Religion in Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire

Works based on A Song of Ice and Fire
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.