Game of Thrones S8E6 Review: “The Iron Throne”

It’s over. Turns out asking who ends up sitting on the Iron Throne was asking the wrong question. Someone goes Into the West but someone else is the true Frodo of this situation. Tyrion arranges some chairs. Fateful decisions are made. And we ponder the meaning of final episodes of TV series. Please join Jason and Brian as they search their feelings about “Game of Thrones” one last time before the end of the Game of Thrones Flashcast.

Game of Thrones S8E5 Review: “The Bells”

So it’s come to this, the climactic penultimate episode of “Game of Thrones.” Jason and Brian both enjoyed the spectacle while having some pretty serious thoughts about the character decisions the show is suddenly making. Jason has a not-so-wild theory about how the show will end. Brian climbs on top of a mountain of rubble and declares it his conspiracy corner. Jason invokes President Truman. We try to explain scorpion geometry. There’s a “Princess Bride” reference.

(We’ll be back a day late next week for the final episode! See you then.)

Game of Thrones S8E4 Review: “The Last of the Starks”

This week we join the surviving characters to pause to honor a colleague and friend who has fallen on the road to the final episode—and along the way we send some strong words out to the Internet’s own horde of zombie trolls. Then we turn to the episode at hand, as the dead are burned, questions of what makes a good leader are debated, feelings are revealed, Arya gets an offer (and Hot Pie gets an implied job offer), some characters say goodbye, and more shocking deaths are witnessed.

Game of Thrones S8E3 review: “The Long Night”

So it’s come to this—the action-packed, movie-length, extremely dark Battle of Winterfell. After two episodes of character moments and table setting, how did we react to this massive action spectacle? One of our hosts hated it, one of them loved it, and the other felt quite mixed. Isn’t it weird to know that one major phase of this story is over? Did the amount of character death feel appropriate? Why does Bran love his stories so much? At least someone remembered to stick them with the pointy end. Alphabet soup all around!

Game of Thrones S8E2 Review: “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”

It’s the eve of battle! Which means that everyone in Winterfell is a little bit on edge as they spend their time checking in with each other to see who’s still holding grudges about everything that happened in the first seven seasons. Jaime Lannister gets a full trial, while Theon Greyjoy gets away with a quick hug. Brienne of Tarth gets what she’s always wanted (although she’s always denied it), and Arya gets what she wants even though she’s never seemed that interested before. And we’re not talking about that cool new weapon. There’s a lot of talk about how everybody’s probably about to die, but that’s not until next week. For now, enjoy the big fire and Podrick’s singing voice.

Game of Thrones S8E1 Review: “Winterfell”

It’s back! In this episode we discuss the final season premiere of “Game of Thrones.” A lot of people show up at Winterfell. There are more meaningful looks and facial expressions. Jon and Dany go on a magic dragon ride. Cersei compliments Euron’s arrogance. And Brian has a theory about how the show will end! Join us for this six-episode slide into oblivion.

Game of Thrones S1E10 Rewind: “Fire and Blood”

We wrap up our rewatch of season 1 of “Game of Thrones” with a look at the aftermath of Ned’s death, how the centrality of Jon and Dany to the story are pretty obvious in hindsight, and the morality of Catelyn Stark’s beating a prisoner—even if the prisoner is Jaime Lannister and his family just killed her husband. And that final scene! It’s not nearly as impressive as we remembered it—which might be the most impressive thing about it, after all.

See you next year!

Game of Thrones S1E9 Rewind: “Baelor”

Ned’s dead, baby! This is the big moment. Arya and Sansa witness Ned’s confession that he’s a traitor, and in the end it doesn’t matter—Joffrey says “off with his head.” Also, Jon has a conversation with the show’s most interesting character, Dany fails to deal with the impending death of Drogo, and Tyrion makes a lousy warrior.

Game of Thrones S1E8 Rewind: “The Pointy End”

We continue our hindsight-tinged look back at season 1 with an episode that really sets you up to think that Ned might get away with all of this. Arya claims her first victim. Sansa just wants to be a pretty princess. Robb is on the move. Jon kills his first zombie. And Khal Drogo gets a cut that definitely won’t linger, nope, no sir.

