Blowing up the Sept is kinda equivalent to blowing up the Vatican.

The Sparrows were popular with the smallfolk because they gave them food and protection. She should be facing riots in the streets, mad preachers going absolutely insane on every corner and even more so in a period already reeling with chaos and uncertainty when there's a whole cult of religious fanatics parked in the Capital.

Why didn't the common people riot (S02E06) as they did against Joffrey?

  • 1
    Standing on a street corner proclaiming treason is a good way to get yourself insta-stabbed
    – Valorum
    Jun 11, 2019 at 6:40
  • 2
    Also worth noting that people of KL are more or less like people of Constantinople in medieval era IRL. They tend to riot against cruel, really or no, rulers. They even drove Rhaenyra Targaryen out of the city by successfully rioting. But then again, this is not the first time Crown and Faith clashed. On one hand there's a King by divine right, on the other hand there is the voice of the Divine on earth. Both have sentimental value for the people and they choose according to their own views. When King Maegor burnt down Sept of Remembrance, people didn't riot. But Maegor had dragons.
    – Aegon
    Jun 11, 2019 at 7:30
  • 1
    Killing off a bunch of high ranking members of society - including the Queen - so blatantly sends a pretty strong message, not to mention the message that Cersei isn't even afraid of the gods. In addition to that, her pet zombie was already breaking the heads of people who insulted her. Ultimately the loss of the sparrows was probably not enough to make the smallfolk want to stand up to that level of tyranny.
    – delinear
    Jun 11, 2019 at 7:58
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    @Aegon well, she doesn't have dragons, but she still blows up the great sept to kill her opponents. Pretty sure she is seen as way more powerful and dangerous than a wannabe teenager king.
    – Kepotx
    Jun 11, 2019 at 8:21
  • 1
    The books will probably flesh this out a little more. Like, there actually are small scale riots, but before they can gain momentum, Cersei sends the Gold Cloaks, they suppress the riots and that's about it. I can understand leaving this out of the show with its limited screen time since it doesn't really add much to the story (no additional characterization, we already know how Cersei rules).
    – Annatar
    Jun 11, 2019 at 9:54

1 Answer 1


Because they feared Cersei, their fear my have been lost after her Walk of Atonement but after blowing up the Great Sept of Baelor it was most certainly back. This is part of the reason why the High Sparrow took power, he made it so the many stopped fearing the few and took control.

High Sparrow: Have you ever served the field, Lady Olenna? Have you ever reaped the grain? Has anyone in House Tyrell? A lifetime of wealth and power has left you blind in one eye. You are the few. We are the many. And when the many stop fearing the few...

Game of Thrones, Season 5 Episode 7, "The Gift"

On top of that the many had to be united to be able to properly overthrow the Crown, as again the High Sparrow comments. Once the Sept is destroyed and the Faith Militant destroyed with it the people have no one to lead them to unite together against the few and go back to fearing the few; especially under the circumstances that Cersei regained control.

Jaime: They should be closer if you mean for them to save you.

High Sparrow: I don’t. They’d never reach me before you struck.

Jaime: I’ve fought against worse odds.

High Sparrow: No doubt many of us would fall. But who are we, hmm? We have no names, no family. Every one of us is poor and powerless. And yet together, we can overthrow an empire.

Game of Thrones, Season 6 Episode 2, "Home"

  • 6
    The death toll from the attack is critical. This was a classic decapitation attack against the High Sparrow's movement. Cersei couldn't have pulled it off any better with nukes. There's no one left to direct a riot even if one starts.
    – tbrookside
    Jun 11, 2019 at 12:13
  • How could it even be tied back to Cersei in the eyes of a King's Landing citizen? We as the viewer have a certain amount of omniscience, but the citizenry simply saw the church go boom. If they were told (and believed) it was Cersei, they would surely be too fearful to step out of line.
    – Anthony X
    Jun 18, 2019 at 0:08
  • The latter half of your comment is essentially what my entire answer is. The former is a good point but I imagine it wouldn't be too hard for some to work out, especially those servants that work near her and the knowledge of it would spread like wildfire. Although I'd have enjoyed a scene where the commonfolk were talking about the Gods avenging them.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Jun 18, 2019 at 8:41

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