GORN: Cultural Index

GORN: Cultural Index

There are many factions and powers in the
Star Trek universe and not all of them are as open as the Federation in sharing information
on their species. Even the Romulans, with all their closed boarders and secrecy have
made themselves targets of Federation intelligence and engaged in diplomatic relations several
times throughout history. However one scaly species has scant intelligence to scan as
it is secluded and aggressively territorial. Not even their origin is known for certain:
The Gorn. Hi there, Ric here again with the next cultural
index, returning as always to the trek universe and an iconic race all due to the only prime
timeline appearance that they had in the Original Series. A Gorn also appeared in a single Enterprise
episode but this was set in the Mirror Universe, so canonically we don’t know much about
them. Therefore great segments of this index will contain Memory Beta content to help construct
an image of a race that otherwise is shrouded in obscurity.
The First official Contact with the Gorn came in 2267, when they attacked the Federation
colony world of Cestus III, purging all the inhabitants from the planet’s surface as
the Gorn claim it was in their space. As with the Ferengi, the Federation had been aware
of the Gorn’s existence for some time, through second hand information and the like, but
had never encountered them in an official capacity, nor knew where they resided
until the Cestus III incident, which many term a massacre. Undoubtedly a brutal event,
Cestus III was indeed in Gorn space, a fact unknown to the Federation, which has a habit
of recklessly expanding into unexplored territory. After the massacre, relations between the
Gorn and the Federation were tense for several years, but no offensive was ever conducted
on either side. 2269 marked an end of the standoffish Federation-Gorn
rivalries, with the two powers eventually deciding to respect each other’s territory.
It’s worth noting that Cestus III was a federation colony again by 2371, so it’s
possible that the Gorn allowed the UFP to settle the world in reparation for the massacre.
A very diplomatic gesture if true. In 2282 A Federation shuttle crashed on a
Gorn training planet. The Gorn actually sent a rescue party to help the survivors… which
was then shot in fear. The issue was resolved with no further fatalities and the officers
returned to the Federation. This shows that despite initial meetings as
rivals, neither government wanted conflict. By 2370, Federation and the Gorn relations
were peaceful, if not productive. However during the Dominion war they apparently signed
a non-aggression pact with the Dominion. In 2374, a political upheaval saw the Black
Crest faction take a more militant approach to the Federation and some hostilities ensued,
despite this they eventually fought alongside the Federation in the final days of the Dominion
War thanks to a diplomatic mission form the Enterprise E.
By 2379, diplomatic relations were expected to resume as before. Though some sources say
that rising Klingon interest in Gorn space is a prelude to a takeover from the Empire.
The Gorn’s homeworld is an unknown. Most sources say that it is a great jungle planet
known as Gornar to the Federation, or Agornu, located in the Tau Lacerae system of the Beta
quadrant. The Gorn call it S’sagaron though there is a differing legend to their origin
which we’ll address in a minute. The jungle world has a humid, muggy atmosphere and great
swamps that spread for miles before giving way to ocean. For easier navigation and perhaps
the preservation of their landscapes or the avoidance of the large dinosaur like creatures
that roam the surface, most travel was conducted by a network of caves and underground tunnels.
Gornar’s gravity is 1.4gs explaining why they have a naturally higher musculature and
very slow movements, by galactic averages. So the number of different names and conflicting
reports about the origin of the Gorn is further muddied with rumours that they are actually
of extra-galactic in origin. There is a story that they originally arrived in the Beta Quadrant
through a wormhole from another Galaxy. This is unlikely unless it happened thousands of
years ago, but I cannot exactly prove otherwise so thought I’d mention it here. This data
comes from the Kelvin timeline, interestingly enough however, it could tie into an older
story that said that the Gorn developed on three planets in the same system, Gdhar 1,2,
and 3. However after the invention of interplanetary travel, it was discovered that none of these
worlds were the origin of the species and they came from elsewhere, so perhaps they
really are extra-galactic in origin. Or these could simply be colony worlds in Gorn space.
After all, the Gorn were sending out colony ships before the invention of warp drive in
their culture so perhaps a few worlds splintered off. Frustratingly we just don’t know for
certain. Biologically, the Gorn are reptilian. Cold
blooded, they would likely require a hot environment to function in on their ships. They had a
near-humanoid Skeletal Structure, with a very high muscle mass. They had red, iron based
blood and a tough leather hide that was covered in scales. Much Slower but vastly stronger
than humans, they could even survive in a vacuum for a time. Predatory in nature, they
had sharp fangs, reptilian eyes and talons for rending flesh giving them a fearsome visage,
one which most humans reacted… unfavourably to. They can and will bite in combat and have
eaten other sentient species before. Most species cannot understand their speech, a
series of Hisses and guttural noises, so they utilize universal translators. Gorn males
