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Lord Varys

Faith of the Andals

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I just would like to get more information about the Faith, beginning with its origin in Essos, the role it played during the establishing of the Andal Kingdoms (and was their a religious crusade against the Old Gods), and about the structures it took in Westeros.

Where there always a High Septon? Where was his seat before the Starry Sept was built? Had he representatives at the different courts (maybe a Septon with an office similar to that of Grand Maester under the Targaryen regime)? Had the Faith ever Lordships of his own (similar to the Lordbishops of the Holy Roman Empire)? What role did the Faith play in the Old Ironborn Kingdom? And what role did various High Septons play during the wars of the different Kingdoms before the Conquest?

And then of course details about the rebellion during the reigns of Aenys, Maegor and Jaehaerys: Why started this whole rebellion? Who backed it? Were there real battles, or was this whole thing more a battle against terrorism?

Information about notable historical (High) Septons and Septas would be interesting - especially if they were from noble families, Rhaena Targaryen most likely joined the Most Devout, I would think. Even more, if they were strong political figures - I doubt that the movement that made the High Sparrow the High Septon is entirely new. There must have been similar movements during the Dance of Dragons, the Blackfyre Rebellions and other wars.

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Very interesting questions, and I have to admit, not a particular area we've focused on ... but then, right now we know little as far as the answers go. Perhaps George'll reveal some information along these lines when he turns his hand to the world book (ADwD first). :)

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To add a few things, it might be interesting, to get a few lines about the genesis of the Seven-pointed Star, too? Is a bible type volume, containing of different smaller books written over large volume of time, or supposed to be written by one person only through which the gods did speak, like the Koran.

Oh, and if you are exploring all, or some of the Hands of the Targaryen Kings, we would at least get a look at Septon Barth, who, in addition to being Jaehaerys's Hand, likely was a influential figure in the Faith as well. I could easily imagine that he was mostly responsible for finally making peace between (factions of) the Faith and the Targaryens.

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I'd like to have a break-down of the Seven Gods and their most popular Aspects, the Smith is if I remember said to have an aspect for almost every craft made by humans, and some short discussion of their respective influence and importance.

Any information about theological changes over time would also be interesting. How simiar is today's Faith from that of the invading Andals?

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Not exactly sure about the Andals faith either.

I really enjoy that George has made the followers of the Lord of Light extremely pious and quick to nullify and discredit any other belief system, much like Christians. However, I don't necessarily like that so far the Lord of Light seems to be a legitimate deity. Hopefully the series steers further from a Christianesque theme in that aspect at least. I do enjoy the fact that the 7 seem to have little to no legitimacy as far as miraculous acts (such as those performed by tLoL and the Old gods), and that the Faith has rooted themselves deep within the government, making the faith's only real power state related, much like Catholicism did. The series does a great job at giving many opinions toward religion, and to credit Robert Greene, the faith is a great example of "playing on people's need to believe and creating a cult-like following" (law 27 of the 48 Laws of Power)

Just my quick opinion on the subject. Westeros's general tolerance of religion has fascinated me since my first read, being from a heavily sheltered and Christian upbringing. When I learned of Christianity's true intentions and that most religions are actually based from astrological cosmogonies, I connected on a new level with the series. I also love the fact that GRRM utilizes dreams and stars as relevant factors in the series.

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Is the Faith still practiced anywhere in Essos?

In Braavos; thought this is mainly by Westerosi sailors. Hence the "Sept Beyond the Sea." In a sense the Faceless Men participate in the Andal Faith, albiet only in worshiping the Stranger as an avatar of their god.

Other than that, I have no idea. In one of the spoiler SPOILER Tyrion chapters it is mentioned that the Andal homeland is still uninhabited, so there are no remnants of the original Seven-worshipping society that we know of.

R'hllorism sounds more like Mithraism or Mazdaism to me. The structure of the Faith is (superficially)similar to medieval Catholicism, but its male and female trinities are similar to pre-Christian religious concepts of deity, ESPECIALLY maiden-mother-crone...though of course the true inspiration for the appearance of the Seven to the Andals comes from Styx's "Come Sail Away."

I wonder if the Smith limps....

My question is Why in the hell the Septons (and Maesters, for that matter) are expected to be celibate? No justification has, to my knowledge, ever been given for this behavior.

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Just to make it more of a medieval Christianity analog, I would suspect. Really all you would need is one line from one of the Seven's prophets 1900 years ago to establish it. Catholicism bases its celibacy mainly on two or three things Paul said in his epistles, that's about it I believe. So it's not too big of a stretch, just something Martin didn't bother to explain because it's kind of explained by the fact that it's meant to be an analog of real-life medieval Christianity. If it weren't similar in that aspect people might miss the analogy.

Since A Feast For Crows I'm interested in the warrior orders of the Seven since they are playing such a big part in the plot now.

EDIT: As for why Maester's are supposed to be celibate, that seems different...I guess because they are like medieval monks and are supposed to devote all their time to learning? It's not exactly the same as a convent, of course, and if the Maester's predate the Andals they'd have no connection to the Seven. Maybe they'd be more like druid priests then, and I believe they were celibate (no idea, though...)

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Well, come to think of it, there are some things concerning the Faith of the Seven I'd like know:



1. Were the High Septons pre-Conquest mostly chosen from royal houses and/or the high nobility, and if so, which houses had the most High Septons (in recent years and dating back towards the Andal Invasion). This is especially interesting since the High Septons most likely were the most powerful men in the South before Aegon's Conquest. Putting a brother/cousin on the throne of the High Septon would have been a major success for any noble and/or royal house.



2. Were there ever any Targaryen High Septons post-Conquest and/or among the Most Devout? Princess Rhaena - the sister of Daena and Elaena - apparently followed Baelor's example and joined the Faith. She may have become one of the Most Devout. Baelor did not made the Most Devout choose him as High Septon, but were the ever other Targaryen High Septon we don't know anything about yet?



3. Any information on the past of the High Septon(s) during the Faith Militant Uprising would be interesting as well.


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