This is a listing of the deities and individuals associated with the Faith of the Seven in A Song of Ice and Fire.
For the main character index, see here
For the main Deities and Religions entry, see here
The Faith of the Seven
The New Gods, The Seven, The Seven Faced God, The Seven Who Are One, The Seven from Across the Sea, The Faith
- "As we sin, so do we suffer.""Each of the Seven embodies all of the Seven."
The Church of the kingdom of Westeros, with almost total sway over the six southron kingdoms and some foothold in the North as well. It was brought to Westeros by the Andals some six thousand years ago, and Aegon the Conqueror converted to it. While a number of faiths either co-exist with it or predate it, it has the distinction of being the main organized religion in Westeros. Their Sacred Scripture is called The Seven-Pointed Star.
Worship is done in "septs," and ordained ministers are called "septons" (men) or "septas" (women). A sept typically has seven altars in it, one for each of the seven faces of the god: Father, Mother, Warrior, Maiden, Smith, Crone and Stranger. Of particular note, knighting requires a blessing from a septon and a vigil in a sept; as such, the North may have lots of mounted lancers who wear shining armor, but technically speaking most of them are not "knights". Knighthood might also be performed by knighted individuals under special circumstances and a septon might not be present. Though proof of knighthood is compulsory to participate in tourneys, ceremonies and investitures, it's rarely properly enforced due to the limitations of the time.
The church operates a number of organizations throughout the Seven Kingdoms, not only septs but nunneries and monasteries ("septries"), each devoted to one of the six faces of god, and an organization called the Silent Sisters, women "wed" to the Stranger who are sworn to silence and, more importantly for public health, help handle the dead. The two branches of its Faith Militant was suppressed by Maegor the Cruel and disbanded by his successor, Jaeherys the Conciliator, but has lately been reformed and empowered by Cersei.
The Faith has historically been mainly headquartered in Oldtown like the Maesters are, and similarly they have close-knit ties with House Hightower, although its leadership, and the main body of the church, moved to King's Landing after Baelor the Blessed built the Great Sept there to replace the Faith's former headquarters, the Starry Sept of Oldtown.
- Ambiguous Gender: The Stranger, in contrast to how the other six gods are portrayed as three men and three women. This is also likely meant to highlight how eerily mysterious the Stranger is.
- The Blacksmith: The Smith. He's also the god of workers and artisans in general. One Septon mentions that he has a separate aspect for each craft when he offers thanks to the Cobbler.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Brown for Begging Brothers and Gray for Silent Sisters. Some septas wear white and blue though it's unknown what the colors mean, and they wear a belt-like accessory made of seven threads in the seven colors of the rainbow.
- Corrupt Church: Averted and played straight on different occasions.
- The main body of the Faith of the Seven is this more often than not. The first High Septon in the novels was blatantly in the pocket of the Lannisters, immensely overweight and went out bedecked in rich clothing and jewels to ride through a city that was on the verge of starvation. The angry smallfolk rioted and ripped the man to pieces. The next High Septon was not corrupt beyond being in the pocket of the corrupt nobility, though Cersei had him killed because she believed he was under Tyrion's thumb. This is averted with the next man chosen due to public pressure, who is a lowborn reformer who is quite the ascetic Knight Templar, utterly devoted to the ideals of the Faith, and proves impossible to sway, bribe or control.
- Though they are supposed to be impartial, the Faith sided with Robert Baratheon during the Battle of the Bells, named as such because the septons of the Stoney Sept rang the bells to alert the rebels of the presence of Targaryen forces under the command of Jon Connington. The Targaryen loss at this battle was the turning point of the war.
- The Faith was also partial against the Targaryen Kings, as their existence undermined their authority; the Faith gave divine right to Westeros to the Andals and its conquest was an altogether religious pursuit, and indeed the whole reason the Andals left Essos. The incredible power of the invading Valyrian Dragonlords skewed the vision that the Faith had for its people and forced them to bend the knee to the Targaryens for fear of extermination. As such, the Faith was always at odds with the Targaryens and came to clash in the early dynasty against kings Aenys I and Maegor I; the Faith also might have had a hand in the extermination of the dragons during the Dance of the Dragons civil war, as there were serious religious overtones to the manner on which the dragons were killed in the Storming of the Dragonpit at King's Landing.
- Crystal Dragon Jesus: The Faith of the Seven strongly resembles medieval Catholic Christianity. Politically they resemble the Avignon Papacy, since as a Church they are entirely dependent on the Crown and are appointed de facto by the Iron Throne, which resembles that infamous period of Church corruption where the French Crown moved the Papacy to France from the Vatican. It could also mirror Orthodox churches (as they are much the same theologically with Catholicism) that were historically controlled by the state in many cases, along with the Anglicans. On a more literal note, the Faith uses crystals in its ceremonies and its headgear (the High Septon traditionally wore a crystal crown) on account of the fact that crystals serve as a prism through which the seven colours of the rainbow are formed.
- Dark Is Not Evil: The Stranger is not a Satan figure, just a representation of death and the unknown, that some pray to occasionally. The Silent Sisters, the traditional caretakers of the dead, are followers of the Stranger and are well-respected in Westeros.
- Everyone Has Standards: Paedophile Priest Septon Utt is an ex-Septon for this very reason. The Faith are also outraged by the execution of Ned Stark on the steps of the Sept of Baelor, considering it an outrageous and unforgivable act of sacrilege that profaned holy ground with blood.
- Everyone Hates Hades: Generally the case with the Stranger, as he's seen as an analog to The Grim Reaper in most cases.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The Faith closely mirrors the Medieval/Renaissance expansion of Catholicism, replacing a Trinity with Seven aspects of one god.
