Britgeek on HBO's GAME OF THRONES Season 1 Blu-ray!!
HBO. An acronym that represents sheer brilliance. When you hear that static fuzz, your eyes better open and your ears better perk up, because you're about to watch some of, if not the, finest television ever produced. THE SOPRANOS, DEADWOOD, SIX FEET UNDER, THE WIRE, OZ, BAND OF BROTHERS... the list goes on. And while the network is best known for programming realistic, hard-hitting and hard-edged drama, last year it took a gamble and trod unfamiliar territory with an epic adaptation of the novel A SONG OF FIRE AND ICE by George R. R. Martin. I am of course referring to GAME OF THRONES, one of the most refreshing television experiences I've had in a long, long time, as is almost always the case with HBO's productions.
Now, just a month shy of the premiere of its second season, GAME OF THRONES: The Complete First Season has been released on DVD and Blu-ray in a five-disc collection featuring all ten episodes and a Lannister-sized wealth of bonus content.
There's been something of a gap in the market for a sprawling fantasy show on our TV screens, not just in HBO's line-up over the years. It's something that's almost exclusively been reserved for cinema, most likely due to the cost involved in creating a believable, authentic world. The first season alone found its budget somewhere in the region of $60 million, an incredible sum for TV, making it one of the most expensive shows of all time. Unlike say TERRA NOVA, it was money well spent, as not only does this Hollywood blockbuster of television programmes look magnificent, but it's been populated with wonderful characters, a large, first-rate cast and great scripts. Some of the finest screenwriters of today are working in US television.
Welcome to Westeros, a world comprised of the Seven Kingdoms and ruled by a drunken king who sits on an iron throne made from melted down longswords. Several families control Westeros' various regions under the king's reign, such as House Stark, headed by Eddard Stark (Sean Bean), the monarch Robert Baratheon's closest and oldest friend. Unfortunately, a disastrous combination of lies, deceit, greed and double-crossing is about to lay waste to peace in the Seven Kingdoms.
GAME OF THRONES is edge-of-your-seat television that will hook you from the very first episode. The twists and turns as the intricate story unfolds are always shocking. One particular event towards the end of the season actually made me angry, not because it was badly written or what have you, but how unexpected and brave a direction it was to take.
The show harbours great power in its richly developed, beautifully written characters, and there are many. My personal favourites are Ned Stark and Tyrion Lannister, played quite exquisitely by Peter Dinklage in a role that won him a Golden Globe earlier this year.
There is an abundance of throwaway fantasy in movies and even in the light smattering of television; films and series that focus on cookie cutter magical landscapes, dungeons and dragons. GAME OF THRONES is the antithesis to it all, showcasing interesting characters and building plots around politics and geography. There's real depth to this series and I feel we've barely scratched the surface with the inaugural season. I can't wait to explore it further come April.
The special features included over the five Blu-ray discs are:
- Audio commentaries on most of the episodes
- Character profiles
- Interactive The Complete Guide to Westeros
- Anatomy of an Episode
- In-feature episode guide
- Hidden dragon eggs that unlock extra content
- Making GAME OF THRONES
- From the Book to the Screen
- Creating the Show Opening
- Creating the Dothraki Language
- A feature on the Night's Watch
GAME OF THRONES: The Complete First Season is available now on DVD and region-free Blu-ray from HBO Home Entertainment.
I was fortunate enough to be sent these goodies, but I'm slightly disappointed that the paperweight won't hatch over time. I apologise for my (very) amateur photography.
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March 11, 2012, 2:39 p.m. CST
Cause really, that was pretty much a textbook advertisement written up by a PR firm.
March 11, 2012, 2:39 p.m. CST
to watch this series.
March 11, 2012, 2:40 p.m. CST
by Bass Ackwards
What the what? This is just a straight up ad for the dvd/blu-ray release.
March 11, 2012, 2:46 p.m. CST
Your photography isn't the only thing that's amateur.
March 11, 2012, 2:48 p.m. CST
And the supplements are excellent. Plenty of stuff you could have talked about on here.
March 11, 2012, 2:48 p.m. CST
make sure you demand cold hard CASH for your blatant adverts, don't be fooled by vague promises of " exclusive insider info" being given out "somewhere down the line".
March 11, 2012, 2:50 p.m. CST
Ad-like or not. The deserves articles like this, A Song of Fire and Ice is one of coolest stories around. Nice to see it taking off
March 11, 2012, 2:53 p.m. CST
Who are doing the commentaries? Is there one from GRRM?
