Septons can study at great centers of religious training, such as the Great Sept of Baelor, but not all local septons are well educated. Upon taking his vows, a septon sets aside his last name, even if he come from a noble family. Although septons take a vow of chastity, some of the priests have fathered children.
Septons hang a crystal about their necks on a thong, and well-to-do septons wear white robes and woven seven-color belts. Members of the Most Devout, the most esteemed septons who choose new High Septons, wear cloth-of-silver vestments and crystal coronals.
Septons use a censer and incense during service. To reflect light and depict the rainbow, they wield a seven-sided crystal or a faceted crystal sphere. The High Septon wears a crystal crown.
Septons can perform marriages, provide prayers of passage when someone is dying, and copy letters. Septas who copy and illuminate texts for the Faith are known to alter or remove texts they deem unacceptable. Followers of the Faith can seek spiritual guidance and be forgiven for their sins by septons. Some septons tend to the wounded, but the healing skills of maesters are considered superior. When a man becomes a knight, it is customary to stand a vigil and be anointed by a septon before reciting the knightly vows. Three times a year, the Great Sept has septons provide heraldic drawings and illuminations for the White Book of the Kingsguard.
The First Men of antiquity only wrote with runes on rocks, so stories about the Dawn Age, Age of Heroes, and and the Long Night were written down thousands of years later by septons and maesters, with septons choosing to include or alter details as they saw fit.
Seven septons are said to have been with the victorious Andals in the Battle of Bitter River. During the coming of the Andals to the Reach, King Garth IX Gardener made a septon part of his council and built the first sept at Highgarden. Septon Robeson served as regent for Lord Triston Hightower and became the first High Septon, and Triston built the Starry Sept in his honor. Septons stopped the Sistermen from casting dwarfs into the Bite as offerings to their gods of old.
During Aegon's Conquest, the High Septon advised against opposing House Targaryen after praying in the Starry Sept for seven days and seven nights. Septons accompanied King Aegon I Targaryen during his royal progresses throughout the Seven Kingdoms. Aegon affirmed that accused septons could only be tried in the courts run by the Faith.
The High Septon during the reign of Aenys I Targaryen opposed the incestual marriage of the king's children, Prince Aegon and Princess Rhaena, having his objections spread throughout the realm by ten thousand septons. Septon Murmison, Aenys's Hand of the King, was expelled from the Faith for performing the marriage, and he was soon assassinated by Poor Fellows. King Maegor I Targaryen allegedly killed a dozen septons before finding one willing to officiate his marriage with Tyanna of the Tower. Septon Moon was one of the leaders of the Faith Militant uprising..
Septons Barth and Oswyck helped King Jaehaerys I Targaryen develop the Doctrine of Exceptionalism, and the brilliant Barth later became King's Hand. Casper Straw led thirty armed septons in protecting Rhaella Targaryen from Ser Orryn Baratheon.
When Prince Aemon the Dragonknight was carrying the snake-bitten King Baelor I Targaryen back from Dorne, a village septon in the Red Mountains gave Aemon clothing and a donkey. Baelor the Blessed convinced the High Septon to dissolve his marriage with Daena Targaryen. Baelor eventually took the vows of a septon himself, and he is thus remembered as the septon king.
King Daeron II Targaryen filled his court with septons, maesters, singers, and Dornishmen, which upset more militant members of society. During the reign of King Aerys I Targaryen, a hunchbacked septon was executed at Stoney Sept for preaching against Lord Brynden Rivers, Hand of the King.
A Game of Thrones
A Clash of Kings
A Storm of Swords
Septons are killed by Lannister soldiers at Sludgy Pond. Two septons have joined the brotherhood without banners, and the outlaw brotherhood hangs Septon Utt, one of the hated Brave Companions, after the battle at the burning septry.
A Feast for Crows
During the wake for Lord Tywin Lannister in the Great Sept of Baelor, seven septons in the silver robes pray to the Father. At midnight during Ser Jaime Lannister's vigil for his father, several hundred septons emerge through the Father's Doors to give devotions. The newly-pious Ser Lancel Lannister is accompanied by two septons when he departs for Darry.
Queen Regent Cersei Lannister has Ser Osney Kettleblack assassinate the High Septon in his sleep. Sparrows force the Most Devout to choose one of their own, a man dubbed the High Sparrow by Moon Boy, as the successor.
—writings of Barth
—thoughts of Catelyn Stark
Give me priests who are fat and corrupt and cynical, the sort who like to sit on soft satin cushions, nibble sweetmeats, and diddle little boys. It's the ones who believe in gods who make the trouble.
- Fire & Blood, Aegon's Conquest.
- So Spake Martin: Various ASOIAF Questions, April 21, 2000
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 28, Cersei VI.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 23, Daenerys II.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 19, Jon III.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 9, Tyrion I.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 44, Tyrion X.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 8, Jaime I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 2, Catelyn I.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 48, Jon VI.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 40, Catelyn VII.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 65, Arya V.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 42, Tyrion VI.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 28, Sansa III.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 51, Catelyn VII.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 35, Samwell IV.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 10, Davos I.
- Fire & Blood, A Surfeit of Rulers.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 70, Jon IX.
- The Sworn Sword.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 34, Catelyn VI.
- The Hedge Knight.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 67, Jaime VIII.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 25, Brienne V.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 5, Samwell I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Age of Heroes.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Riverlands.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Reach: Andals in the Reach.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Reach: Oldtown.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 9, Davos I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Iron Islands: The Black Blood.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Iron Islands: The Greyjoys of Pyke.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon I.
- Fire & Blood, The Sons of the Dragon.
- Fire & Blood, A Time of Testing - The Realm Remade.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Jaehaerys I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Viserys I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Baelor I.
- The Mystery Knight.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 29, Arya V.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 41, Tyrion IX.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 49, Tyrion XI.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 50, Theon IV.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 34, Arya VI.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 17, Arya III.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 39, Arya VII.
- A Storm of Swords, Chapter 77, Tyrion XI.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 7, Cersei II.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 16, Jaime II.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 43, Cersei X.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 17, Cersei IV.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 37, Brienne VII.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 34, Cat Of The Canals.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 29, The Reaver.
- A Game of Thrones, Chapter 29, Sansa II.
- A Clash of Kings, Chapter 42, Davos II.
- A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 27, Tyrion VII.