The Drowned God, the Lord of Light, the Seven. There are so many gods and religions in Westeros, it's hard to keep them all straight!
Fortunately, the man who thought it all up, George R.R. Martin. is here to help you. In this fascinating Game of Thrones featurette, Martin takes us through a history of the religions in Westeros, and explains how the characters on the show relate to the different beliefs.
For those who don't feel like watching the full video (though it's only seven minutes!), here's a breakdown:
The Old Gods: The gods of the North, who the Stark family worship, are part of the oldest religion in Westeros. Before humans even came to the content, the magical Children of the Forest worshipped these gods; the first men who came to Westeros adopted this religion, and it lives on in the North. These gods are very tied to the earth — they are the nameless gods of trees and rocks and the like — and they are symbolized by the weirwood trees, which we have seen at Winterfell.
The Seven: The dominant religion in the rest of Westeros, this faith is "built around symbology of the seven." This religion is, in its execution, fairly similar (at least in broad strokes) to the way Christianity operated in the Middle Ages. The Seven are "seen to be the seven facets of the one god," and there are many institutions established around this religion — the sept as a place of worship, the priesthood, and various brother- and sisterhoods that resemble monks and friars in our world.
The Drowned God: The Drowned God is the god of the Iron Islands. A harsh god and a harsh religion — as an initiation into the faith, children are drowned in sea water (and then saved). We saw Theon rededicate himself to this god as a way of showing that he was giving up any loyalty he still had to the Starks.
The Lord of Light: Melisandre's religion is a new religion to Westeros; it's a foreign faith from a foreign land. It's a very black-and-white view of the world: The Lord of Light is the one true god; these other gods are demons who must be destroyed. Hence, we saw Melisandre making Stannis's followers burn symbols of the Seven. As you can also tell with Melisandre, the religion puts a premium on prophecy, and, of course, “union with the flame.”
Rebecca Martin is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @BeccaMartin47.
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