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-   -   Three opportunities to avoid the fire..... (http://www.b5tv.com/showthread.php?t=42624)

Karajorma May 26th 16 11:45

Three opportunities to avoid the fire.....
In Point of No Return, Mollari is told that he has three opportunities to avoid his fate (and that he has already wasted two). But I've never quite understood how saving G'Kar's eye or not killing Morden would have prevented his fate. Especially the one with Morden, surely Morden would have been more than happy to help the Drakh.

Springer May 26th 16 13:46

Re: Three opportunities to avoid the fire.....
I think the prophecy was left deliberately vague, as most prophecies are. I'd always assumed the one who is already dead was Sheridan, although I've also heard people suggesting it could be Refa, as Londo poisoned him and was a potentially dead man walking. Refa might make more sense, as aside from the vision into the future in War Without End, I don't recall Londo with an opportunity to either kill or save Sheridan. Certainly if Londo didn't kill Refa, then Refa may have been the one to have Londo's fate instead.

In the Legions of Fire novels that Peter David wrote, Londo says he believes Morella said 'I' not 'eye', as in Londo must save himself but he doesn't see the consequences of his actions. However, in the B5 script books it is definitely written as 'eye', so I don't know about that. It could also be The Eye, the Centauri relic that the Shadows retrieved from the raiders in Signs and Portents.

But then again Londo had his own prophecy in the form of his death dream. So could he really have avoided his fate like Morella suggested?

Actually, thinking about it a bit more, Lady Morella tells him that Londo will be emperor, and he can't avoid that part of his fate. That's implying that everything between Point of No Return and the future scenes in War Without End cannot be changed. That would also explain why Sheridan is unable to change the future by going to Z'ha'Dum. I'm not sure I buy into that. If Londo hadn't poisoned Refa and then had him killed on Narn, Refa could have blocked Londo's ascension to Prime Minister and eventually Emperor. Refa would have been the Shadow's point of contact on Centauri Prime, so instead of them going directly to Cartagia, they would have negotiated with Refa to allow their ships to stay on Centauri Prime. Refa might then have had to take Londo's role in assassinating Cartagia to save the planet, Refa would then have positioned himself to become Emperor, and the Drakh may have gone after Refa in revenge instead of Londo. So by sparing Refa, Londo may have forced his fate onto Refa instead. On the other hand, if he hadn't killed Refa then Refa may have killed him anyway.

Karajorma May 26th 16 17:25

Re: Three opportunities to avoid the fire.....
I have little trouble with the Londo will be Emperor certainty. You don't buy it cause you're assuming that Refa is the "Man who is already dead". I don't buy that. The poison would only kill him if the other half was given to him, which is basically the same as giving him a standard poison really. As long as he's not given it, then he's no more dead than anyone else.

The third opportunity is the one that is the least ambiguous of all. Londo's greatest fear is being killed by G'Kar. In the end he submits to it, knowing it will destroy him and thereby allows Vir to repair Centauri Prime. I assume no one disagrees with me on that one, right?

In which case, the "Fire that waits for you" is not Londo's death, but the continued destruction of Centauri Prime, etc.

As for the other two opportunities, I'd always assumed that Morden was the "Man who was already dead." Morden is legally dead. It's even pointed out in In the Shadow of Z'ha'dum. Sheridan also actually died but I don't know if he counts as dead. And the only time when Londo gets an opportunity to kill Sheridan is exactly the same time as the third opportunity, so I can't see how they could be considered separate.

"The Eye that could not see" is the real puzzle. I assumed it was G'kar's eye (It refused to see Cartagia's magnificence and was plucked out because Londo was too busy to hang around and try to save it). Why saving it is so important is a bit more of a mystery to me though.

The Eye (the relic) makes little sense as it was never mentioned again and I can't see JMS squandering a chance to show Londo screwing up by not saving it.

Springer May 26th 16 20:15

Re: Three opportunities to avoid the fire.....
I actually do think the one who is already dead is meant to be Sheridan. I was just playing devil's advocate with Refa, as some people have suggested it meant him. I guess it depends on whether Lady Morella's three opportunities are about avoiding his fate, or redeeming himself. When he frees Sheridan and Delenn in War Without End, he can no longer avoid his fate, but he can redeem himself a little bit.

I'm not sure about it meaning Morden. Londo never knew who Morden really was anyway so wouldn't know about his legal status. And why would saving Morden help Londo?

