Anubis was the most powerful and dangerous Goa'uld in history. Once a powerful System Lord, Anubis was banished by Ra and the others because his actions were deemed unspeakable, even among the Goa'uld. He was believed to have been destroyed, but managed to escape and trick Oma Desala into helping him to ascend. The Ancients did not want the Goa'uld to join them on the higher planes of existence after learning of his trickery, and forced him into a state between mortal existence and ascension.
Because of his knowledge of the Ancients, Anubis amassed unimaginable advanced technologies. He gathered strength for hundreds of years before returning to take his revenge upon the System Lords and dominate the Milky Way galaxy, before his permanent defeat in 2005.
Long ago, Anubis first arose as a warlord in the service of Apep. His victories earned the praise and respect of Apep, but earned the envy of his fellow underlords. However, Anubis' ambition was even greater. Exposing Apep to the unstable effects of the Ancient healing device, Anubis learned of valuable Ancient weapons: the Eyes of the Goa'uld, six jewels used to power a planet destroying weapon. Eventually, he felt his position was so secure that he murdered Apep, removing the symbiote from his host and devouring Apep before the others, and declared himself Emperor of the Goa'uld.
Anubis, however, had seriously underestimated the followers of Apep and the power of the rival underlords. Ra was able to rally the others in Apep's name, and in a three hundred year civil war, defeated Anubis. Ra emerged as the new ruler of the Goa'uld Empire, and Anubis was banished. The superweapon was destroyed, and Ra redistributed the eyes among himself, Apophis, Osiris, Setesh, and Tiamat.
Thousands of years later, Anubis reemerged, and offered to destroy the Asgard in return for the leadership of the System Lords. A furious Ra waged another war against him, but Anubis was able to survive. (RPG: "Living Gods: Stargate System Lords")
- "I know who you are, Daniel Jackson, but you know not who I am."
- ―Anubis to Daniel Jackson[src]
Following his final defeat at the hands of Ra, the System Lords attempted to murder Anubis. During this time Anubis had found some Ancient research on ascension. Wanting to pursue ascension without having to worry about the System Lords, he allowed them to believe that he was finally dead. (SG1: "Last Stand", "Threads")
Anubis traveled to Kheb and underwent the tests of the rogue Ancient Oma Desala. After Anubis passed the tests and deceived her, Oma concluded that Anubis was worthy of ascension. However, once she had begun the ascension process, she realized how truly evil Anubis was. By then, it was too late. Oma was unable to descend Anubis on her own, so the Others were forced to do so, but they did so only in a partial manner to punish Oma, as they had become frustrated with Oma's breaking of the rule of non-interference. As a punishment to Oma Desala, the Others allowed Anubis to use any knowledge he could have gained as a Goa'uld. However, they did take some of the knowledge he had obtained while ascended, such as the locations of Atlantis and of the Sangraal. Daniel also lacked this knowledge, so it's possible they had hidden a variety of things from anyone else who ascended as well.
Physically, Anubis remained some form of energy, and wore a personal forcefield to keep his form intact, probably to allow him to appear on our plane without using any of his powers or taking a human host. It appears like the liquid-like event horizon of the Stargate, akin to the Ancient's technology. He also wore a black cloak and hood to make himself even more visible to anyone else.
Blackmailing the Tollan
After the deaths of Apophis and Cronus, Anubis began to make his presence felt among the Goa'uld again. He brought in many underlords to serve him, such as discredited Goa'ulds like Osiris and Thoth, and newer Goa'ulds such as Zipacna and Tanith. He used his advanced shield technology to force the Tollans into providing a new Phase-shifting weapon for him so he could bomb Stargate Command. However the Tollan Narim destroyed them, causing Anubis to devastate Tollana. (SG1: "Between Two Fires", "48 Hours")
At sometime prior to his defeat at the Battle of Antarctica, Anubis attempted to create an advanced human with his own replicated pre-ascension DNA, calling him Khalek. Possessing highly evolved powers and the genetic knowledge of Anubis, it has been theorized that Khalek was either meant to be a new form of soldier or, due to his being angry at the half existence the Others had trapped him in, Anubis sought to fully ascend Khalek through evolution, which the Others wouldn't interfere in, and the result would be an army of ascended beings to destroy the Ancients. Fortunately this was thwarted by SG1, and the laboratory planet was quarantined by a program Sam put in place within the Stargate. (SG1: "Prototype")
Return to Power
Attacking the Tok'ra
When the High Council of System Lords met, Anubis sent Osiris to them as his emissary, demanding to be restored to his former position of System Lord. Despite the objections of Lord Yu, Anubis was restored to the rank of System Lord after promising to destroy Earth with a Naquadah asteroid. At the same time, Anubis ordered Zipacna to launch an attack on Revanna, having forcibly extracted the information from a Tok'ra operative, seeking the symbiote poison. This objective failed, but resulted in wiping out virtually all the Tok'ra on the base. (SG1: "Summit", "Last Stand", "Fail Safe")
First attack on Earth
Challenging the Asgard
- "I think you'll find many things have changed, since my return."