- Grim Reaper: The Stranger is the personification of death for their religion.
- Humanoid Abomination: The Stranger, being a representation of the unknown, is occasionally depicted as either this or a Half-Human Hybrid. Or both.
- The Heart: This faith is more sympathetic compared to the others, with repentance and forgiveness being a large part of its doctrine. The Mother is also The Heart of the Faith's pantheon, being depicted as a goddess of kindness and mercy in addition to childbirth and family; however, they are no strangers to their own brutalities. Give them arms again and... yikes.
- High Priest: The Faith is lead by the High Septon, who is similar to the Pope in Roman Catholicism, and a council called the Most Devout (similar to the College of Cardinals), who choose new High Septons.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: The Maiden is meant to embody the ideal noble girl. During the Maiden Day, only virgin women may enter a sept for the respective celebration.
- The Judge: The Father is prayed to for justice.
- Knight in Shining Armor: The Warrior is meant to embody the ideals of knighthood and is prayed to for courage and success in battle.
- Last Lousy Point:
- The Faith could not take a foothold in the North or the Stormlands due to the respective and devastating war losses of the Andal warlords Argos Sevenstar and Drox the Corpsemaker; they also were unable to establish parishes in the Iron Islands due to the poignancy of the Drowned God's religion (which turned many Andals away from the Faith of the Seven). Though they eventually dominated the dogma in the South, the North and the Iron Islands remained faithful to their own gods.
- Though they became the foremost religion in Westeros, they were unable to create a theocracy like the one in Norvos.
- The Targaryen Kings of Valyrian origin undermined the Andals' self-proclaimed divine right to the land of Westeros, which is an aspect promoted by the Faith and the entire reason the Andals left Essos; predictably, the Targaryens and the Faith did not always see eye-to-eye.
- Liminal Being: The Stranger, associated with ambiguity, uncertainty, and transition in all its various forms.
- Maiden Mother And Crone: The Maiden, the Mother and the Crone, the three female aspects of god.
- Mama Bear: Explicitly stated as one of the attributes of the Mother.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Unlike all the other major religions, no aspect of the Seven has been shown to be supernatural as of yet. There is only one incident that is questionable, where Davos Seaworth hears the voice of the Mother while stuck on a rock in Blackwater Bay after Stannis' abortive attempt to take King's Landing. Of course, he's delirious from thirst and exposure at the time...
- There is a also a small, similar case with Catelyn Stark when she's praying at a local sept during her time serving as an envoy to Renly. As she looks at the depictions of each of the Seven, she sees the faces of people she knows in each, including one or two taking roles that she has no reason to know would be associated with those people, most notably seeing Arya's face in the statue of the Warrior. Since Cat had no knowledge of Ned getting Arya fencing lessons or Jon giving her Needle, there was no reason to associate the two, and she's surprised when she sees it, so perhaps it was meant to be a minor divine vision.
- Maester Pylos at one point mentions a Septon Murmison whose "prayers worked miracles", but he made a terrible Hand of the King.
- Another priest, Septon Barth, was a commoner and son of a blacksmith who served as Hand of the King to Jaehaerys I for forty years and was a serious scholar of dragon lore and suspicious knowledge, to the point that King Baelor I ordered many of his writings burnt.
- The Faith believes the Andals learned metalworking from the Smith himself. They actually learned it from the Rhoynar people.
- The High Septon at the time of the War of Conquest sequestered himself in the Starry Sept to determine the course that Oldtown would take in the eve of Aegon Targaryen's eventual coming. He determined through prophecy that Oldtown must never raise in arms against the Targaryens, lest the city would be destroyed. As such, the Hightowers bent the knee to Aegon. Due to the ambiguity of the prophecy, the Hightowers never rose against any Targaryen king again, nor did they participate in Robert's Rebellion. They were even hesitant in participating in any war since the ruin that the Dance of the Dragons brought to them.
- Mission from God: The Andal invasion of Westeros, during which Andal warriors carved the Seven-pointed star upon their chests, believing it was their divine destiny to found kingdoms in Westeros.
- Meaningful Name: "Sept", the root word used to describe several aspects of the Faith's organization (sept, septon, septa, septries), is the French word for seven.
- Nonindicative Name: The god of the Faith are frequently referred to as "the New Gods", despite having been the dominant religion for millennia. It's only in relation to the Old Gods of the North, who have been there even longer.
- No Name Given: All of the High Septons give up their names on assuming office, and are thus referred to only by their title formally. Nicknames are used to distinguish them informally, such as "the fat one".
- Nuns Are Spooky: The Silent Sisters are sworn to chastity and silence, are symbolically wed to the god of Death, and go around taking care of the remains of the dead. It's seen as a noble and respectable calling... but people stay well out of their way whenever possible and go around spreading rumors and gossip about them such as "their woman parts are cold".
- The Patriarch: The Father is the leader of their pantheon.
- Physical God: The Faith believes the Seven appeared in human form in Andalos, in Essos, which inspired the Andals to invade Westeros. It may be a darker version of the Christ story.
- Proper Lady: The Mother is pretty much the God of this trope.
- Rainbow Motif: They tend to put rainbows on things because a rainbow has seven colors, they also use crystals in their ceremonies because light filtered through a crystal prism refracts to form the seven colors.
- Rule of Seven: Since they have seven gods, everything related to them comes in sevens and seven is considered an auspicious number overall.
- The Sacred Darkness: The Stranger embodies the unknown.
