"Icon" is the fifth episode of the eighth season of Stargate SG-1.


Dr. Daniel Jackson is declared MIA after he was in the middle of a World War on Tegalus, which the rebels have won. Jackson cannot reach home, as the rebels have taken control of the planet's Stargate, and he must rely on a small band of soldiers led by Jared Kane from the planet's military to take back the city and defeat the rebel leader, Soren if Jackson is to have any chance of getting back to Earth.


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Leda unbandages an injured Daniel Jackson.

Doctor Daniel Jackson wakes up badly injured, stranded off world on the planet Tegalus, which has a somewhat advanced civilization similar to Earth's in the 1940s. Jackson is being tended to by Leda, an attractive young woman, who is now unwrapping the bandages around his head. When she is done, the two can see each other with their own eyes for the first time. They are "many miles" from "the city" in the house that once belonged to Leda's uncle. Jackson later remembers that a terrible event happened, resulting in many deaths, and he believes that he was at fault for what had transpired over the previous months.

Three months ago, in a city on Tegalus, a group of Tegalan tourists are being guided in a museum, to one of its most well know artifacts, "The Great Ring of Avidan" (the Stargate), which was discovered over 150 years ago on the Kirellian wastelands. Though they have yet to discover its purpose as a portal to other planets, they believed that it was made by ancient worshipers to honour their gods. The tour is cut short when the Stargate activates and a Mobile Analytic Laboratory Probe emerges through the event horizon, leaving the group in bewilderment. One tourist even asks if this is part of the exhibit.


Representatives of the Rand Protectorate greet the visitors from Earth.

Sometime later, SG-1, consisting of Jackson, Lieutenant Colonel Samantha Carter and Teal'c step through to meet with the representatives of the Rand Protectorate, one of the two nations of Tegalus. The representatives include Commander Gareth and his chief aide Jared Kane. Carter begins by apologizing for startling the tourists, as this is the first time the Tau'ri encountered a civilization that viewed the Stargate as a museum piece. Kane also notes that the Tau'ri are also human (they have yet to discover that the Tegalan ancestors were themselves, from Earth). Gareth hopes an alliance can be formed and further understand the purpose of the Stargate, which Jackson notes is used as a cultural motif (necklaces with the Stargate symbol can be seen worn by some of the Tegalans); they previously believed that the device was a source of their gods' power, though not as many believe that now. It appears that the Tegalans are more secularized in the modern times. Despite this, Gareth shows some concerns that the Stargate's activation may cause a stir among the minority who still follow the old ways.

Back in the present, Leda continues to tend to Jackson, who was sleeping. He wakes up and Leda hands him some medicine to help with the pain, although medicine is in such short supply. Leda gets up to leave Jackson alone, but Jackson wants her to stay.

Two months ago, SG-1 are briefing Brigadier General Jack O'Neill at Stargate Command's Briefing Room on their progress with the representatives from the Caledonian Federation, the other of the two nations of Tegalus. Gareth would not allow the team too much time to talk with the Caledonians due to security concerns. It turns out that both nations have been in a state of Cold War for several decades, and both sides have weapons capable of wiping each other out. Furthermore, there is a third element vying for power that has Jackson more concerned; a group of religious fundamentalists led by a man named Soren. The fundamentalists believe that life on their planet was created by ancient gods who would one day return to reward them for their faith, and the Stargate's activation seemed to have vindicated their beliefs. Before, the group were considered zealots, but now they will gain more support and followers. O'Neill admits that although the news is bad, it is not their problem.

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Jackson convinces O'Neill to let him return to Tegalus.

Later, Jackson confronts O'Neill in the corridors. He wants to return to Tegalus, as what has transpired over there is their fault. Things would not escalate off world if SG-1 had not arrived. Jackson hopes he can make the Tegalans understand what they are facing, as well as make them see it should not mark the end of the world for them. O'Neill decides to allow Jackson to return solo, but tells him to make regular contact, as well as evacuate the second things start to get "squirrelly".

