(coexisting on another dimensional plane)
This page contains information regarding Star Trek: Discovery, and thus may contain spoilers.
Philippa Georgiou was a female Terran who was the Emperor of the Terran Empire in the 23rd century. As Emperor, she was formally titled Her Most Imperial Majesty, Mother of the Fatherland, Overlord of Vulcan, Dominus of Qo'noS, Regina Andor, Philippa Georgiou Augustus Iaponius Centarius. (DIS: "Vaulting Ambition")
After a coup by Gabriel Lorca that failed due to intervention by the USS Discovery, she was brought to the prime universe against her will. After a brief period as captain of the Discovery to end the Federation-Klingon War raging at the time, she was recruited into Section 31. (DIS: "What's Past Is Prologue", "Will You Take My Hand?", "Point of Light") She later assisted in the efforts of the crews of Discovery and the USS Enterprise in taking down the malevolent artificial intelligence known as Control. (DIS: "Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2") She went to the 32nd century with Discovery, but was eventually forced to return to the past because she was too far from both her time and her home universe to maintain cohesion. (DIS: "Terra Firma, Part 1", "Terra Firma, Part 2")
- 1 Early life
- 2 Imperial reign
- 3 In the prime universe
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Legacy
- 6 Appendices
Georgiou was responsible for rendering Qo'noS uninhabitable, and, together with Sylvia Tilly, she subjugated the Betazoids and wiped out Mintaka III. (DIS: "Will You Take My Hand?") She bombarded the Talosians in retaliation for trying to deceive her with their psychic illusions. (DIS: "If Memory Serves")
In spite of the Empire’s xenophobic tendencies, Emperor Georgiou had taken titles native to the Vulcan, Klingon, and Andorian subjects of her Empire, as she was addressed as "Overlord of Vulcan, Dominus of Qo'noS," and "Regina Andor", among others, symbolic of her success at conquering and oppressing other species.
The rebellion against her rule appeared to have little information about her except that the emperor was ruthless. Her identity was not made public, being known as the faceless emperor. (DIS: "Despite Yourself", "The Wolf Inside") Her flagship, the ISS Charon, was commanded by Captain Maddox. (DIS: "The Wolf Inside")
Captain Gabriel Lorca became one of Georgiou's closest advisors. However, Lorca thought that Georgiou was unfit to lead, letting aliens come in their borders and attempted a coup against her. Even Burnham, by then a captain of immense prestige, collaborated with Lorca to kill her and take her throne. Unknown to Burnham, The Emperor was aware of her adoptive daughter's collaboration, but nonetheless, in what appeared to be a test of loyalty, Georgiou dispatched her to apprehend Lorca. (DIS: "Vaulting Ambition")
After Michael Burnham of the prime universe posed as her counterpart returned from the dead, the Emperor was quick to assign her a new mission: destroy the Fire Wolf's base on Harlak. However, when Burnham proved too slow to carry out the order, the Emperor herself traveled halfway across the quadrant to confront Burnham. (DIS: "The Wolf Inside")
After Burnham confronted her in front of the Terran Court on board the palace ship Charon, Emperor Georgiou revealed that she was the adoptive mother of the "mirror" Burnham. At dinner with her she was initially amicable. However, she was mistrustful of her long-lost daughter: as Burnham struggled to accept the new role she was to play, the Emperor had her arrested and brought to the Lords of the Terran Empire for her execution. This order was countermanded when Burnham proved herself to be from the same universe as the Defiant. After ruthlessly murdering all of the Lords except for one, she discussed with Burnham the terms of her and her captain's liberation. However, during the discussion, her discomfort when adjusting to sudden bright light caused Burnham to realize that the Gabriel Lorca she had brought, who had claimed his own sensitivity to light was caused by eye damage, was actually his mirror universe counterpart. (DIS: "Vaulting Ambition")
Lorca then resumed his coup against Georgiou, quickly escaping from his confinement and rallying his comrades who had been condemned to the Charon's agony booths. They quickly took the ship with the assistance of the mirror Paul Stamets, who had helped them in their first coup attempt, only to sell out to Georgiou. During a confrontation in which most of the crew still loyal to her were killed, she performed an emergency site-to-site transport, hiding in her personal quarters and wearing a special bracelet that made her undetectable to the ship's sensors. Lorca then took control of the Charon and threatened to destroy the USS Discovery.
