How Religion Works In Game Of Thrones

There are four major religions in the Seven Kingdoms. Here’s how they all play out.
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There are four major religions in the Seven Kingdoms. Here’s how they all play out.

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A key part of the world of Westeros is how religion functions. Powering a lot of the more out there character motivations and plot threads is what deity they decide to give praise to.

The Old Gods

Practiced in the North of Westeros, the Old Gods are a bunch of nameless forces, tied to things in nature like the forest, mountains and streams. Symbolised by the weirwood tree (think the big oak looking thing with a face and red leaves Jon Snow did his Night’s Watch oath to),  the Old Gods are an interesting bunch, keeping folk like the Starks on the straight and narrow.

The New Gods

The New Gods are the most prayed to gods in Westeros, and comprise of seven parts; Father, Mother, Warrior, Maiden, Smith, Crone and Stranger.  The main religion in the Kings Landing capital, nearly all of the marriages we’ve seen so far have been in accordance with New God tradition.

The Lord of Light

The next big hitter is the Lord of Light, or “the fire one Stannis does”. Lord of Light followers believe in the fire god R’hllor, who provides heat and life and is opposed by a “Great Darkness.” A hungry god, R’hllor likes a sacrifice now and again, as demonstrated by Priestess Melissandre’s work. But as Beric Dondarrion showed when he ended up on the wrong side of The Hound, R’hllor likes to hand his followers a favour every now and again. Swings and roundabouts. What makes this religion so important is that Stannis is said to be a prophet called Azor Ahai, who will save the world. We’ll see about that later.

The Drowned God

The final major religion in Westeros is the Drowned God, practiced by people of the Iron Islands like Theon Greyjoy. The Drowned God created man to raid and pillage, meaning Iron Born chaps aren’t men until they have killed on a pirate raid. Tough break. The Drowned God is also responsible for the “Iron Price”, when men get belongings not through purchases with gold, but by taking them from their fallen enemies. He really likes murder.
Reincarnation plays a big part in the religion too, as Iron Born men who die at sea are said to go to a fishy version of Valhalla. If you ever see a character say “What is dead my never die.”, then they’re a follower of this harsh religion.

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