- "We are not Goa'uld."
- ―Garshaw of Belote
The Tok'ra are a group of symbiotes who object to the ways of the Goa'uld and more specifically, the System Lords, deriving their name from the Goa'uld words "tok", meaning "against" and the name of the Supreme System Lord Ra, who was killed by Colonel Jack O'Neill and Dr. Daniel Jackson on Abydos in 1995. Unlike the Goa'uld, the symbiotes only take volunteer hosts, often those who are sick or injured, and do not suppress their minds, allowing both entities full consciousness and control over the same body.
- "There is an old legend among the Jaffa forbidden to speak of concerning a group of Goa'uld who opposed the ways of the System Lords."
The Tok'ra were first spawned by Egeria, a Goa'uld Queen and former mate of Ra. She had come to conclude that the Goa'uld Empire was too morally objectionable to continue, and mothered the Tok'ra with her mental imprint of compassion, and a belief that they should only take willing hosts. She would mother several broods of her children to take the fight against the Goa'uld. In a final act of spite, the group was named the "Tok'ra" which meant "against Ra".
Ra would later contract the Ashrak with hunting the rogue queen down which they managed to accomplish. They would remove the symbiote from her host and ensured that the Tok'ras numbers would never increase to such magnitudes again. This would be a traumatic time to the movement whose loss of their queen would impede on their organization. Dozens of Tok'ra symbiotes would be captured and killed by the Goa'uld and almost spelt the end of their kind. Luckily, the eldest brood of Egeria led their kind into hiding where they managed to survive.
After taking stock over their situation, the Tok'ra realized they were unable to acquire military forces sufficient to counter the System Lords and thus they adopted strategies of subterfuge. (RPG: "Fantastic Frontiers: Stargate Season One")
Alliance with the Tau'ri
Eventually, the Tok'ra came into contact with the people of the Tau'ri when Jolinar of Malkshur, fleeing from Edrekh, an Ashrak sent by Cronus, took Captain Samantha Carter as a host in order to survive. However, despite her best attempts, she was eventually killed by the assassin but not before ensuring that her host would survive. Elements of the genetic memory remained within Carter. (SG1: "In the Line of Duty")
Through those memories, she managed to locate the Tok'ra encampment on P34-353J and intiatet first contact between the two races. The Tok'ra were skeptical about the humans of the Tau'ri; Garshaw of Belote was even angered when she learned that Apophis' Ha'taks around Earth were destroyed by SG-1 which resulted in the death of several of their agents, but forgave them when she learned it was in defense of their planet. The Tok'ra were also grateful to they learn that Colonel Jack O'Neill and Dr. Daniel Jackson were the ones that killed their mortal enemy Ra. In spite of these victories, the Tok'ra were concerned that the humans were too reckless and independent to mesh with the Tok'ra's methods. In addition, Tau'ri technology was relatively primitive and very distinctive, making it unsuitable for the Tok'ra use. The only thing that the Tau'ri could offer, therefore, were hosts, something that SG-1 in particular found extremely distasteful.(SG1: "The Tok'ra, Part 1")
The dismal discussion of alliance was halted by news that Cronus's Ha'taks were converging on the planet, but after SG-1 helped reveal that Cordesh was a traitor, they accepted the Tau'ri aid. Furthermore, the respected Tok'ra Selmak was given a willing host in the form of Jacob Carter; the successful blending heralded an official alliance between the two races. (SG1: "The Tok'ra, Part 2")
The Tok'ra eventually sent Jacob Carter/Selmak to Delmak to investigate Sokar's plans, but after he was captured and imprisoned on Netu, the Tok'ra turned to the Tau'ri for help, needing Samantha Carter's memories from Jolinar to figure out how to rescue him. Jacob was able to give his intelligence about Sokar's vast fleet and plans and the Tok'ra dispatched Aldwin in a Tel'tak with Teal'c to kill Sokar by destroying Netu while Sokar's Ha'tak was in orbit. Teal'c managed to rescue SG-1, Martouf and Jacob while Netu exploded, killing Sokar in one of the few times the Tok'ra directly attacked a System Lord. Unfortunately, this left Apophis in position to take over from Sokar, which he did. (SG1: "Jolinar's Memories", "The Devil You Know")
After learning of a proposed alliance between Heru'ur and Apophis, the Tok'ra sent Jacob Carter along with SG-1 to sabotage the alliance and create a war between the two powerful System Lords that would decimate both sides using a mine to trick Apophis into thinking that Heru'ur attacked him. Unfortunately, the Tok'ra didn't anticipate Apophis bringing a cloaked fleet into the minefield which he used to shield him as he destroyed Heru'ur's Ha'tak, killing Heru'ur and leaving Apophis in control of Heru'ur's great forces as well as the forces of Sokar. (SG1: "The Serpent's Venom")
