VoK 568: A Seminar of Ice and Fire (Part 1) – Totemism

VoK’s very own Dr Blood begins a series of academic examinations through a Song of Ice and Fire. To start, we take a look at Durkheim’s Elementary Forms of Religious Life–specifically the excerpts where he discusses totemism.*

In addition to sigils and house symbolism/identity, we touch on everything from ethical questions (e.g. the “wolves” and “lions’ ravaging the Riverlands) to tinfoil (just how close are the Targs to dragons??), as well as more character-centric considerations (Dany, her silver, and her eggs; the Starks and their direwolves, etc.)…and anything else we can come up with! What would have happened if the Starks had found another Direwolf for Theon? Is Victarion Greyjoy a Raiders fan? Isn’t the Flayed Man such a bad brand that it would have been changed at some point?

Hosts: Sara (DrBlood), Adam (drownedsnow), Wilson (The Wandering Prophet), and Michael (Khal Wadege).

*Totemism: A system of belief in which humans are said to have kinship or a mystical relationship with a spirit-being, such as an animal… (Britannica.com)

Here’s a link to the Durkheim selections we focus on:

This might also be helpful, especially 4&5: http://durkheim.uchicago.edu/Summaries/forms.html


Spoilers: This episode covers all published works in George R R Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire.

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