The Gods of ASoIaF

Discussion in 'A Song of Ice and Fire' started by Kaelmarr, Dec 17, 2007.

?

In your opinion, which gods in ASoIaF are real?

  1. The Drowned and Storm God

    1 vote(s)
    5.0%
  2. R'Hllor and the Great Other

    5 vote(s)
    25.0%
  3. Him of Many Faces

    4 vote(s)
    20.0%
  4. The Seven

    2 vote(s)
    10.0%
  5. The old gods

    6 vote(s)
    30.0%
  6. Other(Specify)

    2 vote(s)
    10.0%
  1. Kaelmarr

    Kaelmarr Back | Valar Morghulis

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    Personally, I think Melisandre is correct. For the reasons of the existence of the Others and how she seems to be safe from any harm.
     
  2. Jessehk

    Jessehk The introverted

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    In my opinion, a major underlying theme of the books is moral ambiguity and the complexity of life. We are shown repeatedly the various ways that people (knowingly or not) attempt to simplify our existance for their own means and the ease with which our (the reader, and the masses in the book) perceptions are manipulated.

    Melisandre has very convincingly shown the power of one god (R'Hllor) and the evil of everything else. However, I believe that GRRM is playing with our perceptions -- similar to the way everybody sided with the Crown in Ned's execution (despite the "true" nature of the situation according to the reader's perspective) and the way we relate to a raggedy delinquent who goes around killing and robbing people (Arya).

    It's been a while since I've read the books, but I believe that if there were gods in the ASOIF story, then their most likely form would be the old gods. They seem almost like a component of Earth itself and seem to offer few radical ideas or astounding powers. They most represent the subtle, complex nature of life (both in the book and ours) itself.

    On the other hand, the series is called A Song of Ice and Fire, which is a classic example of binary opposition. It may be titled that way to emphasize the deception that is rampant in the stories: ie, we're made to believe it is a song of ice and fire.

    I'm sort of rambling, but I love ASOIF because it is so much more complex than most fantasy novels. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2007
  3. bloodfiredeath

    bloodfiredeath Die by the Sword

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    I voted for the old gods, mainly due to the fact that they seem to emcompass all of the other gods. The fact that they are based in nature, makes them to an extent the controllers of earthly elements like Ice and Fire. This may seem like a generalisation, but the old gods are like the elders, subtly pulling the strings of the "lesser" gods to fulfill their agendas.
     
  4. Maester Joergensen

    Maester Joergensen New Member

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    I believe the there is as source of magic in the world. Some people have the ability to tap it. Like the warlocks of quarth, and the wargs of the north.

    People in the past have invented gods as the source of these magic powers, like Rh´llor for fire magic, and the old gods for warging and greensight.

    That source of magic is on the rise in the books, explaining that magical creatures like the others and dragons are returning to the world.
    And explaining why Thoros can use the old kiss of life Rh´llor burial ritual, to bring people back to life.
    When the church of Rh´llor were founded, the founders invented Rh´llor as the source of these powers and the spells were interwoven with the rituals of the church. When magic went on a low in the world, the rituals stayed part of the church even though they didn´t work anymore.

    You could argue that the old gods represent this natural magic in the world, but then I don´t think of them as individual powers, but as a source of magic in nature that can be tapped by the people born with the ability to do so. That ability runs stronger in some familylines, like the Starks and the Reeds.

    Some churches like the seven and the drowned god, has been invented out of thin air, like some religions in our world. Martin has said that the seven are inspired by catholicism, and the drowned god is Valhalla-like legends, blended with a explanation of CPR.
     
  5. Kaelmarr

    Kaelmarr Back | Valar Morghulis

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    Very interesting speculations...
    I think I'd be more tempted to lean over to MJ's view. I've never actually thought about it that way.
     
  6. Appaliq

    Appaliq No One

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    I'm sort of a fan of the God of Many Faces. He is all these Gods encompassed into one.

    Given - I'm not religious in real life. But I'd like to think there is only one God and all these deities we perceive are just cultural portrayals of our own version of the one God. Is that confusing?

    "There is one real God being described in different ways, by many different peoples."
     
