"And so it begins..."


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


Kosh was present with Ulkesh and Valen aboard Babylon 4 when it was brought to the year 1250.[3]

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 revealed themselves to one member of the Council, Delenn, after the outbreak of the Earth-Minbari War, displaying a final record by Dukhat explaining 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, explaining 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 her ears, and she pointed out a random Starfury and ordered it be brought onto the ship. The pilot of the Starfury was Jeffrey Sinclair, whom Kosh had known as Valen.[4]

Assignment and Near Assassination

Ambassador Kosh arrives on B5

Kosh arrived unexpectedly early to his posting as the Vorlon Empire's ambassador to Babylon 5. Upon his arrival, he was poisoned by a mysterious assailant who had used a Changeling net to appear to be Jeffrey Sinclair. Kosh was fooled by the net, greeting Sinclair with the Minbari words "Entil'Zha Valen," and apparently extending his hand outside of his suit.

The encounter suit is penetrated

The Vorlon Empire insists that his Encounter suit not be opened, but Dr. Benjamin Kyle opens it anyway, citing doctor-patient privilege. Not knowing how the poison entered his system makes treatment more difficult. Sinclair asks Lyta Alexander, a human telepath, to scan his mind. She receives a brief glimpse of when Kosh arrived, and that he was poisoned through the hand. Dr. Kyle is able to treat the poison and Kosh recovers. Once recovered, he is welcomed by the other ambassadors and senior staff members during a small reception.[2]

Persistent Abstainer

When seen in public, Kosh wore an encounter suit with a built-in translator so that someone talking to him could understand him.[5] 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 attacks the Centauri agricultural colony Ragesh 3, Kosh attends the emergency Council session at Sinclair's request, though does nothing more than observe. He does caution Sinclair that "they are a dying people...we should let them pass," though Sinclair is confused as to whether he is referring to the Narn or the Centauri.  When he asks which one he means, Kosh's only response is "Yes."[6]

"I am studying."

When a series of anti-alien attacks occurred on the station, Cmdr. Sinclair informed Kosh and requested he speak with the other ambassadors about the situation. Kosh declined, stating "we are not concerned with the affairs of others," while at the same time poring over a stream of images from Earth history.[7]

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 she had an apparent serum for immortality), a Vorlon ship jumped into B5 space and destroyed the shuttle carrying Jha'dur. Kosh did come to the Council meeting to explain, stating simply "you are not ready for immortality."

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

While those events were happening, he 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) and recorded them, turning over the information to Kosh, who left Talia shaken and confused.[8]

Apparently, Kosh had sensed that Talia had been modified by the Psi Corps, implanted with a sleeper personality program. While Kosh's motives were never clearly discovered, he arranged a series of "business negoiations" with a strange man named Abbut. He subsequently contacted Talia Winters to hire her to moderate these talks using her telepathic abilities. Talia says that she will glad to assist the ambassador after the necessary clarences and payment have been arranged. Kosh answers that all of these details have been dealt with including a generous payment. The talks were nothing more than nonsense words and phrases with no real form or structure to them. During the talks, Talia was forced to relive a former assignment and at the end of talks, Abbutt gave Kosh a data crystal apprently containing these memories.[9]

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

He 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 operated on him without his consent, prompting an idiomatic response from Kosh regarding what had happened to him.[10]

"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.[11]

An underworld boss named Deuce brought a Na'ka'leen Feeder aboard the station, using it to terrorize or murder innocent people. He kept the creature inside a facsimile of Kosh's encounter suit, wanting people to believe the Vorlon was working for him. The creature was discovered and killed by security personnel and the charade exposed for what it was.[12]

On December 30, 2258, Ambassador Delenn sent her aide, Lennier, to ask Kosh if the Shadows had indeed returned to Z'ha'dum. Kosh affirmed that they had. This meant that the time for an ancient prophecy concerning Delenn's transformation was at hand. Having one lingering doubt, she approached Kosh herself, asking 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 had wished to speak with Jeffrey 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 him out in the Zocalo, reminding him he was supposed to meet her.[13]

Guardian and Mentor

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

In the first days of 2259, Cmdr. Sinclair is replaced by Captain John Sheridan as commanding officer of Babylon 5. Kosh takes an apparent notice in Sheridan (or perhaps just the events at large) as he begins 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.[14]

In the spring 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 collapses of a heart attack. As he lays dying in Medlab, he states again to Dr. Franklin how much he wishes he could have seen a Vorlon. Almost on cue, Kosh arrives at his bedside. The emperor asks, "How will this end?" Kosh replies simply and darkly, "In fire."[15]

"You have always been here."

