In the show they often allude to the history between Guinan and Picard but, to my knowledge, there has never been anything more than allusions.

What exactly happened that created this bond between the two?

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    The season finale of season 5 / premier of season 6 explain it. – Kevin May 13 '14 at 21:52
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    Edited comment with the episodes, it's the 2-part episode bridging seasons 5 and 6 – Kevin May 13 '14 at 21:56
  • @Kevin I appreciate the info. That's really all I need. If you want to put that in as an answer and not a comment I will gladly mark it as best answer otherwise I will close the question. – xXGrizZ May 13 '14 at 21:59
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    To be precise without spoilers, it does not explain why Picard trusts Guinan so much. Like Kevin says, I think the basis of that trust is what you want to know? (As far as I recall, I don't think it was specifically said in the series itself - so probably would have to come from the novels) – Izkata May 13 '14 at 23:20
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    @xXGrizZ -It's not really explained. They act like someone saved someone's life at the risk of their own or some such life changing event and so became close friends because of it. It's really left to the viewer's imagination to fill in the gapping blanks between the knowing looks and familiar comments of closeness and trust. I've watched every TNG episode at least twice, some numerous times and have found no real 'smoking gun'. – Morgan May 14 '14 at 2:21

10 Answers 10


"Time’s Arrow" Parts 1 & 2 [126th and 127th episodes] show how Guinan met Picard.

Star Trek: The Next Generation - "Time’s Arrow" Parts 2 [Season 6 Episode 1]

1893 - Data followed by Guinan and Samuel Clemens, is able to follow the alien shapeshifters to the same cavern near San Francisco, where they discover that the aliens traveled to the 19th century to take advantage of a cholera outbreak, draining the life force from humans in infected areas to give the impression that their deaths were the result of an epidemic. In an ensuing struggle over a cane-like device used to open the portal, Data's head is severed from his body and Guinan is injured. As Picard tends to Guinan, the rest of the away team, carrying Data's body which continues to grasp the cane device, follow one of the aliens to the future, with Clemens also following them.

The events described above come from Wikipedia and were alluded to by Guinan sometime before in "Booby Trap" [Season 3 Episode 6] when Guinan says, "A bald man was kind to me once, when I was hurting."

enter image description here

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    I have to say I disagree with this. From the perspective of Picard, this is actually his future rather than his history with Guinan. I would say that, yes, this answers half of the question (Guinan's history with Picard), but doesn't actually give us any information about Picard's first meeting with Guinan (from his perspective rather than hers). – Often Right May 14 '14 at 10:27
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    I disagree too. In fact, in the episode Guinan tells Picard that if he doesn't go to this event, the 'meeting' I'm asking about will never occur. – xXGrizZ May 14 '14 at 13:43
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    Yes, this is how Guinan met Picard. This is not how Picard met Guinan. The two mention do mention the ladder event when Guinan convinces Picard to beam down to Devidia II. – Hikaru Ichijyo May 20 '14 at 3:49

According to the episode "best of both worlds" they are beyond friends, beyond family. That would suggest a deep personal involvement, possibly romantic. Or at the very least an extremely close trusted friendship.

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    Guinan once stated that she likes bold men. Another hint that there is some chemistry involved. – Einer May 14 '14 at 6:45
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    @Einer I believe "bold" was a typo for "bald". You should clarify that, because it could make sense either way. "To baldly go where no man . . ." – user14111 May 14 '14 at 8:59
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    @user14111 Thanks, you are right. Picard goes baldly where no man has gone before too. What I meant to say was: Guinen likes bald men. – Einer May 14 '14 at 9:06
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    @Einer Ah, but Picard is a bold, bald man. – RichS Dec 15 '16 at 6:26

TNG Season 2 Episode 1, Wesley Crusher asks Guinan about Picard, and she said that she never met him until she came aboard. This oversight may have been intentional to help develop Guinan's character later in the series.

