Characters / Stargate SG-1 - The Goa'uld
Stargate SG-1: SG-1 | Other SGC Personnel and Tau'ri Battleship Crew Members | Allies of the SGC | The Goa'uld | Other Antagonists
Spin-offs: Stargate Atlantis | Stargate Universe
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Goa'uld symbiote in its natural form
— Daniel Jackson
The first antagonist introduced in the franchise and a major threat for seasons 1-8 of SG-1, the Goa'uld were an egotistical race of Puppeteer Parasites who used human beings as hosts in order to pose as gods and enslave the galaxy. Though they used highly advanced technology, it was often Awesome, but Impractical and most of it was stated to have been stolen from other races, most notably the Ancients. In theory they were loosely governed by a council of the most powerful Goa'uld known as the System Lords, but in practice they tended to spend the majority of their time fighting among themselves, something that was repeatedly stated to be their greatest weakness. They were also frequent holders of the Villain Ball, partly due to their reliance on the sarcophagus to stay alive, though the more dangerous ones would have occasional bouts of avoiding it.
Their stranglehold on the galaxy was absolute at the beginning of the series, but their empire eventually fell at the end of season 8. Though the odd Goa'uld would occasionally show up every now and then in the final two seasons, they were generally minor players due to the larger threat posed by the Ori, and it was implied in Continuum that Ba'al was the last System Lord remaining until his execution.
- Agony Beam: Their signature weapon, the Kara Kesh, is a hand device that emits a fiery pulse of energy. It can be used to torture, or to emit shockwaves that can knock down many foes at once.
- Deflector Shields: Kara Kesh of particularly high ranking Goa'uld such as System Lords can generate an energy shield that deflects bullets and energy projectiles. However, due to the limitations of the laws of physics, they can't move while the shield is active, and objects traveling slow enough not to trigger it (such as a throwing knife) go right through it.
- Always Chaotic Evil: This trope is ensured due to the Genetic Memory they pass down to their offspring, though the precise amount of evilness varies between them.
- Ambition Is Evil: Near enough all of them are presented as having shades of Chronic Backstabbing Disorder and The Starscream any time they have an opportunity to gain more power at each other's expense. It ends up being one of the major things that dooms them - except on rare occasions, their normal reaction to the death of any powerful Goa'uld is to scramble to take over his forces and territory instead of dealing with the threat (normally SG-1 and the Tau'ri) that killed them.
- Ancient Astronauts: They were evicted from Earth sometime during the Ancient Egyptian era. Weirdly, their technology doesn't seem to have advanced much in the several thousand years that have passed since. Justified in that there's very few scientist Goa'uld and their technology, as noted in the description, is mostly scavenged/stolen.
- Antagonistic Offspring: Bra'tac once mentioned that the children of System Lords often end up trying to usurp their parents.
- Arch-Enemy: They hate and fear the Tok'ra, chiefly for serving as a living reminder of the corrupt lifestyles they lead. Only gets deeper as the Tok'ra become allies to the Tau'ri.
- Asshole Victim: Few tears were shed when the last of the System Lords (aside from Ba'al) were killed by Replicarter in Season 8.
- Ax-Crazy: It's a plot point that the older a Goa'uld gets, the crazier they become. Repeated use of a sarcophagus alters the brain chemistry of a humanoid body, rendering them mentally unstable. Lord Yu, the oldest of the System Lords, was a prime example toward the end, barely aware of anything that was going on and relying on his First Prime to actually administer his territories.
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: They either inspired or co-opted gods and mythic figures from almost every major Earth pantheon (except the Norse gods, who fell to the Asgard instead), starting with the Ancient Egyptian gods and later including figures from several other cultures.
- Berserk Button: Telling them that they aren't gods is a pretty good way to get 'at least' smacked across the face.
- Better the Devil You Know: One of the reasons their rule endured for so long: both the Tok'ra and the Asgard were aware that the perpetual rivalry and sometime warfare between the System Lords kept them in check, and were loathe to take them out in case someone worse filled the resultant Evil Power Vacuum - as happened with Sokar, Apophis and Anubis at various points. Lampshaded by the series - the episode where Apophis returned from death to bedevil the team on Sokar's hell planet was actually called "The Devil You Know."
- Big Bad: The species in general serve as this for the show until Season 8, with Ra, Apophis, Sokar and Anubis all holding the role at various points.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: Outside of a host, they're vaguely-amphibious snakelike things and pretty much defenseless against larger predators. They're all genderless apart from the queens, who are capable of spawning asexually, and their larvae are incubated in the stomach pouches of the Jaffa until such a time as they've matured enough to be capable of taking a human host — which they do by entering the body through either the mouth or the back of the neck and wrapping themselves around the brainstem. They also have thick bluish blood and a Genetic Memory that gets passed down to each successive generation.
- Bizarre Alien Sexes: Goa'uld (and Tok'ra) symbiotes are technically asexual (though some prefer female or male hosts and self-identify as such), but a small minority are queens who spawn through asexual reproduction and imprint their Genetic Memory on them.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Any allegiance between them will be short-lived and purely out of convenience due to the fact that they're all out for personal glory and excessively paranoid of each other.
- Cool Mask: Some Goa'uld were fond of giving their troops these, leading to the distinct looks of Ra's Horus and Anubis Guards, as well as Apophis' Serpent Guards.
- Enemy Civil War: Due to the aforementioned Chronic Backstabbing Disorder they're frequently fighting among themselves. This definitely works in the heroes' favor, since they have enough firepower between them to completely wipe Earth off the map if they could stop fighting among themselves long enough to coordinate an attack. It's stated a few times that they depleted most of their own forces, with the team merely upsetting the balance of power between them.
- Even Evil Has Standards: The System Lords are a coalition of genocidal megalomaniacs, but they exiled Anubis prior to the events of the series for acts which even they considered unspeakable.
- Expanded greatly in the subsequent games. Apep, the son of the Goa'uld who originally reverse-engineered the Stargates, was the Supreme System Lord, but Anubis poisoned and betrayed him, and began subjecting other Goa'uld at random to hideous and unnecessary tortures. Six other System Lords teamed up and defeated him, and put Ra on the Supreme Throne since he was the best logistician, and could hold the crumbling Empire best against the Asgard, the Ree'tu, and internal dissidents.
- Evil Is Petty: The natural Goa'uld arrogance, megalomania and paranoia means that they'll not only be loathe to work together but actively sabotage each other in face of a greater threat.
- It's mentioned the other System Lords openly refused to contribute their forces to Apophis' early attack on Earth. Thor mentions later that the combined System Lords attacking Earth would be a hundred times greater than Apophis' earlier assault - had they joined their forces to his, it would have been a threat SG-1's limited means would have been utterly unable to deal with in Season One
- Evil Sounds Deep: They speak with distinctive flanged-bass style voices, though later seasons reveal that they're perfectly capable of turning this off if they want to and they do it on purpose to intimidate their subjects and lend weight to the whole "god" thing. By the end of the series, Ba'al hardly uses it at all in the presence of the team, since he cheerfully admits to the fact that he knows he's not actually a god and only puts on the act for people who might actually be convinced.
- Evil Versus Evil: Their chronic infighting aside, they occasionally end up battling against other evil forces in the galaxy - such as Anubis (except when they aren't), the Replicators and even the Wraith.
- Genetic Memory: The memories of their entire line is passed down to each successive generation.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: They can make their hosts' eyes flash gold, usually when they're angry or want to intimidate somebody. This is also sometimes used as a tip-off to indicate that a character is now a host.
- A God Am I: They all impersonate various deities and demand to be worshipped by humans/Jaffa, and after enough cycles in the sarcophagus the crazier ones actually start to believe it.
- Healing Factor: Their natural ability to heal their host's body is quite powerful; it's strong enough to even heal the disease that wiped out the Ancients, who with all their advanced technology couldn't manage to find a cure. They can't fix anything that would immediately kill their host, such as a bullet to a major organ, though.
- Immortality Immorality: Their repeated use of the sarcophagus gradually causes them to turn psychotic and megalomaniacal the more they use it - combined with the Goa'uld inheriting the genetic memory of their lineage, it's the main explanation for their depraved and evil status. Lampshaded in-universe - Daniel found out in one episode repeated use of it left him mentally unstable to the point of attacking the rest of SG-1, with this being used as the in-universe explanation as to why the team doesn't use one as a cure-all for any medical emergency that befalls them.
- Large Ham: Some are hammier than others, but they all exhibit this to some degree.
- Magic from Technology: They claim that the advanced technology they use is magic to the less advanced cultures that worship them.
- Medieval Stasis: They invoke this by deliberately preventing human cultures from advancing to the point where they could challenge their power. Part of the reason Earth becomes such a threat to them is that, after thousands of years free from Goa'uld rule, the Tau'ri have advanced to the point where they're able to recognize that Goa'uld technology is just that, and have some fairly advanced — if significantly less flashy — technology of their own.
- Monstrous Cannibalism: A scene from "Last Stand" shows the System Lords feasting on live Goa'uld symbiotes, something which Jacob states has gotten so out of hand that they're experiencing zero population growth.
- No Sense of Humor: Almost all of the Goa'uld are this way. To them, even Jack O'Neill's funniest wisecracks are nothing more than petty insolence. The sole exception is Ba'al, who is a Deadpan Snarker himself.
- Opportunistic Bastard: The bigger threats among their number usually become so by taking advantage of outside events.
- Sokar takes advantage of Apophis' forces being defeated at Earth to decimate his forces and capture him, gathering an army big enough to overthrow the System Lords in the process.
- Apophis in turn takes over Sokar's army when SG-1 blow up his ship and becomes more powerful than any System Lord as a result.
- Anubis takes advantage of the deaths of Apophis and other System Lords to become the pre-eminent Goa'uld threat.
- And Ba'al quickly seizes Anubis' forces when he's thought to be dead, though in that case Anubis comes back.
- Parasites Are Evil: They regard other life-forms as nothing more than slaves, treating them with a mixture of sneering arrogance and chortling sadism, gladly leaving their hosts trapped in a tormented state of helplessness. It's made clear that they're biologically locked into this through Genetic Memory, with each new generation of Goa'uld being inclined to regard themselves as true gods - and stab each other in the back to acquire more power.
- Puppeteer Parasite: Unusually for this trope, they don't really hide their nature (aside from when they're on infiltration or intelligence-gathering missions), instead bigging themselves up to an insane degree by posing as gods to their Jaffa and human followers. They're practically helpless without a human body to possess, but grant their hosts Super Strength and a Healing Factor. The latter has tripped them up at least once, when SG-1 puzzled out that a Russian general was possessed after seeing him read a speech without his glasses, due to the Goa'uld healing abilities rendering his poor eyesight moot.
- Really 700 Years Old: Many of them are thousands of years old due to repeated use of the sarcophagus. The RPG background materials indicate that some of the most notorious Goa'uld, like Ra, Apophis and Anubis, have been around since the start of the Goa'uld Empire a good 24,000 years ago.
- Smug Snake: A supremely literal example. They're almost always obnoxiously self-satisfied, but their position is never quite as secure as they seem to think it is.
- Stupid Evil: And how. They're chronically unable to work together for their common good unless someone like Ra is around to threaten them all into it. They can't rein in their Chronic Backstabbing Disorder and The Starscream tendencies whenever there's any sort of power hierarchy, as nearly all of them always want more of it. They're utterly unable to stop Evil Gloating when they have the upper hand, and they just can't keep themselves from acts of pointless crueltyfor the hell of it that always backfire on them sooner or later. Really, it's a minor miracle their dominion lasted as long as it did.
- Sufficiently Advanced Alien: Subverted since almost all of their power comes from their technology and even a basic grasp of how that technology works pretty quickly undermines their standing as "gods". Compare them to the Ori, who have genuine powers and are pretty much indistinguishable from actual gods.
- Super Strength: The parasite grants its host significantly enhanced strength, enough that Goa'uld hosts can handily manhandle veteran soldiers, and Cronus was able to match or even exceed Teal'c in raw strength.
- Translation Convention: It's implied that they speak their own language among themselves and to their Jaffa, and we just hear English for convenience's sake. Most noticeable in "Summit", when Daniel specifically is chosen to infiltrate a meeting of the System Lords since he can understand Goa'uld, only for them to spend the entire episode speaking English.
- Underestimating Badassery: As a whole, the race does this with the Tau'ri until far too late - despite all SG-1's early successes against them, they largely remain focused on either their constant infighting (the other System Lords refusing to contribute anything to Apophis' attack on Earth most notably) or their Arch-Enemy, the Tok'ra. It takes until Anubis takes over as the race's Big Bad for this to be averted, as he stops underestimating the humans and makes numerous concerted efforts to destroy them.
- Villain Ball: A combination of their sarcophagus use, endless desire for more power and genetic memory of all their evil ancestors means they tend to hold onto it for dear life - if SG-1 ever gets captured, expect them to get out of it via the Goa'uld rubbing their impending doom in their faces, treating their Jaffa/human underlings terribly or not killing them when they have the chance. It's telling that the biggest Goa'uld threats the team faced - Apophis after his return, Anubis, Ba'al - defied at least some of these behaviours.
- Villain Decay: Acknowledged In-Universe when they manage to take over the Trust. It's noted that earlier in the series the presence of even one Goa'uld on Earth would be a cause for major concern, but by that stage the team have bigger fish to fry thanks to the Ori and it's a secondary concern at most.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: The Goa'uld genetic memory seems to bring this on. When the Harcesis child seemingly exposes Daniel to all the knowledge of the Goa'uld, Daniel (a being that was pure enough to Ascend and almost did so again) becomes a paranoid dictator that swiftly becomes Earth's Evil Overlord. Thankfully it's all a dream.
"I created your civilization. Now I will destroy it."
Played By: Jaye Davidson (movie), Jay Williams (SG-1 and Continuum)
First Appearance:Stargate (1994)
The villain of the original Stargate movie, Ra was an ancient alien who enslaved primative mankind, founded ancient Egypt and thus regards himself as the creator of human civilization. He maintained power by using his Sufficiently Advanced Alien technology to pose as a god, and was the source of the mythology of the Egyptian god Ra. He was killed by the Tau'ri stargate team at the end of the movie. Was ret-conned in the TV series as being the most powerful of the Goa'uld, an entire species of parasitic aliens who pretty much followed the same modus operandi.
- An Arm and a Leg: It's implied that his right hand was cut off when Daniel escaped his ship via the teleported rings, as it was pinned under said rings just before they activated and he seems to be holding said arm in pain in every remaining scene he appears in.
- And There Was Much Rejoicing: The only reaction his death provoked among the Goa'uld was a bout of vicious infighting as they manuevered to replace him, with Apophis eventually coming out on top. They didn't even bother attacking Earth or Abydos in retaliation (though Apophis did hit Earth in one alternate reality). Hathor was shown to be particularly delighted by his death when she re-emerged on Earth.
- Back for the Finale: He has a brief cameo in Continuum, though it's easy to miss the fact that it's supposed to be him since he has one line and he's played by a completely different actor. He also appears in "Moebius", which is the last episode to feature the original cast before the Retool and was originally intended to be the series finale.
- Badass Bureaucrat: The RPG material on the Goa'uld indicated this was one of the main reasons his rule was largely accepted by the other Goa'uld - where most of the System Lords thought only of themselves, Ra proved excellent at dividing up the Goa'uld's resources (territory, Stargates, slaves) among them to avoid major infighting in the face of threats like the Asgard.
- Bad Boss: Isn't above killing his own soldiers for the sin of failure. The fact that his child retainers exist partly to deter any attack on his own person doesn't speak much to his regard for their lives, either.
- Big Bad: Of Stargate. Jack and Daniel's main enemy throughout, though his First Prime Anubis is the main physical threat. His plan to use Jack's bomb to destroy Earth drives the plot in the film's second half.
- Bond Villain Stupidity:
- Elects to give Daniel a Sadistic Choice in either gunning down his compatriots to show Ra's divinity to the people or watching Ra take reprisals on Abydos' population. Needless to say, Daniel turns his staff weapon on Ra's entourage immediately, and Ra's defeat just snowballs from there.
- There's also the fact that despite having the team's nuke enhanced with naquadah and planning to send it back to Earth to destroy humanity, he doesn't actually do anything with it until he's already under attack from Jack's group despite having at least a day after their escape from execution to send it back to Earth through the Stargate.
- Combat Pragmatist: Those kids that stop O'Neill from just gunning him down? The novelisation revealed the possibility of such was one of the reasons he kept them around.
- Cool Mask: Ra's Pharoah mask is arguably the coolest and most distinct in the entire franchise, with The Reveal of it forming the title sequence to the film and early seasons of SG-1. Where the Anubis and Horus masks of his underlings (as well as the Serpent Guard masks of Apophis' forces) are advanced helmets, this actually retracts into his face.
- Continuity Snarl: His original form as seen in flashbacks in the movie looks nothing like the Goa'uld of the TV series. Various supplementary materials have tried to explain this, one by noting he was possessing an Asgard at the time, while another had him turn out to be a different species altogether.
- Death by Origin Story: Only relevant to the TV series via his death in the movie.
- Dying as Yourself: Villainous version. His stolen body morphs back into the alien creature he truly is in the moments preceding his death, and he perishes in his proper form.
- The Emperor: Was Supreme System Lord before his death, the most powerful Goa'uld System Lord.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He was disgusted by his brother Anubis's torture of their father Apep, and actually lead - in person - the coalition to depose and exile him. He did so alongside his hated brother Apophis, his rival Cronus, his scheming underling Yu, and power-mad masochist Sokar. Anubis was just that bad.
- Faux Affably Evil: Conducts himself with an air of royal refinement, and is willing to engage Daniel at length... before casually informing him, with a smile on his face, that he's going to destroy Daniel's world and force him to kill his companions. When frustrated, this veneer of civility evaporates completely.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Among other things that impacted on the SG-1 universe, he set up the System Lords as the Goa'uld's governing body, was responsible for spreading humans throughout the galaxy as breeding stock for Goa'uld hosts, took Hathor as his queen, started the war with the Asgard and was the reason Seth was hiding out on Earth/Osiris was imprisoned there. The Tok'ra were also formed in response to his overlordship.
- More specifically, Aset's need for allies in order to rebel against him drives her actions in Stargate: Origins.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Rigged a naquada enhanced nuke, unable to be disarmed, to be delivered to Earth via the stargate. Jack O'Neill kills the Anubis Guard carrying it (using Ra's own transport system) and then he and Daniel Jackson used said transport system to send it back to him, right in his face. He could only watch helplessly as the counter ticked down to zero before it blasted him to atoms.
- Informed Ability: He's portrayed as powerful and dangerous in the film, but the series ups the mythology surrounding him considerably; he's described as charismatic, rich beyond measure, possessing the most territory, controlling the master map of the stargate network, being the first and last active System Lord to set foot on Earth, and being the uncontested Supreme System Lord and Emperor of the Goa'uld for over ten uninterrupted millennia. We see none of this.
- Last of His Kind: In the non-canon Bill McKay sequel novel series (set after the film but written as a separate continuity from SG-1), Ra was the last survivor of his entire race, and had survived not via the Puppeteer Parasite methods of the TV series but by transferring his soul into the human body he wears in the film.
- A Lighter Shade of Black: Sure, he's incredibly ruthless and brutal - but the RPG background makes it pretty clear the other Goa'uld would rather have him in charge than a lunatic like Sokar or Anubis...
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!:
- Spectacularly so with Daniel Jackson. After Daniel gets killed by his men, Ra resurrects him out of curiosity and amusement. Daniel not only goes on to be instrumental in his downfall, but eventually helps bring down the System Lords, ending the Goa'uld's reign of terror.
- More specifically, if he hadn't immediately fled on his ship after seeing the popular revolt Jack and Daniel would have had no way to safely get rid of the nuke he'd rigged - while he'd still have died, at least all his enemies would have been killed too.
- Nuke 'em: Daniel and Jack got rid of him by ringing a tactical nuclear warhead aboard his ship.
- Oh, Crap!: He clearly has this look, combined with sheer terror, when he sees the naquada enhanced nuke he rigged to be completely unable to be disarmed suddenly appear right in front of him at the finale of the Stargate movie.
- Older Than They Look: An ancient alien entity possessing the body of an Egyptian teenager. Especially notable as all the other Goa'uld generally seem to use adults as hosts.
- Overrated and Underleveled: Mentioned as the Supreme System Lord, and fairly heavily hyped in general, before being beaten relatively easily. He exclusively lets his Horus and Anubis guards do the fighting, and uses children as human shields. In other words, he's a serious threat mainly because at this stage humans have no clue how to deal with alien life in general, much less a Goa'uld.
- Pet the Dog: Supplementary materials indicate he never had quite the level of Fantastic Racism against humans as the other System lords, being quite happy to use them as soldiers and even his First Prime in place of the Jaffa.
- Horrifically subverted in Stargate: Origins, where it's shown he obliterates the memories of Wasif and Motawk as punishment for their rebellion, bestowing them with the Horus and Anubis Guard masks seen in the film - the implication being that this is generally how Ra recruits his guards.
- Predecessor Villain: Delusions of godhood? Endless sadism and cruelty? Large Ham to the fullest extent? Constant holder of the Villain Ball? Ra set the stage for every single Goa'uld villain (and hell, even the Ori) in displaying every single one of these traits in the franchise's earliest incarnation.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: In his Stargate: Origins appearance the eyes of his traditional pharoah mask glow bright red.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Immediately flees Abydos in his ship the moment the popular uprising against him takes shape. He doesn't even wait around to see if his rigged nuclear weapon annihilates Earth or Abydos first.
