Religion has played a powerful, often ominous role in the hit series Game of Thrones. Whether worshipping the Old Gods, the New, the Red God, or even the Drowned God, people in Westeros and beyond use religion in many different ways. Known as the New Gods or the Seven, the religion of the Southern realms of Westeros are referred to frequently. Father, Warrior, Smith, Mother, Maiden, Crone, Stranger. These potent archetypes guide many of the decisions and ways of the realm.
With the final season approaching, several characters stand out as manifestations of the gods. This is my take.
While his sexuality doesn’t exist, Varys does what he does in protection of the realm and the people of the realm. The common people are frequently quoted as his driving force between who he supports and who he doesn’t. What is more fatherly than that? Some might call it turncoat behavior, but in the wars of rich men it is the commoners who get the worst of it and coming to the kingdom as a commoner, he stands for them. He admits that he blows whichever way the wind is best for the people, but does acknowledge to Dany that if he finds her failing the common people he will tell her straight to her face and not make political maneuvers behind her back.
So how long do you think it would take to list all of Jon’s fighting accomplishments? Let’s summarize. First, as a young kid, he willingly joins the Night’s Watch. He goes beyond the Wall and joins a rogue army of Wildlings to gain information. He gets made Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch at a young age, brings Wildlings below the Wall, and then gets killed for it. He comes back to life by magic and then immediately gets ready to go fight for his home which has been taken over by one of the evilest characters ever, Ramsay Bolton/Snow. Takes it all back, like a boss. Then gets called King of the North and goes off to fight hoards of White Walkers. He’s a BAMF. Who knows how many more badass, mo-fo things he’ll do this last season, but I am here for it!
While Father would also fit as a title, I believe Smith is better suited to describe Tyrion’s role in the realm. He’s trying to build a better world. Not at first. At first, it’s all whoring and drinking and smacking his nephew. Still great, don’t get me wrong. But when his father proceeds in a trial that is clearly crap, Tyrion’s chances in Westeros are kaput. But when he learns of Dany and the accomplishments she’s beginning to rack up on her own, he knows she’s the leader the realm needs and uses his amazing mind to work for her.
This one is wholly obvious. Mother of Dragons. Mother of the Realm. Breaker of Chains. All of Daenerys’ titles that go along with the deeds she’s done for the people. She clearly cares about the best interest of not only her own people, but other disadvantaged people she meets. Dany basically travels around collecting followers. Which is not only how you win the hearts of the people, but the keys to the kingdom as well. If you have the people behind you, they’ll suffer a lot if they believe in the future you’re building.
Spending the beginning of the show pining after Joffrey, Sansa wants only to be queen someday. In reality, she’s a naive, young girl who is placed in a precarious situation. And poor Sansa gets constantly manipulated by everyone around her. Cersei, Littlefinger, Ramsay. She has zero chance to just live a happy life. But while she may have been naive before, she is not any longer. In fact, she’s proven to have a keen mind and is not to be underestimated. She may have been passed around from husband to husband, but in truth, Sansa’s happiness lies in neither.
While the series starts with a mother lion and three happy cubs, that doesn’t last for long. In reality, Cersei is often related to the causes of the deaths of her children. Joffrey was raised to believe he could have any single thing he wanted. And look how that turned out! Myrcella was caught in a rough situation that wasn’t directly Cersei’s fault but lots of Lannisters spilling blood and Cersei’s attitude helped this death along. And Tommen’s death is completely Cersei’s fault. She killed the person he was living for: his wife. Once he knows she’s gone, he has nothing left to live for. And she blames him for loving Margery and leaving her. In reality, she has brought about the fruition of what the witch told her. Gold their crowns, gold their shrouds.
Stranger: Bran and Arya
I chose two characters for this because of who they are now compared to where they started. Bran is now the Three-Eyed Raven. A greenseer and warg, Bran can see everything. The past, present, and future. With that all in his head, the Bran we knew is gone.
And Arya has become a Faceless Man. She goes around using other people’s faces to enact justice killings for her family. Her list is all that matters to her. She will do whatever she must to make sure every single name gets crossed off that list. By her hand or someone else’s. How much of Arya is left? When you’ve killed so many people for revenge, what parts of your own soul are left? I think this is part of Arya compartmentalizing everything to survive it.
Join the discussion! Which GOT character do you think best embodies the Seven? Leave us a comment below.