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Game of Thrones and Philosophy: Logic Cuts Deeper Than Swords

Game of Thrones and Philosophy: Logic Cuts Deeper Than Swords

William Irwin (Series Editor), Henry Jacoby (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-118-16199-9

Mar 2012

320 pages

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An in-depth look at the philosophical issues behind HBO's Game of Thrones television series and the books that inspired it

George R.R. Martin's New York Times bestselling epic fantasy book series, A Song of Ice and Fire, and the HBO television show adapted from it, have earned critical acclaim and inspired fanatic devotion. This book delves into the many philosophical questions that arise in this complex, character-driven series, including: Is it right for a "good" king to usurp the throne of a "bad" one and murder his family? How far should you go to protect your family and its secrets? In a fantasy universe with medieval mores and ethics, can female characters reflect modern feminist ideals?

  • Timed for the premiere of the second season of the HBO Game of Thrones series
  • Gives new perspectives on the characters, storylines, and themes of Game of Thrones
  • Draws on great philosophers from ancient Greece to modern America to explore intriguing topics such as the strange creatures of Westeros, the incestuous relationship of Jaime and Cersei Lannister, and what the kings of Westeros can show us about virtue and honor (or the lack thereof) as they play their game of thrones

Essential reading for fans, Game of Thrones and Philosophy will enrich your experience of your favorite medieval fantasy series.

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Acknowledgments: How I was spared from having to take the Black

Introduction: So What if Winter Is Coming?

Part One. “You Win or You Die”

1. Maester Hobbes Goes to King’s Landing
Greg Littmann

2. It is a Great Crime to Lie to a King
Don Fallis

3. Playing the Game of Thrones: Some Lessons from Machiavelli
Marcus Schulzke

4. The War in Westeros and Just War Theory
Richard H. Corrigan

Part Two. “The Things I Do for Love”

5. Winter is Coming! The Bleak Quest for Happiness in Westeros
Eric Silverman

6. The Death of Lord Stark: The Perils of Idealism
David Hahn

7. Lord Eddard Stark, Queen Cersei Lannister: Moral Judgments from Different Perspectives
Albert J. J. Angleberger and Alexander Hieke

8. It Would Be a Mercy: Choosing Life or Death in Westeros and Beyond
Matthew Tedesco

Part Three. “Winter is Coming”

9. Wargs, Wights, and Wolves that are Dire: Mind and Metaphysics, Westeros Style
Henry Jacoby

10. Magic, Science, and Metaphysics in A Game of Thrones
Edward Cox

11. “You know nothing, Jon Snow”: Epistemic Humility Beyond the Wall
Abraham P. Schwab

12. “Why is the world so full of injustice?” Gods and the Problem of Evil
Jaron Daniel Schoone

Part Four. “The Man Who Passes the Sentence Should Swing the Sword”

13. Why Should Joffrey Be Moral If He’s Already Won the Game of Thrones?
Daniel Haas

14. The Moral Luck of Tyrion Lannister
Christopher Robichaud

15. Dany’s Encounter with the Wild: Cultural Relativism in Games of Thrones
Katherine Tullman

16. “There Are No True Knights”: The Injustice o Chivalry
Stacey Goguen

Part Five. “Stick Them with the Pointy End”

17. Fate, Freedom, and authenticity in A Game of Thrones
Michael J. Sigrist

18. No One Dances the Water Dance
Henry Jacoby

19. The Things I Do For Love: Sex, Lies, and Game Theory
R. Shannon Duval

20. Stop the Madness! Knowledge, Power, and Insanity in A Song of Ice and Fire
Chad William Timm

Contributors: The Learned Lords and Ladies from Beyond the Seven Kingdoms