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Blu-ray Review: Game of Thrones Season 4

A show so vast, a cast so large, and a mythology with such depth and complexity to it, Game of Thrones is enhanced (and sometimes simply understood) with repeat visits. Few shows today reward the audience with a second visiting, let alone lengthy discussions about the world it is creating.

Two months ahead of its highly-anticipated fifth season (really, every single episode is highly anticipated), Game of Thrones Season 4 is now available at home, with the Blu-Ray and Digital Download pack ready to be enjoyed and revisited – for hours and hours on end.

There are plenty of ways to consume this globally-successful series, but binging certainly seems to be high on the list. That’s in part because there is seamlessness from one episode to the next, and an episodic nature to each 60-minute offering. For we don’t visit every location and check in with every group of characters each episode; there just isn’t enough time.

So we’ve at least one added benefit of having them conveniently located at home: just keep the drama train moving. Here are all the other goodies you can enjoy in the HBO Home Entertainment with the latest season of Game of Thrones.

GOT-season4DVD-HBOIn-Episode Guide

It’s a classic feature, and it never gets tiring. Maybe you aren’t someone wholly consuming the books, or someone who is able to roll of a roster of names and families and dynasties and creatures and towns. The guide is most helpful, and at the very least a handy refresher, giving you a brief on-screen bio as you’re watching for each character and location in the scene, and why they are important to what is happening in the present.

The Fallen Roundtable

This may not be the best feature in the package, but it’s the first one you want to watch; provided of course you’ve completed the season. That’s because it’s a fascinating, sometimes emotional, and often hilarious half-hour roundtable discussion with all those cast members, new and old, beloved and hated, which have died this season. It’s a curious thigh to what people talk about knowing they are going to perish on screen, from those who were surprised at what transpired, and others who embraced the moment and sailed into the sunset (or jumped into the ocean, as it were).

Histories and Lore

The most creative of all the special features, we have here a plethora of vignettes on themes, families, and people of Westeros. Each is narrated by a character (including quite a few by Martell), and set to some wonderful illustrations. It’s this clever blending of fiction and behind-the-scenes (sort of) that will help the viewer get a better understanding of that which characters talk about, but what we don’t necessarily see on screen.

Bastards of Westeros

A short vignette discusses what it means to be a bastard – a child born out of wedlock – in Game of Thrones, with George R.R. Martin leading the discussion. For however hurtful he father is, there will be no sympathy for Ramsay Snow.

The Battle for the Wall Making Of

The biggest episode of the season, as well as one of only a handful in the series to take place entirely in one location, Watchers of the Wall is dissected in all its chaotic, monstrous, startling glory.

Season 3 Retrospective

If you’re not going to go back and enjoy Season 3 once more ahead of watching Season 4 (which presumably you are watching to gear up for Season 5), then this informative guide details the big events of the prior 10 episodes. It’s good if you have only 30 minutes to catch up, but not as good as just watching it all in its entirely.

Other extras

As usual, there are audio commentaries with creators and cast for most of the ten episodes. There are also a pair of deleted scenes.What’s a welcome bonus, albeit a relatively brief one is a collection of bloopers, offering a lighter side of things to the goings-on of Westeros. And a pretty fantastic dance between Tyrion and Jamie.

Anthony Marcusa

A pop-culture consumer, Anthony seeks out what is important in entertainment and mocks what is not. Inspired by history, Anthony writes with the hope that someone, somewhere, might be affected.