Blu-Ray Review: Game of Thrones: The Complete Fourth Season (USA, 2014)

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OK, so I’m going to keep this as spoiler free for you as possible. I won’t mention any of the (many) character deaths. I won’t talk about the massive, game changing ending. I won’t talk about eyeballs. OK maybe I’ll mention eyeballs a couple of times. What I will talk about though is just how damn great this show is – and how in Season Four, its creators continued to prove why it’s one of the most watched, acclaimed and talked about TV shows in history.

From the shock beheading at the end of Season One, to “The Red Wedding” of Season Three, you’d think by now that we wouldn’t be shocked by anything David Benioff, D.B. Weiss and George R.R. Martin throw at us in this series. But, wouldn’t you know it, there was barely a week that went by that we weren’t left with some talking point. From the eyeballs to the wine, from the Battle for The Wall to the… let’s just leave it at rape… Game of Thrones’ Fourth Season proved itself to be a relentless tour de force.

The acting has never been better, too, with scenes from Peter Dinklage in particular (Tyrion Lannister) proving to be some of the best we’ll see on TV all year. That court scene!? The scenes in the dungeons!? Man, he was brilliant. And just wait until the end… Then there’s the effects, which seem to only improve each season. As you’ll discover with the Special Features, it’s incredible how much they actually film in camera. This is a big budget show for a reason, and they certainly get their money’s worth. Spend some with with “The Battle For The Wall” and you’re in for scenes that make Peter Jackson weak at the knees.

It’s hard to talk about much more than this without spoiling the season, but it’s safe to say one thing: if you’re OK with a little bit of violence (OK a lot of violence), some nudity (OK a lot of nudity) and the knowledge that pretty much everyone you love is going to die (just like in real life!), then it’s no wonder that Game Of Thrones is your favourite TV show right now. And if you fit into that category, then why are you reading this review? Go out and buy the DVD or Blu-Ray before the new season kicks off… go on! Go! Relive the wonder of the best show on Television…

Special Features:

The Blu-Ray Editions of Game of Thrones are always full of amazing extras and Season Four is no exception. The Blu-Ray edition has some exclusive features such as a handy In Episode Guide which allows you to explore the universe – from the characters to the locations and histories – as you watch the series. Given how much is going on at once in this show, it doesn’t hurt at all to have a reference guide at your fingertips. And it’s well executed from a technical point of view – popping up in the corner of the screen, allowing you to watch the episode at the same time.

There is also a run of special animated shorts that detail the histories and lores of the Game of Thrones universe, as narrated by the characters themselves. They’re interesting – but only for the die hard Westeros fanatics! Still, it gives you a lot of extra content to enjoy and really makes this package all the more worthy of a purchase.

The discs also contain 11 audio commentaries with the cast and crew, and they are very enjoyable to listen to. It’s great to hear the actors reflect on their experiences, and you end up finding out so much more about how the show was made.There are few better examples of that, too, than Behind The Battle For The Wall, a 47 minute documentary about how they achieved that incredible episode. It’s so good it’s worth watching it twice.

The Blooper Reel is entertaining, but brief, and the 2 deleted scenes don’t add too much new to talk about – a testament to how tightly they put these shows together. But the highlight of the disc has to be “The Fallen: A Roundtable”, when the many characters who met their demise in Season Four, sit around and talk about their deaths (and lives) in the series. Very entertaining – and wow, did a lot of characters die this season…

For those who need to be reminded of Season Three (it has been almost two years after all), there is a great feature looking back at that, and there are a myriad of other features which explore characters, locations and “The Bastards of Westeros”. Game of Thrones fans must purchase this…

TV Series Review Score: FIVE STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
Special Features Review Score: FOUR AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

This review only takes into account the standard four disc release. A special five disc set is also available with additional bonus features and a POP! Vinyl Figurine of Joffrey. This extra-special edition would receive an easy Five Stars on the special features front, no doubt. 

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Game of Thrones: The Complete Fourth Season was released in Australia on Blu-Ray and DVD today. We reviewed the Blu-Ray edition of the series, which features some exclusive content not available on the DVD.

A special edition is also available with a POP! Vinyl Figurine of Joffrey included and an exclusive fifth bonus disc (not reviewed above) that features some extra features, detailing how they planned the Royal Wedding, the visual effects, costumes and more…