The Dishonorable Mr. Worf

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by the praetor, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. the praetor

    the praetor Ensign Red Shirt

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    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?
    [SIZE=2][/SIZE]
     
  2. xezt

    xezt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  3. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    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.
     
  4. Armored Saint

    Armored Saint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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....

    He's right according to Klingon mentality.

    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.

    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.:p
     
  5. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  6. HIjol

    HIjol Admiral and Consummate Peacemaker Premium Member

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    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!!!!!
     
  7. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    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.
     
  8. JesterFace

    JesterFace Captain Captain

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    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...
     
  9. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Much like Spock tried to be the ideal Vulcan.
     
  10. bbailey861

    bbailey861 Admiral Premium Member

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    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.
     
  11. Armored Saint

    Armored Saint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  12. Makarov

    Makarov Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  13. the praetor

    the praetor Ensign Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  14. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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: Jul 8, 2014
  15. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Remember Worf was raised by Humans, it's not like he was raised by Klingons and decided to join Starfleet.

    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.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2014
  16. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If Star Trek has showed us one thing about Klingon honor it's that Worf is the only Klingon in the galaxy who actually does care about it. *Maybe* Martok.

    Why would the Klingons find it dishonorable for him to serve in Starfleet? He doesn't owe his people something just because he comes from the same species. And he didn't go to the homeworld to demand something, he went there to defend himself from a legal action carried out against him. The Klingons didn't think he'd show up, but when he did they were forced into a legal corner where their legal system demanded hearing his challenge. And Gowron didn't restore his honor on a whim, he restored it in exchange for a fleet of ships.

    And there's more to loyalty and integrity than automatically picking a side and staying with it regardless of their actions. Blind loyalty is a form of cowardice. At every point Worf went with the side that reflected his principles the best.

    Just because the US makes you renounce your other citizenships when you get it doesn't mean the Federation or Klingons work that way. Worf never violated any social contract he entered with either the Federation or Klingons.
     
  17. Salinga

    Salinga Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I always found the definition of honor in the Klingon culture pretty hollow, because it is a definition which lacks empathy and truth. It is "honor" how psychopathic/narcissistic personalities would define it.
     
  18. Armored Saint

    Armored Saint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    In A Matter of Honour, the Klingon honor was clearly stated as an individual matter. KLAG: A Klingon is his work, not his family. That is the way of things. But after that, Klingon honor had been developped as the object of political manipulations based on family reputations.

    Worf began to understood that misuse of honor some years before he killed Gowron.
    GOWRON: Think about what you are doing. If you turn your back on me now, for as long as I live, you will not be welcome anywhere in the Klingon Empire. Your family will be removed from the High Council, your lands seized, and your House stripped of its titles. You will have nothing.
    WORF: Except my honour.

    Plus, Kahless' legends are based on his own exploit. Kahless was the guy who fought alone.

    (And if you find odd the conception of honor, take a look of what I could have been with Phase II. People who commit suicide because they had their ass kicked. http://pages.videotron.com/startrk/story/phase2/kitumba1.html)

    He was born into Klingon Empire and Klingonese was is first language. We can also suppose Klingon citizenship is based on the right of blood. So yeah, Worf had a double citizenship.

    I have Greek citizenship by my mother despite I'm born in Canada. But I suppose I'm dishonorable because I didn't go in Greece to do my military service.:p
     
  19. the praetor

    the praetor Ensign Red Shirt

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    It must be easy for Worf to make moral grandstanding statements about honor while living comfortably within the Federation. The Federation provided a safe and stable place for Worf to moralize about honor.

    In the “Redemption” eps, Worf referred to the Klingons as “my people”. Those were the words he used.

    If Worf wanted to make a positive (from his perspective) difference in the lives and ways of his “people”, then why didn’t he join his “people”, live among them, preach to them, lead them to a more honorable way. Endure the rough and tumble politics of Klingon society. See how far his “honorable” approach takes him.

    Don’t just jump into Klingon affairs whenever it is convenient for him, as he did during the “Redemption” eps; and then bail out when it suited him. What was so honorable about what he did in “Redemption“?
     
    What does Klingon honor mean anyway? I don’t know exactly.

    The Klingons have been portrayed as a xenophobic society. If the Klingons are Worf’s “people” and the Klingons consider Worf one of their own, why wouldn’t Klingon society expect one of their own to serve within the society? Wouldn’t that be the honorable thing to do? I am just trying to interpret how the show has portrayed the Klingons.

    I remember during the ep, a number of members of the high council switched their support to the Duras faction because they didn’t like the fact that Picard picked Gowron over Toral. Not so much that Picard picked Gowron, but that a foreigner did the choosing. Whether as a viewer, you liked that or not, it did make sense.

    Worf has had every opportunity to quit Starfleet and to join the empire to serve his people. But he did not do that. Worf has been serving aliens (Fed) who could at any time be enemies of the Klingons. It seems logical to me that the Klingons would view Worf’s serving in Starfleet as a dishonor.

    When Worf butted into Klingon affairs in “Redemption”, he essentially was advancing Federation interests. Sure it happened to coincide with Gowron’s interest. But I’m sure the Duras faction and many other ordinary Klingons viewed Worf as a traitorous and dishonorable Klingon who served alien foreign (Federation) interests.
     
  20. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Again, "Redemption" as a story is not in a vacuum. There are other stories tied to it that increase the scale and perception of events.