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Intelligent Lifeform Index

Four Letter Code THOL
Federation Status Neutral
Planet of Origin Tholia, (guessed to be Y-Class)
Encountered Encountered by the USS Enterprise, NCC-1701 The Tholian Web, TOS. First encountered by the Enterprise, NX-01 Future Tense, ENT.
Current Tech Level NR
List of Named Tholians

Full ILI GalleryPermitted Species Gallery

"We are Tholian, we are the future."
a Tholian greeting.
The Tholians are an alien species with unique physical needs and a non-humanoid way of thinking. Their government is expansionistic and aggressive, and they have carved out an empire that they are willing to defend and seek to enlarge at the expense of other species.

Home System

  • Quadrant: Alpha
  • Location: Tholian Sector (coordinates A25-0009-1304)
  • Proper Name: Thola system
  • Star: It orbits a class B (Blue-White) star
  • Distance from Star: its orbit is approximately 92 million km
  • Companions: It is the only planet in the system
  • Moons: it has 6 moons.

Home World

  • Proper Name: Tholia,
  • Diameter: 23,965 km (14,891 miles)
  • Gravity: 1.08 standard gravity with a density of 3.1
  • Axial Tilt: 8.3%, with no seasonal changes
  • Orbital Period: 382 days
  • Rotational Period: 23.5 hours
  • Classification: Y
  • Surface Water: 3%
  • Atmosphere: 0.98% is a standard pressure with 65% nitrogen, 13% oxygen, 22% trace chemicals
  • Climate: Planetary temperatures constantly over 500 degrees Kelvin
  • Terrain: Rough hilly zones with barren plains, deserts and some mountains.
  • Population: Just over 23 billion


Bode's Galaxy

In this universe, they are not native to this galaxy, originating in M81, or Bode's Galaxy. According to the Tholians, they were not the only intelligent species on their original home world. The dominant species was the Shedai. This species conducted genetic manipulation experiments on the Tholians to convert them into a more useful but still lesser species. They were then enslaved by the Shedai for a countless period of time until that species voluntarily went into hibernation. Tholians remain fearful of the Shedai to this day.

With the Shedai gone, the Tholians were able to expand and create their own Empire. One that quickly put their old masters to shame. They conquered their entire galaxy creating the Tholian Will. The use of their unique web casting weapons was not only key to their conquering their galaxy but to their ability to suppress opposition as well.

However, one of their subject races, the insectoid Seltorians who had earned the position of 'most-trusted-race' status within the Tholian Will developed the technology to break Tholian webs, and used it to overthrow their masters. This technology allowed them to build weapons called the Web Breaker - a weapon uniquely capable of disrupting the web.

Milky Way Galaxy

Some of the surviving Tholians fled to this galaxy. This was approximately 79 years after the date of first contact between Earth and Vulcan. Federation scientists are still unsure how they were able to achieve this feat. Especially as they managed to bring a Dyson sphere along with them. Most engineers agree that this remarkable feat of engineering could only have been achieved using some form of technology that the Tholians must have had available to them back in Bode's Galaxy, but which they lost when they fled from the Seltorians.

Upon arriving in this galaxy they quickly claimed an area of space outside the Klingon Empire. Moving swiftly they found and claimed a Y class planet. This they named Tholia and it became their new home. They also established control over most of the sector. This became the basis of their new Empire the Tholian Holdfast. It is also referred to as the Tholian Assembly.

Once the Klingons learned of their presence border skirmishes broke out between them. The Tholians fiercely defended their enclave, repelling all Klingon attempts to invade it. They also managed to continue their expansion. Establishing control over a few more sectors.

Building a New Empire

The Tholians referred to this as the "Territorial Annex of the Tholian Assembly" which suggested that their expansion was one of conquest rather than mutual interplanetary agreement with areas of deep space being often claimed by the Assembly as being their own.

Long range sensor probes conducted by the Klingon Empire showed that the core region of Tholian space consisted of a stellar nursery and a large nebula where new stars were forming. The planetary systems that were identified consist of very young planets that had entered the Class C, Class F and Class H categories.

These planets were, thus, incapable of supporting Humanoid life. A few rare expeditions conducted by the Klingon Empire had also revealed that those worlds within Tholian territory were reported to be rich in resources, however, there were a large number of inordinate subspace anomalies. This was one of the reasons why the Klingon Empire had not attempted to make an active invasion of Tholian Assembly territory as the costs far outweighed the gains.

