I've just ended watching the episode 7 of season 5 of Game of Thrones. Right now the Faith Militant have

arrested Loras, Margery, and Cersei for different crimes.

However, there is something really strange in these actions. All crimes mentioned in the show have been performed before the restoration of Faith Militant. The common logic is that you cannot punish for a crime retroactively, that is, for something that a person committed before there actually was a law forbidding that.

Now, before the 5th season such a sin as

the homosexuality of Loras

was definitely not considered a serious crime, that demanded an arrest. The Littlefinger's establishment (whore house) was actually a legal thing in the previous seasons. So, why the prosecution at all for this? I don't think that even the High Sparrow is such a big fanatic to punish someone retroactively. So, the question is. Why did they arrest

Loras, who performed his sins before Faith Militant was actually in active state? And why did they arrest Margery, who was just a witness of a sex scene and did not even take part in it?

The only person they did arrest correctly, IMHO, is

Cersei, who actually cheated on her husband.

But they don't even know that for sure! Because

Cersei had an affair with this Pycelle character after her husband's death, which is technically not a cheat, and they have no witness confirming the twincest.

So, any explanation for that? AFAIK, in the books the charges were much more serious, and would be considered a crime even before the faith militant came in the game.

  • 2
    I wonder if the laws were already on the books but just weren't being enforced. Also, it doesn't sound like the Rule of Law is really a thing in Westeros.
    – Alarion
    May 28, 2015 at 12:19
  • 5
    The behavior of religious zealots rarely follows "common logic"
    – KutuluMike
    May 28, 2015 at 12:35
  • 9
    the laws existed all along, the faith didn't have the power to enforce it though. And that was until Cersei went full retard and gave the fools an army out of pure stupidity. May 28, 2015 at 13:14
  • 1
    @TylerH My answer below as well as this comment is truly based on the books solely. And in the books, Cersei bargained with the High Septon and the outcome was that he may restore the order of the Poor Fellows as well as the order of the knights of the faith, which were back in the days a considerable force banned by Maegor The Cruel. Sparrows were weak, since they were common men with clubs, but their knights (that Lancel Lannister joined for example) are a mighty force. May 28, 2015 at 15:21
  • 1
    @yondaime008 The chronology and details were pulled from the ASOIAF wiki page on the holy knights.
    – TylerH
    May 28, 2015 at 15:48

5 Answers 5


Might makes right! Nuf said.

The "High Sparrow" has a standing army that the idiot Cersei gave him. So now he can punish whomever he wants for whatever he wants as he has soldiers protecting him.

In the books everything happens differently regarding Loras, his sister and Cersei, but the outcome, for Cersei at least, is the same. Ironic that it was her actions that eventually put her in that situation.

In the show it is a sin to have sex outside of wedlock, to have sex with the same gender, to lie, etc. Loras is accused of having sex with another male, he denied it, and a witness was found confirming to the High Septon that Loras lied. Margaery lied for his Brother so she is guilty too. That is why she is a prisoner of the Faith at the moment.

Now to explain why it is only now that the "Faith Laws" are enforced.

The previous High Septon had his own "unnatural appetites" so he couldn't accuse others when it was known that he was just as bad. Also the previous Septon didn't have an army at his beck and call. The current one does.

And there is a quote from the last episode when he is talking to the Queen of Thorns:

"It is time that the many not be afraid of the few."

He kind of threatened Margaery's grandma. To be fair she had also threatened him in that same conversation.

