Throughout Stargate whenever the Goa'uld launch an attack on the SGC it tends to come as somewhat 'clumsy' physical attacks. Surely a race as advanced as the Goa'uld would have developed far more sophisticated means of electronic warfare to penetrate SGC systems in order to lay the ground for these attacks. I am thinking of infiltrating SGC networks to open the iris for an assault, mimic the GDO code of off world teams.

In the same vein, why not simply launch chemical warfare attacks remotely

Rather than sending Tealcs son, for instance, with the substance in his tooth, a ploy based on him having to then reach the surface.

Many of their efforts do not seem to be in fitting with the advanced and intelligent species they are labelled as.


Whilst combined assaults would be hard to coordinate amongst fragmented System Lord forces, attacks by lone operators would not face that problem. Especially amongst those not engaged in large scale faction warfare with opposing System Lords. There are minor Goauld who were not engaged in large scale warfare and who had access to the necessary technology, were scientists in their own right etc, who would have an interest in earth as a source of labour, research outpost etc.

A prime example I think is Anubis, who despite his enviable levels of technology, far surpassing any other Goauld, launches an old school fleet assault on earth, it is reasonable to assume he had no need to act as such and could easily have devised more effective method to conquer the Tauri.

Even other Goauld who considered the Tauri an annoyance could have launched highly effective chemical/biological attacks using only a cloaked transport for instance. Granted this may have offended their pride given the arrogance of the average Goauld. Remote attacks would not be rendered useless by the iris as radio signals still pass through and could be used to attack the installations electronic infrastructure. I'm willing to concede that some of this must be due to the need to keep the plot going.

Even when the destruction of earth began to become a strategic necessity, nothing was ever really done except fly big ships and shoot.

The only caveat that springs to mind was when Anubis created or modified an asteroid to contain Naquadah which was then steered towards earth in the hope that it would either collide or that the Tauri would attempt to destroy it with a Naquadah weapon and trigger a monumentally larger explosion.

1 Answer 1


What you say is not as simple as you make it sound.

The whole structure of the Goauld society and ruling is based on a complex and unstable mixture of several aspects:

  • The Goauld have advanced knowledge but it is limited to the Goauld race which quite small in number and highly hierarchical.
  • The Goauld base their hegemony in numbers more than in advanced technology. While they do have advanced technology the knowledge is limited to the "gods" and the servant goaulds, the minions just follow order limiting the development and productivity.
  • The Goauld are power hungry, meaning their efforts are mostly focused on fighting among themselves. This imposes severe limitations on the way you organize your power structure; give to much power to another Goauld and you may find yourself betrayed and killed.
  • The Goauld are quite good at STEALING technology but not as good at developing new technologies. That is a result of the lack of trust in others which is generally needed for breakthroughs in science. As such, it is easier for them to evolve another technology which they need to make on their own rather than as a group.

Now, the basic summary of all the above is the Goauld do not work as a team but mostly individually against each other and using troops and underlings to operate their plots. They also have to take care of a vast territory and worry about attacks from other power hungry goaulds so they are reluctant to spend too many resources on fighting the Tauri, which, in itself, is logical as they do prefer to spend those resources fighting each other. Why worry about just one planet or even a couple of them when you rule over 100 and are looking to take over some 20 more from some other system Lord?

Regarding your "remote" attacks, all of them are rendered useless by the installation of the iris on the SGC. Development of phase technology is an option but nothing indicates the goaulds are capable of developing such technology individually (they may if they work together but that simply does not happen) and devoting too many ships to carry out attacks on Earth will drain their defences somewhere else.

Infiltrating the SGC is not as simple as it sounds... After all we are still talking about a military base. And while the Goauld may be quite advanced, the underlings (Jaffa) are not... And other goaulds that you may send may have their own plans so you need to be careful about what you do.

Regarding the edit:

First of you seem to have a funny notion about what radio signals can and can't do. Technology is not magic and while I show like stargate twists the limits between both it is unreasonable to assume "advanced technology" to mean "able to do anything". The iris is presented as a valid barrier to phisical attacks and radio waves do not have the ability to disrupt electronics... Maybe an E.M.P. could be theorised (although by the same logic one could assume that the SGC would be shielded against E.M.Ps in the first place) and even if you managed to get the electronic systems down for some reason the Iris can be operated manually as it has been demonstrated in several episodes.

Secondly, ALL Goauld are fighting other Goaulds, the ones at the top fight for system domination, the ones at the bottom fight to be at the top by conspiring against their "masters". The life of each Goauld consists on managing those under his command so that they are useful but don't overthrow them at every step of the hierarchy.

Thirdly it is a big Galaxy, as in very very very big... Seriously, one planet is not such a worry and handling a couple of systems is a MAJOR task.

Finally, chemical ware fare can't be careless. After all you don't want to decimate the whole human population which constitute your slavery material and your hosts. An uncontrolled virus could wildly spread throughout the galaxy if deadly enough and even the Goauld need to be careful with that... You'd need a highly contagious agent to decimate the earth and that could get out of hand fast.

Note there are other episodes featuring other races which do attempt to infiltrate and attack the SGC in several ways. The main issue with the Goauld is their desire for power which made them fight among themselves.

All in all, attacking the Earth is simply not practical.

  • I don't agree, see edit
    – 3therk1ll
    Jan 27, 2016 at 18:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.