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HBO always puts out some extremely extensive, well thought out sets for its original series, however, there is a caveat: a steep price tag. With Blu-ray copies of seasons running close to $80 dollars and DVD copies running right at $60, HBO sets are among some of the steepest and it may not always be easy to justify the list price. However, HBO’s high fantasy drama, Game of Thrones is built for fandom and goes well above and beyond when it comes to Blu-ray and DVD sets. With The Complete Second Season out today, here are the top 5 reasons why it’s a good idea to go ahead and indulge in a purchase, at least this once.
1. A Slew of Extras
Blu-ray copies of Game of Thrones: The Complete Second Season come with DVD and digital copies, as well. The packaging is fitting and comes with an episode guide and a map of George R. R. Martin’s world, as well as the ten episodes spread across five discs. If you are wondering why any company would need to spread ten episodes across five discs, the answer is that it is all about the bonus features.
Unlike DVD copies, the Blu-ray features in-episode guides that allow audiences to really dig into history and geography while episodes are playing. Along with this, there are extremely short character profiles with interviews from the main cast members that explain their interpretation of George R. R. Martin’s characters. Disc 5 actually holds the bulk of the extras, including segments on histories and religion, as well as the “War of the Five Kings” extra. For those obsessed with The Battle of Blackwater Bay, an entire segment is devoted to the creation of that episode. Some of these extras are difficult to navigate, but if you are super into the creation of Martin’s world, you’ll find them worthy of a perusal.
2. Because we all need a little Tyrion Lannister in our lives.
Tyrion's wit and begrudging competence have become a highlight in a frequently grim series. While he doesn't offer the only dialogue that is wit-filled, his smarts and his ability to weasel out of bad situations has always been a high point in the series. What is especially appreciable about Tyrion is just how quick he is. You may think you caught all of his jokes and smart-ass comments while initially watching Season 2, but having re-watched the entire series, I can say with confidence that you probably missed a few highlights.
Besides, who doesn't savor moments like the following?
3. The Battle of the Blackwater
We all knew wildfire was a dangerous bit of chemistry when it was first alluded to on the show, but unless fans had read the books, it’s doubtful anyone was prepared for the visual feast that was this season’s penultimate episode “Blackwater.” Filled with pithy dialogue and moments that were truly gut-wrenching, “Blackwater” has been one of the greatest episodes of the series thus far.
It helps that A Song of Ice and Fire writer George R. R. Martin signed on to write the episode, which means “Blackwater” featured all of the author’s intent. It also helps that HBO increased the series budget by 15% in Season 2 so that the Battle of the Blackwater could be accomplished with pizzaz. A little extra flair—or wildfire as it were—can go a long way, and “Blackwater” is an episode worth perusing again and again, and especially on glorious HD.
4. Easter Eggs
The Game of Thrones: The Complete Second Season, like it’s Season 1 counterpart, features Easter eggs. Last time around, HBO flippantly called them “dragon eggs” instead of the usual term, which is a nice tie-in to the series. The Easter Eggs in the Game of Thrones sets are always challenging to find and if you really love the series, it's absolutely worth it to give it a shot.
I hope you didn’t come into this article assuming I was going to tell you how to find all of the Season 2 Easter eggs. If you did, you’re likely going to leave a little unsatisfied. I’ve spent a bit of time re-watching all the episodes and perusing the disc, and I’m not sure I’ve even found all of the “dragon eggs,” yet. If you come across any of these quickly, congratulations, it’s highly likely you are a quicker searcher than I am.
5. Because it could be the last season for some of your favorite characters
Game of Thrones doesn’t shy away from, it’s death. The series is synonymous with killing off its lead characters, and if the books are any indication, there’s only more carnage to come. So far, the death list has included some heroes and villains, some honest characters and some with more complicated mindsets.
Game of Thrones isn’t simply a story about heroes; instead, its complicated storylines take television to a whole different level. Just like in real life, there are real stakes and consequences to actions and watching the drama unfold onscreen is different experience than any other program on television. If you haven’t caught Season 2, the Blu-ray is an extravaganza of vivid episodes and in-depth extras, and even if you have, the Season 2 set is filled with reminders of what occurred in Season 2 and hints at what is yet to come.