Jadzia Dax

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Jadzia Dax
JadziaDax.jpg
Species Trill
Affiliation United Federation of Planets
Starfleet
Posting Science officer,
Deep Space Nine and
USS Defiant
Rank Lieutenant, later
Lieutenant commander.
Portrayed by Terry Farrell

Jadzia Dax /ædˈzə ˈdæks/, played by Terry Farrell, was a main character during the first six seasons of the science fiction television series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Jadzia Dax is a joined Trill. Though she appears to be a young woman, Jadzia lives in symbiosis with a wise and long-lived creature, known as a symbiont, named Dax. The two share a single, conscious mind, and her personality is a blending of the characteristics of both the host and the symbiont. As such, Jadzia has access to all the skills and memories of the symbiont's seven previous hosts. Jadzia holds academic degrees in Exobiology, Zoology, Astrophysics and Exoarchaeology, all of which she earned before being joined with the symbiont Dax. (*DS9 Season 1 Episode Dax)

Jadzia Dax is the station's chief science officer, and is close friends with commander Benjamin Sisko and Bajoran first officer Kira Nerys. Later in the series, she becomes involved with the Klingon character Worf, and they marry during the sixth season of the show. Her character is killed by Gul Dukat during the sixth season finale (due to Terry Farrell's desire to pursue a role on the upcoming TV Show Becker with Ted Danson). The character of Dax re-emerges in the seventh season premiere in the form of Ezri Dax.

Joined nature[edit]

Jadzia Dax is a joined Trill. "Jadzia" is the name of the young Trill woman, while "Dax" refers to a slug-like symbiont that resides in her abdomen; Jadzia's actual family name was never revealed on the show. In the novels, her original name is said to be Jadzia Idaris. While Jadzia is 28 years old at the beginning of the series, the creature Dax is roughly 300 years old, having previously been hosted by seven other Trill. As a result, Dax may be considered the oldest crewmate on Deep Space Nine.

Prior to Jadzia, the Dax symbiont had been hosted by Lela, Tobin, Emony, Audrid, Torias, Joran, and Curzon.

The burden of seven lifetimes' worth of memories is not always a positive one; several episodes of Deep Space Nine focus on Dax's struggle with her dual nature:

  • In the extended pilot episode, when Jadzia touches an Orb, a brief scene shows the symbiont being removed from Curzon and being placed into Jadzia. She (presumably) sees Curzon die.
  • In the first-season episode "Dax", the previous host Curzon Dax is accused of murder. This leads to an extradition hearing to determine whether Jadzia can be held responsible for crimes committed during another lifetime. While the moral question remained unsolved, the legal issue was resolved when evidence arose of Curzon's innocence.
  • In the second-season episode "Invasive Procedures", an unjoined Trill named Verad attempts to steal the Dax symbiont. Verad is upset that his application for a joining has been rejected by the Trill Symbiosis Commission, and he plans to steal the Dax symbiont and escape into the Gamma quadrant. He manages to remove the Dax symbiont from Jadzia and partially join with it before his escape is thwarted.
  • Later that season, Dax mentors a Trill initiate in the episode "Playing God". Dax is responsible for training the young Trill, and for evaluating his suitability for joining. During the episode, Jadzia and Sisko discuss her own training under Curzon Dax, as well as the role that joining plays in Trill society.
  • In the third-season episode "Equilibrium", Dax begins to experience unsettling mental problems. She travels back to Trill to discover the source of the problems. On her homeworld, she visits the "Caves of Mak'ala", a place on Trill where unjoined symbionts swim in pools carefully and lovingly tended by Trill Guardians. Eventually, she learns that Dax had previously been joined with an unsuitable host known as Joran, and that her memories of this trauma had been suppressed. Her mental problems subside after the other Trill help her to regain these memories.
  • Later that season in the episode "Facets", Jadzia encounters each of Dax's previous hosts in the Trill "rite of closure", including the insane Joran. This episode reveals much of the back story for the Dax character, and explores the relationship between Jadzia Dax, Curzon Dax, and Benjamin Sisko.
  • In the fourth season episode "Rejoined", Jadzia Dax encounters Lenara Kahn, the current host of the symbiont Kahn, who had been previously joined to Nilani Kahn, the wife of Torias Dax. Because Torias died suddenly, Dax's relationship with Kahn through its previous host was never resolved, and the two current hosts struggle in the episode with their feelings towards one another. This is complicated by a taboo in Trill culture against romantic relationships with partners of previous hosts. This episode features one of the first televised kisses between two female characters.

Portrayal[edit]

At the beginning of the series, Jadzia has just recently been joined with the symbiont Dax after the natural death of the previous host, Curzon Dax. Curzon had been a friend and mentor to station Commander Benjamin Sisko, as Jadzia Dax they continue this friendship despite the change in circumstances. Throughout the series, Sisko refers to Jadzia Dax by the affectionate nickname "Old Man." She begins the series at the rank of Lieutenant; at the start of the fourth season, she becomes a Lieutenant Commander and remains one until her death in the sixth-season finale.

During the first few seasons, Jadzia Dax is pursued romantically by Dr. Julian Bashir. Dax consistently but politely rebuffs him, though she later admits that she somewhat enjoyed the attention (cf. "Starship Down"). After Jadzia's death, Dax's new host Ezri begins dating Bashir.

