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Faith of the Seven
Faith of the Seven

"Oh, there's plenty of pious sons of bitches who think they know the word of god, or gods. I don't. I don't know their real names. Maybe it is the Seven. Or maybe it's the Old Gods. Or maybe it's the Lord of Light, or maybe they're all the same fucking thing. I don't know. What matters, I believe, is that there's something greater than us. And whatever it is, it's got plans for Sandor Clegane."
―Ray to Sandor Clegane.[src]

Brother Ray was a veteran of the War of the Ninepenny Kings and a former soldier who reformed himself and served the Faith of the Seven.

Biography[]

Background[]

Ray had at least two brothers, Willam and Owen; they were recruited by a local lord to fight in the War of the Ninepenny Kings.[1] He became a man-at-arms who would do whatever he was told. His friends believed he was not afraid of anything, but he admits he was only brave because he was worried people would see him for what he truly was: "a coward who followed orders". He burned down villages, stole crops, and killed anyone he was told to. He once cut the throat of a young boy as the mother held back and screamed. That night, he could not forget the mother's screams, and became ashamed of what he was. After that, he became a man of peace, and an ordained septon.[2]

Ray discovered the Hound, in the Vale, apparently dead. He had a broken leg, and was covered in bugs. When Ray tried to bury him, the Hound coughed, so Ray loaded him onto a wagon and took him to be nursed back to health. According to Ray, the Hound appeared to die a dozen more times while he was helping him to recover from his near death experience, but always survived. Eventually, the Hound became healthy enough to help Ray and his "flock" in the construction of what appears to be a small sept.[2]

Game of Thrones: Season 6[]

The Broken Man 23

Ray greets the Brotherhood.

Ray and his followers, including the Hound, are building a sept by a forest in the hills. He goes to talk with the Hound, and asks how many men it took to take him down. When he hears it was a woman that wounded him, he laughs. During a lunching break, Ray sits with the Hound and recounts the story of his discovery. He asks what it was that kept the Hound alive, and is told that it was down to "hate", and being "tough to kill". Ray disagrees, and tells the Hound that he is alive because the gods have a plan for him. In this conversation, Ray admits that he does not know much about the gods and wonders aloud if the Seven, the Old Gods, and R'hllor are all the same deity; he concludes that the most important thing is that there is a force greater than humankind out there. Later, he tells the story of how he became a religious man to his followers. During the story, three riders from the Brotherhood Without Banners, Gatins, Lem, and Morgan, arrive.[2]

The Broken Man 19

The Brotherhood hangs Ray.

Ray tells them the group has nothing to give the riders: no horses, gold, or weapons; only rest. The riders leave upon hearing this, and Ray refuses to fight them, claiming violence is a disease that should not be spread, despite the Hound arguing that it would spread anyhow if they did not prepare for combat. In exasperation, the Hound decides to go off into the woods to cut more firewood, saying that it would be a cold night. Ray offers to save some of the ale from dinner for him.[2]

However, later on in the evening, the building site is sacked and every one of Ray's followers are mercilessly killed. Ray himself is hanged from the rafters of the unfinished sept. His body is discovered by the Hound, who in retaliation picks up an axe to take revenge.[2]

When Sandor finally catches up with Lem who is about to be hanged for his crimes, Beric Dondarrion and Thoros ask Clegane why he is after Lem. He replies, "He killed a friend of mine", implying that Ray's teachings have had a significant impact on Sandor.[3]

Personality[]

In his past as a soldier, Ray was craven and capable of committing atrocities; however, after killing a boy in front of his mother, shame washed over him, causing him to follow a new path. Following the War of the Five Kings, Ray is a friendly, kindly man who dedicates his life to helping others; he firmly believes it is never too late for people to abandon their sinful ways and redeem themselves.

Quotes[]

Spoken by Ray[]

"I was a soldier once. All my superiors thought I was brave. I wasn't. I mean, I never ran from a fight. Only because I was afraid my friends would see I was afraid. That's all I was, a coward. Who followed orders no matter the orders. 'Burn that village.' Fine, I'm your arsonist. 'Steal that farmer's crops.' Good, I'm your thief. 'Kill those young lads so they won't take up arms against us.' I'm your murderer. You know, I remember once a woman screaming at us, calling us animals as we dragged her son from their hut. But we weren't animals. Animals are true to their nature and we had betrayed ours. I cut that young boy's throat myself as his mother screamed and my friends held her back. That night... I felt such shame. Shame was so heavy on me, I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep. All I could do was stare into that dark sky and listen to that mother screaming her son's name. I'll hear her screaming the rest of my life. Now, I know I can never bring that lad back. All I can do with time I've got left is bring a little goodness into the world. That's all any of us can do, isn't it? Never too late to stop robbing people, to stop killing people. Start helping people. It's never too late to come back. And it's not about waiting for the gods to answer your prayers. It's not even about the gods. It's about you. Learning you have to answer your prayers yourself."
―Brother Ray to his congregation, among them Sandor Clegane[src]
Ray: "I'm done with fighting."
Sandor Clegane: "Even if it's to protect yourself?"
Ray: "Violence is a disease. You don't cure a disease by spreading it to more people."
— Brother Ray rebukes Sandor's advise to defend themselves[src]

In the books[]

Ray appears to be a combination of two characters from A Song of Ice and Fire novels: Septon Meribald and the Elder Brother.

Meribald is a septon who preaches to the common folk. He meets Brienne and Podrick and leads them to the Quiet Isle, where they meet the Elder Brother. Meribald's tale of his past as a peasant levy is identical to the one Ray tells in Season 6 Histories & Lore, though Meribald speaks mainly about broken men and very little about the War of the Ninepenny Kings. He had at least three brothers (Willam, Robin, and Owen), all of whom were killed in the war: Willam and Robin died from a fever, Owen died from a mace that split his head apart, and his friend Jon Pox was hanged for rape.

The Elder Brother is a member of a community of male penitents living on the Quiet Isle. The Elder Brother tells Brienne that he was once a knight, and that he fought for the royalist cause at the Battle of the Trident (but only because the lord he served chose to support the Targaryens instead of Robert Baratheon). He describes the battle as a horrific, bloody affair, and is quick to dismiss the romantic notions of the singers focusing on Robert and Rhaegar battling for "a woman both of them claimed to love." He was knocked unconscious during the battle and the river carried him downstream, where he washed up at the Quiet Isle and joined the Faith to atone for past sins. He tells Brienne and Podrick that he found Sandor Clegane, but that the Hound was dead and was buried by the Elder Brother himself.

Neither of the two characters is known to have been killed like their TV series counterpart was. Sandor's return suggests that a future novel will reveal the Elder Brother's description was figurative: the Hound is dead, but Sandor still lives. A hooded gravedigger matching Sandor's physique appears in A Feast for Crows (Brienne VI, chapter 31), who could very well be Sandor himself; the character is left unnamed because the chapter is narrated from Brienne's POV, and Brienne has not yet encountered the Hound in the novels.

Appearances[]

References[]

Notes[]

  1. In "Winter Is Coming," which takes place in 298 AC, Sansa Stark tells Cersei Lannister that she is 13 years old and Bran Stark tells Jaime Lannister that he is 10 years old. Arya Stark was born between Sansa and Bran, making her either 11 or 12 in Season 1. The rest of the Stark children have been aged up by 2 years from their book ages, so it can be assumed that she is 11 in Season 1. Arya is 18 in Season 8 according to HBO, which means at least 7 years occur in the span of the series; therefore, each season of Game of Thrones must roughly correspond to a year in-universe, placing the events of Season 6 in 303 AC.

External links[]


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