Tower of the Hand: A Hymn for Spring Pre-orders

Tower of the Hand: A Flight of Sorrows was a book jam-packed with insightful analysis of the Song of Ice and Fire series, but it only barely scratched the surface of the huge and complex world that author George R.R. Martin has created.  A second anthology, then, is not only desirable, it’s absolutely critical to unearth all that Martin has tucked away into the many dense folds of his narrative.

Here’s how we’ve expanded A Hymn for Spring in order to make it the most comprehensive exploration of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros yet:

    • Updated to cover the newly published Song of Ice and Fire material, including The Princess and the QueenThe Rogue Prince, and The World of Ice and Fire.
    • Four brand-new authors, who hail from some of the most authoritative Ice and Fire websites and podcasts, in order to provide fresh perspectives on the main series.
    • More than twice the size of A Flight of Sorrows, allowing not only for more essays on a wider range of subjects, but also for longer, more comprehensive analysis.
    • A huge swath of bonus material, including additional essays from the Hymn for Spring authors – and their special guests – and sneak previews at the next big projects from the Tower of the Hand editors.


Steven Attewell, the mastermind behind Race for the Iron Throne, brings his political and historical expertise to bear on the effectiveness of Machiavellianism in the game of thrones and the economic gamesmanship of Lord Petyr Baelish. The founder of Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire, Jeff Hartline, makes readers fundamentally question their understanding of King Stannis Baratheon. And History of Westeros co-hosts Aziz and Ashaya offer the single most authoritative account of the history – and mythology – of Harrenhal, while Tower of the Hand/Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire contributor Jim McGeehin does the same for Robert’s Rebellion.

Stefan Sasse, from the Boiled Leather Audio Hour and The Nerdstream Era, determines the effects that patriarchy and civil war have had on the Westerosi psychological makeup. A Podcast of Ice and Fire co-host Amin Javadi investigates the nature that songs and singers play in the various cultures of the Seven Kingdoms, and, even, in the nature of the narrative itself. And Tower of the Handco-founders John Jasmin and Alexander Smith expand the focus to include both an exploration of how HBO’s Game of Thrones simultaneously improves and degrades Martin’s original story and a look at traditional games to help predict the success of all those who play the game of thrones.

A Hymn for Spring is available for pre-order today, with a release date of April 22, 2015.

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APOIAF Hosts in Cameo Roles for Game of Thrones Season 5

We are happy to announce that the four podcast hosts will be making cameo appearances in season 5 of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Mimi has been cast as one of Dany’s dwindling Dothraki followers: she ends up flipping a table during a Meereenese bar fight. Ashley has been cast as a wildling spearwife: she joins Davos and Shireen’s reading and writing club. Amin and Kyle have been cast as Prince Doran’s night shift guardsmen: they make sure he is well stocked in feathered hats and blood oranges, respectively. Many of the former podcast hosts will also be making appearances as wights.


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A Hymn for Spring Free Essay

Tower of the Hand: A Hymn for Spring, goes on sale on April 15 at Amazon. This new ebook will contain a dozen original essays about George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and HBO’s Game of Thrones, written by Tower of the Hand editors and contributors and a whole slew of special collaborators, including  Race for the Iron ThroneWars and Politics of Ice and Fire, the History of Westeros podcast, and our very own Amin Javadi. Pre-ordering is not yet possible, but when it is the link will be posted here and on our podcast store. For now, check out one of Amin’s essays (Songs and Singers of Ice and Fire) in the upcoming ebook.

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Vote for Vassals of Kingsgrave in the Podcast Awards



Thanks to the loyal listeners of House Manwoody, the Vassals of Kingsgrave have been nominated for the 10th Annual Podcast Awards.

Voting closes on March 24, at 2100 EST. However, you can vote each and every one of those 22 days, starting with today.

Step 1: Go to this website: http://www.PodcastAwards.com/
Step 2: Select “Vassals of Kingsgrave” in the General category.
Step 3: Scroll to the bottom, and enter your name and email, followed by “Submit”.
Step 4: Go to your email inbox, and verify your vote.
Step 5: Have a Kit Kat. You’ve earned it! ;)


So be sure to share, retweet, reblog, do whatever it is Tumblr does, and loose your ravens to every corner of the realm.


