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post #1 of 60 Old 01-28-2015, 06:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Game of Thrones: The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review



Check out our review of season four of this thoroughly engaging and compelling HBO Series based on the bestselling book series “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George R.R. Martin.



The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

92



Details:

Studio and Year: HBO - 2014
MPAA Rating: TV-MA
Feature running time: 545 minutes
Genre: Drama/Action/Adventure/Fantasy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French/Castilian DTS 5.1, Spanish/Polish Stereo
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Lain, Spanish, Castilian, Polish, Brazilian, Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish
Starring: Peter Dinklage, Nikolai Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harrington, Iain Glen, Alfrie Allen, John Bradley, James Cosmo, Liam Cunningham, Charles Dance, Stephen Dillane, Natalie Dormer, Rory McCann, Sophie Turner, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Conleth Hill, Aiden Gillen, Jack Gleeson, Conleth Hill, Sibel Kekilli, Maise Williams, Rose Leslie, Pedro Pascal, Diana Rigg
Directed by: Various
Written by: D.B. Weiss & David Benioff based on the “Song of ice and fire by George R.R. Martin
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 17, 2015


"All men must die"


My Take:

In this thrilling fourth season based on George R.R. Martin’s bestselling books, the Lannisters’ control over the Iron Throne remains intact, but can they survive their own egos as well as the ongoing threats around them? While an unshaken Stannis Baratheon continues to rebuild his army on Dragonstone, a more immediate danger comes from the south, as Oberyn Martell, the Lannister-loathing 'Red Viper of Dorne', arrives at King’s Landing to attend Joffrey’s wedding. At the Wall, the Night’s Watch seems overmatched against Mance Rayder’s advancing army of wildlings, which in turn is being trailed by an even more formidable foe. What’s more, Daenerys Targaryen, accompanied by her fierce trio of dragons and an Unsullied army, is poised to 'liberate' Meereen, the largest Slaver City in the east, which could provide her with an imposing force to execute her ultimate plan of reclaiming the Iron Throne for her family.

I was late the Game of Thrones phenomenon and didn’t begin watching it until season three. I haven’t read any of the books so my exposure to it going into viewing season three was limited and held only to what I had heard from friends that have been following from the outset. Needless to say it was a challenge trying to put the various storylines, characters and their correlation or lack thereof together. Once I began putting the pieces and associations in place I was able to begin absorbing the show’s cache of characters and the multitude of subplots.

The primary plots playing out over the course of the season and the ones that I found to be the most interesting/entertaining were the continuing saga of Arya and The Hound (including its resolution), Jamie’s return to King’s Landing, his attempt to reintegrate (sans his right hand), and his struggle, caught between his brother, sister and father. Jon Snow, the night Watch and the Wildlings impending assault on Castle Black. Tyrion’s plight, his “champion”, payback times two and his moving moments with Jamie. Daenerys Targaryen and the continuance of her unswayable quest as she begins to experience some of the hardships of rule. Sam and Gilly. Newcomer Prince Oberyn and his unforgettable final scene. Saying goodbye to several major characters and new beginnings for a few personnel favorites. The door is wide open for next season with several key storylines poised to take shape.


Part political thriller, part epic fantasy, season 4 bristles with bloody battles, numerous betrayals, and several head turning deaths. Based on George R.R. Martin's best-selling book series “A Song of Ice and Fire”, Games of Thrones Season four is truly an engaging and at times shocking experience that was worth every minute. This season features returning cast members Emmy® and Golden Globe winner Peter Dinklage(Tyrion Lannister), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister), Aidan Gillen (Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish), Jack Gleeson (Joffrey Baratheon), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Diana Rigg (Lady Olenna Tyrell, Emmy®-nominated for her role), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran Stark), Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy), Jerome Flynn (Bronn), Conleth Hill (Varys), John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth), Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth), Stephen Dillane (Stannis Baratheon), Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell), Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont), Kristofer Hivju (Tormund Giantsbane), Sibel Kekilli (Shae), Rose Leslie (Ygritte), Rory McCann (Sandor "The Hound" Clegane), Michael McElhatton (Roose Bolton), Iwan Rheon (Ramsay Snow) and Carice van Houten (Melisandre). Returning cast members include: Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm), Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Jojen Reed), Nathalie Emmanuel (Massandei), Ciaran Hinds (Mance Rayder), Finn Jones (Loras Tyrell), Ellie Kendrick (Meera Reed), Kristian Nairn (Hodor) and Gemma Whelan (Yara Greyjoy).

