Winter is here…
Jon Snow has taken his rightful place as the King of the North and his army is mostly made up of the Night’s Watch. The rest is made up of the various kingdoms that believe in him over The Lanisters. He knows that he needs a formidable force to face the Night King and his army of the undead. There isn’t much that can stop the army other than fire and Dragonstone. He knows that there is one weapon with unlimited supply: Daenerys’s dragons.
This season is pretty much what the show has been leading up to with the repeated line “Winter is Coming”. This has in reference to the coming of this force enemy and the fact that winter can last for in Westeros.
Peter Dinklage – Tyrion Lanenister
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau – Jaime Lannister
Lena Headey – Cersei Lannister
Emilia Clarke – Daenerys Targaryen
Kit Harington – Jon Snow
Aidan Gillen – Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish
Liam Cunningham – Davos Seaworth
Sophie Turner – Sansa Stark
Maisie Williams – Arya Stark
Carice van Houten – Melisandre
Nathalie Emmanuel – Missandei
Indira Varma – Ellaria Sand
Alfie Allen – Theon Greyjoy
Gwendoline Christie – Brienne of Tarth
Conleth Hill – Varys
John Bradley – Samwell Tarly
Isaac Hempstead Wright – Bran Stark
Hannah Murray – Gilly
Kristofer Hivju – Tormund Giantsbane
Rory McCann – Sandor “The Hound” Clegane
Jerome Flynn – Bronn
Joe Dempsie – Gendry
Iain Glen – Jorah Mormont
The video is a 1080p AVC presentation that looks absolutely superb. There are a lot of crisp details in the images, including both the wide and tighter shots. The textures in the stone from the castles and the intricacies of the table at Dragonstone castle looks excellent. Even the CG made objects like the dragons have a real, menacing look with detailing on every inch of them. As for the coloring, the show always does a great job letting you know what part of Westeros you are in with the hues of the area. For example, the warmth of the south has warm, earthy tones and the cold of the north has everything looking blue. In the northern areas especially, you really get a sense of how cold it can be. The level of quality in the transfer has been true with all of the Blu-ray releases from the show and HBO is consistent.
The audio is a Dolby Atmos that defaults to a Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mix depending on the equipment. The audio mix utilizes those overhead channels so well. In the very first episode of the season, the panning camera through the army that Daenerys has brought together on the sea lets you hear the creaking of the ships as well as the rushing waves under them. Also when the dragons fly into view, you hear they leathery wings flapping in the air with smooth movement. Other effects like the cold, howling winds in the north use the speakers to give the viewer the sense of how bad these storms really are. The LFEs and the highs are powerful; giving a sense of the epic scale of the show.
SUPPLEMENTS & PACKAGING
-In Episode Guides
-Audio Commentary: on Episode One with Director Jeremy Podeswa, actress Gwedolyne Christie (Brienne of Tarth), and actor John Bradley (Samwell Tarly).
-Audio Commentary: on Episode Two with actress Gemma Whelan (Yara Greyjoy), actor Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm), and actress Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei).
-Audio Commentary: on Episode Two with Co-Executive Producer / Writer Bryan Cogman, Prosthetics Supervisor Barrie Gower, Stunt Coordinator Rowley Irlam, and actor Pilou Asbaek (Euron Greyjoy).
-Audio Commentary: on Episode Three with Executive Producer Bernadette Caulfield, Production Designer Deborah Riley, and Costume Designer Michele Clapton.
-In Episode Guides
-Audio Commentary: on Episode Four with Director Matt Shakman, Director of Photography Rob McLachlan, Special Effects Supervisor Sam Conway, and Camera Operator Chris Plevin.
-Audio Commentary: on Episode Four with Producer Chris Newman, Visual Effects Supervisor Joe Bauer, and Visual Effects Producer Steve Kullback.
-Audio Commentary: on Episode Five with Writer Dave Hill, Director Matt Shakman, and Director of Photography Rob McLachlan.
-Audio Commentary: on Episode Five with actor Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth) and actor Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont).
-Audio Commentary: on Episode Six with Director Alan Taylor, Director of Photography Jonathan Freeman, and Camera Operators Sean Savage and David Morgan
-In Episode Guides
-Audio Commentary: on Episode Seven with Executive Producers / Writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), and Kit Harington (Jon Snow)
Episode Seven with Director Jeremy Podeswa and Director of Photography Greg Middleton.
-From Imagination to Reality: Inside the Art Department: This is a two-part featurette with Production Designer Deborah Riley and her department.
-Fire and Steel: Creating the Invasion of Westeros: This lengthy featurette is about the creation of the fantasy land that is a star of the show.
-Histories and Lore from the show:
The Golden Company
Prophecies of the Known World
The Hand of the King
The Rains of Castamere
-Conquest and Rebellion: This is an animated history of Westeros that the show talks about all the time. Here are the screens from the separate Blu-ray included.
Bonus disc of “Conquest & Rebellion”
1080p AVC MPEG-4
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
English Dolby Atmos
English Dolby TrueHD 7.1
English Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0
German Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese Dolby Digital 2.0
English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
THE BOTTOM LINE:
GAME OF THRONES is always a crowd please and this season doesn’t disappoint. It moves the story along to the event that the fans have been waiting for…Winter and man, is it here! The Blu-ray looks and sounds incredible with a solid list of bonus features. Also, the Conquest and Rebellion disc is a nice addition to the history the the show has mentioned in pieces during the last 7 seasons. I highly recommend picking this up because it is superb all around.