Thursday, January 29, 2015

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 63

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.
Casting Call: We're searching for guest judges again! If you like to participate, even if you have been part of previous rulings, send us an email.
And now, up to ruling 63 of the Supreme Court of Westeros! Our guest judge this week is Jeff, otherwise known as BryndenBFish. He is the creator of a dedicated A Song of Ice and Fire Blog known as Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire. His personal interests in the series are strongly tied into the political machinations of the characters as well as the military strategy and tactics used by the major and minor players of the game of thrones.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 62

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.
Casting Call: We're searching for guest judges again! If you like to participate, even if you have been part of previous rulings, send us an email.
And now, up to ruling 62 of the Supreme Court of Westeros! Our guest judge this week is Johnny from Philadelphia. He began reading the series after the 1st season of Game of Thrones and began listening to BLAH and APOIAF. He is on the forums at APOIAF as The Smiling Knight. A while after his first read he began getting a few friends together to form a book club. Two of them were reading for the second time and the other two were first time readers. Throughout the books he took detailed notes for discussion at the meetings, which he has posted on the forums. This is his second time as a member of the Supreme Court of Westeros.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

"A Hymn for Spring", the next Tower of the Hand ebooks, comes out

hymnforspringtease.jpg
As the photo suggests, the long-awaited sequel to the excellent collected volume, Tower of the Hand: A Flight of Sorrows, will be published April 15th, with pre-orders starting a month early. Tower of the Hand: Hymn for Spring features some of the best writers from the ASOIAF community, including Steven Attewell of A Race for the Iron Throne, Amin Javidi of the Podcast of Ice and Fire, Jeff Hartline, founder of Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire, and many more.
Hymn for Spring also features several essays from me! The first one is a character study of Barristan Selmy, while the second one concerns itself with the question of whether you should judge theories on their textual or narrative basis. Hey you in the second row, I see you snorting there! Wake up, this is interesting stuff! 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Boiled Leather Audio Hour 37

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

A Song of Ice and Fire fans are a meticulous, scholarly lot. That first baby step into the wider world of fandom that we all take instantly introduces us to an eye-popping array of theories about past, present, and future events in the story that our fellow fans have painstakingly assembled from hints and clues embedded within the text. We all have our favorites and our least favorites, theories we think is a sure thing and theories we break out our tinfoil hats to discuss.

In this episode, Sean and I vote yay or nay on many of the biggest, coolest, and crackiest — from R+L=J to fAegon, from Tyrion Targaryen to the Bran-tichrist, from “Oberyn poisoned Tywin” to the eternal question “Where do whores go?” — but with a twist. Our main metric: Does this theory make narrative and thematic sense?

Even the most beautifully constructed theories constructed from tantalizing tidbits in the text often fall apart when theorizers focus on how but ignore the why. Would this theory make for a satisfying story? Does it support the series’ primary thematic concerns or undermine them? Does it have a point at all beyond being a secret to uncover? Forget about why Roose Bolton or Obery Martell or Varys the Spider might do whatever’s being theorized about — Why would George R.R. Martin want them to do it? This has long been the approach both of us take, and we had a blast going full-throttle with it in this episode. Hopefully, you will too.

One quick note: Right at the end of the episode Sean and I begin discussing a recently discovered note in the publicly available manuscript for A Dance with Dragons that appears to spoil a much speculated-about theory in a way neither of us are quite comfortable declaring was intentional on the part of Martin or his editor/publisher. We give ample spoiler warning at that point, so feel free to bail on the episode during those final moments if such a thing makes you uncomfortable.

Mirror here.
The r/asoiaf Reddit thread that contains that semi-leak spoiler mentioned above (caveat lector) here.
Previous episodes here.
Podcast RSS feed here.
iTunes page here.
Sean’s blog here.
Stefan’s blog here.

A Flight of Links

- Second Sons
- Wertzone reviews Breaking Bad season 3 
- The new Avengers 2 trailer explained
- Tower of the Hand counts down the most favored characters of the fandom. I did the profiles on Sansa, Jaqen H'Qar and Quentyn Martell, so keep your eye out. 
- Lost season seven in the making? 
- Lost was thought up on the fly. Does this surprise anyone?
- Sean T. Collin's review of The Wire goes on
- Animating the Universe
- Spiderman will appear in the Marvel Crisis movies
- I really have to check this out
- Total War: Warhammer? Interesting. 
- Shadowrun Returns returns, or something
- GTA V and their lack of good tutorials
- Idris Elba is making a trilogy in Edgar Allan Poe fighting demons, because of course he is
- Taken analysis. It's basically dadsploitation. 
- The Man in the High Castle got a pilot
- Worst boardgames ever invented
- Children's movies are full of death
- Definitive article on Casterly Rock

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 61

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.
Casting Call: We're searching for guest judges again! If you like to participate, even if you have been part of previous rulings, send us an email.
And now, up to ruling 61 of the Supreme Court of Westeros! Our guest judge this week is Michael, previous judge and member of the community. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 60

