Space Ramblings

Klingon Honor and Politics – Part 4

> One wonders now if all duels have to end to death. It would take some
> skill to win a duel without killing or even disabling an opponent,
> but in certain situations it might well be sufficient to make him
> look ridiculous in front of the crowd that witnesses the duel.

Which would gurantee that he would come after you again to redeem his
honor, from an honorable Klingon perspective if an opponent is worthy of
combat then he is also worthy of death. Failing to kill an opponent
would be the ultimate insult.

> There might even be special combat moves that cause the opponent to
> fall on his tender body parts and look idiotic, to be utilized
> against drunkards and challengers of poor skills or strength.

Well from a Klingon perspective fighting such opponents would be
dishonorable in the first place so this might be something the rabble
might indulge in.

> In this case, one would expect the laws to be rather rigid – as you
> imply earlier, this challenge for position would be something that
> has to be regulated and formalized. But I can buy it that special
> circumstances could apply in Worf’s cause. AND none of the witnesses
> would have a motivation to say that the technicalities were not met –
> everybody wanted Gowron to go!

I doubt the Klingons have explicit laws on the subject of challenges, it
seems like the kind of social morality everyone understands
automatically from a young age. This would even border on
quasi-religious morality.

> I’m sure this dueling culture came naturally to the Klingons at one point of
> their history. But times change. I’m perfectly willing to accept your
> viewpoint, but it seems there is also the possibility that the current
> system of dueling is very artificial and contrary to the existing
> circumstances. It still works since it relies on ages-old tradition,
> but it need not make perfect sense in order to work.

Well we had similar cultures on Earth too, most of those societies
though were destroyed in one way or another. Te Klingons though just
gained weapons technology but patched together their culture and kept
going even as the holes began to grow. For one thing the Klingon system
was unwieldy, had become increasingly corrupt and was unable to respond
to threats quickly or focus on non-military objectives as ST6 showed.

> >As for Kahless, he was a semi-mythical figure.

> Quite so. And the fact that his clone is currently alive doesn’t make
> the original any more historical. Most of his teachings are anecdotes
> and corruptions, in all likelihood.

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