Monday, May 4, 2015

Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 4 "Sons of the Harpy" Review

Game of Thrones has, so far, delivered three great episodes in a row. This is somewhat unusual, given that earlier seasons always started slow (with the notable exception of season 4’s death of Joffrey), and it also seems kind of inevitable. At one point, momentum runs out of steam, and there has to be an episode that misses a beat or two. Even the best of series have this problem, and Game of Thrones is certainly no stranger to it. Will it be “Sons of the Harpy” that breaks the pattern?

A Flight of Links

- A comparison between GOT executions
- Good analysis of Sansa's arc in season 5 
- Baltimore, the Wire and the limits of art 
- Vox has a good review of Avengers 2
- Sean T. Collins reviews the new GOT episode
- Another good review of said episode
- If you insist in cutscenes, do it right
- And an explainer for it
- Do we need cinematic universes?
- Liveblogging Telltale's GOT
- Steven Attewell has a political analysis of the episode.
- And a sneak peak into his new book
- Why Steam's paying for mods was a dumb idea
- How do fractals work?
- Bloodborne analysis
- Total War Warhammer announced
- An assessment of the reign of Aegon I 
- Analysis about Rhaenys
- Another glowing Avengers 2 review
- Some people critisize Avengers 2 for ill serving Black Widow
- But not all feminists agree
- Are there time zones in Planetos?
- Exactly.
- There's stupid, and this

Monday, April 27, 2015

Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 3 "High Sparrow" Review

We’re in officially new territory with a whole host of storylines now. Sansa and Littlefinger, Jaime and Bronn, the whole northern storyline and soon enough the Watch as well – so far, the season proves that it can stand on its own, a feat many doubted it was capable of given the mixed track record it enjoys in those areas. But let’s see for ourselves as things stand this week, shall we? At the Wall, Jon has to treat with Stannis again. It’s a nice touch that he keeps his own steward around, one has to say. Stannis appreciates it, at least more than Jon’s refusal to become Jon Stark. The encounter plays out a bit formal, like both men know what the other is going to say already which is basically what this is. Stannis gives the wildlings to Jon, simplifying the politics in the book, namedropping Tormund, and leaves, not without advising Jon to send Thorne elsewhere, which is sensible. He is then offered “just one man’s opinion”, as Davos plants the seed of Jon’s (book-)downfall by stirring him up against the Boltons.

A Flight of Links

- This. 
- The Making Of Warcraft, part 1 
- For German readers: my review of "Fury" for my history blog 
- Venus and Jupiter 
- AV Review of episode 2 GOT Season 5
- And Steven Attewell's political analysis of episode 1 and episode 2
- Looks stupid but fun
- Why Star Wars won the trailer war against Dawn of Justice
- Can't argue with that assessment
- Yeah, well, wants to win an Oscar
- Star Wars photo essay
- The most stupid article I ever read about GOT is this review of episode 3. German, unfortunately. Gist of it: Jon beheads someone. ISIS beheads people. The show is inconsiderate of the victims of ISIS. 
- The politics of videogames

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Boiled Leather Audio Hour Episode 38

The Alayne Game: Discussing the New “The Winds of Winter” Sample Chapter and the Start of “Game of Thrones” Season Five

BLAH is back with two, count ‘em, two topics! This go-round, Stefan & Sean tackle the new “Alayne” sample chapter from The Winds of Winter and the first two episodes of Game of Thrones Season Five. What’s in store for Sansa in book six? What’s our read on GoTs05e01-02′s plotlines and performances? Listen and learn, ladies and gents! And while you do, you’ll discover some very happy news from House Sasse, as well as musical surprise or two. Enjoy!

