Game of Thrones – The Complete Sixth Season

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Game of Thrones – The Complete Sixth Season
Game of Thrones – The Complete Sixth Season

The sixth season on Game of Thrones provides a wealth of complex storylines that fans will love. There are twists and epic moments in nearly every episode. The way this season ends will shock and awe viewers at the same time. Finally, viewers will get some positive outcomes that are well overdue. Does this mean the next season will tear our hearts out once again? We'll just have to wait and find out!

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Summary:
This is the first season that goes beyond the written books. Readers and Watchers alike will be on the edge of their seats with this one, and it doesn’t disappoint.

Description:
Game of Thrones has become an incredibly successful show for HBO. The correlation between the books and television series is uncanny. Most of the dialog is exactly the same from the books, which is awesome! If for some reason you don’t know, Game of Thrones is a combination of stories of various royal families fighting for the Iron throne. There are seven Kingdoms in the world of Westeros. Each one is ruled by a noble family, and all seven are governed by a King. Usually, the King is chosen from one of the noble families. Whenever a King dies, the throne goes to the next male heir in line. All of Westeros was ruled by the Targaryen’s for many centuries, but after several generations of interbreeding, the last one was a bit mad. He was even referred to as the ‘Mad King,’ due to his insane tactics and willingness to sacrifice everyone around him; including his loyal subjects. Thus, a coup was formed to take him out. And take him out they did. Ever since then, things have been on shaken ground. Now that the surrounding families have a vested interest in the future success of Westeros, they all want a piece of the power. Some of the royal families are closer than others, and this is what causes a lot of the turmoil seen in the show. Some of them want the Iron Throne badly, while others take it passively. All the noble Houses have morals and ulterior motives that are revealed as the show/books progress as well. Add in the medieval time period, wicked visuals, strong adult content and freaking dragons; and you have something amazing from start to finish.

I was fortunate to review the first season without knowing much about the books/series. When I heard about the show, I wasn’t sure I’d be interested due to the fantasy aspect of the story. What I discovered after watching the first season, is that it’s more about the relationships between the families and complex deceit within. There’s a cold war happening between the families. They may play nice in public, but they secretly want to take the others down. What viewers have come to understand is that each family is different, and they all have a unique perspective on life. The Starks are the Protectors of the North, who are just and righteous. They don’t try to get one over another, and they believe honesty is the best policy. Sadly, the Starks are all but abolished, murdered, and split apart by the sixth season. The destruction of their family and home have been the source of much heartbreak in the show. The exact opposite can be said about the Lannister’s. They are the wealthiest, most diabolical, and cruel. They’re incredibly power hungry too, and will crush their opponents with steel, brute force, and the promise of wealth for those who assist them. They’ll even break universal oaths to get what they want. The Lannister’s make sure to pay their debts though. A Lannister always pays their debts. This is not a world for the righteous or ethical-minded. Evil always seems to triumph in Westeros, and no one can be trusted.

[SPOILER ALERT!] – From this point on, there are Season 6 spoilers. You’ve been warned!

What we’ve learned in this world of blood and mud, is that an undead force is slowly approaching from the North. They’ve been part of the story since the first episode of the first season, and are becoming increasingly more terrifying as the seasons pass. Winter is Coming, and it doesn’t look good for Westeros. By the sixth Season, viewers have been through a lot. Many lives have been lost, families have been destroyed, and it seems like the worst people find their way to the top of the food chain. This is the show everybody loves to hate. Game of Thrones doesn’t follow the Western-style of story-telling. We’re used to seeing the good guys win and the bad guys fall in the end. This certainly never happens in this show. Any morally-guided character gets their faced smashed in, their head cut off, and their pregnant bellies stabbed by murderers. It’s crazy! It’s as if there are no rules, and the ones who get it all are the worst of the lot. This is par for the course that is Game of Thrones, and it’s the horror we can’t turn away from.

