Game of Thrones Podcasts :: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Can you believe it?! The halfway point of Game of Thrones Season 5 is already here. And things are bigger, badder, and crazier than ever! Over these five seasons, we’ve met so many larger than life characters, traveled to new lands, and been entrenched in devious plots and motives. Even for the biggest fan, things can get a bit confusing. How does this superfan keep things straight? Well, it’s no secret that I LOVE podcasts, and it just so happens there are hundreds of GoT recap and theory podcasts out there. By tuning in after each episode, it really helps to refresh what just happened and make insane predictions for what that means. Unfortunately, with a zillion of these podcasts out there, there are bound to be some that aren’t pulling the weight of this epic series.

So naturally, some research had to be done.

Since I have an abundance of free time, in addition to catching up with some tried and true recaps, I listened to the past few episodes of the ten most popular Game of Thrones podcasts on iTunes. Some were hilarious, others informative, one mind-numbingly boring, and some made you wonder how why they were even recording a podcast if they couldn’t even keep track of the names of major characters. What was most important to me was knowledge and enthusiasm. Do the hosts know what the hell they’re talking about? They better. Can they help make sense of the narrative—why did the showrunners decide to do that? Can they enhance the story even more through book knowledge? Do they actually enjoy doing all this? Hopefully these reviews will help you decide which ones to delve into and which ones to avoid like greyscale. As the next half of the season builds up steam and shit starts to hit the fan, you’re going to be glad you have them.


A Cast of Kings

Hosts: David Chen and Joanna Robinson

Spoilers: No! And they’re really conscious to give listeners who want to stay pure that experience.

Knowledge: 4 out of 5

Enthusiasm: 5 out of 5

A Cast of Kings is one of my go-to sources for all things A Song of Ice and Fire. Joanna Robinson is the encyclopedica book reader and David Chen is the voice of the naïve show watcher (not that all show watchers are naïve, just clueless David). Because of this dynamic, these two don’t just review everything in the episode, but make it so much more. Any question you may have, David is able to think of it and ask it and Joanna is not only able to provide a satisfactory answer, but also provide lore from the book that makes the worlds of Westeros and Essos much more tangible. This is the only GoT podcast that I’ve listened to that aims to bring book readers and show watchers to one happy, coexisting space. Yet, they make an extremely honest effort to not spoil anything beyond what has aired. My god! Joanna Robinson is a saint for resisting all the foreshadowing and internet conspiracy that she knows! Joanna and David also have deep experience in film and entertainment, so they’re able to shed light on the production value and directing of each episode.  A Cast of Kings is fun, informative, and absolutely crucial to your Game of Thrones watching experience.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 Gold Dragons


A Storm of Spoilers

Hosts: Joanna Robinson, Da7e Gonzalez, and Neil Miller

Spoilers: Absolutely

Knowledge: 5 out of 5

Enthusiasm: 5 out of 5

In conjunction to A Cast of Kings, Joanna Robinson also cohosts this no holds back spoiler podcast. Nothing is off limits for Joanna, who has read all the books multiple times, Neil, who has read all the books and fallen down the rabbit hole of internet forums, and Da7e (yes, that’s his name), who hasn’t read the books, but is eager to know all there is in this universe. Storm of Spoilers is A Cast of Kings on crack. They’re not so much as interested in recapping the episode as they are taking it, flipping it on its head, dissecting it, comparing it to the books, coming up with ludicrous theories, and sadly, determining who’s probably going to die by the end of the season. This is the true superfan’s podcast!

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 Vengeful Aryas


Game of Thrones: The Podcast

Hosts: Jim and A. Ron of Bald Moves

Spoilers: Sometimes, it depends on what broadcast you listen to.

