I remember Daniel Jackson either dying or nearly dying in the pilot movie and then being revived in Ra's sarcophagus.

At the end of season 5, his

body does die, but a few seconds later, he ascends.

Late in the series it became a joke among other SCG personnel - I remember an episode where someone says something like "Jackson's gonna die when he hears about this. Again."

Has Daniel ever actually died (if so, how many times, and when?), or was he simply extremely near death many times?

  • 4
    AFAIK there was never any intent for the movie Stargate to be a pilot. It's more that the TV series was a spin-off of the movie.
    – Tony Meyer
    Jan 28, 2012 at 2:17
  • @TonyMeyer Correct, it was not intended to be a pilot - but that's what it became once the series started.
    – Izkata
    Jan 28, 2012 at 2:26
  • @TonyMeyer Also, that title edit turned it into a non-question, what happened is explicit in the spoiler'd episode, and is the reason I thought of this question. I've changed it back.
    – Izkata
    Jan 28, 2012 at 2:31
  • 3
    The answer to this question depends on the whole definition of 'dying'. Are you 'dead' if you can be revived by a sarcophagus (but not by any other means)? Are you 'dead' if you ascend?
    – HorusKol
    Jan 28, 2012 at 2:44
  • @HorusKol Good point.. Not sure how I'd resolve that, though. Dead by our medical science (so if Ascension is only "dead" if a body is left behind)?
    – Izkata
    Jan 28, 2012 at 2:53

4 Answers 4


The show's staff and writers occasionally make jokes about Daniel's frequent "deaths" on the show. In the season 7 episode "Heroes", one of the SG teams examine some ancient ruins and a scientist says "Dr. Jackson is gonna die when he sees this!" to which another member (Col. David Dixon, played by Adam Baldwin) responds "What?! Again?". Comparisons have also been made between Daniel and Kenny from the cartoon series South Park. Daniel's first death is by staff blast while he defends O'Neil; he is resurrected by Ra with a sarcophagus in the film. Daniel flat lines in Season 4's "The Light". He dies of radiation poisoning in season 5's "Meridian" and Ascends to a higher plane until he reappears in Season 7's "Fallen (part 1)". He is killed by RepliCarter at the very end of "Reckoning" and is seen at a midway point between Ascension and mortality before finally retaking human form in "Threads". Daniel is presumed dead after SG-1 is brainwashed to believe this in Season 1's "Fire and Water". Daniel also is killed by Teal'c several times in a virtual reality system in Season 8's "Avatar". Other deaths generally involve Daniel's teammates: they die together in "The Nox" (where they get resurrected by the Nox) and in the alternate future of "2010"; their robot versions are killed in "Double Jeopardy", Daniel being the first to die; and a Goa'uld-possessed alternate timeline version of Daniel is shot by Teal'c in "Moebius", while in another timeline in the same episode, all of SG-1 are killed except Daniel.

-Wikipedia article on Daniel Jackson.

As HorusKul pointed out in his comment, death becomes a little more difficult to define once we're dealing with SF medical tech that can resurrect characters from a point when they'd be considered biologically dead. The general population of the SGC has certainly perceived him as dead a number of times, starting from "Fire and Water" in season 1, though he was not actually dead. I would imagine that they are also referring to his ascension, which may not have counted as death from his perspective, but was probably close enough to it for everyone else.


Yes Daniel died in the episode The Nox when Apophis's men killed the team (not including Teal'c) then they got brought back to life by the Nox.

Daniel also died in the episode The Light when they took him back to the planet but before they could his heart stopped beating momentarily.

In the episode Reckoning Part 2, the Replicator Carter stabbed him but in between the time he was stabbed and the time he actually ascended he was dead.

The last time I can think of that he died would be the last episode when the ship exploded after time around the ship being slowed until they could figure out how to save themselves, Carter figured out a way with Asgardian technology to take them back in time so it would be like the 50 years had never even happened.

The interesting thing is that Jack O'Neill died the most: in the episode Abyss, Ba'al killed him over and over so Jack died way more often than Daniel's four times, but Daniel gets hurt the most.


Even with our current medical technology 'death' is more of a process than a state. Someone fished out of a cold river (having been submerged for up to 45 minutes) can often be revived with no serious problems. People who've been 'dead' for several minutes have been resuscitated with no ill effects, etc.

Thus, we have to consider what it actually means to be 'dead'. Death is, biologically speaking, a cessation of the functions of life. Let's make this as strict as possible and say that it includes a cessation of brain activity and biological functions. Let's also put a time on it - beyond a few minutes, a hospital generally can't save someone who is dead. Prior to that, resuscitation is (sometimes) possible.

The longest time I can find reported for resuscitation is about 30 minutes (a child submerged in cold water). Let's extend that to account for alien tech. Let's say that 'magic alien tech' can extend that by a factor of 50 (1500 minutes, or 25 hours).

So, for the purposes of general sci-fi (without explicitly stated medical tech that gives a longer or shorter duration) let's say any person can be revived within 25 hours.

Using this general measuring stick, Daniel Jackson HAS died. When he ascended, his body died. His 'essence' or 'soul' or 'personality' or SOMETHING survived, true, but he met every medical definition of dead. Later, when he visited the restaurant with Oma, he did it again. His body was destroyed, and he had no detectable life signs. A part of him lived on, but isn't that what the 'soul' or 'essence' is supposed to do after death?

So we can confidently state that Daniel has died 2 times, even under the loosest sci-fi definition of death.

More specifically to Stargate, Daniel died during the failed ambush of Apophis. The Nox certainly considered him dead, just as they considered the child who was killed later in the episode to be dead. They may have been able to reverse the process, but they did know there was an upper limit to their ability to do so (which was considerably less than the 25 hour estimate above). Thus, we can see Daniel has died at least 3 times by the rules of Stargate.

Finally, consider the movie. Daniel Jackson dies from a staff blast, only to be revived by Ra. Daniel certainly thinks he died at least. He said as much himself.

Thus, under the definition in common use today (such as doctors use when discussing patients who flatline) Daniel has died many times.

TL;DR: Yes, Daniel has died. How many times he's died, however, depends upon your definition of 'dead'.


I believe that Daniel Jackson has actually died four times: From a staff blast in the movie, a staff blast the time the nox healed him, radiation poisoning, and a stab from replicarter.
He would have died, if not for the sarcophogas, three more times: At the end of season three on the gua'uld mothership after being shot, in the cave in in the episode need, and in the light when his heart stopped.
The others did not think that he was actually dead in the light or in need, but he was supposedly dead in fire and water, and he thought that he was dead in the crystal skull. To conclude, everybody thought that he was dead at least six times.

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