Londo Mollari Character Profile
Londo Mollari was the Centauri Ambassador to Babylon 5. Peter Jurasik played the role.
Londo had a good heart, but he was damned at every turn by his own bad choices.
Note: This is a complete biography of Londo Mollari. Therefore, it contains spoilers for all five seasons of Babylon 5. The biography is written in chronological order, so if you are watching Babylon 5 for the first time you can safely read the early parts of this article and stop before you reach the sections that would reveal events that you haven't seen on the show yet.
Londo Mollari was born into a noble family on Centauri Prime around the Earth year 2201.
Londo grew up immersed in Centauri society. He learned the subtle art of intrigue required for Centauri politics. He also developed an admiration for Centauri greatness, which was greatly diminished from its former glory and would sink even lower during his lifetime. As a child, one of his closest friends was Urza Jaddo. As teenagers, they joined the Couro Prido dueling society together. Londo was nicknamed Paso Leati because he fought like a crazed leati.
As a young adult, Londo impetuously married a beautiful dancer. His family members were horrified that he had married below his station. They threatened Londo with the loss of his title, position, and money. Londo capitulated and divorced the girl. The look in her eyes when he told her caused him to die inside that day.
Over the next several years, Londo Mollari served in the Centauri military and participated in two noteworthy campaigns. He was on the lead ship of the invasion fleet that conquered the Beta System in nine days. He also participated in the raid on Phalos XII.
In 2229, Londo's father died, and Londo became head of House Mollari in an event that would be remembered as his Ascension Day. A few years later he was invited to the Imperial palace where he became a good friend of Prime Minister Malachi.
In 2239, Londo wed Timov, the daughter of Algul, in an arranged marriage. Over the years he accumulated two more wives, Daggair and Mariel. Londo took to calling them Pestilence, Famine, and Death in private.
Centauri people are blessed (or cursed) with a limited prescience. A very few women become seeresses, but for most Centauri the ability is limited to a premonition of their death. In 2242, Londo first dreamed of his death. In his dream he was very old, and he and a one-eyed Narn were strangling each other to death.
Londo Mollari became the Centauri liaison to Earth. This began his lifelong fascination with the Humans.
In 2245, the Earth government approached him for information about the Minbari. Londo reported that the Centauri avoided the Minbari during their expansion. He advised the Humans to avoid contact, but warned them to send only one ship to appear less threatening if they insisted on going. He reluctantly provided them with Centauri intelligence on the disposition of the Minbari fleet.
In 2247, with the Earth-Minbar War in full swing, Londo learned of a secret meeting between the Narn and Humans. Assuming that it was an arms sale and fearing that the Narn would develop closer ties with the Humans, Londo ordered a Centauri ship to intercept. Unknown to Londo, the Humans were meeting with Anla'shok Na Lenonn, the leader of the Minbari Rangers, to discuss an end to the war. Londo's actions condemned the Humans and Minbari to another year of war.
Londo was appointed to be the Centauri Ambassador to Babylon 5. By the time he arrived on the station in 2256, the Centauri Republic was at the lowest point of its decline. Londo's mission was to ride the coattails of the expanding Earth Alliance to restore whatever glory he could to the Centauri Republic.
When Londo met Narn Ambassador G'Kar for the first time, he instantly recognized him as the one-eyed Narn from his vision of his death. This combined with the traditional enmity between the Centauri and Narn to set them off on a long adversarial relationship.
In January 2257, G'Kar blackmailed Londo into voting to send Commander Jeffrey Sinclair to the Vorlon homeworld for trial in the attempted assassination of Ambassador Kosh.
In 2258, Londo was joined on Babylon 5 by his attaché, Vir Cotto. Over the years, Vir would play the voice of Londo's conscience, though Londo would rarely heed his advice.
In February 2258, tensions were raised a notch when Narn attacked and captured the Ragesh 3 colony where Londo's nephew, Carn Mollari, was stationed.
The following month, Londo had an affair with another dancer named Adira Tyree. Unknown to him, she was a slave to a Golian named Trakis. Trakis had ordered Adira to steal Londo's Purple Files, data that each House kept on the other Houses for blackmail purposes. Commander Sinclair helped to resolve the situation, and Adira returned to her home planet, Davo, as a free woman.
