Game of Thrones season 7 Blu-ray Review
The penultimate season of HBO’s hit series, ‘Game of Thrones’ is a tough one to review. On one hand, it’s still ‘Game of Thrones’ and still the best show on television. On the other hand, this season felt very different than previous seasons. The slow, intricate setups gave way to plot points that moved from one scene to another, quickly and oftentimes without explanation, making it feel like someone was pushing the fast forward button on the remote. The realist in me understands the decision to speed things up; the show can’t go on forever and things need to get wrapped up at some point. But the dreamer in me would have liked another four or five seasons so the showrunners could have put more time and effort into the storytelling.
Everything is barreling towards an epic showdown between Daenerys, Jon, Cersei and the White Walkers. We don’t yet know what side everyone will fall on, but the seventh season started to draw the lines. Jon and Dany seem tight from the beginning, the White Walkers are growing exponentially and the Lannisters don’t trust anyone and are running out of money. There are other characters at play as well, such as Arya, The Hound, Jamie Lannister and Samwell, each of which could have a huge impact or no impact at all on the final season.
And there’s the dilemma for the showrunners; how do you play out a story that fans and critics have been obsessing over since the first season? This problem started in the fifth season when Jon was resurrected. Everyone knew he was going to come back and that Mellisandre was going to do it and that ended up being exactly what happened. In the seventh season, everyone knew and predicted that Jon and Dany would become “friends” and that’s exactly what happened. In most shows, that would be lazy storytelling but in ‘Game of Thrones’, it’s actually another sign of the show’s brilliance; they set all of this up in the first season by dropping hints and foreshadowing. I won’t complain that things are playing out as predicted, but the seventh season is very light on shocking moments or surprises; at this point, most of the diehard fans know what’s coming. Even the season’s “shocking” death was telegraphed and astute viewers recognized a while back that the character had already served their purpose.
The seventh season of ‘Game of Thrones’ gave fans exactly what they wanted. That might seem like a compliment for a series that has received complaints about being too long or taking too much time to get to the action, but it’s not. One of the things that makes ‘Game of Thrones’ the best show on television is the fact every scene and every moment has meaning. Situations and decisions make sense, have purpose and impact the show either immediately or down the road. The show didn’t need to speed things up, it was already on a fantastic pace. I understand the show can’t go on forever (sob), but I think we had at least three or four more seasons left. That said, the show is still head and shoulders above everything else on TV.
Video: ‘Game of Thrones’ always looks great on Blu-ray and this set is no exception.
Audio: The audio is equally impressive.
Commentaries: There are 11 commentaries spread across 7 episodes. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t watch all of them and instead I skipped to random tracks. David Benioff, D.B. Weiss and Kit Harrington only show up for a piece and it happened to be the same episode (the finale). I loved hearing them talk about the show and you can tell there’s genuine excitement from them while they watch the show and talk about how important the episode was.
In-Episode Guides on each episode
Featurettes: The last disc contains two featurettes, one title of which is a spoiler. They’re each about 30 minutes long, one focusing on the art department and the other focusing on a key battle.
Histories and Lore: Eight mini-animated features, about 3 minutes each, walk you through some of the history that gets mentioned at various points in the show. Or as I like to call these; early storyboards for possible spin-offs.