What Do You Think: Can Christians Watch Game of Thrones?

GoTThe TV series Game of Thrones is breaking records, winning awards, and captivating millions of people worldwide. But you don’t have to be a Christian to be uncomfortably aware that Game of Thrones pushes moral boundaries as well.

Film and literature containing vivid depictions of sin is nothing new. For years, subscription channels like HBO and Showtime have blurred the line between literature and pornography.

The question remains—can Christians, in good conscience, watch shows like Game of Thrones? The issue is arguably contained within the larger question, are things themselves inherently sinful? Are we entering into sin ourselves by being surrounded by sin? And even if we can watch shows like Game of Thrones, should we? (1 Corinthians 10:23). John Piper weighed in on Game of Thrones, and for him, the answer to the question involved twelve more questions.

Blogs are a great place for one person to share their thoughts on an issue independently of others. But issues like this are not necessarily black and white, and sometimes it takes a conversation to really formulate and arrive at your own conclusions. ChristianDiscourse.com is the perfect place to turn for open, honest discussions within Christian community.

It just so happens that Christian Discourse is already hosting a conversation on this very topic. See what other’s have said about Christians watching Game of Thrones:

christian discourse got

Check out the forum to see what other people are saying, and if you have thoughts, opinions, or comments, share them! Christian Discourse is a different kind of message board—it’s designed to foster healthy, authentic conversations about God, culture, life, and the places they connect.

Join the conversation.


    • Russ Troester says

      By that logic married, consenting adults should not have sexual intercourse. Adults shouldn’t stay up later than 8pm. Adults shouldn’t consume coffee. There are plenty of things that though inappropriate for children are okay for adults, some of which must be used in moderation. I’m not necessarily advocating for Game of Thrones. I’m just exposing the flaw in your logic.

  1. David says

    I think the fact that the question is even asked tells us where Christianity is today. The idea that HBO and Showtime have blurred the difference between literature and porn is not anything new, it only seems blurred to those who are looking for ways to justify sin.

    Post modern Christianity thinks, for some reason, that we have the right to be entertained. In the first church the Christians were the entertainment, they were sewed up on animal skins and thrown to the lions with tens of thousands sat in the colosseum and watched.

    Jesus said “whosoever will take up his cross and follow me…whosever will loose his life”. We are called out of this world if we have come to Christ, we are no longer part of it or its system.

  2. says

    By that logic married, consenting adults should not have sexual intercourse. Adults shouldn't stay up later than 8pm. Adults shouldn't consume coffee. There are plenty of things that though inappropriate for children are okay for adults, some of which must be used in moderation. I'm not necessarily advocating for Game of Thrones. I'm just exposing the flaw in your logic.

  3. David Whitaker says

    Even the desire to set one’s eyes upon the evil contained within Game of Thrones is absolutely contrary to the 1st and greatest commandment.
    A man cannot serve two masters. The very notion that there would be any debate on this issue reveals the immoral climate with the American church. It reveals our heart and mind. We had rather look upon evil than to seek those things which are above. Jesus spoke of those who flatter him with their lips but their hearts were far from Him. 1st Thessalonians 5:21-22 tells us to hold fast to what is good and to abstain from every form (or appearance) of evil.

  4. says

    Talk about Spooky Christianity… LOL Next they'll ask "Should Christians watch Shrek…?" Should Christians own Black Cat's… wait… Should Christian celebrate Christmas…? There's NOTHING Biblical of the holiday…

  5. Sandy Hunt says

    It is an issue of discernment, is it not? Those who are offended by its message, or would accept the morals portrayed, probably should not watch. For those who can discern the difference between good and evil it might be wise to know what those in our culture are tuned into in order that we can have a reasonable discourse.

  6. says

    Lance Roberts No, it's not bad logic. 1) the original comment didn't limit their reference to media though yes, the context is media. 2) Even if we DO limit it to media, it's still flawed logic.

  7. says

    I understand what you mean, Joaquim. I have kids and we have a similar standard. Obviously you generalizing and you are not making a hard rule. Some people have difficulty understanding a colloquial statement and a technical rule.

  8. says

    Really….Seriously…..the scriptures tell us in Romans 12 to renew our minds and to not be conformed to the world. This is not a matter of Christian liberty. The scriptures tell us abstain from the very appearance of evil. How can any repentant child of God view the graphic violence and explicit sexual scenes in this series and not have a seared conscience.

  9. says

    Shawn Rittmiller I apologize for my lack of obvious lack of tact. I have kids too but to say "if it's not good for my kids it's not good for me" hardly seems like a sustainable system for making general rules, even if it's just limited to media. More to the point, the statement appeared to me to be more than just a "colloquial statement" and echoes what I've heard numerous times before from numerous, well-meaning Christians that try to make the world black and white in terms of what we can and can't do. Making those decisions are not as simple and clear as we might like sometimes and try as we may (and certainly, we must try), we cannot totally avoid sin as Jesus makes abundantly clear in Matthew 5.

