Game of Thrones Philosophy Breakdown: S7E7 “The Dragon and the Wolf” – Sex, Honesty, Legacy, and Redemption

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

Is it all really about sex in the end? Is it naive to tell the truth to your enemies? Is it ever too late to be redeemed (looking at you, Theon my boy)?

And, er, what is the right thing to do when you realize you’re in a relationship with your aunt?

Really, Jon Snow. I know you know nothing, but this is the ONE THING you could have fact-checked.

Winter has come, and so has the seventh and last of our Game of Thrones Philosophy Breakdown episodes. Join Ryan Ferguson and I as we talk about the big questions in the closing episode of this season.

  • How much of a role does sexuality play in the purpose and shape of human life? If so, how should we think about sex differently? – Jamie and Bronn 
  • Should Jon have lied? Is total honesty naive? When is it ethical to lie?  – Jon and the negotiations at King’s Landing, Sansa and Littlefinger
  • Do good rulers want to “make the world a better place?” What’s better: self-interest or idealism? Are tyrants really egoists? – Cersei and Tyrion
  • Was Baelish’s execution just? Can we judge sociopaths if they have no understanding of right or wrong? To what extent should justice incorporate intention and character? – Petyr Baelish and the Starks 
  • Does Jaime have a responsibility to his unborn child? Should he not have left Cersei for the child’s sake? When is staying worse than leaving? – Jaime and Cersei 
  • Is it OK for Theon to have killed that jerk Ironborn dude to gain respect he needed to save his sister?Is it ever too late for someone to be redeemed? – Theon
  • Did Ned Stark win the Game of Thrones? Does good triumph over evil in the end? And is it worth winning that way if you have to die for it? – the Starks 
  • How should Jon react to the discovery that he just committed incest with his aunt (ewwww)? – Jon and Daenarys 

This is it folks. Maybe we’ll see you in season 8. Maybe not. Either way, thank you so much for listening! Working on this project has made me acutely aware of the philosophical depth in all of the stories around us. I hope it’s inspired you to use the stories you love to become a better person.

Valar morghulis, and we wish you good fortune in the wars to come.

Ready to dig in? Download episode seven 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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