- Sacred Hospitality: Held in great esteem by the Seven. The High Septons, old and new, were appalled by the Red Wedding and the serious breach of tradition, especially remarkable since the victims of that massacre, the Starks, were renowned worshipers of the Old Gods, a competing religious tradition.
- Sigil Spam: The seven-pointed star of the Faith is everywhere.
- Speak of the Devil: It is considered bad luck to speak of the Stranger, well-illustrated by the fact that an in-universe religious nursery rhyme called "The Seven" is about the other six gods and doesn't mention The Stranger.
- Tarot Motifs: A few, which is not all that surprising, given the themes in both Medieval Catholicism and the tarot.
- A stylized star within a circle? Are we talking the Faith's symbol, or the suit of Penticles of many a Rider-Waite-Smith cloned deck?
- The Crone is usually depicted very much like a female version of The Hermit major arcanum from most tarot decks, lantern included. Which, incidentally, makes her roughly the same approximate match for Old Father Time and the virtue of Prudence, as well.
- You don't have to squint much to see the Mother as The Empress and the Father as the Emperor.
- The Star (Hope) in a lot of classic decks has more than a passing resemblance to the Maiden's depictions. Well, or the Sun. It depends on the deck.
- No prizes for guessing who looks like Death... And, incidentally, seems to be linked to the unknown, portals and change, as well.
- The Smith is not as easy to link, but the Magician is a probable bet. Or, the King of Wands.
- The Warrior changes, depending on who views him in-world and even when they do: he probably didn't start out as the knight most view him as. Which fits the tarot: there's not a single "Warrior" card, but several. The Chariot is for generals, warlords, conquerors and those who uphold that might makes right with pride. The Knights of the suits reflect a lot of fighters. Cups for those who fight through conviction, emotion and faith, both upstanding and... not — what the Faith Militant should be. Coins for those who fight for material gain, information exchange and knowledge: both the upsides and the down ones. Wands for those for whom defending themselves and others is a job of work that doesn't necessarily pay off except through hard graft: normal Janes and Joes, hedgeknights and the Poor Fellows. Swords for those who fight for truth, justice and the rule of law: even if they go overboard. Trial by combat is a major theme linked to the Warrior and integral to the Faith, after all.
- Thousand-Year Reign: The only thing most closely resembling a united monarchy in Westeros for a thousand years until the Targaryens. Though even then, many Kings and rulers struggled against their power. The Targaryens managed to make them Demoted to Dragon and even shifted their headquarters from Oldtown to King's Landing.
- The Three Faces of Adam: Counterparts to the Maiden Mother And Crone, The Warrior is The Hunter, The Father is The Lord, and The Smith is The Prophet. The connection isn't quite as exact as the female members, however, and the Father and Smith each have aspects of both The Lord and The Prophet.
- Tongue Trauma: Subverted by the Silent Sisters. It is believed by many that it is custom for their tongues to be cut out but Septon Meribald reveals that this is a mere rumor. In truth, they simply take on a vow of silence. Nevertheless, rumors of the mutilation persist, specially when women are forced to join the order.
- Two-Faced: Some of the descriptions of the iconography of the Stranger show that it is sometimes portrayed this way.
- War God: The Warrior, though given the time period he's depicted as more of a Knight In Shining Armour than most examples of the trope.
High Septon, Father of the Faithful, High High Holiness, Shepherd of the Faithful
The Fat One
- Corrupt Church: He exemplifies the corruption that had taken hold of the Faith of the Seven.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: He is literally ripped apart by the rioters in King's Landing.
- Everyone Has Standards: Despite being corrupt, he is horrified when Joffrey orders Ned Stark's execution on the steps of Great Sept of Baelor and tries to stop it, and later furiously declares that the act befouled the Great Sept.
- Fat Bastard: One of the reasons the crowd targets him in the riots.Tyrion: Starving men take a dim view of priests too fat to walk.
- High Priest: He is the topmost leader of the Faith at the beginning of A Song of Ice and Fire.
- Too Important to Walk: He is carried through King's Landing in a litter, mostly because he is too fat to ride or walk very far on his own power. This makes it impossible for him to escape the rioters.
- Villainous Glutton: Gluttony is mentioned explicitly as one of his vices, and one that he continues to indulge even while the smallfolk starve in the streets from famine. He also sided with the Lannisters and tyrannical King Joffrey up to his death.
High Septon, Father of the Faithful, High High Holiness, Shepherd of the Faithful
Tyrion's High Septon, The One After the Fat OneThe second High Septon in this series, he was promoted to his office by Tyrion Lannister after the death of his predecessor. He was murdered by Osney Kettleblack on the orders of Cersei Lannister, who feared her brother was using him against her.
- Corrupt Church: Subverted. While he's clearly in the Lannisters' pocket, and is brought into the small council by Tywin Lannister, this High Septon is more genuinely religious that the last one. Lancel, who takes religion very seriously, calls him a good man.
- Forgiveness: He told Lancel to forgive Cersei for her sins against him.
- High Priest: He leads the Faith following the riots of King's Landing.
- Only Sane Man: When the Alchemists started investigating the caches of Wildfire beneath King's Landing, High Septon II learned about huge quantities beneath the Great Sept of Baelor and immediately ordered it removed.
- Vorpal Pillow: Officially, he died in his sleep. Since he was a very old man, no-one questioned it. In reality Osney Kettleblack sneaked into his chambers and suffocated him with a pillow, all on the orders of Cersei Lannister, who suspected him of being in league with her despised brother Tyrion..
- Weak-Willed: While not blatantly corrupt like his predecessor, he's easily cowed by the Lannisters.Tyrion: Our present High Septon is a trained seal who barks prettily on command.
