Poor Fellows

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A red seven-pointed star is the Poor Fellows's badge
The poor fellows are suppressed - by Marc Simonetti ©

The Poor Fellows was an order of Westerosi, mostly smallfolk, sworn to the Faith of the Seven. They were part of the Faith Militant, and were otherwise known as the Stars, as they used a red seven-pointed star as their badge.[1] Their counterparts were the "Swords" or Warrior's Sons. The Poor Fellows obeyed and answered to the High Septon, as they believed the High Septon spoke for the Seven.

History

The red star of the Poor Fellows had its origins in the days of the Andal invasion of Westeros, when zealous warriors carved the seven-pointed star into their chests.[2]

Acting as a militant counterpart to begging brothers, Poor Fellows became defenders of wayfarers on the road, escorting pilgrims between septs. They greatly outnumbered their knightly counterparts in the Faith Militant, the Warrior's Sons.[1]

The Poor Fellows accepted members from all ranks of society, regardless of birth, sex or station, though they were led in battle by the Warrior's Sons.[citation needed] Despite not being as trained, disciplined, or well-armed as the Warrior's Sons, the Poor Fellows formed the bulk of the Faith's army. They were lightly-armed footmen who carried whatever weapons they could make or find, often axes or cudgels, and they wore star badges, red on surcoats bleached white. Some even scourged or branded the seven-pointed star in their flesh.[1][3]

At the start of the Faith Militant uprising in 41 AC, Poor Fellows slew Septon Murmison for performing the incestual marriage of Prince Aegon Targaryen to Princess Rhaena Targaryen, both children of King Aenys I Targaryen. Poor Fellows also tried to assassinate the Targaryens in the Red Keep, but were stopped by Ser Raymont Baratheon of the Kingsguard.[4][5]

Members of the order were brutally suppressed by King Maegor the Cruel because of their involvement in the rebellions. Maegor achieved a great victory over the Poor Fellows in the battle of Stonebridge, and defeated thirteen hundred of them at the Great Fork of the Blackwater.[6] An unnamed septon wrote a discourse on Maegor the Cruel's war against the Poor Fellows.[7]

Maegor outlawed the militant orders, offering a silver stag coin for an unrepentant Poor Fellow.[8] Support for Maegor declined in 48 AC, however, when Riverrun supported Septon Moon and Ser Joffrey Doggett of the Poor Fellows. Lord Daemon Velaryon and many great houses instead supported Prince Jaehaerys Targaryen, and Maegor died on the Iron Throne.[6]

Although outlawed, the Poor Fellows existed until the reign of the Old King, Jaehaerys I. Jaehaerys the Conciliator and Septon Barth negotiated a peace with the High Septon, however, and the Swords and Stars peacefully disbanded.[9] Some discrete groups of Poor Fellows still existed decades later, however, and the Shepherd who led the Storming of the Dragonpit in 130 AC is rumored to have been of the order.[10]

Recent Events

A Feast for Crows

In the aftermath of the War of the Five Kings, the sparrows make their way to King's Landing to demand the Iron Throne protection for the Faith. A man, with a seven-pointed star carved on his chest, identifies the group as "poor fellows".[11]

The new High Septon, known as the High Sparrow after the movement he leads, is allowed to restore the Poor Fellows after negotiating with Queen Regent Cersei Lannister. She overturns the law forbidding holy men from being armed, and the order is reborn.[1] The bulk of the current Poor Fellows are members of the High Septon's movement, known as sparrows.

Poor Fellows protect Lancel Lannister, Lord of Darry, when Ser Jaime Lannister visits his cousin's castle.[12]

A Dance with Dragons

The Great Sept of Baelor is surrounded by a ragged horde of Poor Fellows.[13]

Poor Fellows and Warrior's Sons escort Cersei during her walk of atonement.[3]

Historical members

Quotes

This debt shall be forgiven, and King Tommen will have his blessing. The Warrior's Sons shall escort me to him, shining in the glory of their Faith, whilst my sparrows go forth to defend the meek and humble of the land, reborn as Poor Fellows as of old.[1]
- High Sparrow to Cersei Lannister

References and Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 28, Cersei VI.
  2. The World of Ice and Fire, Ancient History: The Arrival of the Andals.
  3. 3.0 3.1 A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 65, Cersei II.
  4. The World of Ice and Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aenys I.
  5. The World of Ice and Fire, The Stormlands: House Baratheon.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 The World of Ice and Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Maegor I.
  7. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 11, The Kraken's Daughter.
  8. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 33, Jaime V.
  9. The World of Ice and Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys I.
  10. 10.0 10.1 The World of Ice and Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon II.
  11. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 4, Brienne I.
  12. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 30, Jaime IV.
  13. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 54, Cersei I.

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