Though they were isolationists and xenophobic; the Assembly had been known to be opportunistic as they conducted raids against rival states. These attacks were not full scale invasions and were tasked with incorporating small territory into the Assembly, the purpose of which was not known as those worlds that were taken tended to have no strategic or resource value. What was known was that once the territory was taken by the Assembly, it was zealously defended as any other Tholian world.

This meant that the territorial annexation of neighboring star systems was typically a one way proposition as once it was conquered, it usually became a servile province.

22nd Century

The Tholians are highly xenophobic and generally limit contact with other races. Humans had never heard of the Tholian homeworld, Tholia, until 2151, when a reference to Tholia was made in the record of a Klingon courier named Klaang, who was carrying information regarding the Suliban Cabal. The Vulcan High Command had, had only limited contact with the Assembly prior to this.

In 2152 the Tholians made an unusual move and traveled far beyond their territory and actively sought to possess a 31st century time-travel pod discovered by the Earth starship Enterprise, under the command of Jonathan Archer. Four Tholian starships intercepted and disabled the Vulcan cruiser Tal'Kir, while it waited to rendezvous with Enterprise. They in turn attacked and defeated the Suliban fleet that was in pursuit of the arriving Earth ship. They then successfully removed the pod from Enterprise's possession, only to have the pod return to its proper timeline moments later. The Tholian Assembly's interest in time travel was indicative of their suspected involvement in a larger conflict, the Temporal Cold War.

In the mirror universe, in 2155, the Tholians detonated a tri-cobalt warhead inside the gravity well of a dead star. The explosion created an interphasic rift which acted as a doorway to an alternate universe. Because of its instability, the Tholians reasoned that it was too dangerous to send one of their own ships through, so they transmitted a distress call into the opening, hoping to lure a ship from the other side.

First contact between the Assembly and the Federation was made by the USS Intrepid which was performing a deep space charting mission near the disputed Tholian border. The commanding officer of the Federation starship was warned by the Tholians to leave the area immediately after which Captain Spiak of the Intrepid complied whereupon he informed Starfleet Command of the encounter. Several weeks later, a transmission from the Tholians demanded an audience with Captain Spiak at the border line as the Assembly through it was prudent to learn more about the nature of a possible enemy.

23rd Century

Relations between the Assembly and Humanity did not improve after this first hostile encounter. By the 23rd century, the Tholians were involved in frequent conflicts with the United Federation of Planets in their expansionist programs.

Theses conflicts were generally called the Tholian War and took place between the year 2353 and 2360.

During this war, the Tholians demonstrated an uncanny ability to absorb punishment while striking vulnerable Federation rear positions along with using the dangerous areas of chaotic space to their advantage. It was noted that no core Tholian colony was ever occupied and Starfleet was only able to penetrate a few parsecs into the Tholian territorial annexes. The conflict ended when the Tholians requested a truce, something that caught the Federation by surprise.

This truce in the conflict only lasted for a short time however as the Tholians broke away from this attempt at diplomacy when they launched an attack at Kakrafoon.

Ongoing conflict with the Federation was finally brought to an end in 2254 when there was a revelation regarding the differences in the way the two powers measured borders and territory.

Formal diplomatic ties were eventually formed between the Assembly and the Federation, and a Tholian diplomatic delegation was stationed on Starbase 47 as early as 2265.

Tholians expanded into the Taurus Reach. Upon doing so they discovered the presence of the Shedai and promptly named the sector Shedai sector. Federation scientists believe that this may be proof that the Tholians used Shedai technology to flee Bode’s Galaxy.

Regardless they immediately established a wide quarantine zone around the planet on which they had discovered the newly awakened Shedai. This rapid expansion in order to be able to construct a strong quarantine field led them into a conflict which resulted in the vicious destruction of the USS Bombay. Through the efforts of the station crew at Starbase 47, war was prevented.

In 2268, the Tholian Assembly ordered the destruction of a Klingon colony on Taelus II. The USS Defiant was carrying proof of this back to the Federation, when it received a distress call from an interphasic rift. The rift had been created in 2155 by the Tholians in the mirror universe in an attempt to lure in a ship from their future.

Three weeks later, the starship USS Enterprise would discover the Defiant trapped in a spatial interphase, only to observe the starship, and consequently landing party leader James T. Kirk, cross over into the mirror universe.

