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Four thousand throats may be cut in one night by a running man.
~ A Klingon proverb.

The Klingons are an alien race featured in the various Star Trek television series, movies, books, comic books, computer games, and other media. Although now strong allies of the United Federation of Planets the alien warrior race known as the Klingons were originally one of the chief antagonists. Even as antagonists the Klingons had a strong sense of honor.

From the Beta Quadrant planet Qo'noS, the Klingons became more or less united into an interstellar Empire through the actions of Kahless the Unforgettable after his defeat of the tyrant Molor. However the factious Klingons would often fight among each other for control of the Empire. They were led by an Emperor up until about the mid 20th century, when the last Emperor died and the Empire came under control of a Chancellor and High Council.

Even though they were a hard and aggressive race, the Klingons still developed a rich, spiritual culture. Many Klingons were fond of operas that told stories of the greatest heroes of the Empire.

The Klingons first encountered humanity in 2151 when a Klingon courier crash landed on Earth. The two races got off to a rocky start, and misunderstandings led to over a century of hostility. At the height of their hostility the two superpowers came to a brief war in the mid 23rd century. The Organians refused to allow the two races to destroy each other, with an Organian predicted that even though they were enemies they would someday come to be strong allies.

Kor, a Quch'Ha Klingon of the mid 23rd century.

Obtaining genetically enhanced human embroyos the Klingons attempted to create their own augments. These augmented Klingons gained increased strength and cunning, but lost their signature forehead ridges as a result. When one of the individuals they tested had a flu, the modifications mutated into a deadly disease. With assistance from the Enterprise (NX-01) they were able to render the disease harmless, but not before many millions of Klingons were infected and became more human like in the process. Such Klingons became known within the Empire as the Quch'Ha - or the unhappy ones. It took over a century for the Klingons to figure out how to reverse the changes and restore the descendants of those infected into normal Klingons.

After the explosion of Praxis in the 23rd century the Klingons swallowed their pride and went to the Federation for assistance. In what would eventually become known as the Khitomer Accords the Empire and the Federation stopped fighting each other and began turning into allies. The Federation provided assistance to the Empire to stabilize and repair the damage to Qo'Nos.

In the 2340s relations between the two powers was floundering, but in 2344 the crew of the Enterprise (NCC-1701-C) sacrificed themselves to prevent the Romulans from destroying a Klingon outpost. Even though they were unsuccessful the Klingons were impressed with the sacrifice the crew of the Enterprise made, and the sacrifice solidified the alliance between the two races.

Owing to manipulation by The Dominion, the Empire and the Federation broke off peaceful relations in the 2372 and began fighting again. After realizing the Dominion was manipulating both of them to fight each other and become easy targets for conquest the two powers put down their arms and began to talk to each other again. When the Dominion and the Cardassians joined forces and badly defeated the Empire, Chancellor Gowron and Captain Sisko reinstated the Khitomer Accords. Once again the Klingons and Federation stood together as allies and fought side by side against the Dominion in their war agains the Gamma Quadrant Empire.

The Klingon Empire's most famous vessel - the Bird Of Prey

The two powers would soon be joined by the Romulan Empire - making it the first time in galactic history that all three powers would stand united against a common enemy. The Klingons, Federation, and Romulans fought hard and defeated the Dominion, which was the first time the Dominion had been defeated in its 10,000 year existence.

Star Trek Novel Continuity

After the Borg invasion of 2381 the Klingons became even stronger allies of the Federation after joining them in fighting the Borg. With Qo'noS devastated and millions of Klingons dead Chancellor Martok had his work cut out for him in the years ahead.

Star Trek Online Continuity

In the MMORPG Star Trek Online the Klingons, following the destruction of Romulus, have become enemies of the Federation once again and a new war has sparked between them. By 2410 the Federation and the Empire had put their differences aside as they faced the new Iconian threat.