Near the start of the fourth season of Babylon 5, we learn that Sheridan,

after his 'death' at Z'ha'dum, can live for at most twenty years.

He comforts Delenn about this, telling her that twenty years together will be a miracle when they're in the middle of so many crises that they could die any day. But of course Delenn (even after her transformation?) is Minbari. How bad it is for her to marry someone who'll only live 20 years surely depends on how long her own expected lifespan is. Since Minbari are pretty much "space elves", I always imagined them having very long lives, but I don't actually remember anything about their lifespans being stated explicitly.

How long do Minbari generally live for?

If your answer requires spoilers from Season 5, please mark them as such.

  • As a Child of Valen, Delenn may have let the Minbari prejudice against her kind influence her decision. Spending twenty years (or less) with someone who loves her is better than enduring a century of unspoken disgust.
    – Gaultheria
    Mar 12, 2018 at 6:16

1 Answer 1


Everyone knows Minbari live a long time, but not that long. I think the record is 120 years. 140 years? Forget it.

Season 4 finale, The Deconstruction of Falling Stars - "the 100th anniversary of The Interstellar Alliance" TV programme

However, right after this is said, Delenn shows up, looking very much aged and frail, so her transformation may have extended her lifespan somewhat.

  • I think the difference is mostly in the decrepitude encountered during aging, and not so much the length of the life. Humans, even with 23rd century medicine, become frail and weary as they near the end of their lifespan. Mar 11, 2018 at 20:30
  • 5
    However, though I upvoted the answer for the quote, there is a caveat: that whole episode is rife with unreliable narrators — indeed, so is the entire series. More likely that those ‘anchorites’ were slightly misinformed than actively spreading misinformation, of course, if their information is incorrect. Mar 11, 2018 at 20:32

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