are around 215 kg and 2m tall. The females are bigger. (250kg and 2.5m) Despite this,
it seems only the males serve in the military, suggesting perhaps that females make up less
of the population, or that a caste based system prevents them from serving.
The Government of the Gorn is called the Hegemony and at its head the Imperator, though there
are also many references to political power residing with a King. Perhaps these roles
are one and the same, King of the Gorn and Imperator of the military? In the same way
a Monarch or President is the Commander-in-Chief. It appears that they operate in a caste based
system with distinct warrior, technology and civilian roles. This same source describes
the castes as based on the conditions in which a Gorn is hatched, with incubation variations
causing genetic divergence among the species, some being born bigger, good for combat, while
some have more digits, favourable for more complicated tasks. Ones born with a bluish-yellow
scale colouration are considered special and blessed.
The space arm of the Gorn is simply the “Space Command” and operates ships with the prefix,
GCS such as the ship Gress’sril. The technology of the Gorn rivalled that of the Federation
during the 23rd century though was likely outpaced by the neighbouring power by the
24th. They utilised genetic engineering and biological developments to a greater extent
than most species, even for military application. Their ships followed similar design principles
to the Federation vessels, suspending two or more warp nacelles from pylons attached
to a central hull. The bridge sat atop the primary hull and their vessels firepower could
match that of a constitution class with even more powerful shields. They favoured disruptor
technology and their ships were just as fast as a Starfleet vessel with similar limitations.
They dress to discern rank and position over necessity as their scales are protective of
the elements. Though it would be prudent for them to develop some sort of heated undergarment
seeing as they’re… you know…cold blooded. They do wear harnesses and leather-like gear,
likely non-replicated as due to their predatory nature, animal skins would not exactly be
in short supply. Although they shape metals for armour, they have very little jewellery.
It has been said that the Gorn captain that fought Kirk on Cestus III was wearing a tactical
eyewear, a sort of heads up display, but I find it unlikely that the Metrons would negate
to strip this bit of technology when they removed everything else, so I’m putting
this down to another example of bioengineering. They have also produced a concoction called
Meridor, a blue drink that shows that they do at least have a functioning agricultural
arm and therefore there’s less chance that they rely on plunder and piracy.
They appear quite primitive to most species’ preconceptions, but really aren’t. Although
they favoured overpowering a foe outright, they utilised subterfuge and trickery to engineer
species into situations where the Gorn’s natural advantages came into play. They have
names like Slathis, Slar, S’slee, Zogozon, S’taass, Thraak, K’Staa. These pronunciations
are as close to their names as most species can manage as they have entirely different
vocal structures. Slar was from the mirror universe however and was a slave master hired
by the Tholians. This suggests that they may utilise their threatening visage and physical
superiority for security or enforcement roles. They bury the dead and consider grave sites
to be protected, perhaps even sacred? Some form of ancestor worship perhaps. But they
are said to believe in the Mistress of Fertility, S’Yahazah who watched over the eggs and
hatchlings while keeping an eye out for the Great Father, who was banished to the depths
of space for attempting to consume the young. Ussisis…uses…ersssessisiss …bloody hell
these words… Ussegssirr was concept of destiny, a philosophy that would go hand in hand with
their adherence to a caste structured society. Although official sources list them as xenophobic,
a deeper look into their culture (or suspected culture anyway), gives me the impression that
they are sort of more… incredibly territorial and simply assume hostile intent on any unknown
interlopers. Once the Federation and its motivation were known to the Gorn, they were never really
a problem again, adopting diplomacy where appropriate to preserve their way of life,
which is more than can be said of many other races. Don’t get me wrong, they are predatory
by nature and highly dangerous, but they show a willingness to overcome their instincts
and can see the larger picture, antagonising every other race out there is going to be
a bad move after all, they are a relatively small territory. However it’s likely that
as their technology is surpassed by other races, they may find themselves the target
of others or dragged into conflicts that they would rather avoid, especially if their assiduous
defence triggers an incident. Thanks for listening to this index, as mentioned,
a lot of this is beta content but outside of the Arena episode, we literally know nothing
else prime timeline about them, which is a shame as I really like some of the concepts
presented here, like their homeworld and ship designs. What about you? Do you mind the amount
of info here from non-canon sources? And of course as usual, the index moves to a new
target culture next with either the Fallout universe inhabitants who would save us from
the ourselves, the Brotherhood of Steel, or the survivors of the Battlestar universe,
the Colonial Fleet. So until then, I’ll see you in the next
video, thankssss again for watching, and Goodbye!

