- 1 Summary
- 2 Earth Mythological References
- 3 Stargate References
- 4 Episodes
- 5 Related Characters
- 6 Related Articles
- 7 Further Reading
The Sangreal (also, Sangraal, Blood Stone, Holy Grail, Merlin's Weapon, Merlin's Anti-Ori Weapon, Merlin's Anti-Ascended Weapon) is the device 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. The Ori's purpose to convert the galaxy was the only reason why only the Odyssey survived the battle, for they wished to have survivors who'd tell others about the power of the Ori. Only Mitchell, Daniel, and six others survived the Korolev's destruction. (9.20 "Camelot Part 2", 10.01 "Flesh and Blood Part 3")
SG-1 Continues the Search on Vagonbrei
Meurik told Daniel and Mitchell that Arthur and his knights' quest took them to three places: Castiana, Sahal, and Vagonbrei. The names of these places weren't familiar to Daniel, so he had to continue his research. While comparing Merlin's records from his library in Camelot with the myths of Earth, Daniel determined that Vagonbrei was the Welsh Gwlad Gan Brenhinol Gwir ("Land of Royal Truth") which had been visited by one of Arthur's knights named Sir Gawain. Using a volume from Merlin's library which was dedicated to Gawain, Daniel found the Stargate address of Vagonbrei (in Ancient: Verus Gen Bree) depicted in an illustration of Gawain's sword. (9.20 "Camelot Part 2", 10.02 "Morpheus")
Daniel and Teal'c began their research in Vagonbrei's village archive and discovered that Morgan Le Fay had been there. Morgan was depicted in Earth's Arthurian legends as Merlin's greatest rival. Apparently, she had taken the Sangreal and Arthur's knights were chasing after her. They discovered that she used a cave as a laboratory, but during their investigation, they awoke a parasite which caused its victims to fall into a deep sleep and never wake up. The entire village and all other living creatures had died of this disease, and SG-1 and Red Team (medical team there to autopsy the dead bodies discovered in the village) were the next victims unless they could find a cure.
Daniel continued to read the records from the village archive while the other members of the teams investigated the parasite. The villagers thought that Morgan had cursed them with this sleeping sickness because they had revealed her location to Arthur's knights. The truth of this assertion was undetermined, but Carter emphasized that they weren't aware of microbiology and could only explain the disease in terms that they could understand. Morgan's cave turned out to be both the source of the problem and its solution when Mitchell and Teal'c managed to catch the only living creature left on the planet: a lizard which lived deep within the cave's hidden chambers. With this lizard and the teams' medical research, Dr. Lam succeeded in devising a cure. Unfortunately, two members of the Red Team died before this cure was found. (10.02 "Morpheus")
After such a close call, Daniel's research efforts appeared to at first be a failure, but he did find references to Atlantis in the village's records. Knowing that Merlin had been an Ancient who lived on Atlantis 10,000 years ago, Gen. Landry gave the team permission to continue their quest for the Sangreal there. (10.02 "Morpheus")
Daniel Uncovers More Clues in Atlantis
Ever since discovering the destination of Atlantis, the Lost City of the Ancients, Daniel dreamed of going there as the world's foremost expert on the Ancients. He finally got his wish, but it was under less than desirable circumstances. He wasn't given the luxury of researching to his heart's content, but went to the Lost City with the intent of locating Merlin's anti-Ori weapon, the Sangreal. (10.03 "The Pegasus Project")
Dr. Elizabeth Weir, the leader of the Atlantis Expedition, started Daniel's research by querying the database for variations on the names Castiana and Sahal. Both she and Daniel knew that the names would have changed over the thousands of years from their Ancient roots. The names given by Meurik were in Old English, a language derived thousands of years after the Ancients left Atlantis 10,000 years ago. Even though they knew it was a long-shot, they still attempted to find some variation close to these Old English names. Elizabeth's research revealed nothing.
Daniel wasn't surprised that the names Castiana and Sahal had rendered empty results, so he was prepared for a very long and arduous effort to track the Ancients' progress from the moment they arrived in the Milky Way Galaxy after fleeing their home galaxy (back then, they were known as the Altera). He wanted to learn the names of all of the settlements and try to correlate them to the Old English names — one by one. Vala had accompanied him in this investigation and insisted that he ask the question to the holographic avatar directly, and after some argument, Daniel asked the question, not expecting an answer because Elizabeth had already tried. To his complete and utter amazement, the holographic avatar, a woman, not only gave him the planets' Ancient names, but also their Stargate addresses. (10.03 "The Pegasus Project")
Daniel stood silent for some time, considering the information he had just been handed so easily. He started looking at the images of each Ancient who left Atlantis and found that Merlin's Ancient name was Moros, which he had interpreted as Myrddin from the tablet which led them to Avalon. He wasn't surprised at the changes in the man's name, since they were in different languages. What he didn't understand was how the holographic program, developed 10,000 years ago, could possibly know the Old English names. He challenged the avatar and soon discovered that she was actually an Ascended Being trying to help covertly. What was even more astonishing was that this Ascended Being was Morgan Le Fay! (10.03 "The Pegasus Project")
Morgan, whose Ancient name was Ganos Lal, told Daniel that she had been sent by The Others to watch Merlin after he had retaken human form and began developing his weapon. Her mission was to watch him and, if necessary, to stop him. The Others saw Merlin's work as a threat to them because the weapon would not only destroy the Ori, but all Ascended Beings. Morgan's efforts to stop Merlin led to Arthur's quest. (10.03 "The Pegasus Project")
Morgan said that Moros and she had ascended after they left Atlantis for Earth 10,000 years ago and that Moros was not satisfied with doing nothing while the Ori existed. When he retook his human form, he kept his knowledge and powers. As a matter of fact, Morgan claimed that Moros was the most powerful being on Earth at the time he retook human form. He took Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table into his confidence and built Camelot. The Sangreal was the most precious thing that existed in the universe, as well as an extremely powerful weapon, so it was necessary for Merlin to appoint these trusted men with its care in case he was ever neutralized. His precautions were warranted, because Merlin disappeared at the same time that Morgan took the Sangreal. It is possible that the legends about his being cursed by Morgan have some measure of truth. (10.03 "The Pegasus Project")
It took a while, but even Morgan began to recognize the threat the Ori posed. This threat had become more immediate once the Ori began their invasion of the Milky Way. She tried to give Daniel more help in his search, but The Others pulled her out, just like Oma had done to Daniel when he was about to kill Anubis over Abydos while he was ascended. Daniel learned that Morgan knew him when he was ascended and feared that she, too, would be punished for her interference. She told Daniel that there weren't enough other Ascended Beings who were willing to challenge The Others' rule of non-interference. After Morgan was pulled away, Daniel realized that The Others had been watching them and that they had sent the message that they didn't intend to intervene, even though the Ori's invasion threatened their very own existence. (6.22 "Full Circle", 10.03 "The Pegasus Project")
Upon their return home, SG-1 investigated Castiana and Sahal, but found nothing. Although increasingly frustrated and disillusioned, Daniel continued his search for the Sangreal among the records of Camelot and Earth, feeling that he was missing a very important clue. (10.04 "Insiders", 10.05 "Uninvited")
SG-1 Faces New Challenges in Their Search
Daniel continued puzzling over the clues left behind by Merlin and Morgan. He played with the Stargate coordinates for the four planets, Castiana, Sahal, Vagonbrei, and Camelot, and found that they formed a tetrahedron (triangular pyramid). He wasn't sure what this meant, but felt it had relevance. Vala was suddenly enlightened during a dream with the answer: combine the coordinates of Castiana, Sahal, and Vagonbrei to produce a unique address. Using the glyphs in the coordinates in a computer search against the Ancient Stargate database, Carter found one match, and the team went there. (10.10 "The Quest Part 1")
What they found was a medieval village similar to Camelot. They asked about the Sangreal and were told to visit the village's library for the Parchment of Virtues. The librarian, Osric, was thrilled to share the contents of the Parchment with them: "Only those of virtue true may win the prize concealed beyond the reach of the flawed and tainted. The Sangreal shall instead belong to he who speaks the guardian's name. Prudence, wisdom, charity, kindness, and faith. Let these be your guide on this perilous quest." (10.10 "The Quest Part 1")
Osric revealed that Morgan left a map, but because another group of adventurers had attempted to steal it, he denied the team's access to it. The other adventurers had a three-day head start on SG-1 and the team discovered that it was Ba'al. Ba'al was acting on the Stargate addresses he obtained through force from the SGC (10.04 "Insiders"). (10.10 "The Quest Part 1")
Soon after SG-1's arrival, the Ori came to the village and burned all of the books and parchments found in the village's library. The Prior declared that they would start anew with the wisdom provided through the Ori. The Ori soldiers acted forcefully in subduing the villagers and sought out Osric. Osric was saved by SG-1 and promised that he'd guide them to the Sangreal with the map he memorized. (10.10 "The Quest Part 1")