March 11, 2012, 2:54 p.m. CST
March 11, 2012, 2:55 p.m. CST
i so want Phil Ford to write a Episode in season 3 he would be Brilliant and Amazing WINTER IS COMING IN 3 WEEKS
March 11, 2012, 3:25 p.m. CST
I entered and have not seen anything on it since. What gives???
March 11, 2012, 3:37 p.m. CST
Because not everybody subscribes to HBO?
March 11, 2012, 3:46 p.m. CST
Because not everybody subscribes to HBO? (Apologies for the double post)
March 11, 2012, 3:47 p.m. CST
by Stereotypical Evil Archer
Just do a search and it should show up.
March 11, 2012, 3:50 p.m. CST
Ahh, I totally missed it, not sure how. I appreciate the help.
March 11, 2012, 4:10 p.m. CST
by Nemesis Enforcer
not fire and ice. nitpicky i know but, im bored.
March 11, 2012, 4:18 p.m. CST
Incredible show.. but the commentaries are awful. Episode 3's is just the girls who play Stark's daughters giggling and babbling incoherently about how much fun they and and what they were wearing etc.
March 11, 2012, 4:49 p.m. CST
Because some people also appreciate genuine high-bit rate 1080p and are willing to pay for it. HBO is to be applauded for using 1 BD50 disc for just two episodes and does their commitment ever pay off. Extraordinary picture (on a high-quality player/display). The visuals are so spectacular I can barely keep focused on the story. Streaming content from HBO or Netflix or iTunes, even if it is 1080p (a very compressed version of 1080p) is for people who don't really care that much about enjoying the best visual (and audio) quality. Or for people who are watching their downloads on an iPad.
March 11, 2012, 5:56 p.m. CST
Hasn't Blu-ray become mainstream enough that we don't need such a big ass gaudy blue stripe painted over cool box artwork anymore? For example, the Avatar special edition Blu-ray is a perfect way to not ruin the cover art with the Blu-ray logo and blue border on top. http://www.filmofilia.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Avatar_Extended_003.jpg
March 11, 2012, 6:18 p.m. CST
nothing here you couldn't have read off of the Amazon.com synopsis/detail breakdown. And a week too late, too. You swung and missed twice, AICN. And streaming movies/TV are for casual movie/TV fans.... it's not even perfected yet (poor choice selection, eradicate print quality/aspect ratio, stereo audio, etc.)... oh and I have this to say to you portable device watching motherfuckers.... http://tinyurl.com/yrk4on
March 11, 2012, 6:20 p.m. CST
it's only on the removable packaging/shrink wrap, it's not on the actual box itself.
March 11, 2012, 6:30 p.m. CST
You guys just not even trying to trick us into believing you are not paid out the ass by studios....AICN post space for sale....Whats the going rate anyhow?....Can I afford it?
and with Game of Thrones you don't even need to sell it like that. 95% of the readers here love it. that is just a stupid way to lose trust.
March 11, 2012, 6:46 p.m. CST
by wrath 4771
Love the show, but Time/Life does the infomericals better. You need to hire a spokesperson plus a superstar from years gone by to shill the product.
March 11, 2012, 6:58 p.m. CST
by Adam Stephen Kelly
I don't get paid to write for AICN let alone by studios, but thanks.
March 11, 2012, 7:05 p.m. CST
...is that it doesn't indicate on the little booklet which extra featurette is on which disc. so you gotta select it on the menu of whatever disc you have in, wait for it to search for the clip, then it tells you to put in another disc. not a huge deal but a minor annoyance.
March 11, 2012, 7:15 p.m. CST
by Bass Ackwards
Send AICN a box set and they'll write up an ad for it. Though it still surprises me anyone would want to invest even that much into AICN, they get the product and still don't get around to shilling for it until a week after its released. Or, to take it from a reviewer stand point and not a advertisement, you sat on the product for a week and still had nothing of actual substance to say about it. Next time you guys should just post the text from the box, the readers will get just as much from it and at least it'll be posted in a timely manner.
