The Goa'uld Qetesh had taken Vala as a host and had ruled over many worlds. A powerful adversary, Qetesh had once attacked Ba'al's fleet at Selenis, crippling his flagship and killing 10,000 of this best Jaffa, although there may have been a spark between the ruthless enemies, even when they wanted to kill each other.
Qetesh had also partnered with Athena to search for an Ancient tablet known as the Clava Thessara Infinitas, or "Key to Infinite Treasure." According to legend, the code to decipher the tablet would allow he who possesses it entry to a vast storehouse of riches hidden away by the Ancients prior to their ascension. Although the tablet was never found, Qetesh shrewdly convinced Athena that she had possession of it, and the two became bitter rivals.
The Tok'ra eventually removed the symbiote from Vala, and Qetesh met her demise, but her people rebelled and tortured Vala, believing that Qetesh and Vala were one and the same. Desolate, Vala escaped to P8X-412, a little mining planet within Qetesh's domain that would act as a safe haven. Word of Qetesh's death had not reached the isolated outpost, and Vala continued to rule the planet as Qetesh, requiring that the inhabitants continue mining naquadah for her from the nearly barren mine until she could get back on her feet.
Five years after Qetesh was removed, Vala had become a member of the SGC and Athena had joined Ba'al in directing the operations of the Trust on Earth. Still resentful over the loss of the Clava Thessara Infinitas, Athena used the resources of the Trust to arrange the kidnapping of Vala with the intention of probing Vala's subconscious for the suppressed genetic memories left behind by Qetesh. However, no memories of Qetesh surfaced, the location of the tablet and the code to decipher it remained a mystery, and the treasure was never recovered.
Portrayed by: Claudia Black
Cross Reference: Athena, Azdak, Ba'al, Clava Thessara Infinitas, Goa'uld, Vala Mal Doran, P8X-412
Episode Reference: The Powers That Be, Memento Mori