Game of Thrones Philosophy Breakdown: S8E2 “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” – Titles, Evil, Memory, and Your Last Night on Earth

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

What is the nature of titles? What really drives evil? And is memory really what makes us human?

This week, as the Night King’s army approaches Winterfell, our heroes somehow find time for some of their most reflective moments yet. And while you also wait for decidedly *un*philosophical bloodbath in the third episode of the season, you can hear me and my co-host Ryan Ferguson dip into some of the themes of episode 2:

  • Titles – Brienne of Tarth gained a well-deserved knighthood in this episode. We ask what gives titles their power, and why. We also talk about when titles *shouldn’t* matter.
  • The nature of evil – We finally learned the Night King’s motivations – or at least part of them. Is evil nihilistic in nature, or something more?
  • Memory – What do we lose when we lose memory? What role does memory play in sustaining our collective humanity? Our individual humanity?

Ryan and I also ponder how we might spend our last nights on earth – and what questions or principles we would bring to bear on our decision-making.

What about you? Make your philosopher’s case for the wisest way to while away your last hours and tweet with the hashtag #GameOfThronesPhilosophy. We might feature you on next week’s show!

P.S. Thanks to everyone who contributed answers to last week’s philosophical question! Check out what Reddit said to the question of Jon’s way forward after discovering his kingship.


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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