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One of Babylon 5's classic characters was the mysterious Mr. Morden, but one thing I never totally understood was his back-story and then I read this:

Indoctrinated by the Shadows after his capture during an expedition to Z'ha'dum, the Shadows' homeworld, he has accepted to serve because of the Shadows manipulation of his guilt of the death of his wife and child and because they promise to save his family whom he believes are trapped in hyperspace.

I don't remember seeing this part of Morden's back-story in the TV series itself, but it is an awesome twist on a rockin' character.

What exactly happened to Mr. Morden's family and why does he believe that the Shadows can save them?

Extra Credit: What source materials does this back-story come from?


The book you would need for Morden's back story would be The Shadow Within. In brief, Morden's family die in a jumpgate accident and the Shadows manage to convince him that they are still suffering, and that their pain will be ended in return for his service. This book is described by J. Michael Straczynski as "about 90% canon", so it's by no means definitive, but that's as close as you're going to get. It's referenced in other canon sources, so is probably correct.

  • Does the book go into any detail about how the Shadows manage to convince him that they are in pain? – Mark Rogers Apr 10 '11 at 15:12
  • There's a little more detail towards the end of midwinter.com/lurk/novels/007.html, but it's scarce. Unfortunately I've not read the book myself, only seen it referred to, but from the looks of things, it can't be more than a couple of pages worth. – Christi Apr 10 '11 at 16:04
  • 3
    For what it's worth, JMS has only definitively stated that the Icarus storyline in that novel was canon and author Jeanne Cavelos noted that he had a different backstory for Morden in mind, but he never asked her to change it for the novel. I like to think that this story is one that historians in the Babylon 5 universe have constructed of him, but nobody knows if it's really true. – Thunderforge Sep 14 '14 at 6:26

As to the "why" - the Shadows can freely travel through hyperspace without the benefit of beacons or gates. If anybody could find someone "lost" in hyperspace, it'd be the Shadows.

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