In the present, Jackson is on his feet again, despite Leda's protest. He wants to know what has happened, since the last thing he remembered was being in a bunker with Gareth, and then was attacked. It turns out Jared Kane is Leda's husband, and she feels best that he would answer Jackson's questions after he has finished searching for survivors in the city. Jackson wants to return home, but Leda tells him access to the Stargate is no longer possible, as there are several rebel patrols in the area. He then asks what happened to Gareth. Leda does not answer, but by the look on her face it cannot be good news.

Meanwhile, Carter and Teal'c return to the Embarkation room after having met with Soren, which was less than constructive. They tell O'Neill that they were only allowed to see him for fifteen minutes, after a wait of several hours. Soren has united all the fundamentalist factions of Rand and, following a coup d'état, he is now in control of that nation. Soren was not willing to allow them to search for Jackson, though he claimed he would look into the matter before "insisting" that they leave. Furthermore, Soren is against the Tau'ri's access to the surface, including an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, as he claims it would interfere with their radio communication systems. As of the moment, they do not even know if Jackson is even still alive.

Six weeks prior, Jackson arrives at the bunker and learns that the Rand Protectorate is at a high state of alert following civil unrests, largely by Soren's followers. Over a dozen municipalities have fallen to Soren and his forces, and Rand forces are now attempting to "pacify" those areas. They have also raised the alert in response of Caledonia's heightened state of alert. Jackson is witnessing Gareth trying to talk with Minister Treydan of the Caledonian Federation. The talks are not going well, particularly concerning the Stargate. It is also revealed that since its activation, the Caledonians have declared a state of martial law, with their domestic security intact. Treydan urges Gareth to control the situation on his end, because if Soren is in control of Rand, the Caledonians would see this as an act of war.

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Jackson tells Leda the truth about the Goa'uld.

Back in the present, Jackson has spent several days on the radio to make contact with Stargate Command, to no avail. Leda pays a visit and persuades him to stop for a while to get some fresh air. As they walk, Leda asks how Jackson can be sure that Soren is wrong. He merely explains that the gods Soren reveres, are known as the Goa'uld; parasitic aliens who use intimidation and fear to rule other worlds and are certainly not benevolent. The Tau'ri has even fought and killed some of them. Lada assures him that it was still better that the Tau'ri arrived rather than the Goa'uld, but considering the state of the planet, Jackson is not so sure. Leda tries to assure him again by telling him the feud between both countries have been going on for generations, and that SG-1's arrival was merely a catalyst; the conflict would have happened sooner or later.

In Stargate Command, Carter and Sergeant Walter Harriman have been trying to reach Jackson, also without success on their end. It seems that Soren has radio-jamming measures in place, preventing them from making contact with anybody on the planet. In the meantime, O'Neill hears that SG-9 has tried negotiating with Soren, but it is not going well; Soren will not allow an SG team to search for Jackson, claiming that any Tau'ri presence would cause more panic. O'Neill decides it is time for him to be talking to Soren face to face.

On Tegalus, Jackson wanders outside the house and is held at gunpoint by an armed man. He is revealed to be one of Jared Kane's men, who lets him go after realizing who he is. Inside the home, Kane tells Jackson he and his team got as close to the capital city as they could, as Soren's forces are sweeping the region for survivors, and anybody suspected of being loyal to Gareth's government were to be executed on the spot. Kane then completes the story leading to Jackson's stranding, the parts Jackson could not remember.

A few weeks ago, Jackson returns to the bunker, but is stopped by Kane, who tells him she should not be there. The rebels have controlled most of Rand's major cities and are closing in on the capital. In response, the Caledonians have readied their missiles in case Rand falls to Soren completely. Treydan speaks with Gareth over the radio again, where Treydan learns that Rand's military is on the verge of mutiny, and the civil unrest is now turning to a civil war. Then, Gareth hears some disturbing news from Kane: Soren's forces have just gained control of one of Rand's missile deployment facilities. Gareth gets back to Treydan, who already knows about what happened. Treydan orders the Caledonian missiles to take off and target all of Rand's missile sites.

In the present, Kane tells Jackson that Soren used the missile site to attack Caledonia, resulting in a full-scale war. In a matter of days, every city was leveled, and the majority of the survivors came from the rural areas. Soren used the chaos as an opportunity to gain control of the bunker. Jackson also learns that rather than Kane saving him, it was in fact him saving Kane.

