Westeros is a dangerous place to govern, following the death of Jon Arryn, King Robert (Mark Addy), from the House of Baratheon and Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, is forced to request for a new Hand of the King, but he doesn’t trust anybody else other than his loyal friend Eddard Stark (Sean Bean), from the House of Stark. However, during Robert’s visit, Ned’s (Eddard) son Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) suffered an accident that causes immediate suspicions against the King’s court. Heading to King’s Landing, Ned is now entering a world where double crossing and backstabbing is a norm in everyday life. Meanwhile, across The Narrow Sea an unborn child has Westeros on the brink of war. While the North is reluctant and admittedly concerned over the strange sightings that have occurred recently forcing them to take action, but the notion that winter is coming is creeping on everyone’s mind. Drama and intrigue follows the lives of many in this adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice book series.
I am not going to lie; I was completely blown away by Game of Thrones. Admittedly, I had not read any of the novels prior to immersing myself into the HBO show. So my knowledge of the story was very minimal other than the occasional friend chatter that lead to a Game of Thrones discussion. Although, most feedback I ever heard/read throughout the net was seemingly positive, I had also read that there were some very graphic scenes, but the latter has never really made an impact on my decision to watch content on TV. So I went in with zero knowledge and I must say the show is phenomenal.
The show isn’t so easy to get into initially if you haven’t read the books it seems, I say this because the first two or three episodes are hard to follow. The viewers are thrown into the story that has already been brewing, but we still haven’t really seen any of the background story. Basically events have transpired, but the viewers are just expected to know this or simply wait more until more information is available as the episodes roll through. Even though I watched the first few episodes a couple of times, I still get the feeling that there could of been a way to start the show with a bit more info than what was given, but it is what it is. There are so many moving pieces which hold a key role in the show that it’s very easy to get confused at first, luckily for the Blu-ray owners a complete lineage map is provided, and there are many story arches that are interwoven into the story that is so magnificently complex and addicting. The show can truly suck you in with the drama and intrigue that plagues every episode from beginning to end that the very minute that you think you know what one character is up to, you are surprised to find out how wrong you were. Game of Thrones is filled with violence, sex, nudity, intrigue, drama and much more that it just never shy away from. This is what the show is about and from what I heard from close friends the books are no different in depicting the story.
The characters are great. The story does take time to evolve and of course some characters don’t bring that attachment until we are well deep into the show. One thing that Game of Thrones does is quickly lay out your least favorite characters; personally, this made me want to see more. It takes a few episodes to really see the actors fit their roles with more confidence. The first few episodes are the culprits, but most of the show is solid. I do have to say that Sean Bean and Peter Dinklage are superb in their roles, specifically the latter. Peter Dinklage practically stole the show, he did so well scene after scene that he easily became one of my favorite characters without a doubt. The script is phenomenal, the show is well written from start to finish. The dialogue is superb; the writers have done a great job without a doubt. The production values alone for Game of Thrones are simply superb, right from the get go you see how well everything is woven together and you get the feeling this isn’t some low budget program. The sets are well built, the photography is excellent, and the custom design is spot on.
The show is excellent and a must own!
Game of Thrones arrives on Blu-ray with a 1080p MPEG4-AVC encode framed at 1.78:1. From the start, Game of Thrones looks fantastic with a crystal clear image that is simply breathtaking. Colors are natural and well reproduced throughout. Skintones appear natural and lifelike. Black levels are deep and do not overwhelm the picture or affect the detail quality. The picture boasts a great deal of depth scene after scene. Detailing is excellent! From the garments to the rugged terrains, Game of Thrones is extremely detailed. The soldiers, armor show the texture of the metal, garments show every intricate detail, close shots are very revealing, etc. HBO made Game of Thrones visually appealing. I didn’t spot any video anomalies, a few scenes did seem like fleshtones were a bit red, but that could also be due to the scene environment. I can’t stress this enough, Game of Thrones surpassed my expectations and it looks amazing from beginning to end.
Game of Thrones arrives on Blu-ray with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio lossless track. With a video transfer like the one we are dealing with here, the audio couldn’t stay far behind. The track is absolutely fantastic; it is incredibly immersive and active at all times that it puts you right in the middle of the action. The dialogue is crystal clear throughout the show. Directionality is excellent in the fronts. The rears are constantly being in used and they are very accurate with each effect. Hear the thunderous galloping as the horses draw near the screen, hear the metal impact another, or hear the swords cut through flesh in this very impressive track. The LFE output is precise and offers great support to each scene creating great effects. The track is spacious and each episode takes full advantage. I did not spot any issues with the audio. The track is simply superb and very immersive.
Something I was truly excited to visit was the supplements that were included, specially the audio commentaries found within and the behind the scenes featurettes. There are plenty of items to cover which is a good thing, so let’s dig right into it.
Disc 1 Contents
Audio Commentary – This commentary features Executive Producers/Writers Benioff & D.B. Weiss.
Audio Commentary – This commentary features Lena Headey, Mark Addy and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.
Character Profiles – Users can pick from a list of 15 characters to see a small video and quick interview with the actor in charge of the role.
Disc 2 Contents
Audio Commentary – This commentary features actors Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, and Isaac Hempstead Wright.
Audio Commentary – This commentary features Writer Bryan Cogman and actor Kit Harington.
Disc 3 Contents
Audio Commentary – This commentary features actors Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke, Harry Lloyd, and Director Daniel Minahan.
Anatomy of an Episode – This is a set of featurettes that when selected it will play during the episode six “A Gold Crown”. The featurettes feature some behind the scenes look at the creation of the episode.
Disc 4 Contents
Audio Commentary – This commentary features Co-Executive Producer/Author of Game of Thrones George R.R. Martin.
Disc 5 Contents
Audio Commentary – This commentary features Executive Producer/Writers David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, and Director Alan Taylor.
Making Game of Thrones – This featurettes has a little bit of everything from cast and crew interviews, to shooting locations, to the sets, to pretty much everything relating to the production. You want to take a look inside the set, well this is for you.
From Book to the Screen – Fairly short piece that goes over the desire of the producers to stay as true to the book as possible. I would have loved for this piece to be a bit longer, but unfortunately it’s not.
Creating the Show Open – Have a quick look at the creation of the show’s opening. One of my favorite featurettes, very short, but enjoyable.
Creating the Dothraki Language – This is self-explanatory; see how the language was created and how the cast learned it before playing the Dothraki.
The Night’s Watch – Let the case tell you their version of the duties of the Night’s Watch. Another short piece that lets the cast talk about the emblematic Night’s Watch.
Complete Guide to Westeros – This interactive featurette will show you everything there is to know about Game of Thrones during this first Season. Pick from history, each character, the land, etc. This guide is filled with everything relating to this first season. Available in every disc.
In-Episode Guide – This feature is available in every disc. When the feature is selected a menu on the top right of the screen will appear with four choices that will allow the viewer to find out more information about the land, the characters, the history, and more. This guide will unlock new items as the show moves on unlike the complete interactive guide. Available in every disc.
Hidden Dragon Eggs – I couldn’t find them even though it’s labeled in the box that Easter eggs are included. Checked every menu and random button combinations, but all were failed attempts.
What else can I say about Game of Thrones? It’s a sex laden violent intriguing drama that it’s incredibly addicting. The show is superb with episode after episode offering an immersive story that is sure to leave viewers wanting more. The production alone is fantastic with a much larger budget than other shows; Game of Thrones has put together a great set of actors and captivated the audience with a well told story. The Blu-ray looks and sounds fantastic and it is filled with all sorts of supplements that should keep you busy for hours. This is a must own TV show, period.