Blu-ray Review: Game Of Thrones: The Complete Fourth Season
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Game of Thrones The Complete Fourth Season
Blu-ray/DVD/Digital | DVD l Limited Edition
CREATORS: David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, George R.R. Martin (author)
STARRING: Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Natalie Dormer, Stephen Dillane, Conleth Hill, Aidan Gillen, Kit Harington, Maisie Williams, Iain Glen, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Jack Gleeson, Sophie Turner, Diana Rigg, Alfie Allen, Liam Cunningham, Rory McCann, Gwendoline Christie, Carice van Houten, Charles Dance, Kristian Nairn, John Bradley, Jerome Flynn, Sibel Kekilli, Finn Jones, Rose Leslie, Pedro Pascal, Daniel Portman, Ian McElhinney, Ciarán Hinds, Liam Cunningham, Hannah Murray, Kristofer Hivju, Ellie Kendrick, Thomas Sangster, Nathalie Emmanuel, Iwan Rheon, Jacob Anderson, Indira Varma, Michael McElhatton, Hafthor Bjornsson, Roger Ashton-Griffiths
RELEASE DATE: February 17, 2015

Another year has come and gone, and a new season of Game of Thrones is on the horizon—season five, to be specific, which will premiere on April 12th.

As always, HBO has released the previous season, season four, on Blu-ray and DVD just in time to help get us through these undeniably difficult final couple of months of waiting for the new season to arrive. Once again we offer our review without any spoilers—in case you’ve not yet started or finished the latest season—and focus mainly on what fans of the show who are caught up want to know, which is what special features are included on the discs. If you’ve never seen the show at all, why on earth are you reading a review of season four instead of watching season one, episode one? Go now!

It’s been said and said again, but it truly is remarkable what Game of Thrones has become. A worldwide phenomenon, and a massive production, the series has somehow managed to continue getting bigger (and better in some eyes) each and every season…something many shows have trouble achieving. It has transcended being just a great TV show, and ascended into another realm entirely. This is an event that fans crave for the nine months of the year it’s not on, like that perfect bite of chocolate after you’ve avoided sweets for an extended period of time. A holiday, celebrated for 10 straight weeks annually.

This greatness is something to witness, and I, like most fans, am so very happy to be a part of it. Yes, the quicker the show progresses the greater the fear of it surpassing author George R.R. Martin’s books becomes. But only time will reveal if that will happen and if it will all work out one way or the other. That’s a worry for another day. On this day, season four is on Blu-ray, and season five approaches. For now, a toast. To the show no other show comes even close to touching, we salute thee!

Special Features

There’s plenty of bonus content as always, beginning with a new special feature called the HBO Sampler. With this HBO gives you the option of checking out the first episode of a few of their other series, including Girls, Togetherness, Banshee, and Looking. Also the in-episode guide, which offers useful information on the characters and history involved in each scene as well as the option to jump to a brief featurette related to the scene from time to time, and audio commentaries.

The Politics Of Power: A Look Back At Season 3 — A nice, long 25-minute recap of the third season to watch if you want to refresh your memory before starting or re-starting this fourth season, complete with the cast of the show discussing what their characters went through the previous season.

Bastards Of Westeros — A seven-minute featurette with author George R.R. Martin and show creators/executive producers/writers/directors David Benioff and D.B. Weiss discussing the bastards of Westeros, such as Jon Snow (Kit Harington).

New Characters & Locations — This nearly eight-minute special feature explores some of the new characters and locations you’ll visit during the 10-episode run of season four.

Behind The Battle For The Wall — Here it is! Most of the seasons’ home video releases have a behind-the-scenes special feature giving us an amazing look inside the penultimate episode of that season, and this year is no different. This time it’s a 37-minute look at the episode “The Watchers on the Wall.” Again, I won’t spoil anything if you’re not yet caught up (why are you still here?! Go and catch up already!), but it’s once again a fascinating look behind the curtain of one of the biggest episodes in the series’ history, offering peeks at incredible practical and digital effects used in crafting the episode. Episode nine of seasons one and three both focused more on drama, while seasons two and four focus more on remarkably intense action. This is fitting, as both season two, which focused on the Battle of Blackwater Bay, and this season’s battle at Castle Black episode were directed by Neil Marshall (The Descent, Centurion).

The Fallen: A Roundtable — A roundtable discussion featuring the actors whose characters perished this season. Of course I won’t say who’s involved, but it’s 30 minutes well spent.

Histories & Lore — Another constant of the home video release is a collection of histories and lore, something I look forward to each year. You may be blown away by the world that’s been created for Game of Thrones, but reading the books and watching these histories and lore special features—presented in a motion comic book style with an actor sharing the rich history of this world in the voice of their character—really gives you an idea of how complex Martin’s creation truly is. These are also used in the above mentioned in-episode guide to enhance a scene. Here’s one example from a previous Blu-ray release.

Deleted Scenes — Just a couple of deleted scenes from the season, the first involving Bronn and Shae, and the second involving Daenerys and Missandei.

Season 4 Blooper Reel — A chance to see the actors having a bit of fun during filming. If you can’t wait to get your hands on the Blu-ray or DVD, you can watch the very same bloopers right here.


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