What We Left Behind, the new documentary looking back on the legacy of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, features info about the first episode of a hypothetical season 8 - which would have opened with the death of Nog! The DS9 writer's room reunites in the documentary; executive producers Ira Steven Behr, Ronald D. Moore, Robert Hewitt Wolfe, René Echevarria, and Hans Beimler broke down the story of what would have been the first episode of DS9 season 8, which kicks off with a literal bang when Nog is shockingly killed.
As What We Left Behind trumpeted, Deep Space Nine was renowned for its eclectic cast of well-developed ancillary characters and Nog, played by Aron Eisenberg, was one of the most beloved. Nog enjoyed one of Ds9's most incredible character arcs: he began the series as Jake Sisko's friend on the Promenade but as they grew up together, Nog decided he wanted to become the first Ferengi in Starfleet. Nog earned the support of Jake's dad Captain Sisko, who was initially reluctant, but the young Ferengi continually proved himself in Starfleet while still providing comic relief along with the rest of his Ferengi family.
In the later seasons of DS9, Nog fought bravely in the Dominion War and received two promotions, first from Cadet to Ensign and then Captain Sisko himself made Nog a Lieutenant in the series finale, "What You Leave Behind". But Nog also suffered greatly; he lost his leg in combat during the war and Nog's long road to recovery was arguably Star Trek's most poignant depiction of overcoming wartime trauma. DS9 is no stranger to the deaths of its core characters; Terry Farrell's Jadzia Dax was killed off in season 6. It's no surprise Nog's demise would have had an impact as seismic as Jadzia's.
In What We Left Behind, Nog is the focal point of the teaser that kicks off the writers' vision of season 8, which is set 20 years after the DS9 series finale: the Ferengi is now Captain Nog and he's in command of the U.S.S. Defiant, which is under fire from a cloaked ship. The Defiant manages to escape through the wormhole and emerges near Deep Space Nine, which would have closed out the teaser. But in Act One of the episode, after Kira Nerys, Jake Sisko, Miles O'Brien, Julian Bashir, Ezri Dax, Worf, and Quark are reunited on the station, they would have witnessed Nog's arrival on a viewscreen - right before the Defiant explodes, killing the Ferengi!
Nog's death would have kicked off an investigation into his murder, which would have lured Odo back to the station. By the end of Ds9 season 8, episode 1, it would have been revealed that Kira, who is now a Vedek, was in charge of a secret army of Jem'Hadar soldiers who converted to the Bajoran religion. When Nog discovers this, he is subsequently killed by Section 31, which is now led by Dr. Bashir and is plotting to force Bajor to join the Federation. Finally, Ben Sisko himself, who entered non-linear time to walk with the Prophets in "What You Leave Behind", materializes from the wormhole, fulfilling his promise 20 years ago that he would be back.
In the documentary, the bombshell that Nog would be killed off in the hypothetical season 8 set off an amusing reaction from Aron Eisenberg, who yelped, "You can't kill Nog!" But the writers also highlighted how important Captain Nog was as a mentor to the next generation of DS9's Starfleet Officers, including the adult Molly O'Brien and Joseph Sisko, Ben's son with Kasidy Yates-Sisko. What We Left Behind leaves it to the fans to imagine how the rest of DS9 season 8 would have turned out. Given how anything is possible in Star Trek, it was left open that Nog either didn't really die or that he could somehow be resurrected. But even in his hypothetical death, Nog continues to have a positive impact on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and its legions of loyal fans.