Shortly thereafter, a Tholian starship intercepted the Enterprise, demanding that it should leave Tholian territory. At the request of First Officer Spock to be allowed to rescue Kirk from the Defiant, Tholian Commander Loskene allowed them a small timeframe, before they were required to withdraw.

The Enterprise crew was unable to rescue Kirk in the time provided and the Tholians opened fire, damaging the Enterprise and, after the arrival of a second Tholian starship, attempted to trap it in their web. The Enterprise, however, was able to recover Kirk and successfully escape, before they fell victim to the web.

Unknown at the time, the Defiant had traveled back in time to the mirror universe, where, when fully clear of the interphase, it was towed by the Tholians of that universe to a small moon drydock in the Vintaak system, deep in Tholian space. There they employed several humanoids to gut the ship. Commander Jonathan Archer of Starfleet learned of the vessel's presence in his universe. He commandeered the ISS Enterprise and flew it deep into Tholian space while cloaked to steal the Defiant. After sending a boarding party on board the Defiant, the Tholians spun a tractor web around the Enterprise and destroyed it. The boarding party managed to activate the Defiant's systems, but not before the Tholians spun a tractor web over the entrance of the drydock. The Defiant then destroyed three Tholian ships and the moon's drydock, before escaping the system.

In 2271, the Federation made a formal announcement in recognition of ongoing diplomatic ties between the two powers. Ongoing contact with the Federation was minimal. The Assembly rarely contacted the Federation, but they did slow their expansion and ceased encroaching on Federation territory. Better relations between the Assembly and the Federation opened in 2298, after the Federation intervened in a conflict between the Tholians and the Neyel Hegemony being conducted over extra dimensional tunnels between the Milky Way Galaxy and the Small Magellanic Cloud created by the interphasic rift.

The Devil Wars was the name the Neyel gave to the conflict the Neyel Hegemony had with the Tholian Assembly when a series of subspace rifts connected Tholian space to the Small Magellanic Cloud. The war ended between the two governments through the efforts of Federation diplomat Aidan Burgess.

The Tholian Incident was a fictitious event orchestrated by the Klingon Empire. It was an elaborate scheme that the Klingons hoped would allow a Klingon fleet to assault Earth. It involved tricking James T. Kirk into believing that he had arrived a hundred years in the future where the Great Peace had been achieved by the New Klingons.

A false history file stated that an 'incident' involving a Klingon and Starfleet force occurred in territory that bordered on that of the Tholians. Though it appeared as though war was going to rage between the two sides, the Klingon fleet was actually manned by New Klingons that had travelled back in time in order to create a self fulfilling future peace. This would be achieved by a time displaced James T. Kirk along with the Organian Ayelborne. Fortunately Captain Kirk was able to see through the deception and the attack was prevented.

24th Century

The 2350’s saw an increase in hostilities between the Assembly and the Federation. In 2353, the Tholians destroyed a Federation starbase. The only survivor of this attack was Kyle Riker, the father of Starfleet Commander William T. Riker.

The frequency of Tholian attacks would remain sufficient enough for Starfleet to develop Tholian-based battle simulations. In 2355, during one such simulation, William T. Riker used a notable strategy to calculate a sensory blind spot on a Tholian vessel.

They would remain a threat well into the 2360s, when it was anticipated by Klingon Special Emissary K'Ehleyr that if a Klingon Civil War were to break out in 2367, the Tholians might eventually be involved. This fear, however, did not come to pass when the civil war broke out months later.

In 2372, Commander William T. Riker read up on every log and historical record pertaining to conflicts inside nebulae, including the Tholian Hive Revolt. It may have been during this conflict that the Tholians attempted to collect volatile gases from a class-9 nebula and use it as a weapon.

Tholian space was violated in 2367 when the Planet Killer doomsday weapon under the command of a woman known as Delcara entered their territory in order to devour worlds within their space to power the weapon. Attempts were made to stop her, but even the infamous Tholian web weapon was incapable of halting the behemoth. Fortunately it was stopped thanks to the assistance of the crew of the Enterprise-D.

The Tholians conducted business with Bajoran trader Razka Karn in the early 2370s. They pursued him because of unscrupulous "business" practices so he took refuge in the Badlands.

The Tholians maintained ambassadors with other powers throughout the Alpha Quadrant. In 2371, a Tholian ambassador visiting DS9 reported that someone broke into his quarters during the night and stole three cases of latinum. Several weeks later, Odo accused Nog of stealing from the Tholian ambassador and arrested him, although this was part of Jake Sisko’s plan to repair his friendship with Nog.