100 thoughts on “GORN: Cultural Index

  1. Alternate speculation: the Gorn allowed the Federation to recolinize Sesta not because of the massacre but cuz Kirk declined the Metrones offer to destroy the Gorn

  2. Good video. I agree, I wish we knew more about the race, but with the limited amount we have this video was very enjoyable.

  3. Personally I always liked the idea that Gorn were asexual. Their king like hierarchy would be very firm indeed in a culture where parentage was only through one parent. The tracing of ancestry through a single line would make for a very rigid hierarchical structure. Imagine too what birth order would mean in such a society. A lot of very alien social structures could be built up just making the Gorn that much more exotic and different from other species.

  4. I will never forgive TNG for not including the Gorn in at least 1 episode! Reptile discrimination. Never even got to see 1 Gorn Battle Cruiser. They look like dinosaur warriors. My favorite aliens of all time.

  5. And everyone ignores their rich art culture! Who hasn't enjoyed the classic film "Gorn with the Wind"?
    Or the silly comedy "Gorn Burger"?

  6. I have never considered what they call "canon" as necessarily actually canon, as the powers that be seem willing to toss it out willy nilly as it pleases them. If they don't respect it, why should I? I'm perfectly happy using Diane Duane's Rihannsu universe, as canon as TNG, Enterprise, or Voyager.

  7. In the StarFleet Battles universe, the Federation and the Gorn reached an agreement and signed a friendship treaty. Both powers bordered Romulan space and the Romulans had been a pain in the sides of both, which further encouraged cooperation. The Gorn homeworlds were three separate worlds, collectively called the Tristar. Several capital ships are named after these home systems, such as the 'Sword of the Tristar' and the 'Shield of the Tristar', each a fleet flagship.

  8. I remember as a kid watching The Original Series in syndication I liked the Gorn I wish they could do more with the going of course you're going to have to use stuff it's not officially Canon like from novels and comic books even video games but you don't have much of a choice considering that not much was ever done with them outside of one episode that I believe they were mentioned in an episode of Deep Space Nine I may be wrong though

  9. I hope the Gorn come back in Discovery or the section 31 series they have planned. They showed a Gorn skeleton in Lorca's quarters, but I want a proper story with them and modern make-up/special effects

  10. I knew there as a reason my first officer could make my xindi aquatic carrier do a aileron roll, gotta be the blue scales. Damn good helmsman!

  11. The Amarillo Design Bureau space combat simulator board game "Star Fleet Battles" (1979) and the PC game versions "Star Fleet Command" (1999) and "Star Fleet Command II" (2002), which is based on the 1975 "Star Fleet Technical Manual" book, the Romulans share a border with the Romulan Star Empire.

    The Gorns are based around three habitable home worlds in three close star systems and are in sporadic border conflicts with the Romulans, who wish to expand into Gorn territory. The many campaigns remembered by the Romulan commander in the episode "Balance of Terror" are said to hint at the countless incursion raids the Romulans have made across the Gorn border.

    Gorn ships are armed with disrupters but also plasma torpedo weapons and in the SFB / SFC lore it is speculated by Star Fleet that the Romulans acquired the plasma torpedo technology from captured / wrecked Gorn smaller warships.

