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[[Image:Kahless.jpg|thumb|Emperor Kahless the Unforgettable.]]
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{{disambiguation link}}
A [[humanoid]] warrior civilization and one of the major powers of the [[Milky Way Galaxy|galaxy]], the '''Klingon''' species originates from the planet [[Qo'noS]] (pronounced ''Kronos''), a [[class M|M-class]] [[planet]]. The Klingons are a proud, tradition-bound people who value honor. The aggressive Klingon culture has made them an interstellar military power to be respected and feared. Klingons believe that they have the instinctive ability to look an opponent in the eye and see the intent to kill.
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[[Image:Klingons2285.jpg|thumb|Klingon males (late [[23rd century]])]]
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[[Image:Sirella2374.jpg|thumb|A Klingon female in [[2374]]]]
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[[Image:Kor, 2266.jpg|thumb|A Klingon male after the effects of the [[Klingon augment virus]]]]
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[[Image:Klingonscript.GIF|thumb|The Klingon written language, used since the time of Kahless]]
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[[Image:Kahless.jpg|thumb|A clone of Emperor Kahless]]
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[[Image:Klingon_cranial_ridges_dissolve.jpg|thumb|A Klingon's cranial ridges dissolving]]
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:''"There is no victory without combat."'' – [[Kahless the Unforgettable]]
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The '''Klingons''' ([[Klingonese]]: '''tlhIngan''') are a [[humanoid]] warrior species that originates from the [[planet]] [[Qo'noS]] (pronounced ''Kronos''), an [[class M|M-class]] [[planet]]. One of the major powers of the [[Milky Way Galaxy|galaxy]], the Klingons are a proud, tradition-bound people who value [[honor]] and combat. The aggressive Klingon [[Races and cultures|culture]] has made them an interstellar [[military]] power to be respected and feared. Klingons believe that they have the instinctive ability to look an opponent in the [[eye]] and see the intent to kill.
   
 
==History and Politics==
 
==History and Politics==
The [[Klingon Empire]] was founded approximately 1,500 years ago by [[Kahless]] the Unforgettable, who performed many heroic feats including the unification of the Klingon people when he killed the tyrant [[Molor]]. Kahless came to be revered in Klingon society to the point of near-deification, and many aspects of Klingon culture came to revolve around emulation of Kahless's life. ([[TNG]]: "[[Rightful Heir]]")
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'''Main article:''' [[Klingon history]]
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The [[Klingon Empire]] was founded some time in the [[Early history|ninth century CE]] by [[Kahless the Unforgettable]], who performed many heroic feats including the unification of the Klingon people when he killed the tyrant [[Molor]]. Kahless came to be revered in Klingon society to the point of near-deification, and many aspects of Klingon culture came to revolve around emulation of Kahless's life. ({{TNG|Rightful Heir}})
   
The warrior ethos has been an important aspect of Klingon society since the time of Kahless, but the warrior aspects became much more dominant beginning in the early [[22nd century]]. Previously, Klingon society was regarded as fair and balanced, but over time, the warriors gained greater prominence, to the point where the Klingons widely came to be regardes as a "warrior race." ([[ENT]]: "[[Broken Bow]]", "[[Judgment]]")
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:''According to an early draft of {{e|Rightful Heir}}, [[Data]] gave the exact date of Kahless's death as 1,547 years ago (from [[2369]]), or AD 822. Also according to {{DS9|Soldiers of the Empire}}, that the [[Earth]] calendar year of [[2373]] coincides with the year of Kahless 999.''
   
Because of their aggressive outlook, the Klingons have generally had poor relations with other races after they began to move out into space. Because the worlds of the Klingon Empire are resource-poor, the Klingons have developed an intense belief in the need for expansion and conquest in order to survive. The Klingons' relationship with [[Human]]s and the [[United Federation of Planets|Federation]] have been rocky at best. Following the disastrous [[First Contact]] between Klingons and Humans in [[2151]], a tense rivalry began that escalated into a full-scale cold war around [[2218]]. ([[ENT]]: "[[Broken Bow]]", [[TOS]]: "[[Day of the Dove]]") Tensions finally erupted into the [[first Federation-Klingon War]] in [[2267]], that was quickly ended by intervention by the [[Organians]] after only four days of fighting. ([[TOS]]: "[[Errand of Mercy]]") Over the next several decades, an uneasy peace developed that was broken by brief but fierce skirmishes and conflicts. (''[[Star Trek III: The Search for Spock]], [[Star Trek V: The Final Frontier]]'') A true and lasting peace finally came in [[2293]] with the signing of the [[Khitomer Accords]], thanks to the efforts of [[Klingon chancellor|Chancellor]] [[Gorkon]] and the Human [[Starfleet]] officer [[James T. Kirk]]. (''[[Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country]]'') Since then, despite several periods of rocky relations (see [[Second Federation-Klingon War]]), the Federation and the Klingon Empire have been steadfast allies, especially in the face of [[Dominion]] aggression in the [[2370s]]. ([[DS9]]: "[[By Inferno's Light]]")
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The warrior ethos has been an important aspect of Klingon society since the time of Kahless, but the warrior aspects became much more dominant beginning in the early [[22nd century]]. Previously, Klingon society was regarded as socially balanced, but over time the warrior caste gained greater prominence, to the point where the Klingons widely came to be regarded as a "warrior race." ({{ENT|Broken Bow|Judgment}})
   
The Klingon relationship with the [[Romulan]] people is also extremely unstable. The [[Romulan Star Empire]] has been typically regarded by the Klingons as a "blood enemy" since at least the [[23rd century]]. Sporadic Romulan attacks against Klingon [[colony|colonies]] (see [[Khitomer Massacre]]) and interference in Klingon affairs (see [[Klingon Civil War]]) have continued to sour relationships between the two people. ([[TNG]]: "[[Sins of the Father]]", "[[Redemption, Part II]]")
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Because of their aggressive outlook, the Klingons have generally had poor relations with other races after they began to move out into space. Because the worlds of the Klingon Empire are resource-poor, the Klingons have developed an intense belief in the need for expansion and conquest in order to survive. The Klingons' relationship with [[Human]]s and the [[United Federation of Planets|Federation]] has been rocky at best. Following the disastrous [[First Contact]] between Klingons and Humans, tense rivalries and unavoidable conflicts often developed between the two races. ({{TNG|First Contact}}),
   
