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The Asgard are a benevolent and highly advanced race from the galaxy of Ida that has visited Earth on many occasions, giving rise to the Nordic legends. They were part of the Alliance of Four Great Races, along with the Nox, the Furlings, and the Ancients. They are among the most advanced races in the universe, rivaled only by the Ancients and the Ori (and possibly the Furlings and Nox). They took on the role of the Ancients as protectors of the Milky Way when they passed from existence and have, in turn, passed that role down to the Tau'ri, to whom they have gifted all of their knowledge.

History

The Asgard evolved on Othala, in the Ida Galaxy with a collected history and culture that spanned 100,000 years. They began exploring outside their Galaxy around 28,000 BC. The Asgard eventually began a program of cloning their people and transferring their minds into these bodies. However, the continuing use of clones resulted in genetic degradation, causing serious health issues. An Asgard ship with its crew placed in suspended animation left the Asgard homeworld. However, the navigational computers were damaged at some point, and the ship drifted across galaxies, ultimately ending up in the Milky Way (whether or not the Milky Way was its intended destination is unclear). The ship was recently found by Asgard scientists, and within it was one perfectly preserved Asgard ancestor. Heimdall started research on it because the clone was from a time when their cloning program was "not yet irreversible" (i.e. leading to the contemporary problem of cellular degradation through multiple reclonings). They made peaceful contact with the Ancients, the Furlings, and the Nox. They also came into conflict with the Goa'uld, recognizing the Goa'uld for what they were. They took several Humans from Goa'uld worlds and declared themselves their protectors until their cultures had sufficiently evolved, and threatened the Goa'uld with violent retaliation if they attempted to enslave the Humans.

Despite the disapproval of the Asgard, the Goa'uld became a great threat to the Milky Way. The Goa'uld began taking humans as hosts during this time, which greatly angered the Asgard as they realized humanity had a great potential, much like its parent race: the Alterans (Ancients). The Asgard's vastly superior technology was more than a match for the Goa'uld and they were forced to obey the Asgard in order to keep from being destroyed. Unwilling to completely give the galaxy over to the Goa'uld, the Asgard freed or transplanted humans on various worlds and became their protective gods for the ones who couldn't comprehend their advanced technology as anything but divine magic (this is the origin of Norse mythology, and thus far only one protected planet besides Earth has realized its protectors' true power). To ensure the safety of these planets, the Asgard and the Goa'uld agreed in 'The Protected Planets Treaty' that the Asgard would allow the Goa'uld various benefits (the precise terms are unknown) and the Goa'uld would leave the humans of protected planets alone. The Protected Planets Treaty could be expanded if both sides agreed to include other planets, which later protected Earth. This treaty was one of the few that all Goa'uld obeyed, as none wished to anger their more powerful enemies. For a long time the Asgard protected these planets with their advanced technology and warships but recently that all began to change. The discovery and invasion of the replicators in their galaxy forced the Asgard to draw away the resources they had been using to enforce the treaty to battle their new foe, leaving the planets under their treaty protected in name only.

The Asgard have been mainly incapable to help Earth in the fight against the Goa'uld because of a war with a greater enemy, Replicators. The weapons of the Asgard were ineffective against the Replicators because they were based on energy. Human weapons, on the other hand, used simple chemical reactions to drive metallic projectiles through kinetic force. With the aid of SG-1, the Asgard attracted all the replicators in a temporary time dilation field. Even this failed to stop them, as they escaped and attacked the Asgard homeworld, Orilla. Aegir attacked the ship that arose from the hyperspace before it could raise his shields. Not all the replicators were destroyed; the replicator known as “Fifth” landed on the planet. Colonel O'Neill, with the knowledge gained from the Ancients' repository of knowledge, invented a weapon that blocked the network of intercommunication between the replicator cells permanently. Thor designed a bigger version to shoot over the planet.

Although the Goa'uld and the replicators had been defeated, new threats had arisen, such as the Ori. They continued to provide technological aid to Earth by providing technologies for the development of the Daedalus-class, and "lending" them the Asgard engineer Hermiod. The Asgard also participated in such critical events as the Battle of P3Y-229.

Extinction{C}

With their last attempts to fix the genetic degradation suffered by the constant use of clones failing, the Asgard, unwilling to allow their technology to be plundered by other races, decided to commit mass suicide and destroy their planet, with all their technology and people, but not without leaving their legacy intact. They gave the SGC an Asgard computer database, and made significant modifications to the Odyssey. After the repairs were complete, however, three Ori warships arrived and attacked Orilla and the Odyssey. The Odyssey fled with one Ori ship in pursuit, while the other two prepared to attack Orilla. At that moment, the Asgard caused Orilla to explode, destroying the planet, the two ships, and the Asgard.

Physiology{C}

Physiologically, the Asgard average about one meter in height, with grayish skin tones, small, skinny limbs, large heads and black eyes -- bearing a striking resemblance to the Roswell Greys described in countless UFO abduction stories. The Asgard have been incapable of meiosis (sexual reproduction) for a thousand years. They have resorted to a solely enhanced mitosis (cloning) existence, forcing them down a path that will eventually lead to their extinction. Because of this, the Asgard have taken drastic steps to ensure the survival of the species (one particular Asgard called Loki kidnapped people from Earth to study human development, though he was punished for it when the Asgard High Council discovered his work).

The species possess no adrenaline glands within their bodies and did not have epinephrine pumping through their circulatory system.