    These newer Gorn warships share a common design style, with a fore command and aft engineering saucer with a connecting trunk with attached heavy weapon carrying "wings" (for increased firing arcs) plus top and bottom warp nacelles. These started appearing in the 2260's. This design ethos was scaled appropriately to cover freighters, corvettes, frigates, destroyers, cruisers, dreadnaughts and battleships as apart of a comprehensive modernisation and rearmament programme by the Gorn navy. This came as a shock to the Romulans, causing a suspension of border incursions and prompted their own fleet redesign over the following decades. During this period the Gorn navy featured the most over gunned and powerful warships for their class grouping in the quadrant. Fortunately it was for deterrent and defence purposes only.

    Other new Gorn warship hull designs also appeared in the 2280's onwards of a more angular design nature. Gorn starship hull design varies so wildly it can cause confusion in recognising that a vessel is in fact Gorn in origin.

    In SFB / SFC the Gorns are highly territorial, have no expansionist aims and have been a spacefaring race longer than the other antagonists in the Alpha quadrant. They regard the weaker Romulans as a "minor occasional annoyance" that could be easily eliminated once and for all, but isn't worth the expense to do so. Following the Klingon – Romulan alliance and technology exchange, the Romulans were considered a serious threat by the Gorns as Romulan border incursion raids using Klingon built E4, F5, D6 and D7 warships resumed, which lead to the Gorn opening diplomatic channels to the Federation during the 2270's. This was to confirm that the Federation had no hostile expansionist intentions on Gorn space and enabled the Gorn navy to pull warships from the Federation border to deal with the resurgent Klingon backed Romulan threat.

  12. I don't think Gorn have to be cold blooded, since not all Earth reptiles are cold blooded. Plus why would they where clothes, it won't keep them warm if they are cold blooded. They might have flexible body temperature, which would make sense. Lower there temperature could make rations last longer and the raise it when it suits the situation.

  13. 0:42 the blinking eyes of the gorn captain in the remastered episode don't really look that convincing to me

  14. I love the Gorn because their one of the few “aliens” that actually seem like aliens. Most “aliens” on the show look like humans with some facial changes.

  15. I have not liked some of your vids as you seem to prattle on and repeat same thing in them over and over but I think you did a real good job with this one

  16. For some reason, I kept thinking that Gorn were a variant of the Sleestak in the Land of the Lost series, because of the half insectoid half reptilian appearance.

  17. If the Gorn that fought Kirk did have a HUD eye piece and it was perm rigged into it's head or if it was some kind of advanced optical replacement it would've been left alone, maybe not dissimilar to the helmet of the Predator race but more TransGorn (replacing transhumanism) and possible an option for senior captains, back in the 60s ti was prob just an easier prop option, now we can look at advanced vision systems probability, auto shading for too much sunlight or IR / thermal vision and etc. And for heat, maybe some of their garments do have some kind of thermal generation akin to an adjustable but thin heating pad.

  18. you might want to explore the Star Trek Green Lantern crossover series Spectrum War as one of the Lantern rings selects a Gorn to channel its abilities through

  19. If I remember correctly the extra Galactica story came from a tabletop game fluff. They were brought to our galaxy from Andromeda galaxy.

  20. Earth would have been a Gorn like species if it wasn't for the end of the Dinosaurs…

  21. The Gorn are actually nomadic in nature and small in number – they are extra-galactic but when their colony ship struck the galactic barrier it destroyed most of the contingent. The species is not able to tolerate psychic enhancement or power, it drives them insane… Therefore they are not native to this galaxy and small in number and unable to return to wherever home may be… and so on

  22. I used to have these books they were written like official diplomatic manuals and they had profiles on every single Star Trek species. I had one for TOS and another for TNG, and they had a detailed backstory and descriptions of the Gorn in them,. Every species ever shown on both shows, actually. They were awesome.

  23. I love the design of the original, wish they would make a modern version retaining the classic look Instead of the one on STO and that Enterprise episode.

  24. If you're going to add soft-canon material such as from Memory Beta, why not go all the way and include information on their conflict with the Klingons after they were infiltrated by the Undine as shown in Star Trek Online?

  25. Actually, the in the Stories of the Star Trek Online, the Gorn got into a war with the Klingons (incited by the Undine, by the way) and the Klingons beat them. The Gorn Hegemony became part of the Klingon Empire and King Slathis was given the command of the Gorn territory by the Klingon Chancelor. (By the way, Martok is dead by that time. He was killed in a duel by a member of the Duras family, who bacame new Chancelor)

  26. It would be amusing to have a Gorn serving aboard a Federation starship. Especially a female 'who keeps being confused for being a male' by other species much to her frustration.