Download Episode 38

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 2 "Black and White" review

Did anyone else have the feeling during this episode that they accidentally hit the "forward" button on their remote? Boy, the plot moved along fast. The Night's Watch is going to have an election and oh by the way all hail Jon! Arya has to prove herself to gain entrance to the House of Bland and White and hey look the door's opening now. Somehow I expected this to move a tad slower. But was it bad? Let's have a detailed look at storylines and stuff.
doran-5.jpgPrince Doran deals with the new queen bee in Dorne.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 74

Thursday is court day!
Welcome to the Supreme Court of Westeros! Every week, three pressing questions from the community will be answered by the esteemed judges Stefan (from your very own Nerdstream Era) and Amin (from A Podcast of Ice and Fire). The rules are simple: we take three questions, and one of us writes a measured analysis. The other one writes a shorter opinion, either concurring or dissenting. The catch is that every week a third judge from the fandom will join us and also write a dissenting or concurring opinion. So if you think you're up to the task - write us an email to stefan_sasse@gmx.de, leave a comment in the post, ask in the APOIAF-forum or contact Amin at his tumblr. Discussion is by no means limited to the court itself, though - feel free to discuss our rulings in the commentary section and ask your own questions through the channels above.
One word on spoilers: we assume that you read all the books, including the Hedge Knight short stories, and watched the current TV episodes. We don't include the spoiler chapters from various sources in the discussion, with the notable exception of Theon I, which was supposed to be in "A Dance with Dragons" anyway.
And now, up to ruling 74 of the Supreme Court of Westeros! Our guest judge this week is Manu Mishra, a member of the community.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Game of Thrones Season 5 Episode 1 "The Wars to Come" Review



Game of Thrones is back! How great. And just to start this new series of reviews off, let’s remind everyone that we are now going deep into unchartered territory. Several plotlines of this season (most notably Brienne/Pod, Sansa/Littlefinger, Jon/Sam and Jaime/Bronn) will almost certainly go in different directions than the book versions, so there will be quite a lot of talking about changes, about new ideas and new directions and of course comparisons to how the books are sooooo much better (just kidding, I’m expecting some gratifying decisions along the way). That being said, let’s delve at it in the already accustomed way of going through the several plot locations of each episode instead of simply recapping them. 

In the North, Thorne and Slynt reversed roles, a development only sensible given how much the audience knows those two. Thorne is the most likely candidate to win the election of Lord Commander, while Slynt is just his slivering crony. This change was a long time coming and really, really makes sense on a lot of levels. If they avoid the mistake they made with Locke, this will be a really good setup for the Wall storyline this season. 

A Flight of Links

- Sansa III
- GOT intro set in Washington, D.C. 
- Alan Sepinwall is for Hodor. 
- How the death of Sim City allowed Cities: Skylines
-  Speculation on what will be in GOT season 5
- Sadly, this is true and I don't see the trend ending
- MovieBob reviews F&F7
- On point on Cersei
- Games hurt by trying to be movies
- Why mixing gamestyles doesn't work
- Those numbers are wow
- New Deus Ex game announced
- Summer's children, winter's fury - good essay
- Yathzee reviews Bloodborne
-

Friday, April 10, 2015

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 73

Thursday is court day! And we're not on time, in what seems an evolving pattern. Sorry for this.
Welcome to the Supreme Court of Westeros! Every week, three pressing questions from the community will be answered by the esteemed judges Stefan (from your very own Nerdstream Era) and Amin (from A Podcast of Ice and Fire). The rules are simple: we take three questions, and one of us writes a measured analysis. The other one writes a shorter opinion, either concurring or dissenting. The catch is that every week a third judge from the fandom will join us and also write a dissenting or concurring opinion. So if you think you're up to the task - write us an email to stefan_sasse@gmx.de, leave a comment in the post, ask in the APOIAF-forum or contact Amin at his tumblr. Discussion is by no means limited to the court itself, though - feel free to discuss our rulings in the commentary section and ask your own questions through the channels above.
One word on spoilers: we assume that you read all the books, including the Hedge Knight short stories, and watched the current TV episodes. We don't include the spoiler chapters from various sources in the discussion, with the notable exception of Theon I, which was supposed to be in "A Dance with Dragons" anyway.
And now, up to ruling 72 of the Supreme Court of Westeros! Our guest judge this week is Ryan Hodges. He goes by Kinglayer on Tower of the Hand and sardonicsmirk on reddit and the Nerdstream.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Nameday

Rejoice! Our Queen of Love and Beauty, Lyanna Sasse, was born on March 10th. You may use the comment thread to do her hommage. 



Hope she stays clear of princes with silver hair and harps.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Thoughts on the new TWOW sample chapter, Alayne

George R. R. Martin released a new sample chapter for "The Winds of Winter" today, called "Alayne". I have some uncollected thoughts.

