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R’hllor, Lord of Light

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1 R’hllor, Lord of Light on Tue Jul 14, 2015 1:26 am

Aamen Targaryan

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R'hllor, also known as the Lord of Light, the Heart of Fire, the God of Flame and Shadow, is a prominent god in Essos, but has only a few followers in Westeros, where he is more commonly known as the red god. His symbol is a fiery heart.

Beliefs
The religion is based on a dualistic, manichean view of the world: R'hllor, the god of light, heat, and life, and R'hllor's antithesis the Great Other, the god of ice and death. They are locked in an eternal struggle over the fate of the world; a struggle that, according the ancient prophecies from the books of Asshai, will only end when Azor Ahai, the messianic figure, returns wielding a flaming sword called Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes, and raises dragons from stone. According to George R. R. Martin, this faith is roughly based upon the fire worship of Zoroastrianism. This religion's dualistic aspects of a good and an evil god are also inspired by Zoroastrianism, along with the Cathars of Medieval Europe who were annihilated during the Albigensian Crusade.

Clergy
Clergy of the R'hllor religion are called red priests, due to the loose, crimson robes they wear. Red priests may be male or female. In the east, they are a common sight, where the faith of R'hllor's influence is more widespread and children are sometimes given to temples of R'hllor to be raised into the priesthood. The red temples also buy children as slaves; these slaves of R'hllor are raised as priests, temple prostitutes, or warriors. The warriors that protect the greater temples are called the Fiery Hand.

Rituals
Every evening, red priests light fires and sing prayers at their temples, asking R'hllor to bring back the dawn. Followers often gaze into flames in an effort to receive visions of the future. It is believed that R'hllor will occasionally answer the prayers of his followers by granting visions and abilities such as raising the dead. The priests of R'hllor also seem to be able to evoke fire with their bare hands and be able to control it to attack enemies or simply to impress common people. Some rites performed by the red priests include sacrificial immolation and administering the last kiss to the recently deceased. According to Melisandre, R'hllor speaks to his chosen ones through blessed fire, in a language of ash and cinder and twisting flame that only a god can truly grasp.

Trials by combat are an accepted practice in the R'hllor faith; prayers before the combat ask R'hllor to give strength to the just party. "The night is dark and full of terrors" is a common phrase in prayers to R'hllor.

History
The worship of R'hllor is a religious tradition in the continent of Essos, but has not gained much popularity in Westeros.

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