According to [[Daniels]], the Klingons have joined the Federation by the [[26th century]]. ([[ENT]]: "[[Azati Prime (episode)|Azati Prime]]")
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In the year [[2154]], the Klingons gained access to the genetic material of human [[Augment]]s, and tried to adapt this genetic engineering to improve themselves. An unanticipated side effect was that the Augment [[DNA]] caused the cranial ridges to dissolve. The test subjects did gain increased strength and intelligence, but then their neural pathways started to degrade and they died in agony. One of the subjects was suffering from the [[Levodian flu]], which was modified by the Augment genes to become a deadly, airborne plague that spread rampantly among the Empire, from world to world. In the first stage of [[Klingon augment virus|this plague]], Klingons lost the ridges on their foreheads and began to look more Human-like.
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With the help of a Klingon [[scientist]] named [[Antaak]], Dr. [[Phlox]] of the Earth starship [[Enterprise (NX-01)|''Enterprise'']] was able to formulate a cure that halted the genetic effects of the virus in the first stage, retaining the changes in appearance along with some minor neural re-ordering, but with no development of stage two characteristics, such as enhanced strength, speed, or endurance. This left millions of Klingons, mostly in the [[warrior caste]], without their ridges. These alterations were even passed on to their children. ({{ENT|Affliction|Divergence}})
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:''The virus must have been cured sometime between [[2269]] and [[2293]], since we see [[Kang]] (lacking ridges in {{TOS|Day of the Dove}}) with forehead ridges in {{VOY|Flashback}}. (It should be noted, however, that Kang's ridges may be a result of surgical cranial reconstruction.) It is most likely that it was before [[2273]], since that marks the first [re-]appearance of the ridges in the ''Trek'' timeline, in {{film|1}}. Fan speculation has also suggested that other differences in attitude and methodology between the TOS and non-TOS Klingons can be attributed to the neural re-ordering left by the virus.''
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:''It is possible that at first the treatment only gave many Klingons a single ridge from the bridge of the nose across the forehead, and then was eventually perfected and allowed a complete return to the original form. This speculation comes from the fact that many Klingon seen during the 23rd century possessed rather minor ridges (such as [[Chang (General)|Chang]], [[Korrd]], and [[Azetbur]]).''
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:''It has been suggested that the disease afflicting the Klingons seen in {{VOY|Prophecy}}, [[Nehret]], is the modified Levodian flu. [[The Doctor]] manages to cure the Nehret using stem cells from [[B'Elanna Torres]]' daughter, who was ¾ Human and ¼ Klingon, suggesting a similar method was used to cure the Human-form Klingons.''
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Klingons were apparently so embarrassed by the fallout from their failed attempt at genetic enhancement that they refused to discuss the incident with outsiders. Due to the secrecy of the Klingon Empire, knowledge of the change became lost over time to the general population of the Federation. By the [[24th century]], the reason for smooth forehead Klingons was not widely known outside the Empire, and questions were generally met with a brusque answer along the lines of "we don't discuss it with outsiders". ({{ENT|Affliction|Divergence}}; {{DS9|Trials and Tribble-ations}})
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:''It has been speculated that the events of the [[Temporal Cold War]] have complicated the "original" [[timeline]] of [[interstellar history]]. According to this theory, [[first contact]] between Earth and the Klingons was supposed to have occurred during the [[Augment Crisis]] of [[2154]], but the Temporal Cold War altered historical events, causing the contact to take place prematurely in [[2151]].''
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By [[2223]], relations between the Federation and the Klingon Empire had degenerated to a point of unremitting hostility, which would last for several decades. ({{film|6}}; {{TNG|First Contact}})
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The lingering tensions between Klingons and humans continued to rise, eventually leading to the [[Battle Of Donatu V]] near [[Sherman's Planet]] in [[2245]], and later erupted into what was considered the [[first Federation-Klingon War]] in [[2267]], that was quickly ended by intervention by the [[Organian]]s after only four days of fighting. ({{TOS|The Trouble with Tribbles|Errand of Mercy}}) Over the next several decades, an uneasy peace developed that was broken by brief but fierce skirmishes and conflicts ({{film|3}}; {{film|5}}). A true and lasting peace finally came in [[2293]] with the signing of the [[Khitomer Accords]], thanks to the efforts of [[Klingon chancellor|Chancellor]] [[Gorkon]] and the Human [[Starfleet]] officer [[James T. Kirk]]. ({{film|6}}) Since then, despite several periods of rocky relations (see [[Second Federation-Klingon War]]), the Federation and the Klingon Empire have been steadfast allies, especially in the face of [[Dominion]] aggression in the [[2370s]]. ({{DS9|By Inferno's Light}})
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:''Apocryphally, the game [[Star Trek: Starfleet Academy (game)|''Starfleet Academy'']] further explores the conflict between the Federation and Klingons in the years leading up to the Khitomer Accords. In the game, a series of border skirmishes are resolved when it is discovered that an unknown alien has been behind attacks on both Federation and Klingon border planets. This then helps to establish the foundation of the Khitomer talks.''
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[[Image:Qonosfire.jpg|thumb|Qo'noS on fire during the Civil War]]
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The Klingon relationship with the [[Romulan]] people was also extremely unstable. A short-lived [[Romulan-Klingon Alliance|alliance and technology exchange]] notwithstanding, the [[Romulan Star Empire]] has been typically regarded by the Klingons as a "blood enemy" since at least the [[23rd century]]. Sporadic Romulan attacks against Klingon [[colony|colonies]] (see [[Khitomer Massacre]]) and interference in Klingon affairs (see [[Klingon Civil War]]) continued to sour relationships between the two peoples. ({{TNG|Sins of the Father|Redemption II}})
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According to [[Daniels (Crewman)|Daniels]], the Klingons would join the Federation by the [[26th century]]. ({{ENT|Azati Prime}})
   
 
==Society==
 
==Society==
Klingon society is extremely complex, considered by some Federation citizens to be primitive in the extreme. It is essentially based on a feudal system organized around traditional [[Great House]]s of noble lineage, to which various parts of the population owe fealty. The Great Houses are traditionally represented in the [[Klingon High Council]], which is led by a [[Klingon chancellor|Chancellor]].
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Klingon society is extremely complex. It is based on a feudal system organized around traditional [[Great House]]s of noble lineage, to which various parts of the population owe fealty. The Great Houses are traditionally represented in the [[Klingon High Council]], which is led by a [[Klingon chancellor|Chancellor]].
   
Males traditionally dominate public life in the Empire, assuming the leading roles in politics and the military with only rare exceptions. ([[TNG]]: "[[Redemption, Part I]]") Women, in turn, traditionally dominate the household and the management of the family's affairs. ([[DS9]]: "[[You Are Cordially Invited...]]") Klingon women are treated as equals except in politics and matters of inheritance. They are prohibited by law from serving in the High Council and cannot take control of their Houses unless they have the money and no male successors of the lineage. Otherwise, it is expected of Klingon women to exhibit the same physical prowess and lust for blood and honor as the men.
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Males traditionally dominate public life in the Empire, assuming the leading roles in politics and the military with only rare exceptions. ({{TNG|Redemption}}) A notable exception of the prohibition of women serving on the High Council came when [[Azetbur]] became Chancellor of the High Council after her father, Gorkon, was assassinated in [[2293]]. ({{film|6}}) Women, in turn, traditionally dominate the household and the management of the family's affairs. ({{DS9|You Are Cordially Invited}}) Klingon women are treated as equals except in politics and matters of inheritance. They are prohibited by law from serving in the High Council and cannot take control of their Houses unless they have the money and no male successors of the lineage. Otherwise, it is expected of Klingon women to exhibit the same physical prowess and lust for blood and honor as the men.
   
