Game of Thrones Season 5 Blu-ray Review and Giveaway!

Bluray photos

The Game of Thrones Season 5 Blu-ray is coming to retailers everywhere in just a few days, and luckily we got our hands on a copy! So today, we’re going to take a thorough look at the newest edition to our home collection, and then- here’s the really fun part- we’re going to have a giveaway!

That’s right- while everyone else will have to wait until March 15th to buy the DVD or Blu-ray, one of you readers will win Game of Thrones: The Complete Fifth Season on Blu-ray!

But before we get to the giveaway, let’s open up that Blu-ray set and have a look!

First off, speaking strictly of aesthetics, this is a gorgeous set. One of my concerns about the key art for season 5 was that Tyrion & dragon artwork, while a strong image to tease the season, didn’t do much for me after the fact. For the home release, the art has been tweaked slightly, with a golden wash to the layout of the 4-disc boxset and the cover itself. The sleeve over the box is covered with detailed house sigils that give it more weight in theme.

The Blu-ray sets contains several nice bonus features. There are four deleted scenes– to be completely honest, I wasn’t bowled over by any of them, and I understand why they all were cut. There are In-Episode Guides for those who find them useful- I think those are more for casual fans than the likes of us hardcore GoT nerds.

The Histories and Lore featurettes are the real treat of the boxset and what make the Game of Thrones Blu-ray set worth every penny. The beautifully animated series of histories include a variety of drawing styles, and a lengthy list of topics. A complete list of the Histories & Lore can be found in this post, along with an exclusive look at one featurette video, “The Many-Faced God.”

Got S5 Blu-ray Box ArtA 20-minute animated history feature is includedm titled “The Dance of Dragons,” telling the story of the Targaryen civil war that led to the destruction of the family and their dragons. The feature is narrated by several past cast members, including Harry Lloyd (Viserys), Kerry Ingram (Shireen), Pedro Pascal (Oberyn), and more. This is an amazing bonus feature. I really am so impressed with the care that went into producing something of this quality for a home release.

The Blu-ray includes other extras such as an Anatomy of an Episode video for “Mother’s Mercy”, “The Real History Behind Game of Thrones” , the new character and locations videos we saw before season 5, and “A Day in the Life,” the video that aired last year showing the behind the scenes process of producing the show in three countries.

Audio commentaries are the other main reason I watch the Blu-rays so I dove into these. There are twelve audio commentaries with cast and crew (see below for complete list).

What’s striking about the audio commentary tracks is how comfortable and organic the groupings are. The Game of Thrones cast and crew are good about keeping the discussion on topic, pertinent to the scenes and characters we’re watching, while still cracking jokes and sharing more personal thoughts on the work they’ve done. More than a few times, I noticed the actors asking questions of their directors, prompting them to open up, rather than actors dominating the discussion with purposeless rambling as I’ve come across on other shows’ DVDs before.

My one issue with the commentaries is minor- that there isn’t one for episode 7. For a Blu-ray set this well-produced with so many tracks, it irks my sense of completion. There doesn’t seem to be any good reason to have three tracks for “Hardhome” but none for “The Gift.”

One thing I found interesting was how the actors convey how friendly they are with one another, and yet there are moments like during “The Dance of Dragons,” when Peter Dinklage notes during the Martell group scene at in Dorne, “I have never met three of the people sitting in this room.” You forget sometimes with a cast this huge, some people’s paths never cross. Dinklage notes on the commentary he’s probably met the widest range of people in the cast, due to his character moving between The Wall, King’s Landing and across Essos.

Dinklage was probably my favorite commentator (along with Lena Headey, who is awesome covering “Mother’s Mercy”), with his dry low-key humor, warmth and intelligence. He derails the Martell scene discussion by observing, “The problem with Nikolaj is he’s not handsome enough.” It only gets better from there.

There are other fascinating high points in the season, discussion-wise. The touchy subject of the final scene of “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” is carefully addressed by Bryan Cogman; quotes were published in February by EW.

