The Babylon Project

"And so it begins..."


Kosh Naranek was the Vorlon Ambassador to Babylon 5.[1][2]


The Third Age of Mankind[]

Kosh was present on the Grey Council's Cruiser prior to the death of Dukhat, and during the Battle of the Line. He had been invited aboard by Dukhat, the leader of the Grey Council, and remained hidden to most of the members, along with his companion, Ulkesh. They remained in Dukhat's private sanctum where the Chosen One sought meditation. When the sanctum was moved, Lenonn discovered the duo and notified his closest ally of the Council, Delenn, after the outbreak of the Earth-Minbari War. She had already become suspicious of the cargo transfers received in hyperspace of atmospheric supplies and questioned Dukhat about the existence of beings pretending to be Vorlons. Kosh and Ulkesh displayed a final recording by Dukhat that explained how Humans would be needed during the inevitable return of the Shadows.

Kosh and Ulkesh remained on the Minbari ship throughout most of the war, even up until the Battle of the Line. Delenn approached them before the battle, explained how the war had taken a life of its own and how she did not know how to stop it. Kosh only responded: "The truth points to itself," before he and Ulkesh urged her to return to the main Council chamber. During the battle, Kosh's words rang in Delenn's ears, she pointed out a Starfury on a kamikaze-like collision course (the truth pointing to itself) and ordered it be brought onto the ship. The pilot of the Starfury was Jeffrey Sinclair, whom both Kosh and Ulkesh had met in 1260 prior to his transformation into Valen.[3]

Assignment and Near Assassination[]

Ambassador Kosh's arrival on Babylon 5.

Kosh arrived unexpectedly early to his posting as the Vorlon Empire's ambassador to Babylon 5 on January 4th 2257. Upon his arrival, Kosh was poisoned by a mysterious assailant who had used a Changeling net to appear to be Commander Jeffrey Sinclair. Kosh was fooled by the net, greeted Sinclair with the internal acknowledgment "Entil'Zha Valen," and apparently extended his hand outside of his encounter suit.

Kosh's encounter suit penetrated by Dr. Kyle.

The Vorlon Empire insisted that Kosh's encounter suit not be opened, but Dr. Benjamin Kyle opened it anyway and cited doctor-patient privilege. Not knowing how the poison entered Kosh's system made treatment more difficult. Takashima and Dr. Kyle asked Lyta Alexander, a human telepath, to scan Kosh's mind. She received a brief glimpse of when Kosh arrived and that he was poisoned through the hand. Dr. Kyle was able to treat the poison and Kosh recovered. Once recovered, he was welcomed by the other ambassadors and senior staff members during a small reception.[2]

Persistent Abstainer[]

When he was seen in public, Kosh wore an encounter suit with a built-in translator, so that someone who talked to him could understand him.[4] Despite his role as ambassador and having a seat on the Babylon 5 Security Council, Kosh did not partake much in the ordinary affairs that came up among the races during his first two years on the station. In 2258, when the Narn attacked the Centauri agricultural colony Ragesh 3, Kosh attended the emergency Council session at Sinclair's request, though he did nothing more than observe. Kosh did caution Sinclair that: "They are a dying people... we should let them pass," though Sinclair was confused as to whether he referred to either the Narn or the Centauri. When Sinclair asked which one he meant, Kosh's only response was: "Yes."[5]

"I am studying."

When a series of anti-alien attacks occurred on the station, Sinclair informed Kosh and requested that he speak with the other ambassadors about the situation. Kosh declined, and stated: "We are not concerned with the affairs of others," while, at the same time, pored over a stream of images from Earth History.[6]

After the Dilgar war criminal Jha'dur was discovered on the station, the Security Council and the League was called together to vote whether to try her. Kosh once again ignored the request to come to the Council meeting. However, once a compromise was reached (as it was discovered that she had an apparent serum for immortality), a Vorlon ship jumped into Babylon 5 space and destroyed the shuttle that carried Jha'dur. Kosh came to the Council meeting to explain, and stated simply: "You are not ready for immortality."

"Paint on the brush does not guarantee art from the bristle."

While those events happened, Kosh had arranged for Talia Winters to "mediate" a business deal between him and a being named Abbut. Talia was confused, as the "deal" consisted entirely of the two of them speaking in riddles and idioms to one another. Abbut was really a ViCaR (a play on VCR), a being who was able to record memories onto data crystals. He dredged up some of Talia's deepest, most horrible memories, (from when she had to scan a serial killer) recorded them, and turned over the information to Kosh, who left Talia shaken and confused.[7]

"The avalanche has already started. It is too late for the pebbles to vote."

