Game of Thrones: Season 8 (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Game of Thrones Season 8 4K ReviewOnce again it’s no secret.  The smash hit HBO series Game of Thrones has sat atop the Iron Throne of the home entertainment charts as the best-selling TV on Blu-ray/DVD title in each of the last seven seasons.  All that time we have had you covered with our in-depth reviews of the series here on Why So Blu. If you missed any of our past coverage of these best selling Blu-ray sets, please refer to the following links to seasons 1 and 2 here, 3 here, 4 here, 5 here and 6 here and 7 over here.  The box sets are extremely popular among fans for their extensive bonus content that takes diehard viewers even further into the world of Westerns.  Read any of our aforementioned past season reviews and you’ll know that’s no joke at all.  They even released Steelbook collectors editions that brought a whole new dimension to the series with the addition of a Dolby Atmos soundtrack and brand new box art designed by the team that created the series’ Emmy Award-winning title sequence (see those here and here).  And here we are with Season 8.  Oh wow!  Let the controversy begin!

Game of Thrones Season 8 4K Review


In the paragraph up above I ended it by using a cliffhanger word such as “controversy.”  If you didn’t hear about all the mixed reactions to Season 8, then I would have to presume you could be labeled as living under a rock the past year.  It’s all true.  And it’s not only the fans in an uproar, but the cast too.  Many of the cast members felt the season’s writing and character arcs were completely underwhelming.  Also, who can ever forget the Starbucks coffee goof up in the first episode.  That was just the start of the downward spiral for showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss as one nitpick after another I felt like their near perfect track record up until now got slightly tarnished.  They can’t all be winners can they?  Absolutely not (here’s a stink eye looking at your Dexter Season 8)!  Before I make or jump to anymore conclusions here let’s talk about the 411 and other miscellaneous essentials of Season 8.

Game of Thrones officially holds the record as the most awarded series in television history, earning a total of 132 Emmy nominations with 47 wins to date.  It’s also HBO’s most-viewed program ever, with the final season averaging a record-setting 44 million viewers in the U.S.  This season received 32 Emmy nominations, the most for a single season of television in history.  It won for Outstanding Drama Series and Peter Dinklage won for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.  And let’s not forget about the cast that the series has fostered and grown over years.  The ensemble cast includes Emmy and Golden Globe winner Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont) and many more over the years (not everyone gets to live of course).

This eighth and final season premiered on April 14, 2019 and concluded on May 19, 2019.  Unlike the first six seasons, which consisted of ten episodes each, and the seventh season, which consisted of seven episodes, this final season contains only six episodes.  Rest assured though the episodes are slightly a little beefier in the runtime department.  Also unlike the previous seasons this one largely consists of original content not found yet in George R. R. Martin’s book series.  Instead it incorporates information that Martin revealed to the show-runners about material from the upcoming unfinished novels.  And we already covered some of the noted criticisms already, but we’ll get to my personal take in a short jiffy, but first let’s reflect on some events from this final season.

Season 8 essentially ties up two loose ends of the series, the war against the dead (led by the Night King) and the ongoing battle for control over the coveted seat of the Iron Throne.  I will avoid spoilers, but let me just say how absolutely thrilling the battle episode was against the Night King.  Up until that very last frame of the conclusion of this epic battle my heart was pounding.  This was some of the most exciting TV moments ever.  Many folks complained that they could not see a thing on their television in this particular episode, but it’s also those same folks who never heard of the word calibration too.  Last but not least we also get resolution once and for all who will be the rightful ruler of the Seven Kingdoms (yawn).  My favorite moment had to be the twist with the character we thought we all knew and love, but didn’t see their dark side or know what they were truly capable.  So that’s mostly all the good!  Now let’s briefly chat about why this season was not a perfect one for me despite the superior acting, directing, score and production value we’re all accustomed to with the show.

Minus the Starbucks mishap I guess where things really fell apart for me was near the end.  There were certain character deaths that either did not feel right nor complete.  It felt like okay these have to and let’s just dispose of the trash.  I mean c’mon we’ve been following these peeps for seven plus years now (some of us even grew up with them too).  However, it wasn’t until the final episode that I questioned whether or not this was reality (much like I did when Lebron James announced the first time he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers).  The writing of the final episode just felt completely lazy.  I know they can’t all be winners, but everything that had come before basically was.  I don’t know.  Maybe I was spoiled, but it as it was I was very let down by how the show decided to go out.  Characters I followed with great interest just were left hanging while others were just so obvious it made me sick to think this is how it all culminates.  If you’re telling me you didn’t see coming who lands up on the Iron Throne, then I have a spaceship I want to sell you.

Game of Thrones Season 8 4K Review


The below video score and related critique of things here are based solely upon my viewing of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of HBO’s Game of Thrones: Season 8.

