Teal'c has proven himself to be a warrior of outstanding integrity and conviction and an invaluable member of SG-1. As a Jaffa, Teal'c's life has been extended by the symbiotes he has carried since childhood. He was born over 100 years ago, his birthdate roughly corresponding to April 11, 1899 by the Earth calendar, and he was given the name Teal'c, meaning "strength," by his father, Ronac. Ronac was the First Prime of Cronus when Teal'c was a child. He was commanded to attack a more powerful Goa'uld in an impossible battle, and following his inevitable defeat, he was killed by Cronus in a slow and painful death. Teal'c and his mother were exiled and fled to Chulak, where young Teal'c, driven by vengeance, vowed to become the strongest Jaffa he could so that one day he would be named the First Prime of Apophis, sworn enemy of Cronus.
On Chulak, Teal'c entered the Bashaak training under Bra'tac, a master Jaffa warrior and the First Prime of Apophis. With other young warriors, including Fro'tak and Va'lar, Teal'c was trained according to the Rules of Engagement, learning the martial arts of Mastaba and Lok'nel. Sustained by the healing powers of the symbiote he carried, and driven by a fierce determination, Teal'c mastered the art of warfare and learned to pilot a death glider and teltac. Bra'tac recognized something of himself in Teal'c, and chose him as his apprentice, training him to follow in his footsteps as a consummate warrior and pilot. The Goa'uld wish only the strong to prevail, and Teal'c emerged victorious from the Final Challenge, taking his place as a member of Apophis's personal guard, and wearing the black forehead tattoo of his rank. From his teacher, Teal'c also learned Bra'tac's beliefs that the Goa'uld were false gods, but despite his doubts, he proved himself in battle and eventually succeeded Bra'tac as Apophis's First Prime, wearing a tattoo of pure gold.
For many years, Teal'c served Apophis and led his armies in battle. At Co'rak, Teal'c and Arkad faced each other as opposing First Primes. With Arkad's forces on the run, Teal'c bombarded the planet from space, leaving no survivors. Arkad's parents and sister were killed that day, and to avenge the death of his family, Arkad arranged for the death of Teal'c's mother. Quietly, an assassin slipped into the village where Teal'c's mother lived and slit her throat in the night. Although the murder was never resolved, Teal'c always believed that Arkad was responsible, but as a First Prime his actions were chosen for him, and Teal'c was not able to seek revenge against his bitter enemy.
During his years as First Prime, Teal' also witnessed and committed countless atrocities, including the harvesting of human hosts for the Goa'uld, and as his doubts grew, he began to strengthen his dedication to the cause of freedom for all Jaffa from the slavery of the Goa'uld. It was Teal'c who selected Daniel's wife, Sha're, to become the host to Amaunet, but when he encountered SG-1 in the prison on Chulak, Teal'c recognized in Jack O'Neill a warrior who had tasted freedom. In that moment, he turned against his god and joined the Tauri. Although O'Neill and Teal'c formed an instant bond of trust, Teal'c earned the trust of others on Earth more slowly. O'Neill's request for Teal'c to join his team was initially denied by the Pentagon, who viewed Teal'c as an alien specimen for interrogation and study. However, after sharing his knowledge freely and proving his loyalty, Teal'c became a member of SG-1.
Teal'c had left behind a family on Chulak, and his wife, Drey'auc, and son, Rya'c, became outcasts following his betrayal. Teal'c returned to Chulak, hoping to prevent the prim'ta of his son, but Rya'c was dying of scarlet fever, and to save his life, Teal'c gave him his own symbiote, taking a new young larva for himself. When Apophis kidnapped and brainwashed Rya'c in an attempt to destroy Earth, Teal'c returned once more to Chulak. There he learned that Drey'auc had had her marriage removed and had married his old friend Fro'tak, however Fro'tak's jealousy led to his death. With his family no longer safe on Chulak, Teal'c rescued his wife and son and sent them to live in the Land of Light.
During his tenure with the SGC, Teal'c has provided invaluable intelligence concerning the Goa'uld and has exhibited extraordinary courage, determination, and self sacrifice. He also grew in his conviction that the Jaffa must be freed from false gods. His poignant reunion with Shan'auc, a temple priestess from his past, rekindled a romance and offered a means of defeating the Goa'uld until the dream was abruptly shattered by Shan'auc's death at the hands of Tanith, the symbiote she had carried. Driven by his determination to avenge her death, Teal'c continued to work tirelessly to bring other Jaffa to his cause. Declared the "Shol'va," the traitor, he became the target of Apophis's revenge. When he was captured and killed by Apophis, then revived in the sarcophagus, he was led to believe that he was once again Apophis's First Prime. However, his soul was restored by Bra'tac, who forced him to endure the Rite of M'al Sharran, as he was taken to the very threshold of death to rediscover his true path and return to SG-1.
