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Episode 13: Let’s Talk About Trees

Episode 13 for the week of August 17th, in which we embark on a re-read project and discuss the first five chapters of A Game of Thrones. We’ll be covering roughly five chapters a week, working our way through the books chronologically, so feel free to re-read along and send any observations/insight you might encounter along the way to us!

Thanks to everyone who sent in audio clips to audition for the 7th host spot. We narrowed it down to three, and this week’s episode features Nancy as our guest host.

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44 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. laurie

    Can we go back to the MP3 format?

    1. I had to sign up
    2. It won’t play the file
    3. My browser just crashed

    I blame the website for all of this bullshit

    Reply

  2. mini

    oh god that is awful, I had no idea. we will try and fix it soon. thanks!

    Reply

  3. a podcast of ice and fire

    Weird, the website worked fine for me earlier.

    Anyway, the episode links should be back to normal now. Sorry about that, Laurie!

    Reply

  4. Aaron

    If it breaks like that again, and you absolutely have to hear about trees and midget sex, just go to archive.org and download from there. Thats where we’re hotlinking to on the blog anyway :)

    Reply

  5. Slurpee_E

    I really like the format change. I think I’m going to start a re-read to keep up with you guys.

    Reply

  6. John

    Great episode guys – I agree that the re-read was a great idea. Keep up the good work.

    With regards to the Mel conspiracy theory, I would not be surprised to find out that she is really an agent of the Great Other. Apart from her preference for shadow magic and the “cold” sensation that Renly experienced before his death, there is also the possibility that Mel is knowingly supporting a fake Azor Ahai reborn. By installing a fake Azor Ahai reborn, Mel is making it more difficult for the real Azor Ahai to emerge – which all works in the Great Other’s favour.

    Reply

  7. Jakob Lightbringer

    I’ve got a fever, and the only cure is *more* weirwood!

    I don’t agree with the Melisandre conspiracy theory. Sure, she’s a little crazy with all the burning of children and religious idols… nobody’s perfect. ;)
    I think that she genuinely believes that she is saving the world by helping to fulfill the prophecies. She’s also one of the only characters that has the balls to bring the fight to the Others.
    She explains why she uses shadows — the brighter the light, the darker the shadow it casts. I think the same principle applies to the chill that surrounds the shadows.

    Reply

  8. Avernaith

    Awesomeness ensues with your new format change. The re-read idea is great and really seems to be keeping the focus on discussions. Your sound file quality is still really broken though, sometimes there’s a ‘keening’ or whining sound, sometimes some feedback, and (no offense Amin) one of your members comes in eardrum-crushing loud. But that’s all the bad there was, the ‘cast itself rocked!

    Chris is right, Valyrian steel was mentioned as a good weapon to use against the others. My gut instinct is that it was a Sam chapter where he was in the library. The “If he can’t eat it, drink it, fight it or fuck it, he has no use for it” was a comment said about Robert, not Sandor (who never wenched at all, to my knowledge). I think it was a Lannister that made the comment too, my guess is Jaime.

    Chris was right about The Wall, too, it does not extend coast to coast. It extends from the east coast to the mountains, and does have a river flowing past the end. The mountains are damned treacherous, but someone from the Shadow Tower mentions wildlings slipping past in the night. Didn’t Ghost slip around The Wall too, to rejoin Jon? Or did Jon run into him while inspecting the gate north of The Wall?

    Anyhoo, great ‘cast, can’t wait for the next.

    Reply

  9. rik

    Nice format change guys, you may over shoot adwd (hopefully) at this rate.

    Also enjoyed Nancy’s contribution it’s interesting to hear a mothers perspective. Maybe as the books progress your guest host could always be relevent to a key character.. Like a crafty banker for petyr, an 8 foot tall fucker for gregor, a burn victim, a paralised kid and lucky I’m a dwarf..

    Seriously though I hadn’t thought how cat, cersi and others would appeal to someone who has kids.

    I’ve been considering introducing my brother to the series, he’s ten years younger than me… 13 and a keen reader. He’s prob still to young think I was at least 18, thinking danny drogo but he does watch the occasional over 18 (m rated) movies… What age would you guys recommend?

    Reply

  10. Avernaith

    Good question Rik! I've wanted to introduce my daughter to the series since she's a voracious reader but my wife and I have concerns about the content. So we let her play the AGOT RPG with us and she got to read the Dunk & Egg books, but not the core novels yet.

    Reply

  11. John

    Personally, I think 13 is probably 1 or 2 years too early, but there is always the argument that 1 or 2 years makes no difference anyway. Younger than 13 is definitely too young (if I had read any of the Tyrion-Shae, Taena-Cersei or Sam-Gilly sex scenes when I was 11, I would have been scarred for life!)

    And I agree about Nancy, it was great to hear about ASOIAF from a mother’s POV.

