With many temples spread across Essos, R’hllor has one of the most robust networks of worshipers. His priests serve through the red temples of Essos.

The Definitive Glossary for Game of Thrones

R’hllor is a prominent god worshipped in the cities of Essos. Known by many names like the Lord of Light, the God of Light, the God of Flame and Shadow, the Heart of Fire, and the Red God, he has many followers who spread his word through the Free Cities. Though not popular in Westeros, there are priests and priestesses of R’hllor who travel to the western continent to convert people to the ways of the Lord of Light. One of them is Melisandre of Asshai, a woman who succeeds in making Stannis Baratheon become a follower of R’hllor.

R’hllor Details

  • Name: R’hllor.
  • Type of Religion: Dualistic.
  • Antithesis: The Great Other.
  • Aliases: The God of Light, The Lord of Light, The God of Flame and Shadow, The Heart of Fire, The Red God.
  • Headquarters: Volantis.
  • Symbol: A Fiery Heart.
  • Region of Dominance: Essos.
  • Officiating Ministers: The Red Priests.
  • High Priest: Benerro.
  • Titles of High Leader: Light of Wisdom, Flame of Truth, Slave of R’hllor, First Servant of the Lord of Light.
  • Known Places with Red Priests in Westeros: Oldtown, Dorne, Dragonstone, King’s Landing.
  • Notable Phrase: The night is dark and full of terrors.



Worshippers of R’hllor believe in a dualistic world where only two deities exist; R’hllor and The Great Other. Also called the God of Ice and Death, the Soul of Ice, the God of Night and Terror, and the Lord of Darkness, The Great Other is the direct opposite of the Lord of Light and has battled with him since the dawn of the world. R’hllor and his opposite keep eternally struggling for the fate of the world, and their battle is said to have no end until a messianic figure, known as Azor Ahai, returns with Lightbringer, the Red Sword of Heroes and awakens the dragons from stone.


Priests of R’hllor are commonly called Red Priests or Prietessses. Usually given to the temple at a young age, they are taught prayers and spells, with some going further in training to learn how to see and interpret visions seen through flames. They wear loose red robes.


The headquarters for followers of R’hllor is at Volantis. The Red Temple of Volantis is said to be the most incredible in the known world, as its sheer size and magnificence supersedes anything known to people. Though a religious institution, most of the servants at the Red Temple, are slaves handed at a young age. It is unknown if the same practice of slavery occurs in other cities of Essos. However, the Volantene Red Temple has slave soldiers, called the Fiery Hand, priests, and prostitutes. Each slave has a flame tattoo on their chin, forehead, or cheeks.


Unlike the Worshipers of the Many-Faced God who sparingly pray, the followers of R’hllor are prayer-centric. After the day ends, a night fire gets lit, and the followers of R’hllor, led by a Red Priest or Red Priestess, pray for the Lord of Night to keep them safe from the night. The prayers, led in sequences, can continue for an hour, and some Red Priests and Priestesses will tend to their fires the entire night.


When a follower of R’hllor dies, they are said to have ascended to the Hall of Light to sit beside the Lord. A last rite called the Last Kiss gets administered by the priest. It involves a priest or priestess filling their mouth with fire and breathing it into the deceased’s body through a kiss.


Though other religions like the Faith of the Seven barely use magic, the priests of R’hllor get trained to see visions through flames, interpret those visions, and use magical powers of different forms. Seeing and interpreting premonitions through flames is an arduous task that takes years to master. Even then, a priest or priestess might misinterpret what they see.


During a marriage ceremony, a red priestess or priest will recite prayers, and guests will answer. Then a ditch fire will get created, and the groom and officiating minister will wait for the bride. When the bride arrives, she will get asked to identify herself, and after the identification, she and her husband-to-be will recite vows to share each other’s fire. They will then jump over the ditch fire, and the groom will remove the maiden’s cloak covering the bride’s face and put it on her shoulder.


Thoros of Myr, a red priest, got sent to the royal court of Westeros to convert King Aerys II Targaryen to the faith of R’hllor. However, he failed and remained at King’s Landing until the Sack of King’s Landing. Later, Melisandre, a red priestess from Asshai, travels to Dragonstone as she believes it is a place of smoke and salt where the Azor Ahai will be reborn. She converts Stannis Baratheon’s wife, Selyse Florent.

