"Serpent's Song" is the seventeenth episode of the second season of Stargate SG-1.


While trying to find the Tok'ra, SG-1 witnesses the crash of a Death Glider piloted by their sworn enemy, Apophis. After demanding sanctuary from the Tau'ri, they take him back to Earth. Due to his injuries as well as the pain and suffering he caused others, the team finds it difficult to save his life. Worse, an enemy named Sokar demands Apophis from them. With Stargate Command under threat, SG-1 must give into Sokar's demands or face destruction.


Death glider 2

Colonel Jack O'Neill attacks a Death Glider.

Stargate Command receives a set of coordinates which they believe originated from the Tok'ra. They soon send SG-1 to the world. Shortly after they arrive on the world, a Goa'uld Death Glider flies towards the Stargate, under fire, and crashes nearby. They investigate the crash site and find their long-time adversary, Apophis, extremely wounded and begging for help. The team reluctantly brings him to Earth, where, knowing he will soon die, the former System Lord asks SG-1 for "sanctuary". He is rushed to the Operating Room due to his injuries, where Captain Samantha Carter concludes that he was tortured with a Hara'kesh, the same hand device that was used to kill Jolinar of Malkshur.

With such a valuable source of information, Stargate Command calls the Tok'ra (who send Martouf) and wastes no time interrogating Apophis. In desperation, he asks for a new host, but Colonel Jack O'Neill quickly tells him to "go to hell". Apophis then reveals that he was defeated by a Goa'uld named Sokar, who is an old and extremely powerful Goa'uld who once lived on Earth, where he posed as Satan. Because of this, Martouf and Lantash try to persuade SG-1 and Major General George S. Hammond to send Apophis back to Sokar, but Hammond refuses.

Serpent's Song 1

The SGC team and Martouf listening to Sokar who informs them that he wants Apophis back.

Soon after, the Stargate activates with Sokar on the other end, who demands his prisoner be returned to him. When the SGC dismisses his demand, Sokar begins firing a particle accelerator through the gate, heating the Iris to dangerous levels. The SGC resorts to spraying the iris with liquid nitrogen, but its effect is minimal.

Dr. Daniel Jackson suggests dialing out between attacks, exploiting the 38-minute window, the time a Stargate can stay open without additional energy (used in the episode "There But for the Grace of God" for the same purpose). Unfortunately, Sokar easily reopens the gate faster than the SGC, as a Dial Home Device can dial much faster than the SGC's dialing computer, and resumes his attack.

Apophis host

Apophis' host nears death.

Over time, every member of SG-1 talks with Apophis. Daniel asks him for his wife Sha're and also reveals to Apophis that it was him, not Heru'ur, who stole the child of Apophis and Amaunet. Teal'c happily watches his former master experience pain (he even temporarily stops Fraiser when she wants to help him) and tells him that one day all Jaffa will be free.

To end Sokar's attack, it is decided to allow Apophis to die and return him to the planet where he was found. Rapidly aging and weakening, Apophis can no longer control the host body, and Apophis' host emerges and speaks with Daniel before his death. Daniel gives him the Egyptian funeral that the host would've normally received.

Dialing computer

Carter's new program for the SGC dialing computer in use.

Sam creates a new rapid dialing program that establishes a wormhole before Sokar can attack a third time. Once the wormhole is open, the corpse is passed through the gate, and Sokar ceases his attacks, apparently satisfied. Martouf reveals that Sokar will surely revive Apophis with a Sarcophagus to torture him as long as he wants.

With the threat from Sokar gone, the Tok'ra give General Hammond a Tollan Inverted phase communicator to contact them with. In return, Jack gives them a GDO for future contact.


Appearances for Serpent's Song





Sentient Species





Notable quotes[]

O'Neill: General Hammond, Apophis. Apophis, General Hammond.
Hammond: We've met.
Apophis: I demand Kal Mah!
Jackson: I'm not really sure, but I think what he's asking for is…
Teal'c: Sanctuary.
Jackson: Right.
Hammond: Why?
O'Neill: I think some rival Goa'uld just kicked his ass.
Carter: There were several other death gliders in pursuit when we took him prisoner, sir.
Apophis: I demand Kal Mah!
Hammond: You're not in a position to demand anything, sir. Lock him up.

O'Neill: I say we beat whatever information we can out of old snake boy, open that Gate and toss him back to the sharks.
Hammond: Not so fast, Colonel. He's essentially a prisoner of war. That gives him certain rights.

Apophis: O'Neill. I am dying.
O'Neill: My heart bleeds for you.
Apophis: You lie poorly.

O'Neill: What do you want?
Apophis: To live.
O'Neill: Can't help you there. That's between you and your god. Oh, wait a minute. You are your god. That's a problem.

Jackson: Basically he was the original Satan.
O'Neill: Well. Isn't that special. (overhead: Incoming traveler) Speak of the Devil.

Lantesh: We cannot defend you from the Goa'uld. You cannot expect us to.
O'Neill: We don't.
Lantesh: Overconfidence was their failing, O'Neill. I hope it has not also become yours.

Teal'c: The people of Chulak no longer worship you. They no longer fear you. The time of Apophis has come to an end.
Apophis: Then kill me now!

Apophis: There was a time when you would die for me, Teal'c.
Teal'c: That time is no more.

Apophis: Help me.
O'Neill: No.
Apophis: A host.
O'Neill: No.
Apophis: I am afraid.


Main Characters

Guest Stars


  • This episode features an unusual visual effect: The camera and digital image pan backward through the Stargate, presenting Colonel Jack O'Neill's visual perspective as he passes backwards through the gate.
  • It is implied that Apophis uses an Iris of some sort, since Sokar used the same weapon against Apophis.
  • Sokar's image in the Stargate resembled an Unas, meaning he either was still in possession of an Unas host, or was distorting his human host's image to resemble an Unas. However, when he later appears in "Jolinar's Memories" and "The Devil You Know", he is shown in a human host and has been in one since before this episode as he was in the same host when he had Jolinar of Malkshur tortured.
  • The exterior scenes on PB5-926 were filmed at the Richmond Sand Dunes.


Apophis vital signs

Vital signs monitor for Apophis

  • The image from the vital signs monitor beside Apophis show's in the top: "Patient: Apophis", and in the bottom: "Patient: Carter Jacob". It's surely a reused image from episode "The Tok'ra, Part 2".
  • Just after Martouf asks Dr. Janet Fraiser what she was injecting Apophis with, we see her take off her left glove. The shot immediately changes, and we see her take off her left glove again. [around mark 24:09, DVD release]
  • Throughout the episode as the Iris heats up to around 200 degrees the iris becomes redder due to the heat. However, when Stargate Command manages to open a worm hole using the rapid dialing program the iris is shown without any residual effect of the heat.

Other languages[]

  • French: La Colère des Dieux (The Gods' Wrath)
  • German: Der Sturz des Sonnengottes (The Fall of the Sun God)
  • Italian: Il Canto del Serpente (The Serpent's Song)
  • Spanish: El Canto de la Serpiente (The Serpent's Song)
  • Czech: Hadova píseň (Serpent's Song)
  • Hungarian: Kockázatos játékok (Hazardous Games)
  • Russian: Лебединая песнь змеи (The Serpent's Song)

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