Season 5 Audio Commentaries

Season 5, Episode 1: Director Michael Slovis, Dir. of Photography Dave Franco and Ciarán Hinds
Season 5, Episode 2: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Gwendoline Christie and Daniel Portman
Season 5, Episode 3: Production designer Deborah Riley, Costume designer Michele Clapton, and DP Anette Haellmigk
Season 5, Episode 4: Director Mark Mylod, Episode writer Dave Hill, Natalie Dormer and Dean-Charles Chapman
Season 5, Episode 5: Director Jeremy Podeswa, DP Greg Middleton, Iwan Rheon and Michael McElhatton
Season 5, Episode 6: Producer/episode writer Bryan Cogman, Maisie Williams and Tom Wlaschiha
Season 5, Episode 7: no commentary
Season 5, Episode 8: . 3 separate commentaries!
1. Director Miguel Sapochnik, Stunt Coordinator Rowley Irlam, Kit Harington, and Kristofer Hivju
2. VFX Producer Steve Kullback, VFX Supervisor Joe Bauer, and producer Chris Newman
3 DP Fabian Wagner and camera operators Sean Savage and David Morgan

Season 5, Episode 9: 2 commentaries!
1. Director David Nutter, Peter Dinklage and Iain Glen
2. Executive producer Bernadette Caulfield, DP Rob Maclachlan, and camera operators Ben Wilson and David Worley

Season 5, Episode 10: Showrunners and episode writers David Benioff and D.B Weiss, director David Nutter, and Lena Headey

Between the extras, the amazing sound and visuals on the Blu-ray and the pleasure of rewatching the season, I can happily say the Game of Thrones Season 5 Blu-ray was worth the wait.

 

The Giveaway

Today, we have a Game of Thrones: The Complete Fifth Season Blu-ray box set to give away to one lucky fan. Just in time for a rewatch before season 6!

How to Enter: COMMENT ON THIS POST!

**Because this is a Blu-ray, it has a Region code, in this case Region A. Please only enter the giveaway if you’re able to use Region A Blu-rays.**

Beyond that request, we’re happy to ship worldwide.

Entries are accepted for 48 hours, until 6PM ET, on March 13th, 2016. The winner will be randomly selected and announced shortly thereafter on Sunday.

**The contest is worldwide** The winner is selected by random drawing. The winner must respond within 48 hours of notification or will forfeit their prize and another winner will be selected. The winner must have a valid shipping address. Winner must have a valid email address in order to be contacted.

516 responses

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    1. Aesthetically it kind of bugs me that they changed the colour of the disks when all the previous seasons were black.

      Hinds doing a commentary is more than a bit surprising.

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    2. I know this is just a meaningless thing for some; bit I really enjoy the Main Menus on the Blu-rays, I think they’re quite amazing. I’m just gonna ask, what’s the song they used on it? In S1 it was The King’s Arrival; in S2, Mother of Dragons; in S3 it was the ending credits music of Ep. 7 and in S4 it was The Children.

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    3. So, the 3 out of 4 deleted scenes are:

      Daario and Greyworm on the way to a Harpy’s hideout from 5×02
      Jaime and Bronn on the ship from 5×03
      Tormund and Alliser from 5×05

      Wonder what the last one is

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    4. Give it to me, all of it .. please?

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    5. Game Of Thrones season 5: what we learned from the Blu-rays:

      We’ve scoured the episode commentaries from the Game Of Thrones season 5 Blu-ray set – and here are 125 things we found out.

      http://www.denofgeek.com/tv/game-of-thrones/39270/game-of-thrones-season-5-what-we-learned-from-the-blu-rays/page/0/1

      109. Although it has yet to feature in A Song Of Ice And Fire, George R.R. Martin has confirmed that it was always his intention for Stannis and Melisandre to sacrifice Shireen to the God of Light.

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    6. I haven’t purchased Blu-rays in half a decade but I’m seriously tempted to buy this set for all the extras.

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    7. I would so love to win this prize! Luck to everyone. Wait, this IS the Game of Thrones so maybe not so much luck to everyone else.

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    8. Alan, the one-hundredth of His Name:
      I know this is just a meaningless thing for some; bit I really enjoy the Main Menus on the Blu-rays, I think they’re quite amazing. I’m just gonna ask, what’s the song they used on it? In S1 it was The King’s Arrival; in S2, Mother of Dragons; in S3 it was the ending credits music of Ep. 7 and in S4 it was The Children.

      “Blood of the Dragon”

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    9. I may just get the normal blu-ray instead of Best Buy’s sigil cover. I’m not a fan of the change they made this year. If I win this it will save me from making a choice. 🙂

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    10. I just binged to prepare for the new season. I didn’t trust that Stanis was dead because we didn’t see it. With all the gore already in the show I didn’t believe the excuse that it was too much to see him lose his head. With the rewatch though I noticed the angle of Brianne’s sword. It’s up and above her right shoulder like you would hold it if chopping someone’s head off on a block. Like what happened to Ned. But Stanis is leaned back up against the tree. To take his head off cleanly she should have brought the blade around flat from her left to right and used the tree as the chopping block stop. From her angle she would have split his head top to bottom. That being the case I’m OK with not seeing it.

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    11. I love the “Histories and Lore” featurettes. They’re so enjoyable to listen to, I get lost in them. And Harry and Pedro lending their voices for these Season 5 editions? *swoon* ‘

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    12. This design of this year’s boxset is so stunning I can’t wait to get my hands on it! The Histories and Lore is one of my favourite things about the features they’re so well done, I love them 🙂

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    13. Wow, I’m incredibly excited for this! I can’t wait to add it to the collection. Unfortunately I’m going to have to wait a bit as responsibilities suck up all my money. Not a problem though, its so worth the wait! Keep it up Watchers on the Wall! Thank you for feeding me any tidbits you can find to hold me over until season 6. I’m so obsessed with this story, I just can’t get enough! I’ve never been so invested in any other book or show story, ever.

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    14. Does this not have the usual Emmy award winning/New Season premieres in April sticker on the front like they usually do?

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    15. Every year on release day I stop and pick up a blu-ray set on my way to work. Then during the day I find my friend and lend to her. She loves the show but won’t buy season sets. She’s usually done with them within a week. If I were to win a set somewhere she could just keep the set I let her borrow. 🙂

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    16. Totally agreed that the cover looks better with the golden filter and added artwork. Honestly, the marketing departments have been lacking since S1.

      Can’t wait to rewatch S5!

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    17. Looking forward to spending all of Tuesday listening to the commentaries, as I do year after year. Particularly excited about the Dinklage & Glen/ McElhatton & Rheon pairings.

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    18. For the night is dark and full of terror…
      Yay, giveaways are fun. Free stuff is fun. Lol. Good luck everyone. =D ♥

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    19. honestly speaking season 5 wasn’t as good as i expected. anyway, if i win i’ll keep it! :p
      hope i’ll be able to say different about season 6! hope it’ll exceed everyone’s expectations!
      cheers!! 😀

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    20. I can see Dany, Tyrion, Cersei and Jon artwork on the inside but there are usually six characters who get pictures inside, who are the other two? (Om hoping for Arya and Sansa)

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    21. What a great competition (as yours always seem to be!) and ta for the review!

      Regarding the commentaries I always like to listen to all of them. It’s interesting to get a mixed perspective from actors and crew.

      It will be interesting to see what Maisie will be like doing a commentary with older/more experienced people. Glad Natalie got one because she was very insightful and intelligent in her season 4 one. Peter and Lena are always hilarious in theirs as well 🙂

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    22. I always so excited for the commentaries. They’re always informative and enthralling. Headey is so fun in every way. And Christie is–as always–contemplative, gracious, and boisterous. I also look forward to seeing if Elia Mervi does the art for the History & Lore segments. She has, by far, done my favorite ASOIAF fan art.

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    23. I would absolutely love this set! I love binge watching an entire season, doing it again with the commentary on, and then watching it regularly a third time to see if it changes my perception of it.

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    24. If you take a look at the outside stairwell of the Sept of Baelor in Season 5 and compare it to the on in Season 6 you’ll notice that they are not relatvely the same at all.

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    25. I have gotten 12 people within the past couple of months to start Game of Thrones. Getting season 5 on Blu-Ray would be amazing to spread the love of Game of Thrones. Thank you for the opportunity.

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    26. NikV:
      If you take a look at the outside stairwell of the Sept of Baelor in Season 5 and compare it to the on in Season 6 you’ll notice that they are not relatvely the same at all.

      They will probably CGI it because that’s a big oversight.

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    27. Jordan Crutchfield,

      It’s probably the most retconned building in the whole of the show. In s1 it’s appearance in the CGI KL matte paintings looked entirely different from it’s look in s3 and onwards. From then it’s at least looked the same on the KL skyline. But in s3, s5 and s6 it’s had three different front doorways and front steps due to different shooting locations (the first two in Dubrovnik and now, Girona) each time for shots of people entering or exiting the place.

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    28. Love the special features for the box sets. Any word on how these discs were authored? The GoT releases have been crammed full of java which seems to make the individual discs load very slowly, wondering if this is still the case?