In 2371, Tholian colonies were attacked by a splinter group of Hugh's independent Borg, using the Taj, a stolen Klingon bird-of-prey. This triggered Tholian reprisals against the Klingon Empire and the Federation, nearly plunging the three powers into war. Commander William Riker and First Officer Nethrax joined forces to find the Taj and the rogue Borg were turned over to the Tholians for judgment.

The Tholians were interested in controlling the Bajoran wormhole and Captain Benjamin Sisko considered them to be one of several possible factions involved in the conflict between Bajor and the Ferengi Alliance in 2372. They also often pursued Razka Karn for unspecified reasons.

In 2372, Kasidy Yates claimed she was meeting with a Tholian freighter to deliver medical supplies to treat a viral infection on one of their colonies; she was in fact smuggling the supplies to the Maquis.

In 2373, a Tholian observer was killed in the bombing of the Antwerp Conference on Earth by a Dominion infiltrator. Despite this, the Tholians would sign a non-aggression pact with the Dominion the following year, prior to the outbreak of the Dominion War, remaining neutral throughout the conflict.

In 2373, the Tholian Assembly signed a non-aggression pact with the Dominion, and stayed uninvolved through the entirety of the Dominion War.

This combined with the tenous peace they had with the Federation meant that the Assembly were content with observing the war. However, whilst an unpopular opinion publicly, some believed that the Tholians would have fallen before the superior might of the Dominion had the Founders not been defeated.

In 2376, the Defiant reappeared. The USS da Vinci was sent to retrieve it, and several Tholian starships oversaw it. However, when proof that they had performed the massacre at Taelus was discovered, the Tholian Assembly ordered the destruction of the da Vinci. They were fought off and forced to retreat however, by the joint powers of the da Vinci and the Defiant.

The USS Trident, USS Excalibur and the USS Enterprise were key to the revelation of Selelvian telepathic manipulation on the Federation Council. This revelation lead to the Federation revoking Selelvia's membership. In retaliation, the Selelvians allied themselves with the Tholian Assembly and a short war between the Federation and the Selelvians was the result. By late 2376 the alliance of the Tholians and Selevian were being aided by the Orions.

While the Tholians ceased their hostilities, Selelvian renegades continued to plague the area around the New Thallonian Protectorate in 2379. Also in this year the Romulan Senator Tal'aura had an appointment with the Tholian ambassador to Romulus, conveniently causing her to leave the Senate chambers only moments before the assassination of the entire Senate.

In 2381, the Tholians were the senior partners in an alliance with the Gorn, Breen, Tzenkethi, Kinshaya, and the Romulan Star Empire. This alliance, known as the Typhon Pact, was formed with the intent to exploit the weakening of the Klingon Empire and United Federation of Planets by the Borg in their final invasion and just before their dissolution and absorption into the Caeliar Gestalt.

In 2382 a diplomatic starship transported Ambassador Nreskene to Andor.

The forming of the Typhon Pact was the catalyst for a meeting between the Federation, Talarians, Klingons, Cardassians, Ferengi, and the Imperial Romulan State (an offshoot of the RSE) to discuss the widening of the Khitomer Accords into a general alliance to protect against the Typhon Pact.

Tholian Emblem.png


The head governmental unit of the Tholians is the Tholian Assembly. The Assembly is jointly run by the members of the Ruling Conclave, individual Tholians drawn from the Political Castemoot of the Tholian Lattice.

The High Magistrates of the Tholian Assembly was a title held by ranking political members of the Tholian Assembly. In 2376, after receiving a report from ship commander Nostrene in regards to finding a Tholian artifact on board the USS Defiant, the High Magistrates gave the officer the command to destroy the Starfleet presence in order to prevent the discovery of a prototype web generator experiment that had been abandoned.

The Tholian Assembly was led by the High Magistrates who were capable of making highly important decisions that were carried out by ship commanders.. In addition to them, the Political Castlemoot of the Lattice was also a high ranking authority within the Tholian government. Other organizations within the government included the Leadership Conclave and the Ruling Conclave. The race made use of a number of telepathically linked networks called Castemoots; one of the elite of which was the Political Castemoot SubLink of Tholian. This collective mindline of the Ruling Conclave which reigned supreme over the Great Castemoot Assembly as well as their species's telepathic network; the Lattice.

