There once was a Klingon who sacrificed his public honor to save a hopelessly corrupt empire. Personally, his honor remained in tact, and there were a few who knew the truth of what he did. Publicly, he became even more of an outcast than he already was.
To stop the Klingon Empire from civil war, Worf (Michael Dorn) chooses discommendation in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Sins of the Father.” He does so almost without witness — only Picard, Kurn, Duras, and K’mpec know the truth. In the eyes of the galaxy at large, Worf is a traitor most vile. Worf and the House of Mogh are branded treasonous vermin, even though none of them did anything wrong.
Did the empire deserve this selfless action? Absolutely not. The civil war that they were so afraid of comes anyway, and the mere notion of protecting the powerful House of Duras from their crimes is a highly dishonorable act. The empire goes on and on (and on) about honor, but time and time again they prove that they have none.
Worf is the exception, so of course he’s the one they continually shun. They talk the talk, but Worf walks the walk, and he makes them all look bad. The only other Klingon in the Trek canon who comes close to Worf in this regard is General Martok, but he doesn’t show up until Worf crosses over into Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Worf has regained his public honor at that point, but he loses it again about ten seconds after his feet touch the station floor.
Worf is the very essence of everything the Klingons claim to be, and this always comes at great personal cost. He never complains. This is honor. This is virtue. This is a true Klingon, one that the empire in no way deserves. Starfleet doesn’t deserve him either, but that’s another matter.
Welcome back to Warp Factor, where this week we’re delving into “Sins of the Father” and the epic storyline that it started. We love dragging the politics of the Klingon Empire in this time period almost as much as Kahlest loves to shame K’mpec for being fat.
Don’t forget what Worf does in this episode. Don’t let your children forget.