While every single season of Game of Thrones has been a tumultuous ride, nothing could really prepare anyone for Season 3. Interesting character development for various characters that we hated, we began to love or understand what makes them tick. The political aspects and intricacies grew deeper and the bloodshed more brutal in HBO’s fantasy masterpiece. In this season, there are three major plot lines being handled, Rob Stark’s War against the Lannister’s in Westeros, Jon Snow dealing with the Wildling’s beyond The Wall and Daenerys Targaryen trying to wade her way through the cities of Astapor and Yunkai. While these elements are the major focus, there are still many plot lines and characters to follow that make Game of Thrones one of the greatest adaptations and fantasy TV series of all time.
From the solid action sequences to emotional depths the show takes its audience to, season three of Game of Thrones ups the ante in every single aspect and makes it a point to emphasize how intricate the world is. While at times it may be difficult to follow, due to both the expansion of the characters and the general world, its always all encompassing and engaging. While the series has been toeing the line with its fantasy elements, this season manages to truly begin to feel like something magical. From the animal controlling Wargs, to the Lord of Light being able to revive people, this season begins to showcase stronger fantasy elements and its all for the better. The death toll certainly rises in this season, but it manages to showcase how cruel the world of Game of Thrones can be. The drama is heightened by the weight of various character’s decisions, where someone we might care about finally makes some strides towards their goals, but many times these actions might have some actual dire consequences down the line. If I at all seem vague, its due to the fact that I wish not to truly spoil anything from the season, because of how great it truly is.
The boxed set from HBO, comes with Blu-Ray’s, DVD’s and digital codes, in order for someone to go ahead and watch this series from anywhere they like. The video on the Blu-Ray’s come in an AVC encoded, 1080p transfer, with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. From the black and deep colors of the Red Keep, to the wonderful blue vistas of Astapor, the video on the Blu-Ray’s are flawless. Everything about the video presentation looks rich and shows no means of artifacts or blemishes. The audio of the series is presented in a variety of both DTS-HD 5.1 and DTS 2.0 audio tracks. I only listened to the English track, but there’s also the French and Spanish surround tracks and Polish and Spanish stereo tracks. The DTS-HD English track is a beautiful companion to the wonderful video track, as it offers a great amount of clarity and depth, due to the fantastic mix and use of sound design. There’s a plethora of special features, which include commentaries for various episodes, a primer on what’s happened thus far, an introduction to the new characters for the season, a ton of videos that explore the history of the series and deleted scenes.
While there’s tons of great material included in the features, there are two that just seal the deal for this boxed set. The first being a picture in picture commentary of “The Rains of Castamere”, the ninth and most important episode of the season. While its most certainly a fantastic episode on its own, the picture in picture mode helps explore a multitude of aspects of the production for the episode. The other being the Histories and Lore section of the features, which provide animated sequences to famous battles, formation of each of the Houses and a guide that helps illustrate the aspect that the TV series has no reasonable amount of time to develop.
Game of Thrones since its first season has been some of the greatest cable TV that’s ever existed. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have given a proper adaptation to an incredible fantasy series and have managed to make it engaging, complex and entertaining. Some might be putting it off, due to the genre not really being their cup of tea, but I guarantee that if anyone sat down to check it out, they’ll be engrossed in the land of Westeros in no time and this season is no exception. Highly Recommended!