Friday, July 18, 2014

Boiled Leather Audio Hour 33

We Want the Dunk: Discussing the Tales of Dunk and Egg

Ser Duncan the Tall gets his turn in the spotlight in an episode nearly as big as the man himself! At long last, Sean and I turn our attention to “The Hedge Knight,” “The Sworn Sword,” and “The Mystery Knight,” the three (and counting) A Song of Ice and Fire prequel novellas starring the inexperienced young hedge knight also known as Dunk the Lunk and his precocious, princely squire Egg. Taken together, these stories contain some of George R.R. Martin’s best writing — and his most tonally varied, too. Sean and I go deep into the secret-strewn stories of Dunk and Egg themselves, the politics of the Blackfyre Rebellion and the aftermath that overshadows the stories’ events, the genre-pastiche elements of each story, the chemistry between the characters, our favorite and least favorite installments of the series, and what it takes to be “a true knight.” It makes for an episode thick as a castle wall, and, we hope, entertaining as a Dornish puppet show. See you at the lists!

Mirror here.
Previous episodes here.
Podcast RSS feed here.
iTunes page here.
Sean’s blog here.
Stefan’s blog here.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 36

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 36 of the Supreme Court of Westeros! Our guest judge this week is Greg, a member of the Podcast of Ice and Fire forums (claudiusthefool on the forums) and a podcaster with the Vassals of Kingsgrave (VOK Book Club discussion on Neil Gaimain's "Ocean at the End of the Lane" is his next project). He is a bookseller and spends a lot of time at work trying to convince customers who say "I don't like fantasy books" to give ASOIAF a try and they usually thank him for it.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 35

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 35 of the Supreme Court of Westeros! Our guest judge this week is Michael Crowley. He is a member of the Podcast of Ice and Fire community under the nick of LordPrism and has podcasted with the Vassals of Kingsgrave before.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Boiled Leather Audio Hour 32

Going Rogue: Discussing “The Rogue Prince, or, A King’s Brother”

Another chapter from the GRRMArillion? You betcha! Rogues, the latest cross-genre anthology edited by George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois, is out, and you know what that means: another long short story/novella set in the world of Ice and Fire and written by Martin himself. As was the case with Dangerous Women's “The Princess and the Queen,” Martin's contribution this time around is an excerpt from the larger history of the Targaryen dynasty eventually to be published in expanded form as Fire and Blood. And it turns out it’s a direct prequel to “The Princess and the Queen“‘s tale of internecine Targaryen civil war — like, it ends the moment “TPatQ” begins. As such, it casts many of the events and characters of that story in a whole new light. And like that story, it strrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrretches the boundaries of the rubric for its inclusion in the anthology in which it appears. Is it worth it? Listen and find out! (And try not to be perturbed by the sounds of chaos in revelry in the background, as Stefan’s native Germany defeats a rival in the World Cup whilst we record. Just imagine we’re discussing this over a bowl o’ brown in the stews of Flea Bottom. I know I always do!)

Stefan’s review of “The Rogue Prince” for Tower of the Hand
Mirror here.
Previous episodes here.
Podcast RSS feed here.
iTunes page here.
Sean’s blog here.
Stefan’s blog here.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 34

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 34 of the Supreme Court of Westeros! Our guest judge this week is Neil Smith. He writes in the APOIAF forum under the nick of Valyrian Neil. He is from Cleveland, Ohio, and one of those fans that read all five books between GOT seasons 1 and 2. He thinks there should be a name for them. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Review: "Valiant Hearts: The Great War"

Can you make a game about World War I? An adventure game, no less? Ubisoft tried its hand at it. The result is a game called "Valiant Hearts", built on the Rayman2-engine, that was released end of June. The concept is a daring one: You experience the first World War from the perspective of an aging French conscript, Emile, his German son-in-law, Karl, a Belgian nurse, Anna, and an American volunteer, Freddy. The game jumps between these characters as they meet and advances three years through the war. The question remains, though - is it possible to adequatly convey the horrors of the war in a comic-style adventure game? The answer is Yes, at times. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 33

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 33 of the Supreme Court of Westeros! Our guest judge this week is Ashley, another one of the hosts of A Podcast of Ice and Fire and dubbed the Queen Beyond the Wall. Check out her twitter at AshleyClegane.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Boiled Leather Audio Hour 31

Rhoyne Like Hell: Westeros.org’s Rhoynar-centric “The World of Ice and Fire” Excerpt

The bodies haven’t even been removed from the battlefield of our last podcast, but Sean and I are back already with a brand-new BLAH! Today we’re talking about the excerpt from George R.R. Martin, Elio GarcĂ­a Jr., and Linda Antonsson’s The World of Ice and Fire about the Rhoynar, which was posted a few weeks ago on the latter two writer’s seminal Westeros.org website. Its title, “The Ten Thousand Ships,” is somewhat inapt given that it doesn’t in fact cover the naval exodus of the people of the Rhoyne from that Essosi river to the southern lands of Dorne in Westeros. But there’s plenty to talk about up until that point, from the sudden revelation that an entire water-based form of magic exists (or existed) to the wartime conduct of Old Valyria and its allies. Saddle up a turtle and enjoy!