Not long after the outbreak of the Narn-Centauri War, Captain Sheridan is kidnapped by an alien race known as the Streib. They torture him through experimentation and force him to battle other prisoners. Exhausted by the efforts, he passes out in his cell. Kosh reaches out and touches his mind via a dream, explaining this is the first time 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 is rescued and brought back to Babylon 5, Kosh speaks to him briefly enough to confirm that it was more than a mere dream.[16]

"You do not understand. Go."

Sheridan came to have a close up look at Kosh's ship in Bay 13. Kosh overheard him say 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, helping him smuggle Everett Jacobs off station temporarily in his own transport.[17]

Over the next few weeks, Kosh met with Sheridan several times, for numerous lessons. One of these lessons came while Sheridan was being 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 getting back to clearing his name.[18]

When Cynthia Torqueman, an ISN reporter comes aboard the station for a news segment, she attempts to interview Kosh. The Vorlon closes the door in her face.[19]

"Sheridan. Learn."

Kosh approaches Delenn a few weeks later when Captain Sheridan had Morden arrested. Sheridan had learned that Morden had been aboard the Icarus along with his wife. Delenn and Kosh went to see Sheridan to ask him to release Morden, not wanting Morden to reveal his connection to the Shadows. Sheridan refused unless they provided an explanation. Kosh consents, and Delenn explains 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 explains that the Vorlons are the last remaining First Ones. Kosh himself says that if he leaves his encounter suit, he will be recognized by everyone. He then shows Sheridan a visual record of the Icarus arriving on Z'ha'dum and awakening the Shadows there. Sheridan releases Morden, then goes back to see Kosh privately. He asks Kosh to teach him how to fight and beat the Shadows. He also swears one day he will go to Z'ha'dum. Kosh agrees to teach him, but warns Sheridan, "if you go to Z'ha'dum, you will die."[20]

"We have sent for an inquisitor."

Kosh is present at the Advisory Council when Londo Mollari announces the unconditional surrender of the Narn Regime, ending 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, he is present when Delenn and Michael Garibaldi introduce the Rangers to Sheridan. The Captain promises that Babylon 5 will be where they hold the line against the Shadows.[21]

With events moving towards a showdown with the Shadows, Kosh expresses concerns regarding Delenn (whether she is the right person for the task ahead). He insists she submit to an Inquisitor, in a process that could kill her if she is indeed the wrong person. Delenn agrees, survives the process, and is endorsed by the Inquisitor.[22]

Revealed to All

The Centauri Republic, spurred on by the Shadows, begin to create more conflict along their borders. One of these conflicts spills out at Babylon 5 itself. Captain Sheridan is forced to fire on and destroy a Centauri battle cruiser, infuriating the Republic and his superiors in the Earth Alliance who are finalizing a non-aggression treaty with the Centauri. Sheridan is 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 plant a bomb in the car. He leaps out and begins "falling" towards the "ground." No other options available, Kosh opens his encounter suit and flies into the air. He appears as a "being of light" in the image of each of the different races who behold him (save for those, such as Londo Mollari, who see nothing). No one realizes it was Kosh, but all are amazed at the wondrous sign. Sheridan realizes who saved him, but does not make it public knowledge.[23]

The revelation was very taxing on Kosh, prompting him to return to his ship for a week to rest. Afterwards, Sheridan thanks him again for saving him. Kosh acknowledges the risk in revealing himself, but says that it was necessary. Sheridan then asks how he can know for sure it is always the same Vorlon inside the suit, and Kosh gives a familiar response: "I have always been here." When Sheridan replies how annoyed he is by Kosh's cryptic replies, Kosh responds with apparent amusement.[24]

Secrets and Revelations

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


What Lyta does not disclose is that Kosh is now relying on Lyta to "carry him" from place to place—or more specifically, she carries part of his consciousness within her from time to time.[25]

Seeking a way to strengthen the Narn Resistance, G'Kar takes the illegal substance Dust, which allows him to telepathically assault Londo Mollari. While inside Londo's mind, G'Kar is overwhelmed by the flood of images and feelings. Kosh takes advantage of G'Kar, now at his weakest, appearing in his mind in an image of G'Kar's father.