March 11, 2012, 7:28 p.m. CST
if it was shilling, Game of Thrones is so good, I see it in an article title and get a hard on.. This article gave me evening wood and I'm thankful for it. Speaking of the Blu-Ray... For $34.99 I can't remember buying a set that I was orgasmic for more (well maybe when the Star Wars VHS came out in the early ninties). I agree the commentaries are limp, but the animated house histories (or whatever they call them), were awesome and the picture quality is stellar. Even if I did subscribed to HBO (which I don't had to watch the series at a friends house) this is the only I'd want to revisit this set in the future.
March 11, 2012, 7:29 p.m. CST
Forgive the sloppy grammer in my previous post, hard to type with one hand.
March 11, 2012, 7:30 p.m. CST
But let's just focus on the 1080p for now. The HBOgo stream is nowhere near the quality of a crisp 1080p blu-ray image. http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/screenshot.php?movieid=25599&position=15
March 11, 2012, 7:42 p.m. CST
Yeah, not much in the way of a real review here but it's still helpful for people not familiar with the series...are there any on this site btw? I just bought it today on DVD after watching the series via bootleg internet, so I can't wait to see the extras presented in a quality format. Rereading the books and watching Season One should be a good way to get ready for Season Two. On a side note: See studios? I bootlegged your first season, and now I'm buying your boxed set AND have gotten HBO to boot! Maybe you all need to rethink this whole intellectual property situation and come into the 21st century...
March 11, 2012, 9 p.m. CST
Those leftist propagandists will never get another dime from me.
March 11, 2012, 9:58 p.m. CST
I saw someone inquire about the the episode commentaries, which is definitely my favorite feature on this GoT Blu-Ray disc set. I have provided a list below that includes all of the commentators, according to the episode they commented on. Ep. 1 - TV Series executive producers, David and Dan Ep. 2 - Actors, Mark (King Robert) Lena (Cersei) and Nikolaj (Jamie) Ep. 3 - Actors, Sophie (Sansa) Maisie (Arya) and Isaac (Bran) Ep. 4 - Writer of episode, Bryan, and actor, Kit (Jon Snow) Ep. 5 - none Ep. 6 - Director of episode, Daniel, and actors, Peter (Tyrion) Harry (Viserys) and Emilia (Daenerys) Ep. 7 - none Ep. 8 - the master of the book series himself, GRRM (also penned this episode) Ep. 9 - none Ep. 10 - TV series executive producers, David and Dan (again), and director of episode, Alan Do yourselves all a favor and buy this disc set. Read the books. You will not regret it.
March 11, 2012, 10:05 p.m. CST
my press kit was Stark! didn't know they sent out different families! (and I wish mine had been Lannister just for the imp's sake) Shame this didn't actually bother to review the bonus material, really; it's a very worthwhile set that digs deeeeeep into the history, and the features are a lot of fun.
March 11, 2012, 10:31 p.m. CST
So awesome, and so relevant. Well done!
March 11, 2012, 10:47 p.m. CST
I enjoyed it and think the production values are superb and scripts are really good for television. But you can't put it in the same league as Sopranos or The Wire or Mad Men. It has too much bad acting in some of the roles and a some plot holes etc. Really really good show, don't get me wrong, but also don't get carried away.
March 11, 2012, 10:48 p.m. CST
Anyone who likes Sarah Palin doesn't have an IQ high enough to be able to enjoy this series, so don't bother.
March 11, 2012, 11:24 p.m. CST
And I'll enjoy season 2 even more, for free. And my disgust isn't half as much about Palin as it is about HBO's relentless blatant partisanship. Every election year they trot out the liberal political hit jobs. I'm just done funding them.
March 12, 2012, 12:43 a.m. CST
by Winston Smith
Everything's political... you just don't like that they are not your exact beliefs. On the whole liberals are often much nicer to conservatives than vice versa. Things said about Obama (he should die, he's a Muslim socialist, he's the anti-Christ, he's ruining America) were never said on the same level about Bush, even after 2006 when Bush's popularity began to fade. So yeah... don't fund them. I assume you also don't fund partisan hogwash like Rush Limbaugh, correct?
March 12, 2012, 2:35 a.m. CST
Thats just fucking appalling. Terrible 'Review' and some shit photos. I hope this ass clown didnt get paid to do this.
March 12, 2012, 4:26 a.m. CST
Well worth the $35 I spent. Nice job HBO, and thank you
March 12, 2012, 5:23 a.m. CST
by Rebel Scumb
I still buy CDs also, I'm not into the whole mp3 revolution. I like real books to. I wonder if we have all our photo albums, music, movies, tv shows, and books all as files on our computers, what on earth are people going to put on their book shelves? Anyways, this is a great show, a great series of books, but this 'article' was I agree just a big commercial, which even that would be fine if they bothered to include a review of the product
March 12, 2012, 6:08 a.m. CST
by rakesh patel
everyone stop picking on him!
