In Sins of the Father, Picard retrieved another survivor of the Khitomer Massacre, a woman named Kahlest. This old women kept saying that she considered her life over after Khitomer and she was waiting to die.

Why is surviving to such an event is a dishonor for a Klingon? Shouldn't she be proud?


If I remember the particulars right, Kahlest was a servant/maid/babysitter in the House of Mogh. Her honor was inexorably tied to that of the House of Mogh. When the family of Mogh was dishonored so too did everyone associated with that house suffer dishonor.

After Khitomer, Kahlest was a single woman with little or honor to her name. Her master's house was for all intents destroyed. Both sons of Mogh were children, one was with humans and the other hidden. Neither would be in a position to attempt to restore or gain honor for their family until she was very old. Kahlest's family was probably of little to no importance, otherwise she wouldn't have been with the Mohgs on Khitomer. Thus, having very little honor of her own and also suffering the stigma of dishonor associated with Mogh she became a pariah, an honor-less Klingon with no real way to gain honor.

Therefore, she wanted to die. Of course, she couldn't commit suicide as that would bring her more dishonor, and apparently no one considered her worthy enough to murder. So she subsisted, merely living but not really alive.

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    Also, consider -- dying, fighting an injustice / crime is honorable. SURVIVING (even injured)while it occurs means you did not do all you could to stop it, and thus, are dishonored. A true warrior would prevail or die trying; even non-warriors try to live by that code in Klingon society. – K-H-W Feb 16 '12 at 17:41
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    @KeithHWeston While true, once back on the home world this may not have been a path for Kahlest. She had no proof of treachery and trying to challenge the house of Duras would likely have been futile, and would probably have brought her more dishonor. – Xantec Feb 16 '12 at 17:44
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    Exactly! Hence her depression; had she died fighting, she would have gained some measure of honor, and gone to the Sto-vo-kor; now, with no way to achieve redemption, nothing awaits her except Gre'thor. – K-H-W Feb 16 '12 at 18:10
  • @KeithHWeston Gotcha. I was misinterpreting the direction of your comment. – Xantec Feb 16 '12 at 18:25

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