Game of Thrones s1e7 Rewind: “You Win Or You Die”

Kelly Guimont joins us once again, this time to discuss the episode where it all goes south. (Though to be fair, from the perspective of the wildings, everything’s south.) Tywin guts a symbolic stag! The assorted rapists and friendless wretches of the Night’s Watch get a pep talk and take an oath! Drogo seriously khalsplains to Dany. Ros auditions for Littlefinger in the show’s most eye-rolling sexposition scene yet. And King Robert is dead, long live… uh, Ned, are you sure you want to make this bad decision?

Game of Thrones s1e6 Rewind: “A Golden Crown”

Kelly Guimont joins Brian, Monty, and Jason to discuss an action-packed first-season episode (with spoilers for the rest of the run of show, of course). In this episode, Tyrion participates in a SNL sketch that may lead to his death in one of many different ways, but instead he survives a Trial By Combat that seals this show’s ultimate character pairing: Tyrion and Bronn. Ros the prostitute heads south. Dany tries to cook an egg and eat a horse heart. Viserys gets what’s coming to him. And Jason, gray of hair, watches in horror as Ned very laboriously figures out that Joffrey is really a Lannister.


Game of Thrones s1e5 Rewind: “The Wolf and the Lion”

Here’s where it all really gets started. The assassination of Jon Arryn leads the Starks and Lannisters into conflict. Varys and Littlefinger plot their individual plots, and joust with one another (verbally) while the Mountain and the Knight of Flowers joust with one another (literally). Robert and Cersei have a cold, clear conversation. And is killing Dany and her unborn child the right move for a thoroughly Peter Principled King Robert to make? We break it all down.

(Spoilers for seasons 1-7 are inside. Don’t listen if you’re a first-time viewer!)


Game of Thrones S1E4 Rewind: “Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things”

Kathy Campbell joins Jason and Monty in our spoiler-filled rewatch of season one of “Game of Thrones.” In this episode, we stay on brand by frustrating pedantic fans with our utter failure to recall what Littlefinger is up to or why he had Jon Arryn assassinated. Also, it’s the triumphant debut of sexposition; debuts for Sam, Bronn, Gendry, and the three-eyed Raven; Arya stays true to herself; and we pay tribute to Ros, the hardest-working whore in Westeros.


Game of Thrones S1E3 Rewind: “Lord Snow”

Our (spoiler-filled) rewatch of Season 1 of “Game of Thrones” continues with the incredibly dense third episode, in which Ned arrives at King’s Landing, Jon arrives at Winterfell, and Dany finally realizes that she’s got way more authority than her stupid brother.


“Game of Thrones” S1E2 Rewind: “The Kingsroad”

Our re-watch of the first season of “Game of Thrones” reaches its surprisingly key second episode, where Ned tells Jon he’ll explain his parentage later, Joffrey decides to have a bit of fun with the butcher’s boy, Dany gets some intimacy tips from a handmaiden, and the direwolves have perhaps the most screen time they’ll ever get. RIP Lady.

(Note that if you’re looking for a spoiler-free look at “Game of Thrones”, this isn’t it. We discuss where the series is going up to the end of the penultimate season.)


“Game of Thrones” S1E1 Rewind: “Winter is Coming”

Jason, Monty, and Brian fill the massive gap between seasons by going back to the beginning. Yes, it’s time for a re-watch of Season 1 of “Game of Thrones”, beginning with the pilot. Hey, that guy dies! So does she! But not him! Maybe we’ll remember what happens this time.

(Note that if you’re looking for a spoiler-free look at “Game of Thrones”, this isn’t it. We discuss where the series is going up to the end of the penultimate season.)


Game of Thrones S7E7 Review: “The Dragon and the Wolf”

Here we are, at the end of the abbreviated penultimate season of “Game of Thrones.” This week we’re talking about sibling bonds (and other, closer bonds between blood relatives), serious looks between characters who share histories, and things to do in Eastwatch when you’re dead.

