This page contains information regarding Star Trek: Discovery, and thus may contain spoilers.
Translates from Klingonese to: "But there is no honor without unity. There is no home for any of us, unless it is shared by all."
Early life Edit
When he was young, T'Kuvma rediscovered the Sarcophagus, an old ship that had belonged to his father and been abandoned after his death. The derelict was used as a playground for other Klingon children, who attacked T'Kuvma when he tried to chase them away. (DIS: "Battle at the Binary Stars")
T'Kuvma repaired the Sarcophagus and used it as his base of operations. He also developed cloaking devices which he installed on his fleet. Unlike other Klingon Houses, T'Kuvma accepted outcasts such as the albino Voq. (DIS: "The Vulcan Hello")
Uniting the Klingon Empire Edit
T'Kuvma believed the Federation's claim that "we come in peace" to be a lie, and wanted to use the threat of the Federation to unify the twenty-four Great Houses of the Klingon Empire by focusing their attention on a common enemy. To that end, he placed the Beacon of Kahless in a binary star system near the edge of Federation space, and disabled an interstellar relay to attract the attention of Starfleet. (DIS: "The Vulcan Hello")
Giving Voq the honor of activating the Beacon, T'Kuvma then spoke with members of the Klingon High Council, who had arrived in the system in response to the signal from the Beacon. Rallying a number of them to his cause, he launched an attack on the gathered Federation vessels, leading to the Battle of the Binary Stars. (DIS: "Battle at the Binary Stars")
After a request from the senior Starfleet commander, Admiral Brett Anderson, for a ceasefire, T'Kuvma accepted, and asked the Human to prepare for the arrival of his envoy. Instead, he ordered one of his cloaked vessels to ram the admiral's ship, the USS Europa, leading to its destruction. (DIS: "Battle at the Binary Stars")
After declaring victory over the Starfleet vessels, T'Kuvma instructed the High Council members to return to Qo'noS to spread news of the united Empire, and was proclaimed to be "T'Kuvma the Unforgettable" by his supporters L'Rell and Voq. (DIS: "Battle at the Binary Stars") "The Unforgettable" was the most common epithet used in reference to Kahless. (TOS: "The Savage Curtain")
Remaining behind to collect and sanctify the Klingon dead, the Sarcophagus was disabled by the USS Shenzhou, whose captain, Philippa Georgiou, and first officer, Michael Burnham, beamed aboard, seeking to capture him and demoralize the Klingon war effort. Engaging Georgiou in combat, T'Kuvma slew the Starfleet captain, before being hit by a phaser blast from Burnham, set to kill. (DIS: "Battle at the Binary Stars")
Memorable quotes Edit
"(in Klingonese) They are coming. Atom by atom, they will coil around us and take all that we are. There is one way to confront this threat. By reuniting the twenty-four warring houses of our own empire. We have forgotten the Unforgettable, the last to unify our tribes: Kahless. Together, under one creed, remain Klingon! That is why we light our beacon this day. To assemble our people. To lock arms against those whose fatal greeting is... (in English) we come in peace."
"(in Klingonese) Witness our brother, our torchbearer, killed by the Federation interloper on our sacred beacon. I see you as you see the end. Our torchbearer honors us... first to die in our crusade of self-preservation.... Our ancestors welcome our fallen brother, Rejac, to their Black Fleet. They fight with us, as we fight against our enemy. Remain Klingon!"
"(in Klingonese) I recognize you as one who has lived his life on the outside and yearns to be part of something bigger than himself. Some may see the color of your skin as nature's mistake. I call it a mirror... for I see myself in you."
"(in Klingonese) The honor of Torchbearer is yours."
"(in Klingonese) 'My presence.' 'My voyage.' 'My time.' No one speaks of 'my duty' or 'my honor.'"
"(in Klingonese) Show respect, T'Kuvma. You are nothing. You have not earned a seat on this council."
"(in Klingonese) And yet, I am the one who leads the way to our Empire's resurrection."
"'(in Klingonese) But there is no honor without unity. There is no home for any of us, unless it is shared by all."
"'(in Klingonese) My house is open to all. Including those discarded by you, Kol. But my house is bonded by a single doctrine: Remain Klingon."
"(in Klingonese) We have become complacent in the time since we last battled the Federation at Donatu V. Our purity is a threat to them. They wish to drag us into the muck, where Humans, Vulcans, Tellarites, and filthy Andorians mix."
- - T'Kuvma to the other Klingon leaders on the idealism of the Federation (DIS: "Battle at the Binary Stars")
"(in Klingonese) Great leaders, everything I say will come to pass. Look to the stars. Our destiny has arrived!"
- - T'Kuvma, commending his own reliability and announcing the arrival of a Federation fleet (DIS: "Battle at the Binary Stars")
"No! They do not! They come to destroy our individuality. Shall we rise up together and give them the fight they deserve?"
- - T'Kuvma on what he thinks of Starfleet's "We come in peace" message (DIS: "Battle at the Binary Stars")
"Admiral, I am T'Kuvma. I am pleased you are here. We have been waiting for someone worthy of our attention. Your offer of a ceasefire is accepted."
"(in Klingonese) Lest anyone doubt that I can render my own vessels invisible."
"(in Klingonese) We have suffered losses... but the Federation has suffered far more. Leaders, return to Qo'noS. Declare far and wide that the Klingon race fights as a united Empire once again!"
"Members of the Federation, what you call your most remote borders I call too close to Klingon territory. You only live now to serve as witnesses of Klingon supremacy, to be my herald. We do not desire to know you. But you will know our great houses, standing as one under Kahless, reborn in me, T'Kuvma."
"(in Klingonese) A warrior who dies in his sleep is no more than flesh and bone. A warrior who perishes honorably in battle is blessed. A hero's demise brings pride for a life given in defense of our race and comfort in the knowledge that new life awaits in Sto-Vo-Kor. Join your vaunted comrades, brothers and sisters, for you are not alone and stand watch among the Black Fleet forever."
"(In Klingonese) Whom do we seek?"
"How do we find him?"
"Give us light to see."
"Will he hide from us always?"
Background information Edit
Obi compared his character to Moses, noting, "He's an outsider and he has a spiritual moment where he encounters Kahless [...] and he is given a message [....] He's like the runt of the litter, and he transforms into this leader, with a purpose." (After Trek: "Episode 1")
At first, Chris Obi was very worried about how he would manage to learn all of T'Kuvma's Klingon dialogue. However, he managed to overcome that fear with the help of Burnham actress Sonequa Martin-Green, as well as a speaker of Klingonese who prepared a tape recording for the project, and two voice coaches who Obi described as "amazing." He recalled, "I would go away and listen to the sounds and come back with my version of it." (After Trek: "Episode 1")
Chris Obi was highly pleased to be able to portray T'Kuvma, as he found the character to be very consistent. "I'm beyond blessed to be given a character that you don't go, 'Ooh, God. He's going to say that, even in Klingon.' Know what I mean?" he remarked. "That's where the connection comes. Every time I speak a line, I believe the character is truly saying these lines, and it fits. You know?" (After Trek: "Episode 1")
T'Kuvma was featured in a deleted scene extension from "The Vulcan Hello", in which, after lighting his bat'leth on fire in an alcove on the bridge of his ship, he turned around, said something to L'Rell, then walked past her. (After Trek: "Episode 1")