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Game of Thrones and Philosophy: Logic Cuts Deeper Than Swords

(Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture #30)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  1,211 ratings  ·  87 reviews
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 ques ...more
Paperback, 286 pages
Published March 13th 2012 by Wiley (first published February 24th 2012)
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Average rating 3.95  · 
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 ·  1,211 ratings  ·  87 reviews

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Apr 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy
After abandoning George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" in disgust on page 29 having suffered mightily through cardboard characters and all the muddled authorial insight of a shoelace, I swore I would not get sucked into the tv show. But people kept talking about it. I blame them.

Frankly, I was and remain appalled by the brevity of story intervals between the metronomically pornographic refrains of nude-women-sucking-cock, which occur with the regularity and inevitability of network tel
Alexandra Sundarsingh
Jul 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
A useful introduction to many basic philosophers, but not a deep consideration of the issues in the novels. Instead superficial "answers" appear to be presented. Not impressed.
Jul 17, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I’ve been aware of the pop culture philosophy books for a few years now, but I’ve never actually taken the time to read one. But when they mentioned Game of Thrones and Philosophy on a recent episode of Sword & Laser, I reserved a copy from the library.

If you majored in Philosophy in college or enjoy reading Foucault in your free time, this isn’t the book for you. But as someone who has only had snippets of exposure to philosophical thought without much context or explanation, I did find this bo
Aug 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Game of Thrones and philosophy in the same sentence? This pop culture/philosophy mash-up caught my eye because 1. Game of Thrones is my favorite show and I need something to hold me over until next year, 2. Since I'm going back to school, I thought this book would help get my brain back into a semi-scholarly mode.

Topic Covered Case Study
biomedical ethics Bran Stark, Khal Drogo
metaphysics direwolves, wargs, wights
evil & injustice Cersei (need we say more?)
moral luck vs. moral responsibility Tyrio
Jul 10, 2016 rated it liked it
I actually hadn't heard of this book until my aunt picked it up for me. (Thank you so much for being thoughtful and generous, Aunt Jennifer!) I was pleasantly surprised to find a book pairing one of my favorite series with philosophical thought -- they really go hand in hand. This book was very well written and brought forward some wonderful essays and discussions. I spend a lot of time talking and arguing about ASoIaF online, and though I haven't been doing much of that lately, this book sparke ...more
Joshua Mingo
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
The main flaw with this book and this series is that the first quarter will be good, but three-quarters is where they play fast and loose with relevant topics. It's like reading an essay on something else while obviously being forced to make references to a pop culture thing...
Feb 01, 2020 rated it liked it
I’ve always loved Philosophy, studying it at both the high school and tertiary levels.

I am also a fan of both the television series Game of Thrones, and the books series A Song of Ice and Fire.

This was an interesting exercise in blending the two together.
Jul 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Game of Thrones and Philosophy takes a philosophical approach at Westeros and all of the characters inhabiting it. Although, I have never any of the books but have watched all three seasons of Game of Thrones, I did enjoyed this book. I love looking at concepts in many different ways and finding different interpretations. It makes me wonder if George R.R. Martin give this much thought to his multifaceted characters and intricate world.