    Reply

  12. rik

    dunk and egg’s a good idea actually but having read the core novels first I dunno if it’ll have the same hook as AGOT… Think i have the marvel hedge knight on the shelf i’ll have to get him to read it.

    i’ve yet to recommend martins work to anybody who didn’t end up liking it, so needless to say if my bro doesn’t get into it i’ll have to disown him.

    on the subject of the start of AGOT and recommending the series. i’ve always wondered is it generally accepted that the point where the reader is completely hooked on the first book is Bran’s fall?

    that was it for me, page 82 i think.

    Reply

  13. rik

    oh and yeah i had to restrain myself a couple of years ago while reading the final books from giving my brother AGOT. your right mental scarring would definitely occur.

    Reply

  14. John

    Yeah, Bran’s fall is definitely the point where Martin has you completely blown away.

    Reply

  15. mimi

    avernaith – i think we covered the fact that “if he can’t eat it, drink it, fight it or fuck it, he has no use for it” was about robert. i believe someone else mentioned that it was sandor who said it. i don’t know if that’s accurate or not (you’re right, it sounds more like a jaime observation).

    i just thought i’d clarify- we all know the hound is totally a virgin. :)

    thanks for the positive feedback, everyone! sorry the sound quality is so poor, we still haven’t found a fix for that issue.

    Reply

  16. Nancy

    Our 13 year old babysitter has read the whole series. He started at the end of 5th grade. He borrowed our Hedge Knight graphic novel and went from there. Of course he is an advanced reader and his parents approved of it. I think he got his dad started on the series too. If my oldest son who is 11 showed any interest in something other than sports biographies we would let him read it. I know that some of the scenes are pretty graphic but in the world we live in kids are exposed to that daily. Sometimes all they have to do is turn on the news and hear about incest, rape, child porn and murder. One thing I think you should keep in mind is how well do you think your brother could process such a detailed book. Also he should have someone to talk to about what he’s read to help him process it and understand that just because it happens in the books that way doesn’t mean that it’s good or acceptable in our society. Anyway that’s just a moms take onit.

    Reply

  17. John

    Wow Nancy, you are one hell of a progressive mom (or mum as us aussies spell it)! But I think you’re quite right – as long as a young person is able to process the detail of ASOIAF and has someone to talk to about the series, then it should be OK.

    Still, I don’t think I would want my kid to ask me what was going on with the Myrish swamp!

    Reply

  18. Chase

    One of my friends has a young sister (around 11) who’s big into Harry Potter. She recently asked what I was reading and I told her of this book, but felt it would be better to introduce her to Dragonlance for now. Maybe in a couple years I’ll show her Westeros. She’s still a little too innocent now.

    Reply

  19. ash

    the whole thing with violence, at least what i noticed with myself was that, it wasn’t that it bothered me as a child, but that it didn’t bother me. yeah i could’ve read these books when i was 15, but they wouldn’t have upset me or really gotten a gut reaction out of me back then.

    i’m not sure if that means kids should read these, i just don’t think young teenagers grasp them the way an adult can.

    and yes, i still stand by that Sandor was the one who said it and that he also goes whoring.

    Reply

  20. Nancy

    I agree with Ash that a younger person may not grasp everything. I know that there are several things that I either asked or pointed out to our babysitter that he didn’t pick up on. Several of them are vital points to the story.

    Reply

  21. Amin

    I wouldn’t recommend it to someone who was 13, not because of any adult content but the fact that you can only read the series for the first time once. I don’t think I would have enjoyed or appreciated the books [as much] at 13 compared to when I read it (late high school). I would have still liked it but…

    Reply

  22. Chris

    I like reading about how I was right. please keep it up!

    Reply

  23. Avernaith

    Chris, believe me no was as shocked as I was. I think I was the asshole who suggested you should go back and re-read the series, and here you were knocking ‘em out of the park all episode long. Whatever happened last time, I definitely thought it was for the best. It brought the whole ‘cast up. I think you’re ready for your death match of ASOIAF trivia with Mimi. errr…or maybe not.
    Mimi rocks.

    Reply

  24. Nancy

    I was thinking about Chris’ parting question about Melisandra being an agent of the Others. Lord Beric and Theos of Myr believe in he Lord of Light as well. Theos is able to reanimate people just like the others can. Maybe there is some kind of connection there after all. What does anyone else think?

    Reply

  25. rik

    I think your right nancy he’s bound to have come across these issues in other novels and having read tolkiens trilogy I’d say he’d be fine with the detail in the series.

    Amin’s got a point too I dunno if I would have understood some of the issues until 16 though I’m prob a lot slower than Nancy’s babysitter

    Chase – I wikipedia’d dragonlance (havnt heard of it) it’s like 130 books! Where u talkin about any in particular?

    Reply

  26. Chase

    @rik

    I was talking about the original Chronicles trilogy. The first book is Dragons of Autumn Twilight, followed by Dragons of Winter Night, Dragons of Spring Dawning. With The Second Generation and Dragons of Summer Flame set as sequels from a ~15-20(?) years in the future.

    They were the first real fantasy books I ever read and they hooked me like nothing else.

