Morden (Babylon 5)

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Ed Wasser as Mr. Morden in Babylon 5

Morden, played by Ed Wasser, is a fictional character on the television science fiction drama Babylon 5.

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Character

Morden is a man of ambiguous morality, with a disturbing manner. While he is courteous, friendly, and accommodating in most encounters, darkness and purpose lurk not far beneath the surface. Trained and aided by the Shadows, he has accepted their philosophy of chaos and evolutionary growth through conflict, and goes about enacting their agenda. When pushed, Morden can be extremely threatening, invoking a great sense of foreboding and fear.

History

The Icarus

Morden was a member of the Earth expedition ship, the Icarus, which was dispatched on a research mission to Z'ha'dum late in 2256. While there, the expedition, which also included John Sheridan's wife Anna, re-awakened the Shadows, whereupon all members of the expedition were killed or made to serve the Shadows. Unlike Anna, who was placed inside a Shadow vessel, making it unclear if she actually chose to serve, Morden seems to have signed on with the Shadows willingly, to the point that he served as their emissary.

Babylon 5

In his first appearance on Babylon 5, during the episode Signs and Portents, Morden visits Ambassador G'Kar of the Narn, Ambassador Delenn of the Minbari, and Ambassador Londo Mollari of the Centauri, asking each of them the Shadow Question:

"What do you want?"

G'Kar answers that he would like revenge upon the Centauri, but his lack of vision beyond that goal isn't the answer Morden is looking for. From Delenn, he receives no answer, as she detects the darkness about him and asks him to leave her quarters. However, Londo gives an answer Morden and his "associates" like: to restore the glory and power of the great Centauri Republic. Shortly afterward, the Shadows attack the ship of raiders who had stolen the Centauri Eye, a priceless imperial artifact, from Londo. When next we see Morden, he returns the Eye to a stunned Londo, and offers the assistance of his associates: if he should ever need anything done, all he has to do is ask.

The Narn-Centauri Conflict

Initially, Londo resists the idea of consulting with Morden. However, in a situation with a Narn outpost late in 2258, Londo recognizes an opportunity to strike at the Narns using the Shadows help, while increasing his prestige and revenging an earlier action by the Narns. He turns to Morden for assistance, and four Shadow ships descend upon a Narn outpost, utterly devastating it.

From this point on, Londo becomes trapped by his association with Morden and his newfound prestige with the Centauri government, and Morden becomes less friendly and more manipulative, especially after he is confronted by Londo's aide, Vir Cotto. However, the Shadows continue to provide Londo assistance. This assistance culminates in their protection of Centauri supply lines during an assault by the Narn, enabling the Centauri to directly attack the Narn homeworld in a devastating assault using mass drivers, leading to the surrender of the Narn soon thereafter.

The Shadow War

After this action, Londo attempts to free himself and the Centauri from association with the Shadows, even at one point carving up the galaxy with Morden in an effort to be rid of him. However, Morden simply moves on to assisting Londo's associate Lord Refa, until a concerned Londo "poisons" Refa in an effort to stop him from dealing with Morden. Morden, at this stage, becomes openly hostile and aggressive in his dealings with Londo, and eventually resorts to killing Londo's love, Adira, convincing Londo it was Refa's doing. As thanks for this information, Londo again agrees to work with Morden.

After Capt. Sheridan's trip to Z'ha'dum, during which Anna and Morden fruitlessly try to convince Sheridan to join the Shadows, the Shadows are thrown into disarray. Londo is recalled home to Centauri Prime, ostensibly to serve as a security minister, where he meets a disfigured Morden. At this meeting, Morden informs Londo that Emperor Cartagia has granted the Shadows an island to serve as a hiding place, and as security minister, Londo would be Morden's liaison with the Centauri. However, with the Vorlons now rampaging through the galaxy, destroying anything with the taint of the Shadows, Londo is faced with removing the Shadows from Centauri Prime and killing Cartagia, or watching his homeworld destroyed.

Londo chooses the former, and, after Cartagia is eliminated, Londo, now temporarily the Prime Minister and head of the Centauri, is informed that Morden was actually behind the death of Adira. Enraged, Londo finally decides to confront Morden. After killing his Shadow protectors, Londo explains to Morden the situation with the Vorlons, and proceeds to destroy the island the Shadows were given as a horrified Morden looks on. Finally, Londo finishes with Morden, being sure to give Vir his wish.

Current Status

Morden was killed and beheaded by Londo in 2261, during the efforts to expunge the Shadow influence from Centauri Prime. His head was placed upon a pike on the Centauri royal grounds, a gift from Londo to his aide, Vir Cotto.

He did, however, make a final appearance during the Brakiri holy day, the Day of the Dead, in 2262, in which the living are able to consult with apparitions of the dead. During this night, Morden appeared to Delenn's aide and friend, Lennier. Lennier, recognizing Morden, is unwilling to accept counsel from him, as he unable to see Morden as anything more than the Shadows' emissary. Lennier proceeds to enter meditation, wasting his opportunity to learn from the experience. Morden, however, isn't finished, and he delivers one of the most important messages of the night: he leaves Lennier with a warning that he will betray the Rangers.

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