Teal'c: Family And Relationships
Teal'c, whose name means "strength" (3.11 "Past and Present"), is the son of Ro'nac, who was First Prime of Cronus. He was born in about 1900 by Earth reckoning, and is now well over 100 years old (4.18 "The Light"). When his father was murdered as punishment for losing an unwinnable battle, Teal'c and his mother were exiled and fled to Chulak (3.03 "Fair Game"). He had a wife, Drey'auc of the Cordai Plains and a son, Rya'c (1.10 "Bloodlines"), whom he left behind on Chulak so that he could leave the service of Apophis and join O'Neill in his fight against the false gods (1.01 "Children of the Gods"). His wife was very resentful of his abandoning her and their son on Chulak because it made them outcasts (1.12 "Bloodlines"). After he visited Chulak and failed to prevent Rya'c from becoming a Jaffa, Teal'c left again. Believing he would never return, Drey'auc married Teal'c's good friend, Fro'tak. Teal'c was enraged by this when he did return, but he and Drey'auc began to reconcile. Fro'tak then tried to betray SG-1 to Apophis, and O'Neill killed Fro'tak.
After saving his son from Apophis' brainwashing, Teal'c sent Drey'auc and Rya'c to the Land of Light so that they could live safely (2.08 "Family"). Teal'c went to visit them on occasion but never spent extended time with them, and at some point they left for a rebel Jaffa outpost under the protection of Bra'tac. Drey'auc died there when she refused to accept a new symbiote in order to save her life (6.01 "Redemption Part 1"). Rya'c was very resentful of Teal'c for putting the fight to defeat the Goa'uld ahead of his responsibilities as a husband and father, but they reconciled with Bra'tac's help. Teal'c left Rya'c in the care of Bra'tac, who promised to train him to fight the Goa'uld the same way that he had taught Teal'c (6.02 "Redemption Part 2").
Rya'c and Bra'tac were later captured and forced to work in a Goa'uld death camp. After a descended Daniel Jackson alerted Teal'c to this based on scattered memories of seeing them in trouble while he was ascended, Teal'c and the SGC rescued both of them (7.04 "Orpheus"). Rya'c continued to fight alongside other rebel Jaffa, and married a female Jaffa, a follower of Ishta (8.09 "Sacrifices"). Teal'c was very much against Rya'c's marriage at first, feeling he was too young and that being married would distract him from rebel Jaffa cause. However he eventually came to accept Rya'c's wife, Kar'yn, and was happy for his son.
Over some period, Teal'c had a love affair with a Jaffa priestess, Shaun'auc of the Red Hills (4.04 "Crossroads"). Whether the relationship began before or after she went to serve at the temple is not known; however, his affection for her was deep. When she died at the hands of Tanith, a Goa'uld symbiote that Shaun'auc had carried to maturity, Teal'c vowed to avenge her death. Jack and Daniel both called Teal'c's single-minded pursuit "a Jaffa revenge thing" (4.22 "Exodus Part 1"). Eventually he managed to kill Tanith, though nearly at the cost of his own life (5.14 "48 Hours").
More than a year after Drey'auc's death, Teal'c became involved with the female Jaffa Ishta, whom he met after SG-1 stumbled upon a group of her warriors. As Teal'c, and the rest of SG-1, tried to convince Ishta and her people that dependence on Tretonin would be preferable to slavery to the Goa'uld, they formed a strong bond of respect and attraction, if not always agreement. Teal'c declared that he had spoken more to her in two days than he had in many years (7.10 "Birthright"). Teal'c convinced Ishta to join his rebel Jaffa movement, and so they remained in contact. Bra'tac and Rya'c apparently spent time with them, since Rya'c became engaged to Ishta's follower, Kar'yn. Teal'c and Ishta argued fiercely about the best strategy for defeating the Goa'uld. But through adversity they remain very close, and Rya'c at least believes they are in love, although Ishta has not been seen since departing the SGC after Rya'c's wedding (8.09 "Sacrifices").