Game of Thrones is a thoroughly engaging and compelling series that continually pushes the envelope. I am such a fan and can’t wait to see what lies in store during season five.

Season four’s ten episodes are spread over four BD-50 dual layered Blu-ray discs. The integrated bonus material contains multiple featurettes, extended and deleted scenes, and audio commentaries. The set comes housed in an attractive and sturdy cardboard keep case that comes with an embossed slipcover.



Parental Guide:



AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**



Audio: 90
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA
  • DSU Rating * (non-rated element):



Video: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:



Game of Thrones: The Complete Fourth Season comes to Blu-ray Disc from HBO featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 18 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.5 Mbps.


This high definition video presentation offers clear, refined images that primarily boast a relatively subdued color palette that is rarely eye catching but conveys the earth tones and time period specific clothing, locals and sullen complexions with aplomb. There are instances where deeper more vivacious hues are utilized and their presence is not only welcomed but their application is purposefully vivid and boldly stated. The rendering of fine detail can range from exquisite to moderate. This leaves certain long range and mid-level shots with less dimensionality but not to the point of appearing soft. Black levels fluctuate however contrast is stable which when coupled along with the prevailing use of low level lighting mates well with the visual style of the presentation. I didn’t see any signs of video related artifacts/anomalies and felt that this high definition presentation closely mimicked and bested the series’ original broadcast quality.

The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack isn’t bombastic or overly aggressive but that doesn’t prevent it from being remarkable. Its attributes come in the form of superlative high level detail, defining clarity, and subtly distinctive surround sound that doesn’t disappoint. This is a sophisticated sound design that incorporates a vast number of sounds/effects that are intricately mixed to engage the listening position. Bass can be deep and room energizing but never rises inappropriately in prominence. The mix expertly handles the delicate blend of music, discrete/ambient sounds, crystal clear dialogue and low frequency effects as it weaves an aurally stimulating pattern across the soundstage.



Bonus Features:
  • *Exclusive* In-Episode Guide - In-feature resource that provides background information about on-screen characters, locations and relevant histories.
  • (HD) *Exclusive* Histories & Lore - Learn about the mythology of Westeros as told from the varying perspectives of the characters themselves.
  • (HD)Behind the Battle for the Wall - Follow the cast and crew as they create the most ambitious battle to date. This 30-minute documentary explores the challenges of putting together one of the series' most intense episodes, with never-before-seen material.
  • (HD)The Fallen: A Roundtable - Writer Bryan Cogman sits down with a few of the many cast members who meet their demise in Season 4. From first learning of their deaths to shooting their final scenes, this 30-minute feature will shed light on what it's like to live-and die-in the Game of Thrones world.
  • (HD) The Politics of Power: A Look Back at Season 3 - Revisit the brutal events of Season 3 to see power shifts that define Westeros at the start of Season 4.
  • (HD) Bastards of Westeros - Hear showrunners David Benioff & D.B. Weiss and author George R.R. Martin discuss the role bastards play in the Seven Kingdoms.
  • (HD) Deleted/Extended Scenes - Two deleted scenes.
  • Audio Commentaries - Commentaries with cast and crew including showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Pedro Pascal, Aiden Gillen and more!
  • Digital HD Copy



Final Thoughts:

In the fourth season of the HBO original series Game of thrones which is based on the bestselling book series “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George R.R. Martin, this epic drama, set in the grounded fantasy continent of Westeros, family and loyalty will be the overarching themes, and many critical plot points from the first three seasons will come to a violent head, with several major characters meeting cruel fates. Season four from HBO looks and sounds terrific in high definition and contains an assortment of fan friendly bonus features that enhance the experience on Blu-ray Disc. Game of Thrones is a thoroughly engaging and compelling series that continually pushes the envelope. This four disc set is a must have for fans and comes recommended if you’re looking for a rewarding and darkly entertaining TV series.
Can’t wait for season five…






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



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post #2 of 60 Old 01-28-2015, 08:43 AM
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Ralph, I've been reading your reviews for a bit now and have always enjoyed and trusted them, Many Thanks! GOT is right up there with the best TV of all time IMHO and despite the interminable wait between seasons, I am looking forward to buying the new season and starting up season 5. I know its a busy life , but you should really invest the time and read these amazing books. After reading Tolkien, I didn't think I would ever need to read fantasy again, and had not until GOT season one was all the rage and I asked for and received Game of Thrones for Christmas 2013. I've been through all 5 books three times now and have to force myself not to start again. A bit geeky, yes, but there it is. Any one reading this review who is on the fence about watching or buying, don't waiver, just do it. These box sets (and the books!) belong on your shelf.
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post #3 of 60 Old 01-28-2015, 09:39 AM
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I'm surprised the audio score isn't higher. I've been watching Game of Thrones (middle of 2nd season right now), the surround I find to be far more aggressive than a lot of movies I have. I actually got scared once because I heard a knocking sound coming from behind (I thought someone was trying to break into my house), but it was just ambient noise, like a blacksmith or something in the Stark's home town. The audio is also very pleasing... the sound never gets harsh, sounds great at high volumes.

