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HEROES OF THE EMPIRE
Son of Rynar and DaHar Master
by George Pimentel
Kor, son of Rynar and Dahar Master, is one of the most influential and important Klingon warriors in the Empire. He played key roles not only in the 23th century but also in the 24th century. His legendary battles between the Federation and the Romulan empire are well documented: The Organia conflict (TOS: "Errand of Mercy"), Caleb IV (DS9: “Once More Unto the Breach”), The Battle of Klach D'Kel Brakt (DS9: "Blood Oath"), The Battle of Korma Pass (DS9: “The Sword of Kahless”), and ultimately sacrificing his life to save the Klingon battle group (DS9: "Once More Unto the Breach"). With this being said Kor is also a symbol of Klingon virtue and is a prime example of the depth that makes up Klingon culture (http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/Kor).
Although being a Warrior is extremely important to Klingon society and culture, there are many aspects to Klingon culture that establish that Klingons are more than just formidable warriors. In examining Marc Okrand’s Star Trek: The Klingon Way: A Warriors Guide (TKW), one can see how Kor epitomizes the Klingon Spirit.
Great deeds, great songs. (TKW p.15) Kor was more than a warrior. He told stories and drank in celebration of past honors and future triumphs. As chief Obrien once stated, “He tells it well.” - Kor was a story teller “par excellence” (DS9: "The Sword of Kahless"). Klingon culture is one that has a very strong oral tradition and stories are a very important component to their history and culture.
Celebrate! Tomorrow we may die! (TKW p.153) Although, some might say that Kor might celebrate to access,(DS:9 “Blood Oath”) he fully embraced this part of Klingon culture. Klingons fight hard and drink hard; games of curse warfare butting heads are all means of celebrating the Klingon spirit. Examples of this type of behavior can be found in the ritual of the Order of the Batleth (DS:9 “Apocalypse Rising”) and Kor exhibits this spirit consistently.
No enemy is boring. (TKW p.201) This proverb speaks to the idea that a worthy advisory is necessary for a Klingon to be truly tested. Kor expresses this adage when he speaks to James T. Kirk on Organia – he values Kirk's fighting spirit and holds the Organian’s in contempt for being weak and lacking a spirit that made a worthy advisory. He genuinely respects Kirk's as an enemy of merit.
Finally, the ultimate expression of Klingon culture is: To die in the line of duty is the hope of every Klingon (TKW p.74). Kor’s only desire is to die in the service of the Empire. His success as a warrior meant that he had outlived his friends and his enemies. Finally, the opportunity to die a true Klingon came during the dominion war. He gave no thought to taking on the suicide mission to defend the Klingon strike group taking it upon him to die with honor in a final act of courage and honor (DS9: "Once More Unto the Breach").
Kor is the embodiment of the perfect Klingon warrior. He lived the ideals that his people expressed to the fullest. Although many Federation citizens see the Klingon race as one dimensional, a thorough study of Kor’s life would demonstrate the rich complexities that make up Klingon and culture.