I’ve been re-watching Game of Thrones season 2 to get ready for this Sunday’s season 3 premiere on HBO at 9 PM. For those of you with Verizon FIOS, HBO is free this weekend, so enjoy. Now for some thoughts on the season 2 Blu-ray: The recently released Game of Thrones Season Two Blu-Ray / DVD / Digital Copy impresses on many fronts.
The most impressive part is the audio and video quality of the individual episodes. I’ve done most of my Game of Thrones viewing via HBO GO. The quality of the Blu-ray is quite a contrast to HBO GO. I’ve rewatched the first four episodes and each time I’m amazed by all of the visual detail that has been revealed thanks to Blu-ray’s video quality. I can now see the sigils on each character’s armor such as Tyrion’s lion, Bran and Rob’s wolf as well as the kraken over Balon Greyjoy’s fireplace. I have never noticed how ragged and worn down Daenerys looked in the desert during the opening episode. Audio is just as impressive. The DTS Master Audio sound track brings some serious bass. The opening scene of episode one makes a statement with the clang and deep bass of weapons colliding in combat.
This is also my first experience with HBO’s Digital Copy called “HBO Select”. On the packaging, it states you can get a digital copy of the show from iTunes, VUDU, UltraViolet and Amazon Instant Video. Instead of going to HBO’s redemption page, you can directly redeem the enclosed redemption code on each service. I successfully redeamed the code on iTunes, VUDU and Flixster (the VUDU redemption does not add it to your UltraViolet locker) but not on Amazon Instant. It was also a pleasent surprise to see that HBO provides a digital copy in 1080P and Dolby Digital on VUDU and iTunes. It’s the first time I’ve seen a Blu-ray’s redeemable digital copy available in HD.
Compared to many other Blu-rays and DVDs, Game of Thrones are comes with a number of compelling extras. Within episodes, there’s an interactive feature similar to whats available on the HBO Go iPad and web apps. The interactive features within episodes give good back story to the complex world of the seven kingdoms including house histories and character bios. There’s also a number of animated features telling back stories of the the different houses. The stories are narrated by characters in the series and told from their point of view. There’s also an interactive app called War of the Five Kings which charts the progress of each of the contenders for the Iron Throne. Finally, there’s several in episode commentaries and an in-depth documentary on the making of the Battle of Blackwater Bay that I’m looking forward to watching.
There are also four easter or “dragon” eggs on the Blu-ray set that lead to deleted scenes. Buzzfeed has clues for finding the eggs. Instead, if you don’t like puzzles, you can watch the deleted scenes here on tor.com. Finally, the packaging is top notch as well.
There’s lots of shows I enjoy watching but few I would bother watching a second time. The better quality audio and video gives an extra dimension to Game of Thrones making the second season worth watching again. The Game of Thrones Season 2 (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy) is available at Amazon.