Wraith (Stargate)

Wraith (Stargate)

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In the science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis
Stargate Atlantis
Stargate Atlantis is a Canadian-American adventure and military science fiction television series and part of MGM's Stargate franchise. The show was created by Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper as a spin-off series of Stargate SG-1, which was created by Wright and Jonathan Glassner and was itself...

, the Wraith are the original enemy alien species, first introduced in the pilot episode . In the series, they are a vampire
Vampire
Vampires are mythological or folkloric beings who subsist by feeding on the life essence of living creatures, regardless of whether they are undead or a living person...

-like telepathic race who feed on the "life-force" of humans, and are the dominant power in the Pegasus galaxy. The first season of Atlantis is focused on the main characters finding a way to survive an overwhelming attack by the Wraith. Although in the later seasons new enemies have taken some of the attention away from the Wraith, they remain a potent and ever-present threat to the Atlantis Expedition.

All of the named Wraith who have appeared on Stargate Atlantis are named by humans, as no Wraith has been willing to reveal his true name. John Sheppard
John Sheppard (Stargate)
John Sheppard is a fictional character in the Canadian-American military science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis, a science fiction show about a military team exploring the galaxy via a network of alien transportation devices...

 often gives captured Wraith amusing/generic Earth names. The majority of non-warrior male and female Wraith were played by the same actors, James Lafazanos
James Lafazanos
James Lafazanos is a Canadian actor most noted for playing the lead male Wraith characters in Stargate Atlantis seasons 1 - 2.-Filmography:-References:...

 and Andee Frizzell
Andee Frizzell
Andee Frizzell is an actress. Her most notable appearance has been as nearly every Wraith female on Stargate Atlantis. She also played a role in a TV episode of Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda alongside SG-1's Christopher Judge, as a High Guard AI....

 respectively. James Lafazanos left the show after season 2. Other male Wraith have been played by Christopher Heyerdahl
Christopher Heyerdahl
Christopher Heyerdahl is a Canadian actor who has had roles in many prominent television shows and movies. He is tall.-Biography:Heyerdahl was born in the mountains of British Columbia and is of Norwegian and Scottish descent...

 (season 3 onwards), Jeffrey C. Robinson (season 2), Dan Payne
Dan Payne
Dan Payne is a Canadian actor best known for playing the role of John in the television series Alice, I Think.Among his numerous television appearances was in an advertisement for Speakeasy from Esat Digifone, an Irish mobile phone operator now owned by O2.He also played the part of the Kull...

 (season 3), James Bamford
James Bamford (stunt coordinator)
James Bamford is a stunt coordinator, stunt performer and actor in film and television. He is a member of Stunts Canada. He is 6ft tall and has specialised in martial arts. He goes by the nickname Bam Bam....

 (season 3), Brendan Penny
Brendan Penny
Brendan Penny is a Canadian film and television actor, best known for starring as A.J. Varland in the first season of Whistler. He is also starring in the 2009 series The Assistants as Danny Newell.-Life and career:...

 (season 4), and Tyler McClendon (season 5).

Background



The Wraith are key characters in the TV show Stargate Atlantis, which is a spin off
Spin-off (media)
In media, a spin-off is a radio program, television program, video game, or any narrative work, derived from one or more already existing works, that focuses, in particular, in more detail on one aspect of that original work...

 from the fellow American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 military science fiction
Military science fiction
Military science fiction is a subgenre of science fiction in which the principal characters are members of a military service and an armed conflict is taking place, normally in space, or on a planet other than Earth...

 series, Stargate SG-1
Stargate SG-1
Stargate SG-1 is a Canadian-American adventure and military science fiction television series and part of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Stargate franchise. The show, created by Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner, is based on the 1994 feature film Stargate by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich...

.

The Wraith are intelligent humanoids who are genetically close to insects, though they are predominantly human. They evolved in the Pegasus galaxy after a human population seeded by the Ancients
Ancient (Stargate)
The Ancients are a humanoid race in the fictional Stargate universe. They are called "Ancients" in the Milky Way, but are also known as Lanteans or Ancestors in the Pegasus galaxy and as the Alterans in their home galaxy, and they sometimes call themselves Anquietas in their language...

 was fed upon by an insect called the iratus bug, which has the ability to draw upon a human's life to heal itself. As they fed, the bugs incorporated human DNA
DNA
Deoxyribonucleic acid is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms . The DNA segments that carry this genetic information are called genes, but other DNA sequences have structural purposes, or are involved in...

 into themselves, giving rise to the Wraith. The Wraith too feed on humans, treating them akin to livestock
Livestock
Livestock refers to one or more domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce commodities such as food, fiber and labor. The term "livestock" as used in this article does not include poultry or farmed fish; however the inclusion of these, especially poultry, within the meaning...

 and regarding the act of feeding as nothing more than natural predation.

Some ten thousand one-hundred years ago, the Wraith went to war with the Ancients (whom they knew as the Lanteans) over control of the galaxy. Although technologically superior, the Ancients were a passive people by nature, and lacked the familiarity with aggression and strategic thinking to successfully neutralize the Wraith. This naivete allowed the Wraith to lure Ancient warships into unprotected areas of space where they were ambushed and captured, along with their ZPM power supplies, which the Wraith used to power cloning
Cloning
Cloning in biology is the process of producing similar populations of genetically identical individuals that occurs in nature when organisms such as bacteria, insects or plants reproduce asexually. Cloning in biotechnology refers to processes used to create copies of DNA fragments , cells , or...

 facilities that increased the size of their army a hundredfold. Vastly outnumbered, the Ancients sent a delegation protected by their most powerful warships to sue for peace, but they were wiped out. The Wraith steadily pushed back the Ancients until only Atlantis remained. The war with the Ancients lasted for more than 100 years, until the Ancients decided to submerge the city and return to Earth. With the Wraith victorious, they became the dominant power in Pegasus.