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Jackson and Kane hold off Soren's forces.

Back in the flashback, with the Caledonian missiles striking the city, Kane is ordered to escort Jackson back to the Stargate so he can return home. As they make their way out however, the doors to the entrance of the bunker are blown, preventing Jackson access to the Stargate. A contingent of Soren's forces storm it. In the resulting firefight, Kane is shot in the leg. Jackson helps him up and they make their way to an emergency hatch to the city. Once they are out, there is an explosion nearby, and they both take cover as a dust cloud envelops them.

Jackson was more badly injured, but loyalist forces spotted them before Soren's did, and they were sent to the house. The bunker, meanwhile, has been lost, and Gareth was swiftly executed. Soren is now leading a provisional government and has confiscated the Stargate. Daniel is trapped behind enemy lines.

In the meantime, Soren has arrived at Stargate Command to talk with Carter, O'Neill and Teal'c. Soren reveals that he renamed the Rand Protectorate to Avidan, which he says speaks more to his people's beliefs. Teal'c explains to O'Neill that Avidan is a word in ancient Goa'uld dialect, meaning "the gods are just."

On Tegalus, Jackson realizes that Soren is still using the bunker as a command center, meaning he has not consolidated his power yet. They could still retake the bunker, but since Kane only has a dozen men loyal to him, it would be suicide. He also knows Jackson has been trying to contact Earth, with no success. They just have to accept the fact that Soren has won, and Rand belongs to him now.

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Carter, O'Neill and Teal'c negotiate with Soren.

Soren is admiring the view of the Stargate from the Briefing room as they begin their talks. When Soren mentions that the struggles were to defend his people's way of life, Teal'c speaks honestly, telling him that he merely killed those who believed differently to him. Carter gives Soren an offer of aid; food and medical supplies, as well as helping them rebuild if they are allowed to search for Jackson. Soren, however, declines the offer, believes Jackson to be dead, and then admits that he is more interested in Earth's weapons technology, claiming the revolution is not yet complete; he conquered Rand, and now he wants to conquer Caledonia. Though he admits that the Tegalans are facing starvation and disease, he thinks it is more important for him to "purge" everybody who refuse to share his beliefs, something O'Neill would count as crimes against humanity.

Back on Tegalus, Daniel approaches Leda to tell her to convince Kane to take back return of the bunker. Leda tells him that Kane is right. At this point, Leda reveals she has feeling for him; she is saddened at the thought that Jackson will leave once and if they retake control. Jackson was the first man she was able to talk with in a while; over the past few years, ever since Kane became Gareth's chief aide, he has become distant to her. She reluctantly decides to talk with her husband, but she tells Jackson he will likely not listen.

Carter, O'Neill and Teal'c are in the General's Office, where O'Neill thinks that talking with Soren was a waste of time. However, Carter notes that he is still here, and that means he is willing to make a deal. She is also still trying to monitor the countless radio frequencies from Tegalus, and finding a way to find Jackson.

Leda has spoken to her husband, but Kane's opinion remains unchanged. He also notices that Leda has feelings for Jackson. He tells her that if he could live the past few years differently, he would, but there is no time for regrets. He asks Leda if she is in love with Jackson. Leda's only answer is that she trusts him.

Back at Stargate Command, Soren continues to talk about his gods, and how his people are waiting for their "inevitable return". O'Neill and Teal'c then tell him that the gods he worships are not who he thinks them to be; should they return, they will "reward" their faith with enslavement. Soren believes this to be a tactic to sway his beliefs, and that his faith is unshakeable. He and his aides later return to Tegalus empty handed. After they leave, Carter reports to O'Neill from the Stargate Operations room. By implementing new spread-spectrum frequency, hopping into their communication software, they have found Jackson, who is calling out to Stargate Command. In the transmission, Daniel starts speaking with words in a different language, which the team recognize is the Goa'uld language. Teal'c translates one of the words, "Ring kol nok", as "strategy", and another word, "Kaltesh", is a well-known Jaffa battle tactic; a flanking attack from two sides.

