Wikia

Memory Alpha

Klingon death ritual

Discuss14
37,231pages on
this wiki
Revision as of 15:59, April 25, 2012 by Mondoblasto (Talk | contribs)

"... and as I watched Worf, it was like looking at a man I had never known."
- Captain Jean-Luc Picard, "Heart of Glory", 2364
KlingonDeathRitual

The Klingon Death Ritual

The Klingon Death Ritual was a Klingon rite performed during, or directly following, the death of a warrior.

The Ritual involved opening and staring into the eyes of the dying individual, then bellowing loudly at the sky. The latter served as a warning to the dead (presumably in Sto-vo-kor): "Beware, a Klingon warrior is about to arrive".

Once the Ritual was completed, the body was unceremoniously discarded. It was considered to be "only an empty shell" which should be treated as such. (TNG: "Heart of Glory")

Instances

It was extremely rare for non-Klingons to witness the Klingon Death Ritual. The first such case was believed to be in 2364 when Korris, Konmel, and Worf performed the rite, following the death of Kunivas. Soon after, Worf performed the Ritual for Korris. (TNG: "Heart of Glory")

Worf performed the Ritual again in 2367, following the death of his mate, K'Ehleyr, and in 2374 for his wife, Jadzia Dax. Though, in both cases, Worf did not open the eyes of the fallen warrior. (TNG: "Reunion"; DS9: "Tears of the Prophets")

Worf was last seen performing the Ritual in 2375, after slaying Gowron in personal combat. In this instance, Worf opened the slain warrior's eyes. (DS9: "Tacking Into the Wind")

The fact that the opening of the eyes was not done for K'Ehleyr and Jadzia would seem to suggest that this aspect of the ritual is unnecessary or inappropriate for a fallen mate or for females, or that Worf was too distraught to open their eyes.

Other Klingon rituals concerning death

There is a Klingon mummification glyph, indicating that at some point in the past the Klingon mummified their dead. Spock identified this glyph during his mental retraining following his fal-tor-pan. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

Ak'voh, the act of watching over a fallen warrior's body, was an ancient Klingon tradition. (DS9: "The Ship")

This tradition seems to be inconsistent with the belief that after death, the body is only an empty shell; however, since Worf calls the ak'voh an ancient tradition, perhaps it reflects an earlier conception of the journey to Sto-vo-kor, that, while likely no longer commonly practiced, Worf was familiar with due to his studies of ancient Klingon culture. It is also to be noted that Worf performed this for crewman Enrique Muniz, a human, and perhaps since the ak'voh is much like an Irish wake , he may have felt this would have been a more appropriate and respectful gesture to join Miles O'Brien in doing so.

R'uustai, or "The Bonding", is a rite of brotherhood sometimes performed after the death of an individual's parents. (TNG: "The Bonding")

A funeral was held for Dax, son of Kang in 2290. At his young age, it is unclear if Dax completed the Rite of Ascension, becoming a Klingon Warrior. (DS9: "Blood Oath"; TNG: "The Icarus Factor")

If an individual dies in a manner that does not ensure entry into Sto-vo-kor, his or her relatives may fight a great battle in the deceased's name; a victory will allow him or her to enter Sto-vo-kor. (DS9: "Image in the Sand", "Shadows and Symbols")

Apocrypha

In Klingon for the Galactic Traveler, the Klingon language translation of "death ritual" is given as "Heghtay".

See also

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki