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The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old July 8 2014, 03:03 AM   #1
the praetor
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The Dishonorable Mr. Worf

Where is the honor in the man who is always talking about honor?

I caught the "Redemption" eps on BBCAmerica the other day. The eps reminded me of how arrogant and self important Worf was. And the eps also showed how phony the whole Klingon honor system is.

First of all, if the Klingons value honor as much as they say they do, why would they give a crap about Worf? Worf choose to join Starfleet over the Klingon Empire. Why wouldn't the Klingons see that as Worf's betrayal of "his people"? That would be dishonorable. Worf dishonored himself. Wouldn't it be logical for the Klingons to regard Worf as a nobody?

But no, the Klingon high council not only embraced Worf but brought him into their inner circle. They treated him almost like a prodigal son.

As for Worf himself, he thought he was entitled to be respected and heard by the high council just because of his family background. But all he was a carpetbagger. He went to the Klingon home world to make demands. His biggest demand was that his family honor be restored. He also went to interfere in Klingon affairs.

It would have been one thing if, prior to making his demands, Worf had first left Starfleet and joined the empire. Leaving Starfleet and joining the empire would have demonstrated that he wanted to be fully a part of Klingon society. If Worf had done that, then there might be reason for the Klingons to pay attention to him.

But Worf had his cake and ate it too. He wanted to stay in Starfleet and still have the high council meet his demands. A proud honorable warrior race would have laughed at Worf and sent him back to the Federation. But instead Gowran, like a weak leader, restored Worf's family's honor.

It gets worse.

Later on the ep, Worf took a leave from Starfleet to fight on Gowran's side of the Klingon civil war. After Worf's side wins the war, Worf flip-flopped, again. He abandoned "his people" once again and returned to Starfleet. If the Klingons didn't consider Worf's flip-flop dishonorable, then stop talking about honor. There is none.

In any case, by this time, for the Klingons as well as for Starfleet, you've got to wonder about Worf's integrity and where his loyalties lie.

Yet, at the end, Picard embraced Worf back into Starfleet with open arms, as though Worf's switching allegiance to the Klingon Empire was an insignificant event. And it didn't seem logical that the Klingon high council didn't seem bothered at all that Worf butted in to Klingon affairs; and then after he got what he wanted from it, once again abandoned the empire for Starfleet.

Did anyone show honor? Where was the honor?
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Old July 8 2014, 03:14 AM   #2
xezt
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Re: The Dishonorable Mr. Worf

In regards to the Klingons, I think it was always meant that most Klingons were all talk when it came to honor and sacrifice. Worf was adopted and raised by humans in Russia on Earth, so Worf gravitiated to Starfleet but he knew he was Klingon. Worf had the pride of the Klingon and wanted to belong to "his people", but he grew up on Earth and was basically reared by Starfleet values. Ironically I always figured Worf to be the one true Klingon we consistently saw.
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Old July 8 2014, 03:30 AM   #3
Trekker4747
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Re: The Dishonorable Mr. Worf

It would seem one's honor is more sturdier than "if you're in our forces or not." Worf's joining of Starfleet wasn't relevant to his honor since Starfleet/the Federation was an ally. To be dishonored it seems you have to do something that harms the Klingon Empire in some manner, mostly as it seems by acting in a non-Klingon manner or doing something to harm the empire. Worf being in Starfleet didn't meet these qualifications.

But, the Klingon Council, it seems, valued its own sovereignty over honor which is why they were willing to throw Worf under the bus in order to keep the council's integrity. They didn't think it would matter simply because Worf was in Starfleet and his honor didn't matter and they didn't know about Kurn.

In (Code of Honor?) we learn pretty much all of this, and we continue to see it through Worf's "honor arc" up until the end of Season 4. Worf's being in Starfleet wasn't enough to get Worf dis-honored since Starfleet was an ally and Worf showed he was a true Klingon when and where it mattered.

He was only dishonored because the integrity of the council and preventing a civil war mattered more.
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Old July 8 2014, 03:59 AM   #4
Armored Saint
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Re: The Dishonorable Mr. Worf

the praetor wrote: View Post
First of all, if the Klingons value honor as much as they say they do, why would they give a crap about Worf? Worf choose to join Starfleet over the Klingon Empire. Why wouldn't the Klingons see that as Worf's betrayal of "his people"? That would be dishonorable. Worf dishonored himself. Wouldn't it be logical for the Klingons to regard Worf as a nobody?

