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Anthony Appleyard

Septs

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https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Sept

Is it known what was the standard order of the seven images of the gods in the circle of seven?

Is it known which of the seven images should be nearest to the sept's worship room's door?

If a community who worshipped the Seven set up abroad, and the only building or room big enough to be used as a sept was a long straight corridor, would it be acceptable in the emergency to arrange the seven images in a straight line along one side of the corridor?

Is it known how the Faith of the Seven arose? Was it invented all at once by a founding prophet? Or did it evolve slowly by gradually changing older religions?

 

Edited by Anthony Appleyard

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6 hours ago, Anthony Appleyard said:

https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Sept

Is it known what was the standard order of the seven images of the gods in the circle of seven?

All that has been made clear is that Mother and Father are next to each other, mostly for the benefit of wedding ceremonies.

6 hours ago, Anthony Appleyard said:

Is it known which of the seven images should be nearest to the sept's worship room's door?

I don't recall anything being specified, but I always imagined it to be the Stranger, because he marks 'the way out'.

6 hours ago, Anthony Appleyard said:

If a community who worshipped the Seven set up abroad, and the only building or room big enough to be used as a sept was a long straight corridor, would it be acceptable in the emergency to arrange the seven images in a straight line along one side of the corridor?

Their first priority would be to build a sept, I'm sure. But take analogies from real life, any room could be used for a synagogue so long as there is somewhere to keep the Torah, somewhere to read from it, and two candelabra, and worship can occur anywhere ten believers are gathered together. A mosque as a minimum requires a pointer towards Mekkah; a church needs an altar; and so on. Much of what is traditionally done by way of architecture is just custom rather than requirement, so - by analogy - I'm sure the Seven would rather be worshipped in a strange room than to be ignored for lack of a 'proper' room.

6 hours ago, Anthony Appleyard said:

Is it known how the Faith of the Seven arose? Was it invented all at once by a founding prophet? Or did it evolve slowly by gradually changing older religions?

 

Depends if you believe what it says in The Seven Pointed Star ;)

 

Quote

The Faith of the Seven arose in Essos among the Andals who lived in the hills of Andalos. It is claimed that the Seven walked there in human form. According to The Seven-Pointed Star, the Father brought down seven stars from heaven and placed them on the brow of Hugor of the Hill, the first king of the Andals, to form his crown. The Maid brought forth a girl supple as a willow with eyes like deep blue pools that became Hugor's first wife. The Mother made her fertile, allowing the girl to bear Hugor him forty-four mighty sons as foretold by the Crone. The Warrior gave each son strength of arms, and the Smith wrought each a suit of iron plate.[76] It is said that when she peered through the door of death, the Crone let the first raven into the world.[24]

 

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On 10/1/2019 at 1:24 PM, Rufus Snow said:

All that has been made clear is that Mother and Father are next to each other, mostly for the benefit of wedding ceremonies.

 

Likely, to avoid a disquieting tone in the happiness of a wedding, the Stranger was not adjacent to the other side of the Father or of the Mother.

It is to be wondered if circumstances ever pushed an area into expanding the Seven. For example, if any Andals while still in Essos ever moved to the coast and sailed or sea-fished much, some may have been tempted to add a Seaman to make eight, as a protector of sailors and ships.

 

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The Song of the Seven suggests this order.

Father
Mother
Warrior
Crone
Smith
Maiden
Stranger

Arranged in a circle, I imagine the main entrance would be between the Father and Stranger. Facing the Crone and her lamp.

Warrior Crone Smith
Mother   Maiden
Father Stranger

 

1 hour ago, Anthony Appleyard said:

It is to be wondered if circumstances ever pushed an area into expanding the Seven.

I believe Ironborn tried to get the Drowned God as the eighth, but were rejected.

Edited by Narsil4

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The song is at https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/The_Song_of_the_Seven

"Seaman" :: Here I meant a man in sailors' waterproofs, not a merman or similar part-man being.

When I have seen septs, they seem to be 7-sided. But I would guess that more conveniently the building would be 8-sided, leaving the eighth side for an adequate-sized entrance with e.g. a cloakroom or porch to leave wet outdoor coats in bad weather, and to stop wind-driven heavy rain from wetting the worship room.

 

Edited by Anthony Appleyard

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On 11/6/2019 at 3:11 PM, Anthony Appleyard said:

When I have seen septs, they seem to be 7-sided.

I was thinking something more like This.

Perhaps one might also add the Drowned god like This.

Edited by Narsil4

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15 hours ago, Narsil4 said:

The Song of the Seven suggests this order. ...

The best order in a song or poem is not necessarily the best order in a sept. Weddings tend to attract big congregations, and the most convenient arrangement to get a big congregation in and out easily at a wedding would seem to be with the entrance directly opposite the images of the Father and the Mother - and a wide enough door..

