“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!


“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.


“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.


“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…


“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.


“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!


“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.


“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.


“Battle of the Bastards”

They fight. Also, some fire-breathing dragons.


“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.


“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.


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“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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168

“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.


164

“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?


160

“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.”


157

“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.


155

“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.


81

“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.


80

“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.


79

“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.


77

“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.


75

“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.


72

“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.


68

“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.


63

“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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61

“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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58

“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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18

“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.


17

“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?


16

“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.


15

“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.)


14

“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)


13

“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.


12

“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.


11

“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!


10

“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.


8

“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.