Farscape Encyclopedia Project
The old witch
First appearance "Dog with Two Bones"
Last appearance "The Beginning of The End of The Beginning"
Nickname(s) Grandma, Granny, Glinda, Wrinkles
Gender Female
Species Traskan
Affiliation Moya's crew
Age 293 cycles
Weapon of Choice Various powders
Portrayed by Melissa Jaffer
Amanda Wenban
"Pip, who is that woman?"
― John Crichton to Chiana, on Noranti


Before Farscape[]

Utu-Noranti Pralatong is an old Traskan who seems to have submitted to dementia, she is usually insane and often incomprehensible – her 293 cycles have clearly not been kind to her.

Her home colony was razed to the ground many cycles ago, although its name and location are unknown. She has been trained in many disciplines throughout her life – among them chef, mediator, alchemist, and botanist – in keeping with the customs of Traskan society, but her main honor is the title of Utu, which is only awarded to the finest of Traskan healers. And approximately 150 cycles ago, she was deeply in love with someone – although the name and nature of this lifetime love is unknown. Her history with this person and that person's eventual fate are never revealed. It may, however, be postulated that this great love she once had is the reason for her current obsession with John Crichton and Aeryn Sun, and may even be part of the reason for her uncontrollable psychosis.

Seasons Three and Four[]

At some point, and for some reason, Noranti was taken prisoner on board Scorpius' command carrier. When John Crichton caused the destruction of said carrier, Noranti and her fellow prisoners managed to hijack a lifepod and escape before the entire ship imploded. Crichton, seeing the pod floating through space, convinced Moya to go back and scoop it up, thus saving all the prisoners – including Noranti – from otherwise certain death. Feeling that she had a debt to repay, Noranti stayed aboard Moya while all her fellow prisoners got off at the first commerce planet Moya stopped at.

Nobody seemed to notice Noranti's stowing away on Moya until they were being attacked by a rogue Leviathan in the sacred Leviathan burial space, at which point Moya's crew was too distracted to pay her much attention. This gave Noranti the freedom to find Crichton and blow one of her mystical powders into his face, allegedly to lead him "to the truth." This would have been fine except for the fact that Moya was already under attack, making this an inconvenient time for Crichton to start hallucinating, especially because Noranti accidentally misjudged his weight, causing Crichton to believe he saw Peacekeeper soldiers which he then tried to shoot, almost killing first Noranti and then Ka D'Argo.

Judged dangerous, and thus handcuffed to the ceiling, by D'Argo, Noranti was soon revisited by Crichton, who was curious about the visions Noranti's herbs had shown him and consented to receive a second dose. While he hallucinated, Noranti whispered a message into his ear, one that floated to the bottom of his subconscious until he was ready to hear it: "Aeryn is with child."

Unfortunately, things did not turn out the way Noranti was hoping they would. Aeryn Sun left Moya and Crichton, intending never to return. D'Argo, Chiana, and Rygel all left Moya, departing towards their respective planets and goals. Harvey ferreted out Noranti's subliminal message and took great pleasure in giving it to John long before he was supposed to remember it, causing John to lose all control immediately and demand that Pilot send Moya after Aeryn's Prowler immediately. Jool tried to protest, and was physically held back by Noranti, who grabbed Jool by the hair and threatened to bite her if Pilot did not follow Crichton's orders. And at that moment of utmost importance and tension, a wormhole opened up and sucked Moya inside, leaving Crichton alone in space with no fuel in his module and no supplies to sustain him.

This was not a random wormhole, however. It was specifically opened by the Ancients, who were pursuing Crichton's wormhole knowledge to discover how much he knew and how much of a danger he was to the rest of the universe: Crichton was, unfortunately for the Ancients, not on board at that time, having been left behind in space, but under the Ancients' spell, Noranti proclaimed, "He knows...Crichton knows..."

Moya was then spat out at the planet of Arnessk, where Pilot dropped off Jool, Noranti, and D'Argo (although his precise reasons for doing so are unknown) and went to search for Aeryn (at least, we assume). Noranti had a long discussion with Pilot before he left, although she then refused to tell anybody what that conversation was about.

Fortunately, enough happened on Arnessk that people soon stopped asking her about her discussion with Pilot. Arnessk was once the home of a group of Eidelon priests that maintained peace between the Peacekeepers and the Scarrans for over five hundred cycles. The priests had disappeared, however, when the Darnaz Triangle had been dropped on the surface of Arnessk and began to cause the magnetic summers that made it impossible for any living being to survive a full cycle on the planet. Noranti, however, could hear the voices of the departed priests, and see the truth of their past; once she learned that Instructor Vella was searching for the probes to use them for her own ends, Noranti vowed to kill Vella rather than let her activate their powers. However, the monster Oo-Nii got to Vella first, and killed her before Noranti could, although Oo-Nii successfully blamed Noranti for it.

