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General background

A formerly humanoid race, which has ascended en masse to a higher plane of existence, manifesting as energy. They were thought to have left the Milky Way galaxy, but still seem to be hanging around, in respectable numbers.

The race is actually what's left of the Ancients, who apparently haven't moved on quite as far as the Asgard believed (or were willing to admit?). The Ancients were evolved of a race of humans who lived long ago -- they were being wiped out by a plague, and some learned to ascend. The rest died out. (SG-1: Full Circle)

Ideology is Tollan-like: they refuse to give less-advanced races any help for fear that the help (technology, knowledge) might be misused -- better that a younger race be wiped out or enslaved than that happen. (SG-1: Ascension)

Those among their own kind who break the rules against helping less-advanced races, either by giving them tech or moving them along the path to the next plane of existence (their most sacred rule -- specifically: 'Do not accelerate the ascension of those beneath') are banished. (SG-1: Ascension)

Oma Desala was banished to Kheb (SG-1: Ascension)

Orlin was banished to Velona. (SG-1: Ascension)

Even talking to humans can be considered breaking the rules. (SG-1: Full Circle)

Anubis -- who is not necessarily a reliable source -- confirmed the non-interference rule, saying that the number-one rule for Ascendants is that 'No lone ascended being shall help a lower ascend' -- lower meaning unascended beings, like humans -- and that 'If you deserve to be here, you should be able to get here on your own. If there's an exception, for whatever reason, a majority vote by the collective can get you in.' (Threads)

All along, the Ancients/Ascendants had been shielding the Milky Way (and probably Pegasus) from the Ori, so the Ori wouldn't know there were people living there who didn't worship them. (Origin)

Once the Ori became aware, because of Daniel and Vala's mental visit, the shielding was no longer effective. The Ancients/Ascendants wouldn't interfere with anything that occurred on the lower planes of existence, so they wouldn't stop any human followers of the Ori from coming through the stargate and trying to convert people. (Origin)

'The Others'

The Ascendants are generally referred to as 'the Others' when not talking about Oma Desala or those who follow her (i.e., those she's ascended, or those who ascended with the help of those she ascended [kids and grandkids, etc., basically]), or other 'rebels' (like Orlin). (various eps)

Capable of deciding to break their own rules if it's a group decision, meant to repair damage done by someone else. (SG-1: Ascension)

The Others tried to send Anubis back to human existence after he ascended (on his own, apparently), but didn't succeed completely. Daniel didn't know why they never finished the job: it could be because they weren't able to, or just that they didn't care enough to. (SG-1: Full Circle)

Despite their godlike abilities, they're not all-knowing, according to Daniel. (SG-1: Abyss, Full Circle)

See Ancients for more details.





Used to be human, or at least humanoid. (SG-1: Ascension)

Pre-ascension, they were actually the Ancients. (SG-1: Full Circle)

Ascended form

Learned to ascend to a higher plane of existence, where they exist as pure energy with the ability to do many things, not least control the forces of nature. (SG-1: Ascension)

Their energy forms can be invisible, or simulate a human form, or appear as glowy energy with trailing arms. (SG-1: Maternal Instinct, Absolute Power, Ascension)

They can return to corporeal form, but once they've done so they can't return to the energy form without assistance from the others -- they become mortal. (SG-1: Ascension)




Ascendants seem to be able to pick up other languages very easily -- Oma Desala and Orlin had no trouble communicating with Daniel and Sam.

See the Ancients' language




Enough technological know-how to slap together a baby stargate from common items lying around Earth (although a hundred years ago, with no electronics, advanced metallurgy, or fiber optics, it would have been a different story). The small stargate is limited to one, one-way trip before it burns out. (Ascension)

Knowledge of heavy-duty weapons of destruction. (Ascension)



Known Ascendants

Oma Desala

Outcast for believing that helping people ascend is the Ascendants's duty. (Full Circle)

Oma took up residence on Kheb (probably banished there by her own kind), and established a temple meant to guide people on to the next plane of existence. (Maternal Instinct)

Eventually Kheb became a religious byword among the Jaffa. The Goa'uld were terrified of it (Oma didn't suffer Goa'uld gladly) and forbade any mention, but in secret Jaffa whispered of how a dying Jaffa could go to Kheb and find peace. (Maternal Instinct)

Kheb is the name for both the planet and the temple on the planet. (Maternal Instinct)

It was an unspoiled wilderness surrounded by mountains, with a temple in a valley some distance from the stargate (several miles through forest, by the look of it). (Maternal Instinct)

The temple itself was very Eastern-feeling in design, with what seemed to be an Eastern monk as its caretaker. He spoke almost entirely in Zen koans. (Maternal Instinct)