Knowledge: 3 out of 5

Enthusiasm: 3 out of 5

This Bald Moves podcast delivers a pretty solid recap, but doesn’t expand upon George R.R. Martin’s world like some of the better ones do. What makes this one special is the many different perspectives they have to offer. There’s the Instant Take, where they give their immediate feedback to the episode, the regular spoiler-free episode, and the SpoiLORE episode, in which A. Ron goes balls to the wall with theories. Another thing I really like about this cast is how involved they are with listener feedback. A pretty large section is devoted to reading and answering listener questions. This well-worth the listen if you have time, but if you don’t there are more enthusiastic and fanatical ones out there.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 Direwolves


Game of Thrones: Tower of Babble Breakdown

Hosts: Daniel D’Souza and Julian Meush

Spoilers: I don’t think so…

Knowledge: 3 out of 5

Enthusiasm: 1 out of 5

By the old gods and the new! This podcast was soooo boring! Could they be any less excited about what they’re talking about? I tried listening to two episodes, but ended up spacing out halfway through both of them. From what I got, the two hosts seem to have a basic knowledge of GoT lore, but nothing more than surface level of the episodes. If you want a recap, you’re better off just rewatching the episode instead of listening to this.

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 Iron Island Kingsmoots


Game of Owns

Hosts: Zack Luye, Micah Tannenbaum, and Eric Scull

Spoilers: Yes, but they try not to be obvious.

Knowledge: 4 out of 5

Enthusiasm: 4 out of 5

I listened to three whole episodes before it clicked. These are some familiar voices from Mugglecast, a Harry Potter podcast, and another one of my favorites, #Millenial! So naturally, the bar was set very high. But Game of Owns totally delivers! All hosts are highly entrenched in the show, and it seems that at least one of the hosts has read the books multiple times and serves to bridge that gap. Out of all the podcasts I’ve listened to, Game of Owns cuts the deepest into the events of the show, however, because so much detail is paid towards it, they have to cut each tv episode into two podcast shows. I just want to listen to everything at once! But by far my favorite part of this cast is the Owns; listeners write in to contribute the most badass character of the previous episode. Game of Owns is a great mix of comedy and knowledge, and I can’t believe it wasn’t part of my listening repertoire beforehand!

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Badass Sand Snakes


 A Game of Thrones Podcast from LSG Media

Hosts: Jessica and Dean, whoever the hell they are.

Spoilers: No, they can’t even get character names right.

Knowledge: 1 out of 5

Enthusiasm: 4 out of 5

Whoof, this podcast is a hot mess. But what they get devastatingly wrong, is made up for with enthusiasm! That’s what really counts…? Seriously though, if you’re looking to learn more about Game of Thrones, don’t listen to this podcast; they can’t keep any of the characters straight, have forgotten what happened in past episodes, and future predictions are just insane. Not to mention, what annoys me the most is that they’re not Team Tyrell. Come on! Margaery is packing all the punches and Mace is a comic genius. One plus is that they realize that this is obviously a mature show and likewise, their audience has no problem with tits and wine, so they deliver the bawdiness that should be expected. Other than that, it’s a basic biddy talking about her lady boner towards Littlefinger (ok, ok, I don’t blame her).

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 King Joffreys (whom we love to hate)


 

Afterbuzz TV’s Game of Thrones Aftershow

Hosts: Various

Spoilers: Yes + Insider Info

Knowledge: 3 out of 5

Enthusiasm: 4 out of 5

Out of all the podcasts I listened to, The Game of Thrones Aftershow probably has the biggest production value of the bunch. It is part of a larger platform called Afterbuzz TV, which provides aftershows for hundreds of shows, but just because it isn’t a passion project coming from someone’s basement, doesn’t mean that these hosts aren’t any less of superfans. A shifting group of hosts unfortunately doesn’t foster an intimate connection to the voices in your ears, but it offers many different perspectives so you’re not constantly in the same mindset. I also enjoy how they choose to get into the mind of characters, determining why they would do something as people, as opposed to that’s just how the show runners wanted it to be. Because of its larger network, the Game of Thrones Aftershow is also able to bring you video in addition to the podcast, as well as interview cast and crew from the show. On the most recent episodes, one of the hosts had just returned from the set! This is the podcast for those who are not just interested in what happened on the show, but what goes into making an entire series.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 Valyrian Steel Swords


