John Sheppard

[[image:John Sheppard 05|260px]]

Biographical information

Home planetEarth
Date of birth14 June 1970

Political information

RankLieutenant Colonel
formerly Major
AllegiancesUnited States Air Force
Atlantis expedition

Out of universe information

AppearancesJohn Sheppard - List of Appearances
ActorJoe Flanigan
"What are you? Captain Kirk?!"
Dr. Rodney McKay

John Sheppard is an officer in the United States Air Force and, since 2004, a member of the Atlantis expedition, commanding the expedition's military contingent for much of that time.


Background informationEdit

John Sheppard was born to a wealthy family and was the son of Patrick Sheppard, a utilities mogul. By the time he was fourteen years old, his father had already planned his life for him. However, Sheppard had other plans and wanted to join the United States Air Force. This heavily strained his relationship with his father and never spoke to him since, leaving his brother, Dave Sheppard, to take his place.

After his education at Stanford, he joined the Air Force and participated in several top secret missions, particularly in Afghanistan, but also visited every continent, apart from Antarctica. He trained to become a pilot for a large variety of aircraft, such as the Apache, Black Hawk and Cobra helicopters, as well as a V-22 Osprey and an F-16 fighter, indicating that he graduated from Test Pilot School. He was married to Nancy Sheppard, who worked at Homeland Security in Washington D.C. However, due to spending much of his marriage on secret missions, this led to a strain in their relationship and eventually divorced. (ATL: "Rising", "Phantoms", "Outcast")

John Sheppard 07

Sheppard in Afghanistan.

On one of his operations, he initiated a black mark by going on an unsanctioned rescue mission to save the lives of three servicemen. Another unsanctioned op was to save the life of his friend, Captain Lyle Holland, whose Apache had crashed in Afghanistan. The mission, however, was unsuccessful. He was later forced to relive this memory when his team went to find out what happened to Major Leonard's team on M1B-129. (ATL: "Rising", "The Intruder", "Phantoms")


"You do realize I could get us into all sorts of... trouble, right?"
—Sheppard about himself after Elizabeth Weir reminded of him of his status as Atlantis' military leader
Sheppard & O'Neill

Sheppard flying O'Neill to the Antartic Outpost.

Sheppard was assigned to McMurdo Air Force Base in Antarctica and was tasked with flying Brigadier General Jack O'Neill from McMurdo to the Ancient outpost nearby. After Dr. Carson Beckett released a rogue Drone weapon and it targeted his helicopter, he was able to successfully evade it and land the helicopter safely. After entering the base he sat in the Control chair despite O'Neill ordering him not to touch anything and it was then discovered that Sheppard possessed the Ancient Technology Activation gene which gave him an innate ability to control Ancient technology. This led Dr. Elizabeth Weir to insist on his addition to the Atlantis expedition. Sheppard was less than enthusiastic about the prospect of traveling through the Stargate to another galaxy, but agreed after O'Neill personally intervened. Soon after arriving on Atlantis and discovering it underwater with the shield failing,
John Sheppard 06

Sheppard during his first year with the Atlantis expedition.

Sheppard was assigned to a team that traveled to Athos in search of a Zero Point Module to power the city. Once through the Stargate, they came into contact with the Athosians, who were led by Teyla Emmagan. At sunrise, Teyla showed him the caves where her ancestors hid from the Wraith. Once inside, he found a necklace that she had lost years before. On the way back, three Wraith Darts came through the Stargate. Teyla and Colonel Marshall Sumner, and several others were beamed into one of the Darts and taken through the gate. He ordered Lt. Aiden Ford to memorize the address of the planet that the Darts gated to. After returning to Atlantis with the Athosian refugees, Atlantis' Failsafe mechanism released and the city surfaced. Eventually, Sheppard used a Puddle Jumper to led a team to rescue Sumner and the captured Athosians. He and Ford infiltrated the Hive ship and located the prisoners after planting C-4 throughout the ship. He ordered Ford to stay with the prisoners while he went to find Sumner. He was able to locate Sumner but was forced to shoot him in order to keep him from suffering further from the life-sucking power of the Wraith. He was then shot
John Sheppard 04

Sheppard talking to Weir at the celebration party.

