From what I can tell, the Borg are a singular collective consciousness spread across multiple bodies: they're defined by their lack of individuality and central consciousness. So then why is there a Borg Queen? Shouldn't a Borg Queen basically be just a propped-up Borg drone?

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    They were a collective consciousness, IIRC, right up until First Contact. Perhaps the Borg's attempts to change the past in that movie wound up changing the timeline to one where that's no longer true. :-) Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 2:19
  • More seriously, I think this was explained at one point. Something about the Queen being necessary to prevent the collective from slipping into chaos. Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 2:20
  • She brings order to chaos.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 7:44
  • The Queen does explain this in First Contact, and it is the order to the chaos, the control. It is as explained in the answer with every army having a lead point or control. Equally I believe Catherine Janeway finishes this battle eventually. Every collective has a lead, be that a King or Queen creator. As in their image or their army. Same as Davros has his Darleks. Even the Replicators in SG1 eventually gravitate towards having a lead member. Although this is more than likely so so humans can comprehend an order of hierarchy.
    – DubMan
    Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 8:11
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    Star Trek writers (stupidly) felt that the Borg weren't complete somehow. They were very much wrong. The script of "Best of Both Worlds" would have probably been better if the Borg didn't abduct Picard, or even want to. It's just totally contrary to what they are. Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 21:31

3 Answers 3


The reason there was/is a Borg Queen is because in any system there is a regulator/controller. Any program that would make up the Borg would ultimately create several regulating "drones" which is what "Queens" are.

There is this idea of how the Borg were all just a mass of randomly acting drones, but this was never the case. It was always the case that there was a single mind behind the drones and it is best understood that the this hierarchy is natural to both programming and organisms and such would be how the Borg organize themselves as evidenced by designations and such. The main difference between biology and The Borg is that The Borg can move from 1 group to another when needed.

For a little clarification. You have drones and they are linked together to a task or whatever. This group can be considered like organs to the ship. The ships can be seen as individuals which are subject to the queens, like the drones are to the groups and the groups to the ships.

Given that it has been said there are a few Queens in some places or at least shown we can speculate that there is a higher controller/regulator or that the Queen is as she said she is, "The Borg" she is in fact the one voice that is the sum total of all the minds of The Borg in one drone and she only existed in a singular drone for the convenience of working with humans and is not a static being as we are lead to believe.

These easiest way to think of this is that the Queen is the resulting sentience of The Borg in total much like we humans are the resulting sentience of all the cells in our body. We are as much a collective as the queen is. Similarly, our brain is our body's regulator and decision maker for all the cells in our body. The queen is just the brain of The Borg body speaking through 1 drone like our head is the body part that we speak out of.

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    I would have thought bees are the perfect analogy here. Many drones, but one queen.
    – nedlud
    Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 3:51
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    Maybe, but I think it would be easier to show the difference between what happens when you have drones directed by an AI vs drones that are undirected. When you think about it in real terms we have leaders and such for a reason. It's better for colaboration on projects when you have one person or group focus on managing the global perspective and another group or series of groups handling finer details. Any entity with the level of order the Borg have must have a higher order governor of some sort. bees ironically don't. They're pretty much self contained, but they can do that only to hive lvl
    – Durakken
    Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 4:30
  • Although the queen bee is commonly thought to be controller of the hive this is not in fact the case. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_bee#Daily_life. The workers organise themselves. The Queen's only role is to lay eggs; effectively she is the reproductive organ of the hive rather than its controller. As for hierarchies with a single top entity being inevitable, your body is made up of cells, so where is your "king" or "queen" cell? (Insert joke about people controlled by their gonads). Commented Nov 5, 2018 at 16:03

In-universe, the Borg Queen is something akin to the queen of a bee hive, a kind of figurehead or control point.

Out-of-universe the Borg were originally conceived as you described - a distributed collective intelligence with no hierarchy and this is how they were portrayed in their first few appearances in ST:TNG. However, when creating the story for the First Contact movie the writers decided to create the Borg Queen for dramatic purposes as they needed an antagonist character which couldn't really be fulfilled by the deliberately characterless Borg drones. This arguably introduces a paradox, because in the "Best of Both Worlds" episodes of TNG the Borg turned Picard into "Locutus of Borg" as they needed an intermediary to speak for them, which would not have been necessary had the Borg Queen existed.