Burnham found Georgiou and proposed a plan, to exploit Lorca's desire to put her by his side once more. They pretended to surrender in exchange for letting Discovery go. When the Discovery came out of warp, Lorca was distracted by Saru and Burnham's conversation, giving her time to subdue the guards around her and Georgiou. The fight turned in their favor quickly, and when Burnham released Lorca from gunpoint, citing the Starfleet ethos, Georgiou executed him with a sword through the chest for his treason. He was then unceremoniously kicked through the "sunroof" into the super-mycelial reactor and his end. Georgiou finally warmed up to Burnham, saying that for one second, she was her daughter again, and volunteered to stay behind and give her enough time to escape as Lorca's forces surrounded them. Instead, as the transporter beam energized, Burnham unexpectedly lunged at her and took Georgiou with her to Discovery before the Charon was destroyed, along with all of Lorca's men. (DIS: "What's Past Is Prologue")
In the prime universe
With Georgiou and Burnham aboard, the Discovery engaged its spore drive and crossed back into the prime universe, having overshot their arrival time by nine months.
Saru was initially shocked at seeing Georgiou alive, believing her to be his former captain. She quickly corrected him and immediately demanded that he kneel as a slave. Burnham revealed that indeed this Kelpien was her captain. However, Georgiou was quick to remind Burnham that they had previously dined on entrails of his brethren.
Over nine months, the Federation war with the Klingons had taken its toll, with Starfleet losing one third of its fleet and over twenty percent of its territory occupied. Losses were so great, Admiral Katrina Cornwell and Ambassador Sarek wished all knowledge of Discovery's journey to the alternate universe be buried and locked down.
On meeting with Georgiou, Cornwell and Sarek found her resemblance to Captain Phillipa Georgiou to be remarkable. With Burnham's assurance that Georgiou's appearance in their universe was without motive, Cornwell admitted it remained complicated. Georgiou wished to return to the mirror universe. Burnham stated that she had escaped a violent revolution and should be granted political asylum within the Federation. Georgiou was to be held at Starbase I, until Starfleet Command determined a proper course of action, this changed when the Discovery learned that the starbase had been occupied by Klingons. (DIS: "The War Without, The War Within")
Assisting Starfleet in the Klingon war
Georgiou's rule of the Terran Empire extended throughout every system in their galaxy, conquering places Starfleet hasn't dared to explore. Burnham wanted to know how Georgiou had defeated the Klingon Empire. Georgiou explained that the Klingons were like cancer cells, constantly dividing and the way to root them out was to destroy them at the source, Qo'noS.
As the Klingons were preparing to strike Sol system, the core system of the Federation, the response was to take the fight to Qo'noS. A coordinated attack against their planetary defense batteries, followed by the destruction of all military targets planet-wide. A single offensive so destructive, it would cause the Klingons to retreat back to their homeworld.
Georgiou provided Burnham with intelligence that Qo'noS is essentially a planet of caves, some large enough to house a Crossfield-class starship. The Discovery could use its spore drive to enter one of these caves and map the terrain from the inside-out, reducing the risk of detection.
Meeting with Sarek in private, Georgiou offered her help in winning the war. While she had provided Burnham with the intelligence she could handle, the Qo'noS of her universe was little more than a blackened mass of dust. Burnham's plan would prove effective, but only temporarily. Georgiou offered to bring the Klingons to their knees once and for all. If she got her freedom, she would assure victory for the Federation.
Sarek negotiated with the Federation Council and received approval of Georgiou's plan and that they had no choice but to proceed.
