Game of Thrones: Who is Septa Unella? (2024)

Game of Thrones has a fun relationship with religion. Westeros primarily worships the all-consuming Faith of the Seven, but while other deities demonstrate power through inarguable magic, the Seven prefer good, old-fashioned political repression. The Great Sept of Baelor represents one of several houses of worship that double as headquarters. The faithful can dominate Westeros without the trouble of inheriting a throne. Septa Unella demonstrates the influence the Faith of the Seven can wield.

Game of Thrones served as a gateway fantasy story for many new fans. Part of its appeal to outsiders came through its perceived willingness to depict the outrageous. Jaw-dropping dramatic moments, shocking character deaths, and hauntingly grim outcomes regularly kept viewers' attention. One of the series' most impressive accomplishments was convincing an audience to feel sorry for a monster like Cersei Lannister.


Game of Thrones: House Karstark, Explained

This vassal House is so thoroughly entwined with House Stark that they kept the Wardens of the North's name in theirs.

What is a Septa in Game of Thrones?

Game of Thrones: Who is Septa Unella? (2)

The septas and septons are the clergy of the Faith of the Seven in Westeros. The Faith's emissaries are separated by gender, both in name and role. Male septons preside over ceremonies, like weddings and funerals, or serve noble families by maintaining septs within castles and keeps. Septa tend to serve as tutors and governesses, molding the daughters of noble houses into proper young ladies. Both septas and septons are sworn to celibacy and modesty, usually clothed in gray shades. They answer to the elected High Septon, who elects a ruling council called the Most Devout. Mordane is likely the best-known septa in Game of Thrones. She educates Sansa and Arya Stark, struggling to overcome the eldest's attitude and the youngest's disinterest. Joffrey has Mordane killed and her severed head displayed on a pike after he declares Ned Stark a traitor, seemingly executing her only to hurt Sansa's feelings. Most of the septa in the series die.

Who is Septa Unella in Game of Thrones?



First Appearance

Season Five, Episode Seven

Last Appearance

Season Six, Episode Ten

Played By

Hannah Waddingham

Septa Unella is best known as the gray-clad church functionary who walks behind Cersei Lannister, ringing a bell and shouting "shame." Her early life is shrouded in mystery. Fans meet her as a confessor at the Great Sept of Baelor in King's Landing. The books imply, without confirming, that she is one of the Most Devout. Her devotion seems to unnerve her fellow clergy, often inciting strong reactions from other septons and septas. Unella's role in the books is short-lived. She first appears in A Feast for Crows, where she torments Queen Margaery Tyrell. Unella is one of several septas who command Margaery to confess her sins after Cersei Lannister forces a knight to accuse her of infidelity. The knight later brands Cersei with the same charge, landing her in a cell beneath the Great Sept. Unella visits both women every hour to extract a confession, eventually earning one from Cersei. She accompanies Cersei on her walk of atonement and is never seen again.

Unella's story reaches slightly further in the show. She drags Cersei to the Sept's underground prison after Lancel Lannister informs the church of his adulterous and incestuous affair with the Queen Regent. Unella bears the brunt of Cersei's hatred as the septa who put her away. She visits Cersei every hour, offering water in exchange for an honest confession. Cersei spites Unella, assuring the septa that the Queen's face will be the last she ever sees. Cersei eventually concedes, admits to her affair with her cousin, and takes the walk of atonement. Unella again restrains Margaery Tyrell for false adultery charges but gradually molds her into a more pious woman through her constant readings. Cersei later destroys the Great Sept with wildfire, but Unella survives the attack. Cersei traps Unella on a torture rack beneath the Red Keep, waterboards her with wine, and leaves her with Gregor Clegane for a prolonged death. Her demise never appears on-screen, but she almost certainly perished when Daenerys Targaryen destroyed the Red Keep.

Who plays Septa Unella in Game of Thrones?

Game of Thrones: Who is Septa Unella? (3)

Hannah Waddingham portrayed Septa Unella in Game of Thrones. The character appeared in eight episodes. Waddingham is almost unrecognizable in the role, and many fans express surprise when they see the actress's usual appearance. She's best known for her award-winning performance as Rebecca Welton in the well-received Apple TV series Ted Lasso. Waddingham recently hosted the Eurovision Song Contest and appeared in films, including Hocus Pocus 2. She'll enjoy parts in The Fall Guy, The Garfield Movie, and the eighth Mission: Impossible title in the coming years.

Septa Unella is a minor character who gives weight to an incredibly impactful scene in Game of Thrones. Her overwhelming devotion to her faith makes her a dangerous presence in a world dominated by noble dynasties. Though her fate in the books remains unknown, Septa Unella played her part in a few key moments. There's no shame in having limited screen time.