In the ensuing feeding frenzy following their victory, the Wraith quickly learned that their wartime population was too great to sustain. Lacking the technology for intergalactic hyperdrive, and having depleted the ZPMs for the war, the Wraith were unable to safely venture outside of Pegasus to explore neighboring galaxies; ignorant of Earth or prior Ancient civilizations in the Milky Way, they had little incentive to try. Unable to leave, the Wraith were collectively forced to hibernate for extended periods of time, often centuries, while the human population of Pegasus regenerated. A small selection of Wraith were tasked with remaining active during this time to maintain watch on the galaxy to prevent human reprisals. With most of the population in suspended animation, and given the competitive nature of their species, the Wraith were unable to make significant advancements in their technology, and aside from small experiments by individual Wraith over the millennia, they have remained largely stagnant for 10,000 years. Their existence is restricted to waking en masse every few centuries to replenish their health by galaxy-wide abductions of humans called "cullings."

Show history



The Atlantis Expedition first encounters the Wraith in the series premiere , in which a number of personnel are captured by Wraith darts while scouting the planet Athos. They are brought back to a Wraith hive ship, where the hibernating Wraith are being watched over by the "Keeper". The Keeper telepathically probes Colonel
Colonel
Colonel , abbreviated Col or COL, is a military rank of a senior commissioned officer. It or a corresponding rank exists in most armies and in many air forces; the naval equivalent rank is generally "Captain". It is also used in some police forces and other paramilitary rank structures...

 Marshall Sumner's mind and learns of a "new feeding ground" richer than any the Wraith have ever known: Earth. Major John Sheppard
John Sheppard (Stargate)
John Sheppard is a fictional character in the Canadian-American military science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis, a science fiction show about a military team exploring the galaxy via a network of alien transportation devices...

 kills the Keeper during his rescue mission, but her death awakens all the others from hibernation. Soon, hive ships appear all over the galaxy, exacting a devastating toll on the Pegasus human population. In , the Hoffan drug is introduced as a means to make humans poisonous to the Wraith, albeit with an extremely high mortality rate. At the end of season 1, it becomes apparent that the ultimate goal of the Wraith is Atlantis, which contains the only Pegasus Stargate capable of connecting to Earth as well as intergalactic hyperdrive technology. Atlantis destroys the first three hive ships with help from Earth reinforcements and the Genii
Genii (Stargate)
In the fictional universe of the science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis, the Genii are a human culture living in the Pegasus galaxy . Although they appear to be simple Amish-like farmers, the Genii are an advanced, militaristic society...

, but another twelve hive ships soon follow. The Atlantis team manages to fool the Wraith into believing that they have enacted the city's self-destruct, by converting the city's shield into a cloaking device and using a judiciously timed nuclear explosion.

In the second season, it is revealed that due to their waking early, there are not enough humans in the Pegasus galaxy to sustain all of the Wraith. Tensions between hives rise over the limited food supply, and in Sheppard is able to incite two hives into firing on one another. Meanwhile, Dr. Carson Beckett
Carson Beckett
Dr. Carson Beckett is a fictional Scottish character in the Canadian-American science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis, a spin-off series of Stargate SG-1. He is portrayed by Scottish-born Canadian actor Paul McGillion, who previously played Dr. Ernest Littlefield in the first season of...

 develops a retrovirus
Retrovirus
A retrovirus is an RNA virus that is duplicated in a host cell using the reverse transcriptase enzyme to produce DNA from its RNA genome. The DNA is then incorporated into the host's genome by an integrase enzyme. The virus thereafter replicates as part of the host cell's DNA...

 designed to suppress the iratus bug DNA in the Wraith genome, hopefully transforming them into humans. In the episode , Atlantis personnel test the virus on a Wraith subject they name "Michael Kenmore", only to have the experiment backfire disastrously when Michael reverts back into a Wraith and returns to his people with knowledge of Atlantis' continued existence. This information leads to Atlantis being coerced into working with a Wraith hive ship in the season 2 finale , to weaponize the retrovirus for the hive to use against other Wraith. However, this turns out to be a ploy to steal hyperdrive technology from Atlantis' database so as to reach Earth. The Daedalus and the Orion battle the two hive ships at the edge of the Pegasus galaxy, destroying one and converting the crew of the other into humans. Once again, the effect of the retrovirus is less lasting than is hoped, forcing the Atlantis team to destroy the transformed Wraith to keep them from informing others of Atlantis' survival.

The Wraith have a diminished presence in the third season and fourth seasons, with the introduction of the Asurans, a hostile race of Replicator
Replicator (Stargate)
In the military science fiction series Stargate SG-1, the Replicators are antagonistic self-replicating machines that propagate by ingesting the metals that make up civilizations and use them to create either blocks that form the bug-like version or smaller cells that compose the human-form...

 nanites, and the return of Michael as a now-separate threat from the Wraith. In the season 4 episode , Dr. Rodney McKay
Rodney McKay
Doctor Meredith Rodney McKay, Ph.D, is a fictional character in the Canadian-American Sci-Fi Channel television series Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis, two military science fiction television shows about a military team exploring two galaxies via a network of alien transportation devices...

 activates the Wraith attack command in the Replicator base code. The Wraith once dealt with the Replicator threat by using a computer virus to deactivate the command, but due to McKay's meddling this is no longer effective. The war takes on a new dimension when the Replicators begin annihilating human worlds to deprive the Wraith of their food supply, forcing the Wraith and Atlantis into a reluctant alliance to find a way to defeat them. In , seven hive ships fight alongside Earth and Traveler forces over Asuras to eliminate the Replicators once and for all. It is later revealed that at least a dozen hive ships were destroyed in the Wraith's conflict with the Asurans. After a Wraith named Todd gets his hands on several ZPMs, he tries to reactivate the Wraith cloning facility and take over the galaxy with a new army of his own, but he is betrayed to a rival hive which attempts the plan, but has their Queen killed and the facility destroyed. At the end of season 4, the Wraith suffer another blow at the hands of Michael, who distributes the Hoffan drug to random human populations, making them poisonous to the Wraith but exacting a great toll on human lives in the process. According to Stargate Atlantis writer Carl Binder
Carl Binder
Carl Binder is a television writer and producer. He is most noted for his contributions to the Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis series as well as Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and Little Men. Binder currently resides in Vancouver, British Columbia and created the Pocahontas for the 1995 movie,...