Klingon society functions through a system of family reputation and honor. Tradition is an integral part of their lives and breaking from observances is considered a grievious insult to society that is not forgotten easily, bringing shame to the offender's name for several generations. Bloodlines and relations are also taken very seriously by any true Klingon. Lines comprise of more than mere family members. ([[TNG]]: "[[New Ground]]")
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Klingon society functions through a system of family reputation and honor. Tradition is an integral part of their lives and breaking from observances is considered a grievous insult to society that is not forgotten easily, bringing shame to the offender's name for several generations. Bloodlines and relations are also taken very seriously by any true Klingon. Lines comprise of more than mere family members. ({{TNG|New Ground}})
   
An integral part of tradition is the various rituals that mark milestones in a Klingon's life or the history of the Empire. Most notable of the rites is the [[Rite of Succession]], which a future leader of the Empire must complete with a valid [[Arbiter of Succession]] ([[Captain]] [[Jean-Luc Picard]] in the case of [[Gowron]]) overseeing the proceedings. Before the Rite can begin, there's another elaborate ceremony needed to confirm the death of the previous leader. This is known as the [[Sonchi ceremony]]. ([[TNG]]: "[[Reunion]]") For individual Klingon warriors, they are expected to go through the [[Rite of Ascension]] to be recognized as a full adult. ([[TNG]]: "[[The Icarus Factor]]")
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An integral part of tradition is the various rituals that mark milestones in a Klingon's life or the history of the Empire. Most notable of the rites is the [[Rite of Succession]], which a future leader of the Empire must complete with a valid [[Arbiter of Succession]] ([[Captain]] [[Jean-Luc Picard]] in the case of [[Gowron]]) overseeing the proceedings. Before the Rite can begin, there's another elaborate ceremony needed to confirm the death of the previous leader. This is known as the [[Sonchi ceremony]]. ({{TNG|Reunion}}) Individual Klingon warriors are expected to go through the [[Rite of Ascension]] to be recognized as a full adult. ({{TNG|The Icarus Factor}})
   
Klingons are extremly territorial. There is no such thing as an "insignifigant corner of Klingon space". ([[ENT]]: [[Bounty]]).
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Klingons are extremely territorial. There is no such thing as an "insignificant corner of Klingon space". ({{ENT|Bounty}})
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Klingon warriors generally do not wear rank insignia on their uniforms. A Klingon would never claim to be any other rank than what they actually are, since this would be an egregious violation of a warrior's honor code. If a Klingon claims to hold a specific rank, they can be taken at their word. {{incite}}
   
 
==Physiology==
 
==Physiology==
[[Image:Klingon.jpg|thumb|A typical Klingon male.]]
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[[Image:Klaang.jpg|thumb|A typical Klingon male]]
On average Klingons are larger and physically stronger than [[Humans]]. They are noted for having no tear ducts, and while most have red blood there are some whose blood is distinctly pink. Klingons suffer from certain allergies, most notably a strong reaction to small furry animals such as [[Tribbles]]. ([[TOS]]: "[[The Trouble with Tribbles]]")
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On average, Klingons are larger and physically stronger than Humans, though they possess much less tolerance for cold weather. ({{VOY|Displaced}}; {{DS9|Change of Heart}}) [[Spock]] said once that Klingons lack [[tear duct]]s, however Klingon myth states that [[Kahless]] once filled the ocean with his tears. ({{film|6}}; {{TNG|Birthright, Part II}})
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:''Oxygenated Klingon blood usually appears red in a [[Class M]] atmosphere, however in {{film|6}}, Klingon blood appeared pink/violet in one scene. It is possible this was done to keep the movie from being rated "R" in the US market. It is possible that Klingon blood is "canonically" pink in color, because of what [[Worf (Colonel)|Colonel Worf]] said in ''The Undiscovered Country'' regarding the difference in Klingon blood compared to Humans (after [[Colonel]] [[West]], disguised as a Klingon, was shot down). On the other hand, with the sole exception of ''Star Trek VI'', Klingon blood has always been shown in red in every instance that it has been shown, including in {{film|7}} and multiple episodes of all of the ''Star Trek'' television series. The pink color may be a result of being exposed to a zero-G environment.''
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[[Image:Marab's anatomy.jpg|thumb|The anatomy of a male Klingon afflicted with the Augment virus]]
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[[Image:Klingon anatomy small.jpg|thumb|The anatomy of a male Klingon without the Augment virus]]
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Internally, Klingon [[anatomy]] is markedly different from that of Humans. There is a great deal more multiple redundancy in their organs, a principle they call ''[[brak'lul]]''. This allows Klingons to survive severe injuries in battle. They have twenty three ribs, two livers, an eight chambered heart, three lungs, and even redundant neural function and multiple stomachs. Some geneticists believe the extra organs, notably the third lung, evolved to give Klingons greater stamina on the battlefield. Surprisingly, Klingons have relatively little knowledge of their own biology and their medicine is very poorly developed. This is largely due to their warrior traditions – a Klingon who is wounded is expected to be left to survive or die through his own strength, or to undergo the ''[[hegh'bat]]'', a form of ritual suicide. ({{TNG|Ethics}}; {{VOY|Lineage}})
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Klingon pregnancies normally run thirty weeks, but with mixed species, gestation times are shorter. The odds against Klingon-Human conceptions are rather high; however, when successful, Klingon and Human metabolisms sometimes clash causing biochemical fluctuations in the mother, which may lead to fainting. Klingon traits remain dominant for several generations, even with a single ancestor; therefore a child even ¼ Klingon will still possess forehead ridges if he or she carries the gene. ({{VOY|Lineage}})
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Klingons have ridged spines and feet. ({{TNG|Ethics}}; {{ENT|Broken Bow}}) After birth some Klingon infants may experience a pronounced curvature to the spine, which may be corrected for by surgery. This "defect" tends to run in Klingon families, especially among females. Federation medicine, fortunately, has advanced beyond that allowing an additional choice of treatment which involves genetic modification. ({{VOY|Lineage}})
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Klingon children mature far more quickly than Human children. At the age of only one Earth year, a Klingon child has the appearance a Human child would have at about four. By the age of eight Earth years, a Klingon attains the maturity a Human would not reach until about age sixteen. ({{TNG|Reunion}}; {{DS9|Sons and Daughters}}) When Klingon children begin growing into adults, they go through ''[[jak'tahla]]'', a Klingon form of puberty. ({{film|9}}) Like other [[mammal]]ian species, Klingon females are capable of [[Milk|lactating]] to breast-feed infants. ({{TNG|A Matter Of Honor}})
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Klingons live for over 150 years, but even into advanced old age are still strong enough for combat. ({{DS9|Blood Oath}})
   
Internally, Klingon physiology is markedly different from that of [[Humans]]. There is a great deal more multiple redundancy in their organs, a principle they call ''[[brak'lul]]''. This allows Klingons to survive severe injuries in battle. They have twenty three ribs, two livers, an eight chambered heart, and even redundant neural function and multiple stomachs. Surprisingly, Klingons have relatively little knowledge of their own biology and their medicine is very poorly developed. This is largely due to their warrior traditions - a Klingon who is wounded is expected to be left to survive or die through his own strength, or to undergo the [[Hegh'bat]], a form of ritual suicide. ([[TNG]]: "[[Ethics (episode)|Ethics]]")
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[[Doctor]] [[Julian Bashir]] once sarcastically noted that the natural odor produced by Klingons was comparable to "[[vanilla]] with a hint of [[lilac]]". ({{DS9|Trials and Tribble-ations}})
   
