Game of Thrones appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.78:1 on these 4K UHD Discs. Via these Dolby Vision presentations, the series looked great.
At all times, sharpness seemed strong. Virtually no instances of softness materialized here, as the episodes were consistently tight and well-defined.
Jagged edges and moiré effects failed to materialized, and the programs lacked edge haloes. No signs of source flaws popped up, as the series always offered clean visuals.
The series’ palette depended on settings. When we spent time up north, we tended to get cold, bluish colors, but other locales provided warmer, more golden tones. All the hues came across as full and dynamic, and the 4K’s HDR brought out the tones with added vivacity.
Blacks were deep and tight, while shadows appeared clear and smooth. HDR contributed extra oomph to whites and contrast. I felt totally pleased with the visuals of Thrones.
Game of Thrones came with Dolby Atmos audio. For those of us without Atmos systems, the material played back as Dolby TrueHD 7.1, and the shows sounded quite good.
Whether the track went with lively action or general ambience, the mix used the various channels in a compelling manner. It created an appealing sense of place and environment, with elements that blended in a satisfying manner.
Audio seemed good. Speech was concise and distinctive, without edginess or other issues.
Music was full and dynamic, and effects came across as accurate and clear. When necessary, the tracks boasted deep, rich bass. Though the episodes didn’t always boast audio that truly excelled, they seemed well above average.
As mentioned in the body of my review, I only “sampled” some of the 73 Thrones episodes. I watched the first and final episode of each season for a total of 16. While I prefer to watch everything, I believe this offers a representative take on the discs’ quality.
As we head to extras, we find a slew of materials, and we come across 88 audio commentaries. In another break from my personal tradition, I was unable to listen to the vast majority of these.
Because I only watched 16 of the series’ episodes, it obviously meant I couldn’t listen to commentaries for all the episodes I didn’t view. Because I’d already checked out Season One’s 10 shows, I could screen those commentaries, but for Seasons Two through Eight, I became limited to the two programs per year that I actually viewed.
Of course, we hear from a huge variety of participants across these 88 commentaries. Normally I’d list each and every one, but c’mon – that’d be nuts here!
As expected, the quality of the commentaries varies wildly across these shows. Some offer lots of insights and good material, while others seem less informative and tend toward superficial notes. Fans will be happy to check all of them out, though, as in general, they give us good notes about the series.
Season One’s extras appear on Disc Four, where Character Profiles looks at 15 different characters and covers a total of 30 minutes, 42 seconds. Across these, we get comments from actors Maisie Williams, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Michelle Fairley, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Kit Harington, Jason Momoa, Sean Bean, Aiden Gillen, Richard Madden, Mark Addy, Sophie Turner, Peter Dinklage, and Harry Lloyd.
The quality of these clips varies. Some prove to be reasonably insightful and interesting, while others are quick and borderline useless. They’re inherently promotional, so don’t expect much, but even the weaker ones go by fast enough to not cause problems, so the entire reel merits a look.
Anatomy of an Episode looks at Episode Six. It runs one hour, 31 seconds and provides remarks from Bean, Headey, Madden, Williams, Lloyd, Clarke, Momoa, Dinklage, director David Minahan, executive producers DB Weiss and David Benioff, production designer Gemma Jackson, special effects supervisor Stuart Brisdon, storyboard artist William Simpson, horse master Felicity Pierce, prop master Gordon Fitzgerald, armorer Tommy Dunne, stunt coordinator Buster Reeves, visual effects producer Lucy Ainsworth-Taylor, 2nd unit visual effects supervisor Angela Barson, art director Ashleigh Jeffers, construction manager Tom Martin, supervising art director Paul Inglis, graphic artist Jim Stanes, and actors Miltos Yeroldemou, Jerome Flynn, Kate Dickie, Esme Bianco, and Alfie Allen.
“Anatomy” tells us a little about cast and performances but usually focuses more on nuts and bolts like stunts, action, sets, props, costumes and effects. Since so many of the bonus materials focus on the fictional history of characters/situations, it’s good to get such a deep investigation of actual filmmaking factors.