    Earlier you referenced 1 Corinthians 10:31 as basically being a verse that settles the matter. I respectfully disagree and believe you've taken it out of context. In 1 Corinthians 10, Paul is talking about food sacrificed to idols – something one would think should be avoided. However, Paul states that inherently, there is no problem with it at all. If it's going to weaken the faith of a brother/sister Christian, or if it's in a context where it may harm one's witness (e.g., "oh, you ate meat sacrificed to idols so you must believe in those idols") THEN it should be avoided. In other words, certainly there are things that are forbidden but there are other things such as the consumption of alcohol (in moderation) that are certainly permissible but if it's a problem for a person themselves or for someone around them as a weaker brother/sister in Christ, it should be avoided. (And before someone tries to tell me that alcohol consumption in and of itself is sinful, not just drunkenness, I'd like to see some serious exegetical work to back that up).

    Again, my apologies for not being more tactful and gentle in my approach. Though I acted like one, my intention wasn't to be a troll, just to try to make a point. I've done that and anyone is certainly free to agree or disagree. As I said earlier, I'm not advocating for Game of Thrones as a wholesome choice even for adults. I've never even seen a single episode nor have I read the books, though I'm certainly aware of the objectionable content.

    • says

      Russ Troester
      I’m sure you would say that 1 Corinthians 10:31 is not limited to only what one eats and drinks seeing the “do all” is inclusive beyond eating and drinking what is offered to idols.

  10. Erick Kendall says

    I agree with your statement. I didn't get into GoT, because of another show very similar,Spartacus. I really loved the series…but at a point..during the second season, I began to feel uncomfortable with the content. The violence, explicit sex and over all perversion. As bad as it was…it seemed to progress with each episode…to the point where I began to question myself…" as a Christian, should I be watching this?". I continued watching, but by the forth season, I was convicted and completely loss my desire to continue watching it. It is not a matter of Christian Liberty. Because we have this Christian Liberty, does it make it "right" for me to do?
    I was convicted and could no longer continue to watch it and now refrain from that type of entertainment.

  11. Brandon Reyna says

    I'm not advocating for GoT, or for Starz's Spartacus. I personally have only seen one episode of GoT…it was actually about half an episode. I love the tale and history of Spartacus, but I was really disgusted with what Starz did with it as a whole. It became a major soft core/minor hardcore porn movie as the seasons progressed. I do like Stanley Kubrick's version and Robert Dornhelm's version. However comparing these two versions to Starz's version I believe is comparing Apples to Oranges. These other two versions I don't believe had the capability of causing a rift between my heart and God. The Starz version did cause feelings of lust and idolatry, and lust…. and more lust. After I realized what it was doing, I hated it for it. I don't know specifically about GoT's and I won't speak to it for lack of knowledge on the subject matter. For my answer to this question, I would say that my wife and I do our best not to let anything into the house that we can't watch in front of our children. If there is any question as to whether or not we should watch it, I put it up to God in prayer. I find also that if you have to sneak it in, then it should probably not be there in the first place. God bless and happy hunting!

  12. John Lagaza says

    Why would a Child of God saved by the precious Blood of Jesus Christ given the gift and power of God’s wonderful Holy Spirit filled with the Love and peace that is promised to every believer who has the desire in their heart to please God in every aspect of their life who is given the precious privilege to share the Gospel of hope and salvation to the entire world even consider wasting their time with such an offending display of immorality even considerate it?

  13. Anonymous says

    What goes into the heart of man will ultimately come out. Do you want to feed the flesh or do you want to feed the spirit?

  14. Victor Correa says

    Finding myself with anything that is questionable, I ask myself “Does this glorify God in anyway?” That should bring me back to where I need to be.

  15. Anonymous says

    In a word. No. Nothing is inherently sinful unless it entices sin within you or results in sinful behavior. Watching pornography is sinful because it's immorality for the Christian and can cause temptation leading to sexual immorality or lustful (read: adulterous) thoughts or actions. Watching certain TV shows is the same way. If it convicts or wears on your conscience, probably best not to imbibe. If you feel conviction not to watch things you find offensive or immoral, don't watch them. I don't watch those types of shows with cursing, sexual themes, drugs, violence (some of the A&E shows are horrifyingly violent) because they convict me. I don't drink alcohol for the same reason. I loved the Simpsons for a long time until later episodes started getting loose with the tongue, sexual themes, and glorified rebellion. Family Guy too. A lot of shows became off-limits when I became a Christian. Some Christians watch them, some Christians drink alcohol or smoke. Some Christians curse. That's their deal and no condemnation dispensed to them, but for me, my convictions lead me another way.

  16. Charles Godewyn says

    I have not watched this show, but I would ask: does it edify (1 Cor 10:23)?

