The Others are a group of Ascended Beings who have joined in a collective to enforce rules governing their interactions with those not on their higher plane of existence.
Known by Many Names
Perhaps as long as 50 million years ago, a group of advanced humans known as the Altera left their home galaxy to flee for their lives. Those who sought to kill them were the Ori. The Altera and Ori had belonged to one society, but divided when they had philosophical differences concerning ascension, the shedding of the physical form to become a being of energy — an Ascended Being. The Altera saw the process to ascension as a scientific one where a human evolved both physically and mentally, while the Ori attached a religious aspect to ascension, calling it the Path to Enlightenment because ascension exposes one to greater knowledge and understanding of the universe. Over time, the Ori became extremists in their religion and sought to kill all those who did not see ascension as they did. There is a great responsibility put upon those who achieve ascension because the various planes of existence are connected such that those who are on the higher planes can become more powerful through the surrender of the free will of a human on the lower plane. (6.04 "Frozen", 9.02 "Avalon Part 2", 9.10 "The Fourth Horseman Part 1")
The Altera found the Milky Way after traveling thousands of years from their home. They called their new home "Avalon" and built the network of Stargates, called "Astria Porta", as well as several other technologies. After being present in the galaxy for some time, they became known as the Ancients. (9.02 "Avalon Part 2")
The Altera and Ori were advanced in their evolution so that eventually they ascended. In order to make sure that they handled themselves responsibly in the ascended planes, the Altera joined together into a collective which shared the same philosophy concerning ascension and how they interacted with the lower planes of existence. This group became known as The Others. The Ori organized themselves into a collective as well and built a religion centered around worshipping them as humanity's creators and gods, but lying to their believers that they will achieve ascension. The two groups manifest themselves differently in the physical plane of existence: The Others usually take on the form of dark storm clouds, while the Ori have taken on the form of a wall of fire. (5.03 "Ascension", 6.22 "Full Circle", 9.03 "Origin Part 3", 9.10 "The Fourth Horseman Part 1")
The Ancients, the human descendants of the Altera who populated the Milky Way, also learned to ascend. There were still some of them, however, who had not yet reached that point. Some of them continued research into ascension where technology could be used to advance a human's evolution through DNA manipulation. While the Ancients existed in both the corporeal and ascended planes, a plague swept through the galaxy and killed off those who could not ascend. Before this happened, however, a group of the Ancients left the Milky Way five to ten million years ago in their city-ship Atlantis and settled in the Pegasus galaxy. After the plague swept through the galaxy, a group of Ancients used a device on the planet known as Dakara and reseeded the galaxy with life. (6.22 "Full Circle", 8.18 "Threads", 9.09 "Prototype"; Stargate Atlantis: 1.01 "Rising Part 1")
The Ancients who left the Milky Way to live in Pegasus continued research on ascension. Even throughout those millions of years in Pegasus, there remained those who had not yet evolved to the point where they could naturally ascend. As late as 10,000 years ago, there still remained Ancients who were in human form. These people were the last of the city-dwellers who escaped through the Stargate back to Earth after they lost the war to a race called the Wraith. Ironically, the Ancients created this race when they seeded Pegasus with life upon their arrival. Those Ancients who returned to Earth 10,000 years ago integrated themselves into Earth's societies and some of them actually influenced Earth's history. (9.02 "Avalon Part 2"; Stargate Atlantis: 1.03 "Hide And Seek", 1.15 "Before I Sleep")
Throughout these millions of years, the Altera and Ancients ascended (Stargate Atlantis: 2.12 "Epiphany"). Some joined the collective of Ascended Beings called The Others and it was this group that were caught in a war of cosmic significance once the Ori discovered humanity's existence in the Milky Way.
The Rules of The Others
The rules of The Others are designed to ensure a kind of balance in the many levels of existence. The Others are afraid of becoming corrupted with the power obtained through the surrender of man's free will, so they have kept their existence secret in order to prevent man from worshipping them as gods and to prevent themselves from succumbing to the temptation of manipulating life on the lower planes to obtain this power. After seeing what the power obtained through worship has done to the Ori, their first rule is that of non-interference. They chose to avoid entirely the risk of corruption this type of power brings (to "deny the battle"). The Others are aware of the planes of existence higher than their own and have decided to pursue a different path in reaching those levels. (4.17 "Absolute Power", 8.18 "Threads", 9.09 "Prototype", 9.10 "The Fourth Horseman Part 1")
The Others' rules concerning action and inaction on the lower planes of existence:
- Do not accelerate the natural ascension process of those beneath. (5.03 "Ascension")
- No lone ascended being shall help a lower to ascend. (8.18 "Threads")
- If you deserve to be here you should be able to get here on your own. If there's an exception, for whatever reason, a majority vote by the collective can get you in. (8.18 "Threads")
- The Others use their collective powers to avert anything from affecting the universe on a grand cosmic level. (8.18 "Threads")
- The Others are always watching each other and other ascended. (8.18 "Threads")
The Others have enforced these rules through various means when an Ascended Being breaks the rules and takes action in the lower planes. The form of punishment of each individual's crimes varies, but in all cases known to-date, The Others have not destroyed another Ascended Being.
The Others believed that to interfere by aiding humanity in the fight against the Ori and their invasion forces in the Milky Way would make them "no better than the Ori", and it was this fear of both the corruption and the punishment that deterred an individual Ascended Being to take action. Even after knowing that the Ori posed a threat to their very own existence as well, The Others chose to take no action to defend themselves and whenever The Others caught one of their own breaking the rules and interfering, they placed heavy penalties that couldn't be predicted, but were considered severe enough to deter others from trying the same. (10.03 "The Pegasus Project")
The following are outcasts of The Others, meaning that they had been part of the collective at one time, but chose to break the rules. Additionally, only those outcasts who have interacted with SG-1 have been included (that is to say, only those met in Stargate SG-1 and not those met in Stargate Atlantis).