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A Hymn for Spring Revealed

A Hymn for Spring Revealed

Tower of the Hand: A Hymn for Spring is a little over two months away, so we figured we’d better start divulging all its secrets to help while away this final stretch. And what better way to kick things off than by revealing the book’s complete lineup and cover art?

Here we go:

“Machiavellianism for a Purpose” – Steven Attewell, founder of Race for the Iron Throne
The logic of revolution applied to rulers, reformers, and “noble fools”

“What Does the Fox Say?” – Marc N. Kleinhenz, editor
The role of House Florent in the southron war against the Others

“It Is Known: Words Are Wind” – Amin Javadi, co-host of A Podcast of Ice and Fire
How cultures of Ice and Fire and Martin’s personality are revealed through their repetitious sayings

“Westeros Side Story” – John Jasmin, co-founder of Tower of the Hand
How the Lannisters and Starks are this generation’s Jets and Sharks

“House of Thrones, Game of Cards” – Mimi Hoshut, co-host of A Podcast of Ice and Fire
The political paralleling of George Martin: Aegon as Lincoln, Robert as Kennedy, and Cersei as Bush

“Corn Code: The Cipher That Predicts Death” – Jeff Hartline, founder of Wars and Politics of Ice and Fire
The book within the books you should be reading

“The Walking Dead” – Alexander Smith, co-founder of Tower of the Hand
Why Gregor Clegane, Benjen Stark, and the other Reborns will be the ultimate victors of the game of thrones

“Gaming the Game of Thrones” – Aram Lecis, editor-in-chief of TotalPlayStation
How the Song of Ice and Fire videogames are the truest expression yet of Martin’s original vision

“The Patriarchs of Westeros” – Stefan Sasse, essayist at Tower of the Hand and co-host of the Boiled Leather Audio Hour
Examining the toll the great lords exact from their families, their smallfolk, and from progress

A Hymn for Spring goes on sale on June 19th, exclusively at Amazon, for $6.99. A print edition will follow shortly thereafter.

A Hymn for Spring – Official Cover Art – click to enter the contest to win a free copy of the book

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Blue Buddha 2014 Preview (A Hymn For Spring Sample Essay And Other Good Things)

Press Release from BLUE BUDDHA: 2014 PREVIEW

Blue Buddha Press, the publishing company behind Tower of the Hand: A Flight of Sorrows and the It Is Known series, has a brand-spankin’-new, completely free ebook out today. Think of it more as an ecatalogue, actually: it contains a listing, overview, and extensive excerpt from each of its releases, including those that have yet to come out.

The can’t-miss part of all this for the diehard Song of Ice and Fire fan? The inclusion of the first, full-length sample from our upcoming Tower of the Hand: A Hymn for Spring – some eight months before the book comes out. There’s also some other little details announced about it, as well, such as who our next author is going to be (hint: A Podcast of Ice and Fire fans should be very happy).

And if all that isn’t enough for you, we have a Q&A with ASOIAF super-writer Stefan Sasse about his very first (American) ebook release, along with a pretty lengthy first-look at it. And we do the same grand introduction for the controversial Remy Verhoeve, who has Waiting for Winter: Re-reading A CLASH OF KINGS coming out in just a few short weeks (his best chance for a shot at redemption?).

These are the books that you’re going to be reading to help pass the time until The Winds of Winter is out – you might as well start getting to know them now. =)


Due to Amazon’s demands, we are only able to provide Blue Buddha: 2014 Preview for free for the next five days. That means you only have until Wednesday, November 6th to check out A Hymn for Spring and all the other great titles for no money whatsoever.

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A Flight of Sorrows Collector’s Edition Released, Podcast Awards Nominations

A Flight of Sorrows Collector’s Edition has been released, available on CreateSpace and Amazon through our podcast store. It will not be available after November 1st, so if you would like a copy, this is the month to go for it. In relation to our podcast, it contains Mimi’s essay A Telltale Knight and Amin’s essay A Game of Beds, as well as Amin’s new essay A Feast of Vipers, Kyle’s afterword Completed Songs and Frozen Conversations, and a 2011 interview with our podcast.

Another thing only open during the month of October (until Oct 15th) is the 9th annual Podcast Awards nominations. If you would like to nominate our podcast, each person may submit one (only one) nomination form by October 15th. The podcasts with the most nominations will be added to an online voting system later this fall, so every nomination does count. If you nominate A Podcast of Ice and Fire, we suggest the People’s Choice + Entertainment categories (any podcast can be nominated for People’s Choice + one category). If you get the chance, please submit Bastards of Kingsgrave under the Cultural /Arts category in that same nomination form (website – (http://bastardsofkingsgrave.wordpress.com/).  The 9th Annual Podcast Awards Ceremony will be Held at New Media Expo in Las Vegas on Sunday Jan 5, 2014.


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Episode 120: A Flight of Sorrows Collector’s Edition

Episode 120 for the week of September 22nd,  in which Amin is joined by fellow author Alex and editor Marc N. Kleinhenz to discuss the soon to be released Collector’s Edition of A Flight of Sorrows. We discuss Alex’s essay The Prince That Illyrio Promised and Amin’s essay A Feast of Vipers. This is the first of several episodes that will be covering material in the Collector’s Edition, as the full podcast crew will be discussing Mimi’s essay The Telltale Knight and Kyle’s afterword Completed Songs and Frozen Conversations in the future.

Press Release on the Collector’s Edition (From Tower of the Hand):

Tower of the Hand: A Flight of Sorrows – Collector’s Edition comes out on October 1st (Edit – It has been released). It’s a special print edition of the best-selling ebook, released due to popular demand, that includes a whole slew of extra content. And to celebrate the occasion, we’re happy to let you all in on a little secret: the Collector’s Edition‘s complete lineup (which, we’re delighted to finally share, includes a few extra faces from the Ice and Fire community).

Here we go:

Foreword – Remy Verhoeve, author of Waiting for Dragons

Bendable Joints and Removable Body Parts

Introduction – Marc N. Kleinhenz, editor

The Princes Kept the View

A full-length, behind-the-scenes essay that provides a fly-on-the-wall recounting of the ebook’s genesis and initial designs, including its original listing of essays and lineup of authors (a number of whom never made it to the finished product). Other tidbits include the very first attempt at creating Tower of the Hand: The Bookyears before and a sneak peek of what’s in store for 2016.

“Savoring the Taste?” – Stefan Sasse, essayist at Tower of the Hand and co-host of the Boiled Leather Audio Hour

On the role of revenge in songs of ice and fire

Why is it that so many players in the game of thrones seek revenge as their number-one priority? How is it that these plans almost always deny the revenge-seeker satisfaction, even when they’re successful? And what is George R.R. Martin telling us, exactly, about the nature of vengeance?

“The Prince Is Riding” – Miles Schneiderman, essayist at Tower of the Hand

Rebutting the identity of – and the aim of the conspiracy around – Aegon Targaryen

The ebook posited that Aegon was a “mummer’s dragon” and provided many details explaining the what, who, and why of the conspiracy. The print book refutes that conspiracy and explains how Aegon really being a Targaryen not only makes perfect sense, but how it tracks with all the other developments in all the other books.

“A Feast of Vipers” – Amin Javadi, co-host of A Podcast of Ice and Fire

Ethnic diversity, personal identification, and fandom theories in Dorne

A celebration of the diversity and solidarity of Dorne, the most unique of the Seven Kingdoms. It’s also an investigation into why Dorne is proving itself to be the most controversial of the Seven Kingdoms, getting caught up in debates of ethnicity, audience identification, and the role – or lack thereof – of stereotypes.

“The King’s Justice Is Mute, Not Blind” – John Jasmin

Why trials in Westeros are not what they seem

A continuation of the legal explorations into Westerosi society, expanding upon the original essay’s theme and scope both. What is the difference between the king’s justice and the King’s Justice, and how can one differentiate between the two? More importantly, how can the king?

Afterword – Kyle Maddock, co-host of A Podcast of Ice and Fire

Completed Songs and Frozen Conversations

All in all, we’ve added roughly 18,000 words to the overall count, expanding on the ebook edition by nearly a third.

In addition, all 13 chapters of the original A Flight of Sorrows are included, in a brand-new, re-edited version. Think of this as the director’s cut of the material, polished and improved for your total reading pleasure.

Tower of the Hand: A Flight of Sorrows – Collector’s Edition goes on sale on October 1, 2013, for one month only. Find it on CreateSpace.com for $15.99.

Come November 1, the Collector’s Edition will never, ever go on sale again.

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Press Release – A Flight of Sorrows: Collector’s Edition and A Hymn For Spring eBook.