I also liked learning about different key terms in philosophy
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction, 2-stars
It wasn't a bad book, but I'm a bit disappointed with it. The philosophical angle was quite interesting though at times it felt a bit forced and some topics I wish would have been looked on in greater detail (game theory, I'm looking at you). On the other hand the analysis of the books felt a bit shallow at times, especially in regards to Daenerys and Tyrion's characters and it could be seen that it is based more on the show than the books. Still, I think I will take more interest in books from ...more
Yong Lee
Jun 10, 2016 rated it liked it
I love the "Philosophy of " series of books. They use popular entertainment to make academic points about philosophy. I also loved the Game of Throne books. If you love the GOT books or TV series, and love ideas and the process of thought, this Philosophy of GOT book could pair perfectly with what you love and help you double your enjoyment, like red wine with steak.
May 03, 2012 is currently reading it
found this book at the book store and thought it would be interesting to read. I will inform you how it is when I finally finish book 5 and then read it.
Julia Strandquist
Jul 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Read parts of it.
Jun 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is a good introduction to philosophy and philosophers for people familiar with the Song of Ice and Fire series. Since I've read the comics guide to philosophy, and have been a reader of existential comics for a while, most of the ideas and concepts were not really new to me. Most of the essays were pretty good reads, but I thought the one by Stacey Goguen about the problems at the core of the concept and code of chivalry was outstanding. I was also greatful that one of the essays by He ...more
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
This one took me a while to get through (not always a good sign) but overall I found it pretty good. I felt that the essays were a good length and most of them were easy enough to relate to. A few of them I would've liked to have seen tied more to philosophical theories to help me better understand those theories. Not a fair criticism, but I have not read the books. I could tell that there was more to be gained if you had read the books... which really is as it should be. I enjoyed the last ess ...more
Paul J
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Philosophy is infinitely complex and thought-provoking, but perhaps not always so accessible. Linking in with pop culture phenomenons (such as Game of Thrones) is a great way to catch my interest and get me thinking about some of these grand concepts. I suspect the actual philosophy is on the beginner friendly side (it's not a textbook after all), but I found it very engaging when applied to the GoT universe. I purchased this as part of a Humble Bundle with a number of similar books from the sam ...more
Rowan Draper
Sep 29, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Just like my review of GoT and Psychology, I recognize that lots of people hate pop-philosophy, but I love it. You have to realize that these are aimed toward people with no background in philosophy, and once you accept that it's not going to be groundbreaking philosophy maybe more people would enjoy it for what it is. It mirrors a lot of thoughts that I had while reading/watching GoT.
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Henry Jacoby does a good job analyzing the philosophy found in "Game of Thrones."

"A reader lives a thousand lives - a man who never reads, only one." -George R. R. Martin

This is my new response to the question, "why do you read?"
Elliot Huxtable
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
A very comprehensive collection of essays about GoT. Very interesting.
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
nice read and very interesting. some valid points are made but the author is very subjective in the perspectives he shows us. either way, it was a very fun read.
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Eh... could have been better.
Stephen Wilhoit
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A superb read. I literally could hardly put this book down and finished the last 150 pages or so last night straight through.
Adam Hegedus
Some parts were OK, but overall it's not worth the time to start reading the book.
Oct 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This was a really fun read, with a number of interesting essays that made dense philosophical topics rendered clear through its use of illustrative examples from Game of Thrones.
I don't know why, I just didn't enjoy this book as much as other books in this series.
Saul Nonato
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
wakw me up when game of thrones end
May 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy
I will start off by saying that I have enjoyed a few of the pop culture & philosophy works that have been written before. I especially love Star Wars and Philosophy by Kevin Decker Star Wars and Philosophy and Running and Philosophy A Marathon for the Mind by Michael W. Austin Running and Philosophy: A Marathon for the Mind. But, I fell that this one wasn't as good as the other. Sure it has the same problems as some of the other works in this series (essays that are either uninteresting or too complicated), but the biggest problem I found with it was that it wasn't organized very well. Like nea ...more
This book needs to make up its mind: are we writing about the television series (which had only aired 1 season at the time the essays for this book were written), or the books? Some writers only seemed familiar with the show or book 1, and didn't bother to include further development into their essays. Other writers did read some of the other books. It might have been best if the book had just limited itself to book/season 1.

Another thing that bothers me, is that these people were quoting the t
Jun 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
First off, this is not directly related to the Song of Ice and Fire book series or the television series. That being said, the various authors use the book and television series to explore issues of philosophy. With the disclaimer that I do not have an extensive background in philosophy, I found this to be an entertaining (re)introduction to the subject. Over the course of twenty chapters, the various authors tackle topics like the search for happiness, whether one should be good or moral even i ...more
Apr 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting read indeed. It raises questions about some of the most controversial and interesting topics in ASOIAF series (incest, Ned Stark's morality, the madness of the Targaryen's, etc). These modern day philosophers explore and analyze the characters in the series with backing from Plato, Aristotle, Hume and countless other great philosophers. I enjoyed exploring the topics addressed and it has given more insight into the world of ASOIAF. While reading certain viewpoints I wonde ...more
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