    Reply

  27. pestilence

    I have always doubted Melisandre’s actions and motives. Her being an agent of the Others? Completely feasible. After all, up until now all she’s been doing is causing instability. An instability that will aid the Others immensely, should they invade Westeros.

    Reply

  28. Matt

    I like the reread idea. Maybe I’ll go back and listen with my audio books as the podcast goes.

    I’m glad Chris is a part of this podcast. He always says the things I’m thinking(and sometimes yelling) at the other members of the cast as I’m listening. Thanks Chris.

    I had a little bit of a different take on the foreshadowing with the antler and the direwolf. I didn’t think it was cliche, because in most fantasy novels, you get some sort of omen like that, and then the Hero (read: Eddard) finds a way to be awesome and find a way around the omen. With Martin, if you aren’t the most brutal fucker in the game, you get your head chopped off, even if you are the most honorable character.

    Finally, it was nice to hear someone else identifying with Catlin. I found her experience one of the most heart breaking of the series, but all I ever hear is that she is a moron, move on.

    Reply

  29. mimi

    matt – if you ever want to consider guest hosting for an episode, it’d be great to have you on the show and hear your differing opinions. i like your take on the awesomeness of the foreshadowing- i had never thought of it in that light before. it really got me thinking if that was what martin had intended to do.

    but there are a hell of a lot of catelyn chapters left for us to discuss over the course of the re-read so unfortunately, there’s no way for us to “move on.” sorry!

    Reply

  30. Matt

    Oh, I didn’t mean for you to move on, I meant the opinion is usually she’s a moron, nothing more to see. Sorry for the confusion.

    I just realized how rambling that post was. I was drinking a bit while I wrote, it.

    Reply

  31. Sledhead75

    I just got all the audiobooks and I’m definitely going to be listening along with you guys! Can’t wait for the next podcast!

    Reply

  32. oxmix

    The new format is great.

    Regarding the first Ned chapter, I think it is significant that the first time we see Ned he is administering justice. This sets Ned up as mortal representative of the Father god.

    The Catlyn chapter sets Catlyn up as a mortal representative of the Mother god, but it is not nearly as blatant as the Ned chapter. Still, it was interesting that your discussion of Catlyn centered on identifying with her as a mother.

    On a separate point, when Jon is the only one who hears Ghost, what is it that he heard?

    Reply

  33. Aaron

    Regarding the next episode: OH GOD. Ashley had computer problems. I just had the worst monday in a long time.

    I was aiming for wednesday, but it’s looking more like thursday or friday.

    Reply

  34. John

    Great news everyone! If you haven’t already heard: HBO have exercised their option to purchase the rights to A Game of Thrones!Head over to George’s “not a blog” for more details!

    Admittedley, the project is no certainty yet, but this is still an amazingly positive step in the right direction. Great news for all ASOIAF fans.

    Reply

  35. oxmix

    Hey, Aaron, I hear that GRRM is outraged over how long it’s taking you to come out with the next instalment.

    Reply

  36. Aaron

    He is? I guess he’s still working on writing the email, because I have yet to hear that.

    Reply

  37. oxmix

    Yeah, he’s a little behind on his e mail. He keeps getting distracted. He hopes to have his next e mail done in time for the 2009 holiday season.

    Reply

  38. Jovi

    Damn it. My Game of Thrones copy is quite obliterated and gone.

    Reply

  39. dany

    your podcast is nice but i must say the catelyn hate is kind of boring

    Reply

  40. ipod

    Yay rereads! Haha, and yes, it sure blows for Cersei to have both her current and hopeful husbands both wanting Lyanna.

    To Cersei’s credit, Robert was apparently a drunken beast in bed (and not in the good way..) and too much of a coward to admit it. Why support a man you don’t respect? But I digress.

    I second the Catelyn hate being boring. She’s a mother, and mothers are inherently selfish and stupid when it comes to their kids. ‘Nuff said! Someday we will understand.

    Reply

  41. Daniel

    I think Cold Hands is one of the Children of the forsest, because I remember in one of the chapters, Old Nan or Bran gave a faint description about them. The only key thing I remember was that they rode moose/elk/things with those horns :D

    Reply

  42. Danielle

    As far as the whole forshadowing thing with the stag that killed the direwolf is concerned, I don’t think it’s so blaringly obvious right away. When Catelyn mentions it again, the reader begins to learn how much stock the people of the entire series put into symbols and signs. From there I think it becomes more obvious that it could be forshadowing. We don’t realize how powerful direwolves are until we hear more about them and see people’s reactions to them. At that point I think the reader becomes more knowledgable that it may not have been as easy to kill the direwolf (being more than an ordinary wolf) and that there may be something more to the dead direwolf than just the fact that it’s dead. (does that make any sense?)

    As they say, hindsight is 20/20 and having read that part for the third time now, it’s hard to miss it as heavy forshadowing of the downfall of the Starks (at least the adults) at the hand of the Royal family.

    Reply

  43. Robert

    I like the new episode layout. Great stuff!

    Reply

  44. Robert

    Well not NEW, but the change.

    Reply

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