Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Boiled Leather Audio Hour #51

The ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 6 Post-Game Show

Like Arya Stark joining the kitchen staff at the Twins, we’re just gonna get right down to business here: This episode, Sean & Stefan discuss the just-concluded sixth season of Game of Thrones, from the finale on down, for a full (boiled leather audio) hour. As a special bonus made possible by our Patreon subscribers, Stefan’s got a new mic, which means this ep sounds better than we ever have before. Enjoy!

Download Episode 51

Additional links:
Sean’s overview of Season 6.
Sean’s review of the finale.
Sean’s ranking of all 60 episodes.
Links to all of Sean’s Game of Thrones writing.
Stefan’s review of the finale.
Stefan’s Game of Thrones tag.
Our Patreon page at patreon.com/boiledleatheraudiohour
Our PayPal donation page (also accessible via boiledleather.com).
Our iTunes page.
Mirror.
Previous episodes.
Podcast RSS feed.
Sean’s blog.
Stefan’s blog.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 10 "The Winds of Winter" review

Well, that’s the finale of season 6. And oh boy, what a finale it was. The usual rule has always been that episode 9 is the big kaboom and episode 10 is more or less the cleanup, but in season 6, this doesn’t really hold true anymore. With a flurry of well-paced and perfectly strung together moments, “Game of Thrones” presents one its best episodes ever, taking you for an emotional rollercoaster ride. So without any further ado, let’s start the geographical breakdown.

A Flight of Links

- Crusader Kings 2 and its Westeros mod
- GOT 6.09 review here,
- Westworld trailer
- She-Ra and the fight against the token girl
- GOT and politics
- Beauty of the GOT 6.09 battle 
- Discussing ID4
- I don't find this remotely funny
- Sieges in Mount&Blade II
- Oh god yes I have
- Star Trek the new movies
- Star Trek new series
-

ASOIAF meta
- The Starks at court
- Firing at your own troops
- Commanding troops
- Hubris
- Horses
- Tywin
- Roose
- Sansa and revenge
- And more
- Nuff said.
- Sansa and Jon and Vale knights
- Great Dany meta
- And Sansa
- Jaqen in Harrenhall
- Pink Letter
- Jaqen
- Golden Tooth
- Aegon VI and Dany
- Survival of Great Houses
- Hand of Egg
- Dance battles
- More great Dany meta
- Quentyn
- 1000 longships
- Victarion
- Nerds
- Blackfyre in the WO5K
- Women rulers endgame

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 135

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 135! Our guest judge this week is SomethingLikeALawyer, a contributor to Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire (link to the blog) and focuses on analyzing the series from the political, tactical, and strategic levels.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Revisiting the Hunger Games

Back in 2012, I went to the cinema with my wife and watched the first Hunger Games movie without having read the book. I blogged about my impressions here; the tl;dr is as follows: mediocre writing and inconsistent worldbuilding let the premise fall flatter than it needed to be. A while later, we also watched "Catching Fire", but beyond the fact that they were thrown in the Hunger Games yet again (yawn), I didn't remember much. I mostly forgot about the franchise until I had to teach 8th graders in literature this year and decided that the Hunger Games are a book that could be interesting to them and to me and have the added bonus of being age-appropriate, so I got the book and read it for the first time (ok, I listened to the audio book, but that counts). And oh boy, did my opinion change*. 
Three books, four movies. Bad idea.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The World is Flat, by Euron Friedman



Oftentimes, I feel the yearning for something simple and easy to grasp when I have stared into the glass candle for too long. It is in those moments that I don simple garb and make my way to the local market, wherever that may be. As I write this tome, the local market happens to be in Braavos, and as I walk through the roughhewn stands and take in the smell of salt, sweat and fish that embodies the people of the harbor at all times, I stop at the cart of an old woman that I talked to often enough. Her name is Garara, and she brought five sons and seven daughters into the world. She must be eighty by now, or near enough it makes no matter. The children are long married, of course, as is custom in these parts, and her back is hunched over from decades of hard work. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 9 "The Battle of the Bastards" review

Ever since Ned Stark’s death in season 1, episode 9 has held a special place in the GOT-universe. Followed by the Blackwater, the Red Wedding, the battle for the Wall and Drogon’s arrival/Shireen burning, this season, we get the titular Battle of the Bastards. After being absent for most of the season – certainly one of the wiser decisions the showrunners made this season -, Ramsay is finally meeting his fate. It’s not exactly like the outcome of this battle was very much in doubt, after all. That kind of inevitability, of course, doesn’t need to take much from the experience. Arya’s exit from the Faceless Men and Dany’s victory at Meereen, after all, weren’t surprises, either. It’s all in the execution, which determines whether something works or not. With that being said, let’s have a look if this episode works, in reverse geographical order.