- Slasher Smile: Dips into this sometimes.
- Starter Villain: The first villain of the franchise, but he's dispatched fairly easily compared to his successors and doesn't have anything like the same lasting impact.
- Justified as he was also used to dealing with nothing more sophisticated than rebellion from the primitive societies that are generally depicted in the majority of the planets visited in the series; all later Goa'uld had a better idea what Stargate Command was capable of after this attack and were able to adjust their methods accordingly, whereas Ra never had the chance to learn from his mistakes.
- Vetinari Job Security: As much as one can have in a race of megalomaniacs with Chronic Backstabbing Disorder like the Goa'uld. The background materials make clear that his rule as Supreme System Lord had surprisingly few major challenges from other Goa'uld - being the best-organised and most ruthless of the lot, he was recognised as the only one able to keep the other System Lords in line and focused on threats like the Asgard and Anubis.
- Villainous Legacy: In the non-canon Bill McKay sequel novel series (set after the film but written as a separate continuity from SG-1), it turns out Ra had set up an entire empire of humans descended from those on Earth, and had elevated the most vicious and ruthless of those humans to the status of more minor figures in the Egyptian pantheon. This comes back to bite Earth in a big way when Hathor (an underling even Ra considered too vicious and power-hungry) takes control of said empire after the film and tries to destroy both Abydos and Earth.
- Villains Out Shopping: He's shown bathing (in the director's cut at least) and playing an alien form of chess with his underlings at various points in the film.
- You Have Failed Me: In an Establishing Character Moment for him (and the entire Goa'uld race), offs one of his Horus guards, seemingly at random, for failing to prevent the rebels' escape after Daniel turns on them and O'Neill and co. escape at the execution ceremony. As Bond Villain Stupidity details, a massive portion of the blame for that situation existing in the first place falls on Ra himself.
Played By: Peter Williams
First Appearance:"Children of the Gods"
The original Big Bad of the TV series. The brother of Ra, Apophis attacked Earth and later Abydos, in the process kidnapping Daniel Jackson's wife Sha're, causing the Stargate program to be reformed to combat the new threat of the Goa'uld. He was actually only one of many competing Goa'uld System Lords, and over the course of the series he rose and fell in power due to SG-1's actions. After several apparent returns from the dead, he was finally Killed For Real by the Eviler Than Thou Replicators.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: In "Serpent's Song", he isn't above pleading for his life, and even offers all the knowledge of the Goa'uld Empire in return - though whether he would have actually done so is arguable.
- Always a Bigger Fish: He's finally killed not by the team, but by the Replicators, who make the Goa'uld look pretty tame by comparison.
- To SG-1, especially Teal'c. Anubis may have been a bigger threat, but no other Goa'uld had such a bitterly personal hatred of SG-1 for both their role in his original downfall and Teal'c's defection. Needless to say, this goes both ways, given his attack on Earth, treatment of Teal'c's family and taking both Daniel's wife and Jack's friend Skaara as hosts for his queen and son. Seen most notably in "Serpent's Song", where Jack, Teal'c and Daniel all take the time to taunt him about his impending death.
- Among the Goa'uld Sokar, Cronus and Heru'ur are all mentioned as being this to him.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: One of the few Goa'uld seen taking to the battlefield alongside his Jaffa. In "The Nox" he's shown to be good enough with a staff weapon to easily kill Jack, Daniel and Carter in a matter of seconds - and unlike virtually any other Goa'uld, he's willing to walk into Sokar's den to enact his plan to kill him personally.
- Back for the Finale: He makes an appearance in the alternate timeline created by Ba'al in Continuum, just long enough for Ba'al to take the top of his head off.
- Beard of Evil: The "real" Apophis lacks one, but his alternate selves in "Point of View" and "Moebius" sport Goatees of Evil.
- Big Bad: Zigzagged: he certainly was in the first season when he emerged as Ra's replacement as the main antagonist. The loss of his ships and most of his army at the start of Season 2 made him too weak to be the Big Bad for the rest of the season, and he was in fact defeated and tortured by Sokar midway through Season 2. Sokar would go on to be the Big Bad for Season 3, but Apophis in turn replaced him after his death at SG-1's hands, taking over Sokar's massive fleet, and would hold the role until the start of Season 5 where he was finally Killed Off for Real.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: While on Netu, he has a hidden wrist-mounted blade with which he intends to kill Sokar. He doesn't succeed, but does manage to take out Sokar's guards using it.
- Bling of War: His golden Jaffa armor. He ditches it after he escapes from Netu.
- Break the Haughty: He spends an episode dying in the SGC's infirmary after his forces are nearly wiped out by Sokar and he crashes into a planet the team just happen to be visiting. Later subverted when he's handed over to Sokar, who promptly has him resurrected and spends months subjecting him to horrendous torture; he comes out the other side more arrogant than ever, and practically takes over hell.
- The Cameo: If SG-1 end up in an alternate reality/timeline, it's a good bet he'll show up somewhere, even if it's only for a few minutes.
- Comically Missing the Point
Apophis: O'Neill. I am dying.
O'Neill: My heart bleeds for you.
Apophis: You lie poorly.
- Cool Mask: Prior to his capture by Sokar was occasionally seen in a golden version of his forces' Serpent Guard armour, including the retractable helm.
- Cool Starship: After taking over Sokar's empire his new flagship is a much larger and deadlier version of the normal Goa'uld pyramid ship.
- Death Is Cheap: He passes away on Earth after Sokar's torture and the rapid aging of his body prove too much for him - however, when Sokar retrieves the body he has Apophis resurrected in a Sarcophagus before subjecting him to even more torture (Jacob even lampshades this is likely to happen). After his return to power it takes having his ship slammed into a planet to get rid of him for good.
- Decomposite Character: In the myths, Apophis is another name for the deity Apep, but Apep is eventually revealed to be an entirely different Goa'uld.
- Defector from Decadence: Pre-eminent among the System Lords until his attack on Earth leads to his forces being weakened to such an extent he's captured by Sokar and sent to Netu. Once he returns and takes over Sokar's forces, his new massive fleet and army ensure he has enough of a power base to operate outside the System Lords and become more powerful than any of them.
- Determinator: One has to hand it to him - he suffered a Humiliation Conga (including the loss of his empire, his queen, Cold-Blooded Torture and actually dying at Sokar's hands) that would have broken lesser villains, and through sheer tenacity and taking advantage of events managed to not only survive all that but come back as a significantly greater threat than before.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He really seems to care for Amaunet (even desperately calling out for her while dying in "Serpent's Song") and his offspring Klorel (Apophis actually halts his attack on Earth so he can resurrect Klorel in a sarcophagus). Subverted with Ra and Heru'ur, his own brother and nephew respectively (the latter of whom he ends up killing), and presumably also with Shifu, who he conceived for with the sole intention of having him as a future host.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Is utterly uncomprehending when O'Neill rejects his offer of all the knowledge of the Goa'uld in return for a new host. O'Neill even lampshades it, mockingly telling Apophis it's because SG-1 are the good guys.
- Facial Horror: When he turns up on Netu in "Jolinar's Memories" the right side of his face is a mass of scar tissue partially covered by a metal plate. He evidently had some reconstructive surgery done between "The Devil You Know" and his next appearance in "The Serpent's Venom" (shown).
- Hero Killer: In "The Nox", he singlehandedly kills O'Neill, Daniel and Carter in moments without breaking a sweat. They get better.
- Immortals Fear Death: Played straight when he's dying in the SGC and tearfully admits that he's afraid. The team later use the footage of this to convince some of his followers that he's not really a god.
- It's Personal: He hates the entire team, but it's definitely personal when it comes to "the shol'va", thanks to Teal'c's defection in the pilot. Needless to say, this goes both ways.
- Kill and Replace: Not in the usual sense of this trope, as Apophis never masquerades as Sokar - but he does adopt a visual style and appearance featuring Sokar's distinctive crimson everywhere and notably doesn't try to change the look of Sokar's forces back to his own. The implication seems to be that he's not changed anything so he can establish a continuity between rulers, including Sokar's mantle of lord of Hell, more easily.
- Like Father, Like Son: Has an offspring called Klorel he genuinely cares about and tries to make into a successful warlord like himself - which backfires spectacularly during his attack on Earth when SG-1 and Bra'tac continually exploit their bond to ruin his plans.
- Manipulative Bastard: Amongst other things, he was able to brainwash Rya'c and later Teal'c fairly easily.
- Mars Needs Women: Captured Sha're to serve as a host for his queen Amaunet.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Sends Teal'c to kill a follower who had failed him, and congratulated him when he returned with the Jaffa's crushed symbiote - except Teal'c had actually spared the guy and taken the symbiote of another dead Jaffa. Apophis' falling for the ruse confirmed to Teal'c he (and the Goa'uld) were Not So Omniscient After All and would eventually led to his joining SG-1.
- Not Quite Dead: Escaped what seemed like certain death so many times, that even after he was finally slammed into a planet at superluminal speeds, Jack O'Neill was "100 percent certain ... 99 percent certain that Apophis is dead."
- Not So Above It All: When he takes over SG-1's Ha'tak (formerly Cronus') the first thing he does is criticize the decor - especially the throne.
- Off with His Head!: How Ba'al kills him in "Continuum", slicing off the top of his head and letting the bisected symbiote spill out.
- Oh, Crap!:
- When the humans actually manage to kill a few of his Serpent Guards in "Children of the Gods", he has a major look of this on his face, seemingly realising he's encountered a race advanced enough to fight back.
- When a swarm of Replicators turns up out of nowhere in his ship's throne room. His final death follows not long after.
- Opportunistic Bastard: When he captures SG-1 on Netu and manages to gain an audience with Sokar, his plan to kill him fails - but thanks to having enough presence of mind to escape Sokar's ship as SG-1 and the Tok'ra blow up Netu and kill the devil Goa'uld, he winds up in the perfect position to take over Sokar's forces and become a much greater threat than before.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Unlike most of the other System Lords, Apophis wasn't afraid to lead from the front, and was willing to fight alongside his Jaffa on a few occasions. His original outfit was a more decorated version of Jaffa combat armor, in contrast to the dress robes worn by most other Goa'uld.
- The Starscream: After his forces are depleted and he ends up as Sokar's prisoner, he rises to power as an underlord on Netu and proposes being allowed to rule Netu for Sokar before turning on him and absorbing his armies.
- Taking You with Me: Admits when he's dying as a prisoner of the Tau'ri the reason he asked for sanctuary among them is so he'll at least have the small pleasure of Sokar annihilating them too.
- Torture Technician: In "The Devil You Know" he has all of SG-1 and Martouf/Lantash tortured and mind raped for information.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His visit to Earth to acquire hosts in the pilot alerts the US military to there being a much larger threat in the galaxy - setting off a chain of events that sees him dead and the Goa'uld Empire collapsed.
- Villain Ball: Zigzagged: early on he was as prone to megalomaniacal stupidity as any other Goa'uld, continually underestimating SG-1 and Earth in general (his assault on Earth was a particular disaster). After his return and taking over Sokar's forces he's as arrogant as ever, but avoids some of the pitfalls that tripped him and other System Lords up earlier. He outwits Heru'ur, bringing a cloaked fleet to their negotiation when he thinks the latter has betrayed him, and immediately refuses SG-1's offer of an Enemy Mine when their latest attempt to kill him results in both parties being stranded in deep space, opting instead to blast their ship apart on the spot (though he's stopped by the Replicators).
- We Have Reserves: When his ship is besieged by the Replicators, he sends several of his Jaffa to die in trying to hold them off while he tries to escape.
Played By: Cliff Simon
A Goa'uld System Lord introduced about halfway through the series total run. Although he never became the Big Bad, he was a consistent secondary villain, often opposing both SG-1 as well as the series current Big Bad, making him something of the series Starscream. Like Starscream in Transformers Animated, he even created a small army of clones of himself in order to cheat death and be in several places at once.
Although power-hungry, Ba'al was somewhat subtler and more reasonable than the standard "megalomaniacally melodramatic" Goa'uld villains. He also seemed to have a better understanding of human nature than was typical of the Goa'uld, including having an ironic sense of humor, and eventually even speaking in a normal voice instead of the Goa'uld's Scary Echo Speak.
- Ascended Extra: Was introduced amidst a bevy of System Lords in "Summit". He was such a great character that they brought him back as a recurring character, and ultimately became the last System Lord to fall.
- Affably Evil: Played with. He's undoubtedly charming, charismatic and very much a practitioner of Pragmatic Villainy - but at the end of the day he's a System Lord, with all the viciousness and Chronic Backstabbing Disorder that implies, frequently leading him to come across as more Faux Affably Evil.
- Arch-Enemy: O'Neill hates him more than any other Goa'uld for torturing him endlessly, though he's subtle about it. Ba'al seems to despise O'Neill in turn.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: When he's undercover on Earth posing as the CEO of some corporation.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: A ton with Adria, despite their relatively limited interaction. Similar in many ways to the tension between Mal and Inara in Firefly, and thus possibly a deliberate reference. Gets a little strange, complicated, and maybe a little squicky when Ba'al implants himself (a clone Goa'uld) into Adria in an effort to take control of the Ori forces in the Milky Way. It works, for a while.
- Big Bad Wannabe: Despite his prominence as a villain he never actually makes the jump to Big Bad, as for most of his early appearances he's either one of a bevy of System Lords or The Dragon for Anubis. He only attains prominence as the main Goa'uld antagonist in Seasons 9 and 10, where the Ori emerged as a far greater threat and overshadowed Ba'al's scheming. In Stargate Continuum he sort of shares Big Bad status with Qetesh: She's the Big Bad of the Alternate Timeline after she kills him, but he was the one who started the whole thing and ends up being the final boss for Mitchell.
- Breakout Villain: Initially just one of many similarly evil and backstabbing System Lords in his first appearances, a combination of Cliff Simon's charismatic performance being a hit with fans and the writers' desire for a Goa'uld villain different from the norm led to Ba'al repeatedly returning and gradually taking on a larger role in later seasons, eventually ending up as the last surviving Goa'uld threat in Continuum.
- Brick Joke: A rather dark Continuity Nod. In "Abyss," he repeatedly tortures O'Neill to death, often using knives. Fast-forward to "The Quest", when he has to relinquish a posession, they tell him to drop in his knife, which he at first refuses, claiming it has... "sentimental value."
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: For a System Lord, particularly after his time on Earth resulted in him Going Native.
- The Chew Toy: In "The Quest", when he tags along with the team (and Adria) to find the Sangraal and undergoes something of a Humiliation Conga that includes having his vocal cords frozen by Merlin, getting punched in the face by Carter and finally getting shot by a random Ori Mook. Since it's Ba'al, the entire team finds his misfortune pretty hilarious.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Betrays pretty much everybody he ever allies himself with, only to fall victim to it himself in Continuum when he makes the mistake of trusting Qetesh.
- Crazy Enough to Work: All of Ba'al's plans are ludicrously audacious, which is a big part of why they generally succeed. It's a testament both to his skill and the sheer, unmitigated gall of his plans that he manages to outlive all the other villains on the show, lasting five seasons and one movie.
- Deadpan Snarker: He's the only Goa'uld shown to have a sense of humor and can engage in Snark-to-Snark Combat with the heroes when he wants to.
- Death Is Cheap: After he became a series of clones rather than an individual character, it kind of became a running joke to have him killed repeatedly (often within the same episode), only to have him be back for more a few episodes later. Defied eventually in Continuum, where the last of the clones is executed by the Tok'ra (while saving the host) and the real deal is killed by Mitchell when he eventually prevents the plot's time-travel shenanigans.
- Emperor Scientist: Is a genius in his own right, and definitely has ambitions to rule the galaxy (which he almost managed in the aftermath of Anubis' defeat, but before the arrival of the Replicators, and in the alternate timeline of Continuum). A brilliant computer scientist, he understands the Gate system and the Ancient's incredibly complex, elegant dialing program better even that Samantha Carter. He also managed to clone himself many times over, increasing his power manyfold, managed to steal Asgard beaming technology from Anubis (who stole it from Thor), took control of the invincible Kull warriors from Anubis, defeated the Replicators (SG-1 couldn't have wiped them out without his dialing program, though Nerus may have had a hand in that), managed to crack quick and easy time travel (a feat even the Ancients struggled with), the list goes on.
- Enemy Mine: Ba'al is more than willing to work with SG-1 whenever there's a greater threat that needs to be dealt with. After all, he doesn't want someone else taking over the galaxy.
- Evil Versus Evil: Helped SG-1 enact their plan to use the Dakara superweapon to destroy the Replicators after realising how much of a threat they were, and some of his later plans after the fall of the System Lords were geared towards contesting the Ori invasion of the Milky Way.
- Final Boss: Ultimately, he's the final opponent that SG-1 faces in a Big Bad Duumvirate with Qetest during Stargate Continuum. With his death at the end of the film, the Goa'uld System Lords are no more.
- A God, I Am Not: Very pointedly evoked compared to the other Goa'uld in the series. After the fall of the System Lords, he freely admits that he, and all the other Goa'uld, are not Gods and speaks dismissively of fallen Goa'uld who believed their own hype.
- Going Native:
- In Season 9, he spends some time hiding on Earth and afterwards started to incorporate into his schemes ideas he got from past missions of the SGC. He also started using the human voice and, in Stargate Continuum, he called the president with a cell phone to discuss a "peaceful" solution. (The other Goa'ulds thought he went insane because he didn't use the traditional "blast them back to the Stone Age" solution.)
- He also starts to dress in Earth fashions by the end of the series, and even implies in Continuum that the reason he never bothered to invade Earth was simply because he's become rather fond of it, recognising that Earth is far more valuable an asset if it remains as it is.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Qetesh kills him in Continuum by slicing him in half vertically from the chest up.
- Hijacked by Ganon: Looked to be the new Big Bad (or at least part of a Big Bad Ensemble with the Replicators) for season 8, seizing command of the Kull Warriors and systematically decimating the other System Lords - then it turned out late in the season that he's been working for the thought-vanquished Anubis all along.
- Informed Attribute: When he's introduced in "Summit" he's made out to be the typical bloodthirsty Goa'uld: "Gifts from Ba'al have a habit of exploding," as Daniel puts it to Lord Yu. When he's adapted into a Recurring Character, he's turned into a far smarter and more subtle character.
- Insufferable Genius or Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Depending on the episode.
- Karma Houdini: For most of the series he escapes justice, although his plans often fail. Ultimately subverted when he's executed by the Tok'ra in Continuum.
- Killed Off for Real: In Stargate Continuum. The last of Ba'al's clones is executed by the Tok'ra, and the original Ba'al is shot by Mitchell.
- Last of His Kind: He's the last System Lord standing after Replicarter massacres the rest at the end of season 8. Technically his former master, Anubis, is still out there as well, but the chances of him getting released again are next to nil.
- Love Makes You Dumb: Maybe not love per se, but his infatuation with Qetesh becomes his undoing when he decides to make her his queen in the alternate universe of Continuum despite the fact that she really can't be trusted.
- Near-Villain Victory: In Continuum. Technically his plan does succeed, he just doesn't anticipate Mitchell, Carter and Daniel somehow avoiding the ripple effect and managing to Set Right What Once Went Wrong.
- Oh, Crap!:
- When O'Neill cheerfully shreds his offer of an Enemy Mine against the Replicators and essentially throws him to the wolves.
- In the next episode as well, when Anubis makes clear to him his ultimate plan will kill Ba'al and everything else in the galaxy.
- Only Sane Man: The only major System Lord who isn't a short-tempered, petty, borderline Ax-Crazy megalomaniac. Well, he is a megalomaniac, but he's got enough marbles left to see how the traditional Goa'uld lifestyle is doomed once the Tau'ri show up on the scene. And enough smarts and patience to shift to a long game.
- OOC Is Serious Business: His usual combination of Faux Affably Evil and Smug Snake mean he's usually calm and almost jovial, but watch how openly livid - tightened jaw, twitches and all - he gets when O'Neill first makes him near-beg for an alliance against the Replicators, then turns it down in favour of watching them annihilate him.
- Opportunistic Bastard: He's initially introduced as just another petty System Lord without a great deal of power, but he takes advantage of the conditions surrounding Anubis's rise to power to build himself quite the formidable empire that stays standing even after the other System Lords have been wiped off the map.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Quite the misogynist, making several sexist comments toward Carter throughout the series. It eventually gets him punched in the face.
- Power Parasite: Attempted to control Adria, and briefly succeeded until the intervention of SG-1.
- Pragmatic Villainy:
- The moment that establishes him as one is Jack's torture scene. When Jack begins to crack, and answers just one question, Ba'al immediately stops the session, gives him painkillers, and (for a moment) sends him back to his cell. When other Goa'uld would continue the torture out of sheer sadism, Ba'al values incentivising his prisoners to keep answering questions, and genuinely will stop torturing them.
- He also, unlike most Goa'uld, actually seems to understand that the "A God Am I" act is just an act, propaganda to intimidate the ignorant into obedience. As a result, he doesn't allow indignant outrage at the notion of mere humans daring to oppose him get in the way of carrying out his plans.
- Ba'al wants to win, but win long term. Stargate Continuum shows that ultimately we would've loved him as our ruler, and he would've kept Earth safe, being probably a safer and better world if he won, except for the whole God-Emperor thing... He's also shown to be on the level about giving Teal'c the Free Jaffa homeland he so desires. As he was previously established as not giving a fig about the Jaffa, it's likely so he can keep Teal'c's martial and leadership abilities firmly on his side.
