Goa'uld: History From Movie Through Season Three

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Stargate: The Movie

We learn of the parasitic nature of the Goa'uld when Daniel Jackson interpreted the pictorial story drawn on a wall in the old part of a temple on Abydos on his first mission there. This story told of how an alien being searched for a new host for his dying race and found the humans of Earth to be most suitable. This alien stole the identity of the god Ra of the ancient Egyptians of 10,000 years ago, forcing the ancient Egyptians into servitude. The young boy whom Ra took as a host remained his host for all of those thousands of years, his body sustained by the symbiote itself and the technology of the sarcophagus.

Daniel Jackson educated the Abydonians on the nature of their "god" and, as a result, they revolted, just as the people of Ancient Egypt had when they buried the Stargate on Earth. Colonel Jack O'Neill and Daniel killed Ra with the bomb originally intended to destroy the Abydos Stargate. As a result, the people of Abydos were freed and became Earth's first ally in the fight against the Goa'uld.

Seasons One Through Three

The next Goa'uld SG-1 encountered was Apophis, in the pilot, "Children of the Gods":

Apophis came through the thought to be inactive Stargate on Earth and captured a female sergeant. A violent battle was fought in the embarkation room, and casualties were suffered on both sides. The SGC learned about the nature of the Jaffa by examining the remains of one of Apophis' warriors.

They decided to return to Abydos and retrieve Dr. Daniel Jackson. Not long after they arrived, Apophis attacked Abydos and took Daniel's wife, Sha're, and her brother, Skaara, as prisoners. Major Ferretti saw the coordinates of the address to which Apophis escaped, so the SGC sent two teams after them.

When they arrive on the planet, later known as Chulak, SG-1, consisting of Col. Jack O'Neill, Daniel Jackson, and Capt. Samantha Carter, were captured. We learn that "Goa'uld" is an ancient Egyptian, Abydonian, or Chulakan term meaning "gods" when Skaara translated Apophis' First Prime Teal'c's announcement that some of the prisoners were to become hosts for the "children of the gods".

Fortunately, Teal'c realized that the humans of Earth had known freedom from enslavement to the Goa'uld and he decided to defy orders and save them and the rest of the prisoners. They made their escape and Teal'c was eventually accepted as the fourth member of SG-1.

We met three more Goa'uld in this mission: Amaunet, Apophis' queen who took Sha're as a host; Klorel, Apophis' son who took Skaara as a host; and an unnamed Goa'uld who took Major Charles Kawalsky as a host:

The Goa'uld which had taken Kawalsky on Chulak tricked the SGC's surgeon, Dr. Warner, into believing that he had successfully extracted the symbtiote from Kawalsky. Unfortunately, in order to prevent the Goa'uld from killing more SGC personnel and escaping through the Stargate, Kawalsky was killed (1.03 "The Enemy Within").

Apophis, Klorel and Amaunet escaped from Chulak.

SG-1 later met up with Apophis on the planet of the Nox (1.08 "The Nox"), but Apophis was removed from the planet before he could be captured for information leading to Sha're and Skaara.

The Goa'uld Pelops was introduced in the episode, 1.09 "Brief Candle".

Most likely, Pelops was a defeated Goa'uld because he had not returned to his planet, Argos, for a very long time. The society he built on this planet was an experiment in human evolution. Pelops implanted nanites into these people to accelerate their growth, making them live only for one hundred days. SG-1 discovered the nanotechnology and destroyed it, leaving the people to live normal lives. The nanotechnology which Pelops developed has been used a few times since then: it was used to accelerate the growth of the Harsesis (4.17 "Absolute Power") and of the human-Goa'uld hybrid named Anna (7.19 "Resurrection").

