The Faith of the Seven is the predominant religion of Westeros. It is practiced in nearly every region of Westeros, except the North, where the Old Gods are still prevalent, and the Iron Islands, where they pray to the Drowned God. The Faith of the Seven was brought to Westeros by the Andals, during the Andal Invasion, nearly 6,000 years ago. The Faith of the Seven is sometimes referred to as the “new gods” to differentiate them from the Old Gods, which were the gods of Westeros prior to the Andal Invasion.
The Faith of the Seven is a single god or deity, with seven distinct faces or elements, each representing a different virtue. They are as follows:
The Father represents judgement. He is depicted as a bearded man and is prayed to for justice.
The Mother represents motherhood and nurturing. She is depicted as a merciful woman and is prayed to for fertility and the wellbeing of children.
The Warrior represents strength and valor in battle. He is depicted as a warrior with a sword. He is prayed to for success during times of war.
The Maiden represent purity and innocence. She is depicted as a young and innocent girl. She is prayed to in order to protect a maiden’s innocence and virtue.
The Smith represents hard work and labor. He is depicted as a strong man carrying a hammer. He is prayed to for success and strength during times of difficult labor.
The Crone represents wisdom and knowledge. She is depicted as an elderly woman carrying a lantern. She is prayed to for wisdom and guidance during times of difficult decisions.
The Stranger is a departure from all the other elements of the Seven. The Stranger represents death and the unknown. Most do not ever pray to the stranger, though its existence provides balance amongst the Seven.
The Faith of the Seven is not just the predominant religion of Westeros, but also the official religion of the land. The practices, rituals and ideas of the Faith are woven into Westeros’ law. For example, in order to achieve knighthood, one must be anointed in the name of the Seven. Worshippers of the Seven pray at “septs,” the equivalent of churches. These septs are generally adorned with seven-pointed stars, the symbol of the Faith of the Seven. Rather than priests and priestesses, the Faith is led by septons and septas. As the Pope is to Catholicism, the High Septon is to the Faith of the Seven. The most sacred sept of the Faith is the Great Sept of Baelor, a giant sept which pays homage to Baelor the Blessed and is located in King’s Landing.
Nearly 6,000 years ago, the supreme godly spirits of the Faith of the Seven appeared to the Andal people that inhabited the Hills of Andalos, located on the continent of Easteros. After being blessed by these supernatural powers and wanting to spread the religion, the Andal people left Easteros and invaded Westeros. For many centuries, the Andals wage war against the First Men and Children of the Forest, who prayed to the Old Gods. The Andals successfully overtake the six southern kingdoms, wiping out most of the First Men and Children of the Forest. However, in the North, the First Men defend their land and continue to pray to the Old Gods. With them, the Andals not only bring a new religion, but also a new spoken and written language which would supplant that which had existed amongst the First Men and Children.