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The Tok'ra are a fictional alien race on the science fiction television series Stargate SG-1 . They first appear in the season 2 episode "In the Line of Duty". In the show, the Tok'ra are biologically the same species as the Goa'uld who inhabit human hosts in a symbiotic relationship, and are opposed to the evil System Lords. They are one of the major offworld allies of Stargate Command.

Science fiction Genre of speculative fiction

Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction that has been called the "literature of ideas". It typically deals with imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, time travel, parallel universes, fictional worlds, space exploration, and extraterrestrial life. Science fiction often explores the potential consequences of scientific innovations.

Stargate SG-1 is a Canadian-American military science fiction adventure television series and part of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Stargate franchise. The show, created by Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner, is based on the 1994 science fiction film Stargate by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich. The television series was filmed in and around the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The series premiered on Showtime on July 27, 1997 and moved to the Sci Fi Channel on June 7, 2002; the final episode first aired on Sky1 on March 13, 2007.

Goauld fictional symbiotic race

The Goa'uld are a symbiotic race of ancient aliens from the American-Canadian military science fiction television franchise Stargate. The Goa'uld are parasites from the planet P3X-888, integrated within a host. The resulting creatures are a powerful race bent on galactic conquest and domination, largely without pity, compassion, or remorse. In the first eight seasons of Stargate SG-1, they are the greatest extraterrestrial threat to Earth known to the Stargate Command (SGC). The Goa'uld are the main enemies of SG-1 for most of the show, until they are replaced in this capacity by the Ori in seasons 9 and 10. They also appear in the Stargate Atlantis episode "Critical Mass", and in the DVD movie Stargate: Continuum. They are pejoratively called "snakes" or "snakeheads" by Jack O'Neill.



Biologically, the Tok'ra are the same species as the Goa'uld, though they are opposed to them in every way; their name "Tok'ra" literally means "against Ra," though it has gained the figurative meaning "resistance". The Tok'ra consider it an insult to be called a Goa'uld. They take only willing human hosts, providing long life and perfect health, and share the body equally. [1] Most Tok'ra are spawned from a single Queen, Egeria, who fought the Goa'uld 2,000 years ago and was defeated by the Supreme System Lord Ra. A few other minor Goa'uld have joined the Tok'ra in the past, but the only one to do so in the past 1000 years was actually a Goa'uld spy and did not actually adopt the Tok'ra philosophy. Due to Egeria's death in "Cure", the Tok'ra are a dying race. [2] Due to their small numbers and scarce resources, the Tok'ra favor infiltration and covert tactics meant to destabilize the System Lords and play them against one another, ensuring that no one Goa'uld becomes overwhelmingly dominant until such time as they can all be wiped out at once. [1] [3]

Show history

The SGC first learns of the Tok'ra in "In the Line of Duty", when Jolinar of Malkshur is forced to take Samantha Carter as a host in order to survive. Carter's memories from this experience allow SG-1 to make contact with the main Tok'ra base in "The Tok'ra", and to forge an alliance against the Goa'uld. The alliance is bolstered by the blending of High Council member Selmak and Jacob Carter of Earth, and is formalized via treaty in the season 4 episode "Divide and Conquer". On many occasions, the Tok'ra provide valuable assistance to Earth and vice versa. Nevertheless, the Tok'ra are reluctant to disclose their covert operations to the SGC, and in turn the details of several Earth projects are not revealed to the Tok'ra. [4] [5]

Samantha Carter fictional character in the Stargate universe

Samantha "Sam" Carter, USAF is a fictional character in the Canadian–American military science fiction Stargate franchise. Played by Amanda Tapping, she appears in all three shows in the franchise: Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, and Stargate Universe. She was a main character in all ten seasons of Stargate SG-1 (1997–2007). Following a recurring role in Stargate Atlantis for three seasons (2004–07), Carter became a main character in Season 4 of Atlantis (2007–08), and also appeared in the 2008 direct-to-DVD SG-1 films Stargate: The Ark of Truth and Stargate: Continuum. Amanda Tapping accepted a starring role in Sanctuary and appears in only the first and last episodes in Season 5 of Atlantis (2008–09). Carter also appears in two episodes of Season 1 of Stargate Universe.