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    29. It’s not often I get to feel like my Region A blu ray player was an actually justified purchase; this could be a great opportunity for that. Please pick me! 😛

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    30. Did D&D say anything in commentary regarding how they changed around Jon Snow’s stabbing so it didn’t involve the Pink Letter? Addressing the plot mechanics of this I mean.

      I look forward to the Dance of the Dragons featurette.

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    31. The histories and Lore + the Dance of the Dragons animations look so Epic this year, should be amazing to watch ^^

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    32. Sometimes a man has to make hard choices, choices that might look wrong to others, but you know are right in the long run.
      –Samwell Tarly

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    33. Jon will rise and I will win! (Best of luck to everyone though, of course!)

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    34. I also quite enjoy the audio commentaries. Also the histories seem to be quite interesting judging by the two I have seen so far from the season 5 Blue Ray – I am looking forward to get the dance of the dragons history told as well.

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    35. I’m sitting in the Verizon center having just watched UNC demolish Notre Dame, so of course I checked WotW to cheer me up. Winning this would do the trick!

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    36. If I would win, awesome! If I don’t, I will buy the set anyway 😛 Currently I don’t have any Region 1 DVDs or Blurays, but I have a multi region player 🙂

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    37. Dispite all the criticism the season got, it had some truly great moments. The best bits overcame the crappy ones like anything from Dorne. The Blu-Ray box set looks very well put together, as always. It’d be awesome to get it!

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    38. Well Im region A but still I dont think Im going to win. I just wanted to say that even though I just had become a fan since last year, I can not believe how many details the books and the show give to the story making it so amazing that i cant imagine my life with out it.

      Sorry if my english is broken, its not my first language. Im from Mexico

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    39. jebbers,

      Well, at least your Fighting Irish won the hearts of cbb fans everywhere by beating Duke! 🙂
      (I know, that’s probably little consolation)

      r-hard: 109. Although it has yet to feature in A Song Of Ice And Fire, George R.R. Martin has confirmed that it was always his intention for Stannis and Melisandre to sacrifice Shireen to the God of Light.

      Thanks for the info!

      Can anyone confirm the exact wording? I realize those privy to advance copies may not be allowed to be too specific about certain things.

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    40. The writers also confirmed that GRRM always intended to have Stannis sacrifice his daughter. Trolls from westeros.org can stop bitching about character assassination.

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    41. Stargaryen,

      I remember them saying something along the lines of, “when George told us about what happened to Shireen” in the Inside the Episode, but they weren’t specific, I don’t think, about Stannis being part of it. This sounds like it specifically states Stannis is part of it. Ah well, if no one can give the exact quote, I’m sure people will on the 15th.

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    42. Damn, this boxset is so gorgeous. And so many special features and all that, HBO really know how to make BluRays that worth the price.
      Will be glad to win one 🙂

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    43. You guys are fabulous for doing this. This is probably my favourite season, so it would be so great to win! It is difficult buying such things when you’re a poor student. So pumped for season 6!!

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    44. I would like to win this. If for nothing else but to have a memento of how they used to watch movies/tv in ancient times.

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    45. Looking forward to this Blu Ray! Whether I’m lucky enough to win it here or buy it from the store. Either way, I’m owning you!!!

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    46. I’m actually really thrilled to learn that Ciaran Hinds is commenting The Wars to Come! Underused talented actor, who really made Mance a liekable character despite appearing in only 5 episodes.

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    47. Send it to me with a piece of allister thorne’s skin…

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    48. Commentaries are always my favourite part of Blu-ray releases. I pretend I’m in the same room as the actors and we’re all just having a casual conversation haha

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    49. 1st time poster. Been reading this & related websites for years after devouring the books. Always fascinating to read who knows something and who knows nothing. Met the head of company who designed Dany on dragon last season. Cool how dedicated and diverse the creatives are for this series! Would love the latest blue ray set…

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    50. I think this is the first time that they’ve condensed a season onto 4 discs–helps to keep costs down.

      I had hoped to get commentary tracks for all of the episodes. Pity.

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    51. I love commentaries as well, I’m glad that they included so many behind the scene people as well. Looking forward to all the animated histories as well – so many goodies in this one.

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    52. I was hoping that Brienne would decide to spare Stannis, but after hearing Davos say “He’s gone” in the trailer, my hopes have been dashed.

      Oh well. Jon Snow lives!!!!

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    53. When I was new to the series and hadn’t opened one ASOIAF book (or listened to an audio recording) I found the then extant “History and Lore” features very helpful. I don’t think it’s any secret that some (not season 5 as yet obviously) have been uploaded to YouTube.

