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In Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Q Who" (Season 2, Episode 16) Q seems disturbed by the presence of Guinan to the point of raising his hands as if to use his powers on her. Guinan responds by raising her hands as if to cast a "magic" spell of her own.

Is it ever established what powers she or her race may possess?

Guinan cat hands

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30  
It's not Guinan he's worried about, it's Whoopi Goldberg. –  Kalamane Oct 8 '11 at 7:38
    
@mplungjan ah, someone edited out the OP's second question. I've removed my original comment. –  Xantec Oct 8 '11 at 17:38
    
I decided to remove it since upon reflection I felt it subtracted from the primary question. –  erdiede Oct 8 '11 at 19:35
    
I would think it is temporal and alternative universe related as mentioned here guinan –  mplungjan Oct 8 '11 at 20:35
1  
She's more-or-less a Time Lord. Think about it. It works. –  MPelletier Jan 23 at 16:13

5 Answers 5

up vote 38 down vote accepted

Guinan, perhaps her whole species, is able to understand the 'correct' state of the universe. Take for example in Yesterday's Enterprise she knows details about the 'other' universe. The universe as it was during the rest of the series with the Enterprise as a ship of peace, not a ship of war.

This is, essentially, the counter power to Q's ability to alter the universe at will. It suggests that the power the Q hold is transparent to Guinan. She can see through their alterations to the mechanics of those actions and the state of the universe before those actions. Possibly, she can counter their magical technology, although that's just conjecture.

Just being able to understand the 'true' state of things would be enough to limit Q's power, which would be frightening to him. And what the Q do to the universe would be equally as upsetting to Guinan.

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Doesn't really explain why they are waving their hands "cat-like" at each other, but I guess this is as good as it's gonna get. Thanks –  erdiede Oct 8 '11 at 23:41
    
@erdiede: can you think of a better visual representation of what is happening? –  DampeS8N Oct 9 '11 at 0:10
    
Not succinctly... hands poised with palms down facing and flexed back 45 degrees towards target and and all fingers and thumbs slightly flexed and pointed at the targeted individual. The arms are held closely together with one arm slightly ahead of the other. I said catlike when really it could have been Catwoman-like... think Michelle Pfeifer. –  erdiede Oct 9 '11 at 2:19
    
Memory alpha seems to state her powers come from her interactions with the nexus...how doe that affect this answer? –  Pureferret Feb 20 at 12:57
    
@Pureferret I don't buy that. Picard spent time in the Nexus and doesn't seem to gain special powers from it. And it shouldn't be about how much time you spend in the Nexus because that is a null statement, there is only one time in the Nexus. –  DampeS8N Feb 20 at 16:03

When Guinan was ripped from the Nexus in "Generations", part of her was still left there. She told Picard she couldn't go back with him because she was already there. The part of her left in the Nexus, a place where time had no meaning, gave her her sixth sense. This explanation was in the original Generations script but was later edited.

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interesting, why would Q be fearful of this sixth sense? –  AidanO Nov 21 '12 at 11:37
    
@AidanO I don't believe he would. He should be as capable of changing the Nexus's history as he could anything else. I don't buy this explanation. –  DampeS8N Feb 20 at 16:06
    
@DampeS8N didn't one of the novels indicate that Q was behind the creation of the Nexus? –  Michael Jul 26 at 5:00

I have always wondered about this myself. I would say that while her species does have incredible mental abilities, they would not be anywhere near a match for a Q. The Borg ran roughshod over her people. We know the Borg are not at the level of the Q. Here are some theories:

  1. Guinan was at the point where she she was going to possibly attack him with her mind, regardless of her ability to damage him. We have seen Worf ready to attack Q despite his inability, and we have seen Sisko actually punch Q. So she may have been "blowing smoke" or angry enough to attack with out causing damage.

  2. I am much more intrigued by this possibility: What if she possesed a Q weapon, unseen by the crew but deadly to Q? We know Janeway and Tuvock had Q weapons and at one point were an extreme danger to the Q. Janeway's weapon was represented by a flintrock rifle; Guinan's may have been represented with a magic spell. Q did back off. Why would she have it? Any number of Qs could have given it to her at any time over the course of her long life. Why? There are many reasons possible. Law enforcement of renegades or she like Janeway participated in a Q war, or it was given to her by another, friendlier, Q to protect her from this Q or others.

  3. One last theory, and I imagine this one is a little unlikely. She may have been a Douwd or an Organian masquerading as an Al-Aurian. We know both these highly advanced species, as well as the Q themselves, will do this from time to time and, if governed by a non-interference directive, would not use her abilities to help or hurt the aliens she is currently with. But she might use her abilities in self-defence against Q. He would of course see through her facade.

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I thought it was rather telling that 'Q' said she was NOT what she appeared to be, and he called her an "Imp".

I think this makes for an AWESOME back story. Originating from Germanic folklore, the imp was a lesser demon. It should also be noted that demons in Germanic legends were NOT necessarily evil. Imps were often mischievous rather than evil or harmful, and in some regions, they were portrayed as attendants of the gods.

Imps are often portrayed much the same as fairies, and in some cultures, they were considered the same beings, both sharing the same sense of free spirit and enjoyment of all things fun. Note that fairies and imps are said to be possessed of all manner of supernatural powers.

It was much later in history that people began to associate fairies with being good and imps with being malicious and evil. Though imps are often thought of as being immortal, many cultures believed that they could be damaged or harmed by certain weapons and enchantments.

ALL of this could have led to some eventual revelation that beings like 'Q', 'imps', and 'faeries' are NOT just ancient earth lore, but stories passed down about alien beings that actually visited earth from time to time.

It would have been AWESOME to see some kind of showdown between 'Q' and Guinan.

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Just happened to see that episode this afternoon and don't recall that there was ever any follow-up on it. While you're answer provides some info on an 'imps', you've provided no supporting material on anything actually Guinan related. –  Stan Aug 2 '13 at 22:24

I dont think Guinan has any powers per se. However, as she does possess a superior sixth sense in understanding the universe. This is supported by her actions and Datas comment on her entire race. In regards to the Q, as previous commentator remarked, I suspected her "power" against the Q is that she is able to defend herself from his actions via neutralization. She seemed to be defending against an attempting attack by him in "Que Who." However, it is interesting that he remarked she was "not what she appeared to be." This could be his fear of her race talking, the fact that a part of her dwells in the Nexus still, or that his is truly a masquerading alien. Concerning the Nexus, I believe that experience only added to her senses. The one question that remains is what was she doing on Earth in the early 19th century?...

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protected by Izkata Feb 20 at 5:38

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