Game Of Thrones: Tyrion Lannister’s Best Quotes

Tyrion Lannister was one of the most significant characters in Game of Thrones, and he had a special way with words that led to many great quotes.

  • Game of Thrones

Your changes have been saved

Email Is sent

Please verify your email address.

You’ve reached your account maximum for followed topics.

Manage Your List



Follow with Notifications



Game of Thrones: Who is Septa Unella? (2024)


What actually happened to Septa Unella? ›

Septa Unella's Fate In Game Of Thrones

Following the destruction of the Great Sept of Baelor that kills the Tyrells and the High Sparrow, Cersei tortured Unella by waterboarding her with wine in a cell and leaving her to be, presumably, tortured slowly to death by Ser Gregor Clegane, also known as the Mountain.

What did Cersei have The Mountain do to Septa Unella? ›

So, in the sixth season finale, Cersei had Unella strapped to a table in a dungeon and poured wine repeatedly over her face.

Was Septa Unella evil? ›

Septa Unella is a minor antagonist in the A Song of Ice and Fire novel series and a supporting antagonist in its television adaptation, Game of Thrones.

Was Septa Unella actress waterboarded? ›

Waddingham first revealed she was waterboarded for real on the “Thrones” set during a 2021 interview with Collider. The actor said at the time that filming the scene was second only to childbirth as the worst day of her life. “I was strapped to a wooden table with proper big straps for 10 hours,” she said.

What did Ser Gregor do to Sister Unella? ›

The fandom suggests, Unella was raped then murdered by The Mountain, but there is a small issue with that being the case.. Remember, Gregor Clegane is a reanimated corpse.. He died moments after the trial by combat against Oberyn Martell..

Does Cersei get revenge on Septa Unella? ›

The scene, which originally had Septa being raped before producers changed it to waterboarding, takes place in the finale of season six. After Cersei blows up the Sept of Baelor, she takes her revenge on Septa Unella, the woman who had helped the High Sparrow torment her in season five.

What was Septa Unella's punishment? ›

Cersei tortures Unella following the destruction of the Great Sept. After the Destruction of the Great Sept of Baelor, Cersei has Unella imprisoned within the Red Keep's dungeons and restrained on a rack.

Why does the Mountain love Cersei? ›

The Mountain, technically, is under Qyburn's control. And since Qyburn is devoted to Cersei now, he has “programmed” The Mountain to also follow Cersei — which essentially boils down to defending her. Cersei doesn't seem to use the Mountain for any other purpose.

Is Septa Unella better known as the shame nun? ›

Septa Unella, better known as the “Shame Nun,” made a striking appearance in Game of Thrones Season 5, Episode 7 when Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) was led through the streets of King's Landing naked. Amid her walk of atonement, Waddingham's Unella methodically rang a bell, exclaiming “Shame!

What did Cersei do to Ellaria? ›

Here's how Cersei puts it all together: she chains Ellaria up in a dungeon. Her daughter Tyene is chained up on the opposite wall. Then, using the same poison Ellaria uses on Myrcella, Cersei dooms Tyene to the same death. Cersei even delivers her fate in the form of a kiss, just like Ellaria.

What was wrong with Gregor Clegane? ›

It is later revealed that The Mountain has been poisoned with manticore venom, a poison with which Oberyn had laced his weapon, and that he is slowly dying.

Was Cersei evil in the books? ›

Type of Villain

Queen Cersei Lannister is one of the main antagonists of the A Song of Ice and Fire novel series and its television adaptation, Game of Thrones.

Was Hannah Waddingham actually waterboarded? ›

After being asked if she did any of her own stunts on the show, Waddingham said that the show once required her to undergo “ten hours of being actually waterboarded”. “I'm strapped to a table with all these leather straps,” she told Colbert of the scene where Cersei ties her down and repeatedly pours wine on her face.

Who is the nun that says shame in got? ›

Hannah Waddingham's character in Game of Thrones, Septa Unella, had a significant impact despite her small role. Septa Unella, also known as the "Shame Nun," gained pop culture prominence for her iconic scene with Cersei Lannister.

What is waterboarding in Game of Thrones? ›

But with that comes actual waterboarding.” “The Fall Guy” star went on to describe the “horrific” stunt, which required her to be “strapped to a table with all these leather straps” for 10 hours. The actress also described being drenched in grape juice for the scene, which turned her hair purple.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Trent Wehner

Last Updated:

Views: 5891

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (76 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Trent Wehner

Birthday: 1993-03-14

Address: 872 Kevin Squares, New Codyville, AK 01785-0416

Phone: +18698800304764

Job: Senior Farming Developer

Hobby: Paintball, Calligraphy, Hunting, Flying disc, Lapidary, Rafting, Inline skating

Introduction: My name is Trent Wehner, I am a talented, brainy, zealous, light, funny, gleaming, attractive person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.