Much of SG-1's knowledge of the Goa'uld comes from the Jaffa Teal'c, a strong and dependable warrior who defected to the Tau'ri after realizing they could be the key to freeing his species from slavery to the Goa'uld. His name means "strength." Teal'c is a Jaffa -- a human used by the Goa'uld as an incubator for infant Goa'uld parasites. Teal'c was not joined with his Goa'uld, but carried one in larval form within his belly. He is more than 100 years old (101 in Season Four's The Light"), and his long service to the Goa'uld has made him knowledgeable of language, enemies, races, technology and more.
Often silent, Teal'c's presence is often stronger without words. A single raise of an eyebrow can make many crumble to their knees. Though it may not always be apparent, Teal'c is frequently amused, and is a passionate man.
He grew up in a society of warriors, strong in the knowledge that if one were weak, one may as well be dead. His father was named Ro'nac, and was First Prime to the System Lord Cronus. Cronus sent Ro'nac into a battle where victory was impossible, and as punishment for losing, Ro'nac's prim'tah was crushed within the symbiote pouch, poisoning Teal'c's father to death. Teal'c and his mother fled to Chulak. Teal'c now bowed to the order of Apophis, and vowed to become the strongest warrior he could so that one day he could ascend to the rank of First Prime of Cronus' sworn enemy.
Teal'c turns his weapon on his fellow Jaffa. From "Children of the Gods"As a young man, Teal'c met the Jaffa master Bra'tac, who was himself the First Prime of Apophis. Bra'tac held the rare and dangerous belief that the Goa'uld are not gods, but parasites who have enslaved the Jaffa. He saw the same doubt in Teal'c's eager eyes. He became Teal'c's mentor, and devoted himself to teaching the young warrior the secrets of the false gods -- and the truth. Having survived the trials, he was admitted into Apophis's personal guard and began to distinguish himself in battle. Bra'tac introduced Apophis to his new subordinate, who blatantly told Teal'c that his father had been a coward, returning from a battle instead of dying for his god. Teal'c disputed the Goa'uld's words, and was punished with the ribbon device at the hand of his new god.
Outside the battlefield Teal'c was successful in developing personal relationships, particularly a romance with a Jaffa woman named Shau'nac, who was forced to end their relationship when she became a temple priestess. He also made friends with a fellow solider named Va'lar. After Va'lar failed to achieve victory against Ra's forces, Apophis ordered Teal'c to execute him. Seeing this as a chance to test his belief that Apophis was not all-seeing and all-knowing, Teal'c freed his friend and returned to Apophis with a symbiote he stole from a nearly-dead Jaffa. Apophis believed that Teal'c had carried out the order, showing Teal'c that his "god" was really no god at all.
Teal'c and his wife, Drey'auc. From "Threshold"Teal'c had taken a wife, Drey'auc, and Apophis had blessed them with a home on Chulak. Drey'auc soon became pregnant with their son, Rya'c. When Bra'tac retired as Apophis's First Prime, Teal'c took his place.
While serving Apophis as First Prime, Teal'c was forced to do many despicable things. He murdered many innocent victims, and selected individuals for Goa'uld implantation. He stood aside, a spectator in a mass murder of culture after culture, forced to bear witness as many a beautiful civilization was raped of its rich life and ideals and initiated into Goa'uld oppression, powerless in helping any of them, for he knew that any aid would do more harm than good. Like Bra'tac before him, he used what little influence he had to make Apophis's will bend from evil.
After Jack O'Neill, Daniel Jackson and Samantha Carter were captured on Chulak, Teal'c saw their presence as an opportunity to spring forth his deep urges to fight actively against the Goa'uld. He accepted Colonel O'Neill's plea for help and turned on his fellow Jaffa, firing on his own men with his staff weapon. He returned to Earth with them, and joined the Tau'ri in their fight against the Goa'uld. Teal'c was branded a shol'vah (traitor) by the Goa'uld, and has since been marked with a high price and hunted by those who would turn him in for profit or other reward. While a few Jaffa follow his and Bra'tac's cause, most shun him for betraying his god.
Teal'c and Bra'tac rescue his son from Apophis. From "Family"Going against his wife's wishes, Teal'c attempted to stop his young son from being given his first larval symbiote, thus enslaving him to the Goa'uld for life. But he arrived too late. But he was reunited with his son, who was told by his mother that he was dead. Rya'c has since grown into a young man, who trains with Master Bra'tac and is eager to become a great warrior like his father. The two were briefly driven apart by the death of Drey'auc, but were able to reconcile.