- Wrongfully Accused: In her paranoia, Cersei suspects him of being an ally of Tyrion, whom she intensely hates, though we know from Tyrion's chapters that that's not the case. She orders Osney Kettleblack to murder him in his sleep from fear that he might be a powerful enemy, but by all accounts he's a harmless old man.
High Septon, Father of the Faithful, High High Holiness, Shepherd of the Faithful
The High Sparrow
- "I seldom feel so close to god as when I am being whipped for mine own wickedness."
- Added Alliterative Appeal: His views on women are expressed this way.High Sparrow: The wickedness of widows is well-known, and all women are wantons at heart, given to using their wiles and their beauty to work their wills on men.
- All Women Are Lustful: As mentioned, he believes that all women are this.
- As the Good Book Says...: He quotes The Seven-Pointed Star all the time.
- A Taste of the Lash: Whips Osney Kettleblack to make him confess. He also admits that he rarely feels closer to the gods than when he himself is being whipped.
- Batman Gambit: He plays Cersei like a fiddle until she grants the Faith the right to have an army and to judge people. She plays right into his hands and ends up arrested for treason and fornication.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Brienne runs into him early in Feast, before he turns King's Landing upside-down.
- The Chessmaster: From the moment he becomes the High Septon he knows how to get things done. See above and below for more.
- Church Militant: He manipulates Cersei into reviving the Faith Militant, legitimizing his army of Poor Fellows and granting him access to knights in the form of the Warrior's Sons.
- Church Police: He uses the Warrior's Sons and the Poor Fellows as this following their recreation.
- The Coup: He was elevated to the position of High Septon when his nascent Poor Fellows kicked down the door to Baelor's Sept and announced his ascension while holding axes and clubs to the throats of the Most Devout.
- Does Not Like Shoes: His feet are "gnarled like tree roots", presumably from a life of wandering from village to village to preach.
- Foil: To the first High Septon in the story, who was known to enjoy the comforts of his office, wearing fine robes and (judging by how fat he was in a time of famine) eating rich meals. AFFC also deliberately contrasts his desire to aid the poor with Cersei's disgust for them.
- Also to Septon Meribald. Both were humble, truly pious men who wandered from village to village preaching in the lowest order of the Faith, but Meribald is a warm, friendly and kindhearted man who is an ex-soldier and reformed himself from a past as a Dirty Old Monk, while the High Septon is a cold, hard, and unrelenting man and a misogynist to boot. It is difficult to imagine the High Septon having the empathy and human insights of Meribald, and impossible to imagine Meribald undertaking the Knight Templar actions of the High Septon.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Subverted. Though he went from a wandering holy man to toppling the Lannister-controlled regime note , he's not a villain in the books.Randyll Tarly: What have we become, when kings and high lords must dance to the twittering of sparrows?
Kevan Lannister: [...] Defy the High Septon, and we will have blood running in the gutters of Kings Landing as well.
Doran Martell [...] The Swords and Stars have been reformed, and this new High Septon is not the puppet that the others were.
- The Fundamentalist: He's running a religious revival in a very fundamentalist vein.
- Genre Savvy: He starts getting onto Cersei because Osney Kettleblack comes to confess and is so pleased to be guilty that it arouses his suspicion.
- High Priest: As the leader of the Faith.
- Hypocrite: Though it only comes through in one scene, the High Sparrow clearly doesn't believe Cersei when she denies the incest "rumours" about her and Jaime, but if Tommen isn't king then the next legitimate king is Stannis, who now worships "a red demon" and would not be kind to the Faith of the Seven. Hence, the Sparrow accepts Cersei's story and a child born of incest as king, even though his religion is clear on what such children are. However, the High Sparrow does not know for sure whether Cersei's claims of incest are true or false, hence why Cersei is being put on trial, and it's possible even if he discovers proof of Cersei's incest that proof doesn't always equal proof that Cersei's children are inbred.
- In-Series Nickname: "The High Sparrow", due to being placed in the office by the Sparrows.
- Knight Templar: He is truly pious and incorruptible, though he is willing to sanction torture or violence to further the influence of the faith or against the wicked. One example is as a later resort to procuring a "confession", especially the case of Osney Kettleback since Osney was "so pleased to be guilty".
- Known Only by Their Nickname: Enforced, as each High Septon is required to give up his name upon taking office. Thus, there are little to no clues as of his identity and allegiances.
- Little "No": And with one word, it becomes abundantly clear that Cersei's regime has signed its own death warrant.
- Manipulative Bastard: Manipulates Cersei into reviving the Faith Militant and handing him the legal authority to have her arrested.
- No Historical Figures Were Harmed: He is Westeros' own Girolamo Savonarola. An anti-luxury, austere religious reformist who opposes the traditional hierarchy of the Faith and comes to power on the strength of his band of loyal followers called the Sparrows, similar to Savonarola and his Piagnoni (Weepers). Both the Sparrows and the Weepers adopted their name via Appropriated Appellation and were largely composed of disaffected youth.
- No Name Given: His name and identity before becoming High Septon are not given.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: He clearly plays to the belief of most highborn elites that Belief Makes You Stupid, when he is actually shrewd, cunning and quite cold.
- Outside-Context Problem: From Cersei's point of view, he's the first important person she has to deal with who she can't manipulate, bribe, or just murder when his presence gets inconvenient. She tries anyway, but when she attempts to use him as an Unwitting Pawn, he turns the tables on her and has her arrested on charges of incest, adultery, and murder.