See you next year! Or the year after! Or whenever the show comes back!


Game of Thrones S7E6 Review: “Beyond the Wall”

In “Beyond the Wall,” Game of Thrones takes us - where else? - beyond the Wall. There’s lots of walking, talking, some more walking, and then a few things happen. No big deal. Meanwhile, down south, Arya reminisces about archery, Sansa does some Raven Reconnaissance, and Tyrion tries to rein in Dany. Plus, we make fun of a terrible Dana Carvey comedy, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert actors are confused for each other, and Monty makes the Yu-Gi-Oh! joke to end all Yu-Gi-Oh! jokes.


Game of Thrones S7E5 Review: “Eastwatch”

Hey, it’s Gendry! Gendry’s back, everybody! Remember Gendry? He’s back!

Okay, that’s probably something that’s going to pay off farther down the line. We also got to see Tyrion have a secret meeting with his brother Jaime, and they haven’t talked in a long time. And Jon Snow gathered up all the tough guys he could find and took them up north so he could grab Tormund Giantsbane and the surviving members of the Brotherhood of Fire and go marching north to kidnap a wight to show to Cersei Lannister. That’s the plan, anyway, but it’s probably going to break down into a bunch of fighting and screaming. The important part is that they looked real cool walking north from the Wall.

Arya and Sansa are back to arguing with each other, but they’re doing it in an adult way, and it’s about whether they should be cutting people’s heads off. Arya is on the pro-decapitation side.


Game of Thrones S7E4 Review: “Spoils of War”

This week on “Game of Thrones”, not very much happened. Oh, sure, Jon lured Daenerys down to the beach to look at his cave etchings. And Missandei explained to Jon and Davos why Daenerys has so many followers—and why the best rulers are the ones you choose. And there was a reunion of three Starks in Winterfell, as Sansa and Arya were reunited at last and were joined by their brother Bran and his awesome new dagger. Between getting beaten senseless, Pod reminded Brienne that a major part of her promise to Catelyn had finally been fulfilled. Arya revealed to everyone at Winterfell that she’s an incredibly dangerous fighter. Bronn reminded us why we love him. Sam’s dad reminded us why we hate him.

Oh yeah, and then a Dothraki horde and some dragons showed up. I suppose we could talk about that too, if we have enough time…


Game of Thrones S7E3 Review: “The Queen’s Justice”

Jon and Daenerys finally meet—but resurrection talk is strictly outlawed. Jon and Tyrion are reunited, as are Sansa and Bran! Tyrion knows all the plumbing in Casterly Rock, but Euron has gifts for the queen and a sound strategy to waste the efforts of the Unsullied. And Jamie gets an earful from Olenna Tyrell, who is going to make her last scene her best one. Plus: Sam doesn’t do anything gross! We break it all down.


Game of Thrones S7E2 Review: “Stormborn”

Daenerys and company correctly identify which Jon Snow has taken over the North; Cersei uses a fear of immigrants and eunuchs to turn lords against Dany; Sam performs surgery without a proper anesthetic; Jon checks his raven-mail and fails to learn a lesson about meeting prep; Arya ponders if she can go home again with the help of Nymeria; and some Sand Snakes die as Theon lets down his sister. Oh, and most importantly, HOT PIE IS BACK!


Game of Thrones S7E1 Review: “Dragonstone”

Serve yourself some stew and fill up those chamber pots! “Game of Thrones” is back and so are we, as we discuss Sandor Clegane’s religious conversion, agree to the awesomeness of House Mormont, dispute Cersei’s ultimate motivations, and address the final moments when Dany sets foot back on Westeros at last.


Game of Thrones S6E10 review: “The Winds of Winter”

It’s here! The season 6 finale. And not much happened, except for a whole bunch of things we’ve been waiting weeks, or years, or the entire show to happen! We break it all down and consider the season as a whole.


