As we know, Counselor Troi's mother is Lwaxana Troi and her father was Ian Andrew Troi who died suddenly in 2343.

How are they all named Troi?

The most likely to me seems to be that Ian took Lwaxana's name based on the following evidence:

  • Lwaxana is very insistent adhering to Betazoid tradition (e.g. insists on being naked during wedding ceremonies)

  • Betazed appears to be matriarchal and matrilineal

  • Lwaxana did not take any of her other husbands' names

From these point, I'm guessing Troi was not Ian's unmarried name.

But this is largely circumstantial. Is there evidence that this line of reasoning is correct? Did Ian take Lwaxana's name? Alternatively, is there some evidence that Lwaxana took Ian's name?

  • 8
    Also, Picard (jokingly?) called Riker "Mr. Troi" after their wedding. Is this evidence of Betazoid matrilinearity? Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 1:15
  • Memory Alpha and Beta seem to indicate that Ian was always called Troi, so presumably Lwaxana took that name. Bear in mind that Betazoid culture is described by MA as 'semi-matriarchal' Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 1:49
  • @N_Soong if you think that's true, then you need to explain why she didn't take any of the names of her other husbands. Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 1:52
  • 1
    @ThePopMachine : +1, I never thought of this!
    – Praxis
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 2:21
  • 1
    @JonathonWisnoski: No, because her father is human Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 2:23

1 Answer 1


Betazoid names in canon

We never learn in any of the episodes or the films how family names were exchanged when Ian and Lwaxana were wed. Furthermore, the Star Trek Encyclopedia entry on Ian only lists him as "Ian Andrew Troi" and doesn't mention his name at birth (if it was indeed different). We are also told nothing about his parents.

Similarly, there is no canonical source stating Lwaxana's name at birth, nor do we know the names of Lwaxana's parents.

There is no evidence that Lwaxana used any surname other than "Troi" despite being married at least three times. Also, Memory Alpha indicates that Betazoid society is matriarchal in some respects. These observations lend some support to your hypothesis that Ian may have taken Lwaxana's family name.

Confirmed Betazoid family names appearing in episodes include Grax, Suder, Genestra, and Hagan. Of these, "Grax" is the closest in quality to "Troi". Note that Reittan Grax was a fairly powerful Betazed official, and as such may have come from a more noble family than, say, Lon Suder (a psychopath who fought for the Maquis and ended up on Voyager) or Andrus Hagan (a Betazoid scientist contracted out to Starfleet).

It could be that one-syllable surnames are generally more prestigious on Betazed, lending more credence to both the Betazoid quality of "Troi" and the need to preserve the name.

Devinoni Ral

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Devinoni Ral deserves some special attention, as he was only a quarter Betazoid, on his mother's side. Three of his grandparents were human and he was born in Brussels. He appeared in the TNG episode "The Price" as an interstellar negotiator of some esteem. The Betazoid quality of his one-syllable family name "Ral" lends further credence to the matrilineal propagation of "Troi".

Extended universe

The novel Star Trek: The Lost Era — The Art of the Impossible by Keith DeCandido has Ian Troi as one of its principal characters, and deals heavily with his marriage to Lwaxana. However, it frustratingly never comments on the issue of whom the name belongs to. It states that Ian was born in London, UK in the first decade of the 24th Century, but never comments on his name. He is referred to as Ian Troi throughout the novel, but this does not necessarily mean that Troi was his surname at birth, since his childhood and studies at the Academy are only discussed from the point of view of reminiscences from a time when he is already married.

  • I would suggest adding that he don't know Lwaxana's name at birth either, the names of any of Deanna's grandparents, and that there's no indication Lwaxana ever used any other name even though she was married at least three times Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 2:54
  • @ThePopMachine : Added --- thanks!
    – Praxis
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 3:02
  • Nice point at the suggestion that Ral's name may come from his mother's side Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 3:08
  • @ThePopMachine : I added some information on Ian Troi's appearance in novels.
    – Praxis
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 5:28
  • "Ian Andrew Troi" could have kept his surname and added troi as "Andrew" is a surname, pure speculation though. Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 9:13

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