‘House of the Dragon’: How ‘Faith of the Seven’ grew more corrupt after invasion by House Targaryen

‘House of the Dragon’: How ‘Faith of the Seven’ grew more corrupt after invasion by House Targaryen
Fans have lauded Matt Smith (Daemon Targaryen) and Milly Alcock (Princess Rhaenyra) for their nuanced portrayal of their characters in the 'House of the Dragon' (HBO)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: George RR Martin's lore focuses more on the war for the Iron Throne, as seen in the prequel 'House of the Dragon'. But even before the royal dynasty that ruled Westeros for some 300 years came to power, there is another compelling story of how the 'Faith of the Seven' became increasingly corrupt after the invasion by House Targaryen.

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The second episode, which aired on August 28, definitely took viewers deeper into the events that would lead to the infamous bloody civil war 'Dance of the Dragons.' Before the third episode airs next weekend, on September 4, we take a look at how the 'Faith of the Seven' became only a nominal religious cult after the invasion by House Targaryen.

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What is the ‘Faith of the Seven’?

The 'Faith of the Seven' is also commonly referred to as the New Gods. It is the main religion of the Seven Kingdoms that make up Westeros. Outside its borders, this religion is rarely practiced. The Faith of the Seven prevails mainly in the south of Westeros. The only regions where it is not the majority religion are the north. In the north, worship of the old gods of the forest remains strong. In the Iron Islands, the local religion of the Drowned God is the most widespread. There are many exceptions in these areas.

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‘Faith of the Seven’ origin and backstory

The Faith originated 6000 years before ‘War of the Five Kings’ in the continent of Essos. It was unveiled more specifically in Andalos where according to legend, the ‘God of Seven’ manifested before the Andal people. Later on, the Andals sailed west and their invasion of Westeros began. Some of the Andal warriors carved and created the 7-pointed star as a prime symbol of their religion within their skin to prove their devotion.

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Armed with weapons made out of steel, the Andals conquered the First Men. They brutally slaughtered the Children of the Forest. The Andals burned down most of the weirwood trees in the south. These Weirwood trees had been considered sacred in the worship of the Old Gods of the Forest. Soon enough, all kingdoms of the First Men leaving the Kingdom of the North aside fell to the invaders. These kingdoms of First Men intermixed with some of the local dynasties like House Gardener and in some cases also replaced them altogether. Andals proclaimed their dominance and strong power over all regions south of the Neck. They also stated their religion’s importance over the First Men they conquered. The Andals literally swapped the worship of the Old Gods almost entirely throughout the southern kingdoms of Westeros. This resulted in Andal's 'Faith of the Seven’ becoming the main religion on the entire continent, apart from the North and the Iron Islands.

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'Faith of the Seven' invasion by House Targaryen and the corruption of religion

Before the rule of House Targaryen, the Faith had the right to do justice, conduct investigations, and trials, and most importantly, pass judgment over all sections of society which included the kings. This justice was enforced by the Faith Militant. But, soon enough this right was taken away from the Faith by the Targaryen kings. The Faith still remained an important part of Westerosi customs. But in reality, it only became more corrupt since their practices became nothing more than a facade. Nevertheless, the Faith's importance could not be undermined by anyone. If not all, then at least most of the houses had a presence of the septa within their household to raise their daughters appropriately. For instance, Septa Mordane for House Stark.

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