Also... the imp is hilarious!
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post #4 of 60 Old 01-28-2015, 10:15 AM
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While I thoroughly enjoyed watching season 4, I also felt like it was a season in which little to nothing happened. Save for the last episode or two, nothing of note happened.

-Suntan
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post #5 of 60 Old 01-28-2015, 10:16 AM
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Finally, it's here. I will see my Ygritte again.
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post #6 of 60 Old 01-28-2015, 10:35 AM
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Ralph, I truly hope you can answer this question as I signed up for this forum just to ask you this.

HBO has recently started using cheaper boxes for some of their shows namely Boardwalk Empire Season 4 and 5 as well as the Newsroom season 2. However, they used the high quality box for True Blood Season 7.

I'm just wondering what kind of box was used for Game of Thrones Season 4? Is is the same high quality box that they used for the first three seasons? It was more of a cardboard type of box versus the paper style box that have started using.

I'm guessing the Crow portion is the sleeve? Inside, can you tell what kind of box is being used?

Any info would be greatly appreciated, as I'm truly hoping they use the same quality box that they have for the previous seasons.
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post #7 of 60 Old 01-28-2015, 10:39 AM
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Actually you do mention it comes in a sturdy cardboard box, so that gives me hope that it's the same quality as the previous three seasons?
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post #8 of 60 Old 01-28-2015, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vegeta84 View Post
Ralph, I truly hope you can answer this question as I signed up for this forum just to ask you this.

HBO has recently started using cheaper boxes for some of their shows namely Boardwalk Empire Season 4 and 5 as well as the Newsroom season 2. However, they used the high quality box for True Blood Season 7.

I'm just wondering what kind of box was used for Game of Thrones Season 4? Is is the same high quality box that they used for the first three seasons? It was more of a cardboard type of box versus the paper style box that have started using.

I'm guessing the Crow portion is the sleeve? Inside, can you tell what kind of box is being used?

Any info would be greatly appreciated, as I'm truly hoping they use the same quality box that they have for the previous seasons.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vegeta84 View Post
Actually you do mention it comes in a sturdy cardboard box, so that gives me hope that it's the same quality as the previous three seasons?
Greetings,


Welcome to AVS..

Yes, the crow portion is the slipcover. Under that is a sturdy cardboard sleeve that the fold out keep case for the discs slips into. It's like the one for True Blood and last year's Game of Thrones release.

Regards,
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post #9 of 60 Old 01-28-2015, 11:39 AM
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While I thoroughly enjoyed watching season 4, I also felt like it was a season in which little to nothing happened. Save for the last episode or two, nothing of note happened.

-Suntan

you can't be serious...Season 4 was the best season and major things happened throughout...from the Purple Wedding (Episode 2) to Tyrion's trial to the Red Viper vs Mountain fight to the Battle at the Wall...Book 3 (Storm of Swords) was the best book in the series and the show did the book justice and then some...best television series ever made!...the scope and depth is feature film quality!...bring on Season 5 (although Books 4 and 5 aren't on the same level as Storm of Swords)
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post #10 of 60 Old 01-28-2015, 11:58 AM
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This is one of the few TV shows that really needs to be seen on BD IMO, that is of course if you're a fan of the show itself.
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post #11 of 60 Old 01-28-2015, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post
Greetings,


Welcome to AVS..

Yes, the crow portion is the slipcover. Under that is a sturdy cardboard sleeve that the fold out keep case for the discs slips into. It's like the one for True Blood and last year's Game of Thrones release.

Regards,
Thank you! I'm really glad that they used the sturdy box.

I do have one final question. The sturdy box I believe says valar morghulis, but does not say Game of Thrones Season 4? The reason I ask is that I tend to remove the slip covers from my displays. Does the actual spine of the box say Game of Thrones Season 4?

