Great Sept of Baelor

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The sept, plaza and overview of the city and Red Keep.
Art By Kim Pope, for the HBO TV adaptation
Great Sept of Baelor by Marc Simonetti ©

The Great Sept of Baelor, also called the Sept of Baelor, is the center of religious worship for the Faith of the Seven and the seat of the High Septon of the Faith. It is located in King's Landing, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms. It is named after the Septon King Baelor the Blessed.


Contents

Description

The Great Sept of Baelor is named after the Septon King Baelor the Blessed. It is located at the top of Visenya's hill, surrounded by a white marble plaza. It features a statue of Baelor, which stands tall and serene upon his plinth; his face is a study of benevolence. [1] and large gardens, capable of holding hundreds surround the sept.[2]

The sept itself is an impressive marble domed structure, It has seven crystal towers, each of which has bells. Only on momentous occasions, such as the death of a king, are all of them rung.[3] There are several sets of doors leading into the Sept, septons use the Father's Doors, septas the Mother's Doors and silent sisters the Stranger's Doors.[4] Around the doors leading into the building is a raised marble pulpit from which a septon can address a gathering crowd.

Past the doors is the entrance hall of the sept, which is known as the Hall of Lamps. Those entering the hall walk beneath suspended globes of colored leaded glass.[5] Through the double-doors is the sept-proper, with seven broad aisles which meet beneath the dome of glass, gold, and crystal.[5] Its floors made out of marble and great windows of leaded, colored glass, and the seven altars are set about with candles.[2] Different altars are used for different ceremonies, depending on their purpose. For example, marriages are always conducted at the altar between two towering gilded statues of the Father and the Mother.[6]

Below are tombs where kings are laid to rest,[7] cells for penitents,[2] and vaults that hold costly vestments, rings, crystal crowns, and other treasures of the Faith.[2]

History

The sept was constructed by Baelor the Blessed, replacing the Starry Sept of Oldtown as the center of the Faith in the Seven Kingdoms.

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

With the influx of people in King's Landing before the Tourney of the Hand, a woman's head is found floating in the rainbow pool of the Great Sept.[8]

Lord Eddard Stark is taken to the steps of the Great Sept of Baelor where, unbeknownst to him, Yoren, his daughter Arya Stark, and the disguised Ser Barristan Selmy are amongst the crowd. Eddard makes a false public confession, but the plan goes awry when King Joffrey Baratheon declares that Eddard must be executed, to the evident shock of Queen Cersei Lannister, Varys, and the High Septon. Ilyn Payne beheads Eddard Stark on the steps with his own greatsword, Ice.

A Clash of Kings

Thousands jam the Great Sept of Baelor prior to the Battle of the Blackwater. It is also mentioned several times that the Faith is outraged that Ned Stark's execution was performed there, as in their eyes, the sept was profaned with blood by this.

A Storm of Swords

The wedding of Joffrey Baratheon and Margaery Tyrell takes place at midday on the first day of the year 300AC in the Great Sept of Baelor.

A Feast for Crows

Lord Tywin Lannister's body rests under the Great Sept’s lofty dome of glass and gold and crystal, upon a stepped marble bier. At its head Jaime Lannister stands vigil. Tywin's corpse stinks so badly no one is able to enter the Great Sept of Baelor for days afterward.

A Dance with Dragons

Cersei disrobes on the steps of the Great Sept. © FFG

Tyrion Lannister thinks that the Temple of the Lord of Light in Volantis is three times the size of the Great Sept of Baelor.

Cersei Lannister is imprisoned in a cell, high up in one of the seven towers of the Great Sept. During her walk of shame Cersei thinks Baelor must have been foolish and thinks it is a wonder his statue does not crumble at the sight of her bare breasts. [1]

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