Martok is a recurring character in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, played by actor J. G. Hertzler.
Little backstory is given regarding the early life of Martok, except for a brief history sketched by himself in the Deep Space Nine episode "Once More Unto the Breach". It is known that he was born into a Klingon house (The House of Martok) that was not part of the aristocracy.
His family had been reputable soldiers, although not officers. Young Martok aspired to become an officer, and eventually applied. Unfortunately, his application was denied because of elitist views from the legendary Klingon warrior Kor regarding the honor and prestige of the "great houses". With a rejection on his record from such a legendary officer, Martok could no longer even serve as a common soldier. He opted to serve, regardless, and spent five years as a civilian laborer on General ShiVang's battle ship. His performance and bravery in battle caught the eye of General ShiVang, who granted him a battlefield commission as an officer. At Martok's introduction to the series, he has attained the rank of General.
Around 2371, Martok was abducted by agents of the Dominion and replaced with a shapeshifter. The exact date of this is unclear. The shapeshifter inadvertently revealed himself to Odo (who had been misled into believing that Chancellor Gowron was the shapeshifter) at a Klingon award ceremony, and was quickly killed by the Klingons attending the ceremony.
Martok spent two years in a Dominion internment camp, forced to fight Jem'Hadar soldiers daily in hand-to-hand combat for training purposes. Presumably it was during one of these fights that his left eye was gouged out. During his confinement, Martok came to respect the indomitable character and fighting qualities of Worf. In the episode "By Inferno's Light", Martok escapes and returns to the Alpha Quadrant with Elim Garak, Worf, and Julian Bashir, and is made commander of the Klingon forces on Deep Space Nine.
Weeks after this new assignment, Martok took command of a Klingon Bird-of-Prey, the Rotarran, and made it his personal flagship. Initially, the Rotarran's crew were beaten and fatalistic, a fact that was made worse by Martok's apparent reluctance to engage Jem'Hadar forces on their first mission. Eventually, a confrontation between Martok and Worf helped rally both the crew's warrior spirit as well as Martok's. The mission would conclude with the Rotarran engaging and destroying a Jem'Hadar vessel and rescuing thirty-five crewmen from a disabled Klingon ship. A grateful Martok would later invite Worf (who had earlier been stripped of his family name by Gowron) to join Martok's house.
Martok is portrayed as an excellent judge of character, caring deeply about those under his command. These traits, along with his courage and leadership, would serve him well in the Dominion War, during which he fought in several battles, including the battle to retake Deep Space Nine, and the First and Second Battle of Chin'toka. Despite his humble background, Martok would become extremely popular among other warriors and the civilian population, though Martok had repeatedly stated he had no interest in politics. Eventually, he was made Supreme Commander of the Ninth Fleet, a position he initially resented because of the amount of paperwork involved. Like most Klingons, Martok had a disdain for Ferengi, which manifested itself in several refusals to even acknowledge Nog, who at the time was a Starfleet Cadet. It isn't until Nog stands up to Martok and directly challenges him that Martok begins to display a grudging respect for the young Ferengi (episodes "Soldiers of the Empire", "Blaze of Glory").
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