The Game of Thrones Season 8 home video release is full of bonus features and extra material for fans to gorge on after the show's finale. With the series now over, this is some of the last new content we will get from Westeros — at least until the prequel show premieres. Luckily, there is a lot to see on the DVD and Blu-ray copies.
Game of Thrones wrapped up a decade as the undisputed monarch of prestige television this year, and the responses were mixed at best. Still, there is no denying that the show has an enduring legacy, and even an ending this controversial cannot change that.
In fact, the ending may be the very thing that boosts DVD and Blu-ray sales, as fans want to see more considering how sparse the final season was. Between deleted scenes, extended scenes, commentaries and featurettes, there is a lot on these home release box sets to fill in the gaps that many feel were left in the series as it aired.
Of course, these features do not change the ending canonically, but there are several hours of new content to expand the story a little. For many fans, the real fleshed out ending is coming in the books, and there is some serious theorizing going on out there right now when it comes to The Winds of Winter, which is expected soon.
In the meantime, the Game of Thrones box sets will have to hold us over. Season 8 was released on both Blu-ray and DVD, with about 15 hours of bonus content to enjoy. This content is also available in the complete series box set, which was also released this month. It includes all eight seasons, all of the previously released bonus content, and some collectible art and packaging that would be worthy of displaying in the throne room of the Red Keep itself.
Here is what we learned from the Game of Thrones Season 8 home release bonus features.
There are five deleted scenes on the Game of Thrones DVD/Blu-ray set, and the most exciting one is probably the extended cut of the battle in the crypts below Winterfell. On the show, we never saw quite how Sansa, Tyrion, Missandei, Gilly and the others fared against the reanimated corpses of the Stark royalty when they rose from their graves.
Thankfully, we can see it here. The extended cut shows Tyrion and Sansa finding dragonglass daggers and preparing to fight if they need to, while Missandei scrambled to Gilly's side, hoping to help her protect baby Sam. In one heart-pounding moment, wights close in on the crying baby before Sansa and Tyrion charge up behind them, putting them down with the dragonglass blades.
Another deleted scene worth watching features some relevant additions to the feast after the Battle of Winterfell is over. In it, Daenerys excuses Grey Worm from the table when she sees he is not having a good time, saying that he deserves some rest. The scene then shows us the revelry from Dany's perspective, revealing how isolated she feels from the other victors of the battle.
A short while later, Missandei asks if she can be excused too, saying she does not feel well. Daenerys teases her advisor a bit, making it clear that she knows Missandei really intends to go be with Grey Worm. After she lets her go, she ruminates on how beloved Jon Snow is compared to her.
The scene adds a bit of much-needed depth and conflict to Daenerys' feelings at this point in the show. We see how lonely she feels already, and even the people she is closest to, Missandei and Grey Worm, are drifting away from her as they fall deeper into their own romance.
This establishes Dany's feelings at least a little more clearly for Missandei's death later on, and her subsequent attack on the people of King's Landing. Still, for many fans it is a drop in the bucket of the work they feel needed to be done to write Daenerys into that breaking point.
The DVD/Blu-ray set contains ten different commentary tracks for Game of Thrones Season 8, and these have some surprising revelations hidden within them. In one, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss talk about the scene where Jamie Lannister leaves Brienne behind in Winterfell. They revealed that the scene was almost even more cruel and heartbreaking than it ended up being in the final cut — and that is saying something.
In filming, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau apparently delivered the unscripted line: "I don't love you. No one loves you," in his efforts to shake Brienne off and get away. After longing for a romance between these characters for years, this is one version of the story fans may be glad they did not have to see.
That commentary track also reveals some interesting details on Daenerys' fate after the series finale, at least for some fans. Benioff, Weiss and the actors discussed the climactic scene in the ruined throne room, beginning with Jon Snow's thoughts as he approached Daenerys there after the battle.
"He doesn't know he's going to betray her until right at the end," Kit Harington said of his character, Jon Snow. "In Jon's head, it's a number of [reasons]. [Dany] doesn't factor in anyone else's decisions and it also means [Dany] is going to kill my sisters, so it becomes [my] family versus her."
Emilia Clarke then raised the question she said many fans had asked her after the finale — whether Drogon ate her character, Daenerys. Many assumed that Daenerys' remains were eaten by her dragon after he flew off with her body in his claws. The showrunners revealed that, as far as they are concerned, that was not the case.
"Drogon's not going to eat you," Benioff said. "He's not a cat. Did you see how gently he was nudging you?"
Benioff also tried to shed light on Drogon melting the Iron Throne, explaining that they were treating the dragon as a very intelligent creature, despite having left that out of the show in recent years.
"If [Dany is] not going to sit on it, no one's going to sit on it," he said.
Other deleted scenes on the home video release include extended fights and short, visual moments that were obviously cut for time somewhere down the line. With no dialogue to drive them, these moments rely on visual implication to bolster the story.
One scene shows Jon and Daenerys inspecting the work on fortifications outside of Winterfell together. It shows a young boy moving down the line, giving water to men digging a trench there. A northerner begins to take a sip, but when he sees Daenerys, he spits it at her feet on principle. It drives home the point that Daenerys will always be a foreigner to this kingdom.
Another extended scene reveals the fate of Alys Karstark and her men, who volunteered to guard Bran in the Godswood during the battle. The heart-pounding scene plays like a horror film, with wights picking off the combatants in the dark forest. Alys Karstark gets some redemption for her family here, turning away when she realizes the wights attacking them are children.
Finally, the last deleted scene is simply an extended version of the inspiring conversation between Ser Davos and a frightened northerner, Fergus. Any fans looking for a pep talk will find it here from their favorite five-fingered smuggler.
There may not be any big canonical revelations in the Game of Thrones Cast reunion per se, but it is a big selling point for the box set nonetheless. The special was filmed in front of a live studio audience and hosted by Conan O'Brien, featuring members of the cast from throughout the years reflecting on the show, their work together, and its legacy.
This special makes a lot of sense for Game of Thrones Season 8 because the cast was uniquely spared from criticism of the finale. Fans and critics alike focused their outrage on the showrunners and writers, rather than the actors themselves. For anyone looking to recapture their love of the series, this cast-centric special may be just the thing.
Finally, the last big notable bonus feature on the Game of Thrones Season 8 DVD/Blu-ray box set is a series of animated featurettes about the history of Westeros and background of the story, narrated by the cast. There are six of these histories in total, four of which are narrated in character by Conleth Hill as Varys.
Varys walks fans through The Blackfyre Rebellions — the civil wars that plagued Westeros decades before the main series, Maegor The Cruel — the sadistic third king of the Targaryen dynasty, the Siege of Duskendale — an incident when Daenerys' father, King Aerys II was kidnapped by his own subjects, and the history of King's Landing itself.
Another featurette is called simply The South, narrated by Kristofer Hivju as Tormund Giantsbane. In it, he offers a wildling's perspective on the Seven Kingdoms south of The Wall.
Finally, the last one is called the Greyjoy Rebellion, narrated together by Milou Asbaek as Euron Greyjoy and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister. Fans of the books know a bit about this brief incursion, but hearing about it from these specific characters' perspective is new even for die-hard readers.0comments
The inclusion of these featurettes have many fans especially excited, as they seem to direct attention towards the deep cut Westerosi history that will play into the upcoming prequel series. House of the Dragon will center around the Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons, set about 180 years before the main series itself.
Game of Thrones Season 8 is now available on DVD, Blu-ray, 4KUHD and digital formats wherever home media is sold. The Complete Series Collector's Edition Blu-Ray set is on sale as well.