‘Game Of Thrones’ Season One 4K Blu-ray Review: Stark Difference

The Show

While one or dual after array (with bigger budgets) of Game Of Thrones tip deteriorate one for philharmonic and story sophistication, there’s something about Season one’s rawness, steadfast brutality, and world-building artistry that still creates it my personal favorite deteriorate to date. Especially as it’s also a customarily deteriorate where we get to spend critical time with Ned Stark, who provides a unchanging comfortless heart to all a mayhem that no other deteriorate can boast.

Who’s a flattering dragon, then?

It’s engaging looking behind during it now, too, to remember new customarily how groundbreaking it was in 2011 in terms of how distant it was prepared to go to safeguard that severely upsetting things happens to a many pleasing people.

In fact, I’d contend a 4K Blu-ray recover has arrived after customarily a right time to make revisiting a opening array feel totally uninformed again.

One final thing we had to admire as we revisited a array for this examination is customarily how fast and effectively it establishes a noted tinge that will continue around Game Of Thrones’ successive 6 series. By that we meant there are dual beheadings in a initial 15 minutes.

Release details

Studio: HBO

What we get: Four region-free 4K Blu-ray discs, digital download code

Extra Features: Audio explanation marks on many episodes by several expel and organisation members; ‘Making of’ documentary; Creating a uncover open featurette; Creating a Dothraki language; 15 impression profiles; From a book to a screen; The Knights Watch; Cast auditions; Animated story and science interactive feature; Anatomy of an partial feature

Best soundtrack option: Dolby Atmos

Video options: HDR10, Dolby Vision

Key pack used for this test: Oppo UDP-203 4K Blu-ray player, Samsung QN65Q9FN TV, Panasonic UB900 4K Blu-ray player, LG OLED77C8 TV

Picture Quality

My really initial knowledge of Game Of Thrones was examination Season One on HD Blu-ray. So we feel pretty good competent to contend that a step adult in design peculiarity delivered by this 4K Blu-ray recover goes approach serve than I’d illusory possible.

There will be beheadings.

Making this utterly startling is a fact that aside from a few pieces in a commander apparently being shot on 35mm film, so distant as we know a initial deteriorate of Game Of Thrones was customarily shot during 1080p. So what we’re saying on these 4K Blu-ray discs contingency customarily be 4K upscales. But we can customarily news what we see, that is that a design customarily looks aloft in fortitude than a HD Blu-ray.

All those outside shots of imperishable landscapes and forbidding mill walls demeanour stunningly genuine and discernible contra a HD Blu-ray, and a additional fortitude enhances a clarity of abyss and scale in these shots too.

Close adult work if anything looks even some-more startlingly full of fact and sharpness. Be it in a pores, blemishes and freckles of a actors’ faces; a abounding dash of all a virile rugged coats; a glaze of horses; or a hairs of a series’ unconstrained collection of beards, hack tails and fur collars. It’s overtly like saying a uncover again for a initial time.

At that indicate we should contend that while a boost in apparent fact is remarkable, a focus of HDR to a design has an even bigger impact.

Jon Snow in, well, snow.

While it’s not a many assertive HDR ascent I’ve ever seen, it’s really one of a many effective and sensitive. Black levels have been taken down to gorgeously rich, sable levels yet shade fact being crushed, while resisting splendid highlights – candles, reflections on steel and skin tones, beams of object – have been given a pleasing boost in liughtness and intensity.

Daylight exteriors demeanour many some-more life like too – and again this encouragement is delivered tenderly adequate to stop a design from looking unnaturally stretched or origination dim forehead objects demeanour like dull silhouettes.

Colors have been enriched too, yet customarily usually to a border that they demeanour some-more natural; some-more like they would, in other words, if strike in a genuine universe by a arrange of increasing amounts of light a HDR regrade has introduced.

Put all these HDR and color-expanding strengths together and we get cinema that mostly take on an roughly painterly beauty – no matter how harrowing their calm competence be.

Ned Stark gives a initial deteriorate a heart not consistently found in after series.

This is generally loyal for anyone means to watch a uncover in Dolby Vision, that does a poetic pursuit of adding even some-more impetus to a show’s many high-contrast shots, while also delivering a some-more tranquil and unchanging demeanour to colors – generally skin tones during dim interior sequences.

The design isn’t utterly perfect. A few mid-dark scenes unexpected demeanour a bit grainy for no utterly apparent reason. Also, a occasional unusually splendid exterior, such as a method where Joffrey is bitten by Arya Stark’s direwolf, can demeanour a hold strained, and/or humour with some really slight tone banding in skin tones. Some of a really brightest tools of a design can demeanour a small frosty of detail, too.

For a many part, though, a design peculiarity of a Game Of Thrones Season One 4K Blu-ray recover is good adequate to give we all a forgive we need to start examination this epic uncover again from a start forward of a final deteriorate attack a screens after this year.

Sound quality

Although a 4K Blu-ray defaults to a Dolby 5.1 mix, if we conduct into a Audio menu we can switch to a new Dolby Atmos brew for any episode. And for a many partial we strongly suggest that we do this, as these Atmos mixes we a many some-more full blooded sound theatre than a 5.1 originals. Bass extends many deeper, and a clarity of tallness and ambience is clearly increased.

The Starks in easier times.

That said, while it sounds glorious for a seven-year-old TV show, maybe since of a strange marks they had to work with in putting a Atmos brew together, it’s not accurately a anxiety class effort.

Voices sound a small clinical, so that they infrequently sound somewhat dislocated from a rest of a mix. The densest tools of a soundtrack – including a opening pretension lane – can sound a small soupy, too. Also, a back channels aren’t used as many as they competence have been for adding ambient effects.

At slightest when a rears are indeed used in anger, though, a outcome steering is precise, and can broach overtly thespian effects – such as a approach a cawing bluster that arrives on Bran’s window in partial 3 shifts position from a front orator to a back right approximate as a camera changes a indicate of view.

Extra features

The extras on this 4K Blu-ray recover are a same as those delivered with a prior HD Blu-ray recover solely that, sadly, they don’t embody any ‘in-episode guides’. These let we watch any partial on a HD Blu-ray with a menu down a side charity supplemental information, and we really missed carrying them on a 4K Blu-ray.

Daenerys and her new people.

And before we start meditative we can customarily watch these in-episode facilities on a HD Blu-rays, if we didn’t notice progressing in a recover sum section, we don’t indeed get a HD Blu-rays of Season One in a 4K BD package.

The prominence of a facilities we DO get is a array of explanation marks delivered by a accumulation of opposite expel and organisation members. The thought of regulating people from opposite aspects of a prolongation for any explanation is a masterstroke, ensuring that any one feels uninformed and gives another viewpoint on a prolongation and story.

The 30-minute ‘making of’ underline is pleasingly estimable too, and while other featurettes – covering such things as a origination of a Dothraki language, a opening credits method and a routine of bettering such a outrageous story for a shade – are many briefer, they still supplement adult to an ominous set of goodies overall.

Game Of Thrones Season One 4K Blu-ray box art.

While a in-episode guides competence have gone, there is still one clever interactive underline on a final front that lets we try a history, lore, Houses and embankment of Westeros.


I overtly hadn’t approaching many from this 4K Blu-ray recover of Game Of Thrones’ opening season. It wasn’t shot in 4K, after all, and prior knowledge of this deteriorate around promote and Blu-ray hadn’t accurately blown me divided on a design peculiarity front.

Somehow, though, a remaster work has delivered transformative results, origination a whole uncover demeanour so uninformed we feel like you’re examination it again for a initial time. Or during slightest we would if so many of a uncover wasn’t so damn unforgettable.

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