 
==Religion and Tradition==
 
==Religion and Tradition==
Ritual is a very important element in Klingon society. The Klingons are not a religious people as such - they do believe that deities existed at one time, but the Klingons slew their gods about a thousand years ago as they were considered to be more trouble than they were worth. They believe that once a Klingon has died the spirit exits the body, leaving behind a worthless shell to be disposed of. ([[VGR]]: "[[Emanations]]") It is traditional for those on hand to howl into the sky as a warning to the afterlife that a Klingon warrior is about to arrive. ([[TNG]]: "[[Heart of Glory]]") In some cases a funeral dirge is sung in memory to the deceased, or friends will sit with the body to protect it from predators, a practice known as [[Ak'voh]]. ([[DS9]]: "[[The Ship]]")
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[[Image:KlingonDeathRitual.jpg|thumb|Klingon death ritual]]
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Ritual is a very important element in Klingon society. The Klingons are not a religious people as such – they do believe that deities existed at one time, but the Klingons slew their gods about a thousand years ago as they were considered to be more trouble than they were worth. They believe that once a Klingon has died the spirit exits the body, leaving behind a worthless shell to be disposed of. ({{VOY|Emanations}}) In the [[Klingon death ritual]], it is traditional for those on hand to howl into the sky as a warning to the afterlife that a Klingon warrior is about to arrive. ({{TNG|Heart of Glory}}; {{DS9|Tears of the Prophets}}) In some cases a funeral dirge is sung in memory to the deceased, or friends will sit with the body to protect it from predators, a practice known as ''[[ak'voh]]''. ({{DS9|The Ship}})
   
Furthermore, a Klingon, who is unable to fight, hence is unable to live as a warrior anymore, has the traditional obligation of committing the [[Hegh'bat]], which is the Klingon ritual suicide. Tradition dictates that a close friend, or eldest son must assist. That person's role is to hand the dying Klingon a [[Klingon blade weapons|knife]] so that he can plunge it into his heart, remove it and then wipe the blood on the sleeve of the person assisting. ([[TNG]] : "[[Ethics (episode)|Ethics]]")
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Furthermore, a Klingon, who is unable to fight, hence is unable to live as a warrior anymore, has the traditional obligation of committing the ''[[hegh'bat]]'', which is the Klingon ritual suicide. Tradition dictates that a close friend, or eldest son must assist. That person's role is to hand the dying Klingon a [[Klingon blade weapons|knife]] so that he can plunge it into his heart, remove it and then wipe the blood on his own sleeve. ({{TNG|Ethics}})
   
The Klingon afterlife is divided into two branches; the dishonored are taken to [[Gre'thor]] aboard the [[Barge of the Dead]], a vessel captained by [[Kortar]], the first Klingon. Kortar was the one who originally killed the gods who created him, and was condemned to ferry the dishonored to Gre'thor as a punishment. Once in Gre'thor, the dishonored are watched over by [[Fek'lhr]], a vaguely Klingon-esque figure. It is tempting to view Fek'lhr as the Klingon equivalent of the Human [[devil]], but in fact the Klingons have no devil. ([[TNG]]: "[[Devil's Due]]", [[VGR]]: "[[Barge of the Dead (episode)|Barge of the Dead]]")
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The Klingon afterlife is divided into two branches; the dishonored are taken to [[Gre'thor]] aboard the [[Barge of the Dead]], a vessel captained by [[Kortar]], the first Klingon. Kortar was the one who originally killed the gods who created him, and was condemned to ferry the dishonored to Gre'thor as a punishment. Once in Gre'thor, the dishonored are watched over by [[Fek'lhr]], a vaguely Klingon-esque figure. It is tempting to view Fek'lhr as the Klingon equivalent of the Human [[devil]], but according to [[Kang]], the Klingons have no [[devil]]. ({{TNG|Devil's Due}}; {{VOY|Barge of the Dead}}; {{TOS|Day of the Dove}})
   
Those who die honorably go to [[Sto-vo-kor]], where [[Kahless]] was said to await them. ([[TNG]]: "[[Heart of Glory]]", "[[Rightful Heir]]", [[VGR]]: "[[Barge of the Dead]]")
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Those who die honorably go to ''[[Sto-vo-kor]]'', where [[Kahless]] was said to await them. ({{TNG|Heart of Glory|Rightful Heir}}; {{VOY|Barge of the Dead}})
   
Klingon rituals include the [[R'uustai]], a bonding ceremony which joins two people together in a relationship similar to brotherhood. ([[TNG]]: "[[The Bonding]]") Klingon tradition holds that "the son of a Klingon is a man the day he can first hold a blade." ([[TNG]]: "[[New Ground]]")
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Klingon rituals include the ''[[R'uustai]]'', a bonding ceremony which joins two people together in a relationship similar to brotherhood. ({{TNG|The Bonding}}) Klingon tradition holds that "the son of a Klingon is a man the day he can first hold a blade." ({{TNG|New Ground}})
   
If a Klingon warrior strikes another Klingon with the back of his hand, it is interpreted as a challenge to the death. Klingon warriors speak proudly to each other; they do not whisper or keep their distance. Standing far away or whispering are considered insults in Klingon society. ([[DS9]]: "[[Apocalypse Rising]]")
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If a Klingon warrior strikes another Klingon with the back of his hand, it is interpreted as a challenge to the death. Klingon warriors speak proudly to each other; they do not whisper or keep their distance. Standing far away or whispering are considered insults in Klingon society. ({{DS9|Apocalypse Rising}})
   
When going into battle, Klingon warriors often sing the traditional [[Klingon warrior's anthem|warriors' anthem]], which is essentially an invocation to Kahless and a pledge to win a good death in battle. ([[DS9]]: "[[Soldiers of the Empire]]")
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When going into battle, Klingon warriors often sing the traditional [[Klingon warrior's anthem|warriors' anthem]], which is essentially an invocation to Kahless and a pledge to win a good death in battle. ({{DS9|Soldiers of the Empire}})
   
'''See also:''' [[Klingon mythology]], [[Klingon Philosophy]]
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===See also===
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* [[Klingon mythology]]
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* [[Klingon philosophy]]
   
 
==Science and Technology==
 
==Science and Technology==
*[[List of Klingon starship classes]]
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*[[Klingon starship classes]]
*[[List of Klingon starships]]
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*[[Klingon starships]]
 
*[[Klingon blade weapons]]
 
*[[Klingon blade weapons]]
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*[[Klingon language]]
   
 
==People==
 
==People==
*[[List of Klingon characters]]
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*[[Klingons]]
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*[[Unnamed Klingons]]
   
 
==Food and Beverages==
 
==Food and Beverages==
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*[[Bregit lung]]
 
*[[Bregit lung]]
 
*[[Chech'tluth]]
 
*[[Chech'tluth]]
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*[[Firewine]]
 
*[[Gagh]]
 
*[[Gagh]]
 
*[[Gladst]]
 
*[[Gladst]]
 
*[[Grapok sauce]]
 
*[[Grapok sauce]]
 
*[[Heart of targ]]
 
*[[Heart of targ]]
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*[[Klingon martini]]
 
*[[Pipius claw]]
 
*[[Pipius claw]]
 
*[[Racht]]
 
*[[Racht]]
 
*[[Rokeg blood pie]]
 
*[[Rokeg blood pie]]
  +
*[[Raktajino]]
 
*[[Warnog]]
 
*[[Warnog]]
 
*[[Zilm'kach]]
 
*[[Zilm'kach]]
   