Kosh also turned down a request by Tharg and M'Ola to intervene regarding their son, Shon, when Dr. Stephen Franklin wished to operate on the boy against the parents' wishes. They had already been turned down by Ambassadors Londo Mollari and G'Kar and were desperate for help. M'Ola asked Kosh how he would feel if someone had operated on him without his consent, which prompted an idiomatic response from Kosh that regarded what had happened to him.[8]

"Leave this place, they are not for you."

When Morden, an agent of the Shadows, first came aboard Babylon 5 to question the major ambassadors on the station, Kosh confronted him during an attack by Raiders on the station itself. Kosh defiantly told Morden to leave the station immediately. Morden did not comply, and apparently a minor battle erupted between Kosh and one of the Shadows that was likely with Morden. Afterwards, Kosh made a request to station security for equipment to repair his encounter suit, but he credited the damage to the Raiders' attack.[9]

An underworld boss named Deuce brought a Na'ka'leen Feeder aboard the station and used it to terrorize or murder innocent people. He kept the creature inside a facsimile of Kosh's encounter suit and wanted people to believe the Vorlon worked for him. The creature was discovered, killed by security personnel, and the charade exposed for what it was.[10]

On December 30, 2258, Delenn sent her aide, Lennier, to ask Kosh if the Shadows had indeed returned to Z'ha'dum. Kosh affirmed that they had. That meant that the time for an ancient prophecy that concerned Delenn's transformation was at hand. Having one lingering doubt, Delenn approached Kosh herself and asked him to reveal himself to her. After he complied, all doubt was removed from her. She thanked him and set out to undergo her metamorphosis the following day. She wished to speak with Sinclair before entering a chrysalis, but Sinclair had gotten tied up between the near death of Michael Garibaldi and the assassination of President Luis Santiago. Kosh sought Sinclair out in the Zocalo and reminded him that he was supposed to meet Delenn.[11]

Guardian and Mentor[]

"I will teach you...Until you are ready. To fight legends."
– Kosh, to Sheridan

In the first days of 2259, Sinclair was replaced by Captain John Sheridan as commanding officer of Babylon 5. Kosh took an apparent notice in Sheridan (or perhaps just the events at large) as he began to regularly attend Council meetings.

Kosh was present when G'Kar attempted to warn the Advisory Council about the Shadows returning to Z'ha'dum. Even though he was fully aware what G'Kar was saying was the truth, he chose to remain silent as to not alert the Shadows to what the younger races knew. Delenn emerged from her chrysalis at this same time, allowing Kosh to be among the first witnesses to her transformation.[12]

In June of 2259, Turhan, Emperor of the Centauri Republic chose to come to Babylon 5 on a peaceful mission. Though it was his great hope to see a Vorlon, Kosh apparently declined to attend the planned reception for the Emperor. However, before he could actually attend the reception, the Emperor collapsed from a heart attack. As he lay dying in Medlab, Turhan stated again to Dr. Franklin how much he wished that he could have seen a Vorlon. Almost on cue, Kosh arrived at his bedside. The Emperor asked: "How will this end?" Kosh replied simply and darkly: "In fire."[13]

"You have always been here."

Not long after the outbreak of the Narn-Centauri War, Sheridan was kidnapped by an alien race known as the Streib. They tortured him through experimentation and forced him to battle other prisoners. Exhausted by the efforts, Sheridan passed out in his cell. Kosh reached out, touched his mind via a dream, and explained that was the first time that Sheridan's mind was "quiet enough to hear him." The dream contained strange, prophetic images about future events. Kosh seemed to be alerting Sheridan to Susan Ivanova's secret, to his upcoming need to rely on Alfred Bester, and that "the man in between is searching for you."

After Sheridan was rescued and brought back to Babylon 5, Kosh spoke to him briefly enough to confirm that it was more than a mere dream.[14]

"You do not understand. Go."

Sheridan came to have a close up look at Kosh's ship in Bay 13. Kosh overheard him say that he intended to make it his personal mission to learn more about the Vorlon. Kosh decided to contact him first. Sheridan met him in his quarters, and, after a cryptic and somewhat heated exchange, Kosh offered to prepare Sheridan "to fight legends." He also granted Sheridan a favor and helped him smuggle Everett Jacobs off station temporarily in his own ship.[15]

Over the next few weeks, Kosh met with Sheridan several times, for numerous lessons. One of those lessons came while Sheridan was investigated for the murder of a Minbari. Kosh led Sheridan into Downbelow and offered him "one moment of perfect beauty." Sheridan encountered a strange order of chanting monks and was awed by the experience. He thanked Kosh for the experience before he got back to clearing his name.[16]

When Cynthia Torqueman, an ISN Reporter came aboard the station for a news segment, she attempted to interview Kosh, but he closed the door in her face.[17]

"Sheridan. Learn."