with a Wraith spear gun by a Wraith Commander and brought before the Wraith Keeper. He was questioned by the Keeper about how he acquired the Life signs detector but Ford, who followed Sheppard's boot trail, arrived saved him from being feed on. They then blew the C-4 and escaped back to the Puddle Jumper but with the unfortunate result of awakening the Wraith from their hibernation cycle fifty years prematurely. On the way back to the Spacegate, three Darts were blocking the way. He used drones to destroy one of them and lure the others away from the gate so Ford could dial and send his IDC before returning to Atlantis. With the loss of Colonel Sumner, Sheppard was left to command the military contingent of Atlantis. He also took up the command of the First Atlantis Reconnaissance Team with Ford, Teyla, and Dr. Rodney McKay, spearheading the expedition's efforts to explore the Pegasus galaxy. (ATL: "Rising")
Sheppard & McKay

Sheppard and Mckay search for Jinto.

Shortly after the arriving in Atlantis, he and Dr. Rodney McKay tested the Personal shield emitter by shooting McKay and shoving him off a balcony. That night, he told the Athosian children a scary story that was just the movie Friday the 13th and then showed Teyla Emmagan a recording of a football game. Later when Jinto went missing, Sheppard and Halling searched for him. They discovered the Atlantis transporter and found Jinto in a lab with the Containment vessel for the Shadow creature. Sheppard tried to lure it back inside the vessel but it would not reenter. Eventually, they allowed the creature to go through the Stargate to M4X-337. (ATL: "Hide and Seek")

Sheppard Ford Iratus Bug

Ford trying to kill the Iratus bug with his pistol.

On a mission back to the Wraith homeworld, the team was attacked by Wraith warriors. He ordered a retreat but he was attacked by an Iratus bug and was fed upon. The rest of the team got him in the Puddle Jumper but on the way back to Atlantis the Jumper got lodged in the Stargate. After using salt and iodine to try to remove the Iratus bug, Dr. Carson Beckett suggested the use of a Defibrillator to stop his heart. After the bug released it's grip, he was then placed in the Event horizon until Dr. Rodney McKay freed the Jumper and he was revived on Atlantis. (ATL: "Thirty-Eight Minutes")

When his team encountered the Wraith for the fifth time in nine missions, Dr. Elizabeth Weir concluded there must be a spy in the city. Weir set up new security protocols that restricted the movement of the Athosians despite his objections. While on a Puddle Jumper exploration of Lantea with Lt. Aiden Ford, they discovered the mainland. After the Athosians relocated to the mainland, he and his team traveled to an unnamed planet. While
Sheppard & McKay 02

Sheppard and Mckay ambush the Wraith.

deciphering ruins, he sent Teyla Emmagan and Ford to find the inhabitants to help with the translation. While they were away the Wraith attacked the ruins and he was shot with a Wraith stunner. Dr. Rodney McKay and Sgt. Stackhouse were able to drag him through the Stargate back to Atlantis but they were forced to leave Teyla and Ford behind. He became angry when Sgt. Bates accused Teyla of being the spy and was surprised when McKay found the Wraith relay device in her possession. It had been activated by Sheppard's Ancient Technology Activation gene gene when on Athos, and he had returned the lost 'necklace' to Teyla neither aware of what had occurred. He then used the device to lure the Wraith back to the planet and he and the team were able to capture a Wraith that he named Steve. (ATL: "Suspicion")

Sheppard and his team arrive in the vilage.

When his team's Puddle Jumper crashed on M7G-677, he stayed in the village with Teyla Emmagan while Dr. Rodney McKay and Lt. Aiden Ford searched for the Electromagnetic field generator the Ancients left on the planet. He also attempted to convince Keras to not go ahead with the sacrifice. When Ford and McKay unplugged the Zero Point Module and a Wraith relay device activated, he destroyed the device but the villagers became angry for desecrating their shrine. Teyla was able to convince the villagers not to kill Sheppard for destroying it but Aries forced them to leave the planet. When the Wraith sent a probe, Ford and Sheppard attempted to shoot it down but failed. Fortunately, McKay was able to reactivate the device and the probe shut down. (ATL: "Childhood's End")

On a mission to Hoff, Chancellor Druhin showed his team a drug that they hoped would make them immune to
Sheppard Druhin

Sheppard speaking with Chancellor Druhin about the Hoffan drug.

