- "Teal'c, I saw you stand up to a god. You refused to kill. I saw you make that decision... In that moment, I learned everything I needed to know to trust you."
- —Jack O'Neill
Teal'c is a Jaffa warrior and statesman currently serving his first term as Chancellor of the Free Jaffa Nation, following over a decade of membership on SG-1 as cultural advisor and guide for humanity. Born on the planet Chulak, he spent most of his life as the First Prime of the Goa'uld Apophis, but was guided toward the path of the Jaffa Rebellion by his oldest friend and mentor, Bra'tac. Soon after the formation of the International Stargate Command, Teal'c defected to the human cause and was instrumental in toppling the System Lords and later in bringing an end to the Ori crusade. Now retired from combat duties, he has instead focused his efforts on the political arena, and is the most-visible figure of the Progressive Party in the Jaffa Senate.
After a tremendous record of public service, Teal'c left politics to be with his wife, Ishta, and focus on bringing independent Jaffa worlds into the Nation. As of 2063, he served an unofficial advisor to the current Chancellor, his protege Ka'lel.
Chosen because it means "strength" in the Goa'uld language, Teal'c was named by his father, Ronac. He was born on a world under the control of Cronus circa 1899, where his father served as Cronus' First Prime. After failing to win an unwinnable battle, Cronus killed Ron'ac, and banished Teal'c and his mother to Chulak. Vowing to become First Prime of Apophis, Teal'c was taken under the wing of Bra'tac, Apophis' current First Prime. Bra'tac planted the seeds of doubt about the Goa'uld in Teal'c's mind, seeds that would later turn him against his "god." In later life, Teal'c married Drey'auc, a fellow Chulak Jaffa, and had a son, Rya'c.
- "I can save these people!"
- "Many have said that... but you are the first I believe could do it!"
Personality and traits
Teal'c frequently misquotes common Earth clichés, often to the great amusement of his teammates and friends.
- "Are you considering the tactic I am considering?" (are you thinking what I'm thinking)
- "Things will not calm down, Daniel Jackson. Things will, in fact, calm up." (things will escalate)
- "I believe a "medical attack" could be successful." (surgical strike)
- "I will purchase time for you..." (buy time)
- "Undomesticated equines could not remove me." (wild horses) (This is not a direct misquote, as Teal'c was making a joke).
- "I will, in fact, keep both eyes on it, Dr. Jackson." (Keep an eye on it)
Teal'c has been known to show a humorous side occasionally. When discussing Seth, he related a Jaffa joke about the different natures of Jaffa guards. "A Serpent guard, a Horus guard and a Setesh guard meet on a neutral planet. It is a tense moment. The Serpent guard's eyes glow. The Horus guard's beak glistens. The Setesh guard's nose... drips."
Abilities and skills
While not possessing any preternatural abilities as such, Teal'c makes up for it with his superior combat training and proficiency in Jaffa close-quarter combat styles, as well as his ability to quickly adapt to new weaponry. Because of his training as Apophis' First Prime, Teal'c has been trained in various skills that are essential to a System Lord's First Prime, which are now used in the services of SG-1. Teal'c is an accomplished tracker, having demonstrated this on many occasions, and has exceptional sensory skills. Occasionally this has inadvertently gotten him into trouble with local law enforcement - on one occasion, he prevented a carjacking, taking down three men at once. He was also able to throw an avocado precisely to hit a purse-snatcher from a long distance, knocking him out. These incidents nevertheless highlight Teal'c's lawfulness and reliability.
As stated by O'Neill, Teal'c is physically much stronger than anyone he knows, even after having his Goa'uld symbiote removed; a trait he puts to great use in combat. Before having his Goa'uld permanently removed, it instinctively imbued Teal'c with an impressive healing and recovery rate, a long lifespan, perfect health, an immunity to a great range of diseases, poisons, and toxins, and the ability to survive an extended period without oxygen under water. Because of the presence of naqahdah within his Goa'uld symbiote, Teal'c has the ability to sense the presence of other symbiotes and, because their presence disturbs the Goa'uld, the Reetou as well. Since he began to use Tretonin as a substitute for his symbiote, he has lost many of these traits, though some remain in a diminished capacity as a result of maintaining his outstanding physical conditioning and/or his experiences and exposures.
Family and love life
While still in service to Apophis, Teal'c was married to Drey'auc (now deceased) of the Cordai Plains and had a son, Rya'c. He left his family behind when he betrayed Apophis, hoping to return and bring them the freedom he had found, and they were forced to live as pariahs. He returned to Chulak to prevent his son from being implanted with a symbiote, but Rya'c was too ill and ultimately Teal'c gave him his own symbiote. Teal'c later received another that SG-1 had captured.
