TRILL: Cultural Index

TRILL: Cultural Index

We are all a sum of memories and experience
shaping who we are. Sure genetics play a part and if you’re so inclined, perhaps something
greater, but we are each a product of our own lives. So what happens when you cram another
7 or 8 lifetimes worth into your mind form entirely different set of people? That’s
where you get the Trill. Hello I’m Ric and today the index is looking into the Star Trek
race with a unique adaptation. The most fascinating feature of the Trill
has to be their efficiency at maintaining public transport, their fastidious devotion
to a structure-… I’m joking of course. You can’t talk of the Trill without mentioning
their symbiotic relation with their homeworld’s other intelligent life. This relationship
has shaped many facets of their culture from millennia.
Trill, or Trillius Prime, is home to 650 million Trill and 11 million Symbionts. The plant
is similar to Earth in terms of environment but has an expansive cave network that houses
a number of underground rivers and interconnected lakes. This vast cave system lends itself
to easy access to mining leading to no shortage of materials. The capital of Trill is Leran
Manev, where the Symbiosis Commission and Senate offices reside more on them later.
The Trill themselves are a humanoid species that are remarkably similar to humans in many
ways, at least the humans of the 24th century. Their cultural development in the galactic
scene was incredibly rapid when compared to other species with a Trill being Federation
president only a few years after their admittance. The earliest contact with extra-terrestrial
life they had was with the discovery of subspace communications of a limited fashion and their
interception of other cultures background noise. By this time, the Trill had already
developed a unified planetary government based on a senate of representatives of different
institutions. Spurred on by this discovery, they eventually
developed their own warp program and were contacted by the Vulcans as per Vulcan first
contact protocols. From then on, the Trill continued to develop their technology until
the United Federation of Planets offered them membership. Interestingly enough, the Trill
took a very long time to decide whether or not to join and only accepted membership once
they had verified the claims of the Federation to be in line with their own morals and principles
of cooperation and development. Their government tends to try to remain neutral in many external
affairs, not wanting to draw too much attention, which earned them a reputation as mediators
and ambassadors. After joining in 2285 they proved to be a
model partner species whose technological developments contributed extensively, especially
in matters of propulsion and continue to pioneer techniques such as the generation of artificial
wormholes. Though for the longest time, they continued to remain impartial in the face
of many Federation affairs. As may be clear by now, Trill society is one
of intellectual pursuits and the Science Ministry is a respected intuition throughout the Federation.
The direction of their development was, in no small way, influenced by the Symbionts,
the other native intelligence on their planet. It is unknown how the Symbionts were first
discovered, whether it was a joint evolution, or a parasitic relation turned beneficial,
or even two separate species that discovered symbiosis by chance. But it has always been
the way for a Till host to join with a Symbiont to create a shared existence. The near-foot
long slug-like creature has a life cycle all of its own. To begin with, they hatch from
eggs in the pools of Mak’Ala where they grow to their initial size. They are little
more than brains attached to a swimming tail, are genderless and absorb nutrition through
their skin. They communicate by electrical discharge and despite their appearance they
are sentient, and have a name, Sef, Odan, Dax, Kahn for example. Once implanted into
a Trill’s abdomen, over a 93 hour period, they bind their tail to the host’s nervous
system and the two minds begin to function as one through a neurotransmitter called Isobormene.
The host’s last name is then replaced with the name of the Symbiont, symbolically it
shows the importance of the joining and the changes the host will now undergo.
The Symbiotic exchange is that the Symbiont gets to experience everything the host does
and the host has access to the experience and memories of the Symbiont. This is because
the little swimmers retain the memories, personality and if you like, the essence of every host
that it has bonded with. This means that each symbiont’s personality is therefore a mixture
of these traits, loves, fears, joys and neuroses. The host will integrate these experiences
into his or her own until, to them at least, it seems there is no difference between lives.
Though the current host’s personality remains dominant, they will refer to the experiences
of past lives as their own with even mannerisms, skills and habits carrying over. The “Right
of Emergence” allows a former host’s personality to take a more dominant role over that of
the current host, and the rite of Closure, Zian’Tara allows for a joined Trill to “meet”
