Just like the newer Great Sept of Baelor in King's Landing, the Starry Sept is shaped as a dome. The building has black marble walls and arched windows. A motherhouse is attached to the sept.
The Starry Sept was once the residence of the High Septon, who had bedchambers in the structure. Crypts below the sept contain the bodies of deceased High Septons, and members of the Most Devout would gather in the sept to choose his successor. Before being anointed and consecrated, new High Septons stood vigil in the Starry Sept.
The Starry Sept was built by Lord Triston Hightower, in honor of his mentor and earlier regent, Septon Robeson. It was the seat of the High Septon for "a thousand years prior" to the Wars of Conquest.[N 1]
When Aegon I Targaryen landed at the mouth of the Blackwater Rush, the High Septon in Oldtown locked himself inside the Starry Sept and prayed for seven whole days while refusing to eat or drink. At the end of the seventh day he emerged from his fast and declared that the Faith of the Seven would not fight Aegon's Conquest, proclaiming that if they did Oldtown would burn and the Starry Sept would be destroyed.
Lord Manfred Hightower heeded the prophecy and welcomed the Conqueror when he appeared before Oldtown's gates later in the war. Three days later, Aegon was anointed in the Faith when he was proclaimed Lord of the Seven Kingdoms; Aegon's reign is dated from his anointment and coronation in the Starry Sept. The new king visited the High Septon within the Starry Sept during each of his progresses throughout the Seven Kingdoms.
Faith Militant Uprising
Prince Maegor Targaryen wed Ceryse Hightower in the Starry Sept in 25 AC. After Aegon's death in 37 AC, King Aenys I Targaryen was anointed in the sept. The High Septon denounced Prince Maegor after he wed Alys Harroway in 39 AC.
In 41 AC during the Faith Militant uprising, Queen Visenya Targaryen unsuccessfully advised her nephew, King Aenys, to destroy the Starry Sept and the Sept of Remembrance. When Maegor I threatened to destroy the building after becoming king, Ser Morgan Hightower led two hundred men from Oldtown's chapter of the Warrior's Sons in protecting the sept. The High Septon opposing Maegor abruptly died, however, and Oldtown's gates were opened to the Targaryen forces. The Most Devout then chose Pater as his replacement.
In 48 AC Septon Moon led thousands of followers to Oldtown to force Pater's successor, the so-called High Lickspittle, to denounce Maegor, and this new High Septon eventually confined himself within the Starry Sept for protection. After Moon's death and the defeat of his followers, the rebel septon's head was presented to the High Septon as a gift.
Septa Rhaella, the king's niece, trained as a novice at the Starry Sept. In 50 AC, Lord Rogar Baratheon sent his brother, Ser Orryn, to take the girl into custody. Septa Karolyn prevented Orryn's men from entering the motherhouse, however, and Casper Straw, the High Septon's steward, gathered thirty armed septons to help protect the girl.
Regency of Aegon III
When Lord Lyonel Hightower took as his paramour Lady Samantha Tarly, who had briefly been married to his father Ormund, the High Septon accused her of incest and forbade her from setting foot in the Starry Sept until she repented. Sam responded by riding on horseback into the sept during the High Septon's prayers and having her knights bar anyone else from entering. The outraged High Septon eventually backed down.
Lord Alyn Velaryon visited Oldtown during his voyage to confront Lord Dalton Greyjoy in 133 AC. The High Septon blessed him at the Starry Sept and called for the Warrior to lead him against Dalton's ironborn, followers of the Drowned God.
As part of his punishment for plotting against Aegon III, Septon Bernard was forced by the High Septon to take a vow of silence and spend the remainder of his days copying texts in the Starry Sept.
A Feast for Crows
- Pate recalls the Starry Sept "had been the seat of the High Septon for a thousand years before Aegon landed at King's Landing." (A Feast for Crows, Prologue). It is unknown if this is an exact figure or if George R. R. Martin is being figurative.
- The High Septon has resided in King's Landing at least by the time of The Sworn Sword.
- A Feast for Crows, Appendix.
- A Feast for Crows, Prologue.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 7, Cersei II.
- The Rise of the Dragon, The Reign of Jaehaerys I: The Early Reign.
- Fire & Blood, A Surfeit of Rulers.
- Fire & Blood, Birth, Death, and Betrayal Under King Jaehaerys I.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Reach: Highgarden.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Reach: Oldtown.
- Fire & Blood, Aegon's Conquest.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Reign of the Dragons: The Conquest.
- A Feast for Crows, Chapter 28, Cersei VI.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aegon I.
- Fire & Blood, The Sons of the Dragon.
- The World of Ice & Fire, The Targaryen Kings: Aenys I.
- Fire & Blood, Prince Into King - The Ascension of Jaehaerys I.
- Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - The Hooded Hand.
- Fire & Blood, Under the Regents - The Voyage of Alyn Oakenfist.
- Fire & Blood, The Lysene Spring and the End of Regency.