Wraith feeding. He offered Dr. Carson Beckett's assistance in perfecting the drug. When Beckett reached the point where the drug required human testing, he convinced Dr. Elizabeth Weir to allow them to test it on Steve. After the test of the drug killed Steve, he warned Druhin that the Wraith would exterminate them when a single Wraith dies from the drug. Druhin refused and began administering it to the population. When half the people that received the drug fell ill and died, he took his team back to Atlantis. (ATL: "Poisoning the Well")

When the Atlantis expedition was running low on food, Teyla Emmagan brought he and his team to the Genii homeworld and introduced them to Tyrus and his daughter Sora Tyrus. After meeting with Cowen and coming to an agreement on trading C-4 and medical supplies for food, Teyla and Lt. Aiden Ford stayed for the harvest ceremony while he and Dr. Rodney McKay returned to Atlantis to discuss the trade deal with Dr. Elizabeth Weir. When he and McKay returned and found a secret Underground Bunker, they were arrested and Teyla and Ford were brought inside. Cowen revealed that the Genii Confederation used to span many worlds but was forced to hide in the bunker and pose as simple farmers to fool the Wraith. When Cowen revealed their plan to use the C-4 to complete their nuclear weapons, he offered McKay's help in speeding up their completion. After a loose alliance was formed between the two, he and his team joined Cowen and Tyrus on a mission to a Wraith Hive ship. Once on the Hive, he, McKay and Cowen infiltrated a room with a data core and they download information to the Wraith data storage device. They returned to the Puddle Jumper and returned to the Genii homeworld. When they landed, Cowen tried to double-cross them and he drew his weapon but was not forced to fire as Cowen surrendered when two Jumpers decloaked. Upon returning to Atlantis, Dr. Peter Grodin analyzed the data on the device and discovered there were at least 60 Hive ships in the Pegasus galaxy. (ATL: "Underground")

After the discovery of M5S-224's powerful atmosphere, he traveled to Earth with Teyla Emmagan to brief Stargate Command on the situation in the Pegasus galaxy. After the briefing, Sheppard took Teyla shopping and began to notice something was wrong. He instructed the driver assigned to him to take them to the apartment of his dreams. After they arrived and some of his deceased friends began to arrive, he knew something was wrong and shot one of them to see if they were real. Fortunately, this was all an allusion created by the inhabitants of the planet and he never left Pegasus. (ATL: "Home")

During a trip to the mainland with Teyla Emmagan, they discovered a storm approaching Atlantis. He and Lt. Aiden Ford traveled to Manara to negotiate with Smeadon about evacuating the Atlantis expedition there. After Dr. Rodney McKay and Dr. Radek Zelenka came up with a plan to use lightning to power Atlantis' shield and nonessential personnel were evacuated, he uncoupled one of the four Grounding stations and headed for the fourth when a Genii strike force under Acastus Kolya gated to Atlantis. After McKay was able to activate the radio and inform him that the Genii were after the C-4, he was able to get to the armory first and hide it. After McKay was tortured into revealing his plan to save the city, Kolya contacted him and demanded he uncouple the last grounding station or he would kill Dr. Elizabeth Weir. When he reached the grounding station, he was ambushed by two Genii soldier but was able to kill them with help from his Life signs detector. After contacting Kolya and informing him of the failure of his men, Kolya lied and said he killed Weir. After avoiding an ambush from three Genii soldiers, he disabled the Naquadah generator that powers Stargate Operations and infiltrated it. After knocking Ladon Radim unconscious, he activated the Stargate shield killing fifty-five Genii soldiers when they attempted to send reinforcements through the Stargate. After retreating from Stargate Operations, he was contacted by Kolya and he demanded he reactivate the generators or he would kill McKay and Weir. While reactivating one of the generators, he was captured by two Genii soldiers but was saved by Teyla, Ford and Dr. Carson Beckett who returned from the mainland. They planed to attack Stargate Operations together and he sent Teyla and Beckett to fly a Puddle Jumper into the room to create a distraction while he and Ford went in on foot. The Genii eventually decided to retreat, trying to take Weir and McKay with them so he was forced to attack before the Jumper was in the room. McKay got away and Sheppard was able to save Weir by hitting Kolya in the shoulder. McKay is then able to raise the shield and save the city from the tidal wave. (ATL: "The Eye", "The Storm")