The Tholians and many of their brethren held an intrinsic distrust of alien races which they were forced to interact with which was the reason why their territorial annexes were one way propositions. These systems became servile provinces of the Assembly with bipedal Humanoids used in the lesser echelons but remained subservient to even the lowest ranking members of Tholian society. The Tholians were fiercely protective of the regions of space that belonged to their empire and only rarely allowed foreign vessels to cross these boundaries. The Assembly was well known for the territorial annexation of neighboring systems which led to those worlds becoming servile provinces of the Tholian state. If there were any bipedal species such as Humanoids, than they became useful members of the lesser echelons of the Tholian Assembly though they were naturally subservient to even the lowest ranking members of Tholian society. This meant that despite their xenophobic tendencies, the Tholians utilized other races to fight for them such as the Chakuun who were used as shock troopers. The Federation considered the race as nothing but slave soldiers to the Tholians while the Chakuun themselves believed that they were allies of the Assembly.


A living Tholian is approximately the same height as a Human. It is principally a reddish color, in varying shades, and there was the suggestion of fluid or field motion within the body. Tholians had a hard carapace that was chiefly mineral. There are six thin legs that make it possible for the being to move in any direction quickly; the legs were articulated with joints roughly corresponding to the knee and ankle of humanoid species. Each leg ended in a multi-toed foot. The legs were attached at the base of the torso and were radially symmetric.

There were two arms; each had joints analogous to the humanoid elbow and wrist, and each arm ended in a multi-fingered hand. There is a slightly visible neck that is covered by a semitransparent dome membrane that shields the head.

Tholians had two glowing spots near the top of their torso. They turned these to face individuals with whom they interacted, which suggested they had some sort of information-gathering organ(s). Tholians were hermaphroditic: they had two sexes, but each individual had both sets of sexual organs.

One appearance of the species had noted the race being quadrupedal in shape with two mantis-like arms. Some witness accounts, however, had noted some Tholians possessing eight limbs which were radially placed around the trapezohedral body. However, whether these artificial manipulator arms or simply hallucinations brought upon by stress through entry into chaotic space is unknown. It is possible that limb configuration varies based on caste lineage or other factors in the species.


There are few accounts of Federation observers actually coming face-to-face with a Tholian, with the vast majority of encounters taking place across a viewscreen, in the heat of combat, or carefully controlled diplomacy. From these encounters, it can be determined that the Tholians are a crystalline species with an outer carapace through which a fluid can be seen circulating murkily. Other distinguishing features are the faceted mantis-like heads where two triangular eyes can be seen. Analysis of Tholian remains has left Starfleet to conclude that the species are a silicon-based form of life.

Biologically, the Tholians were almost living mineral formations with their cells being mostly crystalline although they were believed to contain a fluid medium which carried out metabolic processes. Their skins were mostly faceted with each Tholian seemingly bearing a unique color scheme with an infinite variety of tones being present amongst them.

Generally, the Tholians were a race known for not wasting time on excessive amounts of movement. This was because their physiology did not allow for easy mobility on the confines of their homeworld after millennia of evolution. As such, this combined with the life support of their ships had conditioned their race to conserve their energy for only the most appropriate of occasions.

Tholians' biology meant that they breathe through a form of anaerobic respiration with a methane-chlorine mixture being used. Their atmosphere also provides them with their physical nourishment. In addition to this, the average body temperature of the race was 257 ?C. While their cells' functions resemble those of humanoid cells, Tholian cells contain an electrical charge in each cell nucleus. The Tholians also possessed some form of electromagnetic organelle within their bodies.

The unique nature of their evolution has meant that Tholians require a harsh hot environment in order to function and live. This temperature was essential for their survival as colder temperatures were capable of compromising their crystal carapace leading it to fracture and eventually bring about the Tholian's death. These volatile conditions made boarding Tholian ships a near impossibility by enemy marines, the majority of nearby races being humanoids accustomed to far cooler environments.

Tholian consciousness had very long life spans. The Tholian Loskene encountered the original USS Enterprise in 2267 and a century later the USS Enterprise-D in 2367. He had believed that the crew of the Enterprise-D was the same crew of the ship under the command of a "lying Vulcan named Spock."

However, their physical life span was generally six to eight months from birth to maturation and natural death, passing their knowledge and consciousness from one generation to the next through a form of crystal memory upload. This allowed newly-matured Tholians to continue the works of their predecessors with minimal level of learning required. This was believed to had been the source of the famed Tholian punctuality.

