Game of Thrones Philosophy Breakdown: S7E5 “Eastwatch” – Honor, Responsibility, Incest, and the Ethics of Being Bronn

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

Is forcing people to serve a good cause ever OK? When do you become responsible for the evil that’s happening around you? And what’s up with incest, ethically speaking?

That’s right – we’re going there. The things we do for love (of philosophy)….

Too soon? He’s the three-eyed raven now! HE’S FINE.

GoT Philosophy Breakdown is back for episode 5, and my friend Ryan Ferguson crossed the Wall (i.e. Canadian border) to record this philosophical analysis of “Eastwatch” live and in person. Join us as we explore some of the best (and most controversial) themes and ideas of this season:

  • Is forced conscription justifiable? Is forced servitude still a problem today? – Daenarys and the Tarly/Lannister survivors 
  • Is Bronn morally admirable? In what ways does Bronn have more integrity than more “honorable” characters? When is self-interest better than idealism?  – Bronn
  • Is it ever respectable or wise to go down fighting? What does “skin in the game” have to do with it? Is reputation/esteem worth dying for? And how can giving up that respect/esteem be honorable?  – the Tarlys and the Lannisters 
  • When do bystanders become responsible for evil? If you are a beneficiary of an evil system, should you leave or try to change things from the inside? – Varys and Tyrion
  • How should we approach the moral question of incest? What is the worst way to argue against it? The best? – Cersei + Jaime, Jon + Daenarys

Ready to dig in? Download episode five 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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