Few characters in Star Trek are known by their name only, with zero knowledge of the species to which they belong. Some examples are Trelane, Nagilum, and the Edo god.

"The Squire of Gothos" gives us Trelane, a powerful being that many have considered to be a Q. I personally don't believe that this is the case---Q-Squared is not canon---and the TOS episode shows that Trelane has weaknesses that members of the Q do not have.

Undoubtedly Trelane does not belong to any of the other species in the Star Trek canon. Based on the evidence, though, what species could Trelane belong to?

A) Trelane states that his people have found a way to perfect the converting of matter into other forms (words to that effect).

B) Trelane is not omniscient.

C) Trelane has respect for Captain Kirk's crew, and humanity in general (another reason why Trelane is not a good candidate for the Q).

D) Trelane enjoys "playing" with the crew of the Enterprise, and has no problem judging Captain Kirk, and scheduling his execution.

E) Trelane's creations are not illusions, but they are not perfect, either (the fire has no heat, for example).

F) Trelane apparently required the use of a machine to help him with his effects, though this may have been for show.

  • 2
    He was a one-shot villain of the week. No species name was given.
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 10, 2014 at 6:30
  • 3
    He was the same species as Melllvar. Commented Sep 10, 2014 at 10:11
  • I don't think point C counts against Trelane being a Q. The whole reason the Q Continuum took an interest in Humanity is because they believed that Humanity had the potential to become like the Q, and even surpass them. And in the case of Q, Q came to appreciate the humanity of Humanity, opting to become a human, and even seeking a human mate when he wanted to procreate.
    – Xantec
    Commented Sep 10, 2014 at 23:30
  • It's also worth noting that in Q Squared, Trelane's need for machinery was explained by his youth. The machine was essentially a set of 'training wheels' for his inherent powers that he had not yet learned to control. So point (F) isn't necessarily valid. And as he was a child, he didn't fully understand how to produce creations accurately, so point (E) can be explained away as youthful ignorance (my kid could probably build a decent-looking bench using a stack of random slices of wood and some nails...but I wouldn't trust it to support my weight).
    – Nicholas
    Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 19:52

2 Answers 2


Trelane originally had no species given, and we had no indication that any more than three of his kind existed; he was originally just a Sufficiently Advanced Alien.

However, he was later retconned into being one of the Q, in the TNG novel Q-Squared. From the book jacket, which can be found in its entirety at that link:

This renegade Q is named Trelane - also known as the Squire of Gothos, who Captain Kirk and his crew first encountered over one hundred years ago.

EDIT: I should learn to read the question before I answer; I just saw that you don't consider Q-Squared to be canon. The canonicty of Star Trek novels is, of course, a matter of some debate, but in fairness Q is the (identified) species that best fits what we know of Trelane.

Your reasoning for why he can't be a Q is based on two points, one of which I believe to be flawed and one which I believe can be explained within the context of the show.

Your first point, that Trelane can't be a Q because he has respect for humans in general and the Enterprise crew in particular, is factually incorrect. We have no real basis for saying that this attitude is atypical of the Q: with few exceptions, they don't seem to really care about us. That one exception (John deLancie's Q), showed through his ongoing character development that he had a great deal of regard for the human race (And all but said this explicitly in the TNG series finale).

Your second point, that Trelane appears to rely on technology, is to me a better point and one that I want to expand on.

At the end of Squire of Gothos, we're introduced (in voice) to beings that act like Trelane's parents; they chastise him, clean up after him, and "send him to his room." Interestingly, this is pretty much exactly what John deLancie's Q does in the Voyager episode Q2: he appears on Voyager, yells at his son ("DON'T ANTAGONIZE THE BORG!"), cleans up after him (restoring Neelix's vocal cords, to the dismay of a large number of fans), and then turns the boy into an amoeba. The major difference is that Trelane's parents actually seem like, well, parents. This in contrast to John deLancie's character, who acts consistently like a man-child - however, we know that he's an atypically childish Q, so this doesn't bother me too much.

The reason I bring up Q2 is because the existence of Trelane's parents introduces some complexity with him being a Q: namely that the Q don't reproduce, and haven't since they ascended to the Continuum. John deLancie's son is the first Q to be born in the recorded history of the Q. So, if Trelane is a Q, how does this work?

One possibility is that Trelane is Q's son, much later in his personal timeline. But I don't like this explanation because of his reliance on that machine, As you say, it's possible the machine was a ploy, but that doesn't seem like a Q's style.