Oma Desala was the first Ascended Being that the members of SG-1 met. She broke the "number one" rule of The Others: No lone ascended being shall help a lower to ascend. She also broke other rules, such as revealing the Path to Enlightenment (ascension) and spawning religions concerning ascension in several cultures, including those of the Jaffa and of Earth (akin to Buddhism). She built a temple on the planet Kheb and wrote instructions on how to reach the higher planes of existence through metaphysical means. Her philosophy was, "When the mind is enlightened, the spirit is free and the body matters not." She felt that a person who was good to the very core deserved to obtain ascension even if his body was not advanced physically to do it on his own. When she saw "humanity's potential" in an individual, she would watch that person, and when the time was right, usually at that person's death, she'd offer ascension. If the person released his burdens and put behind him his mortal existence, she'd help him to ascend. (3.20 "Maternal Instinct", 6.22 "Full Circle", 8.18 "Threads")
Oma's philosophy was embraced by Daniel Jackson when he began to read the writings on the temple walls at Kheb. He opened his mind to the possibility of ascension, of higher planes of existence. Oma saw a purity in him that singled him out and when he was dying of radiation poisoning, she helped him to ascend. (3.20 "Maternal Instinct", 5.21 "Meridian")
Oma did this with many people over the thousands of years that she worked. For the most part, she was successful in bringing good people into the ascended planes. But, her judgment was not perfect and she made some mistakes. Her biggest mistake was helping Anubis, a Goa'uld, to ascend. He learned enough about ascension from research left behind by the Ancients to trick her. She was not able to see the evil that he was and as soon as she realized what she had done, she tried to undo it, but The Others stepped in. They sent him down a few levels and warned him that he could only do things that a regular Goa'uld could do. But, as Oma's punishment, she could not destroy him and had to watch as he continued to wreak havoc and keep eternal life. All her attempts to do good deeds could not negate the mistake she had made, and as she continued to do her "work", she risked the balance by possibly ascending someone who could not responsibly handle the power which came with being ascended. When Anubis was poised to kill all life in the galaxy, Oma finally decided to take responsibility for breaking the rules and engaged him in an eternal struggle. Now, neither one of them can interfere in any plane of existence, and thus, Oma's work is now ended. (3.20 "Maternal Instinct", 8.18 "Threads")
Orlin broke "one of the most sacred rules" of The Others: Do not accelerate the natural ascension process of those beneath. The "natural ascension process" includes both physical and mental advancement. Orlin gave the knowledge on how to build a weapon to a society which was not yet technologically sophisticated enough to create the weapon on their own. The Velonans were about to be destroyed by a Goa'uld and Orlin couldn't stand and watch them die, so he gave them this knowledge and they defeated the Goa'uld. But, with this great power came great responsibility, and the Velonans were so corrupted by this advancement that they decided to use the weapon to conquer other worlds. The Others destroyed the Velonans and then banished Orlin on the desolate planet. (5.03 "Ascension")
When the SGC was about to power up the weapon on Velona, Orlin retook human form and physically tried to prevent its use. The Others had seen Orlin's sacrifice after he successfully disconnected the naquadah reactor the SGC had used as the weapon's new power source and was mortally wounded in the process. As he lay dying, The Others accepted him back into the collective and he ascended once more. He destroyed the remaining pieces of the weapon with lightning and then rejoined The Others in their storm cloud. (5.03 "Ascension")
But, Orlin kept an eye on what was going on with Carter since he had fallen in love with her the moment he first saw her on Velona. After the Ori sent a plague to Earth through one of their Priors (missionaries), he decided to retake human form once again to help find a cure. Surprisingly, Orlin was permitted to retain all of his advanced knowledge he had gained as an Ascended Being. The Others permitted him to keep this knowledge because of the great threat the Ori posed to everyone's planes of existence. But, Orlin's crossing the line came at a tremendous sacrifice, for he knew that he would not be permitted to ascend again and his use of the knowledge would permanently damage his brain. Orlin did help the SGC in developing a vaccine to the plague, but the cost was his memories of those he loved and of his successful contributions to help humanity. He was committed to a care facility on Earth to live out his days as a human. (9.10 "The Fourth Horseman Part 1", 9.11 "The Fourth Horseman Part 2")
Myrddin (aka Merlin) was among those Ancients who evacuated Atlantis in the Pegasus galaxy 10,000 years ago and returned to Earth through the Stargate. At the time of his departure, he was known as Moros and was the last High Councilor of Atlantis. After coming to Earth, he chose to live his life in seclusion and medition and eventually ascended. But, Myrddin was not satisfied with the non-interference rules of The Others. He couldn't stand by and do nothing while the Altera's rivals, the Ori, posed a threat to not only the Ascended themselves, but to humanity as well. Myrddin decided to retake human form, and in doing so, he influenced Earth's history by becoming the wizard Merlin of Arthurian legends. Merlin was one of the most powerful beings on Earth after he descended, for he kept his Ancient powers and knowledge while in human form. (9.01 "Avalon Part 1", 10.03 "The Pegasus Project")
Myrddin knew that The Others were watching him, so he first had to develop a way to do his research in secret. He developed a phase-shifting device so that he could do his work in an alternate dimension. This device became known as "Arthur's Mantle" in the Arthurian legends because it rendered a person invisible as he was actually phased into another dimension. (9.18 "Arthur's Mantle")
The Others found out that Merlin was developing a weapon which could wipe out all Ascended Beings, so they sent Ganos Lal to watch him. Ganos Lal was an Atlantian just as Merlin had been and also chose to seclude herself and meditate to achieve ascension after she left Atlantis. Ganos Lal became known as Morgan Le Fay of Arthurian legends — Merlin's greatest rival. It wasn't clear as to whether or not she descended to stop Merlin, but Ascended Beings have been known to take on human form and "reascend" at will (Shifu in 4.17 "Absolute Power"; Chaya of Stargate Atlantis: 1.14 "Sanctuary").