Edited by Anthony Appleyard

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14 hours ago, Anthony Appleyard said:

the most convenient arrangement

Septs are likely designed around symbolism, rather than convenience.  

 

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Advertisements for the videogame  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_of_Thrones:_Winter_Is_Coming persistently interrupt Youtube videos . One of them shows a settlement being built at a river crossing. One of the buildings is a 7-sided building, presumably a sept. It has 7 sides, and the side towards the viewpoint is largely occupied by a large entrance door, leaving only 6 sides for the 7 images of the gods. The idea that a building for the worship of the Seven should have seven sides, seems be natural but unworkable, as the entrance has to be somewhere. (I also found in a WoIaF book a description of a 7-sided foundation where a sept had been.) (Latin 'septem' means "seven".)

 

Edited by Anthony Appleyard

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On 12/14/2019 at 2:06 PM, Anthony Appleyard said:

It has 7 sides, and the side towards the viewpoint is largely occupied by a large entrance door, leaving only 6 sides for the 7 images of the gods. The idea that a building for the worship of the Seven should have seven sides, seems be natural but unworkable, as the entrance has to be somewhere.

You are assuming each altar is placed on a continuous wall, one of the faces of the seven-sided polygon building. If each altar occupies a vertex instead, like on the image @Narsil4 has provided: problem solved! 

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On 11/7/2019 at 2:03 AM, Anthony Appleyard said:

the entrance directly opposite the images of the Father and the Mother

I suspect this suggests the Crone would be the one facing the entrance.

Quote

She lifts her lamp of shining gold
to lead the little children.

Perhaps being symbolic of leading worshipers into the sept. 

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19 hours ago, Lady Dacey said:

You are assuming each altar is placed on a continuous wall, one of the faces of the seven-sided polygon building. If each altar occupies a vertex instead, like on the image @Narsil4 has provided: problem solved! 

In that case, with a 7-sided sept with the 7 altars at the corners, worship at the 2 altars at each end of the face with the entrance, may be impeded by people pushing past as they use the entrance, at least if the sept is small.

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On 12/17/2019 at 5:46 AM, Narsil4 said:

I suspect this suggests the Crone would be the one facing the entrance.

Perhaps being symbolic of leading worshipers into the sept. 

> She lifts her lamp of shining gold to lead the little children. 

Times may come where religious symbolism and aptness may collide with practicality. E,g,: if weddings tend to attract big congregations, then the nearer the Father and the Mother are to the point opposite the entrance, the more people can fit in before the back of the crowd reaches and thus obstructs the entrance.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Is there any description of a funeral service? Is it only held at the grave, or does anything also happen in the sept? If in the sept, then would it happen at the image of the Stranger?

 

Edited by Anthony Appleyard

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On 10/1/2019 at 1:10 AM, Anthony Appleyard said:

https://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Sept

Is it known what was the standard order of the seven images of the gods in the circle of seven?

Is it known which of the seven images should be nearest to the sept's worship room's door?

If a community who worshipped the Seven set up abroad, and the only building or room big enough to be used as a sept was a long straight corridor, would it be acceptable in the emergency to arrange the seven images in a straight line along one side of the corridor?

Is it known how the Faith of the Seven arose? Was it invented all at once by a founding prophet? Or did it evolve slowly by gradually changing older religions?

 

My guess on the origins of the seven have to do with the way prisms, which feature prominently in their liturgy, divide white light into seven shades, aka, seven aspects of one light. This would seem magical to early men, basically duplicating what they saw in the sky during certain weather conditions.

The Warrior's Sons symbol is a rainbow-color sword.

Renly had is Rainbow Guard, probably to highlight his adherence to the faith in contrast to Stannis' new religion.

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Have any of you heard of an attempt to build a sept in the real world, whether or not as part of a theme park or suchlike?

(Google search for "sept" is too cluttered by "September" and by the French word "sept" meaning "seven".)

 

Edited by Anthony Appleyard
ty[p

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Above, I queried the usual depictions of a sept as being a regular-heptagonal (7-sided) building, because of problems placing the entrance.

This image ( https://static.turbosquid.com/Preview/2018/12/12__09_32_03/GrandSeptofBaelorfirst.jpgBA0A66F0-5513-4EDB-8952-5A3F199795CCDefault.jpg )  shows a heptagon but far from regular. To me it looks like a regular octagon, but with one side removed and two of the corner towers merged. (See also https://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=56537.0 .)

 

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I think the only solution to get to the statue order is a careful re-read of all the scenes set in a sept. So, Cat before the battle at Storm's End, Jaime in his vigil for Tywin, various marriages and Sansa during the battle of the Blackwater when she was in the sept there. Between them, we may glean a few more clues....

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