- Pet the Dog: The list of people in this story who are decent to Brienne of Tarth is a short one. During his brief encounter with her, the High Sparrow's only words to her are to grant her the Maiden's blessing and wish her well. His concern for the poor also appears to be genuine.
- Politically Incorrect Hero: Played With. He subscribes to the notion that there are fundamental gender differences that make women sexually dangerous and seems to hold women in lower regard than men. In a twist, however, he doesn't seem to have a problem with letting women arm themselves, something that flies in the face of traditional Westerosi gender norms and is equally harsh with men or women who transgress against the edicts of the Faith of the Seven. He's also one of the few people to be genuinely kind to Brienne despite his purported misogyny (see Pet the Dog above).
- Right for the Wrong Reasons: His views on women (see above) are completely correct in regards to Cersei Lannister.
- Self-Made Man: He was raised from a wandering septon to the high priest of the Faith on the basis of the movement he himself created and led.
- Turbulent Priest: The Sparrows forced the Most Devout to choose him as High Septon after the mysterious death of the second High Septon in the story (he was assassinated by Osney Kettleblack on Cersei's orders, as he was appointed by Tyrion and therefore was viewed as untrustworthy). He then forces Cersei to restore the Faith Militant.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He might be ruthless and advocates torture to draw out or confirm confessions, and he'll probably cause some trouble for the Old Gods' worshipers up north if his influence grows, but his primary motivation seems to be to make sure the smallfolk and worshipers of the Seven are cared for, something very few of even the more moral characters care about.
The Most Devout
Septon LuceonFifth son of Lord Walder Frey and second son of Cyrenna Swann. He is a member of the Most Devout. He would've become High Septon if not for the Sparrows invading the Great Sept of Baelor and imposing one of their own members.
- Corrupt Church: He attempts to buy the votes of thirty of the Most Devout by hosting a luxurious supper for them, and then gives hard bread to the poor to show his piety, in an effort to become High Septon.
- The Ghost: His campaign to become High Septon is mentioned a few times in A Feast For Crows, but he is never actually seen.
- Only One Name: Septons give up their family names as their loyalties are supposed to lie with the Faith of the Seven.
Septon OllidorSepton Ollidor is a member of the Most Devout. He was on the verge of becoming the new High Septon before the Sparrows followed him to a brothel and dragged him naked into the streets, thus ruining his chances.
- Corrupt Church: One of the topmost leaders of the Faith of the Seven is a whoremonger.
- Only One Name: Septons give up their family names when they are anointed as such, thus it is not known of Ollidor was high or lowborn.
- Shameful Strip: Paraded nude through the streets of King's Landing.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Ollidor's whereabouts following the attack of the Sparrows is unknown.
Septon RaynardSepton Raynard is a member of the Most Devout. Along with Septon Luceon, he was one of two leading candidates to become High Septon before the Sparrows forced the choosing of their leader.
- Corrupt Church: When Raynard repeats the High Sparrow's words on the sinfulness of brothels, Cersei can't help to think what a hypocrite Raynard is, having many "special friends" throughout the brothels in the Street of Silk (though she concedes he may have decided being the High Septon's mouthpiece is preferable to doing hard labour in penance again).
- Mouth of Sauron: He seems to serve as the speaker for the Faith leadership. When the Sparrows first arrive to King's Landing en masse it is Raynard who goes to inform the small council. When the High Sparrow begins to preach against brothels and Cersei summons him to court, Raynard is sent with an escort of Warrior's Sons to speak on his behalf.
- Only One Name: Septons give up their family names when they are anointed as such, thus it is not known of Raynard was high or lowborn.
- Wild Card: Unlike Septons Ollidor or Torbert, it seems Raynard aligns with whichever ideology is in power at the Great Sept of Baelor.
Septon TorbertSepton Torbert is a member of the Most Devout. After the rise of the High Sparrow to the leadership of the Faith of the Seven, Torbert is put in a penitent cell for being too fat while the realm starves.
- Big Eater: The reason why the High Sparrow has him locked and forced to eat nothing but bread and water.
- I Kiss Your Foot: Whenever Cersei would visit the Great Sept he would kiss her feet. Either a case of Professional Butt-Kisser or perhaps he just had a foot fetish.
- Only One Name: Septons give up their family names when they are anointed as such, thus it is not known of Torbert was high or lowborn.
Other Septons and Septas
- See the House Stark Household character page.
Septon MeribaldA wandering Septon in the Riverlands who travels from town to town to hear the confessions of sinners. He encounters Brienne of Tarth during her search for Sansa Stark.
- The Atoner: He is one for having once used his experience and status as a Septon to trick village girls into sleeping with him.
- Big Friendly Dog: Although Dog's size and breed is quite vague, he's clearly not a teacup pup, given the miles he regularly covers and the fact that Brienne initially assumes he's basically Meribald's guard. Yet he's a calm, amiable chap with a fine wag on him.
- Cool Old Guy: By the time Brienne meets him, he is a truly good man who offers forgiveness and advice to many villages throughout the Riverlands.
- Dark and Troubled Past: He has some suppressed trauma after fighting in the War of the Ninepenny Kings and having his life turned upside down.
- Does Not Like Shoes: He goes barefoot in penance for his past as a Dirty Old Monk.
- Dirty Old Monk: Formerly. He used to talk village girls into having sex with him while hearing their confessions.
- Good Shepherd: Compared to the wide range of officially religious people we get who seem to forget caring for the little guy amid all the politics? Oh, yes.
- Never Learned to Read: Like most smallfolk, he can't read, but he's memorized The Seven-Pointed Star in its entirety, and that's all he really needs.