, the Wraith have been weakened by these conflicts, leading to "a new order to the galaxy" that will be explored in season 5.

In season 5 Michael is defeated in battle by the Daedalus and later killed by Teyla, ending his threat to the Wraith and other peoples of the galaxy, but his use of the Hoffan drug leaves the Wraith vulnerable to being poisoned when they feed. As a result, the expedition is able to make a deal with Todd to use a gene therapy to get rid of the Wraiths need to feed on humans and restore their ability to eat normal food. However as part of the deal, the team helps Todd become the leader of a powerful alliance of Wraith hive ships. The attempt to use the therapy goes wrong as the Vanir force Doctors McKay and Jackson to activate the Attero Device which destroys Wraith ships when they enter hyperspace, causing Todd to believe they betrayed him. Later, a hive ship led by Todd tries the therapy on their own, but it proves unviable as it causes a cancer-like disease in Wraith that only Todd is cured of. In "Enemy at the Gate", a Wraith under Todd manages to integrate a ZPM into a hive ship and creates a new, practically invincible hive ship that learns of the location of Earth and heads there to cull the planet. The Daedalus, Apollo, Sun Tzu and Atlantis itself are unable to defeat it and Earth is nearly culled, but the hive ship is destroyed at the last minute by John Sheppard who managed to sneak aboard with a nuclear weapon and detonate it on the inside of the ship, obliterating it.

Characteristics



The Wraith are defined by their need to feed on humans; they have a feeding organ on the palm which is applied to the chest of the victim near the heart, drawing out their "life-force". The effect of this in humans is akin to aging, and the act of feeding is sometimes said to "take away years". Eventually, only a desiccated husk remains. In addition to humans, the Wraith can also feed on each other. The Wraith are driven by their hunger, which they describe as akin to being burned alive. Adult Wraith are capable of eating and drinking, but it provides no nourishment. The act of feeding is so traumatic to the victim that it would normally cause immediate death; the Wraith inject an enzyme into their victims throughout the process to strengthen them and ensure that the heart continues to beat for as long as possible. If taken by a human in high doses, the Wraith enzyme enhances strength, speed, and resilience, though it also heightens aggression and impairs judgement. The enzyme is also addictive and a person taking it may die from withdrawal if suddenly deprived. A Wraith can return the life taken from a human; this "gift of life" is performed only for their most devout worshipers and their brothers.

Wraith are biologically immortal
Biological immortality
Biological immortality refers to a stable rate of mortality as a function of chronological age. Some individual cells and entire organisms in some species achieve this state either throughout their existence or after living long enough. This requires that death occur from injury or disease rather...

 and do not possess the life-inhibiting proteins that cause aging. Provided they have something to feed on, their life span is effectively indefinite. They are stronger than humans, with some individuals being strong enough to hurl an adult human a considerable distance with minimal effort. They are also extremely agile, able to leap up several meters from a standing start. Wraith bodies are highly resilient, able to survive oceanic pressures that would crush a human, and possess remarkable regenerative abilities. Their regeneration is directly related to how recently they have fed; a fully fed Wraith can heal multiple bullet wounds in seconds. In dire circumstances, a Wraith can allow a queen iratus bug to feed on them, potentially healing all their injuries; the practice has long since been abandoned because of the high risk of death it poses. Although the Wraith are capable of speech, their primary means of communication with each other is telepathic
Telepathy
Telepathy , is the induction of mental states from one mind to another. The term was coined in 1882 by the classical scholar Fredric W. H. Myers, a founder of the Society for Psychical Research, and has remained more popular than the more-correct expression thought-transference...

. Due to an ancient Wraith experiment to splice Wraith genes into humans, a few humans such as Teyla Emmagan
Teyla Emmagan
Teyla Emmagan was a primary fictional character played by Rachel Luttrell in the science fiction series, Stargate Atlantis. In the show, she is the daughter of Tagan, and was a leader of a village on the planet Athos...

 are also capable of accessing the Wraith telepathic network. The Wraith can share each other's perceptions, and a group working together can send a telepathic signal over light-years of distance. The Wraith are also capable of projecting fleeting hallucinations into the minds of their prey in order to confuse and distract.
Three types of Wraith can be distinguished in the series. The most numerous are the warriors, basic foot soldiers who have well-defined musculature and masks that entirely cover their faces. A scene in suggests that these masks also allow them to breathe more easily. The warriors also possess the ability to activate a self-destruct mechanism. According to Michael in , the warriors are "unimaginative" and have "rigid thought patterns". No warrior has ever been shown to speak in the series due to their cloned reproduction of Ancient technology and wraith DNA. The second type are natural Wraith. A Male Wraith is slimmer and more intelligent, and appears in more sophisticated roles. The females are the least frequently seen; apart from Elia, an adolescent Wraith in , and the Keeper in , all the female Wraith on the show have been adult Queens. The Wraith Queens command hive ships and are the only Wraith capable of reproduction. The episode shows that young female Wraith eat and grow in the same way as humans, until in adolescence their digestive systems become non-functional and they develop the need to feed on humans. In , a Wraith Queen is shown providing genetic material to produce Warriors, which quickly grow to maturity inside pods. The same episode establishes that while large numbers of Wraith Warriors can be grown through cloning, the cloning process requires a ZPM to meet its immense power requirements. Female Wraith have the strongest telepathic ability of all Wraith; they can force most humans into submission through the power of suggestion, and draw information from them against their will. In , a Wraith Queen takes complete control of Teyla's body, although Teyla is able to accomplish the reverse in when her telepathy is being bolstered by that of her unborn child.