Most likely because of Le Fay's interference, Myrddin had to move his research to another planet. He left his interdimensional device in the caverns of Avalon and resumed his work on a planet with a village named Camelot. A tablet that Myrddin carved in Ancient and signed was discovered by Vala Mal Doran, and she brought this tablet for Daniel to decipher, translate, and interpret. Daniel found Myrddin's name on the list of the people who had left Atlantis and made the association between the names "Myrddin" and "Merlin". That led him to discover Merlin's caverns deep under the Glastonbury Tor in England, where they found an intergalactic communications device and the interdimensional device. (9.02 "Avalon Part 2", 9.18 "Arthur's Mantle")
Ironically, Merlin's reason for retaking human form was to develop a weapon to neutralize the Ori, but it was through the use of his intergalactic communications device that alerted the Ori to the existence of humanity in the Milky Way in the first place. (9.02 "Avalon Part 2", 9.03 "Origin Part 3")
Once Merlin's interdimensional device was activated, Daniel discovered Merlin's research into his anti-Ori weapon and the Stargate address of where he resumed his work. SG-1 visited Merlin's library in Camelot where Daniel found images of the Sangreal, the anti-Ascended weapon. This device was in the form of a blood-red pendant that Merlin's holographic image wore. The Sangreal had been described in various versions of the Arthurian legends as the "Holy Grail". The villagers of Camelot told Daniel that Merlin had disappeared at about the same time as Arthur and his knights went in search of the Sangreal, but Merlin left prophecies that stated that Arthur would return as soon as the sword was pulled from the stone in the center of the village. (9.18 "Arthur's Mantle", 9.20 "Camelot Part 2")
After the Ori successfully built an intergalactic Supergate and sent four of their massive warships to the Milky Way, the search for Merlin's weapon became one of the highest priorities of SG-1. They looked for it or for information on it on Camelot (9.20 "Camelot Part 2", 10.02 "Morpheus", 10.04 "Insiders"), on Vagonbrei (10.02 "Morpheus"), in Atlantis (10.03 "The Pegasus Project"), on Castiana (10.04 "Insiders"), on Sahal (10.04 "Insiders"), and in a private collection on Earth (10.05 "Uninvited"), before they were tipped on its location by Adria, the Orici of the Ori, through a dream she gave to her mother, Vala Mal Doran, the newest member of SG-1 (10.10 "The Quest Part 1").
The planet's address was the result of combining the three addresses of Castiana, Sahal, and Vagonbrei to create a unique address. The team had to go through several challenges to find the Sangreal because Morgan Le Fay meant that only one who was "true of spirit" could eventually possess it. Adria led SG-1 to the planet because she wanted Daniel Jackson to obtain the Sangreal for her, believing that a formerly Ascended would be the only one "true of spirit" enough. Eventually, the challenges that Morgan had placed on the quest for the Sangreal led the team to a chamber on another planet, and this chamber was the resting place of Merlin himself, frozen in an Ancient stasis pod. Adria was left behind by the transporting technology, most likely because her Ori nature was detected. (10.11 "The Quest Part 2")
Morgan Le Fay had to destroy the original weapon that Merlin created, but knowing it might be needed in the future, she preserved the only man who knew how to build another one. The team released Merlin from his stasis after his having been there for well over a thousand years. (10.11 "The Quest Part 2")
Daniel told Merlin about how they found him. Merlin asked Daniel how it was that he knew so much about Ascended Beings, and Daniel admitted that he had been one himself. The two formerly-ascended men found common ground in their belief that The Others' policy of non-interference was "absurd" in the context of the Ori threat. Merlin had known about Oma's work and knew she focused on an individual's worthiness, so he decided to find out what it was in Daniel that had interested Oma to the point that she helped him to ascend. Merlin's trust in Daniel and his teammates was put to the ultimate test as he handed over the knowledge to build the weapon to Daniel before his body died from being held in the stasis chamber too long. Daniel actually downloaded Merlin's consciousness and gained Merlin's advanced human powers and knowledge, including the memories of the many lives that Merlin had lived: on Atlantis, on Earth before the dawn of civilization, his time as Merlin during King Arthur's time, and his many hours spent in the lab in which he was held in stasis. Merlin's memories of his time ascended, however, were not included, but it appeared that later, he had access to some of Daniel's memories of his time ascended that perhaps Daniel himself had not remembered on his own. (10.11 "The Quest Part 2", 10.14 "The Shroud")
Together, Merlin and Daniel began to rebuild the weapon, but only got to Stage 2 before Adria caught up with them. The red jewel known as the Sangreal was actually the final stage and the key to making the weapon work. Not wishing for the incomplete weapon to fall into Adria's hands, Daniel stayed behind with it while using Merlin's advanced human powers to help his teammates escape. While in Adria's custody, Daniel/Merlin decided on a plan that would enable them to complete the weapon and steal an Ori warship and fly it through the Supergate to the Ori's home galaxy where the weapon would detonate. In order for their plan to succeed they had to convince Adria that Daniel had become a believer so that she would reward his devotion by making him a Prior. Merlin protected Daniel from Adria as she tried to seduce him to Origin. As a Prior, Daniel/Merlin could interact with the Ori warship's systems with their genetic and mental powers. (10.11 "The Quest Part 2", 10.14 "The Shroud")
The one complication to Daniel's and Merlin's plan was the wormhole blocking the Supergate that the team had created from a Stargate in the Pegasus galaxy (10.03 "The Pegasus Project"). Daniel intentionally had himself captured by his team so that he could ask them to sever the connection. Not trusting him as a Prior, the team intended to carry out the mission without him, but Daniel/Merlin managed to escape confinement and help them accomplish the goal. Merlin had programmed Daniel's body to return to its original state before the download, and he left Daniel's body before knowing if they were successful at eliminating the Ori. (10.14 "The Shroud")
Daniel said that Merlin had sacrificed himself to see the plan to its completion. Merlin's passing meant that his anti-Ascended weapon could never be built again. (10.14 "The Shroud")
Ganos Lal/Morgan Le Fay
Ganos Lal was one of the Atlantian Ancients who abandoned Atlantis for Earth 10,000 years ago. Before she left, she created an instructional holographic program in Atlantis to teach young Lantians about the city's systems. It was through the use of this holographic program that she attempted to help Daniel Jackson find clues as to where Merlin might have hidden his anti-Ori weapon, the Sangreal. (10.03 "The Pegasus Project")
