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"Maybe magic was once a mighty force in the world, but not anymore."
Luwin to Brandon Stark[src]
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. In Essos, magic is still practiced, particularly in the eastern regions of the continent, but even there its effects and the power of its practitioners are frequently questioned. 

It has long been believed that dragons have a strong connection to magic, and magic is said to be strongest in their presence. With the birth of Daenerys Targaryen's dragons - the first ones in more than a century - magic (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.

Types of Magic and Magic-Related Abilities

Bran Warging s6

Bran Stark not only has the ability to warg into the minds of animals, but those of others.

  • Blood magic: practiced by maegi​​ beyond the Dothraki Sea, as well as by Red Priests of the Lord of Light. Blood magic involves the sacrifice of both animals and humans and is forbidden among the Dothraki.
  • Greensight: associated with the Greenseers of the Children of the Forest, and sometimes found among descendants of the First Men, it allows the user to experience prophetic dreams.
  • Necromancy: the ability to raise and manipulate the dead, demonstrated by the White Walkers and certain followers of the Lord of Light. Considered one of the darkest forms of magic, even the Red Priests themsleves are warry of it, and there is no consensus on how exactly it works.
    Shadow

    The High Priestess Melisandre produces a shadow as a servant of R'hllor.

  • Pyrokinesis: the ability to summon and manipulate fire. Beric Dondarrion uses this to set his sword on fire, and Melisandre used it during the Battle of Ice and Fire to aid the defenders of Winterfell .
  • Shadow-birthing: Shadowbinders from Asshai may give birth to shadows shortly after being impregnated by a man.
  • Ancient Valyrian Shepherds Fourteen Fires

    The ancient Valyrians were thought to have used magic to control dragons.

    Valyrian magic: practiced by the Valyrians in the time of the Valyrian Freehold. It involves fire-related abilities as well as the ability to bond with and control dragons.
  • Water magic: the ancient Rhoynar people, who lived along the Rhoyne River in western Essos, were said posses magic drawn from the river itself. Their "water wizards" were able to call upon great water spouts, knocking Valyrian dragon riders out of the sky.
  • Warging: the ability to enter the mind of an animal and experience and/or control its actions. In very rare cases, this power can be used on simpleminded humans as well.

Groups

  • 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.
  • Children of the Forest: A race of non-humans that were perhaps the most powerful of the naturally gifted in magic. At one point destroyed an entire landmass after uniting their magical powers. Also seen practicing pyromancy, a variation of necromancy, and the ability to turn humans into White Walkers.
  • 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 practitioners from the city of Asshai.
  • Warlocks: magic practitioners of Qarth, based at the House of the Undying. Known for their custom of drinking Shade of the evening.
  • White Walkers: mysterious former humans capable of cryomancy and necromancy.

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.

The Faceless Men of Braavos appear to seemingly possess the magical abilities that allow them to change their appearances at will. But the exact nature of the phenomenon is unclear. In conjunction with preparing and utilizing the faces, as well as mummers' tricks, the Faceless Men use magical glamors to aid in their disguises.

See also

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