HBO Go is one of the best streaming-video apps for iOS. HBO’s Game of Thrones is one of the best television shows of the last decade. Like chocolate and peanut butter, these are two great tastes that taste great together. If your television provider allows access to HBO Go and you dig Game of Thrones then you owe it to yourself to check out the “Interactive Features” available only through streaming (WiFi only at the moment). Whether you’re new to the series or have been enjoying the George Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books since 1996, the extra information and short video features on HBO Go make Game of Thrones more enjoyable. Check out some additional details and screens below.
You’ll notice that the screens I’ve snapped were taken from a portrait perspective. I recommend watching Game of Thrones on HBO Go in portrait mode so that you can watch the show and play with the interactive features at the same time.
The brief character descriptions that pop up during key scenes are particularly useful to newcomers. With hundreds of characters, it’s hard to keep track of them all. Take Yoren, shown in the screen above, for example. Some viewers will remember him as the Night’s Watchman that accompanied Tyrion Lannister from The Wall to the south. Others will not remember him since — let’s face it — all Night’s Watchmen pretty much look the same. Thankfully, a synopsis on Yoren pops up during his first major scene in episode two. These descriptions not only appear for new characters, but for old ones that are mentioned but can’t appear in this season for various reasons (like death by molten-gold crowns).
The house descriptions are fantastic for those new to the world of A Song of Ice and Fire. The house crests, house mottos, and key figures are listed for each major family. The screen above shows a scene with daddy Balon Greyjoy and his lost son Theon. Fans that haven’t read the books know very little about the Greyjoy family; they’ve seen Theon, but have only heard about the others from Tyrion’s description of the Greyjoy Rebellion. Being able to pull up a cheat sheet on the major houses of Westeros is fantastic for those trying to figure out what each house is all about and where they fit into the story.
The same goes for the interactive map below. Several new locations are used in this season of Game of Thrones. It’s likely that viewers will have no idea where Dragonstone and the Iron Islands are in relation to King’s Landing and Winterfell, respectively. The map helps viewers get a better understanding of where all the different events are taking place.
Naturally, there are several interactive features that can be enjoyed by those new to the series and those that have read the books multiple times. The descriptions and sketches of the new set pieces are sweet. What’s even sweeter are the short videos featuring the creators and actors in the show, as well as book author George Martin.
The videos are the meatiest content on HBO Go and a real treat. It’s fun hearing Martin expand on some of concepts mentioned in the show. It’s cool to listen to the actors talk about their characters. I loved learning more about the behind-the-scenes talent on the show, like production designer Gemma Jackson. The woman has found incredible locations and created amazing sets. Getting her perspective on them was brilliant.
In a nutshell, the awesome Game of Thrones show is taken to a whole new level thanks to the awesome HBO Go app and service. The interactive features help you learn more about the show, understand the show better on multiple levels, and ultimately add a whole new layer of enjoyment. This is a fantastic way to use modern media to create loyalty to the old subscription-television model.
Any of you digging Game of Thrones on HBO Go? If so, please talk about your favorite features in the comments section.