A Flight of Links

- Someone matched GOT with Brexit. 
- GOT reviews: click, click, click, click, read this one,
- Warcraft review
- Hamilton doesn't scale
- YES
- A lament for LAN parties
- Rogue One reshoots
- Star Trek Voyager
- Star Trek Nemisis
- New game from the X-Com guys  
- Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote the music for the next Disney movie
- Star Trek series "Enterprise"
- Dawn of War III preview
- Mafia 3 preview
- Best Stellaris mod
- Overwatch vs. Battleborn
- Homefront The Revolution review

ASOIAF meta
- I sign under the dotted line
- The sobs!
- Earning tropes
- Casterly Rock's lack of a fleet
- Inns
- Prostitution
- Aegon III and the death of dragons
- Maidenpool
- Honor of the kingsguard
- Dorne post Trident
- Riverrun decision
- Thanks for the shoutout!
- Naming traditions
- Harrenhal as capital    
- Politics of the Seven Kingdoms, part 1 
- Tyrion's trial that never happened
- Jaime and Brienne
- Ironborn genocide
- City growth
- Caches for winter
- Tywin's AGOT plan
- Common tongue

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 134

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 133! Our guest judge this week is Daniel Sattelberger, a student studying actuarial science at the University of Texas, Dallas. A relatively new addition to the fandom, he picked up the books two years ago after hearing about the show. He can be found on Tower of the Hand and the /r/asoiaf subreddit under the name Qoburn.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 8 "No One" review

Reunions can be a tricky thing. Sometimes they’re emotional affairs of barely suppressed tears, at other times they disappoint the people reuniting, at other times they end violently, in some instances they show how much the world has moved on and in other cases, they fall entirely flat. So let’s wade right into the Game of Reunions and sort out which is which, shall we?

A Flight of Links

- GOT review here, here, here, here, here, here
- I feel the same way
- Reshoots
- Lingerie is not armor
- Diagnosing the Avenger's injuries
-4 annoying sexist tropes in cinema
- Diablo III lead developer leaves Blizzard
- This is just so awful
- Narrative in games
- The art of slo-mo
- TMNT Out of the Shadows review
- Battlefield 1 weapons
- House of the Dying Sun
- Brillant analysis of GOT's "Broken Man"
- WarCraft's orcs
- Timetravel in GOT explainer

ASOIAF meta
- Side characters and Martin's writing
- Horn of Joramun
- volonqar
- Euron and the Old Gods
- 5-year gap
- Tyrion and Ungregor
- Jon in book and show
- TWOW chapter number
- Sandor POV
- Tyrell POVs
- The journeys to the east that never happened
- Prophecy
- Maidenpool
- Wildfire
- Valyrian armor
- Tywin Lannister's legacy
- Selling food 
- Reading AFFC wrong
- Renly
- volonqar
- Stark endgame
- In defense or Ironborn culture
- Category mistakes
- Others 
- AFFC meaning

Friday, June 10, 2016

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 133


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 133! Our guest judge this week is Elena Pompfla, a member of the community.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 7 "The Broken Man" review

Well, there’s quite a lot of broken men in this episode, that’s for sure. After the fireworks of the last three episodes, it was only a question of time until they pushed in a breather for setup before the shit inevitably hits the fan in episode 9. This episode checked back with most characters, introduced a few new ones and generally brought people closer to where they need to be. Those are never the most engaging episodes, but of course, they can offer rich moments of character and tremendous insight in the themes of the story. Unfortunately, this is where “The Broken Man” drops the ball a bit, but more on that later. Now it’s time to return to the time-tested format of the geographical breakdown.

A Flight of Links

- Good things about Snyder's Superman movies
- Captain America retcons
- Total War: Warhammer review
- Overwatch review
- WarCraft: The Beginning review
- And one more
- DS9 history
- Enterprise E history
- Star Trek 7 to 9
- 40 best SciFi Shows 
- Hype about the new Independence Day? 
- Civ6 preview
- Torchbearer review
- How Jefferson Airplane wrote White Rabbit
- Tribute to Clint Eastwood 
- Sounds familiar
- X-Wing Wave 9 announced
- This got me playing again
-  First stellaris patch
- Yahtzee reviews Doom
- And Uncharted 4
- Playing Total War Warhammer with Chaos
- Lin-Manuel Miranda's new projects
- Witcher 3 Blood and Wine review 
- Great critical Civil War review
- New Horizons Pluto mosaic
- Mag age guide
- Is TV killing off too many characters?
- X-Men Apocalypse review
- DS9