Society


Wraith civilization centers around massive hive ships, of which there are over sixty in the Pegasus galaxy. Most hive ships are ruled by Queens, although Todd mentions in that after years of conflict many hives are now without Queens and cannot replenish their numbers. The Wraith perform mass human cullings once every few centuries; the rest of the time they hibernate within their hive ships on the surface of planets, guarded by a small force of soldiers and the Keeper (of those who sleep). This hibernation allows the human population of Pegasus to replenish its numbers. During cullings, Wraith hive ships unleash hundreds of darts to scour the surface of the target planet, and dial the planet's Stargate to prevent escape. If given the opportunity, individual Wraith will self-destruct rather than be captured, using a powerful explosive device built into their armor. Wraith warriors are also equipped with homing beacons to signal for reinforcements if required. The Wraith are an extremely aggressive species; they do not tolerate the existence of advanced civilizations other than their own and destroy any culture that poses the most remote threat to them, such as the Hoffans and the Satedans. During the war with the Ancients, a splinter faction of Asgard settled in Pegasus to conduct human genetic experiments in secret, but after the war's conclusion, the Wraith immediately destroyed both the settlement and its intergalactic ships; the Asgard escaped, but were forced to remain in hiding for the remaining ten-thousand and five years on a planet with a toxic atmosphere. The Wraith also regard the Asurans as "abominations" because they are machines.

The Wraith have a strong territorial instinct and the various hives are largely autonomous from one another, cooperating only against a common enemy such as the Ancients or the Atlantis Expedition. In the later seasons of Stargate Atlantis, the Wraith hives engage in fierce competition over an inadequate human food supply, with civil war breaking out as multiple factions jostle for advantage. The Wraith language is a derivative of Ancient. A few Atlantis episodes have added complexity to the Wraith, particularly in the character of "Todd", who shows an appreciation for beauty, a personal code of honor, and even a sense of humor. In , a Wraith states that some of his kind still enjoy "the finer things", human food and drink.

Runners


A few exceptional humans, such as Ronon Dex
Ronon Dex
Ronon Dex is a fictional character in the science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis. Played by Jason Momoa, he is a Satedan, a civilization from the Pegasus Galaxy who had a technological level comparable to Earth in the mid-20th century but met the fate of all advanced civilizations in...

, are turned into "Runners" rather than being fed upon. The Wraith implant them with subspace tracking devices, and set them loose to be hunted as a form of sport. As of , there are seven Runner tracking devices active in the galaxy, although it is not known if all seven were implanted in Runners. In that episode, the Wraith recapture Ronon and stage a new hunt for him on his ruined homeworld of Sateda. They send successively larger waves of Wraith warriors after him, and monitor the entire event from their hive ship. Another Runner, named Kiryk, is featured in the fifth season of Atlantis.

Worshippers


The existence of humans who worship the Wraith is first revealed in , where a Wraith Queen states that thousands have come to serve them in exchange for sparing their lives. A Wraith worshiper, Neera, mentions the "prophecy of the Great Awakening" and the "end of days". In , Todd notes that the act of returning a person's life is performed only for their most devout worshipers and their brothers. Some Wraith worshipers are assigned as infiltrators to collect information, while others act as mercenaries. In and , the Wraith are shown to be able to create worshipers out of even the most implacable enemies by feeding on them and then returning that life over and over again. The repeated infusions of feeding enzyme has an addictive effect and bends the victim to the Wraith's will, though only the strongest survive the process. The Wraith used this technique to convert a number of Satedan soldiers after the fall of Sateda, and eventually do the same to Ronon Dex
Ronon Dex
Ronon Dex is a fictional character in the science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis. Played by Jason Momoa, he is a Satedan, a civilization from the Pegasus Galaxy who had a technological level comparable to Earth in the mid-20th century but met the fate of all advanced civilizations in...

. The conditioning will break if the individual is deprived of enzyme for long enough, although the withdrawal symptoms are severe.

Technology



Although not as advanced as their enemies, the Ancients, the Wraith were able to drive them out of the Pegasus galaxy by virtue of superior numbers, made possible by cloning
Cloning
Cloning in biology is the process of producing similar populations of genetically identical individuals that occurs in nature when organisms such as bacteria, insects or plants reproduce asexually. Cloning in biotechnology refers to processes used to create copies of DNA fragments , cells , or...

 technology powered by stolen ZPMs. The Wraith have been shown to be tactically and technologically adaptable, being able to quickly develop a countermeasure to Asgard
Asgard (Stargate)
The Asgard are a fictional highly advanced race in the science fiction series Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis. They are first mentioned in the episode , and first seen in . In the series, the Asgard gave rise to Norse mythology on Earth, as well as accounts of the Roswell "Greys"...

 beaming technology, and creating highly sophisticated computer virus
Computer virus
A computer virus is a computer program that can replicate itself and spread from one computer to another. The term "virus" is also commonly but erroneously used to refer to other types of malware, including but not limited to adware and spyware programs that do not have the reproductive ability...

es for use against the Daedalus and the Asurans. The Wraith also operate an extensive network of transmitters and relay devices throughout Pegasus that allow them to respond rapidly to events of interest. Many pieces of Wraith technology, including their ships, are a hybrid of organic and mechanical parts with the ability to heal damage. Significant Wraith technologies include culling beams and stunners, both of which primarily function to capture human prey.

