The generic explanation is "...will be born with the genetic knowledge of the Goa’uld."

What does that mean and do they not already have access to that knowledge ? What more would the harsesis know, compared to a Goa’uld ?


A harsesis is not a Goa'uld

A goa'uld is a parasitic creature that lives inside a host, for example, a human. After that, the combined being is often called a Goa'uld, but they are still, in essence, two different creatures sharing one body.

The reason it is illegal to make an Harsesis is because you're effectively giving birth to a human (in the case of human-host Goa'ulds) with the knowledge of a Goa'uld, knowledge that could be used against the Goa'uld.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    And, of course, he law also protects the Goa'uld from each other. A Harsesis can be taken as a host by a rival Goa'uld, giving them access to all of your memories. Best change all your plans and passwords! The moment Goa'uld A discovers that his ancient rival Goa'uld B has created a Harsesis, he has ample motive to make war to kidnap it and take it as a host. – Chronocidal Jun 20 '19 at 12:42
  • 2
    @Chronocidal True, but that's mostly a problem for the two Goa'uld who made the Harsesis. I assume the law is intended to protect other Goa'uld from a possible rebellion, not the idiots who decided to create a massive weakness in their own security. – Theik Jun 20 '19 at 12:46
  • Gotchya, they know all the stuff, but aren't necessarily evil. That comes from the sarcophagus. – Иво Недев Jun 20 '19 at 13:15
  • 2
    @ИвоНедев It is later implied in the series that even the knowledge Goa'uld possess could result in the Harsesis becoming evil, because "there's too much corrupting knowledge". But being evil does not automatically mean "will side with the Goa'uld", so it's a security risk. – Theik Jun 20 '19 at 13:37
  • @Theik It is not explicitly mentioned, but since a Harsesis does not already have a Goa'uld parasite they could potentially be taken by a Tok'ra symbiote, which would give the Tok'ra instant access to centuries worth of Goa'uld secrets. – called2voyage Jul 31 '19 at 19:07

The harsesis is the result of the coupling of the Goa'uld hosts, and not simply the result of the usual reproductive process of the parasite. However, there would appear to be some genetic transfer from the host into the human child (in another episode we see that a coupling between Daniel and Hathor^ introduces human genetic material into the parasites making them compatible with human Jafar - so genetic transfer seems trivial).

So, the upshot is, you have a human which is also Goa'uld. This seems to be considered an abomination among the Goa'uld who prefer to simply take a host.

^ parasite reproduction is revisited later on when the Tok'ra queen is discovered. Unlike Hathor, this queen reproduces without a human host - but the offspring are purposefully made inert by not transferring genetic knowledge. This either shows that Goa'uld reproduction is quite complex, or that the showrunners decided that a lot of season 1 backstory needed a rewrite - including the Hathor mother of Goa'uld schtick

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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