Thanks again, as you have a great help!
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post #12 of 60 Old 01-28-2015, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by TitusTroy View Post
you can't be serious...Season 4 was the best season and major things happened throughout...from the Purple Wedding (Episode 2) to Tyrion's trial to the Red Viper vs Mountain fight to the Battle at the Wall...Book 3 (Storm of Swords) was the best book in the series and the show did the book justice and then some...best television series ever made!...the scope and depth is feature film quality!...bring on Season 5 (although Books 4 and 5 aren't on the same level as Storm of Swords)
Chill, I said I enjoyed it. I just felt as though parts of it dragged with little change (compared to the first 3 seasons.)

Spoiler!


-Suntan

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post #13 of 60 Old 01-28-2015, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by vegeta84 View Post
Thank you! I'm really glad that they used the sturdy box.

I do have one final question. The sturdy box I believe says valar morghulis, but does not say Game of Thrones Season 4? The reason I ask is that I tend to remove the slip covers from my displays. Does the actual spine of the box say Game of Thrones Season 4?

Thanks again, as you have a great help!
Greetings,

Yes, the spine on the sleeve does say "Game of Thrones.."


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post #14 of 60 Old 01-28-2015, 01:32 PM
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Greetings,

Yes, the spine on the sleeve does say "Game of Thrones.."


Regards,
Sorry Ralph for my question not being very clear

I meant to say that I remove the sleeve and display the boxes without the sleeve. So I was wondering if the actual box minus the sleeve actually says says Game of Thrones. Sorry for all the questions, but this is my final one for sure.

Thank you again!
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I'm embarrassed to say I've never watched an episode of this on BD. I watched season 1 on DVD and season 2 on a ripped DVD, the rest I've watched OTA. The OTA sound left much to be desired. The DD on the season one DVD sounded really good but the broadcast sound was harsh. I'd like to hear the DTS-HD MA tracks.

I'm a huge fan of HBO series. Deadwood being unequivocally my favorite. But GOT is so well made and acted I can't wait for the next season. Honestly I could watch these on VHS and I'd still enjoy them.
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post #16 of 60 Old 01-28-2015, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by vegeta84 View Post
Sorry Ralph for my question not being very clear

I meant to say that I remove the sleeve and display the boxes without the sleeve. So I was wondering if the actual box minus the sleeve actually says says Game of Thrones. Sorry for all the questions, but this is my final one for sure.

Thank you again!
Greetings,

I understood your question. You stated that you remove the slipcover. The sleeve is the sturdy cardboard piece that the disc's housing slides into. This is what I referred to in my response. It says "Game of Thrones..."


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post #17 of 60 Old 01-28-2015, 02:35 PM
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Greetings,

I understood your question. You stated that you remove the slipcover. The sleeve is the sturdy cardboard piece that the disc's housing slides into. This is what I referred to in my response. It says "Game of Thrones..."


Regards,
Sorry for my confusion. Thank you for the great news! I can now be at ease as a great weight has been removed from my shoulders. Thank you again!
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post #18 of 60 Old 01-28-2015, 03:14 PM
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Hello Ralph. Thanks for the great review!

I have read where several people are worried that with this season being spread across only 4 BDs instead of 5 like the previous seasons, that they are cramming 4 episodes on the last disc. I would assume that it would be 3 episodes per disc with 1 on the last disc.

Would you care to list which episode #s are on which discs? Thanks!
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post #19 of 60 Old 01-28-2015, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by bigdrummy View Post
Hello Ralph. Thanks for the great review!

I have read where several people are worried that with this season being spread across only 4 BDs instead of 5 like the previous seasons, that they are cramming 4 episodes on the last disc. I would assume that it would be 3 episodes per disc with 1 on the last disc.

Would you care to list which episode #s are on which discs? Thanks!
I'm interested in knowing this too. There also seemed to be a fair bit of concern the video would be overly compressed this season due to scrapping a fifth disc.
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post #20 of 60 Old 01-28-2015, 07:30 PM
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Ralph from reading your review, it sounds like you have never watched season 1 and 2 and went headfirst into season 3? I can't even imagine doing that without being completely lost and in all honesty I don't see the point of it especially with this show. If youre gonna invest time into this show, you need to start from the very beginning or you're doing yourself a disservice. The first 2 seasons are readily available thru Netflix etc... and they're only 10 episodes each so it wouldn't take long to catch up. The impact of season 3 and 4 is considerably lessened by going in blind like that such as the Jaime Lannister character arc. Do yourself a favor and watch it ASAP before season 5 starts.
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post #21 of 60 Old 01-28-2015, 07:42 PM
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Ralph,


Again thank You for such a nice review


I cannot wait for this one!!!
The last season, my wife and I told our self. This as to last 5 week-end
Two days later, we were done crap now we have to wait a Year!


