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General Zod and his younger clone Major Zod would often order others to "Kneel before Zod" or simply "Kneel" as a sign of loyalty and deference.
The phrase "Kneel before Zod" summarizes Zod's attitudes towards others. He demands obedience and loyalty from his soldiers, and refuses to accept any disagreement. His demand for complete obedience means that he will turn on anyone who disagrees with him. This includes Jor-El, formerly his best friend until Jor-El refused to clone Zod's son, as well as Coats, a Kandorian doctor who demonstrated initiative and released a zombie virus to find the Blur. Zod's younger clone killed Coats to punish him for his disobedience. In the case of Coats, he told him to "Kneel before Zod" before beheading him and, in the case of Jor-El, Zod's clone tortured Jor-El's clone for information.
The phrase "Kneel before Zod" embodies Zod's narcissism and arrogance, showing that he (and his clone) perceives himself as infallible and that he views any sign of disagreement as a sign of betrayal or treason.
- Season Nine:
- Savior – Major Zod's soldiers mutinied against him. When he regained their loyalty, he demanded that they kneel before him.
- Rabid – Coats released the zombie virus without Major Zod's permission. Major Zod ordered Coats to kneel before him, then beheaded him.
- Kandor – On Krypton, General Zod (in his younger years when he was "Major Zod") ordered others to "kneel" before him.
- Pandora – Major Zod orders his army to "Kneel before Kal-El" right before the episode ended.
- Sacrifice – Major Zod threatens that humankind will kneel before him.
- Salvation - General Zod tells Clark that all the humans, including the woman Clark loves, will kneel before him.
- Season Ten:
- Clark: Vala, if there's anyone who really knows what your sister wanted, it's you. It was peace, Vala. She wanted peace.
- Vala: No. Zod's right. The humans will never allow Kandor peace.
- Basqat: They will hunt us to the last man. But they will fail, for we shall never be defeated. We will follow General Zod to the ends of this Earth.
- Zod: Krypton will rise again. And all humankind will kneel before Zod.
- Clark: I'll never let that happen!
- Zod: You won't be able to stop us.
- Season Nine, Sacrifice
- Zod: Unlike you, I will lead from a throne, not from the shadows. Every human, including the woman you love, will kneel before Zod!
- Clark: You already destroyed my first home. I won't let you take this one.
- Season Nine, Salvation
- Tess: (to Zod) In every relationship, one person stands while the other one kneels.
- Season Nine, Escape
- Zod: I know, it's a terrible feeling. So powerless when you know you've got such strength inside of you, with no way of unleashing it.
- Clark: Even without the yellow sun, I will find a way to defeat you.
- Zod: You'll have to work twice as hard. Because when I arrived here, I met a very special acquaintance, someone you know, and someone that I'm very, very... fond of.
- Clark: Who?
- Zod: Me.
- Clark: The original Zod's phantom.
- Zod: Finally back in the body that you stripped me of. Now I have the full knowledge of two lives, and you... you are my enemy in both.
- Clark: I defeated you in both.
- Zod: Which is why it will give double the satisfaction to see you kneel... and serve... until you die.
- Season Ten, Dominion
- This line was made famous in Superman II, when Zod made both the President of the United States and Superman kneel before him.
- This line was also used in Kevin Smith's film "Mallrats" by Jason Mewes (Jay and Silent Bob) after they knock out a security guard at the mall: "Son of Jor-El, kneel before Zod."
- The line was parodied by the Robot Chicken stop-motion animation television show in a short segment called "Bod By Zod". This segment depicts the Terence Stamp incarnation of Zod as the host of a television exercise program. After Zod delivers his iconic line, he continues to instruct his audience through a stomach crunch routine, ending each instruction with "before Zod":
- "Kneel before Zod! Lay down on your backs before Zod. Now, using your lower abdominals, raise your legs and hold on a five count before Zod. One, before Zod! Two, before Zod! Three, before Zod...
| Zod in Smallville|