Jadzia Dax

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Character
Name: Jadzia Dax
Occupation: science officer
Title/Rank: lieutenant commander
Location: Deep Space Nine
Status: deceased
Relationships: married to Worf
Fandom: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Other: Memory Alpha article
Jadzia (with Kira) on the Haven 3 cover by Christine Myers
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Jadzia Dax is a major character in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, played by Terry Farrell. A joined Trill, she is simultaneously a beautiful young humanoid woman "Jadzia", with a strange leopard-effect spot pattern, and a 300-hundred-and-change-year-old slug "Dax", with the memories of seven dead people. The Science Officer on Deep Space Nine, she's qualifed in astrophysics, exoarchaeology, exobiology & zoology, is a mean tongo player and has wicked fighting skills with a batleth. Shades of canonical Mary-Sue, methinks.

Her closest friend in canon is station commander Benjamin Sisko, who calls her "old man", a reference to his friendship with the slug's previous host, a lecherous heavy drinking old man by the name of Curzon Dax -- the source of Jadzia's love for all things Ferengi & Klingon. She is also particularly close to Kira Nerys, Quark and Julian Bashir. Both the two men harbour an unrequited pash for her, which she tramples on when she falls for and marries the Klingon security officer, Worf, much to the dismay of the many fans of Julian/Jadzia. Oh, and she also has a brief fling with another joined Trill woman, leading to the first f/f kiss in Trek history. Aside from technobabble, her interests include sex, gossip, rowdy parties and tongo.

Just as she starts getting broody, she is murdered by Gul Dukat, saving fans from the horror of a Klingon with Trill spots. Dax returns to the series as Ezri Dax, who later hooks up with Julian, which a lot of fans thought was just plain icky.

Fan perspectives

Jadzia is a highly popular character. In a 1995 poll including all Trek characters, she was the third highest ranked DS9 character (the highest ranked woman), coming in at a tied number ten.[1]

Gender & Sexuality

Many commentators point to Jadzia's overt sexuality, her gender fluidity and the ambiguity that lends to her sexuality.

[T]he characters we've seen with ambiguous sexuality have almost always been one-shot deals, so it's easy to see why they rarely make an appearance in anyone's fanfic. But the one exception, Jadzia Dax, would seem to be an open invitation to slash writers to do their worst, or their best. But in fact, there's surprisingly little Dax/Kira (or Dax/any other woman) slash on the Internet, certainly far less than there is Dax/Bashir or Dax/Worf. (Julia Houston, writing in 1999; the proportion of femslash has probably increased since that date.)[2]
Jadzia is an intensely sexual character, and we learn from her recollections that in many, if not all, of Dax's past lives, Dax has been just as sexually charged. ... gender becomes a very murky subject when discussing Trills. (Wendy A.F.G. Stengel)[3]
Dax, the symbiont who has lived numerous lives in various humanoid bodies… is trans. She may not be explicitly trans, but in terms of the stories that get told through her – about gender, personal change, social discomfort and assumptions based on appearances… she is very much trans. (Elissa Harris) [3]

Terry Farrell has said that the character is pansexual[4], stating:

'The only rule was ‘are you interesting to me, and do I want to know more about you?’

Fanfiction

Jadzia is a fairly popular character with fanwriters. Many fans felt her death was untimely and objected to her replacement with Ezri. Not surprisingly, resurrecting the character is a trope in some fanfiction, particularly in het stories. She's most commonly paired with Bashir, known as Julian/Jadzia. This used to be amongst the most common het pairings in the DS9 fandom, though its popularity seems to be on the wane. The canonical Jadzia/Worf -- one of the most interesting, complex relationships in Star Trek history, according to Wendy Stengel[3] -- is also very common. Jadzia also features prominently in Julian/Ezri stories, even though she's dead. Often Julian hooks up with Ezri only because of his love for Jadzia, causing the relationship to fail, or he at least has to work through his feelings for Jadzia for the relationship with Ezri to succeed.

Her canonical flirt with bisexuality & general air of being up for anything means that Jadzia also turns up a fair amount in femslash. This often riffs on the idea that her gender identity is fluid because of all those memories of being a man in previous lives. The predominant pairing is probably Jadzia/Kira, though she's also paired with Lenara Kahn (the other half of that same-sex kiss), as well as pretty much anyone with girl parts. Gen fanfiction frequently explores the otherness of the joined Trill experience.

Fanfiction centering on the character can be found at Archive of Our Own, Bajorarama, fanfiction.net and Trekiverse archives. The J&J Fanfic Archive hosted Julian/Jadzia fanfiction and The Worf Dax Fanfic Archive accepted fiction for Jadzia and the Jadzia/Worf pairing; both shipper archives went down with GeoCities in 2009.

Notable Works

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

  • More examples required, especially Julian/Jadzia

Het

Femslash

Gen

Fan Art

Jadzia is a popular subject for fan art. Artists include BGM.

Additional Art Gallery

Meta

Archives and Links

Fansites

Resources

References

  1. Brenda S. Antrim 'Netchatter', in Multi-Species Medicine #18
  2. Julia Houston Subtext and Slash: Having Your Cake and Eating it Too (accessed 22 November 2012)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Stengel WAFG. Intimacy & Sex on Deep Space Nine Some Fantastic Vol. 2, No. 1 pp. 1-13 (2005)
  4. Terry Farrell Confirms Jadzia Dax Was Pansexual on 'DS9'