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Vala Character Info

  • Mar. 22nd, 2009 at 8:03 PM
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Character: Vala Mal Doran
Fandom: Stargate SG-1
Age: 36
Gender: Female
Species: Human with Naquadah in her bloodstream, giving her certain Goa'uld capabilities and aptitude.
Canon Point: Post Season 10, Episode 8 "Memento Mori".
Appearance: Height, 5'9" (175cm), long black hair, Green/Grey eyes, slim athletic build.


Since her first encounter with the SGC two years ago, there have been remarkable changes in Vala's character. Once a brash, selfish, untrustworthy thief whose relentless sexual innuendos and pathological lies had only been a deterrent to the team, Vala has begun to put the needs of others before her own, to allow herself to trust, and to feel compassion that had once been deeply buried. When Vala first arrived at Stargate Command, she was a scheming, unscrupulous, thieving con artist and liar. But her experiences since that time have moulded her into a very different person who has become a valued member of the SG-1 team. Vala's defining personality facet was that above everything else, she was completely out for number one and self-serving. She was entirely self-centered and in any given situation was on the look-out for how she could profit from it. Vala will still utlilise any means necessary to get what she wants, and is definitely not above lying, cheating or stealing to that end, but her motivation is less self-serving, although not exclusively.

She’s feisty and occasionally fickle with an overtly amorous interest in Dr Daniel Jackson. When given an inch, will take a mile, and whatever else she can get her hands on. She’s sassy, intelligent, manipulative and mercurial. Her ethics are questionable and she’s ever resourceful to get her own way. She has a very innuendo driven dry sense of humour and is full of energy and verve and cutting commentary. As a comedic and energetic character with streaks of irreverence and naughtiness, Vala says everything that everyone else is thinking, but doesn't dare say. Vala can be selfless, but she most always says that it's only for the glory and adoration, never that she meant to help someone other than herself.

The real core of Vala is and always was driven by a moral compass, and her actions and history are largely due to the pain she carries from her past weighing on her, but she runs, deflects, lies and denies whatever she doesn't want to acknowledge. This is tied directly to looking out for herself above all. When things are beyond her control, she will try everything in her power to twist a situation so that she has the upper hand. Perhaps this comes from her childhood when she couldn't be with her father, or maybe from when she was host to Qetesh and had no say and no control over her own actions and witnessed firsthand the atrocities that Qetesh committed, the slaughter and torture of literally thousands. The long-term effects of being host to Qetesh for so long are difficult to quantify, but they most certainly have left Vala a little unstable, although she denies this to the hilt. Her subsequent torture by Qetesh’s people are memories that she has great difficulty talking about, their impact on her psychology and stability, further placing up firm barriers of denial and deflection.

When Vala was reunited with her father, Jacek, the old feelings of bitterness and resentment resurfaced. Her life had been a constant struggle against the personal issues that he had seeded, and she resented him more than ever for reentering her life now. She was no longer the unscrupulous thief and liar that he had known, and become a very different person, because this time she had genuinely wanted to change. Vala is deeply resentful toward her father, citing an inexhaustible list of his inadequacies as both a parent and a human being in general. While she was growing up he would be gone for months at a time, only to return to lay low or hide from the people he had swindled. But as a child she had looked forward to his return and the stories he would tell. When she was a little older, she had traveled with her father to several planets, and she kept the presents he brought her from his travels as treasured keepsakes in a box under her bed, a box she refuses to admit she still keeps hidden away. Vala was raised by her step-mother Adria, one of several wives Jacek had taken, she has no fond memories of the woman at all and she prefers to consider that she inherited her charm, her wit, her good looks, as well as her accent, from her mother, although she inherited more of her father's qualities than she cares to admit.

Vala has also worked hard to adapt to Earth culture, mostly by using television as her guide. Her deep reserves of nervous energy and enthusiasm coupled with her tendency to become easily bored have driven her to explore new experiences and all aspects of Earth society from birthday parties with piñatas to high school reunions. She has made it a personal goal to grasp the playful twists on words in "Earth" language as she struggles with clichés and idioms. She has developed a talent for basketball, roller skating, and poker, and she has discovered "One Life to Live," reruns of "The X-Files," and the wonders of eBay. Vala and Carter have bonded over pedicures, mochaccinos, and Victoria's Secret, and she has developed a taste for martinis, pancakes, and double chocolate fudge brownie ice cream. She has also developed a curiosity for dating rituals, and her initially antagonistic relationship with Daniel has blossomed into a friendship of trust and support that Vala has on occasion interpreted as something more.

Vala underneath all the façade, is a deeply compassionate and emotionally vulnerable person, her hard-knock background and always being on the run, has severely hampered her ability to form lasting relationships or open up and talk about her emotions, although she has made considerable progress on this front.

Skills/Abilities & Weaknesses:

Vala is skilled in deciphering languages and artifacts. She has an extensive knowledge of alien technology with which she has helped to repair ships such as the Prometheus and the Odyssey, to bypass security systems, to manually dial the stargate, and even to complete Merlin's weapon. She is an accomplished pilot and has flown the Prometheus, an alkesh, and a cargo ship with equal ease.