In the early seasons of Stargate SG-1, the Tok'ra are mainly concerned with preventing any one Goa'uld from achieving absolute dominance over the galaxy. Thus, they assassinate Sokar by blowing up his prison moon Ne'tu in "The Devil You Know", and sabotage a meeting between Apophis and Heru'ur in "The Serpent's Venom". In the season 4 finale, "Exodus", the Tok'ra wipe out Apophis' fleet by luring him to their base on the planet Vorash, where Samantha Carter uses a Stargate connected to another gate orbiting a Black Hole to siphon off so much hydrogen from the planet's sun that it destabilizes and becomes a Supernova. However, the Tok'ra resistance is dealt a major blow in "Summit", when the Goa'uld Anubis sends his lieutenant Zipacna to destroy their primary base on Revanna. Almost every Tok'ra on the base is killed in the attack. The only known survivor, Lantash, sacrifices himself to release symbiote poison over the area, eliminating Anubis' forces and allowing SG-1 to escape. In "Death Knell", the Tok'ra Delek informs General Hammond that Earth's policy of directly confronting the Goa'uld has cost the lives of more Tok'ra operatives in seven years than in the last hundred, and that their alliance may prove too costly to uphold.

"Exodus" is the Season 4 finale episode of the science fiction television series Stargate SG-1. This episode was nominated for an Emmy in the category "Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series".

George Hammond (<i>Stargate</i>) fictional character in Stargate

Lieutenant General George S. Hammond, USAF (Ret.) is a fictional character in the Stargate franchise. Played by American actor Don S. Davis, General Hammond serves as the commander of Stargate Command (SGC) in the first seven seasons of the television series Stargate SG-1. He is relieved of command in the series' season 7 finale "Lost City", but becomes head of the new Homeworld Security department at the beginning of season 8. Hammond's off-screen retirement is confirmed in SG-1's season 10, and the character's death is mentioned in the series finale of SG-1's spin-off series Stargate Atlantis, "Enemy at the Gate".

The Tok'ra play a much diminished role in seasons 9 and 10 of the show, after the Ori are introduced as the main threat. They are mentioned to be searching for Supergates along with the Asgard in "Crusade", and their ships join the fight against Ori motherships in "Camelot". In "Dominion", the Tok'ra plan to implant one of their own into Adria in place of a Ba'al clone symbiote, though in the end Adria Ascends.

The Ori are fictional characters in the science fiction television series, Stargate SG-1. They are a group of "ascended" beings who use their advanced technology and knowledge of the universe to attempt to trick non-ascended humans into worshipping them as gods.

They are present in Stargate Continuum to oversee the extraction ceremony of the Goa'uld symbiote Ba'al from the host.

Society and culture

Secrecy is a way of life for the Tok'ra, as that is their only defense against the armed might of the System Lords. When they arrive on a planet, they immediately move underground into special self-constructing crystal tunnels. These tunnels are collapsed when the Tok'ra depart, thus leaving no trace of their presence. The Tok'ra regularly move their bases to avoid detection by the Goa'uld. Tok'ra tunnel networks have no doors, as the Tok'ra do not keep secrets from each other. [1]

Unlike the Goa'uld, Tok'ra symbiotes prefer to enter a new host through the mouth rather than burrowing through the back of the neck. This is because the Goa'uld wish to avoid remembering the look of horror on their host's face every time they look in a mirror. The Tok'ra have no such need as they take willing hosts, and they find the implantation scar unsettling. The human host of a Tok'ra speaks in a normal voice, while the symbiote speaks with the flanged, bass-augmented "Goa'uld voice". When switching between one and the other, Tok'ra bow their heads and close their eyes to avoid showing the Goa'uld "eye flash". [1]

Among the Tok'ra it is customary for the more volatile of the blended Tok'ra and host to defer control of the body to the calmer of the two, which is usually but not always the symbiote. An exception to this is Martouf, who is usually calmer than his symbiote Lantash. Thus, the other Tok'ra tend to address him as Martouf rather than Lantash. When one Tok'ra is mated to another, typically both the host and symbiote are in love with his/her partner's host and symbiote. [1]

The Tok'ra are governed by the Tok'ra High Council. [1] [6]

The Tok'ra dispose of their dead by placing the body on a pedestal and allowing it to be vaporized by the unstable vortex of an activating Stargate. [7] They do not use the Goa'uld sarcophagus, believing that its psychological effects are one of the main reasons for the Goa'uld's evil. [1]

As shown in Stargate: Continuum , the Tok'ra have apparently given up their ways of secrecy after the destruction of the System Lords and are shown to have built an above-ground, permanent city, in contrast to their previous habit of living in temporary, hidden, underground, grown-crystal tunnels.