The Tok'ra devised a plan to use a captured Ha'tak taken by SG-1 from the recently deceased Cronus to destroy Apophis' fleet. They made use of filtered misinformation given to the Goa'uld spy in their ranks to bring Apophis' fleet to the Vorash system where they dropped a Stargate dialed to a planet with a black hole into the planetary star. This caused a chain reaction bringing about an explosion that destroyed most of Apophis' fleet but propelled both his mothership and SG-1's Ha'tak four million light years away where they were attacked by Replicators. After the Replicators flew the ship to Delmak, SG-1 caused it to crash into the planet, killing Apophis once and for all. (SG1: "Exodus")
The race was almost destroyed when Anubis ordered his Underlord Zipacna to attack the Tok'ra base at Revanna. The resulting battle resulted in many Tok'ra deaths but they managed to survive to a degree. (SG1: "Summit")
Many Tok'ra fled to the SCG's Alpha Site where they took shelter with members of the Jaffa Rebellion. Tensions ran high, however, since the two sides distrusted each other: the Tok'ra in particular were having difficulty trusting the very foot soldiers who had been hunting them for centuries. Hostilities almost erupted due to a cloaked Ashrak causing trouble in the base. (SG1: "Allegiance")
Eventually, relations with the Tau'ri broke down when Anubis discovered the Tau'ri Alpha Site and sent his newly developed Kull warriors to the settlement. During the course of the investigation, the Tau'ri demanded that the Tok'ra reveal where their agents were placed. However, the Tok'ra refused and felt that the humans jeopardized them which forced the Tok'ra to sever ties at the time. In addition, there were many in the Tok'ra High Council who questioned Selmak's loyalties. (SG1: "Death Knell")
Despite spending a year trying to fix things between the Tok'ra and the Tau'ri, Jacob failed as he was still distrusted by the Tok'ra so he acted on his own, stealing a piece of technology tracking Ba'al's ships and going to Earth. There he aided in the final destruction of the Replicators and the fall of the Goa'uld, but as a result of Selmak's advanced age, soon began dying. Several Tok'ra chose to visit him as he and Selmak died. Soon after, Anubis finally fell thanks to the efforts of Dr. Daniel Jackson and Oma Desala. (SG1: "Reckoning, Part 1", "Reckoning, Part 2", "Threads")
After the fall of the System Lords, there was little activity on the part of the Tok'ra. The rising threat of the Ori did mean that they used their intelligence network to aid the Tau'ri and the Free Jaffa Nation to monitor the galaxy for newly formed black holes that indicated the presence of a Supergate. (SG1: "Camelot")
The Tau'ri called upon the Tok'ra's aid in the removal of the cloned symbiote of the System Lord Ba'al that had infested Adria's body. The Tok'ra Ta'seem and his aides were successful in the operation and managed to remove the symbiote, but it released a deadly neurotoxin, forcing Adria to ascend. (SG1: "Dominion")
After the Ori crusade ended, the final clone of Ba'al was captured and was escorted to the Tok'ra homeworld – the location of which could at last be revealed to the galaxy – where the Extraction Ceremony was performed on the Goa'uld, thus ending the reign of the last of the System Lords. (SG1: "Continuum")
- "Goa'uld take hosts. The Tok'ra do not. Ours wish to be so."
- ―Garshaw of Belote
The Tok'ra are similar to the Goa'uld and are in fact the same species. However, where the Goa'uld forcibly take over hosts and lord over their subjects as gods, the Tok'ra pridefully state that they do not take hosts. Instead, their hosts willingly chose to be with a proper symbiosis maintained between both symbiote and host. They strongly believed that the host had the right over control over their bodies and find those of their kind that attempt to forcibly take control over them disgusting. While this is true usually it's the symbiote personalty that is the dominate one in the symbiote-host relationship. When speaking, the Tok'ra make use of their symbiote voice to show that the symbiote itself was speaking while the normal voice indicated the host was talking. (SG1: "The Tok'ra, Part 1", "The Tok'ra, Part 2", "Abyss", "Death Knell")
When the symbiote takes on a new host body, the process is done only with the host's consent and done so through the mouth as Tok'ra find the entry mark to be unsightly. (SG1: "The Tok'ra, Part 1", "The Tok'ra, Part 2")
The Tok'ra consists of hundreds of symbiotes who were all devoted to the fall of the Goa'uld Empire. However, among them, there were several different generations of Goa'uld broods. The eldest of which are few in number after succumbing to old age and natural deaths. These older symbiotes, such as Selmak, were respected, loved, admired and revered by the younger Tok'ra.