The walls of the temple were covered in instructions on how to reach what Daniel called 'an ethereal plane of existence' -- ascendance. (Maternal Instinct)

When Apophis's Jaffa arrived and demanded the child, the monk refused, and was fatally shot. He ascended, his body vanishing, right after Oma took out all the Jaffa in the vicinity. (Maternal Instinct)

Amaunet, knowing no Goa'uld would think to look there, hid the harsesis child (Shifu) on Kheb, and Oma took over his care. When SG-1 and Apophis found out and each moved in to take the child, Oma wiped out several thousand Jaffa and took the baby through the stargate, abandoning Kheb. (Maternal Instinct)

She accelerated Shifu's physical development through nanites, and unlocked strong mental powers as well as she taught him her ways. (Absolute Power)

She also took it upon herself to begin teaching Daniel when she first met him, knowing that he was open-minded enough to listen to what she had to say.

She started him on the path in Maternal Instinct

Shifu sent him further along it in Absolute Power

Oma returned and told Daniel that he could ascend rather than dying, if he so chose, when he was barely an inch away from death. He ascended. (Meridian)

Those who follow her walk a very thin line with the Others. (Full Circle)

If Daniel (or presumably any of her followers) broke the Others's rules and she found out about it, Oma would step in and interfere to stop it, to keep the follower's actions from drawing the Others's attention. (Full Circle)

If the Others wanted to (or presumably were given enough reason to, such as her followers breaking the rules), the Others could put a stop to whatever it is that Oma's been working on/toward for a very long time. (Full Circle)

She was watching Daniel (and SG-1) on Abydos during the confrontation with Anubis. When Skaara died in battle, she ascended him, along with other combatants. (Full Circle)

When Daniel faced Anubis down, Oma interfered, driving him off and leaving Anubis free to strike at Abydos. Her only concession was to ascend all the Abydonians. (Full Circle)

She also presented a very real illusion (including a working stargate, which had to be real to be functional) of an intact Abydos long enough for SG-1 to visit and be assured by Skaara that the Abydonians were all ascended, and happy, and were moving on.

(nb: it's my assumption that this was illusion, since I doubt she recreated the actual temple. My guess is that she unburied the stargate briefly, created the illusion around it, then reburied it after SG-1 left, when the stargate was supposed to be no longer available, according to the ascended Skaara.) (Full Circle)

It's entirely unclear exactly what Oma's agenda is -- the only clear thing is that she won't allow anyone to interfere with it, for any reason. (Maternal Instinct, Absolute Power, Meridian, Abyss, Full Circle)

Possibly the one who 'descended' Daniel -- if it was her, she buried his memories so deep they didn't start showing up for two months or more, when the SGC finally found him and brought him back home, surrounding him with familiar things to help him remember. It's not clear why she didn't just strip the memories away entirely (as always, Oma has her own agenda). (Fallen)

Much later, she told Daniel that it had been his choice to descend back to human form after the events of Full Circle, but that she hadn't erased his memories completely, even though she was supposed to. (Threads)

She pulled Daniel out of his dying body on the path to ascension after Replicator-Sam ran Daniel through, but Oma didn't ascend him all the way -- she brought him to what she called a 'stopping point along the way' so that he could make the decision for himself. She appeared to him as a waittress in a waffle-house, ready to take his order. (Threads)

outside-the-show-universe note: this was Der Waffle Haus, from Dead Like Me.

When Daniel learned that Anubis was planning to destroy all life in the galaxy, he asked if she was going to do anything to stop it. When she said no, and told him that he couldn't leave to handle it himself because he wasn't ascended yet (walking out the door would mean choosing death), he asked her to ascend him. She pointed out that the rules would forbid him from helping his friends anyway, then got a bit testy when he pointed out in turn that once he was ascended, he could choose to take human form again. She told him that while that was true, he wouldn't be able to ascend again, because she certainly wouldn't help him a third time. (Threads)

When Daniel asked her why it was okay to break some rules and not others, and why she'd given him a second chance when she already knew that he wasn't very good at following the rules, she told him that she walked the line -- and that she'd crossed it a few times, and paid dearly for it. But she couldn't let him just die without at least offering him a second chance, if he were willing to put his past human existence 'into the proper context'. (Threads)

With 'Jim' (human-form Anubis) prodding at Daniel and feeding him bits of information until Daniel realized that Oma was the one who ascended Anubis, she had no choice but to admit it to him. (Threads)

