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 former served to observe and confirm the lack of recognition by the dying/dead Klingon's eyes. 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 in whatever manner was most convenient. Without the warrior's spirit, the mere body was considered to be "only an empty shell" which should be treated as such. (TNG: "Heart of Glory")
The first such case was believed to be in 2257, when L'Rell was called upon to perform the ritual. After Lieutenant Ash Tyler was discovered to be the Klingon sleeper agent Voq, and in danger from having two sets of personalities in his system, L'Rell attempted to heal him by exorcising what remained of Voq's personality from Tyler's mind. Afterward, L'Rell, realizing that Voq was truly gone, performed the death ritual for her old friend. (DIS: "Vaulting Ambition")
In 2364, Korris, Konmel, and Worf performed the rite, following the death of Kunivas. Soon after, Worf performed the Ritual for Korris, after being forced to kill him when Korris threatened the ship. (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 (each of whom happened to be his betrothed at their respective time of death). (TNG: "Reunion"; DS9: "Tears of the Prophets")
Other Klingon rituals concerning death Edit
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)
T'Kuvma and his followers followed this practice or one similar to it, preserving the bodies of their dead and placing them in sarcophagi on the surface of the Sarcophagus ship. (DIS: "The Vulcan Hello", "Battle at the Binary Stars")
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; an honorable victory will allow him or her to enter Sto-vo-kor. (DS9: "Image in the Sand", "Shadows and Symbols")
See also Edit
- Bajoran death chant
- Ferengi death ritual
- Sonchi ceremony
- Transference ritual
In The Genesis Wave, Book Two, when two Klingons are vaporised defending Doctor Leah Brahms from her would-be captors, her first officer Maltz confirms that the dead died honourably and in a manner that left no body before he joins one of his crewmates in announcing the dead to Sto-vo-kor.