In May 2258, Londo got back at G'Kar personally for the Ragesh 3 attack. G'Kar needed a G'Quan Eth plant for a religious ceremony, and the one intended for him was destroyed in a spacecraft accident. Londo just conveniently happened to have a spare plant with which he was able to taunt G'Kar ceaselessly. Once again, Commander Sinclair resolved the situation by confiscating the plant from Londo as an illicit substance.
When Varn, the caretaker of the Great Machine on Epsilon 3 was dying in June, Londo piloted Varn, Draal, and Minbari Ambassador Delenn to the planet so that Draal could take Varn's place.
Londo served as the point of contact with Mr. Reno, a human who had recovered The Eye, a precious Centauri symbol of power. Londo arranged for Lord Kiro to return it to Centauri Prime as a symbol to inspire the people. At this same time, Mr. Morden visited the station and asked several of the ambassadors, "What do you want?" Londo wanted to see the Centauri Republic restored to its former glory. Mr. Morden and his Shadow masters could use Londo's ambition for their own purposes. When Lord Kiro arranged with raiders to steal The Eye, a Shadow ship destroyed them. The Shadows recovered The Eye from the wreckage, and Mr. Morden returned it to Londo with the offer of additional help in the future. Londo's miraculous recovery of The Eye began his climb to higher status in Centauri politics. His association with Mr. Morden began his descent to damnation.
In December 2258, Mr. Morden offered to help Londo with disputed territory in Quandrant 37. He accepted the help, but was horrified to learn that his mysterious allies had savagely attacked a Narn colony and killed thousands. Londo's star began rising very quickly at home, and he found himself locked into a deadly alliance with Mr. Morden.
When Captain John Sheridan arrived on the station in January 2259, Londo got the feeling that he was present in the premonition of his death.
When the techno-mages stopped at Babylon 5 during their exodus, Londo tried to secure a blessing from Elric as the first Centauri Emperor had done. Elric would provide only a prophecy of Londo's hand reaching out to the stars as billions of victims called his name.
The Centauri Emperor Turhan was in poor health and had no clear heir. Lord Refa led a group of nobles who intended to seize power after Turhan's death by controlling his nephew, Cartagia. He was impressed with Londo's success at Quadrant 37 and invited him to join their ambitious plans. Londo consented.
In May, Emperor Turhan granted Londo a request on the anniversary of his Ascension Day. Londo requested a divorce from his three wives. Turhan granted the divorce, but required Londo to keep one wife. Londo summoned the women to Babylon 5. Daggair and Mariel tried to win Londo's favor by seduction and other means, while Timov seemed indifferent and as acerbic as ever. However, when Mariel tried to kill Londo, Timov provided the blood transfusion necessary to save his life. Londo divorced Daggair and Mariel, and sent Timov back to Centauri Prime.
Emperor Turhan came to Babylon 5 the following month. He intended to apologize publicly to G'Kar for the Centauri occupation of Narn, but he suffered a heart attack before the event. Not knowing of the Emperor's plans, Londo had already arranged for the Shadows to attack the Narn in Quadrant 14. The Emperor whispers his dying words to Londo, and he reports them as, "Continue. Take my people back... to the stars." In truth, the Emperor's last words were that Londo and Refa were both damned. The attack on Quadrant 14 launched the Narn and Centauri into war.
In August, Lord Refa tried to do away with his political opponent Urza Jaddo by having his House declared a traitor to the Republic. Urza devised a plan and came to Babylon 5. He challenged Londo to a duel, realizing that if Londo killed him, his family would fall under the protection of House Mollari and escape the fate that Refa had in mind for them. Londo reluctantly played his part in his old friend's death.
As Londo's power increased, Vir's position became more enviable. Vir was recalled to Centauri Prime so that a more powerful person could take his place. Londo threatened to resign if Vir was taken away. As the Centauri's only contact with their mysterious allies, Londo's demand was quickly obeyed.
As the war against Narn progressed, Lord Refa revealed the final step in their plan to Londo. The Narn fleet would be led out to Gorash 7 where Londo's allies would be needed to destroy them. Meanwhile, the Centauri fleet would attack the Narn homeworld. In December 2259, Londo accompanied the attacking fleet. They used illegal mass drivers to decimate the cities of Narn.
