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Old August 19 2008, 10:28 PM   #1
david g
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Do Romulans Feel?

As we all know, Vulcans feel but repress their emotions. Do Romulans also repress their emotions? They are a strange, and strangely undeveloped, species--I wonder if the new film will fill in the blanks...

Just about the only characterization of a Romulan with any depth to it is in the S1 VOY episode "Eye of the Needle," where Voyager encounters a Romulan via a tiny wormhole.
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Old August 19 2008, 10:31 PM   #2
M
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Re: Do Romulans Feel?

david g wrote: View Post
Just about the only characterization of a Romulan with any depth to it ...
Ever watched an episode called Balance of Terror? Or how about The Defector?
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Old August 19 2008, 10:33 PM   #3
Dale
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Re: Do Romulans Feel?

All the evidence we have suggests that Romulans are very passionate and expressive people, mistrustful and quick to anger. Any "reserve" you witness and perhaps interpret as Vulcan-style emotional repression is probably due to the society they live in, which is based on precepts of paranoia, mistrust, and secret-keeping. The Romluan government keeps a close watch on the activities and even thoughts of its citizens, which accounts for the reserve we see in Romulan citizens in some episodes. But they display their emotions frequently, and their highs and lows are more extreme than those of Vulcans or even Humans.
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Old August 19 2008, 10:35 PM   #4
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Do Romulans Feel?

Yes, they both need to repress their violent emotions in order to have a stable social structure. Vulcans do this by making logic and emotional repression a fetish. Romulans might do the same through extreme clannishness and xenophobia - directing negative emotions outwards in lieu of repression - but this is definitely an area that needs to be developed & explained.
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Old August 19 2008, 10:35 PM   #5
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Re: Do Romulans Feel?

No, Romulans don't surpress their emotions. It's just that we've met a lot of military types who seem to be uptight about everything.
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Old August 19 2008, 10:37 PM   #6
Dale
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Re: Do Romulans Feel?

NCC-1701 wrote: View Post
david g wrote: View Post
Just about the only characterization of a Romulan with any depth to it ...
Ever watched an episode called Balance of Terror? Or how about The Defector?
Face of the Enemy...
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Old August 20 2008, 03:54 AM   #7
david g
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Re: Do Romulans Feel?

Thanks for the helpful responses. While I like the woman captains in The Enterprise Incident and in Face of the Enemy a lot, I still cant think of many episodes in which we really get to learn that much about Romulan culture.
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Old August 20 2008, 04:51 AM   #8
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Re: Do Romulans Feel?

Wasn't it said in an episode that the Romulans themselves split from the Vulcans because they didn't want to give up their warrior ways and their emotions?
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Old August 20 2008, 07:19 AM   #9
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Re: Do Romulans Feel?

Curiously, no. I mean, that's more or less the backstory that everybody accepts, but I don't think any episode or movie has stated it outright. It's just as possible that the Romulans were an exceptionally peaceful faction that escaped Vulcan when the remaining Vulcans were at their most violent, a bit before Surak's time. Or that the Romulans were the victims of a racist purge where all the ridgeheaded inhabitants of the planet, plus a few of their flathead supporters, were either slaughtered or driven off the planet.

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Old August 21 2008, 02:29 AM   #10
alicelouise
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Re: Do Romulans Feel?

Romulans seem to be in what some would term a "low trust" society. They're smart, inventive but have to be careful due to a strong and repressive government. Think of the modern day People's Republic of China, or various brutal regimes in the Middle East. You only open up to those who have jumped through multiple hoops before bestowing any trust.
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Old August 21 2008, 05:05 AM   #11
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Re: Do Romulans Feel?

Didn't Pardak in "Unification" actually say that the Romulans are a passionate people? I think we've seen evidence that he was right.
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Old August 21 2008, 06:14 AM   #12
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: Do Romulans Feel?

nx1701g wrote: View Post
Wasn't it said in an episode that the Romulans themselves split from the Vulcans because they didn't want to give up their warrior ways and their emotions?
No. That's a popular bit of fanon, but nothing more. Really, there's no evidence that the Vulcans who left their homeworld and became Romulans were in rebellion against Surak.

In fact:
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Old August 21 2008, 10:30 AM   #13
Timo
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Re: Do Romulans Feel?

OTOH, if one believes in the idea of Romulans leaving because they didn't stomach Surak's pacifism, one can then interpret this tidbit from ENT "The Forge" in a certain way:

T'Pol: "Surak died on Mount Seleya."
Vulcan calling himself Arev: "His body, yes, but his katra was spirited away before the last battle against those who marched beneath the Raptor's wings. Those who wanted to return to the savage ways."
"Raptor's wings" is an obvious allusion to the later Romulan symbol - but of course, even if one takes this allusion for a solid fact, this doesn't mean that the people who opposed Surakian ways were the same that traveled to the stars.

Incidentally, Memory Alpha claims Surak's demise was part of the final battle where the raptor folks supposedly lost. But the actual phrasing suggests that Surak died before that battle. Days before? Years before? Decades before? Centuries before? Everything is possible.

Diane Duane's novels suggest Surak died in an attempt to mediate peace, far away from home and thus supposedly far away from Mount Seleya. The flashbacks from ENT "The Awakening" don't necessarily contradict this claim, as Surak is shown dying of radiation poisoning. He may have been poisoned during his diplomatic visit, only to die at return to his ancestral lands.

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Old August 21 2008, 03:39 PM   #14
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Re: Do Romulans Feel?

Timo wrote: View Post
Curiously, no. I mean, that's more or less the backstory that everybody accepts, but I don't think any episode or movie has stated it outright. It's just as possible that the Romulans were an exceptionally peaceful faction that escaped Vulcan when the remaining Vulcans were at their most violent, a bit before Surak's time. Or that the Romulans were the victims of a racist purge where all the ridgeheaded inhabitants of the planet, plus a few of their flathead supporters, were either slaughtered or driven off the planet.
The movie might answer this, you know.
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Old August 21 2008, 06:25 PM   #15
OneBuckFilms
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Re: Do Romulans Feel?

Spock actually advises Kirk to strike first in Balance of Terror based on the probability that the Romulans are an offshoot of the Vulcans from a more violent past.

In "Unification", there are still artifacts from Vulcan found in Romulan possession, and the entire episode is about the reunification and Vulcan.

All of this is canon, and we've seen a lot of passion and emotion from Romulans.

Romulans are really based on ancient Roman culture and attitudes, right from the beginning.
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