Musings in the Dark: Boss Chicks: Kai Winn Adami


Boss Chicks: Kai Winn Adami

Kai Winn Adami, played by the marvelous Louise “Nurse Ratched” Fletcher, is the spiritual leader of the Bajorans.  The Kai, which is the equivalent of the Pope, is a very powerful, influential figure.  When DS9 begins, Winn is a Vedek (or a cardinal).  She is ambitious, devious, and calculating.  She is deeply resentful of Captain Sisko, who is the Emissary of the Prophets (Jesus, in other words).  Winn has a very strong, very deep faith; she is a true believer, but her true nature keeps her from being the voice of the Prophets.

The first time she stepped foot on DS9, she started causing problems.  She disagreed with the teaching of evolution in the Bajoran school and called for a boycott, which led to the school being bombed and Keiko (the teacher) losing her job.  In actuality, the protest and bombing was designed to lure her greatest rival to the throne, Vedek Bareil, to the station to be assassinated.  She manages to get out of this situation unscathed.  

Major Kira openly disliked Vedek Winn.  She doesn’t trust her, and she has reasons not to.  Shortly after the bombing, Winn secretly backed the leader of a rebel faction called The Circle in order to force the Federation from Bajor.  She agreed to bless Jaro (the leader of The Circle) in exchange for being made the next Kai.  The coup fails and Winn managed to get out of this situation as well.  The woman was made of Teflon.

When it was clear that she was going to lose to Vedek Bareil for the position as Kai, she came upon some information that led to him having to remove his name from the ballot and ensured her election.  Kira is forced to accept her as the new Kai.

This opportunistic woman tried every trick in the book (and then some) to make sure she became the spiritual leader of the Bajorans.  While Winn’s unswerving faith is commendable, the Prophets never spoke to her or guided her because of her true allegiance, which was to herself and not the Bajorans.  As a result, she turned against them and began to worship the Pah-Wraiths (the enemy of the Prophets; or the Devil, as it were).  Kai Winn is helped along this path by none other than Gul Dukat, who disguised himself as a Bajoran farmer to gain her trust.  But her new faith in her new gods turns out to be a mistake, as she ends up being betrayed by them in favor of Dukat.  At the end of her life, Kai Winn tries to redeem herself by destroying the book that called forth the Pah-Wraiths, the Kosst Amojan, but she dies at the hands of Gul Dukat, the physical embodiment of the devil.

You may ask why I think such a horrid woman worthy of Boss Chick status.  It’s simple:  This woman did whatever she had to do in order to get what she wanted, fair or foul, while maintaining a false fa├žade of goodness and honor.  Talk about being boss?  As far as I’m concerned, the Kai was one of the baddest chicks in the DS9 series.  You gotta respect a woman who lives by the motto of Malcolm X: “By any means necessary.”

Pictured:  Boss Chick summoning the Devil

Next Up:  Female Changeling


  1. I'm not familiar with DS9 or the character so this was an interesting and enlightening post.

  2. Star Trek? I used to watch all the time with my mom as a kid, but I can't say I remember her at all. She seems pretty Boss Chick to me though!

  3. She's from Deep Space Nine, a Trek show that debuted in 1992, near the end of the TNG run. It's the best of the Trek shows, IMO, because it's gritty, realistic, and dark. Also, it's got fantastic writing and very strong female characters. I'm doing a series on Boss Chicks, and I'm currently celebrating the many boss chicks of DS9. If you like Trek shows, this is the best of the lot.

  4. By these standards Madonna is the ultimate boss chick!

  5. When it was clear that she was going to lose to Vedek Winn

    You mean Vedek Bareil, the spiritual hottie. Mind you, his hotness stemmed from his being all "spiritual" and laidback, not his face.

    Back to Kai Winn; I hated her guts, and that's a good thing. Both the actress and the writers did their job: she was a convincingly skillful, ruthless politician. "By any means necessary" indeed.

  6. Thanks, Ankh! Error fixed. I hated Winn as well, which meant the writers did exactly what they were supposed to do and Louise nailed it.

    No, Bareil wasn't cute, but he was cool.

  7. Not gonna lie, between this role, Flowers in the Attic and a few other films, Fletcher almost had me catching a case.

    Don't get it twisted. She's a powerful actress and I say this because I got mad respects that she can move you emotionally.

    But I'm gonna keep it real, more than once, Ms. Fletcher has invoked the "DON'T LET ME CATCH YO ASS ON THE STREETS NOWHERE."

    Watch Flowers In The Attic if you haven't, to understand why.


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