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HBO is selling 'Game of Thrones' S5 downloads earlier than usual

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In another sign that HBO is trying to convert some of the numerous Game of Thrones pirates into paying customers, the network announced that season five will be the first one available for downloaders to own before it hits DVD and Blu-ray. It's actually going on sale via download way before the discs, with a digital release of season five due August 31st, just two months after the finale aired. The Blu-ray version is still on deck for next March as usual, but you can pre-order the digital season pass (including extras, listed after the break) from outlets like Amazon, iTunes, Vudu and Google Play for $39 (HD) -- unless of course you live in another country like Australia, where season five has been on sale since it finished airing, or are already subscribing to HBO Now. Of course, you don't really need to hurry, as HBO announced during yesterday's TCA panel that it expects the series to last about eight seasons.

Game of Thrones S5 extras (* marks digital exclusives)

  • Introduction to Dorne* - Visit the kingdom of Dorne in this special that delves inside the impressive realm and its many colorful characters, including Prince Doran Martell (Alexander Siddig) and the fiery Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma) and her venomous Sand Snakes (Keisha Castle-Hughes, Rosabell Laurenti Sellers and Jessica Henwick).
  • Poisons of Westeros* - Explore the devious methods of poisoning seen throughout Game of Thrones in this featurette.
  • Invitation to the Set - Visit the set of Game of Thrones for this intriguing preview.
  • A Day in the Life - Glimpse the epic scale of Game of Thrones in this featurette that spends one day touring various Season 5 sets in Croatia, Spain and Ireland. See cast members preparing to shoot scenes while prominent members of the show's massive crew talk about the many jobs they must oversee-sets and costumes, hair and makeup, and much more-to keep the production operating smoothly.
  • Set Design - Production designer Deborah Riley reveals the thought process behind the impressive sets used to create the territory of Dorne in Season 5.
  • The Weapons of Dorne - Game of Thrones weapons master Tommy Dunne takes a close-up look at the razor-sharp armaments he created for the Sand Snakes and other inhabitants of Dorne in this featurette.
  • New Characters & Locations - Take a tour of the new locations in Season 5 and meet some of the new players in this featurette. Included are visits to the sets of Dorne and the House of Black and White as well as introductions to Doran Martell, the Sand Snakes, the High Sparrow, and more.
  • Season 4 Recap - Revisit every twist and turn from the thrilling fourth season.
  • Trailer - Whet your appetite for Season 5 with this exhilarating glimpse at things to come
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