Game of ThronesGame of Thrones is an American fantasy drama television series created for HBO by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss. It is an adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire, George R. R. Martin's series of fantasy novels, the first of which is titled A Game of Thrones. Filmed in a Belfast studio and on location elsewhere in Northern Ireland, Malta, Scotland, Croatia, Iceland and Morocco, it premiered on HBO in the United States on April 17, 2011. The series was renewed for a fourth season, to debut in the United States on April 6, 2014.
The series, set on the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos at the end of a decade-long summer, interweaves several plot lines. The first follows the members of several noble houses in a civil war for the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms; the second covers the rising threat of the impending winter and the mythical creatures of the North; the third chronicles the attempts of the exiled last scion of the realm's deposed dynasty to reclaim the throne. Through its morally ambiguous characters, the series explores the issues of social hierarchy, religion, loyalty, corruption, civil war, crime, and punishment.
Game of Thrones roughly follows the three story lines of A Song of Ice and Fire. Set in the fictional Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, the series chronicles the violent dynastic struggles among the realm's noble families for control of the Iron Throne. As the series opens, additional threats begin to arise in the icy North and in the eastern continent of Essos.
The novels and their adaptation derive settings, characters and plot elements from much of European history. A principal inspiration for the novels were the English Wars of the Roses (1455–85) between the houses of Lancaster and York, reflected in Martin's houses of Lannister and Stark. Most of Westeros, with its castles and knightly tournaments, is reminiscent of High Medieval Western Europe. The scheming Cersei, for instance, calls to mind Isabella (1295–1358), the "she-wolf of France". The series also combines such varied inspirations as Hadrian's Wall (which became Martin's great Wall), the fall of Rome and the legend of Atlantis (ancient Valyria), Byzantine "Greek fire" ("wildfire"), Icelandic sagas of the Viking Age (the Ironborn) and the Mongol hordes (the Dothraki), as well as elements from the Hundred Years' War (1337–1453) and the Italian Renaissance (c. 1400–1500). The series' great popularity has in part been attributed to Martin's skill at fusing these disparate elements into a seamless whole that appears credible on its own terms as an alternative history.
"The Sopranos in Middle-earth" is the tagline showrunner David Benioff jokingly suggested for Game of Thrones, referring to its intrigue-filled plot and dark tone combined with a fantasy setting. In a 2012 study, the series was listed second out of 40 recent U.S. TV drama series by deaths per episode, with an average of 14.
Like the novels it adapts, Game of Thrones has a sprawling ensemble cast, estimated to be the largest on television. During the production of the third season, 257 cast names were recorded. The following overview reduces the list of characters in Game of Thrones to those played by the actors credited as part of the main cast.
Lord Eddard "Ned" Stark (Sean Bean) is the head of the Stark family whose members are involved in most of the series's intertwined plot lines. He and his wife Catelyn Tully (Michelle Fairley) have five children: the eldest, Robb (Richard Madden), the dainty Sansa (Sophie Turner), the tomboy Arya (Maisie Williams), the adventurous Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) and the youngest, Rickon (Art Parkinson). Ned's hostage and ward Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) used to live with the Starks. Robb's wife is the healer Talisa Maegyr (Oona Chaplin), and Arya has befriended the blacksmith's apprentice Gendry (Joe Dempsie). Ned's bastard son Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and his friend Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) serve in the Night's Watch under Lord Commander Jeor Mormont (James Cosmo). The red-haired Wildling Ygritte (Rose Leslie) is Jon Snow's romantic interest. Robb is advised by his bannerman Roose Bolton (Michael McElhatton). Bolton's bastard son is the sadistic Ramsay Snow (Iwan Rheon). Catelyn is served by the female warrior Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie).
Ned's old friend King Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy) shares a loveless marriage with Queen Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), who has taken her twin, the "Kingslayer" Ser Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) as her secret lover. She loathes her younger brother, the clever dwarf Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), who is attended by his mistress Shae (Sibel Kekilli) and the sellsword Bronn (Jerome Flynn). Cersei's father is the fabulously wealthy Lord Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance), and her oldest son, the sadistic Joffrey (Jack Gleeson), is guarded by the scar-faced warrior Sandor "the Hound" Clegane (Rory McCann).
The king's "Small Council" of advisors includes the crafty Master of Coin, Lord Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish (Aidan Gillen) and the eunuch Master of Whisperers, Lord Varys (Conleth Hill). Robert's brother Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) is advised by the foreign priestess Melisandre (Carice van Houten) and the former smuggler Ser Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham). The wealthy Tyrell family is represented at court by the ambitious Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer). Margaery's grandmother and mentor is the quick-witted Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg).
Across the Narrow Sea, siblings Viserys (Harry Lloyd) and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) – the exiled children of the king overthrown by Robert Baratheon – are on the run for their lives, trying to win back the throne. Daenerys has been married to Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa), the leader of the nomadic Dothraki, and is guarded by the exiled knight Ser Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen).
The budget of Game of Thrones has been compared to that of the TV series Rome. The pilot reportedly cost HBO between US$5 and 10 million, and the total budget for the first season has been estimated at US$50–60 million. In the second season, the show obtained a 15% increase in budget in order to be able to stage the most important battle in the "clash of kings," the civil war that is the season's focus.
If you haven't seen this series you're truly missing out on a classic! All the information above was found via Google and is not my writing.