DS9 Adversary:

(The Founder knocks out O'Brien as the blast doors come down. Odo grabs him.)

COMPUTER: Engine room sealed. (The founder morphs his arm into Odo's abdomen, and Odo starts to ripple.)

FOUNDER: Why are you protecting these solids? You don't belong with them. You belong with us.

COMPUTER: Auto-destruct in three minutes.

FOUNDER: Let go. Don't you see? You've lost. It's too late for you to help them but it's not too late to help yourself. Link with me, Odo. We can escape together.

ODO: I don't think so. (Odo morphs his hands into the founder as his body becomes solid again. The founder goes gooey and Odo picks him up and pushes him against the warp core. The energy discharge throws Odo off as the founder fries.)

COMPUTER: Auto-destruct in two minutes.

ODO: (to dazed O'Brien) You have to regain control of the ship. (The founder part reforms, looking very desiccated.)


ODO: I never wanted to harm you.

Just before this the other changeling is hurting odo or at least appears to be. Is odo the first to harm or kill another changeling?

Now that I think of it, since this changeling attacked odo before odo attacked him back, wouldn't this be the first example of one changeling harming another?

Why isn't it possible that a changeling harmed another before this episode, regardless of what the female founder (whose morals are questionable at best) states many times?

If there are any writers notes, or EU info available that would be more then welcomed.

  • 9
    They literally state this in the show- "No changeling has ever harmed another". Commented Jun 10, 2015 at 8:28
  • 10
    @PointlessSpike: of course, they (the Founders) might be lying. Commented Jun 10, 2015 at 8:56
  • 4
    @PaulD.Waite judging by the fact they had no idea how to punish Odo, they might've not been lying that one time
    – Petersaber
    Commented Jun 10, 2015 at 9:49
  • 3
    @Petersaber I don't understand your first comment. The "show" consists of several hundreds of tv episodes, 10+ movies, lots of books (some canon, some not). It is impossible for a single person to watch and remember all of these. Sharing knowledge is the main point of StackOverflow. And sharing knowledge starts by asking question.
    – vap78
    Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 11:32
  • 2
    @Petersaber shouldn't the apology be to me? LOL Anyway, I addressed your issues. I've seen all of TOS, TNG, and VOY multiple time and re-watched them all in order. I'm rewatching DS9 in order now. As I think of questions that irk me I ask them. This always bothered me about the show and this other changeling had no problem attacking Odo. So maybe this was the first attack. I was wondering if somebody may have seen some writers notes or something else about this concept. Ex; I just read an interesting writers notes that sadly the staff they felt Goran'Agar died at the end of the episode.
    – JMFB
    Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 17:48

6 Answers 6


Yes. According to the Founder (in DS9: Broken Link), Odo is indeed the first in their history to commit violence against another of their species:

ODO: No changeling has ever harmed another.

FOUNDER: Until you. That's why we forced you to return home to enter into the Great Link and be judged.

Notably, in an earlier episode (DS9: The Adversary) it's explicitly confirmed that Odo is well aware of this restriction and happy to share that knowledge freely:

EDDINGTON: Keep your phasers on stun. And stay calm. I don't want anyone getting nervous and shooting one of us by mistake. You sure I can't interest you in one of these?

ODO: I don't use them. Besides, in the history of my people, no changeling has ever harmed another. I'd hate to be the first.

  • But in this episode which is earlier the other changeling attacks Odo first and harms Odo. I just watched the episode the other day. I'm wondering if she's a liar or there's something else. The Changelings are hardly a moral race at least by our standards. It's hard to believe they never harmed one another before. I always felt like they just wanted Odo to join them, and they felt in some way they failed by not getting him too. They are clearly a violent race. And in this episode Odo gets attacked first, so clearly Odo didn't initiate the contact or the struggle, it was self defense.
    – JMFB
    Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 18:21
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    @JMFB - Attacking someone evidently isn't akin to "harming" them. Note that until they sent out 'the hundred', they'd never really had any sort of dissent in their own ranks.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 18:22
  • Odo did the exact same attack back. I'm not sure how he even knew this attack or was able to overcome the other changeling.
    – JMFB
    Commented Jun 11, 2015 at 18:31
  • 5
    Considering the nature of Changelings and the Link, it's likely that a physical confrontation between two Changelings isn't harmful in the solid lifeform sense. With the sharing of mind and memories that takes place during a Link, a physical confrontation between Changelings may in fact be mental - one forcing the other to change his mind via the Link. The "harm" was when Odo threw him against the warp core and killed him. After all, Changelings are demonstrably difficult to physically damage.
    – T.J.L.
    Commented Oct 6, 2015 at 19:45

