Goa'uld Species

The Goa'uld are an evil race of parasitic aliens bent on galactic domination, who can burrow into and take control of human hosts. This article details the Goa'uld as a species. To see information on the Goa'uld political structure and recent history, see The System Lords.


Goa'uld symbiotes are serpentine lifeforms with four jaws and glowing red eyes. Originally aquatic, mature Goa'uld symbiotes have extensive fins and are powerful swimmers, with the ability to launch themselves from the water towards prospective hosts. A Goa'uld can burrow into their host through the back of the mouth or the neck, though they prefer the latter because they wish to avoid remembering the look of horror on the host's face. They then enter the brain, take control of the body, and gain total access to the host's memories; thus, the Goa'uld often use symbiote implantation as a means of interrogation that also provides a useful future spy.
A defining characteristic of a Goa'uld host is a brief glowing of the eyes. This occurs when the Goa'uld first takes control and upon its death, as well as in moments of extreme emotion or to add emphasis to a statement. A Goa'uld-occupied host typically speaks in an eerily flanged, bass-augmented register. However, the voice is not necessary, and Goa'uld can speak in a normal tone if they choose, usually when they need to deceive someone. The Goa'uld instill their hosts with superhuman strength, perfect health, and accelerated healing. The host's life is also lengthened into centuries, which the Goa'uld extend even further using a sarcophagus. However, repeated use of the sarcophagus has severe psychological consequences, and is believed to be a main factor in the Goa'uld's evil. Being host to a Goa'uld has been described as a living nightmare, and those humans who have been hosts for thousands of years are widely suspected to have gone insane.
Once implanted, the Goa'uld loses its fins and its body atrophies, leaving only a dead husk behind. Modern Goa'uld symbiotes contain the fictional element naqadah in their bloodstream, an attribute that is passed on to their host. The naqahdah allows Goa'uld, Jaffa, and former Goa'uld hosts to sense the presence of other symbiotes. However, the primordial Goa'uld on P3X-888 do not possess naqahdah. Implanted symbiotes cannot be removed from their host via conventional surgery; it can retain control of the host even if the symbiote's original body is cut away. The symbiote can also release a deadly toxin into the host if it is threatened, and holding the life of the host hostage is a common Goa'uld tactic.


By and large, the Goa'uld are violent, egotistical self-delusional despots with aspirations of godhood. As the Goa'uld possess a genetic memory passed directly from parent to offspring, this perpetuates the evil of the Goa'uld through generations. Most Goa'uld are asexual, though they usually take on the gender of their preferred host. The exception are the Goa'uld Queens, who over time are able to spawn millions of larvae, once seeded with genetic material from another Goa'uld or even a human. Queens exercise a great deal of control over the biochemistry of their progeny, and can deny their offspring genetic memory in order to create "blank" symbiotes. Goa'uld larvae that mature in the wild have only a 50% chance of successfully taking a host; the Goa'uld engineered the Jaffa as incubators to improve these odds. The human offspring of two Goa'uld hosts is known as a Harcesis. The conception of Harcesis children is forbidden, as they would contain the genetic memories of both Goa'uld parents and thus pose a major threat to the established Goa'uld order.

Species History

The Goa'uld evolved on the planet P3X-888, where there are still populations of primitive Goa'uld. Their original hosts were the Unas, also native to the planet. The Goa'uld largely abandoned P3X-888 after deciphering the Stargate, spreading throughout the galaxy and conquering other races. Eventually, the Goa'uld began to die out, until in the ninth or eighth millennium BC when Ra discovers Earth and finds the ancient humans to be much more suitable hosts, due to the ease by which they can be repaired by Goa'uld technology.
The Goa'uld rule Earth for thousands of years, assuming the personae of gods from Earth's classical religions. From the humans the Goa'uld engineered the Jaffa, to serve as soldiers and incubators for their young. They also transplant humans throughout the galaxy via the Stargate network to serve as slaves and potential hosts.

Important Notes

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