For a Star Trek fan, Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to revisit your favorite romantic episodes of the show. And when it comes to fun and romance, it doesn’t get more idyllic than the fictional “pleasure planet” of Risa. That planet, a popular place for shore leave for Starfleet officers, is the home of something called Horga’hn.
What exactly is a Horga’hn? How do you even pronounce Horga’hn? Read on to learn everything you need to know about Horga’hn and “seeking jamaharon” in the Star Trek universe.
Horga’hn Are Sex Idols on ‘Star Trek’
— Star Trek (@StarTrek) April 2, 2020
Star Trek can get pretty racy sometimes, and there was one particular TNG episode that was almost entirely about sex. That episode, TNG‘s Captain’s Holiday, features the first appearance of the Horga’hn on Star Trek. Horga’hn is pronounced “HOR-gon”.
The Horga’hn are fertility idols from the planet Risa. As Captain Picard eventually learns, thanks to a deft bit of “punking” by his first officer, displaying one of these sex idols is an indicator that you’re seeking “jamaharon”. Picard hadn’t realized he’d been advertising for a date by displaying his souvenir next to his deck chair. Needless to say, Picard was less than amused with Riker that day.
What, exactly, the act jamaharon entails is never explicitly laid out, but it’s heavily implied to be some kind of liberated sexual act. In fact, in the Deep Space Nine episode Let He Who Is Without Sin…, the character of Curzon Dax is revealed to have died from “death by jamaharon” with a lovely young woman. Risa is generally considered a “sexy” location in the fictional universe of the series. Even StarTrek.com’s official database entry for Risa brings sex up in the very first sentence, noting the planet is “renowned for its breezes and easy-going, uninhibited sexuality that play host to millions each year.”
Risa is the ‘Star Trek’ Pleasure Planet
Here on Risa, it's always Happy Hour. pic.twitter.com/2lhbhk6poA
— Star Trek Online (@trekonlinegame) June 29, 2019
A common misconception among casual fans is that Risa is the “shore leave planet”. While it is true that Risa is a common choice of vacation spot in the Star Trek universe, it’s important to remember that there is another planet that more rightly deserves the title. The “Shore Leave Planet” is the nickname of the unnamed planet in the Omicron Delta region, made famous in the TOS episode Shore Leave. This “amusement park” planet is, in fact, a bit more sinister than one might expect, with some Enterprise crewmen experiencing scary attacks from the darkest recesses of their minds during their time on the planet’s surface.
There are many unanswered questions about Risa and its history, and they are unlikely to be answered until new episodes of one of the currently airing Trek shows returns. However, should the events of Star Trek: Picard‘s second season take Jean-Luc back to Risa, perhaps there’s a chance fans will finally learn what the heck a “jamaharon” is. At the very least, if Michael Dorn returned, maybe we could watch him throw another Horga’hn statue across the room, like he did on Deep Space Nine. An angry Worf is always good for comic relief.
Horga’hn Props Are Worth Big Bucks
— Star Trek on CBS All Access (@startrekcbs) August 18, 2020
It turns out there’s a lot of demand for Horga’hn in real life, and not just in the fictional world of Star Trek. Back in 2006, famous auction house Christie’s conducted an auction of Star Trek props, costumes, and more. During that epic auction, there were actually two different lots related to Horga’hn props.
The first, Lot 532, was a single statuette, used on set during The Next Generation. Prior to the auction in 2006, it was estimated to sell for a maximum of $500. However, it ultimately sold for a staggering 24 times that estimated price, drawing a final bid of $12,000. Adjusting for inflation, that’s nearly $16,000 in 2021.
The second lot from the Christie’s auction that was related to the Horga’hn was a lot of two statuettes. However, these props were not from Star Trek: The Next Generation, but were actaully featured on DS9. The set of two statues went for much less, a comparatively paltry $4,560. Interestigly, though both lots were painted to look like wood, neither was made from real wood. One was made from resin, with the other lot made from painted hard foam.