A lo'taur is a human slave and most trusted servant of a Goa'uld, usually a System Lord.
Stargate SG-1 References
The word "lo'taur" may be derived from the Goa'uld's word for human, "Tau'ri".
The term "lo'taur" was introduced when the Tok'ra hired Daniel Jackson to infiltrate a summit being held by the System Lords on a space station in the Hasara System. This summit was being called by the System Lords after the elimination of Cronus and Apophis (both in which SG-1 had a hand) had caused a "power vacuum" in which several of the remaining System Lords had sought to exploit. In this struggle, several losses were suffered by all, so eventually the System Lords decided to declare a truce among themselves and establish a new order. The Tok'ra wished for Daniel Jackson to pose as a lo'taur to gain access to the System Lords attending this summit and release a poison which would kill them all. They were hopeful that this would once and for all eliminate the Goa'uld plague (5.15 "Summit Part 1" and 5.16 "Last Stand Part 2").
The method of Daniel's obtaining access to the System Lords at the summit was for him to impersonate Lord Yu's lo'taur, Jarren. Selmak, already having infiltrated Lord Yu's ranks by impersonating a minor Goa'uld in his service, was able to get Daniel into the service of Lord Yu with the use of a chemical which implanted illusions (see 5.04 "The Fifth Man" for more information about this chemical).
Once he decided to go on this mission, Daniel studied the intelligence reports on all of the System Lords thought to be attending this summit. The fact that Daniel studied the history of the System Lords indicated that the lo'taur is expected to be politically knowledgeable. When he had been successful at impersonating Lord Yu's lo'taur, Daniel followed Lord Yu into the assembly chamber and was able to identify and discuss the history of each of the System Lords present. Lord Yu encouraged his lo'taur to know each of them because they were "our future allies." While Lord Yu and Daniel discussed each participant, Lord Yu asked that Daniel be careful because one of the System Lords might want to kill him. There was obviously a slight emotional tie between Lord Yu and his lo'taur, Jarren. Lord Yu added to his warning, "Do not make me look foolish by allowing yourself to be murdered," to hide this possible affection.
Each System Lord present at the summit had one lo'taur present, standing behind them in the assembly chamber. Daniel served Lord Yu tea during the summit and was expected to take care of any other needs the System Lord had. He was permitted to move freely in the space station in order to fulfill those needs. Each System Lord had a preferred-sex lo'taur present and Jacob had explained that this was because the lo'taur was expected to become the host to the Goa'uld in case the need arose (other than the queen symbiote, Goa'uld symbiotes have no gender, but they seem to have a preference as to the gender of their hosts). Because of this added function, lo'taurs were usually physically fit and attractive, again attesting to the Goa'ulds' vanity.
Lord Yu allowed Daniel to attend to him and hear private conversations with other System Lords. Through these private conversations and the discussions during the assembly, Daniel was able to hear the plots of the System Lords to destroy both the Tok'ra base on Ravanna and Earth. Daniel was surprised that Lord Yu would allow him to overhear such important intelligence and Jacob did not encourage him any by saying that most likely the System Lords were going to kill all of their lo'taurs at the close of the summit. Daniel was astonished and disappointed by this assessment, especially after Lord Yu's pleasant and trusting treatment of him as a lo'taur. He didn't understand how this could possibly be true.
During the course of the summit, Daniel discovered a vat containing Goa'uld symbiotes. Both he and Jacob thought that they were going to be implanted into each of the lo'taurs when the summit was concluded. Again, Daniel was surprised by this conclusion, not understanding the relationship at all between a System Lord and a lo'taur. Much to his surprise and relief, the System Lords ate the Goa'uld symbiotes instead of implanting them into their lo'taurs. Daniel understood that the System Lords were attempting to control their numbers in this way, preventing other Goa'uld from threatening their positions.
Daniel's curiousity as to the relationship between the System Lord and the lo'taur had been peaked. He had his opportunity to understand more about it when he was in the kitchen with Ba'al's lo'taur.
Ba'al's Lo'taur at the Summit
Daniel learned that Ba'al's lo'taur had been in his service for 24 years. The young man did not appear to be much older than this, so it was fair to assume that the lo'taur's training in service to a System Lord starts during childhood. Ba'al's lo'taur knew that the System Lords were going to eat the symbiotes and had planned to do so each day the summit was in session. Lord Yu had not told Daniel of this, so Daniel could only conclude that each lo'taur was treated differently, perhaps dependent upon the amount of time the lo'taur was in his position. Jarren had only recently gotten to his position as Lord Yu's lo'taur, whereas Ba'al's lo'taur might have been in his position for much longer.
