This Week In Home Entertainment: Game Of Thrones, Nurse Jackie And More
Game Of Thrones: The Complete Third Season Blu-rayGame Of Thrones: The Complete Third Season isn’t a set that caters to new or casual fans of the series, although the HD effort should be impressive on any TV. What it is is an expensive and sophisticated set filled with memorable episodes ("And Now His Watch is Ended," "The Bear and the Maiden Fair" and "The Rains of Castamere") that can be appreciated by any Blu-ray lover, but was made especially for the show’s loyal fans.
The third season is spread over five discs, each featuring at least a few bonus features for fans. The bulk of the extras are on the fifth disc, which also conveniently offers the final episode of Season 3. Game Of Thrones is a show that always likes to play its most emotional and horrifying moments a couple of episodes from the end of the season, using the finale to set up for what is to come. This last time around the block is no exception. While the bonus features should be quite the treat for rabid fans, the episodes themselves are carefully crafted to focus on heroes and villains across numerous kingdoms. We see Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) as she builds an army in a warm climate, we see Joffrey’s (Jack Gleeson) mistreatment of his kingdom, we see Jon Snow (Kit Harington) make several life-changing decisions on the wrong side of the wall while his half-brother Robb (Richard Madden) valiantly attempts to fight off the Lannisters. There are plotlines too numerous to mention in this review, and while the list of characters continues to grow, I am constantly impressed by showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff's abilities to venture forth in a way that deviates from George R. R. Martin’s novels while still maintaining their integrity.
HBO always puts careful consideration into its big Blu-ray sets, but this one has even more bells and whistles, coming with HD, DVD and Digital copies wrapped in stylish and tidy packaging. In addition, the menu screens are also a stylish affair, and while it can be annoying to have to switch discs to watch different bonus features, it’s nice that each of the discs list all of the extras available with the set. The bonus features themselves will occupy hours of your time, beginning with episode commentary for each and every episode, presented by either cast or crew members. In addition, deleted scenes are available, as are a slew of short featurettes devoted to topics including a recap of Season 2, a look at politics, extra information on the wildlings and a short spotlight on new characters.
An additional featurette looks at the now-famous "Rains of Castamere" episode. Similar to audio commentary, we get snippets of the actual episode juxtaposed with the perspectives of a lot of the people involved with the series. Instead of audio, there’s a ton of added video content, and the episode is worth watching thanks to the multitude of behind-the-scenes information presented. When viewers reach the "Red Wedding" sequence, there are actually three different behind-the-scenes narratives to choose from to get a look at all of the different angles.
There’s so much to explore and uncover within the supplementary material, but even without all of the extras, the episodes themselves hold up upon rewatch. You can order Game Of Thrones: The Complete Third Season over at Amazon for a ridiculously low price.
Best Special Feature:
The In-Episode Guides are probably the most exciting extras available with the set, offering extensive additional information for avid viewers. I honestly thought watching each episode with the guide on would be fairly intrusive, but that wasn’t the case. During each episode, a banner is watermarked on the right hand of the screen, making itself available for viewers to click when pertinent information comes up. That information is usually a tidbit about a character or location, etc., but oftentimes the segments add fun facts and information for viewers.
Full List Of Bonus Features:
"A Gathering Storm"
"The Rains of Castamere Unveiled"
"Roots of Westeros"
"Histories & Lore"
"Inside the Wildlings"
"The Politics of Marriage"
Deleted/ Extended Scenes
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