"Michael"




"Michael Kenmore" is the identity given by the Atlantis Expedition to a Wraith they had transformed into a human in the episode "Michael". He is played by Connor Trinneer
Connor Trinneer
Connor Trinneer is an American film, stage and television actor. His highest profile role has been the role of Charles "Trip" Tucker III on Star Trek: Enterprise and Michael on Stargate Atlantis.-Biography:...

, except due to scheduling conflicts during the filming of "Allies" where he was portrayed by Brent Stait
Brent Stait
Brent Stait is a Canadian actor, best known for his roles as Rev Bem in the science fiction television series Andromeda and Louis Ferretti in Stargate SG-1...

. (Trinneer still provided the voice of Michael for the episode.) Michael is the result of the first successful test of Dr. Carson Beckett
Carson Beckett
Dr. Carson Beckett is a fictional Scottish character in the Canadian-American science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis, a spin-off series of Stargate SG-1. He is portrayed by Scottish-born Canadian actor Paul McGillion, who previously played Dr. Ernest Littlefield in the first season of...

's retrovirus, which suppresses iratus bug DNA in the Wraith genome. As the process eliminates memory, Atlantis personnel gave Michael a fabricated history and attempt to integrate him into the city. However, he is never fully accepted by the others and the drug is not completely effective; Michael becomes suspicious and eventually learns the truth. He escapes custody and reverts into a Wraith, rejoining his people.

In the episode "Allies", Michael returns with the Hive that took him in, proposing an alliance with Atlantis to use the retrovirus against other Wraith. Michael is unaware, however, that the Wraith Queen only intends to use Atlantis to find a way to Earth. It is revealed that the other Wraith do not accept him either since his transformation, and in "No Man's Land", fearing for his life, he helps John Sheppard
John Sheppard (Stargate)
John Sheppard is a fictional character in the Canadian-American military science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis, a science fiction show about a military team exploring the galaxy via a network of alien transportation devices...

 stop the Hive Ships and rescue McKay
Rodney McKay
Doctor Meredith Rodney McKay, Ph.D, is a fictional character in the Canadian-American Sci-Fi Channel television series Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis, two military science fiction television shows about a military team exploring two galaxies via a network of alien transportation devices...

 and Ronon
Ronon Dex
Ronon Dex is a fictional character in the science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis. Played by Jason Momoa, he is a Satedan, a civilization from the Pegasus Galaxy who had a technological level comparable to Earth in the mid-20th century but met the fate of all advanced civilizations in...

. Nevertheless, at the end of the episode he is forcibly given another dose of the retrovirus. Michael and the other transformed Wraith are deposited on a quarantined planet in "Misbegotten". However, Michael has retained his memories as a Wraith, and engineers a revolt amongst the others. He is believed killed when the Atlantis team bombards his camp with their captured Hive Ship.

Michael is found to be alive in "Vengeance", having been rescued by the Wraith but once again rejected by his kind for his "human" taint, and forced to escape. Embittered, he sets about building his own personal army, mixing iratus bug DNA with that of humans to create a new creature, destroying several human populations in the process. One of his labs is destroyed by the Atlantis team, though Michael escapes to continue his work elsewhere. In "The Kindred", Michael is revealed to be responsible for distributing the Hoffan Wraith-poisoning drug to several human worlds, and for the abduction of the Athosians in "Missing" to use in his experiments. He learned about both from a clone of Carson Beckett
Carson Beckett
Dr. Carson Beckett is a fictional Scottish character in the Canadian-American science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis, a spin-off series of Stargate SG-1. He is portrayed by Scottish-born Canadian actor Paul McGillion, who previously played Dr. Ernest Littlefield in the first season of...

 he created. The final part of his plan is abducting Teyla, whose unborn child is the key to perfecting his race of Wraith-human hybrids. Michael has subjected himself to the treatments, and no longer possesses the Wraith feeding organs.

In the alternate future of "The Last Man", Michael kills Teyla after she gives birth, as he had no further use for her. With his Hybrids and the Hoffan drug, he defeats the Wraith within a year and then turns to the human population, converting the strong into Hybrids and eliminating the weak. The future Dr. McKay changes this course of events by returning John Sheppard
John Sheppard (Stargate)
John Sheppard is a fictional character in the Canadian-American military science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis, a science fiction show about a military team exploring the galaxy via a network of alien transportation devices...

 to his original time, with information on Teyla's whereabouts. However, when Sheppard and his team go to investigate, a booby-trap collapses the building they're in. The trap alerts Michael to their presence, and he arrives at the planet and attempts to capture them. The Daedalus arrives and engages his cruiser, destroying it after Sheppard's team rescues Teyla. The IOA believed Michael to be dead, although the Atlantis team suspects otherwise since the jumper they used to board his ship went missing.

In "The Prodigal", Michael invades Atlantis with the stolen puddle jumper in an attempt to kidnap Teyla's son. The team manages to destroy the jumper, trapping Michael in the city. A fight ensues between Michael, Sheppard, and Teyla atop Atlantis' central spire, ending with Teyla throwing Michael off to his death.

