Worf's dishonor

Can someone explain the whole business of Worf’s discommendation or dishonor to me? He was never a particularly interesting character to me, so I never paid much attention to the Klingon stuff. As I understand it, most of it had to do with a discommendation he accepted under false circumstances for the good of the Empire. Was Worf ever truly dishonored?

I ask because I’m curious about the circumstances of dishonor. Major big deal for Klingons, right? But Worf says a dishonored Klingon’s family is also considered dishonored, for seven generations (is this correct?). If so, who would marry someone from a dishonored family to keep the line going for seven generations?

Well, Jadzia, for one.

Apparently dishonor is no match for a l’il Klingon boinkity boink boink.

Well the first thing to remember about klingon dishonor is that they were making it up as they went along so it changed every time there was a klingon episode. (In Heart of Glory. the first TNG klingon appearance, one of them actually tells Worf that klingons are judged by their actions, not their families!)

Basically what happened was this. (SPOLIERS, BTW) The long-standing cold war between the klingons and the Federation had begun to thaw considerably due to the events depicted in Star Trek VI. During this long thaw, the klingons had an outpost at Khitomer. The outpost was attacked by romulans, and the inhabitants were massacred; the romulans also destroyed the Enterprise-C which had come to the klingon’s aid. Worf, a child at the time, survived the massacre but was orphaned and adopted by the Starflleet man who found him.

Flash forward several decades. Worf is now serving aboard the Enterprise. New evidence surfaces that the romulans were aided by a collaborator amongst the klingon officers at Khitomer, and the finger is pointed to Worf’s father, Moag (sp?), and Worf is sentenced to death to pay for his father’s sins. Upon investigation, Picard and Worf learn that this is all a frame up by Duras, whose father was the real traitor. However, Duras is politically powerful and Chancellor Kempec refuses to listen to Worf’s evidence. In fact, it becomes clear that Kempec knew of the frame all the time, but since Worf was safely outside the Empire, allowed it to happen to maintain stability. For the good of the Empire, Worf does not expose this deception and accepts disommodation, which is apparently tantamount to an admission of guilt.

Later, Worf’s honor is reinstated when Duras’ treachery comes to light, but rescinded once again by Chancellor Gowron when Worf sided with the Federation during the brief Federation-Klingon War (which was engineered by the Dominion), only to be forgiven once again by Gowron when the Empire and the Federation became allies against the Dominion.


I always got the impression that Worf was elevated in the eyes of the fans because most of the other cfharacters were so bland and dull by comparison. I mean, who cares about Beverly Crusher, Will Riker or Geordi LaForge? They’re boring. I didn’t care for Deanna Troi or Data, either, because they were just living plot devices to get the action moving (“Captain, I sense deception…” “My positronic net is malfunctioning…”). The only real reason to watch the show was for Patrick Stewart’s acting.

Anyhoo, the Discommendation episodes stand out because there is no forced sanctimonious happy ending. People’s lives do get screwed up by politics, and often there isn’t much you can do about it. But then they brought in that Alexander punk (“boy, I’d like to smack that kid!”) and screwed the Worf character up just as it was getting interesting.

As a side note, I stil chuckle over a scene in the “Gambit” episode when the Enterprise detains and inspects a small Klingon transport on fairly flimsy legal grounds. At one point, Worf tells Crusher “we could claim [his] computer was generating unusual signals” as a pretext for a more thorough search than the law allows. It’s nice to see situational ethics aren’t limited to humans.

Actually, during the Klingon/Federation war started by the Changelings, Gowron dissolves the house of Moag. It ceases to be dishonored because it ceases to be. Worf’s brother, Kern, loses his honor, job, and friends and becomes a homeless drunk. Kern agrees to let Doctor Bashir wipe his memory, perform plastic surgery, and be adopted into a new family with a new name and past.

Worf befriends General Martok, and is accepted into his house. Worf eventually kills Gowron in a duel. Rather than becoming chancellor himself, Worf names Martok. For no apparent reason, Worf passes up this chance to have the house of Moag restored-or to ask for the creation of the house of Worf. At present, Worf is a member of the house of Martok in good standing.


From what I remember Kern didn’t agree to any of that. Worf convinced the Bashir to do it because if it wasn’t done then Kern would have killed himself. The writers made Klingon honor a joke but this was the final straw.