When Daniel asked about what he thought would happen to them after the summit was concluded, Ba'al's servant answered that it was between the lo'taur and his master. This told Daniel that each System Lord treated their lo'taurs differently. Whereas at the beginning, Daniel thought that all of the lo'taurs would have been executed for being exposed to the secret rituals and conversations, Ba'al's lo'taur seemed confident that this would not be the case for himself. When Daniel expressed his fear that Lord Yu would kill him after the summit, Ba'al's lo'taur said that he would not be there if Lord Yu did not trust him.
Even more surprising to Daniel was Ba'al's lo'taur's confession that it would be an honor to be implanted with the "leftovers" (the Goa'uld symbiotes which did not get eaten at the summit). This lo'taur knew that the Goa'uld were not gods, but he served them willingly in the hopes that one day he would be implanted and rise to the rank of System Lord himself. At that point, Daniel knew that all of the symbiotes were going to get eaten, but more importantly, he realized that not all humans who were lo'taurs were slaves or those unwilling to serve.
Daniel learned that he could not pursuade every human being to want freedom from the Goa'uld because not every human being who served the Goa'uld were unwillingly slaves. He also realized that the threat of the Goa'uld went beyond the actual Goa'ulds themselves.
When Jack O'Neill was dying of the plague which killed off all of the Ancients who did not ascend, he was given the option of dying or being cured with the implantation of a Tok'ra symbiote. He was pursuaded to take the Tok'ra symbiote, not to save his own life because he would rather die than have a "snake in his head," but because the symbiote, named Kanan, had lost his host and had valuable information needed by the Tok'ra in the fight against the Goa'uld. This blending succeeded in saving Jack's life and Kanan was able to share the valuable information. However, in the course of this brief blending, something of Jack's "no one gets left behind" credo rubbed off on Kanan, and, unbeknownst to Jack, Kanan set off to Ba'al's secret fortress where he had been under cover in order to retrieve one of Ba'al's lo'taurs named Shallan (6.04 "Frozen" and 6.06 "Abyss").
Unfortunately, Kanan was not successful at getting Shallan off of the planet in his rescue attempt. Ba'al's Jaffa recaptured Shallan and killed Jack with a staff weapon, but not before Kanan left his body. Left alone and not knowing how he got there, Jack was repeatedly tortured for more information about the Tok'ra. This torture sometimes ended in death, but Ba'al used a sarcophagus to revive Jack in order to continue to extract information. During these interrogations, Jack finally remembered that Kanan had loved Shallan.
Shallan was an attractive female human in Ba'al's service. She was a lo'taur and had access to Ba'al's chambers. Although it was never stated outright, it could possibly be that Shallan was a sexual slave to Ba'al. It had been revealed in the past at the summit and in his present form that Ba'al preferred male hosts, so it is unlikely that Shallan would have been the lo'taur to accompany him to the summit of the year before to become his host if necessary. Shallan's role in Ba'al's fortress as his lo'taur will most likely have to remain a mystery, but it was implied that she knew a lot of important information about Ba'al's operations and it was for this reason that Kanan began an intimate relationship with her. As it turns out, Kanan ended up falling in love with her and, strengthened by Jack's character, he felt compelled to attempt to free her from Ba'al's service.
Shallan did not show the same kind of power-hungry, confident nature as Ba'al's lo'taur from the summit. This might mean that she was trained to serve Ba'al in a different manner as her male counterpart, or that her male counterpart might have been an exception to the nature of lo'taurs.
Shallan feared Ba'al and knew that she would most likely die at his hands because of her relationship with Kanan. No doubt, she had shared valuable information about Ba'al and it had been stated in the past that System Lords show no hesitation in killing one of their own servants, be they Jaffa or lo'taur. She finally accepted Jack's offer of rescue and she decided to stay with the Tok'ra to honor Kanan. It is not known whether or not she was willing to become a host to a Tok'ra symbiote if the need arose, but she might have been prepared for the possibility of becoming a host during her training in Ba'al's service.
--DeeKayP 13:50, 5 Jul 2004 (PDT)