I've watched a lot of episodes in Stargate series. I'm not really sure, but whenever they mention ascended beings, they are always the ancients, the Ori and Anubis, which was half-ascended somehow. Why didn't the other advanced species ascend? For example, I remember an episode in which the Asgard were dying due to the weakening caused by cloning, that seemed like a great opportunity to ascend, I guess.

  • Weren't there certain species that couldn't ascend? Also, the ascended had some say in who was allowed to ascend, so presumably, they could stop ascension as well as cause them. – calccrypto Dec 29 '14 at 4:51
  • @calccrypto presumably, they could. However, at least with the Ancients, their non-interference policy mostly limited them to simply not helping them ascend, rather than actively preventing it. After all, <spoiler> they let Adria ascend without interference. – malachi1990 Dec 29 '14 at 5:01
  • The ancients let quite a lot of ppl that we know of (humans mostly and one erronous ascension that led to a whole season dedicated to correcting that error) ascend. why other species didnt manage to ascend...no clue – Thomas Dec 29 '14 at 10:02

In the SG-1 series finale:

We find out that the Asgard can't Ascend due to the way they intervened in their own natural evolution.


Addendum: In the non-canon Atlantis novel Unascended (set after season 5), there is at least one Asgard who acended before the Asgard starting using cloning. While not canon in the strictest sense, it does show that other people have been asking the same question.

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  • Got it. But what about the other two species? – Billy Rubina Dec 29 '14 at 4:54
  • Which ones are you referring to? – malachi1990 Dec 29 '14 at 4:56
  • Furlings and the Nox. – Billy Rubina Dec 29 '14 at 5:02
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    There's no canon info to indicate whether they did or didn't. The Nox were isolationist towards less advanced species, so even if they did Ascend as a species, it's unlikely that many other races would be aware. And the Furlings were never seen in series. – malachi1990 Dec 29 '14 at 5:04
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    some speculation on the nox, they may have already ascended and now choose to live in the mortal plain still, as seem by their supernatural powers. (without apparent use of technology. ) other speculation on others not ascending is because the ancients themselves where already far older and more advanced then the other races, and the others either have not tried, or have yet to succeed in ascension as it took thousands of years to learn how for the ancients. – Himarm Dec 29 '14 at 14:25

This answer will be full of spoilers. Rather than tag the whole thing, since I don't know how much of SG-1 or the other series you've seen, here it is:

As the other answer states, the Asgard are revealed in the last episode of SG-1 to be unable to Ascend, due to interfering in their own evolution millenia earlier. While this enabled them to live much longer lives than their unimpeded biological evolution would have allowed, they inadvertently trapped themselves in an evolutionary dead-end, which they were unable to escape, despite numerous attempts. It is unknown if the "Lost Tribe" of Asgard in the Pegasus galaxy, the Vanir, have quite hit this cul-de-sac.

The Ancients also didn't come by Ascension naturally, but are shown in Stargate: Atlantis to have been researching Ascension for some time before they were forced out of the Pegasus galaxy. The Ori presumably did the same. Anubis was only able to Ascend by tricking Oma Desala into helping him do so, but once he did he retained enough knowledge of the process that he could create clones of himself capable of Ascension, in a plan to fight a war with the Ancients. He was trapped in a never-ending struggle with Oma Desala before his prototype warrior, Khalek, could be completed; Khalek did, however, retain enough of his creator's knowledge to attempt to repeat the process on his own, but was killed by Daniel Jackson and Cameron Mitchell before he could do so.

Some humans are shown to be able to achieve Ascension, but only after being instructed by the already-Ascended, or after generations of meditation and training. The Nox are never shown to have either achieved or not achieved Ascension, but their pacifist nature might preclude them from the necessary experiments on other life-forms the Ancients seemed to need to reach that level. The Furlings may well have wiped out by the Goa'uld, as seen in Harry Maybourne's second-last appearance on SG-1.

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  • The "ut only after being instructed by the already-Ascended, or after generations of meditation and training" part isn't exact sadly as there was at least one occasion where unprepared humans were able to ascend in one of the early seasons. Gaara (hope the spelling is correct) and his ppl as example there. They never meditated or received any training. The ancients just helped them to ascend there (I think it was Oma who did that) – Thomas Dec 29 '14 at 10:05
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    @Thomas: You mean Skaara and the Abydosians? Um, they were instructed by Oma Desala. Skaara indicates just as much to Colonel O'Neill when he visits the planet after Anubis destroys it. That she did it in record time is hinted as being merely due to the fact that Ancients don't really experience time in the same way humans do; this is similar to how Daniel experienced weeks of life when comunicating with Sha're through a Goa'uld hand device when Amaunet tried to kill him. – James Sheridan Dec 29 '14 at 10:36
  • YES I meant those guys. I just reread your answer and just saw I MISread it (read "after generations of meditation and training" and overread the "or"). What I meant with my comment is that for in universe time the ancients can and do help beings ascend and that in record time IF they want to (although there is often a fallout from the other ascended ones for them). – Thomas Dec 29 '14 at 10:55
  • @Thomas: Ah, fair enough. We all misread stuff. Yes, there is often fallout. Anubis is a great example; he tricked Oma into helping him Ascend, then the Ancients couldn't entirely get rid of him, so he was stuck in a state of half-Ascension, where he was Ascended, but not allowed to use his Ascended powers. Daniel Jackson was another person whose Ascension caused problems for Oma. – James Sheridan Dec 29 '14 at 12:02
  • Go, mystery downvoter! Seriously, can someone give a damn reason if they leave a downvote? Especially when my answer is correct. – James Sheridan Dec 30 '14 at 4:08

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