Georgiou took the role of Captain Phillipa Georgiou to chart the Discovery's course to Qo'noS. To cover up her alternate universe origin, Cornwell claimed that although presumed long-dead, she was rescued in a highly classified raid of a Klingon prison vessel. The mission was perilous expedition and Starfleet was confident she was uniquely qualified to get the Discovery there and do what needs to be done. (DIS: "The War Without, The War Within")
The war concluded when Georgiou planted a hydro bomb within a volcano on Qo'noS. Preventing Georgiou from detonating the device, Burnham gave the detonator to L'Rell, who used the threat of detonating the device to force the leaders of the Great Houses to accept her leadership and ordered Klingon forces to halt their advance on the Federation. (DIS: "Will You Take My Hand?")
Agent of Section 31
Some months later, Georgiou paid a visit to Qo'noS, where she rescued L'Rell and Tyler from a coup orchestrated by Kol-Sha. Upon being addressed by her former title, Georgiou maintained her cover that she was a retired Starfleet Captain now serving as a security consultant and that she was there to ensure that L'Rell remained in power. To that end, she advised L'Rell in private to send Tyler and the baby away, as the fiercely patriarchal Klingons would continue to think her orders were actually Tyler's and would try to exploit the child. L'Rell took her advice and, after arranging to fake Tyler's execution by L'Rell, Georgiou brought Tyler and the baby to Boreth.
As the child was sent to the planet to become a monk, Georgiou mockingly invited Tyler to join Section 31; although Leland chided her for her tone and choice of words, Georgiou maintained that she was successful and Tyler was "in". (DIS: "Point of Light")
Traveling to the 32nd century
Georgiou traveled to 3189 alongside the crew of the Discovery. After the Discovery crash-landed near the Colony, Georgiou went there without authorization and saved Captain Saru and Ensign Sylvia Tilly from Zareh's band. (DIS: "Far From Home")
At Federation Headquarters, Georgiou was debriefed by Kovich and a couple of Starfleet holograms. After dismissing their claims of a biological explanation for Terran malevolence, she disabled the holograms by blinking at their harmonic rate. She then questioned Kovich about the Burn, and he informed her that the Terran Empire had fallen and that she was now alone, as no crossings from the mirror universe had been recorded since the 27th century. (DIS: "Die Trying")
Georgiou subsequently began experiencing increasingly debilitating flashbacks to her earlier life in the Terran Empire. These hampered her during an unsanctioned mission she undertook with Burnham to recover a black box from the salvage yard on Hunhau. Pretending to be a buyer of pre-2400 technology, Georgiou distracted Tolor and assisted in the mass escape of the yard's slave laborers. Afterwards, she destroyed the yard by sending several derelict starships crashing into it. (DIS: "Scavengers")
Georgiou indicated that she felt she had lost her mother too soon, in an incident that was too blurred in her mind to be sure if she killed her. (DIS: "Light and Shadows") While attempting to seem intimidating to Burnham and Dr. Hugh Culber, Georgiou said that she had killed her mother, though Burnham retorted back that she had not. (DIS: "The Sanctuary")
Describing children as ungrateful inconvenient "parasites," Georgiou indicated that she had offspring of her own that she had someone else care for while she kept busy. (DIS: "Point of Light") After the death of the latter's parents, Georgiou adopted Michael Burnham. She provided her the best education and training. (DIS: "Vaulting Ambition")
Sexually, Georgiou took an interest in both male and female partners, even at the same time. According to an Orion duo that serviced her after coming to the prime universe, she had taught them many new things. (DIS: "Will You Take My Hand?")
Georgiou's presence on the Discovery left a significant impression among most of the crew. While she was often scolded for her Terran approach to certain problems, she was looked upon with respect, and admiration. Upon her departure of the 32nd century, the crew held a memorial for her in her honor. Sylvia Tilly said that Georgiou redefined the word "badass", and Saru admired her for her "punishingly" honest opinions.