When Dr. Brendan Gall located the last remaining Lagrangian Point satellite, he along with a team of Gall, Dr. Rodney McKay and Dr. Abrams went on a mission in a Puddle Jumper to investigate. When they arrived, they detected a distress call from a near by planet. Once they got clearance from Dr. Elizabeth Weir, they landed on the planet and headed for the Wraith supply ship. Once inside the ship, they discovered several Wraith warriors that had been feed upon. After splitting up to search the ship, McKay realized that the cocoons could keep Humans alive indefinitely if they had a large enough power source and there could still be survivors. He radioed Gall and Abrams and ordered them to fall back to the Jumper. On the way back, Gall and Abrams are attacked by a Wraith survivor. It feed on Abrams and took Gall. He and McKay came on Abrams' body and took his weapons and found two Wraith grenades on a dead Wraith warrior. After hearing Gall scream, they were able to locate him but he had been feed upon but was still alive. He ordered McKay to stay with Gall while he went after the Wraith that was heading for the Jumper. When he caught up to the Wraith, it had already made it to the Jumper. After luring the Wraith into the open, he shot him several times with his P90 but the Wraith healed itself and grabbed a Beretta from the Jumper and shot him in the arm and disabled his P90. After bandaging his arm, he used a flare to lure the Wraith out of the Jumper and tried to enter it but the Wraith protected it with a shield. He then used on of the grenades as a mine but the Wraith survived and he fired on him with his sidearm until he was out of ammo. The Wraith was about to feed on him when McKay arrived and fired on him with his sidearm. When Lt. Aiden Ford and Teyla Emmagan arrived in orbit above the planet in a Jumper, he used a energy bar to attract the Light bugs to the Wraith and ordered them to fire a Drone weapon at the largest life signs reading killing the Wraith. (ATL: "The Defiant One")


Months later, he and his team encountered Acastus Kolya again on Dagan when they attempted to acquire a Zero Point Module and was captured by Kolya's team. After they found a way out and took out the guards, he let Kolya live, but explained that if they were to cross paths again, he will kill Kolya on sight. It was revealed that Sheppard once took and passed the Mensa exam but declined to join adding to the dynamic between Sheppard and Dr. Rodney McKay. (ATL: "The Brotherhood")

Within a year of the Wraith awakening, the Wraith descended on Atlantis, hoping to locate Earth and end the "uprising" that the Expedition had caused. Shortly before the Wraith attacked the city, Sheppard was relieved by Colonel Dillon Everett, who commanded the defense of the city. The fighting became desperate enough that Sheppard chose to take one of the Puddle Jumpers on a suicide mission to destroy one of the Wraith Hive Ships in orbit. The mission was successful, and Sheppard was saved by the timely arrival of the Daedalus. With Everett critically wounded by Wraith feeding during the battle, Sheppard worked with Colonel Steven Caldwell of the Daedalus throughout the remainder of the siege. (ATL: "The Siege, Part 1", "The Siege, Part 2", "The Siege, Part 3")

Not long after the thwarted invasion, Sheppard returned to Earth with several other senior members of the Expedition. At this point, The Pentagon's intention was to replace Sheppard with another, higher-ranking officer with a less spotted record, with Major General Henry Landry indicating that Colonel Steven Caldwell was the preferred candidate. At the insistence of Dr. Elizabeth Weir, however, Sheppard was instead promoted to Lt. Colonel and appointed the expedition's permanent military commander. (ATL: "The Intruder")

John Sheppard 02

Sheppard as a Bug-like creature.