Because she was once a Goa'uld host, she carries naquadah in her blood and has retained the ability to use Goa'uld technology such as the healing device. She is good with weapons and skilled in hand-to-hand combat and martial arts and pretty kick-ass, having overcome Daniel easily. Because of her colorful past, she is independent and resourceful, she has numerous contacts and the ability to negotiate with even the most untrustworthy, she knows how to hold her liquor, she is accomplished at picking locks, and she is skilled at games of chance, even if she occasionally cheats.

The naquadah in her blood stream, offers her no extra protection, and therefore Vala has base human weaknesses.


Vala is an off-world human, born on a distant world. Her father, Jacek, is a charming con man who made his way moving from one scheme to the next searching for easy riches. He was absent for the first three years of Vala's life, running scams out of the Nylus sector.

Her propensity for lying has made it difficult to determine which stories from her past may be true. She has said that she didn't attend school as much as she was sold as a domestic servant to a weapons smuggler named Fierenze, and after she had killed him and won her freedom, she considered her education more or less complete. She has mentioned a number of relationships, Veron Karn being one of the first, a young boy she had liked when they were both ten. She has referred to being engaged once, and even taking several husbands, the first of whom was from a band of traveling entertainers, although she admits that it is hard to keep track of even the legal marriages.

When she was a young woman, Vala was taken as a host by the Goa'uld Qetesh, and for seven years the symbiote ruled over a number of planets as a god. Qetesh, a ruthless and devious Goa'uld, slaughtered ten thousand Cronus Jaffa, tortured and executed her people whilst using Vala’s body, with her consciousness still intact. Eventually, however, the Tok'ra incited a rebellion on Qetesh's planet, and the people rose up against their god. Unable to distinguish the symbiote from the host, the population captured her alive, tortured her, and she was beaten for days on end by those who believed Qetesh and Vala were one and the same. The Tok'ra felt responsible, however, and at last they rescued her, removed the symbiote, and nursed her back to health.

Vala returned to P8X-412, a little mining outpost in Qetesh's domain too isolated to have received the news of Qetesh's demise. The planet acted as a safe haven for her until she got back on her feet, however she returned in the role of Qetesh, masquerading as the Goa’uld, and although she treated the people with benevolence and compassion, even establishing a system of justice known as a "mal doran," her primary goal was to guarantee her own financial security, and she insisted that the people continue to work the practically barren naquadah mine for her. Vala had begun to fall back on her father's ways. As she traveled from planet to planet in search of riches, she encountered some of the most unsavory characters of the galaxy. She lived by her wits and her lies, and she developed a reputation as an unscrupulous trader and smuggler.

Vala's first encounter with the SGC came approximately three years after the symbiote of Qetesh had been removed. During the Prometheus expedition to Atlantis the ship picked up an apparent distress signal and responded. However, Vala, wearing the armor of a Kull Warrior, ringed aboard the Prometheus and hijacked it, leaving the entire crew, with the exception of Daniel, behind on her disabled al’kesh. Although she insisted that she had stolen the Prometheus as the only hope to save the last of her people, who only sought a means to relocate to a safe homeworld, she instead set a course to rendezvous with Tenat of Oran, with whom she had arranged to trade the ship for refined weapons grade naquadah. Daniel regained control of the Prometheus, however, Vala was taken into custody, but she was able to free herself, and once again she made her escape in the al’kesh.

A few months later, Vala arrived at the SGC with a tablet purported to lead to an incredible Ancient buried treasure on Earth. However, she also arrived with a pair of Kor Mak bracelets which she attached to herself and to Daniel, creating an instant physiological bond between them that she insisted she wouldn't remove until the treasure had been found and she had acquired her share of the loot. She accompanied the team to Glastonbury, and there the Ancient treasure was discovered, as well as several artifacts, including an Ancient communication terminal. Still linked together, Daniel and Vala activated the terminal, and Vala's and Daniel’s consciousnesses were transported into the bodies of a Sallis and Harrid Cicera in the distant galaxy of the Ori. There, accused of heresy as an unbeliever, she was burned to death at the Ara, and her own body at the SGC also died until her life was restored by a Prior. However, as she was sentenced to burn a second time, the communication link was severed, and Vala and Daniel were returned to their bodies at the SGC.

The communication terminal may have affected the technology of the Kor Mak bracelets, however, because even after their removal, Daniel and Vala remained linked, and so Vala accompanied the team on their next few missions, including attempts on several worlds to disengage the Kor Mak technology, and the missions to P8X-412 and Kallana. At Kallana, the team witnessed the Ori attempt to establish a beachhead by collapsing the planet into a micro-singularity and forming a supergate. As the components of the supergate fell into position, however, Vala without permission commandeered a cargo ship and maneuvered it into the place of the last component, disrupting the energy field of the final link in the chain. The shock wave of the forming singularity destroyed the supergate, but Vala was drawn through the singularity and into the Ori galaxy.

