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|Diet||Same as the Host|
|Behind the Scenes|
"I mean 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
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 Edit
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 ApophisEdit
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'alEdit
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