For the Realm

The Faiths of our Fathers

a sermon Titus gave

“To the day he died, my father was a religious man. It got him killed. When my uncle the Lord Lannister took me in, he tried to make me understand that the things owed to one’s Liege are more than oaths. They are debts to your liege, and we must pay our debts. They protect you, both from other lords and from marauders, and in return you give them your service.

“The same is true of your parents. Your parents give you everything, not just your life, but your morals and ideals too. They ask for something in return, to be sure— but it is reverence that should be given to your parents, not simply obedience. When they die, you revere their memory and do your best to serve that, for they can no longer ask anything of you.

“Should we then show greater devotion to The Father over our fathers? Or to The Mother over our mothers? Not at all. Because we only know their names and rites because of our fathers and our mothers. Their knowledge has been passed to us. So it is in the Riverlands as it is in Dorne as it is in King’s Landing as it is in the Westerlands. And so it is in the North and the Iron Islands, where they revere the Old Gods and the Drowned God over the Seven: they do it because it was the faith of their fathers.

“Our fathers, our families, are what make us strong. What we have we pass to our children, and what our parents had they passed to us, and to our sisters and brothers. Our families keep us afloat though the ship is burned and keep us breathing though the air turned to smoke; they feed us when we have no food and give us water when all around us is salt.
“Without family, we are nothing: see how even the lowest-born clings to his name when there is nothing else left to him! We would die for our names, small and lonely though they be. We would die for our brothers and our sisters, for our fathers and for our mothers.
“So what of these unnamed Burning souls that wander the wilderness? Have you ever seen a family of them? Have you ever seen a community? Have they ever been anything other than outcasts, seeking to find some solace when they are bereft of the only comfort the world has given them? It is true, there is the occasional Red Sheep among an otherwise White family, but these are rare. They call themselves Burning Brothers but there are no brothers among them, no fathers, no mothers, no children.

“Their faith is not one that has been passed down from parent to child. It is not one that has endured the tests of time. It is born out of loneliness and anger, out of men without leaders or ranks or the courage that true family gives us. They are not to be feared, but pitied. They are not to be held in respect, but contempt. For they are weak and they are craven and they are few and they are dying. And we are strong and brave and many and growing. And we have family in our hearts and the faith of our fathers in our breasts and the Warrior’s blessing bright about us and with the Seven at our sides, we shall not fail.”

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