Vala awakened in Ver Isca in the Ori galaxy, where she was taken in by Tomin, a gentle soul who found her and nursed her back to health. Shortly afterward, she discovered that she was carrying a child, despite not having had the necessary physical relations, but as she and Tomin became close, they were married, and she hoped to convince him that the child was his. It was only later that she learned that her child was the Orici, the will of the Ori. Fearful for her own safety as well as that of her child, Vala sought the members of the anti-Ori underground, hoping to find a way to communicate with Earth. Seevis and Denya, of the underground movement, tested her resolve by chaining her to the Ara without food or water for three days until they were certain she could be trusted. Their attempt to sabotage the Ori warships failed, but using a communication terminal, Vala's consciousness entered Daniel's body at the SGC, and she was able to warn Earth of the coming Ori invasion.

Aboard an Ori warship as it entered our galaxy, Vala gave birth to a daughter, the child of the Ori. The infant aged at a rapid rate, and it was Vala who convinced the young child to take the name Adria. The young Orici accepted the name Adria, but she could not convince her mother to accept Origin, the teachings of the Ori, and Vala was able to escape from the Ori ship when she and SG-1 were beamed aboard the Odyssey.

Vala returned to the SGC where she was given quarters on the base and the opportunity to remain, provided she passed a psychiatric evaluation. Determined to make a good impression, Vala attempted to study for the psych exam, bewildering Dr. Hutchison with a prepared litany of psychobabble. Nevertheless, she passed the test and became a probationary member of Stargate Command. Her actions remained under close scrutiny as Vala accompanied the team on her first few missions. Initially armed only with a zat gun, she eventually began carrying a P-90. Although overly enthusiastic and often overlooking the need for following a chain of command, Vala began to earn the trust of SG-1 and frequently proved her value to the team with her self-proclaimed "vast experience" with rare deadly creatures or rare ancient treasures and as one of the best thieves in two galaxies. As the mother of the Orici, she also shared a unique relationship with Adria, which would prove useful in their fight.

Vala's past caught up with her when an ally of Qetesh, Athena, arrived on Earth and arranged her kidnapping in order to probe Vala's subconscious mind for memories of Qetesh that might lead her at last to the Clava Thessara Infinitas. Vala endured the excruciating pain of the memory recall device, but an electrical surge erased her memory, and Vala escaped from her tormenters with no memory of her identity. She was taken in by Sal, of Sol's Diner, where she worked as a waitress for two weeks while both SG-1 and the agents of Athena searched for her. When at last her memory returned and she was reunited with the team, Vala was offered the SGC uniform patches, and she became an official member of SG-1.

Background Universe Info:

Stargate Command (abbreviated to SGC) is a top-secret United States Air Force military organization tasked with operating the Stargate device and all matters pertaining to things offworld. It is based one thousand meters beneath the Cheyenne Mountain Complex in Colorado, codenamed "Area 52".

The primary function of the base is to secure the Stargate (by locking it under 1000 metres of rock inside a secure military base) and protect the Earth. Simultaneously, it exists to coordinate exploration and diplomatic relationships through the Stargate; i.e. it is the core of the Stargate Program, the mission of which is to procure technology that can defend Earth, and make offworld allies.

The SGC serves as one location for researching alien technology. Many cover stories have been generated to keep the general populace, even high-ranking government officials, unaware of the goings on within the SGC. The SGC base acts as the secure ground station for all Stargate activities. It is commanded by Major General Hank Landry and is staffed by subject matter experts and military support personnel, several elite special operations teams, and several SG teams, including SG-1; of which Vala is a team member.

There are four known galaxies and many races, The Milky Way (where Earth is and the Ancients lived), Ida (Home to the Asgard race), Pegasus (Home to the City of Atlantis – and where the Ancients fled to), Alteran (Ori Home Galaxy) and obviously countless planets within each galaxy. Earth outside the realms of the SGC is protected from the knowledge of SGC and the Stargates, and therefore exists almost completely as the modern day Earth that we live in.

The Stargates are a series of devices, built by the Ancients, that can create artificial Wormholes between distant worlds. The Ancients placed Stargates on thousands of worlds across several galaxies, but the gate network was open to use by all, and continues to be a convenient form of travel for many races. Some races, such as the Goa'uld, grew their ways of life around the gates, which became integral to the functioning of their culture.

Although Stargates are present on many planets, most of the races which inhabit them are relatively primitive, and view the gates as no more than divine, sacred or terrifying relics, the Stargate found in Antarctica on Earth has been estimated to be over 50 million years old.

Vala's Universe currently has two major threats, the Goa’uld and the Ori. The Ori are a race of ascended beings who used their knowledge and power as justification to demand the worship of mortal beings and are hellbent on galactic domination. The Goa’uld are a race of sentient parasitic beings that take over hosts. Several species can serve as hosts, including humans and Unas. They are extremely egomaniacal due to their genetic memory and the sarcophagus technology. Goa'uld means "God" in the Goa'uld language. Races which will not serve them are completely destroyed without compromise.


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Vala Mal Doran
"Look, I know she's no angel. She's lied, she's stolen, she's cheated, she's misrepresented herself, she's… lied."
~ Dr. Daniel Jackson

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