The High Septon is the head of the Faith of the Seven, they held several honorary titles such as Father of the Faithful, His High Holiness and Shepherd of the Faithful. 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.
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 arrival 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.
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. This was most notable during the reign of Baelor the Blessed, who had a stoneworker and later an eight-year old boy chosen for the office.
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 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 and gold while performing their duties. According to Cersei Lannister, it is possible to winkle out the birth names of High Septons but they do not appreciate it if you use them.
A Game of Thrones
A Clash of Kings
A Storm of Swords
A Feast for Crows
Tyrion's High Septon is regarded as a weak willed but good man. He prayed with Ser Lancel Lannister when he was injured and near death. Lancel confesses his sins to him, such as bedding Queen Cersei Lannister and giving King Robert I Baratheon a more potent wine than he was used to which resulted in his death. The High Septon said he must forgive her though. Cersei, paranoid about what Lancel may have told him, orders the High Septon's death. Osney Kettleblack sneaks into the Great Sept of Baelor and suffocates the man with a pillow while he sleeps.
The next High Septon is imposed on the Most Devout by the "sparrows" who turn up as refugees from the War of the Five Kings. He's dubbed the High Sparrow The Faith Militant is reinstated during his term when Queen Cersei wants the crown's debt to the Faith settled.
A devout and holy man with an iron will, the High Sparrow has much of the Faith's riches, such as crowns and rings, sold to raise funds for the poor. He has Cersei and Margaery arrested due to accusations of infidelity and adultery.
Known High Septons
- Septon Robeson, who ruled Oldtown as regent for Lord Triston Hightower for twenty years, eventually becoming the first High Septon.
- The High Septon during the Aegon's Conquest and the start of the Aegon I Targaryen's reign. He died in 11 AC.
- Six High Septons during the rest of Aegon I's reign, which include:
- The High Septon during at least the later years of the reign of Aenys I and the early years of Maegor I, who mysteriously died in 43 AC.
- Septon Pater, who was named High Septon in 43 AC at the age of ninety and died the next year.
- The High Lickspittle during the later years of Maegor I's reign, who was elected High Septon in 44 AC after the death of Septon Pater. Seton Moon claimed the title of "High Septon" in defiance of the High Lickspittle.
- Septon Alfyn, who worked to make the Doctrine of Exceptionalism an official tenet of the Faith.
- The High Septon who was brother to Lord Donnel Hightower.
- The High Septon during the late reign of King Jaehaerys I Targaryen, present at the Great Council of 101 AC.
- The old and frail High Septon during the Dance of the Dragons.
- The High Septon during the regency and early reign of King Aegon III Targaryen who forbade the marriage between Lord Lyonel Hightower and his step-mother, Samantha Tarly.
- The High Septon during the reign of King Aegon III Targaryen, who was elected in 143 AC and reversed the ruling of his predecessor.
- The first High Septon during the reign of King Baelor I Targaryen, who dissolved Baelor's marriage to his sister, Daena.
- The second High Septon during the reign of King Baelor I, who had been a stonemason named Pate, whom the Most Devout elected after Baelor insisted he had had a vision.
- The third and last High Septon during the reign of King Baelor I, who was elected at the age of eight at Baelor's behest.
- The High Septon during the reign of King Daeron II Targaryen, who died in the Great Spring Sickness.
- The High Septon during the reign of King Maekar I Targaryen, who offered to absolve Aemon Targaryen him from his maester's vows.
- The High Septon during the reign of King Aegon V Targaryen, who insisted King Aegon force his son and heir, Prince Duncan, to choose between the Iron Throne and the woman he loved, Jenny of Oldstones.
- The High Septon during the reign of King Aerys II Targaryen, who contributed to Aerys remaining faithful to his sister-wife, Queen Rhaella Targaryen.
A Song of Ice and Fire
- So Spake Martin: Concerning Dorne (October 28, 2001)
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 28, Cersei VI.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 7, Cersei II.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 41, Tyrion IX.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 60, Tyrion VIII.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 17, Cersei IV.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 43, Cersei X.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 3, Jon I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Reach: Oldtown.
- The Sons of the Dragon.
- Fire & Blood, The Sons of the Dragon.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aenys I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen King: Aenys I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen King: Maegor I.
- Fire & Blood, Birth, Death, and Betrayal Under King Jaehaerys I.
- Fire & Blood, Heirs of the Dragon - A Question of Succession.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Blacks and the Greens.
- Fire & Blood, The Dying of the Dragons - The Short, Sad Reign of Aegon II.
- Fire & Blood, Aftermath - The Hour of the Wolf.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Baelor I.
- The Sworn Sword.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 6, Jon I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon V.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aerys II.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 54, Cersei I.