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Kal-El, the blood of the House of El runs through your veins just as it does mine. As much as you want to deny it, your destiny is to rule. And we can do that together, as a family.
~ Zor-El, to Clark, "Blue".

Zor-El is a recurring villain appearing in two episodes of Season 7 of the WB/CW television series Smallville. He is the younger brother of Jor-El, father of Kara Zor-El, and uncle of Kal-El/Clark Kent.

He was portrayed by Christopher Heyerdahl, who also portrayed Alastair in Supernatural, Jack Buchinsky/Electrocutioner in Gotham and Matthew Collins in Nikita.


Early life

On the planet Krypton, Zor-El was a scientist, like his older brother. His relationship with Jor-El, however, was strongly implied to be very negative; Kara once mentioned to Clark that the two brothers didn't speak to each other a lot.

When questioned about Zor-El by Clark, the artificial intelligence version of Jor-El asserted that Zor-El was untrustworthy, and later claimed that his brother's experiments were motivated by greed and a lust for power. Zor-El tried to assassinate his brother but failed and was disgraced but became associated with General Zod.

Zod and his army took over all other mines on Krypton, with Kandor's mine the only one supplying defenses against Zod's forces with the mine working at full capacity.


In a flashback set in 1986, Zor-El followed Kara to Earth, where he found her on the Kent Farm with Jor-El's wife Lara-El. After chastising Kara for leaving Kandor and ordering her outside the Kents' house, Zor-El professes his love for Lara and suggests that they stay on Earth and rule the planet together, only to learn that Lara is pregnant with Jor-El's son.

It was then revealed that Zor-El attempted to assassinate his brother so he could have Lara all to himself, and also that he had taken Lara's DNA and stored it inside a blue crystal.

Despite Lara's protests, Zor-El tried to have his way with Lara but was interrupted by Kara, who is saddened and shocked by her father's actions. Angered, Zor-El uses a Kryptonian crystal to erase Kara's memories of that day.

Later, when Krypton was about to explode, Zor-El placed Kara inside a red Kryptonian spaceship along with the blue crystal which, as he explained to Kara, contained instructions for her to follow once she arrived on Earth and found her cousin Kal-El.

After launching Kara away from Krypton, Zor-El died with his people when the planet exploded.


Years later, Zor-El tricked his nephew Kal-El, now known as Clark Kent, by making him hear his Kryptonian birth mother's pleas for help coming from the blue crystal which, once he takes it into his hand, teleports him to the Fortress of Solitude.

There, he places the crystal into the Fortress' console, creating clones of Lara and Zor-El and bringing the Fortress under Zor-El's control.

Zor-El comes to the Kent Farm and speaks with Kara, claiming he has turned from his evil ways and persuades her to aid him in his plans. Later, he goes to LuthorCorp and attacks Lionel Luthor, Jor-El's vessel, to coerce him to tell Clark/Kal-El to follow him. When Lionel refuses, Zor-El prepares to kill him until Clark arrives and punches Zor-El out the window; however, Zor-El, unharmed by the strike, flies off.

Sometime after that, Zor-El confronts Clark and tries to persuade him to join him in re-creating Krypton on Earth. When Clark refuses and attempts to attack him, Zor-El blocks him and throws him against a car.

Revealing that Clark has been stripped of his powers after putting on Jor-El's victory ring (which contained Blue Kryptonite, which temporarily strips a Kryptonian of his powers) which he made sure Lara had on her person after being resurrected by the blue crystal.

When Clark refuses to join him a second time, Zor-El spares his nephew's life for Lara's sake, then goes to Queen Tower, where he incapacitates Lana Lang and kidnaps Lara.

Zor-El brings Lara to the Fortress, where Kara is waiting. He then reveals his plan to use the Fortress to cause a solar eclipse that will wipe out humanity so he and Lara can re-populate Earth with new Kryptonians and thus turn it into a New Krypton.

Later, Zor-El returns after ostensibly trying to find Clark and is attacked by Kara using a Kryptonian dagger. He begins to strangle his daughter and knocks Lara backward when she attempts to stop him.

Fortunately, Clark arrives with a chunk of Green Kryptonite which he uses to weaken Zor-El and cause him to release Kara. When Clark removes the blue crystal from the Fortress' console and stalls over smashing it, Zor-El manages to get the Green Kryptonite off of his chest.

He prepares to impale Kara on a cluster of crystals, but is stopped when Clark destroys the blue crystal, killing both the clones of Zor-El and Lara, and eliminating the victory ring.


