Just how much absurdity are we talking about?

Well, bugger me with a spear, THIS sounds like fun. Via my man Josh Hill at FanSided, HBO is giving us a Game of Thrones after-show starting this year, called After the Thrones, produced by Bill Simmons.

The current trend in television is to capitalize not only on your hit show but to do so to the fullest possible extent. The Walking Dead has gone beyond this and begun spinning itself off, but the comfortable way to capitalize on your show is to produce an after show that geeks out about the latest episode that millions of people just watched.

Following the link in Josh’s story, Deadline goes into more detail, and tells us:

After the Thrones will recap the latest episode, explaining the who, what, when and where; exploring the complicated politics and history of Thrones; and “offering absurd and not-so-absurd theories about future episodes.” Greenwald and Ryan hosted Grantland’s Watch the Thrones podcast and currently host The Watch on Channel 33’s podcast feed for The Ringer.

Just how absurd will these theories be?

Something that’s not clear from any of the hot takes I can find on this news—and I use “hot takes” neutrally, I’m a hot take writer myself—is to what extent Simmons’s content team will have access to inside information on the show. There are plenty of nerds already making a name for themselves by sharing recaps, analysis and theories of the Thrones universe, but this will be the first team of HBO-sanctioned Thrones nerds. So…will their not-so-absurd theories be any better-informed than any other sufficiently engaged nerds’ theories? I’m sure they wouldn’t admit to having access to a little bit of script material even if it were true, but do they get to talk to any crew members? Any cast?

I guess if I had to ask a direct question, it would be to ask HBO: why should I watch your nerds’ analysis of GoT, rather than just read the latest articles at Watchers and Winter? And if I do both, why should I take your GoT nerds any more seriously than my peeps on Twitter?

All that said, though, I do plan to watch After the Thrones, and I think it’ll be fun. Even if Greenwald and Ryan don’t know any more about what happens next than I do, I’m looking forward to hearing their takes on the episodes. They’ll probably make some observations that I missed, and that’s helpful. They’ll probably offer some theories and interpretations that I don’t agree with, and that can be productive. Sounds like excellent blog-fodder.