At the beginning of season six, we find ourselves among the Night’s Watch at the Wall. Our beloved Commander, John Snow, has just been murdered by his own men in a terrible coup. His lifeless body is lying in the snow in a pool of blood. It’s a painful reminder of how the previous season ended. All John tried to do was the right thing to protect his men and the Wildings who were trying to survive beyond the Wall. They know of the terrifying monsters marching down from the North. They are mythical beings of all shapes, sizes and stages of decomposition. They appear unstoppable, and are led by the Night’s King, who looks like the devil. Instead of bright red though, this guy is ice-cold to the core. The only thing that stops these creatures is fire and something known as dragon glass. At this point though, very little is known about dragon class and where to find it. It’s only a matter of time till they reach the Wall and march down to Westeros.

Meanwhile, the seven Kingdoms is still in the hands of the Lannister’s. They’ve had a few setbacks, but this is deservingly so. They’ve gotten away with so much murder and corruption, it’s hard to fathom how they’re still in power. While their money and political influence has succeeded thus far; the Lannister’s have met a new challenge known as The Faith. Coming from nothing and only preaching peace, good will, and atonement; the High Sparrow has inconceivably found every way to defeat the Lannister’s at their own game. He’s imprisoned the Queen, her brother, and even made the King’s mother, Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), take the walk of atonement through the streets of Westeros. This required her to have her head shaved, clothes stripped, and forced to march nude through crowds of peasants. It was one of the most satisfying moments in season 5 for someone so terrible. Cersei Lannister is pure evil, folks. In this season, she’s still under scrutiny by the Faith, while they hold Queen Margaery (Natalie Dormer) and her brother Loras Tyrell (Finn Jones) in their dungeons. They must also atone for their sins. Their trial happens in one of the biggest episodes of the season, alongside the epic Battle of the Bastards.

Speaking of Bastards, Melisandre (Carice van Houten) does the impossible, and brings Jon Snow back to life in the beginning of the season! It’s a huge relief for fans of the series, and the good times don’t stop there. A much needed reunion of Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) happens soon after. The happiness is short-lived though, when it’s discovered Sansa’s estranged husband, Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) informs them he’s has their younger brother Rickon Stark (Art Parkinson) captive at Winterfell. The only way they can save what’s left of the family is to return to Winterfell and bend the knee to the sadistic Ramsay Bolton. This is not an option for Jon and Sansa, so they have to find a way to build an army and take back their ancestral home. Thus, the epic story of the impossible is born. The Starks must find anyone still loyal to the Stark family name, and the Lannister’s have to find a way to defeat the impenetrable fortress that is the High Sparrow and the Faith. All the while, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) is also building her army to overtake Westeros as the true heir of the Iron Throne. This season has it all folks, and it’s amazing.

With so much going on this season, viewers will be on the edge of their seats awaiting to see who will win and who will lose in this Game of Thrones…
Enough about that…let’s take a look at what’s included with this Blu-ray release!

Menu:
There are four discs included with this set. Each disc includes about two or three episodes. These episodes can be played as a whole or chosen individually. Viewers also get the choice to either Play the episode the way it’s presented on the HBO network, Play with an In-Episode Guide, Play with Audio Commentary, or Preview it. This is a great feature that gives fans various reasons to watch these epic episodes again and again. The ‘Audio’ option allows viewers to choose the Audio track for the show. The languages include: English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Atmos, French Dolby Audio 5.1, Spanish Dolby Audio 2.0, Castellano Dolby Audio 5.1, Dutch Dolby Audio 5.1, and Portuguese (Brazil) Dolby Audio 2.0. The ‘Subtitles’ option includes the same languages, plus: Netherlands, Dansk, Suomi, Norsk, and Svenska.

Now let’s take a look at the Bonus Features included with this release! It’s worth noting there are bonus features on all of the discs. They generally connect with the episodes listed on the individual discs.

Bonus Features:

    Disc 1

In-Episode Guide: This feature accompanies every episode on the disc. While you’re watching the film, a guide slides down from the top right of your HDTV screen. There are three options to choose from at any given time: Characters, Location, and History. Selecting the ‘Characters’ option brings up another menu that starts to claim a lot of the screen. It’s a list of the characters seen at that particular time in the episode. For example, the first episode flies down to a dead man lying in the snow. Because he’s a major character, selecting the characters option displays his name and a description of who he is. This guide is live, and adds/subtracts characters as they appear/disappear from the frame. This is a great feature for those unsure of the characters they are seeing. The ‘Locations’ option is basically the same thing, but describes the location where the scene is taking place. Choosing this option during the opening scene, this feature lists ‘Castle Black’ as the location. It also describes the location and it’s relevance to the story. The ‘History’ option provides the backstory for those who haven’t seen the previous seasons. This is a complex show filled with a ton of major characters, so having a historic feature of what’s going on is very helpful.