  7. hendy

    hendy New Member

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    I had to put down rh'llor simply due to the events that happened in the BwB. IE beric dondarion living after being killed repeatedly and then passing that on to catelyn stark. a living corpse with her throat cut is quite convincing.

    how ever I also believe in the old gods, im not entirely sure why but it could possibly be from the events from when arya was with lem and tom on the top of the hill, can't quite recall the details?

    none of the other gods seem to have done anything ?
     
  8. Maester Joergensen

    Maester Joergensen New Member

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    It is true that things has happened like melisandre burning Orells eagle, and Thoros bringing Beric Dondarrion back to live. Those events have been attributed to Rh´llor. I cant say that ain´t so. I know mister Martins mind as little as everyone else. It is just that I like the story where a lot of different religions exist and no one can say which is real. It reminds me of real life, and is a good contrast to other fantasy where you know for certain that the gods exist. I am a atheist and I guess my atheist personality would like a story where they all turned out to be wrong.
    Except Sandor. "What gods? What hell?"

    I don´t know if the gods exist. It is possible that they do. But I think we can narrow down the possibilities.
    Either there is one god as Appalic suggests. But isn´t the god of many faces only a contraction of all the deadgods, not all the gods? That god could either be influenced be the general low of magic in the world or she could be causing it. Lets call her App for short.

    Or there is several gods. Two or more of the gods in the world are real. But I think that at least some of them are fake. Like the drowned god. They are definitely effected by the magic low in the world, holding back on the number of "miracles", like Thoros resurrection of Beric. Or the magic low in the world could be a joint decision by all the gods. But knowing the nature of gods I don´t think so. There followers are fighting on earth, so I guess the gods would at least be quarreling in the higher spheres. And who wouldn´t want to give their followers a hand with a little quick miracle. So we have several gods, who has not been meddling with the mortal world for some time, due to lack of strenght. But now they are back! So who could they be? Rh´llor and they great other fighting it out for world dominion. Dragons vs. Others. Or maybe the old gods dying for a comeback. Using both others and wargs to fight the seven and Rh´llor. Or someone else?

    Or there is my own "no god theory". take your pick.
     
  9. Ser Revok

    Ser Revok Hedge Knight

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    Rh´llor certainly puts forward the best case for a God which is in some way real. I think, however, that these could merely be parlor tricks of some sort. We should take in to consideration that magic is (slowly) ebbing back into the world and like anything there are people who are more proficient at bending it to their own will. It could just be that these 'Red Priests' are trained extensively in the arts.

    I think we should also consider the possibility that the God's are non-interventionist. The fact there has been no physical sign of their presence does not mean they are not there. I personally have no strong view point yet but I like the idea of the old Gods the most. That may in part have something to do with my love for the North though.

    Hopefully 'A Dance with Dragons' will shed a little more light on the Rh´llor situation and maybe some insight in to their training.
     
  10. Maester Joergensen

    Maester Joergensen New Member

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    I hope that ADwD will shed some new light on the red god to. There is a chance we may get a Melisandre POV, or Dany could go to Asshai.
     
  11. Lady Aria

    Lady Aria Daughter of the Stars

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    Hmm..I must have got my facts mixed up somewhere. I thought the Seven and the Older Gods were the same? I wonder where and how I confused that. I'll have to go look that up.
    I've always wondered if these "newer" Gods could just be the same 'older' Gods, doesn't it say they sorta stopped being as popular? couldn't they have just decided to start playing a bigger role again? Arn't gods supposed to kind of represent different things? Like rh'llor with fire. The God of Many Faces could really be anything. The Others, assuming they have a "God" could that be maybe like a Hedes type god? and the Storm God representing a type of Posidon?
    Maybe I'm trying to pull to much together?
    but i really like everyones opinion on this...its great to read everyones else thoughts on this. :) great poll!
     
  12. Maester Joergensen

    Maester Joergensen New Member

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    The old gods were the gods of the children of the forest, who lived in westeros in ancient times. At some point a bronze age people, called the first men arrived. For some time they were at war with the children of the forest, but at some point they made peace, and the first men took over the religion of the children of the forest. The old gods.