But no, the Klingon high council not only embraced Worf but brought him into their inner circle. They treated him almost like a prodigal son.
1- Klingon's mentality isn't so much sectarian. In Errand of Mercy, Kor shows admiration and respect for Kirk. In Heart of Glory, both Korris (the renegade) and K'Nera (the loyalist) views Worf as a valuable Klingon. In The Emissary, we met K'Ehleyr who had been raised in Federation space by her human mother and her Klingon Father. We'll see a similar case with B'Elanna Torres in Voyager. So, emigration isn't considered as treachery by Klingons. The members of Klingon diaspora are Klingon no matters where they live.
2- The UFP and the Klingon empire are allied. The Duras camp is alligned to Romulus, the enemy....

As for Worf himself, he thought he was entitled to be respected and heard by the high council just because of his family background.
He's right according to Klingon mentality.

He also went to interfere in Klingon affairs.
Oh my Kahless, a Klingon interfering in the Klingon affairs...

But Worf had his cake and ate it too. He wanted to stay in Starfleet and still have the high council meet his demands. A proud honorable warrior race would have laughed at Worf and sent him back to the Federation.
For Kahless sake, the Federation and the Empire are ALLIED. Showing disdain to the Federation would cause a diplomatic incident.

After Worf's side wins the war, Worf flip-flopped, again. He abandoned "his people" once again and returned to Starfleet. If the Klingons didn't consider Worf's flip-flop dishonorable, then stop talking about honor. There is none.
He didn't flip-flop at all, he didn't join the Duras gang or defect to Romulus. The Enteprise "fought" (they couldn't directly fight, but they widely helped) on Gowron's side. My dear Praetor, you don't only have a reductive conception of loyalty, you're also an ungrateful person.
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Old July 8 2014, 04:20 AM   #5
Ithekro
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Re: The Dishonorable Mr. Worf

Only by the time he goes to Deep Space Nine and the Federation and Klingon Empire end the alliance and actively start shooting at each other can Worf's honor be questioned in terms of not siding with the Klingon Empire against Cardassia. And he and his house are disgraced until brought back into the Empire under Martok's house following the return of the alliance between the Federation and the Klingon Empire, now against the Dominion and their Cardassian allies.
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Old July 8 2014, 04:37 AM   #6
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Re: The Dishonorable Mr. Worf

Wow...perhaps today IS a good day to die!?!?!?!?

...seriously, though, thanks to the above posters...I never though of Worf and the plot twists you all mention above in those ways...it is always good to have new ways to think...

Pak'taH!!!!!
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Old July 8 2014, 10:34 AM   #7
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Re: The Dishonorable Mr. Worf

xezt wrote: View Post
In regards to the Klingons, I think it was always meant that most Klingons were all talk when it came to honor and sacrifice. Worf was adopted and raised by humans in Russia on Earth, so Worf gravitiated to Starfleet but he knew he was Klingon. Worf had the pride of the Klingon and wanted to belong to "his people", but he grew up on Earth and was basically reared by Starfleet values. Ironically I always figured Worf to be the one true Klingon we consistently saw.
Agreed. Worf was a super Klingon, in that he was so determined to be a "true" Klingon, and a representative for his people, he took their ideas to heart better than they did, and unlike them, Worf actually lived those principles. He truly was the most honorable Klingon.
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Old July 8 2014, 04:12 PM   #8
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Re: The Dishonorable Mr. Worf

Overall Klingons do not seem to be as honorable as they claim to be...

Few examples, in TNG 'Sins of the Father' 2 against 1 "battle" when Kurn is ambushed... In DS9 a group of Klingons beat up Garak in 'The Way of the Warrior'. Maybe some of them are honorable but many of Klingons in all Star Trek shown are NOT honorable, not at all. Just thugs...
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Old July 8 2014, 04:43 PM   #9
BillJ
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Re: The Dishonorable Mr. Worf

J. Allen wrote: View Post

Agreed. Worf was a super Klingon, in that he was so determined to be a "true" Klingon, and a representative for his people, he took their ideas to heart better than they did, and unlike them, Worf actually lived those principles. He truly was the most honorable Klingon.
Much like Spock tried to be the ideal Vulcan.
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Old July 8 2014, 05:10 PM   #10
bbailey861
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Re: The Dishonorable Mr. Worf

