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K'Mpec was poisoned. I'm pretty sure it was Duras who did it because Duras was a backstabber and capable of anything. Gowron, as hostile as he was to the High Council, doesn't seem like the type to kill in a cowardly way. He was openly a fighter. If he wanted to fight K'mpec, no matter how suicidal that was, he would have done it.

I've seen some people say that it was the Tal Shiar but there were only Klingons on the ship, so it was only Romulans in the form of aids to them (in this case Duras). In fact, the fact that he threatened Worf's mate openly, would suggest that he was openly hostile, and was not the type to do something sleazy like poison someone's drink.

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It was never revealed in the show, but it should be blindingly obvious that it was one of Duras' men that was poisoning K'Mpec. Gowron has ambitions of leadership of the Empire but is an honourable man whereas Duras is an oily creep who'll stoop to anything.


Out-of-universe it was confirmed in a webchat (with screenwriter Ronald D. Moore) that it was Duras what done him in.

Q. In this episode Reunion we find that K'mpec is dying from poison. Who poisioned him?

RDM: Our intention was that Duras had poisoned him. It's been a long time since I've watched the show, but I thought this was clear -- no?

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    chakoteya.net/NextGen/181.htm - K'Mpec thought it was either Duras or Gowron who was poisoning him, and it was Duras' man who set off a suicide bomb
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Apr 5, 2020 at 17:01
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    @NKCampbell - K'Mpec assumed that it was one of the two people most likely to succeed him because they had the most to gain from his death. He didn't have any proof though
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 5, 2020 at 17:19
  • Gowron did try to bribe Key'ler (sp?) into convincing Picard to favour him- not as bad as poisoning a guy but not too honourable in itself.
    – Nu'Daq
    Commented Aug 18, 2023 at 2:54

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