ASOIAF meta
- GRRM read an Aeron chapter and here is a summery and OMG CHAPTER
- Poorquentyn talks about it
- Jon Snow
- Jaime I, ADWD
- Jorah in the show
- Jorah
- Season 6 predictions
- Arianne and Aegon
- PoorQuentyn about Arianne II 
- Storm's End and the Deep Ones
- Davos part 4
- The Horn of Winter
- Wertzone on the new chapter
- Margaery's trial
- More stuff on The Forsaken
- And even more
- And more 
- More
- MOAAAAR 
- STILL MOOAAAR
- IS THERE NO END 
- NO THERE ISN'T
- Redwyne endgame
- Arya is Batman
- Dany's new council
- Euron and Bloodraven
- Ramsay
- Eldritch apocalypse 
- Euron's banner 
- Varys' idealism
- Joffrey moment
- Visions
- Was Euron in Valyria?
- The temptation
- More Valyria
- Aeron's tongue
- In Defense of Grey Sheep
- Oberyn
- Daemon
- Made in Myr fights Steven Attewell
- Do the Ironborn know?
- Bran and Euron
- Apocalypse hints
- Oldtown and Euron
- Who is the Drowned God?
- Bran in ADOS
- Frey list of succession
- These chapter first lines are great
- Glass candles
- Hothands

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Review: WarCraft: The Beginning

So, today I watched the WarCraft movie, milking every bit out of those babysitters. Take that! Anyway, just for a littlebit of referencer, I've played WarCraft first some twenty years ago. WarCraft II: Tide of Darkness, that is. I remember reading the manuals - those were printed and full of lore back then - about how the magician Medivh invited the Orcs to Azeroth and yadda yadda. I've also played WarCraft 3, but never World of WarCraft. So I'm familiar with the lore, but not overly much so, and I haven't been back to the franchise since around 2007 or something. That's just for reference, so you can put my own perspective on the movie in context. Some perspective coming now, right after the jump! 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Review: The Jungle Book

It's about half a year since the first trailers for The Jungle Book came out. Those trailers were effectively CGI showcases, and such didn't exactly peak my interest. I remember a conversation on Twitter about the announcment that the trailer was "sure to give goosebumps", but it didn't really grab me. The second trailer that contained actual voice acting and more Mowgli stuff was much better, but it was the reviews raving about the quality of the movie despite (because of?) being practically a CGI creation that finally did peak my interest, so today I went to the cinema for the first time in one-and-a-half years (it's prohibitive with children, some of you might be able to sympathize) and thought I'll share my thoughts with all of you nice people. To give you the gist of it: the movie is really, really good. So let's talk in more detail about why below the cut.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 132


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 132! Our guest judge this week is Fredrik Fisher, a member of the community.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Boiled Leather Audio Hour #50

Aeron, Euron, It’s On

Undoubtedly timed to coincide with our landmark 50th episode, George R.R. Martin has released, or rather read, a brand new sample chapter from The Winds of Winter, and Sean & Stefan are tackling it in our third podcast in a month! Suitably, it’s a biggie: Entitled “The Forsaken,” it’s told from the perspective of Aeron “the Damphair” Greyjoy as he’s held prisoner by his increasingly frightening brother Euron Crow’s Eye. How does this chapter function as prophecy, as plot mover, as horror fiction, as Lovecraftian homage? How far are we willing to go with predictions as to what it all means for the future? What is Euron’s true motivation? Is the apocalypse now? Listen and find out!

Download Episode 50

Additional links:
“The Forsaken” (Aeron I) preview chapter from The Winds of Winter
Poor Quentyn’s Euron Greyjoy posts.
Our Patreon page at patreon.com/boiledleatheraudiohour
Our PayPal donation page (also accessible via boiledleather.com).
Our iTunes page.
Mirror.
Previous episodes.
Podcast RSS feed.
Sean’s blog.
Stefan’s blog.

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 131


Thursday is court day! We had problems last week, so this week, we do two!
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 131! Our guest judge this week is Anton Jumelet, a philosophy student from the Netherlands, who previously judged on rulings 65, 81 and 104 of this court.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 6 "Blood of my Blood" review

“Game of Thrones” sure seems to have found its footing. After last week’s astonishing “The Door”, this week’s “Blood of my Blood” offers the rest of the picture for a mighty one-two punch. Where “The Door” concentrated quite a lot on the North, the focus this week lays squarely with the South. But let’s unpack this bit by bit, shall we?