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    54. I want I want I want that box set!
      Random comment here…rewatching 1-5 and was reminded of one “mystery” that I rarely see discussed…wonder if we’ll get more hints on/from the WW artistry? Those horse heads sure like like Dany’s end of season 5.

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    55. If I win, I’ll spend the money I would have used buying the bluray as a donation to the dragon protection fund. Save the dragons!

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    56. Lord of Light, come to us in our darkness. We offer you these false gods. Take them and cast your light upon us, for the night is dark and full or terrors. After the long summer, darkness will fall heavy on the world. The stars will bleed. The cold breath of winter will freeze the seas… and the dead shall rise in the North. ~ Mellisandre

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    57. Looking forward to the audio commentaries. Definitely my favorite part of the Blurays. We get to see the actors be themselves.

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    58. Though I have no shot at winning… I am making this post in order to win… because Winter is Coming… and everyone below me is a Knight of Summer.

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    59. Yeah, the animated histories are always the biggest highlight of the DVDs for me. Though I’m curious as to why they’re going out of their way to feature the Blackfyre Rebellion when it hasn’t been on the show. Unlessss…

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    60. Thanks for this great opportunity. I would love to win. Kudo’s to WotW for all the give away programs.

      Good Luck to all!

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    61. So excited for the Histories and Lore featurettes, as well as the commentaries! But I agree Sue, it makes no sense that there’s no commentary for episode 7. It’s full of rich material to be discussed (Littlefinger and Olenna’s meeting, the lead up to Tyrion’s introduction to Daenerys, to name only a couple). Anyway, good luck everyone! Winner is coming.

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    62. WalterHarrow: I can see Dany, Tyrion, Cersei and Jon artwork on the inside but there are usually six characters who get pictures inside, who are the other two? (Om hoping for Arya and Sansa)

      There are five characters on the folding out portions, not six- the one you can’t see in the photo above is Arya.

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    63. Like others I have season 1-4 however they are not blu-Ray and having now got a blu ray player I will buy them again . So getting season five blu Ray would be fantastic and also allow me to afford the blu Ray of the first four seasons as well. I don’t have a good record of winning but you have to enter to at least have a chance and at least I can dream of winning for a short period. Thanks.

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    64. Game of Thrones is a terrific show! Thanks for having the season 5 Blu-ray giveaway!
      I would love to add this season Blu-ray set to my Game of Thrones TV show collection!
      Thanks for the chance!

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    65. Does anybody know if there’s more bonus features on the bluray, as opposed to the SD dvd? I don’t own a bluray player and it’ll be a shame to miss out again.. I guess I’m mainly wondering about the Dance Of The Dragons animation, but not only that….

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    66. Nyke Daenerys Jelmāzmo hen Targārio Lentrot, hen Valyrio Uēpo ānogār iksan. Valyrio muño ēngos ñuhys issa.

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    67. I really want to win the give away mainly because I want to hear the commentaries, they’re usually so warm and humorous.. I’m also excited about the histories and lore, they are always a treat

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    68. Hodor! So excited for the box set, it will be the last little tease before season 6. I almost got my fill today from SXSWesteros, but alas it only made me want more. Cant wait!

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    69. I get my wife the Blu-ray every year for Easter and put it in an Easter basket. She likes Got alot but not THAT much.. so it’s really just for me 🙂

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    70. Yes please! Wish there had been some behind the scenes focus on Hardhome. Don’t like how they only focus on one episode per season.

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    71. two more seasons left of game of Thrones after season 6, so what 20 episodes ? maybe 30 if they split season 8 into two parts, part A and B.
      I Guess 20 episodes is much more likely though.

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    72. I would die if I won the giveaway. I’m totally obsessed with the show and started recently reading the books. SEASON SIX IS GOING TO BE INCREDIBLE. I can’t wait. lmao

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    73. Har! Need to get my ass in gear and start re-watching. Season 5 is less violent than election coverage these days.

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    74. Ah want this so bad 😛 Just brought all the other blu-rays after finding out my best friend hasn’t seen any GoT :o! Made him sit and watch the first four seasons since ya know, if he didn’t our friendship was over.

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    75. “I will take what is mine with fire and…” err, uh, this comment. Thanks for the opportunity to win this lovely set!

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    76. Tyrion is my very favorite! I would love to in this – I used to have HBO but not during the last season so need to catch up

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