Attempting to find an ally, Noranti blew her hallucinogenic dust into Crichton's face again, showing him the priests of the past so he could see what she wanted to protect. Unfortunately, she forgot to account for the rising magnetics of the planet, and accidentally showed him the location of the third probe: a secret she wanted buried forever. To make things even worse, Crichton was now being interrogated by the Peacekeeper Commandant Mele-On Grayza, whose Heppel oil could easily ferret out any secret she wanted to know from him. Rather than let Crichton and this final dangerous fact to fall into Grayza's hands, Noranti forced Crichton to jump into the sea, preferring his death to the deaths of millions that would result from Grayza's possession of the probes.

Crichton was, however, saved by the seawater – which washed Noranti's dust out of his nose – and Oo-Nii – who actually wanted to kill him, but wanted to know if Grayza knew the location of the final probe first. With the help of D'Argo, Rygal, Sikozu, and Elack, a plan was put into action: Crichton used lakah to protect himself from Grayza's Heppel oil, and left her tied up on a stone slab; Sikozu freed Jool, Chiana, and Noranti from incarceration; Elack and his Pilot sacrificed themselves to destroy the Peacekeeper ships on Arnessk; and Crichton, Jool, and Chiana managed to use the Darnaz probes to reverse the magnetic summer of Arnessk, which had the additional effect of opening an interdimensional pocket that had kept the priests of Arnessk alive and imprisoned for 12,000 cycles. With the probes neutralized, the summers gone, and Oo-Nii – who had wanted to sell the probes to the Peacekeepers for the vast reward he would receive – dead, Noranti began to realize that Crichton was much more than she had previously understood.

She stayed with the crew for the rest of season 4, using her skills at cooking, healing, negotiation, and herbalism – usually at the wrong times – to aid her new friends and allies. She proved useful more often than not, albeit only by a slight margin; although she often put everyone into mortal danger by her refusal to act or her insistence upon acting, she usually managed to get them out of it again afterwards. Perhaps her most important contribution to the rest of Moya's crew was her provision of Crichton with distillate of lakah. She claimed that the lakah would help Crichton forget his pain in regards to Aeryn...however, it is suspicious that no matter how much Crichton sniffed the lakah, he only seemed to remember Aeryn more...

The Peacekeeper Wars[]

Noranti appears only briefly in the Peacekeeper Wars; at the beginning of the movie, she is intent upon creating a beautiful wedding for Aeryn and Crichton, assigning herself the role of wedding planner and flower girl in the festivities. Unfortunately, the wedding she worked so hard to perfect is shattered by the arrival of Scorpius and Sikozu, who have tracked Crichton down again at last.

While hiding from Scorpius in a temple, Noranti realizes that the species populating the planet of Qujaga is actually the legendary Eidelons. Spouting utter nonsense in her excitement, she finally manages to put across the point that these are the last remaining descendants of the Eidelons that were freed from their 12,000 cycle stasis on Arnessk – the same Eidelons that Jool stayed behind to assist. She also realizes that although these Qujagan Eidelons lack the peace-making abilities of their ancestors, the Arnesskan Eidelons should be able to reawaken the power within them. However, when Crichton returns to Arnessk to get the help of Jool and the ancient Eidelons, Noranti stays behind on Qujaga to help acclimate the Qujagan Eidelons to the enormous change rapidly approaching their lives.

She was still on Qujaga when the Scarrans and Peacekeepers began waging war both in Qujagan space and on Qujagan ground. The Eidelons were slaughtered by the thousands, but Noranti kept her head and managed to gather the surviving Eidelons together under her wing. Laying low, Noranti began to lead the Eidelons to safety and ran into Ka Jothee and his Luxan warriors. Jothee made Noranti an honorary commander and gave her a gun (unfortunately {or perhaps fortunately?} the Luxans were short on ammo, so it was not loaded). Protecting the Eidelons with her intuition, her powders, and her unloaded gun, Noranti managed to get them all to Moya, allowing the collected Eidelons together to use their newly reawakened powers for peace to negotiate a settlement between the Scarrans and the Peacekeepers at last.

After the mini-series[]

New Noranti

Noranti, following her emergence from the Guowmuhr

Noranti continued to travel with the Moya crew after the Peacekeeper Wars. She began acting strangely, though, her cooking even worse than usual. She fainted and fell into a coma and, as she was the only medic aboard, remained undiagnosed until Moya came across a crew of ex-Peacekeepers onboard another Leviathan. Their doctor, Gribwel, had no idea what was happening to her, but could detect no life force coming from her at all, though she continued to exhibit normal vital signs. Shortly thereafter, Noranti's comatose body was covered in an impenetrable chrysalis, much to everyone's shock. Not long after that, she emerged from a chrysalis to reveal she had undergone a youthful regeneration known as the Guowmuhr. She was now a beautiful young woman again with the immaturity to go with it, and her third eye was not due to reopen for another 15 cycles. Her metamorphosis led Crichton to remark that he needed to come up with a new nickname for her, as "Grandma" no longer seemed to cut it.