- Refuge in Audacity: The main reason he gets away with some of his plans, in particular his Wounded Gazelle Gambit with his clones taking over the SGC.
- The Remnant: The last of the System Lords by season 9, and retains enough of his old power in some episodes to serve as this for the Goa'uld as a whole, still having at least one mothership and a good amount of Jaffa still serving him
- Send in the Clones: Starts cloning himself in Season Nine, which leads to amusing circumstances where he gets killed multiple times in the same episode.
- Somebody Set Up Us the Bomb: Apparently has a reputation for this among his enemies. In his introductory scene, Daniel states that gifts from him "have a habit of exploding".
- The Starscream: Specifically was this to Anubis, reluctantly working with Stargate Command and the To'kra to stop him wiping out all life in the galaxy.
- Torture Technician: Repeatedly tortured O'Neill to death. He doesn't just employ the usual Goa'uld methods either; no, Ba'al gets creative, using knives and acid to get the job done until the ever-irreverent, ex-Special Forces O'Neill is begging for death as an alternative.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: In "Continuum" his failure to predict Qetesh's treachery undoes his attempts to peacefully deal with Earth, leading to a full-scale Goa'uld invasion.
- Villain Decay: Looks to be the Big Bad for season 8, but then it turns out he'd been Hijacked by Ganon and was working for Anubis all along. He returned to plague the team repeatedly in seasons 9 and 10, but was generally a much lesser problem than the Ori. Subverted at the end, when he managed to possess Adria, and comes roaring back as the main threat in "Continuum".
- Who's on First?: Gets a couple of these from SG-1.
- Even held prisoner and tortured, Jack O'Neill couldn't resist.
Ba'al: I am Ba'al.
Jack: That's it? Just "ball"? As in boccie?
- After he starts cloning himself in season 9, Cam Mitchell drops this gem:
"We've got a full count, Sergeant. Two strikes, three Ba'als."
- Worthy Opponent: While he's far too pragmatic to let something like honor get in the way of a chance to take out SG-1, it's clear that he holds at least some degree of respect for them.
Played By: Suanne Braun
A Goa'uld queen who was discovered sealed inside her sarcophagus in a Mayan temple on Earth halfway through the first season. Upon being freed, she immediately headed to the SGC and tried to take it over as her base of operations; that plan was thwarted by Carter and Fraiser, but she showed up again a season later and tried to turn O'Neill into a host before she was finally killed in the season 3 premiere.
As a queen, Hathor was able to spawn larvae and initially used a mind-controlling substance that caused any male to lust after her and do her bidding. She was also shown to be capable of turning humans into Jaffa, an ability that has not been demonstrated by any other Goa'uld since.
- Adaptational Modesty: Of a sort. If concept art of her debut episode is to be believed, her initial under-dress outfit was intended to be far more revealing than what the show ultimately went with.
- Baddie Flattery: She calls Carter an "exceedingly beautiful woman" when they first meet.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: When she first shows up, she claims that My Species Doth Protest Too Much, but while she does want to overthrow the System Lords, it's only so she can get to work on rebuilding her own empire and it doesn't take long for her to show her true colors. Carter sees through it from the get-go, but unfortunately the men are all taken in due to her working her pheromones on them.
- Complexity Addiction: Her grand plan when she returns in the Season 2 finale involves building a detailed mock-up of the SGC, capturing the human members of the team and cryogenically freezing them before leading them to believe that eighty years have passed and using memory recall devices on them to find out what they know. Surely it would have been easier to just put a symbiote in one of them, especially since that's what she ends up doing anyway.
- Disney Villain Death: She doesn't actually die onscreen, we just see her falling to her death after O'Neill pushes her.
- Early Installment Weirdness: In addition to the above-mentioned turning humans into Jaffa, the details of Goa'uld reproduction as established in her first appearance were later retconned, presumably to avoid the Squick and consent issues, and in later episodes the queens are shown to spawn asexually.
- Evil Redhead: Has bright red hair for some reason, despite the fact she's supposed to be impersonating an Ancient Egyptian deity.
- Filler Villain: Despite being the Final Boss for season 2, she only appears in three episodes and doesn't have enough of an impact on the plot to qualify with as a true Big Bad or even an Arc Villain.
- Invisibility Cloak: She uses one to escape through the Stargate ater her initial plans unravel, and again in the Season 2 finale.
- Kill It with Ice: O'Neill eventually kills her by shoving her into a vat of liquid nitrogen.
- Living Aphrodisiac: In her first episode, she all but takes over the SGC using some unknown cocktail of pheromones to turn all the men into mindless, lust-addled slaves, leaving it up to Carter, Fraiser and a handful of female airmen and Marines (and Teal'c, who's immune) to take her down.
- Locked Out of the Loop: As a result of being sealed in a sarcophagus for 4000 years, she has no idea what the state of play among the System Lords is and intends to use the team to bring her up to speed before she makes her grab for power.
- Monster Progenitor: As a queen, she's one of the few Goa'uld capable of producing offspring, and calls herself "Mother of All Pharaohs".
- Royal "We": She always refers to herself in plural first person for some reason. Though, when you think about it, she is technically two beings (the host and the symbiote).
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Spent several millennia sealed inside her own sarcophagus, and likely would have stayed there if some hapless archaeologist hadn't decided to open it.
- Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll: Impersonates the Egyptian goddess of "fertility, inebriety and music", or as O'Neill puts it...
- Stalker with a Test Tube: She rapes Daniel in order to obtain his "code of life" for the creation of her larvae.
- Unholy Matrimony: She was the mate (and possibly also the daughter) of Ra. She's thrilled when she hears that he's dead, and "rewards" Jack and Daniel for killing him by turning them into her First Prime and her sex slave, respectively.
- Villainous Legacy: A rare positive variant: her death convinces the System Lords that Earth is a threat and is to be dealt with. However, the Asgard mediate to offer Earth a place in the Protected Planets Treaty and thanks to a bout of Chronic Backstabbing Disorder by Nirrti Earth ends up safe from Goa'uld attack until the reign of Anubis.
Played By: Douglas H. Arthurs
First Appearance:"Thor's Chariot"
The son of Ra and Hathor, Heru'ur was a particularly militaristic Goa'uld whom Teal'c described as a conqueror. Despite this impressive lineage and reputation, however, he never had much of an impact on the plot, and was killed by Apophis after the team sabotaged an attempted alliance between them. This turned out not to be a good thing, as it led to Apophis absorbing his fleets and becoming more powerful than ever.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Like his uncle Apophis (and very much unlike his father Ra) he's seen taking to the battlefield alongside his Jaffa.
- Bald of Evil: He's very bald and has a reputation for extreme ruthlessness, even among the Goa'uld.
- Big Bad Wannabe: Introduced as being ruthless and despotic even for a Goa'uld, but his main achievements in the series were fleeing for his life from Thor and getting killed by Apophis.
- Cool Mask: Sports a golden version of the Horus Guard masks seen in the original film.
- Evil Versus Evil: Versus Apophis, after the team turn them against each other.
- Impaled Palm: Thanks to O'Neill throwing a knife through his personal shield to disable his hand device.
- Informed Ability: Despite the fact that he has a reputation for bloodthirstiness and Teal'c says that he's feared even by other Goa'uld, he never gets to do anything particularly impressive onscreen.
- It Only Works Once: in his first appearance, he relies on the same energy field Apophis used in "The Nox" to deflect SG-1's gunfire. Jack, already having gone through this before, thwarts him by throwing a knife through it and impaling his kara kesh before he can use it.
- Killed Offscreen: When Apophis blows his ship up.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: His arrival on Abydos to search for the Harcesis as Sha're is giving birth provides the perfect cover story, allowing Daniel and Teal'c to send Apophis on a wild goose chase by blaming him for stealing the child, who they actually send into hiding with Kasuf.
- Oh, Crap!: When he sees Apophis' fleet suddenly uncloak right in front of him and realises that Apophis has the means to blow him out of space despite the minefield.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Even more than Apophis, he has a tendency to fight on the frontlines with his troops and usually wears armor in place of the flouncy robes favored by other Goa'uld.
- Villain: Exit, Stage Left: He makes a pretty hasty getaway when Thor shows up in the Beliskner and proceeds to Curb Stomp his forces.
- The Worf Effect: Introduced as a ruthless foe, feared by even other Goa'uld - but his main purpose in his appearances is to get easily beaten to show the power of others, both good (Thor) and bad (the returned Apophis).
Played By: Ron Halder
First Appearance:"Fair Game"
One of three ambassadors sent to Earth along with Yu and Nirrti early in Season 3 to discuss whether Earth should be included in the Goa'uld-Asgard protected planets treaty. Cronus was especially loathed by Teal'c for killing his father — who was Cronus's First Prime — prior to the events of the series. He later captured the team only to find out that it was actually their robot doubles, and ultimately got killed by robot!Teal'c, after which the real team decided to commandeer his Cool Starship.
- Ambadassador: First appears as part of a team of ambassadors but is still as powerful and dangerous as other System Lords.
- Arch-Enemy: Apparently Apophis was this to him, which becomes important in the backstory - Teal'c vowed to become Apophis' First Prime, as it offered him the greatest chance of striking back at his father's killer.
- Back for the Finale: He's one of a handful of former System Lords who show up as Ba'al's lieutenants in the altered timeline of Continuum.
- I Warned You: He warns the team at the end of "Fair Game" that, though Earth might be protected by the Asgard, he won't be kind to them should they decide to stray into his territory. He later reminds them of this when he captures them the following season, but since the team he's captured are actually the robots they obviously have no idea what he's talking about.
- If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten!: He instructs one of his followers to execute robot!Daniel in order to prove his loyalty.
- In the Back: Robot!Teal'c shoots him in the back just as he's about to kill the real Teal'c.
- Not So Omniscient After All: The first indication he gets that the team are actually robots is when robot!Daniel's head comes off and the inner wiring is exposed. It's a little difficult to continue claiming to be all-knowing when you can't seem to pick your jaw up off the floor.
- You Have Failed Me: In the backstory, he executes Teal'c's father in the most painful way possible for a Jaffa note crushing the larval symbiote and allowing its blood to mingle with that of the Jaffa, which causes an agonizingly slow death for retreating from an unwinnable battle.
- You Kill It, You Bought It: The team claim his ship after his death, despite the fact that they didn't technically kill him. It gets blown up two episodes later.
- You Killed My Father: Teal'c harbors a particular grudge against him because of this.
Played By: Jacqueline Samuda
First Appearance:"Fair Game"
First introduced along with Yu and Cronus as one of three Goa'uld ambassadors sent to Earth at the beginning of season 3, though she was mentioned as early as the first season as being responsible for the plot to use Cassandra Fraiser as a Trojan Horse with which to destroy Earth. She was later exiled by the System Lords for performing unsanctioned experiments and attempting to sabotage the negotiations with Earth, and became a prisoner of Cronus until his death the following season. One of the few Goa'uld scientists, Nirrti had a particular interest in genetics and was obsessed by the idea of creating an advanced human to use as a host, which eventually bit her on the ass when she ended up getting killed by some of the people she'd been experimenting on.
- Ambadassador: First appears as part of a team of ambassadors but is still as powerful and dangerous as the other System Lords.
- Back for the Finale: She's one of a handful of former System Lords who show up as Ba'al's lieutenants in the altered timeline of Continuum.
- Evil Is Sexy: Wears very opulent dresses that show quite a bit of skin, and wears them well. She even tries to seduce Jonas Quinn at one point, though he's not interested.
- Evilutionary Biologist: She has a habit of experimenting on humans in her quest to create the perfect genetically-engineered host, which frequently has nasty side-effects for her subjects.
- The Exile: The other System Lords kick her out after they find out she's been experimenting with phase-shifting technology without mentioning it to anyone, and she remains a rogue operative for the rest of her time on the series.
- Frame-Up: She attempts to sabotage the negotiations to place Earth under the Protected Planets Treaty by attacking Cronus and framing Teal'c.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: She eventually killed by her own experiments after they find out that she's not really a god and that, rather than "helping" them as she claims, she's responsible for turning them into horribly disfigured mutants.
- I Warned You: When she captures the team in "Metamorphosis", O'Neill reminds her that when the SGC had her prisoner they let her go in exchange for her saving Cassandra's life... to which she reminds him that she told him at the time she wouldn't have done the same thing in his position.
- Invisibility Cloak: She has a wrist-worn device that allows her to become invisible at will, which lets her snoop around the SGC undetected on at least two different occasions.
- Mad Scientist: She's known amongst the Goa'uld for being particularly fond of biowarfare, which includes everything from wiping out planets with engineered viruses to implanting a child with a bio-organic bomb.
- Neck Snap: Her death combines this with Psychic Strangle.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Her attempt to sabotage the negotiations in "Fair Game" result in Earth getting a better deal than they would have done, since Yu was initially going to insist that they give up the Stargate(s) before her intervention.
- Power Parasite: It's her goal to engineer a superpowered host so that she can benefit from those powers secondhand.
- We Can Rule Together: She makes this offer to Jonas after she puts him in her gene sequencing machine and realizes that he's further along the evolutionary path than most humans. He turns her down.
- Would Hurt a Child: The first time she's mentioned it's in the context of her planting a bomb inside a twelve-year-old girl.
Played By: Vince Crestejo
First Appearance:"Fair Game"
The eldest of the Goa'uld System Lords. Yu was introduced in the third season when he came to Earth as a Goa'uld ambassador alongside Cronus and Nirrti. Though never a Big Bad, he is noteworthy for being one of the longest-running Stargate villains and for his unusual personality among the Goa'uld.
Yu was a pragmatic villain: untrustworthy, but more practical than most System Lords. He cooperated with the Tau'ri when it benefited him and followed a personal code of honor. However, by the seventh season, old age was catching up to him. He became increasingly senile and his Immortality Inducer was beginning to lose its effect on him. Ultimately, Replicator Carter killed him in season eight.
- A God Am I: Downplayed. He seems to believe in his godhood, but rarely asserts it until his senility starts kicking in, and on Earth he assumed the role of an emperor instead of a god.
- Ambadassador: First appears as part of a team of ambassadors but is still as powerful and dangerous as the other System Lords. Later forms a similar delegation with Camulus and Amaterasu. Generally, he is more willing than most other Goa'uld to negotiate when he has to.
- Back for the Finale: He's one of a handful of former System Lords who show up as Ba'al's lieutenants in the altered timeline of Continuum.
- Beard of Evil: His long goatee makes him look all the more sinister.
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: He was one of China's earliest emperors, Yu the Great. According to the RPG and the EU novel Four Dragons, his First Prime Oshu is the last of a line of clones of Sun Tzu, who was a member of Yu's royal guard.
- Composite Character: He has been referred to as both Yu the Great and the Jade Emperor, separate figures in Chinese mythology. Though he could have posed as both figures at different times, which makes sense, considering that Yu the Great was supposed to be a mortal human.
- Determinator: It's mentioned several times that he refuses to give up in fighting Anubis despite massive losses and the other System Lords abandoning him to side with Anubis.
- Dragon-in-Chief: Due to his mind failing, his First Prime, Oshu, ended up basically running Yu's domain for him. Unlike most examples, he stayed loyal to his master right up to the part where RepliCarter killed them both.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: After several seasons as a recurring antagonist, he's killed off very abruptly in the first five minutes of "Reckoning" when Replicarter decides to attack the System Lords. Most of the Goa'uld other than Ba'al quickly get wiped out in the same episode.
- Enemy Mine: When it suits his goals, he cooperates with the SGC, such as when both parties turn their attacks against Anubis.
- Evil Old Folks: The oldest System Lord - and despite his bouts of Pragmatic Villainy he's still a vicious old conqueror upholding an order that has seen billions of humans and Jaffa enslaved.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: RepliCarter runs him through with her arm-blade.
- A Lighter Shade of Black: Lampshaded in-universe by Daniel Jackson when Elizabeth Weir briefly took over Stargate Command. Daniel points out that while he's still a Goa'uld, and does nasty things, in addition to going senile, he is still, by far, the most reasonable and benevolent of the bunch, but that's not saying much.
- Noble Demon: As the most honorable of the System Lords, Yu generally keeps his promises and has made several positive influences on Earth during his reign. He also lets Teal'c go in "The Warrior". Unfortunately, when he begins to go senile, he can no longer be trusted to keep his promises because he doesn't always remember making them.
- Only Sane Man: Of the System Lords, before his senility begins to set in. Notably, he's the only one who votes against letting Anubis back into the fold.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Unlike other Goa'uld, he's more concerned with strengthening his own domain than wasting resources for galactic domination. According to Daniel Jackson, Yu cannot be trusted, only counted on to make a practical decision. Daniel also noted during Yu's first appearance that, though a tyrant, he was responsible for a number of positive influences on humanity.
- Probably his biggest moment of this comes in "Warrior", where he informs Teal'c of K'tano's true identity and allows him to go free after capturing him not out of the goodness of his heart, but because he fully expects Teal'c to kill K'tano (actually the minor Goa'uld Imhotep) for him, and his mothership is already on the way to attack the Jaffa Rebellion's base planet.
- Sadly Mythtaken: In his first appearance he's said to have been the early Chinese emperor Yu the Great, but later episodes conflate this Yu with Yu-Huang Shang Ti the Jade Emperor, the Chinese Top God. It's possible he played both roles at different times.
- Sanity Slippage: He grows increasingly unstable and irrational in his later appearances due to his advancing age and the sarcophagus no longer having an effect.
- Who's on First?: His name is the subject of so many "Yu"/"You" puns that the cast actually put a moratorium on them.
Daniel Jackson: Don't. Every joke, every pun, done to death. Seriously.
Played By: Steve Bacic
First Appearance:"New Order, Part 1"
A System Lord who debuted in the first episode of season eight following the downfall of Anubis and the rise of Ba'al. Coming to Earth as an ambassador along with Yu and Amaterasu, he ends up taking asylum on Earth for a while. He was apparently killed by Ba'al sometime after his release.
- Ambadassador: In his debut, he leads a three-member delegation of ambassadors to Earth, along with Yu and Amaterasu. He's still pretty badass, though. At one point, he sets up a trap that could have destroyed Earth if one of the SGC's scientists hadn't discovered it in time.
- Back for the Finale: He's one of a handful of former System Lords who show up as Ba'al's lieutenants in the altered timeline of Continuum.
- Enemy Mine: Dr. Weir offers to release him on the grounds that they'd all be better off if he were off fighting their common enemy Ba'al. Camulus returns the offer by saying that, since his forces were wiped out, he might be of some use to the Tau'ri if he stayed.
- Killed Offscreen: Well after he leaves Earth in the episode "Zero Hour", Daniel reveals that Camulus is dead, but it was never seen happening.
- Pragmatic Villainy: He decides to stay in asylum on Earth for a while. Not because he likes it on Earth, not because he thinks he deserves asylym, but because, with his own forces gone, there's nothing to keep his enemies from attacking him.
- Seeking Sanctuary: Camulus asks to be granted asylum on Earth as his forces have been decimated by Ba'al.
- Somebody Set Up Us the Bomb: The ZPM Camulus leads the SGC to is rigged to explode when an electrical charge is introduced. Carter later estimates that if plugged into the Ancient outpost in Antarctica, it could explode with enough force to destroy the entire solar system.
- War God: Impersonates and takes the name of a Celtic god of war.
"I'm not such a bad guy.I just know what I like, and I'm willing to kill everyone and everything to get it."
Played By: David Palffy, George Dzundza
Replaced Apophis as the series main Big Bad upon the latter's death in Season 5. Initially introduced as a mysterious new Goa'uld who launched attacks against all major galactic power-players (including the other Goa'uld and also the Earth), and was able to gain power rapidly due to possessing technology significantly more advanced than anyone else's, eventually becoming the most powerful power bloc in the galaxy. He was eventually revealed to be an evil energy being, having Ascended and gained scientific knowledge on par with that of the Ancients. He was smarter and eviler than the series' other Goa'uld villains, yet at the same time was also significantly more melodramatic, drawing comparisons to Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine even amongst the show's own characters. He differs from other Goa'uld in that he doesn't simply want to be the supreme ruler of the galaxy; his goal is to annihilate all life in it.
He was opposed by an alliance of all other galactic power blocs (including the Earth and the Goa'uld), and ultimately was defeated in a massive finale that also saw the destruction of both the Replicators and the System Lords, thus ending the original Stargate SG-1 series (making way for the Post-Script Season involving the Ori plot arc).
- A God Am I: Zigzagged: he's initially much less prone to flaunting it than other Goa'uld, indicating that he recognises the limits of his species' claim to divinity (not surprising, as he's partially Ascended, and as such is fully aware of actual God-like Ascended beings). He only really claims to be a god when he's trying to intimidate the Tau'ri and notably admits to his First Prime that Daniel's defeat was not his doing. Played straight towards the end of his appearances when he's on the verge of victory, bragging to Ba'al all is proceeding according to his grand design and hinting that after exterminating all life in the galaxy he planned to start over and actually become a God to his new creations.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: He managed to ascend, then was chucked halfway back down to the lower planes.
- Bad Samaritan: Jim seems awfully friendly, but he's actually the ascended half of Anubis. This should have been evident from the fact that he's the only "Ancient" to interact with Daniel in the cafe.
- Batman Gambit:
- When confronted by the ascended Daniel as he prepares to annihilate Abydos, he practically dares him to strike him down, knowing full well the other Ancients will intervene to stop the former SG-1 member.