After he left again, Drey'auc married Fro'tak, a childhood friend of Teal'c, in order to give her son a better life. However, even with such an influential new husband, Drey'auc was unable to prevent Apophis from abducting Rya'c and brainwashing him into publicly denouncing his father. Teal'c believed Rya'c would not succumb to such manipulation, but SG-1 eventually rescued Rya'c and brought him and Drey'auc back to Earth (Fro'tak was killed trying to betray SG-1) where Teal'c soon discovered Rya'c truly was brainwashed and conditioned to immolate himself to destroy Stargate Command. Teal'c had to shoot him with the zat to break the conditioning. Rya'c and Drey'auc left to live in the Land of Light (P3X-797 by designation) soon after, and eventually moved to a rebel Jaffa camp, wherein Drey'auc died as a result of refusal of a new larval symbiote when hers matured, not wanting to deprive another Jaffa of life.
Shau'nac of the Red Hills was a priestess on Chulak and an old love of Teal'c. They rekindled their feelings when she reappeared in his life, but she was killed soon thereafter.
Ishta is the leader of the female Jaffa on Hak'tyl. They rebelled against the Goa'uld Moloc because he ordered the murder of any female Jaffa baby, forcing her and her fellow priestesses to secretly smuggle female children off the planet instead of murdering them. She felt the Jaffa rebellion was useless, believing it better to indiscriminately kill any Goa'uld who posed an immediate threat (particularly Moloc). The other Jaffa Rebel leaders, meanwhile, tried to see the "bigger picture" and not allow a single Goa'uld to become powerful by killing too many prospective opponents. This difference in philosophies strained Teal'c's and Ishta's relationship for a time. After Moloc was eventually killed, however, Ba'al took over Moloc's territory, and Ishta came to see the wisdom of Teal'c and the other Rebel Jaffa's strategy. Teal'c and Ishta still keep in touch months later, however, as Rya'c tells Teal'c that things would be easier for everyone else if he and Ishta just admit they love each other.
He was against his son's marriage to Kar'yn, a student of Ishta, believing he was too young, but he finally accepted it.
The word "Indeed" has, over the years, become Teal'c's personal catchphrase, and it is by far the most-used word in his vocabulary. The simple response has also been said by his teammates on a few occasions, having picked up his penchant for it in their time together. In one instance, all of SG-1, apart from Teal'c, chanted the word before embarking on a mission as a sort of universal good luck charm. In another instance, Ronon Dex once told Teal'c that he says "that word a lot," to which Teal'c replied, "Do I? I had not noticed," indicating that while he did it and made a habit out of it, it was something he did subconciously and was likely never pointed out to him.
- In an alternate reality where SG-1 never visited Chulak, Teal'c remained First Prime of Apophis. Though he led the invasion on Earth, he seems, like the Teal'c from our reality, to hate serving the Goa'uld. Jack O'Neill might have convinced Teal'c to change sides had he not sent a nuclear weapon to Chulak. The alternate Teal'c was killed when Cheyenne Mountain's auto-destruct device went off. The Teal'c from this reality had a large hair bun. When Daniel went to escape through the Stargate, this Teal'c hesitated in shooting him, aware of his story from O'Neill, but fired at the the last second.
- In an alternate reality Teal'c served Apophis and was apparently very loyal to his master. He was killed by his counterpart from our reality when he refused to betray Apophis. The Teal'c from our reality impersonated him until Apophis discovered the deception. The Teal'c from this reality had a small beard.
- In an alternate reality Teal'c, along with Daniel Jackson, learned about the sterilization of the Earth's population by the Aschen from Janet Fraiser and Samantha Carter. Later, they were able to convince Jack O'Neill to help with their plan to prevent it from ever happening. Teal'c went back to Chulak to avoid arousing suspicion and when it came time to put the plan in motion, Janet contacted him. He came back to Earth through the Stargate giving him the closest position to dial back out. He was able to do this successfully before being killed by the automated defense system. The Teal'c from this reality had his Apophis emblem removed.
- In an alternate reality Teal'c was still the First Prime of Apophis. Like his counterpart from our reality, he believed the Goa'uld were false gods and after seeing the tape where his correct counterpart affirmed this and the Goa'uld's downfall, he changed sides. He killed Daniel Jackson after he had been implanted with a Gou'ald. Teal'c traveled back to ancient Egypt with Jack O'Neill and Samantha Carter to fix the timeline.
- A version of Teal'c came to our reality in an attempt to steal a ZPM and return it to their reality for securing their Earth.
- In an alternate timeline created by Ba'al, Teal'c was his First Prime and bore Ba'al's Jaffa mark instead of Apophis's. He was won over by a promise of freedom for his people from Ba'al. After Qetesh killed Ba'al, he traveled to Earth to use the Stargate and encountered SG-1. He was surprised at their knowledge of him, but refused to listen at first until Carter promised they could free his people. After learning what they had in mind, this Teal'c sided with SG-1 and held off Qetesh's Jaffa long enough for Mitchell to escape through the Stargate to 1929. This Teal'c was mortally wounded and left behind. He was offered the posistion of Qetesh's First Prime, but he refused and saying "I die free," detonated an explosive that killed Qetesh, her Jaffa and himself as well as destroying the time machine.
- Teal'c (robot)
- At 212 episodes, Teal'c has appeared more times on Stargate SG-1 than any other character.