Londo returned to Babylon 5 and presented the terms of Narn's surrender. G'Kar was stripped of his title and would be returned to Narn for trial. Sheridan offered G'Kar sanctuary, which forced Londo to endure his continued presence, but not in the council chambers.
Second Chance Lost
After the invasion of Narn, Londo began to distance himself from Mr. Morden. Refa took advantage of the situation and made his own personal alliance with Morden.
Despite the lessened respect that the other ambassadors accorded Londo due to the Centauri's aggressive behavior, Minbari Attaché Lennier did not think twice about rescuing Londo from a terrorist bomb in January 2260. Londo attended Lennier's bedside during his recovery from injuries received during the rescue.
While Londo had distanced himself from Morden, he wanted Vir to be even safer. He called in the favor that Delenn owed him for flying Draal to Epsilon 3 and arranged to reopen the Centauri Embassy on Minbar. Vir became the Centauri Ambassador to Minbar.
Londo's relationship with G'Kar reached a turning point when G'Kar sampled Dust, a telepathy-inducing drug. G'Kar attacked Londo physically and mentally. However, when a vision induced by Ambassador Kosh changed G'Kar's entire outlook on the universe, he carried Londo's battered form to Medlab and turned himself in.
In April 2260, Lady Morella, the widow of Emperor Turhan, visited Babylon 5 at Londo's invitation. She was a seeress, and Londo asked her to give him a prophecy. She told him that he had missed two opportunities to avoid the fire at the end of his journey and had three chances left. He must save the eye that can not see, must not kill the one who is already dead, and finally surrender himself to his greatest fear knowing that it will destroy him. She also predicted that both Londo and Vir would be Emperor one day, one after the other died.
Londo grew concerned that Centaur Prime was being left defenseless. Lord Refa moved the fleets where Morden suggested, and the Shadows had little concern for what would happen to the Centauri if the Non-Aligned Worlds turned on them. Londo summoned Lord Refa to Babylon 5 and secretly fed him part of a two-part poison. The second part was undetectable and would be fed to Refa if he didn't follow Londo's instructions. Londo ordered Refa to urge to Emperor to divert the fleet to defend the home territories. He also ordered Refa to cut his ties to Mr. Morden.
After Londo discovered that Vir was abusing his position on Minbar to aid Narn refugees, he called in some favors to have Vir's position retracted without exposing any explanations. Vir remained on Babylon 5 as Londo's aide again.
By August 2260, Mr. Morden became increasingly concerned that Lord Refa had lost his usefulness. He learned that Adira Tyree was returning to Babylon 5 to visit Londo. An assassin in Morden's employ slipped onto her ship and poisoned her. When Londo learned of her death, he assumed that Refa was responsible. Londo rekindled his ties with Mr. Morden.
Londo plotted his revenge for several months. Surprisingly, he negotiated G'Kar's complicity in exchange for the release of 4000 Narn prisoners. In December, Londo had Refa lured to Narn in a hunt for G'Kar who had returned there. Guards loyal to House Mollari abandoned Refa to the Narn resistance. After they killed Refa, G'Kar placed a data crystal on his body implicating him in the resistance. As the final step in his plan, Morden suggested to Emperor Cartagia that Londo be recalled to Centauri Prime to act as the advisor on planetary security.
Saving Centauri Prime
Knowing that the Shadows planned to attack Babylon 5, Morden sent a warning to Londo to leave. When Londo arrived on Centauri Prime after Sheridan's attack on Z'ha'dum, he learned that Cartagia had given the Shadows the island of Selene to use as a base. Londo realized that Cartagia was completely insane. He actually believed that the Shadows would elevate him to godhood, and the cost would be the destruction of Centauri Prime. Londo began to plot to assassinate Cartagia.
In January 2261, G'Kar was captured and brought to Centauri Prime where Cartagia presented him to Londo as a gift. Londo included G'Kar in his conspiracy to kill Cartagia. He encouraged Cartagia to take G'Kar to Narn for his public execution. Londo arranged for soldiers loyal to House Mollari to be stationed there. However, Cartagia's personal guards would also be present. Londo would arrange for G'Kar's chains to be weakened. G'Kar would break them and distract the Royal Guards while Londo assassinated Cartagia. In exchange, Londo would order the complete withdrawal of Centauri forces from Narn space.