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 72

Thursday is court day!
Welcome to the Supreme Court of Westeros! Every week, three pressing questions from the community will be answered by the esteemed judges Stefan (from your very own Nerdstream Era) and Amin (from A Podcast of Ice and Fire). The rules are simple: we take three questions, and one of us writes a measured analysis. The other one writes a shorter opinion, either concurring or dissenting. The catch is that every week a third judge from the fandom will join us and also write a dissenting or concurring opinion. So if you think you're up to the task - write us an email to stefan_sasse@gmx.de, leave a comment in the post, ask in the APOIAF-forum or contact Amin at his tumblr. Discussion is by no means limited to the court itself, though - feel free to discuss our rulings in the commentary section and ask your own questions through the channels above.
One word on spoilers: we assume that you read all the books, including the Hedge Knight short stories, and watched the current TV episodes. We don't include the spoiler chapters from various sources in the discussion, with the notable exception of Theon I, which was supposed to be in "A Dance with Dragons" anyway.
And now, up to ruling 72 of the Supreme Court of Westeros! Our guest judge this week is Bobby Westfall, a library sciences master’s student in Baltimore, Maryland. He writes about A Song of Ice and Fire and other similar stuff at his blog Whereoldgodsrule.com.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Telltale's "Game of Thrones", episode 3 (The Sword in the Darkness) review

Spoilers for the first three episodes. 

My, we might have the first genuinly great episode of Telltale's "Game of Thrones". Not that the other episodes would have been bad, not by a long shot. But this one manages to grip the attention over longer stretches of time than the previous ones did. Most of that is owed to Gared Tuttle, who for the first time manages to present an interesting story at the Wall. And this is something even the TV show only managed at the best of times, so let's have a closer look, shall we? 
How did I get interesting all of a sudden?

Friday, March 27, 2015

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 71

Thursday is court day! And today's Thursday. It was always Thursday.
Welcome to the Supreme Court of Westeros! Every week, three pressing questions from the community will be answered by the esteemed judges Stefan (from your very own Nerdstream Era) and Amin (from A Podcast of Ice and Fire). The rules are simple: we take three questions, and one of us writes a measured analysis. The other one writes a shorter opinion, either concurring or dissenting. The catch is that every week a third judge from the fandom will join us and also write a dissenting or concurring opinion. So if you think you're up to the task - write us an email to stefan_sasse@gmx.de, leave a comment in the post, ask in the APOIAF-forum or contact Amin at his tumblr. Discussion is by no means limited to the court itself, though - feel free to discuss our rulings in the commentary section and ask your own questions through the channels above.
One word on spoilers: we assume that you read all the books, including the Hedge Knight short stories, and watched the current TV episodes. We don't include the spoiler chapters from various sources in the discussion, with the notable exception of Theon I, which was supposed to be in "A Dance with Dragons" anyway.
And now, up to ruling 71 of the Supreme Court of Westeros! Our guest judge this week is Vedocorban, a member of the community.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 70

Thursday is court day! Real life interfered, though. It's Weekend Edition now!
Welcome to the Supreme Court of Westeros! Every week, three pressing questions from the community will be answered by the esteemed judges Stefan (from your very own Nerdstream Era) and Amin (from A Podcast of Ice and Fire). The rules are simple: we take three questions, and one of us writes a measured analysis. The other one writes a shorter opinion, either concurring or dissenting. The catch is that every week a third judge from the fandom will join us and also write a dissenting or concurring opinion. So if you think you're up to the task - write us an email to stefan_sasse@gmx.de, leave a comment in the post, ask in the APOIAF-forum or contact Amin at his tumblr. Discussion is by no means limited to the court itself, though - feel free to discuss our rulings in the commentary section and ask your own questions through the channels above.
One word on spoilers: we assume that you read all the books, including the Hedge Knight short stories, and watched the current TV episodes. We don't include the spoiler chapters from various sources in the discussion, with the notable exception of Theon I, which was supposed to be in "A Dance with Dragons" anyway.
And now, up to ruling 70 of the Supreme Court of Westeros! Our guest judge this week is David D. Perlmutter, Ph.D. is a professor at and Dean of the College of Media and Communication at Texas Tech University. He is the author or editor of nine books on political communication and persuasion.