- ―Anubis to Thor[src]
Finally, Anubis felt secure enough to challenge the Asgard. His shields and modifications to Staff cannons allowed him to fight the Asgard, but only in strictly limited numbers, and with the element of surprise on his side. In this manner he succeeded in capturing the commander of the ship sent to stop him, Thor. Using a Mind probe, Anubis became determined to find out all of the Asgard's secrets.
Second attack on Earth
- "I am Anubis. Humans of the Ta'uri, your end of days finally approaches. There will be no mercy. You will bow to my awesome power. There is nothing that can stop the destruction I bring upon you. Prepare to meet your doom."
- ―Anubis' threat to the Humans at Stargate Command.[src]
Overconfident, he thought he finally had reached a level of technology and understanding somewhat rivaling the Asgard, and with them occupied in another galaxy fighting an enemy far worse than the Goa'uld, Anubis could use his efforts on wiping other System Lords and minor Goa'uld, absorbing their armies. He used a Stargate destroyer in an attempt to destroy Earth. He appeared to Stargate Command as a hologram, pronouncing their doom. But Colonel Jack O'Neill used the prototype X-302 hyperspace fighter to transport the Beta Gate into space and simultaneously, the attacking weapon was also destroyed by Teal'c, Bra'tac, and Rya'c. (SG1: "Redemption, Part 1", "Redemption, Part 2")
Searching for the Eyes of the Goa'uld
Fearing the reprisals of the System Lords, Anubis built a new mothership carrying a powerful superweapon. He traveled to Abydos to obtain the Eye of Ra, one of the remaining Eyes he had yet to collect. SG-1 found the artifact before he could claim it. An Ascended Daniel Jackson bargained with Anubis for the Eye in exchange for Abydos' safety, mainly because the System Lords have him cornered. But once the Goa'uld received his prize, his vessel single-handedly destroyed an entire fleet of System Lord Ha'taks with the combined powers of the Eyes. He then planned to annihilate Abydos, knowing that Jackson would try to stop him and Oma Desala would interfere, preventing Daniel's actions. Without resistance, he destroyed the planet, but not before its population ascended, also with the help of Oma. (SG1: "Full Circle")
Attacking KelownaMonths later, SG-1, with the help of a de-ascended Dr. Daniel Jackson, plotted to destroy Anubis' mothership. Jackson and Jonas Quinn located a critical weakness while Colonel Jack O'Neill and Major Samantha Carter used an X-302 hyperspace fighter to bypass its shields and destroyed his superweapon, allowing the System Lords to destroy the vessel. Unfortunately, only half of the plan was completed, for Yu, due to age-induced senility, called off the attack.
