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[TV Spoilers] The Religions of Westeros (video)


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#1 Envie

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 02:36 PM

This is worth watching:

http://www.youtube.c...ture=plpp_video

Great info from GRRM regarding all of the various religions that are coming into play in the the game, as well as some snippets of 'reveals' for future episodes, so don't watch it if you don't want to spoil any scenes coming this season, there's a few spoiler moments in there.

I was disappointed George didn't touch on the religions across the narrow sea (especially the Faceless Men's religion, one of my favorite stories w/ Arya) but that's ok - I'm taking it they are trying to keep it within the realm of Westeros as well as this season's story progression.

It's always interesting to me to hear "The Lord of Light" religion compared to early 16th and 17th century Christianity (when 'burning' people as heretics was common). The Fire God, seems to be so important to the story at the ending we're left with in Dance with Dragons with the wall and Stannis, etc, but most people are just starting to piece together the "Fire and Ice" theme happening. Melisandre's part in the story seems to be like that of a 'crusader' of early Christianity... to go forth and burn all of those who would follow pagan gods. There's no big reveals in this interview, but it was still really helpful to me to see how the author's interpretation of religions has translated over the producer's explanations of it on film.

#2 The Bastard of Bolton

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 11:16 AM

I wish I had sound on this work computer.

The Lord of Light always seemed to strongly parallel Christianity in my eyes. When I first started reading CoK I was distraught at first because I was thinking for a bit that I had gotten myself into reading something with strong undertones when I saw things like "the one and only true god" et cetera.

Does the video make parallels between the other shows religions and real world religions?

#3 Chelly

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 11:26 AM

Thank you for the link. Interesting to watch. This is for the show, so maybe they were only focusing on the religions presented on the show so far? It would be cool if they do another one later down the road(assuming the show makes it that far), that shows more of the Essos based religions. I wouldn't have minded another clip for the Dothraki religion but I guess its not as front and center as the other 3. Still a good watch. though. I like all of the HBO extras and enjoy them. They are a good idea.

#4 isiman

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 11:39 AM

I wish I had sound on this work computer.

The Lord of Light always seemed to strongly parallel Christianity in my eyes. When I first started reading CoK I was distraught at first because I was thinking for a bit that I had gotten myself into reading something with strong undertones when I saw things like "the one and only true god" et cetera.

Does the video make parallels between the other shows religions and real world religions?



Probably it's the religion of the 7 the one with most resemblance with Christianity (especially Catholicism).The Lord of Light seems to me that it's a dual religion, The Great Other, so zoroastrianism would be closer.

#5 Envie

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 11:39 AM

I wish I had sound on this work computer.

The Lord of Light always seemed to strongly parallel Christianity in my eyes. When I first started reading CoK I was distraught at first because I was thinking for a bit that I had gotten myself into reading something with strong undertones when I saw things like "the one and only true god" et cetera.

Does the video make parallels between the other shows religions and real world religions?


Not directly, but George did make some parallels in his interview that matched real world religious customs and history. It's more the spiritualism and culture that seems important in Westeros. The symbolism and idol worshiping are strong themes. Each religion has its 'image' that is central to the belief. The thing is, if the Lord of Light is the Fire God as Martin says in this interview, who is the Ice God - the Others? The Old Gods of the Starks and other northerners is explained as the gods of the children of the forest, but is not ice - is more like native american spiritualism... of nature, trees, mountains, etc.

#6 Mulled Wino

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 01:08 PM

I agree with isiman. Xtianity and the 7, especially with the repression and upcoming new indepence from the state by cersei's actions.

#7 The Red Lamb Chop

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 09:32 PM

I never really noticed/thought about Syrio's comment that, "There is only one god, and His name is Death," before, but it sounds a lot like the religion of the Faceless Men. Interesting...

#8 teemo

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 10:30 PM

Yes, this is a really awesome video that clearly explains the religions of the show, and the best part of using GRRM himself. Disappointed as well with no religions across the narrow sea, but that would just be too confusing to viewers right now.

#9 jurble

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 12:38 PM

Ah, http://youtu.be/DIe0Q3PgcOw?t=7m12s

The Prince who was Promised is Azor Ahai! (That is, GRRM refers to Lightbringer being a token of the Prince who was Promised, though Melisandre always on about Azor Ahai.)

#10 The Bastard of Bolton

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 04:24 PM

I wonder why they never mention where Melisandre comes from specifically?
Isn't she from Asshai? And that location was mentioned by Jorah in season 1.

Anyways that video was awesome.

