Monday, May 23, 2016

The Boiled Leather Audio Hour #49


Sean and Stefan are joined by a very special guest to talk about a very special episode! Emmett Booth, the ASoIaF analyst behind the widely read Poor Quentyntumblr and a maester at ASoIaF University, hops aboard the BLAH train to discuss the shocking revelations of “The Door,” this week’s episode ofGame of Thrones, and use this mid-point opportunity to take stock of the season thus far. What do the secret origins of the White Walkers and Hodor mean for both the show and the books? What does the current political status quo portend for the future, in terms of both plot and theme? What’s wrong with theGame of Thrones critical discourse? Is the show…evil? We’re answering all these questions and more. If you like what you hear, subscribe, rate, and review us on iTunes to help the Boiled Leather Rebellion emerge victorious!
Additional links:

Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 5 "The Door" review

When I first watched season 3, I was absolutely impressed by how the writers were able to salvage some of the stuff that went wrong in season 2 (like Jon’s storyline) and put it into a coherent new storyline (Jon’s changed reasoning for joining Mance). It seems like season 6 is aspiring to so something similar. At least this episode could be titled “A Game of Payoffs”, because there are a lot of them. It is very concise, concentrated and thematically coherent, provides emotional high-points and incredible tension while also providing some character development, world-building and logically sound time-travel. What’s not to like?

A Flight of Links

- Just how bright is the sun in Westeros? 
- You could say LoL is kind of important for Twitch
- New details about Rogue One
- More Enterprise history
- GOT has tension again
- Blizzard to adress abuse
- Making Warcraft into a movie
- PoorQuentyn about GOT 6.4
- Context for Emilia Clarke being nude
- Captain America's character arc
- Fly Casual

ASOIAF meta
- Harrenhal tenures
- Religion
- Jaime in the Riverlands
- Dany's walkaway
- Shireen
- Keeping the Boltons down
- Theon and Euron
- Tywin as slaver 
- Catelyn I

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 130


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 130! Our guest judge this week is David Getty, who runs his own Game of Thrones inspired site A Game of Thrones Guide. You can also follow him on Twitter

Monday, May 16, 2016

Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 4 "The Book of the Stranger" review

George R. R. Martin’s last two books, “A Feast for Crows” and “A Dance with Dragons”, have attracted their share of criticism for being overly long and taking meandering and detailed internal monologues and such to new heights. If I hear anyone uttering that critique again, I’ll point to this episode, in which I wanted to shout at the screen “too fast!” all the time. Seldom have the limits of the medium, the tight ten-episode schedule, been so apparent as in this episode, where the story rushes from beat to beat, at times drowning out the emotional highs in the process. This sounds worse than it is, because there were quite a lot of emotional high points in this pretty good episode, so let’s look at them one by one.

A Flight of Links

- The new X-Men should be the end for Singer
- Stellaris review
-Stories: Paths of Destiny review
-West Wing nostalgia
- Just a theory
- Science and the media
- Martin published Arianne II
- History of  Star Trek part II
- Starcraft II coop gets mutators
- Rebooting old games is a bad idea
- The joy of playing Hitman wrong
- Amoral stories
- XMen Apocalypse review
- Assassin's Creed got its first trailer, looking rather nice
- CivVI announced
- Offworld Trading Company review
- Doom review
- Star Trek: movie 2, 3 and 4
- Enterprise history
- ABC cancels Agent Carter
- Star Trek TNG

ASOIAF meta
- Backstabbing
- Why did Ned only take six guys?
- Randyll Tarly
- Tormund as Stannis, yours truly
- Euron
- Homosexuality 
- Aemon the Dragonknight
- Burial customs
- Renly and Stannis
- Northern ambitions and the show
- Hightower
- Quellon's heir
- Ned's tenure as hand
- Varys and Illyrio
- Great quote about the Daynes
- Tywin
- Stannis
- Arianne
- Sansa
- Translating Feastdance to screen
-  Eldritch apocalypse
- Barbrey Dustin
- Littlefinger
- More Littlefinger
- Sandor and LF
- R'hollor
- More R'hollor
- Elia Sand
- Nymeria
- Arianne II analysis
- Charters, what are they good for
- The Septon believing in the Storm God
- The right of pits and gallows
- Randyll Tarly
-Perfect Prince
- Centralization
- Doran's marriage
- Reach logistics
- Dornish tactics

- Poorquentyn's thoughts on Euron, summarized

Friday, May 13, 2016

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 129


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 129! Our guest judge this week is Seth, a member of the community.

