In Stargate SG-1 and spin-offs, Teal'c was portrayed as blunt, emotionless and unable to understand metaphors, taking everything literally. Creatively, I assume this was done to make him stand out as the "alien" of the team (part of a long tradition/trope, that includes characters like Spock and Data. There's probably a TV Tropes page for this, but I'm not going down that rabbit hole).

However, he is quite unlike other Jaffa, nearly all of whom are portrayed as more "human". Bra'tac exhibited some of the same bluntness and literalness, but was less robotic and more emotional.

Is there any proof this was a deliberate creative decision by the writers? Did they originally intend for all Jaffa to be like Teal'c but it was changed for some reason? Was this a decision taken after Christopher Judge was cast in the role?

N.b. I get that, like actual humans, there is probably a wide-range of personality types amongst Jaffa, and there are lots of Teal'cs out there in real-life, but I'm interested in the decision-making behind this choice.

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    On rewatch I feel like Christopher Judge is doing a great Spock impression. Commented Jan 24 at 13:33
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    @just_happen_to_know Indeed!
    – Darren
    Commented Jan 24 at 14:24
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    @Darren - [Raises eyebrow and says nothing]
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 24 at 15:53
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    @just_happen_to_know One of my favorite scenes in SG1 was Teal'c (under the influence of Urgo) suddenly downing a pot of coffee, straight from the carafe. A concerned Carter asks "Wasn't that hot?" to which Teal'c dispassionately replies "Extremely."
    – Machavity
    Commented Jan 25 at 13:57
  • @Machavity The Urgo episode is one of my favorites! Commented Jan 25 at 17:11

1 Answer 1


There isn't much about Teal'c character development outside-of-universe, and in-universe there are some episodes that have profound impact on him, contradicting the OP's objections to a large degree...

But there can be some - for example the article that discusses this (and other) topics with Christopher Judge - out-of-universe sources to draw on to answer the question.

As for the majority of the objections - my opinion is that Teal'c is a warrior that is dedicated to his goal of freeing the Jaffa from Goa'uld slavery, being lone Jaffa on a world that has same goal as he, on a military base with people facing threats from Jaffa every time they go through the Gate (at least initially, which would be 2, maybe 3 seasons). Which will, of course, make him stand off from other Jaffa. But notice that, while he is definitely more intense in that Jaffa warrior posture, he is not different. As far as I can tell, it began when he became First Prime of Apophis, replacing Bra'tac. He doesn't seem to be different than other recruits in that same episode.

"Be silent, woman!" is hardly mysogynistic, but his initial views of the Hak'tyl Resistance definitely are what we could consider "traditional". However, he changes his views on that at some point, with his other views also subject to modifications or great changes, even, at one point or another.

And, obviously, I object to label him traditionalist (if not orthodox) - he is nothing like Gerak. Well, maybe not complete opposite, but they don't have much in common in terms of views on Jaffa society and way forward..

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    Perhaps he's developed the habit of being taciturn because if he speaks, he might give away his true intentions
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 25 at 15:43
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    @Valorum - maybe less "true intentions" and more his true view of the Goa'uld. But I assume that's what you had in mind.
    – AcePL
    Commented Jan 25 at 16:37
  • Teal'c did spend years in the service of a monster with no hope of ever escaping and only hoping to mitigate the atrocities he was forced to commit. Becoming incredibly stoic was probably one of the only ways he could, like Valorum said, stay alive. We can see it in the flashback where Teal'c tells Bra'tak about his promotion, he's very emotive in that seen. Commented Jan 25 at 17:13

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