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TheDonAJ

Religious Tolerance

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There seems to be some syncretism in Westeros. Why do the followers of the old gods and The Seven seem to be completely fine with this arrangement? Most Lords and peasants might not care too much about religion, but even crazy zealots like the High Sparrow don’t mention or care about the fact that half the Kingdom prays to different gods. Given that the New Gods are based on medieval Catholicism, have they ever sent any missionaries up North?

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The Faith essentially tolerates the old gods because they are also the gods of all the andalized First Men houses. They are their roots. They no longer honor them the way they did, but they also don't destroy them the way Christianity dealt with pagan practices and heretics in the real world.

It is different with the Ironborn - here they truly tried to convert people again and again, but it didn't really work all that well.

But there is no religious tolerance in Westeros outside this narrow framework - which basically encompasses tolerance towards the religions of various Westerosi people.

Other religions are mercilessly vilified and demonized as can be seen in FaB in the way King's Landing - one of the more cosmopolitan cities of Westeros, one should think - treats Larra Rogare and her family and how the Kingslanders treated Rego Draz during the reign of Jaehaerys I.

These people are all bigoted, intolerant, racist savages and we don't really realized that until now because their society is very homogeneous and they rarely, if at all, interact with foreigners and their beliefs.

In fact, the approach to the Lyseni in the last chapter of FaB can be read as a commentary on medieval anti-semitism. Those foreign Lyseni happen to be bankers as well as worshipers of strange gods who follow weird customs, and people quickly and delightfully blame them for everything that goes wrong. The sentence Torrhen Manderly gives one of Larra's brothers is perhaps one of the most disgusting things we had to read in that book.

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They don't have to, House Manderly worships the Seven and I'm pretty sure there's a lot of septs in the North outside White harbor,  also the Seven is not as aggressive as Catholicism during middle ages, Riverlords are OK with having a king worshiping a different god. 

The faith doesn't have to send missionaries since they are fine with it, they've been with them for so long, and even after the Seven becomes the major religion in below the Neck there are still those who worship the Old, good example of this is the Ghost of high hearth and possibly Jenny of Oldstones, it's likely there are few thousand more worshiping the Old gods in the other kingdoms, even in the Reach. 

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There aren't many zealots, but whatever there are haven't had much power to do anything for quite some time. The Targaryens neutered the military arm of the Faith and since then it's been a relatively peaceful organization by necessity. This recent upsurgence of martial zealotry is a reaction to what's been going on what with Stannis bringing a new god into play and the accusations of incest flung at the royal family. Perhaps Robb bringing a tiny resurgence of the old gods in the Riverlands had some effect as well. Regardless, the Faith just didn't have any power to do anything by force for the past 250 years.

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3 hours ago, TheDonAJ said:

There seems to be some syncretism in Westeros. Why do the followers of the old gods and The Seven seem to be completely fine with this arrangement? Most Lords and peasants might not care too much about religion, but even crazy zealots like the High Sparrow don’t mention or care about the fact that half the Kingdom prays to different gods. Given that the New Gods are based on medieval Catholicism, have they ever sent any missionaries up North?

On the underlined statement:  The HS would care if he had the power to enforce his beliefs.  His focus for now is in the capital.  Say he wins his battle with Cersei and increases his flock.  It's not unthinkable for him to build an army of the faith to force the north and the iron isles to convert. 

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4 hours ago, TheDonAJ said:

There seems to be some syncretism in Westeros.

The internet supplies dictionary definitions of words, the internet even supplies the urban usage of words ----syncretism - the amalgamation or attempted amalgamation of different religions, cultures, or schools of thought.

Spell check, at least my spell check, does not acknowledge syncretism.

It is my opinion that the author is merely providing a shallow interpretation of what people believed and how they practiced it.

Take the red comet as an example. It meant something different to multiple characters in the story.

 

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