Game of Thrones is one of my favourite TV shows on right now. I’m not the biggest fantasy person (although I do love me some Lord of the Rings) but Game of Thrones does something special. Instead of sticking with one clear main character, it jumps to multiple characters in multiple locations and it works them into the main story of claiming the Iron Throne. All the characters are so wonderfully portrayed and written that it’s hard to know whose side you are on at times. Do I want Tyrion to dominate or see Joffrey’s head on a stake? Do I want Daenerys to sit atop the throne? Am I actually starting to like Cersei now? Most pieces of entertainment (TV, movies, video games, books etc.) can’t even begin to match this level of emotion and Game of Thrones does it so seamlessly. Oh, and there’s also baby dragons and pony zombies in the same show, what more can you ask for?
After almost a year since the Season 2 premiere, we have The Complete Second Season Blu-ray. Is it worthy of a show this good? While the Blu-ray set is far from perfect, it’s a great Blu-ray set that should please casual and hardcore fans of the show.
Season 2 Impressions
The Second Season of Game of Thrones is incredible. No spoilers here but after the excellent Season 1, Season 2 had a lot to live up for. For the most part, Season 2 matched the quality of Season 1. So many jaw-dropping moments, excellent dialogue scenes, and a phenomenal battle that took up the entirety of Episode 9. Game of Thrones is truly something special and it can’t be put into words how phenomenal the show really is.
Picture and Audio Quality
The picture quality for the most part is fantastic. Very clear and sometimes impressive images make Game of Thrones one of the best looking TV shows I’ve seen on Blu-ray. Sometimes the black had a strange bluish tint to them but with no film grain, blurry images, or pretty much anything else disappointing, it’s hard to complain. The music and sound effects are also remarkably good.
Bonus Content Breakdown
There are In-Episode Guides for each episode. These In-Episode Guides will have icons pop up on the screen that, if you click on them, will detail the characters in this scene, the location of the current scene, and the History of the “elements” in the show (Robert’s Rebellion, Greyjoy Rebellion, etc.). This is awesome. It’s a fantastic feature for the die hard Game of Thrones fans and one that I hope continues to come on the Blu-ray sets.
There are Commentaries for every episode except Episode 5, The Ghost of Harrenhal. Why not Episode 5? I don’t know but it makes up with it for double commentaries for Episodes 3, 9, and 10. Besides some quiet moments, you hear a lot of fun facts on the series. Did you know that was real horse poop in Episode 10?
Disc 1 Bonus Features
There are Character Profiles (15 minutes, 7 different characters) for Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, Robb Stark, Joffrey Baratheon, Renly Baratheon, Stannis Baratheon, and Theon Greyjoy. The profiles are comprised of interviews with the cast and get their opinions on the character’s personalities, motivations, and their emotions in Season 2. It’s nothing too spectacular, especially since they left out characters like Tyrion and Arrya (my favourite characters). It’s worth a watch for big fans but isn’t anything special.
Disc 5 Bonus Features (There are no Bonus Features besides Commentaries and In-Episode Guides for Discs 2-4).
War of the Five Kings is basically a more in-depth In-episode guide. You are given a map and you can select a character which will bring you into a menu that details their opinion on the war, where they stand, their troops, and more. It’s very interesting for die hard fans of the show although some of the more casual crowd might find it unappealing. The hardcore fans will be incredibly pleased.
Histories & Lore is similar to War of the Five Kings except instead of going into the characters, it goes into the places and “groups” of the show (when I say groups I mean the different rebellions, the Night’s Watch, etc.). Instead of it being all text, you can access videos that are narrated by different characters. The characters talk about stories, lore, and more while you see these animated moving images. It’s a very cool feature if you’re interested in the history of Westeros.
Creating the Battle of Blackwater Bay (31 minutes) is a documentary on Episode 9 where the Battle of Blackwater Bay commenced. You see interviews from the cast and crew and you see how they made the Battle come to be. It’s definitely one of my favourite features on the disc as it’s very informative and shows you lots and lots of behind the scenes footage. This feature must be watched for fans of the series.
Game of Thrones Inner Circle (24 minutes) is a round table discussion between Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Michelle Fairley, Liam Cunningham, and hosted by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. It’s interesting hearing the cast talk about their characters more in-depth then in the Character Profiles. Another good feature for fans that runs at a great length.
The Religions of Westeros (8 minutes) is a feature comprised of interviews from George R.R. Martin, David Benioff, and D.B. Weiss, where they are talking about the religions of the show and how they inspire some of the character’s actions in the show. It’s nothing incredible but interesting for fans.
Bonus Feature Impressions
While there is a good amount of bonus content on here, it is mostly text based which I don’t have much of a problem with but I would’ve liked some more visual content like Deleted Scenes, Outtakes, or a feature comparing the book to the show. The biggest problem I have is the fact that the season comes on five discs. 10 episodes for five discs is a bit of an inconvenience when you want to have a Game of Thrones marathon but they add confusion to the mix. For example, when you put in Disc 1 and select any episode besides Episodes 1 and 2, it will tell you to put in another disc. Why even have the option for me to select Episodes 3-10 if I can’t even select them? Why show me all of this content if I can’t access it from this disc? Why? It is nice having the DVD and Digital Copy although it’s strange that it comes in its own little package outside of the main Blu-ray pack. Fewer discs and combining in the DVDs will make for better packaging.
Game of Thrones is one of the best shows on TV. Nothing I say here will put the show to justice, it’s just THAT good. The Blu-ray has a great picture quality, fantastic audio, and a slew of Bonus Content. A little more “visual” bonus content and better packaging will make the Blu-ray set that much better. Fans of the series will be pleased.
For reviews and more from Petey Oneto, you can check out his blog or check back with Resident Entertainment for more of his posts in the future.