After the event in which he was attacked by Ellia, who injected herself with the Iratus bug retrovirus in an attempt to stop being a wraith but made her more into a bug rather than human. She transferred some of the retrovirus into him through a bite on his arm before being killed. Dr. Carson Beckett noticed that Sheppard's wound had healed much faster than usual. Sheppard later noticed that his former wound was slowly transforming him into a bug-like creature. Beckett attempted to slow it down by an inhibitor, but Sheppard was eventually transformed. They also tried to grab some of the eggs of the Iratus bug to reverse the transformation, but couldn't get close. The team was about to say goodbye to him, until Beckett realized that John had the pheromone to stop the bugs attacking. He was able to get the eggs and was transformed back to Human again. (ATL: "Instinct", "Conversion")


Sheppard had his consciousness taken over by Thalan, who wanted to kill Phoebus, who was Thalen's enemy and had taken control of Dr. Elizabeth Weir. They attempted to kill each other, risking the Expedition in the process. Thalen's consciousness expired first (or pretended to), and Sheppard was able to stun Phoebus, before she would kill him. When he (or Thalen) asked Teyla Emmagan why she gave him the weapon, she responded that she knew that regardless of if it was Sheppard or Thalen they would have shot Weir with Sheppard knowing he was armed only with a stunner. (ATL: "The Long Goodbye")

During the fake alliance the Wraith proposed, Sheppard attempted to fight off two Hive Ships, but was taken into hyperspace, heading for Earth. The Daedalus' crew thought that he had been killed, but he had actually attached his F-302 on one hive and helped stop the hive ships from taking off again in the Battle of the Void. (ATL: "Allies", "No Man's Land")

When SG-1 came to Atlantis to implement a plan by using a Stargate next to a Pegasus black hole to dial to the Supergate in the Milky Way, to prevent more Ori warships from getting through, he allowed Dr. Rodney McKay to join them on the mission. He gave Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell advice on how to handle McKay as well as giving him a lemon just in case. (SG1: "The Pegasus Project")

After a year and a half from last seeing him, he was once again captured by Acastus Kolya, who wanted to exchange him for Ladon Radim, since it was Kolya who actually planned a coup against Cowen. Kolya also captured a Wraith, later to be known as "Todd", to feed a little off his life. However, Sheppard convinced the Wraith to join forces and escaped from the compound. Todd was able to return all the years he took from him. Sheppard decided to drop him off on another planet and spared his life, but he let Kolya get away again. However, a few more months later, Sheppard kept his word and killed Kolya in a duel. (ATL: "Common Ground", "Irresponsible")


After Atlantis tried to escape Lantea from the Asuran Stargate satellite weapon, the beam grazed the tower and incapacitated Dr. Elizabeth Weir. When Atlantis was stranded in deep space with 24 hours of power left, he was appointed the commander in charge, and went with Dr. Rodney McKay, Ronon Dex and Weir to Asuras to steal a Zero Point Module and upload a program that would make the Asurans attack the Wraith, but lost Weir in the process. His command was replaced by Colonel Samantha Carter. He was actually on the short list, but the command was given to Carter in the end. Sheppard didn't mind, as he said he never wanted the job. (ATL: "First Strike", "Adrift", "Lifeline", "Reunion")

Whilst he was on a routine resupply mission to an offworld base, his Puddle Jumper was disabled and was kidnapped by a race of people he would know as Travelers. They needed him to power a stranded Aurora-class battleship to help the race's population troubles. He sent the ship into hyperspace, but was later attacked by the Wraith. He worked with Larrin to deter the Wraith from the ship and was released when he proposed an alliance. (ATL: "Travelers")

He encountered "Todd" again, who proposed an alliance when the Asurans were wiping out Human worlds to stop the Wraith. They worked in trying to shutdown the nanite base code. After Dr. Rodney McKay and Jeannie Miller were kidnapped, he helped in breaking them out. However, nanites would attempt shut down Jeannie to heal her of her epilepsy. "Todd" was almost finished working on a way to shut down the nanites when he collapsed from hunger and needed a Human to feed on. Sheppard turned to Henry Wallace, the kidnapper, who had lost his daughter due to the nanites. He convinced Wallace to sacrifice his own life in order to shut down the nanites, as well as to prevent McKay from sacrificing his life. (ATL: "The Seer", "Miller's Crossing")


Sheppard heard that his father Patrick Sheppard died of a heart attack, and came to attend his wake. It was there that he learned that his father regretted the argument they once had that drove them apart. He also coerced his ex-wife, Nancy Sheppard into helping find information on Project Archetype to track down a Replicator loose on Earth and made up with his brother Dave Sheppard. (ATL: "Outcast")