  27. Idk how canon this is, but I read in some Trek book that the Gorn are one of the few, , if not the only, race to transport w their backs to the transporter station. The idea was that they were super impatient and habitually transported away immediately upon getting onto the transporter platform rather than waiting to turn around like everyone else .

  28. The gorn might not eat vegetables at all, many alcohols by native peoples in jungles here on Earth make concoctions from animals or animal byproducts which then turns into alcohol. There are species also in the Delta Quadrant that make alcohol drinks from animals which also have insects in the drinks which is why Ensign Kim had to see the doctor right after drinking said drink in order to not appear rude to the native peoples.

  29. I recall a TOS comic that referred to their race (or one of their ships?) as the Lath… Can anyone out there confirm/deny/verify?

  30. One could expect the Gorn to be related to the Voth. Not a direct spin off, although there is Nothing to say the Gorn and Voth are two similar species from Earth that ended up parting ways. The Voth headed for the Delta Quadrant and the Gorn staying in the Alpha Quadrant.

    *I do not like the idea of "everyone is human" or "everyone came for Earth". but this is how Star Trek seems to roll.

  31. Could the Gorn be originally from Earth as early Voth that has evolved differently in the last 20 millions from those in the Delta Quadrant?

  32. Divergence of ideas, in the SFU (Star Fleet Battles) the Gorn Confederacy is actually the only true Allie of the Federation, with all others being due to political or military need, rather then true friendship. In the SFU the Gorn come from three plants, but they are in three close by solar systems, and have three sub races, one form each planet. But they know they are no native to any of the three, and there are two other planets with Gorn related races, but again none of actually native. The Gorn have legends about being seeded on these world by the Lizards Kings.

  33. Klaarg the Gorn: Psychotherapist
    Self-Help from a Uniquely Reptilian Point of View.

    Dear Klarg.
    My husband continually bites my head off when I don't have dinner ready for him when he arrives from work. How can I persuade him to be more reasonable and understand that I have a life too! –Harried housewife!
    Dear Put upon wife creature:
    Ummm..aargghh!! Husband bit you. Hisss…Must bite back, teach lesson! Bite between twenty third and twenty fourth vertebrae, and husband head come off easy! Harrr… mmmm…
    Dear Klarg:
    My kids are so unruly! They are driving me nuts and won't listen to me. Punishments don't seem to help. What should I do? –Brooding!
    Dear Brood Mistress:
    umrumrummmm!! Klarg have same problem with own spawn. When spawn not leave nest after hatching, Klarg open mouth to scold. Spawn laugh. Klarg close mouth, eat spawn. Teach lesson to the rest!! Harrrr!! Shabbaaaa!!!
    Dear Klarg:
    How can I reach the seventh level of flow like transcendence where I can be intrinsically impelled to become one with the diety? Dr. C.
    Dear Inner Child Omelet:
    Kassarmmmm. Come to Klarg. Your hunger for wisdom make me hungry. Will bring you to seventh level of my Gorn baster oven. UMMMM.
    Dear Klarg:
    I seem to have a big problem picking up girls, even though I am good looking, have a nice personality, and a good job. What should I do? Dick
    Dear Dick Job:
    Spasss…..uzzz, smaaaza! Like chameleon, must puff up self to get female to offer egg sac. Try to mount before molting season, when female most receptive to your multi-pronged tong. If not work, then just pay money. That work with all species. jaavaanannooooooo…. fleeep!
    Dear Klarg:
    I am an American soldier on an unnamed battlefield, poised to invade another country and quite possibly may have to kill. Klarg, I don't want to kill! As a peaceful emissary from a wise alien race, tell me what to do! Doughboy
    Dear Dough-boy Scuzzball:
    Aaargh, flizzmmmm! Klarg have similar problem with fighting the Kyrk many cycles ago. Was to kill Kyrk and Enterpryse, but was beamed down in surprise to planet with the Kyrk to fight hand to claw. Soon, had big rock in claws to squash Kyrk, but Kyrk shot me with propulsive pebbles. Ow! Kyrk took knife to kill me, but could not kill. Then owner of planet appeared. Said he was French, and said it was good not to kill, and then beamed Klarg and Kyrk back to ships.
    Back on Gorn vessel, Klarg thought about lesson learned, about how it is good not to kill. Klarg thought and thought, and then had idea. Took Gorn weapon of mass destruction, and sent down to French planet. French planet now pretty ball of flame!
    SSSaddddammmmmm! Maybe not good to kill, but what do you expect from alien lizard man?