Game of Thrones S6E9 review: “Battle of the Bastards”

They fight. Also, some fire-breathing dragons.


Game of Thrones S6E8 review: “No One”

Season six keeps barreling ahead, and in this episode we visit Braavos for a resolution of the House of Black & White storyline, a reintroduction to the Brotherhood Without Banners, some drinking and comedy in Mereen, a royal decree in King’s Landing, and a joyous reunion at Riverrun. (Edmure and the Blackfish? Jamie and Brienne? No, Podrick and Bronn!) Also: Old Lady Clegane’s boys sure are good at killing.


Game of Thrones S6E7 review: “The Broken Man”

This week the story continues to hurtle forward, with a shocking reveal in a cold open and a visit from Septon Ian McShane. Plus Jon Snow and his band of advisers embark on their goodwill tour of the north. And Yara and Theon Greyjoy have a proper heart-to-heart talk as only the Ironborn can: While surrounded by naked ladies.


Game of Thrones S6E6 Review: “Blood of My Blood”

“Game of Thrones” pushes characters out of their comfort zones in this episode, as Arya decides whether she really wants to be an assassin, Samwell decides whether his father is even worth appeasing, and Tommen decides to just do whatever he’s told. There’s also a flood of people who may or may not have been on the show before, so people with really good memories are rewarded at least three times with dramatic end-of-scene revelations that may or may not have left people saying “…who was that, again?”

Oh, and there was a dragon!


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Game of Thrones S6E5 Review: “The Door”

Another huge episode of “Game of Thrones” features doors being closed and opened, women getting down to business and speaking truth to their former protectors, the origin story of both the White Walkers and Hodor, and a wild Shakespeare-like retelling of the first season of “Game of Thrones.” Is this episode a reaction to some of the criticism’s of the show last year? We break it down, this time in person, live from Jason’s garage.


Game of Thrones S6E4 review: “Book of the Stranger”

A family reunion! Diplomatic compromises! Ramsay eating an apple! Special guest Aleen Simms joins Brian to recap this week’s “Game of Thrones.” What is the High Sparrow’s long game? Why can’t the show runners stop killing women? And the burning question on everyone’s mind: What will happen to Denaerys?


Game of Thrones S6E3 review: “Oathbreaker”

Life after death! Action flashbacks! Surprising returns of characters not seen for years! And Varys waving a very large fan. Jason and Monty are back to break down everything in this week’s “Game of Thrones.”


Game of Thrones S6E2 Review: “Home”

We know it’s a shocker, but he’s back! We refer, of course, to Bran Stark, who is warging and time-warping from a deep hole, right next to Hodor. Also we break down who’s in charge in King’s Landing, Mereen, Braavos, Winterfell, the Iron Islands, and at Castle Black. At Castle Black things just keep getting more and more complicated.


Game of Thrones S6E1 Review: “The Red Woman”

“Game of Thrones” is back with another scene-setting premiere episode. Featuring eight different locations, this is not an episode with any narrative momentum, but it does remind you about all of the pieces on the board and shows you where they may be moving this season. We break it down, including an digression about whether the religious figures in this show are serving active, interventionist gods, or if they’re just using religion to achieve their own personal ends.


Game of Thrones S5E10 review: “Mother’s Mercy”

It’s the season finale of “Game of Thrones!” So of course, nothing much happens in this episode. Except for suicides, zombie zingers, off-screen massacres, admissions of magic murder, death by long fall, death by multiple stab wounds, death by poison, the meeting of the Friends of Danerys Club, teenage dragons, a walk of shame—er, atonement, and more death by multiple stab wounds! But other than that, uneventful. We break it all down one last time.


Game of Thrones S5E9 review: “The Dance of Dragons”

Monty and Brian review the penultimate episode of season five. How does this episode fit between the huge events of last week and the final climax of the season? Join us as we break it down.


