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.
Studio and Year:
The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
HBO - 2014
Feature running time:
English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French/Castilian DTS 5.1, Spanish/Polish Stereo
English SDH, French, Lain, Spanish, Castilian, Polish, Brazilian, Portuguese, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish
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
D.B. Weiss & David Benioff based on the “Song of ice and fire by George R.R. Martin
Blu-ray Disc release Date:
February 17, 2015
"All men must die"
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.
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.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency effects:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
- Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA
- DSU Rating * (non-rated element):
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.
- Black Level/Shadow Detail:
- Color Reproduction:
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.
- *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
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…
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
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JVC DLA-RS4910 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7702 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and In-Ceiling series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package