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In War Without an End (Season 3 ep. 16-17), Delenn says to John

That (17 years into the future, at Londo's court) they achieved all that they set out to achieve ... but the price, the terrible price.

What price was that?

16

The price was...

Dying at Z'ha'dum as seen in episodes 3-22 ("Z'ha'dum"), 4-2 ("Whatever Happened to Mr. Garibaldi?") and 5-22 ("Sleeping in Light")

  • That's all? I thought she was referring to some horrible things they had to do in the future. Somehow I never considered this part too high a price, given it was mitigated by Lorien ... but I understand how for Delenn and Sheriden the price was still high. – ripper234 Jan 28 '12 at 6:10
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    That act had results that rippled all the way to the final episode. It defined the rest of Sheridan's life. – user1027 Jan 28 '12 at 6:27
  • That wasn't the only price they paid, but yes, I think that in that scene this was what she was referring to. – Goran Jovic Jan 28 '12 at 12:31
  • Fortunately, BBlake can delete his own comment and repost a less spoilertastic comment. – user1027 Jan 28 '12 at 19:14
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    There were other high prices caused by their .***spoiler*** decisions to .***spoiler***...***spoiler***, but I would agree the key sacrifice was .***spoiler***...***spoiler***...***spoiler*** years. – BBlake Jan 31 '12 at 13:04
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I would say that, rather than the price mentioned by jfrankcarr in his answer, more significant (in the wider scheme of things) would be that:

Sheridan's death at Z'ha'dum (and the subsequent lack of longevity after Lorien breathes life back into him), the attack on Z'ha'dum meant that the Shadows' minions (such as the Drakh) fled the planet and looked elsewhere. The results of that were the Fall of Centauri Prime and the Alliance-members' war against the Centauri that's the background to most of season five. Countless lives were lost (mainly on the Centauri side) as a result of that, including Londo's.

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    +1 For Sheridan and Delenn, seeing all the galaxy suffer because of the decision he had to make, is probably a terrible price. – Aaron Digulla Feb 16 '12 at 12:56
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What happened that wouldn't seem to be a terrible price to Delenn ;)

Sheriden's 20 years to live. Fall of Centauri Prime, such a war crime would weigh heavily on Delenn. Telepath Colony on B5 and subsequent Telepath war. Loss of Lennier. Drakk war. Death of Markus. Loss of Ivanova. The Shadow War, all of it. Mindbari civil war.

Pick any or all and you have a pretty steep price to Delenn for achieving a lasting peace.

  • What do you mean by loss of Ivanova? If I remember correctly, Ivanova appeared in Sheridan's final episode. – CodesInChaos Apr 22 '12 at 20:22
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    Yes Ivanova survived. But at the time where Delenn outlined the "terrible price" Ivanova was still bearing the burden of Markus's death. It wasn't until the final episode that she was able to put that behind her and move on. – Tyson of the Northwest Apr 23 '12 at 22:19
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@jfrankcarr's answer is essentially correct. Delenn is referring to John's now-limited lifespan. There is some more context to be had, however, and some of it is given from her perspective in the Legions of Fire trilogy of novels. Delenn and Sheridan are basically side characters in the story of Centauri Prime, but we get some insight into this moment.

Basically, the Delenn we see in the future of War Without End is much more focused on that countdown. The Delenn and Sheridan in the series' time have an Alliance to build and twenty years to spend together. The Delenn we see in the future has a bare few years left. David is growing into adulthood (and already getting into trouble), which John won't see. The Alliance is strong but complacent, and John won't be around to help shoulder the burden of getting things done. Finally, Delenn has a very very long life to look forward to, without John. She's trying to stay strong about all this, but it's not easy with the entire family in captivity on Centauri Prime and the idea of everything falling apart (the Drakh have made the Centauri into a credible threat to the Alliance).

Now, she's suddenly talking to a much younger version of Sheridan, and part of her is trying to be responsible and careful and not change time, and part of her is fighting that self-restraint and saying to hell with consequences. This is why she finally cracks and begs John not to go to Z'ha'dum when he's about to fade back to the present.

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