Anubis, despite his loss, gained a new prize in the form of a captured Jonas. He used his mind probe on Jonas and learned the location of his homeworld Langara and its Naquadria deposits. With his ship appearing over the capital Kelownan city, Anubis took control of the planet and began to strip it for Naquadria to rebuild his planet destroyer. But his research proved insufficient, for Naquadria proved too unstable for his Lieutenant to compensate. His Jaffa managed to locate some Data Crystals containing research on the mineral that would have allowed him to use the Naquadria but it was retrieved by SG-1. Worse for him, the United Alliance of System Lords, under Ba'al's command, destroyed his ship, forcing him to flee in his escape pod. (SG1: "Fallen", "Homecoming")
Creating the Kull Warriors
Sensing the threats of the Jaffa Rebellion, Anubis began researching a way to create a new foot-soldier. Using the technology of the Ancient healing device and Jonas Quinn's memories of Egeria, Anubis engineered an army of nearly unstoppable Kull warriors, possessed by blank slate Goa'uld symbiotes birthed from a queen aligned with Anubis. The Kull warriors were far superior to the Jaffa, and Anubis quickly regained much lost ground, enabling him to take down many minor Goa'uld including Ramius and Tilgath and absorb their Jaffa armies into his own. SG-1 and Jacob Carter infiltrated his base on Tartarus and killed his queen and Thoth which slowed down his ability to create more warriors. (SG1: "Evolution, Part 1", "Evolution, Part 2")
Attacking Earth's Alpha Site
Sometime after Stargate Command recovered an Ancient healing device of their own, They, along with the Tok'ra began to develop a weapon at Earth's Alpha Site capable of neutralizing Anubis' Kull Warriors. Anubis learned of this weapon and launched an attack on the Alpha Site. (SG1: "Death Knell")
Third attack on Earth
- ―Anubis seconds before his ship is destroyed by the drone weapons.[src]
When he learned of an Ancients' Repository of knowledge on P3X-439, he sent a force to secure it. However, Colonel Jack O'Neill managed to download the knowledge into his mind before destroying it and escaping. As punishment, he had two of his Kull warriors execute his Jaffa commander as well as other Jaffa guards who Anubis believed had failed him.
Believing the Tau'ri possessed Ancient technology and the location of the Lost City of the Ancients, he attacked Earth with his fleet. He appeared in the White House to the President Henry Hayes, demanding his surrender, claiming that he was their God. Hayes was not intimidated and promised a fight to the bitter end.
Anubis later tried to trick SG-1 into thinking he got to the Antarctic outpost first, but O'Neill, with the Ancient knowledge, easily saw through the illusion. Anubis was apparently destroyed by the drone weapons that SG-1 found in the outpost buried under the ice of Antarctica. (SG1: "Lost City, Part 1", "Lost City, Part 2")
However, his formless essence survived the explosion of his mothership. He hitched a ride on the International Space Station, possessing the body of Cosmonaut Anatole Konstantinov and returning to Earth. He then left Konstantinov and entered Colonel Alexi Vaselov, who was leaving for Stargate Command. At the SGC, he attempted to convince Brigadier General Jack O'Neill to allow him to go through the Stargate but failed. He then left Vaselov for Dr. Daniel Jackson who was preparing to go off-world. He was stopped by O'Neill as they believed a contagion was responsible for Vaselov's illness. He then used Daniel to take a person hostage and force them to open the Gate. He was shot in the arm by O'Neill and with a Zat'nik'tel by Teal'c. While Daniel was in the infirmary, he left him for Lt. Evans and then left her for Airman Malcolm McCaffrey. In McCaffrey, he made another attempt to use the Gate and was again shot with a Zat. He left McCaffrey and fled. When the SGC went into a three section lockdown, he entered Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter and wrote a program to unlock the blast doors and dial the Gate remotely. He was forced to leave Carter and eventually enter O'Neill. He then used O'Neill to order Major Kearney to help him arm the self-destruct. He made his way to the Embarkation room but was attacked by Vaselov who convinced him to take his body instead. Fortunately, Carter was able to reprogram his dialing program and send him to KS7-535. (SG1: "Lockdown")
Seeking the Weapon at Dakara
It is unknown how Anubis escaped from the frozen planet he was sent to - the most likely explanation is that someone landed on the planet by accident - but he was revealed to be the master behind Ba'al's rise to power. When the Replicators began their invasion of the Milky Way, Anubis ordered his fleet to attack them head on, allowing the Replicators to acquire materials. When the Rebel Jaffa took Dakara, Anubis ordered Ba'al to take the fleet to reclaim the planet at all costs.
Knowing that Anubis intended to use the superweapon on Dakara to destroy all life in the Milky Way galaxy, Ba'al worked with Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter and Jacob Carter to modify the weapon to destroy the Replicators while leaving other life-forms unharmed. Ba'al also provided a program that allowed them to dial every single Stargate address simultaneously. Undaunted, Anubis took the remaining Kull warriors in an attempt to carry out his plan.
