Isis Carmen Jones
Guinan was the mysterious bartender at Ten Forward, the lounge aboard the USS Enterprise-D. She was an El-Aurian, a race of "listeners" from somewhere in the Delta Quadrant who were scattered by the Borg. Q, however, once suggested that there is far more to her than could be imagined. One can only speculate as to the meaning of this...
Guinan was born some time before the late 19th century on the El-Aurian homeworld. When she was a child, she had a Tarkassian razorbeast as an imaginary friend. When she was troubled she'd talk to it, and she enjoyed just curling up on his warm belly. As she grew older, she found that she talked to it less and less, but the idea always remained. (TNG: "Imaginary Friend")
As a mature adult, she hid from her father on Earth (prior to the planets first official contact with an alien race), posing as a celebrated socialite in San Francisco. While there, she entertained such luminaries as Samuel Clemens. (TNG: "Time's Arrow, Part I")
She travelled extensively over the next several hundred years, eventually becoming a refugee aboard the SS Lakul in 2293. She, along with the rest of her ship, subsequently became caught in the Nexus; an experience she described as "being inside joy". Guinan, along with most of the other El-Aurian refugees, was traumatized upon being pulled out of it. In 2371, Captain Jean-Luc Picard conferred with the "echo" of Guinan who remained in the timeless Nexus and, with her help, was eventually able to escape from the Nexus. (Star Trek: Generations)
Aboard the USS Enterprise
Guinan came aboard the Enterprise in 2365, at Captain Picard's personal request. Guinan and Picard shared a long-time relationship, which, according to her, went "beyond friendship and beyond family". (TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds")
At Ten Forward, she kept a selection of alcoholic beverages for special occasions, in opposition to Starfleet's synthehol regulations, and kept a variety of non-syntheholic drinks, including a bottle of Aldebaran whiskey given to her by Captain Picard. (TNG: "Relics") As lounge host, she made herself available to anyone in need, especially to the senior staff, as an informal counselor.
In mid-2366, Lt. Commander Data believed spending time in Ten Forward observing human social interaction would be beneficial for his android "offspring" called Lal. With Guinan's guidance, Lal worked as a waitress for a brief period. (TNG: "The Offspring")
No stranger to the phaser range, she once beat Worf on Level 14, firing left-handed. (TNG: "Redemption, Part I") When in 2367 REM sleep-deprived crewmembers began to draft conspiracy theories about the Enterprise's inability to escape the Tyken's Rift, Guinan was able to defuse the situation, thanks to an energy-beam rifle she had acquired on Makus III. (TNG: "Night Terrors")
In early-2369, Guinan, together with Captain Picard, Ro Laren and Keiko O'Brien, were affected by an anomoly that caused them to revert to the bodies of 12 year olds due to the effects of a molecular reversion field. While Captain Picard temporarily stepped down from command, a group of Ferengi commandeered the Enterprise. Believing Guinan to be a child, she was confined to a classroom aboard the ship. Picard, Guinan, Ro Laren and Keiko O'Brien, however, were able to design a plan to retake the Enterprise from the Ferengi. (TNG: "Rascals")
In 2371, Guinan was among those who survived the emergency landing of the Enterprise. Prior to the Enterprise's crash, she had told Captain Picard that Dr. Tolian Soran was seeking to return to the "Nexus", which she described as a doorway to a paradisical place. She also warned Picard that anyone who entered the Nexus would never want to leave it and that should someone be forcefully be taken away from it, their desire to return to it may make them extremely dangerous. When Picard was trapped in the Nexus shortly thereafter, Guinan reminded him to focus on his mission: to prevent Soran from destroying the Veridian sun. With the help of Captain Kirk, Picard succeeded in stopping Soran, and was able to escape from the Nexus. (Star Trek: Generations)
Dealings with Q
Guinan had "some dealings" with Q sometime during the 2100s (at the time, Guinan apparently went by another name), and Q almost treated her as an equal, although a mutual hatred existed between them. As Q put it: "where she goes trouble always follows".
