Why was Captain Sisko warned that

marrying Kasidy Yates

would eventuate in a path of sorrow? I found the culmination of this plot line very unsatisfying and a bit of a cop-out.

Was it that, as he was destined to become a god for "maybe a year, maybe [stop being a god] yesterday" that he wouldn't

get to spend time with his new wife?


I love my wife, but to have 'maybe' a year away from her with the powers of the Bajoran prophets

hardly seems like it should be termed as a Path of Sorrow, especially as Sisko was a Starfleet captain, a role that separates families for long periods of time, anyway.

Am I missing something intrinsic here?

  • 2
    If you don't feel that being away from your spouse for a year will lead to "sorrow" for either of you, perhaps you and her need to sit down and have a little chat. Aug 13, 2014 at 15:56

3 Answers 3


The televised series Deep Space Nine was never able to address Benjamin Sisko's "path of sorrow" in any detail. I suspect the length of the Dominion War arc did not allow for this to be played out, opting for the more direct and conflict-driven story-lines of the war.

However, in a later DS9 novel(The Rough Beast of Empire), his path of sorrow culminates and proves more than a passing fanciful prophecy by enigmatic aliens.

The highlights:

  1. After returning from extended time with the Prophets, Sisko feels abandoned by them after completing their education on the intricacies of "linear time." This is estimated to have occurred around the year 2379-2380. That time away stressed his relationship with his wife Kassidy and his new daughter.
  2. The Borg return in 2381 and Sisko is pressed into active service again. After a terrible battle, he is once again traumatized by the specter of war against the Borg.
  3. Deciding to retire, he is offered an admiralty. He refuses, retires from Starfleet and tries to return to Earth to see his ailing father who had taken a turn for the worse.
  4. Deciding to see his father, he was told that his father had improved but died a few hours before Sisko could reach Earth.
  5. Taking the recent events as a sign the Prophets were right, Sisko decides to get as much distance from his family as possible, leaving Jake on Earth and divorcing his wife, believing this would make her safer from whatever vagaries of fate that were befalling him.
  6. He tries to contact the Prophets without success. Feeling completely abandoned and alone, he takes refuge in Starfleet, reactivates his commission and is reassigned to a new ship, the USS Robinson. During his time on the Robinson, his crew remained cool to his style of command (he was rather distant and cold to them) and his second in command was forced to remind him of his duties and the need for a relationship with his crew.

Was this the specifically the path of sorrow the Prophets spoke of? That is a good question, but considering Captain Benjamin Sisko's history of losing his first wife to the Borg Incursion at Wolf 359, the reassignment to the Deep Space Nine space station, becoming the first non-Bajoran Emissary to the Prophets, battling in and occasionally pushing the boundaries of Federation laws to fight and eventually win the Dominion War, one of the bloodiest in the Federation's history, his path of sorrow may have already been going on long before their prediction was ever made.

  • Thanks, nice answer, I haven't read any of the DS9 novels
    – johnc
    Dec 8, 2011 at 21:21
  • Just catching up with some old Star Trek questions and answers. Wonderful answer, Thaddeus --- I should read this novel.
    – Praxis
    Oct 3, 2015 at 22:05

I just watched this yesterday - and there is the implication that it could very well be a lot longer, and he's just trying to not upset Kasidy (which is actually pretty mean if he really isn't sure how long he'll be away).

In an event, that 'year away' would mean he would miss the birth of his new child.

Or maybe, the prophets were simply testing him?

  • granted, missing the birth of the child would be sad, but hardly the doom-ladened Sorrow (uppercase intentional) that the prophets were warning for half a season, and Sisko looked more blissful than sorrowful (from memory) when he was telling Kasidy. I do like the idea that the prophets were testing him, but this is never really explored.
    – johnc
    Feb 28, 2011 at 1:35
  • 3
    I think they missed out on a lot of the myth arc unfortunately - the whole casino in the holosuite thing was three or four wasted episodes
    – HorusKol
    Feb 28, 2011 at 2:54
  • God, don't remind me. I thought I was back on Voyager with all the holoplot :)
    – johnc
    Feb 28, 2011 at 9:31
  • I'll mark this as the answer, as I suspect it, un-satisfyingly, is. As a plot highlight, though, I would have preferred that they reach warp 10 and turn into lizards ;p
    – johnc
    Mar 3, 2011 at 21:53
  • The "year away" isn't canon. Within the series, he said he'd return "someday" - he didn't know how long it would be.
    – Izkata
    Dec 8, 2011 at 1:36

The question Kasidy asks Sisko is "When will you be back?". And the full answer he gives is:

"It's hard to say. Time doesn't exist here. It could be a year. It could be yesterday. But I will be back."

I think it's a mistake to say that it will definitively be a reasonably short period of time. Since time doesn't exist in The Celestial Temple, it could also be a decade or a millennium or a billion years. That complete uncertainty strikes me as a path of sorrow (although more for Kasidy and Jake than for Benjamin himself).

(Although in the semi-canonical DS9 novels, he returned in time for his daughter's birth.)

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