- Non-Human Sidekick/A Dog Named "Dog": Meribald insists Dog does not belong to him, but they stick together.
- Walking the Earth: He goes around the Riverlands offering food and religious service to anyone in need. Each trip takes him roughly half a year.
- War Is Hell: He gives perhaps the single best speech reflecting this, and is one of George RR Martin's favorite moments in the book:Meribald: Brothers march with brothers, sons with fathers, friends with friends. Theyve heard the songs and stories, so they go off with eager hearts, dreaming of the wonders they will see, of the wealth and glory they will win. War seems a fine adventure, the greatest most of them will ever know... Then they get a taste of battle... For some, that one taste is enough to break them. Others go on for years, until they lose count of all the battles they have fought in, but even a man who has survived a hundred fights can break in his hundred-and-first. Brothers watch their brothers die, fathers lose their sons, friends see their friends trying to hold their entrails in after theyve been gutted by an axe.
Elder BrotherLeader of the penitent brothers on the Quiet Isle, a religious refuge on an island at the mouth of the Trident.
- The Atoner: He is one for rapes he committed while a knight.
- Birds of a Feather: Like the Hound, he was a brutal killer whose social station was too low for him to marry the woman he desired, and who drowned his sorrows in alcohol and violence.
- The Confidant: Both Sandor Clegane and Brienne of Tarth end up pouring out their stories to him.
- Dark and Troubled Past: As a knight.
Elder Brother: You have a home, which is more than many can say in these dark days. You have a noble father who must surely love you. Consider his grief if you should never return. Perhaps they will bring your sword and shield to him, after you have fallen. Perhaps he will even hang them in his hall and look on them with pride...but if you were to ask him, I know he would tell you that he would sooner have a living daughter than a shattered shield.
- In contrast to Brienne who chose to be a knight and still has her romantic idealism, he never chose the role.
- Like Randyll Tarly, he tries to convince Brienne to stop trying to find Sansa and go home to Tarth. But while Tarly does so because of his disdain for Brienne being a knight, the Elder Brother is sincerely concerned for her well-being.
- From a Certain Point of View: He tells Brienne the Hound died in his arms, but it's implied he means the brutish killer who was the Hound has died, while Sandor lives as a penitent gravedigger on the Quiet Isle.
- Genius Bruiser: Brienne notes his strong build and shrewd eyes before we discover his past as a knight.
- HeelFaith Turn: After being injured, stripped of his arms and armor and pushed into the Trident, he washed up naked on the Quiet Isle, where he became a penitent brother.
- Healing Hands: He heals people.
- "Leave Your Quest" Test: Tries to convince Brienne to give up her quest to find Sansa Stark and return to her father in Tarth.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: He fought with the loyalists at the Battle of the Trident, though only because the lords he served chose to back the Targaryens rather than Robert Baratheon.Elder Brother: The lord I served served a lord who chose to back the dragon instead of the stag.
- No Need for Names: He doesn't use his name anymore.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: As he left his name in his past.
- Punch-Clock Villain: He was a knight because every male member of his family was a knight, and fought for House Targaryen at the Battle of the Trident because the high lord of his liege did so, not out of any belief in their cause.
- Red Shirt: Lampshaded; he's one of the thousands of soldiers that fought at the Battle of the Trident whose stories no singer will ever bother telling.
- Skewed Priorities: After being impaled twice by arrows and having his horse killed under him, he fought on because he was desperate to find another horse, as he couldn't afford to buy another and without a horse he would not be a knight.
- War Is Hell: He is quick to dismiss the romantic notions of the Battle of the Trident, noting that it was a horrific and bloody battle in comparison to the notions of the singers that focus solely on Robert and Rhaegar battling for Lyanna Stark.Elder Brother: The battle was a bloody thing. The singers would have us believe it was all Rhaegar and Robert struggling in the stream for a woman both of them claimed to love, but I assure you, other men were fighting too, and I was one.
- See the Golden Company character page
Three septas that serve under the High Sparrow. They serve as Cersei's jailers during her imprisonment.
- As the Good Book Says...: Moelle sometimes reads to her prisoners from The Seven-Pointed Star or The Book of Holy Prayer.
- Defector from Decadence: Unella and Moelle are part of the Most Devout, but gave up their silver robes and crystal coronals to follow the pious, threadbare High Sparrow.
- Evil Smells Bad: For some reason, Scolera smells like sour milk.
- The Fundamentalist: Like the High Sparrow, they believe that sin can only be cleansed by true repentance. Their idea of "repentance" is to deprive the accused of sleep and drive them mad until they confess.
- Humiliation Conga: They accompany Cersei during her naked walk of atonement, clanging bells and shouting, "Shame upon the sinner, shame, shame!"
- Female Misogynist: They're perfectly happy to strip a woman naked and parade her through the city of King's Landing, as long as they believe it will cleanse her sins.
- Mysterious Past: It is hinted that Scolera might have been a mother in the past. She has a thick waist and heavy breasts, possible signs of previous pregnancies, and she constantly smells like sour milk, much like Lysa Arryn, who has carried six children.
- Never Mess with Granny: All three of them are as old and tough as tree roots, and more than a match for an angry Cersei.
- No-Sell: They don't respond in any way to Cersei trying to talk herself out of captivity. Her threats, commands, pleas for mercy, charms, and attempted bribes all fall on deaf ears.
- Only One Name: If they had last names, they gave them up after taking septas' vows.
- Stern Nun: Stern, austere and harsh, yes.
A member of the Sparrows that Brienne encounters in Duskendale.
- Nice Guy: A friendly and amiable fellow. He wishes Brienne well on her quest to find Sansa.