==Background information==
+
==Appendices==
Klingons were first seen in Errand of Mercy [TOS], and throughout the original Star Trek series. At the time, they appeared as fairly ordinary humans with heavy makeup and mustaches. Beginning with [[Star Trek: The Motion Picture]], improved makeup techniques, and bigger budgets, led to their present elaborate forehead designs. The differences between the two types of Klingons have never been definitively explained on the show, although [[Worf]], in [[Trials and Tribble-ations]] ([[DS9]]), made it very clear that this is not something the Klingons discuss with outsiders. The issue was further complicated when three Klingons, [[Kor]], [[Koloth]], and [[Kang]], who had appeared in the Original Series with the original makeup design, appeared on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine wearing the motion picture style Klingon foreheads. According to [[David Alexander]], in [[Star Trek Creator]], a biography of [[Gene Roddenberry]], Roc Books, 1994, the Klingons were named for Lieutenant Wilbur Clingan, a friend of Roddenberry who served with him in the Los Angeles Police Department.
+
===Appearances===
  +
A list of all appearances of Klingons (excluding appearances of [[Worf]] and [[B'Elanna Torres]]).
  +
<!--This list includes all Klingon appearances, in as far as, where an actor dons Klingon makeup-->
  +
<div class="appear">
  +
* [[ENT]]:
  +
** {{e|Broken Bow}}
  +
** {{e|Unexpected}}
  +
** {{e|Sleeping Dogs}}
  +
** {{e|Marauders}}
  +
** {{e|Judgment}}
  +
** {{e|Bounty}}
  +
** {{e|The Expanse}}
  +
** {{e|Borderland}}
  +
** {{e|The Augments}}
  +
** {{e|Affliction}}
  +
** {{e|Divergence}}
  +
* [[TOS]]:
  +
** {{e|Errand of Mercy}}
  +
** {{e|Friday's Child}}
  +
** {{e|The Trouble with Tribbles}}
  +
** {{e|A Private Little War}}
  +
** {{e|Elaan of Troyius}}
  +
** {{e|Day of the Dove}}
  +
** {{e|The Savage Curtain}}
  +
* [[TAS]]:
  +
** {{e|More Tribbles, More Troubles}}
  +
** {{e|The Time Trap}}
  +
* [[Star Trek films|TOS films]]:
  +
** {{film|1}}
  +
** {{film|3}}
  +
** {{film|4}}
  +
** {{film|5}}
  +
** {{film|6}}
  +
* [[TNG]]:
  +
** {{e|Heart of Glory}}
  +
** {{e|A Matter Of Honor}}
  +
** {{e|The Emissary}}
  +
** "[[Shades of Grey]]"
  +
** {{e|Sins of the Father}}
  +
** {{e|Reunion}}
  +
** {{e|The Drumhead}}
  +
** {{e|The Mind's Eye}}
  +
** {{e|Redemption}}
  +
** {{e|Redemption II}}
  +
** {{e|Unification I}}
  +
** {{e|Unification II}}
  +
** {{e|Aquiel}}
  +
** {{e|Birthright, Part I}}
  +
** {{e|Birthright, Part II}}
  +
** {{e|The Chase}}
  +
** {{e|Suspicions}}
  +
** {{e|Rightful Heir}}
  +
** {{e|Gambit, Part II}}
  +
** {{e|Firstborn}}
  +
* [[Star Trek films|TNG films]]:
  +
** {{film|7}}
  +
*[[DS9]]:
  +
** {{e|Past Prologue}}
  +
** {{e|Dramatis Personae}}
  +
** {{e|Invasive Procedures}}
  +
** {{e|Melora}}
  +
** {{e|Blood Oath}}
  +
** {{e|Crossover}}
  +
** {{e|The House of Quark}}
  +
** {{e|Visionary}}
  +
** {{e|Through the Looking Glass}}
  +
** {{e|The Way of the Warrior}}
  +
** {{e|The Sword of Kahless}}
  +
** {{e|Return to Grace}}
  +
** {{e|Sons of Mogh}}
  +
** {{e|Rules of Engagement}}
  +
** {{e|Shattered Mirror}}
  +
** {{e|Broken Link}}
  +
** {{e|Apocalypse Rising}}
  +
** {{e|Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places}}
  +
** {{e|Nor the Battle to the Strong}}
  +
** {{e|Trials and Tribble-ations}}
  +
** {{e|In Purgatory's Shadow}}
  +
** {{e|By Inferno's Light}}
  +
** {{e|Soldiers of the Empire}}
  +
** {{e|Children of Time}}
  +
** {{e|Sons and Daughters}}
  +
** {{e|Sacrifice of Angels}}
  +
** {{e|You Are Cordially Invited}}
  +
** {{e|In the Pale Moonlight}}
  +
** {{e|His Way}}
  +
** {{e|Image in the Sand}}
  +
** {{e|Shadows and Symbols}}
  +
** {{e|Once More Unto the Breach}}
  +
** {{e|The Emperor's New Cloak}}
  +
** {{e|Chimera}}
  +
** {{e|When It Rains...}}
  +
** {{e|Tacking Into the Wind}}
  +
** {{e|The Dogs of War}}
  +
** {{e|What You Leave Behind}}
  +
* [[VOY]]:
  +
** {{e|Flashback}}
  +
** {{e|Real Life}}
  +
** {{e|The Killing Game}}
  +
** {{e|The Killing Game, Part II}}
  +
** {{e|Infinite Regress}}
  +
** {{e|Barge of the Dead}}
  +
** {{e|Unimatrix Zero, Part II}}
  +
** {{e|Lineage}}
  +
** {{e|Prophecy}}
  +
** {{e|Endgame}}
  +
</div>
  +
  +
===Background===
  +
Klingons were introduced in ''[[Star Trek: The Original Series]]'', and first appeared in the episode {{e|Errand of Mercy}}. At the time, they appeared as fairly ordinary Humans with heavy makeup and mustaches (although their appearance changed even within the original series, with dark makeup and heavy eyebrows being the norm, but the Klingons of "The Trouble With Tribbles" being much lighter-skinned and Human-like in appearance). Beginning with {{film|1}}, improved makeup techniques, and bigger budgets, led to their present elaborate forehead designs. The inspiration for the post-TOS Klingon make-up came from ''Planet Earth'', a 1974 [[Gene Roddenberry]] pilot which starred [[Diana Muldaur]] and [[Ted Cassidy]]. That pilot featured a Klingon-inspired, warlike race of mutant Humans called the Kreeg who had ridges down the center of their foreheads.
  +
  +
After {{DS9|Trials and Tribble-ations}} made the change in appearance part of the canon, the ''[[Star Trek: Enterprise]]'' episodes {{e|Affliction}} and {{e|Divergence}} explained the differences.
  +
  +
If you look carefully at [[Star Trek: The Original Series|the original series]], you will notice the only time you see the Klingon symbol ({{TOS|Elaan of Troyius}}), the high spire is actually facing right, not straight up as the subsequent versions are. Also, if you could see it as it was on the original Klingon ship model (The camera angles never showed it on the series), you'd see it was facing to the right there as well. It was probably meant to be that way originally, but series execs and concept designers likely found it looks better pointing straight up instead.
  +
  +
Note that the Klingons in ''Star Trek VI'' were given lavender blood specifically for ratings and plot purposes; Klingon blood on TV is red. Also, even individual Klingon makeup (Worf's head, for example) can change from episode to episode. According to [[David Alexander]], in ''[[Star Trek Creator]]'', a biography of [[Gene Roddenberry]], Roc Books, 1994, the Klingons were named for Lieutenant Wilbur Clingan, a friend of Roddenberry who served with him in the Los Angeles Police Department.
  +
  +
The only ''[[Star Trek]]'' cast members, besides [[Michael Dorn]] and [[Roxann Dawson]], to have worn the full Klingon makeup include [[Avery Brooks]], [[Colm Meaney]], [[Rene Auberjonois]], [[Kate Mulgrew]], [[Ethan Phillips]] and [[Scott Bakula]].
  +
  +
A story [[Robert O'Reilly]] tells in an interview in the [[DS9 Season 7 DVD]], is that a long running joke among actors who have played Klingons, is that they do not want to appear in the films, as, he believes, that the only purpose of a Klingon in one of the films was to be killed off. He was proven right in ''Generations''.
  +
  +
==Apocrypha==
  +
In the novel ''[[Summon the Thunder]]'', part of the [[Star Trek: Vanguard]] series, the Klingons who had a Human appearance (descendants of the victims of the Klingon augment virus) are referred to as '''QuchHa'''', or "the unhappy ones". They usually served in their own units although they also were known to mix with the rest of the fleet on occasion.
  +
  +
==Popular Culture==
  +
On January 10th, 2007, [[Wikipedia:David Wu|Congressman David Wu]] made a speech on the House of Representatives floor referring to [[George Bush]]'s staff as Klingons with regard to the Iraq War. Wu, an admitted fan of ''Star Trek'', said he was making a reference to the title of James Mann's recent book ''Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet'' (ISBN 0670032999). In the book, Mann writes that "Vulcans" is a nickname that President Bush's foreign policy advisory team in the 2000 campaign gave itself, originating from the large Vulcan statue in Bush adviser Condoleezza Rice's hometown of Birmingham, Alabama.
  +
  +
Wu said that unlike "the Vulcans of ''Star Trek''", who "make decisions based on logic and fact", Rice and her cadre behave more like the warlike Klingons, saying, "there are Klingons in the White House". Wu continued that unlike "real Klingons", who are also known for their courage and code of honor, those in the White House "have never fought a battle of their own". He concluded "don't let faux Klingons send real Americans to war."
  +
  +
On January 16, 2007, comedian Jon Stewart dedicated a short segment of ''The Daily Show with Jon Stewart'' to talk about this speech. He was joined in this discussion by [[Leonard Nimoy]] and [[George Takei]] ([[Spock]] and [[Hikaru Sulu]] respectively).
  +
  +
==External Links==
  +
* {{NCwiki}}
  +
* [http://www.purevolume.com/stovokor STOVOKOR], a Klingon musical group
   
