Hi, Bryan Here….
HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ series is one of the better series to come out in the last 20 years. Based on the books by George R.R. Martin which are called ‘A Song of Fire and Ice’, this series adaptation is top notch in every aspect. If you haven’t seen HBO’s ‘ Game of Thrones’ or read George R.R. Martin’s novels, then I highly suggest you do a few things. First, purchase this bluray set. It will be the best purchase you will make this year so far. Second, set your DVR’s to record this series. And third, get the books. This is truly one of the best HBO series that has been released on bluray.
‘Game of Thrones’ (which is the first book out of the Song of Fire and Ice series) tells the tale of a mystical medieval land called Westeros. The land is filled with warriors, kings, and peasants alike. There are seven different kingdoms n Westeros with one king ruling over all. The king who rules all and sits on the iron throne is Robert Baratheon, who does a decent job of keeping the peace with the seven kingdoms. He falls ill and eventually dies early on leaving the job and duty to his good friend Eddard Stark of the Stark clan in the kingdom of Winterfell. Once news breaks of the king’s death, all seven kingdoms and outlanders set out to take over the iron throne and rule Westeros, which eventually lead to an all out epic war. And that is just a miniscule amount of what you will get with this first season of ‘Game of Thrones’. So not only do you get this vast and rich tale of greed, treachery, and devotion; but you get one of the best complex ring of characters I have seen in a long time on television. You have Sean Bean (Lord of the Rings) playing Eddard Stark who is the true embodiment of a leader and hero. He does right by his family and people always. He does have his imperfections in dealing with all the crooked people and back door dealings in the kingdom, and by the end of the season, you will be in tears in regards to him. Then you have, Tyrion Lannister played by Peter Dinklage who just steals every scene. Tyrion is the brother in law of the King and son of Tywin Lannister who is one of the wealthiest men n Westeros. Tyrion is a dwarf or referred to as the imp and has a quick tongue for getting out of trouble and loves whores. Every time he is on screen, he is more likable, even though his family of the Lannisters are terrible people. He brings to the universe a lot of charm, logic, kindness, and sense. There is also Cersei (the Queen), Jaimie (a knight warrior), and Joffrey (The prince). All three of these Lannisters are the true and highest definition of EVIL. There is not one thing good or redeeming about them, and unfortunately, back in those times, they got away with every thing. Every time they were on screen, I wished them ill will to the fullest degree. That’s how good of a job they do in their characters. There is also Viserys and Daenerys Targaryen who are the rightful heirs to the iron throne but are exiled. Viserys and Daenerys are brother and sister and want to reclaim their status. So Viserys has an idea to join forces with Khal Drogo and his people to take on the throne. Viserys comes off as a spoiled bratty guy who just wants to rule the world and nothing more and is a real asshole about it, where his sister sort of plays as an obedient sibling to anything he says. At least at first she does, but time shows, that Daenerys is not one to mess with for she is the daughter of the dragon. Literally. There are literally a few dozen other major characters that I could talk for days about on their complex lives and loyalty and betrayals, but you get the gist. Add to all of this, these mythical zombie like creatures who threaten Westeros, and you have just a hint of what ‘Game of Thrones’ is all about. It truly is an incredible opus of television. Now I wait ever longingly for April 1st for season two to premiere.
‘Game of Thrones’ comes in a glorious 1080p hi-def transfer in 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Like I said above, this might be the best release HBO has done thus far for bluray. The video is absolutely stunning. Some of the best I have seen. Pretty much the entire series is shot in HD on digital film and it looks spectacular. The detail from, the leaves, to the feathers of the 3 eyes crow to he intricate costume designs all come to bloom. You will notice every stitch and every weapon mark on body armor. The very sharp and vibrant colors are amazing. From the blues and greys of Winterfell to the brighter and lighter colors of Kings Landing. It is simply a marvel to look at. The blacks are deep and inky and I noticed no aliasing or heavy noise at all. The depth is also quite incredible. This video is a sparkling definition of what a video presentation should look like. The audio comes in an impressive DTS-HD lossless 5.1 mix and just rocks the house. The score is so fantastic that I have bought the album already. And it sounds very impressive on the sound system. All the dialogue in the series is flawless. It comes across clear and crisp with no hissing or cracks. The battle scenes are ferocious and loud with the full set of speakers getting a full workout with the ambient noise. You will hear birds cawing and swords hitting people on all corners of the room. I really felt like I was in battle. HBO did a knock out job with this audio presentation. It really will submerse you in the setting. This is a Grade A video and audio transfer. Outstanding.