During the first season of the show, Jadzia Dax is often portrayed as somewhat reserved and aloof. In the early second season episode "The Siege", she is ill-at-ease in the spider-filled caverns of a Bajoran moon, and is later disoriented by Kira's reckless piloting of a Bajoran starfighter. The writers' portrayal of the character begins to change in the second season, as they emphasize Jadzia Dax's gusto for life and extensive knowledge of other cultures:

  • The second-season episode "Rules of Acquisition" begins with a scene in which Jadzia Dax plays tongo with a group of Ferengi. She seems surprisingly at home in this setting, calmly ignoring their sexist overtures and showing considerable skill at the game. Later in the episode, she remarks that the Ferengi are among the most interesting races she has encountered.
  • Later that season, Jadzia Dax joins a group of Klingons in a revenge quest ("Blood Oath"). In this episode, it is revealed the Curzon Dax was a Federation diplomat to the Klingon Empire, and swore a blood oath against "the Albino" with the Klingons Kang, Koloth, and Kor. Jadzia takes up the blood oath, and against Sisko's wishes she travels to the Albino's planet and participates in the revenge killing of the Albino and his minions.

Jadzia Dax's connection to the Klingon culture would become increasingly important as the series progressed, especially after the fourth-season arrival of Worf. In the episode "The Sword of Kahless", Dax joins Worf and Kor in the search for the titular Klingon artifact. In "Sons of Mogh", she supports Worf's attempt to kill his brother Kurn, and in "Soldiers of the Empire" she and Worf go on a tense mission aboard a Klingon ship. Jadzia Dax would eventually marry Worf and join him as a member of the Klingon House of Martok.

Romantic interests[edit]

Jadzia Dax was initially pursued by Dr. Julian Bashir aboard the station. The Ferengi bar owner, Quark, also has a special affection for the Trill scientist, even after the Dax symbiont was transferred to Ezri. However, her most notable and serious suitors include

  • Deral, played by Brett Cullen, a prominent member of the recurring planet Meridian ("Meridian")
  • Dr. Lenara Kahn, played by Susanna Thompson, a Trill theoretical quantum physicist and the current host of the symbiont Kahn, who was previously joined to Nilani, the widow of Torias Dax ("Rejoined")
  • Lt. Commander Worf, a Klingon

Dax and Worf[edit]

In the fourth season, Michael Dorn joins the cast of Deep Space Nine as the Klingon character Worf. Perhaps because of her past interactions with Klingons, Dax is fairly flirtatious with Worf. Worf appears at first to be oblivious to this attention, and in the fifth-season episode "Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places" he becomes enamored with a female Klingon named Grilka. This is resolved by the end of the episode, with Quark ironically winning the heart of Grilka, and Worf becoming romantically involved with Dax.

In the beginning, their relationship is very sexual, with the strong implication that their encounters are somewhat rough (the above episode ends with Worf and Dax visiting the infirmary with various bruises and other injuries). In the season 5 finale "Call to Arms", the station is overrun by Dominion forces, and Dax and Worf are assigned to different starships for the Dominion War. Near the end of the episode, they agree to get married after the war is over. Worf and Dax's marriage is the centerpiece of season 6 episode "You Are Cordially Invited...". During the episode, Dax must obtain permission from the lady Sirella to join the House of Martok. At first Dax is loath to pay Sirella the required respect, and the lady is unwilling to accede to Dax's request. The situation is resolved by the conclusion, with Sirella admitting during the ceremony that nothing can stand between "the beating of two Klingon hearts".

Death[edit]

Jadzia is killed in "Tears of the Prophets", the finale of the sixth season. She and Worf had been trying to conceive, despite the doubts of Dr. Bashir that such a pregnancy was possible. After Major Kira tells Jadzia she has been praying for a conception, Jadzia receives encouraging test results from Julian, and goes to the station's temple to thank the Prophets. It now appears a pregnancy will be possible. The Cardassian Dukat arrives, possessed by a Pah-wraith, with the intention of destroying the orb-like Bajoran artifacts known as the Tears of the Prophets. Jadzia is no match for Dukat while he is infused with the Pah-wraith; he kills Jadzia and destroys the orbs. Upon her death in the infirmary, an agonized Worf screams out a Klingon wail of sorrow for his beloved and to let the Klingon afterworld know a warrior was on the way (Heart of Glory). Her untimely death shakes the crew to its core: by the beginning of season 7, Sisko has left the station in despair, and Worf has been risking his life on increasingly dangerous missions.

Though the host Jadzia is dead, the symbiont Dax survives and is implanted in a Trill named Ezri Tigan. The resulting joined Trill Ezri Dax becomes a main character during the seventh and last season of the series. Several episodes focus on Ezri Dax resolving her relationship with Worf, and the subsequent development of a romantic relationship with Dr. Julian Bashir.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Block, Paula M.; Erdmann, Terry J. (2000). Star trek: Deep Space Nine Companion. Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-50106-2. 
  • Reeves-Stevens, Garfield; Reeves-Stevens, Judith (1994). The Making of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-87430-6. 
  • Stengel, Wendy A F G. "Intimacy & Sex on Deep Space Nine." Some Fantastic, Issue 6 (Fall 2005).
  • Geraghty, Lincoln. "Homosocial Desire on the final frontier: kinship, the American romance, and Deep Space Nine's 'erotic triangles'." Journal of Popular Culture. 36:3 Winter:2003 pp. 441–465.
  • Ferguson, Kathy. "This Species Which Is Not One: Identity Practices in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," Strategies 15.2 (Fall, 2002): 181–195.

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