March 12, 2012, 6:12 a.m. CST
After 5 episodes of season 1 I have to say it looks like a mistake. The series is bland, derivative and appears to be yet another vehicle for reinforcing climate change worship/belief systems.
March 12, 2012, 6:18 a.m. CST
... So while I still agree with the notion of a bluray being "worth it", 1080p is NOT one of the exclusives you get by buying it....
March 12, 2012, 6:56 a.m. CST
Britgeek gives the UK a bad name. its not all half-assed prose and bad photography. surely they can get someone better
March 12, 2012, 7:16 a.m. CST
...that makes this series soar. Without it, it would be half as interesting.
The show was so damn good, I put down my money to buy the books, I couldn't wait to know what happened. All I can say is Season 2 is going to be awesome. But... my friends... after that... well.... unless they rewrite the books, GoT is going down the toilet due to the storyline. too bad, I'm already deflated by knowing too much.
March 12, 2012, 9:04 a.m. CST
by Jaster Mareel
I mean Jesus! Can you tell us about the video and audio? What are the menus like? How long are the suppliments? We're all capable of reading the back of the box FUCKTARD!
March 12, 2012, 9:28 a.m. CST
that you can stream/download is compressed to an inch of its life. You are also losing the lossless audio that you get from the blu-ray. If you are unable to see the difference between 1080p on a blu-ray and the "1080p" from iTunes, you need a better TV. Also, how much would you have to pay iTunes to get all 10 episodes and all the special features?
March 12, 2012, 9:55 a.m. CST
I like reading hard-sell articles without being bothered by silly things like thorough, honest reviews.
March 12, 2012, 10:06 a.m. CST
Though Good Lord I love seeing that one Winterfell prostitute's pendulous swinging titties in HD.
March 12, 2012, 10:34 a.m. CST
Things said about Obama (he should die, he's a Muslim socialist, he's the anti-Christ, he's ruining America) were never said on the same level about Bush
March 12, 2012, 10:41 a.m. CST
You said: Things said about Obama (he should die, he's a Muslim socialist, he's the anti-Christ, he's ruining America) were never said on the same level about Bush You are either being deceitful or are remarkably oblivious. You mean BusHitler? How he shredded the Constitution? The chimp pictures? Did you enjoy the miserable failure Googlebomb? How about that Alex Ross poster plastered everywhere showing Bush the Vampire sucking the life out of the Statue of LIberty? How he hates black people? Was it a compliment to accuse him of planning 9/11? How he's a drunk, a cocaine user and a draft dodger with daddy issues? Buck Fush? Yeah, Bush TOTALLY got off easy. Poor Obama, such a victim. Idiot.
March 12, 2012, 11:05 a.m. CST
He has yet to get even a tenth the bile and vindicitive that liberals heaped on Bush. They aren't even in the same ballpark or league when it comes to that. Claiming Obama has it rough is like claiming Richie Rich is poor.
March 12, 2012, 11:08 a.m. CST
by Jaster Mareel
I mean, the guy killed 100,000 Iraqis for no fucking reason. He brought torture back, set up a gulag, wiretapped Americans, set up black prisons where people were chained to the floor with bags over their heads and forced to listen to ear-splitting music every 10 minutes so they couldn't sleep. He FUCKING DESTROYED the economy, not just of America but the whole fucking planet and of course got us trillions of dollars into debt, despite having begun with billions of surplus. When Clinton was in office gas was $.99/gallon, Bush drove that up to $4.25/gallon. He owned a =ranch=in Texas but is afraid of animals so all he could do was trim brush to try and look manly. he cut the budget on the levies in New Orleans, then let people die of dehydration because he appointed a horse show runner as chief of FEMA! Bush was just a catastrphic failure on every conceivable level. He was a drunk-driving, AWOL c student who nearly choked to death on fucking pretzel. The fact that wasn't drilled all day, every day on every news channel was a fucking GIFT to that fucktard. And we all paid the price for it. Obama hasn't done jack shit but try to clean up the conservatard mess and you guys even block him on that while calling him a socialist in the process!