- No Name Given: Only known as "the pious dwarf".
- Oral Fixation: His teeth are stained red from chewing sourleaf.
- Sole Survivor: He used to serve at a holy house in Maidenpool, until sellswords robbed the place of everything it had and then slaughtered the holy brothers. He escaped by hiding in a log.
- Uncertain Doom: During the manhunt for Tyrion, a dwarf's rotting head with a bulbous nose is brought to Cersei by three men. It is not confirmed that he was the pious dwarf, but the dead dwarf also had a large nose and was a Sparrow.
Historical Members of the Faith
Historical High Septons
RobesonThe first High Septon. He ruled Oldtown as regent for the child Lord Triston Hightower. The Starry Sept was built in his honor after his passing.
The High Septon, Shepherd of the Faithful, Father of the FaithfulOne of the six High Septons during Aegon I's reign. He spoke out against the proposed marriage of Prince Maegor Targaryen to his niece, Princess Rhaena, and proposed to marry Maegor to his own niece, Ceryse Hightower.
High Septon, Shepherd of the Faithful, Father of the Faithful
High Septon during the reign of Aenys and the early reign of Maegor.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: He perishes overnight after Lord Martyn Hightower calls the banners to rebel against Maegor, who is marching on Oldtown with his army and dragons.
- Rebel Leader: He denounced Aenys as "King Abomination", declares him a tyrant and pretender for arranging the marriage of his children Princess Rhaena and Prince Aegon. An envoy for the Iron Bank refers to him as "the true king of Westeros, in all but name". The destruction of the Sept of Remembrance by Balerion leads to him calling upon open rebellion and the end of House Targaryen.
- "Rashomon"-Style: There are many accounts on sudden and mysterious death:
- He commited suicide, either for cowardy or a Heroic Sacrifice to spare the people of Oldtown from dragonfire.
- The Seven struck him down for pride, heresy, treason, arrogance.
- Murdered by Ser Morgan Hightower, a Warrior's Son and younger brother of Lord Martyn Hightower, the only Warrior's Son to be pardoned by Maegor. He was seen entering and leaving the High Septon's privy chambers.
- Murdered by Lady Patrice Hightower, Lord Martyn's maiden aunt and reputed witch, who also met the High Septon the night of his death, though he was seen alive when she left.
- Murdered by the Archmaesters of the Citadel, through the dark arts, an assassin, a poisoned scroll.
- Murdered by Queen Visenya, also a reputed sorceress.
Pater, High Septon, Shepherd of the Faithful, Father of the Faithful
The successor of the High Septon who called upon the Faith Militant uprising. Unlike his vigorous predecessor, he was very old, blind, feeble and amiable.
High Septon, Shepherd of the Faithful, Father of the Faithful
The High Lickspittle
The successor of the aged High Septon formerly known as Septon Pater. He continued the policy of keeping peace with the Iron Throne, and as such, was rejected by the Faith Militant, which continued the uprising against Maegor.
The Lackwit High SeptonA humble and simpleminded stonecarver, raised to High Septon at Baelor's behest.
The Boy High SeptonAn eight-year old street urchin raised to High Septon, after the death of the lackwit High Septon, at Baelor's behest, again.
Septon Murmison, Hand of the King
- "Septon Murmison's prayers worked miracles, but as Hand he soon had the whole realm praying for his death."—Maester Pylos
A reputed miracle-worker, made Hand by King Aenys to make amends with the Faith after exiling his brother Prince Maegor.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Hacked to pieces by the Poor Fellows.
- Number Two: As Hand of the King.
- Plot-Triggering Death: He kicked off the Faith Militant Uprising.
- Replacement Goldfish: To replace the exiled Maegor.
- Too Dumb to Live: Despite the Faith abhorring incest, he married Prince Aegon and Princess Rhaenys, which led to the High Septon expelling him from the Faith and the Poor Fellows targeting him.
Septon Barth, Hand of the King
- "No man of humble birth ever rose so high as the plainspoken but brilliant septon."—Maester Yandel
Barth was a septon who served as Hand of the King for Jaehaerys I Targaryen. He was appointed the Hand of the King and sat in that position for forty years. Rumored to delve in sorcery.
- Court Mage: If the rumors about him being a practicing sorcerer were true.
- Foil: To Archmaester Marwyn the Mage. They are both interested in the study of magic and they are shut down by their peers. They are eccentrics within their respective orders and are greatly influential people behind closed doors much in spite of their peers' derision.
- Great Big Book of Everything: His book "Unnatural History" of which only fragments survive had this status among Westerosi scholars and is regarded as the most interesting book on magic lore. It is constantly referred to in The World of Ice & Fire and invoked by the likes of Tyrion, Maester Aemon, Marwyn and Rodrik Harlaw.
- The Heretic: In the eyes of Baelor the Blessed, who burned his books on dragonlore, and some of the Faith. Though as per Maester Yandel, there was nothing immoral or against the faith in his writings, simply curiosity about magic.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: If Alysanne was the love of Jaehaerys' life, Barth was his best friend.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: His tenure as Hand of the King was considered one of the best; he served as Hand for forty years, a Westerosi record. When Lord Corbray complained about Barth being made Hand despite his lowborn status, Jaehaerys said, "If his father beat out swords and shod horses, so be it. A knight needs his sword, a horse needs shoes, and I need Barth."
- Ignored Expert: Maester Yandel in The World of Ice and Fire dismisses Barth's ideas that the Children of the Forest were the ones who trained ravens to deliver messages. This was proven true when Bran met the Children and confirmed it in A Dance with Dragons. Likewise Maester Aemon noted that a grammatical error concerning the Prince Who Was Promised prophecy could have been avoided if they remembered what Barth said about dragons not being "male and female" but "both".