Teal'c dedicated himself to the SGC and the fight against the Goa'uld, but his dream continued to be the liberation of his people, and he gave his loyalty to Bra'tac and the growing movement of the Rebel Jaffa. When Drey'auc and Rya'c relocated to a rebel camp, Teal'c had a bittersweet reunion with his family, arriving moments after Drey'auc's death. Rya'c had grown strong in the ways of the Jaffa under the teachings of Master Bra'tac, but he had also grown resentful of his father's decision to abandon his family, and their reconciliation was a difficult one.
Teal'c joined Bra'tac at a meeting of Rebel Jaffa leaders, however, the meeting was an ambush, later known as the Ambush of Kresh'taa. Over one hundred Rebel warriors were slaughtered that day, and only Teal'c and Bra'tac were left alive, sharing the healing powers of Teal'c's symbiote between them for three days before they were rescued. During that time, Teal'c slipped in and out of consciousness, and in disjointed images he imagined himself as "T," a human living on Earth. Throughout the ordeal he was sustained by Daniel Jackson, who spoke to him from his ascended form through Teal'c's dreams. When at last the rescue came, Teal'c was in critical condition, his symbiote weakened beyond its ability to heal. With no new symbiotes available, Teal'c was given a refined and experimental form of the Pangaran drug tretonin to save his life, and regular doses of tretonin now replace his immune system, allowing him to live without the reliance on a symbiote.
At first Teal'c believed that tretonin represented the liberation of all Jaffa from the Goa'uld and the reliance on symbiotes, however, once he began taking the drug, he felt his capability was compromised. Kelno'reem was no longer necessary or effective, his body now required sleep, and his strength never fully returned. Raised to believe that if one is weak, one may as well be dead, he began to question his abilities as a warrior. When he learned that Bra'tac and Rya'c had been taken prisoner in a Goa'uld death camp, he was prepared to die on the mission to save them, but he returned instead with a renewed outlook that helped him to come to terms with his new life.
Teal'c's quiet strength conceals a proud and deeply passionate character. Dignified and intensely loyal, he exhibits both a fierce determination and a gentle compassion. His stoic demeanor has softened during his years on Earth, allowing subtle glimpses of sadness and humor, and he has formed a close bond with his teammates. His respect for Daniel is strengthened by the past they share and Daniel's forgiveness for the loss of his wife. Having come from a male-dominated culture, he has developed tremendous admiration for Carter, both as a scientist and a warrior. In O'Neill he sees a fellow warrior, a leader worthy of his unquestioning loyalty, and a brother with whom he shares a mutual understanding that requires few words. Although Teal'c's acceptance of Mitchell as a commanding officer came more slowly, he came to recognize in Mitchell some of the qualities he had admired in O'Neill, and the two bonded as warriors.
Since coming to Earth, Teal'c has freely shared his knowledge, skills, and passion with the SGC, while also discovering something of the ways of the Tauri. He has continued to practice his martial arts while also discovering an interest in weight training, boxing, basketball, golf, and ping pong, for which he has a much keener aptitude than O'Neill. He has developed a taste for tabloid journalism, vibrating beds, and jello wrestling. He learned to drive from Daniel in 1969, he has tried his hand at card games, including poker, and from O'Neill he learned the fine art of juggling. He has not, however, acquired O'Neill's interest in fishing despite O'Neill's repeated invitations to join him at his cabin. He does not consume alcohol, but he enjoys turkey sandwiches, corn dogs, Szechuan cuisine, and he is particularly fond of doughnuts, especially on a stakeout. He has also become a fan of the movies, including "Old School," "Die Hard," and "Star Wars," which he claims to have seen nine times, however his experience at the theater has been somewhat less rewarding after acquiring a ticket from Vala's father to a performance of the "Vagina Monologues."
When venturing out in public on Earth, Teal'c often indulges in his taste for 70's fashion, and he has adopted the nickname "Murray," bestowed on him by O'Neill, and an impressive collection of hats to cover his tattoo. Although he had once insisted that his head must be shaved, after seven years on Earth, he allowed his hair to grow, not to mention indulging in a brief earlier experiment with facial hair. Also after seven years, he was considered less of a security risk, due to the loss of his symbiote, and O'Neill petitioned the Office of Special Investigations to allow Teal'c to live off base for the first time. He took his first apartment, number 403 near a lakeside park, on the condition that he maintain a low profile, and he set about decorating it with advice from home decorating shows in a style described as Jaffa chic with an East African flair. He explained to neighbors that his friend, Dr. Jackson, an archaeologist, had hired him to come from Mozambique, and that his tattoo was a tribal mark from his homeland. His excursion off base was short-lived, however. He insisted on intervening in the prevention of neighborhood crime, and surveillance by the Trust and involvement with his next door neighbor, Krista James, led to blackmail and false charges of kidnapping and murder. Despite being cleared in the investigation, Teal'c remained a target of the Trust, and he chose to return to his quarters on the base.
