The Dishonorable Mr. Worf

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

  1. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Or they were concerned their own connections to the Romulans would be uncovered if Gowron ascended the throne. There was no indication that they were willingly going to follow Gowron to begin with. Just that the guy they backed was skewered by Worf.
     
  2. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Kurn was originally going to assassinate Gowron and fight the Duras himself. Worf, as the older brother, put his weight into the argument to get Kurn to side with Gowron in an effort to restore his family name and honor.

    The reason Worf is even present is because it is Picard's duty to select the next chancellor of the High Council under Klingon Law in a direct effort by K'mpec to evade some of the corruption within Klingon politics that could allow someone using a dishonorable method of assassination such as poison to become the chancellor. Assassination via combat is permitted, but methods that hide one's identity such as poison are not. Though in truth, we do know know who poisoned K'mpec. It could have been Gowron, though the implication was that it was Duras.

    Worf uses the opportunty to correct the removal of his house's titles and honor by supporting Gowron, who is already the defacto leader of the empire due to there being no legitimate bids for the seat. It seems that women can't serve on the council at this point in the Empire's history, and Duras' son is too young and without victories to his name.

    K'mpec also would not have wished for the Empire to side with Romulas, as the Romulans are seen as dishonorable is many circles of the Empire. The Federation is seen as weak, with soft starfleet officers that serve on toys with soft interiors and luxury. Soft and weak, but not dishonorable.

    When Starfleet's blockade of the Romulan supplies proves that the Romulans are supplying the Duras sisters, the question is, "was the loss of the Duras caused by the lack of resupply, or by the other houses leaving them due to their exposed connection to the Romulans?"

    The House of Duras was powerful, and probably corrupt. But that power held sway even if the laws says that Gowron was to be the new leader. Instead of fight a Civil War and have the Romulans backing it, the Duras sisters could have waited until Duras' boy was older and trained with a blade. Then challenge Gowron for the leadership. Kill him and the Empire would belong to the House of Duras, though possibly not controllably by the sisters.

    Worf, in backing Gowron, has to follow though to see that his bid to get his family name restored (partly for his brother). Thus he stays with the Empire for the duration of the Civil War. After it ends, his part in the deal with Gowron has ended. Kurn can now operate the reestablished House of Mogh as per normal within the Empire, and Worf can go back to his job as a Starfleet officer.

    This more or less holds save for bumps, like the return of Kahless. But Worf is stripped again during the Klingon-Cardasssian War due to siding against the Empire. His is probably rightly so by Klingon law, as Worf went against the good of the Empire and actively attacked other Klingons in combat. It would not be until the eve of the Dominion War when Worf regained his honor via the end of the hostilities between the Federation and Klingon Empire, and the impression he made on General Martok against the Dominion.
     
  3. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    So are saying it would be dishonourable for say an American to serve in the UK's Royal Air Force like some did during WWII (before the US entry into the war)?

    Worf didn't butt into Klingon Affair's, it was the High Council's choice to accuse Worf's father of treason in "Sins of the Father", they didn't expect him to challange the accusation. So it was the High Council who essentiually invited Worf into the whole affair.

    The traitors where the Duras faction, Duras's father aided the Romulan's in their attack upon Khitomer, Duras's family ignitated a civil war, worked with the Romulans against the legitmate Chancellor. Duras possible had K'mpec asscinated.

    Ezri Dax summed the Klingon Empire

    Dax: I think that the situation with Gowron is a symptom of a bigger problem. The Klingon Empire is dying; and I think it deserves to die. I tend to look at the Empire with a little more skepticism than Curzon and Jadzia did. I see a society that is in deep denial about itself. We're talking about a warrior culture that prides itself on maintaining centuries-old traditions of honor and integrity. But in reality, it's willing to accept corruption at the highest levels.

    Worf
    : You are overstating your case.

    Dax:
    Am I? Who was the last leader of the High Council that you respected? Has there even been one? And how many times have you had to cover up the crimes of Klingon leaders because you were told that it was for the good of the Empire? I... I know this sounds harsh, but the truth is, you have been willing to accept a government that you know is corrupt. Gowron's just the latest example. Worf, you are the most honorable and decent man that I've ever met. And if *you* are willing to tolerate men like Gowron, then what hope is there for the Empire?
     
