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Summer Islands religion

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Tyrion Lannister: "The Lord of Light wants his enemies burned. The Drowned God wants them drowned. Why are all the gods such vicious cunts? Where is the god of tits and wine?"
Varys: "In the Summer Isles, they worship a fertility goddess with sixteen teats."
Tyrion Lannister: "We should sail there immediately."
— Tyrion and Varys[src]

The Summer Islands religion considers sex to be a holy and life-affirming act.

One of the deities they worship is a fertility goddess with sixteen teats.[1]

In the booksEdit

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, Summer Islander culture is very much what might be called "sex-positive" in real life. Summer Islanders believe sex to be a gift from the gods for humanity to enjoy, regarding it as a joyous and life-affirming act. Although specific details about the Summer Islander religion have not been revealed, it is said that they consider sex to be an outright "holy" act, and therefore nothing to be ashamed by. Prostitution is considered a very respectable profession in the Summer Islands, even practiced by highborn islanders (who do not financially need to do it, but perhaps as some form of temple-prostitution). Funerals are not somber occasions mourning the dead but celebrations of the lives they led, with wine and lovemaking.

The Summer Islander religion has not been described in full detail. The World of Ice and Fire sourcebook (2014) explained that the Summer Islanders honor over a score (twenty) of gods both great and small, though the highest reverence is given to the god and goddess of love, beauty, and fertility. They believe that when male and female join together in sex, they give honor to the gods who made them. All Summer Islanders are expected to spend some time in the temples of love that dot the island, sharing their bodies with any who might desire them. Most serve in the temples for no more than one year, but the most skilled and beautiful remain as honored priests and priestesses in the art of lovemaking (which they literally consider to be an art, as respectful as music, dance, or sculpture).

In Season 2 of the TV series Varys said in passing that a fertility goddess with sixteen teats is worshiped in the Summer Isles. No mention of this has been made in the books, though it does call to mind the Ephesian Artemis statues of Ancient Greece.


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