    I'm not being presumptuous or rhetorical and assuming it does not. I wonder, from those who watch it, if you feel that it builds you up and ultimately, one way or another, draws you closer to God? If so, how?

  17. Charles Godewyn says

    To that I would also add 1 Corinthians 10:23: "All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify."

  18. says

    I know several parents who have imposed NO PG movies, no R movies, no prime time TV shows, no reading harry potter, etc.. on their children. Of the 42 kids from those parents families, when they became adults 3 of them maintained their faith. Oh they would all claim to be Christians, but they separate themselves from their hard nosed parents beliefs as much as they can.

    In more than half of the cases, the children are rebellious to the point of dangerous levels. In other words that behavior practically ran them to the "dark side".

    more than 20 have children out of wedlock. more than a half dozen are in jail or have served time.

    Your job as a parent isn't to "protect your children" it's to prepare them. You can't prepare them for the world by keeping them ignorant to it. You must prepare them for the world by helping them navigate through it.

    You can't prepare for war by never touching a weapon, and never witnessing your enemy.

    The show GAME OF THRONES is very mature viewing. I'll accept there is a maturity level for any child, christian or not to watch the show, but that level is determined per child. And in today's world I can guarantee you that your children see worse in video games and discuss worse at school.

    Your job as a christian requires you to be IN THE WORLD. It requires you to dip into the quagmires and lead by your life. And your life, as commanded by Jesus is to be loving, as fully loving as GOD the Father is.

    Preaching, Lecturing, Legislating faith, have nothing to do with that. Providing charity, is what the word Agapao means. It's an emotion that creates an action of providence. God provided for His enemies was Jesus example in the command. That's how Jesus commanded we should be.

    The church is backwards these days. They have forgotten their role and created a newer, self serving, seeking reward and recognition purpose.

    • Meghan says

      That is something that makes sense! I agree with you completely. 100%. Sometimes the protection that parents give can end up being detrimental to the child instead of beneficial. The world is a scary place- a place that our children will be a part of one day. Where being ignorant of the dangers will make you vulnerable and get you hurt in some way.

  19. says

    There're a number of concerns with the show. The nudity, which is in almost every episode, is a concern. The sex scenes, which usually involve illicit sex, are in almost every episode. Even more of a concern is the moral ambiguity of the show, and the fact that almost every honorable character (ie. hero or heroin) gets trampled on, or killed while the dishonorable ones prevail.

    Even so, I still find the show fascinating. The complexity of the characters and the conflict is gripping. Charles Dance and Diana Riggs steal almost every scene that they're in. It's fascinating and very well produced.

    One notable glimmer of light in the show is the change that takes place in Jaime Lannister. As Brienne begins to escort him to Kings Landing he starts, ever so slowly, to recover the sense of honor he once had. Of course, he loses his hand in the process. But even so, he begins to have concern for Brienne as a person, admiring her sense of honor. He also recalls how he got the name "King Slayer". How the king he swore to protect was a homicidal lunatic, who burned people by the hundreds, even by the thousands, and that if he didn't kill him the king would have burned everyone in Kings Landing. It lends some perspective into Jaime's character that we didn't have before.

    Fascinating character development. It might be better just to watch the video clips on U-tube and skip all of the lewd stuff.

  20. says

    i am having issues with this as a fried has given my man the series and i have voiced my concerns but feel he will possibly watch this…..ot sure what to go, upset by this

  21. says

    Eve Alice, on such occasions, I have to remind myself of the truth that God is more powerful than satan, that God is my help, and that God can and will (and has) deliver(ed) me from evil. In Jesus' name, I ask God to deliver your household from this influence. May His will be done on earth, as it is in heaven! Sincerely & In faith, Mary Kubow

  22. Anthony says

    I have no problem with Christians watching the show. I appreciate the show and the books. Many of the situations and the experiences of the characters in the show and the books are more authentic because the morality line is not black and white (i.e. not like LOTR where the good/evil characters are pretty clear). In the show/books there really aren’t ‘good’ and ‘evil’ characters; many of them have made ‘good’ decisions and ‘evil’ decisions. Also, many situations such as incest, rape, and murder are trademark stories in the Bible (usually minus the nitty-gritty details that GOT supplies). Look through Genesis, Judges, Joshua, 1 & 2 Kings and 1 & 2 Samuel…the list could go on… I appreciate GOT because of its brutal honesty with its characters and how the show portrays humanity. HBO likes to push the line when it comes to nudity and I think some of the scenes are unnecessary, so I try to avoid them when I can.

  23. David Trabue says

    Really interesting for a recovering Southern Baptist to occasionally check in on what the rank & file who haven’t moved beyond what they believed as a child. You folks are scary & I’m glad the Founding Fathers separated the government from you!

    The difference between the evils of radical Christians and radical Muslims is only because the former have had a 600 year head start on the latter to let secularism chill them out a little bit…

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