Audio Commentaries: These accompany all of the Season 6 episodes. A few have two different commentaries for the same one! The commentary explains how they made the shots, what changes were made and much, much more. In the first episode, they mention the difficulty in making the season opener iconic. The pressure of making it a solid storyline that continues from the previous finale, while giving viewers what they want is a tall order. This is the first time the show has reached beyond the books, so this is uncharted territory as well. It’s a good episode with some killer twists.

    Disc 2

In-Episode Guide: This is the same type of feature mentioned above.

Audio Commentary: These are Audio Commentaries for the episodes included on this disc.

Recreating the Dothraki World (20:15 HD): This feature takes a look at how they recreated the Dothraki world from the first season. The creators have been wanting to go back there since the beginning, so this was their chance to relive the life and times of the Dothraki. They provide an in-depth explanation of who the Dothraki are, what they believe, and how their leaders are chosen. They also discuss how Daenerys Targaryen is captured by them, and believed to be an idiot. Little do they know how strong she really is. The sets seen in the show are legit too. They actually built the towns and huts the Dothraki gathered. They also burned the main hut to the ground for real. The interior shots were done with a separate set, but needed additional caution due to the fact the actors were inside. They said it was like a pizza oven. The rest of the feature covers the completely new Dothraki language. The actors had to learn to speak it, while acting, yelling and riding horses. It was a nightmare for some, but the results are fantastic.

    Disc 3

In-Episode Guide: This is the same type of feature mentioned above.
Audio Commentary: These are Audio Commentaries for the episodes included on this disc.

    Disc 4

In-Episode Guide: This is the same type of feature mentioned above.

Audio Commentary: Like the discs before, this one includes several audio commentaries viewers will enjoy. Make sure to listen to Episode 9 – ‘Battle of the Bastards’ Audio Commentary with Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), and Director Miguel Sapochnik. For such a serious episode, this is one of the funniest audio commentaries I’ve ever heard. In the beginning, Sophie Turner wonders just what types of people listen to audio commentaries, and suggests they may be a bit strange. She also enjoys crunching down on some raw celery while giving the commentary. The group suggest she wait for an awkward silence in a scene before crunching down on a stick, and the results are hilarious. If you happen to come across this review by chance, Sophie, know that you provided a solid commentary that made me laugh out loud countless times. The bit about her and Jon fighting like real brother and sister is awesome.

The Battle of the Bastards (30:01 HD): This is an awesome feature that discusses how the massive battle between John Snow/Wildings and Ramsey Bolton was created. It was a massive undertaking, and the hard work definitely paid off. The crew found a huge field surrounded by trees, which was the perfect place to shoot the scene. They forewarned the field would likely get destroyed, but the owner of the land didn’t mind. In the beginning, the field was filled with rolling green hills and surrounded by trees. By the end it was a huge muddy mess, covered in frost, blood (synthetic) and snow. The crew brought in over five-hundred extras who were fully armed and dressed as Wildings and Northerners. They also had eighty horses on set. This made for some awesome realism. It’s also mentioned how Actor Kit Harington actually stood to face all eighty horses as they stormed towards him in the battle. The Director said he didn’t even blink! Nice job, Kit. A lot of CGI was used in this as well, but it was to duplicate the soldiers to display higher numbers on both sides. The results of this battle are some of the best seen in the show. Just wait till you see the huge pile of dead bodies and horses slamming into one another. It’s absolute chaos, and the end product looks amazing.

18 Hours at the Paint Hall (28:17 HD): This feature is all about a day-in-the-life of the three production groups who came together to shoot at the same location. Up to this point, none of them have shot the show at the same place and time. It was chaotic, full of talent, and the cast and crew gave their all on that faithful day. Work began at 3am, and shooting started at 9am. Viewers will get a chance to see the Mountain in his grotesque rotten make-up. This is especially cool because up to this point we haven’t see what the monster looks like beneath the armor. It’s brief, but offers an epic sneak peek at what may come. The majority of this feature gives viewers an inside look at the production side of this show. There’s an armory filled with rubber and steel weapons used in various scenes. There’s also a warehouse filled with props, set pieces, and more. If you want to see how the Game of Thrones magic is made, definitely check out this feature.

