|“||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 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.
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 talk 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 follows Kara to Earth, where he finds 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's 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 put it inside a blue crystal. Despite Lara's protests, Zor-El tries to have his way with Lara but is 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 and 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.
- 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.