Remember, Kara, a true Kryptonian embraces their destiny, no matter what.
~ Zor-El, to Kara, before sending her away from Krypton, "Lara"
In fact, I'm relieved you're here. We both know our planet could be destroyed soon. With the end so near, there's no reason to return. Stay with me here on Earth. We could rule this planet with strength, as a family.
~ Zor-El, to Lara, "Lara"
My brother stole you from me. He took away my life. [...] He'll never feel the way I feel about you.
~ Zor-El, to Lara, "Lara"
We will be together, Lara. If not here today, then one day through my science. [...] Your strands are safely stored within a crystal that, like you, is full of light and beauty.
~ Zor-El, revealing he stored Lara's DNA inside Kara's crystal, "Lara"
I've changed, Kara. I'm a better man than I was. [...] I've been given a second chance, in a new world. I won't make the same grave errors, especially taking my family for granted. Our planet is gone, Kara. Family is the only thing we have left. I want to start over with you. I want to be your real father.
~ Zor-El, after being resurrected by Kara's crystal and reuniting with Kara, "Blue"
Jor-El's vessel. You can't hide your identity; the crystal has led me right to you. As his emissary, you speak on Jor-El's behalf. Lara and her son will listen to you. You must convince them to heed my words.
~ Zor-El, to Lionel, "Blue"
You are just as stubborn as my brother. Soon, you could be just as dead. If you value your life, tell Kal-El to trust his uncle. You'll be better off in the end.
~ Zor-El, threatening Lionel, "Blue"
Of course! Jor-El's son! With the same devious look in your eye.
~ Zor-El, cornering Clark, "Blue"
The weak must be sacrificed for the greater good--something your father could never understand. He could have saved Krypton if he wasn't such a feeble-minded pacifist.
~ Zor-El, to Clark, "Blue"
Yes. And where is he now? What is he now? A voice. I'm here, in the flesh, ready to serve my people.
~ Zor-El's response to Clark's defense of Jor-El, "Blue"
If I had raised you, you would understand about duty and responsibility!
~ Zor-El, before throwing Clark against a car, "Blue"
Your father's ring might symbolize victory back home, but here it means defeat. [...] [Lara] had no way of knowing the blue mineral robs your powers; I, on the other hand, did a little research in one of my earlier walkabouts on Earth. I knew she'd slip it on your finger, like the good Kryptonian mother she is. She was so proud of your father. [...] If Kara failed to activate the crystal, I knew I could appeal to your human tendencies.
~ Zor-El revealing his backup plan to Clark, "Blue"
If you weren't Lara's son, I'd end your life right now.
~ Zor-El to Clark, after Clark again refuses to join him, "Blue"
Lara, it's our duty to re-populate this planet. The humans, they would call us "Adam and Eve."
~ Zor-El revealing his intentions to re-populate Earth with new Kryptonians, "Blue"
Pulling a dark curtain over this yellow sun. Soon, the human detritus will be killed off and we can begin our mission. [...] Kara, these human pests will overrun us. They need to be eradicated.
~ Zor-El, as he programs the Fortress to cause an eclipse, "Blue"
You have no idea how much this pains me, but my duty far surpasses the bond of blood. [...] Sorry, my angel.
~ Zor-El's last words, as he strangles Kara after she tries to stab him, "Blue"


  • In the web series Kara and the Chronicles of Krypton, Zor-El is shown to be partially responsible for Krypton's destruction (he commanded Brainiac to ignite the planet's core); he did so to fulfill an ancient Kryptonian prophecy. This seemingly contradicts the episodes "Vessel" (where Jor-El tells Clark it was Zod who destroyed Krypton) and "Kandor" (where a clone of Jor-El states that Zod razed Krypton).
  • It's stated in "Veritas" that, while Jor-El and Zor-El didn't get along, the one thing they agreed on was their hatred for Zod. Kara and the Chronicles of Krypton, however, contradicts that by showing Zor-El working for Zod, supplying Nam-Ek and Aethyr and Augo with crucial information, although Zor-El later explains to Kara that he's pursuing his own agenda to fulfill Rao's Prophecy.


           Smallville.png Villains

Chloe Sullivan | Jor-El | Lana Lang

Main Antagonists
Brainiac | Darkseid | Doomsday | Genevieve Teague | Jason Teague | Lex Luthor | Lionel Luthor | Zod

Supporting Antagonists
Adam Knight | Alia | Bizarro | Basqat | Clark Luthor | Desaad | Dr. Helen Bryce | Faora Hu-Ul (Clone) | George | Gordon Godfrey | Granny Goodness | Jason Bartlett | Kal | Roger Nixon | Sheriff Ethan Miller | Tess Mercer | Zor-El

