By now we’ve all had plenty of time to weigh in on/complain/pontificate about the 2013 Emmy nominees, which for a while helped distract us from the fact that there was a gaping nerd hole in our souls when we realized that we’d have to wait far too long to again view the greatness of the shows being nominated (with The Big Bang Theory being the exception). Game of Thrones fans – otherwise known as intelligent, discerning human beings – found that hole particularly gaping considering that Season 4 hadn’t even begun shooting until recently with an eye on a Spring release. Typically, home video would feed your addiction, but considering that the HBO dealers working your corner know that they’ve got the best product in town, they’re withholding Season 3′s DVD/Blu-ray release until February because they know you’ll come crawling back no matter what.
You could go and watch something else, but 1) everything sucks except for Breaking Bad and Justified and 2) there’s still more Game of Thrones to explore! Season 2 of the bajillion-time Emmy nominated show expanded on The War of the Five Kings, introducing new characters – Renly’s gorgeous, sexually unfulfilled wife, Margaery (Natalie Dormer); the newest and most humorless claimant to the Iron Throne, Stannis (Stephen Dillane) – new exotic locales – Qarth, the desert oasis; Pyke, the exact opposite of that – and a plethora of new Jon Snow faces!
The expansion of the world of Westeros is complemented by the expanded special features on the Season 2 DVDs/Blu-rays, which feature audio back stories on conflicts and characters only passingly mentioned on the show, a behind-the-scenes featurette on the making of Blackwater and, for the purposes of this article more in-depth commentary tracks.
Whereas Season 1 provided viewers seven hours of commentary to listen to, Season 2 offers listeners 12, bringing in more actors (Alfie Allen and Liam Cunnigham make appearances), more behind-the-scenes craftsmen and offering more episodes with multiple commentary tracks to help shed light on the creative and logistic considerations that had to be made for a season that began deviating more heavily from intimidating source material.
Here are, in my opinion, 10 of the coolest things learned from re-watching.
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