Wraith have amazing 'aging' powers and Goa'uld and Jaffa have amazing longevity and healing powers.

I realize this invites speculation, but that would be pointless and against site guidelines. Is there any canon, or failing that, "extended universe" discussion of whose power is stronger? Ultimately, what happens if a Wraith feeds on a Goa'uld or a Jaffa? Can the prey recover?

The closest I'm aware is when a Wraith starts to feed on Teal'c on Atlantis 4x17 "Midway", but Ronon kills the Wraith before any effect.

  • Unless there's something in one of the novelizations, this will be entirely opinion based. My opinion is that the Wraith aging works faster the Goa'uld healing - so he dies. But I am flagging this.
    – Jim2B
    Commented Apr 1, 2015 at 16:51
  • 11
    @Jim2B - the fact that an answer isn't necessarily contained in canon is NOT IN ANY WAY grounds for closing as "opinion based". You don't know if it was addressed in some delete scene, or creators' interviews, etc... For that matter, "never happened in 100% of canon" is an answer as well, and not opinion based. The ONLY time it's opinion based is if we know for sure that the situation being asked about can never occur in canon (e.g. 2 characters from distinct canons) Commented Apr 1, 2015 at 17:58
  • 7
    @DVK - I heartily agree, not least because we actually see it happening so there's clearly been some level of thought on the subject by the writers.
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 1, 2015 at 18:08
  • @MichaelEdenfield: I can see the issue with the [wraiths] tag, but why are you removing the [goauld] tag. Either the tag should be deleted, or it should be left. There's no reason to remove it from this question. Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 15:07
  • Yeah, I'm not sure how that tag got on my radar, I didn't think it had that many questions on it. I'll put it back for now.
    – KutuluMike
    Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 15:58

1 Answer 1


They die...

Depending upon the details they could be kept alive in a herd for Wraith feeding. Various healing devices might reduce the number of Jaffa / Goa'uld required to feed a given group of Wraith.

I have no direct support for this opinion, so I'll work through a logic tree based upon the facts available in the show (I've only read one novel).

Can a Wraith kill a Jaffa / Goa'uld?

  1. A Wraith's feeding kills in seconds - less than a minute for sure.
  2. Symbiote healing takes many hours to days (depending upon the severity of healing required).
  3. Therefore, "yes" a Wraith can kill a Jaffa or Goa'uld in not much longer than the time it takes to kill a human

Can a Wraith "farm" Jaffa / Goa'uld for sustenance - meaning if allowed to live, could the symbiote heal the damage done by a Wraith's healing? In series, symbiont healing works by the power of plot (it does / doesn't do) what the writers need for a given story, but

  1. I feel that "yes" is more consistent with the TV series than "no".
  2. A symbiote enables the human host to survive trauma that a human without a symbiont could not.
  3. A symbiote retards aging and allows the host to survive for many hundreds, perhaps thousands of years.
  4. Meaning the Wraith could develop a "herd" of Goa'uld for feeding purposes.

How would a hand device or sarcophagus impact the equation?

  1. Hand devices are less powerful than sarcophagi but work faster (seconds to a minute).
  2. Sarcophagi can heal most anything - including death in humans but take hours to a day to work.
  3. My impression is that a Wraith could still kill someone being actively healed by either of these.
  4. There is an episode of SG1 (Season 5, Episode 8, "The Tomb") in which a Goa'uld is sentenced to the most horrible death his priests could imagine, burying him in a working sarcophagus with a flesh eating critter. The sarcophagus in combination with the symbiont try to heal the damage done by the flesh eating critter - nice. The episode does not say how long it took for the Goa'uld to die.
  5. Therefore, if the Wraith could get their hands on a sarcophagus, then they could make do with fewer Goa'uld in herd to sustain the Wraith.
  6. But as the point in #4 shows, it is possible to kill them with overwhelming the healing with many small injuries.
  • 1
    I agree with this explanation. The only other detail I might add in would be regarding the naquadah that makes its way from the symbiote into the host's system. This has always been a key point when regarding the Goa'uld. It typically allows them to sense each other, makes technology finicky around them or is simply the key to use the technology, and etc. We know it is possible that a physiology can be incompatible with the Wraith given the fate of the Satedans, so the naquadah might be the one saving grace the Goa'uld have in their favor.
    – Odin1806
    Commented Nov 2, 2018 at 19:52

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