Why doesn't Teal'c try to get his gold tattoo removed when he was no longer the First Prime to the System Lord Apophis?

One would think he would want to disassociate himself of the Goa'uld as much as possible after switching sides.

From what I understand, that is gold imbedded into his forehead. It would seem somewhat easy to remove gold at least. Even if he didn't get a skin graft or plastic surgery to hide the remaining scar, it would at least be less visible as a regular skin-toned scar.

Is there any canon reason why he kept his mark?

2 Answers 2



  • I can not think of any official canon reason why Teal'c kept the brand of Apophis.
  • Most Jaffa have the brand of their "oppression" fully visible and is a big part of what makes them who they are.

So first as I said there is no real official reason for it, but one can be relatively certain to why.

The "brand" as I will call it is something that most Jaffa have from very early age. It is a brand of their false-god signifying who their master is, what their allegiances must be, etc. without the need to utter a word. As Broklynite mentioned it can be related to the serial numbers inked onto Jewish prisoners during the second world war.

I believe the biggest reason Teal'c never would have gotten rid of it would have been to shove that very fact back into the face of any Goa'uld he faced from then on. Every time they see not only his shol'va face, but the fact that their "brand" is working in defiance of everything it stands for. A simple example would be someone drinking a nasty ol' Pepsi in a Coca-Cola ad; just pure utter disrespect!

Equally as big I think is that fact that his brand, however it may be perceived is a part of who he is. It represents not only the struggles he has had to overcome, but the link to Master Bra'tak, the respect he was able to earn over the years, and it is a bond that ties him to all other Jaffa.

I might also wonder if the Teal'c would have seen that as a slap in the face to the Sodan. Removing the brand might be perceived as an attempt to call himself a Sodan warrior, whom Teal'c has the utmost respect for, and he would not wish to be mistakenly "grouped" with those legendary warriors... As well as the Sodan might take offense to that themselves.

It also did come in handy with certain situations when his identity was not known or his betrayal had not reached that corner of the galaxy. One example is in Season 3, Episode 9 when SG-1 comes along a group of kids Apophis was training to infiltrate the SGC as SG-X. They did not know his true allegiance, but believed he was aligned with Apophis due to his brand.


It's not a tattoo, it's his slave brand. It's more than that, however; it represents that he was the finest warrior of Apophis, something he takes a great deal of pride in. It is also a constant reminder of who he is and what he has been through- how many Jews had their serial number tattoos removed after the Holocaust? And finally, in practical terms, it has helped him in spying here and there during the series.

  • 1
    To your last point: when was it ever helpful for espionage? It's been a while since I watched the show all the way through, but I just remember Teal'c always being immediately recognized by other Jaffa or Goa'uld Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 21:46
  • i thought he got away with it a few times
    – Himarm
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 21:51
  • Recognized yes, but not all of them knew that he had betrayed Apophis. Occasionally he could just get away with being what he was rather than who he was.
    – Broklynite
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 23:12
  • I think your comparison with the Nazi camps IDs is pretty right on spot.
    – Benoît
    Commented Apr 10, 2016 at 11:06
  • This might be the second time on SF:SE someone has complimented me for using Godwin's Law completely on topic.
    – Broklynite
    Commented Apr 10, 2016 at 13:12

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