What I consider to be a more compelling explanation (And I fully admit that this is total speculation on my part) is that Trelane is a Q from before the formation of the Continuum. It's hinted many times over the course of the franchise that the Q used to be mortal, and then ascended. My theory is that Trelane is a Q from before the species became what we would consider "Q", but after they had developed technology such as matter-energy conversion, teleportation, time travel, etc. It's not that far-fetched - we see many of these technologies used in later shows (Including no less than 4 time-travel devices)

  • 3
    I'm with Jason on this. Either we consider Trelane to be a Q, or we accept that he's a not-yet-identified species. Commented Sep 10, 2014 at 6:25
  • 1
    @JamesSheridan He's an S or an R. Commented Sep 11, 2014 at 5:54

While not explicitly stated in canon I think of all the species named in the franchise a good case can be made that Trelane actually was an Organian. Supporting reasons would be:

  1. As a species, the Organians certainly had the abilities demonstrated by Trelane. I.e. the crafting of energy into matter for humans to use as "reference." This is consistent with Trelane creating matter forms for fire, food, etc. Though, he made mistakes which would presumably not be made by a Q and would be consistent with a child Organian which might not be as adept as an adult.


  1. At the end of the Squire of Gothos, Trelane disappears into a spot of light or otherwise a being of "pure energy", again consistent with being Organians. Perhaps as a child less "mature" or "energetic", he would only manifest as mild spot of light vs. a blinding blaze like an "adult" Organian.

  2. While Organians generally want to stay as observers, in Errand of Mercy we see that the Organians were perhaps willing to consider interacting with humans. As an Organian child that perhaps heard his parents and other adult Organians talking about the humans why not imagine Trelane desiring to play with a new "toy" and reach out to get hold of it by creating a rogue planet to go after it and capture it :-) It could also explain why Trelane's parents did not reveal themselves or their species name to Kirk. It was that the Organians were not yet ready.

  3. As a continuation of item three, perhaps it was the events of the Squire of Gothos that led to an acceleration of the Organian contact with humans. In ENT "Observer Effect" the Organians were originally considering contact in as soon as "5000 years". Why did that change so quickly? Could Trelane's childish actions have forced the hand of the Organians?

  4. Of other candidate species, I believe we can eliminate him being a member of the Q continuum for three reasons (Note, BTW, I agree and consider novels such as Q-Squared to not be canon):

-One, as stated in VOY episode "The Q and the Grey" Q and Lady Q's son is the first child born into the continuum in billions of years. That doesn't fit with Trelane being an earlier Q child. Granted, from comments that Q has made, the Q may perceive and experience time different from humans. Hence, we cannot be certain that from a Q perspective the events of the Squire of Gothos did not occur AFTER the events of the Q & the Grey. But, I think that is pushing it in terms of continuity of timeline even for the Q.

  • By contrast, while the Organians claim no one had died there in thousands of years, they do NOT say no one has been born.

    The Q & the Grey

    Two, In the VOY episode Q2, Q's son seemstoo powerful to be equivalent to Trelane. E.g. in Q2 we see Q's son perform the following all without the benefit of apparent technology (such as Trelane had to use):

    • Turning Engineering into a nightclub
    • Removing Neelix's (Ethan Phillips) voice by fusing his jaw and removing his vocal cords
    • Starts a war between two peaceful races that they had just negotiated a peace for.
    • Causes Seven of Nine's (Jeri Lynn Ryan) clothes to vanish, leaving her naked.
    • Puts Voyager against three Borg vessels, to see how "humans act under pressure"
    • Tampered with primordial gene pools
    • Tore holes in the fabric of space-time.

    Q2 Wiki

    Three, as a species the Q seem almost omniscient both in space as well as time. By contrast, the Organians do seem to make mistakes. E.g. such as predicting it would take 5000 years to make contact with humans. Yet, it was only a 100 years later that it occurred. Given Q's demonstrated ability to "jump" across billions of years and be capable of seeing alternative futures, it would seem unlikely the Q would make that kind of mistake.

  • Trelane was shown to be able to manipulate matter, so making Seven's clothes vanish and turning Engineering into a nightclub should certainly be within his grasp. I do not know about the other bullets. I don't think that Trelane is similar to an Organian in his demeanor, which makes me feel that he is not one of them. Trelane was childlike and egotistical, neither of which could be said of Organians. Plus, Organians were interested in ending the fighting between the Federation and the Klingons; Trelane relished conflict and even desired to duel with Kirk.
    – user30592
    Commented Sep 12, 2014 at 19:28
  • @T-1000. You are correct Trelane could have probably replicated those actions. However from what we saw in The Squire probably not without his mirror or some other device which was not present in Voyager or at least not visible. You are also correct Trelane was childish and aggressive relishing conflict. That was the point. He WAS a child. The other Organians we saw were presumably adults. As such Trelane's parents were as I would expect of Organians, polite and apologetic for their son's misbehavior and aggressiveness.
    – beichst
    Commented Sep 13, 2014 at 13:31

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