When the Ancients arrived on Earth 10,000 years ago, they realized that they could never rebuild their once-great society. Ganos Lal chose to seclude herself and meditate to achieve ascension. Thousands of years later, her fellow-Lantian, Moros, chose to retake human form in order to build the Sangreal. The Others sent Ganos Lal to observe him, and if necessary, to stop him. (9.18 "Arthur's Mantle", 10.03 "The Pegasus Project")
According to all of the data collected by Daniel Jackson thus far, Merlin did succeed in building his weapon and Ganos Lal took action. She might have retaken human form in order to stop him, perhaps stealing the Sangreal from him which might have prompted Arthur and his knights' quest, because, according to Arthurian legends, she became Merlin's greatest rival, known by the name Morgan Le Fay. (9.18 "Arthur's Mantle", 9.20 "Camelot Part 2", 10.02 "Morpheus", 10.03 "The Pegasus Project")
When Daniel Jackson went to Atlantis to determine the Stargate addresses of two planets that the villagers of Camelot told him were where Arthur and his knights went on their quest, Morgan found a unique opportunity to aid him in the search. She impersonated the holographic interface she had built and gave him the Ancient names of the planets and their Stargate addresses when he asked about Castiana and Sahal. Daniel, however, knew that she could not possibly recognize the Old English names of these planets because that language did not exist 10,000 years ago. Morgan eventually revealed herself and explained some of Merlin's history. Even though she opposed Merlin those many years ago, she claimed that things have changed and she wanted to help Daniel in the fight against the Ori by giving him the answers he sought concerning the two planets. (10.03 "The Pegasus Project")
Morgan revealed that she knew Daniel when he was ascended and said that he wouldn't remember because those memories were stripped from him. Daniel realized that she feared punishment similar to his — that she would lose her identity and all that she had accomplished by reaching her level of ascension. Although Morgan knew that the Ori were a great threat at the very time that Daniel pleaded for more help, she feared that there were not enough of her kind to make a difference in the fight. Daniel asked for more help — for the Ancients to ensure their own survival by helping themselves — and Morgan appeared to start to give him a clue ("Merlin's weapon is not..."), but The Others apparently stopped her by pulling her out. (10.03 "The Pegasus Project")
Morgan's punishment was not revealed to SG-1, but her legacy, however, remained and was discovered by the team on a planet thought to be the hiding place of the Sangreal. She left behind the Parchment of Virtues that gave clues as to how to navigate the various tests she designed to weed out those without "truth of spirit". Her elaborate set-up was meant to protect Merlin himself whom she had placed in an Ancient stasis pod in a lab on yet another planet. Access to her private network of planets was realized through the use of advanced technology, including the Stargate, its DHD, and an obelisk transporter device known as the Eye of the Gods. (10.11 "The Quest Part 2")
Morgan had to destroy the original weapon that Merlin built, but she chose to preserve Merlin so that if needed, he could build the weapon once again. Merlin worked with Daniel and the rest of SG-1 to build the weapon and eventually to detonate it in the Ori's home galaxy, but whether the weapon successfully eliminated the Ori was not immediately known. Not long afterwards, Adria herself ascended to either join the rest of the Ori or to take their place. (10.14 "The Shroud", 10.19 "Dominion")
When Daniel began to have visions of Merlin and a device known as the Ark of Truth, he thought they were residuals of his time harboring Merlin's consciousness. But as it turned out, Morgan was giving him leads to find this device, a brain-washing device that was built by an Alteran named Amelius millions of years ago when the Ancients and Ori were still in human form in their home galaxy. The device was left behind, unused, when the Altera fled for their lives in a starship that eventually arrived in the Milky Way. The Altera first settled on Dakara, and Daniel thought that the Ark was located there, but in reality, Morgan knew where the Ark was and led Daniel and his team right to it on the same planet as Celestis was built. Morgan appeared to Daniel as Merlin, but he knew her true identity and she finally revealed herself. She admitted that she was exiled by The Others for her interference in Atlantis, but she continued to offer her help because she knew how serious the Ori threat was. (Stargate: The Ark of Truth)
Merlin's weapon had actually worked, so Adria became the most powerful Ascended Being in the galaxy. Morgan helped Daniel find and activate the Ark, and soon thereafter, Adria's powers were reduced because the Priors knew the truth about her and stopped worshiping her. In her weakened state, Adria was no match against Morgan, so Morgan, like Oma, engaged Adria in an eternal struggle in the ascended planes. (Stargate: The Ark of Truth)
Outsiders are those who were never part of the collective. They ascended through various means and were never accepted by The Others, but were always watched by them.
After meeting Daniel Jackson on the planet Kheb, Oma Desala watched him and offered him ascension after his body was exposed to a lethal dose of radiation on the planet Kelowna. She was impressed by him while on Kheb and admired him for his selfless and courageous sacrifice to save the people of Kelowna with no thought of himself. Daniel accepted ascension and spent a year learning from Oma. As one of Oma's followers, Daniel creatively interpreted the rules of The Others and often broke them when the lives of his friends were at stake. He was never accepted by The Others and hadn't met any of them by the time he decided to cross the line and help SG-1 and the Abydonians fight against Anubis. But, Oma had warned him that if he did anything that would attract The Others' attention, she'd pull him out. True to her word, as soon as she saw that Daniel was about to use his ascended powers to kill Anubis, Oma pulled him out, fearing that The Others would do something more drastic to him. (3.20 "Maternal Instinct", 5.21 "Meridian", 6.06 "Abyss", 6.19 "Changeling", 6.22 "Full Circle", 8.18 "Threads")
Daniel found out that Oma had helped Anubis to ascend and grew angry. He couldn't continue in his state knowing that he would be stopped from fighting Anubis and helping humanity any way he could while The Others did nothing but watch. He decided to return to human form. The Others allowed his return, under the condition that his memories be erased. Oma broke the rules again and merely buried Daniel's memories and extensive ascended knowledge. She sent him to the planet Vis Uban where he could be found by his friends and returned home. Daniel's pre-ascension memories began to return, but only a few instances of his life as an Ascended Being ever resurfaced. The buried Ancient knowledge was discovered by Replicator Carter during a mind probe and was brought forth at an overwhelming pace. Daniel said that it was more than a mere human could understand, but he was able to use some of it to gain control over the Replicators. Replicator Carter killed him to end this control. (7.01 "Fallen Part 1", 7.04 "Orpheus", 8.16 "Reckoning Part 1", 8.17 "Reckoning Part 2", 8.18 "Threads")
