Qetesh

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Vala impersonates Qetesh

Earth Culture of Origin

Semetic, Egyptian

Alternate Names / Spellings

Qadesh, Katesh

Presides Over

Nature goddessess of sacred ecstasy and sexual pleasure

Personal Symbols

"In early portrayals she is shown as a naked woman standing upon a lion. On her head is the cresent moon and disk. Later interpretations show Qetesh again on the lion, but with the headdress of Hathor, wearing a deep necklace and a tight-fitting dress which extends to her ankles. Her hands hold symbols of eroticism and fertility. In her right hand she holds lotus flowers and in her left, two snakes. Like Bes (and contrary to Egyptian artistic convention), Qetesh is always pictured full-face." (Ancient Egypt: The Mythology)

Earth Mythological References

Qetesh's cult became popular in Egypt during the New Kingdom (1539-1075 B.C.). Her sexuality led to a natural association with the Egyptian goddess Hathor. She was part of a triad with the child, Min, and her husband, Reshep (who, like her, was another foreign god). (Ancient Egypt: The Mythology; BBC History: Ancient Egypt Timeline)

Stargate References

It is only through the stories related by Vala Mal Doran, Qetesh's former host, and others who knew her from the past that the SGC ever knew about the Goa'uld's life, for she had been removed from Vala prior to Vala's meeting the crew of the Prometheus while they were on their way to the Pegasus Galaxy. (8.12 "Prometheus Unbound")

At the time that Vala met Daniel Jackson, she was a thief and con-artist who survived by trading items on the black market, and she expertly used her sexuality as a weapon. She was in the process of stealing the Prometheus when the two met, and after Daniel managed to capture her, she told him the story of her time as a Goa'uld host. In this story, Qetesh had been in power on a planet with human slaves, allegedly Vala's homeworld. A Tok'ra came to this planet to start an uprising and then the people turned on her, capturing and torturing her. According to Vala, the Tok'ra took pity and removed Qetesh from her, but the people still couldn't differentiate between the host and the symbiote, so she had to flee. She found refuge on P8X-412, where Qetesh had been in power for seven years, but the people were not aware of the fall of the Goa'uld System Lords. Unfortunately, Vala impersonated Qetesh for four years of those seven years. During the Mal Doran proceedings to determine her sentencing for this impersonation, the charges against Qetesh included mass murder and mass torture, but were reduced to planetary-wide forced labor (to work in the naquadah mines), among other things, once the people separated the two personalities. (8.12 "Prometheus Unbound", "9.04 "The Ties That Bind", 9.05 "The Powers That Be")

The Goa'uld Camulus apparently took Qetesh's domain after her fall, and Camulus's domain was then taken by Ba'al. (8.12 "Prometheus Unbound")

Qetesh and Vala had similar aspects to their personalities, however. Vala herself had been reared by a con-artist father, and she was often left running for her life because of his double-crossings. Both Vala and Qetesh conned others in their bids for valuable treasure. One such incident in Qetesh's time was when she formed an uneasy alliance with the Goa'uld Athena in their search for treasure (knowledge and weapons) left behind by the Ancients before they ascended. They knew of this treasure because of an encrypted tablet called the Clava Thessara Infinitas, or the Key to Infinite Treasure. Qetesh claimed that she had the code to decrypt the tablet, revealing the Stargate address of where the treasure was hidden. Soon thereafter, Qetesh was removed from Vala, but Athena still hoped that Vala harbored Qetesh's memories in her subconscious mind, so she kidnapped Vala on Earth and attempted to probe her mind with a Goa'uld memory recall device. Vala was rescued before any significant memories could be extracted. Athena was also caught and her research given to Daniel Jackson to pursue. (10.08 "Memento Mori", 10.16 "Bad Guys", 10.18 "Family Ties")

Even though she had treated the SGC badly in the past, Daniel asked that Vala stay with them and provide her expert advice, including her con-artist ways, her knowledge of her time as Qetesh's host, and her status as mother of the Orici, Adria, the leader of the Ori's army in the Milky Way. Vala's time as the host to Qetesh came into play when the SGC captured several Ba'al clones and wanted to find out if Ba'al knew the location of the Sangreal, Merlin's anti-Ascended weapon. Ba'al recognized Vala as Qetesh and still held a grudge against her because of his defeat in the battle over Selenis, where Qetesh heavily damaged his flagship and killed 10,000 of his best Jaffa. Ba'al still called her Qetesh and Vala used that to convince him that she was still as deceitful as ever, ready to ally herself with whomever could gain her the most, which was typical Goa'uld behavior. Vala admitted that there had always been a "spark" between them, and Ba'al was ready to test her in her attempt at seduction, but then pushed her away, saying that she used to be a better liar. (10.02 "Morpheus", 10.04 "Insiders")

When SG-1 captured Adria and found that Ba'al had implanted one of his symbiotes into her in order to gain control of her vast army, they proposed to substitute a Tok'ra symbiote in Ba'al's place in order to gain control of her army as well, but to command them to stand down instead of take over the galaxy. The Tok'ra who came to perform the delicate operation of switching the symbiotes was Ta'seem, who said he recognized Vala as Qetesh, but apparently he was not the one who had removed the symbiote from her. Vala couldn't watch the procedure, perhaps too much of a reminder of the one she had undergone when Qetesh was removed. (10.19 "Dominion")

Although her past as Qetesh's host has often led to unfortunate circumstances for Vala, she did gain some benefits. She was able to use the Goa'uld healing device on injured SGC personnel and to understand the Goa'uld's advanced technology, especially of their ships. These advantages allowed her to fit in easily as a member of SG-1. (10.05 "Uninvited", 10.09 "Company of Thieves")

Episodes

Gallery

Vala uses her sexuality as a weapon, a strategy often used by Qetesh
Vala attempts to seduce Ba'al by using the "spark" Qetesh once had with him
Athena attempts to extract Qetesh's memories from Vala
Vala is imprisoned for impersonating Qetesh for four years
Vala has the ability to use the Goa'uld healing device as Qetesh's former host
Vala uses residual Goa'uld knowledge to work with the systems of Odyssey, a hybrid of alien and Terran technology

Related Characters

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Further Reading

Actor


--DeeKayP 09:33, 7 July 2007 (PDT)