Ray
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post #22 of 60 Old 01-28-2015, 08:25 PM
 
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Been late into this series aswell now im on season 3 of it. Like it but Therese loads of weak episodes throgh the seasons. But overall a good solid series.
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post #23 of 60 Old 01-29-2015, 02:06 AM
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I'm behind the curve here. I watched the first three seasons via Netflix discs and will do the same for season 4 when its available. I expect when the show is over, I'll buy the complete set at once. This show works very well in mini-marathons (I watch an entire disc in one sitting) and for me that is pure dessert.
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post #24 of 60 Old 01-29-2015, 02:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bigdrummy View Post
Hello Ralph. Thanks for the great review!

I have read where several people are worried that with this season being spread across only 4 BDs instead of 5 like the previous seasons, that they are cramming 4 episodes on the last disc. I would assume that it would be 3 episodes per disc with 1 on the last disc.

Would you care to list which episode #s are on which discs? Thanks!
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I'm interested in knowing this too. There also seemed to be a fair bit of concern the video would be overly compressed this season due to scrapping a fifth disc.
Greetings,

Here is the breakdown:

Disc 1 - Episodes 1 & 2
Disc 2 - Episodes 3,4,5
Disc 3 - Episodes 6,7,8
Disc 4 - Episodes 9 & 10


Regards,
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post #25 of 60 Old 01-29-2015, 02:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Yosemite Dan View Post
Ralph from reading your review, it sounds like you have never watched season 1 and 2 and went headfirst into season 3? I can't even imagine doing that without being completely lost and in all honesty I don't see the point of it especially with this show. If youre gonna invest time into this show, you need to start from the very beginning or you're doing yourself a disservice. The first 2 seasons are readily available thru Netflix etc... and they're only 10 episodes each so it wouldn't take long to catch up. The impact of season 3 and 4 is considerably lessened by going in blind like that such as the Jaime Lannister character arc. Do yourself a favor and watch it ASAP before season 5 starts.
Greetings,

Already done Dan. I included that info as that was how I started with the series initially.


Regards,
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post #26 of 60 Old 01-29-2015, 04:48 AM
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I'm embarrassed to say I've never watched an episode of this on BD. I watched season 1 on DVD and season 2 on a ripped DVD, the rest I've watched OTA. The OTA sound left much to be desired. The DD on the season one DVD sounded really good but the broadcast sound was harsh. I'd like to hear the DTS-HD MA tracks.

I'm a huge fan of HBO series. Deadwood being unequivocally my favorite. But GOT is so well made and acted I can't wait for the next season. Honestly I could watch these on VHS and I'd still enjoy them.
The difference is huge imo. Check out the BDs!!
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post #27 of 60 Old 01-29-2015, 06:36 PM
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you can't be serious...Season 4 was the best season and major things happened throughout...from the Purple Wedding (Episode 2) to Tyrion's trial to the Red Viper vs Mountain fight to the Battle at the Wall...Book 3 (Storm of Swords) was the best book in the series and the show did the book justice and then some...best television series ever made!...the scope and depth is feature film quality!...bring on Season 5 (although Books 4 and 5 aren't on the same level as Storm of Swords)
Well said, although IMO this series exceeds the scope, depth and quality of most feature films.
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post #28 of 60 Old 01-29-2015, 06:41 PM
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Well said, although IMO this series exceeds the scope, depth and quality of most feature films.

I think the series will end on the big screen...that's why they are testing out the IMAX limited run showings of the final 2 episodes of Season 4 in select cities
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post #29 of 60 Old 01-30-2015, 12:24 AM
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Short seasons like these are really meant for binge watching IMO, and then they don't seem to be as slow IMO. I watched the first season via Vudu back in the day, and watched the whole thing in one day. I don't have HBO so this has been the way for me the entire time, waiting for the BD, than hooray GOT marathon.

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post #30 of 60 Old 01-30-2015, 03:15 AM
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While I thoroughly enjoyed watching season 4, I also felt like it was a season in which little to nothing happened. Save for the last episode or two, nothing of note happened.

-Suntan
Can't you say the same for most shows? Haven't seen season 4 yet ...
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Finally, it's here. I will see my Ygritte again.

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