Londo witnessed G'Kar suffering numerous tortures while they awaited the trip to Narn including the removal of his left eye. When they arrived on Narn, Cartagia informed Londo that G'Kar's chains looked weak so he had ordered them replaced. G'Kar still managed to break his chains, and in the ensuing chaos, Londo dropped the poison needle. Vir Cotto picked it up and was responsible for Cartagia's death.
Londo kept his promise and set Narn free. He returned to Centauri Prime as its Prime Minister, determined to clean up the Shadow presence there. He installed nuclear bombs on the island of Selene and ordered its evacuation except for volunteers who remained behind to keep up the appearance of an inhabited island.
Londo learned of a secret investigation into Adira Tyree's death. When he discovered that Morden had ordered her death instead of Refa, he realized that Morden had manipulated him. He went into a rage with the knowledge of all that he was responsible for.
Londo summoned Mr. Morden to him, and his guard's killed Morden's Shadow escorts. When Morden refused to remove the Shadow ships, Londo destroyed the island. He had Morden beheaded, and his head was placed on a pike as a gift to Vir.
Satisfied that he had removed every trace of Shadow influence from Centauri Prime, Londo couldn't understand why the Vorlon planet killer arrived to attack them. When Vir pointed out that there was still one thing on the planet touched by the Shadows - Londo himself - Londo selflessly ordered Vir to kill him immediately. The sacrifice was not necessary because the planet killer left to join the Vorlon forces at Coriana 6.
Londo recommended the appointment of a Regent and returned to Babylon 5, hoping to avoid his fate of leadership as long as possible.
Working for Peace
Despite their turbulent past, Londo Mollari began cooperating with G'Kar more often. In May 2261, Londo and G'Kar both allowed Sheridan to post White Stars to their mutual border. This tricked the Non-Aligned Worlds into demanding similar protection, which is what Sheridan wanted to do all along.
In September, Londo convinced the Centarum to support Sheridan in the Earth Civil War. He tried to convice G'Kar to sign a joint declaration of support, pointing out that the Humans on Babylon 5 had always been friends to them. G'Kar at first refused, but eventually he reluctantly agreed to sign the declaration, but not on the same page as Londo.
The following month, Londo continued to help Sheridan. Afraid of what an isolationist Earth Alliance might evolve into, Londo organized the Non-Aligned Worlds to support Sheridan's resistance efforts.
After the conclusion of the Earth Civil War, Delenn asked Londo and G'Kar to endorse her plan for the Interstellar Alliance. The two former foes united again to convince the Non-Aligned Worlds to join the Alliance.
In January 2262, Londo suffered a heart attack. As Dr. Stephen Franklin fought to save him with medical science, Londo battled with his own conscience for his survival. A series of hallucinations culminated in a bizarre recreation of one of G'Kar's tortures on Centauri Prime, with G'Kar in the role of Cartagia and Londo in G'Kar's place. Londo's conscience said he only had to apologize to G'Kar to live. As Londo muttered his apology, which G'Kar overheard from his bedside, Dr. Franklin announced that he was out of danger.
With the Regent in poor health, Londo began shuttling back and forth between Centauri Prime and Babylon 5 in May. At Delenn's suggestion, G'Kar accompanied him as a bodyguard.
Working in the Imperial Palace, G'Kar and Londo discovered that G'Kar's former aide, Na'Toth, was a prisoner in the prison. An imperial order that had never be rescinded would not allow her release, so Londo helped G'Kar smuggle her out of the prison and back to Narn.
When Sheridan and his staff presented evidence that the Centauri were responsible for attacks on Alliance ships, Londo presented the Centauri position that they were being framed with ships and weapons left behind on Narn. On 31 July 2262, he announced that the Centauri Republic had withdrawn from the Interstellar Alliance. He warned the Alliance that the Centauri would not recognize any blockades and that if any ships fired on Centauri ships they would consider it an act of war.
Within a few days, the Centauri Republic was at war with the Interstellar Alliance. Back on Centauri Prime, G'Kar was arrested. Londo demanded that he and G'Kar should stay together, so he found himself sharing a cell with the Narn. They spent four days in the cell, and on the final night Londo was abducted by the Drakh and examined by their alien allies. Londo awoke with the sense that something was terribly wrong. Londo had to leave the cell without losing face, so G'Kar vomited his stomach contents. The Centauri guard who discovered the stench quickly released Londo from the cell without question.
