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In the Stargate franchise, the basic idea is that many aliens have assumed the roles of Terran mythological figures, including the Goa'uld (Egyptian), the Asgard (Norse) and Alterrans (Buddhist?). My question is, did they create these religions or did they just use them to gain control over humans?

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    It's hinted in multiple early episodes that the Goa'uld, at least, simply took advantage of pre-existing mythology. I believe the commentary for the feature film also mentions that Ra merely took on the persona of a pre-existing Egyptian mythological figure. – James Sheridan Oct 9 '14 at 8:21
  • If you can provide quotes that clearly show that in an answer, I'll be happy to accept it. – PointlessSpike Oct 9 '14 at 9:02
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    It was my then-inability to find quotes that caused me to make that a comment rather than an answer. Now that my screaming toddler is in bed, I'll see if I can track them down. – James Sheridan Oct 9 '14 at 9:22
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Goa'uld

The Goa'uld didn't create the religion, they high-jacked it.

From series 1, episode 1 - Children of Gods

HAMMOND Then who's coming through the Stargate?

DANIEL Gods.

HAMMOND What?

DANIEL Not as in "God" god. Ra played a god, the sun god. He borrowed the religion and culture of the ancient Egyptians he brought through the 'gate and then he used it to enslave them. You see, he wanted the people of Abydos to believe he was the only one.

Here Daniel is saying that Ra borrowed the religion.

Asgard

According to Wikipedia Norse mythology developed due to the Asgard coming to Earth.

In the series, the Asgard gave rise to Norse mythology on Earth, as well as accounts of the Roswell "Greys".

And from Stargate wikia

The Asgard were a benevolent, extremely advanced race from the Ida galaxy that visited Earth on many occasions, giving rise to Norse mythology.

Ancients

The Ancients don't pose as Gods, they have strict rules surrounding not interfering with humans and other non-ascended life forms.

From series 9, episode 2 - Avalon: part 2

VALA (interrupting) Excuse me. Daniel, what if these gods, the Ori, are the people left behind by the Alterans?

DANIEL You think they ascended?

VALA It's possible. The Alterans left a long, long time ago, and what we know of the Ancients, they learned to evolve and ascend. What if the people who remained here did too?

DANIEL That would make these people a subsequent evolution of humans, which is apparently what happened in our galaxy after the Ancients we know ascended.

VALA And it would explain why they're not as advanced as we might expect.

DANIEL No, but the religion doesn't fit the profile. The ascended beings I know don't pose as gods. I mean, that's the one explicit rule they DO follow, is that they don't meddle in the affairs of the lower planes of existence.

The relation to Buddhism appears to be coincidental. The only link I can find is that Oma Desala lived in a Buddhist-style temple. There's nothing to suggest this is connected with Buddhism on Earth so this seems to be just a resemblance rather than a connection.

Ori

The Ori use religion and peoples' worship to gain power. It's not clear whether they created the religion to suit their purpose, or whether their presence inspired a religion.

From series 9, episode 3 - Origina part 3

DANIEL I guess what I'm trying to understand is whether the Ori have spoken to you directly and told you to worship them, or whether you've…misinterpreted some evidence you've found along the way and developed this religion on your own.

  • But then what about the others? Asgard, Ancients etc, is there anything to confirm whether they created those religions? – PointlessSpike Oct 9 '14 at 11:29
  • @PointlessSpike I've added all the evidence I've found. I'll keep looking for more concrete evidence (particularly around the Asgard) but I hope that this will suffice. – Moogle Oct 9 '14 at 12:28
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    Good answer. It fits the timeline- the Asgard would have been around long enough to have inspired a religion, whereas the Goa'uld wouldn't have been around that long. What puzzled me was how they got stuck into those roles so completely, but then I suppose that's their parasitic nature at work. – PointlessSpike Oct 9 '14 at 12:44
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    we also have newer, goa'uld masquerading as greek/roman gods as well, also chinese gods(or emperors) so its not just the Egyptian gods. – Himarm Oct 9 '14 at 13:13
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    @LightnessRacesinOrbit: I don't think that is a problem: The Goa'uld may have "hijacked" pre-existing religions, but that doesn't mean those religions had not been changed over time. For example, the concept of a sun god may have existed before the Goa'uld Ra's arrival (as stated by the movie quote), whereas some of the other gods, maybe even his name, and all the relationships between those gods, had not been a part of that religion before, but simply became a part of the lore due to the contact with the Goa'uld. – O. R. Mapper Oct 9 '14 at 13:58
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tl;dr They must have been playing out characters from an existing mythos.

The Goa'uld characters don't just represent a single, point-in-time pantheon character list. There's a whole family heirarchy of wives, husbands, sons and daughters, which develops over time, and the way the Goa'uld play these roles almost entirely mirrors those of their historical, mythical namesakes (as referenced by Daniel every time he goes into one of his books).

This was never terribly believable for me, because you'd basically need to engineer your entire society's history as theatre, which is silly and does not mesh with the Goa'uld's preference for self-gratification.

But the alternative, that the myths came from the Goa'uld rather than the other way around, does not really fit the timeline; from what I remember, many of the references Daniel digs up predated the respective Goa'uld activity by hundreds or even thousands of years.

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I always thought it was inspired as the film says the Goa'uld came to Earth ten thousand years ago, before Egyptian Culture really existed and Ganos Lal implies that when the Lanteans (Ancients/Alterrans) returned to Earth via the Egyptian Gate.

When we first abandoned Atlantis all those years ago the Earth was so harsh, it’s people so primitive by comparison that there was no hope of living amongst them as Lanteans and rebuilding our society, so we spread out, to many lands. Some planting the small seeds of civilisation among the first tribes of man, some made their way to the Stargate at your Southern Pole. Still others chose to spend the rest of their lives in seclusion and meditation…

Which is highly suggestive that the beliefs of native were influenced at their inception by the Goa'ulds

  • That doesn't really fit with the Lantean's scientific, non-controlling nature. By "planting the small seeds of civilisation" it more likely means things like writing, agriculture, politics etc. – Moogle Aug 18 '16 at 9:04

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