Game of Thrones: The Witchcraft Elements in Season 1
Are you House Stark? House Lannister? Or are you a child of the Mother of Dragons? Game of Thrones is a popular HBO fantasy series taking TV viewers by storm since its first season in March 2012. And, not surprisingly, it’s a favorite among magical folks.
Have you ever noticed the witchcraft, shamanic and magical elements in Game of Thrones? If not, let us take you on a magical ride beside sorcerers, witches, spirits, dragons and more over the Known World from Winterfell Castle to the Dothraki Sea! SPOILERS AHEAD! We examine season 1 first in this EXCLUSIVE Otherworldly Oracle Series.
Game of Thrones: Witches and Witchcraft
With fantasy movies and series, some of the most intriguing and powerful antagonists turn out to be witches. This is an archetype as old as time and just as complex. Witches can be good, bad, or somewhere in between. They can be helpers or foes. But one thing is for sure – they make the story that much more entertaining.
Season 1 Game of Thrones: Daenerys Calls On a Witch
In the first season, by episode 9, we don’t encounter a powerful witch, but a witch nevertheless. Her name is Mirri Maz Duur and it’s none other than Daenerys Targaryen who calls upon her services in a desperate attempt to save her fading husband – the once-powerful Khal Drogo. The witch tells Daenyrys she must make a blood sacrifice to save Khal Drogo; a horse is sacrificed, but it’s not enough, and poor Daenerys ends up losing her unborn child in exchange for Khal’s life. You can guess what happens to the “vile witch” following this unraveling…burnt on the pyre.
Bran: Dreams of the Raven
They say all shamans go through a great tragedy as their initiation into the other world. In the first few episodes of Game of Thrones Season 1, Bran is pushed from a tower window and loses complete function in his legs – an event that mimics a shamanic initiation. Throughout the season, Bran has surreal dreams of a three-eyed raven. Could this raven be his familiar? Spirit guide? An old god of some kind?
Daenerys: Phoenix & Mother of Dragons
Daenerys has gone through plenty in Season 1 of Game of Thrones. She’s married off to a man she doesn’t know, abused by her brother, loses her husband and her unborn child. Her power as Queen of the Dothraki is also threatened, until…the dragon eggs gifted to her begin to crack open. She goes from lonely and mournful to the Mother of Dragons and leader of the Dothraki army. She is literally re-born from the fire, like the Phoenix.
Jon Snow and the White Walkers
It’s interesting to note the creator of Game of Thrones, author George RR Martin, chooses two elements as the main theme: Fire and Ice. At the North Wall, Jon Snow of House Stark swears an oath to protect the Wall. But when he tries to leave to attend to his family and fallen father, he’s confronted with the fact there is a bigger enemy at hand – the mythical White Walkers. White Walkers are essentially undead beings from over the wall, from the great north and represent part of the Ice element in the series’ main theme.
The House Magical Sigils: Direwolves, Lions, and More in the Game of Thrones
Another magical element and based in old pagan lore is the concept of “sigils” for each of the 9 Houses in Game of Thrones. What is called a “sigil” in Game of Thrones would be called a Coat of Arms or Totem throughout history. However, the word sigil is also a magical term and means symbol of magical power. The magical sigils for each house are as follows:
- House Stark: Direwolf
- Lannister: Lion
- Targaryen: Three-headed Dragon
- Arryn: White Falcon
- Greyjoy: Kraken (Great Squid)
- Martell: Sun
- Tyrell: Golden Rose
- Baratheon: Stag
- Tully: Silver Trout
An Otherworldly Oracle Exclusive Series
We first planned to present the magical and witchcraft elements in GOT in one article, but quickly realized how dynamic these elements are and decided to create an entire series out of it. Over the next few months, stay tuned for an edition dedicated to the witches, sorcerers, spirits, undead beings, dragons, spells and more for ALL EIGHT SEASONS of Game of Thrones. Be prepared…Winter is Coming.