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Fire and Blood – by Kerry Barnett © FFG

Bloodmagic[1][2] or blood sorcery[3] is a type of magic rooted in the use of blood and sacrifice. It is considered the darkest and most powerful sorcery.[2] Practitioners of bloodmagic are known as bloodmages,[4][3] as well as maegi.[5][6]


Azor Ahai thrusts a sword into the heart of his wife Nissa Nissa to create Lightbringer, by Tim Durning © FFG


According to legend, Azor Ahai succeeded in forging Lightbringer by working on it for a hundred days and a hundred nights, and tempering the steel by plunging the blade into the heart of his beloved wife, Nissa Nissa.[7]


All magic practiced by the Valyrians was rooted in blood and fire magic.[8][9] Not all bloodmages came from dragonlord families, although there was overlap between the two groups.[10]

Septon Barth, in his Dragons, Wyrms, and Wyverns: Their Unnatural History, speculated that the bloodmages of the Freehold employed wyvern stock to create dragons.[11] Meanwhile, in the flesh pits of Gogossos, bloodmages mated beasts to slave women to bring forth twisted half-human children.[3]


Bloodmagic, along with necromancy and divination, is rumored to be practiced in Qohor.[12] According to Maester Pol, the spells required to rework Valyrian steel involve blood sacrifice, including that of infant slaves.[12]


According to Old Nan, Harren Hoare, King of the Isles and the Rivers, included human blood in the mortar of Harrenhal,[13] which is now said to be cursed.[14] Danelle Lothston, the mad Lady of Harrenhal, is said to have bathed in blood,[15] held feasts of flesh,[15] and practiced dark arts during the reign of King Maekar I Targaryen.[16] According to tales of smallfolk, giant bats from Harrenhal would bring bad children to her.[17]

Shiera Seastar bathing in blood, by Jota Saraiva ©

Targaryen Era

Shiera Seastar, the bastard daughter of King Aegon IV Targaryen, was rumored to bathe in blood to retain her beauty.[18]

Recent Events

A Game of Thrones

Samwell Tarly tells Jon Snow that warlocks from Qarth bathed him in aurochs blood in an attempt to make him brave.[13]

Mirri Maz Duur tells Daenerys Targaryen that she knows spells capable of saving a man from death, but warns her that only death may pay for life, and death may be cleaner. To save the life of the dying Khal Drogo, Daenerys's husband, Mirri sacrifices Drogo's stallion[1] and, unbeknownst to Daenerys, her unborn son Rhaego. However, the spell only restores Drogo's body, leaving him in a catatonic state.[19]

Daenerys has a funeral pyre built for Drogo, and orders a horse killed. Mirri believes Daenerys is trying to resurrect Drogo through bloodmagic, and insists that without the spells the blood is nothing. She even offers assistance in exchange for release. Daenerys has the horse, Drogo's body, her three dragon eggs, and Mirri Maz Duur placed on the pyre. After the pyre is lit and Mirri dies in flames, Daenerys walks into the inferno. After the fire dies down to ashes, not only is Daenerys found alive, with only her clothes and hair burned away, but also the eggs have hatched, and the first three dragons in more than a hundred years have been born.[20] According to George R.R. Martin, Daenerys's use of magic was instinctive, made up as she went along.[21]

A Storm of Swords

Melisandre sacrificing a man to R'hllor, by Dejan Delic ©

While King Stannis Baratheon is fighting the battle of the Blackwater, his wife Queen Selyse Florent has the red priestess Melisandre burn alive Lord Guncer Sunglass and the sons of Hubard Rambton, as a sacrifice to R'hllor.[22]

Melisandre pleads to Stannis to give her Edric Storm, bastard son of the late King Robert I Baratheon, as there is power in king's blood, and she believes Edric's sacrifice will "wake the stone dragon." Stannis refuses, but Melisandre is able to leech some of Edric's blood. She has Stannis cast the leeches into the fire of a brazier, while stating the names of the "three false kings", Balon Greyjoy, Robb Stark, and Joffrey Baratheon.[23] In time, Balon falls from a bridge at Pyke,[24] Robb is killed at the Red Wedding,[25] and Joffrey is poisoned at his own wedding feast.[26]

A Feast for Crows

Queen Regent Cersei Lannister recalls that during her youth, she, Jeyne Farman, and Melara Hetherspoon visited Maggy the Frog outside a tournament in Lannisport. Although Jeyne fled in terror, Maggy tasted the blood of Cersei and Melara, and told the girls their futures.[27][28][2]

Yna, a one-eyed prostitute, is reputed to be able to tell your fortune by tasting a drop of your blood. She has tasted the blood of the Sailor's Wife, and knows that her first husband is dead.[29]

A Dance with Dragons

When Stannis's army sails for the Wall, Melisandre sacrifices Lord Alester Florent to R'hllor to gain favorable winds for the voyage north.[30]

During Stannis's march on Winterfell, his army is trapped by a blizzard in a crofters' village a few days from Winterfell. In an attempt to end the storm, queen's men sacrifice four Peasebury men accused of cannibalism.[31]

Known practitioners


This is bloodmagic, lady. Only death may pay for life.[1]

By itself, the blood is nothing. You do not have the words to make a spell, nor the wisdom to find them. Do you think bloodmagic is a game for children?[20]

Bloodmagic is the darkest kind of sorcery. Some say it is the most powerful as well.[2]

What feeds a dragon's fire? All Valyrian sorcery was rooted in blood or fire.[8]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 64, Daenerys VIII.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 36, Cersei VIII.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 The World of Ice & Fire, Beyond the Free Cities: The Basilisk Isles.
  4. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 23, Daenerys III.
  5. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 61, Daenerys VII.
  6. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 19, Tyrion III.
  7. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 10, Davos I.
  8. 8.0 8.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 45, Samwell V.
  9. The World of Ice & Fire, Ancient History: Ten Thousand Ships.
  10. George RR Martin in Conversation: HOW Interviews GRRM!
  11. The World of Ice & Fire, Beyond the Free Cities: Sothoryos.
  12. 12.0 12.1 The World of Ice & Fire, The Free Cities: Qohor.
  13. 13.0 13.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 26, Jon IV.
  14. A Clash of Kings, Chapter 7, Catelyn I.
  15. 15.0 15.1 A Feast for Crows, Chapter 27, Jaime III.
  16. The World of Ice & Fire, The Riverlands: House Tully.
  17. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 9, Brienne II.
  18. The Sworn Sword.
  19. A Game of Thrones, Chapter 68, Daenerys IX.
  20. 20.0 20.1 A Game of Thrones, Chapter 72, Daenerys X.
  21. So Spake Martin: Interview (July 2, 2000)
  22. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 10, Davos II.
  23. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 36, Davos IV.
  24. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 45, Catelyn V.
  25. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 51, Catelyn VII.
  26. A Storm of Swords, Chapter 60, Tyrion VIII.
  27. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 12, Cersei III.
  28. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 24, Cersei V.
  29. A Feast for Crows, Chapter 34, Cat Of The Canals.
  30. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 9, Davos I.
  31. A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 62, The Sacrifice.