Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Sunday 26 September |
Saint of the Day: Sts Cosmas and Damian

Daily Poll: Is the High Sparrow’s resemblance to Pope Francis intentional?

The Daily Catch - published on 06/27/16

On Game of Thrones, the High Sparrow is seen as the spiritual leader of the primary religion of Westeros. In essence, he is its “pope.” Your correspondent always found it odd that they chose to cast Jonathan Pryce — a man who looks quite a lot like Pope Francis — to play the High Sparrow, who is a questionable character, wavering uncomfortably between good guy and villain.

Physical looks aside, and they are considerable, there are other similarities between the two: the High Sparrow preaches turning away from the material world, while Pope Francis lives in the Vatican guest house rather than the papal apartments, and prefers a Fiat to a Mercedes; Pope Francis took the name of St. Francis, who turned away from earthly possessions, while the High Sparrow dresses in the sort of coarse plain robes early Franciscans might have worn (though white, not brown); the High Sparrow even has lines that we could imagine hearing from Il Papa:

Sin leads us away from the sacred. And only confession can purge sin.The love between a man and wife is sacred. It reflects the love [God has] for all of us.

We are not the first to see these similarities, and someone has even put together an extensive video of side-by-side comparisons between the two:

In an interview, Pryce said:

High Sparrow appeared for me right about the same time that Pope Francis became pope, and the PR surrounding him at the time was that he was a man of the people. That he would get down with the poor and the maimed, and he would wash their feet. And that’s how you see High Sparrow. He is a man of the people.

What do you think?

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
J-P Mauro
Chicago architect models Vatican City from 67,000 LEGO bricks
Cecilia Pigg
7 Ways the saints can help you sleep better at night
Philip Kosloski
Why J.R.R. Tolkien loved to attend daily Mass
The Sinai Peninsula and the Dead Sea Rift
J-P Mauro
Experts now believe Sodom was destroyed by a meteor
Bret Thoman, OFS
Exclusive photos: Meet Padre Pio and the place he lived
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady saved Padre Pio from a violent demonic attack
Cerith Gardiner
9 Padre Pio quotes for when you’re feeling scared or uncertain
See More