Tower of the Hand

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External Link History of Westeros talks Hymn for Spring. The History of Westeros has just released a special podcast dedicated to Tower of the Hand's essay book A Hymn for Spring. Hosts Ashaya and Aziz (authors of the essay "The Curse of Harren the Black") are joined by A Podcast of Ice and Fire's Amin (author of "Songs and Singers of Ice and Fire"), and as a bonus, Aziz covers "The Rains of Castamere" on classical guitar. Listen to the episode here.

Of course, if you haven't already, you might want to pick up Tower of the Hand: A Hymn for Spring first. Our ebook contains eleven original essays written by your favorite TotH essayists and other frequent collaborators. Available on

External Link Boiled Leather Audio Hour #44. Prepare for a guided tour of The World of Ice and Fire! The co-authors of George R.R. Martin's ambitious sourcebook for A Song of Ice and Fire - and longtime friends of the podcast - Elio M. García, Jr. and Linda Antonsson join us to talk about the book, which hit stores in time for the holiday season one year ago. Beginning with a look back over TWoIaF's reception over the past year, our chat ranges from a discussion of fanfiction to the influence of Lovecraft and Howard; the way using in-world maesters as narrators shaped the writing; the material left on the cutting room floor to avoid spoiling future stories-and the stuff inserted to lay the groundwork for them; and, of course, what's up with the Deep Ones. And we close with the big question: Are there future collaborations on the history of the setting in store?

External Link Supreme Court of Westeros celebrates 100th ruling. For the past two years, Stefan Sasse and Amin Javadi have served as arbiters advocating for and arguing against various A Song of Ice and Fire theories in a fun series they call "The Supreme Court of Westeros." Over the years, they've invited readers to submit questions and even join their panel as guest judges. Today the Supreme Court of Westeros celebrates its 100th ruling with a special podcast that also features frequent contributors Sean T. Collins and Steven Attewell. Congrats to everyone at the Supreme Court for reaching this milestone!

External Link Boiled Leather Audio Hour #42. We're traveling from Westeros to Nazi Germany in this unusual - and, to us, urgent - episode of the Boiled Leather Audio Hour. Why are we venturing so far afield from our usual topics of discussion and debate? Because we've always believed that A Song of Ice and Fire, like life itself, is best viewed through an unsparing ethical and historical lens. Lately, however, that lens has been clouded. In recent weeks, numerous right-wing politicians - most notably Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson and his supporters in the United States - have distorted and repurposed the rise of Adolf Hitler and the roots of the Holocaust to suit their preexisting positions. Astonishingly, in the day since this podcast was recorded, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu followed suit. We believe this to be an act of tremendous disrespect for the dead, one that also does a grave disservice to the living. Given our personal and professional interests in this pivotal epoch in history, which have shaped our interaction with ASoIaF in ways large and small, we decided to explore the era's real lessons as best we could.

What role did privately held weaponry and paramilitary organizations actually play both in the Nazi Party's ascent to power and the resistance against it? How should we view Europe's failure to act in the face of Hitler's belligerence, and Germany's failure to capitulate in the face of certain defeat? What parallels can be drawn between the forces that fueled the war Hitler ignited and those at play in Westeros and Essos? What makes World War II different enough from other conflicts for the likes of Vietnam-era conscientious objector George R.R. Martin to say it was worth fighting? Is there such a thing as a "good war" at all? In this experiment of an episode, we try to answer those questions.

External Link Boiled Leather Audio Hour #41. We're comparing two of the biggest shows on television in this episode of the Boiled Leather Audio Hour. One of them is an adaptation of a popular staple of nerd culture - a genre work that had only appeared in print before - which has translated its bleak themes, wide scope, and controversial use of violence into a modern-day ratings blockbuster. The other is Game of Thrones.

That's right - the BLAH Boys are taking on The Walking Dead, and its current spinoff Fear the Walking Dead, by contrasting the shows and their source material to Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire. How does their treatment of violence in an unforgiving world of real and supernatural menace differ? What do the relationships between the original works by George R.R. Martin, Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard and their adaptations by David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, and AMC's land of a thousand showrunners reveal about their respective ideas, ideals, aesthetics, and ethics? Which shows really deserve our moral outrage, and why? We'll be examining all these questions and more. And one of us, at least, will be getting really freaking worked up. Enjoy!

External Link Boiled Leather Audio Hour #40. It's ladies' night once again for the Boiled Leather Audio Hour! We're resuming our irregular series on the women of Westeros after over two years for an episode on a bunch of characters who break the world of Ice and Fire's gender mold: Arya Stark, Lyanna Stark, the Sand Snakes, Arianne Martell, and Ygritte. Our topics of discussion are as diverse and varied as the women themselves: why Arya is too complex for the hero, victim, or monster labels; how Lyanna's larger-than-life reputation suits her potential prophetic destiny; the Sand Snakes as Dorne's answer to the #CarefreeBlackGirls movement-cum-meme; what Arianne has in common with another rebellious scion of a dynasty, Jaime Lannister; how seeing Ygritte exclusively through the eyes of the man who loves her shapes our experience; the true meaning of "strong female character"; and much more. Drop your Needle on that mp3 and tune in!

External Link Boiled Leather Audio Hour #39. We're back, and we've got a burning desire to discuss Stannis, Shireen, and the controversial scene that dominated the conversation around "The Dance of Dragons," Game of Thrones Season Five's penultimate episode! This time out, Sean and I tackle what the Mannis's heel turn really means for the character, the adaptation, the fandom and more. We also take a quick tour of the disappointments of Dorne, gaze into the fires and give you our predictions for the season finale (including a theory from Sean that's either bold or batshit), and address the very nature of criticism itself. All in a tight 32 minutes and 32 seconds!

(Editor's note: this episode was recorded last week and it was intended to be posted on Tower of the Hand before the finale aired. Sorry about the confusion!)

External Link Boiled Leather Audio Hour #38. The Alayne Game: Discussing the New "The Winds of Winter" Sample Chapter and the Start of "Game of Thrones" Season Five. BLAH is back with two, count 'em, two topics! This go-round, Stefan & Sean tackle the new "Alayne" sample chapter from The Winds of Winter and the first two episodes of Game of Thrones Season Five. What's in store for Sansa in book six? What's our read on GoTs05e01-02′s plotlines and performances? Listen and learn, ladies and gents! And while you do, you'll discover some very happy news from House Sasse, as well as musical surprise or two. Enjoy!


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Tower of the Hand is an unofficial companion to George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series and HBO's Game of Thrones, featuring chapter and episode guides, character profiles, family trees, and much more.

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