This is the latest installment in a series of "Character Insight" articles regarding the rich history of characters in the Star Trek universe. An audio version will appear on the This Week in Trek podcast, available for direct download here.
Welcome back to Character Insight! This week, we take a break from Abrams to profile the young Ferengi Nog from Deep Space 9.
Nog is the only son of Rom, who is Quark's brother and one of the waiters who works in Quark's Bar on DS9. Rom is left as a single father to Nog as a result of being swindled out of all his money by his former father-in-law, and Nog is thus forced to learn and adhere closely to the Rules of Acquisition. As a result, Nog has plenty of time to find himself in adventures and shenanigans on the station.
Without many other children on the station, Nog immediately becomes close friends with Jake Sisko after the Federation takes over the Terok Nor station and redubs it Deep Space 9. Although these two characters often get into shenanigans in silly episodes such as holodeck stories, these characters share a real bond that is rarely seen between child characters of long-running shows. Honestly, Nog and Jake bring a refreshing twist to the character development used significantly along the long story arcs of DS9.
Although Rom his father would prefer a long profitable life as a Ferengi businessman, Nog strikes out on his own trail in an effort to avoid his father's fate if business goes bad. Nog's path takes him to Starfleet Academy as a Federation cadet, although the Ferengi had not yet joined the Federation at that time. Nog ends up being the first Ferengi in Starfleet, serving a similar role for this series as Worf and Spock.
Similar to the track Wesley Crusher takes in TNG, we see Nog transfer from a kid on board to a Starfleet officer. Once Nog returns as a cadet and ensign from the Academy, he is immediately involved significantly with the ongoing Dominion War. This includes Nog's use as an advance scout, although Nog loses his leg and needs a biosynthetic replacement from battling with the Jem'Hadar.
Nog is the most frequent recurring character on DS9 behind Morn, with 46 appearances all including speaking roles. Nog is shown wearing six different rank insignias, which ties him with Commander Geordi La Forge for the higher number of distinct ranks held during episodes of a series.
Our notable quote this week comes from the episode Heart of Stone:
According to Ferengi bylaws, section 105, subparagraph 10: "Upon
reaching adulthood, Ferengi males must purchase an apprenticeship from a
suitable role model." I choose you.
Commander Sisko: You want to be *my* apprentice?
Nog: That's right. I want to be the first Ferengi in Starfleet! Now, who do I see about getting a uniform?
Actor: Aron Eisenberg played Nog throughout the entire Deep Space 9 series. Eisenberg has not acted since 1999, although he enjoyed an 11 year acting career including small appearances on shows like the Wonder Years
and Tales From The Crypt.
Until next time, live long and prosper...