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Old August 24th 10, 22:47   #23
Estelyn's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Germany
Posts: 134
Re: EpDis: In The Shadow Of Z'ha'dum

This episode is chockfull of good stuff! I watched it both as is and with JMS' commentary. There's a strongly mythical feeling to it, intentionally, as JMS says. The name of the spaceship, Icarus, says a lot about its destiny. That part of the story has a very strong Middle-earth feeling to it - Tolkien's dwarves also delved too deeply in Khazad-Dm ( the linguistic similarity to Z'ha'dum is quite certainly a nod to Moria!), waking the Balrog.

There is also Sheridan's answer to Kosh's prophecy that he will die if he goes to Z'ha'dum: "Then I die." That's very much like Faramir's "Then it [his life] is forfeit" in The Lord of the Rings.

The other connection that comes through strongly is that to World War II - Night Watch, with its armbands and the mission to watch and report others, reminds of Nazi tactics. (There is also an Orwell connection included, and I find it chilling to hear how seemingly innocuously the mission of the "Ministry of Peace" is described - and how people like Zack fall for it.) On the other hand is Sheridan's comparison of his situation to that of England in WWII, concerning Enigma and the destruction of Coventry.

Some of the deeper issues that are addressed here are sacrificing personal feelings and wishes for the greater good, and the questions asked by the doctor about God, religion and death.

Like many others, I was delighted to see Vir growing in confidence and character, standing up to Morden - and making a prophecy that is fulfilled later!
'The road goes ever on and on...' (JRRT)
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