Via Making Game of Thrones, we get a 30-mnute, two-second show with info from Bean, Coster-Waldau, Dinklage, Headey, Clarke, Benioff, Weiss, George RR Martin, Williams, Turner, Lloyd, Madden, Addy, Jackson, Inglis, Tom Martin, Brisdon, Harington, Reeves, Barson, Allen, Minahan, Dickie, Jeffers, Fairley, directors Tim Van Patten, Alan Taylor and Brian Kirk, producer Frank Doelger, casting director Nina Gold, casting assistant Robert Sterne, Northern Ireland location manager Robert Boake, composer Ramin Djiwadi, set decorator Richard Roberts, costume designer Michelle Clapton, animal wrangler Jim Warren, visual effects supervisor Adam McIness, stunt coordinator Paul Jennings, horse wrangler Camilla Naprous, costume armorer supervisor Simon Brindle, Malta locations manager Joseph Formosa Randon, art director Steven Summersgill, Language Creation Society’s David Peterson, and actors Gethin Anthony, Finn Jones, Iain Glen and Rory McCann.
We look at the source material and its move to the screen, casting and characters, sets, locations and production design, music and costumes, animal actors, various effects and stunts, the Dothraki language, and some general thoughts about the series.
Most programs of this sort are pretty fluffy, and this one engages in some happy talk. Nonetheless, it’s fairly meaty given its length and scope,
During the five-minute, 15-second From the Book to the Screen, we hear from Benoiff, Weiss, and author George RR Martin. As expected, they discuss the source material and its adaptation. Some of the footage already appears in the “Making of”, and the new comments don’t reveal much, as essentially, we learn how faithful the series will be and that’s about it.
For a look at the credit sequence, we go to Creating the Show Open. It lasts five minutes, seven seconds and features Weiss, show open creative director Angus Wall, show open Hameed Shaukat, show open art director Rob Feng, show open CG supervisor Kirk Shintani, and show open chief designer Chris Sanchez.
We learn about the design and execution of the credits. It’s a short but satisfying overview.
Next comes a take on one of the series’ “foreign languages”. Creating the Dothraki Language goes for five minutes, 27 seconds and features Benioff, Weiss, Peterson, Momoa, Clarke, Glen, dialogue coach Brendan Gunn and actors Elyes Gabel and Dar Salim. We get a quick but informative take on the fake Dothraki language and its implementation in the show; it’s a good little piece.
The Night’s Watch fills eight minutes, seven seconds with comments from George RR Martin, Weiss, Benioff, Harington, and actors James Cosmo, John Bradley, Joseph Mawle, and Owen Teale.
This one delivers a short look at the series’ Night’s Watch guard. Though not bad, I think we learn a lot of this material elsewhere, so it’s not especially valuable.
With Histories & Lore, we find 24 segments that occupy a total of one hour, nine minutes, four seconds. With these, series characters narrate vast amounts of Thrones backstory. We get hints of this material during the episodes, but the “Lore” clips provide a tremendous amount of information.
They even give us alternate viewpoints. For example, we hear differing takes on the Night’s Watch from the Stark and Lannister camps.
The “Lore” segments aren’t perfect, as there’s some redundancy. Nonetheless, they’re a pretty terrific way to further investigate the world of Thrones and they add measurably to the viewer’s understanding of the series’ complex workings.
Season One ends with six Cast Auditions. These take up a total of 10 minutes, 37 seconds and feature Harry Lloyd, Rory McCann, Jason Momoa, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, and Miltos Yerolemou.
On the annoying side, the presentation plops the auditions in a small box rather than allow them to fill the screen. Still, they become a fun addition to the set.
As we move to Disc Four of Season Two, we find another 19 segments under Histories & Lore. These take up a total of one hour, four minutes, 44 seconds and function in the same way as the Season One “Lore” entries. They continue to provide quality information.
Four Deleted Scenes occupy a total of six minutes, nine seconds. These offer some decent character information.
Creating the Battle of Blackwater Bay spans 31 minutes, 16 seconds and features Benioff, Weiss, George RR Martin, Doelger, Jackson, Tom Martin, Dinklage, Brisdon, Dunne, director Neil Marshall, supervising art director Frank Walsh, director of photography Sam McCurdy, VFX supervisor Rainer Gombos, VFX producer Steve Kullback, stunt performer CC Smiff, stunt coordinator Paul Herbert, senior supervising armourer Boyd Rankin, prosthetics supervisor Conor O’Sullivan, makeup designer Paul Engelen, horse master Camilla Naprous, and actors Kerr Logan, Jack Gleeson, Rory McCann and Liam Cunningham.
As expected, “Battle” looks at all the elements related to the execution of that sequence, with an emphaiss on technical material. It becomes a thorough and informative view of the work involved.
