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.

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    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
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    @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
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    @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
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    @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


The Goa'uld larvae have all of the genetic memories of their ancestral symbiotes up to their spawning, combined with the memories of each of their hosts. According to the legend of the Harsesis, a human child spawned from two Goa'uld hosts would be born with the genetic memories of both Goa'uld symbiotes combined, AKA "all of the secrets of the Goa'uld".

However, this child would be a human with this knowledge, not a symbiote, thus it would likely live a normal lifespan and be just as much an asshole as both of it's parents, so what I wanna know is why the heck anyone would volunteer to raise such a child? I'd give that kid a Tok'ra symbiote before it was strong enough to crawl, copy it's memories into the Tok'ra symbiote, then return the symbiote to a willing host and leave the Harsesis in a dissolving crystal tunnel.

But even then, I wouldn't trust that Tok'ra symbiote to still have a conscience, and would bring it to the Tollan and force it to wear one of those Goa'uld restraining devices, while I interrogated it.

  • Pretty sure the goa'uld are evil cuz of the influence of the sarcophagus. Same way Daniel lost it in one. ( stargate.fandom.com/wiki/Need ). A Harsesis wouldn't need one for many decades. Shifu seemed perfectly fine. – Иво Недев Mar 7 at 13:39

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