Ever since I purchased Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season on Blu-ray last week, I’ve been raving about it. It’s amazing. I’ve never recommend a DVD or a blu-ray or anything like that, so it’s been a bit odd, but I’m talkative when I’m excited, so…
I’m a long-time fan of the books and loved the show, but I wasn’t sure about buying it, and contemplated it for a for a few days before taking the plunge. When I saw that it was only 35$ at Target, I had to!
I enjoyed the series even more, watching it this second time, than I did when it aired. I ran every episode back to back to back while the girls were at their dad’s for the weekend and was blown away again, by the scale, the acting, and the attention to detail.
As far as the blu-ray itself - the packaging is lovely, with great photographs of the main characters, a map of Westeros, and more. The picture is gorgeous, color and contrast perfect. The sound is also great, really coming to life in the scenes at The Wall, especially. But let’s get to what I REALLY LOVE. The bonus features!
Each episode has the option of an “in-episode guide”. It floats lightly to the right of the screen, transparent when not in use, and blinking slightly whenever new information is unlocked during the episode. The guide tracks where you are in the episode and offers in depth background on characters, places, and more. You can choose to either read information without leaving the episode, and if you do choose listen to one of the actors read a voice over while watching beautiful illustrations of the story they’re telling, when it’s over it takes you back to the exact moment in the show you were on.
The ASOIAF world is incredibly complex, and can be hard to follow for even seasoned veterans of the legendarium. For anyone who needs a refresher, or for new fans that just want to learn more without reading the books, this guide is amazing. The information is available outside of the in-episode guide as well.
Other extras include fantastic featurettes - including a great one of the creation of the Dorthraki language, and commentary tracks, one of which is a solo track of the master himself, George R.R. Martin. There are also easter eggs to be found. :)
There was so much time and effort poured into this set. I’ve purchased quite a few films this year, and have been disappointed with the extras each and every time. TV Shows are usually even worse. I remember reading back before GoT aired that HBO was hoping on making most of the money invested in this show back in home video sales. I think they definitely created something here worthy of that.