- Let Us Never Speak of This Again: He was one of the ones who attended to Princess Aerea after her return from Valyria. He was sworn by King Jaehaerys to never speak of it again, and he didn't, only writing down his recollection of that night and hiding it so it was never found before he died.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Maester Gyldayn speculates his investigation into dragons was inspired by what it was that happened to Aerea.
- Number Two: He served Jaehaerys as Hand of the King, making him the second most powerful man in Westeros (and probably third most influential person, after Queen Alysanne).
- Right Man in the Wrong Place: Concerning his writings in magic and reputation as a scholar, he might have been a better fit as a Maester of the Citadel. Though considering the Citadel's anti-magic policy, he might have had more freedom in the unusual niche he carved for himself than if he had actually taken the chain.
- The Smart Guy: Regarded as one of the most brilliant scholars in the history of Westeros.
- Unreliable Narrator: Most of what we know about Septon Barth, and his achievements and influence during the Golden age was written by Barth himself.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His writings on dragons, alongside those of Maesters Munkun and Thomax, might have clued in the Citadel into the methods of killing dragons.
- Working-Class Hero: The son of a blacksmith who became a librarian at the Red Keep, his brilliance was recognized by Jaehaerys, his lifelong friend.
Septon EustaceThe Septon of the Red Keep during the reign of Viserys I and a member of the green council for Aegon II Targaryen. His account of the Dance of Dragons is considered quite biassed in favor of Aegon against Rhaenyra.
- Unreliable Narrator: It is known he invented several details regarding the war which painted Aegon in a much more positive light.
- Wrongfully Accused: He was arrested by Cregan Stark under suspicion of being involved in the death of Aegon II, but he later turned out to be innocent.
- You Will Be Spared: He avoided execution twice thanks to being a man of the cloth, first when Rhaenyra took King's Landing and later when Perkin the Flea took the Red Keep.
Septon BernardA Septon appointed by Unwin Peake to replace Septon Eustace. He also happened to be a descendant of the sister of Unwin's great-grandfather.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: Gelded for his conspiracy and forced to walk barefoot from King's Landing to Oldtown with his junk hanging from his neck.
- Dreadful Musician: He didn't wrote about his time in Aegon III's court, instead he liked writing and composing sacred music, which according to Gyldayn was appallingly written.
- The Fundamentalist: Claimed to have conspired against the Rogare family for being foreigners who worshipped strange gods.
- Nepotism: Unwin wasted no time in filling every part of the Red Keep with his family and friends, and the cleric was no exception.
- Please Spare Him, My Liege!: Bernard was only spared execution because the High Septon wrote a letter to Aegon III, beseeching the young king for mercy on account of Bernard's faith.
Princess Rhaella Targaryen
One of the twin daughters of Princess Rhaena and Prince Aegon Targaryen, born during their time sheltered at Casterly Rock. Sent to Oldtown to become a septa during the reign of Maegor.
- I Have Your Wife: She was one of the proverbial wives. Rhaena had her and her sister hidden without knowing where they were going, but Tyanna found them and made them hostages to ensure their mother would marry Maegor.
- Polar Opposite Twins: Aerea was a shy, quiet child being raised in the royal court while Rhaella was a wild girl sent to be trained as a septa. As they grew older, Aerea became a rebellious delinquent while Rhaella became mild-mannered and obedient. This sudden and convenient change in their personalities caused many to believe that the two had been secretly switched.
- Stealth Insult: In her last recorded conversation with Rhaena, she said to have thanked her for giving her "the best mother I could ask for". She's not talking about Rhaena, but it's not clear if her mother noticed.
Princess Maegelle TargaryenThe sixth child and third daughter of Jaehaerys I and Alysanne. She became a septa and was the one behind the reconciliation between her parents after their Second Quarrel in 94 AC. She nursed children infected with greyscale until she contracted the disease herself and perished from it in 96 AC.
- All There in the Manual: She is only mentioned in The World of Ice & Fire and Fire & Blood.
- Big Sister Mentor: Subverted. She intended to be this for her younger sister Saera, who was forced to join the Faith as punishment for her sexual promiscuity and cruelty, but Saera ran away after a year and a half without a shred of remorse for her actions.
- Big Sister Worship: Followed her older sister Alyssa everywhere she went, and in turn she was followed by her younger sister Daella.
- Calling the Old Man Out: She essentially strong-armed her father into reconciling with her mother after Jaehaerys and Alysanne had spent two years estranged and living apart after a bitter argument, insisting that their soon to be wed granddaughter would want both of her grandparents at the wedding.Maegelle: You are called the Conciliator, father. It is past time you conciliated.
- The Dutiful Daughter: Kind, gentle, diligent, and never gave her parents a moment's worry.
- Nice Girl: She was known to be gentle and sweet, but also well read.
- Taking the Veil: She seems to have been a model septa with it.
- The Plague: She treated children with greyscale, which eventually led to her death.
- The Medic: Part of her septa portfolio.
- All There in the Manual: They are only mentioned in The World of Ice & Fire.
- Coattail-Riding Relative: They were under the wing of Aegon for about four years until his father Viserys found them out. They were sent to become septas even before Aegon was crowned King, so they were not legally allowed to become legitimized like the rest of his bastards.
- Odd Name Out: Only Alysanne isn't a nature themed name.
- Taking the Veil: They were given to the Faith to become Septas after their mother was returned to her lawful husband by Viserys II.