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It seems that the other religions have something substantial to say for themselves in the SOIF. The fire priestess clearly operates on a level beyond your run-off-the-mill peasant; once in a while the R'hllor resurects someone; Old Gods seem to have quite a presence. There seems to be no indication, however, that the Seven do anything substantial - so much so that they go almost unmentioned in the HBO series. One of the more poignant aspects of Tyrion is the way, in his private moments, he prays to the Stranger - but that seems to be gone.

Are the Seven relevant in any way other than being a kind of false religion, an antithesis to the other truer ones?

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“so much so that they go almost unmentioned in the HBO series” — that might be over-stating it. “Seven hells” is reasonably commonly used, and a farmer in season 4 prays to all seven gods before eating (until he’s interrupted). –  Paul D. Waite Aug 5 at 16:30
    
This is opinion based, unless you are asking for example whether GRRM has given an out-of-universe explanation for the purpose. –  curiousdannii Aug 7 at 6:49
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I don't think it's necessarily opinion based. My understanding is that the question is asking about examples of their power. –  Moogle Aug 7 at 13:00
    
possible duplicate of What about gods in A Game of Thrones? –  Mooz Aug 15 at 0:16

5 Answers 5

Let me take this bit by bit.

Is the Faith of the Seven a false faith?

If we mean are the Seven actual supernatural entities or just myths, then we still don't know. We don't even know if R'hllor exists or not. Sure his followers have exhibited some magical powers, but so have others like the Warlocks of Qarth who don't subscribe to that faith. R'hllor may be just a myth that's used as a name for an unexplained force.

Why does the Faith of the Seven have little presence in the HBO series?

Because it is ubiquitous. The vast majority of the people in Westeros follow the Seven, and only a minority worship the Old Gods. The followers of R'hllor are smaller still. It's like watching a movie set in America. Christianity, being the majority faith, barely makes a presence. But if a character is, say, a Buddhist it becomes much more apparent in contrast.

Does the Faith of the Seven have no impact on the story?

Absolutely not. While the actual Seven have yet to make an appearance, their followers wield tremendous political power. Aegon I had to convert to the Faith of the Seven to curry their favor. His two immediate successors Aenys I and Maegor I had to fight a bitter and prolonged war against the Faith after they rebelled. It wasn't until Jaeherys I named the Iron Throne as Protector of the Faith did the war end.

Spoilers for A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons:

With a new, and fundamentalist, High Septon and a newly resurrected Faith Militant the Faith of the Seven is more powerful than ever. They have already taken down Queen Cersei and have put Queen Margaery on trial (after imprisoning her for quite some time). The Iron Throne and the Small Council no longer has the political clout to stop the High Septon from doing what he wants. And from the looks of things, the Faith Militant is set to clash with King Stannis whom they see as a heretic.

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One possible example of the power of the Faith of the Seven in the books is the Elder Brother, the leader of a refuge on the Quiet Isle visited by Brienne in A Feast for Crows. Many believe that the Seven have granted him the power of healing.

"The Seven have blessed our Elder Brother with healing hands. He has restored many a man to health that even the maesters could not cure, and many a woman too."

His healing power would have to be extremely great if, as most fans believe...

He managed to heal Sandor Clegane from the brink of death.

There are also some mythical tales of the power of the Seven. The Targaryen king Baelor the Blessed is said to have been bit multiple times by vipers while rescuing his brother from a pit, but his faith in the Seven saved him (although some argue that this tale is actually a metaphor for his diplomacy with Dorne).

As to your question, regardless of whether the Seven is real, they are definitely relevant in that their followers are extremely relevant. The Faith plays a major player in the later books, and given that the High Septon has recently been cast, the HBO show will probably follow that storyline.

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The Seven do not perform any magical acts, unlike the followers of some other religions. However, they are significant to the story as most of the people who live in the seven kingdoms (with the exception of the north) are followers of the Seven. This becomes important later on in AFFC/ADWD, when:

Followers of the faith flock to King's Landing, and re-establish the Faith Militant.

With a certain queen's help, they become so powerful that they are able to:

Take Cersei captive and try her for her crimes against the Seven

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As far as we know the Seven havn't really been important nor has anyone shown "powers" related to the seven. At the end of the latest book the church is growing fanatical and is taking over kings landing, so they are starting to become important. Which leads me to believe we'll start seeing know about the seven starting in book 6. Whether they are real or fake we cannot determine yet.

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No, I don't think there is ever any mention that the Seven are false gods. The whole Westeros (apart from the North and the Iron Islands) believe in them, so I don't think they are false.

Actually, in A Dance with Dragons, Chapter 5, Tyrion we see that

The faith of the Seven arose in the Hills of Andalos among the Andals. It is claimed that the Seven walked among the Hills of Andolos in human form. According to The Seven-Pointed Star: The Father brought down seven stars from heaven and placed them on the brow of Hugor of the Hill, the first king of the Andals, to form his crown and the Maid brought forth a girl supple as a willow with eyes like deep blue pools that became Hugor his first wife, the Mother made her fertile, who bore him forty-four mighty sons as foretold by the Crone. The Warrior gave each son strength of arms and the Smith wrought each a suit of iron plate.

People actually believe that it is real, and there isn't anyone (apart from the other religious people) who claim otherwise. If I remember correctly, Melissandre quite often mentions that the other Gods are false.

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So, there isn't any mention of the Seven as false gods, except when people call them that, and people believe in them so they must be real? –  KSmarts Dec 12 at 22:11

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