“Game of Thrones” is about the struggle for power in the mythical Seven Kingdoms between two families, the evil Lannisters and the more honorable Starks. Other families are marrying barbarians and there’s a bit of incest at play. But, it’s weird talking about a cable show after it became such a phenomenon. It’s like explaining The Simpsons to an adult. If you’ve been alive for more than a few years, you have a basic understanding of what’s going on.
The acting is top notch. Nearly every actor brilliantly portrays their characters just as they are portrayed in the books. It is worth watching these episodes over and over again just to see their performances. Even the children actors do a fantastic job. The sets and costume designs are also very well done – I wonder if there was any collaboration with those who worked on The Tudors, a somewhat similar series on HBO that reminds me of this show in terms of set and costume designs. Everything from the casting to the dialogue and non-verbal imagery to the set designs are spot-on to how Martin described each environment in his book. Sean Bean, Lena Headyey, Emilia Clarke, and Peter Dinklage, among the other fine actors, do a superb job of making their characters their own, especially Dinklage’s portrayal of Tyrion. The environments capture the air of tense conflict as the story unfolds in each episode, and the dialogue, although not always delivered well with some of the characters, was refreshing to hear overall. It was nice to see each actor take their respective roles very seriously.
The Blu-Ray comes with the same featurettes, character profiles and commentaries as the DVD. The exclusive features range from episode dissections to easter eggs loaded throughout the presentation. Mixing in elements of Picture-in-Picture style featurettes with heavy looks at scene breakdown produces quite the release. I appreciated getting to see the showrunners and George R.R. Martin discuss the creation of the series. But, Martin seems to be a lot more cavalier about the adaptation than most writers.
The Dolby Atmos mix is stellar, but can be downmixed to DTS-HD 7.1 master audio if you don’t have a receiver that can read Atmos. You also get a collectible sigil magnet on the front of the steelbook. While you don’t get that many big sound rich episodes this season, the Atmos mixing is stunning. So, pick it up. Celebrate the first TV show released in Dolby Atmos.
RELEASE DATE: 11/3/2015