After having spent six seasons on Star Trek: The Next Generation in an uncertain relationship, Commander Riker and Counselor Troi were meant to have their happily ever after beginning in season seven of the series. According to Screenrant, René Echevarria, who was one of the series’ writers, and other members of the writing staff wanted Riker and Troi to get back together and tie the knot during the show’s final season.
Both Marina Sirtis and Jonathan Frakes were behind the idea as they wanted the on-again, off-again romance between them to be finally be resolved. By the time season seven rolled around, viewers figured that the pair would eventually end up together, but then fans were thrown for a loop when Troi got together with Michael Dorn’s character, Worf, for a brief relationship instead. (Although we didn’t know the relationship was brief as the couple was still together at the end of season 7.)
That relationship could possibly have happened because the idea of a marriage between Riker and Troi was nixed by executive producers Rick Berman and Michael Piller for whatever reason. It would certainly have been a better step than having Troi get involved with Worf. The romantic tension wasn’t anywhere near as strong as what she had with Riker, and after all they’d been through together, it made perfect sense that they would marry sooner rather than eight years later.
Why an earlier Riker and Troi marriage would have worked
Star Trek: Voyager allowed a marriage to happen with two of its main characters, Lt. Paris and Lt. Torres, and having a committed relationship aboard the ship was a welcome diversion from the chaos they endured daily aboard the ship. Perhaps by the time Voyager’s writers and producers decided to allow Tom and B’elanna to take that step, they realized they should have done the same with Riker and Troi instead of waiting for Star Trek: Nemesis.
Imzadi fans (which are what Riker and Troi fans are known by) wanted to see more of a committed relationship with their favorite couple. While those who watched were able to catch brief glimpses on Star Trek: Picard when Frakes and Sirtis guest-starred, it certainly would have been welcome to see the two of them married aboard the Enterprise.