    from doctormezmer.com

  34. One thing that has always annoyed me is how all planets are named after a species
    Vulcans from… Vulcan
    Romulans from Romulus
    But humans… earth

  35. Are the Gorn related to the race found in Voyager season 3 eps 3 Distant Origin? Voth, a species of reptilian humanoids, Maybe the Gorn is the Voth distant ancestor? or they could be two different races. Just a thought.

  36. Hello there C.I.

    I think you missed a bet in your data searches and logical conclusions. Given that no one has met a Gorn Female, but that they are known to be larger than the males… One can infer that the females act, in a manner of speaking, like a Queen of a bee hive. Each 'family' group having it's female and many males to breed with. Only the best of them being allowed the chance to pass on their genes, normally. Some of these groups would invest in gene modification to 'gain an upper hand' over a rival, and this has lead to the three types of males extant in the galaxy today.

    Although some gene modification has been done over the centuries by the Gorn, I feel that 'normal' breeding would prevail in the vast majority of cases, since it would be more 'traditional', and be seen by the group, and other groups as 'honoring' their ancient lineages and customs.

    It should also be said that the theory that Gorn females are actually non-intelligent has been posited over the the last couple of centuries. Although there is no data to confirm or deny such a supposition.

    Gorn are not xenophobic, per-se, but are indeed highly territorial in nature. The have been the 'aggressors' in many incidents in the past, but almost universally doing so in a proactive attempt to keep 'aliens' away from what they claim is theirs. This not a 'bad' thing, since Human cultures have done such things in the past, and I am sure other alien cultures have done so as well.

    The Gorn had Warp Drive before Humanity, and possibly before most of the species known to the Federation at present. They are not, however, the rabid innovators Humans tend to be, and thus keep falling behind in the 'tech race'. But, when they do learn of a new technology, they will do what they can to grab an example of it to boost their own technology.

    It is not unreasonable that the Klingons are more of a 'match' for Gorns in general, as both cultures have a long history of the 'Warrior Way' (the Klingons having adopted this after an alien race nearly wiped them out on their home world). The vast majority of Federation citizens are non violent, and it can surprise Gorn to run into Humans that are at least as good of fighters and Warriors as their own. This has led to some speculation among the Gorn that the Humans have a 'Hidden Warrior Clan' of some sort, that is usually few in number in Star Fleet, but seems to 'invade' or replace 'normal' Humans should conflict occur on a large enough scale.

    It is still unknown if the Gorn are 'extra' galactic in nature, although due to lack of good scientific data on the planets in their area of claimed territory, it could be that the Gorn have just kept their true Homeworld a well kept secret. I doubt even the Klingons have a real sense of where the Gorn truly come from.

    Just a few thoughts,

    Speaking, Frank-ly

  37. While the actual game wasn't great Star Trek the Video Game 2013 had great exploration of the gorn. Caste, language, tech. It was really cool to see.

  38. The "Gorn" was named after my old friend's late father, a science screenwriter in the 1950's. The amusing thing is that my friend, Phil Gorn, has no interest in Star Trek whatsoever.

  39. I prefer the Star Fleet Battles Gorn ships…Gorn are pretty much a dinosaur species from another Star system that didn't succumb to extinction.

  40. S.A. is set aside for Teresa to settle as her state, under the name of Judah. Best settle on my side of boarder to begin with as we are lizard state and S.A. is wombat state due to Matthew.

  41. You look up to me as your father ? This will save at least one of your lives when I leap frog you as I am your father.

  42. Big Mac's and quarter pounders are acceptable food the others are not acceptable to you. Max causes some problems to us due to hybridisation .

  43. Gorns feared The romulans and there cloaking device , that's why the thaw in UFP and gorns relations .There are 2 species one with Tails and the Tailless.

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