“We close our eyes in this world and open them in the next.” – therefore goes the saying from game of Thrones in relationship to their funeral rituals and also beliefs on death. Yet what room the root of your funeral customs? i dug deep right into the dusty past and figured it the end for you.

You are watching: Why put coins on the eyes of the dead

Stones or coins because that eyesPart of their rituals is composed of extending the eyes of a deceased person with a pair the stones that have eyes painted on them. This painted eyes are portrayed opened and hereby offer the dead a new set the eyes. Its symbolic meaning is to remind the human being they have to not are afraid death, for they believe it is no truly the end of existence.

This ritual, i m sorry is beautifully visualized through the machines of video game of Thrones, stems from an old Greek custom in which two coins are placed over a dead person’s eye or inside a dead person’s mouth before burial, to save the eyelids from opened as a result of decomposition and/or together a payment because that a mythical number named Charon.

*

*

Ferryman that the deadCharon was the ferryman of the dead and also an underworld soul in company of Hades, king of the underworld. Charon’s task was to carry the souls of the deceased in his skiff across a flow from one side, the people of the living, come the other, the people of the dead. The coins, known as Charon’s obol, guarantee the deceased’s passage to the afterlife.

However, the was likewise believed the souls who did not satisfy Charon’s payment, to be doomed to wander the shores the the flow for a hundreds years. It to be feared these souls would certainly come ago from the dead to haunt the living. If towns were win by illness or starvation, story of revenants and undeads would soon go around. Among the most effective ways to put a protect against to this, was for the dead human to dice anew. The corpse would certainly be decapitated, a stake would be thrust through its heart or it would even be burned.

Another dealbreaker for Charon were the unburied. If a dead person had actually not been properly buried, Charon would certainly not take their soul throughout the river. Lock would have to wait ~ above the river bank until that was their time.

*

TotenpassThe ancient Greek and Egyptian had actually another similar rite, in the type of a so-called Totenpass (passport because that the dead.) These to be inscribed tablets or steel leaves which would be put on or near the body of a dead person and also contained accuse on how to navigate the afterlife.

A Totenpass would lug statements on the definition of life, death and also rebirth, and elaborate information of what the human being would encounter in the underworld. It would certainly tell them what kind of things to watch the end for and also what come say to necessary beings they could meet that could help their souls happen on to the following life, so they would be sure of a pleasant stay on the other side, and also even be able to rise in spirituality status.

See more: Song With Saxophone That Goes Woop Woop, Television Western Players, 1960

*

Charon’s last tripWho knows what we really require in the afterlife, however it seems like a pretty gesture if the world who outlive you room considerate sufficient to make sure your journey continues on in the best means possible. Throughout the centuries, ours beliefs about ourselves have been reshaped, and our thoughts of what awaits united state after death have considerably changed. Yet what if Charon is still out there, waiting for united state on the river bank? Is the underworld crowded with souls who are stuck there, looking the end over the water, yearning to ultimately pass over?

Or has Charon given up his skiff after ~ the traffic of souls who required passage lessened? probably he made one final boat trip, to bring himself across the flow to the human being of the dead, wherein he was just like all the others. Ready for a brand-new adventure, prepared for a new set of eyes.