After this we move to Inner Circle, a 24-minute, three-second roundtable with Benioff, Cunningham, Fairley, Headey, Clarke, Harington, and Weiss.
“Circle” offers a discussion of characters and story as well as cast and performances. This feels like a decent examination of the roles, though I can’t claim it seems especially insightful much of the time. Still, it’s fun to see so many of the series’ principals chat together in one place.
The Religions of Westeros goes for seven minutes, 34 seconds and features George RR Martin, Weiss, Benioff and actor Carice Van Houten.. As expected, the program brings some notes about spiritual elements found in the series. We find a short but engaging overview.
Season Two concludes with seven Character Profiles. These occupy a total of 15 minutes, 42 seconds and feature Harington, Cosmo, Bradley, Glen, Clarke, Madden, Fairley, Gleeson, Headey, Dinklage, Anthony, Logan, Cunningham, Van Houten, and actors Mark Stanley, Roxanne McKee, Natalie Dormer, Finn Jones, Stephen Dillane, Gemma Whelan and Patrick Malahide.
These offer brief looks at the various roles and relationships. They provide some useful notes, but they tend to feel promotional in nature.
With that we shift to Disc Four of Season Three and A Gathering Storm runs 14 minutes, two seconds. It brings info from Weiss, Headey, Benioff, Dinklage, Gleeson, Coster-Waldau, Fairley, Turner, Williams, Clarke, Harington, Madden, and McCann.
“Storm” essentially offers a recap of the characters and narrative elements. It’s useful if you need it but superfluous if you’re already hep to the events of the first two seasons.
New Characters goes for nine minutes, 41 seconds and brings info from Benioff, Weiss, Dormer, Jones, Clarke, Harington, George RR Martin, Fairley, Madden, and actors Diana Rigg, Charles Dance, Nathalie Emmanuel, Ciaran Hinds, Kristofer Hivju, Thomas Brodie Sangster, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, Ellie Kendrick, Clive Russell, Mackenzie Crook, Tobias Menzies, Paul Kaye and Richard Dormer.
As expected, this featurette offers an introduction to these new roles. Also as expected, it leans superficial and promotional.
Next comes another batch of Histories & Lore. Here we find 17 more segments, with a total time of one hour, two minutes, 45 seconds. Expect good material ala prior “Lore” compilations.
Inside the Wildlings uses six minutes, 21 seconds to provide remarks from George RR Martin, Hivju, Weiss, Clapton, Jackson, Jeffers, Harington, Dunne, Benioff, Hinds, hair designer Kevin Alexander, and actor Rose Leslie.
As a view of the characters, this becomes a useful examination. While brief, it comes with a mix of good notes.
After this, we locate The Politics of Marriage. It spans eight minutes, 39 seconds and features Weiss, George RR Martin, Doelger, Benioff, Dance, Rigg, Dinklage, Fairley and Madden.
We get a take on matrimony in the world of Thrones. The show lacks a lot of depth and feels more like a general synopsis of character areas than anything else.
Season Three ends with five Deleted/Extended Scenes. With a total time of 14 minutes, 28 seconds, these offer more character elements and become reasonably interesting.
Here comes Disc Four of Season Four, a platter that launches with The Politics of Power. It lasts 25 minutes, two seconds and features Clarkes, Harington, Coster-Waldau, Madden, Fairley, Williams, McCann, Turner, Gleeson, Headey, and Dinklage.
Subtitled “A Look Back at Season Three”, “Power” lives up to that billing and offers a recap of the prior year’s events. If you need that summary, give it a look.
Bastards of Westeros fills seven minutes, 16 seconds and includes remarks from George RR Martin, Weiss, Benioff, Harington, and actors Indira Varma and Iwam Rheon.
As implied by the title, this one examines characters born out of wedlock. It becomes a passable overview but not anything remarkable.
Next we get New Characters & Locations, a seven-minute, 39-second piece with Benioff, Weiss, Clarke, Glen, Varma, Rheon, George RR Martin, Rigg, Natalie Dormer, Hivju. Leslie, and actors Jacob Anderson, Pedro Pascal, Michael McElhatton, Roger Ashton-Griffiths and Yuri Kolokolnikov.
Unsurprisingly, this reel focuses on S4’s new roles and places. It becomes a mediocre recap.