The Tholians possessed a form of networked intelligence in addition to their sentience as individuals which almost made it appear as if they had a hive intellect. Whilst they did share their memories between generations or familial structures, the process did not create a "hive mind". In addition, the Tholian in question was capable of choosing whom they wished to share their memories. Furthermore, there was a kind of shared memory archive for their species known as the Lattice though it contained more general species specific knowledge and history which operated on an almost instinctual level. The various castes spent a significant time of their short lives immersed in the Lattice though its brainwave frequencies were believed to had been incompatible to initiate a Vulcan mind meld.


Tholians communicated through a series of high-pitched squeaks, clicks, chirps and screeches that could be translated by other races. They can also use their crystal bodies as living communicators which could resonate a harmonic signal for others of their kind to detect. This made them quite dangerous captives as they could easily call assistance if the enemy ship was journeying through Tholian space.

They have at least two kinds of written languages. One of which seems to be a cuneiform-like combination, with triangular marks combined into symbols.

In case of diplomatic contact, the Tholians had designed a system that was specifically capable of being used by Federation translator technology which was only applied to their vessels on border patrols or on diplomatic duties. Encounter with any other kind of Tholian vessels meant the risk that they were unable to communicate with them as the Federation's ability to translate Tholian standard languages was limited in the 23rd century.


It's been noted that in every confirmed Tholian sighting that the mysterious species were encased in an outer carapace similar to those seen on Terran insects but with the exception of it being made completely of crystal which was similar to quartz. However, whether this crystal carapace was a natural product of Tholian biology or a sophisticated exoskeletal suit is unknown. What has been seen, however, is that the carapace explosively disintegrates when a killing blow was dealt on a Tholian such as those experienced by low-temperature plasma. This made it difficult for the Federation to study these carapaces as they were typically destroyed or badly damaged upon the Tholian's death.

There are a number of abilities that the carapace provides its user, such as a natural armor that absorbs impacts made upon it from either kinetic or energy attack as well as provides an accelerated response rate for the Tholian. In addition to this, the carapace is equipped with a pressor beam that projects an entangling beam that disables an enemy. Furthermore, the carapace projects an image of itself that's slightly offset from reality which affects the Tholian's perception by other races, providing it a defensive advantage. Another noted trait from the carapace was its ability to filter out all forms of poisons from the air and water sources around it with speculation being made that it might serve as a rebreather in order to provide a steady flow of chlorine-methane compound to the Tholian. Finally, the crystal carapace provides its user the capacity to remotely access for any system on its ship which cannot be blocked by known technology.

Tholian biology required high temperatures around 480 Kelvin (207 ?C, 404 ?F). They could tolerate lower temperatures for a brief period of time; if they were exposed to temperatures around 380 Kelvin or less, their carapace would crack. This was painful or distressing; a Tholian subjected to such a temperature regime could be coerced to cooperate. In temperatures even lower, a Tholian would freeze solid and shatter.

Tholians communicate primarily through a series of clicks and chirps.

Tholians had something analogous to biochemical processes. Phlox from the mirror universe was able to devise a sedative; however, this compound eventually lost effectiveness.

Tholians were naturally able to emit various forms of radiation, which they could modulate. They could communicate over short distances in this fashion. A

Tholian imprisoned aboard the ISS Enterprise in 2155 was able to summon help via this method, forcing Phlox to kill it in order to silence it.


The Tholians were an extremely xenophobic, non-humanoid hermaphroditic race with a propensity for precision. During several confrontations with the Federation, Tholian behaviour could best be described as aggressive and territorial. Tholians were also renowned for their punctuality.

Probably the one single statement that best presents their unusual thought processes is "Be correct: we do not tolerate deceit."

Tholians rarely advanced very far from their home system, and are known to kill outsiders caught trespassing in their territory. They were also known to frequently annex surrounding systems outside of the Assembly, to further isolate their territory.


Even after all this time no data has been discovered to indicate the presence of any religious beliefs. As a result most experts doubt that they have one.


As with religion, the absence of any data to indicate the presence of some form of mythology has resulted in most experts believing that they never developed any.


