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Season 3 Blu-ray extras announced: Histories & Lore featurettes

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We finally have details on the extras in the Season 3 Blu-ray, being released February 18th. Particularly, we now have a list of what the next set of "Complete Guide to Westeros" videos (a full hour of content) will be:

http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Game-of-Thrones-The-Complete-Third-Season-Blu-ray/69994/#Review

Deleted and Extended Scenes - Five scenes are available:

  • "Jon Meets Mance"
  • "Edmure, Robb and The Blackfish"
  • "Tywin and Pycelle"
  • "Small Council Discusses Wildling Threat"
  • "Jon Thinks About Escaping"

Well, I was really hoping for deleted scenes showing that Loras is really mourning Renly, and just "drowning his sorrows" with Olyver - Bryan Cogman said that he actually *scripted* such scenes but they were cut for time. I had hoped they'd filmed them. Well let's hope they make up for that in Season 4.

They've already previewed the Tywin and Pycelle scene. Interesting thing is that Julian Glover said in an interview that the producers liked it so much, and considered it such a waste to delete it, that they might shift it into a Season 4 episode.

An extended first meeting of Jon and Mance? Dear god, let's hope it's Mance singing The Dornishman's Wife from the books. Not just for the song, but it's a big part of Mance's character: he isn't a King's Landing style "king", he sings his own songs, people don't wait on him.

Roots of Westeros: "This sister-guide delves into the interweaving relationships, alliances, rivalries and feuds that stand between the various Houses of Westeros, again via "Histories & Lore" animated segments narrated by the series' main characters."

I can't tell what this is from the description: another set of videos? Was there something similar in the Season 2 set?

Histories & Lore: "The third season's animated "Histories & Lore" videos -- specifically those pertaining to Westeros' history and mythology -- cover everything from the Battle of Qohor to the Vale. Segments include:"

  • Old Ghis & Slaver's Bay (Jorah Mormont )
  • House Reed (Meera Reed)
  • House Bolton (Roose Bolton)
  • House Frey (Catelyn Stark)
  • House Tully (The Blackfish)
  • The Lord of Light (Thoros of Myr)
  • Wargs and the Sight (Bran Stark)
  • The Red Keep (King Joffrey)
  • Robert's Rebellion (Petyr Baelish and Lord Varys)
  • The North (Jon Snow)
  • The Reach (Margaery Tyrell)
  • The Riverlands (The Blackfish)
  • The Stormlands (Brienne of Tarth)
  • The Westerlands (Tywin Lannister)
  • The Vale (Petyr Baelish)

I made an earlier blog post speculating about what the Season 3 Histories & Lore featurettes might be, and ultimately we got most of what was on my wishlist: [1]

  • House Tully
  • House Frey
  • House Bolton
  • History of the North in general
  • Slaver's Bay
    • Unsullied
  • House Reed and the Crannogmen
  • Warging and Greensight
  • The Lord of Light religion
  • House Mormont
  • House Tarth
  • Guest Right & the Rat Cook
  • Castles on the Wall and the Gift
  • House Florent
  • Wildling clans
  • How Small Council offices work
  • Pycelle in Robert's Rebellion
  • Brotherhood Without Banners
  • Second Sons & Mercenary Companies
  • Ser Barristan
  • The Targaryen dynasty

There are direct matches for Tully, Frey, Reed, and Bolton. Great that Fairley returned to do the Frey one - might have been fun if Walder Frey narrated it, giving a skewed interpretation of events, but better to have Catelyn give a truthful, scathing one (casual fans would be confused by just how warped Walder's view of events are). Great that Roose will narrate the Bolton one, he has a great voice.

They didn't do an exact "Tully" one before as they have the Starks or Baratheons, great to finally get that. I'm worried that "the Riverlands" one will overlap too much, but we'll see how that works out. GREAT that they're varying it up by having the Blackfish do it.

The big thing is that they're starting to do geographical regions/kingdoms, not just "House Arryn" but talking about "the Vale" in general will help explain the other Houses from each, though their ability to do this varies by region: the Season 3 set has every region except for the Iron Islands and Dorne - no surprise as Dorne hasn't shown up yet, while they sort of did the Iron Islands in Season 2's set, or alternatively, that the ironborn weren't in Season 3 that much. And the Crownlands get counted under King's Landing.

I had hoped for a separate "Unsullied" video done by Grey Worm, entrely in Low Valyrian, but maybe that was too much of a stretch. Not to say he won't talk about the Unsullied: description mentions the infamous Battle of Qohor being mentioned in the videos. And Ian Glen has a great narration voice (he's Mr. Exposition!). Also a nice parallel that he'll describe Slaver's Bay in the east just as he voiced the video on the Free Cities in the west.

I had hoped for a video on the Second Sons and Mercenaries in general, though maybe that will get some mention in the Slaver's Bay video. Maybe this is because Daario was recast - no, they'd still do it with Ian Glen. Well there may be only "one" Slaver's Bay video, but the videos are not all the same length - I hope the "Old Ghis and Slaver's Bay" video is one of the longer ones.

Again, it was mildly annoying that we got TWO videos devoted to Qarth last time (one for Qarth, fine, but a separate one for the Warlocks?) - Qarth isn't nearly as important as Slaver's Bay is to the story.

As I hoped, we'll get two videos: one for House Reed by Meera, and another clearly explaining warging and greensight, by Jojen.

