“We near our eye in this world and also open castle in the next.” – so goes the saying from video game of Thrones in relationship to their funeral rituals and also beliefs top top death. However what are the root of their funeral customs? i dug deep into the dusty past and figured it the end for you.

You are watching: Coins placed on the eyes of the dead

Stones or coins for eyesPart of their rituals is composed of covering the eye of a deceased human with a pair of stones that have actually eyes painted ~ above them. This painted eyes are portrayed opened and hereby provide the dead a brand-new set the eyes. That is symbolic definition is to remind the people they have to not are afraid death, for they think it is not truly the end of existence.

This ritual, i beg your pardon is beautiful visualized by the equipments of game of Thrones, stems from an old Greek practice in which 2 coins are put over a dead person’s eyes or within a dead person’s mouth before burial, to keep the eyelids from opening as a result of decomposition and/or together a payment for a mythical figure named Charon.



Ferryman that the deadCharon was the ferryman of the dead and also an underworld spirit in company of Hades, king of the underworld. Charon’s job was to transport the souls of the deceased in his skiff throughout a river from one side, the people of the living, to the other, the civilization of the dead. The coins, recognized as Charon’s obol, ensured the deceased’s i to the afterlife.

However, that was likewise believed the souls who did not accomplish Charon’s payment, to be doomed to wander the shores that the river for a hundreds years. It was feared these souls would come back from the dead to haunt the living. If villages were win by disease or starvation, stories of revenants and undeads would shortly go around. Among the most effective ways to put a stop to this, to be for the dead human to dice anew. The corpse would be decapitated, a stake would certainly be moved through its love or it would also be burned.

Another dealbreaker because that Charon to be the unburied. If a dead person had actually not been properly buried, Charon would certainly not take your soul throughout the river. Lock would have to wait on the river financial institution until the was their time.


TotenpassThe old Greek and Egyptian had another comparable rite, in the kind of a so-called Totenpass (passport because that the dead.) These were inscribed tablet computers or metal leaves which would certainly be inserted on or near the body of a dead person and contained instructions on exactly how to navigate the afterlife.

A Totenpass would carry statements top top the meaning of life, death and rebirth, and also elaborate details of what the human would conference in the underworld. It would certainly tell them what kind of things to watch the end for and also what come say to crucial beings they could meet that could aid their souls pass on come the following life, therefore they would certainly be sure of a pleasant continue to be on the various other side, and also even have the ability to rise in spirituality status.

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Charon’s last tripWho knows what we really need in the afterlife, but it seems like a quite gesture if the people who outlive you room considerate sufficient to make sure your journey continues on in the best means possible. Transparent the centuries, our beliefs about ourselves have been reshaped, and also our think of what awaits united state after fatality have dramatically changed. Yet what if Charon is still the end there, wait for us on the flow bank? Is the underworld crowded v souls who are stuck there, looking the end over the water, yearning to lastly pass over?

Or has Charon offered up his skiff after ~ the web traffic of souls who necessary passage lessened? perhaps he make one final boat trip, to carry himself across the flow to the civilization of the dead, where he was similar to all the others. Ready for a new adventure, ready for a new set that eyes.