As if we needed more characters and locations to keep track of, Game of Thrones Season 5 is once again adding a few new elements to the mix. Last we saw everyone — and I mean, everyone, like, literally all the characters — they were scattered throughout Westeros, and now Essos. It's a lot to keep track of, so here's one more new character: High Sparrow. He's the leader of The Faith of Seven, and holds a title called Head Septon. Already confused? It's OK, this is a safe space to admit that. But really, who is the High Sparrow, and what does he mean for Game of Thrones? Let's break it down.
First of all, let's dig into the Faith of the Seven. Basically, it's a Westeros religion but it is not prominent in the North. They operate out of King's Landing, and their headquarters is in the Great Sept of Baelor. If this location doesn't ring a bell right away, it's where Kings are brought to rest after they've passed. OK, if it still doesn't ring a bell, it's where Jamie forced himself on Cercie after Joffrey died. Also, Ned was beheaded on the steps of it. Now do you remember?
Within The Faith of the Seven, there's a leader, the High Septon. Knowing that the High Septon lives in King's Landing, and has some power over the people, as you might have guessed, they usually do not get along with the Lannisters. Cersei once had a High Septon murdered — that probably wasn't a great idea, because the guy who came into the role next is also not to her liking. This next (and latest, and also current) High Septon is the High Sparrow.
High Septons abandon their name when they assume the role, and High Sparrow did the same. High Septons usually wear rich and elaborate robes — to show their status – but Sparrow instead sticks to plainer clothing, as if he's trying to be one with the people. He also makes the other members of the Faith of Seven, called the Most Devout, do the same thing. Basically, he does the exact opposite of everything Cersei would ever do, and this only seems to bring the two at odds with each other even more.
High Sparrow joins Season 5 of Game of Thrones, and even though he's in King's Landing to do good, he manages to mess things up for Cersei. He'll be played by Jonathan Pryce, who you might know from one of his dozen well known films, like Pirates of the Caribbean, Tomorrow Never Dies, and What A Girl Wants.
For those who have read the books, you know exactly what High Sparrow is capable of doing. For everyone else, prepare for whatever retaliation Cersei has up her sleeves for this guy.
Image: Macall B. Polay/HBO