Histories & Lore (1:19:08 HD): This feature allows viewers to learn about the mythology of Westeros as told from varying perspectives of the characters. This is a similar feature to the one seen in the first season Blu-ray release. What’s great about this feature is that viewers get to hear the historic tales of old Westeros, but from alternate perspectives. It’s a really cool feature that fills in the gaps between the books and the show. The feature is divided into several brief clips. The clips included are: The Old Way (4:25 HD), The Kingsmoot (3:45 HD), The Summer Sea (4:05 HD), War of the Ninepenny Kings (2:49 HD), The Great Tourney at Harrenhal (6:07 HD), Robert’s Rebellion (6:07 HD), Vaes Dothrak (3:56 HD), The Dothraki (4:43 HD), Northern Allegiances to House Stark (4:56 HD), Children of the Forest vs. The First Men (4:43 HD), Brotherhood Without Banners (3:56 HD), Oldtown (5:35 HD), House Dayne (4:11 HD), The Little Birds (3:12 HD), Knights of the Vale (5:35 HD), House Tarly (4:35 HD), Riverrun (3:35 HD), and Great Sept of Baelor (4:23 HD). These clips provide an extensive backstory that prepares the audience for what they are about to see in the sixth season. Even if you’ve read the books and watched every episode; this is still a great resource. Make sure to check this one out.

Deleted Scenes (11:08 HD): The first is an extended scene of the Brothers protecting Jon Snow’s dead body. When Melisandre comes in she has a truly pained expression. It’s a good scene I wish made it in the final cut. The extended play performance was awesome too. I understand why they trimmed it down, and glad the fully performance was included as a bonus feature. Fans will enjoy this feature for sure.
Now let’s take a look at the technical side of this Blu-ray release.

Video:
The 1080p HD image comes with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, so it’ll fill your entire HDTV screen with hardcore awesomeness! The bigger your HDTV the better I’d say, as the image is pretty stunning throughout the entire season. Some of the darker scenes contain digital artifacts and muddiness, but overall the image is spot on. Close-ups reveal costume stitching, aged leather, facial flaws and even multi-jeweled goblets. There are a lot of dim lighting and cool color filters in this show, but the quality still shines through in the majority of the scenes. Daylight scenes reveal tones of detail and vibrant color, and the CGI looks fairly solid. One of the best CGI scenes is the Battle of the Bastards, in my opinion. The dragons and various ships sailing from Meereen to Westeros was pretty awesome too, but the Battle of the Bastards is on a whole other level. The moment when Jon Snow is surrounded by crashing battle horses will leave viewers in awe. It’s really awesome to watch folks.

Audio:
In most cases, the audio is just as important as the image quality, and this audio track does not disappoint. The Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 core) audio track pulls the viewer into the action in nearly every scene. It could be simple ambient effects, the compelling musical score, or the mass chaos that is a battle; everything sounds phenomenal. The dialog is always crisp and clear. The rustling of horses builds up the anxiety, and the clashing sounds of battle and explosions fill your surround sound with pure greatness. This is a great sounding transfer. Every Scene contains ambient effects that represent the setting perfectly. The audio track is quite profound.
Overall, the Sixth Season of Game of Thrones on Blu-ray is a hit. It contains all of the epic episodes, and includes a wealth of extras viewers and fans will enjoy. The image and audio quality is top notch, and the storyline offers some much needed positive swings for the first time ever! This is the first season that’s extended beyond the books, so it mostly new to viewers and fans alike. It’ll be interesting to see how the future books and shows develop from this point forward, and I can honestly say they did a great job with this season. If you’re a fan of the HBO series, make sure to add this set to your collection. The extensive amount of bonus features and audio commentaries provide plenty of reasons to re-watch these episodes again and again. Pick it up on Blu-ray today!

Good

  • Includes the Complete Sixth Season of the epic show with plenty of extras fans will love.
9

Amazing