Osric knew of how people who had gone in search of the Sangreal, or had treaded close to the forest where it was said that Morgan had placed a curse, had never returned, and he warned the team that there would be great challanges ahead. The team encountered a time distortion field in which several people had been entrapped, appearing to be frozen in time. Carter discovered that the field had "regular time" corridors which acted as a maze. She first led the group through the distortions using her scanner, but when the technology failed, she used rocks to show the path. This challenge was later identified by Daniel to have been that of "prudence". (10.10 "The Quest Part 1")
The team's next challenge was a force field with a treasure chest in its center — and a very hungry and angry Ba'al. Ba'al's Jaffa weren't trapped in the force field and he sent them for help, but they had not returned, leaving him in the force field for three days. While Daniel examined the chest, Ba'al told them how he arrived at the planet. Apparently, the entire planet was shielded from approach from space and the only way to get to it was through the Stargate. Daniel decided to interpret the Parchment literally and declared that the challenge was to show charity by putting something into the chest. Each person "sacrificed" an object and the force field was lowered. Ba'al joined the quest when he told them that he knew the name of the guardian — a dragon. (10.10 "The Quest Part 1")
Osric led the group to the caves in the lone mountain depicted on the map. But, Daniel and the rest of SG-1 challenged his intent because he knew verses from The Book of Origin and wore a ring of Ori design (this was the object he placed in the chest). Osric objected, but finally gave up the ruse: he was actually Adria, the Orici, in disguise! Adria revealed that she had given Vala the inspiration in her dream in order to get the team to the planet. Her reason for this: only a person true of spirit could possess the Sangreal and she concluded that Daniel, as a former Ascended, was such a person. After Adria threatened to kill Carter, Daniel agreed to allow Adria to continue the search with them. (10.10 "The Quest Part 1")
Inside the cave, the group was immediately faced with additional challenges. There were riddles inscribed in Ancient in plaques along the way. Their first challenge was to choose one of two possible directions. One way would be the correct way and the other would doom them. When they heard the cries of a child, they determined that following the child was the correct way to go, showing kindness, another of the virtues mentioned on the Parchcment. When each of the members of the group placed their hands on a portcullis, the child was freed from his trap. Actually, the child was a holographic projection which led them to a series of tunnels, each with their own riddle to solve. (10.10 "The Quest Part 1")
The group's wisdom was tested as they had to quickly solve the riddles by translating Ancient and shouting out the answer in Ancient as the cave shook, threatening to crush them with the debris. Daniel and Adria knew Ancient and the other members helped solve the riddles. It was truly a group effort. They came to the end of the riddles when they faced a wall of fire. There was no turning back as the openings through which they had passed had closed up once again. While waiting on Daniel and Mitchell to discover a way to put out the fire, Ba'al challenged Adria to use her powers to snuff out the flames. Adria claimed that her powers didn't work that way and turned her back on him when he continued to goad her. (10.10 "The Quest Part 1")
Finally, Daniel determined that the last virtue, faith, had not yet been tested and that the fire was actually the challenge for it. He gathered his resolve and calmly walked through the wall of fire. Once he reached the other side, the fire disappeared and he was unharmed. The group continued forward and entered a large cavern with a narrow walkway leading to what appeared to be the red, glowing Sangreal. (10.10 "The Quest Part 1")
Because she felt that she was in control of the quest, Adria insisted that she and Daniel go over the bridge to the Sangreal alone. While there, Daniel challenged her abilities to touch the device. He realized that only her personal defense shield she wore around her neck was operational. Her Ori-given powers had been neutralized much like the SGC's Anti-Prior Device was able to neutralize the advanced humans' mental powers (9.10 "The Fourth Horseman Part 1", 9.11 "The Fourth Horseman Part 2"). Adria was reduced to being an ordinary human, and Daniel refused to help her any further. She stood back to let him take the Sangreal, but both were surprised to find that the glowing device was a hologram. Soon thereafter, the group was faced with the Sangreal's guardian — a fire-breathing dragon — which had been released when Daniel's hand passed through the hologram. With their route of escape closed off, the group had to face the dragon on Morgan's terms. (10.10 "The Quest Part 1")
- 9.18 "Arthur's Mantle"
- 9.19 "Crusade Part 1"
- 9.20 "Camelot Part 2"
- 10.01 "Flesh And Blood Part 3"
- 10.02 "Morpheus"
- 10.03 "The Pegasus Project"
- 10.04 "Insiders"
- 10.05 "Uninvited"
- 10.10 "The Quest Part 1"
- Dr. Daniel Jackson
- Lt. Col. Samantha Carter
- Lt. Col. Cameron Mitchell
- Vala Mal Doran
- Gen. Hank Landry
- Dr. Carolyn Lam
- Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table
- Col. Chekov
- Morgan Le Fay
- Oma Desala
- Dr. Elizabeth Weir
- Anti-Prior Device
- Arthur's Mantle (Merlin's Interdimensional Device)
- Ascended Beings
- Atlantis Expedition
- Castiana / Taoth Vaclarush
- The Others
- The Others
- Red Team
- Sahal / Valos Cor
- Sleeper Parasite
- Zero Point Module (ZPM)
- 6.22 "Full Circle"
- 8.13 "It's Good To Be King"
- Stargate Atlantis: 1.15 "Before I Sleep"
- 9.10 "The Fourth Horseman Part 1"
- 9.11 "The Fourth Horseman Part 2"
- 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)