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

Kosh speaks to G'Kar about what is coming, telling him to let go of his hate and anger, pleading with him not to continue the cycle of blood with the Centauri. He also warns him to prepare for great sacrifice in the days to come. Before breaking contact, Kosh appears as G'Lan. G'Kar emerges from the dreamlike phase forever changed—but unaware Kosh was the real source of the vision.[26]

At the end of July, 2260, the Shadows began attacking ships openly, mostly near the Rim. Kosh withdrew to the solace of his quarters, not emerging 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 they thought sure they would lose. Realizing they needed a victory to raise morale and pull the Alliance together, Sheridan approaches Kosh, asking for the Vorlon Empire to engage the Shadows at least once and score a victory. Kosh at first flat out refuses, telling Sheridan "it is not yet time." Enraged, Sheridan presses Kosh, telling him that he will not leave until Kosh agrees to intervene. Kosh in turn becomes angered, lashing out telekinetically at Sheridan, but when the captain still insists, Kosh concedes to his request.

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

Before going to relay the request, Kosh warns Sheridan that he will not be able to help him now when Sheridan inevitably goes to Z'ha'dum—and Sheridan will surely die there. Sheridan mistakenly believes Kosh is speaking out of anger, threatening to withhold help when the time arrives. Kosh, however, knows what will inevitably follow.[27]


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

A Vorlon Armada wins a decisive victory against a Shadow fleet. This act cements an alliance among the younger races centered at Babylon 5, and the Army of Light prepares to make a stand against the Shadows. While the rest of the allies celebrate a well fought victory well into the night, Kosh withdraws to his quarters, waiting for what has to come. The Shadows, deeply bitter over the defeat, have Morden break into Kosh's quarters. Once inside, three Shadows attack Kosh in a violent confrontation. During the fight, Kosh reaches out telepathically and communicates to Sheridan via a dream. Now he appears as Sheridan's father, explaining that he knew what had to happen but after having lived so long he was afraid of the inevitable. He says a good-bye to Sheridan, telling him that as long as Sheridan is there, he will be too.

The remains of Kosh's suit

The following morning, station security finds the remnants of the attack. No body is found, and only a few fragments of Kosh's suit remain. The Vorlon Empire is instantly aware of his death. They agree to a plan where Ulkesh will replace Kosh, assuming his 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 committing suicide by flying into a star.[27]

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 this on a mission to engage a Shadow vessel. Touching Sheridan directly, she had a vision of Kosh's death.[28]

Post Death

When Anna Sheridan arrives on Babylon 5 at the end of the year, Cpt. Sheridan devises a plan to go back with her to Z'ha'dum, hoping to single handedly end the war. Before he leaves, the piece of Kosh within him warns him again that if he goes to Z'ha'dum, he will die. Sheridan dismisses the experience as a memory. Once on the planet, however, he hears Kosh's voice again—this time prompting him to jump into a great abyss in the Shadow's capital city. Sheridan leaps into the abyss just as the White Star comes crashing down on the city.[29]

Sheridan's fall kills him—but Kosh's presence in his body keeps it "alive." Deep inside the cavern, he meets Lorien, who is aware of the remnant of Kosh inside him. He restores Sheridan to life and they leave the planet, forming a plan to end the Shadow War once and for all.[30]

Knowing Ulkesh will be a liability (as the Vorlons have now begun destroying entire worlds to clear them of any Shadow taint); Sheridan puts together a plan to eliminate the Vorlon. After setting up a trap that forced him to abandon his encounter suit, Ulkesh was destroyed by the remnant of Kosh (mixed with part of Lorien and Sheridan himself) in single combat that also destroyed Ulkesh's transport. With this act, Kosh finally and ultimately passed away.[31]

During the Brakiri "Day of the Dead," Kosh's spirit apparently communicated a message to the spirit of Zoe, which 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."[32]

When the time came, Sheridan followed Kosh's final instructions.[33]



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