The Beta gate, so far as I can tell, has been in Antarctica functioning for thousands of years. Why didn't the Goa'uld invade Earth through the beta gate at some point in time? Or am I just misunderstanding how two gates on the same planet work?

5 Answers 5


One good reason is - why? How were the goa'uld to know, of all the worlds with humans on them, that Earth would advance so far technologically?

The Stargate RPG sourcebook (which I believe at one point was canon but is not anymore) insinuates that the human uprising was part of a long period of internal struggle started by Egeria and the tok'ra. Probably dozens of worlds rebelled. Given that Ra (and the System Lords under him) controlled hundreds or thousands of worlds, if one day they find that the Earth gate is not dialing - so what? They know that humans originally came from Earth, but they have plenty of breeding stock for implantation elsewhere. If the planet is just going to give you trouble, you don't need anything there, and you've already got a civil war going, you're going to want to put resources where it matters.

In fact, Earth didn't advance that far - Tollana and presumably Serita, for example, advanced much further. Langara was almost as advanced, and far more resource-rich. There's nothing inherently special about Earth that they'd know which would make them want to go back. (The exception would be Anubis, who knew about the Ancients, but didn't act until much later.)

Finally, who's to say they didn't try? The beta gate was buried at Antarctica. If the goa'uld had tried to send some soldiers back, they would've ended up like O'Neill and Carter - stuck under a mountain of ice with an unpowered DHD, and it's unlikely they'd be smart enough to repair it. If the soldiers went through and didn't come back, that's all the more reason for the goa'uld to just write off the world as lost.

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    In fact - O'Neill and Carter did find a couple of Jaffa'sicles under the ice there.
    – HorusKol
    Commented Mar 20, 2011 at 23:13
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    If I remember correctly, the DHD was infact powered, but Carter and O'Neill couldn't dial earth from earth.
    – badgerr
    Commented Mar 21, 2011 at 8:47
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    @Casebash because it didn't occur to them that they might already be on earth, so had no reason to think that dialling anywhere else would be more successful than dialling earth?
    – badgerr
    Commented Mar 21, 2011 at 11:04
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    Personally, I would assume the gate doesn't work if I couldn't dial Earth, given what Carter knew at the time.
    – user1027
    Commented Mar 21, 2011 at 16:44
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    I think the Dark Ages took care of our primitive technological advances :) Commented Apr 14, 2011 at 23:49


Everyone is forgetting the Stargate SG-1 "Demons."

There SG-1 encounters a population of Goa'uld slaves who were taken from medieval Europe by Sokar.

Daniel speculates that they were taken through the Antarctic gate.

So riddle me this: Why were the Goa'uld still harvesting humans from Earth AFTER the Alpha Gate was buried and the Earth Rebellion? Granted, Sokar was a black sheep and already overthrown by Ra, it's possible that he discovered Earth on his own hook and acted accordingly, but the question remains: if Goa'uld of any stripe were able to use the Beta Gate, why did they stop coming? For that matter, why did Sokar?

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    I didn't forget it, but "Demons" fits very poorly into the Stargate canon in many ways, so I just ignored it. My best guess is that Daniel was wrong and they were taken by ship, not gate.
    – user1030
    Commented Oct 10, 2011 at 9:25
  • Or, once the Egyptian gate was reopened, it became the primary gate. At that point, travel through the beta gate was impossible (dialing in).
    – Jeff
    Commented Dec 20, 2011 at 14:30
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    The Egyptian gate was capped in stone, which doesn't change very often. The Antarctic gate is capped in glacier which changes over time. Slowly, but it does. Chances are Earth was dialed every few decades or centuries, and during one of those times the Antarctic gate was clear. Commented Feb 16, 2012 at 20:54
  • Sokar and Ra were antagonistic with each other and I believe about the same age. So he might have been one of the few System Lords that knew where Earth was. And poaching in Ra's backyard would have been a nice slap in the face to Ra. Especially since Earth is such an embarrassment to Ra. It is probably why the SGC has only run across one culture from that time period, not including the Arthurian (Myrridin) cultures. Commented Feb 18, 2012 at 3:09
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    At the time when SG-1 arrives on the "Demons" planet, Season 3, SG-1 is unaware of the numerous medieval civilizations set up by Merlin across the galaxy, which are revealed in Seasons 9 and 10. It stands to reason that Sokar did not actually come to Earth and retrieve people, but simply found one of these medieval societies and fit himself into their mythology as the devil.
    – oremfrien
    Commented Jul 1, 2017 at 0:55