Michael Burnham said that while she was a pain in the ass, Georgiou was a mirror that she never knew she needed, and that she both loved and hated her, calling her the most unexpected of gifts. Michael also said that what she felt for her was only for her, rather than her prime counterpart. (DIS: "Terra Firma, Part 2")
|Unnamed emperor (2155) • Empress Hoshi Sato (2155) • Emperor Philippa Georgiou (2257) • Unnamed emperor (2267)|
|Commanding officers of the starships Discovery|
|USS Discovery: Lorca • Georgiou • Pike • Saru • Burnham|
|ISS Discovery: Unnamed • Tilly|
- "The Wolf Inside" (DIS Season 1)
- "Vaulting Ambition"
- "What's Past Is Prologue"
- "The War Without, The War Within"
- "Will You Take My Hand?"
- "Point of Light" (DIS Season 2)
- "Saints of Imperfection"
- "Light and Shadows"
- "If Memory Serves"
- "The Red Angel"
- "Perpetual Infinity"
- "Such Sweet Sorrow"
- "Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2"
- "Far From Home" (DIS Season 3)
- "People of Earth"
- "Forget Me Not"
- "Die Trying"
- "The Sanctuary"
- "Terra Firma, Part 1"
- "Terra Firma, Part 2"
The title "Dominus of Qo'noS" was deliberately mispronounced as "Dominus of Kronos", though the subtitles retain the spelling as Qo'noS. 
On his Twitter account, Jordon Nardino, who wrote the episode "Vaulting Ambition", explain the meaning behind the titles and name of the emperor.
"All Hail her most Imperial Majesty, Mother of the Fatherland, Overlord of Vulcan, Dominus of Kronos, Regina Andor, All Hail Philippa Georgiou Augustus Iaponius Centarius. But what's it mean??!?
When we began digging into the Terrans last year, I had just read a newer history of Rome and was excited to use it as inspiration. (SPQR by Mary Beard, check it out.) Here's some of the titles Roman Emperors used: Wikipedia
So into her titles:
- Father of the Fatherland is easy, we turned that into Mother of the Fatherland (even tho we de-gendered Emperor, it felt right)
- Overlord of Vulcan: an early conquest of the Terrans, they see themselves as their protectors. It's paternalistic / delusional.
- Dominus of Kronos: Terrans are very proud of conquering Qo'noS. Dominus is a harsher title the Emperor at the time took as a result (and Georgiou kept for herself). "We OWN them." Qo'noS mispronounced out of cultural chauvinism.
- Regina Andor: Andoria is a jewel in the Terran crown. Subjugated warrior race. Early Terran conquest, pre-Sato. The title was created to celebrate this achievement.
Now as for Georgiou's many names...
"Philippa Georgiou Augustus Iaponius Centarius"
- Philipa Georgiou: her given name and her family name, just like Prime.
- Augustus: the Terrans see themselves as inheritors of the Roman Empire so their Emperors take the title of its first Emperor.
- Iaponius is Latin for Japanese. This (in my fever dream) is a title Hoshi Sato adopted when she named herself Empress, to honor her homeland. So is Georgiou descended from Hoshi!?
Well... Hoshi was Empress. 100 years later, Georgiou is Emperor. Georgiou took one of Hoshi's titles as her own to connect them. So Hoshi's legacy as Empress must be good and Georgiou must either be connected to her in a chain of succession or might want to create that connection... But they have different ethnic backgrounds. Hoshi is Japanese, Philipa is Chinese-Malaysian. So I don't think it's likely Philipa is a direct descendant like a great-grandchild. Cousins is possible. More likely tho......whoever inherited Hoshi's throne was someone she adopted as a child & heir, the way most Roman emperors did. And that Emperor adopted his/her heir, and so on, until we get to Georgiou. And she is proud of the connection and flaunts it with the title Iaponius.
But... it's not canon until it's on screen so that's just one writer's opinion.
As for Centaurius, I figured it was the first system colonized by the Terrans since it's closest to Sol so it was a title the Emperor at the time took in tribute.
Hope someone found this informative!"