3

In the Season 2 Finale when Kosh Reveals itself various races name the angelic being they see indicating the Vorlons had taken the role of a specific figure on those planets. Who was it the Humans saw? All I have seen suggested is that it was an angel, was it supposed to be the Angel Gabriel maybe even Lucifer OR Jesus or has this never been confirmed? Did they specifically not name the being for fear of causing controversy?

  • Note, of course that the image seen by those who see Kosh is precisely that, a crafted image. The real Kosh is a big swirly wavy light-tentacle thingy – Valorum Feb 4 '18 at 17:50
3

JMS never said the humans saw a specific angel or other similar being, just that Kosh appeared to them as an angelic being. He also pushed back when anyone tried to identify the appearance as a particular figure.

The following questions and answers are taken from the JMS Speaks section of the Lurker's Guide page for "The Fall of Night". I'd recommend you go there and read all of them, but the ones I've included here are the ones I think are the most relevant.

[Q:] Kosh is an angel! But which one?

[A:] Actually, no, not really; Kosh is what you see when you look at him. And if a Drazi looks at him, the Drazi sees something different than a Minbari; yes, a being of light, BUT....

Is that what they actually ARE, or how they have programmed us to react when we see them? As Sheridan said, have we been manipulated to seeing them a certain way, seeing a certain image? We may not be seeing what they ARE, but what they WANT us to see.

It goes a heck of a lot deeper than what it seems.

And:

[Q:] Would a Hindu, or a Buddhist, see Kosh differently?

[A:] Yes, there would be some amount of variation among humans, though not in terms of beliefs that may have come along post-Vorlon influence. This sort of thing has been implanted almost at a genetic level, and they do have a hand, or a mind, in activating it when seen. The more people who see them in different ways, the longer they must maintain that, the greater the strain on them.

And, excerpted from a much longer answer:

Each race who sees them, sees something out of their own past, their own legends, religions, faiths. A being of light, if you will, but a Drazi sees the Drazi version of that, Droshalla; the Minbari see the Minbari version of that, Valeria; humans see a human version of that.

So, why did various races identify the image as a particular figure, while the humans saw a non-specific angel? I'd say there are two overlapping reasons. The first is that we don't hear who all Drazi, or all Narn, or all of anyone else say it is. Some other members of those races we don't overhear might have other ideas about who they saw.

The second is that of all the races we encounter on Babylon 5, only the humans appear to have a staggering variety of religions. The Minbari appear to only have one. The Narn appear to have something like three (or four after G'Kar accidentally invents one). Therefore, it's possible that, for example, the Drazi identify the image as Droshalla purely because that's the only angelic being they have in their religion, and they only have the one religion. Humans, with all their different religious traditions, saw something angelic, but, without a specific context or highly specific religion, couldn't decide to identify the image as anything more than that.

2

Sheridan saw a winged being of light with a human (ish) face, essentially an angel but he didn't name it - obviously he sensed/knew it was Kosh. Every other race saw a being of light in the image of their race and from their religion except Londo who if I recall correctly said he saw nothing. And again if I recall correctly no other humans gave it a name either but just saw an unnamed angel. Vorlons had conditioned the younger races to see them as they wished to be seen.

  • each of the races def states they see a specific figure, the Drazi state they saw Droshalla, I need to rewatch to see who the Narn said they saw – Richard C Feb 4 '18 at 16:59
  • 1
    Londo said he saw nothing. It's not clear what he actually saw, if memory serves. – Valorum Feb 4 '18 at 17:38
  • 1
    @Valorum In the link that I posted, JMS also wrote "Londo saw what he said he saw." So, word of God. – Mr Lister Feb 4 '18 at 18:03
  • @MrLister - But was that an actual nothing or a blurry nothing, Did he just see Sheridan float to the ground unaided? – Valorum Feb 4 '18 at 18:11
  • @Valorum Unknown. We didn't get to see what he saw, so that's all we have to go on. – Mr Lister Feb 4 '18 at 18:15
2

Sheridan saw an angel, because that's what humans see when they look upon a Vorlon.

JMS himself wrote about it on GEnie back in 1995; here is a copy from one of many sites which have preserved his words.

Okay. Here it is. I'm gonna do it. I'm gonna reveal Kosh.

I'm not kidding. Bail now if you're looking in and don't want to know.

No backsies.

I mean it.

Last chance.

Okay, this is it.

"If he leaves his encounter suit, he will be recognized."
"By who?" "Everyone."

"The First Ones taught the younger races, explored beyond the rim, built civilizations...."

Kosh is what you're pointing at when you say "That's Kosh."

"Yes, the Vorlons have been to Earth, the Vorlons have been everywhere. The Vorlons are."

They are.

"For centuries, the Vorlons have helped the younger races, guiding us, and --" "And manipulating us?" "It is, as you say, a matter... of perspective."

They are...a matter of perspective.

Each race who sees them, sees something out of their own past, their own legends, religions, faiths. A being of light, if you will, but a Drazi sees the Drazi version of that, Droshalla; the Minbari see the Minbari version of that, Valeria; humans see a human version of that.

It is the mirror in which we see our beliefs reflected, but is it the progenitor of those beliefs...or an implanted image that overlays that vision on top of the true form of the Vorlon? Is it revelation, or is it manipulation?

The Vorlons are a cypher. The Vorlons are a matter of perspective. The Vorlons are guides...or users, emissaries or puppeteers, who wish to be seen a certain way, so that we will react properly.

Is this good, or is this bad?

And the truth is, even though you have seen a Vorlon, have you seen THE Vorlon, the one behind the image that dances somewhere between your optic nerve and your brain?

Or to quote a message I left long ago, paraphrased from memory, "The hand Sinclair sees is not the hand Sinclair sees, and the hand Sinclair sees is not the same hand someone else in the room sees, and is not even the hand that that person sees."

The Vorlons Are.

So there you have it. For further reading, see Why does Londo respond differently to Kosh in the Season 2 finale?

  • 2 very good answers the one below just pips this although while what he says makes a lot of sense it also seems to be the most uncontriversial answer rather then pinning his hat to a specific thing that may then cause controversy. Which is fine this is a sci fi series and as with all B5 it shows how good a tv series can be if it has a clearly thought out story arc over several series. – Richard C Feb 4 '18 at 23:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.