Mirror here.
Previous episodes here.
Podcast RSS feed here.
iTunes page here.
Sean’s blog here.
Stefan’s blog here.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 32

Thursday is court day! But I forgot, so we go for Friday.
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 32 of the Supreme Court of Westeros! Our guest judges this week are Ashaya and Aziz. They have been breaking down the backstories and mysteries in audio format for two years, and they're constantly fascinated by how much there is to know.  Check out their History of Westeros podcast for a thorough examination of GRRM's amazing world.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Boiled Leather Audio Hour Episode 30 - UPDATE

UPDATE: The MP3 is now fixed. 

The Post-“Game” Show: “Game of Thrones” Season Four Reviewed

Our biggest episode ever! Game of Thrones Season Four is over, and in this mega-sized BLAH, Sean and I analyze it for damn near 90 minutes. Every major storyline is covered, every big controversy is addressed, every substantial change from the books is explored, and every complaint we have about the fandom is given an obscenity-laden airing. Hey, we told you it was a big episode!
Below, we’ve included some links to pieces on the show that we mention in the podcast. Read, listen, enjoy!
Sean’s reviews of the show for Rolling Stone
Stefan’s reviews of the show for Tower of the Hand
Sean’s Rolling Stone list of Season Four’s Top 10 greatest moments
Stefan’s “Outside the Buzz” piece on fandom’s bubble mindset
The AV Club’s Sonia Saraiya on the role of violence on the show
HuffPo’s Maureen Ryan arguing the show is good but not great
Our episode on Season Three

Mirror here.
Previous episodes here.
Podcast RSS feed here.
iTunes page here.
Sean’s blog here.
Stefan’s blog here.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Game of Thrones Season 4, Episode 10 "The Children" Review

Benioff and Weiss had to be pretty sure of their work. After episode nine aired, they promised that the conclusive episode of season four, titled “The Children”, would be the best season finale up to date. If you’re making such a claim, shoring up expectations, you have to have real confidence of having pulled something big. Or else, it’s your last season anyway and you don’t care. Since Game of Thrones is now officially the most popular HBO series ever, it’s not exactly in need of additional hype, and it wouldn’t be good business practice to create one where none is warranted – there are three seasons to go, after all, and you don’t want viewership to break down under unrealistic expectations.

A Flight of Links

- Catelyn I by Race of the Iron Throne
- New Tomb Raider game will come out, here's the trailer. 
- Sean T. Collins interviewed Neill Marshall
- How you can spoil your own fun very well 
- Spielberg wants to make a miniseries about LBJ with Bryan Cranston
- Disney to sell Princess Leia toys after fan pressure
- How Robert Heinlein went from left wing to right wing
- I totally agree with the uncomfortableness he describes. 
- Finally, a Doom reboot! Said no one ever, except Bethesda. 
- MUST READ: This analysis of the upcoming Battle of Fire. 
- Wolfenstein is better than it needs to be
- A comparison between dragons and nuclear weapons 
- Watch_Dogs review by Yahtzee
- MovieBob reviews How to tame a Dragon 2
- MovieDefense Blood Rayne is hilarious

- I put this on extra emphasis

Assassin's Creed's developers told some real bullshit, and there are reactions. 
- This War of Mine Preview 
- Usual round of GOT recaps and reviews: Click, Click, Click, Click, Click

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 31

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 31 of the Supreme Court of Westeros! Our guest judge this week is Fredrik Fischer, among many things, a writer and humanist, an almost accidental A Song of Ice and Fire fan and of the opinion that Balerion the Cat will sit the Iron Throne.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Game of Thrones Season 4 Episode 9 "The Watchers on the Wall" review

I make one vow right in the beginning of this review: I will try to avoid any comparison with “Blackwater”, season two’s episode nine, that was also directed by Neil Marshall, also featured only one location, and also conveyed one battle. Knowing myself, I expect this vow to be kept as rigid as “I will father no sons” in the Night’s Watch’s vows (although Sam reminds us that it’s open to interpretation), but I will at least pull an effort. With that out of the way, let’s go at it.
Madness? THIS IS CASTLE BLACK!