  • Encoding: HEVC / H.265
  • Resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Dolby Vision: Yes
  • HDR: Yes (HDR10)
  • Size: 3 BD-100s
  • Clarity/Detail: Close-ups look exceptional/impeccable here from the many pores and moles to stubble and unruly hairs.  I once again do have to clamor that fine details in the costumes are quite amazing looking here especially the furs (oh wow!) and the fine intricacies of the designs and stitchings in certain outfits/clothing accessories and armor.  Textures in elements such as stones in walls and masonry look incredulous too.  With such clarity also comes the obvious…the fake CGI moments and such.  Elements such as snow look extremely fake, but how can you fault that when television like this looks so good on the 4K disc format.
  • Depth: I said it before and I’ll say it again here.  Because of the many, worldly environments in Game of Thrones, some real and some CGI, the forever ranging landscapes are what really draw me in from the vast snowy mountainsides to castle interiors to outdoor battlefields and so much more.  Truth be told though, it’s always the vast and breathtaking outdoor scenes that do it for me here season after season.  Huge battle scenes, which there are two major sequences this season are always a bonus too.  The onscreen characters also pop throughout here with three-dimensional qualities in direct comparison from their surroundings.  Let me emphasize that when I talk bout the 3D pop of things here.  It’s absolutely AMAZING how the onscreen characters pop.  The third episode looked especially pleasing with the constant snowflakes falling creating an artificial level of immersion throughout the onscreen events.
  • Black Levels: Black levels are more natural looking throughout this presentation.  They are not overly deep, but not troublesome either. I once again love how gorgeous fire, explosions and torches look in contrast to things here.  Only one nitpick to discuss here is in regards to examples found in the third episode where the black levels are not always consistent.  The moments in the crypt for example are overly deep and inky compared to the moments outside.  Thankfully though I didn’t have the issue people had with not being able to see anything in this episode on the original broadcast.  Calibrate your televisions folks!
  • Color Reproduction: Compared to the 1080p Blu-ray Disc the colors here appear wider thanks in part to the 4K’s Wide Color Gamut resulting in both more natural, lifelike colors as well as bold ones too.  While bold at times the colors are mostly neutral, natural and never overblown from what I saw.  Colors are going differ tonally from sequence to sequence here.
  • Flesh Tones: The skin tones all look natural throughout this 4K presentation here.
  • Noise/Artifacts: There are zero nasty artifacts or noise to be found here.  Things are crystal clean throughout.

Game of Thrones Season 8 4K Review


Like I mentioned up above in the video section, the below audio score and critical comments of such are based solely upon my viewing of HBO’s 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray presentation of Game of Thrones: Season 8.

  • Audio Format(s): English Dolby Audio 5.1, English Dolby Atmos, French Dolby Audio 5.1, Latin American Spanish Dolby Audio 2.0, Castilian Dolby Audio 5.1, German Dolby Audio 5.1, Italian Dolby Audio 5.1, Brazilian Portuguese Dolby Audio 2.0, Czech Dolby Audio 2.0, Hungarian Dolby Audio 2.0, Polish DTS Dolby Audio 2.0, Russian Dolby Audio 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Latin American Spanish, Castilian, German, Italian SDH, Brazilian Portuguese, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, Greek, Hebrew, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovenian, Turkish, Complex Chinese, Korean, Thai
  • Dynamics: The audio presentation here is what really makes Game of Thrones a champion when you’re speaking of doing a television show right on the Blu-ray or 4K UHD formats.  The wide dynamics of the Dolby Atmos track virtually puts you in the middle of everything happening onscreen and changes with each subsequent moment never sounding fake, unpolished or generic.  The dynamic range of this final season is balls to the wall with the action sequences.  It doesn’t sound like a mere television show, but rather the action sequences make this feel like a bombastic, summer blockbuster when fully engaged.  Despite it all though nothing ever gets lost in the translation of the mix here including the dialogue thanks to the discreteness of it all.  Let’s face it dialogue is very important in this show, but worry not.  I also love how intricate the tiles crumbling in the shows opening credits sound.
  • Height: Game of Thrones was one of the first television shows to employ Dolby Atmos on the Blu-ray format years ago.  Re-live the final season here with dragons flapping, flying, screaming and blowing fire and cold air, catapults, explosions, arrows overhead and so much more.  One of my favorite Atmos moments involves one of my favorite characters (guess who) that lights a whole army’s weapons ablaze with fire to prepare them fight the opposing undead enemies in the heart of the night.
  • Low Frequency Extension: The LFE channel is busy throughout thanks to the sweeping score and drums employed throughout.  Heck right from the onset of the shows’ brilliant open sequence you’ll get your first dose of how aggressive things can be here when called upon.  Without the bass you’ll never notice that stampede of horses coming your way or the many thuds and blows you never saw coming. Don’t forget the scorching of a city by a dragon or taking on an undead giant.  Those moments tend to make a boom or too.  Ha ha.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: The rear channels engage you completely throughout here with endless action, swords and shields clanging, dragons soaring, wind gusts and so much more.  I do love the directionality of the simplest of things like the wind blowing for example.  Also, the rousing score once again fills the rears with sounds of delight to keep you in the middle of it all.
  • Dialogue Reproduction: Dialog levels are always loud, clear, intelligible and prioritized throughout the entire final season here.