I'd hoped a Lord of Light featurette would be voiced by Melisandre, but maybe it's more interesting for Thoros to do it - so far, we've had two seasons of Melisandre being our main viewpoint on the religion, and I was disappointed that Season 3 itself didn't stress that....Melisandre is a zealot even by the standards of the Lord of Light religion. That is, that it's a popular religion in the southern Free Cities such as Myr, but they're not fanatics who demand human sacrifice (they stress that the Lord of Light is a loving god). So maybe it's better for Thoros to do this so he can give a more nuanced view of it. Also great because for SOME REASON, we didn't get a Lord of Light video when it was introduced in Season 2.

I had hoped for videos on "House Mormont", "House Karstark", and "the Gift" - they do have one thematic video on "the North" by Jon Snow. My hope is that this is a combination video which will discuss the major political landscape in the North, and what "the Gift" is, so that worked out.

Mildly strange that there aren't any videos on the Night's Watch or wildlings this year. Maybe Jon will also briefly discuss why "Guest right" is so important, particularly in the North, and mention the legend of the Rat Cook, Nightfort, etc. But I doubt we'll get more backstory on the Nightfort and the visit by Jaehaerys and Alysanne. Well, we got quite a few wildling videos last year, and we'll be seeing more of the Thenns in person next season, so I guess this is expected (they only started mentioning the Thenns this season).

We also have another video on "the Reach" by Margaery Tyrell. I'm a little worried because she already did TWO videos last time: one on the Tyrells in general, one on their role in Robert's Rebellion. But my hope is that this will be devoted to explaining who all of their major vassals are. Particularly, I had hoped for a "House Florent" video now that Selye Baratheon (nee Florent) has shown up....maybe we'll still get that. My speculation/hope is that the video will have Margaery explaining the Florent versus Tyrell feud, as well as who "House Redwyne" is and that Olenna was born a Redwyne before making a marriage alliance.

So the regional videos are expanding beyond Season 1's videos on "House Stark" or "House Lannister" to show that there are other Houses from these regions; great. Gradually expanding outwards. I just hope they're not redundant.

I'm not sure if much can be said about "The Stormlands", but then I remembered that my wishlist included a video on "House Tarth" -- and the Stormlands video is narrated BY Brienne of Tarth! (yay). So maybe this will be functionally the same thing (really, Tarth couldn't sustain a full video). Brienne explaining what the Stormlands are like, and some background on herself and Tarth.

Otherwise, one of my wishes was to have another video explaining what exactly Pycelle did and the wildfire plot during the Sack of King's Landing, to tie in with Jaime's confession scene. We will apparently get something along these lines, with the video "Robert's Rebellion (Petyr Baelish and Lord Varys)" - which sounds great, we've never had either of those two guys before, and to have them in the SAME video, bickering with each other? Great.

As I said before I'm worried that they're doing separate "House Tully" and "the Riverlands" videos - they've already prominently mentioned not only the Tullys but Harrenhal. Yet maybe that will work out. Particularly, I don't think they've ever mentioned the Bracken-Blackwood feud before. Or that before the Ironborn the Stormlands ruled them for three hundred years, or how they were all functionally tiny independent kingdoms. Well, we'll see what they throw in here.

Rounding out the bunch, it's great to have Tywin Lannister voicing again, though I'm not sure what he'll be talking about in "The Westerlands" that he didn't already in the House Lannister video (or the Clegane video). Any guesses? I'm...*hoping* that it will spell out who some of the minor Lannister branches are, i.e. that Kevan has a family too and Martyn and Willem were his younger sons.

The Vale video narrated by Littlefinger confuses me though - great and new because it's Littlefinger. Maybe...I guess a full video could not have been sustained for "House Baelish" so he'll probably be giving some of his own backstory, good, but we've already had a House Arryn video, while the Vale barely appeared in the past two seasons at all. MAYBE it will be setup for next season, given that they've actually started casting Vale lords. I hope they explain 1 - how they're the purest of Andal bloodlines because they practically exterminated the First Men there, 2 - except for House Royce, who are First Men and even intermarried with the Starks, 3 - a bit about the Hill Tribes might be fun (I think they'll be back in Season 4), and 4 - MORE detail than the Season 1 video, about just how close House Arryn has come to extinction: Sweetrobin as Jon's only child, Jon's younger brother's line exhausted, and the middle sibling had nine children but all died due to separate random and grave misfortunes. Or will it intentionally try to set up Season 4?

"The Red Keep", narrated by Joffrey?! This will be fun. We've never had Joffrey's take on things before. My hopes are that:

  • 1 - He explains what some of the geography of the building is, i.e. "throneroom" vs "Tower of the Hand" vs "Maegor's Holdfast" etc.
  • 2 - He explains that it's honeycombed with secret passages
  • 3 - Most importantly, I'd hoped for a video on Ser Barristan and/or other Targaryen kings given stray mentions during Season 3. Maybe Joffrey's video on the Red Keep will still be able to incorporate some of this?

So this generally matched my wishlist. The only headscratchers are what to say about the Westerlands that hasn't already been said, just how much future information Littlefinger will give about the Vale (though I suspect he'll explain the origin of House Baelish itself).

Joffrey's Red Keep video will be great, though I have small hope he'll namedrop some other Targaryens in it. Well, deeper history might have to wait for later seasons.

The only real disappointment is that I don't know why they don't have a video on the Brotherhood Without Banners! They were introduced this season! Though at least Thoros himself narrates a video about the Lord of Light.

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