Behind the Battle for the Wall lasts 37 minutes, 11 seconds and presents comments from Harington, Weiss, Benioff, Marshall, Kullback, Doelger, Stanley, Brisdon, Herbert, Smiff, Bradley, Hivju, Leslie, Kolokolnikov, director of photography David Franco, VFX supervisor Joe Bauer, writer Bryan Cogman, SFX floor supervisor Jonathan Barrass, production designer Deborah Riley, supervising art director Paul Ghirardani, set decorator Rob Cameron, props master Gordon Fitzgerald, and actors Joseph Gtt, Dominic Carter, Owen Teale, Ben Crompton, and Josef Altin.
Ala Season Two’s “Blackwater Bay” featurette, this one offers a glimpse of all the work put into S4’s big action sequence. Like its predecessor, it becomes a lively and informative show.
Another roundtable discussion, The Fallen goes for 29 minutes, 37 seconds. Hosted by Cogman, it features Gleeson, Dance, Leslie, Pascal, Brodie-Sangster, Stanley, and actor Sibel Kekilli.
Spoiler alert: as the title implies, “Fallen” focuses on characters who die in S4. That gives “Fallen” an unusual slant, one that allows it to become more interesting than the prior roundtable.
As expected, S4 brings another Histories & Lore compilation, one whose 16 segements span a total of 52 minutes, 43 seconds. “Lore” continues to boast a fountain of useful material.
Two Deleted Scenes appear: “Bronn and Shae” (1:52) and “Dany and Missandei” (1:12). Both offer decent character elements.
Season Four concludes with a Blooper Reel. It lasts two minutes, two seconds and provides the standard goofs and giggles.
Disc Four of Season Five begins with A Day in the Life, a 26-minute, one-second piece with info from Riley, executive producer Bernie Caulfield, line producers Peter Welter Soler and Duncan Muggoch, producer Chris Newman, director Michael Slovis, makeup artist Kay Bilk, hair stylists Laura Pollock and Rosalia Culora, production manager Colin Azzopardi, assistant costume designer Nina Ayres, 2nd unit crowd supervisor Stephen O’Rawe, supervising art director Christina Moore, dialogue coach Jan Haydn Rowles, and actor Ian Beattie.
Like the title implies, “Life” examines one day in the world of Thrones on sets that span three countries. It’s a fun concept that offers an intriguing spin on the usual “behind the scenes” program.
An echo of last season’s piece, New Characters/New Locations spans seven minutes, 41 seconds and delivers comments from Benioff, Weiss, Cogman, Doelger, Varma, Riley, Moore, Williams, and actors Alexander Siddig, Deobia Oparei, Jessica Henwick, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Rosabell Laurenti Sellers, and Jonathan Pryce.
Like the S4 program, this one tends to feel promotional. However, it devotes more time to locations than characters, so it works better than its predecessor.
Anatomy of an Episode: Mother’s Mercy goes for 29 minutes, 33 seconds and brings info from Cunningham, Weiss, Benioff, Dillane, Bauer, Turner, Newman, Riley, Rheon, Doelger, Cogman, Willies, Beattie, Ghirardani, Kullback, Brisdon, Coster-Waldau, Varma, Clarke, Dinklage, Anderson, Glen, Pryce, Headey, Caulfield, Harington, Bradley, Siddig, art director Hauke Richter, stunt coordinator Rowley Irlam, prosthetics supervisor Barrie Gower, director David Nutter, on-set VFX supervisor Jabbar Raisani, SFX floor supervisor Sam Conway, and actors Tara Fitzgerald, Gwendoline Christie, Michael McElhatton, Tom Wlaschiha, Nell Tiger Free, Michiel Huisman, Hannah Waddingham and Hannah Murray.
“Anatomy” echoes the two “Battle” featurettes, as it brings a look at the developments related to the creation of one show. It seems a bit fluffier than those, but it still offers a good view of the shoot.
In the two-part The Real History Behind Game of Thrones, we find 40 minutes, 14 seconds of content. These programs boast remarks from George RR Martin, historians Dan Jones, Kelly DeVries and Jamie Adair.
As anticipated, “Behind” lets us view the antecedents and inspirations for Thrones. It’s a loical topic to discuss, and we get a nice exploration here.
Histories & Lore? “Histories & Lore”! 14 mores segments occupy 51 minutes, 28 seconds, and they continue to inform and educate.
Next comes The Dance of Dragons, a 20-minute, 27-second piece that offers background for some story/character elements related to the Targaryens. It feels like it’d fit better into “Histories & Lore”, but it still becomes a fun view of more Thrones backstory.