the former hosts and learn from them as their personality is overlaid temporarily on another
person. A Symbiont can be joined many times with no
ill effect, but once bonded; neither can survive without the other. In a way, once joined,
a Trill will live on in some form, with their life preserved in the Symbiont.
Some sources say that once the Symbiont has learned enough, usually this takes hundreds
of years, they become un-joinable on their own an seek to return to the pools from where
they were born. Returning to the water, they spend the remainder of their life in the depths,
growing in size and tending to the older Symbionts, called the Annuated, 20,000 year old Symbionts
who absorb the experiences of all the younger ones on their return. But the Trill’s protective
and secretive nature surrounding the Symbionts leaves these stories unverified.
If this is true, this may be the source for the ancient Trill religious beliefs in Mak’Relle
Dur, an afterlife of memories where all life ends up in a unified mind.
The Symbiosis Commission oversees the applications for joining initiates and screens them thoroughly,
medically and psychologically for 3 years. During this time, the initiates also undergo
training to prepare them for the day that they’re joined as the influx of memories
can prove overwhelming. At any time during the training, an initiate can be dropped and
most will. There are several thousand applicants and only 300-500 symbionts available per year.
Naturally this leads the Commission to become very selective in their criteria and even
circulation of the rumour that biologically only 1/1000 Trill could be joined, when in
fact it’s closer to half to populous. Alongside the Commission, there are the Guardians, unjoined
Trill who look after the Symbionts in their natural environments, maintaining their climate,
treating the ill or injured and so on. As the Symbionts themselves retain the personality
of all they’ve joined with, violent tendencies are often a case for dismissal as a candidate.
This means that they majority of joined Trills end up being level-headed, composed and moral
individuals. With the advantages of being a joined Trill, previous lifetimes of knowledge
and experience, these individuals often rise in rank and power to greater positions with
many in the Trill Senate being hosts. It’s no surprise then that their culture is one
of peace with very few civil wars ever recorded through fear of tainting the Symbionts. Literally
and morally. The longevity of a Symbiont and their scarcity
leads them to be far more important than the host so if it comes down to a choice of saving
the host or the Symbiont, they will often chose the latter, not even risking certain
procedures that may endanger the creature. The hosts are often described as merely another
link in the chain with the description of a Host-Symbiont relation described as the
Balance. The purpose of joining is to allow the Symbiont
to experience and grow as an individual, providing a richer life for the symbiont and through
transfer of memories, the host too. Therefore, joined individuals are encouraged to seek
out new experiences like vocation and destinations to learn. There are also rules that forbid
a joined Trill from acting on a previous lives’ responsibilities, such as debts, oaths and
even family. This can be especially hard for a joined Trill (one of the reasons for the
initiate’s extensive training I’m sure), and while not all are enforced by law, reassociation
with former loved ones is forbidden and punished by exile. This is seen as a necessary deterrent
otherwise the Symbiont may forever be beholden to their emotions or debts and never move
on. Plus, the emotional distress and strain produced from trying to re-assimilate a new
individual into a perceived family can be …problematic. When two joined Trill become
involved, they do so only for the duration of the host’s life and when the Symbiont
is passed on, that new individual often distances themselves from the previous attachments.
However, general friendships are permitted to be retained.
The Trill themselves would not be who they are without this symbiosis. Not all Trill
are joined, in fact the majority are not, but every Trill has been affected by the joining
of the two species. The very culture of the Trill owes its existence to their union, from
the drive for peace to their desire to cultivate this in others. The importance of the Symbionts
in their culture is likely the reason that their existence was for so long kept secret
from the general public, even after joining the Federation but one thing is for certain,
a Trill, joined or not is the product of a culture whose ideals line up with the federation’s
to a T. Well, from their point of view, the it’s the Federation that had to measure
up to their standards as a people, and you can’t say that about many races in Star
Trek. Thanks for listening and as usual the voting
for the next culture can be picked from the comments below with either the another peaceful
race, the Ood of Doctor Who, or the Lumbering monotone Elcor of Mass Effect.
Thanks again for watching and remember, the Trill have always had spots, I don’t know
what you’re talking about, ridges, I see no ridges, shhhh. It never happened. Goodbye.

