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What philosophies do Game of Thrones' characters follow?



What philosophies do Game of Thrones' characters follow?
Jake Emen is a freelance writer living in Bethesda, MD who has been published in a variety of print and online outlets. You can follow him on Twitter, and check out his musings on food, whiskey and random misadventures at ManTalkFood.com. It's no secret that George R.R.


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Tywin Lannister’s Philosophy

Tywin Lannister’s Philosophy

Tywin excels in "Machiavellianism” - being duplicitous or deceitful in order to get ahead: “The end justifies the means”.

Tywin Lannister isn’t brutal for the sheer sake of it; he tries to be moral if possible, but strays from the more righteous path in order to achieve results. 




Daenerys Targaryen’s Philosophy

Daenerys Targaryen’s Philosophy

Daenerys follows French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who described how the society he lived in stripped away freedom and humanity.

Daenerys is perceived as standing on the morally high ground.  She’s freeing slaves. She’s the Breaker of Chains. She’s righteous and is seen as supporting the greater good, a cause above herself. She’s righteous and is seen as supporting the greater good, a cause above herself.



Philosophies of Game of Thrones characters

It’s no secret that George R.R. Martin has pulled heavily from history for inspiration - historical events and characters.

There’s also a less obvious source of inspiration which fuels the motives and behaviors of GRRM’s immense world of characters — historical philosophers and their teachings. 




Conspiracy Theories

Conspiracy Theories

In the earlier times, conspiracy theories were a convenient way to cover up the inadequacies of the government, and putting a set of helpless people as a scapegoat, cloaking the misdeeds or mismana...

We Love A Good Story

The organic and unpredictable nature of conspiracy theories had led many researchers to investigate the cause of the phenomenon.

  • Successful conspiracy theories always tend to invent a great villain, have a backdrop or a backstory, and a morality lesson that can be easily understood by most.
  • Great stories are by nature more magnetic and appealing than the truth.
  • Human beings think and understand in stories. For thousands of years, fairy tales, legends, anecdotes and mysteries have helped our brains make sense of the world.

Collective Hysteria

Every society has its own, unique anxieties and obsessions, and the conspiracy theories that gain good mileage are the ones that tap into these primal fears.

Example: Many people fear vaccination of the children due to fears that the mass drive to vaccinate such a large population has some ulterior motive, like a mass medical experiment. The dodgy past record of the health care system, and the fact that the vaccination is free of charge, of course, adds fuel to the fire.

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Niccolò Machiavelli's Prince

Machiavelli ends his treatise The Prince invoking a "redeemer" who shall save enslaved Italy from the domination of foreign powers that have left her gravely wounded and "almost without...

Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen

Her character development throughout the seasons unfolds within a dynamic that probes fundamental questions of politics and leadership. 

Machiavelli examined the same questions in the 16th century in his treatise, The Prince.  Daenerys may be a version of the redeemer  he talk about in his treaty.

Machiavelli's First instruction

First instruction to maintain power and preserve order: The prince does not have free range to conduct evil, but must strive for goodness as the primary measure of actions.

Daenerys gives conquered soldiers a choice: "Bend the knee and join me. Together, we will leave the world a better place than we found it. Or refuse and die."

One of the reasons why Stoicism is enjoying a revival today is that it gives concrete answers to moral questions.

Aristotle gave us an alternative conception of happiness

It cannot be acquired by pleasurable experiences but only by identifying and realizing our own potential, moral and creative, in our specific environments, with our particular family, friends and colleagues, and helping others to do so.