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Blu-ray Review: 'Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season'

Blu-ray Review: ‘Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season'
Published: April 27, 2012

‘Game of Thrones: The Complete

First Season'

“Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season” continues HBO's recent trend of dramatically enhancing its Blu-ray releases — a move that is most likely the result of the premium channel's launch of the online viewing service HBO GO. Because subscribers have access to all episodes of “Game of Thrones” through online browsers, phones and tablet apps, the Blu-ray presentation of the epic fantasy series is designed to please fanatical completists, presenting the 10 episodes in nearly flawless high-definition and building in generous extras.

It is, in essence, a video encyclopedia.

Based on George R.R. Martin's fantasy series “A Song of Ice and Fire,” “Game of Thrones” is built on a complex mythology surrounding the continent of Westeros and the seven kingdoms answering to the throne at King's Landing. Because Martin created such a detail-rich narrative, the Blu-ray's best asset beyond the drama itself is “The Complete Guide to Westeros,” an entertaining and deeply informative meta-level that is easily accessed when the Blu-ray is playing in its “in-episode guide” mode. It includes kingdom maps, family histories and 24 featurettes that explain the politics and family relationships — it is as close as a viewer can get to full immersion without going directly to Martin's books. Additionally, there are 15 character profiles presented by actors such as Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage and Emilia Clarke.

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