Later, Carter, O'Neill and Teal'c return to the Briefing room and translate the Goa'uld words Jackson used, leading to a strategy to retake the bunker, by proposing a coordinated attack against Soren. While Jackson and Kane's men enter the bunker from the surface, at the same time the rest of SG-1, with SG-3, SG-6 and SG-12 as back-up, come through the Stargate, secure the bunker, and extract Jackson, who has also supplied an estimate number of guards in the bunker with a possible date and time for the assault. They will call Jackson again in five hours to confirm the details. O'Neill approves of the mission.

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A rebel soldier interrogates Leda.

Later, Jackson and Kane are talking. Kane is skeptical that fifteen people from Earth will take on Soren's forces, but Jackson assures him that those people are among the best trained people from the planet, having been trained from missions like storming enemy compounds. Leda hurries inside the house to tell the men that a rebel patrol is approaching the house. Everybody except Leda retreats down to the cellar before the patrol barge in and interrogate Leda. Jackson attempts to intervene, but Kane stops him. The patrol finds a set of men's clothes and boots, despite Leda's lie that she is living by herself. Leda makes up a story that her husband was killed during the initial bombings. She also pretends to want to be a simple follower of Soren's movement and follow their ancient texts to distract them from looking. One of the men in the patrol says that there's nothing there and they leave.

Once they are out of site, Kane's men and Jackson arm up and discuss their plan to take back the bunker via the city's tunnel system, and then wait for Tau'ri forces to arrive and strike. After the team agree on the plan, Kane and Jackson each have a chance to say goodbye to Leda before they continue.

Later, Jackson and the Rand loyalists march through the tunnel system. Meanwhile, at Stargate Command, the Stargate is activated, and the SG teams make their move, with Carter and Teal'c throwing smoke grenades through the wormhole. Soren hears about the attack from one of his aides, when she reports that the loyalists have taken down several sections, and they are also being attacked by Tau'ri forces; they are losing control of the bunker. Soren does not like to hear her idea to surrender. They then hear gunfire nearby.

Soren's forces have pinned down Kane's team and are firing at them. Carter and Teal'c are nearby and throw stun grenades at the enemy. With those people distracted, Jackson, Kane's men and all the SG teams have the upper hand and kill everyone guarding the control room following a brief firefight. They make their way to the control room entrance and await, while calling for their surrender. Carter asks Kane if Soren is likely to just surrender. Kane does not answer, but by his expression, the possibility is doubtful.

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The SG teams and Rand loyalists, immediately following Soren's death.

In the control room, Soren's aide tells him they are surrounded. Soren responds by shooting her dead. He addresses the rest of his army in the room, to tell them their purpose is to follow the will of the gods, purge the unbelievers, and die for their faith. When he then orders them to engage the loyalists, the rest of the army refuse to follow his order, so Soren grabs a weapon and decides to face the loyalists and SG teams himself as a show of faith. He walks out of the control room, surrounded. Carter orders him to drop the weapon. Soren merely raises his hands while still holding his weapon. Suddenly, Kane emerges from the group, rifle raised, and shoots him dead.

As most of the others move in on the control room to apprehend the rebels inside, Jackson and Kane stand over Soren's body. Kane states "it's over", to which Jackson hopes so, as he may have just made a martyr out of Soren. Kane claims he had no choice and tells Jackson he can return home now. He also assures him that what happened to Tegalus was not his fault. Jackson says he intends to keep his promise to help Kane rebuild their civilization. Jackson then joins Carter, and they start to return to the Stargate, back to Earth at last.


Appearances for Icon





Sentient Species



Notable quotes[]

Tour Guide: First discovered in the Kirellian wastelands over 150 years ago and the highlight of our antiquities collection. The Great Ring of Avidan. (revealed to be a Stargate) Researchers estimate the ring to be at least several thousand years old. And while its origin remains a subject of debate, many believe it was created by ancient worshipers to honor their gods. It's thought that the peculiar symbols on the ring itself represent the names of the gods. However no one has been able to decipher (the Stargate activates)

Carter: Sorry about scaring the tourists. We've made contact with a lot of planets but this is the first time we've found ourselves coming out of a museum piece.
Gareth: One of our artifacts suddenly coming to life was a little surprising but that pales in comparison to its purpose.

