Monday, May 2, 2016

Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 2 "Home" Review

The second episode of the sixth season is continuing a trend, it seems. It’s extremely uneven over the course of its running time in terms of storytelling quality, while at the same time being consistently great in almost any other department. This is a trend that arguably started in season 4, when “Game of Throne” finally found its footing, aesthetic-wise, with no scenes left that looked cheap or underfunded, while at the same time slipping more often in the actual storytelling department. So let’s take a minute and simply acknowledge what good work everyone is putting into this. The costumes are great, the camera-work is excellent, this episode especially offers some of the best shots this side of “Better Call Saul”, and the actors continue to put in great work, no matter how stupid the lines they are given. And with that moment of silence, we venture into the plot, where the moments of admiration are farther and more in between.

A Flight of Links

- HBO's next big show
- Naval action and the great age of sail
- Branching storylines never deliver
- Darksouls 3 review by Yahtzee
- GOT brothraki
- Space Hulk trailer
-Daredevil is so 80s
- Mount and Blade II interview
- Wheel of Time TV series announced
- Oh, for the love of...when is this gonna stop?
- Bryan Cogman
- Life of a TV critic
- Sean T Collins hating on The Walking Dead never gets old


ASOIAF meta
- Bigger Fool: Balon Greyjoy or Jeor Mormont
- Jaime
- JonCon and Varys
- Chekov's wildfire
- Dorne in season 5, improved
- Dorne criticized
- Wrapping up in two books
- Tywin's battle strategy
- Verdict on Bloodraven
- Dragons as nukes
- Euron
- Wildfire, again
- Eddard as a commander
- Areo Hotah
- TWOW and ADOS structure
- Dany and Jaqo
- Jon Connington military prowess
- Marriages in TWOW
- Why did anyone fight for Aerys?
- Varys' plan
- Horn of Joramun
- Faith militant
- Deep Ones
- Horn, again
- Aegon's structural importance
- What comes after disaster?

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Boiled Leather Audio Hour #47

Ice and Blackfyre (A Patreon Production)

What impact did the Blackfyre Rebellion have on the characters of A Song of Ice and Fire’s view of bastards? What impact might the Blackfyre Rebellion have had on our understanding of those views, had these civil wars of succession been introduced earlier in the series? What role will they play now that they’ve entered the story in a relatively big way, via “Young Griff” and Varys, The World of Ice and Fire, and A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms? They’re good questions – so good, in fact, that we didn’t think them up ourselves at all. This episode, we’re tackling a topic specifically chosen for us by Rosie Gleeson of Dublin, Ireland, our first Patreon subscriber to donate at the $50 a month level. This earns her an episode of her own choosing, and so at her request we’ll be delving into the Blackfyres, bastardry, and both the in-story and meta reasons for Martin’s treatment of both. Thank you so much for your generosity, Rosie! And if any of you other listeners would like that kind of clout – or would care to pitch it at any level at all – our Patreon page is still accepting donations to make this a better podcast. Thanks for listening, and for supporting us any way you choose! (Moral support counts.)

Download Episode 47

Additional links:
Our Patreon page at patreon.com/boiledleatheraudiohour
Our PayPal donation page (also accessible via boiledleather.com)
Mirror.
Previous episodes.
Podcast RSS feed.
iTunes page.
Sean’s blog.
Stefan’s blog.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 127

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.
Question Call: If you have any interesting questions, please tell us!
Please note that our new ebook is up and available on Amazon, collecting the first 60 rulings and the best comments in one place. It's only 5,99$, so what are you waiting for? 
And now, up to ruling 127! Our guest judge this week is David D. Perlmutter, Ph.D., (david.perlmutter@ttu.edu), a professor at and Dean of the College of Media and Communication at Texas Tech University. Perlmutter is the author or editor of ten books on visual/political communication and persuasion including Visions of War: Picturing Warfare from the Stone Age to the Cyberage (St. Martin’s, 1999) and Blogwars: The New Political Battleground (Oxford, 2008) as well as hundreds of essays for U.S. and international newspapers and magazines. Perlmutter has been interviewed by most major news networks and newspapers, from the New York Times to CNN, ABC, and appeared on The Daily Show. His research website is here.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Game of Thrones Season 6, Episode 1 "The Red Woman" review

