Federation Starfleet Captain Jean-Luc Picard at a High Council meeting in 2367.

The Klingon High Council was the legislative and ruling body of the Klingon Empire. An aristocratic oligarchy, the High Council was composed of the leaders of the twenty four most powerful Great Houses of Klingon society, and is presided over by the Chancellor. (TNG episode: "Sins of the Father")

In the TOS novel: Spock Must Die!, the ruling body of the Klingon Empire was identified as the Grand Senate of the Klingon Empire. This could be an alternate name for the High Council, or it could be another government body that filled a similar role.
In the TOS novel: The Final Reflection and the FASA RPG materials, an Imperial Council advised a sitting Emperor well into the 23rd century, but its aristocratic composition and relation to the Head of State were effectively identical to that of the later-made-canon High Council.


To make decisions the High Council works on a majority vote system, members put forth proposals and the entire council then indicates it support or opposition, if a majority support the notion it is passed into law. (TOS comic: "Losses")

The High Council advises the Chancellor on matters facing the empire. He leads the Council through force of will and his own considerable army. A master politician, he plays a delicate balancing game between different factions. (Decipher RPG module: Aliens)


The High Council seized its true power after the death of the last Emperor in 2069. The High Council was often been a hotbed of intrigue and dissent due to inter-House in-fighting which led the Empire to civil war numerous times over the centuries. (Decipher RPG module: Aliens)

In 2156, Captain Jonathan Archer requested that the High Council bring the Klingon Empire into the Earth-Romulan War. The decision was made even before Archer arrived and Archer's request was denied. (ENT novels: Beneath the Raptor's Wing, To Brave the Storm)

After the creation of the QuchHa' variety of Klingon in the mid-22nd century the superior ambition of the augmented Klingons led to them gaining control of the council in the 23rd century. (TOS comic: "Against Their Nature")

In 2256, the Council consisted of non-augmented Klingons from the 24 Great Houses, including Kol of the House of Kor, Dennas of the House of D'Ghor and Ujilli of the House of Mo'Kai. (DSC episode: "Battle at the Binary Stars")

By 2257, the Council had fallen into disarray, with numerous factions fighting for control of the Empire. L'Rell eventually took control and reconstituted the Council, with herself as leader. (DSC episode: "Will You Take My Hand?")

In 2267 when news of the destruction of the scout vessel IKS Vortha reached the council they looked to councillor Kahnrah, head of the house of the Vortha's commander, to decide their response. Kahnrah suggested sending a fleet to Organia to meet the Federation aggressors and defend Klingon interests. (TOS comic: "Against Their Nature")

Ayelborne High Council

Ayelborne forcing a peace treaty on the High Council

A short while later the Organia mission forced itself back onto the Council’s agenda when Ayelborne, leader of the Organians, appeared in the council chambers and forced a peace treaty on the Klingons and Federation, under threat of neutralizing their space forces. (TOS comic: "Against Their Nature"; TOS episode: "Errand of Mercy")

Gralmek's discommendation

Gralmek's discommendation

In response to the Organian Peace Treaty the Council began to explore new tactics, such as espionage. The first under-cover operative, Gralmek, failed his mission and was taken into Federation custody. The Council was concerned that Gralmek would be a security risk and organised a prisoner exchange to retrieve him, he was then brought before the Council where the Chancellor gave him a dressing-down and the Council discommendated him. (TOS comic: "Beneath the Skin")

In 2293 a suggestion from Chancellor Gorkon that the Empire broker a peace agreement with the Federation, and turn to their enemy's for aid in the aftermath of the Praxis disaster split the Council. The vote rested on the decision of councillor Kahnrah, and members opposing Gorkon's proposal attempted to assassinate the councillor when it became clear he would vote in favour of Gorkon's plan.

Kahnrah makes an entrance

Kahnrah making his entrance

Just as the Council began to consider other options, with the vote apparently deadlocked, Kahnrah made a dramatic entrance into the chamber, throwing the blood stained blades he had just been forced to use to kill his granddaughter (who had supported the opposition) across the chamber floor. Kahnrah made an impassioned speech giving his support for the Gorkon's plan and the vote was swung. Gorkon immediately made the order to send emissaries to begin the negotiations. (TOS comic: "Losses")

In 2369, the High Council learned that a human, going under the name "Shadowheart", was leading the Nothrani rebellion. They then asked the Federation and Starfleet to identify the human. The High Council unofficially sent Commander Riker, Lieutenant Worf and Council member Kurn to apprehend "Shadowheart" on Nothra.(TOS - Shadowheart comic: "The Lion and the Lamb")

In 2375, most of the Klingon High Council were killed by Morjod. After Martok defeated Morjod, several members of the Katai joined the Klingon High Council. (DS9 novels: The Left Hand of Destiny, Book One, The Left Hand of Destiny, Book Two)

In 2410, the Klingon High Council was killed at the hands of an Iconian when Councillor Wodan lead the other members in dismissing the Iconian's boasts. The Iconian responded by capturing the entire group, then vaporizing them. (Star Trek Online)

Known councillors

Due to the miniseries Vanguard, Errand of Vengeance, Errand of Fury, and Klingons: Blood Will Tell, an unusually large number of councilors serving during the mid- to late-2260s have been identified, and are grouped here.



Later periods


Interstellar states Detapa Council, Assembly (Cardassian Union) • Economic Congress of Advisors (Ferengi Alliance) • Federation CouncilKlingon High CouncilImperial Senate, Praetorate, Tricameron (Romulan Star Empire) • Organian Council of Elders
Federation members Parliament AndoriaChamber of Ministers (Bajor) • Quorum of Bole (Bolarus) • United Earth ParliamentMartian ParliamentZamestaad (Mestiko) • Triexian Curia (Triex) • Trill SenateGrand Moot (Vissia Prime) • Vulcan Council

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