Londo went to the Regent and learned that he had sent the fleet away and deactivated the homeworld's defense systems. The Drakh controlled the Regent with a keeper, a symbiotic creature that attached to his shoulder and relayed his thoughts to its Drakh master. After Centauri Prime was devastated by a Narn and Drazi attack, the Drakh Shiv'kala revealed himself to Londo. The Drakh had manipulated Centauri Prime for their own purposes. They had followed Londo's example on the island of Selene and planted nuclear bombs all over the planet. Soon, the Regent would die and Londo would become Emperor. Londo would accept a keeper and mold the Centauri Republic into an isolated, bitter war machine set on revenge against the Interstellar Alliance.
Londo said goodbye to G'Kar and received the Narn's forgiveness. He returned to Shiv'kala and merged with his keeper.
He ordered ships to locate and rescue Delenn, who was lost in hyperspace, and then severed all ties to the Interstellar Alliance.
On 25 August 2262, Londo walked to his coronation alone as a symbol of the Centauri Republic's isolation. Londo Mollari was now powerless in the most powerful position in Centauri society.
The next month, the Drakh learned that Delenn was pregnant. They sealed a keeper in a Centauri ceremonial urn, and Londo took it to Minbar as a gift. He instructed them to give it to their son on his sixteenth birthday.
The year's of Londo Mollari's rule were a constant battle of wits with Shiv'kala. The Drakh could inflict severe pain on Londo, but he couldn't actually control his actions like a puppet, so Londo had some degree of negotiating power. He had learned from the Regent that alcohol numbed the keeper. He began keeping a journal called The Chronicles of Londo Mollari - Diplomat, Emperor, Martyr, and Self-Described Fool. He would drink heavily before writing in it to keep it secret from the Drakh.
Londo took a young woman named Senna into the palace as his ward. She was the daughter of Lord Refa, and her mother had died in the bombings of Centauri Prime, so Londo felt responsible for her.
Londo sparred repeatedly with Durla, an ambitious man that the Drakh were grooming for leadership. He eventually became Prime Minister and held far more power than Londo. Londo tried to give clues to Vir Cotto when he could about where he should focus his efforts and what dangers he should avoid. Londo also rekindled his relationship with Timov, his remaining wife. However, he realized that with their renewed romance the Drakh would likely threaten her life to keep him in line, so he banished her from the palace.
In September 2275, G'Kar thwarted an assassination attempt against Prime Minister Durla that could have harmed Londo. G'Kar spent the next few years in the Imperial Palace. Londo ordered that he be treated as a guest, but as Durla's power increased, G'Kar once again experienced mistreatment in a Centauri prison.
In November 2277, David Sheridan arrived on Centauri Prime, compelled by his Drakh Keeper. Sheridan and Delenn soon followed and were imprisoned.
Londo gave Vir a clue to the seat of Drakh power on Centauri Prime: the Tower of Power. This led Vir's resistance fighters to destroy it and reveal the Drakh presence in January 2278. Shiv'kala threatened Londo with the hidden nuclear bombs again, but Londo called his bluff. Unfortunately, the Drakh wasn't bluffing, and he detonated one third of the bombs, ruining Centauri Prime.
Londo agreed to free David Sheridan. After drinking heavily, he summoned G'Kar to his throne room. G'Kar managed to catch a glimpse of his keeper. Londo made several inflammatory statements, hoping that G'Kar would become enraged and kill him. G'Kar realized what he was doing. Londo ordered G'Kar to hide when Sheridan and Delenn were brought before him. Londo released them, but asked that they help rid his world of the Drakh.
After the guards took Sheridan and Delenn away, G'Kar emerged from his hiding place. Londo surrendered himself to his greatest fear, knowing that it would kill him. G'Kar began to strangle him. The keeper awoke and compelled Londo to strike back at G'Kar. The two men - adversaries and friends - died with their hands at each other's throats, just as Londo had foreseen.
Emperor Vir Cotto published Londo's memoirs posthumously. He also erected giant statues of Londo and G'Kar on opposite sides of the Centauri capital city, standing guard and watching each other's backs. In 2281, Vir remembered Londo during the toast to fallen friends at Sheridan's final dinner.