There must be some aspect of the human rebellion on Earth that kept the Goa'uld away for all those millenia. Otherwise, why didn't Ra just send a few Ha'taks after the Alpha gate was buried? As far as I know, this plot hole has never been addressed, and the Beta gate just makes it worse. We can infer that there may have been something protecting Earth during this time though. 10,000 years ago, some Ancients returned to Earth from the Pegasus galaxy. 5,000 years ago, the rebellion on Earth scared off the Goa'uld (see the SG-1 2-parter, Moebius). After returning from the Pegasus galaxy, some of the Ancients took part in the Alliance between themselves, the Nox, the Furlings, and the Asgard. For some reason, they didn't remove the Goa'uld from Earth, but some settled in and mated with the humans on Earth.

However, for the Asgard to influence Norse religions, it stands to reason they may have protected Earth. This isn't canon and I'm mixing in actual history, so things are going to get weird, but looking at the Wikipedia pages for Scandinavian history, the earliest indications of something resembling the later Norse mythology that has Thor, Loki, Odin, etc. is in the Norse Bronze Age. That period spans 3700-2500 years ago. It's possible that's when the Asgard first showed up on Earth. Maybe they started protecting Earth from Goa'uld attacks then, but that leaves Earth not safe for over 1000 years. Potentially other races in the Alliance protected us earlier, without any indication showing up in the historical record.

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    There are bound to be "universe" inconsistencies whenever a movie, which as far as I know, was only intened to be a one shot, is extended into multiple many year TV series. In the original movie, Ra was the last surviving member of his kind, so we had been down to a universe with only one (or a few) surving Goa'ulds trying to make the best of their species twighlight years. That didn't make a good basis on which to build a large franchise. Commented Mar 20, 2011 at 19:01
  • Yeah, the other problem is that the timelines around all this have been shifting. Between the movie, the time travel episodes, and the retconning of the Ancient's history, things are kinda convoluted. I relied heavily on the Stargate Wikia's description of the timeline.
    – user1027
    Commented Mar 20, 2011 at 19:40
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    The StargateRPG mentioned above actually adresses the subject as to why Ra didn't invade with Ha'taks... by asking, why bother? Slaves, by that time the System Lords had transplanted more than enough on numerous other worlds, so no need there. Naquadah, none in the entire solar system, as established in Fail Safe, so simply no reason to go anywhere near there ever again for it either. And Slaves and Naquadah are basically all the Goa'uld seek (other than hosts). Why risk going to a world where they'd been kicked off back when it was populated by primitives, for no gain whatsoever?
    – BMWurm
    Commented Jul 27, 2014 at 16:27

We know that putting an iris on a gate will essentially kill a person who tries to enter the gate. I'm assuming that burying the gate will have done something quite similar to this, made anyone who tried to use it die.

Secondly, it seems like it's rather difficult to dial the Beta Gate, and that it's only a set of coincidences that caused it to work right in the first place.

Lastly, we know the DHD was buried rather deep in the ice, so most likely anyone who happened on to the beta gate would have died.

Putting all of this together, it seems likely that no one even knew of the Beta Gate's existence, that traveling to Earth through the stargate was essentially impossible. They wouldn't have known if anyone had succeed in dialing Earth, either way, they were dead.

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    Burying the gate makes it not accept incoming connections, as it doesn't have the space available to establish the wormhole. This is where the frozen Jaffa near the Beta gate came from. Once the Alpha gate was buried, it not longer accepted incoming connections, so the Beta gate did.
    – user1027
    Commented Mar 21, 2011 at 2:31

This is admittedly a short and unverifiable answer, but my personal view has always been that the Antarctic gate remained buried for the majority of the intervening time, until random movement of the ice (earthquakes and whatnot) happened to unearth it.

Under this theory, Jack and Sam would have mistakenly arrived through it within a reasonably short time thereafter (say, a few hundred years).

Recall that this gate was originally unreachable (hence the transplantation by Ra of the Giza gate) so we know that at least for some duration of time, it was literally buried in ice.

This doesn't quite gel with those buried Jaffa, though.

  • They never stated how long the Jaffa already where there. Could very well be that Apophis sent them to scout. But, it's a mystery why they even died there in the first place. If two vanilla humans like Sam and Jack can survive there for hours, then the Jaffa also should have lasted long enough to dial back...
    – MauganRa
    Commented Sep 14, 2017 at 10:13

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