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Given the common ancestry of the Romulans and the Vulcans, and that the Romulans emigrated only about 2,000 years ago (in the TNG era: a drop in the bucket in terms of evolutionary biology), should there be a number of Romulans capable of initiating a mind meld? Is it ever explicitly shown that they can mind meld or that they specifically can't mind meld?

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    I don't have the episode on hand to check, but I think ENT 4x14 "The Aenar" mentions or hints that Romulans do have extremely weak telepathic ability. If it was there, it was an offhand comment and not in the episode summary.
    – Izkata
    Feb 5, 2012 at 5:21
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    It's also a major plot point in ENT that Vulcans only just started using mind melds again in the 22nd century.
    – user366
    Feb 5, 2012 at 5:34
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    Spoiler alert. Recent episode in Star Trek: Picard (S01E07) shows commodore Oh mind melds with Jurati to get her spying on Picard's mission. Commodore Oh is the federation's head of security, and is probably imposing as a Vulcan though she's part of the Zhat Vash/Tak Shiar, hence, most likely Romulan.
    – Adi Sarid
    Mar 12, 2020 at 11:23
  • Spoiler: Picard S01E08 wasn't Oh revealed to be half Vulcan/half Romulan?
    – erdiede
    Mar 13, 2020 at 15:05

3 Answers 3

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They used to have telepathic abilities, but not anymore. Expanded universe reference on Memory Alpha states:

It is explained in Vulcan's Soul that the Romulans rejected the telepathy of the Vulcans and slaughtered or enslaved the telepathic ones among them during their exodus to the Romulan system: the telepaths became the Remans.

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    Aha. The Reman article references the ENT episodes I was thinking of in the question's comments. They must have been mentioned, but it was before I knew the difference between a Reman and a Romulan (I'd watched ENT before any other series)
    – Izkata
    Feb 8, 2012 at 12:52
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Also the Romulans missed out on the spiritual/social Renaissance that the Vulcans underwent where they tamed their emotions and mastered their minds. Where Vulcans began a process of reflection and mental discipline, the Romulans focused on conquest and empire building. Not only that but, as mentioned by @HNL, they rejected the meditative lifestyle entirely, going out of their way to excise those with telepathic potential from their society.

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The Romulans demonstrate some latent telepathic ability in the two-part episode TNG: Gambit where a Romulan uses the Vulcan psionic resonator that "focuses and amplifies telepathic energy" Thus they demonstrably have similar telepathic capabilities to Vulcans.

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  • Just to be clear: I didn't have the reputation to add the information as a comment, or I would have done so.
    – Drigan
    Oct 17, 2014 at 14:07
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    The "Romulan" in question was actually a Vulcan posing as a Romulan. Jan 25, 2015 at 15:54
  • It's a rather strange isolationist that seeks help from outside the group she wishes to isolate. Also, the talk page seems to indicate that the claim of her being an isolationist may not come from a canon source.
    – Drigan
    Jan 25, 2015 at 21:50
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    Skimming over the transcripts, it's true, it's not explicitly stated that she's Vulcan. On the other hand, I think it is made to look like she is indeed Vulcan. What we know is: Toward the mercenaries, she poses as a Romulan. Toward Picard, she poses as a Vulcan V'Shar operative. Also, there is a group of Vulcan isolationists trying to get hold of the artifact. It does not seem like the Romulans have any part in this; toward the mercenaries, a criminal Romulan might just appear as less suspicious than a criminal Vulcan. Instead, it seems reasonable that Tallera belongs to one of the ... Jan 25, 2015 at 22:49
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    ... groups that we know are involved with the incident (if only due to Chekhov's gun principle). As she is not with the V'Shar, only the Vulcan isolationists remain, as they wouldn't otherwise have had any other role in the story. (A red herring would be pointless: She's not an isolationist, but actually a ... criminal from an unrelated faction! No, that doesn't work.) Of course, she might be a Romulan working with the Vulcan isolationists, but that seems somewhat far-fetched, in particular if we want to use it as evidence for Romulan telepathic abilities. Jan 25, 2015 at 22:52

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