House of the Dragon Season 1 4K Blu-Ray Review: A Lazy, Missed Opportunity

Jan 12, 2023

House of the Dragon was easily one of my favorite shows of this year, so when given the opportunity to review the Season 1 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, I jumped at it. After all, there were rumors of deleted scenes, more insight into characters, and a journey back into Westeros which I would be all too eager to consume before waiting another two years for Season 2 to premiere. Unfortunately, the House of the Dragon Season 1 Steelbook Edition offers nothing new for fans of the Game of Thrones spinoff.

How Much Does ‘House of the Dragon: The Complete First Season’ Cost?
The House of the Dragon: The Complete First Season Steelbook 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital Copy is a limited collectible and comes in at $59.99. The standard edition without the physical steelbook costs $54.97. Both editions contain the two exclusive featurettes “Welcome to Westeros” and “Returning to the Seven Kingdoms.” The regular Blu-ray edition comes in at $49.99 and the DVD edition will cost you $44.98.

Are There Special Features?

Image via HBO

Looking at the description, you might be tempted to say that the complete first season boasts an impressive amount of special features — which is the main draw of physical media like this. But in actuality only those two featurettes exclusive to the 4K UHD, Blu-ray, and DVD are new. After rewatching all the special features on HBO Max (available since the episodes aired back in September and October) and watching everything on the DVD, I can safely there’s nothing new being offered. Even in the case of the exclusive featurettes, they feel more like a remixing of the other featurettes than something unique unto itself.

What’s more disappointing is that you would actually be able to access more content through an HBO Max subscription. This isn’t meant to be a big endorsement for HBO Max, but the streamer also includes about a 30-minute episode tacked onto every full episode that goes into the behind-the-scenes production of each episode in a series called The House That Dragons Built. It seems foolish not to include this miniseries with special features since they offer so much insight into the series. And because the streamer’s website is so poorly organized, it’s likely people watching the show live have missed it while watching the series. On top of that, the streamer also includes episodes from the official podcast where hosts Jason Concepcion and Greta Johnsen interview the showrunners and cast members, so this is yet another missed opportunity for the box set.

RELATED: ‘House of the Dragon’s Paddy Considine Believes Fans Misunderstood Viserys’ Difficult Choice

Are There Deleted Scenes?

Image via HBO

Since the show was airing, fans have been clamoring to see deleted scenes. In an interview with Random House, author of Fire & Blood and executive producer George R. R. Martin explained that the first season had many deleted scenes. From various other interviews and glimpses into the behind-the-scenes, we know that there are several scenes cut, like those that include a bisexual Daemon (Matt Smith), a young Rhaenyra (Milly Alcock) and Alicent (Emily Carey), and more that could offer fans a deeper look at the series. And we know there are scenes that can be released as showrunner Ryan Condal revealed a deleted scene at the Game of Thrones Official Fan Convention a couple of weeks ago. But, no, there are no deleted scenes at all in House of the Dragon: The Complete First Season.

Is It Worth Buying ‘House of the Dragon: The Complete First Season’?

Image via HBO

At the end of the day, this feels like a cash grab. I can’t recommend this to anyone other than collectors. The steelbook’s physical cover is admittedly very pretty, so it is worth the high price tag simply to own the physical copy in that limited edition form, but the content is sorely disappointing.

With such a rabid fanbase, just the inclusion of one of these things would warrant me recommending this to super fans. But there’s quite literally nothing new. Even the featurettes, when watched one after another, feel repetitive, with the same clips being cobbled together. It seems clear that interviews with the cast and creatives were conducted during filming and there’s a lot being cut and pasted together, but why are we being shown so little?

What a fantastic opportunity this could have been to offer fans of this beloved show audio commentary, bloopers, or deleted scenes. If this simply came with more actual original and exclusive content, I would be recommending every fan go out and get themselves a copy. The problem is, there is nothing to really watch if you’ve already consumed everything there is to offer while the show was airing. For those interested in the special features, save yourself the money and simply hop onto HBO Max, open up each episode, and scroll to the bottom of the landing page for each episode. You’ll find the special features waiting for you right there.

Rating: D-

House of the Dragon: The Complete First Season is available now on 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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