She said that Anubis must have gotten hold of some Ancient research on ascension, because when he went to Kheb, he knew exactly what he was doing, and fooled her completely. When she realized what a horrible mistake she'd made she tried to undo it, but couldn't. The Others stepped in, sending him partway back, and gave him a warning: he wasn't allowed to use any powers or knowledge that he couldn't/wouldn't have gained as a normal Goa'uld. (Threads)

Her punishment was to stand by and watch as Anubis did whatever he wanted, powerless to interfere. (Threads)

Daniel was horrified when he realized that the Others let Anubis run basically free just to punish Oma -- she had to stand by and watch as he wreaked havoc, unable to interfere. He confronted the Others, saying it had been long enough, again to no avail. They totally ignored him. Oma stopped him, gently, saying that to the Others, it was clear that they hadn't made their point: she kept breaking the same rule, helping people ascend. It was her only way to atone, since she coudn't undo the damage she'd already done. (Threads)

When Anubis came back to the restaurant, very pleased with himself about the fact that his forces had taken Dakara, and even more so after Daniel tried a last-ditch move to stop him, running at him physically -- and going straight through him, since Anubis was energy on that plane and Daniel wasn't -- Oma had had enough. She stood up and told Anubis she had the power to stop him, by doing something she should have done a long time ago. She didn't care that she couldn't win -- she could fight him, and he wouldn't be able to do anything but fight back. He wasn't expecting that, at all, and was dismayed that she was actually going through with it. The two of them turned to an intertwined ball of energy and drifted away, still tangled. (Threads)



A rogue who gave advanced weaponry to the people of Velona to save them, only to watch as they later tried to conquer all of their neighbors. The rest of his kind wiped them out. He was banished to remain on that world, alone, where he stayed for hundreds of years until SG-1 arrived. (Ascension)

He fell for Sam as she was trying to figure out the tech left behind on the planet, and attempted to 'share' with her (telepathic/empathic type of thing, a 'sharing of spirit' rather than directly reading thoughts). (Ascension)

When all he managed to do was knock her out, he followed her home, literally, and stalked her in the comfort of her own home, eventually giving up his ascendant status and becoming human to have a better chance with her. (Ascension)

He created a perfect, huge emerald for her, then wound up building a baby stargate in her basement, escaping through it right before the military broke in to kill him. (Ascension)

He went straight to Velona to stop the activation of the weapon he'd originally told the Velonans how to build. He got shot but stopped the activation, and as a reward his people helped him to re-ascend. (Ascension)



'Adopted' Ascendants

Daniel Jackson

Daniel was originally human, and a founding member of the SGC and SG-1.

Oma Desala began teaching him the path to ascension when he was looking for Shifu -- the harsesis child of Sha're's body -- who was being raised by Oma. She started him on his path in Maternal Instinct, making him start thinking about what he was doing and why. A year later, a rapidly-aged pre-teen Shifu sent him into a dream to continue his lessons, about power and choices. (Absolute Power)

After Daniel was lethally irradiated while saving millions of lives, Oma appeared to him again, giving him the chance to complete his path to ascension. After some fairly brutal (and unfair to himself) soul-searching, he chose to ascend rather than die, believing that he could continue to do more to help people that way. (Meridian)

He seemed to be keeping an eye on things back at the SGC after his ascension, and worked his way around the rules (sorta) to help where he could:

He knew what was going on with Jack, and knew where to find him when Jack was being tortured by Baal. Despite technically not being allowed to interfere, Daniel went to Jack to keep him company, and while he wouldn't help Jack escape, he did offer to help him ascend. When Jack refused, it's highly likely (given the timing of events) that Daniel went back to the SGC long enough to nudge Teal'c in the right direction to mount a rescue. (Abyss)

He worked his way into Teal'c's hallucinations when Teal'c was delirious from sharing Junior with Bra'tac for several days, giving Teal'c the encouragement to stick it out until help could arrive. (The Changeling)

He watched over other things, as well.

He followed Bra'tac and Rya'c to Erebus, where they were captured by Baal's forces. All he did at the time was observe what was going on. (Orpheus)

When Anubis had collected five of the six Eyes of power and was headed for Abydos to collect the sixth, Daniel appeared to Skaara (and a few others) to give them hope, then went to the SGC to recruit Jack (risking appearing to him in an elevator [which Daniel stopped] on the base) and thus the rest of SG-1. He felt obligated not to jeopardize Oma's precarious standing with the Others, so continued to refuse to act directly to influence human existence -- i.e., help in the search for the Eye or the fight against Anubis. (Full Circle)

This lasted until Jack lost patience with him as Anubis attacked Abydos, and insisted he cross that very fine line -- at that point, Daniel started helping them to look for the Eye of Ra, and from there kept getting more involved until he finally took on Anubis directly. (Full Circle)

