Talking Deconstruction and Fantasy at Lawyers, Guns, and Money

Hey folks! So a couple weeks ago, Robert Farley (my colleague at Lawyers, Guns, and Money) and I sat down and talked about what the end of Game of Thrones means about George R.R Martin’s larger project.

Now before you all run for the hills, let me say that the focus is much less on the minutiae of the finale episode and more on the overall project of adaptation, what the broader purpose of deconstruction and reconstruction are in genre fiction, and similar topics.

Check it out! (or hit the blue #2 at the top left…)


Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis: Sam II, ASOS

“And then the world went mad.”

Synopsis: Gilly gives birth (Mazeltov?), Sam tries to do the right thing, Craster gets hit with a negative review bomb on Yelp, and Jeor discovers the limits of discipline.

SPOILER WARNING: This chapter analysis, and all following, will contain spoilers for all Song of Ice and Fire novels and Game of Thrones episodes. Caveat lector.

Continue reading

RFTIT Tumblr Weeklyish Roundup

Hey folks! So the Patreon is two weeks old, and already it’s almost to the first goal of an extra essay per month! Just as importantly, the show is now done, which means that all of the time and effort that went into watching, taking notes on, and writing up each episode can now go into writing about A Storm of Swords…which I’ll be announcing something exciting about soon.

In the mean-time, we’ve got some good stuff on the Tumblrs.



Patron Asks:

  • Anon asks: “How much do you think Joffrey was inspired by Richard II?”
    • Not that much? It’s not that they don’t have some things in common: they both come to the throne rather early, they face a popular uprising, they both rule in a somewhat tyrannical fashion. However, Joffrey isn’t deposed, the Lords Appelant were moved over to the Vale, and Joffrey’s death is more similar to that of Prince Eustace during the Anarchy. Personality-wise and in terms of the rest of his backstory, he’s more akin to Edward of Lancaster.
  • Hedrigal asks: “If a medieval or ancient person makes a purchase involving millions of gold coins, how does that actually work? Like if Crassus (chosen as the richest man in Rome) wanted to make a major acquisition worth a million gold, how did the told actually change hands. ”
    • This is a great question! In addition to letters of credit and similar financial instruments, one of the ways that ancient and medieval people conducted large-scale transactions was to leave coins behind and just deal with precious metals. For the ancient Mediterranean, you had talents; throughout much of Asia, you had the lakh. These were bars or plaques or discs of (as pure as they could get) precious metals, which would be put into chests and very carefully transported in well-guarded caravans.

I’d like to thank my Patrons: Beth Becker, Anonymous, Steven Xue, Gabriel Nichols, Casso King of Seals, Stephan Priddy, Sister Winter, Alistair, Aweseeds, James Tuttle, Hedrigal, Jeremy Alexander, Dan Kohn, Donald Newell, joannalannister, Abel Savard, Quinn Radich, Leonard Wise, Kelly, Courtney Simpson, Will Pepperman, Angus Niven, Lauren Combs, Amanda Marie Ford, Danil Koryabkin, John Pharo, Darby Veeck, History of Westeros, Joshua Imboden, Imriel, Adam Blackwood, Greg Sanders, NotAPodcast,, Chris Reid, Lucas Fyten, Gabriel Mallows, Paul Connolly, Brett, Michael Aaronson, Nina Friel, Christine Higgins, Jim Tripp, Eric Benjamin, Sara Michener, Dave, and James Keene.

If you’d like to become a Patron and support Race for the Iron Throne, see here.

Chapter-by-Chapter Analysis: Tyrion IV, ASOS

Image result for tywin two swords

“For hands of gold are always cold, but a woman’s hands are warm…”

Synopsis: Tyrion takes a meeting with a singer, and a meeting with his dad. Neither go well.

SPOILER WARNING: This chapter analysis, and all following, will contain spoilers for all Song of Ice and Fire novels and Game of Thrones episodes. Caveat lector.

Continue reading


For those of you who haven’t gotten their fill of talking about the finale of Game of Thrones, I made an appearance over at Graphic Policy Radio with Elana Levin, Dothraki expert Tihi Hayslett, and Shakespeare-ologist Sarah Rasher.

Check it out!

Thoughts on Game of Thrones, Season 8 Episode 6

Always look on the bright side of life…

RFTIT Tumblr Weeklyish Roundup

Ok, the Patreon is launched and the show’s almost done, let’s do this! But before that… some announcements about what’s next after the show recaps are no longer a burden I must toil under. I’m quite eager to get back to writing ASOS chapter essays, with Tyrion IV being the first on the docket. I’ve also got to finish some loose ends, with Part III of Hour of the Wolf and redoing my edit of the True Life of the Spider on the list. And then I’d like to get into Dunk and Egg Part I.

And somewhere in the middle of that, I’ve got some PHOMUs to write.

But in the mean-time, we’ve got Tumblrs.



Race for the Iron Throne: The Patreon!

I need a new headshot…

After several delays and a good deal of consideration, I’ve finally taken the plunge and started a Patreon campaign. Initially, I wanted to wait until the bulk of Kickstarter rewards were fulfilled, because I don’t like double-dipping on people. And then life got in the way…

Anyway, the goal for the Patreon is to help me shift from writing about the intersection of history, politics, and pop culture (including but not limited to ASOIAF) mostly for a hobby towards writing about it for a living.

So if you can chip in a little bit per month to help me achieve that goal (or can help spread the word on social media about the campaign), it would be greatly appreciated. I want to promise off the bat that the heart of this blog – regular essays about ASOIAF and comics and the like – will not be pay-gated. There’s some great Patreon reward levels, but they all involve getting to read stuff early and getting access to bonus stuff and the like. My intention is that Race for the Iron Throne and my other endeavors continue to be fun and accessible for supporters and casual readers alike.

Either way, I’ve had a great time writing and chatting with you all for these past several years, and hope to keep the conversation going for many years to come.

The King’s Landing Endgame: Book v. Show


It seems that one of the persistent features of being in the Game of Thrones fandom is becoming wrestling with recurrent waves of anger and incredulity. The last time I wrote one of these essays was back in the tail end of Season 5, which seems like a muffled cry indeed compared to the torrents of online opinion about the events of the penultimate episode, let alone the Battle of the Bastards or the Wight Hunt.

That being said, I do think the reaction to the penultimate episode was as strong as it was because it felt like the summation of a huge number of plotlines that failed to cohere in a satisfying manner, and because (for the moment) it’s the only conclusion we have access to.

But I think there is a reason for fans who were let down by Episode 5 to have some hope: there’s good reason to guess that the endgame in King’s Landing will be very, very different from book to show.

Thoughts on Game of Thrones, Season 8 Episode 5

One Mo ‘Gain.

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