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The Klingon Death Ritual was a funeral ritual in Klingon culture that was carried out soon after the death of a warrior.

When a Klingon warrior was dying, his or her comrades would hold the eyes open while looking into his or her eyes. Once the Klingon in question had died, the other Klingons would raise their heads and howl for several seconds. This howl was a warning to the dead, that a Klingon warrior was arriving. Afterwards, the body was considered to be only an empty shell, and was unceremoniously disposed of following the ritual. (TNG episode: "Heart of Glory")

Some Klingons referred to the warning howl as the Scream. While in most instances the ceremony took place as the warrior was dying or immediately after death, it was at times delayed if the deceased's comrades were in combat at the time. (TNG novel: Strike Zone)

When Chancellor Gorkon was assassinated in 2293, General Chang and the other Klingons in the room desired to perform the ritual. However Gorkon's daughter Azetbur prevented the others from doing so as she felt it would be inappropriate for a man like Gorkon. Gorkon's body was disposed of soon after his death. (TOS novelization: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

In 2364, Kunivas died on board the USS Enterprise-D after being rescued from the freighter Batris. Fellow Klingons Worf, Korris, and Konmel performed the death ritual for Kunivas. This was witnessed by Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Doctor Beverly Crusher, and other sickbay personnel. Picard later described the ceremony to Commander William T. Riker and Lieutenant Commander Data. Data stated that this was probably the first time that non-Klingons had witnessed the death ritual. (TNG episode: "Heart of Glory")

Worf would later perform the death ritual for K'Ehleyr when she was murdered by Duras in 2367. In 2374 he again performed the ritual after the murder of his wife Jadzia Dax at the hands of Skrain Dukat. He and a number of other Klingons performed the ritual for Gowron after Worf defeated him in honorable combat. (TNG episode: "Reunion", DS9 episodes: "Tears of the Prophets", "Tacking Into the Wind")

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This article uses material from the "Klingon death ritual" article on the Memory-beta wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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