Furthermore, the lack of a queen sympathetic to their cause means that the Tok'ra suffer from zero to negative population growth and the loss of any one of their number is a staggering blow. There were the rare few occasions where defecting Goa'uld would be accepted into their ranks who would be the most infamous of the movement. These rebel Goa'uld would gain a title based on the battle where they revealed their betrayal. (RPG: "Fantastic Frontiers: Stargate Season One")
The Tok'ra believed that their greatest weapon against the Goa'uld was their secrecy. At the time, they believed that anything that was not beneficial to them did not warrant a breach in their security procedures. The only thing beneficial to them in forms of an alliance were either hosts or advanced technology. This made them quite practical in their way of thinking, if somewhat callous. (SG1: "The Tok'ra, Part 1", "The Tok'ra, Part 2", "Death Knell")
Many of the Tok'ra had a degree of hostility towards the Jaffa whether they were free or loyal to their masters. This was because every Tok'ra symbiote that died at the hands of the Goa'uld had a Jaffa being responsible for the task. This meant that there were no Jaffa within the ranks of the Tok'ra. They also viewed the Tau'ri as a potentially dangerous element due to their independence and seemingly reckless attacks on the Goa'uld, as well as pursuit of technologies believed to be beyond their understanding. This attitude was encouraged by the sharp increase in Tok'ra fatalities following the entrance of the Tau'ri into the conflict. Selmak was eventually viewed with mistrust for taking a Tau'ri host, as the rest of the Tok'ra High Council felt that Jacob had dominated their relationship and thus held more loyalty to the Tau'ri. (SG1: "The Tok'ra, Part 1", "The Tok'ra, Part 2", "Crossroads", "Tangent", "Allegiance", "Death Knell")
The greatest level of hatred was reserved for the Goa'uld themselves and the Tok'ra show little sympathy over the exploitation of their symbiotes as they believe that the Goa'uld have done much worse to humans over the centuries. (SG1: "Cure")
A noted ritual among their kind was the burial of their dead which involved them being placed in a pyre raised to the level of a Stargate. Once there, they say the relevant words about the recently deceased after which the Stargate was activated, causing an unstable vortex, which destroys the remains to prevent their capture and revival by the Goa'uld. (SG1: "Allegiance")
One of the key aspects of the Tok'ra culture are the Extraction Ceremonies in which a Goa'uld System Lord is captured and faces the extraction of the symbiote itself. This starts with the captured Goa'uld in a stasis pod while the Tok'ra leaders recite (in their own language) a list of crimes the accused had committed. Depending on the Goa'uld in question, this ceremony can last up to three hours. Once complete, the Goa'uld is released from stasis and allowed their final words, after which they are placed in the symbiote extractor. The symbiote is then removed from the host body and placed in a cylinder where upon a leader of the Tok'ra shatters it on the floor as everyone watches the Goa'uld wither and die without a host. The host may survive the extraction. (SG1: "Continuum")
The race is governed by the Tok'ra High Council with their leader holding the position of Supreme High Councilor. Its membership is unknown but its decisions are binding on the rest of their people. (SG1: "Divide and Conquer", "Jolinar's Memories", "The Devil You Know")
- Main article: Tok'ra technology
The Tok'ra have developed several technologies, many of which are based off Goa'uld design, and others that have been created in conjunction with the Tau'ri. Tok'ra technology is based primarily around the use of Naquadah, a substance that the Tok'ra secrete into the bloodstream of their hosts. Naquadah is also used as a sort of interface initializer to interact with their most valuable technology, such as the Kara kesh and Goa'uld healing device, similar to the Ancient Technology Activation gene.
Worlds under Tok'ra control
- Former bases marked with *
List of known Tok'ra
- Garshaw of Belote
- Jolinar of Malkshur
- Tok'ra Elder
List of known Tok'ra hosts
- Jacob Carter; blended with Selmak
- Samantha Carter; former host of Jolinar
- Charlie; blended with an unknown Tok'ra
- Eilaan; former host of Jaydin
- Kevin Elliot; blended with Lantash
- Firnan; blended with Cordesh
- Freya; blended with Anise
- Liandra; blended with Jaydin
- Martouf; former host of Lantash
- Nyklos; blended with Marteen
- Jack O'Neill; former host of Kanan
- Benjamin J. Reilly; blended with Mapep
- Rosha; former host of Jolinar
- Saroosh; former host of Selmak
- MacAlester St. John; blended with Antoc
- Thina; blended with Mingala
- Tulenn; blended with Adrastos
- Yosuf; blended with Garshaw