Kosh approached Delenn a few weeks later when Sheridan had Morden arrested. Sheridan had learned that Morden had been aboard the Icarus along with his wife, Anna Sheridan. Delenn and Kosh went to see Sheridan to ask him to release Morden and did not want Morden to reveal his connection to the Shadows. Sheridan refused unless they provided an explanation. Kosh consented, and Delenn explained to Sheridan about the Last Great Shadow War, the First Shadow War, and the recent return of the Shadows to Z'ha'dum. She also explained that the Vorlons were the last remaining First Ones. Kosh himself said that if he left his encounter suit, he would be recognized by everyone. He then showed Sheridan a visual record of the Icarus arriving on Z'ha'dum and the awakening of the Shadows. Sheridan released Morden, then went back to see Kosh privately. He asked Kosh to teach him how to fight and beat the Shadows. He also swore that one day he would go to Z'ha'dum. Kosh agreed to teach him, but warned Sheridan: "If you go to Z'ha'dum, you will die."[18]

"We have sent for an inquisitor."

Kosh was present at the Advisory Council when Londo announced the unconditional surrender of the Narn Regime, which ended the Narn-Centauri War (he was probably the one who also conveyed the Vorlon's complaint against the Centauri using mass drivers against the Narn homeworld). Afterwards, Kosh was present when Delenn and Garibaldi introduced the Rangers to Sheridan. Sheridan promised that Babylon 5 would be where they would hold the line against the Shadows.[19]

With events moving towards a showdown with the Shadows, Kosh expressed concerns regarding Delenn (whether she was the right person for the task ahead). He insisted that she submit to an Inquisitor, in a process that could kill her if she was indeed the wrong person. Delenn agreed, survived the process, and was endorsed by the Inquisitor.[20]

Revealed to All[]

The Centauri Republic, spurred on by the Shadows, began to create more conflict along their borders. One of those conflicts spilled out at Babylon 5. Sheridan was forced to fire on and destroy a Centauri battle cruiser, which infuriated the Republic and his superiors in the Earth Alliance who finalized a non-aggression treaty with the Centauri. Sheridan was ordered to issue a public apology, with all the major ambassadors present, from the Zen Garden. While traveling along the core shuttle, however, Centauri agents planted a bomb in the car. Sheridan leapt out and began "falling" towards the "ground." No other options available, Kosh opened his encounter suit and flew into the air. He appeared as a "being of light" in the image of each of the different races who beheld him (save for those, such as Londo, who saw nothing). No one realized that it was Kosh, but all were amazed at the wondrous sign. Sheridan realized who saved him, but did not make it public knowledge.[21]

The revelation was very taxing on Kosh, which prompted him to return to his ship for a week to rest. Afterwards, Sheridan thanked him again for saving him. Kosh acknowledged the risk in revealing himself, but said that it was necessary. Sheridan then asked how he could know for sure that it was always the same Vorlon inside the encounter suit, and Kosh gave a familiar response: "I have always been here." When Sheridan replied how annoyed he was by Kosh's cryptic replies, Kosh responded with apparent amusement.[22]

Secrets and Revelations[]

Early in 2260, Lyta Alexander arrived on the station via Kosh's ship. After she explained that she had traveled to the Vorlon Homeworld, Lyta stated that she would be working for Kosh from then on. Kosh affirmed that. Lyta told the station crew she did not fear the Psi Corps, and was confident that Kosh would protect her.


What Lyta did not disclose was that Kosh relied on Lyta to "carry him" from place to place—or more specifically, she carried part of his consciousness within her from time to time.[23]

Seeking a way to strengthen the Narn Resistance, G'Kar took the illegal substance, Dust, which allowed him to telepathically assault Londo. While inside Londo's mind, G'Kar was overwhelmed by the flood of images and feelings. Kosh took advantage of G'Kar, at his weakest, and appeared in his mind in an image of G'Kar's father, G'Qarn.

"We are fighting to save one another. And some must be sacrificed if all are to be saved."

Kosh spoke to G'Kar about what was coming, told him to let go of his hate and anger, and plead with him not to continue the cycle of blood with the Centauri. He also warned him to prepare for great sacrifice in the days to come. Before he broke contact, Kosh appeared as G'Lan. G'Kar emerged from the dreamlike phase forever changed—but was unaware that Kosh was the real source of the vision.[24]

At the end of July, 2260, the Shadows began to attack ships openly, mostly near the Rim. Kosh withdrew to the solace of his quarters, and did not emerge for at least a week.