Author: Kennedi Daugherty

100 thoughts on “TRILL: Cultural Index

  1. I wish you had mentioned that in an extreme emergency a symbiot can be joined to a non trill, like that time Riker took on a symbiont from a ambassador who had been injured and dating the doctor or something, but as they said in the episode the joining to a non trill can not be maintained for long and is mostly just a stop gap measure to keep the symbiont alive

  2. You missed how the ancient Trill performed experiments on the symbionts created an offshoot violent symbiont race. Also, they had warp technology 4000 years ago, but rejected space travel, until the 23rd. Read the book.

  3. If I appeared in Star Trek Voyager, I would play a Trill Male Character and his name is Raifi Gran. So, he would he serve as a Starfleet Intelligence Officer and he would work in the Science Lab on Deck 8.

  4. Didn't mention the retcon from TNG to DS9, but we mention every one disco does……that joke at the end doesn't count.

  5. Pretty lame of you to glibly gloss over the obvious fact that there exists at least one other humanoid species capable of long-term joining with Trill symbiotes, and that any such joined individual may be correctly identified as Trill.

  6. After watching this, its clear where some of the inspiration people had for the bond "Kheldians" had with their hosts in City of Heroes the Good ones, "Peacebringers" clearly represent the Trill and the "Bad?" ones represent aliens like The Venom Symbiote.

  7. Always prefered Ezri over Jadzia Dax.
    I wonder if the general population appreciates being ruled by a symbiote? How well developed where the humans before the symbiotes where discovered? How long did it take before the symbiotes became common knowledge? I can imagine if it happened here it would have to be kept very secret for a very long time. Wait a minute…..
    Thanks for the episode, I've often wondered about the culture and history of the Trill.

  8. That one Trill from TNG actually had an alien grandfather who strongly influenced his appearance. Because of the emergency situation they had to transfer the symbiot to his cousin who was likewise of alien descent.

  9. The trill are an elitist society that denies over 50% their population a form of near immortality and the populace doesn't even know it.

  10. And here I'm thinking my Joined Trill in the KDF a mercenary of sorts but your saying we not like that? :/ We can't be bad guys?

  11. What about the time dax was going to be extradited from ds9 for murder of a General but he was banging the generals wife

  12. is this thing deep space 9. why big deal when sybote passed to radome officer save life? unlooses sybote was dr. all 8-9 lives or ship builder. not lot benifite. be same thing over and over again get really good at it. argue sybote that black smith over and over 8-9 life could make things metal others could dream off.

  13. That's right… The trill have always had spots. Just like the vorta have never been able to shoot balls of energy from their chest…

  14. So basically Good Guy Gua'uld ? (edit: Oh wow everyone else thought this too nice, my symbiote must be in sync)

  15. Physical Entry into Reincarnation? Could a Super advanced Octopus or slug evolve a brain like this to become the symbiote here on earth? could an Elon Mullosk one day evolve psychedelic neurotransmitters and ways to connect with human central nervous systems or even just circulatory system by injecting the nuerotransmitter which could be similar to ibogaine dmt pisocybin and or mescaline perhaps for some things and ok haha i gotta sleep thsi was fun wow

  16. this is disgusting.

    I realy think about dropping a dislike so youtube doesnt show me stuff like this again. It propably took a lot of work to make the video so I dont know if I should.

  17. This video was very well done but I'm disappointed that there was no mention of the likelihood of the co evolution of both humanoid Trill and Symbiote Trill. It seems that the way both of these aliens' biologies intermarry far too successfully for this to be a coincidence. Not to mention the fact that humanoid Trill are born with "pouch flaps" in order to accommodate a Symbiote. … that doesn't sound like willing enslavement, it sounds like co existence at a seriously higher level

  18. The person who came up with that name must have an interest in music. It is an embellishment note. Is not needed but more interesting with it.