Game of Thrones Season 8 4K Review


Games of Thrones: Season 8 hits the 4K UHD Blu-ray format with a total of 10 audio commentaries, deleted scenes and several featurettes as listed in detail below.  Also, as you will usually find, there is a digital copy redemption code to re-live the magic of the series on your favorite digital device too.  The 1080p Blu-rays house all the same commentaries and third disc extras, but you also get ‘In Episode Guides’ where you’ll learn extra background on the characters, locations and more.  Let’s take a closer look at everything you’ll find here down below as well as some exclusive shots of the steelbook itself and that magnet everyone is so crazy about collecting.

Disc One:

  • Audio Commentaries
    • Episode One with commentary by Co-Producer / Writer Dave Hill and Production Designer Deborah Riley
    • Episode Two with commentary by Co-Executive Producer / Writer Bryan Cogman and Daniel Portman (Podrick Payne)
    • Episode Three with commentary by Director Miguel Sapochnik, Director of Photography Fabian Wagner and Camera Operator Sean Savage
    • Episode Three with commentary by Executive Producer Bernadette Caulfield, Visual Effects producer Steve Kullbak and Visual Effects Supervisor Joe Bauer.
    • Episode Three with commentary by Stunt Coordinator Rowley Irlam and Actor Richard Dormer (who plays Beric Dondarrion)

Disc Two:

  • Audio Commentaries
    • Episode Four with commentary by Director of Photography David Franco, Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm), Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandel) and Pilou Absek (Euron Greyjoy)
    • Episode Five with commentary by Director Miguel Sapochnik, Director of Photography Fabian Wagner and Conleth Hill (Varys)
    • Episode Five with commentary by Producer Chris Newman, Special Effects Supervisor Sam Conway, and Visual Effects Supervisor Joe Bauer

Disc Three:

  • Audio Commentaries
    • Episode Six with commentary by Executive Producers / Writers / Directors David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, and Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen)
    • Episode Six with commentary by Director of Photography Jonathan Freeman and Camera Operator Ben Wilson
  • When Winter Falls (HD, 29:13) – Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, along with major stars and behind-the-scenes players, break down all that went into the colossal filming of my favorite episode, “Battle of Winterfell,” in Season 8, Episode 3.
  • Duty is the Death of Love (HD, 31:36) – Here’s a look at how the team behind Game of Thrones and its major stars, including Kit Harington, Peter Dinklage and Emilia Clarke, brought the show to its conclusion in the series finale, “The Iron Throne,” which is my least favorite episode.
  • Game of Thrones: The Last Watch (HD; 1:52:58) – This is money maker here! It’s a documentary by filmmaker Jeanie Finlay chronicling the making of the final season and everything that went down.  Grab your favorite beverage as it’s a long one!  This one covers pretty much everything you can imagine!
  • Histories and Lore – Here we are offered 6 new animated pieces giving the history and background of notable season 8 locations and storylines.
    • King’s Landing (HD, 2:55)
    • The Greyjoy Rebellion (HD, 5:31)
    • The Blackfyres (HD, 5:15)
    • The South (HD, 2:30)
    • The Defiance of Duskendale (HD, 5:17)
    • Maegor the Cruel (HD,  5:18)
  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 8:28) – Here you get a total of five deleted scenes.

This 4K set comes packaged in a steelbook with a magnetic Sigil, which we have seen in previous Blu-ray season releases.  I personally hate the disc management in this set.  The 3 1080p Blu-ray discs are stacked on one spindle and the 3 4K UHD discs are stacked on another spindle.  What a pain they are to get off too.  Ugh!  Anyway, here’s a closer look at the steelbook, its inside and that magnet.

Game of Thrones 8 4K Set

Game of Thrones 8 4K Set

Game of Thrones 8 4K Set

Game of Thrones 8 4K Set

Game of Thrones Season 8 4K Review


There you have it folks!  This is it…well until they release the rest of the seasons on 4K discs that is.  Re-live how Game of Thrones ultimately unfolds in Season 8 here on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc.  Regardless of how you feel about the season and story in general, there’s no denying how exceptional things look and sound here.  It’s a MUST-OWN for all fans!  Get it now, bang your shields and clang your swords!


DISCLAIMER: This 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review was judged and graded using the following 4K certified Ultra HD Premium television set found here and player here.  Make sure to check out all our 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray reviews archived here.


Game of Thrones: Season 8

Ends It All With A Fiery Bang

on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray



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Game of Thrones Season 8


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

4 Responses to “Game of Thrones: Season 8 (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Robert Allee

    Loved the final season and thought it had a much better ending then the original Star Wars trilogy. I don’t think a lot of thought went in to the “dancing teddy bears” and “blowing up another Death Star” finale of Return of the Jedi, but people don’t seem to be as nitpicky about that film.

  2. Brian White

    Probably because there’s lightsabers, Jabba the Hutt, a bikini clad Leia, Bib Fortuna, the Emperor and so much more 🙂

  3. Robert Allee..

    ..and don’t forget all the happy ghosts smiling at the camera at the end of Return of the Jedi. Even Darth Vader seemed quite happy. Maybe Game of Thrones should have ended with the ghosts of all the characters who had died during the series with big happy grins on their faces. It would have to be a very wide shot.

  4. Brian White

    That would have been AMAZING!!!!