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Deep Space Nine What We Left Behind, we will always have here.

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Old March 25 2014, 08:39 PM   #1
Worf'sParmach's Avatar
Location: Plano, TX
Klingon Houses...

I asked this question on a rewatch blog, but I'd love to get your input... Just how big do you think Klingon Houses are? I don't believe there is an in-canon answer. Was the House of Mogh just Worf, Alexander and Kurn? Is the House of Martok just Martok, Sirella and their children (plus Worf & Company later on)? If so, it seems kind of inconsequential and not at all the big deal they make them seem.

I'm trying to fathom the impact of the Sons of Mogh losing everything as Kurn so dramatically puts it. Were there others affected, possibly those who worked the land or manned the ships that Kurn talks about losing? Kurn implies that there are others, like when he says "It was even said that if Gowron died, the leadership of the Council might have passed to someone from the House of Mogh." Who is is he talking about? Himself? Worf? Alexander?

Some argue that "Houses" are just for the noble, upper class Klingons (think Kor vs. Martok). If so, do common, non-noble Klingons align themselves with whomever they work for/live under or do they have no affiliation at all? Do they refer to themselves as "Bill, son of Tom" like we are used to hearing or are they just "Bill?"
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Old March 25 2014, 09:48 PM   #2
Re: Klingon Houses...

Martok readily adopted a non-relative into his House, establishing at least that Houses go beyond the nuclear family, and possibly suggesting that they are more like family businesses than families: trusted non-relatives may be in a majority, really. And I'm sure that Kurn would have accumulated at least some manpower around himself even before going public with representing a surviving House of Mogh (in his big brother's absence).

How "mobile" would these non-relatives be? Are they ultimately just paid or unpaid labor that will shift alliances when a House is dishonored, loses its head, or simply falls on hard times? Or do they stick to the House to the bitter end? The former would make it easier for Houses to "fall" with such totality as suggested in the dialogue. And really, a House operating multiple starships, estates and businesses would need lots and lots of trusted members, way beyond a literal "band of brothers" (or sisters) and well into the "my adopted brother's cousin knows the man who hired this warrior" territory.

Some argue that "Houses" are just for the noble, upper class Klingons (think Kor vs. Martok).
...Yet Martok did have a House! And it was his in name, not Sirella's, FWIW - although it might still have been something Martok got from his wife.

Dialogue from "Soldiers of the Empire" suggests that Klingon ship crews aren't used to being led by warriors who don't have their own House (or who don't belong to a House). This might mean that all skippers are House members - or that all skippers of Imperial ships are House members, while private vessels may be owned by Houses and commanded by House members, or owned by non-House parties and commanded by such.

Certainly Worf didn't automatically assume he would be of the House of Martok simply through being Martok's underling aboard the Rotarran. An employee apparently needs a special invitation - an adoption rather than a mere contract. Although again we may argue the Rotarran was being operated as an Imperial ship, just with the House of Martok providing both the ship and her commander, and not as a House ship; in the latter case, everybody aboard might have been considered a House member.

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Old March 25 2014, 10:14 PM   #3
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Re: Klingon Houses...

Memory Alpha explains a little about the Houses.

I'd assumed the Houses were primarily a type of extended family, including cousins as well.
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Old March 25 2014, 11:45 PM   #4
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Re: Klingon Houses...

My view is that it works like Game of Thrones. Where the 'House' is also composed of soldiers and servants.
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Old April 12 2014, 05:28 PM   #5
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Re: Klingon Houses...

Melakon wrote: View Post
Memory Alpha explains a little about the Houses.

I'd assumed the Houses were primarily a type of extended family, including cousins as well.
I agree. I view Klingon Houses as being extended, interrelated families, with some lines' being more prominent than others.
They might also include servants, in the broader sense--sharing food, drink, shelter--although they would probably not be counted as equals.
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Old April 13 2014, 02:26 PM   #6
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Re: Klingon Houses...

I was under the impression that a klingon house would include the inhabitants/workers of the land owned by the house. Like serfs in medieval socioty. It would also include any servants and soldiers pledged to serve it. But only the member of the (usually noble) family by blood or adoption could be in charge of the house.

That was just my impression though dont know how accurate it is.
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Old April 26 2014, 11:10 AM   #7
Re: Klingon Houses...

Seemed weird since I always thought Worf/Kurn must have cousins too. Mogh must have had perhaps brothers, and he was the eldest son in his generation as Worf was in his.

That said, some Houses may be larger than others, for whatever reason. And Klingon families are Houses legally I'd reckon, but Great Houses are only those who whether by Kahless' word long ago are the nobility.
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Old April 27 2014, 09:39 PM   #8
Re: Klingon Houses...

It may also be Klingon law that every Klingon family be organised in a House of legal standing. it's just some houses are recognised as noble (Mogh, Duras, Gowron's initial House) whilst others are not.

I'd think it may include everybody by either blood or association chosen by the House leader, so Jeremy in TNG 3 was a member of the House of Mogh, even though he was human and not Klingon because Worf chose him as such as the House's leader.
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