The War Prayer (Babylon 5)

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"The War Prayer"
Babylon 5 episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 7
Directed by Richard Compton
Written by D. C. Fontana
Production code 107
Original air date March 9, 1994
Guest appearance(s)

Tristan Rogers (Malcolm Biggs)
Nancy Lee Grahn (Shaal Mayan)
Michael Paul Chan (Roberts)
Rodney Eastman (Kiron Maray)
Danica McKellar (Aria Tensus)

Episode chronology
← Previous
"Mind War"
Next →
"And the Sky Full of Stars"
List of Babylon 5 episodes

"The War Prayer" is an episode from the first season of the science fiction television series Babylon 5. The title of the episode comes from the Mark Twain story "The War Prayer".[1]


A string of attacks on aliens has occurred on Babylon 5, the latest being the stabbing and branding of Minbari poet, Shaal Mayan. Sinclair is pressured by Minbari ambassador Delann to find the culprit, and he orders Garibaldi to investigate in depth. Narm ambassador G'kar, however, insists more action must be done, and beings to rally the other aliens aboard, creating a tense situation.

Meanwhile, Centauri ambassador Mollari must deal with his aide Vir Cotto's cousin Kiron and his girlfriend Aria, who have fled Centauri as they have been arranged to be wed into different families, despite having fallen in love for each other. Mollari asserts that it is Centaurian morals for assigned marriages, love having no place in their society. That evening, Kiron and Aria sneak off to be alone, but are attacked in a similar manner as Shaal, leaving Kiron in a comatose state for a few days. Elsewhere, Ivanova discovers her former associate from the academy, Malcolm Biggs, has arrived on the station. While he remains covert as to his business reasons for being there, Malcolm does express interest in rekindling his love for Ivanova.

Garibaldi captures a human suspect in Shaal's attack, Roberts. Roberts admits to being part of the Home Guard, an effort on Earth to force aliens to leave, but Garibaldi finds that Roberts likely did not commit the attack, and instead has him watched. Roberts is later attacked by aliens, and rescued in time by Garibaldi's men. While in medbay, security cameras catch Malcolm approaching Roberts about joining his group. Sinclair, Garibaldi, and Ivanova see the footage, and decide to lure Malcolm into a trap.

Aria stays by Kiron's side, but Mollari suggest that there's no point in waiting around should he die. After Aria leaves, Shaal talks to Mollari about love, and that that from her writings, she found that the measure of a value of a person is how much capacity they have to love and love others. Vir finds Mollari later, who tells him a tale from his father who had complained that his shoes were too tight, but it did not matter as he had forgotten how to dance; Mollari now feels the same way. When Kiron wakes, Mollari gladly tells him and Aria that he has arranged for the two to return to Centauri Prime and stay with his own cousin, a powerful figure in the government, and such that when they are old enough, they will be able to choose who they can marry, pleasing both them and Vir.

Ivanova brings Malcolm to a reception where Sinclair purposely speaks out against the alien presence. Malcolm later invites Sinclair and Ivanova to a meeting, there introducing them to his agents that have been behind the attacks, using stealth clothing to mask their presence. Malcolm explains their intent to assassinate the four key ambassadors on Babylon 5 in an attempt to force the alien ambassadors off Earth. Sinclair and Ivanova turn on Malcolm and his men and capture them, and before they are taken off the station, Ivanova expresses her resentment of what direction Malcolm has taken.

Arc significance[edit]

  • The Homeguard, a radical pro-Earth group, make their first appearance.
  • Kosh is seen studying images from Earth, prompting discussion of the enigma he and the Vorlons represent. The removal of telepath Lyta Alexander and Medical Officer Benjamin Kyle back to Earth (characters from the pilot who did not carry over to the first season) is attributed to being the only humans to have had direct contact with a Vorlon.
  • Marriages are usually arranged in Centauri society. The custom is also a major plot element in episodes "Soul Mates" and "Sic Transit Vir".
  • Londo refers to his three wives as "Famine, Pestilence, and Death", three of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. This also places himself in the role of "War", relating to his personal actions that led to the Narn-Centauri War and other conflicts throughout the series.


  1. ^ Ryan, Matthew (2004-07-13). The Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5; "JMS Speaks".

External links[edit]