Press Release from the Editor:

Tower of the Hand: A Flight of Sorrows was a big deal for us.  Never before in the Song of Ice and Fire community – or, just perhaps, in any fan community of any media property – had the leading voices from several different publications banded together to create an in-depth, thought-provoking, but nonetheless fun product, independent of any major publisher.

This last point is very important.  The publisher of the ebook, Blue Buddha Press, is essentially run out of editor Marc N. Kleinhenz’s basement.  No media consultants were consulted.  No marketing blitzes were orchestrated.  Hell, not even a dime was spent on advertising – not a single dime.  In a time when the independents aren’t independent anymore, we’re ultra-indie.

To celebrate thisunquestionable success over these past six months and to also satiate the near-constant demand from readers, we’re very happy to announce a special, print edition of the book.  Call it A Flight of Sorrows: Collector’s Edition.

What makes it so special?  Well, beyond being able to finally hold a physical copy in your sweaty little hands, we’re packing it full of additional content that, we feel, makes the second read-through worthwhile.  Even better, all this extra stuff will be exclusive to the Collector’s Edition – you’ll never see it published anywhere else, on the net or on your Kindle, for the rest of eternity.  Knight’s honor.

These extra treats include:


  • Brand-new, full-length essays that delve even further into the nitty-gritty details of George R.R. Martin’s spectacular world, written by several of the original authors
  • A behind-the-scenes walkthrough of A Flight of Sorrows’s genesis, production, and release, narrated by editor Marc N. Kleinhenz
  • New special guest appearances by other big names from Ice and Fire fandom, which just may include a surprise or two

What truly makes this a collector’s edition, however, is the simple fact that it’s going to have a limited run – a very, very limited run.  Tower of the Hand: A Flight of Sorrows – Collector’s Edition will be made available on October 1st, 2013, and it will be discontinued on November 1st, 2013 for the rest of time.  No go-backs or redos, no second printings or double-dippings (or would that be triple-dippings?)… although we may have a contest here and there to extend the window of availability by a day or two.

Of course, a birthday celebration – even a half-year one – is all the more fun when more people cram their way in, so we at the Tower are even happier to make one final announcement:  also due to an oft-repeated request, we’ll be coming back for a second outing at this whole ebook thing.  In order to live up to the pretty high bar we’ve already set for ourselves, we’ll be changing up our lineup of authors, cramming even more content between the digital covers, and elsewise be having the biggest nerdfest you can possibly imagine this side of Oldtown (we are particularly excited to be delving into and dissecting George’s upcoming novella, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves here).

Called Tower of the Hand: A Hymn for Spring, it’ll be released on June 19th, 2014.  Who will be in it?  Well, we don’t want to put all of our cards on the table just yet, but we can tell you that Marc N. Kleinhenz will be returning as editor, Amin Javadi of A Podcast of Ice and Fire infamy will be returning as an author, and Steven Attewell from Race for the Iron Throne will be joining us as the first of our brand-new contributors.

We’re already immensely proud of the material that is starting to shape up, and we can’t wait to share more of it with you all as the months slowly tick by…

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Podcast Q&A

Ashley and Kyle have answered your questions for Youtube from the forum thread here.


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News from Westeros

Kyle has been making some more content for our youtube page – check out News From Westeros, the first three episodes are out now.

Notes: In other news, the editor of the A Flight of Sorrows (the ebook Mimi and Amin contributed to) has recently released his own ebook: It is Known: An Analysis of Thrones, Vol II.

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Tower of the Hand: A Flight of Sorrows Release

Tower of the Hand: A Flight of Sorrows has just been released today! Mimi and Amin are contributing authors to this work. For the full list of authors, check out our previous post below. For those interested, you can purchase it from Amazon here.



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A Flight of Sorrows Revealed

Tower of the Hand: A Flight of Sorrows is coming out a month from today, and to celebrate, we’re letting you all in on a little secret: the book’s complete lineup (which, we’re delighted to finally share, includes a few more friendly faces from the Ice and Fire community).

