HBO’s hit fantasy series, Game of Thrones, was released on dvd and Bluray this past week. I am a huge fan of the series of books the show is based on. Written by George R. R. Martin, the “A Song of Ice & Fire” series currently consists of five novels with two more coming in the future. The books delve into the political upheaval, a supernatural threat, an invasion from a northern country as well as a young girl who is slowly becoming a mighty queen and raising three young dragon hatchlings as she struggles to cross the ocean and reclaim her birthright to the throne.
I didn’t watch the series when it originally aired, so I came into this fresh and with high hopes as to what I was about to experience. My purchase was the Bluray edition, and right out of the box I can say that it is beautiful. The sound is outstanding. Visually, the film is gorgeous and the colors in hi-def are a sight to behold. This is an awesome collection, so far, and I haven’t even gotten a chance to check out the extra features on any of the discs. This is one of those series on Bluray that you would use to show off your high definition system to folks who may want an lesson in the experience.
As far as the presentation of the story versus the source material, it’s an excellent translation. Of course, with a series of books as large and in-depth as the Ice & Fire saga is, there is no way they could fit that into an hour long drama on television. So, with what they have to work with in production, the producers, directors, writers and actors have done an excellent job. The main bits of the story with all the minor exposition trimmed out are presented without flaw. Four episodes in, I have a perfect grasp on the characters, where they stand in relation to each other and have a pretty good feel of the land and a little backstory. And, of course, there is hints of the fantasy element that we will see later in the series if it continues along the lines of the books. The entire first season follows the first book itself, also titled “A Game of Thrones.”
At first, I figure there was something to all the hype and awards the show was being showered with. It is all well deserved. Be warned, though: the series contains graphic violence, nudity and a little language peppered in there every once in awhile. It is a show about lying, cheating, incest, murder, war, politics (being redundant?) treachery, so on and so forth. It is an adult series, but one so well done that I don’t even mind the above.
If you are an adult, love a good story that spans an entire season and loves outstanding production value, this is something you must check out.