Anubis devised a trap to draw the fleet that the Free Jaffa Nation had assembled after the Battle of Dakara. Bra'tac and Teal'c proposed that they unify the Jaffa by attacking Tartarus, Anubis' stronghold and the planet where he was manufacturing the Kull warriors. However, Anubis had already abandoned that planet, and his army, which was led by Ba'al, began an assault on Dakara.
When he entered a midpoint between ascension and human existence to mock Oma Desala, he found Dr. Daniel Jackson, also at the midway point following his near-death in his confrontation with Replicator Carter. He took the persona of Jim, a fat and abrasive patron in the Astral Diner, mocking Oma and subtly pointing Jackson in the direction of Oma as the cause of Anubis' ascension. When Jackson realized that Jim was Anubis, he attempted to attack the System Lord, but was unable to do so as he had no actual power at this point. By this point, the Kull warriors had secured control of Dakara, and Anubis was in place to destroy all life in the Milky Way. However, it was the at this very moment Oma Desala engaged him in eternal battle.
Inspired by Daniel's actions and disgusted at how the Others had used Anubis to punish Oma, Oma forced Anubis to complete his Ascension before engaging him in eternal struggle. Neither one could win, which prevented Oma from helping others to ascend. But Anubis was also forced to concentrate on fighting her, which prevented him from ever harming the galaxy again. The moment when Oma stood up to confront Anubis was the only time the Others reacted to anything happening in the Astral Diner. It is yet unclear if it was the working of the Others which stopped the SGC self-destruct countdown, or something else after Anubis' removal by Oma. (SG1: "Reckoning, Part 1", "Reckoning, Part 2", "Threads")
Ruthless and unforgiving to the point where even the other System Lords regarded his crimes as monstrous, Anubis was hellbent on gaining control of the entire galaxy, even if it meant going up against his enemies. He also expected very high loyalty and success from his warriors and even promptly ordered anyone who had failed including his own Jaffa troops to be executed as a warning to others that Anubis himself would not tolerate failure of any kind whatsoever. However unlike his fellow Goa'uld, Anubis was much more quiet and reserved, prone to the usual Goa'uld meglomania but actually taking action rather than acting grandiose to intimidate his enemies with his alleged godhood. However, this trait greatly changed when he lost his form and was forced to body swap, with Anubis abandoning pretense and proclaiming himself to be a true god, wishing to wipe out all life in the galaxy using the temple at Dakara according to his "fìgrand design."
He also had a habit of double-crossing his enemies, or rather going back on his word. This is evident in his destruction to Abydos, having originally promised Daniel Jackson that he would spare it once he received the Eye of Ra and with no reason to go back on his word beyond that he felt like it.
He was highly intelligent and manipulative, as shown in his ability to deceive Oma Desala into believing that he was worthy of Ascension, although his subsequent victories and achievements may have been aided by his access to Ancient knowledge.
Powers and abilities
While Anubis apparently always was a Goa'uld of unparalleled evil and malice, even among his maniacal kin, his brush with Ascension left him with a number of powerful advantages over normal Goa'uld, or other flesh-and-blood beings for that matter. These include:
- Cosmic knowledge (partial): Anubis clearly possesses at least a part of the universal knowledge held by full ascended beings. It is implied that much of this wealth of information lies in understanding the knowledge, and it is debatable to what extent Anubis understands the "mysteries of the cosmos" that Ascension brings. His half-ascended status or active intervention by the Others might limit his knowledge significantly, and his evil nature might well render him unable to appreciate much of the universal insight typically exhibited by the Ascended. Furthermore, Anubis is prohibited from using any Ascended knowledge that would be inaccessible to a normal Goa'uld, as part of the terms of the Others continuing to tolerate his existence on the higher planes. However, despite these limitations he still shows knowledge of obscure locations, events, etc. that was likely gleaned from the "universal pool" of information apparently tapped by Ascended beings.