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.
Casting Call: We're searching for guest judges again! If you like to participate, even if you have been part of previous rulings, send us an email.
And now, up to ruling 60 of the Supreme Court of Westeros! Our guest judge this week is Alex, a member of the community.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Boiled Leather Audio Hour 36

The BLAH Salon: Jamelle Bouie

Slate.com’s Jamelle Bouie joins us for the start of a project we’ve been planning practically since the Long Night: The BLAH Salon! In each installment of this series, we’ll be spotlighting a writer or artist whose work doesn’t normally touch on A Song of Ice and Fire or Game of Thrones but who is nonetheless a fan, exploring how the world of Westeros interests and influences them.
Our first guest in the BLAH Salon is Jamelle Bouie, staff writer for Slate. As a national political correspondent with a specific focus on race, he’s written with compelling clarity about the tumultuous, troubling year that just ended. He was also the first famous face Sean spotted in boiledleather.com’s followers. His insightful and enthusiastic commentary on the books, the show, along with other pop- and nerd-culture cornerstones, coupled with his insight into sociopolitics, made Sean and I think he’d be the perfect guest for this inaugural installment. Our wide-ranging discussion hits on Slaver’s Bay, the role of Roose & Ramsay, the problem with privilege discourse, how good hip-hop and good fantasy both wear their influences on their sleeves, the bizarrely productive racism of H.P. Lovecraft, and the scene that made him a believer in George R.R. Martin’s magnum opus. Enjoy!

Mirror here.
Jamelle’s work at Slate here.
Previous episodes here.
Podcast RSS feed here.
iTunes page here.
Sean’s blog here.
Stefan’s blog here.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 59

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.
Casting Call: We're searching for guest judges again! If you like to participate, even if you have been part of previous rulings, send us an email.
And now, up to ruling 59 of the Supreme Court of Westeros! Our guest judge this week is Lady Gwynhyfvar, a writer and fan of ASoIaF and GoT who features ASoIaF analysis on her blog and co-hosts the RadioWesteros podcast. Connect via her blog or Radiowesteros, or follow her on Twitter.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 58

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.
Casting Call: We're searching for guest judges again! If you like to participate, even if you have been part of previous rulings, send us an email.
And now, up to ruling 58 of the Supreme Court of Westeros! Our guest judge this week is Todd, who started reading the books upon a recommendation from a friend and with the goal of staying ahead of the show, which he is in the process of convincing his wife to watch.  He is currently on his third re-read, learning more each time through.  He's mostly a lurking member of the community, but took part in the TOTH re-read series. His Beat Train pseudonym comes from his time as a runner at the University of Notre Dame.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 57

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.
Casting Call: We're searching for guest judges again! If you like to participate, even if you have been part of previous rulings, send us an email.
And now, up to ruling 57 of the Supreme Court of Westeros! Our guest judge this week is Marcus Roberts, head of research for a British think tank and spends almost as much time strategising his Game of Thrones board game moves as he does planning election campaigns.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Impressions from the Terminator trailer

The first trailer for the corny-titled "Terminator: Genisys" has come out (watch below the break). My first impressions, in chronological order:
- That speech by John Connor sure sucks. It has a sign of "bad pathos-ladden stuff" all over it.  But perhaps it will be better in context, like "cancelling the apocalypse".
-Also, the future lacks the gritty element of the 80s original.
- Kyle Reese looks like a ringer. But that's an improvement over the whiny teenager from the trainwreck that was Terminator Salvation.
- WHERE ARE MY TERMINATORS? I don't know if I will get used to Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor, but I'll give her a chance.
- CGI Arnold against Arnie the Pensionaire. Don't know which looks more ridiculous.
- I mean, seriously, the altered timeline can't avoid having logic holes big enough for trains to fit through and groan-worthy explanations for stuff. It comes with the territory. One time travel is bad enough, but this? They collaps the timelines of four movies, containing already three altered timelines, and build up yet another one on top. If they pull that off, I'm really impressed. Judging from the impressions of the trailer, I seriously doubt they will.
- I don't know where the old movies play in this. The beginning especially clearly caters to the fans, invoking the classic pictures, but I can't imagine that they will be that important later on. Would drive off the younger audiences. This is essentially the same trick as in Star Wars Episode VII, I'd assume.
- After touching a car, a bus is flipping through the air like it's a bouncy ball. Physics, who needs them?
- Now CGI Arnie the Pensionaire skydives into a helicopter. This could be fun in an unintenioned way.
- Oh, boy.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 56

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.
Casting Call: We're searching for guest judges again! If you like to participate, even if you have been part of previous rulings, send us an email.
And now, up to ruling 56 of the Supreme Court of Westeros! Our guest judge this week is Tyler Kendal, a teacher of history and literature. He is a moderator of the A Song of Ice and Fire subreddit at www.reddit.com/r/asoiaf.