Protected Planets Treaty

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Asgard High Council Applies Treaty

Summary

The Protected Planets Treaty was a complex treaty between the Asgard and the Goa'uld System Lords. Under the treaty, the System Lords agreed not to attack or otherwise interfere with the progression of a planet named in the treaty. In return, the Asgard agreed not to help such a planet advance technologically or to save it from other threats. By signing the treaty, the Goa'uld were left undisturbed by the Asgard, while the Asgard could save their resources for battling an enemy in their own galaxy: the Replicators. However, both sides violated the treaty when it suited them, as did Earth once it became a protected planet. At its peak, the treaty covered 27 planets, including Earth. Now that the System Lords have been killed or are on the run, the treaty is likely moot. We first learned of the treaty in 3.03 "Fair Game."

Earth's knowledge of the particular terms of the treaty evolved over time. From the initial negotiations in which Earth was added to the treaty (3.03 "Fair Game"), the following were learned:

Negotiating Conditions

  • Representatives of the Asgard, System Lords, and planet are present.
  • No party may bring or have any weapons at the site of the negotiations.
  • Negotiations for each new planet to be added to the treaty are conducted individually, on the planet in question. The host planet must be suitably obsequious to the System Lords.
  • Some new terms may be added to the treaty as part of a negotiation.

Treaty Terms

  • The Goa'uld System Lords will not attack a protected planet.
  • The System Lords are responsible for assuring that any rogue Goa'ulds honor the treaty by attempting to stop them from attacking a protected planet.
  • The Asgard assure that no protected planet will be allowed to advance technologically to a point where they may become a threat to the Goa'uld. Definition of such threat shall rest solely in the hands of the Goa'uld System Lords.
  • The people of a planet are protected only so long as they remain on the planet. If they are caught by the Goa'uld anywhere else, they are shown no mercy.

Further terms came to light when SG-1 argued that the Asgard should save K'Tau from SG-1's blunder with the K'tau sun (5.05 "Red Sky"):

  • The people on protected planets cannot be artificially advanced thru Asgard technological means. Using Asgard technology to prevent a natural disaster would be a violation of that order.
  • If the Asgard violate the treaty on one protected planet, then the entire treaty is nullified, and the Goa'uld are free to attack all protected planets.

Stargate References

Cimmeria

The Tau'ri first encountered the protectiveness of the Asgard when they traveled to Cimmeria, and Teal'c and O'Neill were taken by Thor's Hammer. In escaping, they destroyed the Hammer and left Cimmeria defenseless (1.10 "Thor's Hammer"). The Goa'uld System Lord Heru'ur subsequently attacked the planet, and the inhabitants appealed to the SGC for help. SG-1 travelled back to Cimmeria, fighting off the Goa'uld long enough to make contact with the Asgard and ask for help. Thor arrived in his spaceship and destroyed the Jaffa, then left a teacher behind to help them rebuild the Hammer (2.06 "Thor's Chariot"). This sequence of events implies that Cimmeria is not covered by the Protected Planets Treaty. As Daniel noted when the team realized the planet K'Tau had no Hammer, Cimmeria wouldn't need one either if it had been named in the Goa'uld/Asgard Treaty. However, it has never been stated for certain, one way or the other.

Earth

Thor realized that the System Lords were feeling threatened by Earth after SG-1 killed Hathor. Realizing the System Lords could mass an assault a thousand times more powerful than Apophis', Thor arranged for negotiations to add Earth to the treaty. System Lords Cronus, Yu, and Nirrti arrived representing the Goa'uld, while Thor chose O'Neill to negotiate for Earth, in spite of Jack's confusion and objections.

The Asgard initially offered the Goa'uld access to the Passage of Nilor in exchange for Earth's inclusion in the treaty. But the System Lords were after much more and demanded that Earth give up both its Stargates, arguing that with gate travel, the Tau'ri had become a threat, in violation of the treaty. The highest levels of the U.S. Government were ready to agree to these drastic terms, believing it was the only way to save the planet. But then, demonstrating the Goa'uld's feudal nature, Nirrti physically attacked Cronus and Teal'c, violating the prohibition on bringing weaponry. It was Carter who saved Cronus' life, with the healing device. These two factors led to Cronus supporting the treaty without Earth having to give up its Stargates. Cronus promised that any Tau'ri caught off-world from Earth would be made to suffer, but this did not deter the SGC from continuing its exploration through the Stargate (3.03 "Fair Game").

The Goa'uld honored the treaty for the next couple of years, then perhaps grew weary of the SGC's continued galactic meddling, including their victory over Apophis. The Goa'uld Tanith, former underling of Apophis, tried to find a way to destroy Earth without attracting the attention of the Asgard. He blackmailed the Tollan into building explosive weapons for him that would penetrate the Earth Stargate's iris. Before he could force the Tollan to send the bombs through the gate to Earth, Narim and SG-1 discovered his plan and put a stop to it. Tanith retaliated by destroying Tollana. However, still fearing the Asgard's power, he did not attack Earth directly (5.09 "Between Two Fires").

