Is there any reason why the Egyptian Gods are all the top positions in the Goa'uld Empire?

Sokar ruled, then Cronus lead the group that defeated him. It is suggested that Sokar = Hades. Could Ra be Zeus which explains why Ra was the head of the Empire?

Also, is there are reason why Apophis is the next guy down the line? Apophis, in Egyptian Mythology is a much more ancient and more powerful being, but is separate from the other Goa'uld rather than aligned with them in any way.

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    Because the Goa'uld civilisation on Earth was centred on Egypt.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 13:07
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    Not sure why the downvotes. With the mythology tangle the show eventually lets itself get into, the Goa'uld seem to have caused some inspiration in every major deity/religion/mythology except old Norse - and only because that one had different critters.
    – Radhil
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 13:15
  • Remember the inspiration can go both ways. The Egyptian gods were in the heyday, when they had the primary gate open. With the secondary gate, it seemed like a much more intermittent thing... Goauld coming to Earth to recruit new slave pops, and moving them to other worlds, etc, in which case they may merely have posed as the existing gods and taken those names. These 'scavenger' Goauld might naturally have been lower level ones trying to make a name for themselves and might explain why most aren't too high up. Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 13:21

2 Answers 2


Winners write the history books. It's as simple as that.

By the logic of the show, Egyptian mythology (and really, their civilization) was created around the Goa'uld as gods and masters. So whichever Goa'uld the ancient Egyptians were actually exposed to would be the most prominent. Sokar and Cronus are the primary examples of Goa'uld that don't fit into the Egyptian mythology theme - but the first was banished and overthrown, and Cronus was only semi-prominent on the show and only then in later seasons, implying that Ra and the others were on the way up and Cronus was on the way out during their time on Earth.

Cronus also became a part of Greek mythology, and it's worth noting that Greek civilization didn't really start up until thousands of years after Egyptian. Even then, Cronus was a distant terror, one of the defeated Titans, and not one of the figureheads in the Greek pantheon. It could be theorized that Cronus actually did try to build up his own thing just across the sea from the Egyptian "gods", but found himself isolated instead.

So it's not that the Egyptian gods are the top positions, but rather that the leading Goa'uld became the Egyptian gods, and stayed in roughly similar positions of relative strength even after Earth revolted and was lost to them.

  • I realize that you were not making an exhaustive list, and that this doesn't undermine your basic point, but two other prominent non-Egyptian ones that come to mind are Ba'al and Lord Yu. Not as prominent as the Egyptian ones, for sure, but each of them appear in more episodes than both Sokar and Cronus combined, and in-show both are presented as having high status among the Goa'uld.
    – Jelsema
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 14:05
  • @Jelsema - true enough, and it makes me wonder if the writers were trying too hard to be inclusive, as I don't think Lord Yu or Ba'al were attached to any significant legend in show. Although I google the word Ba'al (I mean, grinning bastard had to have something going), and Wiki tells me it's old Hebrew and eventually ties it to Beelzebub,... which fits, a lot.
    – Radhil
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 14:10
  • @Jelsema- Ba'al and Yu were both minor up until the major ones were degraded. Ba'al at one point had the most territory of all of them, if I remember right. So it's pretty much the same as Cronus and Sokar. Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 14:17
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    @vanillagod - Ehhhh... nothing explicit, but that's what the setting suggests. (1) Jacksons theories that Egyptian writing was based on an earlier culture, in the movie, though he didn't know it was alien at the time, fits the humans adapting to Goa'uld culture, not the other way. (2) Gods that are adaptable enough to take on other names doesn't fit with the over-the-top evil mustache-twirling megalomania of the Goa'uld as a whole, and (3) they would also continue to take new names that fit their most recent acts of "divinity", not keep their old Earth ones.
    – Radhil
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 16:09
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    @Radhil Ba''al means Lord, Ba''alzebub, means Lord of the Flies. Had the creators done a bit more research and not went with Egyptian gods cuz they think Egyptian is cool/didn't have a choice they'd probably have gone with Ba''al as the primary god considering Caananite mythology is likely the root of all the others in the area. Ba''al is not a real name though, it's a label and there are a few Ba''als in the mythology with one particular one who is the "Lord of Lords" usually being the one who goes by Ba''al alone. Balzebub is an insult towards Baal and the Babylonians.
    – Durakken
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 17:01

While the original Stargate movie and most of the first seasons is focused on the Egyptian pantheon, in the episode "Fire and Water" there is mention by Nem that the Goa'uld were already present on Earth in the Babylonian era and that his mate warred with Ra to protect Humans.

When Nem shows him the writing, Daniel identifies it as Akkadian, the oldest form of Semitic we know. Akkadian is about 500 years older than the oldest forms of Hieroglyphcs we know, so you could argue that the series canon should be based on Babylonian mythology, not Archaic Egyptian.

However, in the episode "The Curse" we learn that the Goa'uld were already on Earth at least 10 000 years ago, so this vastly predates any writing we know. One would assume that much alike the System Lords divide the galaxy into territories, the same happened on Earth: so we get

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