Love Game of Thrones and Philosophy? Listen To My Newest Podcast

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

Season 7 of Game of Thrones may have ended last night, but that doesn’t mean you have to leave the world of Westeros behind.

I certainly won’t be. My good friend Ryan Ferguson (host of leading travel podcast The World Wanderersinvited me to co-create a series of podcasts bringing together two of my favorite things: epic fantasy and philosophy.

The world of Game of Thrones is full of oaths, murder, love, treachery, friendship, courage, cowardice, nobility, tyrants, and liberators. It’s high time two heroic young men took on the challenge of tackling the complex ethical and metaphysical questions from our favorite television show.

Until those two heroic young men decide to show up, you’re stuck with me and Ryan. We’re recording one episode of this podcast for each episode of Season 7 of Game of Thrones, and we’re looking at all of the greatest hits through the lens of philosophy:

  • When, why, and how should you believe in unlikely “miracle” stories like White Walkers and wights?
  • Assuming the Lord of Light exists, should you follow him?
  • What is the just way to treat enemies in defeat?
  • Is Machiavelli right? Is it REALLY better to be feared than loved?
  • When (if ever) is it appropriate to break an oath?
  • Is it morally right or wrong for Jon Snow bend the knee to Daenarys Targaryen?
  • Is Arya really a good character? Is it justifiable for her to take revenge the way she does? What does it say about us that we cheer her murders?
  • When is it right to leave a bad situation vs. trying to change it from the inside?
  • What effect would omniscience have on a being (like Bran)?
  • Are dragons inherently immoral weapons of mass destruction?
  • Is Targaryen incest ever OK? (That’s right, we went there).
  • Is it possible for Daenarys to be so powerful and also good?


(Sorry, sometimes I get over-excited.)

Ready to get started? You can listen to the episodes or download them to your computer in the web player below. Let us know what you think by leaving a comment on this post!

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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