U05: Winter is Here

As the phenomenon that is GOT is approaching the end of the series, there are many opportunities presenting to study the change in dynamic of the show. One such analysis is that of the impact of the impending war on the ethical behavior of the characters.  The armies of the seven kingdoms are converging in Winterfell in an attempt to defeat the White Walkers under the leadership of the Night King. There are several persons in Winterfell that hold positions of power, Jon Snow, Sansa Stark and Queen Daenerys. Additionally, the army under the leadership of Queen Cersei in Westeros lends another dynamic that will greatly impact the crisis at hand.

In this situation the critical event is the advancement of the Night Kings army as they broke down the wall. A critical event will lead to the leaders being forced to make decisions while under stress. During a time of crisis, the leaders must weight the values of themselves, their followers and the society of the seven kingdoms (Penn State, 2019). Following the critical event, the leaders must make decisions on how to proceed during the crisis, this is referred to as the point of decision. The decision of how to proceed must be made, and will effect society and the individuals and hopefully reduce the risk of a negative result.

When making the critical decision, consideration of Canada’s Code of Ethics may be beneficial as there are ten steps outlined to ethical decision making. For this situation in particular, with many rival families attempting to converge as one to defeat a common enemy, it is imperative to use ethical decision making guidance during the process. One such step within the code is: “Consideration of how one’s own biases, external pressures, personal needs, self-interest, or cultural, social, historical, economic, institutional, legal, or political context and background, might influence the development of or choice between courses of action (Canadian Psychological Association, 2000)”. This is important in this scenario as all of these factors are of vital importance in this situation. These families have fought as rivals for years, and have had varying reasons for believing they have the right to the throne, and what their personal needs are and what drives them.

As the season unfolds, it will certainly be interesting to see what decisions are made regarding the course of action and whether the ethical implications are considered during the process. The questions remain, who will win the war? and Who will sit on the iron throne?




Canadian Psychological Association. (2000). Canadian code of ethics for (3rd ed.). Retrieved from http://www.cpa.ca/aboutcpa/committees/ethics/codeofethics/

Penn State. (2019). PSY 833: L10 Crisis Defined. Retrieved from https://psu.instructure.com/courses/1963919/pages/l10-crisis-defined?module_item_id=25808513

One Comment

  1. Nicole Jean Kennedy April 19, 2019 at 5:18 PM #

    Lori Beth, you are my favorite person for incorporating Game of Thrones and ethics into your last blog. Let’s define the ethical climate of Winterfell, the gathering place that we all were introduced to last Sunday, shall we?

    According to Penn State University, “organization culture is the underlying values and beliefs that exist continuously and drive behavior in the organization” (2019). “Ethical climate is created by everyone in the organization, not just leadership” (PSU, 2019a). In the first six seasons, we have met many characters and leaders from around this fictional world. Each leader was as unique and different as their landscape. Everyone served their own house. There was fighting, war, and hatred among the kingdoms for years. The collective motto is “If you aren’t with us, you’re against us.” Now, with all hands and dragon glass on deck, Queen Daenerys works with Jon Snow, former King of the North, all the other former leaders and their people to save the living from the dead. It is imperative that these leaders understand the dynamics of each individual house and work collectively to save the living.

    When “unethical people and behaviors exist, people will be resistant to change” (PSU, 2019b). Often there is a disconnect when ethical leadership is present in an unethical climate and vice versa. This will likely cause more conflict (PSU, 2019b). And conflict among the living is not what we have time for, says Bran Stark, the “all-knowing” brother of Jon Snow. The dead have crushed the Wall, the only protection keeping them at bay. We expect the dead will arrive in less than two weeks. That’s about nine more sleeps.

    Using Victor and Cullen’s theory to define the climate, we will first look at the ethical criteria for moral reasoning. I believe Daenerys and Jon will include egoism – “doing what is best for oneself (staying alive) and combined that criteria with a “cosmopolitan level of analysis” (everyone staying alive) (PSU, 2019b). The end result is an ethical climate the emphasizes efficiency.

    For an effective ethical climate to exist, the leaders and the followers must work together to incorporate the components that make up the organizational climate. There must be an affective concern for interpersonal/social relationship. There is emotion involved in staying alive. There must be a cognitive concern for the work itself. There is a need to think about and strategically plan how to fight the dead. Lastly, there must be an instrumental concern for the integration of people and tasks for getting the job done. It’s important that the pieces of this puzzle fit together. We need to work together and fight like your life depends on it. (PSU, 2019). Jon Snow’s actions are great examples of streamlining the ethical climate. The former King of the North took a knee and pledged his allegiance to Daenerys. It was hard and emotional, but he thought it would save his people. This action will help to strengthen the chance to fight the dead and possibly win. That, and we have two dragons on our side!

    #winterishere #braniswaitingforanoldfriend #omg #whatiscerseidoing #canihaveallfivepointsforthisassignment

    PSU. (2019). L13 Organization Climate Defined [Lecture notes]. Retrieved from

    PSU. (2019a). L13 Leadership’s Role in Ethical Climate [Lecture notes]. Retrieved from

    PSU. (2019b). L13 Victor and Cullen’s (1987) Definition [Lecture notes]. Retrieved from https://psu.instructure.com/courses/1963919/pages/

Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar