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Author Topic: Religion in Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire  (Read 13795 times)

Nyktelios

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Religion in Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire
« on: July 19, 2013, 09:41:37 pm »
While not technically real pagan religions, I'm interested in the religious themes that appear in the show and the books, although they don't really go too deeply into religion in the show. I'm only part of the way through the first book, so I haven't come across explicit explanations of the religions of the characters, except vaguely when a character mentions praying to "the seven faces of god" or something along those lines.

From what I've read online, the main religion practiced in the series is the Faith of the Seven, which involves the worship of seven deities who appear to be facets of one ultimate godhead. They include the Maiden, Mother, and Crone, a triad quite familiar to modern pagans, as well as the Father, Smith, and Warrior on the male side, and the genderless god called the Stranger, who represents mystery and death. Temples of the Seven are called "septs" (from the Latin word for "seven"), and priests are called septons and priestesses septas.

The Old Gods worshiped in the north are nameless deities, and this faith has more in common with animism than organized polytheism and the worship of specific, named gods. Trees called "Weirwood trees" are religious symbols, and there are no temples for organized worship.

There are also the Red God/Lord of Light, who seems a little sinister in the show, judging by the woman who follows him. From what I've read, this religion is more ecstatic and involves prophecy. There is also the Drowned God, worshiped as a local deity on the Iron Islands, which we haven't seen much of yet in the show.

Anyway, I thought this was interesting, and clearly there is a lot of pagan influence in these fictional religious traditions, and elements relevant to a discussion of pagan religions.

Eleni

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Re: Religion in Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2013, 10:09:56 pm »
Quote from: Carnelian;116220
While not technically real pagan religions, I'm interested in the religious themes that appear in the show and the books, although they don't really go too deeply into religion in the show. I'm only part of the way through the first book, so I haven't come across explicit explanations of the religions of the characters, except vaguely when a character mentions praying to "the seven faces of god" or something along those lines.

From what I've read online, the main religion practiced in the series is the Faith of the Seven, which involves the worship of seven deities who appear to be facets of one ultimate godhead. They include the Maiden, Mother, and Crone, a triad quite familiar to modern pagans, as well as the Father, Smith, and Warrior on the male side, and the genderless god called the Stranger, who represents mystery and death. Temples of the Seven are called "septs" (from the Latin word for "seven"), and priests are called septons and priestesses septas.

The Old Gods worshiped in the north are nameless deities, and this faith has more in common with animism than organized polytheism and the worship of specific, named gods. Trees called "Weirwood trees" are religious symbols, and there are no temples for organized worship.

There are also the Red God/Lord of Light, who seems a little sinister in the show, judging by the woman who follows him. From what I've read, this religion is more ecstatic and involves prophecy. There is also the Drowned God, worshiped as a local deity on the Iron Islands, which we haven't seen much of yet in the show.

Anyway, I thought this was interesting, and clearly there is a lot of pagan influence in these fictional religious traditions, and elements relevant to a discussion of pagan religions.

 
The Silent Sisters are an interesting cult within the books too, in my opinion. Women who tend to the dead both spiritually and physically, forsake their names and identities and take vows to never make noise or speak again. On top of that, they're pretty universally feared and respected, and the taboo for treating them like other women or people are pretty strong.

MadZealot

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Re: Religion in Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2013, 11:09:10 pm »
Quote from: Carnelian;116220
Anyway, I thought this was interesting, and clearly there is a lot of pagan influence in these fictional religious traditions, and elements relevant to a discussion of pagan religions.


Yep.  They're also an excellent example of the author's world-building skills.  
Both the religion and history of the series are well covered in the special features of the season one box set.  They really help flesh out the world.
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Laveth

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Re: Religion in Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2013, 01:32:07 am »
Quote from: MadZealot;116227
Yep.  They're also an excellent example of the author's world-building skills.  
Both the religion and history of the series are well covered in the special features of the season one box set.  They really help flesh out the world.

 
If he ever wrote a book solely on the Dothraki beliefs and culture, I would buy it in a heartbeat....

MadZealot

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Re: Religion in Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2013, 01:38:37 am »
Quote from: Laveth;116228
If he ever wrote a book solely on the Dothraki beliefs and culture, I would buy it in a heartbeat....


I'm sure he's got enough material to do so.
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Abduzza

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Re: Religion in Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2013, 01:42:35 am »
Quote from: Carnelian;116220


Anyway, I thought this was interesting, and clearly there is a lot of pagan influence in these fictional religious traditions, and elements relevant to a discussion of pagan religions.

 
To me, the religion of the Drowned God is extremely fascinating. It's like a combination of mainstream viking lore with cthonic deities.

Mata

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Re: Religion in Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2013, 12:25:18 pm »
Quote from: Laveth;116228
If he ever wrote a book solely on the Dothraki beliefs and culture, I would buy it in a heartbeat....

 
I so would too. Or Old Valyrian - which reminds me of Babylonian religions, from what Martin has explained so far in the series.

He better hurry up with Winds of Winter :p
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Laveth

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Re: Religion in Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2013, 11:03:56 pm »
Quote from: MadZealot;116230
I'm sure he's got enough material to do so.

 
Oh I'm sure he does, I'm waiting... very impatiently... ^^

MadZealot

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Re: Religion in Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2013, 12:02:40 am »
Quote from: Laveth;116290
Oh I'm sure he does, I'm waiting... very impatiently... ^^


Well first he's got to finish the danged series.  And I bet the last one will have appendices galore a la Return of the King.
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Finn

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Re: Religion in Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2013, 12:48:11 am »
Quote from: MadZealot;116292
Well first he's got to finish the danged series.  And I bet the last one will have appendices galore a la Return of the King.

 
Maybe, maybe not. A lot of that kind of material is going to appear in this book.
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MadZealot

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Re: Religion in Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2013, 01:18:57 am »
Quote from: Finn;116294
Maybe, maybe not. A lot of that kind of material is going to appear in this book.

 
Oooooo.
Thanks for that.  
:D:
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Laveth

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Re: Religion in Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2013, 11:02:41 pm »
Quote from: Finn;116294
Maybe, maybe not. A lot of that kind of material is going to appear in this book.

 
Have to update my wish list...

Ah why couldn't I have been born in a fantasy world. >.< haha

WindyCityWitch

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Re: Religion in Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2013, 02:44:59 am »
Quote from: Carnelian;116220

From what I've read online, the main religion practiced in the series is the Faith of the Seven, which involves the worship of seven deities who appear to be facets of one ultimate godhead. They include the Maiden, Mother, and Crone, a triad quite familiar to modern pagans, as well as the Father, Smith, and Warrior on the male side, and the genderless god called the Stranger, who represents mystery and death. Temples of the Seven are called "septs" (from the Latin word for "seven"), and priests are called septons and priestesses septas.

The Old Gods worshiped in the north are nameless deities, and this faith has more in common with animism than organized polytheism and the worship of specific, named gods. Trees called "Weirwood trees" are religious symbols, and there are no temples for organized worship.

There are also the Red God/Lord of Light, who seems a little sinister in the show, judging by the woman who follows him. From what I've read, this religion is more ecstatic and involves prophecy. There is also the Drowned God, worshiped as a local deity on the Iron Islands, which we haven't seen much of yet in the show.

 
I've also heard people compare GRRM's religions to how Ancient cultures were polytheists, but then were replaced by a 'Lord of Light' and Monotheism. Although the differences between the Red God and the Abrahamic God/Jesus are as numerous as their similarities.

I really appreciated how it realistically shows how religions can shape the cultures and the climates that affect the cultures shape the religions -if that makes sense-.

I've also heard of people trying to at least re-enact rituals from the Seven, the Old Gods, and the others, similar to the way people every so often try to summon Cthulu from R'yleh (let's all hope they don't succeed) haha ;)
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MadZealot

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Re: Religion in Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2013, 06:36:56 am »
Quote from: WindyCityWitch;116376
people every so often try to summon Cthulu from R'yleh

Funny, all you really need to do is .
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Nyktelios

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Re: Religion in Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2013, 07:39:01 am »
Quote from: WindyCityWitch;116376
I've also heard of people trying to at least re-enact rituals from the Seven, the Old Gods, and the others

 
Does anyone know where in the books the religions are more explicitly explained? I'm reading the first book, and I would have no idea what the passing references to the Seven or the Old Gods mean if I hadn't looked them up online.

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