Now firmly entrenched as one of the most popular TV series to have ever been, it’s time to go back to the very start of Game of Thrones with this season one release on 4K Ultra HD. But how does it fare on the format? Is it unbowed, unbent and unbroken, or is it dragon us down?
The story: Just in case there’s one person left out there who’s unfamiliar with GoT, we’ll keep it simple. George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire fantasy novels come to life in stunning style. Brutal and often confronting, it is a tale of politics, nobility, family, fighting, fantastic creatures, sex and a very pointy throne.
“Winter is coming.”
The 4K disc: While Game of Thrones comes to us from an upscaled 2K master, comparisons with the Blu-ray release make us glad to have them on 4K Ultra HD. Not only is there more detail, but the HDR treatments – whether you have the standard take or Dolby Vision – work wonders, without getting all overblown about it as you find on some releases. For example, the snow at the beginning of the first episode could have been blindingly white, but it isn’t. Its extra range of brightness still offers improvement over other formats, however, while a certain outdoor wedding is beautifully vivid without having the viewer diving for their sunglasses. The many dark scenes deliver pleasingly black blacks, too, without sacrificing detail. The restraint shown throughout really works to make the world of Westeros look better than we’ve ever seen it before.
As for sound, as with later Blu-ray releases/re-releases, Dolby Atmos is the order of the day. Right from the opening it’s an event, with ample subwoofer input and appropriate use of those extra Atmos speakers when needed.
Finally, those who like to visit behind the scenes will love the array of extras scattered across the four discs…
Disc One: 3x commentaries – creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (episode 1), actors Lena Headey, Mark Addy, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (episode 2), Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams and Isaac Hempstead Wright (episode 3)
Disc Two: 2x commentaries – writer Brian Cogman and actor Kit Harington (episode 4), director Daniel Minahan plus actors Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke and Harry Lloyd (episode 6)
Disc Three: 1x commentary – author George R.R. Martin (episode 8)
Disc Four: 1x commentary – creators Benioff and Weiss along with director Alan Taylor (episode 10), plus two documentaries (~one hour, ~30 minutes), four sub-10 minute featurettes, 24 entries of Histories & Lore (mercifully with a “play all” option) and 6x cast auditions.
Release date: June 6, 2018
Format: 4K Ultra HD
Starring: Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey
Want to know what to get next? Check out STACK‘s 4K Ultra HD specifications guide.