- Advanced technology mastery: As part of the Ascended knowledge accessible to him, Anubis can create, recreate, or at least operate technologies significantly more advanced than those commonly used by the Goa'uld, rivalling in some cases Asgard technology. Many of these technologies appear to have originated with the Ancients prior to their Ascension (e.g. Anubis' copy of the Telchak device, his knowledge of the operation principles of the Dakara device and the Ancient gate destroyer, the Eyes of the Goa'uld superweapon, the ability to have Stargates perform advanced functions such as system-wide simultaneous dialling, etc.). However, Anubis does not seem to have full access to even the Ancients' pre-Ascension technology, to say nothing of the hyper-advanced technologies available to Ascended beings. For example, he does not seem capable of recreating the Stargate Destroyer after Rya'c takes the original one out of operation, and he apparently needed to probe Thor's mind for the Asgard long-range hologram technology.
- Indestructibility: While the Mask of Anubis, the physical shell that confines Anubis' incorporeal form, can evidently be destroyed much like any other piece of technology, and while any human hosts he takes do not exhibit any enhanced durability (in fact, they waste away quickly due to inhabitation by Anubis' unstable energy form), his immaterial essence does not seem susceptible to physical damage. He survived the destruction of his mothership with little ill effect beyond losing physical cohesion due to the destruction of his Mask, and he also survived being deep-frozen in a seriously damaged host body. Even the full Ascended powers of Oma Desala are apparently not enough to decohere Anubis' energy-based semi-ascended form.
- Energy projection (constrained): In principle, Anubis reportedly possesses at least a share of the energy projection and manipulation abilities common to Ascended beings; however, he is strictly forbidden, on pain of extreme reprisal, from using any such powers. There seem to be a small number of exceptions: when the then-ascended Daniel Jackson attacked Anubis (for the latter's reneging on the deal between the two wherein Anubis was supposed to spare the planet Abydos from destruction) using some sort of energy projection, Anubis appeared at least partially able to deflect his attack for the short while until Oma Desala intervened against Jackson to preempt the Others' doing so in a harsher manner. It is possible he was permitted limited use of such powers against other Ascended beings, as technically that would not count as interference on the lower planes (since both belligerents would be ascended or partly so). He also later used what was presumably the full extent of his energy projection powers to reciprocate the perpetual personal combat on the Ascended plane initiated by Oma Desala, although at this point the earlier terms of his "parole" were likely superseded by Desala's taking personal responsibility for the Anubis situation she once unwittingly brought about, as the apparent result of this perpetual combat was that Anubis had no capacity left to affect anything else in either the lower or higher planes.
- In an alternate reality, Anubis was defeated by Daniel Jackson and Oma Desala in 2005, under the same circumstances as in our reality. (SG1: "Ripple Effect")
- In another alternate reality to which Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter was accidentally transported in 2007, that reality's Major General George Hammond explained that during Anubis' attack on Earth in 2004, the existence of the Stargate Program was revealed to the general public and martial law was declared in the United States of America. Although SG-1 found the Control chair from the Antarctic outpost, they could not power it sufficiently to use it against Anubis' fleet and the attack continued. It is unknown what happened to him, as he is not referred to afterwards. It is likely that either they managed to defeat him or the Ori dealt with him. (SG1: "The Road Not Taken")
- Though Anubis never appeared in an alternate timeline, it can still be assumed that Ba'al somehow defeated him because he gained possession of Anubis' mothership and halted his rise to power. One possible conclusion is that Ba'al, knowing the future events to come, found a way to kill Anubis before he could meet Oma Desala and ascend. (Stargate: Continuum)
- Anubis is the only major Goa'uld not to be shown using a Kara kesh.
- He is the only major antagonist not to be killed other than Adria; both were ascended beings. Oma Desala states that Anubis' half-ascended essence cannot be destroyed, even by her, a full ascended being. It is unknown whether the collective power of the Others (the ascended collective) could destroy Anubis (or the ascended Adria, or another individual ascended being).
- It is also unknown whether Anubis in his unclear state of partial ascension would be vulnerable to the Sangraal, but in any case it seems that the Sangraal's effects are widespread, on the order of the size of a galaxy. Therefore, Anubis would likely be safe from this technology so long as he remained in the Milky Way, or any other galaxy where other ascended beings are present.
Behind the scenes
- David Palffy previously played Sokar in the Stargate SG-1 episodes "Jolinar's Memories" and "The Devil You Know". This led to some confusion among fans when David's name appeared in the credits for "Revelations".
- Like Marduk before him, it's unknown what Anubis originally looked like (or rather, what his host looked like, if he had a long-term host like most other System Lords) before his ascension.