The Boiled Leather Audio Hour #48

Arianne Nation

We’re analyzing the new sample chapter from The Winds of Winter available at GeorgeRRMartin.com this week, and it’s all about Arianne Martell! In this episode of BLAH, Sean & Stefan investigate the latest sneak preview of the next volume of A Song of Ice and Fire, which Martin has previously read aloud at live appearances, as it takes us further into the future adventures of the Princess of Dorne. What do her discoveries tell us about Aegon and Jon Connington’s invasion? What do they portend for the South now that it’s torn between so many rival forces: Lannister, Tyrell, Faith Militant, Martell, the Golden Company, potential Targaryen loyalists, and who knows what else? And what do they teach us about Arianne herself? In just under half an hour we tackle everything from the likely condition of the Seven Kingdoms when the Others invade to whether or not releasing this chapter was a subtweet of the show’s handling of Dorne and more. Enjoy!

Download Episode 48

Additional links:
The Arianne sample chapter at GeorgeRRMartin.com.
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.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

BLAH topics needed

Rejoice, everyone! The first Patreon poll is over. 33 people have voted, and the winner topic for us to do is...

The Theory of Everything: Analyzing Popular Theories from a Narrative & Thematic Perspective Part 2

For us that's a step into our classical territory, since that is what we started doing and what we really love to do. So we're really excited to be able to revisit popular theories once again! Of course, that means we actually need theories that you want us to examine. So please, drop as an email, a tweet, a comment, whatever's at hand, and send us your proposals, and we will build an episode for the ages! *needlessly epic theme music*

One caveat, though: given the rapid pace ofdevelopments right now with the show and the new sample chapter, we'll likely push this a little behind in schedule to do the time-sensitive stuff first.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 3 "Oathbreaker" Review

After a bit of a rough start, Game of Thrones finds its footing again with its third episode, “Oathbreaker”. So, without further ado, let’s jump right into the dissection by storyline.

First, we start off in the far North as usual, where Bran sees the long-awaited sequence at the Tower of Joy. There’s not much not to like here: Ned’s band of seven is very diverse – there’s even a Dornishman in it for some reason! – and while the fanboy in me would have wished for more time and Gerold Hightower, it’s still done very well. The dialogue is an abbreviated and clarified version of the original from the first novel, but it works very well. I also like the look of Young Ned, close enough to the original to be believable. Having the One-Eyed Exposition Machine included in the scene also helps understanding quite a great deal. We also get the idea that the past can’t be changed and that Ned didn’t really hear Bran, as well as the clear indication that for some reason, Lyanna is here.

A Flight of Links

- Banner Saga 2 review
- The four lives of Epic
- H. R. Giger puts the "egg" in "easter egg"
- I think this stuff is so cool,
- Jimmy Kimmel gives the middle finger to climate change denial
- Chris Evans' brillant Cap depiction
- Why do kids love the Cap?
- Dawn of War III trailer
- List of Star Wars canon
- Shadows of the Empire on GOG
- Clone Wars Season 1 review
- AI challenge
- Why does video game lore suck? THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS
- Peak HBO?
- Modeling superhero politics
- What does Better Call Saul get right about being a lawyer?
- Thoughts on Civil War
- More about Civil War
- Battlefield 1 looks interesting
-  Doom still looks dumb



ASOIAF meta
- Melisandre
- Stannis kingship financed
- Punishments
- What Jon Snow's return means
- Euron explainer for the show version
- Me neither
- Aeron Damphair
- Rodrik and Euron
- Great Qarth analysis
- Euron's cultural background
- Analysis of Euron's lines in GOT 6.2
- R'hollor
- Robert Strong
- Third head of the dragon
- Jaime I
- Quellon Greyjoy and Euron
- Euron vs. Bran
-Didn't even know this was a theory
- Dany's conquest
- Baelor II
- Targ restoration plan

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 128


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 128! Our guest judge this week is Jeff Hartline, the founder of the Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire blog and can be found on twitter.https://twitter.com/BryndenBFish

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