The whole bit about Londo not being able to avoid his destiny of becoming emperor seems to go against JMS' ethos, which was that you always have a choice even when you don't think you do. Vir tried to tell Londo that, but he didn't listen.

I agree with you about the third opportunity - giving in to his fate as he saw in his dream. The 'eye' is the really puzzling one, I agree - I'd be interested to know what others think, or if JMS has said anything about it.

Karajorma May 28th 16 07:28

Re: Three opportunities to avoid the fire.....
Well by killing Morden, his Shadow associates and blowing up their ships, Londo did make Centauri Prime the target for Drakh reprisals. Perhaps that fate would have been avoided if Londo could have kept Morden alive for long enough for the Shadows to leave. With the Shadows gone, it's hard to say what Morden would have done. Would he continue trying to promote conflict through change like the Drakh did? Or would he have have had to come up with a whole new reason for his existence?

About Londo always becoming emperor, by that point Cartagia was already on the throne. Whatever had happened, Londo would have had to remove him and thereby place himself in the running to be emperor (whether he wanted to be or not). Londo had all kinds of choices about HOW he'd become emperor and what kind of emperor he would be, he made the wrong ones.

Mororless May 29th 16 00:51

Re: Three opportunities to avoid the fire.....
I think the confusing thing about the prophecy is whether Londo can save himself just by succeeding on one of the counts besides the last one. It actually makes the most sense if you consider that he furfilled all three of the chances...

1.Save The Eye That Doesn't See - I don't think G'kars eye makes the best sense as he could see with it however I think G'kar himself makes more sense as after that point he has an eye that doesn't see and Londo does save him.

2.You Must not Kill the One WHo is Already Dead - Sheridan obviously makes most sense here and Londo does avoid killing him in the future we see in War Without End.

3.You Must Surrender To Your Greatest Fear Knowing It WIll Destroy You - This makes more sense as letting G'kar kill him in the same flash forward. Its his greatest fear because its the vision he's always had of his death that arguely had great influence on his fear of G'kar and the Narns but turns out to be the act of a friend helping him save his world.

If Londo needs to have failed the first two then you could shift it to G'kars eye but beyond not making as much sense really I'm not seeing that as a failure. Maybe a bit thoughtless not to think something that terrible would be done to him but certainly not a moral failiure as he didn't wish him harm. Morden being the one who is already dead does make a bit more sense as he is listed as dead and killing him out of revenge could be viewed as a moral failiure although I don't think destroying the shadows island was a moral failure and that was obviously what brought the Drak's vengeance.

As far as the wasted chances I would say the first would be ignoring Vir and asking for Mordens help in Coming of Shadows and the second perhaps using Morden to end the Narn war? unlike the first Narn shadow attack he knew full well what Mordens help would entail.

Karajorma May 29th 16 12:59

Re: Three opportunities to avoid the fire.....
But Morella says that by surrendering to his greatest fear, he can still be redeemed even if he has already failed the others. So why would he kill Sheridan and then let G'Kar kill him?

Also if saving G'Kar is a prophecy, how could he possibly fail at that one and still succeed at the last one if G'Kar was dead?

Mororless May 29th 16 13:35

Re: Three opportunities to avoid the fire.....
I'd agree it doesn't exactly lineup with the idea that he could fail some of the chances when really they are all connected but I still think it fits more closely than anything else.

Beyond fitting the details I think another issue is that the prophecy and indeed B5 generally seems likely to be a moral test. All of those situations I listed are clearly a moral test for Londo regardless of the prophecy where as destroying the shadow forces does on balance seem like a moral action, especially as he does give them the chance to leave. Killing Morden is more questionable I spose as he could potentially have been sent away.

vorlonlovechild May 29th 16 22:52

Re: Three opportunities to avoid the fire.....
I always assumed the one who was already dead was Morden. If morden had survived then would the drakh have known about Londo, and then turned their eye towards centauri prime?

Karajorma May 31st 16 03:21

Re: Three opportunities to avoid the fire.....
Does anyone know if JMS ever gave a definitive answer on the subject? I notice he did say this

" Why didn't Londo try to save G'Kar's eye?
Yeah...would've been nice if Londo had at least tried to do something about the eye that did not see Cartagia's splendor...."


I knew there was a reason I thought it was G'Kar's eye.

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