- When the Rebel Jaffa marshal in force to claim the Dakara Superweapon, he actually subtly encourages it on the basis that he'd never be able to get them all out in the open to crush otherwise.
- Big Bad: Season 5 saw a power vacuum develop among the System Lords following the deaths of Sokar, Heru'ur, Cronus and Apophis in quick succession due to Tau'ri and Tok'ra actions. As the remaining System Lords jockeyed for position, a new mystery Goa'uld started hitting them hard, also finding time to flatten Tollana. The "Summit"/"Last Stand" two-parter revealed that the Goa'uld in question wasn't so new. Anubis remained the Big Bad through season 8's "Threads".
- Big Bad Ensemble: He shares the role with the Replicators (specifically Replicarter) in season 8, with both jockeying to use the Dakara Superweapon to facilitate their plans.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He's surprisingly good at hiding the fact he's probably the worst Goa'uld in the series when he wants to - he was able to con Oma into believing he was benevolent long enough for her to help him try to ascend, is remarkably polite to Thor while describing his imminent torture, manages to masquerade as a Russian officer for a while without raising suspicion, and, as Jim in "Threads", is both friendly and chatty with Daniel before he works out who "Jim" actually is.
- Body Surf: After his initial "body" was destroyed, he instead manifested by possessing human hosts, hopping to a new host when his energy caused the current one to start melting into goo.
- Came Back Wrong: After Ascending, the others kicked him out of their realm for being unspeakably evil. Except they were pissed at Oma for letting him in in the first place, so to punish her they left him as a half-ascended abomination of a Physical God with enough Ancient knowledge to become the pre-eminent threat among the Goa'uld.
- Card-Carrying Villain: It's implied that he is very much aware of how evil he himself is. He was so bad that in the past, the rest of the Goa'uld booted him from the System Lords! They deemed his actions unspeakable. See more or less every entry under Even Evil Has Standards on this page.
- Cool Starship: His flagship is not only of a unique design, with a non-pyramidal superstructure resembling a sacrificial altar, but is the largest Goa'uld ship seen in the series and houses his planet-killing superweapon. The first one gets destroyed but he shows up for battle at Earth in another.
- Dark Lord on Life Support: Technically he can survive without it, but he needs assistance in order to interact with our world. Through "Lost City" that assistance was the force-field suit shown in the page image. After it went up with his flagship courtesy of the Ancient outpost's drone weapons, he was forced to Body Surf between human hosts, which treated him like a disease and gradually broke down.
- Deceptive Disciple: He fooled Oma Desala into thinking he was a "good Goa'uld" until she helped him to ascend, at which point he got right back to the whole "destroy the universe" thing.
- The Dreaded: Among the Goa'uld - just watch the horrified/disbelieving reactions of Osiris and the System Lords when they discover he's still alive in "Summit"/"Last Stand".
- Elite Mooks: He has a Praetorian Guard of "Ninja Jaffa" who wear black robes and carry ninja swords in addition to the usual staff weapons. We only see them in combat briefly in one episode, where they do seem to demonstrate more tactical movement than the typical Jaffa, but get taken out by Teal'c fairly quickly.
- Energy Being: After ascending thanks to Oma's help, he was rejected by the other ascended beings but only partially turned back to punish Oma, so he's still an immortal "half-ascended" being made of pure energy.
- Evil Counterpart: For Daniel, as a formerly ascended being and pupil of Oma Desala who got banished for interfering in the lower planes. Particularly obvious in the season 6 finale, when Daniel confronts him wearing Obi Wan style robes in contrast to Anubis's Emperor Palpatine look.
- Evil Is Petty: Keeps popping into the Ancients' realm (manifesting as a diner) so he can rub his impending victory in Oma's face. Backfires when he finally goes too far and Oma stops him for good.
- Evil Gloating: Jim takes a perverse glee in the Ancients' punishing Oma by forcing her to watch him do his thing.
- Eviler Than Thou: Was opposed, at one time or another, by pretty much every remaining major villain on the show, sometimes in conjunction with SG-1. The various petty Goa'uld who served him were fools; his end game included the annihilation of even his own race along with the rest of all life in the Milky Way.
- Evil Versus Oblivion: Inspired this with both Ba'al and the Replicators - both took issue with Anubis' plan to annihilate all life in the galaxy, with Ba'al working with SG-1 to stop him and the Replicators launching an all-out attack on the Goa'uld.
- Evilutionary Biologist: Season 9 reveals that he once dabbled in genetic experiments similar to the kind conducted by Nirrti and succeeded in creating an advanced human with the Goa'uld Genetic Memory from his own pre-ascended DNA.
- Of Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars. Evil emperors who are exceptionally evil even for their own kind, mostly remaining on their thrones after taking power. They actually wear the same type of dark cloak.
- Also of Sokar. Both are introduced as exceptionally evil Goa'uld, exiled from the System Lords for being too evil, even by their standards. They even have a similar fashion sense, and were played by the same actor to boot.
- The Faceless: Sported the classic Black Cloak look, due to really being disembodied energy occupying a man-shaped forcefield body.
- Faking the Dead: Background materials indicate that the last time the System Lords thought they'd killed him, he was content to let them to believe it as he had become focused on Ascension.
- Fat Bastard: The form he takes as "Jim" is a rotund man who seems friendly and jovial at first, before he reveals that he's an Evil Overlord in disguise.
- For the Evulz: Most notably when he destroys Abydos just because he can.
- Handicapped Badass: He's one of the smartest and most ruthless foes the team ever encountered - but he's not only physically helpless without his forcefield projector to contain his essence (he can possess humans, but they break down very quickly), he can't use any of the powers he gained while Ascending for fear the Ancients will take action against him.
- Hero Killer: He devastated the Tok'ra, wiped out the Tollan, and destroyed Abydos. He also destroyed the Alpha Site, which lead to the fracturing of the Earth, Tok'ra, and Jaffa alliance; and one of his men killed Dr. Fraiser.
- Hijacked by Ganon: He disappears early on in season 8 after the team trick him into steering a possessed Russian officer through the Stargate to a frozen wasteland, and Ba'al becomes the most prominent Goa'uld on the scene for a while. Then it's revealed towards the end of the season that Ba'al has actually been working for him the entire time.
- In the Blood: Anubis is the grandson of the Goa'uld who first discovered how to activate the gate network, the son of the second Supreme System Lord, and the brother of the longest-reigning System Lord. He is even more of a jerk than any of them were.
- In Their Own Image: It's implied that the reason he wants to wipe out all life in the galaxy using the Dakara superweapon is so that he can then use it to recreate life to his liking.
- Kneel Before Zod: He tries this on President Hayes, who promptly laughs it off.
- Large Ham: Even by Goa'uld standards.Anubis:I am Anubis. Humans of the Tau'ri. Your End Of Days finally approaches. There will be no mercy!
Jack O'Neill:Aw c'mon. Who talks like that?
Rodney McKay: Ya, Anubis? This your agent. You're playing it way over-the-top! You need to get serious!
- Loophole Abuse: How he becomes the threat he does - when Oma almost ascends him, the other Ancients cast him down when she realises how evil he is. As punishment to Oma however (for helping him Ascend, strictly against their rules), Anubis is able to retain any Ancient knowledge he could have learned as a Goa'uld. And as all signs are he was an Evil Genius to begin with, that's a lot. As in, enough to upgrade his ships to slaughter the previously-invincible Tollans, hold off the Asgard, create the Kull Warriors and understand how to use the Dakara Superweapon to wipe out all life in the galaxy.
- A rare example in that the Ancients know full well he's exploiting this loophole, but are letting it happen so they can inflict their petty retribution on Oma.
- The Man Behind the Man: Turns out to be this for Ba'al late in Season 8.
- The Mole: In the form of Jim he pretends to be a good guy to Daniel, but ultimately reveals himself to be the most evil Goa'uld SG-1 has ever fought.
- Must Have Caffeine: A minor Running Gag during "Threads" is Jim asking for coffee from Oma. Played with, as it's only a representation of Daniel's mind, so we don't really know what Jim is "consuming" (or if he even needs to).
- Near-Villain Victory: He was seconds away from wiping out all life in the galaxy before Oma made her decision.
- No-Nonsense Nemesis: Despite being even more melodramatic and hammy than most Goa'uld, he is actually a good deal less arrogant, and manages to avoid falling into the kinds of pitfalls that doomed dozens of System Lords. Notably, he accepted input from his subordinates and never underestimated SG-1 or the humans of Earth. After all, he showed up above a planet with a single ship (Prometheus) equivalent to, at most, one and a half standard Goa'uld motherships with the largest fleet ever assembled by a Goa'uld. He lost, but that had nothing to do with preparations for or actions during the battle. What arrogance he does display is warranted, given that he does possess technology far superior to that of most Goa'uld.
- Omnicidal Maniac: His final plan was to use the Dakara superweapon, whose gate had been reprogrammed to link to every gate in the galaxy in the previous episode so it could be used against the Replicators, to cleanse the Milky Way of life and make himself its new god.
- Predecessor Villain: An Ascended being with far greater powers than the Goa'uld, a technology edge over the heroes and a desire to be worshipped as a true god - Anubis would foreshadow the nature of the Ori in seasons 9 and 10. He and Adria even go out the same way, forced to duel an Ascended Ancient in an eternal stalemate.
- Sanity Slippage: Implied. After the destruction of his forcefield generator, forcing him to rely on human hosts which quickly rot from his Ascended form's influence (not to mention getting marooned on an ice planet), he's far more openly megalomaniacal and prone to A God Am I behaviour. He also noticeably starts slipping into Bad Boss territory, something he'd previously only invoked on occasions of You Have Failed Me.
- Sealed Evil in a Duel: Oma Desala's Heroic Sacrifice in "Threads" involved her binding him on the higher planes by forcing him to battle her for all eternity.
- The Starscream: He's allowed back into the System Lords in season 6, but turned on them by the end of the season as his power increased.
- Super Soldier: His Kull Warriors are Implacable Genetically Engineered Goa'uld Hosts.
- The Symbiote: A truer parasite than most Goa'uld since the host body actually treats his half-ascended form as a disease.
- Technologically Advanced Foe: Thanks to his possession of Ascended knowledge, Anubis had access to advanced technology well above even that of the Goa'uld. He was able to steamroll his way through a number of SG-1's extraterrestrial allies who had been holding their own against the Goa'uld or, in the case of the Tollan, significantly outmatched them. Only the Replicators and the Ori ever really exceeded him.
- Touched by Vorlons: Due to ascending and then getting "stuck" between the planes after the Ancients tried to cast him out. He's not actually supposed to use any powers that he wouldn't have had as an ordinary Goa'uld in case the Ancients decide to intervene, but just the fact that he still has access to their knowledge gives him a huge advantage over just about everybody else.
- Villainous Legacy: Succeeded in creating a human clone of himself called Khalek, with Ancient powers and all Anubis' memories, that popped up to bedevil the team in Season 9.
Played By: David Palffy
First Appearance:"Serpent's Song"
Sokar took advantage of the Evil Power Vacuum created by the team severely depleting Apophis's forces and began to rise to power towards the end of season 2. He had a reputation for being nastier than most other Goa'uld and is notable for impersonating Satan, up to and including terraforming a moon to resemble Christian depictions of Hell and using it as a dumping ground for his enemies. He ultimately signed his own death warrant by choosing to imprison Jacob Carter, prompting a Rescue Arc that culminated in the team blowing his moon up with him still on it. His armies and territories were subsequently absorbed by Apophis.
- Arch-Enemy: Seems to regard Apophis as this, given his obsession with capturing and torturing him. To explain this, the RPG materials had Apophis originally be the one that defeated Sokar's rebellion against Ra, leaving Sokar with a major grudge to nurse.
- Bald of Evil: Completely bald and so evil that even other Goa'uld think he's taking things a little far.
- Big "NO!": Gets one in just before Netu explodes.
- Composite Character: He takes his name from the Egyptian god of the underworld, but he specifically impersonates the Devil of Christian mythology.
- Disc-One Final Boss: He's initially set up as the Big Bad for season 3, but he gets killed off fairly anticlimactically halfway through the season, allowing for Apophis to once again take up the reins as the show's primary antagonist.
- Earth-Shattering Kaboom: How the Tok'ra and SG-1 kill him.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Believe it or not, even he was disgusted by Anubis, though this was all in supplemental materials and he was long-dead by the time Anubis came back into play.
- Everybody Hates Hades/Hijacked by Jesus: In Egyptian mythology, Sokar was a relatively benign god of the underworld, also associated with craftsmen. In SG-1, the Goa'uld Sokar's God Guise is merged with the Judeo-Christian Devil and painted as somebody whose actions even most of the other Goa'uld considered beyond the pale.
- Evil Is Burning Hot: Deliberately invokes this with Netu, and also when he fires a particle beam accelerator through the Earth stargate to try and melt through the iris, causing temperatures in the control room to skyrocket.
- Evil Versus Evil: He spends a good long while torturing Apophis after taking him prisoner, though Apophis gets his own back eventually.
- Eviler Than Thou: Considered to be particularly evil even among the System Lords.
- Fire and Brimstone Hell: Netu features active volcanoes and lava flows and seems to have permanent reddish glow after he apparently got inspired by Christian conceptions of Hell and deliberately terraformed it that way.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Got word to Apophis (stuck on Sokar's hell planet at that point) of his queen Amaunet's death, seemingly just to twist the knife.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Insanely, he actually seems to be considering letting Apophis run Netu after killing Bynarr as long as he can deliver the Tok'ra base - likely because with his imminent attack on the System Lords, he has other things to focus on.
- Satanic Archetype: He deliberately impersonates Satan.
- Soft-Spoken Sadist: Speaks in a soft monotone and doesn't raise his voice even when angry.
- Torture Technician: Though we don't see it onscreen it's stated that he spends months torturing Apophis in the most horrendous ways imaginable, and he has his own tailor-made hell, though he generally leaves his underlings to preside over it. The psychotropic drug that Apophis uses to Mind Rape the team while they're imprisoned on Netu is also named after him — the "Blood of Sokar".
Played By: Anna-Louise Plowman
First Appearance:"The Curse"
Osiris was once a powerful System Lord until he was removed from his host and placed in stasis in a canopic jar on Earth, where he remained for thousands of years until archaeologists discovered the jar and decided to open it. He promptly took one of the archaeologists — Dr. Sarah Gardner, who just happened to be Daniel's ex-girlfriend — as a host and set out into the galaxy to establish a new power base, eventually becoming an agent of Anubis.
Despite never being a Big Bad, he was among the more dangerous Goa'uld, even capturing Thor at one point, and was a recurring antagonist for several seasons until he was removed from Sarah and presumably killed. He also had a certain interest in Daniel due to both his knowledge of the Goa'uld and his previous relationship with Sarah.
- Badass Boast: He's pretty good at these in general, but the best example has to be the parting shot at the end of his debut episode:
"Make no mistake, Osiris will return, and the rivers of Earth will run red with blood."
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Gives one to Thor of all people in the season 5 finale after Anubis equips his ship with Ancient weapons and defenses, illustrating the fact that shit just got real.
- Daylight Horror: He starts shooting up Daniel's neighborhood in broad daylight after the team manage to trap him on Earth.
- The Dragon: For Anubis. He represents Anubis's vote among the System Lords and generally has more personal confrontations with the team, while Anubis prefers to remain behind the scenes and makes most of his appearances via hologram.
- Evil Brit: Comes across this way since Sarah is British and he uses her voice to speak.
- The Exile: He was banished by his brother Seth for some unknown reason prior to the events of the series and put in a stasis jar.
- Faux Affably Evil: Most notably when he has Thor strapped to a torture table and starts apologizing about the accommodation.
- Gender Bender: Despite the symbiotes themselves having No Biological Sex, Osiris seems to identify as male and yet keeps the very much female Sarah Gardner as a host. Osiris in Egyptian mythology is also a male deity, making this a case of Gender Flip as well.
- Locked Out of the Loop: As a result of being imprisoned in a stasis pod for several thousand years. Unlike Hathor, he manages to catch up and consolidate his power base remarkably quickly.
- New Old Flame: Sarah is initially introduced as Daniel's old college girlfriend until The Reveal that she's really been Osiris all along.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Implied towards Daniel. He certainly isn't happy when Carter informs him that Daniel's gone and died of radiation poisoning.
- Quirky Curls: Has a distinctive mane of tightly curled reddish-blond hair.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Takes the trope about as literal as it can get due to being sealed in a canopic jar until Sarah let him out.
- Slouch of Villainy: Has a tendency to drape himself over everything while looking as smug as possible.
- Stalker with a Crush: Some of his behavior towards Daniel can be a bit suspect. Particularly "Chimera", where he spends several consecutive nights beaming down into Daniel's bedroom and mind raping him as he sleeps, using intimate memories of his relationship with Sarah to search for the location of the Lost City in his subconscious.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: He makes no secret of the fact that he thinks little of Zipacna when they're forced to work together.
- Villain: Exit, Stage Left: After Daniel stabs him with a tranquilizer dart at the end of his first episode he quickly staggers off to his hidden spaceship and leaves Earth.
- We Have Reserves: He quite deliberately causes the deaths of several of his own Jaffa in the season 5 finale by diverting coolant from the engine room where they're working in order to flush out the team, callously remarking that they'll be "greatly rewarded in the afterlife".
- What Happened to the Mouse?: It's never stated what happened to the symbiote after he was removed from Sarah, though it's likely he was killed.
Played By: Kevin Durand
A minor Goa'uld who first appeared to represent Klorel when the latter was put on trial by the Tollan. He later became a servant of Anubis and personally destroyed the Tok'ra base at Revanna before disappearing completely. Had an appalling fashion sense — even for a Goa'uld, which is really saying something.
- Co-Dragons: Briefly becomes this along with Osiris for Anubis, though he doesn't have anywhere near as much plot-relevance as Osiris does.
- Courtroom Antic: Practically everything he does during Klorel/Skaara's trial. It eventually turns out that the whole thing was a delaying tactic for his Jaffa to sabotage the Tollan defense systems so he could attack the planet.
- Fashion-Victim Villain: Especially in his first appearance, where he wore a kind of straw hat and something that looked like a Hawaiian shirt-dress.
- Jerkass Has a Point: During Klorel's trial he actually makes some legally valid, if not morally distasteful, points in his argument. Goa'uld physiology does require them to take another lifeform as a host; being parasitic is a biological fact that the Goa'uld have no control over. If they remove Klorel from Skaara, he has to be put in another host in order to live. He's also technically right that the human host of a Goa'uld is still alive and aware, so leaving Klorel in Skaara means they will both continue to live. Of course he glosses over the whole And I Must Scream aspect of being a host.
- Nice Hat: Comes into the trial in "Pretense" sporting (or perhaps "sprouting") a frankly ridiculous grass headdress.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: Vaguely ridiculous in his first appearance, he later obliterates the Tok'ra base, killing several Tok'ra and SGC personnel in the process.
- Race Lift: His host is a white guy despite the fact that he's posing as a Mayan deity.
- The Right of a Superior Species: During Klorel's trial he insists that the Goa'uld have a right to use humans as hosts because they're fundamentally superior, drawing a comparison with human attitudes towards hunting and fishing animals.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: When he reappears as Anubis' herald in "Summit" and "Last Stand", he is fulfilling a role similar to that of the more prominent reoccurring Goa'uld Tanith, who was abruptly killed off a few episodes earlier due to scheduling conflicts with his actor.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: He and Osiris make no secret of the fact that they can't stand each other while they're both in the employ of Anubis.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: It's never made entirely clear what happens to him after the attack on Revanna.
Played By: Peter Wingfield
Tanith was originally the larval symbiote of the Jaffa Shaun'auc, and he convinced her via their telepathic connection that he recognized the evil of the Goa'uld and wished to convert to the Tok'ra. To the surprise of no-one, this turned out to be very much a lie and he killed her as soon as he got a body of his own, sending Teal'c into revenge mode. The Tok'ra were aware of his duplicity, but insisted on keeping him alive as they figured they could use him to send misinformation to Apophis. He was never particularly powerful on his own, but he was unusually cunning for a Goa'uld and managed to be a constant thorn in the team's side until Teal'c eventually killed him halfway through season 5.
- Bullying a Dragon: He decides to taunt Teal'c over Shaun'auc's death despite the fact that he's being held prisoner and completely at Teal'c's mercy at the time.
- Deceptive Disciple: He manages to convince Shaun'auc that he wants to defect to the Tok'ra, but he soon shows his true colors. Subverted by the Tok'ra themselves, who don't buy his story for a second.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: He's rather abruptly killed in the opening scene of a filler episode that doesn't have anything to do with him when Teal'c snipes the cockpit of his al'kesh.
- Feed the Mole: The Tok'ra keep him around in order to feed Apophis false information about their operatives.
- HeelFace Mole: A subversion, since he thinks he's this but everyone else is perfectly aware that he never really switched sides.
- Hero Killer: For a loose interpretation of "hero", but he wipes out the Tollan after they renege on their deal with him.
- Gender Flip: The Tanith of Punic Mythology was a woman.
- Kick the Dog: Murdering Shaun'auc in cold blood, establishing himself as a Bad Guy in the process.
- Loophole Abuse: He attempts to get around the fact that the Protected Planets Treaty prohibits the Goa'uld from attacking Earth directly by instructing the Tollan to send the bomb on his behalf.
- Orbital Bombardment: When he destroys Tollana.
- Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: The team are rather surprised when he shows up again after they assume he was killed by that sun they blew up.
- Social Climber
The Goa'uld are a race of sentient parasitic beings that take over hosts. Several species can serve as hosts, including humans and Unas. They originated on the planet designated P3X-888. They are also extremely egomaniacal due to their genetic memory and the sarcophagus technology. Goa'uld means "God" in the Goa'uld language. Races which will not serve them are completely destroyed without compromise. (SG1: "Children of the Gods", "Thor's Hammer", "The First Ones")
Although the majority of them are one-dimensionally genocidal, megalomaniacal, and in some cases (such as Cronus, and, to a lesser extent, Ra) apparently barely self-aware (living out the patterns of their behavior as they existed thousands of years ago), there were a few exceptions. Apophis at times showed an unusual amount of insight, lucidity, and tenacity for a Goa'uld, escaping from Sokar's imprisonment, and to a small extent, rebuilding his forces. Heru'ur was seen on the battlefield with his Jaffa as an active general, risking his own life alongside them rather than hiding behind them (as Ra in particular had done). Ba'al was also able to survive the demise of the rest of the System Lords (even up until the very end of the series) through being infinitely more flexible and adaptable than any of the others had been, even at times allying with SG-1 when he felt the situation warranted it.
The Goa'uld first arose in the waters of P3X-888, originally as predators. Eventually, they began taking the native Unas as hosts, becoming more adaptive. They eventually learned how to operate the Stargate the Ancients placed on P3X-888 and left, taking Unas slave armies with them.Under the leadership of Atok, the Goa'uld developed the first of their society as conquerors, stealing Ancient technology and adapting it to their purposes. In 22,000 BCE, Atok was killed by his son Apep, he reordered the leadership of the Goa'uld. Apep shared power among his underlings, Ra, Nut, and Thoth. However, around 17,800 BCE, another Goa'uld began to rise in power: Anubis. Apep's powers began to decline in this time, and Anubis gained more power. Anubis then killed Apep, devouring the symbiote before the eyes of the Goa'uld. However, Ra managed to rally the others in Apep's name. After three centuries of civil war, Anubis was defeated and exiled. Ra organized a new leadership called the High Council of the System Lords. Ra installed himself as the Supreme System Lord of the Goa'uld Empire, and took the Goa'uld Queens Hathor and Egeria as mates. (RPG: "Living Gods: Stargate System Lords")
The Reign of Ra
Around 8,000 BC, Ra discovered a healthy world with a primate race: Humans reseeded by the Ancients before they left Earth. Ra took a young native as a host. Revitalized, Ra began allowing the other System Lords access to the Tau'ri. Some were used as slaves and worshipers in naquadah mines, others were taken to Dakara, and turned into a slave-soldier army called the Jaffa, to serve as warriors and incubators for larval Goa'uld. A rebellion in 2,995 BCE ended Goa'uld dominion on Earth, but Humans had already been seeded throughout the Goa'uld Empire, so Ra felt no need to reconquer the planet. (Stargate) (SG1: "Children of the Gods", "Moebius, Part 1", "Moebius, Part 2")
Soon, however, Egeria began to have doubts about the future of the Goa'uld, and their cruel, destructive ways. Siring a legion of prim'ta, she in turn named them the Tok'ra, the "resistance against Ra". The Supreme System Lord discovered Egeria's treachery, dispatched a force, and captured her, removing her from her host and placing her in a Stasis jar on Pangar. (SG1: "The Tok'ra, Part 1", "The Tok'ra, Part 2", "Crossroads", "Cure")
In 1995, the Tau'ri reopened the Stargate, and sent a team through to Abydos. Ra captured some of them, and found a nuclear device that Colonel Jack O'Neill had been given in case he found any hostile threats. Ra enriched the device with naquadah, and prepared to send it through to Earth, but Daniel Jackson had told the Abydonians the truth about Ra. They rebelled, and Ra was forced to flee the planet. However, O'Neill and Jackson killed Ra when they sent the bomb up to his vessel through its dedicated transportattion rings. (Stargate)
The Reign of Apophis
After the death of Ra, the System Lords warred among themselves to replace him. Eventually, Cronus, Heru'ur, and Ba'al came out stronger than before, but the dominant System Lord was Apophis. After SG-1 caused various setbacks for him, Apophis in turn launched an attack on Earth. However, SG-1 was able to get aboard Klorel's Ha'tak, and sabotage both it and Apophis' Ha'tak. Apophis and Klorel survived, but Apophis was severely weakened. Under assault from Heru'ur and Sokar, Apophis was eventually captured by Sokar and sent to Ne'tu. (SG1: "Children of the Gods", "Within the Serpent's Grasp", "The Serpent's Lair", "Serpent's Song")
When SG-1 arrived to rescue Jacob Carter, Apophis launched a rebellion, and escaped Ne'tu when the Tok'ra destroyed it. Apophis soon took control of Sokar's forces, and then Heru'ur's, after an abortive alliance. After the death of Cronus, Apophis took his fleet to destroy the Tok'ra on Vorash. Major Samantha Carter came up with the plan to destroy Apophis' fleet by causing Vorash's sun to explode. The plan worked, but caused SG-1's ha'tak to be sent to another galaxy, along with Apophis' mothership. (SG1: "Jolinar's Memories", "The Devil You Know", "The Serpent's Venom", "Exodus")
The Replicators soon infested Apophis' mothership, and Apophis took over SG-1's mothership, but it was also infested with Replicators. SG-1 sabotaged the vessel, causing it to crash into Delmak. Apophis was aboard the ha'tak at the time, and was killed in the crash. As his body was presumably destroyed in the crash, he was killed beyond being resurrected with a sarcophagus. (SG1: "Enemies")
With the three dominant System lords dead, the remaining System Lords began a fierce war among themselves to dominate the others. However, they also began to experience a new threat among themselves, as one enemy attacked using only ships, never with Jaffa. The System Lords eventually called the High Council to deal with the issue. The recently returned Osiris also arrived, revealing the identity of their enemy — Anubis.
Osiris gave the others two options: restore Anubis to the status of System Lord, or place themselves at the "mercy" of Anubis. Despite the objections of Lord Yu, Anubis was restored to his former status. What they didn't know was that Anubis had achieved Ascension, only to be cast down by the Others, leaving him unable to use significant powers, but with a great deal of knowledge of Ancient technology, but unable to use any of that knowledge that he would not have been able to know as a Goa'uld. (SG1: "Summit", "Last Stand", "Revelations", "Full Circle")
Within a matter of months, Anubis began a series of attacks against the Tau'ri, the Tok'ra, and the Asgard. He also developed a new mothership, capable of destroying a planet. Lord Yu at first waged a one man war against Anubis, but eventually managed to rally the other System Lords into a United Alliance of System Lords. However, Yu's powers began to decline, and Ba'al took over the leadership of the System Lords. (SG1: "Redemption, Part 1", "Redemption, Part 2", "Full Circle", "Fallen", "Homecoming")
Sensing the growing dissent among the Jaffa due to the actions of Teal'c and Bra'tac, Anubis created a new foot soldier called the Kull. They had energy absorbing armor, increased strength, and were utterly loyal to Anubis. The Tau'ri and the Tok'ra were able to make a weapon with the Ancients' healing device, but Anubis now dominated the System Lords. (SG1: "Evolution, Part 1", "Death Knell")
Fearing that the Tau'ri may have gained Ancient weaponry, Anubis launched a full scale invasion of Earth, using over thirty motherships and his super mothership. SG-1, however, discovered the Antarctic outpost left when Atlantis left for the Pegasus Galaxy, using the drone weapons to destroy Anubis' ship and his fleet, presumably killing Anubis. He survived due to his non-corporeal state, but the aftermath of the battle was devastating for Anubis. (SG1: "Lost City, Part 2", "Lockdown")
The Reign of Ba'al
The defeat of Anubis caused a massive power vacuum among the System Lords. In order to avoid open war, they agreed to divide his territories among themselves evenly. However, Ba'al managed to discover Tartarus and imprint his will upon the Kull. Using them and the ships Anubis left behind, Ba'al began conquering the System Lords and absorbing their territories: Bastet and Olokun were killed, Morrigan surrendered, Ares fled but was killed by General Jack O'Neill, Moloc was killed by the Tau'ri with two missiles, and Camulus sought asylum among the Tau'ri but was ultimately sent to Ba'al and presumably killed by him. Lord Yu and Amaterasu prepared an offensive, but were defeated. What no one knew was that Anubis had returned, and was using Ba'al as an unwilling puppet. (SG1: "New Order, Part 1", "New Order, Part 2", "Sacrifices", "It's Good to Be King")
Eventually, the Replicators began a full scale invasion of the Milky Way, coming into conflict with the Goa'uld Empire. Most of the System Lords such as Yu were killed, with Ba'al being the only apparent survivor. Many among the Rebel Jaffa returned to Ba'al, believing the Replicators to be a "divine punishment". Teal'c and the remaining rebels launched an attack on Dakara, and Jacob Carter discovered that the Dakara Superweapon could be used to destroy the Replicators. Jacob, Lt. Col. Carter, and Ba'al agreed to reprogram the device, and use it to destroy the Replicators. The plan worked, but the Rebel Jaffa were able to take Ba'al's Ha'tak, forcing him to flee. The remaining Jaffa rebelled en mass. Anubis attempted to retake Dakara, to use the weapon to destroy all life in the Milky Way. However, Oma Desala, who had helped Anubis ascend, chose to battle with him for all eternity. This prevents Oma from helping others to ascend, but also means that Anubis can no longer interfere on the lower planes. (SG1: "Reckoning, Part 1", "Reckoning, Part 2", "Threads")
Bereft of power, and a fugitive of the Free Jaffa Nation, Ba'al fled to Earth, and took control of the Trust. To throw off the Free Jaffa, Ba'al created a series of clones and allowed one of them to be captured and killed by Gerak. Ba'al also attempted to a new plan of conquest: by stealing Stargates and cutting them off from the rest of the network, he intended to activate the Dakara superweapon and destroy all life in the galaxy, causing the Ori, who had recently learned of human life in the Milky Way, to lose interest in the galaxy. SG-1 sabotaged his efforts. (SG1: "Ex Deus Machina", "Stronghold", "Off the Grid")
Eventually, Ba'al learned of the Sangraal. Desiring a weapon that could neutralize the Ancients and the Ori, Ba'al began searching for the Sangraal. He was forced to work with SG-1 and Adria, the leader of the Ori Army. However, the Ori found the planet they were on and took the Sangraal. SG-1 later sent it through to the Ori Home Galaxy. (SG1: "The Quest, Part 1", "The Quest, Part 2", "The Shroud")
Hoping to end the Ori invasion, Ba'al captured Adria and took her as a host. He also killed his clones, hoping to cover his tracks. Lieutenant Colonel Cameron Mitchell killed Ba'al during the capture of Adria, and the symbiote placed in her was soon removed. However, Mitchell expressed doubt over whether Ba'al was finally dead, fearing that one or more of Ba'al's clones may have survived. (SG1: "Dominion")
Ultimately, the last of Ba'al's clones was captured and extracted. But before his extraction, Ba'al claimed that the real one had a contingency plan. Just then, the real one uses a solar flare in conjunction with a Stargate to travel back in time to prevent the Earth Stargate from getting to SGC, thereby changing the present. Ba'al then rose to the highest level in the renewed Goa'uld Empire, bringing a massive fleet to conquer Earth with Qetesh as his queen and Teal'c as his First Prime. Though all of the Systems Lords wished to obliterate Earth from the face of the universe, Ba'al decided to treat them leniently. This got Qetesh suspicious and forced Ba'al to reveal the location of his monitoring base before she killed him. But the remaining SG-1, who had escaped the alterations and allied with Teal'c, used the gate there to kill Ba'al before he destroyed history. With the real Ba'al dead, the extraction went uninterrupted. The Ba'al symbiote died from the extraction while his host survived. With the death of the real Ba'al and his last remaining clone, the last remaining Goa'uld System Lord was dead and the Goa'uld's power over the galaxy was completely destroyed. (SG1: "Continuum")
The Goa'uld themselves are small snake-like Symbiotes that require a host body.(SG1: "Children of the Gods") Once they burrowed into body which can be accomplished by piercing the skin in the neck, the parasite begins to wrap itself around the Human spine. The symbiote then weaves itself around the nervous system where thin filaments are extended that go up into the brain itself. (SG1: "The Enemy Within")
If the Goa'uld has taken control of the host body and become one with it, it possesses the capacity of exerting a remarkable level of control over it. This allowed them the capacity to kill it at will if need be or if they are threatened by others. Standard surgical techniques were proven to be ineffective in removing the symbiote. (SG1: "The Enemy Within") It is unknown why the Goa'uld which infested Kawalski could not be removed, after the symbiote was. Though it appears there was a piece that was not removed from him, for reasons unknown, which dropped out of his head after he was killed by the Stargate. Even advanced Humans can be susceptible to this as the symbiote can release a deadly poison that can kill the host upon removal. However, the advanced techniques of the Tok'ra allowed them to remove a symbiote from its host. (SG1: "Dominion")
Infant Goa'uld that had not reached maturity were not capable of fully taking over a host and only retained control of them for short periods of time which were experienced as black outs by the host. This results in a struggle being fought over the host body between the symbiote and the host itself. In its young state, a symbiote was capable of shedding a dead husk of skin that resembles its body and can make surgeons believe they removed the Goa'uld. (SG1: "The Enemy Within")
A special class of Goa'uld include the Queen who are responsible for producing new young larval Goa'uld for implantation into Jaffa. When encountering a new tribe of Humans or a different race, the Queen requires to first sample the code of life, known as DNA, from the species intended to be a host. This is to ensure that there is no rejection during the process between host and larva. (SG1: "Hathor")
One of the unique factors of the Goa'uld race includes their genetic memory which provides each newborn symbiote the collective knowledge of all the Goa'uld that came before it.(SG1: "The Enemy Within") Another element included within their body's was Naquadah which served as a key to activating their technology and even allowed them to sense the naquadah present within a Stargate. (SG1: "Hathor") This does not appear to be a natural aspect of their biology, however, as the early Goa'uld lacked this element within their blood chemistry. (SG1: "The First Ones")
The wild Goa'uld on their homeworld have been shown to cannibalize fellow symbiotes, and also lack naquadah.(SG1: "The First Ones")
"Nothing of the host survives." —Klorel
Within a host, a Goa'uld parasite has complete control of the host. Typically entering in through the neck, the Goa'uld will attach itself to the spinal cord which allows access to the brain, leaving an entry mark at the neck. When within a host, the Goa'uld gives perfect health, increased strength, and increased intelligence. When in control of the body, the symbiote is capable of making the hosts eyes glow, and also speak in a deep, booming voice. The voice, however, is unnecessary. It may be used to differentiate between parasite and host, as the Tok'ra do, or simply be used to intimidate slaves and opponents. (SG1: "Children of the Gods") Ruax, a Goa'uld possessed Unas.
Being taken as a host by a Goa'uld is often considered a terrible fate for the host, as they are suppressed and forced to witness countless horrors. The Goa'uld maintain that the host essentially dies when the Goa'uld takes control, but this has been proven false on numerous occasions (SG1: "Children of the Gods", "Within the Serpent's Grasp", "Pretense"). However, a system lord's lo'taur often considers being taken as a host a "great honor" (they are also around just in case something happens to the host) (SG1: "Summit", "Last Stand") Certain strong willed hosts are capable of fighting the control of younger symbiotes that have infested them although only to a marginal extent, such as suppressing a hand movement for a few seconds (SG1: "The Serpent's Lair").
The Goa'uld are capable of infesting a wide variety of Hosts, from Humans to Unas (which were the Goa'uld's first hosts, because they shared their homeworld with them). (SG1: "The First Ones") They can also take Asgard bodies as hosts for a short period of time, though the Asgard's genetic makeup eventually rejects the symbiote causing the host's body to wither and die. (Stargate) Two species which cannot be taken as hosts are the Ilempiri and Jaffa.(SG1: "Deadman Switch", "The First Ones") A child of two Goa'uld hosts is called Harcesis and has all the genetic memory of the Goa'uld. A few hosts were free of their Goa'uld, including Skaara, Vala Mal Doran, Kendra, Sarah Gardner and a Ba'al clone. The Ba'al clone host is the only known host of a System Lord to be freed of their Goa'uld Symbiote.
- Horus Guard (Ra and his family.)
- Serpent Guard (Apophis and his family.)
- Kull Warrior (Served Anubis and Ba'al.)
- Necropolis Guard (Sokar and Apophis)
- Setesh Guard (Seth)
- Death Glider
- Troop Transport
- Needle Threader
- Anubis' Mothership
- Apophis' Mothership
- Apophis' prototype ship
- Ra's Mothership
- Adrian Conrad's Goa'uld
- Kianna Cyr's Goa'uld
- Steven Caldwell's Goa'uld
The primordial Goa'uld of P3X-888 were predators that evolved for millions of years in the prehistoric oceans. Snake-like vertebrates with blue blood, this early species had wing-like appendages, allowing them to leap over distances, and naquadah did not become a part of their physical makeup until later in their evolution. Eventually, they learned to take the indigenous aboriginal Unas as hosts whom they could control. Those who took hosts learned to use the stargate and left the planet, becoming a parasitic race of conquerors.
Goa'uld larvae are produced by queens, such as Hathor, who use the DNA from the intended host species to ensure compatibility. Symbiote queens produce large egg sacs and are able to fertilize their own eggs, thus reproduction is essentially an asexual process. Goa'uld offspring are born evil, with the genetic memory and the intellect and collective knowledge of their lineage which is passed on voluntarily by the queen who bore them.
New larvae depend upon a natural water environment, and they mature as snake-like symbiotes in the pouch of a Jaffa for 7 to 8 years until they are ready to take a host. Prior to the process of incubating Goa'uld symbiotes within the Jaffa, the blending of a Goa'uld and its host had only a 50% chance of success. The Jaffa were created for the very purpose of improving the ability of the symbiote to take human hosts. Symbiotes do not have a gender, but take on the gender of the host.
The Unas, and other ancient species, were taken as the first hosts, but humans have since become the preferred host species. A symbiote is only fully capable of communicating the knowledge with which it was born once it takes a host, which is its primal instinctual behavior. The mature symbiote usually enters a host through the back of the neck, since it does not wish to remember the horror on the host's face each time it looks in a mirror. The symbiote wraps itself around the victim's spine, and attaches to the brain stem, taking control of the body and intermingling its mind with that of the host. The melding, or blending, of the symbiote and host may take some time, depending on certain conditions such as the maturity of the symbiote.
Once in control, a symbiote is capable of selectively remaining dormant or active, thus in some cases a host may be unaware of the symbiote within him. The symbiote also retains the ability to exhibit or conceal its personality and characteristic glowing eyes and deep voice as it chooses. However, while a mature symbiote can take control of the host body at will, the reverse is not true, and the host remains suppressed, only able to emerge if the symbiote permits. The symbiote has access to all the knowledge of the host, and something of the host does survive, often aware of the symbiote's actions beyond his control, but in a few cases retaining the ability to exert a subtle influence over the Goa'uld's actions. It is possible for a symbiote to change from one host to another, however a symbiote cannot survive outside a host for long. A symbiote introduces naquadah into the host's system, which can be detected by other Goa'uld. It also grants remarkable healing and regenerative powers, immunity from a host of diseases, disabilities, poisons, and biological agents, and an extended life span up to 400 years in each new host, or thousands of years with the use of a sarcophagus. Goa'uld hosts do not mate, since the human child of two Goa'uld hosts, known as Harsesis, would contain all the knowledge of the Goa'uld, and is forbidden.
A symbiote will die if its injuries are too severe to heal. When a symbiote dies, it releases toxins which in most cases will kill the host. It is possible to forcibly remove a symbiote by instantly killing it before the toxins are released, however this is a delicate procedure that is often unsuccessful. A symbiote can choose to prevent the host from dying, however it requires a certain amount of energy and a conscious effort to prevent the release of toxins, a selfless act which is more typical of a Tok'ra than of a Goa'uld. If a host survives the death of its symbiote, the symbiote will decay and be absorbed by the host body, leaving behind a unique protein marker which identifies the individual as having been a host. Many of the genetic memories of the Goa'uld may also remain in the host after the symbiote has been removed, however these are often suppressed and difficult to access.
The Goa'uld are violent, arrogant, and parasitic, and have stolen all their technology from other races. They are ruthless in battle, and will annihilate that which they cannot enslave or control. Their society is feudal, with thousands of Goa'uld in general, but only dozens at the rank of System Lord. They continuously compete for power, and have been known to engage in sacred ritual cannibalism, thus keeping in check the size of the population and the competition for dominance. Historically, their greatest weaknesses have been the feudal nature of their society, and their arrogance.
Once, Goa'uld numbers were very few. According to ancient legend, Ra's race was dying. He survived by taking over the body of a human host, a young Egyptian boy, and he played the role of the sun god, using the religion of the ancient Egyptians to enslave them and the people of Abydos. They believed he was the last of his kind, but as other Goa'uld took human hosts, their numbers grew. They ruled by force, and eventually controlled many hundreds of worlds.
