I've been very nervous that any revelations in PoN might completely ruin my stories. I think I've been lucky so far (and no, I still haven't read it yet). I definitely used aspects of RBoE and ZSG to inform my stories, and in other cases willfully ignored a couple of minor details because they did contradict what I wanted to do.
Timing-wise, this season has taken a year, as ST seasons usually do. But since I made the existing novels into two seasons (as opposed to the one year that they supposedly took in the original story) we are three years after the end of the war. That places us just at the beginning of the Time to series, one year before Nemesis, and two years before Destiny. Dax gets command of the Aventine immediately before Destiny.
And that's an interesting question about Taran'atar. To my knowledge the novels haven't come back to him except for a passing mention in ZSG, so it's definitely an open question. I did write a line for Vaughn when I was adapting Warpath, along the lines of "JemíHadar donít get weaker with age. They just get stronger, and faster, and smarter." But that doesn't rule out something interesting and unexpected happening. I was trying to play with that a little bit with the L'Haan-katra thread earlier in my season - not in physical terms but mental ones, as if to say, maybe this is just what happens when a Jem'Hadar gets as old as you, he starts to lose his mind.
So far it looks like PoN
, hasn't explicitly contradicted anything, with the possible exception of the new DS9 crew revealed. Most you can guess, but there are a few entirely new faces.
But mostly, details are mentioned off handed that can be taken many ways. Take for instance Taran'atar (no real spoiler here, since it is so vague). He is mentioned only once and the way it comes off, he could have either gone his own way and left, or died in a blaze of glory or whatever. Many options to choose from.
So, timing wise it sounds like we are still 1 year away from Dax transfering to Aventine
as 2nd officer I take? Personally, I'm a little anxious for this. More than most any of the main characters, she feels like a fifth wheel at the moment.
I truly am excited for when the time comes an Vaugh takes command and Ro is the XO. Ro really has been put through the ringer lately. I think only someone with Vaughn's influence could let that happen, what with her history and if her addiction becomes publicly known. Starfleet might have something to say about that.
About Taran'atar. It really is uncharted territory. He is the oldest Jem'Hadar, supposedly by far. And he has broken free of his genetic programming. There is no precedent for this in his species. I doubt the Founders when making the Jem'Hadar bothered to plot out their full life cycle, only focusing on them being lethal and obedient as soon as possible. Maybe he can become even faster, stronger, more lethal- maybe even develop new abilities.
It would also be interesting to see his abilities decline, and be forced to rely on his experience. He can become the Vaughn of the Jem'Hadar, so to speak. Or he could simply start having the Jem'Hadar version of Alzheimer's or the like. So many possibilties. It's untapped potential, like what could have happened with Kes on Voyager