 
{{featured}}
 
{{featured}}
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[[Category:Qo'noS]] [[Category:Species]]
  +
[[de:Klingone]]
  +
[[es:Klingons]]
  +
[[fr:Klingon]]
  +
[[nl:Klingon]]

Revision as of 22:32, March 8, 2007

For additional meanings of "Klingon", please see Klingon.
Klingons2285

Klingon males (late 23rd century)

File:Sirella2374.jpg
Kor, 2266

A Klingon male after the effects of the Klingon augment virus

File:Klingonscript.GIF
Kahless

A clone of Emperor Kahless

Klingon cranial ridges dissolve

A Klingon's cranial ridges dissolving

"There is no victory without combat."Kahless the Unforgettable

The Klingons (Klingonese: tlhIngan) are a humanoid warrior species that originates from the planet Qo'noS (pronounced Kronos), an M-class planet. One of the major powers of the galaxy, the Klingons are a proud, tradition-bound people who value honor and combat. The aggressive Klingon culture has made them an interstellar military power to be respected and feared. Klingons believe that they have the instinctive ability to look an opponent in the eye and see the intent to kill.

History and Politics

Main article: Klingon history The Klingon Empire was founded some time in the ninth century CE by Kahless the Unforgettable, who performed many heroic feats including the unification of the Klingon people when he killed the tyrant Molor. Kahless came to be revered in Klingon society to the point of near-deification, and many aspects of Klingon culture came to revolve around emulation of Kahless's life. (TNG: "Rightful Heir")

According to an early draft of "Rightful Heir", Data gave the exact date of Kahless's death as 1,547 years ago (from 2369), or AD 822. Also according to DS9: "Soldiers of the Empire", that the Earth calendar year of 2373 coincides with the year of Kahless 999.

The warrior ethos has been an important aspect of Klingon society since the time of Kahless, but the warrior aspects became much more dominant beginning in the early 22nd century. Previously, Klingon society was regarded as socially balanced, but over time the warrior caste gained greater prominence, to the point where the Klingons widely came to be regarded as a "warrior race." (ENT: "Broken Bow", "Judgment")

Because of their aggressive outlook, the Klingons have generally had poor relations with other races after they began to move out into space. Because the worlds of the Klingon Empire are resource-poor, the Klingons have developed an intense belief in the need for expansion and conquest in order to survive. The Klingons' relationship with Humans and the Federation has been rocky at best. Following the disastrous First Contact between Klingons and Humans, tense rivalries and unavoidable conflicts often developed between the two races. (TNG: "First Contact"),

In the year 2154, the Klingons gained access to the genetic material of human Augments, and tried to adapt this genetic engineering to improve themselves. An unanticipated side effect was that the Augment DNA caused the cranial ridges to dissolve. The test subjects did gain increased strength and intelligence, but then their neural pathways started to degrade and they died in agony. One of the subjects was suffering from the Levodian flu, which was modified by the Augment genes to become a deadly, airborne plague that spread rampantly among the Empire, from world to world. In the first stage of this plague, Klingons lost the ridges on their foreheads and began to look more Human-like.

With the help of a Klingon scientist named Antaak, Dr. Phlox of the Earth starship Enterprise was able to formulate a cure that halted the genetic effects of the virus in the first stage, retaining the changes in appearance along with some minor neural re-ordering, but with no development of stage two characteristics, such as enhanced strength, speed, or endurance. This left millions of Klingons, mostly in the warrior caste, without their ridges. These alterations were even passed on to their children. (ENT: "Affliction", "Divergence")

The virus must have been cured sometime between 2269 and 2293, since we see Kang (lacking ridges in TOS: "Day of the Dove") with forehead ridges in VOY: "Flashback". (It should be noted, however, that Kang's ridges may be a result of surgical cranial reconstruction.) It is most likely that it was before 2273, since that marks the first [re-]appearance of the ridges in the Trek timeline, in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Fan speculation has also suggested that other differences in attitude and methodology between the TOS and non-TOS Klingons can be attributed to the neural re-ordering left by the virus.
It is possible that at first the treatment only gave many Klingons a single ridge from the bridge of the nose across the forehead, and then was eventually perfected and allowed a complete return to the original form. This speculation comes from the fact that many Klingon seen during the 23rd century possessed rather minor ridges (such as Chang, Korrd, and Azetbur).
It has been suggested that the disease afflicting the Klingons seen in VOY: "Prophecy", Nehret, is the modified Levodian flu. The Doctor manages to cure the Nehret using stem cells from B'Elanna Torres' daughter, who was ¾ Human and ¼ Klingon, suggesting a similar method was used to cure the Human-form Klingons.

