The Gorn are a bipedal reptilian species, including a number of subspecies/races within the Gorn Hegemony. Typically, green and over two meters tall, some appear almost humanoid and have short, barely noticeable tails, others have more sinuous bodies and long prehensile tails. Like most cold-blooded species, they prefer warmer temperatures and hate the cold. Otherwise, they have greater stamina, strength and durability than most humanoids. Their mouths hold an impressive array of razor-sharp teeth and both hands and feet have vicious claws. Gorn could also prevent themselves from being sensed telepathically, adding to their evolutionary advantages as hunters.
At least one subspecies of Gorn hatch from parasitic eggs that incubate inside a living host. The maturation cycle varies depending on the species of the host, but when ready, the hatchlings rip their way violently from the host’s body. Such Gorn hatchlings are white in color, becoming green as they feed, molting their skin as they grow rapidly in size. The hatchlings are exceptionally fast and strong, and uncontrollably aggressive toward other lifeforms, including members of their own species, fighting each other for dominance, which ensured that only the strongest and smartest survived.
Other Gorn could bear live young, though Caesarian sections might be required as births of as many as eight children were possible. Infants were still highly aggressive even when born in this manner.
The Gorn value strength, and do not hold life as precious, being willing kill their own if they became weak or one of their ships became compromised by an enemy, thus ensuring that only the strongest survived.
They are xenophobic, and historically regarded warm-blooded species as prey, and hence, beneath them and of value only as food, ‘breeding sacks’, and for sport. This attitude began to shift after a human prevailed in single combat forced on Stafleet and Gorn ships by the Metrons, following the Gorn attack on Cestus III, leading to greater willingness to form alliances with other species.
Brief Canon History
Although unconfirmed at the time, the first encounter between the Humans and the Gorn occurred in the early 23rd century, when the colony ship SS Puget Sound was captured, and the ship’s complement deposited on a planetary nursery to be used as “breeding sacks” or hunted as food for voracious infant Gorn.
Multiple contacts followed, but they left hardly any survivors and were therefore not officially listed as encounters. This changed as the Gorn moved toward Federation space in the mid-23rd century, leading to open attacks on starships and colonies. This was part of a larger buildup of Gorn forces on their border with the Federation as tensions increased between the Federation and the Gorn Hegemony.
Hostilities continued through the 2260s, until in 2267, the Gorn attacked the Federation outpost on Cestus III. The Enterprise pursued a Gorn ship from Cestus III into a previously unexplored region of the galaxy, where both ships were immobilized by the Metrons, who transported Captain Kirk and the Gorn captain to a planet’s surface to settle their differences in a “contest… of ingenuity against ingenuity, brute strength against brute strength.” Although the Gorn captain was physically stronger than Kirk, Kirk was able to construct a makeshift cannon out of materials on the planet’s surface and defeat the Gorn. When Kirk showed mercy to his defeated opponent, the Metrons acknowledged that they would have destroyed the victor, as the greater threat, but now believed there was potential for them to move beyond being hopeless savages and sent both captains back to their respective ships and transported them out of the area.
This eventually led to somewhat better diplomatic relations and it was later learned that the Gorn had seen the strike as a preemptive move, since they regarded the Cestus system as part of their territory. By the 2380s, relations between the Federation and Gorn had seemingly improved as some Gorn resided on Federation Starbase 25 by 2381, and in 2384 a Gorn starship was among those that came to the aid of hijacked Federation vessels.
Proposed Post-War History
Although the Gorn ultimately decided to fight against the Dominion during the war, afterward they joined the Tryphon Pact, an alliance set up in competition with the powers of the Khitomer Accords. However, after the Hobus supernova and the dissolution of the Typhon Pact, Gorn’s relations with the other members of the Pact have cooled.