Cross Reference: Amaterasu, Amaunet, Anubis, Apophis, Ashrak, Athena, Ba'al, Bastet, Bynarr, Camulus, Adrian Conrad, Cronus, Kianna Cyr, Dakara, Etins, Goa'uld Language, Harsesis, Hathor, Heru'ur, Imhotep, Isis, Jaffa, Junior, Kali, Klorel, Kull Warrior, Linvris, Marduk, Moloc, Morrigan, Mot, Naquadah, Nefertem, Nerus, Nightwalkers, Nirrti, Olokun, Osiris, P3X-888, Pelops, Qetesh, Ra, Ramius, Sarcophagus, Sekhmet, Selkhet, Seth, Shak'ran, Sokar, Svarog, Symbiote Poison, System Lords, Tanith, Telchak, Terok, Thoth, Tilgath, Tok'ra, Trust, Unas, Yu, Zipacna
First Introduced: Children of the Gods
Significant Episode Reference: The Enemy Within, In the Line of Duty, Secrets, The Tok'ra, Forever in a Day, Crossroads, The First Ones, Summit, Last Stand, Cure, Threads, Memento Mori, Dominion
Capable of healing injuries
- "We have no right to play God, but neither do the Goa'uld. Now I know none of this seems real to you on paper, but trust me, they're pure evil."
- ―Daniel Jackson[src]
The Goa'uld (pronounced "Go-ah-oold" or sometimes "Goold") are a parasitic race of sentient symbiote beings that take over hosts. Several species can serve as hosts, including humans and Unas. They originated on the planet designated P3X-888. They are also extremely egomaniacal due to their genetic memory and the adverse mental effects of the Sarcophagus technology. Goa'uld means "god" in the Goa'uld language. Races which did not serve them are completely destroyed without compromise or mercy whatsoever. (SG1: "Children of the Gods", "Thor's Hammer", "The First Ones")
Although the majority of them were one-dimensionally genocidal, megalomaniacal, and in some cases (such as Cronus, and, to a lesser extent, Ra) apparently barely self-aware (living out the patterns of their behavior as they existed thousands of years ago), there were a few exceptions. Apophis at times showed an unusual amount of insight, lucidity, and tenacity for a Goa'uld, showing great resourcefulness in escaping from Sokar's imprisonment, which in turn allowed him to gain control over Sokar's forces and become a greater threat than before. Heru'ur was seen on the battlefield with his Jaffa as an active general, risking his own life alongside them rather than hiding behind them (as Ra in particular had done). Ba'al was also able to survive the demise of the rest of the System Lords through being infinitely more flexible and adaptable than any of the others had been, even at times allying with SG-1 when he felt the situation warranted it. For a Goa'uld, gender appears to be a matter of choice, or persona, and is not always defined by the host; one example is Osiris occupying a female body. Goa'uld appear to a certain extent to be able to express and feel love for their mate, or to a lesser extent their children. However, the mating of two Goa'uld host creates a harcesis, an individual who, through Goa'uld genetic memory, possesses all the knowledge of the Goa'uld. With all the knowledge, a harcesis could easily jeopardize the Goa'uld power structure by simply sharing the fact that they are not gods and how their technology worked. For this reason, producing a harcesis was an unspoken taboo among Goa'uld, and if known to exist were hunted down and killed with impunity.
At some point, a philosophical race was spawned by Egeria, a Goa'uld Queen and former mate of Ra, known as the Tok'ra, deriving their name from the Goa'uld words "tok", meaning "against" and the name of Ra, who only take volunteers as hosts, and do not suppress their minds, allowing both entities full consciousness and control over the same body and offense at being called a Goa'uld.(SG1: "The Tok'ra, Part 1")
The Goa'uld first arose in the waters of P3X-888, originally as predators. Eventually, they began taking the native Unas as hosts, becoming more adaptive. They eventually learned how to operate the Stargate the Ancients placed on P3X-888 and left, taking Unas slave armies with them. (SG1: "The First Ones")
Under the leadership of Atok, the Goa'uld developed the first of their society as conquerors, stealing Ancient technology and adapting it to their purposes. In 22,000 BC, Atok was killed by his son Apep, and he reordered the leadership of the Goa'uld. Apep shared power among his underlings, Ra, Nut, and Thoth. However, around 17,800 BC, another Goa'uld began to rise in power: Anubis. Apep's powers began to decline in this time, and Anubis gained more power. Anubis then killed Apep, devouring the symbiote before the eyes of the Goa'uld. However, Ra managed to rally the others in Apep's name. After three centuries of civil war, Anubis was defeated and exiled. Ra organized a new leadership called the High Council of the System Lords. Ra installed himself as the Supreme System Lord of the Goa'uld Empire, and took the Goa'uld QueensHathor and Egeria as mates. (RPG: "Living Gods: Stargate System Lords")
Posing as gods
Reign of Ra
- "There can be only one Ra."
Around 10,500 BC, Ra discovered a healthy world with a primate race: Humans reseeded by the Ancients before they left Earth. Ra took a young native as a host. Revitalized, Ra began allowing the other System Lords access to the Tau'ri. Some were used as worshipers and slaves in Naquadah mines, others were taken to Dakara, and turned into a genetically altered slave-soldier called the Jaffa, to serve as warriors and incubators for larval Goa'uld. A rebellion in 2,995 BC ended Goa'uld dominion on Earth, but Humans had already been seeded throughout the Goa'uld Empire, so Ra felt no need to reconquer the planet. (Stargate) (SG1: "Children of the Gods", "Moebius, Part 1", "Moebius, Part 2")
However, according to Kali, after Ra solidified his rule in Ancient Egypt, he sent out invitation to other System Lords that they were allowed to lay claim a domain on Earth, subservient to Ra. At this time, the Goa'uld (Ra included) still used Unas as hosts until Ra took his lo'taur as a host, the young native boy who did not flee at Ra's ha'tak landing. He immediately decreed that all Goa'uld would each take a human as their new host. Within a year, many heeded Ra's decree - some like Hathor even begin experimenting and creating the first Jaffa soldiers; others like Cronus and Shiva secretly rejected the idea of taking a lesser host, making excuses when questioned by Ra. (SG1: "Kali's Wrath")
Soon, however, Egeria began to have doubts about the future of the Goa'uld, and their cruel, destructive ways. Siring a legion of prim'ta, she in turn named them the Tok'ra, the "resistance against Ra". The Supreme System Lord discovered Egeria's treachery, dispatched a force, and captured her, removing her from her host and placing her in a Stasis jar on Pangar. (SG1: "The Tok'ra, Part 1", "The Tok'ra, Part 2", "Crossroads", "Cure")
In 1996, the Tau'ri reopened the Stargate, and sent a team through to Abydos. Ra captured some of them, and found a Nuclear warhead that ColonelJack O'Neill had been given in case he found any threats. Ra enriched the device with Naquadah, and prepared to send it through to Earth, but Dr.Daniel Jackson had told the Abydonians the truth about Ra. The Abydonians rebelled, and Ra was forced to flee the planet. However, O'Neill and Jackson killed Ra by ringing the primed bomb aboard Ra's vessel as it was taking off, thus evading the orders to destroy the AbydonianStargate and its surrounding population. (Stargate)
Reign of Apophis
- "The end of a dark moment in Goa'uld history approaches. Soon we will wipe out the scourge that plagues us."
- ―Apophis on wiping on the Tau'ri[src]
After the death of Ra, the System Lords warred among themselves to replace him. Eventually, Cronus, Heru'ur, and Ba'al came out stronger than before, but the dominant System Lord was Apophis.
During a mission to find new hosts, the newly created SG-1 met Teal'c of Chulak, Apophis' First Prime who later joined the Tauri and eventually SG-1, Teal'c having long since grown disillusioned with Apophis while still eager to free his people, the Jaffa, from slavery at the hands of the Goa'uld.
In the aftermath of a rescue mission, MajorCharles Kawalsky became infested with a Goa'uld symbiote. Attempts to remove it proved unsuccessful with the Goa'uld eventually taking control of Kawalsky's body up until it died after the back of Kawalsky's head was severed while held partially inside the deactivating Stargate. (SG1: "The Enemy Within")
After SG-1 caused various setbacks for him, Apophis in turn launched an attack on Earth. However, SG-1 was able to get aboard Klorel's Ha'tak, and sabotage both it and Apophis' Ha'tak. Apophis and Klorel survived, but Apophis' position amongst the Goa'uld was severely weakened. Under assault from Heru'ur and Sokar, Apophis was eventually captured by Sokar and sent to Netu. (SG1: "Children of the Gods", "Within the Serpent's Grasp", "The Serpent's Lair", "Serpent's Song")
When SG-1 arrived to rescue Jacob Carter, Apophis launched a rebellion, and escaped Netu just before the Tok'ra destroyed it. Apophis soon took control of Sokar's forces, and then Heru'ur's, after an abortive alliance. After the death of Cronus, Apophis took his fleet to destroy the Tok'ra on Vorash. MajorSamantha Carter came up with the plan to destroy Apophis' fleet by causing Vorash's sun to explode. The plan worked, but caused SG-1's Ha'tak to be sent to another galaxy, along with Apophis' mothership. (SG1: "Jolinar's Memories", "The Devil You Know", "The Serpent's Venom", "Exodus")
The Replicators soon infested Apophis' mothership, and Apophis took over SG-1's mothership, but it too became infested with Replicators. SG-1 sabotaged the vessel, causing it to crash into Delmak. Apophis was aboard the Ha'tak at the time, and was killed in the crash. His body was presumably destroyed beyond repair in the crash. (SG1: "Enemies")
Return of Anubis
- "I think you'll find many things have changed ... since my return."
- ―Anubis to Thor of the Asgard[src]
With the three dominant System Lords dead, fierce infighting began amongst the remaining System Lords. However, they also began to experience a new threat among themselves, as one enemy attacked using only ships, never with Jaffa. The System Lords eventually called the High Council to deal with the issue. The recently returned Osiris also arrived, revealing the identity of their enemy—Anubis. Osiris gave the others two options: restore Anubis to the state of System Lord, or place themselves at the "mercy" of Anubis. Despite the objections of Lord Yu, Anubis was restored to his former status. What they didn't know was that Anubis had achieved Ascension, only to be cast down by the Others. This left him unable to use significant powers, but he still had a great deal of knowledge of Ancient technology, and was, for all intents and purposes, immortal. However, Anubis was unable to use any knowledge previously unavailable to him as a Goa'uld. (SG1: "Summit", "Last Stand", "Revelations", "Full Circle")
Within a matter of months, Anubis began a series of attacks against the Tau'ri, the Tok'ra, and the Asgard. Using his knowledge gained from Ascension, he was able to capture the Asgard, Thor, and extract some knowledge of Asgard technology, which included holographic technology, and beaming, which would become available to other Goa'uld. He also developed a new mothership, capable of destroying a planet. Lord Yu at first waged a one-man war against Anubis, but eventually managed to rally the other System Lords into a United Alliance of System Lords. However, Yu's powers and mental stability, because of his old age, began to decline, and Ba'al took over the leadership of the System Lords. (SG1: "Redemption, Part 1", "Redemption, Part 2", "Full Circle", "Fallen", "Homecoming")
Sensing the growing dissent among the Jaffa due to the actions of Teal'c and Bra'tac, Anubis created a new foot soldier called the Kull. They had energy absorbing armor, increased strength, and were utterly loyal to Anubis. The Tau'ri and the Tok'ra were able to make a weapon that could kill a Kull with the Ancient healing device, but Anubis now dominated the System Lords. (SG1: "Evolution, Part 1", "Death Knell")
Fearing that the Tau'ri may have gained Ancient weaponry, Anubis launched a full scale invasion of Earth, using over thirty Ha'taks and his super mothership. However, SG-1 discovered the Antarctic outpost left behind when Atlantis set off for the PegasusGalaxy. Using the Drone weapons, they destroyed Anubis' ship and his fleet, presumably killing Anubis as well. He survived due to his non-corporeal state, but the aftermath of the battle was devastating for Anubis. (SG1: "Lost City, Part 2", "Lockdown")
Reign of Ba'al
- "I am a God. Gods are all-knowing"
The defeat of Anubis caused a massive power vacuum among the System Lords. In order to avoid open war, they agreed to divide his territories among themselves evenly. However, Ba'al managed to discover Tartarus and imprint his will upon the Kull. Using them and the ships Anubis left behind, Ba'al began conquering the System Lords and absorbing their territories: Bastet and Olokun were killed, Morrigan surrendered, Ares fled but was killed by Brigadier GeneralJack O'Neill, and Moloc was killed by the Tau'ri with two missiles. Camulus sought asylum among the Tau'ri, but was ultimately sent to Ba'al and presumably killed. Yu and Amaterasu prepared an offensive, but were defeated. What no one knew was that Anubis had returned, and was using Ba'al as an unwilling puppet. (SG1: "New Order, Part 1", "New Order, Part 2", "Sacrifices", "It's Good to Be King")
Eventually, the Replicators began a full-scale invasion of the Milky Way, coming into conflict with the Goa'uld Empire. Most of the System Lords such as Yu were killed, with Ba'al being the only apparent survivor. Many among the Rebel Jaffa returned to Ba'al, believing the Replicators to be a "divine punishment". Teal'c and the remaining rebels launched an attack on Dakara, and Jacob Carter discovered that the Dakara superweapon could be used to destroy the Replicators. Jacob, Lt. ColonelSamantha Carter, and Ba'al agreed to reprogram the device, and use it to destroy the Replicators. The plan worked, but the Rebel Jaffa were able to take Ba'al's Ha'tak, forcing him to flee. The remaining Jaffa rebelled en masse. Anubis attempted to retake Dakara, to use the weapon to destroy all life in the Milky Way. However, Oma Desala, who had helped Anubis ascend, chose to battle with him for all eternity, preventing Oma from helping others to ascend, but also ceasing Anubis' interference on the lower planes. (SG1: "Reckoning, Part 1", "Reckoning, Part 2", "Threads")
Bereft of power
- "Come now, Teal'c. We're smart enough to know we're not actually gods. Well, some of us are anyway. There are always those who will begin to believe their own propaganda. I suppose all you need is enough people to worship you and then what's the difference? You're pretty much a god by definition."
Bereft of power, and a fugitive of the Free Jaffa Nation, Ba'al along with G fled to Earth, and took control of the Trust. To throw off the Free Jaffa, Ba'al created a series of clones and allowed one of them to be captured and killed by Gerak. Ba'al also attempted a new plan of conquest: by stealing Stargates and cutting them off from the rest of the network. He intended to activate the Dakara superweapon, destroying all life in the galaxy and causing the Ori, who had recently learned of human life in the Milky Way, to subsequently lose interest in the galaxy. SG-1 sabotaged his efforts. (SG1: "Ex Deus Machina", "Stronghold", "Off the Grid")
Eventually, Ba'al learned of the Sangraal. Desiring a weapon that could neutralize the Ancients and the Ori, Ba'al began searching for the Sangraal. He was forced to work with SG-1 and Adria, the leader of the Ori Army. However, the Ori found the planet they were on and took the Sangraal. SG-1 later sent it through to the Alteran Home Galaxy. (SG1: "The Quest, Part 1", "The Quest, Part 2", "The Shroud")
Hoping to end the Ori invasion, Ba'al captured Adria and took her as a host. He also killed his clones, hoping to cover his tracks. Lt. ColonelCameron Mitchell killed Ba'al during the capture of Adria, and the symbiote placed in her was soon removed. However, Mitchell expressed doubt over whether Ba'al was finally dead, fearing that one or more of Ba'al's clones may have survived. (SG1: "Dominion")
Ultimately, the last of Ba'al's clones was captured and extracted, only for the clone to claim prior to his extraction that the original Ba'al had a contingency plan. Just then, the 'real' one uses a solar flare in conjunction with a Stargate to travel back in time to prevent the Earth Stargate from getting to America by sinking the ship that was taking it to America in 1938, thereby changing the present. Using his foreknowledge, Ba'al then rose to the highest level in the renewed Goa'uld Empire, bringing a massive fleet to conquer Earth with Qetesh as his queen and Teal'c as his First Prime. Though all of the Systems Lords wished to obliterate Earth from the face of the universe, Ba'al decided to treat them leniently. This got Qetesh suspicious and forced Ba'al to reveal the location of his monitoring base before she killed him. Fortunately, the remaining members of SG-1 - who had escaped the alterations to history thanks to them travelling through the Stargate at the moment that history finished changing in the aftermath of Ba'al's modifications - allied with Teal'c and traveled to Ba'al's monitoring base, using the Stargate and a convenient solar flare to send ColonelCameron Mitchell back in time to 1929, allowing him to get into position to be on board the transport ship and kill Ba'al before he destroyed history. With the real Ba'al dead, the extraction went uninterrupted. The Ba'al symbiote died from the extraction while his host survived. With the death of the real Ba'al and his last remaining clone, the last remaining Goa'uld System Lord had fallen. (SG1: "Continuum")
- "It's a slimy, snake-like alien creature -- burrows into people's heads and takes control of their bodies."
- ―John Sheppard[src]
The Goa'uld themselves are small snake-like Symbiotes that have evolved to require a host body. Once they burrow into the body (which can be accomplished by piercing the skin in the neck), the parasite begins to wrap itself around the Humanspine. The symbiote then weaves itself around the nervous system where thin filaments are extended that go up into the brain itself. (SG1: "Children of the Gods", "The Enemy Within")
Once the Goa'uld has taken control of and has become one with the host body, it possesses the capacity to exert a remarkable level of control over it, including the capacity to kill the host at will if necessary. Even advanced Humans can be susceptible to this as the symbiote can release a deadly poison that can kill the host upon removal. Standard surgical techniques were proven to be ineffective in removing the symbiote. It is unknown how the Goa'uld which infested MajorCharles Kawalsky survived, though it appears there was a piece that had not been removed from him, for reasons unknown, which dropped out of his head after he was killed by the Stargate. However, sufficiently advanced techniques and technology such as that utilized by the Tok'ra, the Asgard, and Ma'chello can safely remove a symbiote without causing any permanent physical damage to the host. However, it is never certain that the symbiote will not release a poison if they try to remove it. This was the case with Adria. (SG1: "The Enemy Within", "Thor's Hammer", "Legacy", "Dominion")
Infant Goa'uld that have not reached maturity are not capable of fully taking over a host and only retain control of them for short periods of time which are experienced as blackouts by the host. This results in a struggle being fought over the host body between the symbiote and the host itself. In its young state, a symbiote is capable of shedding a dead husk of skin that resembles its body which has fooled many in believing that the Goa'uld has been removed. (SG1: "The Enemy Within")
A special class of Goa'uld are the Queens which are responsible for producing new larval Goa'uld for implantation into Jaffa. When encountering a new tribe of Humans or a different race, the Queen needs to first sample the DNA, or "code of life" as the Goa'uld refer to it, from the species intended to be a host. This is to ensure that there is no rejection during the process between host and larva. (SG1: "Hathor")
One of the unique factors of the Goa'uld race includes their genetic memory which provides each newborn symbiote the collective knowledge of all the Goa'uld that came before it. Another element included within their bodies was Naquadah which served as a key to activating their technology and even allowed them to sense the Naquadah present within a Stargate. Goa'uld can also sense the presence of each other within a distance of about 50 feet, due to the Naquadah in their blood. Naquadah does not appear to be a natural aspect of their biology, however, as the early Goa'uld lacked this element within their blood chemistry. Cloned Goa'uld created through human stem cell technology also lack Naquadah in their blood, despite retaining all other elements of Goa'uld culture through their genetic memory. (SG1: "The Enemy Within", "Hathor", "Seth", "The First Ones", "Nightwalkers")
The wild Goa'uld on their homeworld have been shown to cannibalize fellow symbiotes, and also lack Naquadah in their blood. The symbiote is also capable of making its eyes glow in the same way it can with a host. (SG1: "Children of the Gods", "The First Ones") Modern Goa'uld have retained the cannibalistic tendencies as part of their society, only now through the bodies of their hosts. (RPG: "Living Gods: Stargate System Lords"), (SG1: "Last Stand")
Within nearly all hosts, a Goa'uld parasite has complete control, and the degree of control to exert at any given moment is also up to the parasite. Typically entering through the neck and more seldom through the throat, the Goa'uld will attach itself to the spinal cord which allows access to the brain, leaving an entry mark. When within a host, the Goa'uld gives perfect health, increased strength, and increased intelligence. When in control of the body, the symbiote is capable of making the host's eyes glow, and also speak in a deep, booming voice. The voice, however, is an unnecessary affectation that may be used to differentiate between parasite and host, as the Tok'ra do, or simply to intimidate slaves and opponents. (SG1: "Children of the Gods")
Being taken as a host by a Goa'uld is often considered a terrible fate for the host, as they are suppressed and forced to witness countless horrors. The Goa'uld maintain that the host essentially dies when the Goa'uld takes control, but this has been proven false on numerous occasions. However, a System Lord's lo'taur often considers being taken as a host a "great honor" (they are around just in case something happens to the present host), and indeed even non-Tok'ra Goa'uld and their hosts sometimes coexist willingly (for example Kianna Cyr and possibly Hathor). Certain strong-willed hosts are capable of fighting the control of younger symbiotes that have infested them, although only to a marginal extent, such as suppressing a hand movement for a few seconds or subtly influencing a Goa'uld's subconscious thoughts (SG1: "Children of the Gods", "Thor's Hammer", "The Serpent's Lair", "Within the Serpent's Grasp", "Pretense", "Summit", "Last Stand").