Klingons were apparently so embarrassed by the fallout from their failed attempt at genetic enhancement that they refused to discuss the incident with outsiders. Due to the secrecy of the Klingon Empire, knowledge of the change became lost over time to the general population of the Federation. By the 24th century, the reason for smooth forehead Klingons was not widely known outside the Empire, and questions were generally met with a brusque answer along the lines of "we don't discuss it with outsiders". (ENT: "Affliction", "Divergence"; DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations")

It has been speculated that the events of the Temporal Cold War have complicated the "original" timeline of interstellar history. According to this theory, first contact between Earth and the Klingons was supposed to have occurred during the Augment Crisis of 2154, but the Temporal Cold War altered historical events, causing the contact to take place prematurely in 2151.

By 2223, relations between the Federation and the Klingon Empire had degenerated to a point of unremitting hostility, which would last for several decades. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; TNG: "First Contact")

The lingering tensions between Klingons and humans continued to rise, eventually leading to the Battle Of Donatu V near Sherman's Planet in 2245, and later erupted into what was considered the first Federation-Klingon War in 2267, that was quickly ended by intervention by the Organians after only four days of fighting. (TOS: "The Trouble with Tribbles", "Errand of Mercy") Over the next several decades, an uneasy peace developed that was broken by brief but fierce skirmishes and conflicts (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; Star Trek V: The Final Frontier). A true and lasting peace finally came in 2293 with the signing of the Khitomer Accords, thanks to the efforts of Chancellor Gorkon and the Human Starfleet officer James T. Kirk. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country) Since then, despite several periods of rocky relations (see Second Federation-Klingon War), the Federation and the Klingon Empire have been steadfast allies, especially in the face of Dominion aggression in the 2370s. (DS9: "By Inferno's Light")

Apocryphally, the game Starfleet Academy further explores the conflict between the Federation and Klingons in the years leading up to the Khitomer Accords. In the game, a series of border skirmishes are resolved when it is discovered that an unknown alien has been behind attacks on both Federation and Klingon border planets. This then helps to establish the foundation of the Khitomer talks.
File:Qonosfire.jpg

The Klingon relationship with the Romulan people was also extremely unstable. A short-lived alliance and technology exchange notwithstanding, the Romulan Star Empire has been typically regarded by the Klingons as a "blood enemy" since at least the 23rd century. Sporadic Romulan attacks against Klingon colonies (see Khitomer Massacre) and interference in Klingon affairs (see Klingon Civil War) continued to sour relationships between the two peoples. (TNG: "Sins of the Father", "Redemption II")

According to Daniels, the Klingons would join the Federation by the 26th century. (ENT: "Azati Prime")

Society

Klingon society is extremely complex. It is based on a feudal system organized around traditional Great Houses of noble lineage, to which various parts of the population owe fealty. The Great Houses are traditionally represented in the Klingon High Council, which is led by a Chancellor.

Males traditionally dominate public life in the Empire, assuming the leading roles in politics and the military with only rare exceptions. (TNG: "Redemption") A notable exception of the prohibition of women serving on the High Council came when Azetbur became Chancellor of the High Council after her father, Gorkon, was assassinated in 2293. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country) Women, in turn, traditionally dominate the household and the management of the family's affairs. (DS9: "You Are Cordially Invited") Klingon women are treated as equals except in politics and matters of inheritance. They are prohibited by law from serving in the High Council and cannot take control of their Houses unless they have the money and no male successors of the lineage. Otherwise, it is expected of Klingon women to exhibit the same physical prowess and lust for blood and honor as the men.

Klingon society functions through a system of family reputation and honor. Tradition is an integral part of their lives and breaking from observances is considered a grievous insult to society that is not forgotten easily, bringing shame to the offender's name for several generations. Bloodlines and relations are also taken very seriously by any true Klingon. Lines comprise of more than mere family members. (TNG: "New Ground")

An integral part of tradition is the various rituals that mark milestones in a Klingon's life or the history of the Empire. Most notable of the rites is the Rite of Succession, which a future leader of the Empire must complete with a valid Arbiter of Succession (Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the case of Gowron) overseeing the proceedings. Before the Rite can begin, there's another elaborate ceremony needed to confirm the death of the previous leader. This is known as the Sonchi ceremony. (TNG: "Reunion") Individual Klingon warriors are expected to go through the Rite of Ascension to be recognized as a full adult. (TNG: "The Icarus Factor")

Klingons are extremely territorial. There is no such thing as an "insignificant corner of Klingon space". (ENT: "Bounty")

Klingon warriors generally do not wear rank insignia on their uniforms. A Klingon would never claim to be any other rank than what they actually are, since this would be an egregious violation of a warrior's honor code. If a Klingon claims to hold a specific rank, they can be taken at their word. (citation needededit)

Physiology

Klaang

A typical Klingon male

On average, Klingons are larger and physically stronger than Humans, though they possess much less tolerance for cold weather. (VOY: "Displaced"; DS9: "Change of Heart") Spock said once that Klingons lack tear ducts, however Klingon myth states that Kahless once filled the ocean with his tears. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; TNG: "Birthright, Part II")

Oxygenated Klingon blood usually appears red in a Class M atmosphere, however in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Klingon blood appeared pink/violet in one scene. It is possible this was done to keep the movie from being rated "R" in the US market. It is possible that Klingon blood is "canonically" pink in color, because of what Colonel Worf said in The Undiscovered Country regarding the difference in Klingon blood compared to Humans (after Colonel West, disguised as a Klingon, was shot down). On the other hand, with the sole exception of Star Trek VI, Klingon blood has always been shown in red in every instance that it has been shown, including in Star Trek Generations and multiple episodes of all of the Star Trek television series. The pink color may be a result of being exposed to a zero-G environment.
Marab's anatomy

The anatomy of a male Klingon afflicted with the Augment virus

Klingon anatomy small

The anatomy of a male Klingon without the Augment virus

Internally, Klingon anatomy is markedly different from that of Humans. There is a great deal more multiple redundancy in their organs, a principle they call brak'lul. This allows Klingons to survive severe injuries in battle. They have twenty three ribs, two livers, an eight chambered heart, three lungs, and even redundant neural function and multiple stomachs. Some geneticists believe the extra organs, notably the third lung, evolved to give Klingons greater stamina on the battlefield. Surprisingly, Klingons have relatively little knowledge of their own biology and their medicine is very poorly developed. This is largely due to their warrior traditions – a Klingon who is wounded is expected to be left to survive or die through his own strength, or to undergo the hegh'bat, a form of ritual suicide. (TNG: "Ethics"; VOY: "Lineage")

Klingon pregnancies normally run thirty weeks, but with mixed species, gestation times are shorter. The odds against Klingon-Human conceptions are rather high; however, when successful, Klingon and Human metabolisms sometimes clash causing biochemical fluctuations in the mother, which may lead to fainting. Klingon traits remain dominant for several generations, even with a single ancestor; therefore a child even ¼ Klingon will still possess forehead ridges if he or she carries the gene. (VOY: "Lineage")

Klingons have ridged spines and feet. (TNG: "Ethics"; ENT: "Broken Bow") After birth some Klingon infants may experience a pronounced curvature to the spine, which may be corrected for by surgery. This "defect" tends to run in Klingon families, especially among females. Federation medicine, fortunately, has advanced beyond that allowing an additional choice of treatment which involves genetic modification. (VOY: "Lineage")

