Game Of Thrones Season 3 Blu-ray Review

Note: I tried to write this without spoilers, but if you haven’t seen the first two seasons, you might want to consider this a mild spoiler warning.

The third season of HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ has made me rethink everything I thought I knew about television.  That may sound like hyperbole, but after watching The Red Wedding episode, I realized that audiences may be more fascinated when bad things happen to their TV heroes than when good things happen to them.  We’ve spent over 60 years of television always seeing the good guys win and in the few times they don’t win, we see them get justice almost immediately (or at least in the same season).  But ‘Game of Thrones’ doesn’t care about what you expect and instead, it’s changing our notions of what TV shows should be.

Game of Thrones season 3

To be honest, most of the third season of GOT felt like a slow simmer as we were waiting for something to happen.  Daenerys is still making her way to Westeros, freeing the lands she and her dragons conquer, Robb Stark is still waging war in the North, also on his way to Westeros and Stannis is reeling from his failed attack.  The Lannisters are in control and everyone’s favorite “love to hate him” king is probably responsible for thousands of broken TV’s across the country as I’m sure people can’t help but throw things at him every time he does something despicable.  But for most of the season, the characters just talk about what’s to come, but nothing actually happens.  And so that brings us to The Red Wedding.

Game of Thrones season 3

I haven’t read the books, so I didn’t know what to expect from The Red Wedding.  I assumed from the title that there would be some blood, but what transpired was shocking, even for GOT.  From the first season, GOT made it clear that no character is safe, but I really didn’t see this coming.  Of all the tens of thousands of hours of TV I’ve watched over the years, I can safely say that The Red Wedding might be the “best” hour, or at least the hour that has stuck with me the most.  I’ve used the term “mentally violated” to describe the episode numerous times, but the truth is, I loved the episode.  I love that series creator/author George R.R. Martin has no fear when it comes to telling the story he wants to tell.  Would it have been easier to have Ned Stark take over as king and leave Joffrey sniffling in the corner?  Sure, but beheading him in season 1 was more original and more effective at telling a great story.

Game of Thrones season 3

When ‘Game of Thrones’ comes to an end, I don’t think the third season is going to be looked at as the best season of the series.  People will point to The Red Wedding, but the rest of the show feels more like a setup for later seasons.  Lesser characters like Jamie Lannister, Arya Stark and Samwell seem to be getting groomed for something much greater later on.  I would normally try to guess what’s going to happen, but odds are that I would be so wrong it would be embarrassing.  But I still can’t shake the feeling that Arya is going to end up a huge character by the time the series is over.

Game of Thrones season 3

If you’ve followed ‘Game of Thrones’ this far, then there’s no reason to stop now.  It’s still easily the best show on television and it continues to surprise and impress.


Video:  Nobody does Blu-ray like HBO and ‘Game of Thrones’ season 3 is no exception.  The show really is breathtaking on Blu-ray.

Audio: The audio is equally impressive.

Commentary on twelve episodes:  Like the second season, the third season of GoT features 12 commentaries, with all ten episodes getting at least one commentary, except for the first episode.  These commentaries are so fascinating to listen to as each one features some of the central characters, along with a key behind the scenes participant.  Some of the best TV commentaries I’ve heard are on the GoT season sets.

Game of Thrones season 3

In-episode guide: Like the first two seasons, each episode has an in-episode guide that features lands and histories of the characters.  What’s neat about this is that the actors show up to narrate their history and the featurette is actually really informative.  It’s perfect for the fan that keeps saying they’re going to read the books, but had rather just watch the show again.

A Gathering Storm (13:57): This is a recap of the first two seasons, touching on every major event that has transpired so far.  A nice refresher before diving into season 3.

New Characters (9:56): This is simply an introduction to the new characters appearing in the third season.

The Rains of Castamere Unveiled:  This is a great PiP-like feature for the third season’s best episode, “The Rains of Castamere”, or as fans will call it; The Red Wedding episode.  It’s a great look at what might be the best episode of the series so far.

Deleted Scenes:  Five scenes total and each one should have been in their respective episode.  Game of Thrones shouldn’t have a time limit; if they film it and it’s great, HBO should make room for it.

Inside the Wildings (5:54): The cast and crew discuss the wildings.

Roots of Westeros:  Another animated feature that explores some of the politics and history of Westeros.

The Politics of Marriage:  Political marriages play a big part in season three (but probably a bigger part in season 4) and this featurette focuses on them.

Histories and Lore: 15 animated sequences take you through the history and lore of Game of Thrones, each one narrated by a character.  These are the same features you can watch during the in-episode guide.


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