Oma, still believing that Daniel deserved ascension and knowing that she had something to do with his first ascension going wrong, took Daniel to a stopping place between death and ascension to offer him a chance to continue as an Ascended Being. Daniel encountered The Others for the first time in this "stop along the way", a surreal place which took on the form of a diner from Daniel's childhood memories. The Others were customers in this place and Oma was their waitress. Daniel and Oma talked about his first ascension and the circumstances of his decision to retake human form, and The Others ignored his attempts at conversation and merely watched silently. When Daniel was visited by Anubis in the form of a friendly businessman, he discovered for a second time that Oma had helped Anubis to ascend. His emotional plea to The Others to end Oma's punishment and to stop Anubis from destroying all life in the Milky Way fell on deaf ears, but Oma was moved to take action. She engaged Anubis in an eternal battle which would prevent either one of them from ever interfering with the lower planes again. (8.18 "Threads")
This left Daniel alone with The Others. Their attention was gained when Oma made her move, but Daniel's further interactions with them was not revealed. Most likely it was The Others who caused the confusion of Anubis's Kull Warriors on Dakara so that the Free Jaffa could defeat them and the suspension of the self-destruct at the SGC which they had activated to attempt to save themselves from the destructive wave of the device on Dakara which Anubis was about to activate to destroy all life in the galaxy. Daniel retook human form once again, this time reappearing in Jack's office and with his memories intact. Whether or not he still possessed the knowledge of the Ancients was not addressed, but it is highly unlikely that The Others would permit him to retain such knowledge. (8.18 "Threads")
At first, after Daniel's return from his first ascension, Jack and others believed that Daniel had been kicked out by The Others because of his inability to abide by their rules. Indeed, Daniel interpreted the rules creatively and walked the fine line which would have gained The Others' attention, but ultimately, it was his decision to return to human form. But because he couldn't remember the circumstances of his return, Daniel also believed that he had done something seriously wrong and thought that he'd never be able to make up for it. Not understanding The Others' reasons for their non-interference policy, members of the SGC believed that The Others merely felt that they were so far above humanity that humanity was insignificant to them, much like insects are to humans. This attitude continued for some time until Daniel actually met The Others and the Ori. At that point, Daniel appeared to have a greater respect for The Others and often argued on their behalf when facing the Ori, the Doci, and the Priors. (7.01 "Fallen Part 1", 7.03 "Fragile Balance", 7.20 "Inauguration", 8.18 "Threads", 9.02 "Avalon Part 2", 9.03 "Origin Part 3", 9.05 "The Powers That Be", 9.10 "The Fourth Horseman Part 1", 9.11 "The Fourth Horseman Part 2")
After the Ori succeeded in sending four massive warships to the Milky Way and subsequently decimating the galaxy's allied fleet of starships and conquering several planets, including Chulak, as well as breaking the "ascended rules" to create Adria, the physical embodiment of an Ori, Daniel's growing disillusionment with ascension and The Others started to take a toll on his position as an advocate of the Ascended Ancients. His desperate search for clues as to where Merlin's weapon was hidden led to dead ends which were often life threatening. He began to sympathize with Merlin and his efforts to develop this weapon. (9.20 "Camelot Part 2, 10.01 "Flesh And Blood Part 3", 10.02 "Morpheus, 10.03 "The Pegasus Project", 10.04 "Insiders")
When he met the Ascended Being Morgan Le Fay, he gave a most impassioned plea for help:
- I believe you. I do. I mean, I understand the fine line you have to walk. I realize the risk you're taking just showing yourself. But I'm sorry, I want more. You can pass that on to your friends as well. Yeah, I know you're listening, because I am getting sick of hidden clues and cryptic messages. And Merlin was right that the Ori are a threat. But not only to us "lowers," not only to the billions of humans throughout this galaxy, but to your own existence. Because when this war is over, and every soul that's left alive is praying to the Ori, feeding their need to be worshipped, you know who they're gonna come for next. I won't pretend to know what that war will look like, or in what battlefield it will take place, but then, I won't be alive to see it. (10.03 "The Pegasus Project")
Daniel understood Le Fay's fear of becoming like the Ori if she interfered because he had basically felt the same way about playing God and becoming like the Goa'uld when Jack asked for his direct interference several times during Daniel's own ascension (6.06 "Abyss", 6.22 "Full Circle"). After all that he had experienced since his return to human form, Daniel stated that he still understood this fear: "I understand that is at the very core of what you are, of what you believe, but I'm talking about survival here. If you really are trying to help, then help yourself." (10.03 "The Pegasus Project")
Finally, after one final plea ("But you can't be the only one to realize the Ori have changed things! There must be others that-that see that the time to join this fight is now! I know what we're asking you to do. You're afraid the others will step in and stop you from helping us. But maybe, maybe they just need someone to cross that imaginary line instead of just walking it. There must be others among you just waiting to follow your example."), Le Fay started to give him more information about the weapon ("Merlin's weapon is not..."), but she was apparently pulled away by The Others before she could complete her sentence. (10.03 "The Pegasus Project")
Daniel was heartbroken by The Others' action in stopping Le Fay, realizing that the Ascended Ancients were not going to help and that humanity was in the fight against the Ori alone. But he didn't give up his search for Merlin's weapon, feeling that he must be missing something and that Merlin himself must have left more clues. (10.03 "The Pegasus Project", 10.04 "Insiders", 10.05 "Uninvited", 10.10 "The Quest Part 1")
Daniel's search for the Sangreal ended when the team found Merlin himself frozen in a stasis chamber. Morgan had to destroy the original weapon, but she preserved Merlin in case he was needed to build the weapon again. Having been in stasis for over a thousand years left Merlin weak and unable to finish the task himself, so he uploaded his consciousness into a device similar to the Ancient Repository of Knowledge before he died. He didn't tell Daniel what he had done, leaving it up to Daniel to make the decision on his own, which he did. Harboring both his own consciousness and Merlin's, Daniel's body evolved so that he could complete the weapon and protect it. He developed advanced mental powers, including telekinesis, control over lightning, telepathy, and the ability to concentrate energy blasts (very similar to what Daniel was able to do as an Ascended Being). (10.11 "The Quest Part 2", 10.14 "The Shroud")
