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What is Guinan?

Guinan's true nature is never revealed. We only know that she has a number of superhuman abilities.

From TNG: "Q Who?":

Picard and Q are seated by one of the front windows. Guinan comes over. Q immediately stands and backs off like a man about to be physically attacked.

"You! "

"None other."

"Picard, if you had half the sense you pretend to have, you would get her off your ship immediately -- and if you like I will be more than pleased to expedite her departure. "

Picard looks to Guinan.

"You know him."

"We had some dealings."

"Those dealings were two centuries ago. This creature is not what she appears to be. She's an imp -- where she goes trouble always follows. "

"You're speaking of yourself, Q -- not Guinan."

"Guinan? Is that your name now?"

So, let's review some of Guinan's background:

  • Q is afraid of her and believes she can harm him.
  • Q and Guinan had a prior run-in two centuries before.
  • Q can effect her, and can definitely relocate her (according to his own words), yet she is not afraid of him in the slightest.
  • They hate eachother (she stabs him with a fork to prove that he is Human in a later episode).
  • Guinan was hiding from her father when she went to Earth in the 19th century (or before).
  • She used to go by a different name than Guinan.
  • She's twice as old as Soran yet looks much younger, and she's possibly the El-Aurian from DS9: "Rivals" mother (original intent for the episode until she couldn't appear) yet looks like a contemporary to him in age.
  • Q refers to her as a "creature" and an "imp" and says she is "not what she appears to be," ie. not an El-Aurian or perhaps more then a normal El-Aurian, who, as a species, though long-lived, otherwise appear to be rather mundane.
  • Q implies that trouble follows her wherever she goes, so is she purposely or inadvertently bringing trouble upon humanities doorstep to perhaps promote their developement somehow?
  • She can sense changes to the timeline or being in alternate universes, she can sometimes sense the presence of Q from a distance, and she can sense being thrown thousands of light years even without any visible or other clues on the ship.
  • She knew about the Borg history even without being present at the assimilation of El-Auria.
  • She thought it would be possible for a species more advanced in it's developement then Humans to make peace with the Borg. Yet, the El-Aurians themselves were unable to do this, so where does she get this idea unless perhaps she is more advanced then the El-Aurians as well?
  • She was able to leave a conscious echo of herself behind in the Nexus which perhaps other people might have been able to do, but it was never shown.

So what is Guinan?

Some sort of transcendent El-Aurian, sort of like Wesley Crusher being a transcendent human who became a Traveller? They had the beginnings of Q powers.

Is she a rogue Q who left the continuum like Quinn and the parents of the girl in TNG: "True Q?"

Or is she of some yet unidentified species perhaps even more powerful then the Q who simply poses as an El-Aurian and human in order to speed along their developement or for some more sinister purpose we don't know about yet? While Guinan always appeared benevolent to me, I've also never seen any species that scared a fully-powered Q before.

And while Q is known as the "God of Lies" to some species, I've never known him to really lie to Picard before. Held back information, yes, exaggerated a bit, perhaps, but flat out lied? Not that I recall. So is what he is saying that she is dangerous accurate? I wish they had followed up on those earlier implications further.

(Theory by Bond, James Bond)

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