The Goa'uld are capable of infesting a wide variety of hosts, from Humans to Unas (which were the Goa'uld's first hosts, because they shared their homeworld with them). Even some non-humanoid creatures, such as the carnivorous creature used as a host by Marduk, can be taken over. They can also take Asgard bodies as hosts for a short period of time, though the Asgard's genetic makeup eventually rejects the symbiote and causes the host's body to wither and die. Jaffa cannot serve as hosts due to already carrying an immature symbiote in their pouch. The Ilempiri are likewise immune to being used as hosts due to their unique biology. (Stargate) (SG1: "Deadman Switch", "The Tomb", "The First Ones")
A child of two Goa'uld hosts is called Harcesis and has all the genetic memory of the Goa'uld. A few hosts were freed from their Goa'uld, including Skaara, Vala Mal Doran, Kendra, Sarah Gardner and an Aziru clone. (SG1: "Secrets", "Thor's Hammer", "Pretense", "Chimera", "Prometheus Unbound", "Continuum")
One of the most likely threats a Goa'uld lord can face is being challenged by their children. (SG1: "The Serpent's Lair")
The final wish a Goa'uld can give their First Prime was the task of avenging their death if they were betrayed or killed by a rival. (SG1: "Continuum")
Minor Goa'uld are often forced to serve the more powerful as Underlords and can consist of former warlords that were defeated. While they can serve as lieutenants and commanders for the lord in question, there was the danger of the Underlord plotting to overthrow their master. This threat is even greater when one considers that the usurper would gain all the holdings of their master if successful. (SG1: "Prophecy")
The highest authority among the Goa'uld race included the ranks of the System Lords who fielded vast armies under their command as well as warred with one another for dominance. Whenever a System Lord or Minor Goa'uld was vanquished, it was common practice that their domain was absorbed into the victor's ranks. This usually was more than enough incentive for a Goa'uld to go to war with his neighbor and win at all cost.
They make use of personal servants who are normal humans known as Lo'taur that served their every need. On some occasions, the Lo'taur was used to serve as a spy and gain vital information from the other Lo'taur. An additional benefit of having a Lo'taur is that the Lo'taur can be used as an emergency host. Some Lo'taurs even feel honored by this possibility. (SG1: "Summit")
The Goa'uld are known to speak both Goa'uld dialects and simple English.
The Goa'uld have no qualms about using children as weapons in order to destroy an enemy. This is be highlighted by Cassandra and Rya'c. Rya'c had two teeth implanted with two viruses that, when combined, would generate a highly infectious disease which would have spread across the planet in less than a week. Cassandra had a bomb placed within her chest that, when in close proximity to the Stargate, would explode with the force of a massive nuclear explosion.
Different aspects of the Goa'uld
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- From Season 8 and onward, the Goa'uld hosts' eyes glow yellow, as opposed to the earlier seasons' white.
- Although they were the main antagonist of Stargate SG-1 for its first eight seasons, they only made one appearance in Stargate: Atlantis, specifically in the Season 2 episode "Critical Mass".
A Goa'uld Host's eyes glow
The Goa'uld are aquatic parasitic creatures that evolved into intelligent, but extremely evil, beings. A symbiote, as it is also known as, invades a host, usually human, through the back of the neck (some have been known to go through the front) and blends into the host's biological structure, attaching itself into the brain and thus gaining access to the host's knowledge and voluntary muscular system. The term "Goa'uld" is applied to both the symbiote itself and the blended host, since the host of a Goa'uld is prevented from exerting his own personality after the blending.
The Goa'uld have existed for a very long time, but they have been most successful in exerting their power since they took humans as hosts (their first hosts, the Unas, evolved on the same planet, P3X-888). The First World, Earth, was found by the Goa'uld Ra 10,000 years ago. He was searching for a new type of host for his dying race. He found that the human body made a very good host and was easily maintained through the use of the sarcophagus, a device capable of rapid healing, even from death.
Since Ra's visit to Earth, the Goa'uld have favored human beings as hosts and have taken groups of people from Earth to other planets suitable for them. They found the network of Stargates left behind by the Ancients to be a most useful tool, since the planets on which these Stargates were found were very Earth-like and would make perfect human-sustaining environments. The Goa'uld would visit these planets and take the most beautiful and healthy people to become new hosts. Teal'c described the visits as "harvests", to which Daniel replied, "You know, I wish you wouldn't say 'harvest'. We're talking about human beings, not brussel sprouts." Teal'c's responded to this by saying, "That is how the Goa'uld perceive it."
The Goa'uld perceive humans as "brussel sprouts" because they have genetic memory that gives them great knowledge. With each generation, however, access to this extraordinary knowledge produced a "god complex" and they became increasingly evil. To ensure their supremacy, they scavanged the galaxy for the latest technological advances. If a world began to show technological progress, the Goa'uld destroyed it or took it over and forced the inhabitants into slavery. Usually, this slavery included mining the precious mineral naquadah on which much of the Goa'uld's technology depended. When the mines ran dry, the Goa'uld usually abandoned the planets, leaving the people to fend for themselves. In some cases, the people were successful in overthrowing their oppressors and buried the Stargate to prevent the Goa'uld's return. The burying of the Stargate, however, did not always guarantee that the world would be free from the Goa'uld threat indefinitely, since the Goa'uld possessed starships capable of traveling exceedingly fast through hyperspace windows.
In the process of building their power, the Goa'uld made allies and enemies. As far as allies go, however, any arrangements made between the Goa'uld were usually short-lived and only lasted as long as a specific purpose was served, this purpose most often being to maintain the balance of power.
Since opening the Stargate on Earth, Stargate Command (SGC) was plunged into the middle of the galactic power struggle. Their first trip through the Stargate sent them to Abydos, a planet peopled by the descendants of Ancient Egyptians. The Abydonians slaved in the naquadah mines and worshipped Ra as their god for thousands of years. Col. Jack O'Neill and Dr. Daniel Jackson helped free the people by destroying Ra and his starship in orbit. Ra was the most powerful and feared of all the Goa'uld System Lords. After his death, the balance of power was forever changed and, subsequently, those who had hoped to overthrow the Goa'uld were given a fighting chance.
The struggle for the balance of power among the System Lords lasted nine years (since the death of Ra), until only the System Lord Ba'al remained of any great significance. His role, however, was reduced greatly when the Rebel Jaffa convinced the remaining Jaffa armies that the Goa'uld were not gods and they took the temple on the planet Dakara that was deep in Ba'al's territory. Ba'al lost his army, his territory, and his ships in the final battle among the Goa'uld, Rebel Jaffa, Tau'ri, Tok'ra, and Replicators over the planet Dakara.
Although not all of the Goa'uld are dead, the great power that they enjoyed for thousands of years no longer remains.
Comprehensive History of the Goa'uld
This series of articles covers each Goa'uld personality that the SGC has encountered since Daniel Jackson reopened the Stargate (Stargate: The Movie):
It is in the nature of the Goa'uld to serve only their own interests and basically operate on their own. However, within the race, there were some alliances formed when one group of Goa'uld wished to overthrow another.
The Goa'uld formed a feudal system of galactic rule in which the most powerful were known as System Lords. These System Lords created a High Council that exerted itself whenever one of their own began to gain too much power. The High Council was also a means by which the System Lords could unite to defeat a common enemy. They took votes on requests for a seat on the Council, but this vote did not have to be unanimous (5.16 "Last Stand Part 2"). They also required a fully-assembled Council in order to vote to stop any action they had originally agreed upon (8.02 "New Order Part 2"). The number of members of the High Council varied as System Lords came and went, but the latest estimate the SGC had indicated that the Council had around a dozen members (8.01 "New Order Part 1"). The last of the High Council died at the hands of the Replicators (8.16 "Reckoning Part 1").
- When the System Lords saw the humans of Earth, called the Tau'ri, as a threat after SG-1 eliminated several of their most powerful within a very short period of time, their attention was directed toward Earth as a possible planet for conquest or destruction. The Asgard found out about this and decided to add Earth to their list of protected planets in the Protected Planets Treaty they had with the Goa'uld System Lords. In this agreement, the Goa'uld promised that they would not destroy Earth because they feared the Asgard's supreme weaponry. Three System Lords came to Earth to represent the interest of the High Council and to negotiate with Thor of the Asgard. (3.03 "Fair Game")
- The System Lords called a summit of the High Council after the defeats of Cronus and Apophis, both of which SG-1 had helped accomplish (4.21 "Double Jeopardy" and 5.01 "Enemies Part 2", respectively). The seven most powerful System Lords met in this summit to create a new order because they had created too many losses among their own power bases fighting amongst themselves in their attempt to gain the control of the vacated domains of the two former System Lords. They also needed to deal with a common enemy, Anubis, who had once been among them but had been banished for crimes that were unspeakable even for the Goa'uld. Anubis was quickly gaining power and the High Council decided to permit him to rejoin them as a fellow-System Lord rather than fight him as an enemy. Before he took his position on the High Council, Anubis promised to get rid of the Tok'ra and the Tau'ri since he wasn't bound by the Protected Planets Treaty. (5.15 "Summit Part 1" and 5.16 "Last Stand Part 2")
- Anubis failed in annihilating the Tok'ra and the Tau'ri and most likely never gained his seat back on the Council, even though he had been voted back in. When he was collecting weapons enhancement technology, called Eyes, to create a powerful superweapon on his mothership, the System Lords, led by Yu who had opposed his readmission, attacked Anubis in orbit over Abydos. The System Lords were not able to defeat him and after losing several ships, they retreated. Anubis destroyed Abydos as a demonstration of his power and as a reminder to SG-1 not to challenge his position again, since it had been Daniel, as an Ascended Being, and SG-1 who had attempted to protect Abydos and prevent his rise in power. (6.22 "Full Circle")
- The SGC involved the High Council of the System Lords once again in opposing Anubis by baiting him with the possible location of the Lost City of the Ancients that was supposed to have a powerful weapons cache that would guarantee the possessor of galactic supremacy. The System Lords, under the leadership of Yu, was supposed to assemble over the planet Vis Uban after the SGC eliminated his superweapon. But, because Lord Yu was showing senility, his First Prime Oshu asked that Ba'al lead the combined fleet against Anubis. Ba'al did this and Anubis' mothership was destroyed in the skies of Kelowna (Jonas Quinn's homeworld), but Anubis escaped. (7.01 "Fallen Part 1" and 7.02 "Homecoming Part 2")
- After Anubis was defeated through the use of the powerful weapon left behind by the Ancients on Earth in their Antarctic Outpost, the System Lords sent three representatives to Earth to discuss regaining the balance of power by eliminating Ba'al who had been taking more than his fair share of Anubis' domain. As a test of Earth's strength and that of the Asgard, the System Lords sent a ship to provoke Earth into using the Ancient weapon, but Ba'al destroyed the ship before it made it to Earth. The System Lords did not get their demonstration of the weapon and were sent home to continue their struggle against Ba'al. (8.01 "New Order Part 1" and 8.02 "New Order Part 2")
- Ba'al's rise in power meant that many of the System Lords either died or capitulated. Eventually, only three System Lords remained: Lord Yu and two others. They were massacred on their summit space station by Replicator Carter, so that only Ba'al remained in power. (8.16 "Reckoning Part 1")
- Ba'al's total dominance, however, was kept in check by Anubis, who had himself regained much of his power after his defeat over Antarctica. These two System Lords joined forces in order to defeat the Replicators and the Rebel Jaffa, but they suffered a major blow with the destruction of their fleets in orbit over the planet Dakara, located deep within Ba'al's territory. Ba'al assisted the Tau'ri and Tok'ra in destroying the Replicators using the weapon left behind by the Ancients on Dakara, and Anubis discovered his betrayal and promised he'd live only to see the entire galaxy destroyed. Anubis was stopped in remaking the galaxy in his "grand design" by Oma Desala who engaged him in an eternal battle on the ascended plane. Ba'al remained, but his fleets, territory, and armies were no longer his. The System Lords are now no longer. (8.17 "Reckoning Part 2", 8.18 "Threads")
The Linvris was a group of nine Goa'uld who opposed the System Lords. They never gained much power and were killed by inventions left behind by Ma'chello, a man who had been placed on top of the System Lords' most wanted list because he had become a major threat to their existence. (3.04 "Legacy")
The Asgard had a Protected Planets Treaty signed with the System Lords that attempted to keep the Goa'uld in check. The terms of this treaty were not revealed in great detail and it seemed to be absolutely worthless once the System Lords gained more advanced technology to overpower even the Asgard. After the defeat of the System Lords and Replicators, the Asgard withdrew for a time to address their cloning issues. After realizing that their generations upon generations of extending their lives through cloning had produced a rapidly degenerating disease, the Asgard decided to end their lives in an act of mass suicide. They gave Earth all of their knowledge and advanced technology before their homeworld Orilla exploded during an attack by the Ori. They destroyed their world to prevent their advancements from falling into enemy hands (10.20 "Unending").
- The Asgard added Earth to the Protected Planets Treaty (3.02 "Fair Game"). This agreement did not bind the Goa'uld who were not part of the High Council and stated that the Asgard could not use their technology to save a protected planet if it was threatened by natural causes. These two points were used against Earth when Anubis attempted to destroy Earth by sending a naquadah-rich asteroid on a collision course (5.17 "Failsafe") and sending a build-up of energy through the Stargate (6.01 "Redemption Part 1" and 6.02 "Redemption Part 2").
- While attempting to protect a planet that had a valuable Asgard genetic research facility, Thor's ship was destroyed and he was taken prisoner by Osiris and Anubis. Neither one of these Goa'uld were bound by the Treaty, evidently. Anubis used a mind probe on Thor that gave him access to all of the Asgard's technological and strategic knowledge and, with this knowledge, Anubis became the most powerful Goa'uld System Lord. (5.22 "Revelations")
- Anubis attempted to destroy Earth a third time by sending an attack fleet composed of over thirty vessels. SG-1 found a powerful weapon built by the Ancients in an outpost they had in Antarctica. After Anubis' destruction, the System Lords sent three of their representatives to Earth to ask for help in destroying Ba'al who was greedily taking more than his fair share of Anubis' domain. These representatives stated that Ba'al intended to go after the planets of the Protected Planets Treaty (27 planets, including Earth) because he believed that the Asgard no longer exercised power in the galaxy. (8.01 "New Order Part 1")
The Giant Aliens are associated with Toltec and Aztec mythology and it was Nicholas Ballard, Daniel's grandfather, who had discovered them back in the 1970's when he came across a crystal skull in a temple in Belize that transported him to the aliens' planet. SG-1 happened upon this same planet and eventually, reunited Nick with his "Giant Aliens". The aliens invited Nick to stay with them so that they could exchange culture and knowledge, after Daniel answered the riddle, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend," by stating that the Goa'uld were their enemies as well. The history of why the Goa'uld and the Giant Aliens were enemies was not revealed. (3.21 "Crystal Skull")
Ma'chello's life was dedicated in eliminating the Goa'uld by inventing various weapons against them. The Goa'uld took his wife as a host and attempted to have him taken as well in order to preserve his knowledge. He escaped before being implanted. He died in the SGC infirmary, but he left behind many of his Goa'uld-killing inventions as if placing carefully-concealed mine fields. (2.18 "Holiday" and 3.04 "Legacy")
The movement of the Jaffa to end the tyranny of the Goa'uld was started by Teal'c, and their numbers began to grow once he made the call to fight against the false gods (3.01 "Into The Fire Part 2"). The Jaffa were genetically-altered humans of Earth who were engineered to carry the Goa'uld symbiotes to maturity in an abdominal pouch to improve the symbiote's chances of successfully blending with a host (1.03 "The Enemy Within"). Without the Jaffa, a symbiote had a one-in-two chance of success (6.10 "Cure"). The Jaffa's entire immune system depended on the symbiote's natural healing capabilities. The symbiotes gave the Jaffa long lives and good health, but the Jaffa depended on the symbiotes for their very survival. The Goa'uld used the strong Jaffa as soldiers and the others served them in their temples. Teal'c knew that the Goa'uld were not gods, as the Jaffa were taught since birth, but parasites. The Rebel Jaffa who answered his call built their numbers and hoped one day to free all of their brethren. At one time, they took sanctuary at the SGC's Alpha Site (6.09 "Allegiance"), but decided to strike out on their own after the Alpha Site had been discovered by Anubis and destroyed (7.16 "Death Knell"). It was most likely because of the Rebel Jaffa that Anubis replaced his Jaffa with the genetically-engineered Kull Warriors (7.11 "Evolution Part 1" and 7.12 "Evolution Part 2"). Ultimately, in the fateful encounter over the skies of the planet Dakara, the Jaffa won their freedom when the Goa'uld System Lords Ba'al and Anubis were defeated and the remaining army of Kull Warriors were destroyed (8.16 "Reckoning Part 1", 8.17 "Reckoning Part 2", 8.18 "Threads"). The struggle to form a strong, independent nation began at the same place where the Jaffa were created by the Goa'uld — on Dakara (8.18 "Threads"). After the Ori destroyed Dakara, the Free Jaffa Nation splintered as they struggled for their own survival (10.07 "Counterstrike").
The Reetou are an insect-like alien species that are 180 degrees out of phase with the humans of Earth, so they are invisible to the naked eye. The Goa'uld attempted to destroy the Reetou and as a result, Reetou rebel forces believed that the only way to get rid of the Goa'uld was to eliminate all possible hosts. It was this extreme reasoning that led this group of Reetou to attempt to destroy Earth. (2.20 "Show and Tell")
The Replicators were everyone's enemy because they didn't play political games at all—they just consumed everything they could to reproduce and this included the advanced technology that the Goa'uld possessed. The Replicators were primarily the enemy of the Asgard, but they were instrumental in the spectacular demise of Apophis before they evolved into human form (5.01 "Enemies Part 2"). Replicator Samantha Carter led the Replicators against the Goa'uld and nearly destroyed them, but she and all of her "brethren" were destroyed through the joint effort among the Goa'uld, Rebel Jaffa, Tau'ri, and Tok'ra (8.16 "Reckoning Part 1", 8.17 "Reckoning Part 2").
The Tau'ri, humans of the First World (Earth), became an enemy of the Goa'uld as soon as Ra landed his spaceship in Eygpt seeking a new kind of host for his dying race in 8000 B.C. Like Ra, many of the Goa'uld who took the humans as hosts took on the identity of other gods of Earth, including those from Babylonian, Canaanite, Celtic, Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, Hindu, Japanese, and Roman mythologies (the word "Goa'uld" means "god"). Since the Tau'ri reopened the Stargate on Earth and organized Stargate Command (SGC), they gave the Goa'uld reason to seriously consider that their days were numbered as the most powerful force in the galaxy. The Goa'uld System Lords were finally defeated after eight years of war, and they no longer posed the threat that they once did for thousands of years (8.16 "Reckoning Part 1", 8.17 "Reckoning Part 2", 8.18 "Threads", 8.19 "Moebius Part 1").
The Tok'ra were started over 2000 years ago by the Goa'uld Egeria who first opposed Ra (Tok'ra means against Ra) and his enslaving of the humans he took through the Stargate (4.04 "Crossroads"). All the Tok'ra are descendants of Egeria and, therefore, inherited her Goa'uld genetic memory and her desire to have a truly symbiotic relationship with the host. The Tok'ra do not use the sarcophagus, but instead, take new hosts when the host is about to die (most human hosts of the Tok'ra live to be close to 200 years old). They worked against the Goa'uld through subterfuge. Because they are of the same race as the Goa'uld, there was no way for the Goa'uld to tell the difference between one of their own and a Tok'ra, and the Tok'ra used this to their advantage by infiltrating the ranks of the System Lords and assuming the role of a minor Goa'uld in the System Lord's service. (2.11 "The Tok'ra Part 1" and 2.12 "The Tok'ra Part 2") The Tok'ra moved their underground bases of operations continuously, but, at one point, they took residence at the SGC's Alpha Site (6.09 "Allegiance"). Their stay on the Alpha Site was short because they were at a greater risk of being discovered with both the Tau'ri and Rebel Jaffa living there. Because of their dwindling numbers (Egeria was banished thousands of years ago and did not produce any more Tok'ra offspring), they decided to return to their underground bases (7.16 "Death Knell"). Egeria was discovered in stasis on one of Ra's former planets and died soon thereafter, basically guaranteeing the end of the Tok'ra once the last one dies (6.10 "Cure"). Despite this, the Tok'ra continued to oppose the Goa'uld and fought for the freedom of their slaves, human and Jaffa alike (6.19 "Changeling"). The Tok'ra lived to see the defeat of the Goa'uld System Lords (8.16 "Reckoning Part 1", 8.17 "Reckoning Part 2", 8.18 "Threads"), but their lives are close to an end because they do not use a sarcophagus to extend their lives, living only for about two thousand years (8.18 "Threads").
--DeeKayP 13:59, 29 Jun 2004 (PDT)
Mythology of Stargate
Mythology in the Stargate franchise
The mythology of the Stargate franchise is the historical backstory of the series' premise.
In the fictional universe of the franchise, the people of Earth have encountered numerous extraterrestrial races on their travels through the Stargate. In addition to a diversity of alien life, there is also an abundance of other humans, scattered across the cosmos by advanced aliens in the distant past. Some of the most significant species or beings in Stargate SG-1 are the Goa'uld, the Asgard, and the Replicators. Stargate Atlantis, set in the Pegasus galaxy, introduced the Wraith and the Asurans. One of the most influential species in Stargate, the Ancients, have moved on to a higher plane of existence. For practical reasons of television productions, almost all of the alien and human cultures in the Stargate's fictional universe speak native English. Because of the time constraints of an hour-long episode, it would become a major hindrance to the story each week if the team had to spend a sizeable part of each episode learning to communicate with a new species.
