Game of Thrones was the darling of its fan base, not to mention most of the critics, as well. That is, until the rushed and much-maligned Season Eight was released.
It started off with a powerful one-two punch of White Walkers and an undead dragon attacking The North. However, it quickly became an unwanted roller-coaster ride of outrageous fortunes, egregious plot holes and sloppy, rushed screenwriting.
As an uber-fan of both the novels and the show, it is my duty to report the positive as well as the negative, and to mention far too many of those gripes were simply wish fulfillment gone off the rails. At one point, maniacal fans were attempting to create a petition to have the last episodes of the show re-written, to conform to their NEEDS. It is an absolutely narcissistic and twisted sense of ownership on their parts but I can understand, to a certain extent, how their passion and connection to these beloved characters can warp their finite sense of reality.
Now, taking all of these things into account, Game of Thrones: Season 8, was still one of the best shows on television. Period, end of story.
To sum Season 8 up, rather nicely:
The Emmy(R)-winning series returns for a final season of duplicity and treachery, nobility and honor…and an epic clash between the living and the dead. With the Night King's army bearing down on Jon and Dany and their combined forces, a denouement eight seasons in the making will be reached, answering a myriad of questions surrounding the fate of the series' protagonists.
In my usual way, I will not bore you all with a blow-by-blow of all 6 episodes, especially since there has been more than enough online griping about each one, ad nauseam.
The season may have fallen flat and it certainly did not cater to the desires of its fans, or even the actors that portrayed the characters, but the epic scope, the sweeping emotions, the heartbreaking and edge-of-your-seat action was more than enough to bring us the closure we needed, if not the closure we wanted.
Presented here, in 1080p and 4K HD, Game Of Thrones looks absolutely fantastic. From the black-shrouded, haunted halls of Winterfell during the Night King's siege, to the cobalt-colored, frigid, and frostbitten breath weapon of Viserion, to the clear skies over King's Landing, with fire and ashes burning below the Mad Queen's assault, it is more than enough to satisfy all observers, from the casual to the committed. I will let you be the judge of the, now infamous, Episode 3, although I didn't really have a problem with it as much as most people did. I felt it was all part of the imminent arrival of 'The Long Night'.
The audio is also flawless, with Dolby Atmos/ 5.1 it brings such incredible depth and dimension to the show. The battles are unrelenting and you hear every sword swing, every severed limb, and the roars of Dany's dragons as they rain fire and Armageddon down upon her "enemies". Not to mention the score, especially the now ubiquitous theme song, which is, at once, sweeping and intimate.
You cannot separate the characters from the music. They hold a place forever in our hearts and imaginations. Yet, even the rare moments of quiet dialog, are upfront and clear, allowing us to bond with the story in more subtle ways. It is truly masterfully presented here.
The bonus features are impressive. You will enjoy the In-episode guide, Histories and Lore, new, animated pieces giving the histories and backgrounds of various locations. This is especially fun and entertaining. Ten, count 'em, TEN Audio Commentaries with cast and crew as well as the show creators, Weiss and Benioff, Deleted Scenes, and even Extended Behind-the-scenes Featurettes, as well as The Game of Thrones: The Last Watch Documentary. There's more than enough extras here to keep the fans entertained until Martin releases The Winds of Winter (sometime in the next 5 years lol).
So, for fans of the show, or those waiting for the full series to be finished, you will rest easy knowing you can now binge the hell out of this show, at your leisure. Sadly, Game of Thrones' watch has ended, the Long Night has descended, but luckily, Azor Ahai delivers this Blu-ray just in time for the holiday season. Enjoy it... until the long summer returns... with the new series from HBO.
- In-episode guide
- Histories and Lore
- Audio Commentaries
- Deleted Scenes
- Extended Behind-the-scenes Featurettes
- The Game of Thrones: The Last Watch Documentary.