We’re back with Game of Thrones, everyone! And with some exceptions (Iron Islands, mostly), we’re not firmly in fantasy-land. Not in the sense that it’s a fantastical story of course, which it always has been, but in the sense that we venture beyond the book material with practically every storyline now. This will by necessity demand that we refer to some popular theories that may or may not be vindicated by the show. So I want to get this out the way once in the beginning of this run of reviews: the show is its own thing, and obviously things happen differently here than in the books. Stannis could tell you. So any kind of vindication will be my opinion only. There’s no mechanism involved that links the show to the books anymore. So, with that out of the way, let’s dig into the uneven start of the season.

A Flight of Links

- Rebel without a cause
- The mutant metaphor
- Stellaris countdown trailer
- Everybody's gone to Rapture review
- Wertzone's Lost rewatch part 1
- History of Star Trek part 1, part 2,
- GOT season structure
- Details of new Star Trek series leak
- The problem of hyper-competent female sidekicks
- Alan Sepinwall and Sean T Collins on the Better Call Saul finale, which was excellent
- Two essays praising the prequel trilogy
- 200 things we learned from the GOT season 5 commentary part 1
- Survival game about being a refugee
- Interview with Better Call Saul's creators
- How the Han Solo movie could become good
- Cartoon spinoffs of R-rated movies
- Ben Affleck to direct new Batman movie
- The Banner Saga
- This looks neat
- This really doesn't
- Killing Joke animated movie
- Wertzone Lost rewatch part 2
- This is a giant problem

ASOIAF meta
- The last of the giants
- Reconstruction
- R+L=J conclusion,
- Jon fostered in White Harbor
- King's Men
- Jon and his dragon
- ASOS Prologue
-A Westerosi Agincourt
- The Walk away
- PTSD
- Sansa
- Keeping the Faith Militant around
- Mounted archers
- Robert Baratheon is Thor
- Iron Throne ruling
- Buying off Dothraki
- Arianne marrying Edmure
- The Faith and storytelling structure
- Davos series part 3
- Ironmen fighting skills
- A case for the people who murdered Jon in season 5
- Craster's offerings
- If Jon stayed at the Wall
- Euron
- Reading order
- Stannis winning Blackwater
- Pros and Cons of the Red Wedding
- TWOW predictions
- Quentyn isn't dead
- Jon
- Why Roose delivered regards
- Marwyn
- Jeyne Poole
- Edmure
- Biggest mistakes
- Rhollorism after Stannis victory
- Vale pikemen
- Dragons and kingly power
- Lannister bank and royal power
- Night's Watch mutiny

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Announcment: It Is Known - Seasons 1-5 Deconstructed

http://www.amazon.com/Known-Seasons-Deconstructed-Stefan-Sasse-ebook/dp/B01EOZYOV2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1461443860&sr=8-2&keywords=stefan+sasse
Is there any better way to celebrate the upcoming premiere of the sixth season of "Game of Thrones" than to delve deep into a book about the meta, analysis and discussion surrounding its first five record-setting seasons? Since this is a rhetorical question, the answer is obviously: "Of course not!" And as it happens, you are in luck, because today, just a day before the premiere, exactly such a book has been made available on Amazon for your ebook readers. 

So, what's it all about? As you might be aware, Miles Schneiderman and myself have written competing reviews about the series for its third, fourth and fifth seasons. We compiled all these reviews into the book (plus Mile's solo-run on season 2 for good measure), but of course the book is much more than just warming up some review leftovers in search for a quick cash-grab. Instead, we rewatched all five seasons, banging our heads together after every episode and discussing it in detail. 

The interesting thing about this, of course, is the temporal distance between our discussions now and the original airing. Did our perception of earlier seasons and episodes change with the hindsight of where story-threads were going? Did our predictions hold up? Were we disappointed? Were we jubilent? One thing is for certain: our initial assumptions about how the rewatch would play out were shaken. We got a new-found appreciation for things that left us lukewarm back when the seasons aired, and we had to go into some plotlines with the inevitable knowledge of their grizzly destination. 