Got something of a surprise when, looking for the Eye of Ra with Sam and Jonas, he found a tablet, written in the oldest dialect of the Ancients, explaining that the Ascendants are actually the Ancients (evolved of a race of humans who lived long before us, and who were being wiped out by a plague -- some learned to ascend, the rest died out). The tablet went on to talk about a lost city that Daniel believed to be incredibly important. (Full Circle)

Finding out about the city seemed to spark a plan (in which he threw all 'don't interfere' rules to the wind without a blink):

He warned the System Lords about the Eye of Ra and what it can do, and that Anubis was close to retrieving it. As a result, Yu rallied the System Lords behind him and brought a fleet of motherships to surround Anubis's ship to demand the Eye. (Full Circle)

He made a deal with Anubis, promising to deliver the Eye of Ra in return for a promise that Anubis would never harm the people of Abydos. (Full Circle)

He hoped that that Anubis and the System Lords would battle it out for the Eye and destroy each other, but even if they weren't wiped out, he figured it would buy the SGC enough time to find the lost city and the cache of Ancient weapons and technology stored there, giving them a huge advantage over Anubis. He promised Jack he would help them find the city. (Full Circle)

He was adamant that Jack and SG-1 had to escape Abydos with the tablet -- if it fell into Anubis's hands and he found the lost city first, it would be all over. (Full Circle)

He promised Jack that nothing would happened to the Abydonians, even if it meant he had to kick Anubis's ass. (Full Circle)

He never got the chance: when he faced Anubis down after the System Lords retreated in defeat, Oma interfered, driving him off (to parts/fate unknown) and leaving Anubis free to strike at Abydos. (Full Circle)

As of late 2002, he had never met any of the Others, just Oma. (Full Circle)

" Descended" some time after his attempted interference with Anubis, very probably forcibly against his will by either Oma or the Others, and left naked, alone, and with no memory on a planet that used to belong to the Ancients. Found by nomads who welcomed him into their tribe, then a couple months later found by SG teams exploring the planet and ruins. He returned to the SGC to regain his memory and rejoin SG-1. (Fallen, Homecoming)

Much later, Oma  told Daniel that it had been his choice to descend back to human form after the events of Full Circle, but that she hadn't erased his memories completely, even though she was supposed to. (Threads)

For further information on his descent and post-descent, see SG-1 or Daniel.

After being run through by Replicator-Sam, Daniel ascended again -- at least partly. (Reckoning part 2)

After being held in Ascended Limbo for a while so he could make his own decision -- and finding out that Oma had been the one to originally ascend Anubis, much to Daniel's shock -- Daniel ascended completely for a second time, at least long enough to properly descend again -- landing naked in Jack's office this time, apparently with his memories intact, including at least some from his time with Oma and Anubis, enough to know that he hadn't been the one to interfere with things at the SGC while he was gone. (Threads)

For further information on his post-second-descent, see SG-1 or Daniel.



Shifu was originally human -- sort of. He was the harsesis child of two Goa'uld, Apophis and Amaunet. (Secrets)

He contained all the genetic knowledge of both his Goa'uld parents, and was considered a dangerous abomination by the Goa'uld. Apophis wanted him to use as a host body when the child grew up enough. Sha're was in control during his birth, with Daniel in attendance. Daniel stole the child, and although Amaunet probably knew exactly what had happened, she didn't give him up to Apophis. (Secrets)

Instead, she kidnapped the child several months later, and had him sent to Kheb, where she could hide him from Apophis for her own purposes. Oma Desala rescued him from the Jaffa he was with, and took him into her own care. She fled the planet with him to an undisclosed location. (Maternal Instinct)

She used nanite technology to accelerate his growth -- in a year's time, he grew into about a 12-year-old boy. He was also clearly at least partially ascended -- although he had a physical self, he was capable of turning into pure energy as well. After visiting with Daniel long enough to impart some wisdom about power and knowledge and evil, Shifu left again, to continue on his own path, presumably still being taught by Oma. Or not. (Absolute Power)



Oma Desala ascended him during the battle on Abydos against Anubis's forces -- he was the first of the Abydonians to be ascended. His entire people followed shortly after, as Oma refused to allow Daniel to interfere with Anubis to save them, but interfered herself by ascending them all, for reasons unknown. (Full Circle)

He stuck around in ascended form long enough to reassure Jack and the rest of SG-1 that he and the rest of his people were fine -- death for them had become the next step on the journey. (Full Circle)

He told Jack that Jack wouldn't see him again, 'at least not for a while'. (Full Circle)


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