Sheridan quickly realized how scattered and terrified the minor races were. None of them wanted to commit to a fight that they thought for sure that they would lose. After he realized that they needed a victory to raise morale and pull the Alliance together, Sheridan approached Kosh and asked for the Vorlon Empire to engage the Shadows at least once and score a victory. Kosh, at first, flat out refused, and told Sheridan: "It is not yet time." Enraged, Sheridan pressed Kosh and told him that he would not leave until he agreed to intervene. Kosh, in turn, became angered, and lashed out telekinetically at Sheridan, but when he still insisted, Kosh conceded to his request.

"I will do as you ask. But there is a price to pay."

Before he went to relay the request, Kosh warned Sheridan that he would not be able to help him when Sheridan inevitably went to Z'ha'dum—and that Sheridan would surely die there. Sheridan mistakenly believed that Kosh spoke out of anger and threatened to withhold help when the time arrived. Kosh, however, knew what would inevitably follow.[25]


"I've got to go now, John."

"I want you to know you were right. I didn't want to admit that; just pride, I guess. At my age, you get kinda set in your ways. It had to be done; don't blame yourself for what happened later."

Kosh, impersonating David Sheridan, to John Sheridan

A Vorlon armada won a decisive victory against a Shadow fleet. That act cemented an alliance among the younger races centered at Babylon 5, and the Army of Light prepared to make a stand against the Shadows. While the rest of the allies celebrated a well fought victory well into the night, Kosh withdrew to his quarters and waited for what had to come. The Shadows, deeply bitter over the defeat, had Morden break into Kosh's quarters. Once inside, three Shadows attacked Kosh in a violent confrontation. During the fight, Kosh reached out telepathically and communicated to Sheridan via a dream. He appeared as Sheridan's father, David Sheridan, and explained that he knew what had to happen, but after having lived so long, he was afraid of the inevitable. He said good-bye to Sheridan, and told him that as long as Sheridan was there, he would be too.

The remains of Kosh's encounter suit in his quarters.

The following morning, station security found the remnants of the attack. No body was found, and only a few fragments of Kosh's encounter suit remained. The Vorlon Empire was instantly aware of his death. They agreed to a plan to replace Kosh with Ulkesh, with the new ambassador assuming Kosh's identity so as to not frighten the minor races with news of his death. Kosh's ship, which was his personal craft, honored him one last time before it committed suicide by flying into a star.[25]

Unknown at the time, Kosh placed part of his consciousness inside Sheridan. Lyta Alexander, off station at the time of Kosh's death and not carrying any part of him, was the first to suspect that on a mission to engage a Shadow Vessel. Touching Sheridan directly, she had a vision of Kosh's death.[26]

Post Death[]

When Anna Sheridan arrived on Babylon 5 at the end of the year, Sheridan devised a plan to go back with her to Z'ha'dum and hoped to single handedly end the war. Before Sheridan left, the piece of Kosh within him warned him again that if he went to Z'ha'dum, he would die. Sheridan dismissed the experience as a memory. Once on the planet, however, he heard Kosh's voice again—that time prompting him to jump into a great abyss in the Shadow's capital city. Sheridan leapt into the abyss just as the White Star came crashing down on the city and destroyed it through detonation.[27]

Sheridan's fall killed him—but Kosh's presence in his body kept him "alive." Deep inside the cavern, Sheridan met Lorien, who was aware of the remnant of Kosh inside him. He restored Sheridan to life, then left the planet with him, and formed a plan to end the Second Shadow War once and for all.[28]

After he knew that Ulkesh would be a liability (as the Vorlons began to destroy entire worlds to clear them of any Shadow taint); Sheridan put together a plan to eliminate him. After Sheridan set up a trap that forced him to abandon his encounter suit, Ulkesh was destroyed by the remnant of Kosh (which was mixed with part of Lorien and Sheridan himself) in single combat that also destroyed Ulkesh's ship. With that act, Kosh finally and ultimately passed away.[29]

During the Brakiri "Day of the Dead," Kosh's spirit apparently communicated a message to the spirit of Zoe, who appeared to Elizabeth Lochley. Zoe asked Lochley to convey the message to Sheridan: "When the long night comes, return to the end of the beginning."[30]

When the time came, Sheridan followed Kosh's final instructions and went to Corianna VI shortly before he died.[31]