Daniel protected his team so that they could escape from Adria, but he chose to stay behind with the incomplete weapon. This meant that he became Adria's captive. She treated him like a lover and turned him into a Prior as a reward for his devotion. Merlin shielded Daniel from her influence and protected him when Adria made him into a Prior. This process altered Daniel's DNA and gave him the ability to interact with Ori technology, including dialing the Supergate and piloting an Ori warship. Daniel became a combination of an Ancient and a Prior as he harbored Merlin's consciousness, so he had powers equal to those of Adria. They deceived her completely and were able to complete the weapon and start the process of seeing their plan through to send it to the Ori's home galaxy in an Ori warship. (10.14 "The Shroud")
With the help of Jack and the rest of SG-1, they detonated the completed weapon in the Ori's home galaxy. Merlin left Daniel's body and returned it to its state before the download, not knowing if his weapon actually worked. With Merlin's passing, the knowledge to build another of his anti-Ascended weapons was lost. (10.14 "The Shroud")
Daniel thought that The Others had not interfered because they wanted to wipe out the Ori, but his teammates believed that The Others didn't interfere because they knew that the weapon wouldn't work. The truth of the Ori's condition was not known until after SG-1 took the Odyssey to the Ori's home galaxy and found that the weapon had indeed succeeded at eliminating them. (10.14 "The Shroud", 10.19 "Dominion", 10.20 "Unending", Stargate: The Ark of Truth)
Adria ascended after the Ori were eliminated, so she alone took their place. This position gave her great power. Morgan helped Daniel and the team find the Ark of Truth, which was a brain-washing device built by an Alteran before his people left their home galaxy millions of years ago, and after using it, Adria's power was reduced enough that Morgan could engage her in an eternal struggle in the ascended planes (just like Oma engaged Anubis). (Stargate: The Ark of Truth)
Since his time with Merlin and Morgan during the Ori War, Daniel has not had any more contact with The Others.
Anubis found some Ancient research on ascension and made his way to Kheb where he tricked Oma Desala into ascending him. After realizing her mistake, Oma tried to undo it, but The Others stepped in. Anubis was placed on a level described by Daniel as being "stuck somewhere between human existence and ascension." The Others warned him that he could only do things that a regular Goa'uld could do, but he was permitted to stay in this form, basically having eternal life. Anubis created a cloak and shield which permitted him to interact with the physical plane, but he still remained a form of energy. (6.22 "Full Circle", 8.18 "Threads")
Daniel attempted to kill Anubis with his ascended powers when Anubis threatened Abydos, but Oma pulled him out. Anubis cowered at the attack, apparently believing that Daniel had the power to kill him, even in his ascended state. Anubis lost his shield when his fleet was destroyed from the use of the Ancient weapons in the Antarctic Outpost, but his energy form remained. He hitched a ride on a cosmonaut who was working in the International Space Station and from there, he continued to take human hosts to gain access to the Stargate on Earth. Anubis' possession of a host was temporary because his energy form burned up the bodies unto their deaths. While at the SGC, Anubis actually took Daniel Jackson as a host. The extent of how much information he obtained from any of the hosts he had at the SGC was never given, but he clearly had full access to their minds. (6.22 "Full Circle", 7.22 "Lost City Part 2", 8.03 "Lockdown")
Daniel wanted to use the rules of The Others to get them to act against Anubis while he was haunting the SGC. The SGC devised a plan in which they would force Anubis to use his ascended powers to get to the Stargate, but Anubis, ironically, adhered to the rules of The Others closer than Daniel ever did, and made it to the Stargate without drawing The Others' attention. Even though he was incapacitated for a short while, Anubis made it back to his homeworld, but decided from then on out to use human hosts. He'd take a new host once the previous one's body burned out. The vanity for which the Goa'uld are famous took the form of handsome male hosts whom Anubis enjoyed looking at in the mirror. (8.03 "Lockdown", 8.16 "Reckoning Part 1")
Once Anubis decided to destroy all life in the Milky Way, The Others still stood silently and watched. Daniel eventually interpreted this inaction as being The Others' desire that man exercise his own free will, even if it meant his own destruction. Eventually, however, Daniel learned that there was more to it than just a respect for humanity's free will that played a role in The Others' non-interference policy. (8.18 "Threads", 9.02 "Avalon Part 2", 9.03 "Origin Part 3", 9.10 "The Fourth Horseman Part 1")
After Oma decided to engage Anubis in an eternal battle, The Others might have voted to intervene and confuse Anubis' Kull Warriors on Dakara and stop the SGC's self-destruct. For whatever reasons they used to take action, they actually saved many lives rather than destroyed them as they had done to the Velonans. Daniel's plea might have had something to do with their decision to take action, but we were never told what exactly happened during Daniel's time with The Others after Oma left him alone with them in his plane of existence. (8.18 "Threads")
Several months after Anubis and Oma entered their eternal battle, SG-1 discovered a human-Goa'uld hybrid named Khalek who was created by Anubis in an underground lab on the planet P3X-584. Anubis was using an Ancient DNA manipulation device to create an advanced human with the ability to ascend. Teal'c speculated that Anubis was attempting to create a more advanced soldier than the Kull Warriors, but Khalek's true purpose was never revealed. Khalek possessed all of Anubis' Goa'uld genetic memories and Anubis gave him his ascended memories as well. Khalek also inherited Anubis' evil nature and used his advanced powers to kill and destroy. Daniel and Mitchell, SG-1's new leader, killed him before he could advance his evolution further toward ascension. If Khalek had ascended, it's not clear what The Others would have done, but they most likely would have taken some form of action against him in order to preserve the cosmic balance. (9.09 "Prototype")
As the human spawn of the Ori, Adria possessed advanced powers and knowledge. The Ori impregnated Vala Mal Doran against her will so that she could be used to "sneak one of their own over the border" without drawing The Others' wrath. The rules of the Ascended seemed to indicate that The Others would not interfere directly with the Ori's Priors and followers, but if the Ori themselves acted directly in the Milky Way, they'd step in and stop them. Adria was simply another one of their human representatives, although she herself claimed to be the closest thing to an Ori in flesh and blood. (10.01 "Flesh and Blood")