Here we go:

    Foreword – Phil Bicking, editor-in-chief of WinterIsComing.net
    And Now It Begins…

    Introduction – Marc N. Kleinhenz, editor
    All along the Watchtower

    “Under the Bleeding Star” – Stefan Sasse, essayist at Tower of the Hand and co-host of the Boiled Leather Audio Hour
    On the role of prophecy in songs of ice and fire

    “Daggers in the Dark” – Miles Schneiderman, essayist at Tower of the Hand
    The ultimate fates of protagonists, from A Game of Thrones to A Dance with Dragons

    “The Prince That Illyrio Promised” – Alexander Smith, co-founder of Tower of the Hand
    Exploring the identity of – and the aim of the conspiracy around – Aegon Targaryen

    “A Game of Beds” – Amin Javadi, co-host of A Podcast of Ice and Fire
    Marital infidelity, adultery, and fandom theories in A Song of Ice and Fire

    “Every Case Is Different, Every Case Is Alike” – John Jasmin, co-founder of Tower of the Hand
    Investigating murder investigations in Westeros

    “You Win or You Sit the Bench” – Douglas Cohen, author and former editor of Realms of Fantasy magazine
    Power ranking – NFL style – the top contenders in the game of thrones

    “The Narratives of Winter” – Marc N. Kleinhenz, editor
    Discerning the structure of Martin’s saga and teasing out its final act

    “The Telltale Knight” – Mimi Hoshut, co-host of A Podcast of Ice and Fire
    The narrative parallels and foreshadowing of the Tales of Dunk and Egg

    Afterword – Chelsea Monroe-Cassel, co-author of InnattheCrossroads.com and A Feast of Ice and Fire
    Just Desserts

    Appendix I: What’s a Game of Thrones without the Tower of the Hand?
    Appendix II: The Creaking Door of House Manwoody

As you can see, it’s a packed house, and we’re excited to squeeze you into the nerdfest, as well.

(Note: the two appendices are previously published material – one at Corona’s Coming Attractions, the other at Tower of the Hand itself – that interviews the respective braintrusts behind TOTH and A Podcast of Ice and Fire. It’s collected here to heighten the reader’s enjoyment of these two wacky-but-popular ASOIAF staples.)

A Flight of Sorrows goes on sale on October 13th, exclusively at Amazon, for $5.99.

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Tower of the Hand: The Book

For the past seven years, ToweroftheHand.com has prided itself on being a premiere source of A Song of Ice and Fire analysis, information, and speculation. There has been nearly a metric ton of essays, forum posts, and encyclopedia entries logged at the site to date, all designed to give the hardest of the core fan the most rewarding experience possible while reading George R.R. Martin’s seminal novels. Consistently referred to in our podcast as our unofficial sponsor, TOTH has been an invaluable resource behind every episode we publish.

And now the editors are taking all those years of mastery and applying them to an ebook.

Tower of the Hand: A Flight of Sorrows takes five of the site’s most prolific authors – including its two founders – and draws out their best, most in-depth work yet. Unlike other Ice and Fire compendiums, the focus of these essays is on the narrative, character, and thematic elements of the story itself, as opposed to the literary aspects surrounding the books.

What role has prophecy played in the narrative thus far, and what might they really tell us about the future? Did Martin truly kill off one of his most beloved protagonists, and, if not, how can we tell for sure? Who exactly is the Young Griffin, and what is the aim of the conspiracy surrounding him? And just what is the overall structure of this epic, convoluted story, anyway, and what might it tell us of the upcoming final stretch?

Even better, the TOTH editors are joined by some of their good friends, who just so happen to be leading voices in the Game of Thrones community. Amin Javadi and Mimi Hoshut, co-hosts of the Podcast of Ice and Fire, tackle the role of infidelity in Westerosi society and the narrative clues and parallels of the Dunk and Egg novellas, while noted fantasy editor and author Douglas Cohen power ranks, NFL style, the top contenders in the game of thrones.

A Flight of Sorrows releases on Saturday, October 13th, 2012 at the price of $5.99. It will be available exclusively at Amazon.com and is edited by Marc N. Kleinhenz, a freelance journalist who has written for 19 sites, including IGN, Comic Related, and Westeros.org. Other books he has written or edited include It Is Known: An Analysis of Thrones, Vol. I, another travelogue to Martin’s novels and television series, and the upcoming Green Switch Palace: A Year in the Life of Nintendo Fandom.

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Cooking with A Podcast of Ice and Fire


Ashley of A Podcast of Ice and Fire attempts to cook Cheese and Onion Pie from A Feast of Ice and Fire, a cook book written by the authors of The Inn at the Crossroads.


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