Among Star Trek’s Ferengi, the Grand Nagus is the leader of the Ferengi Alliance, the mercantile government of the Ferengi Territory in the Alpha Quadrant. The Grand Nagus rules over Ferengi society, establishing its laws and ensuring that it adheres to the Rules of Acquisition, an ancient text in the 10,000-year-old society that provides the cultural standards for commerce. Trade and profit are at the center of Ferengi society and it is the responsibility of the Grand Nagus to make sure that profit continues.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine established the Grand Nagus as a king-like ruler or emperor, though he could be removed under extreme circumstances by the Board of Liquidators.
Star Trek’s Ferengi look to the Grand Nagus as a wise ruler who approves the financial dealings of billions of Ferengi across the Alliance. Though the Nagus resides in the Nagal Residence, he can be visited in the Tower of Commerce, where Ferengi can seek his advice on their business ventures. Of course, when they do so, they will need to contribute slips of latinum to earn their audience.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine established the Grand Nagus as a king-like ruler or emperor, though he could be removed under extreme circumstances by the Board of Liquidators. The power of the Nagus was later given checks and balances through the establishment of a legislative board known as the Congress of Economic Advisors. The Nagus still hold considerable power, with the two seen so far in Star Trek both enacting progressive measures that made a positive impact on Ferengi society.
Introduced in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the first Grand Nagus we encounter is Zek, an aging Ferengi with a sly sense of humor and, ultimately, an openness to new ideas. Zek was responsible for beginning the work of expanding the Ferengi Alliance into the Gamma Quadrant through the use of the stable wormhole near Deep Space Nine. He also grew close with Quark and Rom, later falling in love with their mother Ishka, whose influence helped steer him toward the progressive policies he eventually enacted.
By the end of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Zek had faked his own death, foiled attempts on his life, and delayed his retirement—a move not surprising for a Ferengi who did not take a vacation for 85 years. The Grand Nagus carries a wooden staff with a golden figurehead of a Ferengi male at its top, which people in the presence of the Nagus are expected to kiss as a sign of respect. When he finally did decide to retire, Zek passed the staff on to Rom, Quark’s younger brother, who became the new Grand Nagus.
Introduced in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the first Grand Nagus we encounter is Zek, an aging Ferengi with a sly sense of humor and, ultimately, an openness to new ideas.
By the time he appeared again in Star Trek: Lower Decks, it was clear that Grand Nagus Rom had enacted a number of reforms that had further increased the focus in Ferengi society on equality and peace. He issued a decree ruling that Ferenginar would no longer participate in arms deals, saying that “equality and hospitality are more profitable in the long run.” His reforms were so great that Ferenginar even petitioned to become a part of the Federation, an application that was expected to sail through due to the changes he had made.
In the most recent episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks, Grand Nagus Rom seems to be either foolish or involved in a scheme with his wife and First Clerk Leeta to push the Federation toward a more lucrative contract. In reality, they are testing to see if the Federation will respect Ferengi culture by making a more shrewd deal in return, which Captain Freeman does, earning Rom’s respect. He immediately agrees to sign the standard papers for membership in the Federation, bringing the Ferengi Alliance into the United Federation of Planets for the first time.
When the Ferengi were introduced in Star Trek: The Next Generation, the idea that they could join the Federation seemed like an impossibility, but Grand Nagus Zek paved the way for his successor Grand Nagus Rom to move the Ferengi Alliance into a more peaceful and profitable relationship with the United Federation of Planets. As the rule of the current Nagus continues to unfold in future episodes of Star Trek, it will be interesting to see how these new members of the Federation find ways to profit themselves and others.