It’s been quite a while since I’ve reviewed any podcasts… mainly due to the fact that I had found myself in a podcast groove where what I was listening to was satisfying enough that I no longer felt the need to add anything to my repertoire. Over the last few months I have in fact added a few new ones to my queue… more about those later… but there was one podcast that I’ve been listening to for a good long while, yet never reviewed it… and lately I’ve had a few requests for a good Game of Thrones podcast… I have hesitated in the past to review and/or recommend this cast, but I am a fan of Cast of Thrones, so here is my review…
Quick side note… I just realized that I probably skipped reviewing this during the first season because I was more interested in promoting my Game of Thrones appearance on The Walking Dead’Cast (which will be happening again this year) and in trying to begin my own Game of Thrones podcast, which never came to fruition. What a dick move on my part… OK… back to the regularly scheduled blog post…
When I began watching HBO’s Game of Thrones, and my subsequent crazed read through of the five novels thus far in the A Song of Ice and Fire saga, I went searching for the podcast to accompany my reading/viewing experience. I went through a few episodes of a handful of podcasts, and felt woeful that I wouldn’t find something to pique my interest. Most of what I heard were a couple of guys talking about Amelia Clarke’s breasts or a few overly-serious book fans who would dissect every difference between the novels and the show with nary a smile or laugh among them. Nothing is more of a turn off for me than a fellow geek without a sense of humor, or the basic understanding that there will be differences between a book and a movie/show… two different media, two difference methods of story telling… deal with it people.
Fortunately, I discovered Cast of Thrones… not only do they not take themselves (or much of anything) seriously, they also include the one element of any podcast that always makes it better for me… a woman. Yes, a woman engaging in some serious high-geekery, and it makes all the difference in the world.
Let me get my one gripe, and the main reason I have hesitated to recommend and review Cast of Thrones… they are silly. By that I mean… there are fart japes, there are goofy inside japes, they go off on tangents so far off the main topic that you occasionally forget what you are listening to… but they can be funny, they can be very insightful, and best of all… for all their idiocy, they are all extremely intelligent young people who genuinely love the source material in addition to the show.
Cast of Thrones consists of five hosts: Michael “Thrift Nerd” DiMauro, the oldest of the group with two kids, who at times seems to be overseeing his own little dork preschool; Nick Bristow, a very amicable fellow with a great deadpan sense of humor; Mike Dao, the one person in the group who hasn’t read the books and seems to be absent more often than not, and also serves as a bit of a punching bag for the rest… perhaps that’s why he hasn’t been around much; Tim Lanning, the obvious jester of the group. I must admit, I love me some Tim Lanning… he’s goofy, funny, witty… and best of all… he’s married to…; Jennifer Cheek, the aforementioned woman in the group. She went to Harvard (a very long standing, but true, joke spread throughout the podcast’s history). Jennifer is intelligent, a joy to listen to, and frankly… she’s got something sexy going on… and her presence is greatly appreciated.
From the beginning of this podcast, they have set up their episodes as recaps during the ten weeks a year when the show is going on… and engage in a “book club” during the other forty two weeks in the year. They began the “book club” after the first season by reading A Game of Thrones and discussing each chapter… they are currently discussing A Clash of Kings, and it’s been great being able to dissect the books this way and being able to tie everything together with each show.
When the show is airing, their casts take on a whole different level of frenetic energy… often thanks to a hearty helping of alcohol ingested during most of the podcasts… in fact, I think Tim is drunk the majority of the time… but it’s difficult to tell. My favorite part of the podcast is their “stump Mike Dao” portion of the regular season. Because he hasn’t read anything, they will ask him what he believes will happen. If you are a fan of Game of Thrones, you will realize what a ridiculous thing that is to ask of someone… they will then mercilessly mock him. Again… Mike Dao has not been on the show much lately… hmmmm.
I mentioned that they have a number of inside jokes… they refer to some fans as “Winterfellas”, they move from location to location during their discussions by riding a “dire-donkey”, and my favorite episodes are when Jennifer ditches the dudes and invites her lady friends over for what they call “Wine, Women, and Westeros”, a look at Game of Thrones from the female perspective… it doesn’t get much better than that, because by the end, these ladies are tipsy as all hell, and that makes for some good podcasting.
So, if you are a fan of Game of Thrones, and you don’t take yourself too seriously and enjoy some stupid in your life, I would recommend giving Cast of Thrones a listen. Find the podcast on iTunes, visit their website at castofthrones.com, and follow them on Twitter @CastofThrones. Plus, if you leave a good (or even bad) review of them on iTunes, they will read it on air.
As they say over at Cast of Thrones… keep riding that donkey.
Why is my donkey painted like a zebra,
Cornelius J. Blahg