BoLS logo Tabletop, RPGs & Pop Culture

Star Trek: Understanding the Borg Queen

6 Minute Read
Feb 2 2023
Hot story icon

Why do the Borg, hive mind cyborgs who emotionlessly assimilate everyone and everything in their path into their collective, have a queen?

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Star Trek: First Contact is the best TNG movie. And yet the cinematic debut of The Borg has a problem: The Borg Queen. Prior to ‘First Contact’ the Borg are entirely without hierarchy. In their first television appearance “Q Who” they don’t have gender let alone identity of any kind.

In fact, if we catalog the situation, the closest the Borg have to a queen throughout TNG is Lore. That’s right. Not the Borg Queen. Lore. Because it’s Data’s evil twin brother who controls all the emotional Borg in the two-part episode Descent.

But the Borg Queen is real. She somehow exists during the episode ‘The Best of Both Worlds’ according to First Contact. And she spends many seasons changing after her girlfriend Seven of Nine on Star Trek: Voyager.

And arguably the most interesting development comes in Star Trek: Picard when the Borg Queen (played by the late Annie Wersching) combines her consciousness with Dr. Agnes Jurati. Apparently, the Borg Queen is lonely!

Looking at all the pieces separately, you might say: this makes no sense! But we’re here to tell you that there’s a way to unite all these disparate concepts under one Queen, long may she reign. What way is that, you ask? Simple.

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

What If the Borg Queen is New?

Okay, hear me out. On the one hand The Borg Queen sort of intimates in Star Trek: First Contact that she is The Borg. The beginning and the end. The one that is many. Et cetera. And that may be kind of true, but that doesn’t mean there are no Borg without her.

Towards the very end of Star Trek: Voyager in the two-part story “Unimatrix Zero” the Borg Queen says that she was a young girl when she was assimilated. So, unless she is lying, the Borg Queen is not the beginning of the Borg.

Here’s the theory: the Borg Queen only rules the Borg Collective starting around ‘First Contact’ and ending with Star Trek: Picard season 2. And, in point of fact, we think characters like Hugh and Seven of Nine bear this theory out with their own personal histories with the Borg.

Let’s break it down.


Courtesy of CBS Television

“The Best of Both Worlds” and “I, Borg”

Three words: Locutus of Borg. Is there anyone else who proves beyond a shadow of a doubt how easy it is to become a Borg Boy Boss? How long is Jean-Luc even a Borg? A day? Two? And he’s basically running the entire invasion of Sector 001?

Just as important as our evaluation is Hugh from “I, Borg”. In that episode, we discover how quickly even someone who has been a Borg for a while can assert their own individuality. Hugh may not remember who he is, but only a few days away from the Collective is enough for him to at least be his own man.

Even more relevant is what happens after Hugh rejoins the Borg Collective. Hugh not only retains his memories of the Enterprise-D, he basically infects the rest of his cube with emotions and individuality. We see something similar with Seven of Nine and three other Borg in her unimatrix during the Voyager episode “Survival Instinct”.

But let’s get back to Unimatrix Zero because it’s the most important story when it comes to understanding how the Borg Queen might really have come to power.

Courtesy of CBS Television

Was the Borg Queen the First Citizen of Unimatrix Zero?

The existence of Unimatrix Zero is a massive security breach within the Borg Collective. Basically, a small percentage of Borg experience a virtual reality during their regeneration cycles where they remember who they used to be. More than that, all these Borg interact with one another. Some of them even form romantic relationships!


However, the caveat is that they do not remember Unimatrix Zero when they wake up. This is where Captain Kathryn Janeway rolls in to change the game. And by the end of the episode Unimatrix Zero there are multiple Borg who continue remembering who they are outside of the (now destroyed) Unimatrix Zero.

But here’s the big question: where did this rare Borg ‘disease’ come from? All we know is that a very small percentage of Borg have the condition. We don’t know how many? And more importantly, we don’t know its origin.

What if The Borg Queen is patient zero? What might one, single Borg with consciousness do with that power? We know how Hugh handles it: by being a big baby. Sorry not sorry, Hugh. What we’re presupposing here is that there’s another way to handle individuality among a bunch of Bong drones – go full girl boss.

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

The Borg Queen, Locutus, and the Road to Queendom

We know the Borg Queen creates Locutus to be an equal and a partner. That is a matter of record. The question is: why? Now the basic assumption is that the Queen is surrounded by drones and wants someone who is not like the other Borg. But what if there’s more to it than that?

The other question is: if the Borg Queen was assimilated like everyone else, how does she become the queen? And our hypothesis is that it takes her a while. Not only that, but one of the Queen’s ideas is to get a little help in the form of Locutus.

If the Collective is all drones and the Queen, maybe she needs some help to rise to power. Maybe Locutus is that help. Unquestionably before “The Best of Both Worlds” the Collective doesn’t seem to have a queen. The Collective seems like it’s just a hive mind with no singular leader.

So our theory is that the Queen fails to keep Locutus but does use his existence as a stepping stone. Janeway uses a Central plexus to bring consciousness to the Borg. There’s no reason to believe the Borg Queen couldn’t do something similar to insinuate her consciousness into the rest of the Collective.


It may take time, but certainly, once we arrive at First Contact the Borg Queen is in charge. And it’s entirely possible her status as queen is relatively new. After all, what she tries to do in that movie is find a partner again be that Picard or Data.

Courtesy of Paramount Plus

Is It Good to Be the Queen?

The Borg Queen seems to succeed in having a partner of sorts. Seven of Nine, at a bare minimum, functions in much the way Locutus does acting as a go-between betwixt humanity and the Borg. And the Borg Queen fixates on trying to get Seven back for years after Seven is liberated from the Collective.

And for all the criticism of Star Trek: Picard season 2, the acknowledgment that the Borg Queen is lonely makes a ton of sense. She tries ruling the Borg. She tries to seek perfection for the Borg. But even after trying multiple times to find a long-term companion, the Borg Queen is still stuck.

And then Agnes Jurati offers the Borg Queen a chance to both meld minds and also build a version of the Collective where everyone is there by choice. In theory, the result is that the Borg Queen is no longer alone.

If you put all her stories together, all the questions about the Queen are answered, some more officially than others. The Collective is different in “Q, Who” because the Queen isn’t in charge yet. Locutus exists as part of the Queen’s journey to power. Unimatrix Zero exists because of the Queen’s own sentience. And Agnes’s appeal to the Queen works because she really is alone after all those years at the top.

That’s how and why we think the Borg Queen is the way she is. What are your theories?


Lina Morgan
Author: Lina Morgan
  • Netflix's 'Viking Wolf' is a Classic Werewolf Tale with a Nordic Twist