S5 concludes with four Deleted Scenes. These occupy a total of seven minutes, 59 seconds and bring more of the usual modest character expansions.
We plow toward Season Six’s Disc Four, where we start with Recreating the Dothraki World. it spans 20 minutes, 15 seconds and features Benioff, Weiss, Doelger, Clarke, Cogman, Glen, Huisman, Riley, Conway, Irlam, Caulfield, Rowles, writer Dave Hill, art director Philip Elton, directors Daniel Sackheim, Jack Bender and Jeremy Podeswa, VFX previs lead Eric Carney, and actor Souad Faress.
“World” examines a mix of elements related to the Dothraki characters, locations and other components. It turns into a satisfying overview.
The Battle of the Bastards runs 30 minutes, one second and includes remarks from Weiss, Benioff, Rheon, Newman, Harington, Cogman, Hivju, Naprous, Irlam, Conway, Boake, Ghirardani, Riley, Kullback, Bauer, Barrass, Turner, director Miguel Sapochnik, director of photography Fabian Wagner, camera operator Sean Savage, military advisor Jamie Miles, extra Chris Campbell, and actor Dean Jagger.
As expected, “Bastards” becomes another discussion of the work devoted to a big combat sequence. Like its predecessors, it delivers a lot of useful material.
Next we go to 18 Hours At the Paint Hall, a 28-minute, 17-second piece. It features Weiss, Benioff, Alexander, Culora, Caulfield, Irlam, Newman, 2nd 2nd AD Alison Louise Whearty, 2nd AD Paul Morris, location manager Naomi Liston, locations assistant Emma McDermott, director Mark Mylod, electrician Kevin Heathington, 3rd AD Graham Kinniburgh, base trainee Louise Rashman, unit stills photographer Helen Sloan, special effects workshop supervisor Laurence Harvey, senior special effects technician Sebastian Sue, chargehand standby props Brian McGraw, standby props Ollie McDonald, camera trainees Emma Roberts and Scott Mitchell, grip trainee Donovan Mitchell, trainee AD James Edlin, best boy grip Kirk Thornton, stunt performer Ryan Stuart, assistant special effects technician Tim Hampton, producer Greg Spence, and video playback operator Lisa Trinder.
“Hall” covers one production day at the “Paint Hall”, the series’ main hub. It offers another fun “a day in the life” program, especially with ample footage from the sets.
Of course, Season Six comes with more Histories & Lore. The 18 segments occupy a total of one hour, 20 minutes, 47 seconds. They continue to add useful info.
Finally, we get three Deleted Scenes: “Edd & Thorne” (3:01), “Litter” (1:17) and “The Play” (6:49). As usual, these tend toward character bits. The first two seem decent, but the third just shows a long stage production, and it drags.
As we shift to Season Seven’s Disc Four, we launch with Histories & Lore. With eight parts, it occupies 29 minutes, 35 seconds.
That’s shorter than usual, but given that S7 comes with fewer episodes than normal, this doesn’t surprise. “Lore” remains a positive addition to the set.
The two-part From Imagination to Reality: Inside the Art Department lasts 46 minutes, 25 seconds and features Riley, Podeswa, Benioff, Weiss, Ghirardani, Harington, Elton, Doelger, Clarke, Headey, Stanes, Moore, Soler, Mylod, Fitzgerald, Williams, Richter, Asbek, Whelan, Muggoch, Newman, Hivju, Kaye, Taylor, Christie, Emmanuel, McCann, director Matt Shakman, hod sculptor Darren Fitzsimmons, hod carpenter Danny O’Regan, set dec concept artist Jessica Sinclair, assistant set decorator Aine Smith, supervising prop maker Gavin Jones, assistant props master Bob Orr, concept artist Kieran Belshaw, concept artist Philipp Scherer, drapes master Chris Lewry, standby greensman Khi Gregory, location manager Tobin Hughes, standby prop hand Peter Marley, props painter assistant Nicole Day, standby art director Rachel Aulton, and actor Daniel Portman.
Here we get many details about sets, locations and production design. We find a fine discussion of all the challenges presented by the series’ massive scope.
S7 finishes with Fire & Steel: Creating the Invasion of Westeros. It runs 30 minutes, two seconds and gives us info from Benioff, Weiss, Clarke, Coster-Waldau, Dinklage, Harington. Doelger, Cogman, Headey, Hill, Whelan, Asbek, Castle-Hughes, Irlam, Riley, Mylod, Carney, Shakman, Kullback, Bauer, Flynn, and Podeswa.