After Teyla Emmagan was captured by Michael Kenmore, he vowed to bring her back. In one instance, he traveled back to Atlantis 48,000 years in the future. However, a hologram of Dr. Rodney McKay managed to have brought him back in the present, with a gate address to M2S-445, a planet Michael was planning to kill Teyla on. However, he arrived too early, and the building collapsed on him and his team. He was seriously injured, but was still adamant to rescue Teyla and during the Battle of M2S-445, he managed to do so, defeating Michael in the process. After the successful mission, he was taken into surgery for his wound. He was highly honored that Teyla was to name her baby Torren John Emmagan, partly named after him. (ATL: "The Kindred, Part 1", "The Kindred, Part 2", "The Last Man", "Search and Rescue")


Sheppard came to Earth to operate the Ancient Control chair in an effort to defend Earth against the Wraith underling's ZPM powered Hive Ship at the Battle of the ZPM powered Hive Ship. When the chair was destroyed by a kamikaze attack by the Wraith, he flew an F-302 armed with a Nuclear warhead to the "Super hive" in an attempt to destroy the ship in a suicide attack. Before he could act, he learned that a team had arrived from Atlantis in an effort to sabotage the ship. With them, he activated the nuclear warhead remotely and escaped via the on-board Pegasus Stargate. (ATL: "Enemy at the Gate")

Alternate realitiesEdit

John Sheppard 08

An alternate sheppard who just saved the Deadalus.

John Sheppard 03

Detective Sheppard

  • In an alternate reality, John was dishonorably discharged after attempting to rescue an unnamed medic, who he was romantically involved with, in Afghanistan (this differs from our reality where he tried to save Captain Lyle Holland). His helicopter was shot down and the crash killed four American soldiers and eight civilians. After narrowly escaping jail time for political reasons, he moved to Las Vegas where he joined the Las Vegas Police Department. He was $13,000 in debt due to a gambling problem and only had about $2300 in his bank account. After four years of trying, he was finally promoted

to Detective. Though this alternate version of John Sheppard was never married, he is still a fan of Johnny Cash, taking only a poster (the same one seen in his quarters on Atlantis) with him after resigning his position. While leaving town, he figured out where to find the Wraith that had been building a transmitter and tracked it down. He called an alternate version of Dr. Rodney McKay who sent two fighter jets to destroy the Wraith's transmitter, but not before John was shot in the chest. He is presumed dead because while trying to crawl away from the wreckage of the destroyed transmitter. He fell to the ground in the middle of the desert and was unable to move any farther. His fate was not revealed, though he appeared to be suffering severe blood loss. It is entirely possible that he perished shortly afterward (ATL: "Vegas")

Alternate timelinesEdit

Talents and abilitiesEdit

Sheppard is one of the most skilled fighters in Atlantis. He is able to use a wide a variety of Tau'ri and Wraith weapons. He was taught many Pegasus fighting styles by both Teyla Emmagan and Ronon Dex, although he regularly loses to the more experienced fighters. When the Genii temporarily seized control of the city he was able to drive them out almost single-handedly. (ATL: "The Eye")

He is an exceptionally skilled pilot, being able to fly a wide variety of ships, ranging from Wraith Darts to Ancient City ships. In fact, he has either piloted or assisted in piloting almost every known ship in the Pegasus Galaxy. He ranked first on the Chair Interface Aptitude list in Atlantis, which gave him a natural ability to pilot Ancient ships. He is a skilled fighter pilot, often flying an F-302 in space combat. His skill with Wraith Darts is less than with other vehicles, due to the unusual nature of Wraith technology and his lack of of experience. Despite this, after having only piloted one once and assisted by a computer tablet translating that time, Sheppard was able to steal a Dart and fly it in the Battle of Edowin, ultimately leading to the destruction of two Hive Ships as a result of his tactics. Before flying Atlantis the largest thing he had ever flown was a V-22 Osprey. (ATL: "The Lost Boys", "The Hive", "No Man's Land", "First Strike", "Enemy at the Gate")