Not long after, the System Lords again attempted to destroy Earth without the Asgard knowing. They created an asteroid of planet-killing size, brought it through hyperspace to the vicinity of the solar system, and set it on course for Earth. Believing it was a natural asteroid, the SGC knew the Asgard would not be able to interfere without violating the treaty. Once SG-1 realized it was really a Goa'uld attack, it was too late to ask the Asgard for help. But, SG-1 managed to put the asteroid into hyperspace long enough to go through Earth to the other side, averting disaster (5.17 "Failsafe").

With the rise of Anubis and the weakening of the Asgard due to their battle with the Replicators, the treaty all but went by the wayside as far as Earth's protection. When Anubis tried to penetrate the gate's iris and blow it up along with much of Earth, the SGC attempted to contact the Asgard to report the violation and ask for help. The Asgard were nowhere to be found, too occupied with battles of their own. Earth had to save itself, with its new spaceship technology and help from its allies, the Rebel Jaffa (6.01 "Redemption Part 1", 6.02 "Redemption Part 2").

Seeing an opening, Ba'al made plans to take all 27 (as noted by Daniel) planets protected under the treaty for himself. Weir recognized that Ba'al was about to call the Asgard's bluff and planned a bluff of her own, to tell the Goa'uld that Earth could use Ancient technology to defend itself. Carter and Teal'c traveled to Thor's galaxy to ask for his help. He came back to Earth and rescued O'Neill, who in turn used his Ancient knowledge to create an anti-Replicator weapon. However Ba'al was still on the rise, and the Human Form Replicators were not entirely destroyed (8.01 "New Order Part 1", 8.02 "New Order Part 2").

As Anubis and the Human Form Replicators became a threat to the entire galaxy, and with Ba'al overcoming many of the System Lords, the treaty became less and less relevant. In fact the Tau'ri, Tok'ra, and free Jaffa were forced into a brief alliance with Ba'al in the final stand against the replicators at Dakara. Once Anubis was defeated as well, Ba'al was the only remaining System Lord. It's quite clear he does not hold much respect for the treaty as he maneuvers his way through the political landscape on Earth and elsewhere with his band of clones (9.07 "Ex Deus Machina", 9.14 "Stronghold", 9.16 "Off The Grid").

PX3-595

PX3-595 is an Asgard protected planet and home of the Tirknoks. The Asgard provided their cloaking technology to the planet to protect the Tirknoks from natural predators. This appears to be in contradiction to the terms of the treaty, so perhaps the Goa'uld were not aware of it. Jack O'Neill helped steal the cloaking device when he was working undercover with the rogue NID. Presumably it was returned to them after the operation was over (3.18 "Shades of Grey").

K'Tau

The pre-technological people of K'Tau worship the Asgard as their gods, and the Asgard encourage this worship as they protect them. After arriving on K'Tau, SG-1 realized the wormhole they had traveled had deposited some super-heavy elements into the K'Tau sun, forcing its light output to shift to the infrared and threatening all life on the planet. SG-1 used the Asgard communication device on the planet to contact the Asgard High Council. Visiting the council chamber via hologram, O'Neill asked the Asgard to reverse the damage the SGC had caused. But Freyr and the other Asgard argued that they were only allowed to protect the planet from the Goa'uld and not from other disasters, natural or otherwise. However the Asgard were clearly sorry this was the case and, perhaps looking for an opportunity, told O'Neill the solution was up to him. The SGC put all of its resources into technical solutions, even against the will of the K'Tau people. Though Carter was certain their last attempt failed, the K'Tau sun soon after returned to normal. It seems certain that the Asgard did intervene, under cover of Carter's solution and the prayers of their followers on the planet (5.05 "Red Sky").

Adara

Thor came to the aid of Adara when it was being threatened by two Goa'uld motherships in orbit, commanded by Osiris. Thor eventually opened fire, but his weapons could no longer penetrate the Goa'uld shields. This represented a great leap forward in Goa'uld technology, and Osiris realized the import when she declared "Our days of bowing to the Asgard are finally over." She was a bit premature, however. In their war with the Replicators, the Asgard had made large advances also, and Freyr led three powerful new ships to save Thor and Heimdall, retake Adara, and drive off Osiris (5.22 "Revelations). However, the Asgard were still pre-occupied with the Replicators and could not readily apply their new ships to actively protect Earth.

Galar

While in times past it was dominated by the Goa'uld, Galar has been a protected planet for generations. Left alone, it developed naturally to a high level of technology, even using ancient Goa'uld artifacts to build new technologies, such as their memory transfer device (9.12 "Collateral Damage).

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--Michelle 13:12, 18 June 2006 (PDT)