Worf & The Klingon race got fully fleshed-out on DS9
I can remember watching Star Trek: The Next Generation and in all of the episodes that dealt with Worf and his culture, I tended to prefer to skip those episodes. In fact, I’ve always kind of laughed at Worf as a character in TNG. From a Klingon perspective, on TNG, he’s probably one of the weakest Klingons there is.
I mean when you think about it, on TNG, Worf‘s greatest battles occur off-screen when he wins a bat’leth tournament in “Parallels” (s7,e11). Otherwise, in most confrontations, he’s handled fairly easily. In fact, the Klingon race as a whole aren’t portrayed to be incredibly intelligent — to the point that it’s really amazing that they managed to get off their world at all! Of course we all know the story that they overtook their Hur’q overseers and ostensibly stole their technology, but all throughout Star Trek up until Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the Klingon culture and Worf in particular, aren’t very well regarded.
DS9 changed all that starting with Season 4, when Worf became Sisko’s Strategic Operations Officer and specifically after Worf meets up with General Martok in the Dominion prison camp. Worf fought and defeated 12 consecutive Jem’Hadar soldiers and caused the 13th, an Honored Elder to quit. For one of the first times on-screen, Worf’s courage & honor are seen in combat as he’s able to hold his own against multiple opponents.
His acceptance by General Martok speaks volumes for his character who had been shunned by his race for political reasons. As Martok’s first officer onboard the Rotarran, we finally get to see this glorious race of warriors heading into battle, singing their war songs and drinking their blood wine after coming out victorious! Qapla’!