Reoccurring Antagonists
Agent Carter | Aldar | Alicia Baker | Alistair Kreig | Amanda Waller | Aethyr | Baern | Bette Sans Souci | Brendan Nash | Bruno Mannheim | Claire Foster | Conner Kent | Countess Margaret Isobel Thoreaux | Curtis Knox | Darius | District Attorney Ray Sacks | Donovan Jamison | Dr. Hudson | Dr. Langston | Dr. Lawrence Garner | Dr. Lia Teng | Edward Teague | Emily Dinsmore | Eric Summers | Eva Greer | Faora Hu-Ul | Floyd Lawton | Frank Loder | Frederick Walden | Gina | Gloria | Greg Arkin | Greg Flynn | Griff | Ian Randall | Jacob Finley | John Corben | Lieutenant Trotter | Linda Lake | Lionel Luthor (Earth-2) | Lucy Lane | Mara | Marilyn | Maxwell Lord | Molly Griggs | Morgan Edge | Nam-Ek | Paul Brenner | Perry White | Regan Matthews | Rick DeGroot | Rick Flag | Sam Phelan | Sasha Woodman | Slade Wilson | Steven Hamilton | Stuart Campbell | Talbert | Tina Greer | Vala | Van McNulty | Victoria Hardwick | Victoria Sinclair | Vordigan | Wes Keenan | Winslow Schott

Adrian Cross | A.J. | Alec Abrams | Amos Fortune | Andy Connors | Ben Meyers | Black Manta | Bernard Chisholm | Brianna Withridge | Bob Rickman | Bronson | Buffy Sanders | Byron Moore | Captain Cold | Cameron Mahkent | Carly Meadows | Charlotte Cavanaugh | Chrissy Parker | Coach Walt Arnold | Coats | Commander Cheng | Cyrus Gold | Dawn Stiles | Debra Burch | Desirée Atkins | Deputy Ellis | Deputy Harris | Derek Fox | Dr. Caselli | Dominic Sanatori | Duchess Gertrude | Duncan Allenmeyer | Earl Jenkins | Ed Burke | Edward Lott | Elise Fine | Emil LaSalle | Eric Marsh | Gabriel Duncan | Garrett Davis | Gary Watts | Graham Garrett | Greenfield Brothers | Geoff Johns | Hanison | Harriet | Harry Volk | Heather Fox | Isis | Jake Pollen | Jason Dante | James Gibson | Jed McNally | Jeff Palmer | Jeremy Creek | Jeremiah Holdsclaw | Joar Mahkent | Joe Simmons | Jodi Keenan | Jodi Melville | Joseph Altman | Joseph Cavanagh | Jude Royce's Imposter | Justin Gaines | Kal-El | Kyla Willowbrook | Kyle | Lachlan Luthor | Lance | Lashina | Lawrence Grady | Lincoln Cole | Leslie Willis | Louis Leery | Lucas Luthor | LX-13 | Mack | Macy | Madelyn Hibbins | Magistrate Wilkins | Marcos | Marcus Becker | Maxima | Michael Westmore | Mike | Mikhail Mxyzptlk | Milo | Mr. Lyon | Nathan Dean | Nathaniel Tryon | Nicholas Conroy | Non (Clone) | Orlando Block | Pamela Black | Paul Hayden | Persuader | Pierce | Rachel Dunleavy | Randy Klein | Ray | Richter Maddox | Ricky | Robert Bethany | Ron Milano | Roy Rothman | Rudy Jones | Ruth Cavanagh | Samantha Drake | Scott Bowman | Sean Kelvin | Sebastian Kane | Seth Nelson | Shannon Bell | Siobhan McDougal | Simone Chesterman | Sir Harry Hardwick | Snake | Ted Palmer | Tempest Drake | Teth-Adam | Titan | Tim Westcott | Tommy Lee | Trent MacGowen | Twins | Tyler Crenshaw | Tyler McKnight | Tyler Randall | Vanessa Webber | Wade Mahaney | Wagner | Walt Masterson | William McBride | William Tate | William Taylor

Comic Characters
Bane | Black Flash | Brain | Brother Blood | Bruce Wayne (Earth 13) | Doctor Phosphorus | Eclipso | Felix Faust | Firefly | Greg Fox | Hades | Hank Henshaw | Harleen Quinzel | Holly Gehrig | Jacob Snell | Joe Chill | Kenny Cavanaugh | Kirk Langstrom | Lowtax | Malcolm Barnes | Matt Hagen | Megan Morse | Minister Kirt Niedrigh | Monsieur Mallah | Oswald Loomis | Pamela Isley | Parallax | Prometheus | Rose Wilson | Simon Jones | Trigon | Victor Fries | Victor Zsasz

Organizations, Teams, & Gangs
Checkmate | Cheerleaders of Devotion | Darkseid's Elite | Darkseid's Prophets | Disciples of Zod | Female Furies | Injustice League | Insurgence Team | Intergang | Manhunters | Marionette Ventures | Mutants | Students for Lex Luthor | Suicide Squad | Weather Girls | Yellow Lantern Corps | Zoner Companions

Hostile Species
Phantom Wraiths | Monitors