Attn JMS: Candle Metaphor in 'And All My Dreams ...'

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Tue Jun 16 06:20:11 EDT 1998

From: David Nolan <vitroth+ at>
Date: 15 Jun 1998 19:20:46 -0600
Lines: 99

<Spoiler space for 'And All My Dreams Torn Asunder'>


I've been a fan this show for a long time now... Not quite since the
beginning, but since part way through season two...  One things I've
always really liked was "your" unique view of the universe.  "Starstuff"
as Delenn put it to Sheridan.  The unique views of the character often
resonate with each other.  What is even more special is when a single
moment resonates through the entire series.  As happened in this episode
with the candle scene at the very end.  

For me it was one of those moments where everything snapped together and
fit snugly into a seamless whole.  Knowing now what the Candle
represents makes everything fit together.  I *UNDERSTAND* now, or at
least I think I do.  Lets see if I'm right:

For years now, many of us have wondered what the Grey Council's sayings
meant:  "I am Grey. I stand between the candle and the star. We are
Grey. We stand between the darkness and the light."

Suddenly, in one moment of perfect beauty, the keystone of the phrase is
revealed, and all is clear.

The candle is the reminder of where we come from.  It represents life,
that each life is special and unique, and none should be lost without

The star is the universe, the Starstuff from which we came, and to which
we will all return one day.

The light comes from the candle.  It is life.

The darkness is what remains when the candle burns out.  It is death.

The first statement is a statement of perspective.  I know I am merely a
pawn in the universe's great game of chess.  I accept my part, and will
play my role with purpose and skill.

The second statement is a statement of purpose.  Life is sacred.  I am
here to preserve life.  All life.

Recently I rewatched 'Comes the Inquisitor'.  Something Delenn said
there is what resonates so soundly here.  When Delenn tells Sebastian to
leave Sheridan alone, he asks about her great cause, she responds "This
is my cause!  Life.  One life or a billion, it makes no difference."  

It also resonates with the Third Principal of Sentient Life.  And with
Delenn's choice of the death of millions or the death of billions.  i.e.
Delenn as a single person could risk herself for a single life, but the
Grey Council, as a whole, as the 'force of good' could not make any
choice but the one which best served the cause.  And Delenn knew it was
the right choice, the only choice, but hated it still.

The resonance which now runs throughout the entire series amazes me. 
Knowing what the Candle represents leads to knowing what the Grey
Coucil's philosophy is, which leads to greater understanding of
everything Delenn and the Grey Council have ever done.

I feel like G'Kar, looking into Delenn's eyes and seeing all the thanks
he would ever need.  I've looked into the candle and seen the universe
staring back, and I understand.

Despite all the naysayers about the supposed lackings in Season 5, I
hope that knowing that a few of us now understand this better then we
ever have before makes you feel that it was all worth it.  

I offer my congratulations on having beaten the 'suits'.  You've put
more philosophy into B5 then they ever would have wanted.  You've
slipped it in here and there behind their backs, and now in a single
scene you've shown us it was there all along, we just didn't understand.

Thank you.  


From: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)
Date: 15 Jun 1998 23:50:13 -0600
Lines: 10

Nicely deduced.  The problem is always in trying to work this stuff into
dialogue without it sounding preachy or a big lump of exposition.  So all you
can do is string it along, and hope folks notice.


(jmsatb5 at
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