    Some hundred years later the Andals arrived. The had invented iron, and the conquest went well against the bronze weapons of the first men. The Andals worshipped the seven. It was said there warriors had sevensided stars tattooed on there bodies. The first men were driven from the southern parts of westeros and only held on to the north. The southern families are mostly descended from the Andals, while northern families like the starks are descended from the first men. Your hear them talk about it a lot in the books, but you have to know to notice it. People are proud of there pure Andal/first men blood. And the kings name themselves kings of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the first men. The Rhoynar are people who live in Dorne. Nymerias people. Who were driven from there homeplace, by the river rhoyne, by the Valyrians. They worshipped the river Rhoyne, as there mother. Most of them converted to the seven gods, when they arrived in Dorne. Except for the Orphans. They still miss the river Rhoyne, and that is why they call themselve orphans. They live in houseboats on the greenblood.
    Then there is Aegon the conquerer. Don´t really know what gods the Valyrians worshipped, but when he had conquered westeros, he took over the seven. For political reasons i think. It´s easier to rule people when you worship the same gods.

    The god of many faces, as far as I understand, is a universal deathgod. They keep statues of the deadgods from many religions in there temple. Like the black goat from qohor, the stranger from westeros, and a lot of others that i don´t know if we ever got the names for. I can´t remember. to them there is only one god of death, which are worshipped in many shapes all over the world. That is why they call him the manyfaced god. They see death as a mercy, and therefore murder is not a crime. And since killing is not wrong, they might as well make a profit. So the faceless men take on contracts. Ok. I am not sure about the last part.

    The red god Rhl´lor descend from Asshai, as far as I know. From there it has spread to the free cities. When Illyrio play host to Khal Drogo in the start of aGoT, he say that the red priests claim, that rhl´lor could easily defend the city agains a khalasar ten times bigger or something. But the magisters prefer to bid the Dothraki welcome instead. Not very important, but just some of the small things you notice on re-reads. That Rhl´lor was mentioned that far back in the books. They great other is the enemy of Rhl´lor. In westeros they have a legend of The Others. Describing the ghostlike icecreatures of the past. But they don´t have a notion of The Other, as a single entity. That come from Rhl´lors church. But melisandre is convinced that the other from Rhl´lor church, is the leader of the others from westeros folklore. We only has that from here.

    The drowned god is the religion of the Iron Island. They belive that when people die, they go to a feasting hall beneath the ocean, where they will eat and fight forever. The enemy of the drowned god is the stormgod. Supposedly storms are bad things that sink ships, and the province of the "Evil" god in Iron Island religion. Baptism in the Iron Islands consist of being drowned in seawater, and then being resurrected by the Drowned God. Seems suspiciously alike to CPR.
     
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  13. Lady Aria

    Lady Aria Daughter of the Stars

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    oh wow. thank you. i needed that memory refresher. I knew a lot of what you were saying. I completely forgot the Manyfaced God dealt with death...i should have. I may have to re-read them all soon. It hasn't even been a year yet since I read all of them...but I feel like I've forgotten so much already! man that sucks.
    but thank you for the clarification of the Gods. I really needed it! and I appreciate it!
     
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  14. Maester Joergensen

    Maester Joergensen New Member

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    I don´t think this debate will ever .
    Unless George make one of the gods actusallyh manifest and perform clear miracles, hte isue will allways be muddled.
    Like in real life. And i actually like that.
     
  15. Maester Joergensen

    Maester Joergensen New Member

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    I don´t think this debate will ever have a conclusion.
    Unless George make one of the gods actually manifest and perform clear miracles, tte issue will always be muddled.
    Like in real life. And I like that.
     
  16. Turin

    Turin Valar Morghulis

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    I voted other, mainly because I thinkk there has been evidence that several of them are real.
     
  17. Kakashi

    Kakashi The Fighters Guide House Member

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    all of these can be compared to real life religions in my opinion.

    so as far as this i would believe in the 7, which seems to be that of christianity.
     
  18. Salladhor Saan

    Salladhor Saan New Member

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    I belive that in the ASOIAF world R'hollor and the great other have proven their might...What have the seven god's done? Absolutely nothin'
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2008
  19. Kakashi

    Kakashi The Fighters Guide House Member

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    True..

    the 7 are more of a represtivtive of proper morals i suppose.
     
  20. Appaliq

    Appaliq No One

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    Technically the God of Many Faces could BE Rhollor. *shrugs* He could be the Seven, he could be the Old Gods.