DS9 "Things Past":

THRAX: Halt!

(Dax whirls and shoots the guard behind them, then gets shot herself. Odo fights that guard, Sisko fights Thrax. Garak shoots the guard who is throttling Odo is fighting. Sisko and Thrax trade blows, then Thrax morphs into goo and goes into a vent. They all help Dax up.) GARAK: A changeling?

SISKO: We'll figure that

How is Sisko able to stand toe to toe with the Changeling pretending to be Thrax?

We've seen changelings do unbelievable acts of physical strength. Odo stopped a runaway turbolift.

DS9 "Crossfire":

ODO: Controls aren't responding.

(Odo morphs his arms into steel piledrivers which push out the turbolift sides so it starts to rub against the side of the shaft and eventually comes to a halt.)

SHAKAAR: Well, I guess this means my tour is over.

I realize that this is a simulation going on in Odo's mind through a link. But in Odo's mind changelings are significantly stronger than a human being.

How was Sisko able to fight a changeling without being knocked out with one blow? (And actually defeating the changeling)

1 Answer 1


A changeling's strength comes from their ability to morph into stronger things.

If a changeling doesn't morph, then it is limited to the physical constraints of the body that it is in.

In the fight between Sisko and Thrax, the changeling maintained the Thrax form until it escapes.

I can add, as evidence, that the Federation and Klingons employed a blood screening as the sole method of determining who was a changeling. Even that screening was only able to identify a changeling by removing a part of the changeling from the whole and watching it revert to it's fluid form.

This seems to imply that a changeling morphed into a form would be indistinguishable from a native of that form in all other physical aspects, such as medical tricorder readings, and other biometric devices that may be around.

As such, the changeling should be limited to the laws of physics (such as the strength capable of being produced by the muscles in a certain configuration) that the native creatures would be.

  • Fair enough. So what you're saying is that in the form of a humanoid, they are clearly not human, they have only human strength? I've seen Odo many times when he was a changeling, not a solid, kick some real butt without morphing. However once Odo becomes a solid he is very vulnerable and not that good of a fighter. It also appears that changelings are generally immune to physical blows, clearly a punch from Sisko would hardly be effective. Maybe you could expand on what you're saying and give some in-canon references. Thanks
    – JMFB
    Jun 17, 2015 at 13:43
  • Also why would it bother trying to escape once it's nature is known?
    – JMFB
    Jun 17, 2015 at 13:45
  • 1
    The assumption that changeling strength comes from morphing is wrong. Odo not only shows vastly superior strength in human form, but he also notes (during the episode preceding or following "Things Past") how fragile his at that time Solid body was in comparison. Jumping into a brawl and landing beneath the other person would suddenly injure him whereas before he was immune to almost all physical injury. Although it is said "if a changeling is a rock, then tricorders will just see a rock", that is evidently not true for humanoid bodies (also explicitly mentioned when Odo is made a Solid).
    – Damon
    Jun 17, 2015 at 22:14
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    After the transformation, Bashir notes that Odo has organs (which suggests before he didn't). Also note how easily e.g. the female changeling in the asteroid cave is able to resist maximum-setting phaser fire in Kira-with-foot-in-rock form without morphing (and without any visible damage).
    – Damon
    Jun 17, 2015 at 22:18
  • 1
    Odo takes on a humanoid form, but I don't think he has ever taken on a human form. I always thought it was different when they were infiltrating a society and needed to "pass" as a native. In those situations they'd emulate the native as closely as possible, but I could be completely incorrect about this. Jun 18, 2015 at 16:56

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