This becomes another overview of the series’ big action material. It’s a little more superficial than its predecessors – with more praise than usual – but it still becomes an engaging examination.
Season Eight beckons, and Disc Four opens with . It goes for 29 minutes, 13 seconds and involves Harington, Benioff, Hill, Sapochnick, Weiss, Riley, Ghirardani, Richter, Christie, Doelger, Wagner, Muggoch, Caulfield, Savage, Anderson, Bauer, Cameron, Dunne, Spence, Conway, Coster-Waldau, Carney, Clarke, Kullback, Hivju, Gower, Dinklage, Turner, Williams, Richard Dormer, Glen, Van Houten, B camera operator David Morgan, stunt double Kristina Baskett, and actor Joe Dempsie.
Once again, we get a program that examines the ins and outs of battle material. Expect another engagign take on the subject matter.
Duty Is the Death of Love spans 31 minutes, 36 seconds and features Benioff, Weiss, Turner, Williams, Muggoch, Caulfield, Harington, Dinklage, Newman, Riley, Bauer, Clarke, Richter, Jones, Irlam, Doelger, Clapton, Williams, Hill, Coster-Waldai, Savage, Boake, Nutter, Glen, Christie, Conway, Bradley, Turner, Hempstead Wright, Ghirardani, Headeydirector of photography Jonathan Freeman, A camera operator Ben Wilson and 1st AD Daire Glynn.
Here we look at the creation of the series finale. This turns into an informative overview.
Another Histories & Lore compilation appears, with six segments that occupy a total of 26 minutes, 51 seconds. This package finishes the series well.
The Last Watch fills one hour, 53 minutes with notes from Caulfield, Newman, Riley, Liston, Irlam, Nutter, Alexander, Clarke, Gower, Sapochnick, crowd wardrobe mistress Rachel Blair, security guard Paul Rocks,, script secretary Kate McLaughlin, head of snow Del Reid, stunt performers Vladimir Furdik and Ratsa Parvanov, assistant stunt coordinator Paul Shapcott, director’s assistant Patrick Strapazon, coffee van manager Leigh McCrum, prosthetics co-department head Sarah Gower, greensman Garth Hill, and actor Andrew McClay.
A season-long endeavor, “Watch” covers a broad array of topics as it traces S9 from start to finish. It proves enjoyable and benefits from the grander scope compared to the other programs.
S8 ends with five Deleted Scenes. These total eight minutes, 28 seconds and mostly offer the usual character extensions, though two deal with battles.
Not content with all the material in each season set, this “Complete Series” package adds three bonus discs. On Blu-ray One, we begin with a two-part Reunion Special.
It spans a total of one hour, 39 minutes, 22 seconds. Hosted by Conan O’Brien, we get a few panels. The first includes Headey, Dinklage, Coster-Waldau, Addy, Bean and actor Conleth Hill, while the second involves Bean, Harington, Turner, Williams, Hempstead Wright, Bradley, Cunningham, McCann and actor Kristian Nairn.
Panel three features Clarke, Emmanuel, Glen, Anderson and Momoa, whereas the last grouping involves Haeington, Williams, Clarke, Turner, Hempstead Wright, Dinklage, Headey and Coster-Waldau. Benioff and Weiss appear at the end to bid adieu as well.
With O’Brien as host, one might expect “Reunion” to offer a light, comedic piece, and one would anticipate correctly. While it brings some good info, “Reunion” works best simply as a warm farewell from those involved with the series. Fans should enjoy it.
BD One also includes four Anatomy of a Scene featurettes. We get these for S4’s “Planning of a Royal Wedding” (22:50), S5’s “The Massacre at Hardhome” (28:03), S6’s “Inside the Fight for Meereen” (23:59) and S7’s “Creating the Frozen Lake” (27:23).
