Theologies in A Song of Ice and Fire
For my final paper, I will discuss a few of the religions in A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. I will describe and show how these fictional religions compare to factual ones. I will mainly focus on how it relates to Christianity and its various forms, but I will also include other religions in smaller detail. Before I dive right into the religions, I will give a brief description of A Song of Ice and Fire and why Martin, a lapsed Catholic and proclaimed atheist, decided to include such a large amount of religion in the series.
The tale takes place in the fictional realms of Westeros, Essos, and Sothoryos. In these fictional realms, power ...view middle of the document...
They asserted their religion over Westeros and it soon became the most prevalent religion throughout the continent. The Seven is a highly organized religion with its own hierarchy and requirements.
The Seven is very similar to Catholicism. This is most apparent when talking about the hierarchy of The Seven. The High Septon, similar to the Pope, is elected by the Most Devout. The Most Devout is a group of the most experienced septons; similar to the Cardinals who come together when a new Pope is to be elected. The rest of the hierarchy is normal septons and septas. Septons are the equivalent of a Catholic priest and septa is the same as a nun. Also like the Catholics, they takes oaths to abstain from sexual relationships. The Seven’s Gods have seven “faces” of the same deity, and Catholicism has the trinity, three entities of the same deity. The way the Seven describes their different faces is what I find the most interesting. They use the idea of a crystal prism as an allegory to help describe the complex idea of seven faces yet one God. The prism shows that one pure stream of light appears like seven different colors to men. Upon researching Dante’s Inferno, I found that there are similarities between this Catholic text and the seven hells of The Seven. In both Dante’s Inferno and The Seven, the sins or wrongdoings committed in one’s life determines what hell one will be condemned to. The deepest level of Hell in both religions are meant for the extremely wicked and traitors. The Seven consider kin slaying to be the worst sin one can commit in life. This sin will cause a person to be cast into the final level of Hell and forced to spend eternity with The Stranger, God of the unknown and death. In Dante’s Inferno, people who betray their family, along with other evil doers, will end up in the deepest level of Hell with Lucifer.
Another religion, that has similarities to actual religions, is the Drowned God. This religion is practiced by the residents of the Iron Islands. The Iron Islands are a collection of islands which are ran by a fierce and land hungry people. Their god, the Drowned God, is a harsh god that requires his followers to be “born again” by water. The Drowned God promotes domination by force and the conquering of all weaker civilizations.
The Drowned God contains similarities to Christianity and to the ancient Norse Mythology. The Drowned God requires his people to be born again in the water which is very similar to baptism in Christianity. Another similarity is the state of the soul upon death. Followers of the Drowned God believe their soul will go to the sea so they can spend eternity with the Drowned God, while Christians believe there soul will go to Heaven. The main difference is the leaders and priests of The Drowned God must be drowned completely and brought back to life through a form of cardiopulmonary resuscitation by a holy priest. The Drowned Gods similarity to Norse Mythology is the teaching of land conquest and...