In last night's episode of Game of Thrones, "The Gift" (CLICK HERE to read our full recap), the High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce) gave fans the most shocking twist of the night, where it was revealed that Lancel Lannister (Eugene Simon) revealed all of Cersei's (Lena Headey) dirty secrets, leading to her being dragged away and thrown in a cell. While we'll have to wait until next Sunday night to see who the Sparrows target next, author George R.R. Martin revealed that the Sparrows, a religious sect within the Faith of the Seven, was actually inspired by the Protestant Reformation of Catholic Europe in the 16th century, which culminated in the deadly Thirty Years' War. Here's what the Game of Thrones author had to say about what inspired him to create the Sparrows.
"The Sparrows are my version of the medieval Catholic Church, with its own fantasy twist. If you look at the history of the church in the Middle Ages, you had periods where you had very worldly and corrupt popes and bishops. People who were not spiritual, but were politicians. They were playing their own version of the game of thrones, and they were in bed with the kings and the lords. But you also had periods of religious revival or reform-the greatest of them being the Protestant Reformation, which led to the splitting of the church-where there were two or three rival popes each denouncing the other as legitimate. That's what you're seeing here in Westeros. The two previous High Septons we've seen, the first was very corrupt in his own way, and he was torn apart by the mob during the food riots [in season 2]. The one Tyrion appoints in his stead is less corrupt but is ineffectual and doesn't make any waves. Cersei distrusts him because Tyrion appointed him. So now she has to deal with a militant and aggressive Protestant Reformation, if you will, that's determined to resurrect a faith that was destroyed centuries ago by the Targaryens."
He also added that there are more direct influences from the Catholic Church to the Faith of the Seven.
"Instead of the Trinity of the Catholic Church, you have the Seven, where there is one god with seven aspects. In Catholicism, you have three aspects-the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. I remember as a kid, I was always confused by that. 'So there are three gods?' No, one god, but with three aspects. I was still confused: 'So he's his own father and own son?'"
In earlier episodes of Game of Thrones Season 5, Cersei was clearly trying to use the High Sparrow to get rid of the Tyrell's, specifically Margaery (Natalie Dormer), who is now Queen after marrying Cersei's son, the new king of Westeros, Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman). That plan obviously backfired in Sunday night's episode, and when Cersei's inquest takes place, it will surely be revealed that Tommen was actually a product of Cersei's incestuous affair with her brother Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), which would strip him of his right to the Iron Throne. Who will the Sparrows will target next in Game of Thrones Season 5? Chime in with your thoughts below, and stay tuned for our weekly recaps every Sunday night.