Cast: Paddy Considine, Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke
Release Date: December 20, 2022
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
Based on George R.R. Martin’s “Fire & Blood,” the series, set 200 years before the events of “Game of Thrones,” tells the story of House Targaryen.
Please Note: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
‘House of the Dragon’ is based upon George R.R. Martin’s “Fire & Blood” and takes viewers back to the earlier days of Westeros, 200 years before the events of ‘Game of Thrones’ when House Targaryen still ruled the iron throne with the help of their dragons and the unmatchable power they possess. The debut season covers numerous years and follows the rule of King Viserys and the questionable decision he makes after so many years of trying to father a son to no avail, and the ramifications that his choice will lead to throughout the kingdom.
‘House of the Dragon’ is based upon George R.R. Martin’s “Fire & Blood” and was created for television by Martin and Ryan Condal. The cast of season one includes Paddy Considine, Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, Emma D’Arcy, Steve Toussaint, Eve Best, Fabien Frankel, Sonoya Mizuno, and Rhys Ifans. The first season also features Milly Alcock, Bethany Antonia, Phoebe Campbell, Emily Carey, Harry Collett, Ryan Corr, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jefferson Hall, David Horovitch, Wil Johnson, John Macmillan, Graham McTavish, Ewan Mitchell, Theo Nate, Matthew Needham, Bill Paterson, Phia Saban, Gavin Spokes and Savannah Steyn, with the majority each providing quite capable and fitting performances for the most part in their respective roles.
‘House of the Dragon’ takes viewers back to Westeros 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones and explores the time when House Targaryen was still the ruling family and held their place of power with the assistance of their all-powerful dragons. Those who thoroughly enjoyed ‘Game of Thrones’ should find plenty to appreciate about this new series which offers all of the twists, turns, bloodshed and brutality that we’ve come to expect from Martin’s iconic world and it does a great job of delving into the time where this legendary family was still the ruling force in the lands. The debut season spans numerous years and often jumps ahead in time significantly from one episode to the next (even recasting some of the key roles mid-season to accommodate). It may take a minute to really get moving while it allows us to become familiar with this new group of characters, but it quickly picks up the pace and serves up some shocking, bloody and enthralling events that will change the world and this family forever.
The series provides a fascinating look back at a time that we’re less familiar with, before the period in which we followed in the previous series and Martin’s initial book saga. This time around it showcases the good and bad within this iconic ruling family, not to mention the clashes and chaos that result from one decision that many found troubling. If you enjoy the world that George R.R. Martin created and were a fan of ‘Game of Thrones’, then you won’t want to overlook this exciting prequel and I would definitely encourage you to give it a whirl if you haven’t yet had the chance to do so.
Overall, the debut season of ‘House of the Dragon’ takes viewers back 200 years before the events of ‘Game of Thrones’ and delivers a tense, thrilling and emotional look at the era of House Targaryen that explores the origins of the iconic ruling family and the dragons that helped them maintain their hold over the seven kingdoms. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s 4-disc 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release for ‘House of the Dragon: The Complete First Season’ brings home all ten episodes from the show’s debut season featuring gorgeous Ultra High Definition video presentations with Dolby Vision and HDR-10 on each episode. The notable video presentations are only further complemented by spectacular Dolby Atmos soundtracks on every episode, along with a nice handful of bonus content that altogether make for a rather impressive 4K release for the first season of this popular prequel series that fans should be more than satisfied with. If you’re a fan that’s already considering a purchase, then this release is definitely recommended.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of ‘House of the Dragon: The Complete First Season’ features a full 2160p Ultra High Definition presentation with Dolby Vision and HDR-10, with the show’s original 2.00:1 Aspect Ratio on all of the debut season’s episodes. The video presentations look magnificent as a whole and provide sharp, clean and richly detailed presentations from start to finish that hold up admirably even during the various darkly lit, heavily populated and fast moving moments occurring throughout and never allow anything occurring onscreen to become negatively impacted. Everything from character and facial specifics down to backgrounds and interiors look gorgeous and clean down to each line and object and the Dolby Vision addition contributes a beautiful collection of colors that only help everything to look that much better; all complemented by deep, rich blacks that are free of any crush or other potential problems. Overall, these are fantastic Ultra High Definition video presentations that look great every step of the way and should thoroughly satisfy the fans.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack on all 10 Season One episodes. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentations. These multichannel soundtracks are quite the treat in their own right and serve up clean, crisp and hard hitting audio presentations on each episode. They repeatedly take full advantage of all seven available channels in order to send action and nature effects, dragons and other animals, along with pouring rain, water crashing and a great deal more constantly whipping throughout the various speakers, while always ensuring that any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously never become distorted or negatively affected in the process. Overall, these are wonderful Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtracks that deliver impressively throughout and contribute a great deal of extra fun and excitement to the viewing experience along the way.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of ‘House of the Dragon: The Complete First Season’ includes a nice collection of bonus material in the way of various Behind the Scenes Featurettes that explore different aspects of the series and the process of bringing it to life, featuring interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. Included are ‘Welcome to Westeros’ (running approximately 6 minutes in length), ‘A New Reign’ (running approximately 3 minutes), ‘Returning to Westeros’ (approximately 5 minutes), ‘Height of an Empire’ (4 minutes), ‘Before the Dance: An Illustrated History with George R.R. Martin’ (5 minutes), ‘Noble Houses’ (4 minutes), ‘Familiar Places’ (3 minutes), plus ‘Return to the Seven Kingdoms’ (approximately 25 minutes) and ‘Introducing the Characters’ Featurettes for nine key characters (approximately 15 minutes altogether).
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray discs included in the 4K UHD Combo Pack and resized. They do not represent the quality of the 4K Ultra HD discs themselves and will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on the 4K UHD & Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
‘House Of The Dragon: The Complete First Season’ is Now Available to Own on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from HBO & Warner Bros Home Entertainment
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