The Ak'voh does not contradict the idea of the corpse being an empty shell. The corpse is an empty shell after the spirit has left it, that dialogue said nothing about that event being immediatly after death. The idea is actually consistant with other stories of Klingon faith such as the idea of the kos'arii from "Barge of the Dead" (VOY). Spirits can be disrupted from their path or devoured and lost. The Ak'voh simply allows the spirit time to reach the River of Blood and pass to Sto'vo'kor or be ferried by Kortar to Gre'thor. – DaHar Warrior 14:38, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

In "Heart of Glory", they called the body an empty shell immediately after death. -- OuroborosCobra talk 15:41, 25 May 2008 (UTC)


.... However, it is possible that Worf made up the ak'voh for the sake of his friend (Miles O'Brien), much like he did the gik'tal for Sito Jaxa in TNG: "Lower Decks".
It is also possible that the ak'voh must be performed if the Klingon death ritual is not able to be done for some reason.
It is also plausible that both traditions (i.e. the ak'voh and the Klingon Death Ritual) existed concurrently. Just as there are many Human cultures, not just one, there must be many Klingon cultures; even if all Klingon peoples were united by Kahless. Klingons living in colonies or worlds other than Qo'noS are even more likely to have developed separate traditions, even if in the general spirit of Klingon virtues such as honor.

-- The preceding unsigned comment was added by Morder (talk • contribs).

Another Speculation

It is also possible that these two traditions existed not simultaneously but that they are simply the evolution of the Klingon death ritual, one evolving over time into the other but either being acceptable at this time depending on preference and circumstance.

The Irish wake is a good example, especially as it compares to the Ak'voh so well. A wake or an extended funeral was common at one time, but now is increasingly rare as the preferred ritual has become shorter in duration with a more definite "end". Three or four days of visitation has been reduced to one or two. The ritual has evolved.

It's possible that the Ak'voh is the older custom and that the death ritual seen in Heart of Glory has become more predominant over time. The longer, more involved ritual is thus replaced by the shorter one, yet both are still respected rituals within the culture.

In both the body ends up being a shell. there is no burial rite in either. Its just a matter of how much time the soul is given to leave the body. At their base the two rituals are consistent and such a shift in the time allotted for the rite would be a normal evolution. -- CitizenBBN 04:40, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

My post wasn't my thoughts of speculation, it was the removal of speculation from the article :) — Morder 04:41, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
Community content is available under CC-BY-NC unless otherwise noted.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Stream the best stories.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Get Disney+