The Klingon emperor was the emperor and highest position of power in the Klingon Empire. In early Klingon history, the emperors were dynastic and descendants of Kahless the Unforgettable. The reign of the last emperor ended in the mid-21st century, after which the chancellor, leader of the Klingon High Council, assumed the leadership of the Empire.
During the 23rd and 24th century, when there was no sitting Emperor, some Klingons used the phrase "Loyal to the Emperor" to denote loyalty to the Empire in general. Kahlest once insisted to Jean-Luc Picard that Mogh was "loyal to the Emperor" at the time of the Khitomer Massacre, even though there was no sitting Emperor on the Klingon throne at the time. (TNG: "Sins of the Father")
Following the "return" of Kahless, the role of Klingon emperor was reinstated at the suggestion of Worf. Worf came to realize that the clone of Kahless could serve as the moral leader of the empire and a guide with regard to spiritual matters. It is also worth noting that the position of Emperor was a ceremonial office whilst political power remained with the High Council. (TNG: "Rightful Heir")
List of known Klingon emperors Edit
Background information Edit
In an explanatory memo about Klingons – which Ronald D. Moore wrote to Michael Piller, shortly before working on "Sins of the Father" – the political framework of the Klingon Empire in the 24th century was referred to as including a Klingon Emperor. The memo pointed out, "His role is almost completely ceremonial by custom, and he still retains the reins of power, should he wish to exercise them." ("Sins of the Father" audio commentary, TNG Season 3 Blu-ray)