May 16, 2019 8:00 pm

Neil deGrasse Tyson Dives Into Everything Game of Thrones with George RR Martin as the Series Ends

As a fan of film and TV, it’s one of my fatal flaws that I have not watched a single episode of Game of Thrones. However, that being said, I am acutely aware of its cultural significance and its mighty impact on this age of storytelling on the screen.

Brandon Royal’s photo of Neil deGrasse Tyson and George R.R. Martin.

Neil deGrasse Tyson and George R.R. Martin. Photo Credit: Brandon Royal.

On this week’s episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson sits down with the creator himself, George R.R. Martin, to explore everything you need to know about Game of Thrones as you prepare to watch the series come to an end…or, like me, read about your friends watching the series come to an end.

Joining Neil in studio is comic co-host Matt Kirshen, medieval history expert Professor Racha Kirakosian, paleontologist Mark Norrell, Dr. Steven Schlozman, aka Dr. Zombie, our geek-in-chief, astrophysicist Charles Liu, and Bill Nye the Science Guy.

We start with how things came to be. Neil and George dive into George’s early fantasy and science fiction inspirations and his process for creating the world of A Song of Ice and Fire which was adapted into the show. You’ll hear how George blends fantasy with the real world. Find out more about the Dark Ages: What defines a “dark age,” have they ever occurred, and are we still in the Dark Ages now?

We investigate the “science” of dragons. Discover more about the myths and culture associated with dragons. Neil applauds George for getting certain elements of science right when it comes to dragon anatomy. You’ll hear how dragon’s blood is involved in the myth behind the creation of the English flag. Then we explore the undead. George tells us how he created the army of undead or “wights.” Dr. Zombie himself leads the discussion on the real-life possibilities of reanimating the dead and we ponder if re-animation is at the core of some of the world’s most popular religions.

Then, we move from re-animating the dead to transferring our consciousness as we learn more about the skinchangers. If you transfer your consciousness to another host, are you still you? All that, plus, you’ll also learn about Game of Thrones astronomical connections, its portrayal of violence and war, and why magic is just science we haven’t discovered.

Please join us tomorrow night for Playing the Game of Thrones, with George R.R. Martin at 7pm ET right here on our website, as well as on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn. If you’re an All-Access subscriber, you can listen to this episode ad-free at 7pm, too.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
-Ian Mullen