The race possessed a rigid caste system where most of them were generationally mandated though there were a rare few cases of intercaste unions that allowed for some crossovers in the offspring. The most prominent of the castes was that of the warriors with the politicals being another important position as they ran the machinery of the government as well as the Assembly's subject territories. The leadership caste was responsible for guiding other members of their species by making command decisions. In addition, there were the diplomatic caste which sought to keep the other castes as well as neighboring species mollified in order to prevent the Tholian Assembly from plunging into war. There was also a caste that encompassed the scientists, engineers and mathematicians though it was considered being one of the lower castes which partially explained the slow development of Tholian technology. A medical caste was also present which was capable of examining the bodies of other races. Individual Tholians were apparently bred for specific societal functions similar to Terran ants or caste societies on Earth. One position within the caste based system held the title of a Mage.

Their society also possessed dissidents that were hostile to their government, such as the Children of the Lost Ones.


The Tholians were extremely xenophobic. Their borders were not fixed as they periodically adjusted them every eight cycles to account for the movement of star systems and astronomical objects within their rule. In early relations with Starfleet and the Federation, this was not understood by the nearby humanoids, who became victims of Tholian aggression over this territory. This led to a prolonged period of conflict, which the Federation dubbed the Tholia expansionist programs, with many truces broken on the basis of misunderstood territory.

Whilst there were stories of Tholian explorations of the galaxy which dated back to their earliest recorded history, most of the species tended to harbor an intrinsic distrust of aliens, with whom they found it distasteful to interact. This meant that the territorial annexation of neighboring systems were often forced to become servile provinces of the Tholian Assembly with any bipedal species such as Humanoids being forced into the lower echelons. However, even these individuals were subservient to the lower ranking member of Tholian society.

Members of the species were believed to had possessed a hive culture with a hive mind present amongst them. It was also known that the Tholians modified members of their race at birth in order to perform a specific purpose when they reached adulthood. This brought about a number of specialized outer body configurations with warrior, ruler and builder classes indentified within their culture with a possibility of many more being present.

Tholian Axiom, First Iteration

The Tholian Axiom, First Iteration is the most important single piece of literature created by the Tholians. It reads as follows:

"Then Soon Now Once Once Then Soon Now Now Once Then Soon Soon Now Once Then"


Tholian weddings involved paying a dowry.


While they do have numerous alien technologies, some of which are more advanced than anything available with in the Federation most of their technology is either on par or below that available to most Federation worlds.


Tholian silk is highly prized and a difficult commodity to obtain. A Tholian ambassador owed Benjamin Sisko a favor and obtained silk for him. It is unknown if the silk is produced by the Tholians themselves or by another lifeform in their space.

Tholian crystal-lattices are intricate crystalline objects created by the Tholian race. Such objects were apparently common in Tholian culture, but their significance and purpose were unknown in the Federation.

In the 2360s and 2370s, a number of crystal-lattices were discovered at the archaeological dig on Drura Sextus. These were uncommon in that they bore markings believed to represent an unknown Tholian written language, and in that they were capable of creating sound and colors when touched.


Tholian warships tend to operate in groups of 3 called flights. For the most part these ships will almost always be all of the same class even if they are not of the same variant.

Meshweaver Class

The Meshweaver class vessel refers to what the Federation would consider a frigate class vessel. The older versions of this size vessel was armed with Tetryon arrays and Thermionic torpedoes. However over time this class has seen numerous upgrades and a complete redesign using the same size and shape. Now they use mostly direct fire weapons based on a modified phasor design. As before only about 1 in 3 of these vessels would be equipped with Tholian Web capabilities. The use of better more advanced power, shields and weapons systems have greatly increased this vessels military capabilities especially since it is one of the most highly maneuverable ships of this size class used by any known species.

Tetryon Arrays

While this was a devastating direct fire weapon, it's high power demand made it much less efficient than more modern designs. Having fought and retrieved damaged vessels belonging to the Federation, Klingons, Gorn and other species they experimented and reverse engineering was rewarded with improvements in its design. However it also resulted in the design of a modified phasor system and disruptors that were more energy efficient. The result was that most of their more modern designs went with these weapon systems instead. However against less technologically advanced species the combination of Tetryon arrays and Thermionic torpedoes still pack a punch. For this reason many older ships are still in use.

Thermionic Torpedoes

These torpedoes have power draining capabilities. Normally contact between this style of torpedoes and the shields of a target vessel would result in the shields losing power and getting weaker or overloading and shorting out. Unfortunately the older style torpedoes of this kind were susceptible to broad beam tachyon emissions which would interfere with the on-board targeting systems, often shorting them out. While the Tholians did manage to eventually correct this issue by the time that they had it had been relegated to use on limited versions of different variants class vessels only. However against less technologically advanced species the combination of Tetryon arrays and Thermionic torpedoes still pack a punch. For this reason many older ships are still in use.

