In Stargate SG-1, a harsesis is a child of two Goa'uld would contain all of the knowledge of the Goa'uld.

In Episode 3-10, Forever in a Day, it's revealed that Apophis and Amaunet conceive a child together and hide him from the System Lords. Since Tok'ra and Goa'uld are the same species, what would stop a Tok'ra from conceiving a child with the Goa'uld, betraying the Goa'uld, then raising the child to gain massive amounts of knowledge about them?

  • What is your question? – James Christopher Sep 3 '14 at 4:46
  • Why would a Goa'uld agree to have a child with a Tok'ra? Usually when they meet they try to kill each other. With one of the both dead the "reproductive success" of this plan is dubious. – Einer Sep 3 '14 at 9:56
  • @Einer, because the Tok'ra in question would be undercover until after conception+escape (or after birth+theft+escape, if the Tok'ra is in a male host)? I should think that part would be obvious, considering how many undercover Tok'ra there were. – Brian S Sep 3 '14 at 14:26
  • What exactly would be the benefit to the Tok'ra in having such a child? – DVK-on-Ahch-To Sep 3 '14 at 17:00
  • Harsesi? Harsesii? – Izkata Sep 6 '14 at 0:38

In principle, I would think this plan could work, though it is not clear to me what the practical benefit would be

The show never reveals enough about the mechanics of a harsesis for us to know, but we can make some assumptions.

What does it mean to "contain all the knowledge of the Goa'uld"? Presumably, the child of Apophis and Amauanet contains either the knowledge of Apophis, the knowledge of Amaunet, or a combination of both. I think we can safely say that it does not contain knowledge from Heru-ur (e.g. disposition of Heru-ur's fleet). It doesn't fit the style of the rest of the show, where there is usually a good explanation (within the show's context) for everything. They're not above using psychic powers now and then (e.g. the hok'taur) but they don't bring in complete magic.

Since you can only obtain useful knowledge from at most one parent (the other is a Tokra and already knows what it knows), what is the procedure and what could you reasonably learn?

Well, "all you have to do" is grab a Goa'uld, establish the pregnancy, raise the child, and when the child grows up enough for you to question it, you may be able to extract some 5-10 year old intelligence about an enemy that knows what you did.

There doesn't appear to be any really old knowledge that would be useful to the tok'ra. They understand how the hyperdrives, shields, rings, stargates, staff weapons, etc work. So I think they could implement this plan, but it would have limited utility.


Assuming you mean that the Tok'ra is supposed to pose as a Goa'uld to make this happen, the biggest obstacle I can see is the Goa'uld itself.

Conceiving a child is a major taboo in Goa'uld society, as we're told in pretty much every episode dealing with one. The only reason Apophis was willing to try it is because he'd gone a little nutty and narcissistic (even by Goa'uld standards). We don't know why Amaunet was willing, but presumably it was loyalty to her king.

It would be extremely difficult for a Tok'ra, who already have limited resources, to find a Goa'uld crazy enough to be willing to conceive a child, let alone one who wouldn't have you immediately killed just for suggesting it.

Another possible obstacle would be the child itself, which would seem to be a regular human (host species, more generally) with the Goa'uld race memory. There's no reason to believe that a child like this wouldn't turn out just as ruthless and self-serving as any Goa'uld. Our only example of such a child was raised by Oma Desala, and I think we can all agree that isn't exactly a typical upbringing, nor an option for the Tok'ra to pursue.

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