"Todd"



"Todd" first appears in the third season episode "Common Ground", and is a recurring character in the fourth season, where his "name" is given. He is played by Christopher Heyerdahl
Christopher Heyerdahl
Christopher Heyerdahl is a Canadian actor who has had roles in many prominent television shows and movies. He is tall.-Biography:Heyerdahl was born in the mountains of British Columbia and is of Norwegian and Scottish descent...

 and distinguished by a starburst-shaped tattoo centered around his left eye. His personality is rather unusual for a Wraith, as he possesses a sense of humor and a certain degree of honor. He is first encountered as a prisoner of Acastus Kolya, who uses him to torture Sheppard by allowing Todd to feed on him repeatedly. He and Sheppard come to an understanding and help each other escape, during which Todd drains Sheppard's life to defeat the Genii and then returns it, an act performed only for their most devout worshippers and their brothers.

Todd returns in , to forge an alliance with Atlantis against the Asurans, informing Atlantis of their new strategy of wiping out every human in the galaxy to deprive the Wraith of their food supply. He requests Rodney McKay
Rodney McKay
Doctor Meredith Rodney McKay, Ph.D, is a fictional character in the Canadian-American Sci-Fi Channel television series Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis, two military science fiction television shows about a military team exploring two galaxies via a network of alien transportation devices...

's cooperation in modifying their computer virus to shut off the Asurans' attack command, as it was McKay's tampering with the Asuran base code that made it ineffective in the first place. Todd is stranded on Atlantis after his hive ship is destroyed by another suspicious hive, and remains in captivity working with McKay until the episode "Be All My Sins Remember'd
Be All My Sins Remember'd
"Be All My Sins Remember'd" is the 71st episode of the science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis, and the eleventh episode of the series' fourth season. The episode was written by Atlantis co-executive producer, Martin Gero, his third script of the season, and directed by Andy Mikita...

". During this time he hacks McKay's computer and obtains data on the Intergalactic Gate Bridge, allowing the Wraith to invade the SGC
Stargate Command
The Stargate Program is a fictional top-secret program that plays a key role in the Stargate franchise: it surrounds the operations of the Stargate on Earth. The core of the Stargate Program is Stargate Command , based at the Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station near Colorado Springs, Colorado...

. Todd, however, claims that the data was stolen from him.

In the episode "Be All My Sins Remember'd", Todd convinces seven hive-ships to join the Atlanteans in battling the Asurans, gaining his freedom in the process. During the battle he commands one of the hive-ships, surreptitiously launching a mission to steal ZPMs from the Asuran city. The ZPMs are stolen from him in by another hive, to use in powering a cloning facility. Todd is due to be fed upon, but is rescued by the Atlantis team and helps them destroy the facility. He escapes in a dart separately from Sheppard's team. The Atlanteans encounter Todd again in , while investigating a Wraith facility where many have been killed by the Hoffan drug. Todd informs them that all the Wraith factions have been affected, and asks for information on the drug so that he can develop an antidote for just his hive. The Atlantis Expedition trades him the data in exchange for intelligence on where Michael is keeping Teyla. In the alternate future of , Todd dies fighting alongside Ronon Dex to destroy one of Michael's research facilities, the two sacrificing themselves to allow Ronon's strike force to escape before setting off their explosives.

In , the Atlantis team negotiates with Todd to distribute a gene therapy among the Wraith that would remove their need to feed on humans, as Michael had done to himself. Todd convinces Teyla to act as his hive's queen to propose the plan to the leader of his alliance, but instead installs her as the new leader. After Teyla's position as the leader is made secure, Todd is left to lead in her place, effectively giving him control of all the Wraith in the alliance, which Sheppard suspects he might have planned all along. He opts against proposing that the Wraith take the gene therapy immediately, suggesting that such a sweeping change would not go over well so quickly. His alliance with Atlantis becomes strained during when the Attero device is activated during an attempted test of the gene therapy. Todd blames Atlantis and steals the Daedelus to destroy the device, nearly killing the entire crew to do so. He grudgingly returns to ask for their help in , having stolen the data concerning the gene therapy and tested it on his crew, creating a deadly cancer in them. All but Todd are killed by the Hive ship's destruction; Todd is released by the Atlantis team to attempt a dangerous cure using a queen iratus bug, which he survives. In the series finale, , Todd seeks the help of Atlantis to destroy a ZPM-powered Hive Ship stolen by one of his underlings (the ZPM having come from the ones he stole from the Asuran homeworld). He provides Atlantis with two additional ZPMs after the initial attack fails, and remains in their custody (in Atlantis on Earth) once the Hive is destroyed. His long term fate is not elaborated upon; however, he was slated to play a part in the upcoming Stargate Atlantis film, however, the project was shelved indefinitely.

Minor characters

  • "Bob" (played by James Lafazanos
    James Lafazanos
    James Lafazanos is a Canadian actor most noted for playing the lead male Wraith characters in Stargate Atlantis seasons 1 - 2.-Filmography:-References:...

    ) The pilot of a Wraith Dart that scanned Atlantis in "The Siege
    The Siege (Stargate Atlantis)
    "The Siege" is the season finale for season one and season premiere for season two of the military science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis, and the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first episode of the series overall...

    ". After he completes his mission, he beams into Atlantis and sets his ship to self-destruct. However, his presence is detected by Teyla
    Teyla Emmagan
    Teyla Emmagan was a primary fictional character played by Rachel Luttrell in the science fiction series, Stargate Atlantis. In the show, she is the daughter of Tagan, and was a leader of a village on the planet Athos...

     and he is captured. Sheppard shoots him after Teyla's attempt to initiate telepathic contact goes awry.
  • Ellia (played by Jewel Staite
    Jewel Staite
    Jewel Belair Staite is a Canadian actress, who portrayed Catalina in Space Cases, Kaylee Frye in Firefly and Serenity, and Dr. Jennifer Keller on Stargate Atlantis.-Personal life:...