Tholian Web

A Tholian web, also known as a tractor field, was an energy net that was "spun" by Tholian 22nd and 23rd century spacecraft around an immobilized enemy vessel. The more vessels that were used to generate the web, the faster it was deployed. A web can be disrupted by destroying the ships creating the web before they finish.

The web was composed of a series of energy filaments which were generated in a web pattern around a target vessel. Once these filaments were sealed, the web became self-generating and the web-spinning crafts no longer needed to maintain the web. If any craft within the web attempted to leave, they would be shredded by the energy filaments. Weapons fire, such as photonic torpedoes, were also destroyed by the web and the resulting detonation energy was dispersed across the energy filaments.

The filaments were generated by specialized craft that emitted them from the aft section. Two or more craft were needed to spin the web -if one broke away prior to web completion, the filaments would presumably dissipate. In the mirror universe, however, the web could be projected from any number of craft - for example, twelve could be used to create a web. Weapon fire could enter, but not leave, the web. It is likely that the more ships used the faster the web can be spun, in both universes.

The Tholian web could also be used as a high power immobilization field/tractor beam to pull captured starships back to Tholian territory. In 2155, the ISS Enterprise NX-01 was destroyed while caught in a Tholian web. Several escape pods from the Enterprise were also destroyed as they attempted to traverse the web, although some were able to leave through the gaps. The Tholians proceeded to form another web over their docking portal to prevent surviving Enterprise personnel from escaping aboard the USS Defiant; however the Defiant destroyed the Tholian ships and escaped.

In 2268, the USS Enterprise was nearly trapped inside of such a web while on a mission to rescue Captain Kirk from spatial interphase. The Federation starship narrowly escaped being dragged back to a Tholian port as they were able to leave the web before it was complete.

Federation Intelligence Files

The Tholians established diplomatic relations with the Federation in 2271, two years after first contact with the starship USS Enterprise. However they remain a reclusive, xenophobic species that is willing to defend their borders with deadly intent as the numerous conflicts between their Empire and the Federation can attest.


Information for this article was obtained from Memory Alpha and Beta as well as the following movies: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country and Star Trek Nemesis. The following TV episodes were also used. ENT: Broken Bow, ENT: Future Tense, ENT: In a Mirror, Darkly, ENT: In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II, ENT: Bound, TOS: The Tholian Web, TOS: Turnabout Intruder, TNG: The Icarus Factor, TNG: Peak Performance, TNG: Reunion, TNG: Captain's Holiday, TNG - Slings and Arrows, TNG: Conspiracy , TNG: The Measure Of A Man , TNG: The Emissary , TNG: The Mind's Eye , TNG: The Game, DS9: Homefront, DS9: Call to Arms , DS9: Life Support, DS9: Indiscretion, DS9: Defiant, DS9: For the Cause, DS9: The Way of the Warrior, DS9: In the Hands of the Prophets and DS9: Cardassians.

The following written sources were also used, ENT: novelization: Broken Bow, Star Trek: Destiny trilogy, Star Trek: A Singular Destiny, TOS novel: Prime Directive, TOS novel: Fracture, TOS novel: Timetrap, TOS novel: Constellations, TOS short story: Fracture, TNG - Typhon Pact novel: Paths of Disharmony, TNG novel: Vendetta, DS9 novel: The 34th Rule, DS9 novel: Time's Enemy, Star Trek Vanguard novels: Harbinger, Precipice, Summon the Thunder, TTN novel: The Red King, TTN novel: Sword of Damocles, TLE novel: The Sundered, eBook: A Sea of Troubles, SCE eBooks: Interphase, Part One, SCE eBooks: Interphase, Part Two, CoE eBook: Ghost, Decipher RPG module: Aliens, ST reference: The Worlds of the Federation, ST reference: Star Charts, TOS reference: Star Fleet Medical Reference, EV comic: Flesh of My Flesh, EV comic: Nor Iron Bars a Cage, EV comic: The Fallen, DC Comics, TNG comic: War and Madness, NF novels: Stone and Anvil, NF novels: After the Fall; NF short story: Pain Management and the TOS video game: Klingon Academy.

Commander Nugra, Commanding Officer of the USS Victory, NCC-362447 created the military rank structure found on this page.


This file was updated and approved by the SDC on 12 March 2013

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