Episode 84: Outcasts Beyond the Wall

Episode 84 for the week of July 22nd, in which we continue (part 2 of 3) our Beyond the Wall ranging project.

In this episode, we are joined by guest host Brent Hartinger, author of the article A Different Kind of Other: The Role of Freaks and Outcasts in A Song of Ice and Fire. We discuss his article and revel in our podcast’s own outcast nature during an extensive aftershow.

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18 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Chris

    Woo new episode :D really tempted to buy this Beyond the Wall book now…


  2. Alias

    Very much enjoyed the discussion this week. The whole notion of outcast characters and how GRRM breaks tropes in a number of ways has always been one of the most interesting parts of the series for me personally.


  3. kr

    Cool, a new episode, thanks


  4. Travys

    Talk about projecting your world views on to a piece of fiction. Years ago Arya would be described as a tomboy…today she’s “transgendered.” Must everything be viewed from modern gender politics?


  5. FTWard

    I really really enjoyed the discussion.

    When reading the article, I thought that Mr. Hartinger’s definition of outcast was too broad and inconsistent (maybe necessarily) for my taste. But I found him during the interview to be very engaging and persuasive. Really good interesting stuff.


    After show was fun if cruel. Sounds like we have a lot to look forward to.



    Thanks man.


  6. Rosie (vietrose)

    Great episode. :)
    haha..I’d join House Manwoody guild.
    (yea, let’s take down House Gatewatch!)


  7. jesicka309

    I’d consider playing my first MMO just to take down House Gatewatch!

    Great episode guys, I really enjoyed it. Brett was a great guest to have on, and his views on the series were so interesting to hear!

    The parts you edited out are KILLING me now! I NEED TO KNOWWWWW. :)

    All the hosts were great, as usual. I hope you get an actor on soon (I heard it was a he?)

    Can’t wait for more! :P


  8. Fishsticks

    Great episode. What was with the aftershow? talk about a Manwoody tease.


  9. brynden

    I really liked the episode and think Mr. Hardinger was a great guest. The interview was great.

    I have to add that I disagree with him, that Dany is the stereotypical fantasy hero because Jon does fit much better into the pattern (male, lordling, banned/banished, secret parentage).

    And I really would advise to finish ADWD. Although it might not fulfill every expectation it is still better than AFFC. An “expert” should have read that one (and the TotH-essays with all theories – especially about Jon’s parents).

    Thank you again.


  10. Hard Core Richard

    The guest mentioned an interview in which he thought GRRM “gave up the game” by saying theme and world-building were more important than plot. Does anyone know which interview to which he was referring?

    It gives me chills to think that GRRM might be unable to transition from the journey to the end. I believe there are some quotes out there from the show’s producer and GRRM himself that the end is known. So I guess he just has to get there? But with so soooo many balls in the air, it is hard for me to conceive how one could bring all the story lines to satisfying conclusions. There are only so many options for how to end a character’s story. To name a few, they can die, go into some sort of exile whether physical or mental, they can marry and “live happily ever after”, and they can be left shattered somewhere leaving the reader to believe they went on to lead a shit life.

    Now consider all the characters whom GRRM has set up enough that they will require some sort of conclusion to their story. With so few options, will all the conclusions get repetitive? If a bunch die in a single battle, will their deaths be cheapened?

    This thought process has led me to believe that the Hound aint quitting his grave-digging duties any time soon. He is one of the very few characters to have an arc actually concluded with something other than death. He is in a sort of mental exile where he will live with the priests and slowly recover from his mental wounds. I dont think GRRM can afford to bring the Hound back into the story which would then require an additional conclusion for Sandor.

    But that’s just one example of what I am talking about. This might be a good idea for a show. Compiling a list of all the characters who you think require some sort of ending and then maybe guessing what that could be. Though such an exercise could be painful when you come to the conclusion that I have which is there aint no f-ing way GRRM can tie all of this up in 2 more books.


  11. Emily

    Another great Ranging Beyond the Wall – really insightful questions and observations from the podcast hosts. Brent clearly knew his subject inside and out, but several times he needed to rely on the regular hosts for their (shocking depth of) knowledge of the series as a whole. And like FTWard said, Kyle was rocking it this episode!



    Thanks Emily.


  12. Inkasrain

    Great interview, I really enjoyed it. I especially liked the point Brent touched on regarding Jaime. The idea that the loss of his hand transforms him from someone on the “inside” of society to someone on the outside, without a real position or function– like Tyrion, or perhaps more touchingly, like Brienne– is a big part of how Jaime’s evolution as a character is so powerful, and why it becomes so easy to root for someone who was so recently reprehensible.


  13. Andres

    I loved this episode.
    The guest´s comments definitely made me look at the series a different way.

    Re: littlefinger, I would say he is an outsider due to his relatively petty class. He is quite literally the littlest lord around, something they make clear on TV.


  14. Jon

    I have been telling all new readers to stop and take a break after Storm of Swords. I have warned them that the main plot lines slow down and there is no need to rush through Feast and Dance. I have advised them to take a year off and possibly reread the first 3 of the series after next season of the show.

    My reason for doing this is that when I first read Feast it was too fast and I became frustrated. Then 5 years later I reread it slowly and really, really enjoyed it before Dance came out. In my haste to find out what happens next I missed the journey. That is why I enjoyed Dance so much. I purposely took a break after every chapter and savored the book. I have since reread it twice but just certain story lines. I concede that neither Feast nor Dance is as good as the first 3 books but I believe in my heart that the stories they created or expanded will make the conclusion of the series that much better.


  15. Jeremy

    Good episode again – really enjoyed the discussion.
    RE: the chapter that got cut from Dance. How do I find that without stumbling through all the spoiler chapters. I’ve always tried to avoid advance chapters, but based on the idea that Dance makes more sense with it, I’d like to read that one.


  16. rpawson

    Just chiming in to say that the ‘Beyond The Wall’ episodes have been very interesting listens. They are decidedly different in tone from typical episodes, but they are very engaging discussions and exchanges that are well worth listening to.


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