    ) A young female Wraith who appears in "Instinct". She was discovered as an infant in the wreckage of a Wraith ship by a man named Zaddik, who raises her as his daughter. Though Ellia shares his human values, she's unable to overcome her biological need to feed on humans. Thus, she resorts to feeding at the same time as an adult Wraith who also survived the crash, and leading her father to believe that he has found a cure for her condition. In an effort to become human, Ellia takes Carson Beckett
    Carson Beckett
    Dr. Carson Beckett is a fictional Scottish character in the Canadian-American science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis, a spin-off series of Stargate SG-1. He is portrayed by Scottish-born Canadian actor Paul McGillion, who previously played Dr. Ernest Littlefield in the first season of...

    's anti-Wraith retrovirus before it is ready, causing her iratus bug DNA to take over. Now violent and uncontrollable, she succumbs, and John Sheppard
    John Sheppard (Stargate)
    John Sheppard is a fictional character in the Canadian-American military science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis, a science fiction show about a military team exploring the galaxy via a network of alien transportation devices...

     and Ronon Dex
    Ronon Dex
    Ronon Dex is a fictional character in the science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis. Played by Jason Momoa, he is a Satedan, a civilization from the Pegasus Galaxy who had a technological level comparable to Earth in the mid-20th century but met the fate of all advanced civilizations in...

     are forced to kill her. The injury she inflicts on Sheppard triggers a similar iratus bug transformation in him, seen in "Conversion".
  • Keeper (played by Andee Frizzell
    Andee Frizzell
    Andee Frizzell is an actress. Her most notable appearance has been as nearly every Wraith female on Stargate Atlantis. She also played a role in a TV episode of Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda alongside SG-1's Christopher Judge, as a High Guard AI....

    ) The first female Wraith to appear in the series, in "Rising
    Rising (Stargate Atlantis)
    "Rising" is the pilot episode for season one of the military science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis, a Canadian-American spin off series of Stargate SG-1. The episodes were written by executive producers Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper, the episodes were directed by Martin Wood...

    ". Her purpose is to watch over the other hibernating Wraith. Her Darts capture a number of Athosians and Atlantis personnel, and she learns of Earth from Colonel Sumner before feeding on him. She is stabbed with a Wraith stunner by John Sheppard
    John Sheppard (Stargate)
    John Sheppard is a fictional character in the Canadian-American military science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis, a science fiction show about a military team exploring the galaxy via a network of alien transportation devices...

    , and upon her death all the other Wraith in the galaxy begin to awaken.
  • "Kenny" (played by Tyler McClendon) Todd's second in command in "The Queen".
  • Primary (played by Apollonia Vanova
    Apollonia Vanova
    Apollonia Vanova is a Slovakian-born actress and opera singer, known for her role as Silhouette in the film version of Watchmen.-References:...

    ) A leader of a Wraith Alliance in "The Queen". She is described to "stand above the rest [of the queens]" and is killed by Todd.
  • "Steve" (played by James Lafazanos
    James Lafazanos
    James Lafazanos is a Canadian actor most noted for playing the lead male Wraith characters in Stargate Atlantis seasons 1 - 2.-Filmography:-References:...

    ) A Wraith captured by the Atlantis Expedition in "Suspicion", where he is lured into a trap using a Wraith tracking device discovered in Teyla Emmagan
    Teyla Emmagan
    Teyla Emmagan was a primary fictional character played by Rachel Luttrell in the science fiction series, Stargate Atlantis. In the show, she is the daughter of Tagan, and was a leader of a village on the planet Athos...

    's necklace. He is held in Atlantis, though he assures his captors that by doing so they have only ensured their own doom. Major Sheppard names him "Steve" after he refuses to give his true name. In "Poisoning the Well", Dr. Elizabeth Weir
    Elizabeth Weir (Stargate)
    Dr. Elizabeth Weir is a fictional character in the Canadian-American Sci-Fi Channel television series Stargate Atlantis, a military science fiction show about a military team exploring the galaxy via a network of alien transportation devices. Elizabeth Weir is introduced as a recurring character in...

     allows Steve to be used to test a Hoffan drug designed to make humans immune to feeding, despite her ethical reservations. The test is successful, but Steve dies shortly afterwards from an unexpected reaction. Though this is a violation of the Geneva Convention regarding the treatment of prisoners of war, Major Sheppard argues that the Wraith are not subject to it as they would have eaten everyone if they had attended the meeting.
  • Wraith Leader (played by Dan Payne
    Dan Payne
    Dan Payne is a Canadian actor best known for playing the role of John in the television series Alice, I Think.Among his numerous television appearances was in an advertisement for Speakeasy from Esat Digifone, an Irish mobile phone operator now owned by O2.He also played the part of the Kull...

    ) A powerful Wraith from the episode "Sateda", who recaptures Ronon Dex
    Ronon Dex
    Ronon Dex is a fictional character in the science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis. Played by Jason Momoa, he is a Satedan, a civilization from the Pegasus Galaxy who had a technological level comparable to Earth in the mid-20th century but met the fate of all advanced civilizations in...

     and sets him free on Sateda with a tracking device, so as to be hunted by his warriors. Ronon eventually challenges him to single combat, but is severely outmatched. The Leader is destroyed by a drone weapon fired by Carson Beckett
    Carson Beckett
    Dr. Carson Beckett is a fictional Scottish character in the Canadian-American science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis, a spin-off series of Stargate SG-1. He is portrayed by Scottish-born Canadian actor Paul McGillion, who previously played Dr. Ernest Littlefield in the first season of...

    . It is indicated that he is the one responsible for the destruction of Sateda.
  • Wraith Queen 1 (played by Andee Frizzell
    Andee Frizzell
    Andee Frizzell is an actress. Her most notable appearance has been as nearly every Wraith female on Stargate Atlantis. She also played a role in a TV episode of Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda alongside SG-1's Christopher Judge, as a High Guard AI....

