Well "who are Klingons"---- hard to tell.
"Who are they not?", well at last I'm sure about one thing: They are not Orks in starship, as much as Crytic tries to sell them that way in STO.
But what they really ARE is hard to tell, because they seemed always to be the way the plot needet them to be.
In TOS they were simply "the bad guys".
In TMP they looked liked animals and didnt say much at all.
So the later Klingons? They still changed here and then... I personally liked them most in Star Trek 6. There they were people with another tradition but civilised and reasonable after all.
During the TNG-era we learned the most about Klingons through Worf; but I often have the impression Worf was kind of the "Ideal"-Klingon. He was raised by humans and it seems that he has learned the most about Klingons through books. So he took the "good" meaning and interpretations for himself...
The real Klingons we met in a lot of cases were very diffrent. "Honor" was just a reason to become violent. If a Klingon wantet a fight he simply felt that his honor was insultet by the existence of the other one, just remember "the way of the warrior", or the whole 4th ds9 season.
And if not, honorless acts were simply covered by lies, just look how Duras was "protectet" by Kem'pec and Worf was dishonored. Still they are no Space-Orks, like in STO, those do not need reasons to fight or feel need to "pretend" to have honor.
Still the TNG-Klingons were hypocrites.
Still, the original intentions, the "klingon" way Worf, Gorkon or Kor showed, that had something Nobel. I would have loved to see more of THOSE klingons.
You could also imply that Klingons are in a way like "bikers" of today in the US. They are set up in a way compared to feudal Japan, the warlords and the samurai, with the bat'lith being the katana and disruptor the long bow. Unlike the samurai when not in battle the Klingons are rowdy, loud, boastful. Craving strong drink, and lots of it, challenging companionship. Along with "brothers" to challenge and test each others mettle. So when a bar or on the ship the Klingons seem to act like bikers in some ways. With there own set of honor that others are compared to whether they like it or not. But just because you do not understand their ways, does not imply that they are savages or aggressive. It is the way that they view the universe around them. Q'plah!
Slightly off topic, have you actually gone out drinking in Japan? They way they put away Sake, it is a wonder how they are even able to still stand by the end of the night. Likewise, the Klingons also like their drink, namely bloodwine. I have to disagree with your assesment. The difference between the perception of Samurai and Klingons as far as intoxcation is that the Klingons don't care if others see them wasted. The Japanese are all about how one is seen. If they are likely to loose face while intoxicated, they will not drink in public, only in private amoung close friends and family.
All of TNG (and the other shows) were hypocritcal in nature/actions on many occassions.
Its not just a Klingon thing or only assigned to them as a characteristic.
The federation has been hypocritical in action several times.
It seems to me that the Klingon empire tried to advance once to a democratic society, complete with equal representation under the law and a "senate" like ruling party. This system didn't seem to go very well at first, so they had the ruling party executed and replaced the ruling families with substitutes to go back to the fudal ways. Since then, they have been lead by a ruling council and a chancellor, with power distributed between the more powerful houses. This sounds more like Renaissance Italy to me than Vikings. The main difference being the chancellor and council versus smaller kindoms with individual kings/chieftains ruling the common people.
I think we can agree that either description, they are stuck in the past as far as individual rights and equal representation.
If might makes right, and it does, then the ruling class has to be military. Other classes (i.e.: teachers, artist, engineers, doctors) would belong to the individual houses. Their rulers would determine the interaction of these classes based on favor by the council, slowing their advance in these areas. This is evident in the ships they fly being based on upgrades to existing models instead of new technology across the board.
The most noticable trait I see in the Empire is that everything seems to be a scavanger/opportunity based society. Sort of a "keep what you kill" or "smash and grab" establishment. With everyone focused on the wealth and prosperity of the single House, there is little chance for the quality of life to improve in the lower levels within the Empire. You basically inherit the job of your father to the house that he served, to the overall glory of the Empire.
The Empire went to war with the Federation when the Federation would not stand behind the Empire's invasion of the Gorn Hegemony. Accepted. I just simply think that the Federation did not fully anticipate the reaction of the Empire declaring war against them and aligning with as many races as they did to increase their strength so they as formidable an enemy as they have become in 2409. Folly on the Federation's lack of vision. Now they will just have to continue fighting the aggresstion on multiple fronts.
Having stated this, it is easy to understand why the message from leaders like General Worf, Emperor Kah'less, and Dahar Master Kor would fall on deaf ears, even as the leaders pine for the "old ways."
My wife and I like to call them the "Samurai Vikings". A mix of deep honor, feudal organization but also brutal force and a drive for conquest
btw: great thread, makes good impression about the faction and its player base.
Aye, the Feudal period of Japanese history comes the closest to describing the warrior culture of the Klingon people. I think I even remember watching the special documentaries on one of the TOS movies stating that their aim for the redesign of the Klingon people was to model them after the feudl Japanese culture. This is at least in reference to their code of honor and their attitude toward honorable combat. Correct me if I am wrong here.
I just consider the Klingons to be 25th century Space Samurai....