Microprocessing

Long Live Recap Podcasts

“Game of Thrones” has ended — but recap podcasts will endure

Angela Lashbrook
Published in
4 min readJun 6, 2019

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Photo: HBO

In Microprocessing, columnist Angela Lashbrook aims to improve your relationship with technology every week. Microprocessing goes deep on the little things that define your online life today, to give you a better tomorrow.

Daenerys and her dragons didn’t just come for King’s Landing. They came for my content.

Though the last season of Game of Thrones was widely regarded as a creative failure, people watched — more than 19 million for the series finale last month. And more importantly, they tweeted, blogged, and podcasted. (As The Outline reported in April, some outlets produced hundreds, if not thousands, of individual pieces of GoT coverage.)

I love Game of Thrones, but I’m not the world’s biggest fan. I haven’t read all the books, I don’t follow the stars on social media, and I’m not going to name my future daughter Arya. I am an avid podcast listener, though. And what I love — or loved — about Thrones, probably more than the show itself, was the discussion that surrounded it: the swarm of conversation, debate, and theorizing that emerges from a true pop culture phenomenon.

Recap podcasts, particularly those dedicated to Game of Thrones, provide me access to a nearly endless stream of thoughts, analysis, and opinion that enrich the source material, deepen my understanding of plot and character, and transport me from the relatively dreary events of our current reality and into the magic and, yes, tragedy of another world.

Of course, Game of Thrones isn’t the only show with an army of fan-and-media-created podcasts, and it isn’t where I first stepped into the world of recap podcasts. This was a slow, and relatively recent descent, beginning with the Westworld podcast Out West and Vanity Fair’s Still Watching series. They gradually began to take the place of the political and true crime podcasts I’d been listening to regularly, but not loyally, before.

Shows like Westworld and Game of Thrones are, in a way, mystery shows. Much of what makes for the most delightful post-episode conversation is laying out the pieces and deciphering their message. But many podcasts move beyond mere…

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Angela Lashbrook
OneZero

I’m a columnist for OneZero, where I write about the intersection of health & tech. Also seen at Elemental, The Atlantic, VICE, and Vox. Brooklyn, NY.