J. Allen wrote: View Post
xezt wrote: View Post
In regards to the Klingons, I think it was always meant that most Klingons were all talk when it came to honor and sacrifice. Worf was adopted and raised by humans in Russia on Earth, so Worf gravitiated to Starfleet but he knew he was Klingon. Worf had the pride of the Klingon and wanted to belong to "his people", but he grew up on Earth and was basically reared by Starfleet values. Ironically I always figured Worf to be the one true Klingon we consistently saw.
Agreed. Worf was a super Klingon, in that he was so determined to be a "true" Klingon, and a representative for his people, he took their ideas to heart better than they did, and unlike them, Worf actually lived those principles. He truly was the most honorable Klingon.
BillJ wrote: View Post
J. Allen wrote: View Post

Agreed. Worf was a super Klingon, in that he was so determined to be a "true" Klingon, and a representative for his people, he took their ideas to heart better than they did, and unlike them, Worf actually lived those principles. He truly was the most honorable Klingon.
Much like Spock tried to be the ideal Vulcan.
These two responses sum it up best, I think, and mirror my interpretation. Both Worf and Spock - outsiders to one degree or another - aspired to be the poster boy for what their cultures always seemed to describe themselves as. In both cases, they were excellent methods of showing us (the viewer) what the situation really was for both cultures. Whether you agree or not, of course, is left to your own interpretation.
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Old July 8 2014, 06:48 PM   #11
Armored Saint
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Re: The Dishonorable Mr. Worf

Gowron himself isn't really honorable: trying to corrupt K'Ehleyr, betraying Worf who made him Chancellor and saved his ass during the Civil war, betraying the Federation by rewriting History and later starting a war, etc.
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Old July 8 2014, 07:04 PM   #12
Makarov
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Re: The Dishonorable Mr. Worf

Worf always threatens to kill people but rarely does it over a klingon issue, "I would kill you where you stand", "if you do not tell me what you have done, I will kill you right here" and of course there was that time he chose not to kill the klingon kid.

I wonder if the ideal klingon really would kill all the time like he's saying.
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Old July 8 2014, 08:20 PM   #13
the praetor
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Re: The Dishonorable Mr. Worf

Oh my Kahless, a Klingon interfering in the Klingon affairs...
For Kahless sake, the Federation and the Empire are ALLIED. Showing disdain to the Federation would cause a diplomatic incident.
The Klingons have always been portrayed as this fiercely proud warrior race. Klingon society has also been shown to be closed and xenophobic.

What bothered me most about the "Redemption" storyline is that it wasn't consistent with how Klingon society has been portrayed.

Worf may be a Klingon biologically, but he was essentially a foreigner. I presume he was a citizen of the Federation.

Worf hitched his wagon, so to speak, with Starfleet. Worf wasn't a part of Klingon society, but he wanted to butt in anyway. He was essentially a carpetbagger. If this didn't bother the Klingons, then the Klingon have fallen from a mighty proud warrior race to a pathetic weak crumbling empire. What a shame.

It wasn't just Worf who interfered in Klingon internal affairs. Picard also interfered. Both of them sided with Gowron, and both took overt actions during the conflict that were favorable to Gowron. And both used verbal sophistry to pretend that they were upholding some principle of doing what was right for the Klingon empire.

What both Worf and Picard were doing was advancing Federation interest, which in this case, was for the Klingons to maintain the alliance with the Feds. And even though they were both foreigners, they both determined that it was in the empire's interest to continue the alliance with the Federation.

That is why they both sided with Gowron. So be it. There is nothing wrong with advancing Federation interest, just don't pretend otherwise. Don't pretend that you're doing it for some noble purpose.

Of course, Worf also had a more self serving motive. He wanted his family's honor restored, whatever that meant. Siding with Gowron also helped him achieved that purpose.

The Duras faction was just another political faction within the empire. Apparently, it thought the empire's best interest would be for it to be allied with the Romulans instead of the Feds. Who's to say they aren't right?

You've got two different political opinions. Are the Duras faction less legimate than the Gowron-Worf-Picard(Federation) faction? There are foreigners involved in both factions.

So what if the Klingon empire is allied with the Feds. You would think that a proud xenophobic people would not react so passively and accepting of such foreign interference.

