Monday, August 15, 2016

Boiled Leather Audio Hour #53

The Theory of Everything: Analyzing Popular Theories from a Narrative & Thematic Perspective, Part II (A Patreon Production)

One of our most requested episode formats is back, thanks to our loyal patrons! Subscribers to our Patreon have selected the topic of this episode, a sequel to a much-loved previous installment in which we took a look at prominent fan theories not just in terms of whether they’re possible or even plausible, but whether they make sense in the framework of the kind of story George R.R. Martin is trying to tell and his overall vibe as a writer. This time around, the individual topics have been pitched in by our patrons as well, and there’s a wide range, from what we think happened at Summerhall to whether we believe Bran is essentially a godlike figure to which fool we like best. Give it a listen, and if you like what you here, become a Patreon contributor so you can select future podcast topics yourself!

Download Episode 53

Additional links:
The Theory of Everything, Part I
Our Vulture article on the biggest fan theories
Our Patreon page at
Our PayPal donation page (also accessible via
Our iTunes page.
Previous episodes.
Podcast RSS feed.
Sean’s blog.
Stefan’s blog.


  1. Excellent podcast as usual. Wanted to comment on one thing though- the discussion of Summerhall. I think you are right on about that aspect of Dunk sacrificing his life and I really liked how you noted that aspect of one story ending and another beginning.

    However, one other aspect I think is likely to be revealed is the possibility of Egg reacting to a prophetic vision and trying to wake dragons/create the PTWP through a murder-suicide of himself and his family. It would be really disturbing given how sympathetic he is and further muddying the sane/mad Targaryean distinction.

  2. I've been toying with the idea that Mirri Maz Duur's comment about Rhaego's disfigurement and his having been "dead for years" indicates that something about the ritual at Summerhall actually worked in some sense. But maybe the magic was too weak, or some element was missing? The big flaw in this idea (I won't dignify it with the label "theory") is that it more or less requires that R+L=D, which I accept is unlikely.

    There's limited support in some thoughts and statements made by Dany in AGoT, like telling the unborn Rhaego "You are the dragon, the true dragon. I know it. I know it." And later, when she holds the eggs to herself for comfort: "Was it madness that seized her then, born of fear? Or some strange wisdom buried in her blood?"