Drey'auc and Teal'c were, in regards to Chulak marital practices, divorced, but he kept this knowledge to himself, as most everything else. He resumed his romantic relationship with Shau'nac before her murder at the hands of the Goa'uld Tanith, against whom Teal'c swore an oath of revenge that drove him harder against the Goa'uld. And when he encountered a Jaffa warrior named Ishta three years later, Teal'c began a relationship with her.
In addition to seizing his revenge by killing Tanith, Teal'c also successfully avenged his father by helping to kill Cronus.
Apophis eventually captured Teal'c, and for his treachery brainwashed him into believing that everything he had done with the Tau'ri was subterfuge -- he still worshiped Apophis as his god. He resumed his position as First Prime, and fought in battle against SG-1. The team managed to get him back, but it took the dangerous Jaffa Rite of M'al Sharran to break Apophis's hold on his mind. Teal'c was deprived of his symbiote and forced to relive his path, remembering when he realized that the Goa'uld are false gods.
As the efforts of Bra'tac and Teal'c helped the Jaffa resistance movement to grow throughout the galaxy, Teal'c found himself in a key leadership role. He challenged the manipulative Jaffa Kytano for the rite of leadership, and upon killing him, learned that he was actually a Goa'uld named Imhotep. Teal'c became the group's leader.
Teal'c and Bra'tac later attended a meeting of the Rebel Jaffa tribes on the planet Kresh'ta, only to discover that it was an ambush. One hundred and six Jaffa were slain and deprived of their symbiotes, but Teal'c managed to keep hold of his, and used the single Goa'uld to keep both he and Bra'tac alive for three days. After they were rescued, Teal'c and Bra'tac were forced to rely on the symbiote-derived drug tretonin, as his symbiote was killed by the ordeal. His loss of the strength and health provided by the symbiote caused a crisis of identity for Teal'c, though he has come to remember that a warrior's strength came from his heart, and not his physical body.
Over the years Teal'c has become more talkative and, above all, more assured than ever in his cause.
BEHIND THE SCENES
SG-1 co-creator Jonathan Glassner recalls casting Teal'c. "We looked at a lot of different ethnicities and mixed races and none of them could act," he said. "We were at the final screen test, we had just seen some tapes on [Christopher Judge] ... We hadn't actually auditioned him yet. And he walked into the room and Brad literally bent over to me and said, 'Please God, let him be able to act.' And he started reading the part and there was a collective sigh of relief in the room."
Children of the Gods - Seeing SG-1's taste for freedom, Teal'c turns on his own men and helps the team escape from a Chulak prison.
The Enemy Within - Teal'c is questioned by a suspicious U.S. government, but finally allowed to join SG-1.
The Nox - Teal'c comes face-to-face with his former god when the team tries to ambush Apophis -- and is nearly killed.
Bloodlines - Teal'c returns to Chulak to try and prevent his son from being implanted with a larval Goa'uld, but arrives too late and must sacrifice his own symbiote to save Rya'c.
Cor-Ai - The team gates to a world where Teal'c once committed atrocities under order from Apophis, and agrees to stand trial for what he did.
Within the Serpent's Grasp - Teal'c's experience and knowledge prove invaluable when SG-1 gates to a Goa'uld attack ship headed for Earth.
Family - Returning home to Chulak, Teal'c finds that his wife has remarried and his son has been brainwashed by Apophis to see him as a traitor.
Bane - An alien insect stings Teal'c, beginning a terrible transformation that threatens his life.
Serpent's Song - When Apophis ends up near death in the S.G.C. infirmary, Teal'c takes pleasure in watching his former oppressor die. He believes it will be a day celebrated on Chulak.
Out of Mind - With SG-1 captured by the Goa'uld, Teal'c leaves the S.G.C. and returns home to Chulak, hoping to raise an army of Jaffa.
Into the Fire - After he is met with rejection on Chulak, Teal'c, Bra'tac and Hammond mount a rescue for SG-1, trapped on a Goa'uld-controlled planet.
Fair Game - Teal'c confesses his hatred for the System Lord Cronus, who murdered his father for losing an unwinable battle.