Later, when Crichon, Aeryn, and two former Peacekeepers were imprisoned by Commandant Grayza, Noranti personally staged a jailbreak in hopes that saving them would allow her to go shopping and get new non-old woman clothing. The escape attempt was undercut, though, when Aeryn chose to try and convince the Peacekeepers to resist the Grennij and follow the teachings of Yemahl. They were all soon freed by Peacekeeper Admiral Josbek and Aeryn promoted to Commandant of the Peacekeepers.

During the war against the Kkore, Noranti assisted Dr. Gribwel in his medical duties However, her third eye reopened and Gribwel saw her life force fluctuating. Gribwel informed her that the Guowmuhr was reversing and Noranti realized this meant she was dying.

Noranti's death

Noranti sacrifices herself to save Deke.

Later, during the Dej-Wah, Noranti realized that Moya was her true home and chose to return there before she died. She was on Moya in Command with Aeryn, Crichton, two Peacekeepers, and infant Deke when the final battle of the war began. Moya took fire from the Kkore and a hull breach opened in Command, just large enough to blow people through. As Noranti was blown into space, her final act was to grab her ever trusty powder and set it off one last time. Nearby, the Dorvala with Chiana and Roiin aboard saw her improvised flare and went to Moya, saving baby D'Argo before he could be blown into space as well. Noranti's final act had saved the life of John and Aeryn's son.


Because Noranti is the only specimen of her race to ever be encountered, it is uncertain as to how many of her actions can be attributed to her race and how many are her own eccentricities. However, there are a few things that seem pretty definitively to be her own.

Noranti is apparently narcoleptic and has a tendency to fall asleep at unusual (and very inconvenient) times. Getting on in cycles by Traskan definition, she is also beginning to submit to the Traskan version of Alzheimer's, which is not helpful when she is attempting to perform a task of vital importance. Additionally, she is an obsessive gastroexaminator, "analyzing" most substances simply by popping them in her mouth and tasting them. In fact, her first reaction when confronted with anything new is to attempt to eat it. She is always interested in trying new food (or new things that might be food,) and she will cook anything that stays still long enough. She also has the ability to vomit up something called jilnak, which she insists is "restorative"; it might indeed be, except for the fact that it seems to give most species horrendous nausea.

She also possesses remarkable aim both with spit and kitchen utensils, although her talent for judging a being's weight – and thus, the correct dosage to administer – is not similarly developed.

Melissa Jaffer herself has specifically said that "[Noranti] lives entirely for the present moment. The past is sleeping in the memory bank: the future does not exist...Wisdom is never closed to change and Noranti is wise. Her horizons are limitless. A Traskan's life is evolutionary, Noranti has come 293 cycles and she will go where the Divine Eternal takes her, which is where I also want her to go." *

Powders and Powers[]

Noranti has a wide range of talents and special abilities, but she is prone to confusing them with each other. She has been known to poison those she is trying to cure, antagonize those she is trying to placate, and cook just about everything, no matter how vile or inedible it may seem. However, her abilities can mostly be summed up into a few key categories.

Firstly, Noranti is an accomplished herbalist and scientist, despite her unorthodox methods of research involving putting everything in her mouth. She knows an extensive amount of information about an exorbitant amount of substances and can distinguish them all by taste; she is even very knowledgeable about poisons, which even she probably does NOT generally put in her mouth. Being 293 cycles old, Noranti is also a veritable tome of historical information, knowing trivia on all sorts of species, events, and planets that others seem unaware of.

Noranti is also a skilled bargainer when she chooses to be. Although she ruins her attempts at mediating to the Tarkans in "Lava's a Many Splendored Thing," she drives a shrewd bargain with the traders of Tormented Space, driving them down to 7,000 currency for the star charts Moya must have in order to navigate through this unusual area of space. She might have once been a great peacemaker in her youth, but in her current mental state, she is too likely to lose sanity halfway through to be relied upon to negotiate.


Noranti's powders are so potent, they can make her look like this.

Finally, and most memorably, Noranti possesses a number of mind-bending powders that she uses to great effect throughout the series. She mixes up different combinations appropriate to the situation, and she has performed all sorts of different feats with them, including causing people to fall asleep with Fyang powder; planting subliminal messages into their minds; creating delusions that are actually visions of the past or future; causing people to forget recent events; and creating ridiculous imaginary hallucinations with mayla spores. She also boasts an apothecary of multiple other potions and concoctions, among them distillate of lakah; the jilnak she is known to vomit; an unknown potion that could stop a person's heart, putting them into a stasis that would allow them.


  • Noranti is the only member of her species to appear in the series.
  • Noranti was not named in her initial appearances, being referred to by nicknames such as 'Old Woman' or 'Grandma', nicknames which stuck even after the crew learned what her name was.