Relevance in A Song of Ice and Fire

A Game of Thrones

When Daenerys Targaryen gets betrothed to Khal Drogo, Magister Illyrio Mopatis tells her that a red priest told him R’hllor would defend Pentos’ walls against a million Dothrakis.

A Clash of Kings

At dragonstone, After convincing Stannis to embrace R’hllor, Melisandre tells him he is Azor Ahai who will wield Lightbringer. Maester Cressen, convinced the red priestess Melisandre is evil, plans to poison her and himself. However, everything goes south when Melisandre drinks from the poison cup and appears unfazed. She hands the cup to Cressen, and he dies after consuming the drink. 

As the War of the Five Kings rages, Melisandre births shadow assassins to kill Lord Renly Baratheon and Ser Cortnay Penrose. Ser Davos Seaworth, who witnesses the birth of a shadow assassin, believes Melisandre is invisible. When Stannis sails to King’s Landing, he leaves Melisandre behind and suffers defeat at the hands of the Lannisters and Tyrells.

A Storm of Swords

After the Battle of the Blackwater, Ser Davos washes ashore on an abandoned island. He blames Melisandre for his sons’ death and vows to kill her if he survives. Meanwhile, at dragonstone, Selyse Florent burns Lord Guncer Sunglass and Ser Hubard Rambton for treason. 

When Davos gets rescued and arrives at dragonstone, he gets arrested but becomes the Hand of the King. News of Robb Stark’s death at the Red Wedding reaches Stannis, and convinced R’hllor answered his prayers, he tries to sacrifice Edric Storm, King Robert Baratheon’s bastard son, but Davis smuggles him away.

At the camp of the Brotherhood without Banners, Thoros of Myr tells Arya Stark how he resurrected Lord Beric Dondarrion by performing the Last Kiss on him. After freeing Edric, Davos draws Stannis’ attention to the Wall. On reaching the Wall, a battle ensues, and Mance Rayder gets captured. Stannis proposes to make Jon Snow the Lord of Winterfell, but he refuses and becomes the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch.

A Dance with Dragons

After defeating Mance Rayder, the Free Folk are allowed to enter Westeros if they denounce the Old Gods of the Forest and convert to the religion of the Lord of Light. Meanwhile, in Qohor, the R’hllor faithful try to burn the Black Goat. Jon Snow realizes that Stannis’ sword is cold instead of warm, and when he meets Melisandre, she realizes her powers are stronger at the Wall. 

When Stannis’ men march to Winterfell, a blizzard hits them, and they suggest sacrificing Asha Greyjoy, a follower of the Drowned God. In Volantis, Tyrion Lannister sees Benerro preaching that Daenerys Targaryen is Azor Ahai. Before he leaves, he gets captured by Ser Jorah Mormont.

Relevance in Adaptation

In HBO’s Game of Thrones, R’hllor was crucial in Jon Snow’s story. After he got stabbed to death by his men, Melisandre resurrected him with her powers. She later gave up her life by removing her pendant.

R’hllor: The God of Light

Though other religions barely have any magic left in their practice, R’hllor seems to be one of the few gods left whose followers have true power; this shows that he may just be one of the true gods in the world of Ice and Fire.


Is R’hllor the true God in A Song of Ice and Fire?

Because his followers possess incredible powers, many can say R’hllor is the true God of A Song of Ice and Fire. However, followers of other gods have magical abilities. A prominent example is the Faceless Men.

Is Melisandre the mightiest priestess of R’hllor?

No. Though Melisandre is incredible at predicting events, she does not have power like Thoros. Having raised Lord Beric Dondarrion from the dead, Thoros had a special gift.

How does one pronounce the word R’hllor?

Though many people say ‘ruh-Lore,’ the appropriate pronunciation of R’hllor is ‘rroh – huh – LOrr.’ The emphasis on the ‘LO.’

Is R’hllor’s religion stronger than the Faith of the Seven?

Yes, the religion of R’hllor is much stronger than Westeros’ Faith of the Seven. First, it has infiltrated all of the known worlds. It has one of the largest religious temples known to humanity, and its followers are more devoted.

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap