Game Of Thrones Season 5 Blu-ray Review
Note: This far into Game of Thrones, it’s nearly impossible to write a season review without spoilers. So if you haven’t seen this season or any of the previous seasons, I wouldn’t read this or any review.
I’ve been accused of speaking in hyperbole when it comes to HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’, but the truth is that I honestly consider this to be the greatest show of all time. And even five seasons into it, I continue to be blown away by virtually every episode. Unlike other TV shows, every single scene in ‘Game of Thrones’ is meaningful and worthwhile. There are no wasted moments or empty episodes and every aspect of the show, from set pieces to dialogue, is done to perfection. By now you should know that ‘Game of Thrones’ isn’t just for LARP’ers or book nerds, this is a show for anyone that loves television at its finest.
The fifth season marks a bit of a turning point for every character. After killing his father at the end of the fourth season, Tyrion (Dinklage) is on the run and seeks refuge with Daenerys (Emilia Clarke). Instantly, the two hit it off and within moments of them meeting, they become my new favorite duo. They exchange in an excellent back and forth and every scene they share is pure perfection. I got the feeling their team-up was rushed compared to how it will probably play out in the books, but it works wonderfully in the show. Meanwhile, Cersei and Jamie are reeling from their father’s death as well as a growing threat from the Martells, who are upset over Oberyn’s death.
On the other side of Westeros, Sansa is still being treated brutally by Ramsay, who along with his father is planning their ruling of the North. Any time the focus turns to Sansa, the audience immediately feels sympathy and discomfort, both for what she’s going through and how terrible Ramsay is. But with Theon nearby, there’s always a sliver of hope while we root for him to break out of his brainwashing and help Sansa. As with everything in ‘Game of Thrones’, this dynamic is incredible because while it helps to grow Sansa as a character, it also adds more hatred to Ramsay and eventually more gratification when he ultimately meets his demise (whenever that may be).
On the wall, Jon Snow finds himself entangled in two dangerous battles. He’s made the leader of the Watch, which means his enemies on the Night’s Watch are now out to get him. But when he’s not facing danger internally, he’s worried about the White Walkers, who he learns are forming an army. Understanding that the Night’s Watch isn’t equipped to face an army, he goes north of the wall to help out the Wildlings, making a deal that if he helps them, they will join him in a future fight against the Walkers. That went down in the episode ‘Hardhome’, which was one of the most intense episodes of television I’ve ever seen (there goes that hyperbole again). It truly was great and set up what promises to be some great battles between Jon Snow and the leader of the White Walkers in the future.
I warned you about spoilers…
So let’s talk about Jon Snow. We can all agree that he’s not really dead…right? He’s coming back in some form or another and I personally assume that when he does, the show will start to revolve around him. I buy into the theory that the title of the book series “A Song of Ice and Fire” is actually a reference to Jon Snow’s lineage and by the time the series ends, everything will make sense. That said, his death was one of the most brilliant moments in the show’s history because it was the final scene of the fifth season and it’s all anyone could talk about. It has dominated the internet for almost a year with everything from blog posts detailing conspiracy theories to spy photos taken on the set of season 6. That just goes to show how beloved Jon Snow is to audiences and how much fans are obsessed with the show. But the brilliant part on HBO is that they managed to keep people talking about ‘Game of Thrones’ for months despite not releasing any marketing materials or talking about it themselves. So even though it was devastating to watch, Snow’s death was incredible television.
I’m not shy about geeking out to anything, but ‘Game of Thrones’ brings out the geekiest side of me and I can’t help it nor do I want to. I’ve spent countless hours discussing Jon Snow’s death with friends and reading the theories on how they’ll bring him back and I’ve loved every minute of it.
Video: Nobody does Blu-ray like HBO and ‘Game of Thrones’ season 5 is no exception. The show really is breathtaking on Blu-ray.
Audio: The audio is equally impressive.
14 Commentaries on 9 episodes: As with previous season sets, all of these commentaries are excellent. Although Kit Harrington shows up for a commentary on episode 8, he doesn’t get a chance to talk on the infamous episode 10. That was probably intentional given Harrington’s clear discomfort talking about his future involvement in the show, but it still would have been nice. However, the commentary that is available on the tenth episode is fantastic and if you only have a chance to watch one commentary, make it that one.
In-episode guide: Each episode has an in-episode guide that gives more information on the locations and the characters.
Deleted scenes (7:57): Most of these could have been extended scenes and although they were fine, they didn’t impact the season.
New Characters/New Stories (7:40): Season 6 has a lot of new characters showing up, but season 5 didn’t have that many new faces. However, this featurette looks at who did show up for the first time.
Anatomy of an Episode: Mother’s Mercy (29:32): Here we go. This is dedicated to the season finale and yes, it’s very spoiler-heavy.
The Real History Behind Game of Thrones (40:13): George R.R. Martin talks about the influences and much more in two separate interviews.
Histories and Lore: Seven different animated features about different settings and aspects of the show.
The Dance of Dragons (20:26): This is a longer feature on the mythology of the show and where it comes from.
Previous Thrones sets have included a number of Easter Eggs for those patient enough to search for them.