Quiet Isle

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The riverlands and the location of the Quiet Isle
The riverlands and the location of the Quiet Isle
Quiet Isle
The riverlands and the location of the Quiet Isle[1]

The Quiet Isle is an upthrust island that sits at the mouth of the Trident where it flows into the Bay of Crabs, southeast of Saltpans and northwest of Maidenpool.[2] Its septry is a refuge for those sworn to the Faith of the Seven.[3] Septon Meribald has often visited the isle.

Inhabitants

Those who dwell on the Quiet Isle are male penitents seeking to atone for their sins. Only the Elder Brother and his proctors are permitted to speak on the island and the proctors only one day in seven. The brothers are allowed to break their silence when confessing, as it is hard to speak of sin with signs and nods. Septon Meribald takes confession when he visits the isle.

The brothers wear brown-and-dun robes, with wide bell sleeves and pointed cowls. Many brothers wind lengths of wool about the lower halves of their faces as well, so that all that can be seen of them are their eyes.

The Elder Brother keeps the worst of the tidings from outside to himself, so as not to disturb the tranquility of the septry. Occasionally some visitors are allowed to stay on the island. Some are women who are sick, hurt, or with child.[3]

Layout

Island

The isle is colder and wilder on its east side than on the sheltered side. The hill is steeper and the path meanders back and forth through weeds and briars, wind carved rocks, and twisted, thorny trees that cling to the stony hillside. Saltpans can be seen on clear nights.[3]

Thick mudflats surround the island when the swift tide goes out. To get to the island from the mainland by foot one must cross the mudflats when the tide is out. Because of the dangers of quicksand, tidal pools, and drowning, the crooked approach is called the path of faith.[3]

When the tide is in the brothers use a ferry to get to the mainland. The isle's slopes are covered with terraced fields, with fishponds down below and a windmill above, its wood-and-sailcloth blades turning slowly in the breeze off the bay. Sheep graze on the hillside and storks wade in the shallow waters around the ferry landing.[3]

Where the river meets the bay, numerous objects are washed toward the Quiet Isle. The brothers have found driftwood, silver cups, iron pots, sacks of wool and bolts of silk, rusted helms and shining swords, and rubies. Drowned creatures and slain bodies also wash up on the island.[3]

Septry

The Quiet Isle's prosperous septry stands half a mile from the shore, where the wide mouth of the Trident widens further to the Bay of Crabs. A pebbled path from the shore leads through a grove of apple trees to a whitewashed stable with a peaked that roof.[3]

The brothers built a flight of wooden steps that wander back and forth across the steep hillside and among the buildings. There is a low barn on a lower slope, while a lichyard is found on a higher slope. A summer arbor produces small, tart grapes used for wine. The brothers brew their own ale as well, and their mead and cider are far famed. The brothers provide themselves with their own food and appear to be self-sufficient. Food includes bread, fresh churned butter, honey, and a thick stew of crabs.[3]

The top of the hill has a low wall of unmortared stone encircling a cluster of buildings, including a windmill, the cloisters, and the common hall. The wooden sept has leaded glass windows and wide doors carved with the likenesses of the Mother and the Father and a seven-sided steeple. Behind the sept is a vegetable garden where some of the older brothers pull weeds.[3]

Hermit's Hole

The Hermit's Hole is a cave located in the side of a hill with a wooden door at its entrance, near a chestnut tree. It is the original residence of the first holy man to live on the Quiet Isle roughly two thousand years before the events of A Song of Ice and Fire. Currently the Elder Brother occupies the cave.

Woolen carpets cover the ground and tapestries cover the walls of the cozy sanctum. The cave contains a long table, a settle, a chest, cups, and several tall cases full of books and chairs. All are made of polished driftwood which appears golden in the light from tall beeswax candles.[3]

Women's cottages

Set aside for the women who visit the isle, be they noble ladies or smallfolk, are modest cottages on the eastern side of the isle, looking out over a broad expanse of mud and the distant waters of the Bay of Crabs. The cottages resemble beehives made of stone, low and rounded, windowless with smokeholes in the center of their roofs. A typical cottage includes a dirt floor, a straw pallet, furs and blankets to keep her warm, a basin of water, a flagon of cider, some bread and cheese, a small fire and two low chairs.[3]

The cottages are not often used but the brothers keep them clean and dry. On the Quiet Isle men and women do not sleep beneath the same roof unless they are wed.[3]

History

Six rubies from Prince Rhaegar Targaryen's armor, knocked loose by Lord Robert Baratheon's warhammer during the Battle of the Trident, have washed ashore at the Quiet Isle and been recovered by the brothers. Believing in the Faith of the Seven, the brothers await the appearance of a seventh ruby.[3]

Recent Events

Brienne of Tarth and the Elder Brother discuss Brienne's mission- by Pojypojy ©

A Feast for Crows

The War of the Five Kings has not come to the Quiet Isle, although the bodies of combatants have washed ashore and Brother Clement dies after the nearby raid on Saltpans.[3]

Brienne of Tarth, Septon Meribald, Podrick Payne, and Ser Hyle Hunt visit the island during Brienne's quest to find Sansa Stark. The stable is more than three quarters empty, with only half a dozen mules. Away from the other animals is Driftwood, a huge black stallion which was known as Stranger when it was owned by Sandor Clegane. Brienne's group also sees a lame gravedigger in the lichyard.[3]

They speak with the Elder Brother and have a discussion on the war and Saltpans. After the others leave, the Elder Brother and Brienne discuss Brienne's mission and why she has to find Sansa.[3] Her party then takes a ferry from the Quiet Isle to the ruins of Saltpans.[4]

Known Brothers of the Quiet Isle

Quotes

The water that separated the island from the shore was receding, leaving behind a broad expanse of glistening brown mudflats dotted by tidal pools that glittered like golden coins in the afternoon sun.[3]
- thoughts of Brienne of Tarth


Podrick: Why do they call it the Quiet Isle?

Meribald: Those who dwell here are penitents, who seek to atone for their sins through contemplation, prayer, and silence. Only the Elder Brother and his proctors are permitted to speak, and the proctors only for one day of every seven.[3]

- Podrick Payne and Meribald


Hyle: Isn't that where we want to go? We seem to be walking every way but toward it?

Meribald: Faith. Believe, persist, and follow, and we shall find the peace we seek.[3]

- Hyle Hunt and Meribald while approaching the isle

Chapters that take place at the Quiet Isle

References and Notes

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