Despite having no psychic abilities beyond his Ancient Technology Activation gene, Sheppard has one of the most powerful mental defenses known. He is able to resist Hive Queens and Asuran mind-probes, albeit with difficulty. The only other person to display similar abilities was Lt. General Jack O'Neill who showed the ability to resist the Asuran mind-probe due to his previous encounters with it. When his team was temporarily placed in a mental illusions by the inhabitants of M5S-224, Sheppard displayed the ability to manipulate his own illusion, and was aware that something was wrong almost immediately. By 2008 he was able to completely resist a Queen, although it cost him a visible effort to do so. The Queen claimed he had the strongest resistance she had ever encountered from a human. Sheppard's ability to do this likely comes from the experience he gained fighting off multiple queens mind-probes. (ATL: "Home", "The Hive", "Progeny", "Spoils of War")

Sheppard is highly intelligent, as indicated by his passing of the Mensa entry test, which places him in the upper two percentile on standardized intelligence tests, although he never actually joined Mensa. However, he rarely shows off with this, thus surprising other people when he does. His high intelligence also gives him somewhat of an ability to keep up with Dr. Rodney McKay and his plans and also come up with his own brilliant tactical plans when he needs to. He is also a keen and talented golfer, although he is disappointed that no-one else on his team shares his enthusiasm. (ATL: "The Brotherhood", "Sunday")


Prior to coming to Atlantis, Sheppard's ability to form meaningful relationships with others was poor; he and his father hadn't spoken with each other for several years, and his marriage had fallen apart due to his inability to be there for her. However, since arriving in Atlantis, he has formed close bonds with several people, ranging from the senior staff to offworld allies.


"No, there's something you're not telling us... She was hot, wasn't she?"
Rodney McKay

Sheppard first met Larrin when she used a Traveler's ship to disable his Puddle Jumper and later captured him to use him to activate a Aurora-class battleship. At first they hated and distrusted each other. But after working together to rid the ship of Wraith and Sheppard saved Larrin's life from a Wraith that fed on her. She then thanked him and kissed him. Larrin later fought in the battle against the Asurans. When it was over, Sheppard asked for a means of contacting her for "professional" reasons. He later ran into some Travelers and asked the Captain if Larrin ever mentioned him. She later mentioned she did. It is implied that should they meet again that their relationship might develop into something more. (ATL: "Travelers", "Be All My Sins Remember'd", "The Lost Tribe")

Elizabeth WeirEdit

Although she initially only recruited Sheppard for his powerful Ancient Technology Activation gene, Dr. Elizabeth Weir came to greatly respect his abilities as a soldier, particularly after he single-handedly saved Atlantis from a Genii invasion. When Colonel Dillon Everett arrived to take command of Atlantis following Earth's discovery of a new Zero Point Module and the news of the approaching Wraith Hive ships, it was Sheppard who convinced Everett to keep Weir in the loop if he wanted to maintain the support of the rest of the city. Weir reciprocated this respect by insisting that Sheppard be promoted to Lt. Colonel rather than allow someone else to take command of Atlantis. Weir continued to visit him even after he began to mutate into a Wraith-like creature following his confrontation with Ellia and the mutated Iratus bug retrovirus. Sheppard reciprocated this compassion by risking his life to try and urge her to keep fighting after she was infected by Asuran nanites during her enounter with Niam. Sheppard was clearly deeply affected by Weir's loss when he was forced to leave her behind on Asuras, and his grief when he learned that she was dead -- having first heard a second-hand account from the Organic Asuran duplicates of his team and subsequently witnessing her return and sacrifice to defeat the remaining Asurans. (ATL: "The Eye", "The Siege, Part 2", "The Intruder", "Conversion", "The Real World", "Lifeline", "This Mortal Coil", "Ghost in the Machine")

Atlantis TeamEdit

Easily the closest bonds Sheppard has formed since coming to Pegasus are the bonds he shares with his teammates on the First Atlantis Reconnaissance Team, although he and Dr. Rodney McKay are prone to the occasional argument, with McKay sometimes growing frustrated with Sheppard's apparent assumption that he can automatically save the day when scientific problems arise. The two have shown on many occasions that they have both a great esteem for the other's abilities and share a surprisingly close bond, with McKay commonly attempting to help Sheppard when he suffers from personal problems despite his own poor abilities with relationships, such as when he attempted to express his sympathies following the death of Sheppard's father. The two have also been shown to spend a surprising amount of their leisure time together, both of them playing what they initially believed to be a Civilization-like game before learning that it was an Ancient experiment with real people, and racing RC cars in the lower halls of Atlantis. (ATL: "Trinity", "The Game", "Outcast", "The Prodigal")