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    For me, that ruined the whole premise of the Borg. As they were originally conceived, they acted according to their concept of "good", which was that the more minds were incorporated into the Hive Mind, the better for all concerned. They were one of the few alien races in Star Trek who actually thought "alien", as opposed to acting basically like humans with one character trait exaggerated (logic in Vulcans, aggression in Klingons, greed in Ferengi etc.). The introduction of the Borg Queen turned them into conventional "nasties" who understood our morals and just decided to go against them.
    – Wallnut
    Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 12:38
  • @Wallnut The Borg to me was like a perverted Federation. The Federation grows as new races join it, and they add their technologies and culture to help it grow as well. However, it's a voluntary thing. The Borg do the same thing, it's just involuntary.
    – CBredlow
    Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 16:43
  • @CBredlow: didn't someone once say he preferred the Borg to the Federation, because at least they were honest about their goals? (I think it was in DS9.) Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 0:00
  • Harry I believe you mean this: "You know, in some ways, you're even worse than the Borg. At least they tell you about their plans for assimilation. You're more insidious. You assimilate people and they don't even know it." 'Michael Eddington to Captain Sisko (DS9: "For the Cause")'
    – Matt
    Commented Mar 8, 2017 at 0:09
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    @Wallnut: could be, although without a Queen, I’ve no idea how you make a Borg movie. On their own, the Borg are essentially space zombies, and in zombie movies, the zombies aren’t the bad guys. They’re just bad weather. Humans end up being the actual antagonists, and it’s difficult to do that in Star Trek. Commented Mar 31, 2018 at 20:06

Why the Borg Queen is not only for dramatisation.

If the Borg were only the nanites they spread, the hive controlling mechanism could be only in their nanotechnology itself and there would be no need for a separate organic controller (Queen) for a Borg colony/ship. The hive consciousness could be stored only in the transwarp network of nano nodes, and use all the drones as just organised tools for various purposes.

But the Borg fundamentally need organic hosts, being a combination of both organic tissue and electric/mechanical nanotechnology. So there is something important in the organic brain/mind for them, otherwise they would probably be fully mechanical/nano, and a lot more durable than the organic tissue they still mostly are.

So if all Borg units are fundamentally partly organic, the controlling units would also be partly organic, and thus there are queens. Why the queen appeared only later in the series and films could be that the Borg first perceived the federation species just another resource and later found them a real thread, maybe even equal rival - so they needed some diplomacy and introduced first a Locutus and then a Queen to federation.

Maybe the Borg technology is not itself conscious but only a tool to synchronise / combine many organic brains into one, creating a new kind of semi-organic life-form that organises it's units like a larger body just like a bee queen controls it's hive with chemical scents. Mystery is how the Queen is chosen from those assimilated, maybe always a strong-willed female as males are typically worse in multi-tasking. Maybe the Borg Queens are even actually the first Borg species or what's left of them.

In First Contact, the Queen was extremely fascina ted of Data, as data was something very different than Borg; a completely artificial electro-mechanical mind, as the Borg are still organic minds, but very different than individualistic organic minds, because of technology.

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    This seems like speculation and opinion rather than fact. If you have sources to back these opinions up,you should consider adding them to your answer. Commented Mar 31, 2018 at 19:20
  • fact ? this is a fictional universe we are talking about.
    – kojime
    Commented Mar 31, 2018 at 19:28
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    @kojime - it's a fictional universe with a well-defined canon (and large numbers of extracanonical but officially endorsed stories) and large quantities of material that provides resources about the intent of its creators. On this site, we prefer answers to have at least some basis in (and preferably references to) this material.
    – Jules
    Commented Mar 31, 2018 at 20:29
  • Also, your argument doesn't seem to follow. "So if all Borg units are fundamentally partly organic, the controlling units would also be partly organic, and thus there are queens" -- why does the fact of Borg drones being organic mean there must be queens?
    – Jules
    Commented Mar 31, 2018 at 20:31
  • @Jules because all known complex systems have hierarchies. of course there are always those who like the Borg being more like a mushroom (every individual cell is ultimately a new mushroom etc without proper central nervous system or center) I'm just defending with logic the huge amount of material already made based on something different. Ultimately no-one can know what the original writers had in mind in and the whole thing turns into this dogmatic religion unable to go forward. This is also the reason why contemporary culture is stuck with re-remakes of everything.
    – kojime
    Commented Mar 31, 2018 at 21:06

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