Look at an example in the real world, the German chancellor was pissed off when she learned that Obama's NSA spied on her phone calls. She even publicly called out Obama over this matter, not withstanding that Germany and the US are allies. And the current German people are hardly a warrior society.
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Old July 8 2014, 09:06 PM   #14
Ithekro
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Re: The Dishonorable Mr. Worf

The trouble here is that the "Redemption" storyline cannot be seen in a vacuum. It is part of a continuing story arc from "The Emissary" to "Sins of the Father" to "Reunion" and then finally "Redemption".

Via the extended storyline, Gowron is made the legimate head of the council because there are no legal bid left by the time of "Redemption" due to Duras' death. His son is not old enough, nor fought any battles to be worthy of the right to lead the High Council according to Klingon Law as interpreted by Captain Picard, who was given the right to make that claim by K'mpec, the previous Chancellor who was poisoned, by unknown forces. It was assumed to have been the Duras faction that did the poisoning, but it could have easily be the outsider, Gowron.

Picard is given that right because K'mpec does not trust the high council to make a fair political choice due to the way Klingon politics had become. The foreigner was requested to make him non-partial within the Klingon system. However regardless, by the time of choosing, there was only one man left to fill K'mpec's seat, and that was Gowron.

Worf made that a reality by killing Duras for the murder of K'Ehleyr, his mate. Which seems to be reason to allow for an honor fight to the death even against one who is stripped of his honor and most rights via discommendation. Worf was a social pariah at that time, by choice. For the good of the Empire under K'mpec's eye.

Last edited by Ithekro; July 8 2014 at 09:56 PM.
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Old July 8 2014, 09:29 PM   #15
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Re: The Dishonorable Mr. Worf

the praetor wrote: View Post
Where is the honor in the man who is always talking about honor?

I caught the "Redemption" eps on BBCAmerica the other day. The eps reminded me of how arrogant and self important Worf was. And the eps also showed how phony the whole Klingon honor system is.

First of all, if the Klingons value honor as much as they say they do, why would they give a crap about Worf? Worf choose to join Starfleet over the Klingon Empire. Why wouldn't the Klingons see that as Worf's betrayal of "his people"? That would be dishonorable. Worf dishonored himself. Wouldn't it be logical for the Klingons to regard Worf as a nobody?
Remember Worf was raised by Humans, it's not like he was raised by Klingons and decided to join Starfleet.

But no, the Klingon high council not only embraced Worf but brought him into their inner circle. They treated him almost like a prodigal son.

As for Worf himself, he thought he was entitled to be respected and heard by the high council just because of his family background. But all he was a carpetbagger. He went to the Klingon home world to make demands. His biggest demand was that his family honor be restored. He also went to interfere in Klingon affairs.

It would have been one thing if, prior to making his demands, Worf had first left Starfleet and joined the empire. Leaving Starfleet and joining the empire would have demonstrated that he wanted to be fully a part of Klingon society. If Worf had done that, then there might be reason for the Klingons to pay attention to him.

But Worf had his cake and ate it too. He wanted to stay in Starfleet and still have the high council meet his demands. A proud honorable warrior race would have laughed at Worf and sent him back to the Federation. But instead Gowran, like a weak leader, restored Worf's family's honor.

It gets worse.

Later on the ep, Worf took a leave from Starfleet to fight on Gowran's side of the Klingon civil war. After Worf's side wins the war, Worf flip-flopped, again. He abandoned "his people" once again and returned to Starfleet. If the Klingons didn't consider Worf's flip-flop dishonorable, then stop talking about honor. There is none.

In any case, by this time, for the Klingons as well as for Starfleet, you've got to wonder about Worf's integrity and where his loyalties lie.

Yet, at the end, Picard embraced Worf back into Starfleet with open arms, as though Worf's switching allegiance to the Klingon Empire was an insignificant event. And it didn't seem logical that the Klingon high council didn't seem bothered at all that Worf butted in to Klingon affairs; and then after he got what he wanted from it, once again abandoned the empire for Starfleet.

Did anyone show honor? Where was the honor?
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It seemed clear to me Worf came from a powerful family, and what is wrong with demanding that the council not find his family dishonourable or demanding that it be restored? Remmeber the High council knew it was Duras's father not Worf's father which commited treason. If anybody acted dishonourably it was the high council.

but is flip-flopping as you say always a bad thing. If for example a group of people decide to aid foreign country in a war and later their nation joins the war and they rejoin their own nation is that dishonourable(such as what happened with American's who fought in the Battle of Britain)? I suspect many would say not.
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