Before humans were considered the choice hosts, the Goa'uld used Unas, a race which evolved on the same planet at the symbiotes, P3X-888. Some of the Goa'uld still kept Unas as their hosts because of their physical strength. The keeping of an Unas host, however, had become a bedtime story to young Jaffa, felt to have developed from myth. Just like many other Jaffa legends or stories, the Goa'ulded Unas was very real and Jack and Teal'c encountered him in the labyrinth of Thor's Hammer. The Unas who lived in the labyrinth had survived there possibly for centuries. He ate the flesh of others who entered the labyrinth after being transported there from the Stargate on Cimmeria, an Asgard-protected world. Thor's Hammer was a device which killed the symbiote, but left the host alive. Only the host could leave the labyrinth alive. The Unas encountered in the labyrinth called himself "The First One", but was killed by Jack and Teal'c when he attacked them. (1.10 "Thor's Hammer")

In the episode, 1.13 "Fire And Water", SG-1 went to a planet, later called Oannes, where they believed that they witnessed Daniel Jackson being killed by fire. This incident was actually a false memory implanted by the Being of Oannes named Nem, who realized that Daniel knew about Babylon and recognized cuneiform writing. Nem was searching for the fate of his mate, Omoroca, and he felt that Daniel knew what it was. As it turns out, Omoroca had visited Earth during the Babylonian empire and attempted to keep the Goa'uld named Belus from enslaving the humans. Belus killed Omoroca, but Daniel assured Nem that her death was not in vain because the people of Egypt did revolt against the false gods and Earth was free. Nem let Daniel return to Earth to continue his search for his mate, Sha're. We later hear of the Goa'uld Marduk in Season Five and it is possible that this Marduk was the same Goa'uld as Belus.

The next Goa'uld encountered by the SGC was Hathor:

Hathor had been in stasis in her sarcophagus in a Mayan temple and she was released when the archaeologists came upon her there. She made it to Colorodo, sensing the Stargate. Hathor attempted to take over Earth by drugging the men into submission and subjugating the women, but the plan backfired when Captain Samantha Carter and Dr. Janet Fraiser led a team of women to overcome their aggressor. Hathor escaped through the Stargate to Chulak. Although extremely attractive, Hathor proved to be one of the most dangerous and evil of all of the Goa'uld. She raped Daniel Jackson for his DNA in order to make her subsequently-spawned Goa'uld larvae compatible with their future human hosts, and she attempted to transform Colonel Jack O'Neill into a Jaffa (1.14 "Hathor").

Even though the Goa'uld Nirrti is mentioned in the episode, 1.15 "Singularity", the SGC does not meet her face-to-face until a little later. It was discovered that Nirrti killed an entire population of the planet Hanka and all the members of SG-7, sparing only one little girl named Cassandra. Nirrti planted a bomb within Cassandra's heart to go off when she got near the naquadah of the Stargate. It was intended that Cassandra be a Trojan Horse for Earth's destruction, but the SGC discovered the plan and thwarted it.

Apophis led an attack on earth with Klorel at his side in the episodes, 1.22 "Within The Serpent's Grasp Part 1" and 2.01 "The Serpent's Lair Part 2", and even though SG-1 was successful at destroying their two motherships, Apophis and Klorel escaped. With the destruction of these two ships, Apophis' position was weakened and he attempted to improve himself by producing a new host. This new host was the human offspring of the host of Apophis and Sha're, but inherited the genetic memory of the Goa'uld. Such a child is called a Harsesis. Apophis sent his queen, Amaunet, to Sha're's homeworld Abydos to hide her there from the other System Lords who would hunt the child down and kill him. Daniel and Teal'c encountered Sha're on the planet and Daniel delivered the child with his own hands. Teal'c was successful at fooling Amaunet into thinking that the child was taken by Heru'ur, a known enemy of Apophis, but Daniel gave the child to Sha're's father, Kasuf, for safe-keeping in the episode, 2.09 "Secrets".

An interesting twist in the Goa'uld story was the revealing of a same-specie enemy called the Tok'ra. The first Tok'ra met by the SGC, Jolinar of Malkshur, took Captain Samantha Carter as its new host at the moment its host died while Carter was giving him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Jolinar was attempting to evade a Goa'uld assassin, called an Ashrak, by taking different hosts and not revealing its presence. An Ashrak is a Goa'uld who has been specifically trained as an assassin and hired by the System Lords (2.01 "In The Line Of Duty"):

This particular Ashrak was killed in the embarkation room after he had attacked Carter/Jolinar and left them for dead. It was later revealed in the episode, 3.03 "Fair Game", that it was Cronus who had sent this Ashrak after Jolinar.

Apophis turned up again in SG-1's lives by calling them to his rescue in his escape attempt from Sokar, in the episode, 2.17 "Serpent's Song". Sokar had captured Apophis and was taking great delight in torturing him. The SGC took Apophis in when he asked for asylum, but after both the symbiote and host died, they sent him back through the Stargate to Sokar because Sokar was attacking Earth with harmful radiation though the Stargate in successive 38-minute intervals. The SGC was dialed out between one of these attacks to send the body through and Sokar's attacks stopped.

