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The basic plot is known: at first sight, the Klingons are an aggressive, but honor centered warrior culture. There is a "heaven" (Sto-vo-kor / Sto'Vo'Kor etc.) for the warriors who died in combat with honor. And there is a "hell" (Gre'Thor / ghe'tor etc.) for the dishonored ones.

However, there are a lot of Klingons who are not warriors. Actually, most of the population cannot be a full time warrior (soldier). One can also live in honor as a non-warrior, but what is the afterlife concept e.g., for a Klingon agriculturalist, who dies by old age instead of in a fight with an especially aggressive mutant carrot?

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    Presumably the Klingons have some form of National Service, which means that they all served in the military at some point in their lives. That might be sufficient (in terms of 'honour gained') to last a lifetime.
    – Valorum
    Aug 4, 2023 at 7:16
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    Yes, that is probably true, but most of them survive the "compulsory years of service" and die as an old farmer and not in battle.
    – Tom Solid
    Aug 4, 2023 at 7:21
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    There's always the possibility of performing a heroic deed yourself to ensure others enter Sto Vo Kor. That's what Worf did for Jadzia.
    – Philipp
    Aug 4, 2023 at 7:27
  • That would be too much offering. I don't know the exact numbers for the Klingon society, but let see eg. Israel, which has the third most active soldier per capita (according to Wikipedia ). That is 20 active military person per 1000. With this ratio, every Klingon soldier has to make 50 "honor kills" for the rest of the others.
    – Tom Solid
    Aug 4, 2023 at 7:45
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    Real or not, the myths the experience built upon were never commented by her as inconsistent with what she knows about Sto'Vo'Kor.
    – Philipp
    Aug 4, 2023 at 11:21

1 Answer 1

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Klingon farmers, teachers and lawyers used to go to heaven, but now they probably go to hell. Fashions in Klingon society seem to have shifted away from being able to gain honour from merely living your life well ("through integrity and acts of true courage") to a society that praises only acts of martial valour.

KOLOS: Oh, I'm not sure. Over two hundred. But that was a long time ago, when the tribunal was a forum for the truth and not a tool for the warrior class.

ARCHER: There are other classes?

KOLOS: You didn't believe all Klingons were soldiers?

ARCHER: I guess I did.

KOLOS: My father was a teacher. My mother, a biologist at the university. They encouraged me to take up the law. Now all young people want to do is take up weapons as soon as they can hold them. They're told there's honour in victory, any victory. What honour is there in a victory over a weaker opponent? Had Duras destroyed that ship he would have been lauded as a hero of the Empire for murdering helpless refugees. We were a great society not so long ago, when honour was earned through integrity and acts of true courage, not senseless bloodshed.

ENT: Justice

Note that this isn't far from Earth societies like the Vikings, where honoured warriors might end up in Valhalla, but farmers could just as easily end up in Fólkvangr or one of the other (equally nice) afterlives, just not the one devoted to being a warrior.

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  • kind of like dog heaven, cat heaven and fish heaven
    – sfhq_sf
    Aug 5, 2023 at 19:30
  • @sfhq_sf - The vikings had a bunch of heavens. Valhalla was just the most famous
    – Valorum
    Aug 5, 2023 at 19:31

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