O'Neill: Daniel, we're always sticking our collective noses where they don't belong. It's what we do.

O'Neill: Regular contact, no exceptions. The second things start getting a little squirrelly ... (Jackson starts walking away) Daniel? Squirrelly.

Teal'c: You do not represent the people of your world. You merely kill those who believe differently and would stand against you.
Soren: You speak what is on your mind. I admire that.
O'Neill: Actually in your case? He's holding back.

Soren: What has happened to our world is most unfortunate, and yet vital. Those who refused to believe needed to be purged from existence so that we could begin anew.
O'Neill: Y'know, in these parts, we like to call that crimes against humanity.

Soren: Once order has been established, the people of Avidan will live differently than before; simply, humbly, waiting for our gods' inevitable return.
O'Neill: Y'know, we've met these gods upon whom you're so hot, and trust me when I tell you, they're not what you think they are.
Teal'c: They will reward your worship with enslavement.
Soren: You are not the first to try to sway our beliefs, but I can assure you our faith is unshakeable.
Teal'c: This is not about faith. This is about a means to power.

O'Neill: Daniel?
Jackson: Jack? Nice to hear your voice.
O'Neill: Likewise. You coming home or what?
Jackson: Trying to. As soon as I find my kaltesh.
O'Neill: What?
Jackson: Err, looks a lot like my ring kol nok. You know, I lent it to the, uh, for grel'ka greener day.
O'Neill: (to the others) He's changed.
Carter: Sir, he's speaking Goa'uld.
Teal'c: "Ring kol nok" means "strategy". "Kaltesh" speaks of a well-known Jaffa battle tactic, a flanking attack from two sides.
O'Neill: Yes, Daniel, I remember exactly where I put it. Any other thoughts?
Jackson: No, just that I hope someone's been feeding my lorsak while I've been away.

Soren: (His final words, after shooting his aide) We're all here for one purpose; to honor the will of our gods. In their names we rose up. In their names we purged the non-believers. And in their names we will die if necessary. We will not dishonor them with cowardice! Now engage them. (his people don't move) Engage them! (still nobody moves. Soren takes a rifle) You question your faith? I will show you faith!


Main Characters

Guest Stars


  • SG-1 would return to Tegalus in the Season Nine episode "Ethon", in an attempt to rescue the planet's inhabitants from the Ori.
  • "Caledonia" is the ancient Roman name for Scotland and a town in Ontario, Canada.
  • This episode takes place over a period of three months.
  • Stargate SG-1 has always had a theme that O'Neill later coined as, "Every time we step through the gate we're sticking our collective noses where they don't belong." This quote was repeated by O'Neill and later by his successors Major General Henry Landry and Lt. Colonel Cameron Mitchell many times. While many previous episodes played with the idea, this one takes the concept to its extreme. Ever since "Icon", Tegalus has been used by every major character on the show at least once or twice as a precautionary tale or as part of a dialog of interference vs. non-interference.
  • Although the Rand Protectorate has a different alphabet than that of Earth's English, the tour guide's name tag is clearly written in our alphabet, as well as an exit sign visible when Jackson and Kane escape.
  • Tegalus' primary small arms weapons were, in fact, M1-Garands, Mauser Kar98ks, MP40s, AK-47s and a few other WWII era weapons thrown in.
  • This is the third time that members of SG-1 are in the midst of hostilities between two countries that occupy presumably majority of its planet's land and are involved in a long-term confrontation (not counting Kelowna, which counteracted on two fronts at once — Tirania and the Andari Federation). This is also not the first time when members of the team become hostages of such situation, not being able to reach their homeworld (previous cases occurred in "New Ground" and "The Other Side").

Other languages[]

  • French: Le Feu aux Poudres (Fire to the Powder) (The complete French saying, "mettre Le feu aux poudres" means "to spark off the crisis" and can be similar to "it's the straw that broke the camel's back")
  • Italian: La Promessa (The Promise)
  • Spanish: Icono (Icon)
  • Czech: Ve jménu víry (In the Name of Faith)
  • German: Soren (Soren)
  • Hungarian: Ikon (Icon)

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