  4. grendelsbayne

    grendelsbayne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You keep saying this, but I, for one, don't see it. What was so extraordinarily 'xenophobic' about the Empire? They were proud and exceedingly arrogant and they had a particular hatred for certain species (especially tribbles and Romulans), but I never saw any reason to believe that a Klingon could be 'dishonored' just by associating with aliens. I can think of several examples that would seem to prove that they wouldn't care in the slightest, such as Worf, Alexander, Curzon, Jadzia, Kang's (or was it Kor?) respect for Capt. Kirk, Chang's respect for Kirk. Hell, in STVI it's the daughter of the Klingon High Chancellor who's standing there lecturing the crew of a Federation starship on tolerance.

    As explained above, I don't see anything even remotely logical about it.
     
  5. varek

    varek Commander Red Shirt

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    Klingons' sense of honor seems to be related to personal insults and family feuds. They remind me, in a way, of the Spanish noblemen, who were always dueling with each other over imagined slights to their name. (Remember the movie El Cid?)

    Worf seems torn between serving the Klingon Empire and the Federation. But, overall, I think his greatest loyalty was to the truth, regardless of the cost.

    Worf is a great man of honor, whom one would always be glad to consider a friend and ally.
     
  6. Armored Saint

    Armored Saint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You can also add Riker on the IKS Pagh to the list. It turned bad because Captain Kargan had a Pakled' brain, but Riker basically earned the respect of much of the crew quite easily.
    If the Empire were so xenophobic, the UFP wouldn't be their allied. Vulcans tend to be closed on themselves as society, but it doesn't mean they're strongly xenophobic.

    In The Trouble with Tribbles we can ear racist comments by Korax, but Chekov didn't seem so more open about the Klingons. Both of them were trained to see the other race as the enemy.
     
  7. the praetor

    the praetor Ensign Red Shirt

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    I have seen the TOS episodes which had a Klingon storyline.
     
    Klingons were portrayed as xenophobic barbarians in the TOS episodes that I saw. I remember the eps “Day of the Dove”, “Errand of Mercy”, and “Trouble with Tribbles” among others.

    Klingon society was homogenous. They conquered, brutalized and subjugated non Klingon worlds and peoples. They had a superiority and, at the same time, a sort of victim complex regarding their own species.

    Unfortunately, the nature of the Klingons was dramatically altered from what it was during the TOS era to what we saw through TNG times.

    The transformation didn't make sense, imo.

    Klingon militarism during TOS was about conquest, imperialism and brutality. During TNG, Klingon militarism was now merely about a code of honor, a way of life. They went from being barbaric to being honorable, albeit a bit uncivilized by Fed standards, but nevertheless lovable allies of the Fed.
     
    This was the doing of the TNG writers. The writers de-fanged the Klingons to make them more agreeable to the viewers as allies of the Feds.

    It was totally contrived to fit the dogma that the writers wanted to maintain of the kumbaya relationship between the Feds and the Klingons that started with “The Undiscovered Country”.

    Imo, the TNG writers didn’t think the viewers were sophisticated enough to understand that a democracy could be allied with a brutal xenophobic dictatorship. In the real world, it happens and it has happened. An example is the US alliance with the Soviets during WWII. Currently, the US is allied with the closed xenophobic country of Saudi Arabia.

    So, which is the real Klingons?

    Having said that, I haven't seen any indication that the TNG Klingons aren't still a homogenous xenophobic society.

    I know, the Klingon High Council let a foreigner, Picard, pick their leader and interfere in their internal affairs in so many other ways. It didn't make any sense that a proud people like the Klingons voluntarily begged an alien foreigner to pick their next leader and to continuously interfere in their internal affairs. But I suppose, if a viewer is to suspend disbelief to the max, then the viewer can see that the Klingons are no longer xenophobic.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2014
  8. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Well TNG started before TUC came out, in fact it aired only a year after TVH came out in the cinema's.

