Star Trek has been the host to many love affairs, marriages and relationships. Kirk shared too many to mention, Spock too few, and Scotty had a singular love of the U.S.S. Enterprise (and a good scotch). We saw Picard fall for Vash; Riker and Troi spend years winding their way to marriage; Keiko and O’Brien experience both ups and downs; and Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres figure it out in the Delta Quadrant.
But no relationship was quite as unique as that of Commander Worf and Lieutenant Commander Jadzia Dax. Immediately attracted to each other, Jadzia used her hard-earned knowledge of the Klingon ways to break down the implacable Worf, and soon they were embarking upon an ever-growing relationship that led to the seventh episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’s penultimate season, “You Are Cordially Invited...”
The episode launched with a traditional Captain’s Log:
“Captain's Personal Log, Stardate 51247.5. It's been a week since our return to Deep Space 9, but the mood of celebration continues. We're still at war, and the station has been designated headquarters for the Ninth Fleet. That, plus our strategic position guarding the wormhole, makes DS9 one of the most tempting targets in the entire Quadrant. But for now at least, the war seems very far away."
As the Federation returned to DS9, life aboard the station attempted to regain some semblance of normality. Sisko was pleased to be back, working once again with Major Kira and General Martok, freshly appointed as the Supreme Commander of the Ninth Fleet (and all the paperwork that comes with it).
Meanwhile, Commanders Worf and Jadzia Dax continued to prepare for their long-awaited wedding. Dax agreed to undergo the traditional evaluation by the mistress of the house she was due to join. General Martok’s wife, Sirella, made it clear, much to Jadzia’s surprise, that she fell far short of her expectations and would fail to find favor with the matriarch. Worf attempted to intercede, asking Martok to help, but the General refused, instead agreeing to take part in the Kal'Hyah, a Klingon bachelor party. Filled with blood-letting, ceremony, torture and fasting, the “party” is far from the rousing, raucous event O’Brien, Bashir, Sisko and Alexander anticipated.
Dax is having her own trials to contend with as Sirella continued to make it clear that she believed there was no place within the House of Martok for someone like Jadzia. Dax continued to grit her teeth and endure, telling the story of the Second Dynasty and how one of Sirella’s ancestors was in fact the emperor’s concubine. Sirella was less than impressed at that revelation.
Later, Dax threw her own pre-wedding party, a lively event with fire-eaters, drinking and dancing. Sirella arrived, ordering Dax to leave the party and come with her to take the Bre'Nan ritual. Jadzia refused, and after a brief scuffle with Sirella, the party continued until the early hours. Half-asleep, Dax is angry when Worf asked that she go and apologize to Sirella, and sadly agreed with the matriarch – if Jadzia had such low regard for Klingon tradition, perhaps the wedding was a bad idea.
Martok tracked down Worf to the Defiant, brooding in his quarters, and tries to convince him to reconsider his decision to cancel the wedding. While Worf and Dax were clearly from very different worlds, with vastly different opinions and views on life, they complemented each other perfectly. Honor and glory are nothing without someone to share it with.
Sisko finds Dax in a furious mood, angrily rearranging her quarters. She is annoyed that she's required to grovel to Sirella, given her long service and her former role as Federation ambassador to the Klingons. Sisko reminds her that it was Dax, not Jadzia, who accomplished those things, and urges her to reconsider and apologize. Jadzia realizes he is right.
The ceremony went ahead, as Worf and Dax united and vowed to stand together against all enemies who might oppose them.
Of course, viewers watching know that their time together was to be short-lived. Jadzia, the 8th host of the 356-year-old Dax symbiont, would lose her life at the conclusion of the sixth season in “Tears of the Prophets,” bringing her marriage to Worf to an abrupt, tragic end. Even knowing this, fans should be grateful that we were able to celebrate Worf and Dax in this way. Perhaps Lady Sirella, with her peace made with Jadzia and officiating their wedding as Mistress of the House of Martok, said it best:
"To this very day, no one can oppose the beating of two Klingon hearts... Not even me."
This article was originally published on January 4, 2019.
Mark Newbold has been an avid Trek fan since the 1970s, when TOS was shown on UK TV, but it was the original cast movie series and TNG era that sealed the deal. Mark is a writer for Star Trek: The Official Magazine, is editor-in-Chief of Star Trek: The Neutral Zone and was a stage host at Destination Star Trek Germany in 2018. At heart, he's a Niner. Follow him on Twitter @Prefect_Timing.