While he was living for the first time in his own apartment, he was drawn into a relationship with his neighbor, Krista. She was in need of his help and protection from an abusive boyfriend, whom she eventually killed in self defense. She and Teal'c were intimate for a short while, apparently only one night. Then she was kidnapped by The Trust and used as blackmail against Daniel and Teal'c; she was saved only after Daniel gave The Trust the translation they wanted. Daunted by his inability to live a low-profile life among regular humans, Teal'c returned to live once again at the SGC and presumably did not see Krista again (8.07 "Affinity").
Bra'tac is Teal'c's mentor, a fellow warrior in the fight to free all Jaffa, and someone whom Teal'c respects and cares for without question. Bra'tac made Teal'c his apprentice while they were in the service of Apophis, and in fact chose Teal'c to succeed him as First Prime. Bra'tac began to doubt and act against the Goa'uld first, and this had a profound impact on Teal'c (5.02 "Threshold"). Once Teal'c betrayed Apophis to join the Tau'ri, Bra'tac became a vital ally and advisor, helping to save SG-1 and even Earth (2.01 "The Serpent's Lair Part 2", 7.22 "Lost City Part 2"). Teal'c entrusted his family to Bra'tac's care (1.12 "Bloodlines"), and later encouraged Bra'tac to train Rya'c to be a warrior against the Goa'uld (6.02 "Redemption Part 2"). Teal'c owes his own life to Bra'tac's efforts; it was Bra'tac who chose the life-threatening path to Teal'c's recovery from Apophis' brainwashing, knowing that Teal'c would rather die than remain a willing slave to a Goa'uld (5.02 "Threshold"). It was also Bra'tac who, with Daniel Jackson, unearthed the mystery of Teal'c's disappearance from the High Council at Dakara. Trying to rescue Teal'c from Ba'al's imprisonment, Bra'tac was captured as well, though the rest of SG-1 soon freed them both (9.14 "Stronghold).
A striking demonstration of the depth of their bond occurred when both of them lay dying, with only one symbiote between them. Teal'c risked his life to share the symbiote with Bra'tac, keeping them both barely alive. In his hallucinations he imagined Bra'tac as a surrogate father to whom he donated a kidney. It is clear that Teal'c would give his life freely for his teacher and friend (6.19 "Changeling").
Teal'c and Bra'tac often exhibit a friendly rivalry, mostly centered on the fact that Bra'tac is much older but still very capable. Teal'c sometimes calls him 'old man', but just as often concedes that youth does not always triumph over experience (7.12 "Evolution Part 2").
The two men see each other frequently as they endeavor as leaders of the free Jaffa to establish a functioning democratic government for their people. They fought together, at first unsuccessfully, to prevent Gerak from taking control of the freed Jaffa and handing them over to the Ori (9.10 "The Fourth Horseman Part 1", 9.11 "The Fourth Horseman Part 2"). They fought again to secure democratic elections for the Jaffa in spite of Ba'al's interference (9.14 "Stronghold). When Adria attacked, they mourned the loss of Dakara together; Teal'c had to reassure his friend that there was still hope for the Jaffa (10.07 "Counterstrike").
While Teal'c feels his place is on SG-1 as long as the Ori are a threat, he and Bra'tac have a shared vision for the future of their people that they are pursuing as lifelong friends. They spoke of their feelings openly after both had nearly died at the hands of the Ori-worshipping Jaffa Arkad. In the infirmary recovering, Teal'c told Bra'tac, "I have learned from the best, old friend," and Bra'tac responded, "I have not said this to you before, and I should have. You are the son I never had. I could not be more proud." (10.17 "Talion")
Teal'c saw something in Jack O'Neill that made him take that irrevocable step, turning on his fellow Jaffa and his 'god' for the chance to be on the side of good (1.02 "Children of the Gods Part 2"). In the years since they have become brothers in arms, in name and in deed. While it is clear that Teal'c is under O'Neill's command, it often seems as if Teal'c is the more stable and mature of the two, which is perhaps not surprising since Teal'c is in fact decades older. In any case, they operate on the level of equals, warriors who understand what must sometimes be sacrificed for the greater good.