    As for a soceity changing, we are talking around a century from the end of TOS to the start of TNG, soceities can change over that time period. Besides even as early as season one of TOS "Errand of Mercy" we are told that one day the UFP and KE will become fast friends.
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=2]AYELBORNE: Oh, eventually you will have peace, but only after millions of people have died. It is true that in the future, you and the Klingons will become fast friends. You will work together.[/SIZE][/FONT]

    So in TNG we are simply seeing that come true. If we look back at Empires in Earth's history that stood for centuries were they the same culturally at the start as they were at the end?
     
  9. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    You do realize the Klingon-arc episodes of TNG all were written and aired before The Undiscovered Country came out in 1991?

    "Redemption II" aired the week of September 23,1991 while The Undiscovered Country hit theaters on December 6,1991 in the United States.
     
  10. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The 1960s Klingons were the Soviet analog of the era. Look at the Soviet Union and you will find it is a large cluster of nationalities and ethnic groups.

    The Klingons of the 1980s were becoming something else. Getting away from the Cold War era propaganda stereotype they placed in some old Imperial Japanese into them instead. Then over time justified the changes. Enterprise even goes into it a little by mentioning that the old ways (the ways of honor) were going away in favor of what we'd call the Cold War era Soviet style. Some kept the old ways, and reintroduced them when they started to get their headridges back in the 2270s. Honor began to have deferent meanings. After Praxis, one imagines the Empire turned in on itself culturally to maintain the dominance of the Klingons. Thus honor became more of a thing. Worf is just a child of his times, mixed with the notions of what is means to be Klingon, rather than having lived in Klingon society for most of his life. Thus, as some people point out, he is more Klingon that most Klingons because he tries too hard to be the model Klingon.
     
  11. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Gowron DID consider Worf a traitor after he refused to join in the invasion of Cardassia. If Worf served for the Cardassian army or the Romulan army he would have been labeled a traitor. But the Federation were their allies, and they raised him. In the brief period they weren't allies, things went down exactly like you said, he was labeled a traitor. They didn't even consider Worf a Klingon until he was drawn into Klingon politics in Sins of the Father, which is mostly why they gave him a pass.

    I do think it's insightful when you say it's easy to grandstand about Klingon honor when you're living in the Federation. That's exactly what Ezri called him on toward the end, pointing out the hypocrisy of Klingon honor and forcing him to commit once and for all. But I don't see that as a directive that he must live among Klingons to live up to his word. Worf's always cared first and foremost about his personal code, and his personal code told him to continue to serve in Starfleet. And that decision four years later cost him his entire family wealth.
     
  12. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    And as Worf pointed out, when Gowron said he would have nothing, he would still have his 'honour'
     
  13. the praetor

    the praetor Ensign Red Shirt

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    Ezri was insightful and spot on about Worf regarding this matter.

    Worf was essentially a carpetbagger during the “Redemption” Klingon civil war. He jumped into Klingon internal affairs for self serving purposes. After he got what he wanted from of his meddling, he bailed out, back to the safety and comfort of the Federation. If that’s honor for him, so be it.

    It seemed to me that Worf’s “people” needed him more than Starfleet did, considering the sad state of the empire as depicted in “Redemption”. But I guess Worf preferred the safe comfortable life in the Federation.

    I don’t doubt that the ST writers of both TNG and ST6 were influenced by the events of the day. The Cold War was ending. As Ithekro wrote, the Klingons were analogous to the Soviets; the Feds were the US. It was suppose to be all peace and love after the Soviet Union disintergrated, so it was to be with the Feds and the Klingons.

    About the Soviet Union, sure it was a multi ethnic empire. But that didn’t mean racial attitudes among the dominant Russian people towards the other ethnicities was love and tolerance. The totalitarian government may have suppressed any negative racial impulses at the time. Check out the current Russian attitudes about other ethnicities.

    About the matter of Klingon society changing, I wrote about that in a different thread. I am going to copy my comments from there to this thread for anyone who may interested. Thank you for indulging me, if you so choose.