Hathor later captured Jack, Daniel, and Carter, and left Teal'c for dead, in order to obtain up-to-date information on the power structure of the Goa'uld (2.22 "Out of Mind" and 3.01 "Into The Fire"). In her service were two Goa'uld, but one happened to be a Tok'ra spy. The Goa'uld who actually was serving Hathor posed as Major General Trofsky, a fake commander of the SGC of the "future":

Hathor had a very elaborate plan to get the information she wanted by making Jack, Daniel, and Carter think that they had been frozen in cryogenic chambers and recovered 79 years later. After Hathor's plan had been discovered, she decided to implant Jack with a mature symbiote and have him kill Daniel and Carter as his first act of loyalty:

Jack is implanted with Hathor's servant Goa'uld

Fortunately, the Tok'ra spy, Raully, kept the symbiote from blending with Jack and killed it in the cryogenic chamber. Trofsky was killed in the rescue mission which freed Jack, Daniel, and Carter and Jack killed Hathor.

The Reetou were introduced in the episode, 2.20 "Show And Tell". They are an alien species which are 180 degrees out of phase with the humans of Earth, so they are invisible to the naked eye. The Reetou are enemies of the Goa'uld and there was a rebel force of them which 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.

For a very brief moment, the life of the Goa'uld Seth was told in the episode, 3.02 "Seth":

He had been left behind on Earth when the Stargate was buried in Egypt. From that time, he took on new hosts every few hundred years and started religious cults. Every time he moved, he'd slaughter all of his followers and establish his new cult somewhere else. Daniel Jackson tracked down Seth in Washington state in the United States. They infiltrated his compound, saved his followers from certain death, and killed Seth in the process. His compound, loaded with Goa'uld technology, was destroyed after Seth had tried to kill everyone with a bomb.

Nirrti was one of three System Lords who came to the SGC to negotiate with the Asgard for conditions in the Protected Planets Treaty (3.02 "Fair Game"). We met two other System Lords at this meeting:

Lord Yu was the most amicable of the three. Nirrti attacked Cronus and tried to frame Teal'c for the incident. Because she used cloaking technology in the attack and had not disclosed this technology to the other System Lords, she was taken as a prisoner by Cronus. Earth was successfully placed in the Protected Planets Treaty and permitted to keep the Stargate Program intact.

In the episode, 2.18 "Holiday", SG-1 encountered a very old man named Ma'chello. SG-1 discovered that Ma'chello was on top of the Goa'ulds' Most Wanted list because he invented several ingenius weapons to combat them. The Goa'uld had captured him, hoping to make him a host in order to preserve his knowledge, but he escaped. His Goa'uld-killing technology, spread about like World War II mine fields, wiped out the Linvris, a group of nine minor Goa'uld who opposed the System Lords. The identity of these nine Goa'uld was never revealed (3.04 "Legacy").

Sokar was mentioned in the episode, 3.07 "Deadman Switch", as the Goa'uld who hired the bounty hunter named Aris Boch to track down a Tok'ra who had been discovered in his ranks. Aris Boch captured SG-1 when they accidently came upon him while retrieving one of their UAVs. Aris Boch learned that there was a difference between the Goa'uld and Tok'ra and redeemed himself by letting all of his captives go, destroying Sokar's cargo ship in the process. Aris Boch's race of humanoids are dependent upon the drug roshna for their survival. The Goa'uld introduced this drug into the race as a means of control because the race could not be used as hosts.

Sokar impersonated Satan and true to Satan's legacy is a horde of demons who follow him. The role of Satan with his demons was played to the detriment of the Christian society which SG-1 met in the episode, 3.18 "Demons". Sokar would send his demon, a Goa'ulded Unas, to take away the sacrifices of the small village. These people were chained in the courtyard because they were thought to be possessed by demons or cursed by God. Victims of common illnesses, such as chickpox, were doomed to become hosts. SG-1 helped the villagers obtain their freedom from their thousand-year curse by slaying the Goa'ulded Unas and instructing them to bury their Stargate.

