What is Alicent’s star-shaped necklace? House of the Dragon episode 8 took us back to King’s Landing after more than a decade away, and things have changed. While the Targaryen banners still fly outside the Red Keep, inside the castle there has been a slow and subtle transformation.
Rhaenyra claims she barely recognises the palace, while Daemon Targaryen says that Alicent and the Hightowers have stripped the iconography of his house from the building. The Hightowers haven’t just torn down the dragons, though. They’ve replaced them.
Where once sat snarling carved drakes and Valyrian statues now shines a bright seven-pointed star. The Queen even wears the symbol around her neck, but what is this star? Well, we’ve seen it before in the fantasy series Game of Thrones, although you may not remember it. Here’s Alicent’s star-shaped necklace explained.
What is Alicent’s star-shaped necklace?
Alicent’s star-shaped necklace is a religious artefact and shows her commitment to the Faith of the Seven, the dominant religion in Westeros.
What is the Faith of the Seven?
The Faith of the Seven is the Seven King’s biggest religion, and its practitioners worship The Seven Who Are One. This is one god who has seven different aspects or faces.
You’ll have heard different Game of Thrones characters pray to the Seven over the years, but the biggest role The Faith played in the TV series was during seasons 5 and 6 when Cersei and the crown were locked in a battle with the High Sparrow.
History of The Faith of the Seven
The Faith of the Seven didn’t emerge in Westeros. In fact, it comes from Essos and was brought over by the Andals when they invaded. Before the coming of the Andals, most of Westeros worshipped the Old Gods, but when the Andals arrived, several major lords converted to the new faith.
Most notably, Manfred Hightower, Otto and Alicent’s ancestor, was one of the first, and he went out of his way to appease the Andals and their new relationship. Manfred built the first Sept in Westeros, and as a result, Oldtown became the centre of The Faith.
That is until Aegon the Conqueror, and his sister wives arrived. As Targaryens, they did not follow The Faith, but the church was in no position to tell these dragonriders they were blasphemers. As a result, the then High Septon – sort of like the Pope – declared that the church should not resist the conquest.
After he’d won the land, Aegon, clearly understanding the power of The Faith, converted. That said, while the Faith of The Seven bars incest of any kind, exceptions were made for the Targaryens, something that always irritated the church.
Through the course of the Targaryens’ reign, the royal family and The Faith would occasionally butt heads. Most notably during the reign of Aenys I, Aegon’s son. Aenys’ weakness and failure to punish his brother Maegor for bigamy resulted in The Faith revolting against the king.
After Aenys married his son to his daughter, the High Septon labelled him “King Abomination”, and there were uprisings across the land. Those fighting for The Faith were called the Faith Militant and they were a thorn in the Targaryen’s side for decades.
When Maegor usurped the throne from his brother, he put the uprisings down using Balerion the Black Dread, but tensions bubbled away under the surface. It was King Jaehaerys I, a great politician and negotiator, who put the issue to bed, swearing to The Faith that the church did not need soldiers as the king would defend the church.
Later during the reign of Baelor I Targaryen, who’d later become known as Baelor the Blessed, The Faith enjoyed incredible power, and the king moved the church from Oldtown to King’s Landing after building the Great Sept of Baelor.
The church played little role in Robert’s Rebellion. However, they did become one of the many institutions that the new king, borrowed gold from to support his hedonistic lifestyle.
When the Lannisters took over, Cersei foolishly gave the High Sparrow permission to reform the Faith Militant, and he almost immediately took over King’s Landing. This forced Cersei to blow up the Great Sept… you know, as you do.
If you want to learn more about the ins and outs of House of the Dragon, check out our guide explaining Larys Strong, or here’s exactly when House of the Dragon takes place.