The Sangreal is the Ancient Merlin's Anti-Ascended Weapon which is theorized to be able to neutralize Ascended Beings. The object has been part of Earth's Arthurian legends as the Holy Grail.
Earth Mythological References
The Holy Grail has been part of Arthurian legends since the French Perceval, le Conte du Graal (The Story of the Grail), written by Chrétien de Troyes ca. 1180. A German author, Wolfram von Eschenbach, presented his own Perceval story involving the graal with Parzival ca. 1210. In Wolfram's version, the Holy Grail is a stone, rather than a cup or chalice, which possesses great powers (such as healing). This stone was thought to have fallen from Heaven and had been the sanctuary of the Neutral Angels who took neither side during Lucifer's rebellion.
The Sangreal as a stone is in another story which says it was an emerald which came out of Lucifer's crown when he fell from Heaven. This stone is also associated with the green-colored moldavite, a substance formed by a meteor impact.
The more popular Arthurian legends say that the Holy Grail was Christ's cup at the Last Supper (Holy Chalice), while others expand on that theme and say it was used to catch Christ's blood at the Crucifixion. It was said to have been carried by Joseph of Arimathea to Britain and kept safe by a special group of guardians.
The word graal comes from the Old French adaptation of the Latin gradalis, which is a dish. After the Grail romances included Christian applications, the medieval writers came up with the word sangreal which means "Holy Grail". In Old French, however, the words san grial mean "Holy Grail", while the words sang rial mean "Royal Blood". In the Stargate Universe, the Sangreal is red, and is also called the "Blood Stone", thus mixing the various legends together to create a unique object.
The Quest of the Holy Grail by the Knights of the Round Table is also another popular Arthurian legend. The Round Table was introduced by Anglo-Norman author Wace in 1155 in Roman de Brut (The Story of Brutus), but not linked to the Holy Grail. According to Robert de Boron, a French poet, and the Vulgate Cycle (1227-1235), the Round Table was devised and created by Merlin and could seat 150 knights. Various later versions of the legend change the number of knights who could sit at the Table. No matter how many knights the Table could accommodate, it was only a handful of men, such as Perceval, Lancelot, Bors, Gawain, and Galahad, who were associated with the Quest of the Holy Grail throughout the various versions of the legend. And throughout these various versions, it was a different knight who actually achieved the goal — the most popular being Galahad from the Vulgate Cycle and continued in Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur (The Death of Arthur) ca 1469-1470.
The Purpose of the Sangreal
Ten thousand years ago, the Ancients who were living in the city-ship Atlantis in the Pegasus Galaxy returned to Earth through the Stargate. These highly-advanced humans had to blend into the primitive societies which Earth offered. Those who became part of the Earth's societies were most likely the ones who spread the Ancient gene into the populace. Others, like Myrddin, ascended. (9.01 "Avalon Part 1", 9.18 "Arthur's Mantle")
But, Myrddin was not satisfied with the non-interference rules of the Ascended Beings known as the Altera, the Ancients, and The Others. He couldn't stand by and do nothing while the Altera's rivals, the Ori, posed a threat to not only the Ascended themselves, but to humanity as well. Myrddin decided to retake human form and develop a weapon which could neutralize an Ascended Being. Having to do his work in secret, he first developed a phase-shifting device so that he could do his work in an alternate dimension. (9.18 "Arthur's Mantle")
SG-1 Seeks the Sangreal in Camelot
Myrddin didn't keep his human existence a secret to the people of Earth, however. Soon, he became known as Merlin, the wizard of Arthurian legends. Merlin stashed away some of his research in the underground caverns of Avalon in Glastonbury Tor in England. His interdimensional device was left there when he had to move his research to another planet. Daniel successfully read most of the database stored in the interdimensional device before the device's power was fully drained. He discovered the Stargate address of where Merlin went to in order to continue his research. (9.01 "Avalon Part 1", 9.18 "Arthur's Mantle")
Merlin's association with King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table influenced the very society which lived on this planet, for the planet's main village was called "Camelot". A sword in the stone sat in the middle of the village, waiting to be pulled out by someone who had a pure heart. When SG-1 arrived, they were greeted by Meurik, the village's governor. When they asked after Merlin, Meurik's cheerful mood changed and he excused himself. Antonius, the village historian, told them that Merlin's name wasn't often spoken because Merlin was thought of as a practitioner of the dark arts. He was said to have left a curse on those who would try to access his personal sanctuary. Antonius said that Arthur had defeated Mordred, survived the battle of Camlann, and had gone on his quest for the Sangreal. Merlin, however, disappeared about the same time as Arthur and his knights left on their quest. (9.20 "Camelot Part 2")
