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Martok
Martok (2374)
Gender:Male
Species:Klingon
Spouse:Sirella
Children:At least one son named Drex
Occupation:Chancellor of the Klingon Empire
Actor:J.G. Hertzler

Martok (played by J.G. Hertzler) was a Klingon warrior who rose to the rank of general in the Klingon Defense Forces, and later became Chancellor of the Klingon High Council. His brilliant leadership during the Dominion War made him very popular both among other warriors and among the civilian population. As the leader of the House of Martok, he became a good friend of Worf while the two were stationed together on Deep Space 9.

Early career

Martok was born in the lowlands of Ketha Province on Qo'noS to a common family. Fifteen generations of Martok's family had served the Empire as warriors, but Martok's father had hopes that Martok could become an officer. It took some doing, but Martok was able to take the entrance exam, and passed. However, when he went before the oversight council, his application was rejected. Kor, Dahar master, felt that it was inappropriate for a man without noble blood to become an officer in the Klingon forces. With the "mark of Kor" on his record, Martok was reduced to a civilian laborer and served on board General ShiVang's flagship from around 2345 to 2350.

Fortune would smile on Martok, however. During a battle with the Romulans, Martok's ship was boarded. Martok acquitted himself so well in the fighting that he earned a battlefield commission. (DS9: "Once More Unto the Breach") From there, Martok worked his way up the ranks until he became a general. He played an important role in commanding the forces loyal to Gowron at the Battle of Mempa during the Klingon Civil War in 2368, and began his steady rise to hero status in the Empire. (DS9: "Apocalypse Rising")

By 2372, Martok had become an important military advisor to Gowron, and was instrumental in convincing Gowron to attack the Cardassian Union, starting the Klingon-Cardassian War. (DS9: "The Way of the Warrior") However, it was not realized until early in 2373 that Martok had actually been replaced by a Changeling some time in late 2371, and the Changeling was attempting to foment war between the powers of the Alpha Quadrant as a prelude to Dominion invasion. This Changeling was discovered by a Federation covert ops team on Ty'Gokor in 2373. (DS9: "Apocalypse Rising")

Worf and Martok

Worf and Martok in the Dominion internment camp.

The real Martok had not been killed, however. After he was abducted from Qo'noS while hunting Sabre bear on Kang's Summit, Martok was taken by the Dominion into the Gamma Quadrant and imprisoned in Internment Camp 371, where it was expected he would spend the remainder of his life. There, he was forced to fight the Jem'Hadar in single hand-to-hand combat, as the Jem'Hadar were training for an invasion of the Alpha Quadrant. During one of the fights, First Ikat'ika maimed Martok by destroying his left eye, leaving him half-blind.

In mid-2373, Martok was joined in the camp by Worf and Elim Garak. Worf was also made to fight against the Jem'Hadar in daily combat, and Martok served as his "coach" and supporter. He even saved Worf's life in a moment of tova'dok (understanding between two warriors). (DS9: "Soldiers of the Empire") Together, Martok's and Worf's actions in fighting the Jem'Hadar kept the Dominion soldiers occupied long enough for Garak to complete modifications to a secret transmitter that commanded a nearby runabout to beam the prisoners out of the camp. (DS9: "In Purgatory's Shadow", "By Inferno's Light")

Fighting the Dominion

Following his escape from the prison camp, Martok returned with Worf, Garak, and Julian Bashir to Deep Space 9. There, with the approval of Gowron, Martok was made the commander of the detachment of Klingon soldiers assigned to the station. (DS9: "By Inferno's Light")

File:KlingonBirdofPrey2.jpg

Late that year, Martok was given his first field assignment following his imprisonment — command of the IKS Rotarran, with orders to locate the missing cruiser IKS B'Moth. Recognizing his inexperience following his confinement, he invited Worf to join the mission as his first officer. Martok was initially unaccustomed to commanding a Klingon warship, and, combined with the crew's already-low morale (thanks to a long string of defeats against the Dominion), made for a dangerous situation aboard the Bird-of-Prey. Martok himself exacerbated the situation by deliberately avoiding several opportunities to engage the Jem'Hadar in combat.

