. This ties into her later line to Sinclair saying, "I knew you would come" ("Soul Hunter"), because he came for her before.)"

That last note there was really interesting to me back when I first read that book. What exactly does it mean? Was Sinclair going to make a stop on Minbar to see Delenn as a child before traveling back to the previous Shadow War? It sure seems weird. What possible reason would there have been for that, and wouldn't the Minbari have noticed a gigantic space station appearing somewhere? Or he could have appeared, taken a ship to Minbar, and then met her. But if this is what is meant by this, it still doesn't explain why Sinclair would bother to do this.

Another possibility that I've thought might be the case for a while is that a Vorlon, probably Kosh, was the one who appeared to Delenn, either physically there like at the end of season 2, or in her dream like he did with Sheridan and G'kar. Delenn says she woke up and saw the man, but Kosh may have intentionally made that part of the dream, but then again, she says she woke up, saw the man, and then the door opened and her parents came with, with the man gone.

So putting some things together, the man Delenn saw looked like Valen, so it ties in with her trust in Sinclair later on when she meets him. The big question is if this actually was Sinclair, or if it was Kosh. This is one of the most bizarre unanswered questions in the show, and I really wonder just what was planned with this. Are there actually enough clues out there for us to figure this out, or is it just going to be a huge mystery, unless JMS decides to someday just finally answer it?


  • DarthCaligulaDarthCaligula Elite Ranger
    I forgot to mention it, but that "bright against the darkness" part seemed very important to me as well, since Kosh lets out a lot of light when he appears as an angel, so that could be more evidence that it was Kosh.
  • David of MacDavid of Mac Elite Ranger Ca
    Well, Valen's body was never found. And there was this tidbit JMS mentioned around when SIL aired:

    "Garibaldi's death (a much quieter passing than he would have
    imagined waiting for him), Franklin's final fate on a distant,
    unexplored planet, Delenn's final journey (a quest involving Valen,
    though no one else around her believes it), Lennier's's
    all mapped out, on the theory that whether or not it ever gets used,
    *I* had to know it."

    I'm not sure we can figure out exactly what was going on with Valen appearing to young Delenn with our current information. I don't think it makes sense that it's literally, corporeally Sinclair who she saw, since, among other things, how could he possibly know about that event? It could've been a projection of some sort. The Minbari do have some telepathic and mind-bending abilities (thinking of the memory-sharing room in "Atonement"), it's possible that their temples incorporate that, and their could be echos of Valen inside them, perhaps ones only his descendants can detect.
  • DarthCaligulaDarthCaligula Elite Ranger
    I figure that the drink in Atonement is something similar to Dust, but it seems pretty vague, and I think JMS intentionally avoided addressing the science of it.

    About the fact that Valen's body was never found, that is a good point. Many fans think that Valen went beyond the Rim, though I've never bought that, since I don't see how it could have possibly happened. It just seems like wishful fanboy thinking to me. I personally think, because of that quote you mentioned, that Delenn noticed that Sheridan's disappearance was similar enough to the legends of Valen that she thought there could be a connection, and so for decades she focused on solving the mystery of Valen's disappearance. Pretty much, when she's about 140, she finally gets what seems to be a solid lead, she appears on that show we see in The Deconstruction of Falling Stars, and then she goes to some planet connected to what happened to Valen.

    Maybe she would have found Sinclair himself, in some sort of suspended animation (I'm thinking those guys who worshiped him in In Valen's Name did this, not that I've ever actually read it), or she finally finds out the truth in some ancient city or something. So like I said, I don't agree with the general fan consensus that Sheridan, Sinclair, and Delenn all live happily ever after beyond the Rim. I will say however, that the possibility of Delenn going is plausible, but I don't see how Valen could possibly have gone too, because there's no one to take him there. As far as the Vorlons were concerned, he was a useful pawn in their war to prove that their way is right, though Kosh probably felt more fondly of him. Lorien also says that Sheridan was the first to meet him in thousands of years, so Valen couldn't possibly have met him, so I don't see any way that Sinclair would also have gone beyond the Rim, because there's no one to take him there.

    Anyway, if Valen didn't exactly die, then he could have transformed into something else, and was watching over Delenn or something. Like I said, this whole thing is just so bizarre, but it seems like it's something important, like how Garibaldi mentions to an ISN interviewer in the first season how he and Sinclair escaped from the Martian desert, and that turned out to be far more important than it at first seemed, and that's just one example, since lines like this are all over the place in this show.
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