During this journey, we revisit major controversies - from adaptive changes to entirely new plotlines, from the nudity count to the burning of children - and tried to analyze what makes "Game of Thrones" really "Game of Thrones". The unique style of the show, its challenges, chances and shortfalls all get their turn in the spotlight.

Finally, the book includes a foreword by Steven Attewell of "Race of the Iron Throne"-fame and an afterword by Johnny Jasmin, co-founder of The Tower of the Hand, where this whole crazy story started in the first place. So what are you waiting for? Fill the waiting time for season 6 with this crammed-full book of first-rate analysis for only 5,99$! 

Buy on Amazon.com or on Amazon.de

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 126


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.
Question Call: If you have any interesting questions, please tell us!
Please note that our new ebook is up and available on Amazon, collecting the first 60 rulings and the best comments in one place. It's only 5,99$, so what are you waiting for? 
And now, up to ruling 126! Our guest judge this week is K-K Bracken. She writes for The Geekiary and is working on a novel. She is a volunteer for Ice and Fire Con and has a Geekiary page here.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 125

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.
Question Call: If you have any interesting questions, please tell us!
Please note that our new ebook is up and available on Amazon, collecting the first 60 rulings and the best comments in one place. It's only 5,99$, so what are you waiting for? 
And now, up to ruling 125! Our guest judge this week is Tyler Kendall, previous judge and member of the community.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

US elections podcast: Democratic Primaries

Heads up, everyone! Together with Emmett Booth (PoorQuentyn) I recorded a podcast on the Democratic primaries. You can listen to part 1 here and part 2 here.And of course a podcast about the Republican primaries is also in the works!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 124


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.
Question Call: If you have any interesting questions, please tell us!
Please note that our new ebook is up and available on Amazon, collecting the first 60 rulings and the best comments in one place. It's only 5,99$, so what are you waiting for? 
And now, up to ruling 123! Our guest judge this week is Jody Lent, a Chicagoan whose hobbies include board games and raising his son and two daughters in good Dornish fashion: Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 123


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.
Question Call: If you have any interesting questions, please tell us!
Please note that our new ebook is up and available on Amazon, collecting the first 60 rulings and the best comments in one place. It's only 5,99$, so what are you waiting for? 
And now, up to ruling 123! Our guest judge this week is FTWard (Thomas), is a sellsword, black of hair and heart. He's a member of the APoIaF community who carries the banner of Team Stannis and specializes in minor opinions. @F_T_Ward on Twitter.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Boiled Leather Audio Hour #46

Forecasting The Winds of Winter, Part 2: Essos

We’re going back to the future with part two of our all-predictions podcast series on The Winds of Winter! This time around we’re traveling to Essos to speculate as to what Volume Six of A Song of Ice and Fire has in store for our old friends, from Braavos to Meereen. What fate will befall the five POV characters currently located east of Westeros—Arya, Barristan, Victarion, Tyrion, and Daenerys? What about supporting players like Jorah Mormont, Moqorro, and Marwyn the Mage? (Forgot about him, didn’t you?) Then, of course, there’s the matter of the dragons to consider, and consider them we do. It winds up being a wide-ranging discussion of lands near and far, futures immediate and distant. Guess along with us!

This episode also features an update on our fundraisers, both our emergency PayPal fund to help fix Sean’s broken laptop and our Patreon drive, where your monthly subscription/donation can help guarantee more episodes, better sound quality, topics of your choosing, and more. We greatly appreciate all our donors and patrons so far, and if you think the podcast’s worth a few bucks a month, we’d be so grateful for you to join their ranks!

Download Episode 46

Additional links:
Our Patreon page at patreon.com/boiledleatheraudiohour
Our PayPal donation page (also accessible via boiledleather.com)
Mirror.
Previous episodes.
Podcast RSS feed.
iTunes page.
Sean’s blog.
Stefan’s blog.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 122


Thursday is court day! Sorry we're late.
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.
Question Call: If you have any interesting questions, please tell us!
Please note that our new ebook is up and available on Amazon, collecting the first 60 rulings and the best comments in one place. It's only 5,99$, so what are you waiting for? 
And now, up to ruling 121! Our guest judge this week is Ser Drew of the Bluewater, a member of the community.