- Audio Commentaries – There are seven audio commentaries in all and feature most of the cast, crew and George R.R. Martin himself. You’re going to want to watch these commentaries. So much love and admiration went into this series and it shows. Every single commentary gives an in depth analysis of how the show was made including; the sets, an unaired pilot, the opening, the characters, the props, and some very fun and interesting stories from the set. None of it ever seems boring or dull. I really love when George R.R. Martin does his commentary because he talks about adapting his own work and he clearly loves it. Definitely give these a listen to if you are at all interested in the show.
- Character Profiles (HD, 31 min) – A total of fifteen character profiles are shown here complete with on set footage and interviews with each of the actors and their take on their characters and how they integrate into the series. If you are confused by any of the vast array of characters, then watch this. Very helpful.
- Making Game of Thrones (HD, 30 min) – I loved this making of featurette. It is here you will truly see how expansive and epic this series is and how much went into it. It shows on set filming and behind the scenes types of tricks. It also shows cast and crew interviews as well as animal training (which was very cool), and tons of other stuff compacted into a half and hour. A must watch.
- From the Book to the Screen (HD, 5 min) – A very brief segment on how the producers adapted from book to screen and how they wanted and succeeded keeping true to the original material. Very cool.
- Creating the Show Open (HD, 5 min) – One of my favorite features. This explains the birth and execution of the series phenomenal opening piece. I could watch the opening every day for the rest of my life.
- Creating the Dothraki Language (HD, 5 min) – This is also a very brief by very cool segment. Yes, the actors do speak this foreign language and they had to learn it. This shows how they created the language and how the actors prepared to learn and speak the language. No easy feat. Very cool.
- The Night’s Watch (HD, 8 min) – One you watch the show, you will know what the Night Watch is and how important it is. This segment talks about the history, the traditions, and duties of this sacred and important task. Loved this.
- Complete Guide to Westeros (HD) – One of the coolest features on this disc or any release anywhere for that matter. This is everything you really wanted to know about ‘Game of Thrones’. This is available on every disc in this release and is a very complex and all inclusive guide to everything in Westeros. From the histories and legends, to the characters and families, to the different kingdoms. The history portion has nineteen stories that dive into all the lore surrounding the land and people. They are read by characters from the show and feature some animation and stills to go along with the readings. The Kingdom section is separated into the different families and houses and have text bios for each character. Add to that some other readings of the history of each family. And the Land portion gives you a look at maps and their descriptions detailing all the feature locales in the series. If you at any time feel lost or want to know more about this show, this is the place to go. Amazing job HBO did with this treasure trove of information.
- In-Episode Guide – This is a really cool feature available on every disc and every episode. While watching the series, this guide will tell you on screen what characters and locations are used in the specific scene with their backstories and history. Very cool and very helpful.
- Anatomy of an Episode (HD) – This feature is strictly episode six entitled “A Golden Crown’ and is an onscreen in depth look at the behind the scenes for this particular episode. Everything is pretty much covered here and is really fun to watch. Highly recommended.
- Hidden Dragon Eggs – Hidden Easter…eerrmmm Dragon Eggs on the discs, but unfortunately I did not find any. If you find some, send the info my way and I’ll update.
THE ULTIMATE WORD
Hands down, this is a MUST OWN. If you were to purchase one thing this month, then let this be it. This series and bluray is unbelievable. The video and audio presentations are out of this world good and the extras are some of the best extras ever on any bluray release. The astounding story telling and character development will make you come back for more and more. After you watch this series, you will most likely immediately start over again. It’s that good. This bluray release gets my HIGHEST recommendation. April 1st can’t come soon enough so “BRACE YOURSELVES. WINTER IS COMING!”