Stargate SG-1 explains the human population in the Milky Way galaxy by revealing that the alien Goa'uld transplanted humans from Earth to other planets for slave labor. Many of these populations were subsequently abandoned, often when deposits of the precious fictional mineral naquadah were exhausted, and developed into their own unique societies. Some of these extraterrestrial human civilizations have become much more technologically advanced than Earth, the in-show rationale being that they never suffered the setback of the Dark Ages. The most advanced of these humans were the Tollan, although they were destroyed by the Goa'uld in Season 5's Between Two Fires. The human populations of the Pegasus galaxy are the product of Ancient seeding. Few human races in Pegasus are technologically advanced, as the Wraith destroy any civilization that could potentially pose a threat. There are also large numbers of humans in the Ori galaxy, where they empower the Ori through worship.
The film Stargate establishes that five thousand years ago, the god Ra transplanted Earth humans throughout the galaxy via the Stargate. As a result, the people of Earth rose up against him, and buried their Stargate. The modern history of Earth and the Stargate begins when it is unearthed in Egypt in 1928. The device is brought to the United States in 1939 to keep it out of Nazi hands and eventually installed in a facility in Creek Mountain, Colorado (Cheyenne Mountain in Stargate SG-1). In the events of the film, Dr. Daniel Jackson deciphers the workings of the Stargate and a team is sent through to the planet on the other side.
Stargate SG-1 resumes the story of the film, but establishes that Ra was one of many parasitic Goa'uld, aliens who identify as Earth deities to various primitive human communities on planets throughout the Milky Way. In its pilot episode "Children of the Gods", which takes place a year after the film, Stargate Command is established in response to an attack by the Goa'uld Apophis, and given the mandate to explore other worlds and obtain technologies that can be used to defend Earth. They encounter other races, such as the Asgard, who masquerade as Norse gods.Stargate SG-1 further extended the backstory of Earth humans by introducing the Ancients, an advanced race of humans from another galaxy who lived on Earth until approximately 10,000 years ago.
Main article: Stargate (device)
A Stargate is a fictional device that allows practical, rapid travel between two distant locations. The first Stargate appears in the 1994 film Stargate, and subsequently carries over to Stargate SG-1 and its spin-offs. In these productions the Stargate functions as a plot generator, allowing the main characters to visit alien planets without the need for spaceships or any other fictional technology.
Within the Stargate fictional universe, Stargates are large metal rings with nine "chevrons" spaced equally around their circumference. Pairs of Stargates function by generating an artificial stable wormhole between them, allowing one-way travel through. The symbols on the inner ring of the Stargate correspond to constellations and serve to map out coordinates for various destination planets and other locations in space. A typical Stargate measures 6.7 m (22 ft) in diameter, weighs 29,000 kg (64,000 lb), and is made of the fictional heavy mineral "naqahdah". The Stargates were created millions of years ago by an alien race known as the Ancients; their modern history begins when EgyptologistDaniel Jackson deciphers their workings in the Stargate film.
The Stargate device sets apart SG-1 from other science fiction shows by allowing modern-day people to travel to other planets in an instant, although scholar Dave Hipple argued that SG-1 "also deploys [science fiction] stereotypes both to acknowledge forebears and to position itself as a deserving heir". With the help of the central Stargate device, the premise of Stargate SG-1 combines ancient cultures, present-day political and social concerns, aliens and advanced technologies. Near-instantaneous interplanetary travel allows a fundamental difference in plot structure and set design from other series. There is a disjunction between politics on Earth and the realities of fighting an interstellar war. The Stargate also helps to speed up the exposition of the setting.
See also: List of Stargate SG-1 characters § Ancients, and List of Stargate Atlantis characters § Ancients
"Ascension (Stargate)" redirects here. For the SG-1 season 5 episode, see Ascension (Stargate SG-1).
The race of the Ancients is first mentioned in the Stargate SG-1 season 2 episode "The Fifth Race" as the original builders of the Stargate network and members of the former Alliance of four great races. They were considered humanity's predecessors, originally establishing Earth as their homeworld after they migrated to the Milky Way, and having seeded multiple galaxies to allow life to evolve on uninhabited worlds. At the time that the Stargate franchise takes place, the Ancients have long since "ascended", i.e. they shed their physical bodies and live eternally as pure energy on a higher plane of existence with an increased power and capacity for learning. While they are no longer physically present in the universe, their highly advanced technology—including the Stargate—remains behind, all of which has shown to be almost entirely resilient to the decay of time, and has also proven to be the most advanced technology anyone has ever encountered. With humans from Earth as their closest descendants both from a genetic standpoint and an evolutionary standpoint, they have shown the most proclivity in utilizing Ancient technology when they encounter it.
For the first six seasons of Stargate SG-1, the ascended Ancients maintain a strict rule of noninterference in mortal affairs of the material galaxy, and the interactions between humans of Earth and the Ancients are restricted to the outcast Ancient characters Oma Desala and Orlin; the Ancients' ascension was also used as a plot device for the departure of actor Michael Shanks (Daniel Jackson) in season 6 of Stargate SG-1. The fictional background of the Ancients was extended with the franchise's Atlantis mythos that began in the Stargate SG-1 season 6 finale "Full Circle", and which also served as the basis for spin-off show Stargate Atlantis. The Ori arc of Stargate SG-1's seasons 9 and 10 expanded the Ancient mythos further.
See also: List of Stargate SG-1 characters § Asgard
A benevolent race that, according to the mythology of Stargate, gave rise to Norse mythology on Earth and inspired accounts of the RoswellGreys. The Asgard can no longer reproduce and therefore perpetuate themselves by transferring their minds into new cloned bodies. Extremely advanced technologically, the threat of their intervention protects many planets in the Milky Way, including Earth, from Goa'uld attack. They also provide much assistance to Earth in the way of technology, equipment, and expertise. Their main adversary in Stargate SG-1 are the mechanical Replicators, against which they enlist the aid of SG-1 on several occasions. The entire Asgard civilization chooses to self-destruct in "Unending", due to the degenerative effects of repeated cloning. A small rogue colony of Asgard, known as the Vanir, still exist in the Pegasus galaxy. They were able to slow cloning's negative side effects by experimenting on humans.
Mythology of Stargate SG-1
Main article: Stargate SG-1
Stargate SG-1 takes place mostly in the Milky Way galaxy. Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner tried to stay true to the feature film, but also wanted Stargate SG-1 to be unique in its own way.Stargate SG-1 gradually evolved away from the basic premise of the film and developed its own unique mythological superstructure.Stargate SG-1 elaborated on the film's Egyptian hybrid mythology and mixed in other historical mythologies, coming up with a mythological superstructure that explains the existence of all of the other mythologies in the overarching Stargate narrative. The series expands upon Egyptian mythology (notably the Egyptian gods Apep/Apophis, and Anubis as Goa'uld villains), Norse mythology (notably the god Thor as an Asgard ally), Arthurian legend (notably Merlin as an Ancient ally), and many other mythologies like Greek and Roman mythology. SG-1 does not introduce new alien races as often as some other science fiction television series. Most civilizations that the Goa'uld had transplanted maintain much of their original Earth culture, and Stargate SG-1 does not equate civilization with technology like many other sci-fi shows do. Newly encountered races or visited planets are integrated into the mythology, although plotlines of individual episodes are often new, self-standing and accessible for new audiences, giving a compelling internal coherence.
The writers had to strike a balance in the interaction between the explorers from Earth and advanced races (of which there were only few in the story) so that alliances could be developed where the advanced races do not give Earth all their technology and knowledge.Stargate SG-1 emphasized its present-day-Earth story frame by frequently referencing popular culture, like The X-Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer had done before. According to one critic in 1997, Stargate SG-1 was designed to have no nationality, which might appeal to viewers all over the world. The final episodes of season 7 (2004) brought a more global approach to the scenario when the Stargate Program was revealed to over a dozen nations, which further helped the international appeal of Stargate SG-1.
Alliance of four great races 
SG-1 learns in season 1's "The Torment of Tantalus" that although most known habitable planets in the Stargate universe are populated by humans, there was once an Alliance of four great races. In season 2's "The Fifth Race", the Asgard tell Jack O'Neill that this strategic alliance had consisted of the Ancients, the Asgard, the Furlings, and the Nox, and that the humans from Earth had taken the first steps towards becoming "the Fifth Race". (This comes full circle in the Stargate SG-1 finale "Unending", when Thor declares the humans from Earth the Fifth Race.)
SG-1 had encountered the Nox in season 1's "The Nox", a fairy-like people that wants nothing to do with humanity, viewing them as "young" and having "much to learn". The Nox can live to be hundreds of years old and have a great desire for wisdom and understanding. They are extreme pacifists and never employ violence for any reason, even to defend themselves. Although they outwardly seem to be primitive forest-dwellers, they possess superhuman intelligence and advanced technology beyond that of the Goa'uld, including a floating city. As they have the ability to render themselves and other objects invisible and intangible, as well as the ability to resurrect the dead, they never need to fight.  The Nox also appear in "Enigma" and "Pretense".
However, Stargate SG-1 revealed virtually nothing about the Furlings, beside making them the story backdrop of an abandoned site in season 6's "Paradise Lost". Furling skeletons were originally planned to be featured in the episode, but the production of such proved to be too expensive.Jack O'Neill concludes that the Furlings must be cute and cuddly creatures, based solely on their name. In "Citizen Joe", another character equates the Furlings to Ewoks based on their name. The length of time that the Furling nature remained a mystery in the series turned into a running gag. When Executive Producer Robert C. Cooper was asked "Will we ever meet the Furlings?", his answer was "Who says we haven't?". The writers later went on to state that apart from showing Furling technology and legacy, no member of the Furling race has ever appeared on the show. Producer Joseph Mallozzi claimed that more about the Furlings would finally be revealed in SG-1's tenth season, which turned out to be an imagined scene from a movie script based on the fictional television series "Wormhole X-Treme!", a parody of Stargate SG-1 set in the Stargate SG-1 universe. The Furlings were depicted as Ewok-like, or Koala-like creatures that are destroyed by the Goa'uld soon after making contact with SG-1.
See also: List of Stargate SG-1 characters § Goa'uld, List of Stargate SG-1 characters § Tok'ra, and List of Stargate SG-1 characters § Jaffa
The Goa'uld are the primary adversaries in Stargate SG-1 from seasons 1 to 8. Stargate SG-1 creators Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner established in SG-1's 1997 pilot episode "Children of the Gods" that the film's unnamed alien race and the Goa'uld are the same. As such, the look of the series' Goa'uld, including the early archvillain Apophis, was based on Ra in the feature film. The Goa'uld are introduced as the first and most prominent alien race in the Milky Way, and are also one of the few nonhumanoid species to appear in the early seasons of the series. They are a parasitic species that resemble finned snakes, which can burrow themselves into a humanoid's neck and wrap around the spinal column. The Goa'uld parasite (generally referred to as a "symbiote") then takes control of its host's body and mind, while providing longevity and perfect health. The Goa'uld are branded as evil by their pretending to be gods and forcing people to submit to their quasi-religious pronouncements. The most powerful Goa'uld in the galaxy are collectively known as the System Lords.
The fictional backstory is established over the course of the series. In season 4's "The First Ones", it is stated that the Goa'uld evolved on the planet P3X-888, where there are still populations of primitive Goa'uld. Their original hosts were the Unas (meaning "First Ones"), a race of large and primitive humanoids also native to the planet and whom SG-1 had first encountered in season 1's "Thor's Hammer". The Goa'uld then found and ruled over Earth for thousands of years, masquerading as gods from ancient mythologies and transplanting humans throughout the galaxy to serve as slaves and hosts. A faction of Goa'uld symbiotes named the Tok'ra (meaning "against Ra"), whom SG-1 first encounter in season 2's "The Tok'ra" and become close allies with, formed in opposition to the Goa'uld culturally and militarily millennia ago to live in true symbiosis with their hosts, both beings sharing the body equally and benefiting from each other.
The Goa'uld modified humans to create the Jaffa to serve as soldiers and as incubators for their young via an abdominal pouch. The story of the Jaffa is primarily told through the main character Teal'c. The Jaffa's look in the series was copied from the Egyptian look of Ra from the film. The Jaffa rely on the symbiotes for their immune system or will die a slow and painful death that can only be avoided by either acquiring a new symbiote or by lifelong regular injections of a replacement drug called Tretonin. Jaffa bear a symbol of their Goa'uld master's insignia on their foreheads, and the highest-ranking Jaffa in the service of a Goa'uld is known as the First Prime. SG-1 encounters three notable Jaffa factions: the all-female Hak'tyl ("liberation") lead by Ishta in season 7's "Birthright", the Ancient-worshipping Sodan in season 9's "Babylon", and the Ori-worshipping Illac Renin (meaning "Kingdom of the Path") in season 10's "Talion".
The planet Dakara, a holy ground for the Goa'uld and Jaffa alike, is the turning point in the Goa'uld–Jaffa power struggle in season 8's "Reckoning"/"Threads": It is where the Ancients first landed in the Milky Way Galaxy after fleeing the Alteran Galaxy and later built a powerful device, capable of destroying existing life or creating it where there was none before, long before the galaxy was colonized by the Goa'uld or the humans. Since season 8 was intended to be the show's last, the producers had finished it with the defeat of the Goa'uld and the Replicators. However, when the Sci Fi Channel renewed the series, the producers had grown tired of writing endings. Having had good experiences with the first season of Stargate Atlantis, the producers decided to revamp the series by more than just adding new characters, new villains and new missions. Thus they considered the beginning of Season 9 as the pilot of a new show and replaced the Goa'uld with the Ori as the main villains. The Goa'uld still appeared in the show, but on a regular basis under the command of Ba'al.
Main article: Ori (Stargate)
See also: List of Stargate SG-1 characters § Ori
A major threat in the cosmos, the Ori are Ascended beings who use their advanced knowledge of the universe to force lesser beings to worship them. In essence, they used to be Ancients, however they split into separate groups due to different views of life. The Ori are religious while the Ancients prefer science. The Ori sway lesser-developed planets into worshipping them by promising Ascension through an invented and empty religion called "Origin". This religion states that they created humanity and as such are to be worshiped by their creations. It also promises its followers that, on death, they will Ascend. However, Origin was designed to channel energy from the human worshipers to the Ori. As such, the Ori never help anyone else Ascend because then they would have to share the power that they sap from their worshipers. Their ultimate goal is to completely destroy the Ascended Ancients, who they know as "the Others". All of their efforts, including their technology, are for the purpose of garnering worshippers.
As Ascended beings, the Ori do not interfere directly in the mortal plane. They use instead humans called Priors, which they artificially evolve so that they are one step from Ascension, giving the Priors godlike powers. Because the Ori have worshipers across the entire home galaxy of the Ancients, and use their knowledge to spread, they are nearly unstoppable. For example: Ori warships, built using conventional means while operated through the supernatural abilities of the Priors, are generally considered to be the most powerful vessels in the Stargate universe.
The Ori might be regarded as a shadow form of the Goa'uld, with the significant difference that the Ori promise ascension to their followers but never provide it.
Mythology of Stargate Atlantis
Main article: Stargate Atlantis
Stargate Atlantis explores the adventures of an elite expedition from Earth, the "Atlantis Expedition", in the Pegasus Galaxy.[a] The story arc of Stargate Atlantis begins in the season 6 finale of Stargate SG-1, "Full Circle", where Daniel Jackson first mentions the Lost City of the Ancients. The search for the Lost City continues through SG-1' season 7 with the aim to find powerful weapons, and ends with an Ancient outpost found in Antarctica in the season 7 finale "Lost City". In SG-1's season 8 premiere "New Order", Daniel Jackson discovers the gate address to the legendary city Atlantis of Greek mythology. The Atlantis Expedition has a multi-nation civilian leadership and a predominantly United States military faction providing security. Their intent is to establish diplomacy with inhabitants of the galaxy and a permanent human base in the city of Atlantis for scientific and military research and exploration.
The pilot episode "Rising" of Stargate Atlantis establishes much of the backstory of Atlantis: The city was built by the Ancients millions of years ago, originally as a central outpost in prehistoric Antarctica, until an unexplained crisis—involving a virulent plague—forced them to relocate the city to the planet Lantea in the Pegasus Galaxy via intergalactic hyperdrive engines. The Ancients (known as "Ancestors" to the denizens of Pegasus, and "Lanteans" to the Wraith) seeded several human populations in the Pegasus galaxy, but rarely interbred with them. As explained in season 1's "The Defiant One", the Wraith drove the Ancients from their holdings until only Atlantis was left, defended by its powerful shield and a network of armed satellites. The Atlantis Expedition learn during their arrival in Atlantis in "Rising" that the Ancients submerged the city in Lantea's ocean to evade detection by the Wraith and returned via stargate to Earth, where survivor recollections formed the basis for the ancient Greek accounts of Lost City of Atlantis. In the Atlantis series finale "Enemy at the Gate", Atlantis returns to Earth and lands in the Pacific Ocean near San Francisco.
The producers intended the city of Atlantis to be the size of Manhattan.: 251 Many sets used for Atlantis are part of a large sound stage that was built for almost US$2 million. This stage is used for rooms like the brig, several balconies, and other interior parts of Atlantis. Green screens were used if an outdoor view was required in an episode. According to digital effects artist Bruce Woloshyn, the series' original CGI model of the city of Atlantis was over four million polygons, which was feature film in size. This allows the city model to still look good and detailed in extreme close view. Since most of the city is modelled rather than textured, the details appear more realistic when the virtual camera revolves around the city model.
See also: List of Stargate Atlantis characters § Wraith
The Wraith are the main antagonists in Stargate Atlantis and the dominant species in the Pegasus Galaxy. They are biologically immortal hive-based humanoids who maintain the human worlds of the Pegasus Galaxy as livestock to feed on their "life-force". As established in season 1's "The Gift", the Wraith evolved in the Pegasus galaxy after a human population seeded by the Ancients was fed upon by an insect called the irratus bug, which has the ability to draw upon a human's life to heal itself. As they fed, the bugs incorporated human DNA into themselves, giving rise to the Wraith. The Wraith have destroyed any civilizations with the potential to threaten their dominance, and few human races in Pegasus surpass Earth in technological advancement when the Earth expedition arrives.
The existence of the Wraith is restricted to waking en masse every few centuries to replenish their health by galaxy-wide abductions of humans called "cullings", but the arrival of the Atlantis Expedition in the Pegasus Galaxy in the pilot episode "Rising" leads to the Wraith waking prematurely from their hibernation. To sate their hunger, the Wraith try to get to Earth whose population is much bigger than that of the whole Pegasus Galaxy. This can only be achieved either through the Stargate or by getting more advanced Hyper drive technology, both of which are present in the city of Atlantis.
Mythology of Stargate Universe
Main article: Stargate Universe
Stargate Universe was conceived as "a completely separate, third entity" in the live-action Stargate franchise. Although it was firmly entrenched in pre-established Stargate mythology, Stargate Universe diverged in a new direction. Like the first two series in the franchise, Stargate Universe takes place during the present time, not in the distant future. Unlike SG-1 and Atlantis, no single dominant villain race is featured.
The show is set on the Ancient ship Destiny, which is established as a part of an Ancient experiment to seed the universe with Stargates millions of years ago and investigate a groundbreaking discovery they made pertaining to the origins of the universe. The Destiny itself was intended to follow a pre-programmed course to explore these galaxies, but was left unmanned and lost at the time of the Ancients' ascension. The series starts when a team of soldiers and scientists from Earth step through the Stargate to find the Destiny and are unable to return to Earth. The show focuses mostly on the people aboard the ship and their survival instead of planet-based exploration, and according to Brad Wright, would also "focus on exploration and adventure – and, by extension, the occasional alien encounter as well". In Brad Wright's words, the show was to be "hopefully exploring the truly alien, and avoiding the rubber faced English-speaking one".
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- ^ abBeeler 2008, p. 273.
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- ^Mallozzi, Joseph (September 18, 2008). "September 18, 2008: Saying Goodbye to SGA, Looking Forward to SGU". josephmallozzi.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2008-09-19.
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- ^Sumner, Darren & Read, David (April 5, 2008). "Stargate Universe Revealed!". GateWorld. Retrieved 2008-04-05.
- ^Read, David (December 5, 2008). "Crossroads: An Interview With Martin Gero". GateWorld. Retrieved 2008-12-08.
- ^Wilson, Mark (February 2009). "Interview: Stargate Writer-Producer Joseph Mallozzi". About.com. Retrieved 2009-02-08.
- ^ abMallozzi, Joseph (March 20, 2009). "March 20, 2009: Promo Particulars, DeLuise Directs, and a Modest Mailbag". josephmallozzi.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2009-03-21.
- Beeler, Stanley W.; Dickson, Lisa, eds. (2005). Reading Stargate SG-1. London: I.B. Tauris. ISBN .
- Beeler, Stan (May 2008). "Stargate SG-1 and The Quest For The Perfect Science Fiction Premise". In Telotte, J.P (ed.). The Essential Science Fiction Television Reader. United States: University Press of Kentucky. ISBN .
- Booker, M. Keith (2004). Science Fiction Television. Praeger Publishing. ISBN .
- Elrod, P. N.; Conrad, Roxanne, eds. (2015). The Stepping Through the Stargate. BenBella Books, Inc. ISBN .
- Storm, Jo (December 6, 2005). Approaching the Possible: The World of Stargate SG-1. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: ECW Press. ISBN .
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