When they first met aboard the Enterprise, in 2365, Q immediately stood back when he saw her, backing off as if to be physically attacked. He adviced Picard to get Guinan off the ship, and added he would be more than pleased to expedite her departure. Picard responded he was talking about himself rather than about Guinan and refused to do any such thing. Picard and Q continued their conversation and Q claimed that humanity was not ready for what awaited it. Picard disagreed, to which Guinan added humans learn to adapt. Q responded by throwing the Enterprise 7000 light-years into uncharted space, where the vessel would be the first to make official first contact with the Borg.
After the encounter, Guinan talked to Picard about how Q had set a series of events in motion. Their contact with the Borg, she claimed, had come long before it should have. When they would have been ready, it may have been possible to establish a relationship with the Borg, but now humanity was only raw material to them. In addition, since the Borg were now aware of their existence, they would be coming. Picard responded that Q may have done the right thing for the wrong reasons, as the Federation needed a good kick in their complacency to get it ready for what was ahead. (TNG: "Q Who?")
Guinan's second encounter with Q while on board the Enterprise came a year later, in 2366. Q was at the time stripped of his powers by the Continuum, and had requested asylum aboard the Enterprise; a request Captain Picard had reluctantly complied with. When Data informed her that the captain and much of the crew were not yet convinced Q was truly human, Guinan casually picked up a fork from behind the counter and sharply stabbed Q's hand. When the latter bursted out in great agony, Guinan concluded: "He's human". She told Q he was a pitiful excuse for a human and the only way he was going to survive would be by the charity of others. Q's powers would later be restored by the other members of the Continuum. (TNG: "Deja Q")
In late-2368, Guinan was coached by Picard in fencing. In november that year, she initially lost one of their matches, saying she didn't think she liked this sport. Picard replied she liked it well enough two weeks ago, when she scored two touches on him. After their first match, they took a short moment to relax and soon they found themselves talking about Hugh: the Borg drone Picard had allowed to be taken on board. On Guinan's question whether taking Hugh on board was wise, Picard replied it was an errand of mercy, and that Dr. Crusher decided for humanitarian reasons to care for him.
They rose again for their second match in which they advanced and retreated a few times, parrying. Then Guinan lunged, stumbled and grabbed at her leg - apparently, she had pulled a muscle. Picard dropped his foil and started toward her in concern. Suddenly Guinan was up and on him in a flurry of thrusts, and actually knocked the foil from his hand. "You felt sorry for me," she said. "Look what it got you," holding his look, defiant - and unquestionably angry. (TNG: "I, Borg")
Guinan was born around the earth 19th century, her father, at the time, was already over two hundred years old. (TNG: "Rascals") In her life Guinan had married at least 23 times and had "a lot" of children. (Star Trek: Nemesis; TNG: "Evolution") She had a good relationship with her uncle Terkim, the "black sheep" of the family. (TNG: "Hollow Pursuits")
Immediately upon coming aboard the Enterprise, Guinan was able to draw the attention of many people because of the mysteries surrounding her age and origins. Except for Captain Picard, she had not met previously with any of the Enterprise crewmembers, but would soon develop a friendly relationship with many members of its senior staff. (TNG: "The Child")
In 2365, Guinan and William Riker attempted to counsel Wesley Crusher regarding his relationship with Salia. As Riker pretended to flirt with Guinan, they proved their own advice unadvisable. (TNG: "The Dauphin")
Guinan and Jean-Luc Picard shared a long-term relationship, which, according to her, went "beyond friendship and beyond family". (TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds") She also once said to Geordi La Forge that she was attracted to bald men. (TNG: "Booby Trap") In return, Picard once remarked Guinan to be "very selective about whom she calls a friend". (TNG: "Ensign Ro")
