15th Feb2015

‘Game of Thrones: The Complete Fourth Season’ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Emelia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Natalie Dormer, Stephen Dillane, Kit Harington, Maisie Williams, Rory McCann | Based on the books by George R.R. Martin


February is the time of year we realise that we still have another two months until Game of Thrones returns.  A glimmer of hope though is the fact that Game of Thrones: The Complete Fourth Season is released on DVD and Blu-ray this week to keep us going.  Either allowing people who haven’t watched to fully enjoy the season, or for the rest of us to relive it once more, this is the perfect time to take another trip to Westeros…

Season four of Game of Thrones starts with the shadow of the Red Wedding still hanging over what is left of the Stark family, and the Purple wedding yet to come.  In an eventful season we see a downfall of sorts for the Lannisters, Daenerys Targaryen (Emelia Clarke) having a lesson in not only the politics of being a leader but also the motherhood of dragons and Jon Snow’s battle with the Wildlings finally coming to a head.  With scenes that still manage to shock and plenty of gore plenty has gone on in this season leaving a deep impact for what is to come.

As with the excellent Telltale Games version of Game of Thrones, Game of Thrones: The Complete Fourth Season masterfully moves each player in the story of the ruling families in Westeros around the game board in manoeuvres that will keep them a part of what is still unfinished story on television and book form.  The Lannisters may still have power but Tyrion’s (Peter Dinklage) actions during this season will have huge repercussions for his family, especially Cersei (Lena Headey) who clings to her last gasps of power as she loses her battle against Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) who appears to be in a more powerful position as the future queen (though the battle is far from over).

Looking further afield the importance of Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) is not forgotten, he may have been weakened but he is not out.  Add to that we also have the continued presence of Jon Snow (Kit Harington) still stuck on the Wall with the inevitable confrontation with Ygritte (Rose Leslie) built up all season and coming to head in the final two episodes (fans will never be able to hear the words “you know nothing Jon Snow” without a having to compose themselves).  Although winter doesn’t appear to have arrived yet the White Walkers are ever-present, building up to the time when they will make their presence known.

It is a sign of the quality of the show when there are so many characters each with their own stary arc in Game of Thrones yet focus is never felt to be lost in the show.  While Arya (Maisie Williams) and The Hound (Rory McCann) don’t really inject themselves that much into the politics of Westeros they are still ever-present and their story grows in strength as does their partnership.  In fact I would go as far to say that their story in many ways steals this season for me and leaves me looking forward to seeing how Arya’s story continues.  A close second to her story of course is that of Tyrion Lannister who has also made a move away from King’s Landing but will obviously remain important.

What arguably makes Game of Thrones so strong a show is the acting ability on show.  Whether it is the likes of Charles Dance and Diana Rigg showing the young upstarts how it is done or Dinklage and Leana Headey scowling at each other as they play the warring siblings perfectly.  We are at a point with the release of Game of Thrones: The Complete Fourth Season where the actors know their characters and seem comfortable playing their roles with ease, allowing the story to flow and provide the entertainment that we the fans expect from the show.  We also can’t forget The Hound Rory McCann and Gwendoline Christie’s Brienne of Tarth doing battle in the final episode of this season as a highlight of the show.  One of the most brutal one-on-one battles that is a show stealer it shows not only why the show is so good but also why Brienne is another favourite of mine, though after the episode ends I’m sure you can guess why I’m not that happy with her right now.  I’m sure I can forgive her though…in time.

Game of Thrones: The Complete Fourth Season is an example of a show that is still at its best.  Some shows (American Horror Story as an example) flounder slightly and don’t deliver when they really should, but Game of Thrones can’t be accused of that.  With a perfect ending to the season we as fans are left with an unbearable need to know what happens next, and we only have a few months to get that answer.  Game of Thrones: The Complete Fourth Season is a must buy for Game of Thrones fans but I do get the feeling I don’t even need to say that, they know it already.

***** 5/5

Game of Thrones: The Complete Fourth Season is available on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK from February 16th.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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