Game of Thrones S5E8 review: “Hardhome”

Winter is here! We review this week’s epic “Game of Thrones” episode, which took us by surprise by featuring the season’s budget-busting set piece an episode earlier than usual. Monty and Jason break it all down, from Dany and Tyron talking about how they both play the game to the massive battle north of the wall and all the little scenes in between.


Game of Thrones S5E7 review: “The Gift”

This week’s episode of “Game of Thrones” wasn’t as grim as last week’s, but we still have issues, and they’re all in this plus-sized episode.

First, we take up the larger discussion of the rape at the end of last week’s episode and the resulting controversy among viewers. Then we dive into this week’s installment, which features bad stuff in the north, unexpected deaths and direwolves, and Stannis showing surprising backbone. Plus we break down the dangers of funding religious extremists, ponder if the High Sparrow is the Lenin of his time, reference A Chorus Line and Fiddler on the Roof, talk about the three dominant religions of Westeros, and much more.


Game of Thrones S5E6 review: “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”

Westeros got even darker and bleaker than usual this week. But Monty and Jason soldier on, unbowed and unbent but maybe a little bit broken. We take stock of our two pairs of road-buddy movie adventurers, ponder why all the dead bodies need to be washed, muse about Littlefinger’s grand plan, welcome back Diana Rigg, admire Myrcella’s awesome Spring break in Dorne, and remind you that Ramsay Bolton is never not creepy. Never, ever, ever.


Game of Thrones S5E5 review: “Kill the Boy”

In this “north by northeast” episode, everything happens at Winterfell, The Wall, and in the east. We focus in on Jon and his big leadership decisions, the Boltons and one awkward dinner at Winterfell, Dany and her new use for her dragons, and two men in a boat.


Game of Thrones S5E4 review: “Sons of the Harpy”

Brian and Jason meet in person and watch an episode, and are joined in commentary by Dan Moren and Tony Sindelar! Lots of stories about Rhaegar Targaryen in this episode, and Jason and Dan share one of the most commonly held theories about Rhaegar and Lyanna Stark and the mystery of their relationship. It’s not a spoiler, just (common) speculation, so don’t freak out! Also lots of stabbing and horses and masks and mismatched buddies, many of them in boats.


Game of Thrones S5E3 review: “High Sparrow”

This week, themes of religion dominated “Game of Thrones”, along with a bunch of clever transitions between different viewpoints. Plus, mad scientists—or is it mad maesters? Beheadings! Daenerys’s unique crossover appeal! And much more.

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Game of Thrones S5E2 review: “The House of Black and White”

Monty and Brian break down the latest episode of “Game of Thrones.” Was there really that much black and white? Is it really even a house? Why is Tyrion still sulking? Also, Monty reveals his big theory about what the show is doing.

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Game of Thrones S5E1 review: “The Wars to Come”

We’re back! Our “Game of Thrones” coverage returns for a second season, as Jason and Monty break down the season five premiere. Daenerys has dragon problems. Jon’s virginity is creepily questioned! Marjorie plays the game of thrones for keeps! Cersei’s kissin’ cousin wears a burlap sack for a shirt! Tyrion eats, drinks, and poops in a box! And who knew that the two men of principle in all the land would be Varys the spider and Mance Rayder?

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Game of Thrones S4E10 review: “The Children”

Happy Father’s Day, Tywin Lannister! Erstwhile co-host Brian Hamilton joins Monty and Jason to talk about this final episode of “Game of Thrones” season 4, where there are a whole lot of familial relationships to consider. We discuss Jon’s final parting with Ygritte, the Jamie-Cersei-Tyrion sibling triangle, the Arya-Brienne-Hound swordy triangle (sorry, Podrick), those flame-throwing “children” in the snow with Bran, and of course Tyrion’s attempt to seriously resolve his daddy issues. Plus, hey! Skeletons! We’ve packed it all in this double-sized episode, along with our final thoughts on the season as a whole.


Game of Thrones S4E9 review: “The Watchers on the Wall”

This week, one setting! One massive battle! Death, blood, giants, snow, wildings, and Jon Snow! Monty and Jason talk about the failed institution of the Night’s Watch, which seems odd since many of them were very brave and they didn’t all die. But still, you’ve got to admit, the organization has seen better days. Also, who knew that Castle Black had a Panic Room?


