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The Faith of the Seven is a fictional religion appearing in the A Song of Ice and Fire book series by George R.R. Martin and in its television adaption Game of Thrones.
The Faith of the Seven is the dominant religion in the continent of Westeros, where the story is set.
The Faith of the Seven originated in Andalos, on the continent of Essos, among the Andal people. It is said that the Seven walked the Hills of Andalos in human form in those days, and that the Father made a crown out of seven stars for Hugor of the Hill, the first king of the Andals. The Maid brought forth a beautiful girl to become his wife, and the Mother made her fertile, so that she bore Hugor fourty-four sons, as foretold by the Crone. The Warrior granted the sons strength of arm, and the Smith forged each one a suit of armour.
The Faith would first come ot Westeros when the Andals crossed the Narrow Sea and invaded. The Andals conquered all of Westeros save the North, and the Faith of the Seven become the dominant religion in all of Westeros save the North and the Iron Isles, where the Old Gods and the Drowned God reigned respectively.
The Faith of the Seven worships the Seven, seven aspects of a single deity, each embodying different virtues. Worshippers will pray to whatever aspect that may aid them in fulfilling their prayer. The aspects are:
The Father, also known as the "Father Above" is the aspect of judgement, and is prayed to for justice. He is depicted as a bearded man carrying scales.
The Mother, also known as the "Mother Above" is the aspect of motherhood, nurturing and mercy, and is prayed to for fertility and compassion. She is depicted as smiling.
The Warrior is the aspect of martial strength, and is prayed to for courage and victory. He is depicted as carrying a sword.
The Maiden is the aspect of innocence and chastity, and is usually prayed to protect a maiden's virtue.
The Smith is the aspect of crafts and labour, and is usually prayed to for the strength to accomplish a task. He is depicted with a hammer.
The Crone is the aspect of wisdom, which is what she is prayed to for. She is depicted as carrying a lantern.
The Stranger is the aspect of death and the unknown, and is rarely prayed to. It is depicted as neither male nor female, yet both, and with a grotesque half-human appearance.
The Faith of the Seven is the official religion of the Seven Kingdoms and its royal family, and is therefore heavily integrated into both laws and culture. The Faith has many moral teachings, and frowns on things such as gambling and whoring, and considers incest and kin slaying cursed.
The central text of the Faith is the Seven Pointed Star, which is divided into seven books for each of the gods. Its houses of worship are called "Septs" and are decorated with art or statues representing the Seven Aspects.
The Faith has a heavy influence on the Westerosi justice system. Any accused may demand a trial by combat, which posits that the gods will intervene and ensure that the guilty party is struck down. Knights are also traditionally knighted by spending a nightlong vigil in a sept, and then being anointed with holy oils in the name of the Seven.
The number seven has great importance in the religion, and is considered holy. The Seven Faces of God, the Seven Hells, the Seven Wanderers (stars), and even grace is thought to have seven aspects. The icons of the religion are seven-pointed stars, prisms and rainbows. Rites of worship heavily feature the use of light and crystals.
Organizsation and clergy
The clergy of the Seven are known as "septons" (male) and "septas" (female).
The rulership of the Faith is comprised of a council of the highest ranking septons and septas, called the "Most Devout." They are lead by the High Septon, who is usually, but not always, elected from one of the Most Devout.
There are various orders of septons, each focusing on one aspect of the Seven. There are monastic orders of septons who live in self-sustaining enclaves referred to as "septries." Others take service at castles and towns where they tend to the local sept, and others still wander the countryside ministering to the smallfolk in exchange for room and board.
Like their male counterparts, there are many orders of septas. Some live in convents, while others serve as governesses in the households of nobles.
The Silent Sisters are a female order that serve the Strangers. They take vows of chastity and silence, and handle the bodies of the dead, usually preparing them for funerals. They wear grey clothes and hide all of their faces with the exception of their eyes.
The Faith Militant
The Faith Militant are the Faith's military orders, who fight for the interests of the Faith. They are composed of two orders; The Warrior's Sons, who are knights that have renounced their lands, gold, titles and possessions to fight for the Faith, and the Poor Fellows, who are composed of commoners and women, and serve as footmen, usually protecting pilgrims and wandering septons.