The most obvious bond he has formed on his team is his friendship with Ronon Dex, which has been compared by many to the bond between Colonel Jack O'Neill and Teal'c. Both featuring human military leaders forming close bonds of respect and loyalty with alien soldiers who obey the other out of respect rather than adherence to the chain of command. The two men have been seen as having an almost brotherly relationship, Ronon leading the search for John when he was captured by Commander Acastus Kolya and later accompanying Sheppard back to Earth for his father's funeral. His friendship with Teyla Emmagan is another example of his ability to bond with others despite different backgrounds, believing in Teyla even when evidence suggested that she was feeding information to the Wraith--both deliberately and unintentionally--and showing great concern for her during her pregnancy. Teyla even named her son after him. (ATL: "Suspicion", "The Gift", "Common Ground", "Spoils of War", "Outcast", "The Kindred, Part 1", "The Kindred, Part 2", "Search and Rescue")

Although his bond with Lt. Aiden Ford never developed beyond simple friendship, Sheppard nevertheless clearly thought a great deal of the younger man, refusing to kill him even after he was driven half-insane by his use of the Wraith enzyme, and taking three years following their last encounter before he 'admitted' that Ford was almost certainly deceased. (ATL: "The Siege, Part 3", "The Hive", "Search and Rescue")

At one point he admitted that he didn't really have a family and his team and Dr. Elizabeth Weir were the closest thing he had to one. (ATL: "Sateda")


"Dad regretted what happened between you two…right up 'till the end."
Dave Sheppard

Sheppard is mostly estranged from his family. He had a wife, but they divorced after she couldn't take all of the secrets, although she did later come to understand how hard it must have been for him. His father and brother are successful businessmen and his father wanted him to be one too and they had a falling out when he wanted to join the United States Air Force. Sheppard felt he wasn't welcome by them afterwards and seemed to think he had no family as a result. He did return for his father's funeral and his brother thought he only wanted money from their father's will after being gone so long. His brother, Dave, revealed to him that his father always regretted their fight and wanted to make up but never got the chance, which seemed to stun Sheppard. After stopping a Replicator threat, Sheppard returned home to make up with his brother who seemed to accept him back into his life. (ATL: "Sateda", "Outcast")


  • John Sheppard has the ability to instantly calculate certain difficult equations. For instance, in the season 1 episode “Home”, he instantly knew it would take a Puddle Jumper 840 years to get to M5S-224 if McKay broke the Dial Home Device. However, it is possible that he calculated this up beforehand. In “Rising”, he asked McKay to run through all the address combinations from the symbols Lt. Aiden Ford memorized, and when Dr. Rodney McKay asked Sheppard, "Do you have any idea how many combinations there are?" Sheppard instantly replied with "720." McKay seemed visibly taken aback by Sheppard's knowledge of that fact.
  • Sheppard is a fan of Johnny Cash, Ferris Wheels, football and says he likes anything that travels faster than 200 miles per hour.
  • He hates clowns.
  • Every male Wraith that has a name, has thus far been named by John Sheppard. The names are: Bob, Steve, Michael, Todd and Kenny. The only exception is Ellia, a female Wraith named by Zaddik.
  • Sheppard also named the Puddle Jumpers after disliking McKay and Ford's name for the Jumpers, and technically the official name: "Gateship".
  • He is the only member of the Atlantis expedition other than Ronon Dex not to use the standard-issue double-action M9 Beretta, at least after the re-establishment of contact with Earth, preferring instead the single-action Para-Ordnance P-14 in .45 ACP. This choice works to his advantage on at least one occasion when he beats Acastus Kolya (and his double-action automatic) to the draw in "Irresponsible."
  • He is the oldest living human being to date due to him traveling 48,000 years into the future and then being put into stasis for 700 years.

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