In the episode, 3.10 "Forever In A Day", Amaunet was encountered for the final time as she steals the Harsesis and sends her trusted aide away with him, keeping him from the clutches of Heru'ur. When Daniel found Amaunet in the tent near the battlefield where other Abydonians had been captive, Amaunet tried to kill him using the ribbon device. While the link between the two was made through the device, Sha're sent a message to Daniel asking him to forgive Teal'c for killing her and for him to find the boy and keep him safe. Teal'c killed Sha're when he stopped Amaunet's attack on Daniel.

Viewers are given the privilege of seeing Sokar's face in the episodes, 3.12 "Jolinar's Memories Part 1" and 3.13 "The Devil You Know Part 2":

Sokar took on the persona of Satan and built for himself a prison on the moon Netu of the planet Delmak. Formerly an industrialized colony, Netu was altered by Sokar to resemble Hell, including a tremendous amount of heat and fire. When Jacob Carter/Selmak were captured by Sokar, they were sent to Netu and tortured for information about the Tok'ra. Along with Martouf/Lantash, SG-1 went to Netu to free him. The facts that Goa'uld serve Goa'uld and that not every Goa'uld was a powerful System Lord were made very clear in these episodes, for we are introduced to two Goa'uld who served Sokar in his hellish prison camp, Bynarr and Na'onak:

Bynarr was the "Lord of Netu" and Na'onak served as his First Prime. Bynarr reported to Sokar. In a power struggle all their own, Na'onak killed Bynarr and took his place. He started an uprising among the prisoners to gain numbers to overthrow Sokar. Na'onak finally revealed that he was Apophis! Sokar had revived him in the sarcophagus after the SGC sent his body back and kept him as a slave, torturing him without mercy. Apophis, even with the healing powers of the sarcophagus and the symbiote itself, still bore scars on his face from his torment.

Sokar was killed when the ship he was on was destroyed when the moon Netu was made to explode. This allowed Apophis to take Sokar's domain and thrust himself into great power once more.

In the episode, 3.15 "Pretense", Heru'ur sent a battle group after Klorel, but the two motherships were destroyed when they entered Tollana's defense perimeter. Klorel's ship crashed on Tollana and through the injuries, Skaara took control of his body long enough to ask the Tollan for help. The Tollan called SG-1 on behalf of Skaara to represent him in a trial known as a Triad in which it would be determined who would be given control of Skaara's body. For Klorel, the minor Goa'uld System Lord Zipacna answered the call:

A third, unbiased party was called into the Triad: Lya of the Nox. After much drama and the hearing of the arguments from both sides, Lya's vote was the deciding one. She chose to allow Skaara to have control of his body. The Tollan called the Tok'ra in to remove the symbiote from Skaara's body. They sent the symbiote to a planet under the control of the Goa'uld where a new host could be found for him. Skaara was free to return home to Abydos.

SG-1 learned of the activities of a Goa'uld named Nefertum, son of Sekhmet, in the episode, 3.19 "New Ground". This Goa'uld transported people through the Stargate years ago and a religion was born from it. Nefertum claimed to be the people's creator and placed them on the planet and this claim had the two major continents at war with each other: one side believing the creation story and the other side believing that they were brought through the Stargate. Teal'c mentioned that he had done battle with Nefertum when he was in Apophis' service. Nefertum was an under-System Lord to Ra, but his current status or whereabouts were not revealed, although it is most likely that he is dead.

In the episode, 3.20 "Maternal Instinct", Apophis slaughtered hundreds of Jaffa in his search for the Harsesis on Chulak. SG-1 was one step ahead in locating the child on the planet Kheb and it was there that they met the extremely powerful Ascended Being Oma Desala. Daniel kept his promise to Sha're that the boy would be safe by letting Oma take the child as her own.

The SGC learned of a new alien race who were enemies of the Goa'uld in the episode, 3.21 "Crystal Skull". These aliens were 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 which 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.

Comprehensive History of the Goa'uld

Stargate: The Movie Season One Season Two
Season Three Season Four Season Five
Season Six Season Seven Season Eight
Season Nine Season Ten Movies

This series of articles covers each Goa'uld personality that the SGC has encountered since Daniel Jackson reopened the Stargate (Stargate: The Movie):

Notable Characters



The members of SG-1 have taken an active role in the fight against the Goa'uld:


Other Characters mentioned in this article:


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--DeeKayP 19:56, 20 Nov 2004 (PST)