    I noticed that in that thread MacLeod rebutted my comments. I can’t seem to shake you off. :)
     
     
     
     
     
     
  14. the praetor

    the praetor Ensign Red Shirt

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    I want to respond to the above comments. I am too lazy to write new comments, which would probably be identical to what I previously wrote anyway.

    The following is what I wrote in a different thread about the oddity of Klingon societal change as depicted in TNG:

    I could understand the transformation from a tv perspective.
    I guess the TNG writers point of view was this: Federation, good; Federation can only be allied with good; therefore if Federation is to be allied with the Klingons, the Klingons must also be good.

    Perhaps the writers didn’t think the viewers were sophisticated enough to understand that a “good” nation can ally itself with a thuggish regime for strategic reasons. For example in the real world, the US and USSR fought on the same side during WWII.

    Putting that aside, the transformation of Klingon society didn’t make sense imo.

    Klingon militarism during TOS was about conquest and brutality. During TNG, Klingon militarism was now merely about a code of honor, a way of life. They went from being barbaric to being honorable, albeit a bit uncivilized by Fed standards, but nevertheless lovable allies. How could that be?

    I assumed that imperialism and barbarism were deeply ingrained in the Klingon psyche. Wolf, even though he was raised by humans and thus immersed in human culture, displayed militaristic and barbaric tendencies. Why was that?

    Wolf's behavior led me to believe that those tendencies were not merely cultural but had a biological basis, which makes a wholesale change within the Klingon society that much more unlikely.

    Also, the Klingons were not defeated in a Klingon/Fed war and then occupied by the Federation. During an occupation, the conqueror could impose changes to a society. But that did not happen to the Klingons, as far as I know.

    It just didn’t make sense to me that the Klingons went from being a proud imperialistic and brutal people to a society that likes to talk big about a warrior ethos but which acted sheepishly.

    As a fan of ST, I didn’t like how the writers transformed the Klingons. Even from an entertainment perspective, I didn’t find it enjoyable to watch.
     
  15. the praetor

    the praetor Ensign Red Shirt

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    This is my second post from that thread on the same matter:

    I realize that societies can change over time.

    What was the impetus that caused such a dramatic transformation of Klingon society?

    There was no outside force, as far as I know, that imposed change on the Klingons. Barbarism, militarism, and imperialism were deeply rooted in Klingon culture and psyche, and perhaps, in their biology as well.

    To me, it just seemed too dramatic and unrealistic for such a change to have happened, especially if there was a biological imperative for the Klingons to be barbaric.

    When the ST writers conceived of the Klingons back whenever, I assume they created the Klingons to be analogous to the Soviets.

    If you look at Russia today, it's seems to be reverting back to what it was during the Soviet (minus the communist ideology) and czarist times; that is, it is becoming once again imperialistic, anti-democratic, and anti-Western. And it is still very corrupt. And this is happening only about a generation removed from the collapse of the USSR.

    I guess there really was not a fundamental reformation that took place there after the collapse.

    I think the Soviet/Russia-Klingon analogy is apt in so many ways.

    I realize that the Klingons and the Feds made peace during the time of The Undiscovered Country. Is that when the transformation began? Why?

    How could a piece of paper, or whatever they used for the treaty, so dramatically change a society? It's unrealistic. Just look at what's happening in today's real world with Russia.

    In addition, the Klingons didn't look to the Federation for inspiration. They were fiercely proud of their own culture and history. The Klingons didn't want to be like the Federation. Why would they change?

    What caused the Klingon society to so dramatically change (other than the TNG writers making the change)? Is there something in ST canon that logically explains it?


    --If you have read these two long pieces of, whatever you want to call it, you are truly an honorable person.
     
  16. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    How about Praxis exploding causing massive enviromental damge to the Qo'nos the Klingon's homeworld? So massive that it would be uninhabitable in fifty or so years.

    TUC also showed two sides one a progressive side that was open to change and the other a more traditional side what to keep more towars the status quo. The progressive side seemed to have won out. Sure in Russia today, some people might want to harken back to what they percieve as the good old days, but the actions of a government any government aren't always fully representive of the wishes of the people. Do people of a certain generation thing back and think things where better when so and so was Head of Government? You could pssoible make a case that Russia is still a fledgling democracy compared against some nations.