The situation came to a head when the crew nearly mutinied against Martok, but Worf changed the situation by challenging Martok himself, accusing his friend and commanding officer of being a coward. In the fight, Martok severely injured Worf and retained command, gaining the crew's loyalty and realizing his duty as a soldier of the empire. (DS9: "Soldiers of the Empire")

After the Dominion War broke out, Martok, along with Worf, was instrumental in convincing Gowron to lend support to Starfleet's offensive to recapture Deep Space 9 from the Dominion in Operation Return. Although Klingon forces were late arriving at the battle, they played an important role in defeating the Dominion fleet in that engagement. (DS9: "Favor the Bold", "The Sacrifice of Angels")

Martok continued to serve as commander of the Rotarran, and was later promoted to supreme commander of the combined Starfleet-Klingon Ninth Fleet in early 2374. Martok resented the position because of all the paperwork and bureaucracy involved in commanding an entire fleet, and also resented his elderly "assistant", Darok. (DS9: "You Are Cordially Invited...", "Once More Unto the Breach") As commander of the Ninth Fleet, Martok led several of the most important engagements in the war, including the First Battle of Chin'toka, the Second Battle of Chin'toka, and the Battle of Cardassia. (DS9: "Tears of the Prophets", "The Changing Face of Evil", "What You Leave Behind")

Ascension to chancellorship

As one of the most prominent military leaders in the war, Martok gained immense popularity in the Empire for his near-heroic exploits against the Dominion. Gowron, ever the politician, feared Martok's popularity and devised a plan to discredit Martok and end any potential threat to his authority. In late 2375, he presented Martok with the medal of the Order of Kahless, and immediately assumed personal command of Klingon forces on the front lines, relegating Martok to a secondary command role. (DS9: "When It Rains...") Gowron then began ordering Martok on near-suicidal missions against Dominion forces, hoping that a string of defeats would weaken Martok's popularity and discredit him as a military leader. However, Worf and Benjamin Sisko recognized that Gowron was jeopardizing the entire war effort to satisfy his political ego. Worf tried to convince Martok to challenge Gowron for the leadership on the grounds of dishonorable conduct in orchestrating the discrediting of Martok. However, Martok refused to betray his loyalty to Gowron, despite the latter's treachery.

Worf then challenged Gowron himself, accusing Gowron of being a coward for squandering the Empire's resources on a petty act of vengeance. Gowron was killed in the fight, but rather than accept the position of chancellor, Worf appointed Martok to the position instead. Martok tried to refuse, claiming he did not seek the leadership, but Worf responded by quoting Kahless: "Great men do not seek power, they have power thrust upon them." (DS9: "Tacking into the Wind")

Following the successful conclusion of the war, Martok returned to Qo'noS to assume the role of leading the Empire and finally purging it of the corruption that had so weakened it in the past. (DS9: "What You Leave Behind")

Personal details

Martok was married to Lady Sirella, a noble woman, and they had at least one son, named Drex. (DS9: "You Are Cordially Invited...", "The Way of the Warrior") Martok was by all rights a traditional Klingon; he viewed marriage as another form of combat, albeit one disguised and more subtle than most. (DS9: "The Changing Face of Evil")

When he was young, Martok had a pet targ; "a filthy, mangy beast" as he once said. As Martok was moving into Sirella's house following their marriage, Sirella "accidentally" left the door open and the targ escaped, and Martok never saw him again. (DS9: "You Are Cordially Invited...")

During the time they spent serving together on Deep Space 9 and on the Rotarran, Martok became close friends with Worf. He invited Worf to join the House of Martok as a friend and brother in late 2373. (DS9: "Soldiers of the Empire") He also later invited Worf's son Alexander Rozhenko as well. (DS9: "Sons and Daughters")

In late 2375, after becoming Chancellor, Martok requested that Worf be appointed as the Federation's ambassador to Qo'noS. Worf accepted, something that pleased Martok to no end — he observed that he had someone to go targ hunting with. (DS9: "What You Leave Behind")

See also

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