The requisite glacial waiting period for news of HBO box sets has passed - as the release date, price point, and full list of bonus features for the home edition of season 2 of Game of Thrones has been announced.
As with the previous disc sets, season 2 of Game of Thrones will be available for purchase one month before the premiere of the series' next season. Both the Blu-ray and DVD versions of the season will hit store shelves (and surely, more than a few mailboxes) on February 13, 2013.
Now available for pre-order, the Game of Thrones season 2 sets look to be just as rich in presentation and extra material as all of HBO's DVD/Blu-ray offerings. The DVD set will be sold for $59.99, while the ultra-sharp sound and color of the Blu-ray version will set you back $79.99. If these price points seem a little steep, note that the bargains have already begun even during pre-order: Amazon currently lists the DVD and Blu-ray for $41.99 and $55.99, respectively.
If you're unsure of which version to purchase (and have no opinion on watching medieval carnage in 1080p), it's important to consider the differences in special features. Both the DVD and Blu-ray will contain audio commentaries for all 10 of season 2's episodes, featuring observations from the stars, producers, and even A Song of Ice and Fire scribe George R.R. Martin. A half-hour featurette on the effort that went into creating the series-defining Battle of Blackwater Bay will also be included on both versions.
However, if you crave even deeper mysteries, the Blu-ray set will be the way to go. Shipping under the HBO Select logo, the Blu-ray of Game of Thrones season 2 will feature an option for in-episode informational pop-ups, an animated history lesson about the continents of Westeros and Essos, a massive battle map tracking the movements of the five armies vying for the Iron Throne, and an apparent plethora of Easter eggs.
The complete list of special features for Game of Thrones season 2 is as follows:
DVD and Blu-Ray Features
- Creating the Battle of Blackwater Bay: A 30-minute documentary on the trials and tribulations of putting together one of Game of Throne's most intense episodes.
- The Religions of Westeros: George R.R. Martin, author of the novels that inspired Game of Thrones, presides over an explanation of the various faiths that move behind the scenes of the show.
- Game of Thrones: Inner Circle: Primary Game of Thrones actors participate in a roundtable discussion of what it was like to shoot season 2. Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss moderate.
- Audio Commentaries: All episodes will have an accompanying commentary track by stars such as Peter Dinklage and Emilia Clarke, producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, and George R.R. Martin.
Blu-ray Exclusive Features:
- War of the Five Kings: An interactive guide to Westeros's fog of war. Lists the accomplishments, failures, tactics, and key players of the five would-be Kings struggling for the soul of the continent.
- Histories and Lore: A series of animated history lessons that will reveal the great events that have shaped Westeros and the lands beyond the Narrow Sea. Expect detailed explanations of the Nine Free Cities, the Andals and the First Men, and the dragon-riding Freehold of Valyria. Features llustrations from "Game of Thrones" storyboard artist Will Simpson.
- In-Episode Guide: An option for pop-up information and resources during viewing.
- Hidden Dragon Eggs: Hidden Easter eggs lead to even more bonus content.
Game of Thrones' season 2 will be available on DVD and Blu-Ray on February 13, 2013.
Source: HBO (via Zap2It)