Game of Thrones S4E8 review: “The Mountain and the Viper”

There’s a lot of hopping around in this episode, but with a couple of possible exceptions, it’s all good. In the far east, a eunuch and a topless handmaiden meet creepy, and a really old pardon causes serious problems for Jorah. At the Wall, we learn that Molestown is one classy place, and Sam feels extra bad about leaving Gilly there. In the North, there’s a touching family moment under a Flayed Man banner that gives us even more name confusion than usual for Westeros. Sansa becomes a real woman by committing perjury. Arya gets a belly laugh. Tyrion tells a very perplexing story involving beetles to Jaime. And finally, the most Inigo Montoyaesque trial-by-combat scene possible.


Game of Thrones S4E7 review: “Mockingbird”

This episode feels more like the regular episodes of past seasons — neither a full-blown “event” episode, nor a pure “table setting” episode. Instead, we get lots of great scenes with great sets of characters, including Arya and the Hound, Brienne and Podrick, and Tyrion and a succession of visitors. Plus, much more of Sansa and Littlefinger in Crazytown Aerie and a surprise appearance by Westeros’ finest pie maker! We’re not sure if there’s an actual mockingbird, though.

(Thanks to listeners for pointing out that the Mockingbird is Littlefinger’s personal crest.)


Game of Thrones S4E6 review: “The Laws of Gods and Men”

Courtroom drama comes to Westeros, as Daenerys issues decrees in Meereen and Tyrion’s regicide trial begins. There are some brief detours to Braavos for Bank Loan Drama and the Dreadfort for Failed Rescue Drama, but it’s Tyrion’s trial that dominates the episode. Monty Ashley and Brian Hamilton render their judgements. Maybe it should be “The Laws of Gods and Men and Monty and Brian.” (No, it probably shouldn’t)


Game of Thrones S4E5 review: “First of His Name”

Jon nearly meets up with Bran! Daenerys strongly considers coming to Westeros before deciding to stay in Meereen! Most of the other people never even come close to seeing each other, but it’s still more crossover than most episodes get. As Tommen becomes King of Westeros, Monty Ashley and Brian Hamilton review an episode that contains the least secretive co-conspirator ever.


Game of Thrones S4E4 review: “Oathkeeper”

This episode of “Game of Thrones” had it all: prisons, swords, white walkers, and people drinking from skulls. That’s all of the things, right? Monty Ashley and Brian Hamilton break down the fourth episode of season four as they check in on Daenerys’s shockingly efficient methods for capturing cities, Jaime Lannister’s shifting allegiances, and the aforementioned skull-drinking.


Game of Thrones S4E3 review: “Breaker of Chains”

After the shocking death scenes of last week, this week “Game of Thrones” settled down a bit. Monty Ashley and Jason Snell talk you through episode three, including Stannis Baratheon’s nifty table and the cold cunning of Tywin Lannister and Olenna Tyrell. Plus, how can you make incest even ickier? By doing it in a church next to the dead body of your child! Yeah, that’s the spirit, Lannisters!


Game of Thrones S4E2: “The Lion and the Rose”

Monty Ashley and Jason Snell talk about episode two of “Game of Thrones” season 4. Let’s be honest, there’s only one scene here that everyone will be talking about after viewing: The scene where Melisandre talks to Stannis’s daughter about religion.

Oh, also Joffrey gets married and other stuff happens. He’s a bit of a bridezilla.


Game of Thrones S4E1: “Two Swords”

Monty Ashley and Jason Snell talk about the “Game of Thrones” season 4 premiere. We count swords, praise Natalie Dormer, and generally try to remember exactly who is who and what they’re doing now that we’re back at the start of a new season. Also, we complain about the mixing of chicken-related metaphors.

And don’t miss Monty’s piece about “Game of Thrones” in The Guardian.