Game of Microphones

Hosts: Grace, David, and Jason

Spoilers: Yes

Knowledge: 4 out of 5

Enthusiasm: 3 out of 5

Another very solid, enjoyable podcast! If I could give it a distinct vibe, I’d say Game of Microphones is the GoT podcast that caters towards the older crowd. I have no solid facts to back that up; I can’t even recall if they said anything specific to make me think that way. Some of the others feel very distinctly hosted by millennials for millennials, but this one seems like hey, the kids are in bed, let’s enjoy some sexy medieval fantasy too! Two of the hosts are book readers, giving the discussion a strong foundation, and all have keen enough minds to read deeper into the events of the episode. What makes Game of Microphones unique is that instead of covering each event in the order they happened in the show, they count down their top five insane GoT moments to talk about. If you want a no frills, straight to the meat podcast, this one is for you.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 Kings in the North


Podcast Winterfell

Hosts: Matt Murdick and Friends

Spoilers: Yes, but only in the second half.

Knowledge: 3 out of 5

Enthusiasm: 3 out of 5 

Sports radio for Game of Thrones fans! I have to admit, when the show opened, I had my doubts about this podcast; here were a bunch of dudes with heavy New York accents, some talking through the grainy call-in of a phone. I thought oh no, this is going to be a testosterone-fueled commentary on boobs and violence. Good news! Not even close! In this round table discussion, half of which is spoiler-free, half for book readers, the hosts are surprisingly intuitive and knowledgeable. In addition to their regular recap show, they have a separate live call-in show, where listeners and fans can call in and join in on the discussion. The whole thing is strongly reminiscent of driving around with my dad and listening to sports talk on the radio, only instead of football, they’re talking about the Night’s Watch and dragons.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 Dothraki Khalasars


Boars, Gore, and Swords

Hosts: Ivan Hernandez and Red Scott—supposedly standup comedians.

Spoilers: No. They don’t know squat.

Knowledge: 2 out of 5

Enthusiasm: 2 out of 5

Ugh, this was the worst! More like “bores,” gore, and swords. Am I right? They basically talked about everything EXCEPT Game of Thrones; the new Star Wars, Speed Racer, name dropping random people and actors I don’t know. And when they finally did talk about the show, they butchered names and doled out misleading and wrong information. This was terrible, avoid!

Overall Rating: 1 out of 5 Manhoods Chopped Off and Fed to the Goats


Does anyone listen to GoT podcasts? What are some of your favorites? Do you disagree with my ratings?—If so, TRIAL BY COMBAT!

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5 thoughts on “Game of Thrones Podcasts :: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

  1. I was delighted with your reviews for A Cast of Kings and A Storm of Spoilers, two excellent podcasts. But I don’t want to repeat what you’ve said. Just know that I’m a fan, and I appreciate you talking about them.

    It sounds like you have an incredible amount of GoT podcasts to listen to, but if I can suggest another (I apologize… no one has all the time to listen to everything) but since you list Podcast Winterfell, one of their semi-regulars, Bubba, has an amazing podcast with Christopher “Catfish” Gehrman called…

    THE JOFFREY OF PODCASTS

    It started as an in-between seasons podcast exploring the divine nature of his Grace, King Joffrey, First of His Name, First in our Hearts. I enjoyed listening to them as a parody podcast, but when the regular seasons would start up, they would release fantastic and engaging recaps, with their usual pro-Joffrey spin.

    I really recommend them.

    Thank you for listening to these podcast collections and taking the time for the insightful reviews. Very appreciated and thank you for sharing them.

    • Thanks for reading!

      Yes! They mentioned The Joffrey of Podcasts a few times and it definitely sounds hilarious, but I’m a bit GoT podcasted out right now. I’ll have to wait for after this week’s episode. I’m sure it was great back when Joffrey was kicking around King’s Landing!

  2. Hey Erin, I love your blog name! And thanks so much for this post.Im pretty newly addicted to podcasts and mostly am following Marvel, DC and Sdcc related ones.. I’m always on the hunt for podcast or geekygirl blogs..Gonna check out your recs.

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