In 2365, Data's rights as an individual were challenged when cybernetics expert Commander Bruce Maddox wanted to disassemble the android for study. Picard challenged Maddox's assessment before the local Judge Advocate General. As the hearing neared its end, Picard admitted to Guinan he feared he was losing the case. Guinan asked what Maddox gained if he would be successful in disassembling and reassembling Data. Picard responded he would posses the ability to build many more androids. He remembered Guinan's words that the decisions we make today have implications for the future, and so Picard reasoned that if it would be decided that Data was indeed Starfleet property, all future androids would be also. Guinan noted there was an ancient word for that - slavery. Eventually, Picard would win Data's case by pointing out that an entire race of Datas would be used as slaves - strictly against Federation principles. (TNG: "The Measure of a Man")
Besides joining Picard on the holodeck, they would occassionally share a game of chess, and Guinan was also coached in fencing by Picard in 2368, begun when she considered exercise to strengthen her arm. Shortly prior to their match, the Enterprise had taken a Borg drone, now named Hugh, on board. Although Guinan initially questioned Picard's decision to have done so, she was convinced by Geordi to speak with the former drone. She could not but acknowledge this Borg was developing a personality, becoming an individual. Upon her conversation with Hugh, she convinced Picard to speak with him as well. (TNG: "I, Borg")
In 2366, Beverly Crusher, while seeing her son socialize with other teenagers, asked Guinan whether she had any children. Guinan replied she had a lot and Beverly informed whether she had ever had trouble with one of them. Guinan said she had with one and upon Beverly's remark that all children go through that, Guinan explained this was not the case among a species of listeners. Asked about how he had grown out of it, Guinan explained a mother shapes her child in ways she doesn't even realize; sometimes just by listening. (TNG: "Evolution")
When in 2369 Beverly was relieved of duty, Guinan visited her in her quarters, claiming she sought treatment for her tennis elbow. As Beverly began to talk about her recent actions, she explained she had illegally performed an autopsy on the Ferengi scientist Reyga who had appeared to have committed suicide. As Beverly later found out, the Takaran scientist Jo'Bril had in fact murdered Reyga in order to discredit the Ferengi. Upon Guinan's encouragement, Beverly eventually discovered Jo'Bril's plan, prevented him from stealing Reyga's research data, and proved the technology was valid. She was exonerated and returned to duty shortly following the incident. In order to thank Guinan for her encouragement, she presented her with a state-of-the-art tennis racquet, on which Guinan admitted she had never played tennis. (TNG: "Suspicions")
In early-2365, Wesley Crusher was reluctantly preparing to leave the Enterprise and join his mother, who had departed to become head of Starfleet Medical. When he was staring out of the windows of Ten Forward, Guinan approached him, asking him whether he wanted anything to drink. As they talked, Guinan asked him three more times during their conversation, and when Wesley pointed that out, she replied it was what she was expected to do, asking if he didn't always do what was expected of him? He replied he tried to, because sometimes you have to consider others more than yourself. Guinan responded that the game is to know when to consider yourself more than others and to give yourself permission to be selfish. Their conversation made Wesley decide to stay on board the Enterprise after all. (TNG: "The Child")
Geordi La Forge
Guinan would often advise, or rather cheer up, Geordi after one of his dates went troubled. Thus, in early-2366, Geordi sought her advice after his date, Christy Henshaw, admitted she was not in love with him. When Geordi asked about what Guinan sought in a man, she replied she was attracted to bald men, because a bald man was very kind to her once and took care of her. Geordi went on explaining he never knew what to say around women. When Guinan remarked he did not appear uncomfortable at the time, Geordi replied that he wasn't "trying" when he was speaking with her. Guinan replied: "Exactly", making him realise he was only uncomfortable when trying to chat up a girl. A few days later, Geordi found himself rather smitten with a holographic recreation of Dr. Leah Brahms. (TNG: "Booby Trap") A little over a year later, he got the chance to meet the real Dr. Brahms and found her much less charming than her holographic version. At the time, he again sought Guinan's advice. (TNG: "Galaxy's Child")
In mid-2366, Guinan first approached Worf, introducing him to the Terran beverage of prune juice. Although the drink was generally unpopular among humans, Worf called it "a warrior's drink". As Guinan seated down at his table, she asked why Worf always seated alone. Worf looked at her with vague irritation as the conversation was venturing into areas he'd rather avoid. Worf replied he would require a Klingon woman for companionship as human females were too fragile. Despite Guinan's claim she knew one or two woman on board who may have found him a bit tame, Worf refuted this as "impossible". Guinan teasingly called him a coward for not wanting to meet them, upon which Worf replied he was merely concerned for the safety of his crewmates. (TNG: "Yesterday's Enterprise")
