Game of Thrones - The Complete Sixth Season

by David Foucher

EDGE Publisher

Wednesday November 30, 2016

Winter is coming... what better time to relive Season Six of "Game of Thrones?" HBO's award-winning fave is returning late in 2017, thank to a shooting schedule that needs to take advantage of colder outdoor weather. So the network, rather than offering up the annual boxed set just before the new season's launch, has been nice enough to warm our winter evenings with a bit of blood and dragon fire.

And what's not to love? This is the first season that prowled beyond the current published books in George R. R. Martin's beloved series -- so there's much to review in a second sitting. Do I need to remind you? Green fire, "Hold the Door" and the "Battle of the Bastards" were true highlights -- but my favorite is Arya's evolution into an assassin. And if you didn't watch that last scene in Episode 10 in surround sound on a 70" 4K flatscreen, here's your opportunity to correct that horrible mistake.

But HBO doesn't disappoint with special features, either. You've got tons of audio commentary which runs the gamut from boring to snarky and fascinating, four deleted scenes (which as usual are interesting but did, in fact, belong on the cutting room floor), and a wide range of featurettes. The best of the bunch is "The Battle of the Bastards: An Inside Look," which describes -- frankly -- challenges of putting together of that sequence you never would have imagined. "The Game Revealed" is a very engaging series that comes a close second in fascination; it's five sequences that talk about the most grandiose elements of Season Six. The Histories and Lore section will thrill die-hard fans.

Frankly, however, it's the hysterical "Season Six: A Beginner's Guide" that's an absolute must-watch. Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, it quickly reviews what's happened in the first five years of the show. Even Jackson can't quite make the enormous cast of characters easily remembered, but who cares: it's awesome. And the word "motherfucker" is used to describe more of those characters than you can possibly believe. It's. Damn. Funny. Shit.

Should you buy this set? I'm not even going to answer that question. Winter is coming, people.

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Special Features:

· In-Episode Guide - Dig deeper into the show with this in-feature resource that provides background information about on-screen characters, locations, and relevant histories.

· Histories and Lore - Learn about the mythology of Westeros and Essos as told from the varying perspectives of the characters themselves in 18 history pieces.

· The Old Way: narrated by Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk)

· The Kingsmoot: narrated by Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk)

· The Sunset Sea: narrated by Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk)

· War of the Ninepenny Kings: narrated by Brother Ray (Ian McShane)

· The Great Tourney at Harrenhal: narrated by Meera Reed (Ellie Kendrick)

· Robert's Rebellion: narrated by Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau)

· Vaes Dothrak: narrated by Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen)

· The Dothraki: narrated by Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen)

· Northern Allegiances to House Stark: narrated by Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner)

· Children of the Forest vs. the First Men: narrated by the Three-Eyed Raven (Max von Sydow)

· Brotherhood Without Banners: narrated by Thoros of Myr (Paul Kaye)

· Oldtown: narrated by Grand Maester Pycelle (Julian Glover) and Qyburn (Anton Lesser)

· House Dayne: narrated by Young Ned Stark (Robert Aramayo)

· The Little Birds: narrated by Lord Varys (Conleth Hill)

· Knights of the Vale: narrated by Petyr 'Littlefinger' Baelish (Aidan Gillen)

· House Tarly: narrated by Randyll Tarly (James Faulkner)

· Riverrun: narrated by Brynden 'the Blackfish' Tully (Clive Russell)

· Great Sept of Baelor: narrated by the High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce)

· The Battle of the Bastards: An In-Depth Look - Behind-the-scenes piece examining the production challenges of creating this epic event, including explorations of VFX, stunts, and interviews with key cast and crew.

· Recreating the Dothraki World - Behind-the-scenes piece looking at the creation of Vaes Dothrak and its importance to Dany's evolution.

· 18 Hours at the Paint Hall - Follow all three shooting units as they converge in this behind-the-scenes snapshot of a day in the life of the largest show on television

· Audio Commentaries - The most commentaries ever recorded for Game of Thrones, featuring:

· Episode 601: Director Jeremy Podeswa, Director of Photography Greg Middleton, and Daniel Portman (Podrick Payne)

· Episode 602: Writer Dave Hill, Michael McElhatton (Roose Bolton), Iwan Rheon (Ramsay Bolton), Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth), and Ben Crompton (Dolorous Edd)

· Episode 603: Director Daniel Sackheim, Production Designer Deborah Riley, and Dean-Charles Chapman (Tommen Baratheon)

· Episode 604: Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei), Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont), and Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm)

· Episode 605 (Two commentaries): Gemma Whelan (Yara Greyjoy), Pilou Asbæk (Euron Greyjoy), Ellie Kendrick (Meera Reed), and Kristian Nairn (Hodor); Prosthetics Supervisor Barrie Gower, Camera Operators Chris Plevin and Ben Wilson, and Executive Producer Bernadette Caulfield

· Episode 606: Director Jack Bender, Director of Photography Jonathan Freeman, John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), and Hannah Murray (Gilly)

· Episode 607: Producer/Writer Bryan Cogman, Ian McShane (Septon Ray), and Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell)

· Episode 608: Director Mark Mylod, Essie Davis (Lady Crane), and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister)

· Episode 609 (Two commentaries): Director Miguel Sapochnik, Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), and Kit Harington (Jon Snow); Director of Photography Fabian Wagner, Visual Effects Producer Steve Kullback, and Visual Effects Supervisor Joe Bauer

· Episode 610 (Two commentaries): Executive Producers/Writers David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), and Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister); Special Effects Supervisor Sam Conway, Camera Operator Sean Savage, and Producer Chris Newman

· Deleted Scenes - Four deleted scenes.

David Foucher is the CEO of the EDGE Media Network and Pride Labs LLC, is a member of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalist Association, and is accredited with the Online Society of Film Critics. David lives with his daughter in Dedham MA.