|See also:||Tok'ra, Jaffa, Stargate SG-1, Ori|
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The Goa'uld are the primary alien antagonists of the SG1 team and Stargate Command during the first several seasons of the television series Stargate SG-1 and its precursor movie. They also appear in Stargate Atlantis.
The Goa'uld are a race of alien aquatic parasitic creatures (usually referred to as "symbiotes" in canon). They can physically enter -- often by burrowing in through the throat or neck -- a host organism -- often a human -- after which the Goa'uld curls around the brainstem and uses the host like a meatpuppet. But with special powers. Of evil.
Goa'uld like to pose as (frequently warring) gods from various pantheons on different planets around the Milky Way galaxy, and are strongly pro-slavery. The Goa'uld top dogs are called the System Lords.
SG-1's Teal'c was a Goa'uld slave of the Jaffa type, bred to incubate baby Goa'uld and kick ass for his alien overlord at the same time, until he met Jack O'Neill and decided to fight for freedom of religion and an end to Goa'uld oppression.
At one point, prior to joining SG-1, Vala Mal Doran was host to a Goa'uld symbiote.
The Tok'ra (occasional allies of the Earthlings) are sort of non-evil cousins of the Goa'uld: the same species, but the Tok'ra are all descended from one common ancestress (Egeria) who got morality and passed it on to her descendants. Unlike the Goa'uld, the Tok'ra prefer it if the host consents to being possessed by the symbiote, and share/alternate control of the body with the host's mind.
After being possessed by a Goa'uld or Tok'ra, former hosts retain the ability to operate certain Goa'uld technology, such as the handheld healing devices. Being the (former) host of a symbiote also causes the host to have traces of the rare element Naquadah in their blood.