Friday, January 10, 2014

Friday Reader Rambles - I swear it by the old gods and the new

            So I was just reading A Feast for Crows and…hey, I do too read things other than A Song of Ice and Fire, popularly known as Game of Thrones. This is the next to  last book available at the moment, so indulge me for another blog or two as I work through it.
If you’ve been a long time follower of the Kelswitch, or you’ve just poked around enough, you know that religious issues often catch my attention. Debates over what is right and what is wrong, how different faiths interact with each other in the real world, all of it is fair game for this blog. It’s actually why I started a blog in the first place, a few years back. Anyway, how that ties into what I’m reading, the religions of Westeros are one of the pieces of the puzzle George R. R. Martin has created that fascinate me the most. It fascinates me and it terrifies me at the same time, partly for the sheer fanaticism you see in some of the characters *cough*Melisandre*cough* and partly because of how realistic it is.
That’s the scary thing about A Song of Ice and Fire in general, how much of it is based on our own history, and the cruelty that lies therein.
            I love the old gods. I adore the Seven, partly because of the aspect part of it, which relates to my own beliefs of maiden, mother, and crone. I can’t say which I would follow if I lived in Westeros. I suppose it would depend on my House and where I came from. Houses of the North follow the old gods, the South follows the Seven.
            Touching again on Melisandre, the real reason I wanted to write this blog in the first place. If the old gods and the Seven remind me of Pagan beliefs in the real world, then the Lord of Light and all of his most devout followers remind me of the Christian God. If you’re not with him, you’re against him and he will leave you to the darkness, which to their lexicon is most evil. Besides that, remember the fanaticism I mentioned? Yeah. I live in the Bible Belt, I know how that can go and I see it in Melisandre. I also see a hint of it in the recent focus on the Iron Islands in A Feast for Crows. Their Drowned God seems to require near the same fanaticism, and the scariest part is when the priests preaching for conversion actually start to make sense.
            I must commend George R. R. Martin on his development of religions in not just Westeros, but his entire world. He has done a fantastic job of creating something unique to the world, but believable with echoes of things from our world. It just makes for fantastic reading.
            Until the next fangirling blog over Westeros, have a good weekend. Kelswitch, over and out!

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