All of those many centuries, Merlin's library was left as it was to gather dust and cobwebs. No one dared enter it because of the curse. SG-1, not believing in curses or magic, pursuaded Antonius to open Merlin's library with the key which was stored in the village's archives. The library was full of Merlin's writings, including some of his prophecies. Daniel concluded that Merlin had used time traveling technology just as the Ancient who built the timeship had done (8.13 "It's Good To Be King"; Stargate Atlantis: 1.15 "Before I Sleep"). He also observed that some of the myths of Earth still had some basis of truth to them, even if they were embellished in the Arthurian romances. (9.20 "Camelot Part 2")
SG-1 discovered Merlin's Ancient technology in a chamber hidden behind a bookshelf. As soon as they stepped up to the control console which was situated in the middle of the secret chamber, Merlin's curse was revealed: a holographic Black Knight. The Knight, however, wasn't revealed to those who were inside the library, but to the innocent villagers outside. Antonius, who had taken one of the books from Merlin's library and left because he was afraid, was visited by the Knight and killed. This sent the village into an uproar and soon they asked that SG-1 leave. Daniel and Mitchell, however, returned in secret through the use of the Asgard beaming technology onboard the Odyssey which was en route to the location of one of the Ori's completed Supergates. They knew that the Ori's invasion force was about to arrive at any moment. Daniel asked to be returned to the library because he strongly believed that the weapon could be found and used against the Ori, thus taking away the Ori's worshippers' motivation for their crusade. (9.19 "Crusade Part 1", 9.20 "Camelot Part 2")
Daniel looked for clues in Merlin's books. He found a pattern which he believed was the access code to the control console. After entering the first code, the Black Knight reappeared and Mitchell went to battle him to protect the villagers. Daniel frantically entered additional codes, hoping to access Merlin's database and disable the Knight. Daniel succeeded at rematerializing the treasures stored (just like they had been in Avalon) and activating Merlin's holographic greeting, but the Knight was still going strong, injuring Mitchell repeatedly with his energized sword. One of the local girls, Valencia, had grown attached to Mitchell and she begged Meurik to do something to save him, but he stood by and declared that Mitchell had brought the curse onto himself. Valencia was not satisfied with doing nothing but watch Mitchell die, so she pulled the sword out of the stone and gave it to him. Unfortunately, Mitchell had grown too weak to fight and was about to be killed when Daniel successfully turned the hologram off by shooting the crystals in the control console. The village celebrated Valencia's achievement, excited about the prospect of seeing Arthur and his knights return from their quest. (9.20 "Camelot Part 2")
The holographic greeting from Merlin said that what was sought was like a pendulum and before the seeker's eyes. Daniel concluded that it was the pendant which Merlin wore in his hologram and in all of the drawings of Merlin in his books in Camelot. This pendant was not in any of the drawings of Merlin on Earth. Meurik, now happy with what SG-1 had done by lifting the curse, told Daniel that the pendant was the Sangreal, also known as the "Blood Stone" and "Holy Grail", which would be returned to them when Arthur and his knights returned. The pulling of the sword from the stone was a sign that Arthur would return soon, according to the prophecies left behind by Merlin. (9.20 "Camelot Part 2")
In the meantime, Carter worked with the Asgard Kvasir to reprogram the Supergate to form a wormhole to the Ori's home galaxy before the Ori activated the Supergate in the other direction. Kvasir had studied Daniel's notes from the interdimensional database and determined that the Sangreal emitted an energy which neutralized Ascended Beings like two opposing frequencies cancel each other out. He described it thusly: "It is an energy transfer device, similar to a Zero Point Module, except that the energy is channeled not from sub-space into ordinary space-time, but rather into the dimension occupied by Ascended Beings. It is a form of interference. A simply analogy would be two standing waves canceling each other out. If the weapon indeed works the way Merlin's writings imply, we would simply need to activate it and send it to the Ori galaxy, and they would be eliminated." (9.20 "Camelot Part 2")
Unfortunately, Daniel and Mitchell weren't able to stay in Camelot to wait for Arthur's return. They were beamed away by Col. Chekov who was commanding the Korolev which was on the way to disable the Supergate to prevent the Ori invasion. They arrived just as four Ori warships came through the Supergate. No match for the Ori warships' superior shields and weaponry, the allied fleets were decimated. SG-1's plan to use the Sangreal had failed to stop the invasion and the Milky Way was at the mercy of a relentless and powerful enemy. (9.20 "Camelot Part 2")
- Dr. Daniel Jackson
- Lt. Col. Samantha Carter
- Lt. Col. Cameron Mitchell
- Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table
- Col. Chekov
- Arthur's Mantle (Merlin's Interdimensional Device)
- Ascended Beings
- The Others
- Zero Point Module (ZPM)
- Timeless Myths: Knights of the Round Table
- WikiPedia: Sangreal
- WikiPedia: Holy Chalice
- The Many Story Lines of King Arthur
- WikiPedia: Moldavite
- WikiPedia: Mordred
- WikiPedia: Battle of Camlann
--DeeKayP 19:18, 27 March 2006 (PST)