Forever In a Day - Finding Daniel Jackson in the throws of Amonet's hand device, Teal'c is forced to shoot and kill her (and Sha're) in order to save his friend.
Crossroads - Shau'nac, Teal'c's former lover, arrives at the S.G.C. with the claim that she has convinced her larval symbiote to join the Goa'uld resistance movement. Teal'c reignites their relationship, but Shau'nac is murdered by the Goa'uld Tanith.
The Serpent's Venom - Teal'c is captured and tortured by the Goa'uld, but convinces the Jaffa Rak'nor to help him escape and join their cause.
Double Jeopardy - Teal'c finally finds his revenge against Cronus when he and his robot double succeed in killing the System Lord.
Exodus - Teal'c risks everything to try and win revenge against Tanith, and is shot in the back and captured by the Goa'uld.
Enemies - Brainwashed by Apophis, Teal'c returns to the Goa'uld's service and tells SG-1 that he has been deceiving them for years.
Threshold - With help from Bra'tac, Teal'c goes through the Rite of Malshuraan, where he must remember his path that caused him to recognize the Goa'uld for what they really are. Apophis's brainwashing is broken.
48 Hours - Teal'c is nearly lost forever when the Stargate malfunctions, trapping his energy pattern in the system buffer.
The Warrior - A charismatic Jaffa leader named Kytano enlists Teal'c in his cause, but he learns that Kytano is manipulating the Jaffa. He defeats him in battle, and becomes the Jaffa resistance group's new leader.
Meridian - Teal'c must say goodbye to his friend when Daniel Jackson is exposed to a lethal dose of radiation, and ascends to a higher plane of existence.
Redemption, Part 1 - Teal'c learns that his wife Drey'auc has died, and must reconcile with his son when he learns that Rya'c blames him for her death.
Redemption, Part 2 - Teal'c, Bra'tac and Rya'c embark on a dangerous mission to destroy Anubis's advanced weapon, allowing Earth to continue its gate program.
Allegiance - Teal'c must help unite the rebel Jaffa and Tok'ra refugees after it appears that Bra'tac is killed by a Goa'uld assassin.
The Changeling - When the Goa'uld ambush a meeting of the Jaffa Resistance, Teal'c keeps himself and Bra'tac alive for three days by sharing his larval symbiote. "Junior" dies, but the Tok'ra provide the drug tretonin so that Teal'c and Bra'tac can live free of the Goa'uld.
Orpheus - Teal'c struggles with the weakness that his lack of a symbiote brings, but must overcome his self-doubt to save Bra'tac and Rya'c from a Jaffa labor camp.
Birthright - SG-1 finds a group of Jaffa warrior women in rebellion against the Goa'uld, and offer them tretonin. Teal'c and their leader, Ishta, begin a romantic relationship.
Avatar - Teal'c tries out a virtual reality training game, but becomes trapped inside when he refuses to surrender.
Affinity - When Teal'c moves into his own apartment off the base, he is caught up in a murder investigation.
Sacrifices - With his son Rya'c planning to be married, Teal'c is reunited with Ishta, and tries to convince her not to kill an oppressive Goa'uld for the greater good.
Reckoning, Part 1 - Teal'c and Bra'tac convince the Free Jaffa to mount an assault on a key Goa'uld planet.
Threads - The Goa'uld finally defeated and the Jaffa set free, Teal'c and Bra'tac are honored by their people.
The Fourth Horseman, Part 2 - Teal'c must confront the Jaffa leader Gerak, who has defected to the Ori cause and been turned into a Prior.
Stronghold - Teal'c is captured and tortured by Baal, who hopes to sway the Jaffa to his side in the hopes of keeping the Ori out of the Milky Way.
Company of Thieves - Teal'c is captured and tortured by the Lucian Alliance.
Talion - When a Jaffa summit is brutally attacked, Teal'c defies orders and fights against his own team to track down the man he believes is responsible.
Unending - After aging some 50 years with the rest of SG-1, trapped on the Odyssey in a time-dilation field, Teal'c is the only one to retain his memories -- and age -- when time is reversed and set right.
Reunion - When Samantha Carter is assigned to Atlantis, Teal'c gives her a special pep talk and send-off.
Midway - Teal'c arrives at Atlantis to council a reluctant Ronon Dex, who is about to be reviewed by the I.O.A., but the two warriors end up teaming up to fight the Wraith when they invade Midway station.