"Many hundreds. Perhaps more."
Teal'c when asked how many worlds the Goa'uld control.[src]

The Goa'uld Empire was the collective holdings of the Goa'uld. Territorially, it was the largest grouping in the Milky Way but politically, however, the Empire was factional and prone to chaos.


The Empire was divided into individual domains ruled by the System Lords, the most powerful of the Goa'uld, and independent minor Lords. The former held hundreds, if not thousands of worlds each while the latter could hold anywhere from one world to possessing domains large enough to merit becoming a System Lord - such Goa'uld included Camulus and Amaterasu before their election to the rank of System Lord. There were also many Goa'uld who served in ranks of more powerful Goa'uld. Their power differed from one individual to another and depended upon their master's favour or if they had any domain of themselves: these latter Goa'uld not powerful enough to exert their own independence.

The leadership of the Goa'uld Empire was held by the System Lords - while they were constantly fighting and scheming against each other, they would ally against external threats (such as the Asgard, the Tau'ri, and the Replicators) or mutual internal threats (such as the Tok'ra, the Jaffa Rebellion, and rogue Goa'uld such as Sokar and Anubis). The System Lords would occasionally hold a Council for the purpose of discussing subjects of mutual concern and making joint decisions upon them. For many years, Ra was the Supreme System Lord and functioned as the effective leader of the Empire. However his death forever altered the balance of power within the Goa'uld Empire, and no Goa'uld was able to achieve his level of power for years. It was also at this point that the Goa'uld began to experience something of a population boom necessitating new host raids.

The Empire was further destabilized in 2001, when Apophis, Heru'ur, and Cronus; the three System Lords who had come to fill the void left by Ra's demise, were killed. The lack of dominant power caused chaos within the Empire until the return of Anubis. For two years, Anubis was the dominant force in the Empire, causing the others to ally in a United Alliance of System Lords. Their efforts were meager until Anubis' fleet was destroyed by the Tau'ri. Ba'al took over most of Anubis' possessions, and began to style himself Supreme Commander of the Goa'uld Domain. When the Replicators invaded the Milky Way, most of the System Lords were killed, and Ba'al assumed control of the rest of their forces, but he quickly began to lose the war. The Goa'uld Empire fell after the Free Jaffa took Dakara from Ba'al, and the rest of the Jaffa rose up against the remaining Goa'uld. Despite losing power, Ba'al remained a threat by controlling the remnants of the Goa'uld Empire. While still an enemy of the Tau'ri, he also made efforts to try and counter the Ori invasion. Ba'al was finally killed by Colonel Cameron Mitchell when he traveled to 1939 to change time. With this, the last remaining Goa'uld to hold any kind of power was eliminated. (Stargate, SG1: "Children of the Gods", "The Tok'ra, Part 1", "The Tok'ra, Part 2", "Into the Fire", "Fair Game", "Summit", "Last Stand", "New Order, Part 1", "New Order, Part 2", "Reckoning, Part 1", "Reckoning, Part 2", "Continuum")



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