While watching or reading any form of fiction it’s very difficult for me as an occultist to not see things through the lens of one. I’m constantly thinking about and comparing fictional themes and motifs with esoteric ones. I have a theory that the gods from Game of Thrones are based upon the seven classical “planets” of ancient western occultism and their tarot correspondences. This is a theory I haven’t seen anyone talk about. While not all of these “planets” really are planets, they were called such by the ancients. Each one represents specific traits and energies and were named after the Roman deities themselves.
The gods within the world of Westeros are a soft-polytheism (meaning all gods are emanations of a singular greater god), but can also be compared to Christian ideas of the Trinity, where there’s one god but three distinct aspects (though I would still personally call this soft-polytheism, though they wouldn’t). These gods are often referred to as the Seven-Faced God, but each are respected with distinct honor and prayed to as individuals. The gods don’t seem to have names, but rather are referred to by their archetypal roles:
The Father represents divine justice, and judges the souls of the dead.
The Mother represents mercy, peace, fertility, and childbirth. She is sometimes referred to as “the strength of women”. Apart from human fertility, she also blesses crops with bountiful harvests.
The Maiden represents purity, innocence, love, and beauty. She protects the chastity of virgins, as well as protecting the innocent in general.
The Crone represents wisdom and foresight. She is represented carrying a lantern. Sometimes She is depicted as blindfolded.
The Warrior represents strength and courage in battle.
The Smith represents creation and craftsmanship. Grants workers the strength to continue their labors.
The Stranger represents death and the unknown. It is rarely prayed to.
Furthermore we’re given a bit more info about their archetypal roles in a prayer that the farmer prays in Season 4, Episode 3, which gives us even more clues:
Farmer: “We ask the Father to judge us with mercy, accepting our human frailty. We ask the Mother to bless our crops, so that we may feed ourselves and all who come to our door. We ask the Warrior to give us courage, in these days of strife and turmoil. We ask the Maiden to protect Sally’s virtue, to keep her from the clutches of depravity. We ask the Smith to strengthen our hands and our backs so we may finish the work required of us. We ask the Crone to guide us on our journey from darkness to darkness.”
Sandor Clegane: “-and we ask the Stranger not to kill us in our beds tonight for no damn reason at all!“
To add to my theory – the symbol of the Seven Gods of Westeros is the septagram, a glyph that is traditionally associated with the seven planetary powers.
While there were a few that I kept switching back and forth (The Father & The Stranger, The Mother & The Maiden) due to areas overlapping a bit, by also looking at the tarot’s planetary associations it became clearer for me. Here’s the association that I decided on:
- Jupiter & The Father & The Wheel of Fortune: Jupiter’s influence is that of Justice & Expansion. Jupiter rules The Wheel of Fortune in the tarot, which is a card about ideas surrounding destiny, fate and karma. “We ask the Father to judge us with mercy, accepting our human frailty.”
- Venus & The Mother & The Empress: Venus’ influence isn’t just love, but fertility itself which also includes agriculture, plants, gardens and nature. Venus rules the Empress in the Tarot, which is a card surrounding the ideas of fertility, abundance, generosity, and motherhood. “We ask the Mother to bless our crops, so that we may feed ourselves and all who come to our door.”
- The Sun & The Maiden & The Sun: The Sun’s influence pertains success, health, spirituality, and personal power. In the Tarot, the Sun card is generally depicted by a young child or baby (perhaps a maiden) riding upon a white horse. The white horse represents strength and purity of spirit. “We ask the Maiden to protect Sally’s virtue, to keep her from the clutches of depravity.”
- The Moon & The Crone & The High Priestess: The Moon’s influence pertains to emotions, intuition, wisdom and psychic ability. The Moon in these aspects is usually represented by the Crone archetype in pagan religions such as Wicca. The High Priestess in the Tarot is ruled by the Moon and is a card that surrounds the ideas of receptivity, intuition, wisdom, mysteries and psychic ability as well. “We ask the Crone to guide us on our journey from darkness to darkness.” The moon illuminates the darkness of night. The Crone in game of Thrones governs foresight and wisdom.
- Mars & The Warrior & The Tower: Mars’ influence revolves around the ideas of strength, war and dynamic force. In the Tarot, the Tower card is ruled by Mars, a card that usually indicates sudden change, a difficult time, turmoil, and upheaval. “We ask the Warrior to give us courage, in these days of strife and turmoil.”
- Mercury & The Smith & The Magician: Among Mercury’s influences are communication, intellect, crafts, business (particularly merchants), adaptability and perception. In the Tarot, the Magician card is ruled by Mercury which represents the energies of creation, power, skill, concentration, and resourcefulness. “We ask the Smith to strengthen our hands and our backs so we may finish the work required of us.” The Smith god in Game of Thrones represents creation and craftsmanship.
- Saturn & The Stranger & The World: Saturn’s influence is all about restriction, discipline, maturity and responsibility. In it’s worse aspect it can represent cruelty and shadow-self impulses. I associate Saturn with the Stranger for many reasons. Saturn is the furthest out of all the seven classical planets and it’s also the only planet of these sevens that’s named after a Titan instead of an Olympian. Saturn is all about the ends of cycles and the beginning of cycles. In astrology one’s Saturn Return is a point where you face your shadow issues and are forced to learn from them or be destined to repeat the same lessons. Saturn is connected to Chronos as both “Father Time” as well as Chronos the child-devourer. In the Tarot, the World card represents completion, integration and accomplishment. It’s the end of the “Fool’s Journey” in the Tarot but also the beginning of another cycle of that journey, which never ends. “-and we ask the Stranger not to kill us in our beds tonight for no damn reason at all!“
Speaking of Game of Thrones and the Tarot. There’s also a new Game of Thrones Tarot coming out soon that looks epic!