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Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection (UHD Blu-ray) review

Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection (UHD Blu-ray) review
« on: November 04, 2020, 03:21:54 PM »


Studio: HBO / Warner Brothers
Release: November 4, 2020
Rating: TV-MA
Film: 
 
Season One – 5/5
Season Two – 5/5
Season Three - 5/5
Season Four – 5/5
Season Five – 5/5
Season Six – 4.5/5
Season Seven – 4/5
Season Eight – 2/5
 
 
Plot
Based on the best-selling novel series by George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones has earned a total of 161 Emmy® nominations and 59 wins, which are the most nominations and wins of any Comedy or Drama series in Emmy history. The Cultural Phenomenon also stands as HBO’s most-viewed program ever, with the final season averaging a record-setting 44 million viewers in the U.S.
 
The ensemble cast includes Emmy® and Golden Globe® winner Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) and Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont).
 
My Thoughts
I was late to the phenomenon of Game of Thrones and it took three tries to get through the first season—mainly due to my wife’s objections the first two times. We agreed to give the first two seasons a try and see how it went from there. Needless to say, after the second season ended, we were hooked and couldn’t wait to catch up and watch all of the episodes on HBO.
 
The first five seasons of this show are simply spectacular in every regard. The in-depth exploration of a plethora of characters, political gamesmanship around every corner, and oh yeah, there are dragons too! Everyone had their favorite for who they thought should ascend to the Iron Throne (I always thought Tyrion would be the best of the bunch), but literally no one I’ve talked to praise the final season of the show. Sure, there are some people online that will defend it until their dying breath, but they are few and far between.
 
The show started to go off the rails in season six, although its decline was a steady fall and not drastic. It was still entertaining, and it was fun to see where the story was going. Unfortunately, the seventh season completely changed the way the stories were being told—instead of a slow burn it was a mad rush to finish the season. It was if the show runners were burned out and just wanted a new project to focus on.
 
Unfortunately, the show ended on a down note and left many fans—including this one—with a sour taste in my mouth. How could George R.R. Martin approve this type of ending? Did he not know how it was going to end and advise the showrunners to not completely ignore a key plot figure for multiple seasons and then have him be so important in the end?
 
Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were obviously over their head and as soon as they had to create their own narrative in season 6, they proved they didn’t have the talent to do so. In the greater scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter how the show ends since it’s a damn TV show, but I have to admit it has soured my desire to keep revisiting the show. For this 4K review I’ve gone back and watched various episodes from each season to judge the audio/video quality and it rekindled my desire to watch the show in its entirety for the third time, but then I decided to give the finale one last try and sure enough, that itch has been scratched and it will be many years before I come back to the show.
 
HBO released seasons one and eight in UHD already and everyone—including me—anticipated the remaining seasons would find their way onto 4K eventually as single season sets. Sadly, that’s not the case. You have two options right now—a Best Buy Exclusive Steelbook set (which is gorgeous) for $285 or a standard 4K UHD set (reviewed here) for $255. If you’re trying to choose between the two, get the Best Buy set—for $30 its worth the upgrade if you’re into that type of thing.
 
For the 4K release, HBO has upconverted the show from its native 2K source format. The results are shockingly good. Fine detail in clothing and facial textures is improved, although the CGI effects take a slight step backwards and stand out a bit more than they should. Regardless, if you’ve held off buying any of the seasons waiting for the 4K release you’ll be happy you did. The Atmos audio tracks are excellent, although the discs default to the lossy Dolby Digital track and you have to manually select Atmos (it should be the other way around!), which is a bit of a pain, but one of the things that always impressed me about this show was how each and every episode has the quality you’d expect from a blockbuster film and these Atmos tracks meet that high bar with ease.
 
Video 9 /10
 
Audio 10/10 (Dolby Atmos)
 
 
Special Features:
 
Season One 
  • Histories and Lore 
  • Making of Game of Thrones 
  • Character Profiles 
  • Creating the Dothraki Language 
  • The Night's Watch 
  • From the Book to the Screen 
  • Creating the Show Open 
  • Cast Auditions 
  • Anatomy of an Episode: A Golden Crown 
  • 7 Audio Commentaries 
 
 
Season Two 
  • Histories and Lore 
  • Deleted Scenes 
  • Creating the Battle of Blackwater Bay 
  • Game of Thrones: Inner Circle 
  • The Religions of Westeros 
  • Character Profiles 
  • 12 Audio Commentaries 
 
Season Three 
  • Histories and Lore 
  • Deleted Scenes/Extended Scenes
  • Inside the Wildings 
  • The Politics of Marriage 
  • New Characters 
  • A Gathering Storm 
  • 12 Audio Commentaries 
 
Season Four 
  • Histories and Lore 
  • Deleted Scenes 
  • The Fallen: A Roundtable 
  • Behind the Battle for the
  • The Politics of Power: A Look Back at Season 3 
  • Bastards of Westeros 
  • New Characters & Locations 
  • Season 4 Blooper
  • 11 Audio Commentaries 
 
Season Five 
  • Histories and Lore 
  • New Characters / New Locations 
  • Anatomy of an Episode: Mother's Mercy 
  • The Real History Behind Game of Thrones 
  • A Day in the Life 
  • Deleted Scenes 
  • The Dance of Dragons 
  • 12 Audio Commentaries 
 
Season Six 
  • Histories and Lore 
  • The Battle of the Bastards: An In-Depth Look 
  • 18 Hours at the Paint Hall 
  • Recreating the Dothraki World 
  • Deleted Scenes 
  • 13 Audio Commentaries 
 
Season Seven 
  • Histories and Lore 
  • From Imagination to Reality: Inside the Art Department 
  • Fire & Steel: Creating the Invasion of Westeros 
  • 11 Audio Commentaries 
 