    Change doesn't have to come about because of an external force but can come from internal forces.
     
  17. Ithekro

    Ithekro Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    But what if your theory is incorrect and the way the Klingons acted during TOS was the passing phase? That prior to that they were more like the Klingons of later eras that were more interested in honor? The militarism seem in Kirk's era is more a response to the implied threat of the expanding Federation and the change was after contact with the humans back in Archer's time. The Klingons feel threatened and start expanding in a more imperialistic manner and in a brutal fashion.

    Instead of the Russian analogy, how about Japan? Imperial, militaristic Japan of the 1930s and 1940s was a result of pressures and the perceived threat from the Western powers and then need for resources to maintain that new imperialism. However Japan was not always like that, nor are they like that now. They did get defeated and suffered and occupation, but they are still Japanese.

    The Klingons didn't change as much as the Japanese did. But if the analogy is similar, than after Khitomer, the threat of the Federation became less of a threat, and by the 2340s, the alliance made the threat almost gone, thus the Klingon imperialist and brutal nature from before reduces as the Klingons don't need it anymore. They go back to how they were before encountering the Humans.
     
  18. grendelsbayne

    grendelsbayne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's been a long time since I've seen tos, but while I remember the barbarism and Militarism, I also remember the Klingons negotiating with neutral peoples to get them to join/side with the empire (this was, iirc, the motive behind sabotaging the Fed. grain stores in the Trouble with Tribbles, so that that world would choose the Klingons instead of the Feds; I remember another ep the name of which I don't recall in which the Klingons seemed to be making a weapons deal with the locals) - therefore, even in TOS they weren't Xenophobic. Brutal, yes. Imperialistic, yes. Arrogant, yes. (and all three of those qualities were still seen in later shows, just somewhat less in the forefront)

    None of these things automatically mandates that they *must* be xenophobic.
     
  19. Armored Saint

    Armored Saint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You're talking about Friday's Child and A Private Little War. In both case, the Klingons are manipulative, but yes they don't are especially xenophobic.
     
  20. the praetor

    the praetor Ensign Red Shirt

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    In "The Search for Spock" and "The Voyage Home", the Klingons were depicted as quite paranoid and displayed a strong sense of xenophobia.

    Kruge, the Klingon captain and the villain of ST3, accused Kirk and the Feds of attempting to kill off the Klingon species. Kruge denounced Kirk for creating the Genesis "torpedo". He saw the Genesis "torpedo" as the weapon the Federation was going to use to annihilate the Klingon people. He was paranoid, and his paranoia was probably merely reflective of Klingon society.

    In TVH, the Klingon ambassador, speaking before the Federation Council, also accused the Federation of creating the Genesis weapon as the means to commit genocide against the Klingon people. I take it that the ambassador's sentiments reflected the Klingon people's attitudes. The Klingons apparently had a siege mentality. They were quite paranoid and xenophobic of alien outsiders out to get them.

    In ST:TMP, when the Klingons encountered Vger, they didn't try to open a dialogue with Vger. They went on the attack. That was their way. They don't take kindly to alien outsiders.

    From what I remember from the TOS episode "Day of the Dove", the Klingons in that ep also felt that the Feds were encroaching on Klingon space and were out to destroy their people. Xenophobia seemed to be part of the Klingon mind set.

    Was there something in ST canon that would explain such a dramatic transformation of Klingon society?

    I thought the Klingons also had other significant enemies and faced threats from the likes of the Romulans, Cardassians, the Dominion and other powers that existed in their quadrant of space.

    The Klingon-Fed front may have become peaceful, but that still wouldn't explain the dramatic transformation.

    Even in TNG times, the Klingons continued to display a pre-disposed aggressive nature and an enthusiasm for battle and warfare. It seemed so contradictory that the Klingons would be so passive, submissive and pathetic in their relations with the Feds, Romulans, etc. It goes against their nature as it was portrayed in the shows.