‘Game of Thrones: The Complete Second Season'
Since HBO's release of “Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season,” a gold-standard example of Blu-rays providing content-rich encyclopedias for their subject matter, HBO has enhanced its HBO GO streaming video platform, not only making it Airplay compatible for Apple products but allowing the network's parallel stream of amplified “Game of Thrones” content to play on Apple TV. But “Game of Thrones: The Complete Second Season” ups the ante, proving that streaming is still not a full solution, especially when it comes to series with vast, intricate mythologies.
Based on George R.R. Martin's “A Clash of Kings” volume from “A Song of Ice and Fire,” season two of “Game of Thrones” chronicles the War of the Five Kings, and the Blu-ray greatly enhances the viewing experience, offering 12 separate commentaries including Martin, Alfie Allen and Gemma Whelan (Theon and Yara Greyjoy), Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) and Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen). In fact, only one episode, “The Ghost of Harrenhal,” is not supported by an informative commentary track.
Elsewhere, HBO provides detailed examinations of the religions of Westeros; a round-table discussion with executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss speaking with Clarke, Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Michelle Fairley (Catelyn Stark) and Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth); and the in-episode guide that offers pop-up information on characters and conflicts. Overall, “Game of Thrones: The Complete Second Season” is a first-rate repackaging that clarifies most questions about this tightly constructed fantasy series and presents it with flawless sound and vision.
— George Lang