Elizabeth Weir

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Character
Name: Elizabeth Weir
Occupation: diplomat, civilian
Title/Rank: leader of Stargate Command, leader of the Atlantis expedition
Location: SGC, Pegasus galaxy
Status: deceased
Relationships: past relationship with Dr. Simon Wallace
Fandom: Stargate Atlantis, Stargate SG-1
Other:
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Elizabeth Weir is a major character in Stargate Atlantis and also appeared on Stargate SG-1 as a recurring character.

She is an American diplomat, the first civilian commander of Stargate Command (aka the SGC) and the original leader of the Atlantis Expedition in the Pegasus Galaxy. During her tenure as the head of the expedition, Weir uses her diplomatic skills to make treaties with the human populated worlds.

Weir is played by actor Jessica Steen in Season 7 of Stargate SG-1, by actor Torri Higginson in Season 8 of Stargate SG-1 and Seasons 1-4 of Stargate Atlantis, and by actor Michelle Morgan in Season 5 of Stargate Atlantis.

Canon Biography

Before participating in the Stargate programme, Elizabeth Weir was a skilled diplomat who had worked with the United Nations. She initially appeared in Stargate SG-1 as a replacement for General Hammond following a restructuring of the Stargate Command hierarchy. However, she soon left the SGC in order to focus on negotiations over the Ancient base in Antarctica. In the pilot episode of Stargate Atlantis, she is involved in organising an expedition to explore the lost city of Atlantis. Weir leaves behind a fiancé, Simon Wallace, and a pet dog to head the expedition to the Pegasus galaxy.

In season 3, Weir is infected by Asuran replicator nanites. In a later episode, Weir suffers a serious brain injury, and Rodney McKay reactivates the dormant nanites in her system to repair the damage. Later, she is captured by Oberoth, the leader of the Asurans, when the expedition attempts to steal a ZPM from the Asuran homeworld. According to an Asuran version of Jennifer Keller, Weir was killed by Oberoth because he considered her too great a threat; however, it is later revealed that Weir instead escaped to become the leader of a renegade group of Asurans.

This group of Asurans was desperate to achieve Ascension. At first they and Weir attempted to ascend digitally, but became trapped in subspace. They managed to take over the computer systems in Atlantis in order to manufacture new bodies for themselves. However, Weir soon realised that she had made a mistake, and that she and the other human-form Replicators posed too much of a threat. She helped the team to trick the Asurans to walk through a wormhole which led to a space gate. This left all of the Asurans -- herself included -- trapped and neutralised.

Canon AU Weir

  • In an alternate reality depicted in the first season, the Atlantis expedition was killed when the shield around the city collapsed. Weir managed to escape to a puddlejumper, where she was thrown back in time ten thousand years. There, she met Ancients who allowed her to remain in the city in stasis, maintaining the ZPMs needed to ensure that the future Atlantis Expedition would survive. This Elizabeth (sometimes referred to as old!Elizabeth) met the members of the canon expedition in season 1 episode Before I Sleep.

Fan Response

Varied a lot...

"I was pondering Weir's general uselessness earlier, and it occurred to me to ask: was the original Atlantis expedition the SGC's dumping ground for the folks they hoped to never see again?"[1]
"[...]each time she has made an order which was ignored, vaguely interpreted, or disobeyed, she has taken the person responsible to the carpet in the way most suited to their particular personality. Her role on Atlantis isn't a commander or even a leader, it's a person who can keep these people from killing each other, themselves, or innocent persons. That's all, and she mostly does a phenomenal job of it."[2]
"[...] there's one character who's prominently missing from the pairings I find myself reading and that is Elizabeth Weir. And I was really puzzled by this because I like Elizabeth. I know there are people who find her irritating and grating and even see her as incompetent, I've read their posts and I can see some of their points but ultimately, I disagree. [...] It all comes down to the precarious balance of power between the military and civilian leadership in Atlantis. And it all comes down to the fact that Elizabeth is a woman and actions that a male civilian leader might be able to get away with would be career suicide for her."[3]
"She doesn't need to be the best diplomat in two galaxies because she knows how to find advantages in the situation surrounding a debate, rather than the debate itself. She doesn't need to be the principal authority figure for every single person under her leadership because she knows how to delegate power. Where others would deal directly, she slides in through the back door. Elizabeth is not head of Atlantis for her outstanding performance as a diplomat and leader, but rather for her brilliance as a politician. And she is a brilliant politician."[4]
"It is perhaps best, and easiest, to describe Elizabeth Weir as both a reflective and reflexive character. (And when I say this, I mean reflection to refer to thought, and reflexivity to refer to action.) She doesn't act without reflecting; and that action always bends back to her in the form of consequences both personal and expedition-wide. It's cyclical: Elizabeth is always reflecting on herself, her surroundings, and -- because of her position -- her effect on her surroundings, trying to keep the balance between truth to herself and truth to her expedition: ethics versus survival. It doesn't always work well -- in fact, she struggles with it -- and this is to be expected, I believe, for anyone in power."[5]

Elizabeth Weir in fanworks

Her characterization in fanworks ranges from very positive and shown as a strong, competent leader to being portrayed as indecisive or unsympathetic.

In het fanworks, she is frequently paired with John Sheppard, more rarely with Rodney McKay, and after he joined the expedition, with Ronon Dex. In het fic she has also been paired with Radek Zelenka (possibly based on a brief longing look directed at her by Radek in one episode) and with Evan Lorne. In some fics she is paired with both John and Rodney.

In femslash, she is most often (though far from exclusively) paired with Teyla Emmagan.

Weir Sample Fanfic

Weir Fanart

Weir-centric Vids

Weir-centric LJ Communities

Resources

References

  1. Atlantis: the SGC's Island of Misfit Toys? by aka_cat, 11 January 2006. (Accessed 27 April 2011)
  2. Dr. Elizabeth Weir: Negotiator; Head of Atlantis by saeva, 19 September 2005. (Accessed 27 April 2011)
  3. The Leadership Double Standard or Why Elizabeth Weir Can Never Get Laid in the Pegasus Galaxy by fairestcat, 5 November 2005. (Accessed 27 April 2011)
  4. Meta: Elizabeth Weir in season 2 by lierdumoa, 30 January 2006. (Accessed 27 April 2011)
  5. Cast Your Soul to the Sea: Elizabeth Weir in Retrospect essay on Elizabeth Weir by mannaplowsk at Idol Reflection, 15 November 2009. (Accessed 27 April 2011)