“For the great families of Westeros, violence, deception and treachery — all for control of the Iron Throne — have played out in epic fashion over the course of eight exhilarating seasons. Based on the best-selling book series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, this Emmy-winning series follows the driven inhabitants of this visionary world as their personal quests soon converge with the arrival of a common threat from the North: a seemingly unstoppable Army of the Dead. ‘When you play the Game of Thrones, you win… or you die.’ ” — from Warner Brothers
Game of Thrones fans, rejoice! Just in time for holiday shopping, Warner Brothers Home Entertainment is releasing Game of Thrones: The Complete Series in 4K / Ultra HD. The set presents the entire series in Dolby Vision HDR, which significantly expands the color palette and contrast range (think about all those subtle shades of snow, ice, sand, etc. and the incredibly intricate costumes) and uses dynamic metadata to automatically optimize the picture for every screen, frame by frame. It also employs Dolby Atmos soundtracks remixed specifically for the home theater environment to place and move audio anywhere in the room (including overhead so you can hear the flapping of incoming dragons’ wings), however remember that requires that you have a Dolby Atmos-enabled AV receiver and additional speakers or a Dolby Atmos-enabled sound bar (although even if you don’t, Dolby Atmos soundtracks are fully backward compatible with traditional audio configurations and legacy home entertainment equipment, so you still get a nice listening experience). A digital copy is included as well, so you don’t have to lug around the rather hefty 33-disc set in order to binge watch properly.
As to extras, the set includes over fifteen hours(!) of bonus content, including the two-part reunion show “Game of Thrones: Reunion Special” hosted by Conan O’Brien shot live in Belfast, “Game of Thrones: The Last Watch” (a documentary by filmmaker Jeanie Finlay chronicling the making of the final season), “Conquest & Rebellion” (an animated history of the Seven Kingdoms), audio commentaries, deleted and extended scenes, behind-the-scenes featurettes, interviews, and more, covering all eight seasons. It should be noted that this bonus content was also included in the 2019 release of Game of Thrones: The Complete Series and Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection (Limited Collector’s Edition) Blu-ray sets, so if you already have one of those on the shelf, you’re not gaining anything new extras-wise with this one.
HOWEVER, for those who have been itching (or patiently waiting) to get all the seasons in 4K, this is the first chance to do so — only seasons 1 and 8 were previously released in 4K, so even if you own one of the complete collections from last year, this presentation will have things you’ve never seen or heard before simply by virtue of its format. For some, the upgrades to visuals and sound isn’t worth getting a whole new set, but for the truly rabid fans out there (and Game of Thrones certainly has its share of those), it absolutely 100% is. For anyone who wants to gift this set to friends, family, or themselves, it’s available now on Amazon for $209.99, or if you’re lucky enough to find it at Best Buy, you can take advantage of their offering of the same set with exclusive steelbook packaging for $239.99.