The Five Great Charters refer to the 5 beacons of Charter magic that infuse the Old Kingdom with magic and restrains the presence of Free Magic. The Five Great Charters were originally all bloodlines, but the Wallmakers, who accounted for two of the five, gave their power into inanimate objects. Thus, the Five are: the royal bloodline; the Abhorsen bloodline; the Clayr bloodline; the Charter Stones; and finally, the Wall. It is assumed that Kibeth and Astarael were not part of the Great Charters, as the five of the Nine Great Shiners who had committed themselves to become the Charter were completely consumed in the process. As Astarael and Kibeth are seen throughout the series, it can be assumed that the other five are the Great Five.
As Sabriel was raised in Ancelstierre, she was unaware of the Charters and their significance. At the fishing port of Nestowe, a young girl named Aline sings Sabriel a rhyme that explains the Great Charters, though vaguely .
Five Great Charters knit the land
together linked, hand in hand
One in the people who wear the crown
Two in the folk who keep the Dead down
Three and Five became stone and mortar
Four sees all in frozen water.
 Sabriel, p285