Many of their friendship moments are described in Jack's biography. In addition there are several instances in which Teal'c has shown his friendship toward Jack.
- When Jack was pinned to the gate room wall and infested with a virus-like alien organism, Teal'c comforted him by wiping his brow. He refused to leave Jack, uttering the famous line about 'undomesticated equines', making Jack smile and showing a hint of his very dry sense of humor. By this time they shared great respect and affection (2.07 "Message in a Bottle").
- When Jack was worried about Carter being missing aboard Prometheus, Teal'c noticed his distress and reminded him that Carter had been equally distraught when Jack had been missing with Maybourne. Teal'c told Jack he considered him a brother, and when Jack noted their age difference, amended it to 'a younger brother, perhaps' (7.13 "Grace").
Teal'c was at first somewhat mystified by Captain Carter; female warrior scientists were clearly beyond his experience. However over the years he has grown to respect her greatly and to be very supportive of her, and there are many examples of their close friendship. He stood by her as she figured out how to stop the black hole from swallowing Earth through the Stargate (2.15 "A Matter Of Time"). He was the only one of the team willing to share her sorrow over Daniel's ascension, and his admiration of Daniel's achievement was a comfort to her (5.22 "Revelations"). He comforted her when she was despondent over Jack being missing with Maybourne (6.15 "Paradise Lost"). With seeming joy, he assisted her and her team as the prepared and flew a space race (7.08 "Space Race"). He provided great emotional support to Sam in the wake of Janet Fraiser's death, suggesting the form that Sam's eulogy should take (7.18 "Heroes Part 2").
Their friendship was very much at ease when they shared a warm and comfortable, if somewhat one-sided, chat on board the modified Gou'ald cargo ship on their way to find the Asgard (8.01 "New Order Part 1"). It continued after Carter returned from her assignment at Area 51, and they shared knowing looks over their situations and the antics of their new leader (9.20 "Camelot Part 2"). In a future that only Teal'c remembers, he and Carter became close dring their decades of life on board Odyssey. Teal'c comforted Carter after Landry died of old age in that future (10.20 "Unending"). He was also there to hug her good bye as she embarked on her new position as commander of Atlantis (SGA 4.03 "Reunion").
Teal'c's relationship with Daniel Jackson began when the Jaffa selected Daniel's wife, Sha're, as a host for Apophis' mate, Ammonet. Though Daniel hated him at first for this heinous act, he developed a grudging respect for the Jaffa after Teal'c turned on his own men and freed SG-1 from Apophis. Since that time, the two have become great friends.
Daniel helped to defend Teal'c during a trial for his life (1.15 "Cor-ai"), and expressed clearly his feelings for the Jaffa. However, that relationship was almost lost when Teal'c was forced to kill Ammonet/Sha're, who had Daniel in the grip of a Goa'uld ribbon device with the intent to kill him (3.10 "Forever in a Day"). Eventually, Daniel forgave Teal'c, understanding that his friend had no choice but to kill her in order to save Daniel's life. This was one of only two occasions (1.04 "The Broca Divide "/ 3.10 "Forever in a Day") when Teal'c called Daniel only by his first name, rather than his standard use of both given and surnames. He later declared that Daniel Jackson was one of the greatest warriors in the battle against the Goa'uld, as his friend lay dying from radiation poisoning (5.21 "Meridian"). He had tears in his eyes as he and Maj. Carter discussed the fact that no official grieving period was observed following Daniel's ascension (5.22 "Revelations").
Even while Daniel was ascended, Teal'c was 'eternally grateful' for Daniel coming to be with him for three days while he lay dying alongside Bra'tac, as he told him later (7.04 "Orpheus"). It is clear that he trusts Daniel implicitly. He is also amazed by the experiences Daniel has had, and therefore not surprised that he has trouble sleeping sometimes (7.15 "Chimera").