  • The difference between show and book in the course of events is due to the lack of some characters such as the Kettlebacks that have a major part of this whole arc. May 28, 2015 at 13:13
  • 1
    I don't know if you would call Cersei an "idiot", until she got trapped by the High Sparrow, she was enjoying her intricately designed revenge. She just didn't foresee the unintended consequences, which is a common theme in GOT. May 28, 2015 at 14:47
  • Yea... but giving religious groups standing military power is generally considered a bad move.
    – USFBS
    May 29, 2015 at 14:31
  • @MarkRogers Mark just read USFBS comment and all will be explained. The Church had an army before. It got taken away from them. There was a good reason when a decree was made that no army or body of men bearing arms under the banner of Church is lawfull. Juts take a look at our own world. When was it beneficial for anybody when a religious order gets all the power? Also she is not an idiot but i couldnt find a more degrading word. After she "takes" over Things fall to shit. So that is why i call her an idiot.
    – Cherubel
    Jun 2, 2015 at 8:56
  • 1
    @Cherubel If that’s true, Ned’s probably an idiot too. Nov 13, 2015 at 14:55

Two major reasons can explain this:

First, the old high septon was practically working for the throne, that is not the traditional way the things worked in King's Landing and the change of High Septons brought everything back in question.

The second reason, which I believe had the biggest impact,is the reconstitution of the Poor Fellows an ancient holy order that was previously banned by Maegor The Cruel as he was the king that passed the law against holy people holding weapons. Bringing the Poor Fellows back as well as The Warrior's Sons, that was part of a bargain that Cersei made with the new High Septon.

Once with an army surrounding him, the faith could enforce the laws. That doesn't mean the laws weren't there to begin with. The faith is the same for centuries in Westeros. Just to go with a real example: the absence of a police force doesn't mean you can steal and then claim that you can't apply laws retroactively.

I understand there are differences with the books in the series telling of this part of the story, but I believe this answer remains valid nevertheless.

  • 3
    You've got absolutely the most important point here. To a devout follower of the Sparrows' interpretation of their religion, these laws have always been in effect. If one believes that laws originate from the Seven, and apply to every living person, then it doesn't matter what regime those people live under at the time they break the holy laws.
    – recognizer
    May 28, 2015 at 14:11

There's a few misconceptions in your original question.

Margery was arrested for lying during their inquest.

Cersei was arrested for incest (she was having relations with Lancel Lannister, who is now Brother Lancel), not necessarily cheating on her husband.

Loras was possibly arrested for "buggery" but he also, like his sister, lied during the inquest, which is a crime.

My assumption would be that in the eyes of the "church" the rules/laws broken have always been in place, in their religious beliefs/teachings, so I do not think that they had to only pursue crimes that take place after the Faith Militant was restored.

  • In that case, what is the punishment, let's say, for lying during inquest? Is it really such a serious crime? How does the faith of the seven treat such a crime? And what if Margery would refuse to testify? What when? May 28, 2015 at 12:24
  • As far as the punishment, I suppose we'll have to wait and see (assuming we are just talking the TV show here). Because in the books, homosexuality was not treated as such a terrible crime, and Ser Loras was not even at King's Landing during these events)
    – Joe
    May 28, 2015 at 12:29
  • 3
    Also, in the books, Margery was not arrested for lying, she was arrested on accusations of adultery and treason.
    – Joe
    May 28, 2015 at 12:32
  • @Joe Which is a bit of a problem for the plot, since she wasn't guilty of adultery or treason, but she is guilty of lying.
    – Mike Scott
    May 29, 2015 at 4:58
  • 1
    I believe you are confusing Ser Loras Tyrell and Lancel Lannister (Cercei's nephew).
    – Joe
    Jun 2, 2015 at 13:19

In episode 7, the High Sparrow explains that he is enforcing the laws of the gods as laid down in the Seven-Pointed Star. Those laws have not changed with the rise of the Faith Militant, it's just that they're now being enforced, which they never were before. So there's nothing retroactive about it.


They are arrested for any and all major sins, regardless of proof and timeline. They ARE that fanatical. They don't respect the state law, they only respect the holy law.

Homosexuality is a big sin.
Lying to Gods is a big sin.
Cersei... well... also sinned big time.

For example, Littlefinger's brothel was a legal business in the eyes of the state law. However, in the eyes of the Seven, it's a sin, and thus has to be stopped and punished.

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