  19. Interesting video and my vote ❎ goes to the Ood I was a Doctor Who fan before any other sci-fi and I've never ever encountered Mass Effect sorry 🙏🏻to the people who have

  20. So the Trill are Leech who continue their lives through the use of others?
    In Spock's words "Fascinating."

  21. One thing I've always wondered is if a Symbiote has it's own personality before the joining. We always hear about the personality traits of pasts hosts, but none of the Symbiote itself.

  22. Share a ego is the most bizzarre thing i ever heard, despite the apperance i see this more problematic than the borg, as they cannot really assimilate their drones souls. This seems out of realm of possible things to me, but the borg, not.

  23. If Trill an Humans are so similar, could a half Trill Half Human person become a host? And if so could a Human become a host?

  24. Imagine you had one trill that followed your family line, every person would get all their parents and grandparents wisdom and property. Essentially your family name would gain agency and immortality from this process.

  25. 11:12 — Thanks for implicitly reminding us that the Trill and symbiotes were retconned with the premiere of DS9.

  26. Writing prompt for a symbiont needing an emergency joining and joining with a timelord who regenerated to become compatible. Two set of lives.

  27. the trill are my fave race in star trek universe and in star trek online im one a fleetadmiral like the spots so much and her name ….. jadzia dax of course as jadzia said 1 of 10 trill are joined not 1 of 1000

  28. have a question the starships you show are from star trek online ? when yes i ask myself about the fact you have permission from cbs to sgow them in your video ? i hope so

  29. My favorite Trill is the rapper known as "Trill Bill" he's been known and verified to have kept it 100% Trill since his first host six cycles ago. His latest mix holo-tape "Cold Blooded Trilla" went Gold Pressed Latinum for 12 weeks straight. Easily beating his old record from his last holo-tape "To Pimp a Symbiote". They say his last single has been so popular that it's made it into the Delta Quadrant.

  30. I wonder if there's a deep sense of social classism and discrimination towards Trill that never become joined or don't wish to join?

  31. Thanks for this video. I thought I knew about the Trill, but I learned a lot here. I like them even more as a species now,!

  32. Hmm, no mention of the inconsistencies between the original TNG Trill as seen in "The Host" and the later DS9 Trill. In "The Host," the symbiont completely over-writes what little personality is present in the host, which is treated a mere disposable body. The host humanoids also feature forehead ridges and no spots, and there's no taboo (at least as far as Odan is concerned) in pursuing romantic relations with a past host's lover (ie Dr. Crusher). Literally all of these things were changed for DS9, which is fine, but we should at least acknowledge it and try to offer in-universe explanations.
    Also, as seen in "The Host," a non-Trill humanoid can temporarily serve as a host body for a short period of time before rejection sets in.

  33. The Gou'ld can transfer their genetic encoded memories to their human host offspring. I wonder can the human host of the trill do it too.

  34. It is somewhat disturbing that the symbiotes life then is viewed as more valuable than that of the trill. The Trills themselves then actually seem to be..slaves, brainwashed. Howver if bothives were viewed as equally valuable then it would not seem so sinister.

  35. Has a trill ever rejected the chance to be joined with a symbiot for fear of losing who and what they are? I wouldn't mind seeing a story about that.

  36. Would you consider doing an analysis/explanation of Zenna Henderson's Motivers?..or the few individuals in their history who can See. Henderson was the first published woman in science fiction to use her own name.

  37. Question, if us peaceful humans was to engage in a intimate relationship with the Trills how would that turn out?
    I'm new to the whole Star Trek universe.

  38. Why are the trill on DS9 so different from the trill on stng ?.
    On stng they had a cranial crest no spots. Then from DS9 on they had spots , no cranial bone structure.

  39. Is there a cultural index for humans? I've seen videos talking about the UFP and of alternate universe humans…. but I'd really like to see one that focuses on this universe's humans.

  40. Tee hee the job of the guardian is just mean. You can’t be joined. So spend you life caring for something you were denied

  41. Old man It Is Writ tings munch time but emaa not delicious like some tear gas without mickey mouse gas mask's on. Take it off's victoriously.

  42. Interesting, i loved the character Dax and never imagined that she was a kind of worm. So they are the Goulds of StarTrek then.

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