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The setting of A Song of Ice and Fire is one where there are many faiths, and many faithful. Belief in high powers and supernatural threats runs deep through the culture of the known world and influence most aspects of life. In The Seven Kingdoms nearly all children are raised praising either the new gods or the old and fear of the Others coming to claim them if they misbehave. Across the narrow sea children are often given to be raised to priesthood of one of the many deities worshipped there. Little is known about the actual deities and their powers, so far only R'hllor has been shown to possess real power and influence the world directly.


Westeros has relatively few significant religions. They include:


In Essos across the narrow sea, it seems there are as many gods as there are peoples. In Braavos, one can find temples and shrines to almost every god one can imagine.[1] Named religions include:

Influences and Theology

See also: Themes in A Song of Ice and Fire

Unlike J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, A Song of Ice and Fire addresses religion in some detail and portrays several competing religions. More than any other novel in the series, A Dance with Dragons explores the different religions of Westeros and Essos. Each of the religions reflects its culture's temperament. George R. R. Martin based the series' faiths on real religions, tweaking or expanding them a little. However, no religion is presented as the true faith, although there are displays of power on many sides, nor do any have a monopoly on virtue.

Known influences include:

Martin tries to slowly reveal in how the many different kinds of magic in the Ice and Fire world may be manifestations of the same mysterious supernatural forces. This leaves readers free to wonder about the validity, teachings and supernatural power of the competing religions, allowing for a sense of wonder, for things that escape the net of explanation in terms of the physical sciences. Martin regards any religion's claim to truth with suspicion, as he does the claims of real religions. The series' gods, he said, are unlikely to appear deus-ex-machina in Westeros.[3]


Notes and References

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