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Game of Thrones Season 5 – Joel Kennedy, marketing communications manager, AV, Yamaha: Season 5, Episode 8: “Hardhome” This episode revolves around the Night’s Watch and Wildlings’ battle with the White Walkers. It’s pretty much 17 minutes of dynamic awesomeness, beginning around 44:24 with dogs barking. You can feel the doom of the approaching White Walkers – gates being shut, arrows aimlessly being shot. At 47:40, the White Walkers’ footsteps on the dilapidated wooden roof is something special. At 49:35, the Walkers coming through the wall is impressive. None of this is for the faint of heart or simple setups. There are very dynamic moments – from breaths, dialogue and icy winds to big booms of battle sequences. The Surround:AI on my RX-A1080 (using a 5.1 setup with bi-amped front channel speakers) amazingly selects the best listening mode for a balanced, immersive experience. Two of my other favorite parts are at 54:25 when Jon Snow slices through the lead White Walker with Longclaw – the shattering of ice never sounded or felt better. Near the end, at 56:00, there’s a swarm of walkers leaping off a cliff, thudding on the ground. It all concludes with the cold circling winds, making you feel like you’re beyond the wall and escape is unlikely.

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