I’ll be the first one to tell you I didn’t think Binge Mode was a good idea. It seemed like too much to handle, in such a short period of time. If you’re unfamiliar with the newly-launched The Ringer podcast, Binge Mode, hosts Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion do a deep dive analysis for every Game of Thrones episode from the very beginning.
However, with just a little over a month away from the Game of Thrones season seven premiere, Binge Mode needed to cram a lot of analysis into very little time. To accomplish this, they’re launching 10 podcast episodes — one for each TV show episode — every Monday until the premiere date. Each episode hovers around 30 minutes in length and follows a similar structure of plot overview, key themes, analysis, background lesson, and seven final thoughts.
Recommended reading: The 10 Best Game of Thrones Podcasts
Why wasn’t I a fan of the idea? I, and I assume many of you, typically listen to podcasts during preset times such as my commute to work or while I work out. For me, this usually equals about an hour of “podcast time” per day, sometimes two hours at most. To fit Binge Mode into my podcast queue schedule, I’d have to give up on a few podcasts that I already regularly listen to. Was I ready to make that sacrifice? I wasn’t quite sure, but I decided to give the first episode a listen and make a decision based off that.
For added context, I’m a huuuuge Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire fan. Couple that with already being an enormous fan of Jason’s Ask the Maester columns on Grantland and The Ringer, and this podcast seemed to perfectly aligned with my interests. Still, I wasn’t sure if I was ready to commit to The Binge.
It took about two minutes to make up my mind. I was hooked.
Like many of you, I can never consume enough Game of Thrones-related content. Disregarding my existing podcast queue was easier than I expected too. I group all my podcasts into two segments:
- Evergreen — content that isn’t time sensitive and I could come back to weeks or months later
- Timely — content that is in reaction to a current event
The Evergreen episodes like 99PI, WTF, Invisibilia, Freakonomics, and others would continue to grow on my unplayed queue. The Timely episodes like Pod Save America, The Watch, and all my sports podcasts had to be thrown away, missed but not forgotten.
Sorry NBA Finals; Sorry Comey testimony reactions; Winter is coming.
Though I occasionally peruse the ASOIAF sub-Reddit and listen to several Game of Thrones-related podcasts, for my money nobody has a better blend of knowledge, analysis, and articulation as both Mallory and Jason. Nearly every episode I get new insightful analysis on a TV show I’ve seen multiple times.
Listen to episode 1: S1E1 Winter Is Coming below…