Greetings, fellow donkey-riders!
I started listening to Cast of Thrones during season 5, and have since gone back and listened to a big chunk of the back-catalogue (Feast/Dance bookclub, Hedge knight, crackpots 1&2, and the gotye's from s4). I really enjoy a lot of what you guys have to say and look forward to future episodes, but here's my take on what could be even better:
At the start of S5, I had one GOT podcast I listened to, and had been listening to since Sean Bean died: Boars, Gore and Swords. Unfortunately, in the middle of the season, one of the two podcasters, Ivan, moved to LA, his computer died, and the podcast essentially shit the bed as a result. Bummer. This led me to listen to several other GOT podcasts on a trial-run basis, including yours. (Aside from you guys, the only other one I'll be keeping in regular rotation is Storm of Spoilers)
So, I'm sad because of the way BGAS (apparently) ended - If Ivan could get a new computer, they could conceivably continue the podcast (However I think Ivan is just over it and has lost interest, I don't really understand how someone can live in LA for two months without a computer). This made me realize that it's important to support independent podcasters, and so when I heard your recent episodes, I ventured over to the Patreon page to learn more...
However, a couple things on the Patreon page made me decide not to donate at this time. Here's why I felt a bit irked: you guys have a system that asks people for a monthly commitment in order to access the 'bonus' episodes. This would be fine, except that during the offseason, you only produce 2 podcasts a month, plus a third 'bonus' episode. Many other podcasts produce 4 a month, or 1 every week, and offer these episodes to everyone. Secondly, looking at the Patreon page, it says you are already receiving over $800/month from Cast of Thrones donations. I have no idea what your operating budget is, but from my recent experience, other podcasters could use my money more than you guys could at this point. (In your position, I would just take the current donation total off that page - in combination with the 'Ned Stark' package (which is a joke?? right???) it appears to be in poor taste).
On another note - Spoilers. I think you guys should drop the 'spoiler section' of the podcast and just incorporate those discussions into the main podcast, for a couple reasons. One, the show is nearly caught up with the books. I know this isn't true in every case, but it's close enough in most storylines to be a non-issue. Two, and this is my main argument - half the time Tim gives the spoiler away anyway. I wish I had written down some examples, but they happen frequently enough that hopefully you know what I mean. Most of the time they're 'non-spoiler spoilers,' meaning that if you think about it for a few seconds, it becomes clear that you've given something away (like that a character is implicitly still alive in the books, for example). I'd rather you not hold back your knowledge for a 'spoiler section' at the end, where you sometimes forget to mention the 'spoilers' teased during the regular podcast. Instead, just announce that what you're about to say is a (potential/book) spoiler, and anyone who still is trying to be Unsullied can pull out their headphones for a few seconds.
Sorry for the long-winded rant, and I hope it didn't come across as too critical. I love almost everything else about the podcast (the exception being purposeful mispronunciations - and I don't mean names like Brienne and Gendry, I mean regular words like 'baby' as 'babbie'). I can't wait to laugh all through the GOTYEs, the rest of the DragFeast book club, Telltale adventures, and of course the Winds of Winter book club, when you'll surely switch to podcasting 5x a week to keep up with how quickly we'll all be reading it
Keep riding, Jackasses! (wait, is that not how it goes?) >:D