As the leader of the Ori army in the Milky Way, Adria was called the Orici, "the one from whom all will learn." She was the "beacon of hope" for the Ori army and followers. She had the ability to pursuade many to join the crusade. Even Daniel Jackson admitted that he could hear her thoughts in his head trying to pursuade him, but he had been a challenge to Adria because she found him to have a strong mind. When Daniel harbored the consciousness of Merlin, he was strong enough to resist Adria's mental powers and fool her into thinking that he had become a believer. Just like the Ori, Adria had the ability to convert a man into a Prior, and she converted Daniel into one as a reward for his devotion. Daniel/Merlin used Adria to complete Merlin's anti-Ascended weapon and send an Ori warship with it onboard to the Ori's home galaxy to eliminate them. Merlin programmed Daniel's body to return to its original state, so the work that had been done by Adria in converting him into a Prior was undone. (10.01 "Flesh and Blood", 10.07 "Counterstrike", 10.14 "The Shroud")
After detonating Merlin's anti-Ascended weapon in the Ori's home galaxy, the fate of the Ori was not easily determined. After Ba'al captured Adria and implanted one of his Goa'uld symbiote clones into her, Adria/Ba'al claimed that the Ori were indeed dead, but Adria had insisted before the implantation that the attempt to kill them had failed. The team decided to substitute a Tok'ra symbiote for Ba'al in order to retrieve reliable information from Adria's mind and to command the Ori army to leave the galaxy, but Ba'al released a poisonous toxin during the procedure to remove him. Adria's powers had been subdued with an Anti-Prior Device, but eventually she was able to overcome it, thus regaining her powers. She knew that her body was dying and decided to ascend. The team tried to prevent her, but Adria used what mental powers she had left to keep them away. Even her mother Vala tried to kill her, but Adria successfully ascended. (10.19 "Dominion")
Daniel believed that if the Ori were dead, then Adria had just taken their place, and thus all of the power from worshippers that had been directed toward the Ori was now hers alone. His theory that Adria had become the Ori upon her ascension was supported when three Ori warships met the Odyssey at the Asgard's planet Orilla in another galaxy while the Asgard were giving the starship a major upgrade in weapons, hyperdrive, and other vital systems. The team theorized that Adria had informed the Priors of their location and what they were doing, and was able to circumvent the rules of non-interference because she was in the Asgard's galaxy and not in the Milky Way. The energy weapon installed on the Odyssey did prove to be a threat to the Ori crusade as it succeeded in penetrating the Ori warship's shields and destroying it, but the upgrade to their hyperdrive through the use of the Asgard Core gave off a unique energy signature that the Ori army could track even while in hyperspace. The Odyssey was able to escape the Ori warships once the Asgard Core was separated from their hyperdrive system. (10.20 "Unending")
SG-1 took the Odyssey to the Ori home galaxy to find an Alteran device known as the Ark of Truth, a brain-washing device designed specifically to inform an Ori worshiper that the Ori were not gods. Even though Adria had the device in her possession, she didn't destroy it. Morgan Le Fay helped Daniel and his team activate the Ark against Adria's worshipers, and thus reduce her power. Morgan then engaged Adria in an eternal struggle on the ascended planes, and soon thereafter, the Ori War came to its conclusion. (Stargate: The Ark of Truth)
A War of Cosmic Significance
For millions of years, The Others watched and only used their collective powers when they deemed it necessary to preserve the cosmic balance. After the Ori discovered that there was a generation of humanity in the Milky Way, they saw that they could increase their power with the additional billions of worshippers they hoped to obtain. With every planet that the Ori successfully turned to them, the Ori grew stronger in their powers, threatening The Others' existence. If the Ori failed at converting someone, they destroyed them, thus preventing the possibility that that individual would turn to The Others or any other Ascended Being. The Others' numbers might have been more at this time, but they appeared not to be making any effort to increase their own powers. Ironically, Oma's work might have actually strengthened them. (9.03 "Origin Part 3", 9.10 "The Fourth Horseman Part 1")
The Others were not certain what the outcome would have been if they were to have engaged the Ori directly. They used their collective power to shield the existence of humanity in the Milky Way from the Ori, but once the Ori became aware, The Others decided not to interfere because of their strict non-interference policy. Even more ironic was the fact that The Others depended on rogue members, such as Orlin, who sacrificed their ascension and chance for further enlightenment to take human form to aid humanity in the fight against an enemy of their own making. The Others appeared to agree to permit such rogues to retain enough of their ascended knowledge to make a difference, but the attempts to retain such knowledge for a long period of time proved detrimental and irreversible. (9.03 "Origin Part 3", 9.10 "The Fourth Horseman Part 1", 9.11 "The Fourth Horseman Part 2")
Because humanity in the Milky Way made a great effort in the fight against the Ori's army in the corporeal plane, it appeared that The Others were satisfied with only watching events unfold. When they did make their presence known, they sent the message that they did not plan to act by visibly punishing one of their own when she tried to help (10.03 "The Pegasus Project"). When the Ori's human representative Adria ascended on her own, it appeared that The Others permitted her to remain in the ascended planes, but in a galaxy outside the Milky Way (10.19 "Dominion").
The ultimate termination of the Altera-Ori conflict came when Morgan Le Fay, exiled by The Others for her interference in helping Daniel track down and ultimately rebuild Merlin's anti-ascended weapon, which was used successfully to wipe out the Ori. Because Adria ascended after the weapon's use, she became the only Ori and thus inherited their great power. Morgan again interfered and helped Daniel locate and use the Ark of Truth against the Doci and Priors so as to reduce Adria's power so that Morgan could engage her in an eternal struggle on the ascended plane. Once the Ark of Truth as used on the remaining Priors in the Milky Way, the Ori's crusade finally ended, and The Others were spared having to do battle with their ascended rivals. (Stargate: The Ark of Truth)
- Oma Desala - Oma Desala was banished by The Others because she felt it was her duty to help people ascend, thus breaking one of the most sacred rules of the ascended. The Others watched and waited for Oma to take responsibility for helping the evil Goa'uld Anubis to ascend. Because she was prevented from destroying Anubis, Oma felt that she could make up for his evil actions with helping good people to ascend. Finally, after Daniel made a heart-felt plea on her behalf to end her punishment regarding Anubis, Oma decided to take action herself. She engaged Anubis in an eternal struggle which would prevent both of them from ever interacting with the corporeal plane again.