Cloning{C}

Over 30,000 years ago, the Asgard were once a tall, more Humanoid looking species that reproduced sexually. In time they began to adopt the practice of cloning which effectively made them immortal, eventually making them lose the ability to reproduce sexually. The excessive use of the process began to damage and decay the Asgard genome. This forced them to find a means of combating this threat as they were condemned to a slow, but inevitable extinction unless a cure was found. They first attempted to find a way around their cloning problem by studying the body of one of their ancestors which had been recovered from a lost sleeper ship. The minds of Asgard that were killed in action were preserved through computers which were later placed in a new awaiting clone. Despite all their best efforts, the final attempt to solve their physiological degeneration resulted in a rapidly progressing disease that was killing their species. Furthermore, as a result of being clones, the Asgard had lost the ability to evolve as the ancients did, making Ascension impossible without help from an ascended Ancient or Ori. Everything that was capable of being done had been tried by the Asgard but in the end, their species had reached extinction. Thus, they gave all their knowledge to the developing Humans of Earth and passed on their legacy as protectors to them by labeling them the Fifth Great Race. The Asgard in the Pegasus Galaxy had more luck in dealing with this issue than their Ida counterparts, primarily because they were willing to experiment on humans when the main faction was not. Even so, they have not completely eradicated the problem, merely postponed it.

Society{C}

High Council{C}

The Asgard High Council is the government of the Asgard. The size and structure of the council is not known, but there are seven seated members, including Freyr, Thor, and Penegal. The High Asgard Council makes decisions that affect the whole race. In addition, they negotiate in name of the Tau'ri in the Protected Planets Treaty. The council members meet in a great room with holographic projectors.

Interaction with other races{C}

Due to the Protected Planets Treaty, the Asgard have set up protective measures and holographic representations of themselves on a number of planets in the Milky Way galaxy for protection against the Goa'uld and other enemies.

On the planet Cimmeria, the Asgard Thor set up Thor's Hammer, a protective obelisk that transports Goa'uld or symbiote-carriers to an underground labyrinth where only the host can leave with the symbiote dying when going through the 'hammer'. The 'hammer' was destroyed by the Earth team SG-1 when Teal'c got trapped in the labyrinth upon arriving at the planet. Thor eventually replaced the 'hammer' that was destroyed with a new one. The Asgard were once members of the Alliance of Four Great Races, along with the Ancients, the Furlings, and the Nox.

Military Tactics

Little is known of Asgard military tactics as their advanced technology tends to dominate their enemies. They use this to achieve victory over their enemies, as the only factions capable of fighting the Asgard on even terms are the Replicators and the Ori, and possibly the Nox and Furlings (both of whom are friendly towards the Asgard).

It is known that the Asgard are not above employing trickery against their enemies, such as bluffing the Goa'uld with the Protected Planets Treaty by appearing as capable of destroying the Goa'uld yet being powerless to intervene directly due to other problems. It should be noted that the Asgard have no hesitation in sacrificing themselves in battle, as was the case when Thor decided to self destruct his ship in hyperspace in order to destroy a Replicator starship heading towards his new homeworld of Orilla. This is consistent with Norse mythology involving valiant battle-ready gods.

Furthermore, its been stated that the Asgard race have some problems with developing viable military tactics, as their brains are simply too advanced and complicated, making them almost incapable of resorting to more primitive means in defeating their enemies. This was the prime reason why the Asgard took Samantha Carter to develop a primitive tactic (blowing up a ship) to use against the Replicators despite the fact that she was one of the smartest people on Earth.

While the Asgard maintain a large fleet of ships with defensive capabilities, as a whole they are not a militaristic race, and strongly disapprove of the use of technology for aggressive purposes (this is the origin of their distaste for the Goa'uld).

Protected Planets Treaty{C}

On one occasion the Asgard came to help Earth when the Goa'uld decided to attack. The Asgard met with representatives of the Goa'uld, humans and Asgard, in order to put Earth under the protection of the “Protected Planets Treaty”. This treaty has served to maintain peace between the Goa'uld and the Asgard. Attending in name of the Goa'uld were Yu, Nirrti and Cronus. Thor represented the Asgard and chose Colonel Jack O'Neill to represent the humans.

Technology{C}

Dependant on neutronium, the Asgard possess a level of technology vastly superior to that of Goa'uld and many other races throughout the universe. Indeed, the only races with a level of technology comparable to the Asgard are the Ancients, the Ori, and possibly the Nox and Furlings. Their ships are capable of traversing thousands of light years in minutes, and their shields can take multiple hits from Ori motherships while remaining undamaged, which had never been done before. Shortly before their extinction, the Asgard developed energy weapons capable of, with repeated strikes, defeating the shields of Ori motherships, which had previously proved impervious to everything except the unstable vortex of the Ori's own Supergate. They have also mastered advanced transportation and holographic technology.

They cannot reproduce; the continuance of their species is contingent through a process of cloning and transferring the mind, although this caused a decay of the Asgard genome that eventually drove the species to extinction because the problem could not be solved. While the Asgard maintain a great fleet of ships with defensive capabilities, they are altogether not a militaristic race, and strongly disapprove of the use of technology for aggressive reasons. For this reason, the beaming technology equipped on Tau'ri ships had many safeguards in place to prevent the transporters from beaming warheads aboard enemy ships (though this safeguard can be removed if absolutely necessary).

All of the Asgard's most up-to-date knowledge and technology now belongs to the Tau'ri; a gift to them before their destruction. However, it will likely take them decades, maybe even centuries, to fully understand and put it to widespread use.

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