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Opposing the Goa'uld System Lords, the Tok'ra ("Resistance", Literal Translation: "Against Ra") are a rebel race of Goa'uld who have come to ally with the Tau'ri and later the rebel Jaffa against the System Lords; on at least one occasion they have called themselves an insurgency. Although biologically the same species as the Goa'uld, the Tok'ra refuse to consider themselves the same race, often angrily asserting that "We are not Goa'uld!". They provide substantial amounts of valuable intelligence and technical assistance to the alliance, serving primarily as scientists and spies among the ranks of the Goa'uld rather than front-line warriors like the other two races.

The Tok'ra do not possess and control unwilling human hosts, the primary difference between them and the Goa'uld they oppose. The Tok'ra make use of a voluntary "blending" with a human host; within each single host body both personalities are free to speak and do what each desires in a truly symbiotic relationship. The benefit to a human who agrees to become a host is long life and perfect health, as well as all of the wisdom and memories of the Tok'ra symbiote. The very first Goa'uld who decided to oppose the System Lords and became the founder of the Tok'ra race was Egeria ("Cure"). Millennia ago there was a battle between Ra and Egeria on a planet known as Pangar. Ra prevailed, and it was generally thought that Ra had killed Egeria. However, Ra simply imprisoned Egeria for thousands of years until she was discovered by the Pangarans.

In spite of their good will and honorable actions, they are distrusted by most Jaffa because of their policy of secrecy, subversion, and sabotage rather than stand-up combat. However, the Tok'ra themselves are partially at fault for this, as they initially showed little trust in the rebel Jaffa. As Jacob Carter put it, "Every time a Tok'ra has been killed by a staff weapon it was a Jaffa standing at the other end". Jack O'Neill also mistrusts the Tok'ra owing to their form and a bad experience with the Tok'ra Kanan; he often uses the pejorative "snakehead" to refer to Tok'ra as well as Goa'uld.

In the Season 2 two-part episode "The Tok'ra", an alliance between the Tok'ra and the people of Earth was formed. Throughout the existence of this "alliance", the Tok'ra were frequently wary and suspicious of their Tau'ri partners and often saw little reason for their continued association with a species so technologically inferior. Furthermore, both sides frequently kept secrets from each other, despite the "open exchange of information and technology" called for by the alliance treaty. However, Tok'ra such as Selmak and Martouf were always strong proponents of the Tok'ra-Tau'ri alliance. But Martouf was killed in the fourth season episode "Divide and Conquer", and Selmak saw a sharp decline in his popularity with the Tok'ra High Council as the years went by. Toward the end of Season 8, in the episode "Threads", Selmak died of old age. The Tok'ra sent a few of their Ha'tak to the Ori's new Supergate in the Season 9 finale "Camelot".

The Tok'ra are governed by the Tok'ra High Council; apparently the head of the Council is Per'sus, but he has only been seen once. The structure and the selection process for membership on the Council are unknown.


The Tok'ra have developed a unique culture of their own owing to the need for secrecy and the fact that each member of the society must share a body with another.

The Tok'ra do not bury their dead, probably to hide any trace of their existence on a planet. Instead, they place the deceased on a high platform in front of a Stargate, say a few parting words, and activate the gate. The unstable vortex disintegrates the body and the top of the platform.

The implantation of a Tok'ra symbiote into its new host is rather different from the Goa'uld implantation. The Goa'uld tend to burrow through the back of the host's neck, leaving a nasty scar which, according to Martouf, is rather uncomfortable for the host. The Tok'ra, on the other hand, prefer to go through the mouth, avoiding the scar. They say that the Goa'uld avoid this sort of implantation because the Goa'uld would be forced to remember the look of horror on the host's face every time he looked in the mirror. Since the Tok'ra take only hosts who are willing to undergo the blending, the host therefore has no such look of horror and fear. Another advantage is that cursory examination by anyone not bearing a symbiote will dismiss a Tok'ra as human (as the standard way to look for a symbiote is to look for an implantation scar). If the investigator in question is Goa'uld or Jaffa, this method is ineffective as the symbiotes would detect the Tok'ra's blood naqahdah.

When one Tok'ra is mated to another, typically both the host and symbiote are in love with both the partner's host and the partner's symbiote. (As stated by Martouf to Samantha Carter on whether Jolinar was his or his symbiote Lantash's mate "the host and symbiote love and mourn as one. What one feels so does the other.")

Among the Tok'ra it is customary for the more volatile of the blended Tok'ra/host individual to defer control of the body to the "calmer" of the two, which is usually but not always the symbiote. This is not always the case as, as evidenced in various episodes, Martouf is the calmer of him and his symbiote Lantash and is so often in control as a result that Tok'ra symbiotes address him as Martouf instead of Lantash because, presumably, they know that it is most likely he who is in control.

When shifting from host to symbiote control, the Tok'ra will usually bow their head and close their eyes in order to avoid showing the Goa'uld 'eye flash'.

The Tok'ra speak in the flanged, bass-augmented "Goa'uld voice" when the symbiote is in control of the body. When the host is in control, he/she speaks with a normal human voice.

The Tok'ra are master scientists in spite of the necessity of maintaining secrecy and the resulting lack of raw resources. They are particularly skilled in organic chemistry; they have invented a symbiote poison harmless to other life forms, created a version of the Re'ol memory-altering substance, devised a radioactive isotope capable of being safely injected into a human body for the purpose of hiding it from Goa'uld sensors, and developed a method for mass-producing Tretonin without using symbiotes. They often assist the Tau'ri in developing new weapons and concepts for fighting the Goa'uld; this relationship was facilitated because Samantha Carter's father Jacob was host to Selmak, one of the most important Tok'ra.

The Tok'ra have given many pieces of their technology to Stargate Command for field testing and have also installed their one-way shields in the SGC's isolation rooms. It is possible that the profusion of zats recently seen wielded by SGC personnel are of Tok'ra make. 

In addition, the Tok'ra's key method of hiding their bases from the Goa'uld are by having them built out of special crystals underground. These tunnels grow the way the Tok'ra want them and can be quickly collapsed when the Goa'uld discover a base.