He was born in London on Earth circa 2305. As a child in England, he lost a bit of flesh in his thigh after having been attacked by a wild goose. After joining Starfleet Academy, however, he claimed that the injury resulted from a boating accident as he believed that having "menaced by a goose" appear on his medical record would lead to him being mocked by his fellow students, particularly the upperclassmen. (TLE novel: The Art of the Impossible)
He entered Starfleet, and by 2327, he held the rank of lieutenant, junior grade, and was assigned to setting up the orbital defense system on Betazed. (ST short story: "The Ceremony of Innocence is Drowned") While stationed there, he and his human colleagues would go skiing in the Loneel Mountains. (TNG eBook: Slings and Arrows: The Insolence of Office)
During his time on Betazed, he became enamored with a Betazoid woman named Lwaxana. The wedding was held in Byram Hall on Betazed in 2328, some time after Troi had been assigned as chief science officer of the USS Carthage. It was a traditional Betazoid ceremony in that the bride, groom and all the guests were naked. While Ian expected to be self-conscious during the wedding, he barely noticed that he and everyone else around him was naked, claiming to find the ceremony "very refreshing." (TLE novel: The Art of the Impossible; TNG novel: A Time for War, A Time for Peace)
Shortly after returning from his honeymoon, Ian told the Starfleet Intelligence operative Lieutenant Elias Vaughn and Ambassador Curzon Dax that although he had already realized that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Lwaxana, he did not propose to her before leaving Betazed as he did not intend to leave Starfleet and she did not intend to leave her home planet. He therefore decided to wait six months to see if his feelings were as strong when he was dozens of light years from Betazed. In fact, they were stronger.
On his next shore leave, he traveled to Betazed with the intention of proposing to her. He had planned to take Lwaxana to their favorite restaurant on the coast and, after their meal, drop down on one knee and give her the ring. However, due to her telepathic abilities, she knew what he was planning immediately after he disembarked from the shuttle. She said, "Of course I'll marry you, my darling boy" and kissed him right there in the spaceport.
Both Vaughn and Curzon had previously met Lwaxana and, independently of each other, described her as "quite a woman." When he first met Ian, Curzon described him as "the one who succeeded in roping down the infamous Lwaxana." For his part, Ian said that it was more akin to him going along for the ride.
The fact that he had married a Betazoid led to his being mocked by many of his crew mates as, coincidentally, the Carthage's first officer Commander Rachel Garrett was also married to a Betazoid, namely Ven Kaldarren. Some of them jokingly suggested that he did so in order to curry favor with his superior officer.
An extremely talkative woman, Lwaxana sent messages to Ian on a daily basis while he was serving aboard the Carthage in 2328 to the point where it became a source of great amusement to the ship's communications officer Lieutenant Michael Zipser. While Commander Garrett believed that the messages would get less frequent as time went by, Ian was less than convinced.
Ian and Lwaxana had a daughter, Kestra, in 2329. A second daughter, Deanna, was born on March 29, 2336. Tragedy struck that same year when Kestra drowned at Lake El-Nar. The incident left Lwaxana so broken with sorrow, guilt, and regret that she decided to repress all memories of Kestra. She also deleted all diary entries pertaining to her. She destroyed everything that could possibly remind her of Kestra and also made her husband promise never to mention Kestra again. Ian acceded to Lwaxana's wishes, as he had never won an argument with her in the entire time that they knew each other, in spite of the fact that it interfered with his own grieving process.
However, he and Lwaxana's valet Mr. Xelo preserved several photographs of Kestra and other items which had belonged to her. He knew that Lwaxana would deal with her feelings regarding Kestra's tragic death one day and she would want these items to remind her of her first daughter. They were later passed on to her next valet Mr. Homn, who kept them in storage until Lwaxana's memories of Kestra resurfaced in 2370. (TLE novel: The Art of the Impossible; TNG episode: "Dark Page")
He apparently acceded to most of the cultural expectations of his strong-willed wife, living on Betazed and arranging for Deanna to be genetically bonded to Wyatt Miller, the son of his friends, Steven and Victoria Miller, in accordance with Betazoid tradition. (TNG episode: "Haven")
He had a great love of stories set in the Ancient West and frequently read the stories in his extensive Western collection to Deanna, whom he nicknamed "Durango." To his dismay, Deanna's favorite stories were the Cowboy Ralph series by Ernest Pratt, a 22nd century writer whom Ian considered a "hack." He lamented that his daughter did not have a preference for the far superior novels of Zane Grey and Larry McMurtry. In 2343, he promised that he would read the Cowboy Ralph stories to the seven-year-old Deanna and that he would have a surprise for her on his next trip home to Betazed. This was the final time that he spoke with his daughter.
Shortly afterwards, he was killed in the line of duty while investigating a structural collapse on Raknal V with Vaughn, who attributed the building's collapse to Romulan sabotage. (TLE novel: The Art of the Impossible)
After Ian's death, his widow Lwaxana went through his belongings and packed many of them away. As an adult, Deanna remembered thinking that her father would be angry when he saw what she had done. She did not understand that he was never coming home. (TNG episode: "Dark Page")
In 2372, Lwaxana told Odo that although Ian's death as well as those of her parents and sister were extremely traumatic for her, they could not compare to the sorrow that she felt after losing Kestra. (DS9 episode: "The Muse")
- In the TNG episode "Conundrum", Troi's father's given name was listed as "Alex" on her service record.
|USS Carthage personnel|
|R. Garrett • V. Haden • Wai-Lin Li • S. Phillips • I.A. Troi • Velazquez • M. Zipser|