Game of Thrones: The Complete Eighth Season Blu-ray review

Dec 03, 2019- Permalink

HBO’s Game of Thrones has been a cultural phenomenon through its eight seasons, a must-see don’t-bother-me appointment with your couch for fans of epic sagas and dragon enthusiasts alike. The eighth season’s conclusion has sparked debate between dedicated viewers who battle through the night discussing its merits. I’m not here to referee that battle, but to discuss the technical merits of the Game of Thrones: The Complete Eighth Season Blu-ray set that HBO Canada sent us.

The 1080p AVC-encoded transfer is in the original 1.78:1 aspect ratio. The video presentation is great in brighter scenes, with amazing detail and clarity on skin and hair as well as the textile, environmental and building surfaces. Darker scenes (and there are a lot of them) do tend to experience some digital noise and the blacks are not deep blacks but rather murky. The colour palette leans towards a lot of grays and cool blues with some yellows and browns thrown in for good measure.

There is an army of choices when it comes to the audio presentation. Your ears have a choice of English Dolby Atmos and Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks as well as French, Latin Spanish, and German Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks and Castilian Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks. Subtitles are available in English SDH, French, German, Portuguese, Latin Spanish, Castilian Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish. The audio is excellent. Those of you with Atmos equipment will find the height channels nicely used in the soundscape. The surround channels put you in the middle of the action so well that you might want to prepare for battle and the low frequencies give a lot of oomph to the proceedings. Dialogue is crisp and clearly presented.

Besides coming with a digital copy code, there are quite a few extras spread over the three Blu-ray discs. Each disc comes with commentary tracks by various members of the production staff. Each episode comes with a recap, a preview and in-episode text pop-ups providing extra data to the viewer. Featurettes include “When Winter Falls” which gives background on the Battle of Winterfell, “Duty is the Death of Love” which does the same for the series’ finale, “Game of Thrones: The Last Watch” an almost 2 hour doc with cast and crew discussing the series, and a group of addition backgrounders. There are also deleted scenes.

With very good video, excellent audio and a fantastic collection of extras, Game of Thrones fans who have been buying each season along the way will want to add this set to their collection. If you’ve watched the show on TV but haven’t purchased it before, or if you are completely new to Game of Thrones, the series is also available in a complete series package, including a limited edition version with some amazing extras.