Teal'c has continued to work toward the cause of the Rebel Jaffa and has kept in close touch with Bra'tac and Rya'c. His mission brought him to the world of the Hak'tyl where he met Ishta, with whom he has shared a strong mutual attraction despite their different views. Rya'c, too, found companionship among the Hak'tyl, and he married Kar'yn, one of Ishta's followers, a union of which Teal'c did not initially approve, believing his son was too young to know love, but which he has come to openly accept.
As the Rebel cause faced a critical turn, it was Teal'c who proposed capturing the holy site at Dakara. With the defeat of the Replicators and Anubis, the conquest of Dakara succeeded, and on the holy ground the Rebel Jaffa prepared to build a great city that would be the heart of the new Jaffa homeworld. Teal'c's purpose in joining the Tauri had been to one day free his people, and that dream had become reality. With their victory, Tolok bestowed upon Teal'c and Bra'tac the highest honor a Jaffa can know, for enduring courage and vision, and for the strength of will that had brought freedom from the Goa'uld. Henceforth, he shall be known as Bloodkin to all Jaffa.
At the request of the high priests, Teal'c became a member of the new ruling Council on Dakara. He made the decision to leave the SGC, and he devoted himself to building the new Jaffa Nation. He learned, however, that his allegiance to the Tauri did not serve him as well as one would think in winning votes from the most traditional of the Jaffa electorate who still viewed the Tauri with suspicion. With Bra'tac, he led the resistance against Gerak's rise to power, and he warned of the Ori invasion, always believing that one day the Jaffa Nation would unite in peace. It was the threat of the Ori, however, that brought Teal'c back to the SGC. Believing that as long as the Ori remain a threat to this galaxy, his place was with SG-1, Teal'c accepted his former position, and he returned to SG-1 with Mitchell, Carter, and Daniel.
From his position on SG-1, Teal'c continued to work toward the building of the fledgling Jaffa Nation, and his strength of character enabled him to challenge Gerak's rise to power, to withstand torture at the hands of Netan of the Lucian Alliance, and to resist Ba'al's attempt at brainwashing. Having once endured the Rite of M'al Sharran, he was perhaps better able to resist attempts at mind control, but he recognized that "to resist the influence of others, knowledge of one's self is most important." It was the incident at Dar Eshkalon, however, that brought Teal'c back to the events of his past. Intending to bring the Jaffa Nation to Origin, Arkad arranged for the destruction of the Jaffa summit at Dar Eshkalon, and both Teal'c and Bra'tac were critically injured in the attack. Following his recovery, Teal'c urged the SGC to retaliate, but the IOA insisted that no action be taken against Arkad, and Teal'c made the decision to leave the SGC and seek revenge on his own. Despite SG-1's orders to stop him, Teal'c faced his adversary, and in a violent and bloody confrontation in hand-to-hand combat, Arkad was killed and the murders avenged.
Teal'c returned to the SGC and joined SG-1 aboard the Odyssey during the mission to Orilla. During the return voyage, the ship came under attack from the Ori, and to save the ship from destruction, Carter enveloped the Odyssey in a time dilation bubble. For 50 years, the members of SG-1 were trapped in time until Carter found a way to harness the energy of the Ori weapon to reverse time and sever the connection to the ship's hyperdrive that would allow them to escape. In order for the plan to work, however, one member of the team had to remain isolated from the reversal of time in order to retain the information that would prevent history from repeating. Although Teal'c had aged to more than 150 years old, he has a longer life span than the average human, and he volunteered to remain old so that the plan could succeed. History reversed, and Odyssey escaped and returned to Earth. Only Teal'c retained the memory of those 50 years on the ship, and a streak of grey on the right side of his hair is the indication of the additional years he has lived.
Portrayed by: Christopher Judge
Cross Reference: Ambush of Kresh'taa, Apophis, Arkad, Bashaak, Bra'tac, Samantha Carter, Chulak, Cronus, Dakara, Dar Eshkalon, Drey'auc, Janet Fraiser, Fro'tak, George Hammond, Ishta, Daniel Jackson, Jaffa, Jaffa High Council, Jaffa Nation, Junior, Kelno'reem, Hank Landry, Lok'nel, Vala Mal Doran, Mastaba, Cameron Mitchell, Murray, Jack O'Neill, Jonas Quinn, Rebel Jaffa, Rite of M'al Sharran, Ronac, Rya'c, SG Teams, Shan'auc, Shol'va, Time Dilation Bubble, Time Travel 3000 BC, Tretonin, Va'lar
First Introduced: Children of the Gods
Significant Episode Reference: The Enemy Within, Bloodlines, Cor-ai, Family, Crossroads, Threshold, Redemption, The Changeling, Orpheus, Birthright, Avatar, Affinity, Sacrifices, Threads, Moebius, Stronghold, Company of Thieves, Talion, Unending