In The Bleak Mud Win­ter

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews -

re­leased 14 March 2015 | 18 | Blu- ray/ DVD

Cre­ators David Be­nioff, DB Weiss

Cast Peter Din­klage, Emilia Clarke,

Lena Headey, Kit Har­ing­ton

It’s all sun­shine, lol­lipops and rain­bows in the fifth sea­son of HBO’s epic take on Ge­orge RR Martin’s nov­els... Just kid­ding – this year is ev­ery bit as bleak and har­row­ing as what’s come be­fore. Ar­guably more so, as last year’s hints that the tide might be about to turn for the good guys are quickly stamped down un­der lots of mud and snow. That lack of hope is start­ing to feel re­lent­less – in fact, some of the more bru­tal scenes ( rape, burn­ing a child at the stake) leave you won­der­ing whether they’re there be­cause some­one felt they were dra­matic, or sim­ply for shock value.

How­ever, though this isn’t a vin­tage sea­son, Game Of Thrones re­mains one of the most com­pelling shows around. Se­quences like the White Walk­ers’ as­sault on Hard­home are among the most am­bi­tious ever por­trayed on telly, and even if the plot some­times feels a bit too sprawl­ing and com­plex, it still has the ca­pac­ity to wrong­foot you. As it does with that cliffhanger end­ing – we know noth­ing, Jon Snow.

Ex­tras A re­fresh­ingly busy DVD comes with 12 cast/ crew com­men­taries, four deleted scenes, and some de­cent fea­turettes: “Anatomy Of An Episode: Mother’s Mercy” ( 30 min­utes) takes an in- depth look at the sea­son fi­nale; “The Real His­tory Be­hind Game Of Thrones” ( 40 min­utes) shows how the Wars of the Roses and other bits of his­tory in­spired the saga; “A Day In The Life” ( 26 min­utes) goes be­hind the scenes; and “New Char­ac­ters/ New Lo­ca­tions” ( 8 min­utes), er, has a very ac­cu­rate ti­tle. The Blu- ray adds an in- episode pop- up guide, plus loads of ex­tra Wes­teros back­story – fan nir­vana. Richard Ed­wards

A body dou­ble filled in for Lena Headey in much of Cer­sei’s naked “Walk of Shame” through King’s Land­ing.

Hey, that fruit ma­chine looks just like Jon Snow!

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