  • Assuming it's true, good find. These oversights are called "plot holes". – Mazura May 5 '16 at 3:42
  • This did happen: "WESLEY: And that you knew Captain Picard when he was on the Stargazer. GUINAN: No, I never knew the Captain till I came onboard." Given the events of Time's Arrow, one could say that she didn't truly know Picard as "The Captain" until she came onboard, but she did know Picard. A stretch to be sure, but... – NKCampbell Mar 26 '18 at 16:00

I suggest that anyone wanting an answer to this question reads the recently published "The Autobiography of Jean-Luc Picard", edited by David Goodman. In this book, although it may not be canonical Star Trek, their friendship begins when, as a member of the crew of USS Stargazer, Picard saves Guinan from bounty hunters

  • Is there more information you can provide without spoiling it? Saying "go read the book" isn't really much of an answer. – T.J.L. Aug 7 '18 at 13:24
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    That is precisely why I have not, and will not, say more. – Mr Morgan Aug 7 '18 at 14:28

The closest we get to a description of what events actually made them close is in "Engisn Ro", where Guinan tells Ro that when she was in trouble, Picard helped her. But presumably there was a lot more than that over a long friendship.

There are no other details given. The events depicted in "Time's Arrow" don't shed much light on their relationship, it's just Picard insisting that yes, they really will be super close in the future.


Guinan once said that she's attracted to bald men because one helped her when she was hurt, most likely Picard, and the first incident (probably one among many) was portrayed in Time's Arrow part 2.

Some of their relationship is posted in various novels, but they're not considered canon.


Although "Star Trek: Generations" wasn't released until two years after "Time's Arrow" in Season 6 of TNG, the events in "Generations" seem like they would have provided the first opportunity for Guinan to meet Picard. Of course, none of this would have been known to the writers during TNG season 6 or before, so it wouldn't explain the dialog. But Guinan could have been worked in to "Generations" in order to tie up that story line, no?

On second thought, no. The Picard that meets the "Nexus Guinan" has already got his own Guinan by that time. Oh, well, it was worth a shot.


I too have seen every TNG episode countless times, I'd guess at least 10 times each over the years. I'm 99.9% sure there is no explanation in the show or films that really answers to this. It's simply alluded that they are very very close but other than that never tell us why or when. While Guinan does make several comments about bald men, saying she's attracted to them I've never gotten the impression they were romantically involved in any way. To me it's got to be a far deeper relationship than a romantic one, how many people would describe or act the way they do around an ex-lover. Sure that's not 100% proof but the various comments they both make throughout the series and movies not once did I ever get any kind of thought or implication that they were romantic. Clearly TNG isn't scared of showing that side of Picard, while he was no Kirk or even Riker the relationship between Picard and Beverly Crusher is explored many times with them being married (and divorced or separated) in the future he experiences thanks to Q in the series finale. I do wish somewhere it would have been explained in some level of detail as when I rewatch the episodes and hear those comments I think "yeah yeah, whatever, sure you did" since we really know nothing of that history.

  • ....you missed "Time's Arrow" I guess then ;p – NKCampbell Mar 26 '18 at 15:55
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    Time's Arrow doesn't show why they are close, the script just asserts over and over again that they are. It doesn't say what their history is, it just asserts that they have one. – swbarnes2 Aug 6 '18 at 21:29

From "Time's Arrow, Part 2"

Picard: I didn't want anything to happen to you you're far too important to me.

Guinan: you know an awful lot about me.

Picard: believe me in the future the tables will be turned.

Guinan: do we become friends.

Picard: oh it goes far beyond friendship.

This implies either a romantic or familial relationship.

  • I'm not convinced that "far beyond friendship" can only imply a familial or romantic relationship. Someone you implicitly trust; someone who you would turn to first for advice when facing a difficult personal decision; a close confidant: I would think all of these as being "beyond friendship". – RDFozz Aug 6 '18 at 22:16

I just read this short article about Guinan being in the upcoming series.


The story behind this statement needs below some research. I can't find anything additional about it.

Later, she also revealed that Guinan and Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) were so close because he was actually her descendant.

  • The actual quote from the article is "Later, she also revealed that she imagined Guinan and Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) were so close because he was actually her descendant", NOT that Picard IS her descendant. – Remy Lebeau Sep 1 '18 at 19:36

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