An answer of questionable canonicity - especially with "Picard" around the corner to potentially either throw a spanner in the works or to provide corroboration, but in the Star Trek Online mission "Tenebris Torquent" (part of the "Victory is Life" expansion released mid-2018) it is revealed that

The Female Founder captured at the end of Deep Space Nine had previously (thousands of years before) killed the other Changelings involved in the creation of the Jem'Hadar to cover up both the brutal experiments involved, and the accidental unleashing of the Hur'q and Fek'Ihri who wreaked havoc across the galaxy.

The Hur'q were a powerful but peaceful race who depended on a chemical present in plants/fungi on their home planet - a precursor to Ketracel White. When the militant changelings stole and destroyed this to try and force the Hur'q to become their slaves, the withdrawal symptoms instead turned them into a mindless destructive force.

When the Fek'Ihri were created by genetic modification, inspired by (and then in turn inspiring) the Demons of Klingon legend, they were also created with a Ketracel dependency. However, they developed an immunity to the addiction - but, again, this left them destructive and out of control.

Third time lucky, the Jem'Hadar were created - loyal soldiers, addicted to Ketracel White, who would fight and conquer for their creators, paving the way for the creation of the Dominion.


Yes. That's why he faces such severe and unique consequences later. The Female Changeling makes a note of that many, many times.


No, at least it's easily possible that a few of the many baby Changelings which were sent out into space, attacked and killed each other centuries before Odo learned to take shape.

  • 1
    I'm not sure if you are saying the answer is "no" or "it's possible".
    – Blackwood
    Commented Jan 23, 2017 at 23:24
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    Its also likely that some of the hundred were killed by stars, black holes, cosmic strings ect (theres a lot of things that nearly kill you out there), so in a way the action of sending them out is lethal. She has no way to know if any of them died from the action of sending them out, which means her statement is wrong as at the time they could have killed 99 others
    – Matt
    Commented Dec 21, 2019 at 22:31

There is no way for her to know that, she may know that about everyone in the link (as they can read minds when linked), but has no way of knowing with the hundred they sent out. They don't even know where they are, let alone what they have done

In fact just sending out the hundred could have killed all of them, she does say that Odo is the first to return, which means the other 99 could be dead. Star trek does not exactly portray the universe as safe, there were plenty of things that could have killed the others

Therefore there is no way for her to know that no changeling has ever harmed another, which makes the statement false. She has no proof or way of knowing so the statement is a lie

  • Good point. The Changeling is referring to the fact of no Changeling causing direct harm, but isn't referring to sending them out with the potential of dying.
    – Anonymous
    Commented Jun 27, 2021 at 22:26

The other answers answer whether this was the first time a Changeling harming another, but to answer what I think is the main point of this question: did the other Changeling harm Odo first? I assume you are referring to:

The founder morphs his arm into Odo's abdomen, and Odo starts to ripple

The way I see it, these are the possibilities of what happened:

  1. The Changeling was attempting to link with Odo, assuming he would follow along and continue the link, but instead he fought it, but it caused a momentary ripple.
  2. The Changeling was trying to stun (but not kill) Odo. This isn't harming another Changeling, because Odo would have definitely recovered.
  3. The Changeling was simply lashing out at Odo, out of anger (or some other emotion), with no real purpose.
  4. The intent was to kill Odo.

Only the fourth option is harming another Changeling. The Great Link knew:

  • No Changeling has ever harmed another, making it extremely unlikely that any Changeling, let alone a founder, would do such a thing
  • The founder almost undoubtedly was in the Great Link beforehand, so unless they changed so drastically that they would kill another (a fundemental change in who they are), they knew the Changeling wouldn't do it

Given this, it's extremely unlikely that the intent of this was to kill Odo, and the Great Link knew that. As a result, they assumed it was one of these other (far more likely) options.

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