Star Trek Guide

Picard's Romulan Protector Elnor: New Star Trek Character Explained

Star Trek: Picard has introduced a new ally for the good captain in the guise of Elnor, a young Romulan warrior with a peculiar history. In the series' fourth episode "Absolute Candor," fans are introduced to Vashti, a planet in the Beta Quadrant that was used as a Romulan relocation hub during Starfleet's evacuation efforts. Among the inhabitants of Vashti were a group of Romulan warrior nuns called the Quwat Milat whom Picard befriended, and who believed Starfleet was operating in good faith to save as many Romulan lives as possible.

Among the Romulan convent was a young orphan boy, Elnor, who Picard would bring gifts and - to the delight of Star Trek: The Next Generation fans - give fencing lessons. Elnor followed the teachings and practices of the convent, but could never truly be one of them as a man. Picard promised to find Elnor a more suitable home, but he lost track of the young boy and the nuns when the synths attacked Mars and Starfleet pulled out of its rescue mission. However, Picard decides to take a detour to Vashti on his way to Freecloud, where he expects to find Bruce Maddox and, perhaps, some answers to the mystery that is Dahj and Soji Asha.

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Picard finds Vashti to be overrun with poverty and squalor, much to his horror. Without the Federation's support, the colony was largely left to rot, and the inhabitants are understandably resentful toward Picard and Starfleet. Among those inhabitants is Elnor, now a young man with no real direction in life. Picard decides to ask Elnor to join him on his quest to save Soji and Data's legacy, though Elnor is initially reluctant to join the man he feels abandoned him so many years ago.

After meeting with Elnor, Picard is accosted by an aggrieved former Romulan senator, who forces him into a sword fight. Elnor arrives in time to save Picard, though his murder of the Romulan senator enrages Picard, seemingly setting the tone for the relationship between the two. Picard is filled with shame over his role in Elnor's life, and clearly feels the need to teach him about the code of honor that he's lived his own life by. Elnor chooses to bind himself to Picard's cause as "qalankhkai," meaning he'll defend him to the death for a worthy lost cause.

Elnor is clearly going to Picard's most physically capable ally, as he dispatched with Picard's Romulan adversaries in brutal fashion. But the young man is angry and directionless, in severe need of Picard's tempering influence. There are more than a few parallels with some of Picard's old TNG friends; the contentious father/son dynamic between Picard and Wesley Crusher is invoked (Picard is notoriously uncomfortable around children), and attempting to channel the righteous fury of a young warrior is definitely territory Picard has traveled previously with Worf. Whether Elnor can live up to those characters remains to be seen, but Star Trek: Picard has a lethal new protector in the young Romulan warrior.