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Kahless the Unforgettable

NotesImages
TimelineQuotes
Universe : Prime Timeline
Name : Kahless the Unforgettable1
Species : Klingons

"Kahless the Unforgettable" is one of the most important and revered figures in Klingon history, and a major part of their mythology and religion.2 Approximately 1,500 years ago he led a great war against the tyrant Molor to unite his people. Kahless slew Molor in personal combat with the very first bat'leth, or "Sword of Honour".3 Personal and family honour played a great part in the life of Kahless - when his brother Morath brought shame on the family by lying, Kahless fought an epic personal duel which was said to have lasted for 12 days and 12 nights.4 Legend also claims that Kahless used his bat'leth to conquer the Fek'lhri and skin the serpent of Xol, and that he fought off an entire army single handedly at the Three Turn Bridge.5

Yet combat was not the only thing he was revered for; Kahless also used his sword to harvest his father's crops and to carve a statue of his beloved.5 His courtship of Lady Lukara, who agreed to be his wife after they together withstood the attack of 500 warriors at the Great Hall at Qam-Chee, is considered to be the greatest romance in Klingon history.6 Immediately after the two were married, soldiers loyal to Molor attacked the couple and nearly killed them both. This incident was later commemorated in a Klingon Opera. Klingon marriage rites also included a ceremonial attack on the bride and groom by guests armed with Ma'Stakas.7

Modern Klingons are fond of statues displaying Kahless, often in the midst of performing various acts of heroism8, and even of quoting phrases attributed to Kahless such as "destroying an empire to win a war is no victory. And ending a battle to save an empire is no defeat."9 Klingon warriors would often pray to Kahless for guidance before going into battle. They believe that warriors who die honourably travel to meet him in Sto-Vo-Kor, the Klingon version of the afterlife.8

Shortly before his death, Kahless pointed to a star in the sky and promised that he would one day return there. Klingon clerics established a monastery on Boreth, a planet orbiting that star, where they waited for centuries for Kahless to return. By the 2360s the clerics had become disillusioned with their waiting, and used a sample of blood from an ancient knife to clone the original Kahless, implanting false memories of his life within the growing clone so that even he would not know that he was not the real thing. The deception was eventually uncovered, but for political reasons Chancellor Gowron agreed to allow the cloned Kahless to serve as the Klingon Emperor, by this time a largely symbolic position.3

Colour key

Canon source Backstage source Novel source DITL speculation

Played by

SeriesSeasonActorTitle
TOS3Robert HerronThe Savage Curtain
TNG6Kevin ConwayRightful Heir

References

# Series Season Source Comment
1 TOS 3 The Savage Curtain
2 Various Next Generation episodes
3 TNG 6 Rightful Heir
4 TNG 5 New Ground
5 DS9 4 The Sword of Kahless
6 DS9 5 Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places
7 DS9 6 You are Cordially Invited...
8 Various Deep Space Nine episodes
9 DS9 4 The Way of the Warrior
Series : TOS Season 3 (Disc 5)
Episode : The Savage Curtain
Series : TNG Season (Disc )
Episode : Various Next Generation episodes
Series : TNG Season 6 (Disc 5)
Episode : Rightful Heir
Series : TNG Season 5 (Disc 2)
Episode : New Ground
Series : DS9 Season 4 (Disc 3)
Episode : The Sword of Kahless
Series : DS9 Season 5 (Disc 1)
Episode : Looking for par'Mach in All the Wrong Places
Series : DS9 Season 6 (Disc 2)
Episode : You are Cordially Invited...
Series : DS9 Season (Disc )
Episode : Various Deep Space Nine episodes
Series : DS9 Season 4 (Disc 1)
Episode : The Way of the Warrior


© Graham & Ian Kennedy Page views : 27,955 Last updated : 2 Apr 2014