    ) The Queen who rules over the Hive Ship attacked by Aiden Ford
    Aiden Ford
    Aiden Ford is a fictional character in the Canadian-American Sci-Fi Channel television series Stargate Atlantis, a military science fiction show about a military team exploring the galaxy via a network of alien transportation devices...

     and his followers in "The Lost Boys" and "The Hive". She attempts to interrogate John Sheppard
    John Sheppard (Stargate)
    John Sheppard is a fictional character in the Canadian-American military science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis, a science fiction show about a military team exploring the galaxy via a network of alien transportation devices...

    , but is interrupted by the arrival of another Hive Ship. Sheppard fools her into believing that he is a spy for the other hive's Queen, and she is shot in the back by Ford.
  • Wraith Queen 2 (played by Andee Frizzell
    Andee Frizzell
    Andee Frizzell is an actress. Her most notable appearance has been as nearly every Wraith female on Stargate Atlantis. She also played a role in a TV episode of Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda alongside SG-1's Christopher Judge, as a High Guard AI....

    ) The Queen of a Hive Ship who offers an alliance with Atlantis in "Allies", having taken in Michael and learned of Carson Beckett
    Carson Beckett
    Dr. Carson Beckett is a fictional Scottish character in the Canadian-American science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis, a spin-off series of Stargate SG-1. He is portrayed by Scottish-born Canadian actor Paul McGillion, who previously played Dr. Ernest Littlefield in the first season of...

    's Wraith retrovirus. Her true purpose however is to obtain information on how to reach Earth. In "No Man's Land", she is unaffected by the retrovirus that turns the rest of her hive human, and is shot by Atlantis personnel.
  • Wraith Queen 3 (played by Andee Frizzell
    Andee Frizzell
    Andee Frizzell is an actress. Her most notable appearance has been as nearly every Wraith female on Stargate Atlantis. She also played a role in a TV episode of Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda alongside SG-1's Christopher Judge, as a High Guard AI....

    ) The leader of the great alliance of Wraith during their first siege of Atlantis 10,000 years ago, in which her cruiser was shot down. In "Submersion", she awakens when a team from Atlantis arrives at a nearby Ancient geothermal drilling station. She activates her cruiser's self-destruct and swims to the station in an attempt to find an escape ship. However, she is captured, and Teyla tricks her into deactivating the self-destruct using a mental illusion. She is killed while attempting to feed on John Sheppard.
  • Wraith Queen 4 (played by Andee Frizzell
    Andee Frizzell
    Andee Frizzell is an actress. Her most notable appearance has been as nearly every Wraith female on Stargate Atlantis. She also played a role in a TV episode of Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda alongside SG-1's Christopher Judge, as a High Guard AI....

    ) A Queen from "Spoils of War", where she is spawning new warriors, intending to use them as genetic templates for mass cloning in a facility powered by a Zero Point Module stolen from "Todd". Teyla telepathically forces her to release the Atlantis team as the Queen tries to extinguish the life of her baby. She is killed by John Sheppard before the destruction of the facility.
  • Wraith Queen 5 (played by Andee Frizzell
    Andee Frizzell
    Andee Frizzell is an actress. Her most notable appearance has been as nearly every Wraith female on Stargate Atlantis. She also played a role in a TV episode of Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda alongside SG-1's Christopher Judge, as a High Guard AI....

    ) The last of the Wraith Queens in the alternate future presented in "The Last Man". She is decapitated by Michael, and her head held up as a symbol of his defeat of the Wraith.
  • Wraith Survivor (played by James Lafazanos
    James Lafazanos
    James Lafazanos is a Canadian actor most noted for playing the lead male Wraith characters in Stargate Atlantis seasons 1 - 2.-Filmography:-References:...

    ) The sole survivor of a crashed Wraith supply ship in "The Defiant One", who persisted for 10,000 years by feeding on the captive humans and later his own crew. He ambushes a team from Atlantis investigating his ship, and engages in a prolonged fight with John Sheppard
    John Sheppard (Stargate)
    John Sheppard is a fictional character in the Canadian-American military science fiction television series Stargate Atlantis, a science fiction show about a military team exploring the galaxy via a network of alien transportation devices...

     while trying to steal his Puddle Jumper. He is destroyed by a drone weapon fired by another Puddle Jumper.
  • Punk Wraith A Wraith Dart pilot whose hive ship attacked Earth in an alternate reality. When his hive ship was destroyed by the Ancient Drone Weapon, he was the only survivor and crash-landed on Earth. The Wraith went into hiding, disguising himself as very gothic and punk to hide out and works to build a transmitter to alert the rest of the Wraith to the location of Earth. Due to radiation exposure, he becomes a serial killer
    Serial killer
    A serial killer, as typically defined, is an individual who has murdered three or more people over a period of more than a month, with down time between the murders, and whose motivation for killing is usually based on psychological gratification...

    , feeding on many people in order to allow his regenerative powers to keep him from succumbing. He encounters the alternate version of John Sheppard and comes into conflict with him, leading Sheppard to track him down as he was powering up his transmitter using the national power grid. The Wraith and Sheppard got into a fight that left Sheppard mortally wounded, but before the Wraith could feed on him, two A-10 Thunderbolt II
    A-10 Thunderbolt II
    The Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II is an American single-seat, twin-engine, straight-wing jet aircraft developed by Fairchild-Republic in the early 1970s. The A-10 was designed for a United States Air Force requirement to provide close air support for ground forces by attacking tanks,...

    s arrive and he quickly activates his transmitter before they blow up his trailer, killing him. The transmission is cut off before it can reach Pegasus, but the amount of power used causes it to travel to other realities, leading to a nearly succesful culling of Earth in the main reality of the show.