The 'A Song of Ice and Fire' Domain


Game of Thrones and Philosophy

Blackwell, an imprint of leading academic publisher John Wiley & Sons, will next month be releasing a new entry in its Pop Culture and Philosophy series: Game of Thrones and Philosophy: Logic Cuts Deeper than the Sword (Pre-order:  US, UK). The book is due to hit shelves on March 13th.

The series uses popular culture to give philosophers a platform to delve into topics of philosophical interest in a way that’s relevant and relatable to a general audience. Part of a series edited by William Irwin, editor Henry Jacoby has gathered together twenty essays covering a wide range of topics from a distinguished group of philosophers. Also included? A short foreword from Linda and I, which we were very honored to be asked to provide.

Here’s the official description and contents information:

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.
  • Foreword
  • 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 by Greg Littmann
  • 2. It is a Great Crime to Lie to a King by Don Fallis
  • 3. Playing the Game of Thrones: Some Lessons from Machiavelli by Marcus Schulzke
  • 4. The War in Westeros and Just War Theory by Richard H. Corrigan

Part Two. “The Things I Do for Love”

  • 5. Winter is Coming! The Bleak Quest for Happiness in Westeros by Eric Silverman
  • 6. The Death of Lord Stark: The Perils of Idealism by David Hahn
  • 7. Lord Eddard Stark, Queen Cersei Lannister: Moral Judgments from Different Perspectives by Albert J. J. Angleberger and Alexander Hieke
  • 8. It Would Be a Mercy: Choosing Life or Death in Westeros and Beyond by Matthew Tedesco

Part Three. “Winter is Coming”

  • 9. Wargs, Wights, and Wolves that are Dire: Mind and Metaphysics, Westeros Style by Henry Jacoby
  • 10. Magic, Science, and Metaphysics in A Game of Thrones by Edward Cox
  • 11. “You know nothing, Jon Snow”: Epistemic Humility Beyond the Wall by Abraham P. Schwab
  • 12. “Why is the world so full of injustice?” Gods and the Problem of Evil by 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? by Daniel Haas
  • 14. The Moral Luck of Tyrion Lannister by Christopher Robichaud
  • 15. Dany’s Encounter with the Wild: Cultural Relativism in Games of Thrones by Katherine Tullman
  • 16. “There Are No True Knights”: The Injustice of Chivalry by Stacey Goguen

Part Five. “Stick Them with the Pointy End”

  • 17. Fate, Freedom, and authenticity in A Game of Thrones by Michael J. Sigrist
  • 18. No One Dances the Water Dance by Henry Jacoby
  • 19. The Things I Do For Love: Sex, Lies, and Game Theory by R. Shannon Duval
  • 20. Stop the Madness! Knowledge, Power, and Insanity in A Song of Ice and Fire by Chad William Timm