Klingon children mature far more quickly than Human children. At the age of only one Earth year, a Klingon child has the appearance a Human child would have at about four. By the age of eight Earth years, a Klingon attains the maturity a Human would not reach until about age sixteen. (TNG: "Reunion"; DS9: "Sons and Daughters") When Klingon children begin growing into adults, they go through jak'tahla, a Klingon form of puberty. (Star Trek: Insurrection) Like other mammalian species, Klingon females are capable of lactating to breast-feed infants. (TNG: "A Matter Of Honor")

Klingons live for over 150 years, but even into advanced old age are still strong enough for combat. (DS9: "Blood Oath")

Doctor Julian Bashir once sarcastically noted that the natural odor produced by Klingons was comparable to "vanilla with a hint of lilac". (DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations")

Religion and Tradition

KlingonDeathRitual

Klingon death ritual

Ritual is a very important element in Klingon society. The Klingons are not a religious people as such – they do believe that deities existed at one time, but the Klingons slew their gods about a thousand years ago as they were considered to be more trouble than they were worth. They believe that once a Klingon has died the spirit exits the body, leaving behind a worthless shell to be disposed of. (VOY: "Emanations") In the Klingon death ritual, it is traditional for those on hand to howl into the sky as a warning to the afterlife that a Klingon warrior is about to arrive. (TNG: "Heart of Glory"; DS9: "Tears of the Prophets") In some cases a funeral dirge is sung in memory to the deceased, or friends will sit with the body to protect it from predators, a practice known as ak'voh. (DS9: "The Ship")

Furthermore, a Klingon, who is unable to fight, hence is unable to live as a warrior anymore, has the traditional obligation of committing the hegh'bat, which is the Klingon ritual suicide. Tradition dictates that a close friend, or eldest son must assist. That person's role is to hand the dying Klingon a knife so that he can plunge it into his heart, remove it and then wipe the blood on his own sleeve. (TNG: "Ethics")

The Klingon afterlife is divided into two branches; the dishonored are taken to Gre'thor aboard the Barge of the Dead, a vessel captained by Kortar, the first Klingon. Kortar was the one who originally killed the gods who created him, and was condemned to ferry the dishonored to Gre'thor as a punishment. Once in Gre'thor, the dishonored are watched over by Fek'lhr, a vaguely Klingon-esque figure. It is tempting to view Fek'lhr as the Klingon equivalent of the Human devil, but according to Kang, the Klingons have no devil. (TNG: "Devil's Due"; VOY: "Barge of the Dead"; TOS: "Day of the Dove")

Those who die honorably go to Sto-vo-kor, where Kahless was said to await them. (TNG: "Heart of Glory", "Rightful Heir"; VOY: "Barge of the Dead")

Klingon rituals include the R'uustai, a bonding ceremony which joins two people together in a relationship similar to brotherhood. (TNG: "The Bonding") Klingon tradition holds that "the son of a Klingon is a man the day he can first hold a blade." (TNG: "New Ground")

If a Klingon warrior strikes another Klingon with the back of his hand, it is interpreted as a challenge to the death. Klingon warriors speak proudly to each other; they do not whisper or keep their distance. Standing far away or whispering are considered insults in Klingon society. (DS9: "Apocalypse Rising")

When going into battle, Klingon warriors often sing the traditional warriors' anthem, which is essentially an invocation to Kahless and a pledge to win a good death in battle. (DS9: "Soldiers of the Empire")

See also

Science and Technology

People

Food and Beverages

Appendices

Appearances

A list of all appearances of Klingons (excluding appearances of Worf and B'Elanna Torres).

Background

Klingons were introduced in Star Trek: The Original Series, and first appeared in the episode "Errand of Mercy". At the time, they appeared as fairly ordinary Humans with heavy makeup and mustaches (although their appearance changed even within the original series, with dark makeup and heavy eyebrows being the norm, but the Klingons of "The Trouble With Tribbles" being much lighter-skinned and Human-like in appearance). Beginning with Star Trek: The Motion Picture, improved makeup techniques, and bigger budgets, led to their present elaborate forehead designs. The inspiration for the post-TOS Klingon make-up came from Planet Earth, a 1974 Gene Roddenberry pilot which starred Diana Muldaur and Ted Cassidy. That pilot featured a Klingon-inspired, warlike race of mutant Humans called the Kreeg who had ridges down the center of their foreheads.

After DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations" made the change in appearance part of the canon, the Star Trek: Enterprise episodes "Affliction" and "Divergence" explained the differences.

If you look carefully at the original series, you will notice the only time you see the Klingon symbol (TOS: "Elaan of Troyius"), the high spire is actually facing right, not straight up as the subsequent versions are. Also, if you could see it as it was on the original Klingon ship model (The camera angles never showed it on the series), you'd see it was facing to the right there as well. It was probably meant to be that way originally, but series execs and concept designers likely found it looks better pointing straight up instead.

Note that the Klingons in Star Trek VI were given lavender blood specifically for ratings and plot purposes; Klingon blood on TV is red. Also, even individual Klingon makeup (Worf's head, for example) can change from episode to episode. According to David Alexander, in Star Trek Creator, a biography of Gene Roddenberry, Roc Books, 1994, the Klingons were named for Lieutenant Wilbur Clingan, a friend of Roddenberry who served with him in the Los Angeles Police Department.

The only Star Trek cast members, besides Michael Dorn and Roxann Dawson, to have worn the full Klingon makeup include Avery Brooks, Colm Meaney, Rene Auberjonois, Kate Mulgrew, Ethan Phillips and Scott Bakula.

A story Robert O'Reilly tells in an interview in the DS9 Season 7 DVD, is that a long running joke among actors who have played Klingons, is that they do not want to appear in the films, as, he believes, that the only purpose of a Klingon in one of the films was to be killed off. He was proven right in Generations.

Apocrypha

In the novel Summon the Thunder, part of the Star Trek: Vanguard series, the Klingons who had a Human appearance (descendants of the victims of the Klingon augment virus) are referred to as QuchHa', or "the unhappy ones". They usually served in their own units although they also were known to mix with the rest of the fleet on occasion.

Popular Culture

On January 10th, 2007, Congressman David Wu made a speech on the House of Representatives floor referring to George Bush's staff as Klingons with regard to the Iraq War. Wu, an admitted fan of Star Trek, said he was making a reference to the title of James Mann's recent book Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet (ISBN 0670032999). In the book, Mann writes that "Vulcans" is a nickname that President Bush's foreign policy advisory team in the 2000 campaign gave itself, originating from the large Vulcan statue in Bush adviser Condoleezza Rice's hometown of Birmingham, Alabama.

Wu said that unlike "the Vulcans of Star Trek", who "make decisions based on logic and fact", Rice and her cadre behave more like the warlike Klingons, saying, "there are Klingons in the White House". Wu continued that unlike "real Klingons", who are also known for their courage and code of honor, those in the White House "have never fought a battle of their own". He concluded "don't let faux Klingons send real Americans to war."

On January 16, 2007, comedian Jon Stewart dedicated a short segment of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to talk about this speech. He was joined in this discussion by Leonard Nimoy and George Takei (Spock and Hikaru Sulu respectively).

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