It did seem to me that the seven was like catholocism, the old gods like many early religions, rh'llor like fervent christianity, and the drowned god is pretty unique and probably derived from a random pirate/viking type discovering the wonders of cpr and building a religion and culture from it.

#11 Envie

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 06:20 PM

I wonder why they never mention where Melisandre comes from specifically?
Isn't she from Asshai? And that location was mentioned by Jorah in season 1.


It was mentioned by Jorah because Mirri Maz Duur, the maegi who brought Drogo 'back to life' trained there.


Yes, Melisandre is from Asshai - here is her wiki entry: http://awoiaf.wester....php/Melisandre

Asshai is considered to lie under the 'Shadow' that is the cursed Shadow lands though we know little about those Shadow Lands. Magic and necromancy, wizardry are said to be practiced openly there.

This furthers the theory that the things Melisandre births are "Shadows" or demons by many mythological standards and not actually living creatures or 'sons' of flesh.

#12 The Bastard of Bolton

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 06:50 PM

Thanks Envie. I was just asking because everytime I see Melisandre spoken of in an interview they always say she is from elsewhere, a land far away, a foreigner. I don't see why they wouldn't just say she is from Asshai.

#13 Ponyo Payne

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 07:44 PM

Where is the Prince that was Promised mentioned in the text? Is this new that the Prince that was Promised = Azor Ahai reborn?

#14 Hyper

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 09:15 PM

I never really noticed/thought about Syrio's comment that, "There is only one god, and His name is Death," before, but it sounds a lot like the religion of the Faceless Men. Interesting...


Not really. The faceless men are all about embracing death. Syrio says "not today" to death. They are opposites.

#15 The Bastard of Bolton

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 10:28 PM

I interpreted saying that in a practical way.
Kind of making the statement that it doesn't matter who you worship if you're dead so do what you can to fend it off at all cost.
I never viewed it as him actually saying he prays to the god Death or what have you.

#16 The Red Lamb Chop

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 11:13 PM

Not really. The faceless men are all about embracing death. Syrio says "not today" to death. They are opposites.


If that's the case, then why didn't Jaqen embrace death when he was surely going to die when the wagon caught fire? I think it stands to argue that the FM are disciples of Death, but not necessarily eager to go into it so quickly...

But I agree with what The Bastard of Bolton says. I never actually believed it either. Just pointing out it could be an interesting bit of ammo for someone attempting to argue the whole Syrio=Jaqen thing for the show.

#17 stormborns

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 10:51 AM

Probably it's the religion of the 7 the one with most resemblance with Christianity (especially Catholicism).The Lord of Light seems to me that it's a dual religion, The Great Other, so zoroastrianism would be closer.


IMHO, Catholicism fits the bill with the Lord of Light very closely. The 7 goes very much against Catholicism, except for the whole Trinity, but besides that the 7 don't fit, since it involves multiple entities representing the one. On the other Hand, R'hllor represents God while the darkness (I think Milesandre referrs to it as that at some point?) represent the Devil. Plus the burning, the prayer, the night is dark seems to run parrallels with the white and black pasternoster. Although, the pasternosters also have parralells with Sansa's hymn. Food for thought...

#18 stormborns

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 10:53 AM

Not really. The faceless men are all about embracing death. Syrio says "not today" to death. They are opposites.


Syrio is a Braavosi, and the religion of the Faceless men seems to be the most dominant in Braavos. Maybe 'Not today' are words spoken in Braavos when they wish not to be 'gifted' with death by the Faceless Men?

#19 The Bastard of Bolton

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 11:25 AM

IMHO, Catholicism fits the bill with the Lord of Light very closely. The 7 goes very much against Catholicism, except for the whole Trinity, but besides that the 7 don't fit, since it involves multiple entities representing the one. On the other Hand, R'hllor represents God while the darkness (I think Milesandre referrs to it as that at some point?) represent the Devil. Plus the burning, the prayer, the night is dark seems to run parrallels with the white and black pasternoster. Although, the pasternosters also have parralells with Sansa's hymn. Food for thought...


So Catholicism doesn't fit the bill except for the part that fits the bill exactly?

#20 Hyper

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 12:20 PM

Yeah, it's really hard to argue against the 7 being a very closely based upon the medieval (catholic) church. They just have so much in common in their hierarchy and structure. Others have made the point that the R'hllor worship can be compared to more extremist fundamentalist Christian or Islamic branches.

An interesting point is that the drowned god worship also has christian elements in it - The baptism/blessing element.