Science and technology

The Tok'ra are master scientists despite the necessity of maintaining secrecy and the resulting lack of resources. Tok'ra forces rely on zat'nik'tels, as they lack the naqahdah necessary to build staff weapons. They have access to many technologies used by the Goa'uld, such as force-fields, memory devices and transphase eradication rods. The Tok'ra often assist the SGC in developing new technologies, and they have provided many pieces of their technology to Stargate Command when required. Tok'ra one-way force-fields are installed in the SGC's isolation rooms. [8] Some of the most significant Tok'ra advancements are symbiote poison, [3] tretonin, [2] and the Kull disruptor. [5]



Aldwin in "The Devil You Know". Aldwin Stargate SG-1.jpg
Aldwin in "The Devil You Know".

William deVry played Aldwin, a member of the Tok'ra who has several dealings with the SGC. During SG-1's mission to rescue Jacob Carter from Ne'tu in "The Devil You Know", the Tok'ra High Council orders Aldwin to launch a weapon at the planet's core that would destroy the moon as well as Sokar's Ha'tak in orbit in a chain reaction. However, the plan would also claim the life of SG-1, Martouf and Jacob Carter, and Aldwin realizes that the only option is to help SG-1. [9] Aldwin is later sent to the SGC to verify that after SG-1 Shifu is indeed the supposed Harcesis by using the Za'tarc-detecting device. [10] Several years later, during the Tok'ra's plan to eliminate the System Lords during their high-level meeting, Aldwin guides SG-17 through the Tok'ra base on Revanna. Aldwin is killed when Zipacna attacks the planet, destroying the Tok'ra base. [11]


Anise in "Divide and Conquer". Anise Freya StargateSg1.jpg
Anise in "Divide and Conquer".

Anise (meaning "noble strength") appears in a mini-arc early in season 4 as a member of the Tok'ra resistance group. Her host is named Freyja, and is played by Vanessa Angel. Anise is a gifted scientist and historian. Researching the Atanik armbands, which are rumored to give the user great strength and speed, Anise tests the devices on SG-1 and, if the test prove successful, wants the SGC to send them on a dangerous mission to destroy Apophis' new prototype mothership. [12] Anise visits Earth again when a Jaffa named Shau'nac believes to have convinced her symbiote to join the Tok'ra, and is present when the symbiote, Tanith, is given a willing host body. When Teal'c discovers Tanith's duplicity, Anise explains that by allowing Tanith to believe he has succeeded in infiltrating their ranks, the Tok'ra hope to deceive the Goa'uld and feed them misinformation. [13] Anise later assists the SGC in uncovering possible Za'tarcs within the SGC ranks. She improperly diagnoses O'Neill and Carter, who unwittingly lied during the test to conceal their feelings for each other. Freya is attracted to Jack O'Neill, although her symbiote prefers Daniel Jackson. [6]


Jolinar of Malkshur is an influential member of the Tok'ra resistance. According to Teal'c, she once led an army that was about to defeat a System Lord, until Apophis and Ra joined the fight. [14] She appears in "In the Line of Duty" in the body of a Nassyan man (played by an unknown actor), before transferring into the body of Samantha Carter (played by Amanda Tapping). She also appears in flashback in the body of her former host Rosha, played by Tanya Reid, in "The Devil You Know" and "Jolinar's Memories". While blended with Rosha, Jolinar carried out a romantic relationship with fellow Tok'ra Martouf/Lantash for over a century. [1]

Sokar once captured Jolinar, imprisoning her on the hell-like prison moon Ne'tu and torturing her. She escaped by seducing Sokar's underling Bynarr and stealing the key to the prison's ring transporter while he slept. These events caused her great shame and she never spoke of them to Martouf. [15]

In "In the Line of Duty", Cronus sends an Ashrak, a powerful Goa'uld assassin, after Jolinar. She hides in the body of a Nassyan man, but is forced to transfer herself to Samantha Carter after her host is injured. The Ashrak tracks her back to Earth, where Jolinar gives up her life to save Carter. As a result of the blending, Carter gains the ability to sense Goa'uld symbiotes and control Goa'uld technology. [16] She also acquires some of Jolinar's memories and personality, which avails her on several occasions and influences her attraction to Martouf. [1] [15] Samantha has since forgiven Jolinar for the forced blending. [17]


Martouf in "Divide and Conquer". Martouf Lantash Stargate Sg-1.jpg
Martouf in "Divide and Conquer".