Across these, we hear from Benioff, Weiss, Gleeson, Doelger, Riley, Newman, Caulfield, Natalie Dormer, Alexander, Clapton, Ashton-Griffiths, Ghirardani, Spence, Moore, George RR Martin, Cameron, Fitzgerald, Dinklage, Jones, Smiff, Headey, Herbert, Dunne, Conway, Bauer, Coster-Waldau, Sapochnik, Hivju, Richter, Harington, Boake, Barrass, Brisdon, Wagner, Crompton, Kullback, Irlam, Barrie Glover, Clarke, Podeswa, Emmanuel, Mylod, Anderson, Hill, Huisman, Naprous, Whelan, Cogman, Taylor, Glen, Dempsie, McCann, Smith, Carney, Kaye, Bradshaw, Jones, director Alex Graves, supervising location manager Charles Somers, home economist Karyn Booth, band Sigur Ros, foley artist Jeffrey Wilhoit, foley mixer Brett Voss, scenic painter Kevin Fraser, makeup designer Jane Walker, art director Simon McGuire, stuntman Michael Byrch, and actors Dean-Charles Chapman, Birgitte Hjort Sorensen, Zachary Baharov, and Enzo Cilenti.
With these featurettes, we get nuts and bolts glimpses of what it took to put together these episodes. They come chock full of fun details and offer lots of good information.
Blu-ray Two opens with five Behind the Scenes featurettes. We get S1’s “Houses of the Seven Kingdoms” (15:27), S2’s “Westeros at War” (18:44), S4’s “Silk, Leather and Chain Mail” (19:14) and S5’s “The Final Step” (25:54).
In the first two, we hear solely from George RR Martin. For the last two, we find notes from Doelger, Benioff, Clapton, Natalie Dormer, Jones, Dance, Graves, Headey, Varma, Coster-Waldau, Pascal, Smiff, Christie, Hempstead-Wright, Brodie Sangster, Hivju, Kolokolnikov, Gatt, Bradley, Weiss, Spence, Kullback, Bauer, Wilhoit, editor Tim Porter, final colorist Joe Finley, composer Ramin Djawadi, ADR supervisor Tim Hands, sound designer Paula Fairfield, supervising sound editor Tim Kimmel, and actor Ellie Kendrick.
Featurettes one and two allow Martin to discuss story/character/lore elements, while featurette three gets into costumes and featurette four looks at post-production. All four prove educational and interesting.
Inside the Visual Effects breaks into seven segments, one for each season except the last. These add up to two hours, 45 minutes, 18 seconds.
Over the seven featurettes, we hear from Weiss, Benioff, Ainsworth-Taylor, Jackson, McIness, Gleeson, Allen, Kullback, McCurdy, Cunningham, Gombos, Clarke, Raisani, Dinklage, Bauer, Doelger, Minahan, Summersgill, Anderson, Brisdon, Leslie, Harington, Hivju, Crook, Herbert, Riley, Dance, Pascal, Emmaniel, Glen, Ghirardani, Moore, Nairn, Kendrick, Wagner, Podeswa, Barrie Gower, Williams, Newman, Hill, Cogman, Bradley, Irlam, Bender, Carney, Hempstead-Wright, Whelan, Glen, Turner, Headey, Sapochnik, Spence, lead matte painter Damien Mace, 2D supervisor Henry Badgett, CG supervisor Rafael Morant, set dec concept artist Max Berman, art directors Heather Greenlees and Alex Baily, director Michelle MacLaren, visual effects associate producer Adam Chazen, VFX editor Chris Baird, pre-vis supervisor Michelle Blok, and actor Ian McElhinney.
Obviously, these programs look at various effects used for the series. Some of this becomes redundant – how many times can we learn how they allowed Dany to walk through fire? – but the shows still deliver informative discussions of all the work done for the series.
BD Two concludes with Deleted Scenes from Season Seven. We see “Extended Sam and Gilly” (2:21), “Daenerys and Tyrion Corridor Talk” (1:43) and “Varys and Trella in King’s Landing” (1:04). These bring minor character expansions.
With that we – finally! – get to Blu-ray Three, where one component appears: Conquest & Rebellion Billed as “an animated history of the seven kingdoms”, it runs 44 minutes, 47 seconds.
“Rebellion” brings series actors Harry Lloyd, Conleth Hill, Pilou Asbek, Nikolaj Coster-Waldaur, Sophie Turner, and Aidan Gillan to reprise their roles, albeit as voice talent. The animated feature offers backstory that should entertain fans, and it seems like a well-executed piece, even with “animation” that often feels more like filmed concept art.
One of the biggest hits of the last 10 years, Game of Thrones brings an epic adventure. This package includes the whole shebang, with the political and violent intrigue from start to finish. The 4K UHDs offer excellent picture and audio along with a stellar roster of bonus materials. Fans will love this terrific set.