Up@dawn 2.0

Monday, April 24, 2017

Section 10- Game of Thrones and Philosophy.

Olivia King 

I did my midterm report on Game of Thrones and Philosophy, so I decided to just continue on that same path and get a little more in depth on just how philosophical Game of Thrones is. I used the book titled “Game of Thrones and Philosophy- Logic Cuts Deeper than Swords” by Henry Jacoby. For the first installment, we’ll be talking about lying. If you’ve ever watched Game of Thrones, you’ll quickly realize that the characters are constantly intertwined in webs of lies and deception. However, a lot of questions can come out of these lies. Is one lie worse than another? Is it ever okay to lie? Does the indecency of a lie increase or decrease depending on who it’s told to? Throughout the story, there are instances of outright lying and instances of withholding the truth or only telling a certain part of it. For example, at one point in the story Prince Joffrey lies to his father’s face and tells him that Arya Stark and the butcher boy beat him with clubs for no reason. This is not true, he instigated the whole ordeal and caused the butcher boy to lose his life and the death of Sansa’s wolf. There are also instances of indirect deception, withholding the truth, or only telling one part of the truth. The book says that at one point Robb Stark tricks the Lannisters by splitting the forces of the North behind their back, and because of this Jamie Lannister the Kingslayer is captured by the Northern army. Is this mode of deception better because it’s not outright lying? Henry Jacoby doesn’t think that this is always true. Neither do Immanuel Kant or Roderick Chisholm, who say that lying to someone’s face is worse than deceiving them in some other way. All of this talk of lying and deception brings forth an important question: is it ever okay to lie or deceive someone? I was raised on the principle that even withholding information was considered lying, but I’ve come to have some of my own beliefs on this subject. In my opinion, I think there are certain situations that can warrant lying or deceiving someone for just a little bit. For instance, say you’re withholding information that would be harmful to someone, or you’re keeping someone safe.  Then, in my opinion it is okay to bend the truth a little. However, telling someone you’re going one place and then going to a completely different one hit home a little more. You’re going out of your way to make up a whole new story and someone believe something else. With deception, it could be as easy as withholding a little bit of information. Lies have more thought put into them, they’re more personal. That’s just a little but about lying and deception in “Game of Thrones.” These are issues that were relevant back then and will probably never be agreed on. I don’t think that we should make a habit out of lying, but there are instances of lying or deceit where you have to lie to protect yourself or someone else. 


  1. I would like to agree with you on the statement that lying is personal and in most cases unnecessary. Lying to protect someone from harm is something that I think most can agree with. I also think it is weird how so many people claim trust is important to them, but they continuously to others. They lie to others and expect others to be truthful. Is it unreasonable to expect others to be truthful when you are not truthful?

  2. I'm a huge fan of the tv show. When i first watched it I noticed that there was so much lies and deception. People were dying as a result of people lying. In the Game of Thrones it got to the point where no one can trust anybody. I do agree with holding information or bending the truth is awful. It can hurt people or even worse get them killed.

  3. Truth ought always to be our aspiration, but so ought kindness, compassion, fairness... all of which can only be ascertained by evaluating what will be made of our truth by those who hear it. If our interlocutor intends to harm innocent persons with the truth, he/she deserves our deceit.

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