- Orlin - At one time, Orlin was an outcast, but he was accepted back into The Others. After the Ori discovered humanity in the Milky Way, The Others permitted Orlin to return to human form with some of his ascended knowledge to help the SGC in the fight against the Priors, the Ori's corporeal representatives. Orlin helped the SGC develop a vaccine against the Prior Plague, but the cost was his mental health. He was committed to a care facility on Earth with no memory of those close to him or of his successful contributions to help humanity.
- Myrddin - Myrddin was an Atlantian Ancient who left Atlantis in the Pegasus galaxy 10,000 years ago to return to "Avalon" (Earth), the Altera's home in the Milky Way. Myrddin eventually ascended, but couldn't abide by the non-interference rules of The Others when it came to the Ori. He retook human form, became known as the wizard Merlin, and developed an anti-Ori weapon which was meant to neutralize an Ascended Being. Merlin's device, the Sangreal, was the "Holy Grail" of Arthurian legends, and SG-1 sought it in order to stop the Ori's dominance of the galaxy. Eventually, the team found Merlin himself in stasis and he helped them build another of his weapons and to detonate it in the Ori's home galaxy. Whether or not they were successful at wiping out the Ori is still to be determined.
- Morgan Le Fay - She was sent by The Others to prevent Merlin from using his anti-Ori weapon which would wipe out not only the Ori, but all Ascended Beings. She was successful in stopping Merlin, but even she began to understand the Ori threat once they made it to the Milky Way. She was exiled by The Others when she helped Daniel locate Merlin's anti-ascended weapon. She continued to help Daniel in the war against the Ori, and eventually, she engaged the last Ori, Adria, in an eternal struggle in the ascended planes (just as Oma did against Anubis).
- SGC - Although not a true alliance because none of The Others are interacting directly with the members of the SGC, The Others have permitted one of their own to retake human form with his ascended memories intact in order to aid in the fight against the Ori (Orlin).
- Anubis - The Others acted against Anubis after he first ascended, placed him on a lower level, and warned him not to use any of his ascended powers. Anubis is now engaged in an eternal battle with Oma Desala and, theoretically, no longer poses a threat.
- Ori - Before they ascended, the Ori and the Alterans were of one society, but they divided because of philosophical differences. The Ori attempted to wipe out the Alterans, so the Alterans fled. As Ascended Beings, the two groups held a kind of balance in the ascended planes that the Ori tried to tip in their favor with the addition of human worshippers from the Milky Way. Once they gained the power they needed from new worshippers, they meant to destroy the Ancients, but their plan might have been thwarted when SG-1 activated Merlin's anti-Ascended weapon against them in their home galaxy.
- Adria - Once the flesh and blood embodiment of an Ori, Adria ascended to become the last Ori, and thus the most powerful. When the Ark of Truth was used against her Doci and Priors, her powers were greatly reduced by their lack of worship. Morgan was then able to engage her in an eternal struggle on the ascended planes.
- 3.20 "Maternal Instinct"
- 4.17 "Absolute Power"
- 5.03 "Ascension"
- 5.21 "Meridian"
- 6.06 "Abyss"
- 6.19 "Changeling"
- 6.22 "Full Circle"
- 7.01 "Fallen Part 1"
- 7.03 "Fragile Balance"
- 7.04 "Orpheus"
- 7.20 "Inauguration"
- 7.21 "Lost City Part 2"
- 8.03 "Lockdown"
- 8.16 "Reckoning Part 1"
- 8.17 "Reckoning Part 2"
- 8.18 "Threads"
- 9.02 "Avalon Part 2"
- 9.03 "Origin Part 3"
- 9.05 "The Powers That Be"
- 9.09 "Prototype"
- 9.10 "The Fourth Horseman Part 1"
- 9.11 "The Fourth Horseman Part 2"
- 9.18 "Arthur's Mantle"
- 9.20 "Camelot Part 2"
- 10.01 "Flesh And Blood Part 3"
- 10.02 "Morpheus"
- 10.03 "The Pegasus Project"
- 10.04 "Insiders"
- 10.05 "Uninvited"
- 10.10 "The Quest Part 1"
- 10.11 "The Quest Part 2"
- 10.14 "The Shroud"
- 10.19 "Dominion"
- 10.20 "Unending"
- Stargate: The Ark of Truth
- Ascended Beings Screencapture Gallery Contains images of Oma Desala, Shifu, Orlin, The Others, the ascended Daniel Jackson and the partially ascended Anubis. Clicking on each thumbnail will lead you to a larger image which you are welcome to download. If you click on the gallery's home button, you will be sent to the article on Ascended Beings.
- Col. Jack O'Neill
- Dr. Daniel Jackson
- Lt. Col. Samantha Carter
- Jonas Quinn
- Lt. Col. Cameron Mitchell
- Vala Mal Doran
- Morgan Le Fay
- Oma Desala
- Dr. Elizabeth Weir of an Alternate Timeline
- Abydos and the Abydonian People
- Alternate Timelines
- Ark of Truth
- Ancient Knowledge and Technology
- Antarctic Outpost
- Anti-Prior Device
- Arthur's Mantle
- Ascended Beings
- Castiana / Taoth Vaclarush
- Dial Home Device (DHD)
- DNA Manipulation Device
- Eye of the Gods
- Free Jaffa
- Kull Warrior
- Ori Warships
- Parchment of Virtues
- Prior Plague
- Priors of the Ori
- Replicator Samantha Carter
- Repository of Knowledge
- Sahal / Valos Cor
- Stargate Command (SGC)
- Velona (P4X-636)
- Vis Uban
- Weapon on Dakara
- Stargate Atlantis: 1.01 "Rising Part 1"
- 1.03 "Hide And Seek"
- 1.14 "Sanctuary"
- 1.15 "Before I Sleep"
- 2.12 "Epiphany"
--DeeKayP 08:01, 16 Nov 2004 (PST)