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The High Septon is the head of the Faith of the Seven. Historically the High Septon ruled from the Starry Sept in Oldtown. However, after the invasion of Aegon Targaryen, the High Septon at that time threw his support behind Aegon and the position was eventually relocated to the new capital of King's Landing.
Relationship with the Targaryens
The High Septon and the Most Devout convene in the Great Sept of Baelor in King's Landing, a vast building of white marble with seven crystal towers. Prior to being stationed in King's Landing, and before the advent of the Targaryens, the seat of the Faith was the ornate Starry Sept in Oldtown, which was constructed of black marble with stained glass windows set in pointed arches.
Selection of a new High Septon
The selection of a new High Septon is traditionally in the hands of the Most Devout but the will of past Targaryen Kings has sometimes influenced their choice, most notably during the reign of Baelor the Blessed who had a stoneworker and later an eight-year old boy chosen for the office.
An avatar of the gods
A new High Septon extends the practice of septons giving up their family names by renouncing any kind of individual name. This is due to the belief that the individual becoming High Septon is no longer a man but an avatar of the gods. This however leads to trouble distinguishing between various past holders of the office, as one can only refer to them by descriptions such as "The stonemason one" or "the fat one" or the "one before the fat one." High Septons usually wear a great crown made of crystal while performing their duties.
Historical High Septons
- Septon Robeson, who became regent for Lord Triston Hightower and became the first High Septon.
- High Septon during the War of Conquest
- High Septon during the Faith Militant uprising.
- High Septon that was a stonemason
- High Septon that was a child
Thus far three High Septons have appeared in person during the story:
- The First High Septon (known as the Fat One). He was a grossly fat man who had been High Septon for many years before being killed in the Riot of King’s Landing. He was regarded by many Lords and smallfolk as fat and corrupt.
- The Second High Septon. The replacement was selected by Tyrion Lannister. He was regarded as a weak willed but good man. He prayed with Lancel Lannister when the boy was injured and near death. Lancel confessed his sins to him, such as bedding Cersei Lannister and giving the King a more potent wine than he was used to which resulted in his death. The High Septon said he must forgive her though. Queen Cersei, paranoid about what Lancel may have told him ordered his death. Osney Kettleblack snuck into the great sept and suffocated the man with a pillow while he slept.
- The Third High Septon, known as the High Sparrow. The latest High Septon was also not to Cersei's liking, as he was one of the "sparrows" who had turned up as refugees after the events of the War of the Five Kings. A truly devout and holy man with an iron will, he arrested Cersei and Margaery due to accusations of infidelity and adultery. Also, the Faith Militant was reinstated during his term when Queen Cersei wanted the crown's debt settled.
|“||The gods’ own voice on earth.||”|
|“||The High Septon speaks for the Seven here on earth. Strike at him, and you are striking at the gods themselves.||”|
References and Notes
- ↑ So Spake Martin October 28, 2001, Concerning Dorne.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 7, Cersei.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 17, Cersei.
- ↑ A Feast for Crows, Chapter 28, Cersei.
- ↑ A Feast for Crows, Chapter 43, Cersei.
- ↑ A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 3, Jon.
- ↑ The Sworn Sword.
- ↑ A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 54, Cersei.