I randomly thought this while looking at Stargate stuff, partly due to other Stargate questions. Why the heck does Ba'al clone himself? Here's the story:

The Goa'uld are defeated by Replicators, leaving Ba'al as the only remaining system lord. Ba'al then flees to Earth and takes over The Trust, acquiring Asgard cloning technology as a result. When we next see Ba'al, he's used the technology to Clone himself a bunch of times, and after he flees Earth and rebuilds his empire, he has clearly cloned himself many more times.

My question is simply: Why?

Was it because he now had a vast empire to command after taking over literally ALL the territories belonging to the now dead system Lords? Surely he could have simply used some lackeys that were easier to control than himself.

Or maybe it was because he's just that egotistical and narcissistic that he wanted a bunch of himself around.

Or maybe it was just because the technology was there and he wanted to play with it.

What I'm looking for is some canon, in-universe (and yes, I will accept any PROSE for this, comics or other such media) reason for Ba'al feeling the need to create any clones at all, let alone that many.

If there is absolutely no canon, in-universe reason then I will also accept well reasoned speculation.

  • I think he simply reasoned it as an advantage, though I'd be hard-pressed to quote an episode. Ba'al succeeds by outthinking his opponents, not by controlling armies or lackeys (even if he can do that too), and now he can be on hand to manipulate just about any situation with little risk.
    – Radhil
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 16:52
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    Sometimes, a daring plan requires a lot of Ba'als. Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 17:02
  • You could look at it from a more heroic outlook. Perhaps there were no more queens and "cloning" is about the same thing to Goa'uld as regular reproduction so he may have looked at it as a new way to reproduce.
    – Durakken
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 19:15
  • There was an episode where his clones were gathered together in the SGC, he stole some data then him and his clones who all had locator beacons used the combined power of all their location beacons to get past the dampener which blocks beaming Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 12:26

1 Answer 1


I don't know of any canon sources, but I can think of two reasonable pieces of speculation:

Surely he could have simply used some lackeys that were easier to control than himself.

Consider the saying "If you want something done right, do it yourself." Baal probably thought of himself as the most competent Goa'uld around (to be fair, he does prove to be pretty capable). If he wasn't able to personally oversee all the affairs that he wanted to, who better to do so than ... "himself"?

Secondly, the clones could have been an insurance policy of sorts. Even if he himself was captured/killed, then "he" (in some fashion) would still survive. This also serves to confound SGC, as it makes it difficult for them to know if Ba'al/clones are truly defeated, or if they missed one or two (according to Stargate Wiki, Mitchell wonders this in the episode 10.19, Dominion).

  • Perfect body doubles makes him unassassinatable, I like it. Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 17:02
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    Interesting. It takes an unusual mindset to look at a clone of himself and see himself - much less multiple of them. Most people have a much narrower self-image. On the other hand, the alternative would be to see the clones as disposable tools, which I don't think his clones would tolerate. And they're working together, cooperating, instead of jockeying for the top spot, as someone egotistical and power hungry would. Very odd mindset.
    – Megha
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 17:56
  • @Megha I agree, hence the quotation marks and parenthetical. Though I don't think that it would be all that different than seeing parallel universe versions of yourself, which occurred in both SG1 and SGA, and more distantly in SGU.
    – Jelsema
    Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 18:44
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    Considering goa'uld have genetic memory, working with clones of themselves (with memory) isn't ALL that different from working with an offspring. That sort of thing happens regularly, albeit usually there's a long period of incubation in a jaffa between having to have a conversation. I imagine all the Ba'als believed that they'd work together as long as it was of mutual benefit and all secretly be planning to sacrifice the others the moment it wasn't. Commented Jul 6, 2016 at 18:56

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