Martouf, played by J. R. Bourne, is a leader in the ranks of the Tok'ra. Martouf had been the mate of Jolinar, and her host Rosha, for almost a century. SG-1 first meet Martouf during their first encounter with the Tok'ra in season 2. Since Jolinar was once blended with Samantha Carter, Martouf develops an interest in her. [18] Martouf is later present when Apophis seeks asylum at Stargate Command and recommends that the Goa'uld should be handed over to Sokar. [19] Several months later, he joins SG-1 on a mission to rescue Jacob Carter, the host of the Tok'ra Selmak, from Ne'tu. [20] They are captured and tortured, but Martouf, Jacob and SG-1 can escape when a new Tok'ra weapon destroys Ne'tu. [9] However, Martouf is unwittingly subjected to Goa'uld mind control, turning him into a Za'tarc. His attempt to assassinate the President of the United States ends in failure, and Carter is forced to kill him. [6]

Martouf's symbiote, Lantash, survives and is placed in a Tok'ra stasis chamber. Nearly two years later, when Lantash is still very weak, the Goa'uld attack and bombard the Tok'ra base. When his container is destroyed, the new SGC recruit Lieutenant Elliot (Courtenay J. Stevens) blends with Lantash to keep them both alive. Lantash and Elliot give their lives to save the rest of the team when they realize that Lantash does not have the strength to repair Elliot's injuries. Elliot/Lantash are left behind with a vial of symbiote poison, powerful enough to eliminate the entire invasion force. [21] An alternate version of Martouf arrives at the SGC when many SG-1s from alternate realities start coming through the Stargate. That universe's Martouf had joined the SGC to be closer to Carter. However, their relationship did not last. According to Martouf, Carter eventually ended up with someone else, with whom she would one day have a child. [22]


Selmak is one of the oldest and wisest of all Tok'ra, and a member of the High Council. His first host on the show, seen in "The Tok'ra", is Saroosh, played by Joy Coghill. Saroosh had been Selmak's host for most of her life, during which she enjoyed his good company and humor. As Saroosh is dying of old age, Samantha Carter suggests to her father Jacob Carter (played by Carmen Argenziano) that he become Selmak's next host, as Selmak will be able to cure Jacob's terminal cancer. After speaking with Saroosh on the experience of being a host, Jacob agrees to the transference.

The blending of Selmak and Jacob creates a bridge between the SGC and the Tok'ra. Jacob/Selmak provides critical assistance to SG-1 on numerous occasions, including against renegade Reetou, [23] the Goa'uld Seth, [24] and the Kull Warriors. [5] [25] However, he also warns the SGC against their attempts to reverse-engineer Goa'uld technology [26] and provoking open conflict with the System Lords by building warships. Over time, some of the other Tok'ra become concerned that Selmak is being unduly influenced by Jacob into compromising Tok'ra operations to the Tau'ri, and begin to exclude him from high-level decisions. [5]

In "Threads", Jacob reveals that Selmak is dying of old age after living for 2,000 years. During the events of "Reckoning", Jacob insists that Selmak hold on so as to complete their calibration of the Dakara superweapon to defeat the Replicators. As a result of this effort, Selmak slips into a coma and can no longer exert the necessary will to save Jacob's life when he dies. Jacob tells Samantha of his intention to die with Selmak, and that he considers his years spent with him as a gift. Jacob passes away shortly after Selmak in the SGC.

Minor characters

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 "The Tok'ra". Stargate SG-1.
  2. 1 2 "Cure". Stargate SG-1.
  3. 1 2 "Summit". Stargate SG-1.
  4. "Abyss". Stargate SG-1.
  5. 1 2 3 4 "Death Knell". Stargate SG-1.
  6. 1 2 3 "Divide and Conquer". Stargate SG-1.
  7. "Allegiance". Stargate SG-1.
  8. "Prototype". Stargate SG-1.
  9. 1 2 "The Devil You Know" ( Stargate SG-1 )
  10. "Absolute Power" ( Stargate SG-1 )
  11. "Summit" ( Stargate SG-1 )
  12. "Upgrades" ( Stargate SG-1 )
  13. "Crossroads" ( Stargate SG-1 )
  14. "In the Line of Duty". Stargate SG-1.
  15. 1 2 "Jolinar's Memories". Stargate SG-1.
  16. "Thor's Hammer". Stargate SG-1.
  17. "Last Stand". Stargate SG-1.
  18. "The Tok'ra" ( Stargate SG-1 )
  19. "Serpent's Song" ( Stargate SG-1 )
  20. "Jolinar's Memories" ( Stargate SG-1 )
  21. "Last Stand" ( Stargate SG-1 )
  22. "Ripple Effect" ( Stargate SG-1 )
  23. "Show and Tell". Stargate SG-1.
  24. "Seth". Stargate SG-1.
  25. "Evolution". Stargate SG-1.
  26. "Tangent". Stargate SG-1.