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Recap / Star Trek: Deep Space Nine S04E09 "The Sword of Kahless"

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Finding the sword was the easy part...
Dax's old friend Kor returns to the station with surprising news: he may know where to find the legendary Sword of Kahless, the weapon wielded by the greatest hero of Klingon history. The two of them, and Worf, set out to recover this artifact, but finding it may be the easy part.

This episode provides examples of

  • Artifact of Attraction/Artifact of Doom: The sword doesn't have any actual powers, but its allure of power drives Kor and Worf to damn near kill each other.
  • Broken Pedestal: Worf starts seeing Kor as less of a hero and more of a drunken old man.
  • Call-Back:
  • Chew-Out Fake-Out: Kor when he first meets Worf:
    Kor: Ah, Worf—the traitor, the pariah, the lowest of the's a pleasure to meet you. Any enemy of Gowron and the high council is a friend of mine.
    • Which is kind of ironic when Gowron probably would have looked up to him as a great hero, whereas his successor Martok hated Kor for an old slight that kept him from a commission.
  • Cool Sword: Kahless's Bat'leth is flashier looking than a traditional one. It is, historically, the first bat'leth.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Between Kor and Worf regarding the sword. Both treat it with the respect they know it deserves, but their interpretations differ. The older Kor uses it as not only to fight but also to cook his food as form of Mundane Utility, citing that Kahless himself used it in such a way, while the romantic Worf would rather it be kept from what he sees as a unworthy task for such a symbol.
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  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: With Klingons, this is pretty much inevitable.
  • Klingon Promotion: Both Worf and Kor start making plans for this upon bringing the sword to Qo'noS.
  • Mandatory Line: Sisko only appears long enough to authorize the sword-hunting mission. The other cast members only stick around for Kor's story.
  • Mundane Utility: The bat'leth is used to cook something over the fire. When Worf gets indignant over this, Kor points out that Kahless used it as a sword, not a holy artifact.
    Kor: Why, Kahless himself used it to skin the Serpent of Xol, to harvest his father's field, to carve a statue of his own beloved! It's a sword!
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: Kor jokes that if Worf doesn't embellish his tales, his verse in the songs will be "And then Worf came along."
  • No True Scotsman: How Kor feels about Worf's decision to spare Toral's life.
    "Any Klingon who denies himself the Right of Vengeance is no Klingon at all!"
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome:
    • Worf mentions that Kor led an assault on Romulus itself.
    • Kor got the clue that led them there while he was ambassador to Vulcan. Kor, the drunken boastful Boisterous Bruiser ruled by his emotions, was stationed... on Vulcan. Where he apparently made friends. SF Debris theorises this posting could very well be why Kor hates Gowron.
      Sf's Gowron: "Kor I have the perfect job for you, and don't worry you won't have to worry about the locals smiling too much this time. Hehehe."
  • Only Sane Man: Poor Dax is stuck trying to keep Worf and Kor from offing each other over the sword.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Worf starts thinking in terms of being a Visionary Villain and conquering the Klingon Empire with the Sword of Kahless as a rallying point.
  • Reverse Polarity: How Worf and Jadzia get past one force field.
  • Rule of Cool: In-Universe— Kira and Odo point out how unlikely Kor's story about going three against an army amid rivers of lava is, but O'Brien doesn't care because it's entertaining.
  • "Shut Up!" Gunshot: Dax stuns both Worf and Kor to stop their fighting.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Worf spared Toral's life several years ago. Toral repays Worf by trying to kill him. He even taunts Worf about this to his face. Honorless petaQ'.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Dax chews Worf out for almost letting Kor fall to his death from The Precarious Ledge.
  • The Worf Effect: Downplayed. The Trope Namer takes a knife to the shoulder, but still takes out his attacker and retains enough strength to keep fighting for the whole episode.
  • The World Is Not Ready: Realizing how divisive the Sword of Kahless made them, Worf and Kor decide the Klingon Empire isn't ready to embrace the sword themselves, and they transport it into space.

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