Season Eight 
  • Histories and Lore 
  • When Winter Falls 
  • Duty is the Death of Love 
  • Game of Thrones: The Last Watch 
  • Deleted Scenes 
  • 10 Audio Commentaries 
 
Bonus Disc 1
  • Game of Thrones Reunion Special Parts 1 & 2
  • Anatomy of a Scene
 
Bonus Disc 2
  • Behind the Scenes
  • Inside the Visual Effects
  • Season 7 Deleted Scenes
 
Bonus Disc 3
  • Conquest & Rebellion: An Animated History of the Seven Kingdoms
 
 
 
Conclusion
In all honesty, I don’t think Weiss and Benioff could have satisfied all of the Game of Thrones fans wishes for the conclusion of the show, but then again, I didn’t think they could have made so many people mad with what they did. The fan fiction that’s out there for an end to the series contain some amazing ideas and I wish they could have used some of those. Regardless, the first five seasons of this show are arguably the best you’ll ever watch and maybe it’s too much to ask for that level of entertainment and attention to detail last through eight seasons. Regardless, George R. R. Martin is promising to finish the book series and I’m hoping he can fix what Weiss and Benioff broke in their telling of the story, but who knows if that will ever happen. Regardless, the UHD box set is amazing and will delight fans of the show—I just wish HBO had sent me the steelbook set, it would make quite a visual spectacle in my collection.
 
 
Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS2000 4K Ultra High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Portrait Displays CalMAN color calibration software & C6-HDR Meter from Portrait Displays)
Stewart Filmscreen - Firehawk 110” 2.35:1 Fixed Screen
Anthem AVM60 Audio/Video Processor 
ATI AT527NC Powering Bed Channels 
ATI AT524NC Powering Atmos Speakers
Panasonic DP-UB820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player 
System Controller: URC MX-980
M&K S-150 THX Ultra (R-C-L Speakers)
M&K SS-150 x4 (Surround Speakers)
Atlantic Technology IC6-OBA x 4 Overhead Speakers
SVS PC-Ultra Cylinder Subwoofer
HSU VTF-15H MK2 Subwoofer
JL Audio Fathom F110 Subwoofers x 2 (stacked)
JL Audio Dominion D110 Subwoofer x 2 (stacked)
Mini DSP HD controlling all subwoofers
Audioquest and Monoprice - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling

PureAV PF60 Power Conditioner
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

Re: Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2020, 03:25:48 PM »
Here's a picture of the Steelbook set:

https://i.imgur.com/0Tu1b9K.jpg
Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection (UHD Blu-ray) review
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

TRainH2O

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Re: Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2020, 03:57:34 PM »
Thanks for the review, David. I am glad that you finally dove into GOT.

Season 8 2 out of 5 ?!!? :o::)

It's a well-deserved rating from a story and plot point of view and let's face the facts........

#1, most GOT fans have NO IDEA of what they are missing in terms of story development as most of them have never cracked a single book in the series. If they did, they would realize that there is so much more that they are missing.

#2, Martin sold out to HBO and David Benioff and D.B. Weiss became increasingly more distracted by other future projects. The last season is a prime example.

A final thought as a hard-core GOT book fan........Mr. Martin.........finish and publish the last book !!!!

Re: Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2020, 04:26:28 PM »
Thanks for the review, David. I am glad that you finally dove into GOT.

Season 8 2 out of 5 ?!!? :o::)

It's a well-deserved rating from a story and plot point of view and let's face the facts........

#1, most GOT fans have NO IDEA of what they are missing in terms of story development as most of them have never cracked a single book in the series. If they did, they would realize that there is so much more that they are missing.

#2, Martin sold out to HBO and David Benioff and D.B. Weiss became increasingly more distracted by other future projects. The last season is a prime example.

A final thought as a hard-core GOT book fan........Mr. Martin.........finish and publish the last book !!!!
I've read the first three books (the third is an amazing piece of work), but haven't continued reading until I know he's going to finish writing the series. 
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

Re: Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2020, 09:50:38 AM »
Greetings,

Nice review Dave! 8)


Regards,

Re: Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2020, 08:30:43 PM »
Greetings,

Nice review Dave! 8)


Regards,
Thanks Ralph :)
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

Re: Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2020, 09:05:22 PM »
Thanks for the review, David. I certainly won't be one of the defenders of S8 and the finale. When the finale aired I had had major issues with some previous episodes, but when Tyrion said his line about it should be the one with the best story, I felt like the writers had literally just started pleasuring themselves in front of me. The whole sequence was just so awful.

Regarding the audio track, it's unbelievable that they STILL default to DD. That's been a longstanding complaint of the BDs, and apparently nobody listened. What the hell is wrong with these folks? >:(

Re: Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2020, 02:06:23 PM »
Thanks for the review, David. I certainly won't be one of the defenders of S8 and the finale. When the finale aired I had had major issues with some previous episodes, but when Tyrion said his line about it should be the one with the best story, I felt like the writers had literally just started pleasuring themselves in front of me. The whole sequence was just so awful.

Regarding the audio track, it's unbelievable that they STILL default to DD. That's been a longstanding complaint of the BDs, and apparently nobody listened. What the hell is wrong with these folks? >:(
I really hate where they took Tyrion's character the last season (and it started the season before). Very disappointing. 

In regard to the audio, I couldn't agree more. This is a major problem with Warner's authoring folks...they have the default track set up incorrectly in their software and refuse to change it for some reason. At least it's better than Disney's audio troubles :)
Blu-ray Reviewer / Technical Writer
Sound & Vision Magazine

Re: Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection (UHD Blu-ray) review
« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2020, 09:57:21 AM »
Amazon price dropped to $169.99 earlier this week and now it's $149.99. I think I'll go ahead and grab it at that price.

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