Game of Thrones Philosophy Breakdown: S8E6 “The Iron Throne” – Idealism, Governance, Meaning, and GRRM

*SPOILER ALERT FOR GAME OF THRONES, OBVIOUSLY. Don’t listen to this if you haven’t watched the show!*


Well, this is it.

The last episode of Game of Thrones had many missteps as well as some glorious moments, and it gave us the bittersweet ending its author George R.R. Martin promised us. It also came with a large set of important philosophical questions which Ryan and I cover in our next-to-last episode of Game of Thrones Philosophy Breakdown:

  • When does idealism become dangerous? We look at Daenerys’s idealism and ideology and identify some of the dangers with a one-size-fits-all measurement of “a better world.”
  • Is the new government any better? The aftermath of a war and a change in government comes with its own thorny set of problems. We talk about the new governance setup and ways we think it could be better (Bill of Rights, anyone?)
  • What do you do after you’ve saved the world? How will Jon, Arya, and the rest find meaning after having defeated all the biggest bad guys (and gals) they’ll ever face?
  • What does the show’s ending reveal about GRRM’s life philosophy? The ending character arc of the Starks shows us something about the fundamentally good and pro-human sense of life of the complicated George R.R. Martin.

My sincere thanks to you if you have listened so far to the show. This show has been full of meaning for me, and I hope you’ve come away from it with a new appreciation for the power of character.

Come back next week for one final homage to the philosophy of Game of Thrones! We’ll be talking with some of our friends about their philosophical and personal takeaways from the show as a whole, as well as their recommendations for new ways to fill the void left by GoT.


Ready to dig in? Download the new episode from iTunes or your favorite podcast app. 

You can also listen to this episode (and others!) in the in-browser player below. Want to chime in with your thoughts? Comment on this blog! I’m sure we haven’t said anything controversial AT ALL.

NSFW WARNING: These episodes contain language and themes not appropriate for children and probably not safe for work or your grandmother. In no circumstance should these be heard by the delicate ears of Prince Tommen.

DISCLAIMERS: Despite all evidence to the contrary in this show, I am not a professional philosopher, doctor, climatologist, maester, brother of the Night’s Watch, or financial advisor.

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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