When the Klingon Civil War erupted in 2367, Worf was torn between remaining in Starfleet service and joining Gowron against the House of Duras. While practicing their skills in the phaser range, Guinan asked Worf about how his son, Alexander, was doing. Worf replied he was having difficulties adjusting to life on Earth, onto which Guinan responded the time would come when Alexander found out what it really meant to be Klingon, just as the time had now come for Worf. Worf would later request a leave of absence and with the help of Captain Picard, would reveal Romulan assistance to the Duras cause in the civil war. (TNG: "Redemption, Part I")
When in 2368, the Bajoran ensign Ro Laren came aboard the Enterprise, she immediately drew everyone's attention. After discussing Ro with Geordi, Guinan sat next to Ensign Ro in Ten Forward. Although Ro initially claimed she did not want any company, Guinan remarked she would have stayed in her quarters if that were true. As they talked, Ro commented that Guinan was not like any bartender she had ever met, to which Guinan responded that Laren was unlike any Starfleet officer she had ever met and that this might be the start of an interesting relationship. Laren objected mildly to this, saying she never stayed anywhere long enough to make friends. Guinan said that she had just made one.
When Ro was later grounded, Guinan visited her in her quarters where Laren decided to confide in Guinan after her new friend told her that people like themselves, who had lost their homes, sometimes felt they have no control over their own lives. Ro confessed she was in great trouble. Guinan advised that she herself was in great trouble once and that she would still have been had she not trusted one man. This conversation was instrumental in Ro's decision to reveal to Captain Picard that Admiral Kennelly had made a pact with the Cardassians in order to eliminate Bajoran "terrorists". (TNG: "Ensign Ro") Ro would remain on board the Enterprise, and continue her friendship with Guinan, until 2370, when she decided to join a Maquis faction. (TNG: "Preemptive Strike")
In an alternate version of 2366 created when the USS Enterprise-C disappeared from the year 2344, Ten Forward was suitably altered to befit the military nature of the new timeline. Luxuries were limited, besides Guinan, the civilian wait staff was gone, and crewmembers were often forced to consume TKL rations since replicator power was generally diverted to the defensive systems. Guinan was the only one aboard who noticed the changes that had followed upon the Enterprise-C's appearance. On her suggestion, Captain Picard sent the Enterprise-C back to its own time to restore the timeline. (TNG: "Yesterday's Enterprise")
- Guinan hides from her father on Earth.
- Guinan is rescued by the USS Enterprise-B after her transport ship, the Lakul is caught in the Nexus ribbon.
- Guinan comes aboard the Enterprise-D at Captain Picard's personal request.
- When REM sleep-deprived crewmembers began to draft conspiracy theories about the Enterprise's inability to escape the Tyken's Rift, Guinan is able to defuse the situation, thanks to an energy-beam rifle she had acquired on Makus III.
- Guinan convinces the former-drone Hugh that, despite the collective's claim, resistance is not futile, and that her own survival is the living proof of that.
- Guinan, together with Captain Picard, Ro Laren and Keiko O'Brien, is reverted to the body of a 12 year old due to the effects of a molecular reversion field.
- Guinan is among those who survived the crash of the Enterprise.
- Guinan is present at the wedding of William Riker and Deanna Troi.
Guinan was played by Whoopi Goldberg, who was first introduced in the episode "The Child". Goldberg got the role after she expressed interest to the producers, being a fan of the original series - mostly due to Nichelle Nichols, one of the first regular black women to feature in an American television series.
In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Rivals" the writers, Jim Trombetta and Michael Piller, intended the character of Martus Mazur to be a son of Guinan. Guinan herself was to appear in the episode but Whoopi Goldberg was unavailable. All the references to Guinan were removed and only Martus's status as an El-Aurian was retained. That episode was the first to name Guinan's species and Guinan herself would not be identified as an El-Aurian until Star Trek: Generations.