As one of the biggest television networks in the world, HBO have achieved a lot of success with various award-winning programmes including The Sopranos (1999-2007), The Wire (2002-08) and Deadwood (2003-05).
But the network is now set to unveil its most ambitious project to date in the form of Game of Thrones. Produced by David Benioff and DB Weiss, the epic fantasy series is adapted from the group of acclaimed novels by author George R.R. Martin originally known as A Song of Ice and Fire.
Despite its fantasy element, audiences can expect something completely different from other similar stories like Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter as the series prepares for release in mid-April. A two minute trailer is available for all to see below:
Set in the incredible world of Westeros, the ten part series stars Sean Bean (Sharpe, Lord of the Rings trilogy) as Ned Stark, the noble head of House Stark whose family live in the Northern home of Winterfell. Following the sudden death of his mentor, Ned is approached by his old friend King Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy) about becoming the new Hand of the King. After accepting the role, Ned takes his two daughters Sansa (Sophie Turner) and Arya (Maisie Williams) with him to King’s Landing, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms so that he can also uncover the mystery surrounding his mentor’s death. However tensions rise when Ned unearths a shocking secret involving Robert’s wife Cersei (Lena Headey) which ultimately leads to major consequences.
Meanwhile as winter approaches, Ned’s bastard son Jon Snow (Kit Harington) travels to the far north, where he joins the brotherhood of the Night’s Watch in order to protect the Wall that separates the kingdoms from the wrath of the feared White Walkers. Jon is joined by the Queen’s dwarf brother Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), who establishes unexpected relationships with those around him despite his Lannister allegiance.
Finally, across the Narrow Sea, exiled Prince Viserys Targaryen (Harry Lloyd) secures a new alliance with the savage Dothraki tribe in the hope that this will help him regain the Iron Throne that was once occupied by his father. He marries off his beautiful sister Daenerys (British starlet Emilia Clarke) to the Dothraki warlord Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) in exchange for an army, but this arranged marriage proves challenging and tricky. Daenerys must learn to please her husband and the marriage renders surprising results towards the season’s end.
The rest of the major cast confirmed for the series include Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jamie Lannister, Michelle Fairley as Catelyn Stark, Iain Glen as Jorah Mormont, Aidan Gillen as Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish, Richard Madden as Robb Stark, Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy, Isaac Hempstead-Wright as Bran Stark, Jack Gleeson as Joffrey Baratheon and Rory McCann as Sandor “The Hound” Clegane.
There are also significant roles for experienced actors like James Cosmo as Jeor Mormont, Peter Vaughan as Maester Aemon, Julian Glover as Grand Maester Pycelle, Conleth Hill as Lord Varys, Donald Sumpter as Maester Luwin, Ron Donachie as Rodrik Cassel, Charles Dance as Tywin Lannister, David Bradley as Walder Frey, Jerome Flynn as Bronn and Roger Allam as Illyrio Mopatis.
Part of a new slate of HBO shows which include the New Orleans-based Treme and Martin Scorsese’s gangster epic Boardwalk Empire, the first series of Game of Thrones will premiere on HBO and Sky Atlantic on April 14th.