March 12, 2012, 11:21 a.m. CST
The guy above beat me to it: Bush deserved the BS he took. He will go down in history as one of the worst president's ever, and Obama is stuck cleaning up the mess he left behind. Which is a long, drawn out process due to the total clusterfuck that the Bush administration was. Is Obama as great as we all hoped? No, but he's a step up from Bush, that's for sure!
March 12, 2012, 11:29 a.m. CST
Call it the "Ultimate Collector's Edition" and sell it for $99 ("suggested price $120" so people think they're getting a deal) and these things will fly off the shelves.
March 12, 2012, 12:02 p.m. CST
so you get inferior picture and audio quality and you have to pay more for the whole season.
March 12, 2012, 2:45 p.m. CST
by Orbots Commander
Because it sure as hell wasn't a review of the GOT Season 1 Blu-ray set. They usually do DVD box set reviews better over at Chud, by actually getting into the commentary, the extras, the quality of the audio and picture, and last but not least, the actual content, whether TV drama or movie. What we have here is more like a blurb in a Best Buy or Target local ad flyer advertising the box set.
March 12, 2012, 3:16 p.m. CST
by Jaster Mareel
And then they'll never send you another fucking thing! I mean, it's just WASTED on you. I used to write DVD reviews for newspapers and online and what I just read here is a fucking INSULT!
March 12, 2012, 3:25 p.m. CST
Are they going to call Season 2 "Game of Thrones: Season 2" or "A Clash of Kings"?
March 12, 2012, 3:28 p.m. CST
it rejects all the standard fantasy tropes. It even teases the audience with them. You might think your about to see the standard princess rescue, the last minute save, the great heroic charge........and then characters get killed, or raped, or betrayed. The suggested heroic duel never happens because the villain gets killed in some meaningless way somewhere else. Reunions don't happen because someone got killed or misdirected off to another land.
March 12, 2012, 3:38 p.m. CST
Otherwise it might confuse some people using a different title. Also, it allows them to freely use events from future books than the one they are currently serializing. If they do split book 3 into two seasons, using book titles you'd have "Game of Thrones: A Storm of Swords - Part 2" for the series' fourth season. Kinda confusing and cumbersome. When they get to the 4th & 5th books, they can combine them without having to figure out what to call it ("Game of Thrones: Feast for Crows/Dance with Dragons - Part 1"?) other than "Game of Thrones - Season 5 (or 4, or 6, or whatever season they are on by the time they get to the 4th book). Besides, calling season 2 "Game of Thrones: Clash of Kings" would be abbreviated as "GoT CoK", which just sounds rude.
March 12, 2012, 8:25 p.m. CST
March 12, 2012, 8:48 p.m. CST
With support for the 4.1 high setting in the new version, the encoding process creates half blocks and sometimes smaller (depending on what they are actually setting the encode to do), has heavy use of complex predictive algorithms, and essentially produces much better images at the same size and often smaller, just takes longer to encode ... Point is, with proper settings, an h264 with 4.1 high profile can easily outdo the old files' best, and in much smaller size ... don't get me wrong, Blurays are undoubtedly better, those bit rates are often insane, much like DVD bitrates are disproportionate to what is required ... But if done right, these itunes don't have to be huge to be great looking, and in my experience so far (obviously I've only seen a few shows so far) they aren't compressed to within an inch of anything... and like i said, with h264 in high settings, that really doesn't mean anything.... Its not perfect, but come on.... Especially the animated stuff... Great results with those sorts of algorithms... Try watching archer from iTunes and tell me that's compressed within an inch of its life, and not hands down the best option to view available online, as well as not a great substitute for currently airing season, or yet unreleased bluray.... I mean this is the first time in two years I can own ANY of Community in 1080p... Let alone all of it... And you wanna complain and bitch? ... Typical talkbacker.....
March 13, 2012, 2:53 a.m. CST
given a platform to wax lyrical about such a series as game of Thrones and wastes it with lazy lazy writing and bad photos.
March 13, 2012, 8:12 a.m. CST
Very fucking good!!!!
March 13, 2012, 1:57 p.m. CST
I apologize, I haven't seen the new 1080p iTunes yet, so I will actually take your word for it. I was just guessing by what I had previously seen as their "HD" offerings that it wasn't up to par. I still enjoy the better audio and marginally better video of my blu-rays. And for $3.00 less than iTunes charges for the whole season. And something you won't see too often, you are correct. I was unaware of the lengths they go to to properly compress the HD video. Peace.
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