Teal'c

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Needs Less Canon: This article includes too much canon detail for the amount of fannish content given. Please add fannish context or remove unneeded trivia. Although a brief overview of canon is welcome, the focus of every page should be about the fandom; canon details are important if they can be associated with a particular fannish activity, fanwork, or fannish event. See What Fanlore is not for more information.

Character
Name: Teal'c
Occupation: warrior, member of SG-1
Title/Rank: First Prime of Apophis (pre-series-pilot)
Shol'va (traitor)
Member of SG-1 (all seasons)
Member of the Jaffa High Council (season 9)
Location: Earth, resides at the SGC
Status: Active
Relationships: Drey'auc (wife, separated, deceased in season 3)
Shan'auc (season 4)
Krista James (season 8)
Ishta (seasons 8-10)
R'yac (son, married to Ka'ryn in season 7)
Bra'tac (mentor, father figure)
Fandom: Stargate SG-1
Other: Played by actor Christopher Judge
Teal'c as First Prime of Apophis, image from Redemption #6
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Teal'c is a main character on the television show Stargate SG-1. He is high-status Jaffa warrior who defects to the Tau'ri in the pilot episode and joins Jack O'Neill and the SG-1 team to fight for freedom of religion and from Goa'uld oppression.

Canon Background

Teal'c, a Jaffa, was born in slavery to the Goa'uld System Lord Cronos. Teal'c's father Ro'nac served as First Prime to Cronos and was brutally killed for failing to win an unwinnable battle (Fair Game 3.03, Crossroads 4.04, Threshold 5.02). Teal'c's mother, rather than accept outcast status as a widow, fled with a young Teal'c to Chulak, ruled by Apophis, and pledged their service there.

Teal'c was mentored by Bra'tac, First Prime to Apophis, and succeeded him in the position as Bra'tac's prodigy. Teal'c was also trained, illicitly, to think critically of the Goa'uld he served. (Threshold, 5.02) Unlike most Jaffa, Teal'c did not believe that the Goa'uld are gods, but continued to serve Apophis until he met O'Neill.

Teal'c has been seen bearing the mark of Apophis on his forehead, both in black and in the gold of the First Prime, but never Cronos's glyph. Since Teal'c's son R'yac is seen tattooed as early as eight years old, we may conclude that Teal'c was quite young when he and his mother emigrated to Chulak; this indicates that Teal'c served Apophis as a warrior and First Prime for nearly eighty years before meeting the members of SG-1.

He became one of the leaders of an eventual large-scale rebellion[1] of the Jaffa against the Goa'uld, and one of the leaders of the Jaffa government after the rebellion succeeded.[2]

Hair

While few other Jaffa seem to shave their heads, this may be a custom of First Primes, and for Teal'c it seemed to be a cultural and possibly religious custom he would not give up for the first seven seasons of the show. Changes to Teal'c's customary use of kohl and skin paint, as well as some creative facial hair were seen in intervening years, which fans interpreted as a growing willingness to explore the origins of Jaffa custom and tradition.

Speech

Teal'c frequently uses the word indeed, to the extent that it has become a catchphrase.[3] He sometimes seems to run first and last names together in conversation; for example, referring to Daniel as "Danieljackson". He occasionally seems to have problems with Earth idioms in conversation. All of these tend to be greatly exaggerated in fanfic.

Teal'c as commander, teammate, husband, father and statesman

In the Pilot episodes, as well as alternative universes seen throughout the run of the show (Children of the Gods 1.01, There But For The Grace Of God 1.19, Continuum (movie)) Teal'c is in supreme command of his ranks when he leads. It is decidedly curious that he is so willing to serve under O'Neill in a four person team, although he is certainly aware that the trust implicit in allowing him to serve is extraordinary.

As a teammate, Teal'c follows O'Neill's orders (and, to a limit, the SGC's orders as well), serves with a woman with complete respect (though by most accounts Jaffa women are trained but never used as warriors in service) and also finds a way to serve with Daniel Jackson, whom he wronged while in service to Apophis and again in season 3 (Children of the Gods 1.01, Forever in a Day 3.10).

Teal'c's wife, Drey'auc, seems less inclined to think well of her husband's choices. Teal'c's turning against Apophis left Drey'auc an outcast on Chulak (unlike Teal'c's mother, who chose exile.) To protect their son R'yac, Drey'auc remarried and bargained fiercely to earn R'yac's primta (symbiote, which grants health and Jaffa's long life). While Drey'auc ultimately accepts exile in the Land of Light and later among the free Jaffa, her death (Redemption part 1 6.01) leaves R'yac in the care of Bra'tac since Teal'c remains on Earth with limited freedoms (Redemption part 2, 6.02).

As the Goa'uld fall and the Free Jaffa grow in rank and number, they begin to hold councils where Teal'c plays a dramatic part as valued figurehead (The Warrior 5.18, Changeling 6.19, Stronghold 9.14) Later, though, as politics outweigh survival as the primary motivation, his allegiance to Earth distances him from the Jaffa in general, and he finds himself outmaneuvered in statesmanship. His readiness to give it up suggests that he may not find power and leadership to be particularly rewarding; a revelation that could explain his preference of serving under Jack O'Neill in general, and leaving politics to serve under Cameron Mitchell on SG-1 again.

Fan response

Teal'c in Fan Fiction

The distinct tendency in Stargate fanfiction as a whole is to allow Teal'c to become wallpaper much the way the series did sometimes. Those who do write Teal'c seem to find him easier to write in gen stories, largely eschewing slash or ship despite the character canonically having more romantic relationships than most of the other main characters. Notably, in later seasons he is slashed with Cameron Mitchell and shipped with Samantha Carter, although the latter often is associated with Jack/Daniel slash stories as the main pairing.

There has been some tension around the way Teal'c gets ignored in fan fiction, particularly because of the implications for race issues. There have been a couple of Teal'c-focused communities and ficathons set up to try and counteract this.

Teal'c-centric LJ Communities

Teal'c Fanfiction Noticeboard

The Teal'c Ficathon Community (this ficathon ran in 2006 and a second time in 2009)

References

  1. Jaffa Rebellion entry at Stargate Wiki at Wikia (Accessed 12 May 2011)
  2. Free Jaffa Nation entry at Stargate Wiki at Wikia (Accessed 12 May 2011)
  3. A YouTube video of all the occurrences of the word's appearance can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtPgr94VYA4