In yet another amazing experience, when Daniel was made a Prior by Adria, then captured by the SGC, Teal'c trusted himself to interview Daniel, to know if he was truly still himself and an ally. After a short but intense interchange, based on his instincts, Teal'c felt able to tell O'Neill and the others that he believed Daniel was speaking the truth (10.14 "The Shroud"). On the other hand, Daniel wasn't able to convince Teal'c to stop his single-handed pursuit of Arkad. Again, Teal'c went by instinct and no amount of pursuasion was going to stop him (10.17 "Talion").
Teal'c does not appear to take Mitchell too seriously unless the situation itself becomes serious. He sometimes treats Mitchell's suggestions with a certain disdain. When Mitchell claimed that someone should pose as a kassa dealer and that he would be the most believable choice, Teal'c told him that he was 'equidistant' with the other SG-1 members from believability as a drug dealer (9.15 "Off the Grid"). When Mitchell suggested that awakening a Black Knight would be an acceptable scenario, this time at Camelot, Teal'c growled and told him is over-confidence was ill-advised (9.20 "Camelot Part 2").
Teal'c didn't hesitate to beat Mitchell to unconsciousness when the latter was trying to stop him from pursuing Arkad. He didn't appear too regretful, but he was in an extreme state of mind at the time. (10.17 "Talion")
The pair has worked well together on many occasions, and have a supportive if unconventional relationship. They demonstrated this when they went to retrieve the small reptile that held the key to curing them of the sleeping sickness on Vabonbrei. Teal'c had to leave Mitchell behind but managed to mumble his name when he was rescued, so that Mitchell too would be saved. (10.02 "Morpheus")
Please see Mitchell's Bio for further interpretation and examples.
Vala Mal Doran
Teal'c and Vala have grown increasingly comfortable together, and she appears to bring out a more playful side of him. While playing two-on-two basketball against Michell and Daniel, Teal'c actually lifted Vala into the air so that she could dunk a basket. Once she succeeded and he lowered her to the ground, they bumped their hips together in celebration (9.06 "Beachhead"). After she returned to the SGC full-time, she took to calling Teal'c "Muscles," and he didn't appear phased by it at all (10.10 "The Quest Part 1", 10.06 "Bad Guys", 10.20 "Unending"). In fact he appeared quite pleased when she was granted a position on SG-1, smiling broadly at her (10.08 "Memento Mori"). When Vala and Teal'c were reunited on P9C-882 after surviving the Ori again, Vala jumped into Teal'c's arms, wrapping her legs around him. He was unphased, smiling gently and continuing to speak (10.12 "Line in the Sand"). His smile was far more mysterious when he refused to tell her whom she might have "hooked up" with in their decades aboard the Odyssey (10.20 "Unending"). So while he does not succumb to her charms, he also doesn't seem to mind them.
Teal'c has made great effort to study the culture of the Tau'ri, learning to read English, operate computers and other equipment, and factual tidbits about places that catch his interest, such as Chicago (1.06 "Cold Lazarus").
For the most part, the Jaffa warrior is a quiet man whose demonstrations of emotion are slight but telling. His large size and severe demeanor are threatening to potential enemies, though he is quite gentle and sensitive off duty. He keeps his emotions restrained; in his first years with the Tau'ri he rarely smiled, but over time he has become much more open with his emotions, showing pleasure or sadness readily. Only once did he attempt to relate a Jaffa joke to his human friends (3.02 "Seth"). When they didn't laugh, he refrained from sharing more Jaffa humor; however, he is becoming adept at droll one-liners. He also regularly mangles Earth clichés, much to Jack's dismay, who feels he must correct them. However, the misstatements may be intentional on Teal'c's part, as an articulation of his subtle — and occasionally downright cryptic — sense of humor (2.07 "Message in a Bottle").
He was born in 1899, though the Jaffa do not celebrate birthdays (4.18 "The Light").
- Teal'c Biography Home And Links
- Family And Relationships
- Military Career
- Injuries Received
- Key Episodes in Teal'c's Character Arc
--Michelle 20:38, 20 Dec 2004 (PST)