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"Maybe magic was once a mighty force in the world, but not anymore."

Magic, occasionally referred to as "the higher mysteries" is a powerful but little understood force in the world. In Westeros it is believed, particularly by the Maesters of the Citadel, that magic, if it ever existed, is now gone from the world. Only one in every hundred Maesters, Luwin among them, bother to study the subject long enough to earn a Valyrian steel link for their chains. Nevertheless, in Essos, magic is still practiced, particularly in the eastern corners of the continent, although its effects and the power of its practitioners are frequently questioned. 

In any event, with the rebirth of dragons, magic (or at least eastern magic) seems to be slowly making its way back into the world. Charlatans have found that their tricks are becoming spells, while the power of established practitioners has begun to rapidly and greatly increase.

Dragons have a strong connection to magic, and magic is strongest in their presence, even more so the stronger they are.

Types of Magic and Magic-Related Abilities


  • Warlocks: magic practitioners of Qarth, based at the House of the Undying. Known for their custom of drinking Shade of the evening.
  • Alchemists' Guild (also known as Pyromancers): a society of learned men of Westeros boasting the practice of ancient magic and abilities such as transmuting metals, now limited to the production and manipulation of wildfire.
  • Red Priests: the clergy of the Lord of Light. According to them, they do not boast abilities of their own, only 'gifts' from the Red God. Adept at experiencing visions of the future by gazing into flames and pyres.

Shadowbinders: magic practicioners from the city of Asshai.

Notable Magic Practitioners

In the books

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, the overall nature and state of magic is similar to how it is presented in the TV series. Magic at the start of the series is so rare that almost everyone west of Valyria believes it to be gone, if it even existed. To the east of Valyria's ruins, magic's existence is not in doubt, only its potency. When Daenerys successfully hatches her dragons, practitioners of magic across the world, from Qarth to Oldtown, gradually discover that their once-meager power has increased significantly. 

​Although it has not been established much in the series, Asshai is widely regarded as the center of magical lore. It and the nearby Shadow Lands are also rumored to be the home of the darkest magics known.

See also

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