Episode 5 - The Bells
Now, there’s a lot in the penultimate episode of Season 8 that feels intended to be divisive.
From the ease with which the master-of-whispers Varys is caught and executed for treason to the sudden effectiveness of Dany’s dragons against the Iron Fleet after Rheagal was brought low in “The Last of the Starks”.
However, one thing that’s not in dispute here is just how good this episode looks. And it looked even better on a large-screen 4K TV like the Sony X9500G. You get the full impact of both the episode’s flashier moments, like Drogon bursting through the gates of King’s Landing and decimating the Golden Company plus the moodier face-offs that precede the battle itself.
Ahead of the main event, you get a rich sense of tension between Daenerys and Tyrion - with the former almost seeming to bleach color out of the scenery around her.
The naval battles in “The Bells” also look much better than those of the previous episodes. There’s a glorious contrast between the red of the fire and the deep azure blue of the seas. In fact, red is a big theme here. Cersei, Dany and Jaime are all opting for crimson - perhaps representing their overall moral trajectory.
Brought to life by the Sony X1 Ultimate image processor, the picturesque imagery of the oft-hyped (but ultimately underwhelming) "Cleganebowl" proved another strong-point in what will likely become one of the more infamous episodes of the series.
Best Looking Scene: Arya’s escape
I think it’s pretty easy to make the case that the final ten or so minutes of “The Bells” are perhaps the high-point of this entire season.
There’s a bruising hyper-violence to the massacre after the bells have been wrung and a hectic chaos to the street-level action that these scenes contend with. It’s oft-said that Thrones is at its best when nobody is talking - and this scene feels like a hardline embodiment of that notion. There’s almost no dialogue but the visuals make their own kind of impact.
The finale of this final season of Game of Thrones had, for better or worse, not aired in time for me to include it at the time of writing. So while the jury is still out on whether this season will leave me satisfied, I’ve more or less made up my mind on the Sony X9500G 4K LED TV.
If you’re looking at picking up the Sony X9500G in the next few months, I don’t think you’ll be super disappointed with results it delivers. Sure, it’s not OLED and, sure, it’s not playing in the same 8K arena as Samsung’s Q900 or LG’s Z9 OLED. But it is priced accordingly and it does run on Android TV.
After a single evening with this TV, I can’t really you a conclusive opinion on whether or not it’s worth buying and for whom. Still, one thing I can say is that the final season of Game of Thrones looks really good on the Sony X9500G.